Monday 26 May 2014

Monday's Happiness is....


  • eating leftovers from Saturday night's dinner for lunch, while reading a good book. Especially when there is a cold  gusty wind blowing around outside.
  • The chocolate cinnamon cake currently in the oven baking, scenting the house.
  • Seeing all the towels and table linens on the clothes line, flapping in the wind.
What is making you happy today?

Sunday 25 May 2014


My weekend included:
  • Happy mail - receiving my fabric basket from Kristel, for the 4S Swap.  I have filled it already with fabric scraps.  Love how it looks on my sewing table.
  • A little more stitching on  that other swap  work in progress
  • Piling all my newly received requests from the library on my bedside table. It makes it hard to get up in the morning when there is a good book to read.
  • Beginning the cutting of 80 1.5"x2.5: rectangles, and 160  1.5"x1.5" squares, for the next border of my New York Beauty swap project
  • Dinner at our house with friends we haven't seen for a while.
Hoping you all have enjoyed a fabulous weekend too.

Friday 23 May 2014

Random from my Week

It has been a strange week here. I have been feeling rather out of sorts with my family and life in general.  The Scout even dared to ask me if I was getting menopausal. (No, I didn't throw anything at him).  I haven't worked this week either, and I think sometimes waiting for that call in the morning, puts me on edge too. The sewing machine hasn't been touched either, very unlike me.

Anyhoo, there have been some doings and happenings around home.
  • I have some more lovely cookbooks to read, I am especially liking Ginger & White, nice family friendly recipes and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  I love cookbooks which give anecdotes and almost make it seem like a recipe and story from a good friend. The Nigel Slater Kitchen Diaries is just slightly to big and heavy to read comfortably when lying in bed.  Does anyone else read cookbooks in bed?
  • Using some goodies received in swaps - my lovely quilted drawstring bag as a project bag and my needle book
  • Loving the bright golden lemons in my garden - they didn't ripen in time for my summer G & T's, but will certainly be enjoyed in winter baking.
  • Vegetable soup bubbling away on my stove
  • A little bit of stitching for a swap friend
Hope you all have a fabulous weekend.  Looking forward to a new week next week.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Weekending (The Belated Edition)

  • I had a pile of lovely inspiring magazines, that always make me want to pack up, buy an old home in the country, get a dog, and have lots of lovely recycled/upcycled furniture in my home
  • Some more blocks for the Pack Patch quilt along. The top block was laundry themed and the second one was our sewing room.  One of the questions was how we store our fabric,  some of mine is in colour order, some is by pattern eg: dots, text, florals and some is by designer.  Here are all six weeks blocks together 
  • Loving the patterns and colours on the leaves of my new plant (Can't remember it's name sorry)
  • New York Beauty - four blocks done and assembled together,  It was bothering me, how not all of the outer edges were aligned, but after throwing the question of whether I redo it, open to my swap group, the general consensus is that it is lovely, they don't have to align and to leave it.  So I will.  Now it is time to think about the next border for it.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend and that the week is a good one for you.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Wednesday WIP

Note to self: when signing up for swaps and then sewing for your partner, it is generally easier to make things within your area of expertise.

I have  long admired some of the fabulous New York Beauty blocks I have seen turned into mini quilts and cushions. Knowing that they were paper pieced, and now that I am comfortable attempting paper-piecing, I thought I'd be able to sew these, easy peasy. The triangular points, no problem, they were fun.   Not so the curved rings and borders.   After unpicking the block I completed over the weekend, cos I wasn't happy with it, repinning it and trying again, I was almost ready to throw it out. Time for a different tactic.  I have since learned, that for me pinning well, then hand basting, removing the pins and then sewing the curves is giving me a lot more even and flatter sitting rings. They are not perfect, but I am so much happier with how they look. I still have some more borders and centres to add, then the decision as to whether it is a cushion or mini quilt.  Luckily I have a little time to work on this.  Stay tuned.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday 13 May 2014


I have always loved the look of Cathedral Window Cushions and have a few photos and tutorials pinned to different pinterest boards.  The other day I thought I'd see just how difficult they were to make.  Using this great tutorial, I made a pin cushion.  I think the fiddliest parts were all the folding and pressing, then pinning back and sewing the curved edges.  I am really happy with how this turned out, however I don't know if I would have the patience to make a cushion.  They also use quite a lot of fabric, which you don't see under the coloured 'window panes'.

What has inspired you to cook, sew or create from Pinterest lately?

Sunday 11 May 2014


A weekend at home.
  • I decided I need life in my house that isn't children, a cat or a husband.  No flowers in my garden to pick unfortunately.  So a bunch of glossy green and silvery leaves, in a cyrstal vase displayed with some treasures suffice.  I also bought a new pot plant  and re-potted a couple of other plants up.  Fingers crossed they keep growing.
  • I have been enjoying watching Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: London, on television the last couple of weeks.  So I was delighted to find her french cookbooks for some beautiful weekend reading.  There are actually a lot of recipes I would like to make in these books too.
  • Some sewing for the Pack Patch QAL - week 5.  This weeks themes were: Moments with Mum - the pink block represents my mum's and my love of gardens, flowers and visiting gardens open to the public.  The other block represents: A Joyful Moment with Children.  After much discussion with Miss B and Mr J, we decided that one of our best moments together was boogie boarding on a summer camping trip at Waipu Cove.  The sun was shining and the water was perfect.  We had a great day.
  • The vegetable garden is flourishing.  We have been eating spinach (so have the snails), rocket and rainbow chard.
  • Some more sewing ,  I have been trying out a New York Beauty block.  Unfortunately, I think the top piece may need to be redone for more contrast.
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

One Year Old

A few days ago, JulieLou, celebrated it's one year blogiversary.  When I started this blog, I wasn't really sure what I was going to write about, or show photos of.  I knew that my craft work would play a starring role though.  Food, books and flowers have too. I always knew that I wouldn't feature photos of my family (well from the front anyway).  I felt that they deserved some privacy.

Now 12 months on, and although I may blog a little less because of my job and fitting home life around it, I would like to thank all my readers and followers for your much appreciated comments and feedback.  I love hearing from you all and I have found so many wonderful new blogs and likeminded friends through your comments.

I am hoping to get here a little more regularly now, there may be a few small changes too. Thank you again for sharing this part of my journey.  Today's photos are of scenes from my morning walk.  The fog has burnt off now, the sun is coming out and there are Tui's are singing in the trees.

Have a great day!!

Thursday 1 May 2014

Sewing and Reading

Last week of the school holidays - both Miss B and Mr J, are having holidays with both sets of grandparents.  Tomorrow, The Scout and I are having a Date Day. We are planning to go to Devonport. There are some fabulous secondhand bookshops there, which we both enjoy looking in, and also a lovely fabric shop which I enjoy. To finish off we are planning a late lunch at one of our favourite cafes.

I have been doing some sewing this week too.
  • a start has been made on the blocks for Mr J's shirt quilt
  • another ballet bag for a young niece's upcoming birthday from this tutorial
  • some more envelopes for the SWAK Swap
I have also been reading and re-reading The Language of Flowers. This is one of my favourite books, it is sad, yet there is hope and happiness in it for the main female character, and being a flower lover, I found it really interesting to learn the hidden meaning of  flowers.   I would recommend this to anyone looking for a great read.  The book on the right is a non fiction companion/ guide to the story.  It is a beautiful little book, filled with interesting information  and lovely drawings of the flowers, their meanings, verses of poetry.

Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week and weekend.