Tuesday 31 January 2012

Holiday treasures


New treasures bought during our holiday in Bay of Islands and then the fun of finding places for them in our home.  The last is a spill vase that Paul chose, it was quite dark when he bought it but he shined and polished it carefully.  Apparently spill vases were kept on mantelpieces and stored very thin sticks used for lighting the fire and candles.  This one was brought into New Zealand in 1940 for a centennial exhibition. I think it goes well with my old penny bowl.  We also collect a tea towel from each area we visit, so far we have Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and now Northland.  Pop over to Melody to see other beautiful treasures.
On a crafty note I picked up my crochet hook and had some fun.  Apple jackets and flowers from the Mollie Makes magazine.

Friday 27 January 2012

Home again

Holidays always go too fast.  I love the feeling of anticipating a holiday, then the enjoyment of being somewhere different and seeing new things, and I love coming home again.  Our little house seems fresh and welcoming, and new treasures get put away.  Bay of Islands was as beautiful as I remember from 18 years ago and Paul and I loved sharing it with the kids.  The weather was perfect and the colours amazing.

Isn't this a fun photo, we had so many laughs over it!  The kids were amazed at their father's dexterity!  We were on 90 Mile Beach.

I had plenty of time to relax and sew on holiday, it was the perfect time to get all those berries stitched on my Vignette blocks.
I am now halfway there, here is how all the blocks look together.

I completed two more blocks for Charlotte's quilt, gerberas and hearts.  This photo doesn't show the colours at all well, they are much brighter and vibrant.  

Three blocks were made for the Farmer's Wife quilt (I had already made the first block here.)
Block 1 - Attic windows, Block 2 - Autumn tints
Block 3 - Basket, Block 4 - Basket weave
So I was happy with our holiday and with my sewing and I'm happy to be home.  The cats missed us and are giving us lots of rubs and cuddles, sweetest cats!  And now January is almost over and Charlie and Josh start school again next week.  I am a little sad to say good bye to January, my month for lingering and ignoring lists.  But I am also looking forward to getting back to routines and getting things done!

Saturday 14 January 2012

Bay of Islands, here we come!

Paul and I grew up with the tradition of a summer holiday at a beach and it has been a tradition that we have carried on with our kids.  Usually we go to one of the beaches nearby (1-2 hours drive) but this year we are travelling 4.5 hours up to the Bay of Islands and we are staying in a cabin rather than our usual tenting.  We are so looking forward to Monday, the start of our holiday!  The family went to the library today to sort out their holiday reading while I sorted out my holiday sewing!

My first project is my Vignette quilt, I have finished the appliqué and am halfway through stitching the vines, then I need to stitch the hundreds of little berries!

My second project is Charlie's quilt, I have finished block two and tonight's job is to prepare the appliqué for some more blocks once Charlie has chosen the fabrics.  Here are the first two blocks.

Did you notice my cute little scissor keep?  I received a lovely Christmas card and the scissor keep in the mail yesterday from Melody at The House on the Side of the Hill all the way from Australia.  Thank you so much Melody, I love it and I appreciate that you sent it to me!

My third project is a new one, I have had the Farmers Wife book for about six months and I have finally made my first block.  I paper pieced the block and I have the next three ready for hand stitching.  After thinking about this quilt for a while it feels good to have finally made a start!

I have a fourth project too but I can't show you that one yet!
I have done a little baking to take on our holiday too, this one is a lunch box favourite so I thought it would be perfect for when we are out and about ...
It's good with milk for afternoon tea too!  It is a Flapjack, apparently a Scottish slice and it is made with oats so very yummy and, I tell myself, very nutritious!!  I have put the recipe on my recipe page if you want it.
See you in a couple of weeks ... think of poor old me having a stressful time, with nothing to do but swimming, sightseeing, and stitching!!  Life's hard sometimes!
Happy stitching, Wendy

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Tuesday's treasures

About 6 years ago my parents moved into a smaller home in a retirement village so we helped sort out their things as they downsized.  We came across my grandmother's silver tea set, all black and tarnished, and my sisters said that it looked like something I would be interested in.  Sadly, since then it has sat in my garage still black and tarnished ... until last week!  As we tidied the garage we came across it and Charlie and Paul cleaned and polished the four pieces ...
Teapot, sugar bowl and milk jug
I'm not sure what this bowl would be used for
So this is part of my treasure for today, beautiful shiny silver and even more special is that they were my grandmother's who was very dear to me!
I have another beautiful treasure today ...
Charlie is a treasure to me and it was a lovely surprise to read her blog post last week.  Unfortunately she went over the handlebars of a bike yesterday and has broken the radial head of her right arm.  She was very brave until she realised it would mean no swimming for her when we go on holiday next week (and she is my water baby!) and we will need to arrange to visit the hospital nearest to where we are staying.  We are spending ten days in the Bay of Islands so we will go to Whangarei Hospital.  At least Charlie hasn't been to the Bay of Islands before so we will be able to find lots of other ways to make our holiday special!
Thanks to Melody at The House on the Side of the Hill for hosting Tuesday's treasures.  Melody is also hosting a Penny Rug sew along which is looking fabulous so far, check out her beautiful blog.
Happy stitching, Wendy

Friday 6 January 2012

A happy home

My first finish for the year is a wall hanging ...
Happy home wall hanging - by Hatched and Patched
I love this pattern because I really am happiest when at home.   I love the detail of the bird and of course the verse is perfect.

This is my first Monthly Make for January, if you want to join in see the button on my side bar or visit The Felt Fairy who is hosting this event.
January is my favourite month, it is so nice to have a break from most of our commitments and just enjoy hanging out together, getting things done around home and sewing time for me!  Charlie and I had fun going through my collection of quilting magazines and books to choose the pattern for her quilt and she decided on 'Annie's Garden' from Material Obsession by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.  Of course, once the pattern was chosen we couldn't wait to go shopping for the fabric ...
It was a pleasure for me to see Charlotte's excitement as she put fabrics together.  We had wonderful help from the staff at Grandmother's Garden and they suggested the perfect Cottage Garden thread for the appliqué.  Charlie did a fabulous job choosing and the fabrics are really pretty.  That same evening Charlie 'encouraged' me to start the first appliqué block and she choose the fabrics for me to use.
Block one
You may be able to see the variation of colour in the close up of the stitching, the thread is so pretty and brings out all the colours in the fabric.
It is the weekend tomorrow, I hope to get some leaves appliquéd on my Vignette blocks!
Happy stitching, Wendy

Monday 2 January 2012

My Mum...

Hi everyone!! It's Charlie, back from the world of "high school homework"! I know I haven't blogged for ages, but today is a great opportunity to say how proud of my Mum I am.This year has been a difficult year for her, but she has shown her true resilient and determined nature. Even though she works part time, (for a while she was juggling 3 different jobs!!!) is the Secretary for my church, and has to drive my brother and me to school each morning, at different times, she amazingly still finds time to blog, quilt, stitch and all those other creative things she does. Over this year alone, I can't even begin to count all those amazing masterpieces my Mum has made! This Christmas, instead of having a relaxing holiday, she had to cook food for the 30 something relations who was coming around to our place Christmas afternoon. And she managed it!!! She has the amazing ability to make our place look friendly and warm, using just some little Christmas nicknack's, (half of which she made) and managing to impress the whole of our family!!!
When I was little, I remember going to school and pulling my special little baked goodies out of my lunch box. Suddenly, all my friends (and not-so-friends) were around me, offering to swap their lunch for mine!!! Her name was famous in my school!!! Even my teachers had heard about her legendary baking skills.
Although all these things  in my Mum is great, I gotta say my favourite part of Mum is her understanding towards my little petty problems. Even though me and Josh can be incrediablly painful at times she is always ready to help us when we ask!!! By watching her, she has brought me closer to Jesus, and has been an excellent role model in my life!!!

This may sound a bit cliche, but.....when I grow up, I want to be just like my Mum.
I love you Mum!!!
Love Charlie

Sunday 1 January 2012

Projects for 2012

I have been reading many project lists on blogs today and thought it would be a good idea to have my own:

1  Vignette mystery quilt - I am making progress on blocks 6 and 7, then I'll be halfway there ...
 2  Vignette hexagon quilt - I have made 4 out of 7 rows and then have the embroidery to do ...

3  For all seasons wall hanging - 1 more stitchery to go and then I need to decide if I want 4 individual mini wall hangings that you change each season or one larger one ...

4  I want to make a quilt for Charlie, still undecided on the pattern.

5  I have joined up with "A monthly make 2012" hosted by The Felt Fairy (blogger will not let me put the button on my sidebar at the moment so here it is below) ...

I hope to make lots of smaller projects for this challenge, in fact I have started a small wall hanging for my January make ...

I think that will keep me busy and perhaps there will be other projects that crop up too!
Well, back to my applique ... happy stitching, Wendy