Thursday, December 31, 2009


I thought I'd share this cute poem.. I'm sure that's why Santa only gave me the flu.. I do have enough STUFF!

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, I’m glued to the tree
I’m wondering what Santa has brought just for me
Could it be fat quarters or a pattern or lace?
Or a quilt kit, I said, with a smile on my face
And that’s when I heard him, “Hi Santa”, I said
“You know, good little girls should be in their beds”
“I know I should Santa, but now I’ve been caught
But I was just so excited to see what you brought”
“Well, let’s take a look in this room where you work”
He shook his head quickly and left with a jerk
I heard him exclaim as he put in the gear
“You’ve got enough stuff, I’ll see you next year”!

Yesterday I went out for some fresh air and went to the Sally Shop (Salvation Army op shop).  I'm reluctant to pay for new curtains for rented place so have been checking out the op shops from time to time.  Well, lucky day.. I found one huge net curtain, the perfect length for my lounge window (and width to spare) in ex condition for $8.00

So I went to the fabric shop and found the exact same curtaining still on sale... mind you $8.00 a metre!  But in their bargain bin I found a piece big enough for my front sewing room window for $4.00.  It was longer but I undid the tape, cut it and sewed it back on. Perfect.  So now I just need to buy about 2 metres for the side windows and jobs done for about under $30.00.  Still to find nice drapes but no hurry.  (The existing ones were torn and too short for the windows and the Landlord is not inclined to spend any money on the place.  I've saved the torn ones and will hange them back up if I leave).  THEY LOOKED LIKE THIS AND TORN......

I'll buy more for this window.  My house is quite close to the street so I wanted a bit more 'privacy especially while I'm away.  I can pull them back for the sun when I'm home.  However the sewing room needs protection from the sun!

It's New Years Eve here in NZ.  I will update later with my plans for 2010.  Not resolutions.. they're easy to break.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Too early, too late

One of my Living Stone's was in flower this morning.  I took this photo intending to take another one later in the day when the flower was open.  but I was too late.  By the time I remembered it had closed again.  Grrr. the flowers don't last long so I will have to be on my wits tomorrow. 

What have I been doing?? I did clean my freezer.. yay.. and my new friend Lisa came to visit with her son Richard and her twin daughters .. so cute!  It was really neat to have a visitor although I did warn her I had the bot!  They didn't stay too long and I kept away from the children.  So hard hehe.

I am feeling a bit better tonight maybe because I've been sleeping in, sitting on my butt trying to plan my next challenge quilt and  drinking cranberry and blackcurrant juices!.  I have to be on that plane on Friday.  What a waste of a holiday to sit around and do nothing!!!  haha NOT ME!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What did Santa bring?

The book saga.. Here's my youngest grandson opening another present.. which just happened to be Book Present No 6..

"Not another book" was his reaction!  Hmmm Dad didn't know where to put himself!! Out of the mouths of babes ah!  It was the Wonky Donkey book .. and it's brilliant.  He laughed and laughed when we read it to him later and the CD .. well kids love it!! 

This is Book Present No 7... opening slowly... note daughter No 1 is ducking for cover haha.  They all knew what Nan had in that package..

But it doesn't feel like a book.. because...

It was a book inside a BAG we said was a Library Bag.. which makes it a Library Book.. and that's OK!!  How clever am I??

Christmas for me is all about giving for me but it's nice to get pressies too. 

Some of my lovely friends gave me buttons.. old and new  (I Luv buttons), Fabric, Scratchies, Chocolates, Lemon Honey (oh yummy) homemade shortbread etc etc.  I am lucky and FAT!  And so humble because I didn't buy expensive presents this year for friends...  And

Daughter No 1 gave me a new long, thin wallet (my handbag feels empty) and a box full of scrapbooking labels and stamps...
Daughter No 2 gave me a gorgeous calendar with photos of my grandchildren on every month, some yummy stuff for the pantry and the bathroom,  and money towards my\lamp..But instead of buying the one I'd seen in the shop, I went to the Boxing Day sales and got one similar .. a mother and son lamp, for half-price $44.00!!!  So now I can SEE in my lounge to read and do handsewing....

BuT this has to be the cutest surprise of them all.  Every Christmas my girls give their kids a certificate of Achievement.. for things they have learn't or achieved or done for someone else and this year I got one....

Woah... tears in my eyes!  How special is this! 

I am feeling like one special Mum and Nan but sadly Santa also gave me the FLU too and I feel CRAP!!!   My dear old Mum was full of cough, cold and a chest infection she got just before Christmas.  Obviously I'm mean't to share this with her so I'm grounded and not a lot of anything is happening here.   Hopefully better by Friday to fly to Nelson for a week.  Fingers crossed. 

I hope you have all had a wonderful time with your family! 

PS Check out Selvege Blog - my HAND bag features today. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Faces

Merry Christmas everyone.

All the last minute hard work paid off and there were a lot of happy faces on Christmas Day including these ones.  Olivia loved her little bag with the special pockets and Alex's 'library book' bag went down a treat. 

Just used some of my 'boy' scraps and yellows... his favourite colour.

He got four books from Santa, 2 more from his great aunties ("not more books") but when he found Nan's book in a library bag that was special.  Haha... he loves books really!!
Of course big Brother George had to show off his bag too..  haha.. smart kid!!  But his had money in it so he was very happy too!

PS Chris, I should have added that George's 'bag' was a paper left over variety and given as a joke which he accepted admirably... he has the Jones soh... haha..

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Well it's nearly Christmas Eve... in 15 minutes actually and I do have work tomorrow.  As this might be my last blog update for a few days I thought I'd show you a photo of Olivia's finished bag.I just need to put a button or something on the top for the closure and I'ts ready to go. The yellow flower and the bottom purple are actually pockets.  I lined them so she can put a few coins in them. I've made Alex one but just have to sew it all around the top.  Must wrap them all up in the morning.
tToday I found bean bug filling at Briscoes 60% off.  Well now that's a bargain when you don't have a lot of furniture I thought.. So I bought 3 bags at $11.00 and whipped up a cushion and filled it.  what a job that was.. filling it isn't easy. 

right Im off to bed .. it's Midnight.  I finish work at 12 noon tomorrow and I'll be coming home to tidy up and finish wrapping.  Have a wonderful holiday season and relax.  Life passes by so quickly..enjoy each day! 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More progress

Had a great day in Palmerston North yesterday.  I went to the Saturday sewing club for a few hours and met all my old friends.  It was wonderful to see them again.. in fact, I felt I'd never moved!! I am always in awe of the work that Liz G does.. She is so talented and imaginative... Look closely at this wallhanging she made.  The reindeer antlers are the hands of her little grandson and the head is his foot.  Clever.... VERY!  I think Liz should have a blog with all her amazing ideas.

I made some progress on a bag for my granddaughter.  Olivia liked this fabric when she was here in August.  Unusual for a 5 year old?  I used some flowers left over from the other bags I made to embellish it and added more buttons. 

I didn't get anything else done but had a lovely time with my friend Carol catching up and exchanging ideas.  I met their cute little puppy, yet to be named and the food at Carol's is always delicious. We went shopping together which I really enjoyed,... I hate shopping but with a friend and at leisure it is okay.  However Imagine this... 5pm two adult women standing at the doors of a big retailer waiting for them to open.. looking for the 'green button' as we were sure they were closed since it was 5pm... but ... then seeing the sign PUSH!  They weren't automatic doors!!

Came home to be in the studio for A TV One production.. Can't say anymore but I'm sure NZ's will work it out... 10 more sleeps.. I think!

ONly crappy thing that happened this weekend is I came home, went to get my sewing machine out of the boot and the handle has come loose again... it was fine when I put it in at PN and I packed stuff around it so it hadn't moved... yet it is broken second time in 2 years... Don't buy a Bernina!!!

Four nights to

finish the bag for Olivia
Cushion cover for Mum
Book Bag for Alex

Christmas cards tonight.. that is a must!
Food shopping on Wednesday after work.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Christmas Blog

A christmas gift every day

I just stumbled across this blog which has a neat christmas gift idea on every day.  Beautiful little quilt called silent Night.. oh have I got time... eeek

Right I'm on the road.. going to see my quilt friends in Palmerston North. Bug seems to be at bay at 7am and I'm not gonna even think about it...  hehehe

Friday, December 18, 2009

UPDATED Finished just in time

Two little handbags for 6 & 4 year old girls

2 more to go ... Guess what I'm doing for the weekend!! 
Chris.... these were made out of fabric from my stash so not sure if you can still buy it.  I bought it from spotlight I think but I know some of the quilting shops had same flowers but larger and made quilts with it. 

The flowers on the top were made from same fabric. 
I ironed Steamaseam on the back and then put contrasting fabric on that.   I did freemotion stitiching all over them (have only done it twice before)... quite inpressed with the pink one above.. the tension wasn't good so it was bringing the cream through.. but it looks great haha.

A few buttons (see the frog and the bumble bee.. gorgeous.. they were a gift from my friend Chris at Diet Coke Rocks), bit of ric rac and all done.  I'm thinking the handles could be a bit wide for little girls but that's what it said in the pattern.??

Oh goodness.. It's 6.30pm .. I've been home since 3 and done nothing except searched the net for a pattern..  I want to have a go at making book stands with bean bag stuff in them.  Seen them in the stephens shops for $50!!!  My neighbour would love one so I thought I could make something similar!!  Can't be too hard..

Hey take a look at these gorgeous half eaten gingerbread ornaments... so sweet.. will I have time... ???

Right I'm off to get something done.  If I'm feeling better tomorrow I'm off to PN.  (This bug just feels like morning sickness but hey, just because it's christmas it ain't the immaculate conception!!!)

Monday, December 14, 2009


Don't ya just love that Footprints poem.. you know about some people come into your life for a reason...
I got this lovely warm and fuzzy email from a colleague today...
"I love the Forest Gump theory.. life is like a box of chocolates, and ya never know what yer gonna git!  The beautiful thing about you is that you're a Caramel chockky with a 'soft centre'. Delicimo on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside.  Never give up being as flavoursome a personality as you are, and never allow anyone to crush your heart or spirit.. cause you deserve to be treated like the Princess you are."

Well yeah, it's warm and fuzzy but old chooks need that now and again. Sadly he's been pushed into leaving the company.  I wish him and his family well and I'm sure he'll find another job soon where he will be treated also with the respect he deserves.

Here are the two little bags I've made for his little girls, 6 and 4.  They're not quite finished yet but tomorrow night.  Will have to be in the post by the end of the week.  I've just finished quilting the 5 flowers on top.  2 more to go and then I'll put buttons in the middle and sew them on.. And then all finished.  I just wanted to do something because he has been a great person to work with and a good friend. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Loving Memory

Isn't this rose beautiful.  When my Dad passed away last September someone gave Mum the Rose "In Loving Memory".. Mum gave it to me and I took it back to PN and it wilted and all but died.  There was the barest green showing but it never did anything last summer.  I decided to perservere like my Dad would and bought it to Windy Wellington and here is the first flower.  I have picked it because it is so beautiful and the wind will ruin it.  And it smells devine. 

My Dad loved growing roses.  He spent hours every day amongst them .. a few years ago he counted and there were 199.. which included 35 of my roses, he gained ownership of when I went to Oz.  Sadly they've been depleted over the last two years with the garden being minimised for Mum.  I wasn't around to 'rescue' any but I plan to take cuttings of what's left next year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stop Christmas I can't catch up

A long night and my Christmas tree is up.  Why I moved all the furniture just to fit in the tree I'll never know.  I'm way behind on making Christmas presents now!!!  Grrrr.. But it look's okay.  I have a habit of buying new Christmas ornaments in the post Christmas sales and have surprised myself by how many different Father Christmas's I have now. 

Some I've been given too like the cute one with FC upside down in a globe.  My grandson Cam bought that one for me last Christmas out of his pocket money. 

There is nothing more heart warming than a present from a child.  Last weekend my granddaughter Olivia gave me some 'gingerbread men figures' she'd decorated.  I'm going to string them up with some Christmas tinsel so she can see them when she arrives. 

Tomorrow night and the next 14 days will be sewing madly.  I have to make bags for Olivia, my two daughters and a colleagues two daughters.  I want to make a cushion for my Mum, placemats for the Christmas table and maybe a bag each for my sisters if I have time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Bag Lady and things

I was going to take a photo of the bits for the train advent calenders.  I see they are still available at The Warehouse though $15 and not $3 that I paid in January. 

I can't get much in the drawers but I've put letters of the alphabet onto magnets spelling words

Happy Xmas Holidays Cameron
Merry Xmas George, Olivia, Alex

they'll have a letter in each drawer so they can put them on the fridge and guess the words

I've bought balloons, little bouncy balls, Xmas bells, stickers which all fit in the drawers and I'll make up some vouchers!!  I'll also put some $1 coins in (thank you Carolyn)

and I'll put some Lucky Dip Vouchers in too as I got tennis balls, glow in the dark stars, magnetic xmas ornaments, Le Snak, and a few choclate things.

I was going to take a photo but my battery has gone flat.  So better charge it up.  Tomorrow night is our work xmas do... not many go but hey, it's a free meal and a chance to get to know a few more staff.

And Friday I"m heading off to Napier.  Sadly my wonderful Uncle has been told he now has Ca Liver.  (He had a successful op 14 months ago for Bowel Cancer.   He can't have any treatment.  It is so so sad. Friday is the anniversary of my Auntie's death last year and I don't want Uncle to be alone so I'm taking the day off and going to spend a couple of days with him and visit my grandchildren, deliver the trains etc. 

so you may not see me for a few days but I'll take photos as soon as my battery lights up. 

PS I sent my bag photos to a few colleagues at work and one of them put the photos on the news that goes around the country.   I've been called The Bag Lady today.  Cute huh.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

25 days till Christmas SOONER than I'd like!

And once again I'm running late.  I bought two of these trains after Christmas last year and want to put things in them for my grandchildren.  A friend is taking them to the kids on Friday but sadly the little drawers are smaller than I thought so nothing I've bought fits.  That's okay I'll put lucky numbers in the drawers and then wrap each pressy seperately.  But do you have any ideas?  The drawers are about 1.5 inches square
I am going to make a few vouchers like: "This voucher entitles you to an afternoon with Mum (or Dad) on your own doing an activity of your choice to the value of $10 OR This voucher is for a family picnic at a place of your choice ie beach, front yard, park?? What do you young Mum's think?  I'm not into chocolates everyday.. would rather do something different but I only have 4 days!

This is the needle holder I made out of the pattern for my oldest grandson's hands.  I made this in a hurry yesterday morning while finishing my bag for the challenge.  I want to do a bit more work on it yet.  Maybe put a couple of bits of hat elastic in to hold a Quick Unpick .. Any other ideas?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Bag Challenge Results

Well, I completed enough of my bag that it looked finished about ten minutes before I had to leave home.  Here are the results.  Unfortunately someone moved in front of me when I took this photo so I only have a snippet of it. 

This was the Judges Choice Winner.  It was grey and black which matched the logo we had to include (it is the middle of the flower).  Well done.
  This was Presidents Choice - A Hand Bag!  Clever ah.  I'm  not sure where she got the hands.

This bag took the prize for Best Use of Logo .. it is sewn in th emiddle of the picture of a quilt.  I've never seen that fabric.. It was gorgeous.

And here's my completed bag...

Friends hands are on both the inside and outside.   Emma, Erilyn, Chris and Carol drew around their hands and sent them to me.   They're on the inside pockets.  I first copied them and put them on the outside too.  Chris is dark blue, Emma purple, Carol brown-green, Raelene red, Myra light blue and down the bottom because Myra got me started on this journey! (her other hands she sent got lost and have not turned up so she faxed them to me), Erilyn is green and my Dad's hands were included.. they're the big ones haha.

My youngest 3 grandchildren's hands are on the handle and I made George's hands into a needle case (14).  I put the kids ages Cam 9, Oliver 5 and Alex 4) on them in a fabric which had sayings about friends all over it.  It's the same as on the bottom of one side.  Myra sent me a 2 1/2 inch strip once and it's nearly all been used up.  I did not buy anything for this bag.  The cottons and buttons were all old ones given to me and the fabrics are flannels which I bought last year  I used some of them for my postcard challenge and loved them so bought heaps.

Inside book pocket with Carol's hands and Emma's in purple ruler pocket

Chris's hands in gorgeous seashell fabric.
Erilyn's hands - the bits pocket

Artist Statement::

The HAND bag with HANDles and HANDY needle case inside.

Made using the handprints of some wonderful friends who taught me how to do patchwork, friends who gave me the inspiration and encouragement, and friends who I have taught how to quilt. It also includes the new generation of sewers.. my grandchildren even the grandsons who love sewing on Nan’s machine.

WHICH IS GREAT BECAUSE IT MEANS THE MAJORITY OF 100+ MEMBERS LIKED MY BAG BEST!!  I got a lovely new rotary cutter, a cute box to keep bobbins in and a $20 voucher from the local fabric shop. 

I've entered the exhibition challenge for April 2010 now.  Pay $3.00 and get a challenge pack which includes a fat quarter of a fabric which has to feature in a quilt less than 1 metre square... eek.. talk about big head.. I am getting very full of myself haha.  Only 40 entries!! What was I thinking haha.  I'm going to bed to watch tv and read magazines.  I am exhausted haha.. as my friends will know it's always a rush at the end when KJ makes anything.. but it's been so worth it.!!!!  Yay, 5 Awards in 14 months!! Oh goodnight now I sound like a real blow hard hehe

Thursday, November 26, 2009

wish List for Xmas

If I could write a letter to Santa still here's what I'd ask for:

A tall lamp to sit beside my lazy boy (I forgot how dark it is in old houses with high ceilings!)

A new tallboy and bedside drawers for my bedroom

Tall boys?  Lazyboys?  Any boy would do... haha.. NAH

A trip to the hairdresser for the whole works.. colour.. streaks.. cut... style..

A new foundation

That's all.   Not much is it haha.. But in reality my present will be to have a fun relaxing and pleasant day with SUNSHINE and all my kids and grandkids, my Mum and my sister and her partner. 

Back to the BAG... Oh boy I am over it now!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I've learn't

We're never too old to learn but I do wonder why I am so slow sometimes.  After sewing umpteen hands onto my bag (first time applique) I figured to get around the tips of the fingers and the curves in between you just set your blanket stitch width smaller and then you get left with any gaps on the curves... DERRRRR

And last night after fussing with the bag handles, plastic tablemats in strips etc etc I suddenly thought of boning and hey presto, at $2.30 a metre it holds the handles upright perfectly. 

Tonights progress . the childrens hands are all finished, the bag handles are now ready to have the hands sewn on. 

I've decided to put a 2" border around the top of the bag which I'll just strengthn with heavy interfacing.  I need to sew half a dozen buttons on the bag tomorrow night and then sew the hands on where the handles meet the bag.  Join all four sides and lining together, seams facing out.  And put the binding on.  I've got some hand sewing to take to work tomorrow... whdy to we chuck some junk out.. I need same buttons to cover now and I threw them out... Will hav eto use other buttons and cover them with batting first. 

Any;eay, I'm afraid this might be all of me until Friday night or Saturday night.. Least on Saturday I can show you the whole bag, the club meeting is on Saturday afternoon so from then on I can show it off.  Fingers crossed everyone.l

PS My daughter was on Close Up tonight.  She told the truth and for that I am proud of her, it really is sad when people can't put their phone down to have a conversation or spend tiime with their families.  Her language was a tad norty and I'm sure there'll be complaints but I have never heard it talk in that language before so I'm hoping she was just nervous.    I ope some others realise they have a proglem too because life is tooo shallow if you spend all day on your mobile and it is not a good way of texting improtant messages.

My grandson cam is a sweetheart.  He's so gorgoues I love him to bitts, as all my grandchildren, and my other two chilend, a son Ken in PN and Haylee in Napier.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More photos

I tried to download these last night but it didn't work. Sorry the label photo didn't come out too good but thats how the whole challenge begun.  It says Hand of Friendship hence my idea of making a HAND bag.  And on that note, I need to leave the cyber world and get cracking on finishing it before Saturday afternoon...
So then I can start the Christmas presents!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I figured it out.. all by myself!!

Oh wicked .. at last I've figured out what was wrong with downloading images.. I needed to update!  I saw this today and thought it was wicked.  My daughter has gone 2 weeks today without her mobile phone.  She's finding it really hard as it was a huge part of her day.. texts, calls, emails for work, etc etc but she's realised what a difference it had made to her relationships with people and her family.  I love it now, I can ring her and have a conversation OFTEN! 

Back to my sewing.  MIght post a couple of photos later.  I just have to be a bit careful as I'm not sure if any of the local quilters have found my blog Yet!!  Meeting is Saturday then I can show the whole thing.  Till later

Sunday, November 22, 2009

TODAY's list

I've made myself a list today of things I have to do.

Washing .. ready to hang out DONE
Vacumning.. kitchen and lounge, rest can wait, I'm sewing!
Sew my friend Myra's hands on DONE
Sew a couple more buttons on here and there
Sew the pockets onto the lining DONE
Cover the rope for the handles
Stuff my grandchildrens hands slightly 9.30 DONE
Make a bracelet for Olivia's hand
Cover the plastic baseboard DONE
Cut the binding
Sew the little hands onto the handle and embellish
Sew the bag together and binding on

I'll be back later with progress report. No interruptions today. So it's Catherine Cookson, Me and my Bernina. Have a lovely Sunday everyone and PLEASE SUN PLEASE COME BACK TO WELLINGTON!

4PM some things done (since when can't you edit in colour??)
I've also been procrastinating about the handles, been to supermarket, had lunch at 2.30pm and now back in the sewing room for more progress. Ignored the phone this avo. Oh, and I've had ants to visit ... grr thought I'd left them in PN.

9.30 PM I've done a few off my list today though I have strayed... but I feel confident I'll make it before next Saturday's deadline.

I still have to

Sew a couple more buttons on the bag and also on the grandkids hands (will take some to bed and do them now.
I have made the handle structure (I wanted it to stand up so have put strips off a plastic place mat between the padding) but I still need to cover it.. won't take long.

Then I need to sew the little hands to the bag handle and sew the handle to the bag.

I think once that's done I Just need to put the lining inside the bag, sew it all together at the top of each piece and then sew down the sides (facing outwards) then sew the binding on.

I've run out of the fabric but will get some tomorrow. Otherwise everything I have is here ao will update progress tomorrow with photos. Hopefully it'll work tomorrow. Night all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Mum today

I still can't see photos when I'm writing a new post so will have to do one at a time. My Mum is 78 today and look no grey hair! I've been trying to ring her since 8am but she's engaged. Since Dad passed away Mum is never at home or always on the phone. She dines out often with friends, goes on bus trips, looks after the neighbours cat (while they're at work he stays at Mum's - lucky cat) and she helps out at the Op Shop three times a week and she's happy. I hope I'm that busy when I'm 78.

I'll just have to keep trying to get through. It's raining and blowing here in the Hutt today so I'm happy. I CAN stay in my sewing room and not feel guilty. Haha. I have picked up several DVD's from the Library to keep me entertained including 4 Catherine Cookson movies. Tonight I'm off to Kelvin Cruickshank off Sensing Murder. I've been before and he's wonderful. It's so healing for everyone just knowing that the ones you've loved and lost are happy and well. Maybe he'll choose me tonight and tell me that I'm not insane when there's funny things have happened when I've been thinking of my Dad. ???!!!!

PS what a wasted day for sewing but a lovely one. I managed to find the phone no for the radio station Mum listens to and they played a song especially for her. Yeah, well she didn't want them to know but I've never done as I'm told!! Then a friend from work arrived unexpectedly which was neat. Her first time to my house and she's lovely. Before she left another colleague arrived and so at 4 pm I started sewing and at 5.30 I had to leave to meet up with my ride to KC tonight. He is absolutely amazing. None of my 'spirits' came through but the whole experience is so healing that everyone in the audience gains comfort from it I'm sure.