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 31 December 2011

2011 in review.....'s been a good year.
  1. We moved to Melbourne, and survived. 
  2. I drove to Adelaide and back too many times to count, and survived.
  3. We lived withoutout our *stuff for 6 months, and survived.
*furniture and things

Are you sensing a theme here? Yep. We survived! Survival is important. Certainly basic, but neccessary. I am hoping for a little more from 2012. I have done a little blog hopping today and already there are people in blogland flagging their 2012 goals, and ticking off their 2011 goals. Sometimes I marvel at bloggers' bravery in putting themselves out there, but if you don't aim high I guess you may never get off the ground. (Gosh this post is hard to write! So many edits. So many cliches!!! I wonder if I really talk like that in real life?)

So, goals for 2012

  1. Blog more often. (I love this record of my life and what I'm doing! I loved blogtober and the challenge to blog daily, I learnt quite a bit from doing it. I would like to blog every day, but don't think I will be able to do that. Couldn't even do it in October! Ideally I'd like to blog more each month than I did in that month in 2011.)
  2. Finish the quilt tops I have lying around.
  3. Make six quilts. (This year I made 3, so double that would be good.)
  4. Make things for my home and family. I really want to have a handmade Christmas in 2012. I got close this year. I'd like to get closer next year!
Four goals, enough I think. I have lots more ideas in my head and also more personal goals that I will record elsewhere. Roll on 2012! Let's get started!!!

Oh. And Happy New Year to you all!

Friday 30 December 2011

My Favourite Things.

my favourite things
The quilt that we are working on in Chookyblue's stitch-a-long this coming year is from Anni Down's book, "Some Kind of Wonderful". The quilt itself is called "My Favourite Things". I say this coming year as though none of us have yet started. What I actually mean is I haven't really started. Most people started in October and tomorrow is our first deadline. *sigh* Already aggravating the Chook I think! I did get immersed in this quilt yesterday though and I am really looking forward to it. It is a thing of beauty and I have the opportunity to concentrate on and wallow in all my favourite things. The first block we are supposed to make is one of three patty cakes. (Cupcakes) Now, I am not a cake person. (Hard to believe when you see the size of me!) So I began to think about my favourite things and what might be a suitable replacement for three patty cakes. Then it came to me. I have three grandchildren! (Go here to see them doing awesomely great things!) I have to confess here. The patty cakes block reads "patty cakes and other delicious things". I immediately thought of my grandchildren when I read the "other delicious things". This is not because I have tried to eat them up, but because Miss 19 many years ago declared herself to be delicious in answer to the question, "Why do you suck your thumb?".

So I have spent today committing some sort of likeness of my grandchildren to applique. I am quite happy with the block so far. Not finished, but happy. A little more raw edged applique to go and then some drawing to make their faces come alive (I hope!) If it all turns pear-shaped tomorrow you can expect to see a patty cakes block here and me swearing black and blue that I love cake. The raw edged applique on my umbrella block is done, now just a little hand stitching to go. Miss 19 commented that now that I had immortalised the grandchildren I had better be planning to name her as one of my favourite things! I think this quilt may take some time to finish. Of course, it will be all the better for it. I think I'm going to like being wrapped in my favourite things!

Some finished blocks tomorrow I hope!

Another book...

Miss 19's book
 I am having fun making these books. This one is for Miss 19 to use for note taking at uni. She likes to draw as well as take notes so I included some cartridge paper and some canson paper. It is her Christmas present, but I didn't finish it till yesterday. Ooops!

And inside.
Next up I am working on my Some Kind of Wonderful quilt (this year's Chookyblue stitch-a-long quilt) and writing some goals down for the new year. Lots to do!

Thursday 29 December 2011


Some of the fabric I found this week.
I discovered a box after Christmas. It had fabric in it. I think I have been in denial about how much fabric I have. I have been inspired by Kim and Kate to do something about my fabric hoard. Yep. I am going to de-stash via my etsy shop. Not just fabric, but books and patterns too I think. In about a week I'll post a link to my etsy shop so you can make the most of the lovely fabric I have that someone else should use! Off to sort through stuff. Do you think there are any more boxes? (Yes, I am moving in a month or so. Trying to make it an easy move!!!)

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Christmas Present

Picklesticks sent me this for Christmas. I love it, and it really is my mantra. Sewing is what I do to keep calm. It seems to make worries evaporate for me and I am a black belt worrier! (Well, we all have to be good at something, don't we?) So, I am keeping calm here by sewing!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

SSCS, what I sent to Melinda (USA).....

Sideways blogger, again! I think it only happens on this computer? It's a book!

I made the book and there is machine embroidery, applique and beading on the cover.

Inside, good for drawing or writing.

Bag, with some colourque and embroidered gum flowers.

Up close and side on!
This is what I sent to Melinda for Chookyblue's SSCS. I had so much fun making these! I also sent some Aussie choccies and some chiccos. (Which are chocolate flavoured jelly babies. This description doesn't do them justice. When my daughter lived in the USA these were the treats she missed the most!) Thanks again Chookyblue! I think you are awesome!

Monday 26 December 2011

SSCS opened on December 25th!

This is what was in my package from Laila!
I hope you all had a good Christmas day! Ours was a good, but busy one and I was so tired last night I put this post off until today. You might remember that Laila was my SSCS partner, and this is what she sent me for Christmas. Fabric, a tape measure, and a gorgeous table runner! I am soooo pleased with this. Thank you Laila! The table runner will live on this table. (Still tidying after Christmas day here!) Thank you also to Chookyblue who did all the hard work and whip-cracking for this swap. Great swap guys!!!

Saturday 24 December 2011

I made a bag.

I made a few bags similar to this. Ikea fabric, with great things in it. I think I need more cloth bags in my life. In fact I will go as far as saying that I need more purpose-sewn cloth bags in my life. Obviously that's why I sewed them for others for Christmas, because they are necessary and wonderful! Expect to see more purpose-sewn cloth bags from me in 2012. Amongst other things of course! (Goal setting happening here people!)

Friday 23 December 2011

I Baked Today.

I wanted reindeer, but all I could find were moose!

Aerial shot.
I baked gingerbread today, to be the tundra for my "Frozen North" Christmas gift. Moose, forest and snow on the tundra. My Bradley has just left to deliver them. A bit of Christmas fun from Nigella Lawson's Christmas special. I will make up ours tomorrow for Christmas Eve.

It's the summer holidays!

For those who don't know, we have homeschooled most of our kids. Some of them however like to go to school. Miss 14 is one of those school goers. Today we popped in to school to pick up her report card because today was officially the last day of school. (Goodbye year 10, hello year 11!) We also had an awards night this week. Miss 14 played with the band in the foyer and then during the night won the music award. She was pretty amazed to win an award. (The photo below shows her being amazed.)

Miss 14 gets her award
I forgot my camera and had to take this photo with my phone. I have been pretty forgetful lately. It will be Christmas in two days and I have actually finished all my Christmas shopping. (Wonders will never cease.) I'm pretty happy about that. I have been getting into the festive spirit by watching Christmas shows on iview. (catch up tv for the ABC) I loved some of the things Nigella made on her Christmas special so I am planning to do some cooking ala Nigella later today. If it turns out as pretty as Nigella's food I will definitely take a photo and show you. Off to the kitchen!!!

Thursday 22 December 2011

I made a bag.

"Bee Happy!"

And the back.
This is one I started oh-so-long-ago. In fact, I can't quite believe that I have finished it! It stayed fairly true to the original design with just a change to the handles. Yep, they are purchased handles. I like the look of them, and they only cost me a dollar. I have taken a new interest in bags in thrift shops, (these ones came from the Salvos) checking them out purely for their handle value!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Made for Granny Loz

Bird book
Loz recently celebrated "The Festival of Loz". A week-long celebration of her birth, an hommage to another year of Loz. (You can read about it here.) Quite a good idea really, because I think the world is a much better place because of her. This year I had to celebrate from afar. (Well Melbourne actually.)  This is what I made for her.

Marg Low bookmark

Tuesday 20 December 2011


I thought I was making a petti-skirt, but it's definitely a tu-tu I think.
It's very frothy. And very orange. And very spotty. And frothy. Did I mention that it's frothy? And it's made by me, seemingly accidently, because this is not really what I intended at all. I am sure that a very small girl will love it however. Back with more things we made tomorrow.

Monday 19 December 2011

They made earrings.

the earrings on "cards"
Miss 25 and Miss 14 (who is now on the countdown to being 15!) have been busy making jewelery. They like to make it because it's fun and I like them to make it because I am wanting to use it as Christmas gifts! I carded up all the earrings they have made so far, which I thought would be a boring job, but it was actually pretty fun. They have made more than this, but I had already wrapped quite a few before I thought to take a photo. They are having so much fun doing it that Mr 11 has joined in too. (What's not to love about a craft that uses pliers!)

Sunday 18 December 2011


Banana cakes
Yesterday I did some baking. We wanted to give a few of the people who have been kind to us here in Melbourne a little something sweet for Christmas. In my head I had visions of gorgeous Christmassy cookies arrange beautifully on plates... hmm... But there were six bananas needing something done with them (either a trip to the bin, or to be made into cake) so I made a triple batch of banana cake. Quite often tripling a recipe makes it not quite so good, but this one was fine. (As the mother of eight children I have had much experience doubling and tripling (sometimes even quadrupling) recipes!) So, once I got over the visions of sugar plum fairies gorgeous cookies in my head, I knuckled down to rescuing the bananas!

White Chocolate Gingerbread Slice.
Then I decided to try something new. I think that the white chocolate gingerbread slice I made (double batch, in a roasting tin) was a little overcooked. The white chocolate was deliciously caramalised, but I don't think that was the effect the recipe writer had in mind. Nevertheless, it was proclaimed delicious by my boys and looked pretty good once I had dusted the top with icing sugar. We ended up filling six paper plates with sweet morsels  and my Bradley and I (along with the boys) went for a drive to drop the plates off. Everyone was suitably impressed and grateful (I did mention that they were the kindest people in Melbourne, didn't I?) and I think the boys really enjoyed giving the plates to our friends. (I was careful to save some for them too!) We also planned today what we will bake for our Christmas celebration. I think all the fun of baking is in the planning, the boys think it's all in the eating!

Saturday 17 December 2011

SSCS Received!!!

Yesterday I went out to check my letterbox and my SSCS was there!!! Much excitement here. And it was from Laila. (You can check her blog out here.) She sent me two beautiful ornaments, which are now on our tree.

up close

the two together on my tree
Laila is from Norway which I found pretty exciting. Mostly because I don't really know anyone from Norway! She also sent me two packages to open on Christmas day. I am looking forward to opening them. They are under our tree.

they are the red packages in the center
Ahh... So all is right with the world. I managed to wrap three gifts for my family today. The first ones, so I am on my way to being ready for Christmas. Not bad with a week to go! I quite often don't wrap the first gift until Christmas Eve so I am feeling organised! (Stop laughing you truly organised people!) More to do tomorrow though!

Friday 16 December 2011

Favourite Things Friday

I love looking at everyone's Favourite Things Friday posts. They have cheered me up immensely today! So thank you for FTF Shay. (The infamous Mrs P. You can go here to see more FTF posts.) In fact, I was so touched by the posts that I have decided to do one of my own. My favourite thing today is my sewing room.

Here it is, just as I left it last night. A bit messy, but basically usable.
 I love this room. It is the "dining room" and is connected to the "formal lounge room". Of course, there's nothing much "formal" about my set up of these rooms. It's a pretty good sized room and is right next door to the kitchen too which means I am in the center of everything going on in our house. I like that. We can all hang out together while I am sewing!

My sewing machine area. "The hub".
 I love my sewing machine. My desk is a little messy here, but not too bad because I had a quick "putting away" session yesterday arvo. I finished off a couple of projects and put away all the paraphenalia to do with those projects. Well, most of it.

Our family computer.
 There is even a spot for a computer in here! Great for surfing those blogs (I'm sitting there writing this now!) or playing those dvds which I love to sew by. Right now I am having a "One Foot in the Grave"-athon. It was "Rumpole of the Bailey" earlier this week. It is also excellent for playing Minecraft, Runescape, The Sims, and for doing all sorts of computer animation. (That's what the kids do on it.) Certain kids also spend hours here looking at Lego and Magic the Gathering cards.

Spaces for other people to work along with me.
And there are spaces to have "guest" sewers! Recent guests have included picklesticks and various other children. So you see, it really is the best sewing room I have ever had. Oh. And if you are worried that there is very little stash storage here, it's ok. I have my stash in Ikea billy's (with doors) either side of the tv in the living room. I also have a table in there for additional guest sewers, and to cut out clothes.

I love this space! Even out the window is great because we have a creek behind the house. Right now I can hear kookaburras and cicadas. Is now the right time to tell you that we have to move in seven weeks time? *sigh* Just when you get everything good, someone wants you to move. (That would be our landlord. Anyone would think the house belonged to him!) And we have no idea where we will be moving to! It's a bit too soon to look yet, plus there is nothing suitable to rent at the moment. (I'll admit it. I looked!) So right now we are just going to enjoy this house while we can. I'm planning to sew non-stop for the next three or four weeks. Then I'll start packing.

Thursday 15 December 2011

I made books.

Handmade Books

With cartridge paper inside.
These were inspired by a book Miss 19 has. She is completely in love with her book. Hers looks handmade, so I thought I could make some myself too. They were a lot of fun to make and involved two of my favourite things, paper and fabric. I just love sewing through paper on my sewing machine! Not sure if it is the element of the forbidden that thrills me so much, or not. I must have a lot of rules and regulations in my head I think. Some that I don't even realise are there. One of them must read: "Never sew paper on your sewing machine". A few years ago I was reading through a Leanne Beasley book which had some paper and fabric sewn together in it. As I was admiring it I said to Mrs 27 that I would have to buy or designate a "paper" sewing machine. She just looked at me blankly and told me I could just use my machine, she does. What a bombshell! It took me ages to get my head around that concept. Now I sew paper on my machine as if it is nothing. (Just another of the many things I have learnt from my children.)

Wednesday 14 December 2011

I made bags.

Moda Bakeshop bag.
 I have been busy sewing all week this week and yet it doesn't seem as though I'm getting very far. I thought perhaps it's because I haven't really posted anything finished here, so I've decided to post. Three bags finished, all bar the snaps on the front and that will require some thinking because I haven't used the snap machine for about 12 months I think! The thinking is the hard part, best saved until morning. Now I'm debating whether to sew some more this evening. Unfortunately tired = mistakes for me. Perhaps not!

Three of them.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

The Christmas Ornament I Sent

A tree for a tree!
Is anyone else having problems with blogger putting their photos sideways? Yesterday and today I have had this problem. I feel a genius today though because I tipped this one on it's side before blogger did and da-dah! Photo right way up!

This is the ornament I sent to Melinda (visit her here) for Chookyblue's SSCS. I am still waiting for my SSCS to arrive. While I wait I am busy sewing gifts. Some may make an appearance here, I have to consider whether my recipients read my blog or not!

I have also made some progress on my Some Kind of Wonderful (SKoW) quilt for this year's stitch-a-long. (Visit the stitch-a-long blog here to see everyone's progress!) Yes, I now have fabric so I can begin. I probably won't start until after Christmas though. I have a bit to do until then!

Monday 12 December 2011

Think I spoke too soon!

Gosh, I have been a slack blogger! I can't believe that it is almost halfway through this month! Last time I posted I mentioned that I was starting to feel better, but the next day was feeling sick again. Just a cold, but I ended up with a sinus infection that I am still struggling with. (Sooo much discomfort! Even my teeth are hurting!!!) Of course, since then I have had good days and bad days so there has been making going on here, although much of it is secret! I also managed to travel to Adelaide to see Miss 21's gallery opening for her grad show. She has just finished her Honours year in Visual Arts and there was much excitement on the weekend when she discovered that she has received a Distinction for her year's work. Much excitement because of her achievement, but also because it almost certainly means she will get an offer to study some more next year. She is hoping to become an art teacher eventually. Who knew that Art teachers had so much training? So far four years, with another two to come!

Miss 21 with her sculpture of her and me.
 So now my shape has been exhibited in a gallery! (Thanks for that darling!) Better than a photo I guess. Must get back to the making. (Less than two weeks till Christmas you know.) I am still waiting on my SSCS package, but the one I sent to Melinda in the USA has arrived, thank goodness! The wait for your partner to receive their package always seems so much more streesful than waiting for your own to arrive! I will show you the ornament I sent next time!