Cross-stitch, quilting, craft….

Archive for June, 2009

Counting My Blessings….

The night was dark and stormy,

The dunny light was dim (damn environmentally friendly globes!),

I heard a crash,

Then like a flash….

Our fence had fallen in!


It is stormy here and we thought Nibbles house had fallen over, so were rather surprised to see the fence down. Fortunately there was nobody outside at the time and a fence is fixable.  The Missus was the calm one….she grabbed the keys to unlock the sliding door….I was trying to run through it to check on the childerbeast!


The wonderful State Emergency Volunteers have been and the damage to the gas hot water system and the reverse cycle air-conditioning is minimal (It doesn’t normally lean up against the wall lik e it is in the piccie)…just scratches.  The fence was just resting up against both.  It is now resting in a pile in the back corner.

It is The Missus and my 7th anniversary tomorrow. She remarked earlier that I didn’t have to knock the fence over to spend the day together off work. lol


This is a little quilted Christmas wall hanging I started yesterday. It is a Chook Shed design, which is a name I’m sure the Aussie quilters will be familiar with. It is called On Angels Wings. The background, border and angel’s dress fabric is all what I bought last week. I don’t think I’ve ever used any fabric so quickly after purchasing without a project in mind. Normally I don’t find it hard matching fabric with what is in my stash, but the bright fabric had me going through my whole stash before I found something I was happy with. The Missus reckoned it so busy it was like a Mexican Hat Dance. The background fabric is by Debbie Mumm. I’m a fan of her fabrics and I quite often do what I did here which is to buy fabric then discover it is hers afterwards.


I braved the storm this afternoon to visit Spotlight which had 20% off all items. I think I will need to spend some time fondling it to soothe my jangled nerves tonight. lol While we were watching Desperate Housewives The Missus commented that she knew something was wrong, as I was sitting rigid in the corner of the settee and did not have any kind of needle in my hand….The other clue was when I tried pouring tea through an upside down strainer! lol   

From left to right…. The green is Red Heart Eco-Ways recycled blend 70% acrylic and 30% recycled polyester…which I thought was recycled cotton. Pays to read the label! The vanilla (love that name) is also a Red Heart Eco-Ways recycled blend – 75% recycled cotton and 25% acrylic. All these will be made into face cloths so I can practise different knit stitches. It works really well…It doesn’t matter if I made a blue…The Missus and I both get a never ending supply of face cloths (hers will be green…fave colour, mine vanilla) and my knitting skills improve!

The last is Fiammone by Moda Vera (50% virgin wool and 50% acrylic). I love purple and this yarn intrigued me being fat and skinny. It will end up as a triangular garter stitch shawl.   (Unless Lestat has other plans for it….He was having a sneaky chew on it when he thought I wasn’t looking.)  I find knitting scarves and shawls in garter stitch soothing and relaxing….It is simple to do if I wake up in the night and calms my mind which helps me get back to sleep…..When I was a baby mum would give me a teaspoon of brandy to help me sleep….it didn’t work, butI still enjoy an occasional nip!


I have made some progress with the Trick Or Treat Fairy.  She decided she’d had enough time in the cupboard and decided to cooperate.  I started on the left, which is the opposite side of her skirt from where I was having problems and it is going fine.  It is stitching up quite quickly…now. 😉  I’d rather take the time to frog a section I’m not happy with than have it bug me forever.  I’m not a perfectionist, I just like to do the best I can.


Dead Easy Berry Pancakes

The Missus and I had these for tea on Sunday night…delicious!!!

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

20g (3/4 oz) butter

1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

¾ cup plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 ripe bananas

100g (3 ½oz) mixed berries (or whatever kind of berries you fancy)


Throw the lot (except the berries) in the food processor and zoom it up until smooth.  Fold in the berries.  Drop spoonfuls of the mix into a medium hot frying pan. (You only need a little oil and not too hot or the pancakes burn) and cook until the top begins to bubble.  Flip and cook the other side.  Keep warm until the rest are cooked and serve with maple syrup…Enjoy!


As soon as I pulled the fabric out of the bag, Lestat was up on the table taking ownership.  He didn’t even budge when I took his photo….He usually runs when he sees the camera pointed even remotely in his direction.


These are the Christmas fabrics I spoke about yesterday….Neither gale force wind or sheep alert warnings could keep me away from the LQS today.  Although I did keep an eye out for flying sheep….one can never be too cautious!

The Missus and I couldn’t quite put our finger on what the variegation of the middle fabric reminded us of, until it dawned on us at pretty much the same time that it looks like singed fabric! lol


I couldn’t go past the packet of 10 fq’s for $20.  These are terrific value, as one fq usually costs $6 at a quilting shop.


This scarf is made of a couple of balls of eyelash and one ball of (variegated) ostrich yarn knitted together.  I needed a break from nothing but black on DS’ scarf.  I can go back to it next week quite happily now.  It is short and fits nicely at the front of my coat. 

the gap

 I’ve named it The Gap because the colour combination reminded me of a stormy day down at The Gap, Albany, here in Western Australia.  It is one of my favourite places…..especially on a stormy day.  When the waves hit they really boom and the freezing cold spray comes up in a fine mist.  It is breath taking to see and there is a split second just as a wave hits when the spume almost seems to frozen in time…..

The above piccie shows where my inspiration for the name comes from.  I will look for some more piccies which show The Gap soon.  I’m off to bed in five minutes, before I fall asleep and drop sideways off the chair!


It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it….Captain.

Unimaginative people may say it is the beginning of a new scarf…..but I see an undiscovered life form!

You Know You Are Noncompusmentus When…..

During a short visit to the LQS your tired brain misinterprets the 20% off Christmas fabric sign as 10% off.   Then you walk out, leaving all that luscious cream background fabric behind………only realising what you have done 90 minutes AFTER the shop has shut!

 I think it goes without saying that I will be back tomorrow after work.

Head Down, Bum Up!


I will be head down, bum up no more thanks to this bag….when I am knitting at least!  I made it this weekend to hold yarn in while I knit.  I was spending a lot of time with my rear end waggling around in the air retrieving balls of yarn which had rolled under the settee.  I think there must be a minature black hole under there, as the tv remote ended up being sucked under there too the other night!  (Pity it doesn’t attract dust….we would never have to clean the house again!) 

The bag is big enough to hold a couple of balls of yarn at a time and small enough to tuck down between my leg and the side of the settee….plus  there is the added safetey factor of  it being harder for Lestat to get to!  The lack of handles was not intentional…..I realised I’d forgotten to add them after I had sewn both sides!  After giving the bag a test drive a few minutes ago, I decided that they would have been more of a hinderance than a help….So it is a sewing clutch instead.

The knitting is DS’s scarf….which will be ready at the end of the winter….but ready for the beginning of winter next year. 


I put some thin polyester wadding in the middle and added a “lollypop” flower to both sides of the bag to quilt it a little.   That was fun to quilt, as it was the first time I’ve every used zigzag on my machine….I’ve had it about seven years! lol  I used to do all my applique by hand using blanket stitch and since I can’t any more I thought it was about time I learnt how to use other stitches besides straight stitch on the machine! 

I went over it three times, as the stitching was wobbly, but am pleased with the result….It has a scrappy look.  I’ll be digging out my applique patterns (especially the Chook Shed ones) soon!  I like how something so simple as zig zagging around a couple of small circles can inspire me to make a whole quilt!

I thought I was biscornued out until I saw Alexandria’s Summer Butterfly Biscornu.  I am very tempted….The Trick Or Treat Fairy may find herself in coventry if she doesn’t buck her ideas up!  She has been warned!

I borrowed the marie claire book Breakfast from the library last week and decided I’d make something yummy to spoil The Missus with….Scrambled eggs and salmon on croissants.  The salmon is for me….The Missus doesn’t like it so requested hot salami instead. 

The ingredients are….eggs (local free range), pouring cream, unsalted butter, smoked salmon/salami, fresh herbs from the garden (depending on what I can find in the dark! lol) and croissants.  It sounds divine….and we will be eating a lot of fruit and veg over the next few days to get the balance back! lol

A while later….


The Missus likes her eggs omletted with Irish Breafast Tea on the side.


I like mine softly scrambled with a hot lemon cordial.

Both were delicious and will be staying on the “Spoiling The Missus Rotten” list….Just don’t ask me to do anything remotely active until at least tomorrow morning…I’m going to roll into the lounge for a bit of stitching on Gail Pan’s Christmas BOM.  Have a luverly crafty week and may the frogs leave you be!

A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That….


I’ve never had a cactus flower in the winter before….I love the hot pink.  I think it is because we had such a hot autumn. 


A mug jumped into my hand last night at Spotlight and I couldn’t shake it loose until I’d paid for it! 


This is the yarn I purchased last night at Spotlight.  I’m putting it away until I’ve finished DS’s scarf…probably in about three months time as I am knitting a ball a week….I’m going to knit another garter stitch shawl (It is the same yarn as the first one….just a different colour), so I can have one clean and one in the wash.  The red one is never off my shoulders when I am home it is so cosy.  The yarn was half the price it was last year and only takes five balls….Lots of knitty fun for only $15 dollars!

Those are *coff* some of my craft books in the background.


Earlier today I’d been sorting fabric for the last side of the border for Holiday Morning, then turned my back for a minute to take a photo….and up hops Lestat.  He’d been peering out of the window watching pigeons when I called him so I could get his face in the photo….He thought he was in trouble….and came belting over for some fuss!  He is a big sook!

The new edition of Knitty is up….   YUM!

A priest has been booked….I’m having Trick Or Treat Fairy exorcised…..I’m frogging the same section for the third time!  Hopefully I’ll be able to post a piccie of some progress next weekend.

Bag Making Anonymous has a new member…..This arvo I started another bag….I’m sick of crawling around on my hands and knees when the ball of yarn rolls under the settee!  It will be just big enough to hold a couple of balls of yarn and tuck down the side of the settee (safely away from Lestat who thinks ALL knitting paraphernalia is there for him to play with).  It is the same pattern as a couple of posts ago.  It is a simple pattern and fun to make, so should be finished tomorrow.

A while ago The Missus and I saw the movie Inkheart and both enjoyed it.  I’m currently reading the book  the movie was based on (written by Cornelia Funke) and was pleasantly surprised to find a lovely quote which I intend making into a sampler.  The quote is….

Some books should be tasted

some devoured

but only a few

should be chewed and digested thoroughly.

Lemony Goodness

Home Made Lemon Cordial

This lemon cordial is good any time of the year….with some cold water, soda water or mineral water in the summer….or like tonight mixed with hot!  Someone from work brought in lemons from their tree earlier this week….so I brought a few home.   The recipe is dead easy!


1.5kg (3lb 50z) sugar

1 tablespoon citric acid or tartaric acid

zest and juice of 8 medium or 6 large lemons

4 cups boiling water

Mix the sugar, citric or tartaric acid, lemon zest and boiling water in a large heatproof bowl.  (I used a ceramic mixing bowl)  Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves, then add the lemon juice.  Leave the mixture until it cools or overnight.  It can be strained through a fine sieve or just remove the zest.  Pour into sterilised bottles and seal.  It can be used straight away.

It makes about 2 litres (70fl oz).