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

Thursday 19 December 2013

making and unpacking...

Christmas? Nah, it's not on my horizon at the moment. We are making and unpacking. I seriously can't contemplate getting ready for Christmas until my sewing room is unpacked. I know I don't have long till Christmas, but my mantra always is "It's not Christmas Eve yet is it? Well what are you worried about?" Perhaps there will be no gingerbread men or houses this year, but that will just make them all the more exciting next year, right? That's what I'm going with. I hope you are having a lovely time preparing for Christmas and I'll just get on with this unpacking.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Sewing this week. For a market next week.

 See, there has been sewing happening at my place this week. Proof. Evidence. Photographic evidence even.

But it's all Picklesticks' (Jessica) sewing. Not mine. Want an animal mask for the small people in your life? If you're in Adelaide come to the Jazzy Christmas Market at Unley town hall Tuesday from 4pm to 9pm and buy one, or like Picklesticks on Facebook and check them out there!

There is also this sewing going on. Lily16 is sewing a red and white Christmas dress. The blue and white print is a dress she made a few months ago. She loves it so much she is making a Christmas dress just like it.

Oh. And this is my contribution to making this week. Pop stick Christmas trees. They are supposed to be painted. Any minute now...

Thursday 5 December 2013

The sky.

 I'm not sure whether there is more sky here or whether I just notice the sky a whole lot more because there are so few buildings in front of it. Every day I am busy noticing the sky. And maybe during the summer it will look similar every day, but it sure looks different all the time at the moment.

full moon. colourful sky

One evening I was out hanging-out/bringing-in the washing and felt I should grab my camera and take some shots. All of these shots are views from my clothesline. I'm not a huge fan of doing the washing generally speaking, but I'm becoming a fan here.

Then Tuesday this week a storm cloud was rolling in. We are living in a rain shadow so we don't get as much rain as other areas around here. I'm not sure what I thought that meant, but we have had lots of days with rain since I moved here. The contrast in the sky, so blue on one side and so dark on the other side was astonishing. Perhaps this photo doesn't show it so well. We have had rainbows and all sorts this week. I'm pretty sure that my craft blog is not really the place for these photos, so I'm thinking of making a photo blog. I like the idea of taking a photo every day and recording this place, this life I'm living. 

There is making going on here at the moment though, so I'll be back tomorrow with more crafty photos!

Sunday 1 December 2013

I'm so tired… (it's December, and other impossibilities)

this quilt again. still working on it. no idea where it is right now. in a box?

I'm off for a nap in a minute (it's ok, I'm a nanna - well, a "Ma" - and I am officially allowed to do nanna naps) but I just thought I would quickly blog about the impossibility of today being December the first. I often think about blogging, but then something else takes my attention and the day slips away. So, here's the blogpost right now. Photo and all!

Today is Joseph's birthday. He is my third child and it was a hot day the day he was born. Today is overcast and showery, a real contrast, just like my boy. He was 10 pounds and 10 ounces. That was very different from child one and two. He was a boy. Different from the girls. And he was born with blonde hair which made him look very different from his dark haired sisters. He was quite a shock to the system, but a wonderful shock. Now he is a grown up, with a wife, a mortgage and a dog. Another impossibility. (Can I really be that old?)

Today's theme seems to be impossibilities. Here's another. It seems impossible to me that my sewing room will ever be organised and operational. The only cheerful bit about that statement is that today is full of impossibilities so I quite expect it to happen at some point. Off to nap!

Saturday 23 November 2013

A house in the country...

 Whew! This past month or so has been so busy for us. We moved. To Adelaide. All that packing and cleaning and just getting stuff from here to there has been exhausting! We moved in dribs and drabs with four of us moving first. Then another two. And the last one (my Bradley) is finishing up in Melbourne at the moment.

These are the views from my clothesline. It is so peaceful here. I think I like living "in the middle of nowhere" as my grandson says.

And the kids have played and played and played. Now I just have to alter my "pop-to-the-shop" attitude and I'll be right. (We're seriously not that far from the shops, but the trips add up!)

The sewing room isn't set up yet and I still have boxes everywhere, but hopefully that will all change this week. And maybe I will get to set foot inside a quilt shop near our new home too!

Saturday 12 October 2013

I tried to write this post last week...

... but the internet conspired against me and it couldn't be done. I'm not sure if it was THE internet, my internet, my modem, my computer or just blogger itself, but it's working now so all's right with the world.

This is what I have been doing. Yes, back to the eight year old me, I'm making Barbie dresses. This one works, so I'm going to make some more for the Spooky Oooky market I mentioned last post. Possibly. I'll have to see how time goes. We are moving back to Adelaide so there are things to be sorted, boxes to be packed, garage sales to be had, that sort of thing. We have a plan in place, now we just need somewhere to live. (And that's never easy!) So if you want to rent a house to a crafty family send me an email! I am off to Adelaide some time next week to look at houses (again) so cross your fingers for me.

Monday 7 October 2013

And now it's October...

This year is really zipping by. Last week we (my Bradley and daughters Sophie and Molly and I) went to Costco. It's a fun place to go, especially if you like shopping. First up past the doors was the first of their Christmas range. We oooed and ahhhed over that and then halfway through the shop my Bradley stopped dead and observed, "Of course, it's almost Christmas." It's hard to believe. It was my most eventful trip to Costco ever. Normally we just hop on the fast road and zip to Costco in 30 or 40 minutes. Coming from Adelaide (where there are no fast roads) we are completely in love with fast roads. Even if we have to pay a toll to use them. So I thought this trip would be the same. Except our requisite fast road was a car park because of an earlier accident. It took us just over two hours to get there. It was my first such experience with the fast roads, which isn't too bad considering that we have lived here for almost three years now.

I have been sewing, although nothing too exciting. This is some Halloween bunting that I put together from a panel that I got from Spotlight. I got a few panels which I am in the process of completing. Some will be to decorate my daughter's stall at the Spooky Ooky Halloween Market and some will be available for sale at the market. She is busy making Deddy Bears and Ghoulish Girls, as well as all her cute softies, for sale at the market. So if you are in Adelaide and want some softies (or patterns for softies) you should pop along. Some of my other girls are busy making ghoulish jewellery for the market too. I am thinking that I might just be in Adelaide for the market, but I'm not sure yet. Oh well, back to the sewing.

Monday 9 September 2013

September! (I'm slow, but I get there in the end)

I can't believe it's a month since I last posted here. I have been busy and preoccupied I think. I am still working on this quilt. I'm liking it more and more!

I am getting closer to having it finished! I made two trips to Adelaide in August which tends to keep me busy! It's a more than 1,500km round trip which takes forever if you drive it! One of the trips was to see child number four graduate from Uni. Again. This makes it three times now. She has a bachelors degree, an honours degree, and now a masters degree. Five and a half years of study and now she is a fully fledged teacher. She hasn't scored a job yet, but is working as a relief teacher which is keeping her pretty busy. And paid. After being a student for so long she loves the paid bit of working.

My Bradley and I with Rose the graduate
I'm not too keen on this photo as it has me looking like the side of a house, despite the fact that I have lost 25kg this year. I guess it's good to have a reality check now and again though and I definitely need to lose a lot more! I'm not "dieting" at the moment. I just needed a little break. I'll get back to it any minute now.

And speaking of "breaks" look what I did to my stockpot lid a couple of weeks ago! We were all quite sad about it when it happened. Even my 19 year old son. He spoke fondly about his memories of this pot as did his siblings! That's the moment I decided that we all need to get out more! Owning a saucepan for 16 years doesn't make it part of the family! So I am going through all of our stuff at the moment. we have waaaay too many things! Today is going to be a sewing day though. I'm off to sew some more!

Saturday 10 August 2013

Circle Quilt

This is what I'm working on today. I bought some backing yesterday afternoon. Basting is next and then a little quilting and some appliqué. 

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Blog Reading

I haven't been doing much blog reading of late. My head has been busy. In fact I have been busy! I did take some time out to spend time at our local shopping centre with my Bradley one evening. Isn't it pretty? The sky at night, through a glass dome.

I did see this post this week and thought you might like to see it too. It's about being a mum to a special needs kid. So in case you've ever wondered what that might be like, this post explains it beautifully. Oh. And it's written by my kid. She is an awesome mum. And her kid is awesome too.

Playing with Anna Maria Horner...

No, she didn't come over to my house with her newborn to play with me in my sewing room. I have spent the past couple of days playing with her fabric range Innocent Crush. It's old. I bought it when I was still living in Adelaide in 2010. Not sure why it's taken me this long to use it because I am completely loving it!

Oh! And I'm piecing curves. I am loving feeling so confident with curves. I took an online curves class with Rachel Hauser (Stitched in Color) eighteen months ago and found it really enlightening. Back to the sewing!

Friday 19 July 2013

It's quiet at my house today.

Jess(picklesticks) and her littles (5, 3 and 1) left this morning for the long drive back home to Adelaide. (About 770km) I can't imagine such a long drive with three little ones on my own, but she says it is getting easier as they get older. So my house is quiet. Very quiet. Sometimes when they are here I can't wait for the house to be quiet. For the 6am crying to be a thing of the past. (I know I was the mother of eight little children previously in my life, but can I just state for the record that they were all quiet children. Hard to believe, but they were.) And then they leave and it's so very quiet. I do have some stickers and Uno cards to remind me that they were here.

Colour Catcher!
After dropping Lily16 to school this morning I popped into Woolworths and picked up some colour catchers. I have some new quilts to wash this morning and I need some "insurance" so that the colours don't run! I have never tried colour catchers before, just read about their amazing properties. I heard an ad for them on the radio a couple of months ago stating that they were now available in Australian supermarkets. I checked my local Coles, but they didn't have them. Today I checked Woolies and there they were. I've never experienced such excitement in the cleaning products aisle I think. Off to put a load of washing in!

Sunday 14 July 2013

Finished Pouches

I finished off some pouches today. There was lots of making happening and I couldn't resist joining in. Jess is doing a market at the end of July and has been busy designing and making soft toys today. Such creativity is contagious I think. So I dusted off the sewing machine and sewed these up. I love blue and green more than I can say!

Friday 12 July 2013

Making this week

This week has included lots of looking at these faces. These girls are soooo helpful when you're baking. And happy! There has been lots of laughing.

There has also been lots of making with yarn. My girls got these butterfly looms for Christmas at some point (no idea which Christmas) and they decided to make rugs this week. No rugs have eventuated yet, but there are lots of squares! They have also inspired Maxim19 to make a loom and begin to weave. I love the way his mind works. He's not bothered that someone has previously invented looms, he just thinks about how he would do it and makes one. His first piece of weaving is awesome and he intends to produce a rug too I think.

And I have spent some time with paper, scissors, and glue making cards from Jess' bunting offcuts. (You can see her bunting on our A Making Life blog.)

This weekend I plan to sew. Not sure what yet, but I'm sure I'll find something. And maybe I'll baste some quilts as well. I have quite a pile of quilt tops waiting and Lily16 has a quilt top ready to baste too. It's her first big quilt and she's quite nervous about the next step. I remember being just the same when I started! Have a great weekend!

Thursday 11 July 2013

I made a dress, something interesting, and it's July.

 Way back in June sometime I posted that I had a formal dress to make for my year 12 Lily. This is her last year of school and the formal has become somewhat of a tradition in Australia. This is the pattern she chose. I think one of her sisters chose the pattern originally, but we have never sewn it up before. It was in my pattern collection which we routinely browse before hitting the shops.

And this is how it translated once Lily had chosen her fabric. It's fairly simple in front with ruffle sleeves and glorious ruffles in the back. The original dress had a low back,  but we're not into that so I had to make a pattern modification before I even began to fit it. Lily is not very tall and is quite shortwaisted. (Short from her shoulder through to her waist) It makes buying ready made dresses really hard. The waist and bustline are always in the wrong place for her. That's why sewing clothes for her is essential! So, three calico bodices later I finally had the Lily fit and could cut out her red fabric. Once that was done it was plain sailing.

Lily16 dressed for her formal
Even though I allowed myself plenty of time to fit, cut out and sew this dress I allowed procrastination to take over and I was sewing it right up until half an hour before Lily left. I'm not sure why that is always my modus operandi, but it always is. (This is obviously a character flaw of mine. Going to have to sort it out one day!) Lily was not bothered at all and she is really an anxious person generally. Her friends at school were anxious for her though. On Friday morning (the day of the formal) they rushed to greet her and asked the question, "Has your Mum finished your dress yet?" She assured them (and me) that she wasn't worried because although I do everything at the last minute I had never failed to deliver for one of my kids. Sophie27 took pity on me on Friday afternoon and offered to make the cummerbund for the dress. (I had spent two hours convincing myself that the dress would look awesome without it, but even I wasn't believing it.) She did an amazing job with it and I loved the fact that my Lily had a collaborative "homemade" formal. Whilst I was finishing up her dress Lily made the earrings she wore. (We had bought the beads when we bought the fabric.)

She made the earrings
And here she is with some of her friends, those her Dad was chauffeur for. The girls all got ready at our place so the fun began even before the formal began.

The gang right before walking out the door
Oh. And did you know it's July? This year really is rushing away from me. At the moment we have our daughter Jess visiting us with her three kids. It's such fun having grandchildren to wake up to in the morning! Jess also has a blog (picklesticks) and we have hatched a plan this trip. I have been wanting to do something different with my blog and she wants to do something different with hers, so we have decided to join forces and start a new blog. It will have tutorials, free patterns and printables, product reviews, recipes, give aways and lots of making and creating. We will still have our own blogs, because we love our blogs! We will be adding posts and content to the new blog during July ready for a give away at the beginning of August. You can pop over there to have a look if you like. If you want to keep up with what we do make sure to "follow" the blog. See you over at A Making Life.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

An inspired life.

a blurry ride
One of the things I hope for in this busy, somewhat chaotic life of mine, is to be visually inspired, excited and stimulated. I love to look at things. Beautiful things. Of course, the definition of beauty can change from person to person and day to day. Then, once I've been inspired, I hope that that inspiration will lead to motivation to create something beautiful myself. It's not a guaranteed thing though and there has been little motivation of late, even though I have seen some truly beautiful and inspiring things! Like the scene above. My back has been sore and I have become a fan of those massage chairs you usually just walk past at the shopping centre. (Does anyone have a $2 coin on them?) Last week as I was being shaken at one of my local shopping centres (seriously, are there more shopping centres per capita in Melbourne, or is it just my area?) I wondered how such a scene would photograph. Like that! Here's to living an inspired life!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

It's June, and I finished a quilt.

I finished the binding on this quilt on Saturday. It took me all day, which is not to say that this is a big quilt (it's not) but that I had a very interrupted day of sewing. Asher12 had his very first migraine as well and I was quite busy reassuring him that visual disturbances, numbness, pain and vomiting are quite normal for a migraine. I think I am safe in saying that it was the first time he had experienced such pain and he didn't like it. It was an enlightening experience for him!

It's hard to believe that it is June already. I'm not quite sure what happened to May, but I'm sure it's the same at your house. Even now with all of June stretching before me I'm sure it will pass in a flash and I will be bemoaning it's quick passing in four short weeks! We have the countdown of the last four weeks of term two happening here. Lily16 is in year 12 and is desperate for the year to be over! I have a dress to make for her formal (less than three weeks away now) so that will keep me busy I'm sure. We also have our son Joseph24 visiting us this month. We can't wait to spend some time with him! 

The weightloss progression has been slow of late. I am still concentrating on it and had a mental obstacle to overcome which took ages! I am hoping that now that I am under the 100kg mark that things may be more easy for a time. I have lost 24kg to date (30kg since we moved to Melbourne two years ago) and easily have that much more to go to reach an acceptable BMI. (Body Mass Index) Before I began the great weightloss endeavour my BMI was in the "morbidly obese" category and I have now progressed to the "obese" category, which doesn't sound a whole lot better! My Bradley assures me that it is and is encouraging me to stick with it! So, in June I hope to lose more weight, sew a formal dress (it's going to be red and ruffly!), and finish something else quilty. There. Goals. Better go get started!

Friday 24 May 2013

That was then, this is now...

 Last Friday I was procrastiquilting with this quilt, this Friday I am just quilting it. Actually I started quilting it last Saturday. I think deciding exactly what to quilt on it was my problem. I decided to use flowers (it's kind of a springy, sunshiny kind of quilt), but Lily16 informed me this morning before school that the butterflies I'm quilting are lovely. They are like butterflies so I'm happy with either.

This is the view from the back. I am doing free motion quilting, but using the grid of the granny square for a placement guide. I am a little slow with the quilting on this quilt, but the reason why will soon become apparent!

Look! Grandchildren! Yes, I spent some of this week in Adelaide visiting children (I got to see almost all of them) and grandchildren. I had the great pleasure of babysitting my two granddaughters whilst their Mum took grandson on a Kindergarten excursion. Our grandson has recently been diagnosed as being autistic, which doesn't actually change anything as far as we are concerned, (he is still just as wonderful and difficult as he ever was) but it has meant that he is now getting help for some of those difficulties. He has a helper at Kindy and he was welcome on the excursion as long as his Mum went with him, so I  quickly volunteered to babysit before his Mum could ask anyone else! I love a good reason to go visit my kids! (Of any age)

The girls started out playing musical instruments...

...and finished off playing in the backyard. And Ma (that's me) took blurry photos!

In other news, I recently purchased a Sizzix Big Shot. Isn't it beautiful? (Well, if you look beyond the pink and diamantes. I'm kind of not a pink and sparkly person.) Right now it's kind of just a doorstop, because I don't actually have any dies. I can't wait to cut some fabric with it! Better get onto ordering some dies I think, and finishing off that quilt.

Friday 17 May 2013

Over-thinking it and Stitching

So, after finishing the last quilt and realising that I spent too much time worrying about the quilting, instead of just quilting this one I'm worrying again. So I am doing things like considering basting these table runners. Just considering mind you. Heaven forbid I should rush into action here people!

Whilst yesterday saw me finish the appliqué on the Bonnie Sullivan table runner from the Quilted Crow class I did in Hobart, and not a moment too soon, because I saw Loz's lovely finished (finished!!!) runner on Instagram last night.

Embroidery next, then the border and then to finish the runner off. Any minute now.....

Thursday 16 May 2013

A Ziggy Finish

A dreadful photo, but it's finished! (It has been grey here ever since I finished this quilt. Grey and chilly! I am sitting here loving my ducted gas heating as I write this!) I agonised over how to quilt this one. I over-thought it I think. Once I just started on the quilting it worked out quite well. I'm really happy with it. I decided to use a black and white fabric for the binding and really love the look it has given the quilt.

Back to my grey and rainy day. Luckily I have a spring fresh quilt to work on, that will cheer my day up. Progress photos to come!

Thursday 9 May 2013

It's been an interesting week...

the sky near my house
 ... I have been reading lots of posts about how grateful Northern Hemisphere people are for spring this week. They feel a rejuvenation and a liveliness that was missing from their lives this past winter. They have been lovely posts, I have enjoyed them! I have been having a thoughtful and introspective week as I ponder my life. (Not my life as such, but what I am doing - if you want to get technical) I have come to the conclusion (and there haven't been may of those in this introspective period!) that we humans need change because I am loving the autumn days we are having here with the same passion that others are loving spring. The days are so much shorter and I love to feel that chill in the air. It is rejuvenating certainly! Aren't we lucky to have both long days and short days? To be able to feel both the warmth of the sun and the bracing winds on our skin. Change is what I am looking for I think.

a fountain in Hobart

Monday 6 May 2013

Don't you think housework has a lot to answer for?

zig zagging
I have been quilting, in between the housework of course. How is it that you declare your intention to spend the week or weekend sewing and then someone cleans their room? I'm talking teenaged rooms here. They get to be knee-deep in clothing etc and then they decide to clean up and suddenly every washing basket in the house is overflowing! Lol! Well, that's how it seems here. And then my Bradley mentions (just casually in conversation) that mine is the messiest bedroom in the house now. (His side is pretty much immaculate *sigh* I think that man needs a hobby obsession like quilting!) So I have been quilting, but not much. I'm keen to get a couple of finishes this week. Must. Finish. Something. (The washing? My room?...)

Thursday 2 May 2013


As befits a new month I got up nice and early this morning and went for a walk. I have had such trouble getting up the past couple of months, I thought May was the month to change all that. I have even had trouble going walking, which is not helpful for those of us trying to lose weight! (It is still coming off, but much more slowly without the extra movement!) So I'm turning over a new leaf in May. (Not sure if I'm putting too much pressure on May. It's an old month though, surely it can handle the pressure?)

I love Eric Carle's illustrations. Love this calendar!

So May lays before me with all sorts of promise. My main aim is to make and create during May. (Doesn't that make May sound like a wonderful month?) Off to sew!

Tuesday 30 April 2013

This week...

It's the last day of April, and I'm struggling to recall what I have done with this month. I had a whole month before me and I......... did very little? Other than spending an awesome week with Ms Loz, April kind of passed by unnoticed.

I did go to AQC and saw lovely quilts like this favourite that I snapped with the old iphone. I want to make something equally eye-catching.

And I did spend a lovely time at the Quilted Crow for a Bonnie Sullivan class. I wonder if those Crow Girls realise what a glorious building they work in? Such a beautiful place!

I went to the Patchwork with Gail B's sale too and bought some lovely fabrics that are screaming out to be sewn. Perhaps I just need to finish something! On to May I think. Onwards and upwards!