Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Felt Very Silly Today

I felt very silly today! You'll see why in a minute!
Would you believe it? I heard from Gail that three of the girls had finished their "Prancer and Me", and were proudly showing them off in the shop on Monday! The day after the workshop!!! Wow! Some speedy sewing must have taken place on Sunday night!
The photo above shows it in different fabrics, and different bells.
We love our bricks. Rudy and the boys did a fabulous job - and they were quick! Two tarps were put up to keep it all dry, especially as water was flowing across the slab straight under the walls into the kitchen. David is responsible for the extra strip of clear plastic across the gap, because the rain was so heavy that we had to do something!
Problem solved!
However ..... now for a grumble .....
#*!#**# (rude words) weather! Surely we've had enough for now? Today the plumber arrived to put on the roof. Iron and fascia all there ready. By lunch time most of the fascia was on, but down came the rain! It bucketed down! Couldn't hear ourselves think! His little dog remained firmly entrenched under my car for most of the time. Needed coaxing out!
Floods at back of house - lovely weather for ducks! Plumber went home - what hope did he have! Still raining as I write this!
On the plus side - all this rain and warm weather has been marvelous for my bird of paradise. They love sun, but this one is in full shade. But have a look at it!
Now why did I feel very silly today?
I had to go out in the torrential rain to water my hanging basket because it is under the eaves and dries out quickly.
Oh dear .....

Prancer's Sunday Out

Here's Prancer. He features on my new little Christmas hanging, "Prancer and Me". In my last blog I said I'd tell you all about my day with Gail B and the girls (and Russell, of course, but he kept disappearing - we think he was napping!).
So what does Prancer have to do with Gail and the girls (and Russell, of course, when he was not plying us with food!)?
Gail and Russell asked me to their staff Christmas lunch. The treat they had in store for the girls was a surprise workshop, where they began to stitch "Prancer and Me".
Here's Russell doing a stirling job - his scones were to die for! Melt in the mouth! And the little caramel thingies in gingernut biscuit bases were VERY "more-ish". Jenny must be addicted to them - she kept going back for more!
As you can see, each place was set with a gift bag of goodies. A "Prancer and Me" pattern, fabrics, bells, embroidery thread, stabiliser, etc. And the table! It's HUGE! Russell and Gail found it on ebay, but had to drive to Sydney to pick it up. Fortunately they could dismantle it! Why such a big table? Because they have a big family and Christmas is coming, plus all those other family get-togethers that happen. (I can see the grandchildren having fun with sheets and blankets, making that table into a cubby house! A long, long, long cubby house!)
Here are the girls pretending to get ready to sew. But scones were more important.
Having ironed the stabiliser on the back of the stitchery with few mishaps (except someone who shall remain nameless ironed hers to the right side. But it wasn't a problem because the stitchery could still be seen, even though it was the reverse to everyone else's.) the stitching commenced.
If David had been there he would have demolished these lollies quick smart! His favourites!
I'm a nut girl. I much prefer macadamias and cashews.
Someone had been busy baking little treats for the girls.
How sweet they look - butter wouldn't melt in their mouths! But if only you'd heard what they had just been talking about - all sweetness and innocence now!
And again! Is that a cheeky grin from Gail?
Rebecca (in green) brought her triplets with her, but big sister Myra stayed at home with her Dad. The triplets were so good - Bec is a lovely mum.
The first stitches on the way!
Russell was in charge of food - and have a look at it!
It was perfect for a lunchtime workshop.
The sort of nibbly food that I love.
We really didn't know where to start!
It's what we girls are good at. Multi-tasking. Eat and sew at the same time.
Did the eating cause a lapse of concentration?
Oh oh. Next week's work roster.
Gail has issued a challenge. She wants as many of the finished hangings as possible well before Christmas to show her customers! (Do you think she has a chance?)
More shots of the girls at work (or is it play?).

Here are a few of the stitcheries in progress.

Mary taking a photo of me taking a photo of Mary.

The stitcher of the one above does not hand sew. She does all of her work by machine. But today she had no choice! And what a lovely job she's done!

Gail is holding up a finished stitchery. I couldn't believe how much work the girls achieved! They were talking nineteen to the dozen and it was difficult to get a word in! And on top of that they found time to eat! Yet they all completed, or nearly completed, their stitchery block!
It was a great day - I learnt a lot about what to do, and what not to do, at a workshop such as this one.
Thanks Gail!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I wish that I had Duck Feet

This is Raymond. Splashing in puddles. He is part of my quilt "Whatever the Weather". Such an appropriate quilt because at the moment, all I can think about is the Dr. Seuss book I used to read to my boys, and the children in my class. "I Wish that I had Duck Feet".
Why, you ask? Look at this ........
That's the floor of our extension. Heavy rain and nowhere for the water to go because of the walls and doors (no roof yet), so we have a pool! So a tarp was put up, but still the floor filled up.
So another tarp was added to cover the remaining open roof, and at last we have some respite from the deluge. In the meantime, we found that water had seeped under the walls and into the kitchen - damaging the kick rail under the cupboards. David said he could easily replace this, but we won't know if there is any more damage until the wall is taken down.
However, after a night of solid rain and a gap in between the two tarps, I was out there at 7am this morning with a mop and bucket (Sunday morning, I might add, when any self-respecting person is still tucked up in the Land of Nod!) trying to mop up the water that had collected overnight. Better things to do on a Sunday morning, I told myself! (Himself was snoring away in bed!)
This is Sandy. This is how I'd like to feel. All smiley and sunny and warm!
P.S. Had a great day with Gail B and her girls - I'll tell you all about that next time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

AQM Part 2

Teddlywinks at the AQM - our stand - very colourful! Eye catching! I haven't quite mastered the art of subtle colour coordination! At least it stopped the customers!
Nat was there - Natalie Ross that is, In Stitches. She is great fun and we really enjoy meeting up at the shows. I remember the first time we met. It was at Rydges Hotel next to Rosehill Racecourse where the QCE is held, several years ago. And (little jump for joy) Natalie has STOPPED SMOKING!!!! Yaaaay!!!!!
I have to come back and edit this because we have a FLOOD in our extension!!!!!!!!!! Back soon!
Pause ........
OK. I'm back. We are having water problems with the extension - no roof yet and the rain is so heavy that it is seeping under the walls into the house. Out there with a mop and bucket - it's now under control. I'll tell you all about it next time - all I can say is, "I wish that I had duck feet"!
Ernie Dingle has taken up his usual position so that he can survey all. Loves to keep an eye on the proceedings.Here is the delightful Nat again .... with Himself. Much jocularity and banter between the two of them. You just have to take a look at her gorgeous new quilt Woodland Magic. It is made in the Bliss range of fabrics and has owls.
Now - our lives are full of long walks. There's the long walk at Windsor Castle (David and I walked it several years ago), the long walk up to the top of Mt. Snowdon in Wales (that was a steep one), the long walk from Cardiff city centre to Cardiff Bay (it must be just around the corner....), the long walk from the front entrance of Jeff's Shed to our hall (not as long this year, we were halfway down) ..... you know what I mean - start out on a walk not knowing how far it really is?
Well. We arrived at the beautiful Grand Hotel (heritage listed, used to be the old railways building). Booked in then rode up the elevator to the sixth floor. Turned the corner and this is what met our eyes.
Another long walk! Yes - our room was right down the other end! You can just see David at the door of our room.
I hate the city. Horrible smelly, noisy place. But we had double glazing and the bed was so comfortable that we both had two excellent night's sleep! Very little noise, even though we overlooked Spencer Street.
This is just after 5pm on the Friday night. Traffic and people everywhere.
This is Friday night.
Same intersection, Sunday morning.
The roof of a new tram with all the workings exposed.
The roof of a couple of older trams. Much nicer, don't you think? (Goodness, the trivia one finds to blog about!!!!!)

I really like this photo - it's of Flinders Street Station which was once a tall building for the "old" Melbourne. Now it's dwarfed by the newer skyscrapers. What a shame.Saturday morning's beautiful calm weather brought out the hot air balloons.
I really like doing the trade shows - it's a time for us to catch up with our regular buyers, meet up with friends in the industry and greet new clients. We went to a cocktail party on Saturday to celebrate the 10th birthday of Homespun Magazine, one of my favourite reads, where we caught up with the editor, Catherine Sanchez, as well as all our friends in the patchwork & quilting world. (Drinks and finger food - yummeeeeee!!!)
This week saw the brickwork on the extension completed. Looking good!
Duck Feet news soon!