About Me

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I am a mother of eight and grandmother of three who loves to make and create. Rosemary Hill is the name of our home where we live, work, learn and create together

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bottlebrushes

Don't ya just love bottlebrushes? I do. I love the colours! I spent this morning cleaning the kitchen. We had guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Christmas day and every meal was cooked. I do clean as I go, but the kitchen ended up trashed! This afternoon I started drawing. Planning for my silkscreening. Drawing is so much fun! I haven't drawn for such a long time. I plan to draw for the rest of the week!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Moving towards the New Year

Every night for the last week I have thought that if only I had a photo, I would post here on my blog. I mean, it's Christmas! Why wouldn't I have a photo of some description waiting to be uploaded from my camera? Turns out there were over 200 waiting on my camera tonight when I got around to it. This photo was taken last Sunday night at my sister-in-law's house at the Paton family Christmas celebration. I love to take photos in other people's gardens. I'm sure they think their garden is ordinary and boring, but when I see their garden through the lens everything seems new, exciting and beautiful! Like this ornamental plum tree with the setting sun's rays on it.

Christmas is over for another year and the official start to the New Year is less than a week away. Always at this time of year my thoughts turn to goals and plans for the New Year. For Christmas my Bradley gave me everything I need to silk screen and block print fabric. I was so surprised, (I had no clue!) and thrilled, and scared! Now I have to actually get involved in surface design, instead of just thinking about it. So, there are lots of things to think about planning for the New Year. Hopefully this week there will be some screen printing to show!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Sewing and a headache.

I have had a headache all week. Every day I wake up with it and every day it is a little worse than the previous day. Last night it was impossible to sleep so I did a lot of tossing and turning and wandered around quite a bit. Today I got up and sat in front of the sewing machine for a couple of hours before giving up and going back to bed. Then I slept and slept and now at midnight I am quite awake. My head still hurts, but not like last night so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day! I came out to the sewing machine again at 9pm this evening and had a lovely time playing with theses squares. They are in the improvisational style of Malka Dubrawsky of A stitch in Dye. I love her work! And it was so fun to do. No measuring. Just the fabric, a pair of scissors and a sewing machine! I have something in mind for these, but will keep it to myself until I see if it works.

Yesterday I sewed this glasses case. I have struggled to get anything done during the week of the headache and this just came to my mind as I searched my scrap box for the brights I needed for the improvisational piecing. Using up my scraps has been a lot of fun!

A pair of rompers I managed to finish this week for granddaughter. Rompers must be a terribly old-fashioned item of clothing because none of my kids could make out what I was sewing when I worked on these.

Me: They're rompers.
Them: Right.
Me: For a baby.
Them: Right. (long silence) So who are they for?
Me: Granddaughter.
Them: Right. (long silence) So will they fit her?
Me: Yes, I measured her.
Them: Right. (long silence) So does her Mum want you to make them?

So, here they are finished. And yes they do fit her and will be a great thing to wear on a hot, hot day. Which we have't had many of so far this summer (She said whilst listening to rain on her roof. Most unusual for us. Adelaide doesn't usually do summer rain. One day at the beginning of the month we had our entire month's average in one afternoon!), but I'm sure those hot, hot days will come.

Remember this? I finally worked out a closure for this honeybun bag. The pattern used velcro with a button on the front for decoration. I'm not a huge fan of velcro. I used the snap machine to put a couple of snaps on the front. The idea came to me as I was putting snaps on the rompers. Anyway, I must get some sleep! Don't want to tempt the headache into returning with a vengance!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Not sure.....

.....what I have been doing this past week or so, but I definitely haven't been sewing. I also haven't finished the Christmas shopping, decorating or baking. (But I did notice that some of you have!) My Bradley's computer has been moved into our room and I have done more than just notice what you have been doing. Did you guys know that Pip (blog shown above) has an awesome photo around her posts? All of your blogs are just so pretty! I usually do all of my surfing on an Asus Eee pc. You know, the one with a 7" screen, so I don't see that much. Actually I don't think I have been doing any more blog surfing than usual, but I also haven't done any sewing either. Maybe this week?

Friday, 3 December 2010

Juggle!

Mr 16 is still working on perfecting his juggling. He can juggle three balls pretty well now. The new challenge? Four balls! And after that rings, clubs, knives... It's full on here!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Sewing with oliver + s

I sewed an oliver + s pattern this week. A blouse for granddaughter. The fabrics I used were from American Jane's Punctuation range. If I made it again I think I would make it be a dress instead of a blouse and I don't think I would put the ties around the neck on it because they serve no useful purpose. You can't even do them up. The pattern was pretty straightforward, but I do have quite a bit of clothes sewing experience. Possibly if I had been a beginner I would have been a bit lost because there were not diagrams of every step. I have yet to see it on my granddaughter but I think it will be pretty cute and I will probably make some more!

It's December!

It's December and it's nearly Christmas! It was Mr 21's birthday and we had a party. (It never seems that Christmas is near until after his birthday) This is Mr 22 with his sister Miss 18. His darling wife was interstate for work so we had the pleasure of his company for his birthday. (She is a hard working woman!) Mrs 26 (picklesticks) baked two triple ginger ginger cakes which were delicious! This year has really flown by and here we are at the end of it already!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Some questions whilst walking along the beach.

So, I am still going walking. It's been five days. Tonight we walked along the beach. How long does it take to get fit? Cause I'm kinda getting sick of the walking. No surprise there. I'm not very good at stick-to-itness. Guess that's why there are so many UFO's around here! I do have some pretty places to walk though, don't I?

As we walked along the beach tonight my Bradley and I talked about the upcoming summer holidays. We want to plan some fun things to do with the kids each week and maybe even a short break away. Where would you go? What would you do for fun? I seem to have no ideas. Of course, there are always theme parks. The problem with them though is that they are over 2,100 kms away. (I checked google maps to work that out. It claims we could drive there in a day. I don't think so! It has always taken us three days previously. Pretty sure they don't factor in sleeping or toilet breaks. Google maps also suggests that it would take us just 16 days to walk there. Pretty sure this is not including sleeping or toilet breaks either. Hmm... would 16 days be long enough to get fit? It's tempting! We would just have to walk 135 kms per day. Lol! As if! I could maybe ride my bike 135 kms per day. Nah! Probably not! Technology, so good for a laugh!) So, the theme parks are out. Got any other ideas?


The beach at the end of my street


River crossing between my house and the beach.


Monday, 29 November 2010

Another day

Did some sewing today and not much else. One of those days. It is what it is! (Just read Loz's post here)

In other news, Mr 16 has learnt to juggle. Not all of my kids can juggle, but they all have some sort of circus skill. (Unicycle riding, stilt walking, tumbling...) It's important for them to have something to fall back on I think and we're planning for them to run off to the circus if all else fails. (Homeschooling humour here! Did you know that we have homeschooled all of our kids? We do have a wayward child who goes to school at the moment, but we can't all be perfect and we love her anyway! Every morning I try to coax her to stay home with me, but every morning she goes off to school. Her school friends don't understand her because they try to stay home from school whenever they can!) Mr 16 decided it was his time to juggle eight days ago and now he juggles. He had instruction from Miss 24 (another of my jugglers) and the internet! Times sure have changed. When Miss 24 decided it was her time (10 years ago) she went to circus school! The world sure does change fast! My Bradley and I were just discussing that this evening. We watched an ad for the new "Tron" movie and I marvelled at how I sat through the original "Tron" when we saw it together some 28 years ago. He was surprised because he thought I liked it. I explained that things were different then. Nobody had a wall of dvds at home that they could watch whenever they felt like it. Seeing a movie was not an everyday occurance! Besides, we were both poor students when we married 28 years ago and we had free tickets!!! Such a long time ago, but it seems just like yesterday!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Not Everything is as it Seems!

Life can be confusing. It's not always what it seems! We went for a Sunday afternoon stroll today (I have been reliably informed by Miss 18 that I cannot call it a walk because we were too slow to call it a walk!) along the River Torrens Linear Park. Me and my entourage. Just the six of us. I am just sooooo unfit at the moment and am making an effort to improve my fitness, so we have been out walking. One of my favourite Aussie tv shows, Seachange, has a discussion about fitness that I often think about. Laura is discussing fitness with her son Rupert and he tells her that there are all different kinds of fitnesses. He just has skateboarding fitness, but there's soccer fitness and..... Well, I just have sit and sew fitness, which is barely on the fitness radar at all! So we have been out walking. So far it has been fun! The first thing we came upon this afternoon was the little black dog having a drink above. I don't know whether some park authority painted it there or whether it might be considered graffiti, but I love it! To me it is art!

This is Mr 10 "fishing" in the Torrens. He has a rod/stick, all that is missing is the line! Everything is still green along the Torrens. It was a lovely sight today. There were lots of birds too. They were all the real deal though. Looking forward to this week. Some visiting planned, some sewing, some painting and some gardening.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Completed - One Table Runner



I actually finished this today. It has taken sooooo long. I think I began working on it in June some time. Anyway, now it is done and I can put it on my very long table. My table runners look pretty funny because I have a 2.4 M long table (3 M if it's extended) which is long! It took us a long time to find a large table when our family started to grow. I wanted to get a table we could all fit around without it being extended. Our first try was to get 2 smaller tables and put them together end to end. We bought them new because I really wanted them to be matching. This was when there were 6 of us. They worked quite well until there were 8 of us. We did have 10 chairs, but it was pretty squooshy with the 10 chairs (It could really only fit 8 people comfortably) and it was difficult to fit visitors around the table. Then we became 9. Goodbye two tables! We sold them at a garge sale, to two different buyers! We then started trying other solutions. Like trestle tables from office works with and without MDF tops, doors on trestles and just plain squooshing around a regular table. We often looked in furniture stores at dining tables, but never really saw one that we thought would work. (Can I just add here that Adelaide didn't have an Ikea at this time. We might have found something at Ikea.) Eventually we found a table at a secondhand shop. Actually, we found 8 chairs and enquired about them. We found out that they were part of a set and not for sale separately. Then we saw the table. It was horrifyingly large! (1.25 M x 2.4 M) Of course, my Bradley loved it on sight (Pretty sure all those Aussie "Big" things were devised by men! You know. The Big Pineapple, The Big Lobster, etc) and it became ours. I have had a love/hate relationship with it ever since. I hate how big it is when I'm trying to fit it in a small room and I love it when I can fit 18 people around it when we have a big family get-together. The house we live in currently has never had a space problem so it hasn't been on my hit list lately. So, I made a table runner or two for it. Tomorrow? Bags and journal covers.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Warm day here

It feels now like maybe summer is on it's way. It was hot today and our air conditioning got a good workout. At the end of the working day we sat around outside under our pergola and talked about the possibilty of going to the beach. It's just a five minute drive away, but somehow that just seemed too much like hard work tonight. Lazy summer days are here!

I went to Hettie's Patch this morning and bought some cotton batting for that darn table runner. It is now together and I have started the quilting. I think I will finish it tomorrow. I have also been thinking a bit more about my handmade Christmas. I won't be pedantic about the whole handmade thing, but will try to incorporate handmade items as much as possible. I am watching Kirstie Allsopp's "Handmade Home" on Foxtel at the moment. I really enjoyed the first series and this second series is as good as the first. Whatever you think of Ms Allsopp or her show it is sometimes quite unbelievable to me that society in general now "thinks" about doing things the handmade way. It's kind of nice! So for me it will be a "handmade Christmas"ish!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Did it!

Yay! I finished one of the bags. (If you are related to me, look away now! Lol! I always wanted to say something like that. Let's face it. Such a statement is obsolete if you are me. I am related to soooo many people that no-one could possibly guess if this is for them. Something to do with having a thousand or so children I think!) How cute is it? It is a very clever pattern and went together so easily. I am so glad I have another six to put together. Maybe this week is looking better after all!

You know the dream where you're running....

.... you're running and running and no matter how fast you run the thing you are chasing gets further and further away? That dream? That was my week. It took me all week to do precisely nothing. Hence the no blogging this week. I did manage to go to the patchwork apple's sit n sew on Friday afternoon. I started putting together the log cabin quilt from July? Or August? I think I see a pattern developing here. Run fast, never catch up! Saturday morning was my civil war group at the patchwork apple. (Have I mentioned that I like the patchwork apple?) "Civil war group". That makes us sound like we should be on the History Channel! Does that channel ever show any program not about some war or other? It sounds like we sit around a large table and plan our offensives. Not so. We are making a quilt using civil war fabrics. We meet once a month and have a little bit of homework to do. It is a very fun group with some of my very best people being in the group. This is what we learnt this month. A little needle turn applique. And then we had lunch together. A lovely group!

Every day this week I have woken up sure that I would finish the table runner from the last post. And every day I didn't. Friday morning I thought enough was enough and I actually finished the back of the runner. I ran out of time and didn't get any more done. Today I thought I would finish it. I just thought I would do one thing before I began.....

Sew up a few honey bun strips and make a little bag or two. (Ten strips makes a bag) Great idea! Then I would do the runner. Seventy strips later (Who even knew I had that many honey bun strips?) I layed out the runner and the batting. Guess what? The batting wasn't big enough! So funny! I have been avoiding this all week and it turns out I couldn't have done it even if I tried! Oh well.

These are the strips I sewed today. There is Moda's Spring Fresh, Patisserie, Rounneries and Legacy in this shot. They look much more colourful in real life than this photo. Legacy has a pretty blue colour that is completely washed out in this shot. I took the photo outside in the shade. Thought it would work. You need shade today because Adelaide has finally hit the 30's this spring (That's the 90's for you Farenheiters!) and everything is all glarey outside. Of course, they don't actually look like bags yet cause I didn't get any finished. Maybe next week!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

This weekend


I finished the table runner top (top photo) on Friday. So, all I had to do this weekend was quickly piece the back and quilt it. Ta da! Finished! But I didn't. I went shopping on Saturday morning, which is most unusual for me because I really don't like shopping! I don't like any kind of shopping, except maybe fabric shopping. (And there was definitely no fabric shopping!) Saturday afternoon I went to Mrs P's house and we did some free motion quilting together. (Oh. And for those of you wondering her reno is beautiful in real life! And neither she, nor Mr P, nor Miss P turned out to be axe murderers which was a most fortunate turn of events for me.) Today I thought I would piece the back for the table runner. I measured the top and set out to make some calculations to make sure I would have enough fabric for the back. (May I just state here, in my defence, that I did have a headache at the time. Pretty sure I did.) Then I sewed. (I love sewing!) When I finished I held it up and took a good look at it and realised that there was no way it was big enough! My runner back was 20 inches short. Arghhhhh! A better woman than me would have soldiered on and finished, but I gave up. So, the sum total of my weekend.
  1. Shopped
  2. Met Mrs P in real life
  3. Almost pieced a back for the table runner
Not that impressive for go-getter type bloggers, but pretty darn good for me! In fact, I am pretty happy with my accomplishments this weekend. I am even looking forward to next week's accomplishments!

Deep voice from off stage:

Tune in next time when Kris almost finishes her tablerunner, and takes a nap in the continuing story of superblogger!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Art in our surrounds and Kaffe Fassett






See the hexies in the last photo? They make me think of Leanne's quilt here. I am fascinated with environment, art and pattern at the moment. This is partly due to my recent readings of Kaffe Fassett's book "Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts" and partly due to my fascination with environment as an artist. I draw and paint as well as sew, I just don't feel that enamoured with the results of my art to show you! The photos above are as a result of the drive my Bradley and I took on Sunday. We drove to Melbourne to check out some houses. I thought we would drive to Melbourne, get a house to live in and then "live happily ever after". Didn't happen. We applied, but didn't get a house. So, aside from these pretty cool photos of Melbourne freeways we have nothing to show for a long, tiring three days.

On a lighter note, we were able to go hear an artist talk about his art while we were in Melbourne. It encouraged me to take the opportunity to explore all the facets of art making available to me. It was very inspiring and really made the trip for me.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Making Family Journals

I went to Lincraft today, just to look, and discovered that they had books for sale for just $7.99. I don't know whether you know this or not, but I cannot resist a full price book, let alone books on sale. I looked through so many good ones! Knitting, crotchet, sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, papercraft, embroidery, you name it, they had a book for it! I eventually decided on this one. I love to make books and this one looked completely inspiring. Mr 16 and Miss 13 have been making paper this past week (Inspired by Picklesticks and Grandson here) which just might come in handy!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Flowers


Today we went for a drive and had lunch in a park. There were lots of flowers in the park, but these blue ones caught my eye. (Not sure what kind of flowers they are. Does anyone know?) Seems I wasn't alone in that, they were covered in bees. Aren't bees amazing?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Who was that masked man?

The sights you see while out shopping! If you saw this at the front of the local bookshop, what would you think? Nothing is what I thought. In fact, I didn't even notice these guys! (I was on a mission!) It was Miss 24 who noticed them and was stopped in her tracks.

Get a load of these three! Now you can place them, huh? Miss 24 is the biggest Star Wars fan I have produced. (I have produced quite a few considering I have never even seen any of the movies myself and don't care for "spaceship" shows at all!) Of course Mr 10 is a huge fan too and was quite happy to pose with these guys outside the Angus and Robertsons bookshop. Miss 24 got all shy on me. Can't think why? Why wouldn't she want to appear randomly on my blog? I am trying to carry my camera with me everywhere this year so I can capture such unexpected moments. I was pretty impressed with myself!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

I am in love with Moda's Bar Harbour

This is the layer cake quilt in progress. (From Saturday's class at the patchwork apple) The layer cake I used was Bar Harbour. I had bought a Bliss layer cake for the class, but left it at home. (And since I live about an hour away from my favourite shop I had to buy another.) So I started off with Bar harbour. The more I sewed with it, the more I liked it. In fact I liked it so much that partway through the class I bought another layer cake so that I could make a really big quilt instead of a lap quilt. So far I have just four rows together. There are another five rows to go. We have had a busy week this week so there hasn't been much time to quilt. I hope to sew tomorrow though. Roll on tomorrow!

Monday, 1 November 2010

November!

I was woken up this morning by Mr 10 coming into my bedroom to turn my calender over. He has taken the job of keeping our calenders current this year very seriously. So my first thought this morning was, "It's November!". Wow! This year has gone so fast!!! November means the Christmas Pageant if you live in Adelaide. Read about it here and here. Wow! November!

I have been busy sewing my layer cake class quilt today and visiting Picklesticks and kids. Grandson spent time cooking in his kitchen and granddaughter sat at the table and chatted with Picklesticks and I.

I think November will be an eventful month for us. We are planning to move to Melbourne this month or next and we are busy house hunting long distance. (It's about 750 km away) We will be sad to leave our family behind, but we need to move for my Bradley's work. I am hoping to get a house in which we can have a guest room set up so that all our best Adelaide people can come visit us. (You know you want to!) And we will be coming to visit them in Adelaide too. So, roll on busy November! Big changes are afoot!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Red Club!

This is a photo of the patchwork apple's red club no 4. The one I have yet to complete. Today was red club no 5. Another one I have yet to complete. No 5 is a house. I prefered the small houses, but they didn't prefer me. We had trouble putting them together. Just couldn't get them to fit! Oh well, another day! Not tomorrow though. I am off to the patchwork apple for a layer cake class. Should be fun!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sneak Peek and Lego

I set out to design and make a new handbag today. This is as far as I got. It took all day. I think I was tired! The outside is made. The lining is made. The handle is made. But I can't get them all together because I am too tired and keep making mistakes. Ahh well. Tomorrow!

The boys amused themselves whilst I sewed by building with Lego. They had a blast, so I thought I would include some of their photos to keep you amused!





Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Blow!

Last week Mr 9 turned 10. He is pretty excited to have hit double digits. As the youngest he is always wanting to catch up to everyone else. It's a hard ask when you become a brother-in-law at 3 and an uncle at 7. He is a great brother-in-law and a magnificent uncle though, so he's doing pretty well. The in-laws both love him and his niece and nephew are passionate about him. We had a great night together with all the kids. Lots of fun!