About Me

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

Saturday 26 May 2007

"A (bargain) hunting we will go..."

The patchwork apple had it's thirteenth birthday this week and to celebrate they had a sale. I've been thinking I might get there all week but it didn't happen until today. I have been going to the patchwork apple since Xam was tiny and he's just had his thirteenth birthday too! I just love this shop. Jane is always so friendly and her shop has the nicest feeling of all the quilting shops I have been to. And she has lots of fabric! Picklesticks wasn't well today so I didn't have an excited volunteer to go with me. I talked Lucy Lou and Murray into going with me so that I had someone to go "ooooh" and "aaaah" with. Lucy Lou is a sewer of clothes so she can appreciate fabric and Murray is just like Picklesticks, but twelve years younger. She is a maker and designer of all sorts of things despite being only ten.
This was the best table at the patchwork apple today. It had fifty percent off bargains on it. To cheer Picklesticks up I grabbed some fifty percent off fabric for her and put it in a "showbag" for her. Delivery is tomorrow! More fish pouches! The blue fish pouch was made by Dax. He drew and cut out the shape, then Picklesticks sewed it and he sewed on the eye. He wanted his zip in his fish's back because he didn't want his fish to be put upsidedown every time he needed something!
This fish pouch was designed, sewn and beaded by Murray. She has a compulsion to make things all day everyday and even all night. She gets her best ideas just before bedtime and then it's a struggle to get her to bed!
This is my workspace in my "making, doing room". It's not exclusively my room. The bench runs the length of the wall so we have room for other sewing machines and drawing and writing etc. We have a table in the middle of the room and a wall of cupboards to stash things like fabric and paper and clay and lots of UFO's!

Friday 25 May 2007

A Busy Week

Isn't every week a busy week? This week saw some more of that renovation stuff happening. I painted doors this week. Twenty-three of them! The doors in the photo are some of the ten doors I am working on at the moment. I utilise an unfinished hallway to paint doors for the storage George builds me. I love the look of painted MDF and George loves to build with it, therefore I love to paint it! My colour is Wattyl Orchid. (Hey! It's lucky I haven't finished the hallway, huh? It was a plan!!! Really!!!)
This is another room in my unpainted house. We call this the "big couch room" at the moment. It is the original lounge room in our early 1950's timber frame house. Some previous occupants opened this room up and it is now a large room with living area, dining and kitchen incoporated together. We have a corner couch in this room from Ikea's "as is" department, hence the name - big couch room! George has built toy cupboards either side of a large window and window seats inbetween. He still has a little building work to finish (really) before I can paint. This week I sewed the first cushion covers for the window seat. I'm very pleased with them because I think they look like someone else made them! I guess I was nervous about doing this job because I have never sewn anything like this before, but they fit and everything! I am now working on the remaining four sets of cushions. I guess the fact that the texile part of the job is more advanced than the painting part tells you where my passion lies!!! Although I do really enjoy painting too.

The same cushions again! I don't know why I put this one in. Perhaps just to show you that it is a sunny window seat. It's going to be a great place to read on a sunny winter's day! The fabric is not my favourite, but a $3 a metre special from spotlight a couple of years ago. It's 1.5 m wide upholstry fabric and a great bargain. I knew I wanted a window seat somewhere in this house so I snapped the fabric up. George always says it's not a bargain until you actually use it, so I'm really pleased to be using it! Renovating on a budget! Such fun!

This photo shows off my cushion yet again (must change the title of this post to BORING! or Guiness World Record Attempt-to talk about a cushion for the longest time in a blog!) and is proof of our homeschooling status. For those of you who don't homeschool I will explain. We in the homeschooling community know that to be serious about homeschooling you need to have a seriously large lego collection. All the drawers under our 2.9m long window seat contain lego of some description. Okay, maybe it's just the geeky homeschoolers who have lots of lego, and if you are considering homeschooling please don't think the first thing you have to do is buy lots of lego. Not unless you are a geek, anyway.

For mother's day Picklestick sent me a fabric postcard. She sent one to all the mothers in her life. It's so cool to receive a fabric postcard! I was discussing the joys of it with her this week and she said "Well, I wouldn't know. No-one's ever sent me a fabric postcard!" I was crushed. Here was proof that I had neglected my parental responsibilities. Imagine a mother who had never sent her child a fabric postcard! So this week I resolved to right this wrong. I have made a stack of postcards and the first one is going off to Picklestick as we speak. You can see it above, along with the back of the one she sent to me.(On my Ikea bedspread. I love that fabric!) I'm off to sew more cushion covers, to save more money, and to right more wrongs! (This post feels so superhero at this end! Can you tell I haven't been well and feel a little outta touch with reality? Here I come, to save the day!!!!!)

Saturday 19 May 2007


This is a small section of my shaggy flannel quilt. As you can see it is one of those "cheat" quilts. My word, not yours! I always swore I would never make one, but I have and I love it! In fact, I'm going to make another one. It's so warm and quilty so quickly. When I think of all those UFO's insulating my cupboards I feel like flinging open the doors and screaming - "Soooo, yah wanna see what a real quilt looks like? Take a look at this....." Okay, for all of you feeling a little uncomfortable at this point notice that I did say "feel like" not that I have actually done anything so completely loopy or discomforting!!! So, roll on cheat quilting. It's my latest thing.

I also have been looking at the scrappy cabin challenge at Melly and Me and thinking I would like to give it a go. Then when I tuned in to their blog on Friday I discovered that they have a fabric swap going! What's better than having fabric? Getting some different fabric! So race on over to their site before the end of May so that you can join in and get some different fabric too! Today was cool. Well, cool for us (17 degrees celcius maximum) here in Adelaide. Over the last month we have even had some rain which has somewhat revived my sad garden. My seaside daisies have new leaves on them now. Some of them are really dead, but some like this one (above) are coming back. We had 2.4 millimeters of rain here at RH today. Not a lot, but every little bit helps.
Who knew that my rosemary could flower? It never has before, so I was pretty excited to see these flowers. This has been a busy week. Quilting, making birthday presents, visiting homeschooling friends, journaling ;) always, buying fabric, homeschooling, and painting. Xam is using acrylics for the first time on a large scale artwork and is finding it an overwhelming experience. ("I know you can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?"-Gilmore Girls) Ooops! Sorry. I just "quoted" you. It happens a lot here and you have to be able to do it to keep up with the teenagers! I hope to get his permission to show you his artwork when it's done. I think he's doing a great job!

Thursday 17 May 2007

Here fishy, fishy, fishy!

Picklestick and I have been having lots of fun this week! We are now felters. You're impressed, huh? Umm, I don't actually have any photographic evidence of this - but trust me! It's true. This is a fish pouch Picklestick and I made for one of Katie's friend's birthday this week. Don't you love the tail? That's just how the fabric was! I love fabric.
The zip opens to reveal some Ikea linen. I love fabric from Ikea! The fish is Picklestick's design and she's the one who insisted that if you open fish it has to be at the belly.(Her Bloke is a fisherman, so I guess she would know!) This is a softie picklestick made for the birthday present. We used the same fabric range for her clothes. We also made a bag out of this fabric range and linen, but there are no photos 'cause we're kind of last minuters!

Saturday 12 May 2007

Happy Mother's Day To All!

This is the Rosemary bush responsible for the renaming of our house. I love the whole "naming" thing and am planning to give every room in our house a name. I was reading somewhere recently that you shouldn't "name" rooms, but just let their names develop over time. I guess I must be a control freak because I want to name the rooms George and I have worked so hard on! Of course all that work is an on-going process at our house. Renovating is something I try to squeeze a little of in every day. Doesn't always work!
We have a big push on at the moment to complete some more rooms at our house. Our twins, Lucy Lu & Katie are having a birthday party next month. Lucy would be happy to invite her friends whatever the state of the house, but Katie is not! She tells me frequently that when she grows up she is going to have a "shiny" house. So that is my goal too. I want to renovate my house to the point of shininess so that Katie can invite her friends over! It's funny. The last time we had such a push was last year just before Katie's birthday! The following photos show some of the room we finished for her last year. It has become known as "the white room". (See! We're not creative enough to "develop" cool names at our house!!!)

Some of the pipberries on top of my wall cabinets in the white room. I bought the pipberries from my most favourite quilt shop the patchwork apple. The white room is our sewing, making, doing room. The pipberries are there to look pretty and to stop people putting stuff on top of the cabinets George so lovingly built for me. (We're not big on cleaning up! As soon as we finish one project we all just want to start another, not clean up.)
The bluebirds and lanterns are another part of my "tidy" strategy! They are from Ikea which is another of my most favourite places. All those room settings! It's just like "playing house". I had such fun in kindergarten! The bluebirds are my "bluebirds of happiness" and make fantastic nightlights. Now - back to craft! Picklestick and I went to our rag rug class on Friday. The photo below shows you the results of our morning's work! Speaking of photos, notice I got the whole visual thing happening! Impressive, huh? Hey! I know you guys can all do it, but it's still exciting to me. I found a(n almost twenty-)three year old to help me with it. If more photos show up here you'll know what a great teacher she is! (More photos like my new quilt, new bags and fabricy mother's day gifts.)

Thursday 10 May 2007

I'm here! Finally! Sort of!

I am very new to this - hence the lack of visuals - but felt after reading many other's blogs that I had something to say and show you! (Ooops! That visual thing again) Life at Rosemary Hill is always busy. George (my best friend and the tall, dark and handsome stranger I hooked up with some twenty-five years ago) works here at RH (Rosemary Hill) and we homeschool some of the eight children we created together. The others are grown up and doing their own things!

Actually, there was great excitement today when #1 (Picklestick) discovered that her blog and etsy shop can now be googled. Of course it was remote excitement because Picklestick and Her Bloke live "off campus" at Picklestick Manor. #2 (Yellowone) and #3 (Giant Joe) are all but grown up. They still live at RH but go out to the world of work to support themselves. #4 (Lucy Lou) and #5 (Katie) are busy with high school at home, preparing themselves for the world of work and the other three (Xam, Murray and Dax) are our homeschoolers.

This week has seen us painting, quilting, stitching, designing, journaling and renovating. We are DIY through and through. Tomorrow I am off to a rag rug class so I'll have something else to show you. (umm..... when I get the visuals worked out. I'm sure some three year old child will be able to help me with that!)