Tuesday, 29 December 2009

December 29 - Christmas has gone for another year

It's time to pack away the Christmas outfits and get into some normal clothes. If you'd like to play around with backgrounds on your blog, have a look here or here 

Thursday, 24 December 2009


I have made it to the end of the year as a new blogger. This has turned out to be quite a great adventure and I am looking forward to continuing to show things I have made, as well as current works in progress.
Thank you to those of you who have left comments - I am taken be surprise at how excited I get when I see a new comment. It has taught me to be better at leaving comments on blogs I visit.
I have also learnt how hard it can be to translate what is in my head for a post, into what actually gets published. There are many 'draft' posts, sitting in 'edit posts'. Maybe some of them will see the light of day in 2010?
So, *raising glass*, cheers to a Joyous Christmas and Peace and Blessings in 2010, and for me, many more opportunities for learning about myself, blogging and, of course, quilting.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

My Place & Yours - The 'Me' Wardrobe

Playing My Place & Yours again. This weeks theme queen Sandra  asks
What's your favourite item of clothing, the one that you feel special in, the most "you" in, keep going back to, can be spotted in by friends from miles away, wear over and over and hope will never fall apart and die? Perhaps you've even had to darn it already? (There's to keeping an old craft alive!) 
I didn't have to think too long about this theme.
I've had this top for around 5 or 7 years (when  no. 5 - Minky, or no. 6 - Miss Bee, was 4, or 5 and finishing her, or her, last year of preschool). I bought it at this time of year for a Christmas 'do'.
I was feeling a teensy bit uncomfortable because of extra 'baby weight' that I just couldn't get rid of and wanted something nice to wear out on MATH's work Christmas Cruise. I bought a tank top the same gorgeous pinky-crimson and, with a pair of black pants and strappy sandals, felt pretty spectacular.
I love the lightness of the fabric and the beautiful pattern, with its touch of paisley and folk art flowers. It's even almost back in fashion, if newer lines of quilting fabrics are anything to go by.
It comes out mainly at Christmas, but I wear it anytime in the summer months, or spring, or autumn and it's been known to make winter appearances, for weddings, parties, anything...
Sadly the matching tank top lost its struggle for life but this top soldiers on. Just as well, because on a brighter note, I don't need to wear it as an over shirt, I wear it buttoned now!

Hope you enjoyed your peek over the fence...and pop over to Pip's to see other 'me' wardrobes.

Excitement over the fence

I was intending to post about Christmas over the fence, but there is something I want to show instead.
As part of our renovations, starting with the kitchen, was the plan to revamp the front verandah.
Mostly because I wanted it to look nice, but also because there was actually no cover and when it rained, very wet and bedraggled visitors would be standing forlornly at the front door.
But not longer! Take a peek over the fence now...

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Thursday, 17 December 2009

December 17 - New Christmas 'outfit'

Time for another quick change of blog background.
I spent the day in the city with the staff from school. We had an early start in Hyde Park and then made our way to St Mary's Cathedral for the Rosary and Mass. All relaxed and peaceful, we walked down to Circular Quay for lunch. It's hot in Sydney today HOT, HOT, HOT!
After all this, I need to look at something cool, so here's the new blog 'outfit'
Snowed In from Shabby Blogs
Thanks for taking a peek over the fence..

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

My Place & Yours - Five Minutes Peace

where do you retreat to for that sanity-regaining break? i am interested in what or where in your home your sanctuary is...
This weeks theme queen is Pilgrim, who has come up with a teriffic theme. 
Mrs Large and I both thought we had it all worked out: wrong are we? No bathroom offers privacy to any mother on earth!

The only place I think I am getting 5 minutes peace is here...

...even if I get interrupted - you know what? I don't care -  because I actually got to sit here for a while, doing stuff like this:

And they all know they have to wait till 'the end of the row'

So hop along over to Meet Me at Mikes to play along too.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

December 15 - New Christmas 'outfit'

Yippee!! only 10 days till Christmas. Despite the fact that I have only made a slow start to Christmas shopping - I am still not panicking. 

Last night I started the fruit mix for the cake.
Some purists will insist this isn't long enough - but I am just glad that I will have a cake made for Christmas Day.
Which somehow brings me to the question of a blog background. Something wild and RED is called for...
Deck the Halls from the cutest blog on the block, has just the required amount!
Enjoy your peek over the fence...

Saturday, 12 December 2009

December 12 - Another Christmas Outfit

Today has been a rest day between dance concerts and the girls have been writing cards for their friends and adding a candy cane to the envelope.
Also,it's been the day for us to put up our real Christmas tree. Already the house is filled with pine smells (and the stray pine needles around the floor!). It must be Christmas with that gorgeous smell filling the house.

A whole packet of candy canes has disappeared into the tree and they'll become the prize of the willing searchers later in the month!

Which brings me to what this blog should wear...I think it will have to be some Candy Cane Lane- from Shabby Blogs.
Hope you have enjoyed your little peek over the fence...

Friday, 11 December 2009

My Place & Yours - Wherever I lay my hat...

We are playing Pip's game called My Place & Yours. The latest theme of the meme is by myrtle and eunice : wherever I lay my hat...that's my home.
What are the treasures in your house that signify ‘home’? Is there anything that reminds you of a childhood, a life overseas, a loved one? Is there a blanket you always curl under, a teapot that brews the perfect cuppa? Do you have a ‘Droopy Dog’ like that one above – a twelfth birthday present who fits perfectly in the crook of a sleeping kid’s arm and who may or may not have ventured to Europe in a backpack, ahem, three times?
My house has become more like my home since we renovated the old kitchen into the new kitchen.
How straightforward and easy is that. Take that theme, done and dusted.
But... a little voice inside is saying that surely there is more to a home than just what it looks like.
I looked around a bit more and my eye fell to these pieces.

They have come to me from my parents place. I remember them being used by people I love. I remember them in rooms I played in. I remember these were a part of my home then and are a part of my home now.
So little voice... I think home is not the object, but in the end it's the memories, feelings and people, that are part of an object, that's what really makes my place a home.
Thanks for taking a peek over the fence... 

December 11 - New Christmas outfit

I have not been able to dress my blog in it's Christmas clothes for several days - mainly due to it being - well - Christmas!
Anyway lets try out these for clothes for size: from shabby blogs here's just say snow.
...and if you look very carefully you can see it's snowing over the fence!!!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

December 6 - New Christmas 'outfit'

I loved the last background so much that I didn't want to change it. It is just as well I have that excuse to use, because I imagined I could keep up with a daily change. What I didn't count on was my 'normal' life getting in the way - and an evening of sewing with Marisew, finishing the 'mystery'bundle' of the previous post, also provided a very welcome distraction.

Anyway - here is the latest lovely offering of a Christmas outfit for that hard-to-please and demanding 'blog'...presenting Christmas Quilt from Shabby Blogs. 

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Mystery Bundle - Part 1

This is the story of an unfinished project.
This bundle is rather sad looking.



Replace the rows...

Stay tuned for the rest of the story

December 3 - New Christmas 'outfit'

Shabby blogs is where this wonderful blog background came from. You will find Vintage Christmas here.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

December 2 - New Christmas 'outfit'

Another new blog background from the cutest blog on the block.
This is yuletide and if you squint the xylophone could be mistaken for fence palings. Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek over the fence.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Handmaden: It's giveaway time!

The Handmaden: It's giveaway time!

The Handmaden: Giveaway

I wanted to keep this to myself...but in the spirit of bloggy goodness...if you would like to enter a fantastic giveaway from The Handmaden - click here. You have till December 6. She has joined forces with retromummy in this giveaway. Go on - off you go now...and good luck too.

December 1 - New Christmas 'outfit'

Wow! this one is a beauty. (I will have to change from my green text though, its too hard to read). This is Wonder of Christmas by the cutest blog on the block
Hope you are having as much fun checking out the changing backgrounds, as I am having changing them!

Monday, 30 November 2009

My Place & Yours - Nice, Different, Unusual

The theme for Pip's My Place & Yours comes from Toni from Little Suitcase.
You can play by showing something, nice, different, unusual at your place.
 I really like this game - it makes me look harder at my house. Though Math (Man About The House) thinks this is dangerous...and we all know why! 

I have this funny shaped division between the lounge and dining room. I don't know why it is there. Nothing else in the house echoes this shape. In fact, when we moved in, all other wooden features, like old picture rails,  had been removed.
Anyway, the little shelves get to have a rotating set of delights sitting up there. On the right , Santa is moving in. On the left, next to the plant, is a set of pottery that Minky made last year when she was 11. They make me smile when I look at them.
I also have a nice table but no chairs.
And I have wallpaper that will be nice...when it's gone.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Friday, 27 November 2009

...When the bloom of the Jacaranda tree is here, Christmas time is near...

I am getting into the spirit of Christmas by 'dressing' my blog in some Christmas colours. I might even try a different 'outfit' everyday.
Today's clothes are from cutest blog on the block - Santa Swag Background

Yaaayyyy - The Kitchen is In

This is the done kitchen (well except for the painting and the window which needs repairing).
See the blue & white china in the display cupboard above the fridge.
There are lovely blue toned tiles along the splashback.
I am still looking for lots of blue accessories, half the fun is in the searching!
There is also a touch of wacky colour with the coffee set on the island bench.
Of course the island bench will stay uncluttered, just like this who am I trying to kid...with 6 junior quilarys, Mr & Mrs quilary it will be lucky to last 5 minutes...
But it's done and I love being in it.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

My Place & Yours - My Collection

You say hoarding, I say collecting
I like to think that my hoarding has a much better name...yes it's a COLLECTION!
This goes back a long way back to (struggling) uni student days, sewing for myself and trying to make ends meet . Despite this, I decided that there was one offer I couldn't pass up. It encompassed my 3 loves - books, sewing and stationery shops (or in this case the local newsagent). Each week I'd have to find the princely sum of $1.75, head off to the newsagency on Bondi Road and pick up my 'order'...oh joy...oh bliss...
What was this miraculous offer...
Voila... collection of Busy Needles - all the way from 1-98. All read, some ideas used, mostly just poured over with the possibilities of 'one day...'

And just to prove that I have hoarded for a while, here's a similar collection of Handmade (I never did find issue 1)
The Barbie issue in the background has been well used. One memorable day I spent the whole day sewing denim overalls for Barbie -  the house and 4 little children ran wild...and I didn't care - I just needed to sew - but that a story for another day!

Theme Queen::Kate
and head over to
Meme Queen::Pip
to add your collection.

Saturday, 14 November 2009


I do love the colours of the rainbow:
At work...

at home...

and especially in an Eye Spy Quilt for the Princess of Quite Alot...

This is an original pattern designed and made by quilary.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Kitchen is taking shape

Here is a quick update on the kitchen renovation.
The dividing wall has gone, the other walls are re surfaced, the floor boards polished *wolf whistle* and the pile of cabinets have arrived. Even the new white ceiling fan is in.

That big slab leaning up against the wall is the large quilting table island bench top. The doorway to the right gives you the perspective of how big it is! Not long to go now.

Monday, 9 November 2009

My Place & Yours - Secret Weapon

Here it is...

Not very flash...

till you look inside...

Lots of things I need for quilting projects on the go...

sandpaper, pencil, santa button!

And some projects that really should be worked on

Now you know.
Have a look here for some more secrets and join in with all the other secret keepers.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

No Birthday Cakes this Month

In this household there are 3 November birthdays. Ordinarily this is a busy month and I have just added to the mix with the kitchen renovation. We are a week and a half into 'no kitchen' time and are surviving without too many dramas. However...

When the kids were younger, I would have loads of fun picking out which cake I would make for them and then torture myself to get it made and iced by the big day. Even though it may have been stressful - it was worth it - because I had done it myself. And that to me is what is so important about any crafting/sewing/creating that I do.

So, sorry to the 3 'birthday girls this month; no kitchen = no (homemade) cake, but here's a little peek down memory lane...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


This is what my kitchen looked like last Friday (On Thursday it did have cupboard doors!)...

This is what my kitchen looked like on Monday...

...this is the wall that is coming down.

I have to cook on the BBQ or in a microwave. Usual kitchen stuff is stored in the dining room and food preparation, kettle, toaster etc lives here too. The fridge and freezer are outside the back door with the BBQ and a small table. Dishwasher is in the laundry. I can manage, you know I can, can't I? It will be an adventure, just like (longterm) camping *desperation creeping into voice*
Don't have any sympathy for's all self-inflicted and I think I will be just a tiny bit EXCITED to have a new not-lime-green-kitchen after 17 years!!!!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Feeding the addiction

Anybody with an addiction has a supplier. Now the internet makes it really easy to have your addiction come to you!

Here are some of the places that I get my supplies from:
Kays Fabric Craft - actually I visit this one cause it's in the next suburb!
Catherines Place
CatherinesPlace group not a shop but runs co-ops for bulk anything sewing or quilting purchases 

Some of the lovely goodies that have come over the fence:

Crazy patch Christmas - just waiting to be made into a rocking horse

Wideback buying bonanza

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Dorothy in Autumn - or What Quilary did next

How do 2 (almost) utter novices learn how to quilt? Easy - we recruit 2 other novices and do a Block of the Month (BOM) sampler.
The one we chose was Correspondance sampler by chocolate-coated. We are eternally grateful to, the then owner, Dorothy Clark for her beautifully clear patterns that arrived each month and the delightful colourways that she put together for us.
Over 16 months we'd meet fortnightly to work our way through each block.
We all chose different colourways - and here is my version:

Go on - have a go- you KNOW you want to...

Come and take a peek

"My name is quilary and I am addicted to quilting..."

There I've said it! But take a peek over the fence into my work space and you will see why.

Here is the first quilt I ever made: 

It was made for my then 2 yr old and was finished when she was 12. The intervening years involved the arrival of 3 more babies, 3 older children starting school and house extension to name a few.

Then my dear friend, Marisew, and I, both discovered we had a long held desire to quilt. That was in 2004 and life has never been the same since.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Module 10 - toondoo or not toondoo

I have really enjoyed this last module. There is so much in it - it has taken me almost 2 weeks to assimilate  - or in Bloom's Taxonomy - evaluate the infomation. 

I now have a better understanding the value of digital technologies in teaching to childrens' different learning styles. I think I will be more critical in evaluating the value of the internet and various tools in education, and less quick to judge them negatively. Having a rubric to mark students progress by will also help reassure parents that it is a valuable learning tool. (I checked my blog posts back to educational origami site and realise that luckily my blog posts are NOT at level 1.

To prove that education can be FUN also, I've amused myself with toondoo. Here is one cartoon (apologies to my daughter) - I won't leave my day job anytime soon


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Module 9 - from C64 to Second Life

I feel like the octagenarian who's seen the changes from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I confess to having used a commodore 64, graduating to a C128...and onwards and upwards. Having a brother and husband both 'computer nuts' from the beginning I even go as far back as using 'bulletin boards'. So to see things with the complexity of Second Life where users are involved in the creation...well it's a long way from text based - turn left. You see a cave and an axe. What do you do?

We are so used to condemning social networking sites for the negative impact they have on people (and mostly I guess we are talking about young people) - and I see it myself, as I try to limit my own children's hours in front of facebook, msn and networked games. It is refreshing to see the positive side of tools such as secondlife being used for educational purposes and engaging students with the sort of technology that interests and engages them.

This is the first time I have looked at Scootle. I am amazed by the quantity of information and the detail that is there for each topic - from size of the files, to who has copyright. It's very easy to navigate around and has a huge range of topics to choose from. It is also interesting that there is information in video, audio and image format as well as a variety of interesting interactive games that are relevant to the topic.

I am quilte familiar with Facebook and Twitter and have accounts with both sites. I find them fun, but would not see the educational advantages of either of them.

It all comes down to a balance between using technology in the classroom to aid learning. It's no good if you can find all the information in the world if you don't have the skills 
  • to read it, 
  • keep what's useful,
  • discard the irrelevant, 
  • order into a logical sequence and then 
  • present it 
so that your audience (teacher, boss, client) can understand what it is you are presenting. 

(Yes - in case you were wondering - I did search Scootle for Quilts and found 5 there!)

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Module 8 - RSS read-a-thon aka 'information overload'

The mighty 'wikipedia' provided the following quote: ' "Information overload" is a term coined by Alvin Toffler which refers to an excess amount of information being provided, making processing and absorbing tasks very difficult for the individual because sometimes we cannot see the validity behind the information.'

RSS is an attempt to make sense of some of the vast, incomprehensible amount of information (and dross) that is the internet. It is an effective tool for putting the flow of information onto one page. However I find that I am duplicating where all this information is ending up and Google reader is just another page I have to go to.

For example, on my blog I manually add a link to 'blogs I follow". I can also hit the ' follow button' on blogs  read which sends me a feed showing updates on my blog dashboard 'reading list'(complete with date of last update if I choose that option). This tends to make me think a separate RSS page a bit redundant for blogs.

For news information I tend to have a few sites that I trust as news providers and these are either favourites or a gadget on my iGoogle homepage, making me less likely to use RSS for that.

There are a HUGE number of sharing and feed options around (just click on the orange share button on any CEO wiki page and you will see options ranging from twitter, stumbleupon, digg to outlandish names like plurk, posterious and propeller!!!!)...

So it's back to managing 'information overload' by being VERY SELECTIVE, knowing what's around and my best tip of all - 
use the option that gives you the most information for the fewest passwords
- and you can quote me on that!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Module 7 - Delicious - I hate it...oh wait...I like it!

Ok I started off by creating a delicious account and adding the buttons to the tool bar - so far so good. I am impressed that I can access delicious and thus my bookmarks from several computers, from the web. That is really handy in our multi-computer household, as the kids 'homework !?!' gets priority (why did I make that rule?).

Then I got really enthusiastic and decided to export my internet explorer bookmarks. Hey presto - several button presses later there they are all 500...WHAAAAT????? How did 500 bookmarks get exported?????

A HUGE problem is that it exports ALL BOOKMARKS ON THE COMPUTER.

I wasted an hour trying to find and delete the entire families bookmarked pages and contemplated deleting the lot.

.....(some time later) I persevered, tagged my bookmarks, sat back, patted myself on the back and thought that would be last time I would ever use delicious.

Except...maybe I would just have a little look around the site and type 'quilt' into 'tag search'
and up popped 12768 bookmarks and I like the look of (most) of them.

So if I'm not around for a while - you will know why...mmm delicious...

btw if you know how to export bookmarks from a selection, please let me know, I have to get my bookmarks off the laptop, family room computer and the iMac (Don't look so shocked - didn't I tell you there 6 children in this family - 2 at uni, 3 in high school and 1 in primary!)

Thursday, 24 September 2009

ledowr - ewrdol - dowrle - wordle

Ok this is a bit of fun too.

I have 'wordle-d' my posts so far and it is a very interesting picture - I really like that 'quilting' is right in the middle. Hopefully 'family' is in there somewhere too!

I wonder what a wordle will look like at Module 10?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Module 6 - blowing

Well here were are at module 6 and by some fortituous mouse clicks I have managed to blog this - one minute I am on then next here I am posting.

I remember hitting menu, export, finding myself in Picasa and then suddenly...Toto I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore...of course it could have something to do with being nearly 11.30pm and the kids telling me to get off the computer!

I really wasn't sure that I could find a use for this mind-mapping tool. However I have completely changed my mind as I discovered while using it, that it really makes you focus on your ideas. It is like your own personal brain-storming tool, as well as providing the means for group brainstorming.

I would think that would be a great 'drafting' tool for anyone, from school to uni students, when planning any writing tasks; anything from essays to narratives.

I have gone from sceptic to advocate in a few hours.

So if you can read the 'bubbles' then you
  1. probably don't need glasses and
  2. you will have a pretty good idea about the journey I have been on. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Module 5

It has been a great learning experience exploring podcasting, videocasting and iTunes.

To me podcasting is the natural extension of recording programmes, that for me started with cassette recording JJ's (not a typo) top 100 onto cassette straight from the radio - oops how to give away your age!). Except now you don't have to know what you want to record, but can go to 'librarys' of radio and visual programmes and pick what you'd like to listen to/see, that you may have missed.

I find YouTube is a double-edged sword - it has some fantastic learning videos, but can also be a huge time waster,
and with teenage kids you better have unlimited downloads.

Here is what I have learned from this module:
  1. I can put a video on my blog, and
  2. I can make 'granny squares'
If you ever wanted to know how to crochet a granny square - here is your chance to find out...

However, if crochet leaves you cold but the combination of quilting and inventing whets your appetite - have a look here: QuiltInvention*

*note to family who may be reading - What a great idea for a Christmas/Birthday present for quilary!


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