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Friday, August 26, 2011

Sewing, Sunshine & Sweets...

Sewing...Ms Diva has left the country. She's off on her trip to the US, Bahamas and Mexico...and this is what she took with her...a handmade Mummy present!

It's turned out really well. This is how she wanted the colours to be (although I think I would have had the wild travel print on the outside!). Not sure what Hurricane Irene is planning to do...I can see I am going to be learning how to read satellite images for the next three weeks!...and I'll probably become Best Friends with  The National Hurricane Center.

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Sunshine...Sunshine in the Mail aka Snail Mail Swap:
My partner Sam at Knitting Adventures and I have been playing email tag, as we try to catch up so I can send off her swap goodies.
I've sent off a few handmade bits and pieces that I hope will be like some sunshine in the mail...but I'll only show photos of the half-finished items...so it will still be a surprise when it arrives.


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Sweets...today I'm going to be doing a bit of cooking rather than sewing (a big sacrifice!).
I'm taking a dessert to my Sister-in-Law's 40th tonight. My poor lemon tree is drooping under the weight of all those lemons,
so it's going to be lemon day today....lemon slice, lemon tart and if the bowl is in the freezer, lemon sorbet... 

 My mouth is watering at the thought of all those lemons...

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Swappy Heaven...

You little bewdy (oops my Strine is showing)...the weekend is here and I can enjoy looking at what arrived in the mailbox yesterday afternoon. Can you believe it; 2 surprises in one day!
Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap #4

I knew what they were straight away, but as soon as I got home from work on Friday afternoon, I was out the door again to go to dinner. I forced myself to leave them alone till I could really take the time to open them and appreciate what was inside.
Sunshine in the Mail/Snail Mail Swap




This morning I've been able to enjoy a leisurely look through these lovely parcels.





This is the contents of the envelope from the Snail Mail Swap that was organised by Seaweed & Raine
Sabrina has put together an amazing little package that has really brought some sunshine into the house.
There is a lovely letter, some fabulous notepaper from vintage wallpaper, a postcard, gorgeous envelopes and a handmade card
This is the cutest part, made by her 3yr old sister...
...just shows that you are never too young to create a little masterpiece.
It's put a huge smile on my face, and really takes me back to the enjoyment of spending precious craft time with my own "littles"!
Also, Sabrina has a great project going on over on her blog, so head on over there and check out her homage to all things post-y and mail-y.
Thanks Sabrina for sending so much lovely sunshine goodness in the mail!

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The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap #4
The theme of this was BLOOM.
Post card front
This beautiful hand painted - gorgeous watercolors - and stitched card looks so at home in my lemon tree!
Postcard back
The back is as beautifully made as the front!
Here's the postcard pretending to be the biggest rose on the rosebush! It's not staying out there, it's going on the wall where I sew, so that I'll have a bit of blooming sunshine inside to make this cold old winter go away!

Thanks so much to Jenna . Please go and have a look at her blog - I got lost travelling around looking at all the fantastic postcards that she's made to send out and those that she's received from others.

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trials & Travel…

First I have to say thank you to all my lovely friends in blogland. Your supportive comments really lifted my spirits. It’s funny you know, everyone around me can tell me that I’m doing ok, and I feel a bit better, they after all, know me so well.
But when someone who doesn’t know me so well says that, well you all just gave me that extra boost, that, yeah, maybe things are ok and my little bump on the road to bringing up children, is going to smooth out in the end.

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Trials of a different sort  have been happening here at our house…HSC Trials
The Princess has been in the middle of HSC exam trials as well as trying to finish her Textiles major project. The weekend just gone was her last chance to finish her portfolio. The art quilt is finished…


I think it’s just fabulous…but I know I’m biased. If you knew her, you'd know that she loves reading (2 large bookshelves in her room are almost full), loves Jane Austen and anything to do with the late 18th and early 19th century and one day wants her own library and drawing room. This quilt is like looking inside her imagination!
She’s done a brilliant job. She taught herself techniques that she wanted to use…ribbon embroidery, satin stitch appliqué, buttonhole stitch.
She’s listened and put into practice things she’s asked me how to do …the padded vase, paper piecing, using a walking foot…
She's already wanting it back from the markers - not to find out what she mark she got - but so it can go on her wall!

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Miss Diva is off on a 3 week holiday to the US. A longtime friend of hers works as a dancer on a cruise liner that  works out of Miami.
She and two others are going to go on two back to back cruises - one to the Bahamas and the other to Mexico - to see what Sarah does – and no doubt imagine what it would be like to work as a dancer (something I think they all imagine they can do (and perhaps with overly enthusiastic encouragement from dance teachers!!!!) when they are young and among the top/better dancers in their own local dancing school)
This is the beginnings of her travel document holder….


...it's a hybrid of a couple of free patterns I found, including here and here...but I really need to get a move on, she's flying out next Friday. Don't you love the travel fabric? Spotlight does it again! I'm going to have to visit there this weekend and smuggle a few metres of the new cities fabric into the house without getting caught!

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This has gone in the mail….but I am only showing you a picture of it half finished to keep it a bit of a surprise for it's recipient.

It's heading for the UK and this blogger who has only just started blogging. Go and have a look and say hi, g’day or hello from your neck of the woods.
thanks for taking a peek over the fence…

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Living in a material world...

Material: A lovely parcel of vintage sheeting arrived recently and were a lovely surprise after a hard days work and some of the emotional upheaval I've been through.

There are 5 lovely crisp fat quarters. I have been playing with them and photographing them in different ways (no I didn't win two sets!). I fear that I have now been bitten by the "vintage sheet lovin' bug" and am holding Jacqui totally responsible. I have to admit that I thought it was a bit funny - all the hype around the sheets, but I totally understand it now - there is something quite exciting about the colours, the texture, the history...I have even already picked out a couple of solid colours that will be used to go with some of the fabrics...there will be a least one cushion cover being whipped up soon. Thanks so much Jacqui for these beauties...you really brightened up my day in more ways than one.

Materialistic...Nic from CreativeDisorganization blogged about some lovely fat quarters she found at Spotlight and me being the copycat I am just needed them as well. I went after my visit to the dentist (oh yes I've had a great week!) but couldn't find them for the "special" price. Never mind...I found this lot instead...Paisley and Christmas in the one piece....ooh yeah!
Materialism...Fluffy pom poms destined for Meet Me at Mikes:
Mental...And finally one of the best things for keeping sane in the face of the madness that can be family life...the last of the square in a square blocks for the next border of the quilt variously known as... 
"I <3 Paisley"
"Mariners Compass"
"The Paisley Nightmare"
"That Giant UFO that I'm not quite sure what to do next with..."
It is actually coming together and I'm a really getting quite fond of it, fiddly blocks and all!!


thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

a heartache and questioning...

I've been gone for a little longer than usual...

Something has happened that has given me a huge jolt. It's made me question my ideas about bringing up my children and made me look all the decisions I have made over the last few weeks and months and years as a parent.

I'll be brief about the issue, but basically one of my children has felt pressured by another child and made some silly decisions that could have badly affected her.

I now ask myself, why did I let her have a friendship with this other child - her parents seemed to responsible and think the same way I do. (Perhaps part of the answer is that the child already has some deep problems that I didn't know about). My child didn't want to be the last one to abandon the other girl as all her friendships seemed to be falling away because of the kinds of erratic behaviour she was displaying. She felt a loyalty to her that I actually don't ever want her to feel again.

A saving grace is that in the face of certain bullying my daughter came clean. She recognised the risk taking behaviour and faced up to the consequences. She knows that others who have been affected by this child (and maybe were a bit excited by it all) will be upset that someone has "dobbed" and she will have to stand up to them as well. She's felt the release of a burden that she was carrying for a few days and that has more than made her feel glad she has owned up. She's thanked us for loving her...one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard my child say to me.

I am so shocked by this. I have spoken with all my kids about the kinds of dangers they may face, about alcohol and drugs - I've done all the things I have been advised by books, media, schools, parent groups, police, politicians.  The only access to the internet is in the family room. I have facebook passwords and I have to be their "friend" or they cannot have fb ("if you don't want me to see what you are writing then maybe you shouldn't be writing it!"). I follow through on consequences for every issue that we have ever had. I think I'm fair with them. I do say no and mean it. They don't get everything they ask for - birthdays and Christmas are for getting special presents. I give them pocket money, but there is always a reasonable discussion about what will be purchased with savings. They have time limits for going out, pickup times from birthday parties...I absolutely love every single one of them to bits and tell them often. It's not just about "imparting information". I live how I want them to know is the right, kind, fair, just and loving way to live as an individual and in a society and community. There is a lot of love and laughter and friends in this house and home.

I thought I was doing everything "right" - that magic way we think as parents that means we are setting the kids on the right path. 


I'm so sad and relieved at the same time. I'm scared and full of doubt. I'm disappointed and angry. It seems that other children...and maybe even their parents...may have been aware of what this child may have been up to...I am angry that no one thought to say that maybe she wasn't the right person to 'hang around'...I feel compelled to say something to the parents of girls who are still "friends" with her...and scared that they may treat me as the problem...the angry part of me wants to quash and belittle the family, the sane and rational part of me knows that's not the way to do it...


How do we really protect and guide our kids? How do we really combat "peer pressure"? How do we teach them to turn away? All these questions and I am still no nearer to finding the answers...

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

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