Cross-stitch, quilting, craft….

Archive for July, 2009

A Quiet Sunday

It is cold and still outside….a classic calm before the storm.  Fortunately, I don’t need to be out there unless I choose to.  I’ve just spent a few minutes pulling weeds out from between some iris bulbs. 


As I walked in the warmth of the house and the smell of freshly baked banana bread wafted over and it feels soooooooooo cosy.  Gotta love winter Sundays like today.  The smell of something fresh out of the oven has that effect, doesn’t it? 


1 ¼ cup self-raising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

20g butter

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg, beaten lightly

½ cup milk

½ cup mashed banana


Stir flour and cinnamon together.  Rub in butter.  Stir in other ingredients.  Be careful not to over-mix.  The batter should be lumpy.  Pour into a greased 14cm x 21cm loaf tin.  Bake in a hot oven 220 – 230 degrees C (450 – 475 degrees F) for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked when tested.  Let it stand for 10 minutes before putting on a cake rack to cool.  If you want to be totally decedent, spread a slice with cream cheese and drizzle with honey.

 Today we have the *coff* sugar free version.  As I was typing in the recipe and got to ½ cup s_ _ _ _ my blood ran cold with the realisation that I’d FORGOT TO ADD THE SUGAR!!!  As I was mixing it and putting it in the pan I kept thinking it was rather pale….  The Missus and I have had a piece and it has the thumbs up with or without sugar.  The bananas make it sweet.  If you make it with sugar, it is darker than in the piccie.  We’ve decided to have it without sugar from now on.


I’ve spent some time today choosing fabric, drawing, vlisofixing and cutting some pieces for Sing, Choir of Angels by Roz Leadbetter of Country Cupboard Designs.  It is in Australian Homespun Christmas Issue. 


 I had originally thought of doing it in all reds, but after a mooch through my fabrics, decided something more muted would be the go. The fq all the others are sitting on is the backing fabric for the angels.  The pattern has this in three pieces, but I’ve decided to quilt down that section and have it as one colour. 

 Naïve style appliqué has been a firm favourite for the ten years I’ve been quilting and I can make it as scrappy as I like.  For a more coordinated look I like foundation piecing.  Being July I’m leaning towards Christmas designs for my quilts and cross stitch.

 I started Four Fat Friends by The Drawn Thread on Thursday night with some threads from my stash on 14 count aida, but all it looks like at the moment is the top of a mad woman’s hair…a progress piccie will come when there is more to show!

The Monolith (DS’s black scarf) is coming along ssssssslllllloooowwwwllllllyyyyyyy.  It is 67cm or 26 ½ inches long (that ½ inch is VERY important! lol).  Each ball seems to take for ever to reduce…..I know that it is because I use fat needles a lot….but I want to see it grow NOW!!! lol

*whispering*  I may have found a way round the multiple screens popping up when I look @ Blogger blogs.  I’m typing each blog address in manually, which seems to be working.  I’m not game enough to leave comments yet, but am enjoying seeing what everyone is up to.  Hopefully I’ve found a solution to the problem.

 Here’s wishing you all a wonderful week.


Craft In The City


The glorious winter weather today led to a trip into town with a stroll through the markets outside the Art Gallery where The Missus and I found these two cute little critters.  Their plaintive cries just wrenched at both our heart strings, so what could we do besides adopt them?  They are now settling well into their new homes. 


A trip to town would not be complete without dropping into Boffins (my favourite book store) where I found these two books….and after seeing a pair of  mass produced acrylic long fingerless gloves for $50 in David Jones (department store) I decided the two books @ $30 each were a good investment! 


I had the most wonderful parcel waiting for me when I picked up the mail this week.   It was from Lene

She had read that I’m collecting cat fabrics and asked if I would like some of her scraps.  Her generosity has me grinning from ear to ear.  All the fabrics are lovely!  The cat on the card is very cute….and the quote on the panel (I made myself a quilt….but my cat thinks it’s hers.)  made me laugh…..and think of Lestat (who thinks ANYTHING soft and worth sitting on is fair game). Thank you so much, Lene….and yes, I can put them to good use!

Today Is A Good Day To….

Lemonade Scones Prep
make lemonade scones.

1 cup lemonade
1 cup cream
3 cups self raising flour

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon, being careful not to over-mix. Roll out to about 2cm thick. Cut out with scone or biscuit cutter. Brush with a little milk, place on a baking tray in the oven. Bake for 10 – 20 minutes until they sound hollow when tapped underneath.

Cafe de GUM
share their light, fluffy goodness over a pot of Irish Breakfast Tea with The Missus.
Le Tour de France Capelet
weave in the ends of Le Tour de France capelet and then give it a bit of a swish through in some wool wash. I’ve noticed three dropped stitches….It is times like this I’m glad I have a collection of craft books any state library would be proud of  few knitting books….I should be able to find out how to fix the problem.

It was going to be a full sized shawl, but would become too heavy to wear comfortably. I can still do my Pythonesque old hag impersonation if I wear it over my head….”YARN….YARN FOR THE POOR”.

finish off the last few rows on the Insomnia Scarf. It was so becoming when I modelled it for The Missus wearing my hot pink penguin pj’s.

Angel and Bee
add a binding to the On Angels Wings wall hanging and make a new one that is larger than the width of the dowel for Bee Kind To Others.

DMC Sheep
make a lavender sachet using the lavender I dried yesterday and a cross stitched sheep from Shepherd’s Bush ….until disaster struck…..I dried the lavender within an inch of its life yesterday and it doesn’t smell of anything much. Sooooooo….being the Queen of Adaptability….I decided it would make a cute little cushion instead.

Pearl linen should come with a warning, though….It frays like crazy. Of course this came to my notice when I was reverse stuffing the lavender…..Next time I will hopefully remember the fray stop and a very large seam.


finish off the day with a bit of stitching on the TOT Fairy.  I’m thinking about using Kreinik thread instead of beads….but I may change my mind many, many times before I get that far.

Things I’ve Learned From Craft (And Sometimes Wish I Hadn’t)


The more desperate the scrubbing, the more stubborn the stain.

Cats and fairy dust don’t mix.

It is possible to reach the burning point of basil in a food dehydrator.

Rotary cutters are extremely sharp.

Tapestry needles don’t always vacate fingers voluntarily.

Hot glue guns are just that….hot.

Yarn and embroidery cotton can become knotty.

I will find a use for (insert appropriate crafty product) within an hour of the LCS closing on a Saturday.

My ability to read instructions is akin to a senile echidna’s.

It’s not a safe place if I can’t remember where it is.

Close the kitchen window when playing outside with smelly substances and the slow cooker.

Doesn’t Play Well With Others

Insert bad words here  Three months ago I made the move from Blogger to WordPress due to multiple screens popping up when I visited a Blogger blog…..It is still happening…..32 on the last bombardment.   I’ve favourited all my Blogger links and deleted them from my blog roll to save me from temptation until the problem is fixed. 

Do Crafters Dream Of DMC Sheep?

I’ve been reading the book Things I Learned From Knitting…whether I wanted to or not by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and have been inspired to write a list of things I have learned from crafting….not just knitting. 

In no particular order…..

Be proud of what I create.

Make beautiful creations for myself as well as others.

Just one more row never comes.

If someone asks me to make something for them – offer to teach them.

Try new techniques/crafts/tools.

Be gracious when given a compliment about my creations.

Frogging = more crafting.

Only create objects I enjoy working on.

Mistakes are part of the learning process.

Give hand made gifts to people who are appreciative.

Take a notebook and pen wherever I go…..Inspiration can strike at any time….and can be gone again in a flash.

Today is a good day to craft.

Cats are inexplicably drawn to handcrafts.

Enjoy my stash and add to it when it is affordable.

Find new ways of finishing.

There is no such thing as an ugly (insert appropriate crafty piece here).

It is my opinion which matters to me.

Use my stash…I can always add to it.

Craft is good for my wellbeing.

My way is the right way for me.

An Extended Moment In Time

Dammit!!  You would think that after reading all those sci-fi stories for all these years that I would know not to enter a swirling vortex…..I’d just sat down to write a blog entry when it happened….Next thing I knew I was whooshed back in time to writing Thursday’s entry instead of Friday’s!  There is a good side to it though…..I can relive all the stitchy goodness.  You have to admit it sounds more exciting than yesterday’s writing just didn’t make it into a post.


Sewing the binding on the back of a quilt…even a small one like this….is not my favourite thing to do….but it is made much more pleasant sitting with a cup of Irish Breakfast Tea, watching an episode of the 1960’s British tv series UFO.  (This series has grown on me so much that whenever I hear the theme music I start go-go dancing like a demented Muppet.  It got to the stage today where The Missus and I were go-go dancing like a pair of Thunderbird marionettes….Pity it was the last episode.)  The binding is finished, now all it needs is a sleeve.  That will go on after I’ve finished quilting Holiday Morning. 


 This piccie is The Seasons from material obsessions 2 by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.  It is 135 x 138 cm (53 ¼ x 54 ¼ inches).  A good stash busting project, I think and my next big project.  I think I have enough black homespun to make a border (any excuse to use a bit of black….*cue the evil laugh*) and I will be able to put some of those fat quarter packs I have tucked away to good use.


Not before I make a bag or two….The Missus has just walked into the house and given me the “Complete step-by-step Aussie guide” Patchwork Bags.  I’ve got a reason to learn how to put in zips now.  I’m in 7th Heaven….21 bags to make ……and a CD…Buddhist Chants Music For Contemplation and Reflection.


Geesh!  What those swirling vortexes do to your complexion….No wonder Dr Who has to regenerate.

DSC04927 Today is just full of sharp, pointy goodness….A visit to the post office led me to pick up At Knit’s End and Things I Learned From Knitting…whether I wanted to or not by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (The Yarn Harlot).  Being pocket editions they came at a great price.  Plus a trip to the (not so) LNS. 


How do I manage to plan my trips there during lashing rain and wind?  It was worth the trip, though…..Just being in a shop totally dedicated to stitchy goodness makes me swoon and go weak at the knees ….I’ve had my eye on these three Sheperd’s Bush designs ever since I walked into the store today for a few months and decided today was the day they moved to their new home.  Their numbers have been dwindling slowly and the ones I want may not be there the next time I visit….especially if the time between visits is lengthy…..J who has works there asked if I’ve been busy….it was THAT long since my last visit.

 I’ll be stitching the two stockings for The Missus and I.  I chose Anna’s Stocking for her, but am changing the red on the angel’s outfit to green (her favourite colour).  I couldn’t go past Jillian’s Stocking….especially with all the cute sheep.  It is amazing how time and distance can make something cute….A few years ago The Missus and I were living in a town with 100 people and in the surrounding properties….4 000 (mostly merino) sheep.  Sheep were NOT cute back then. 

Shepherd’s Earth has the most lovely muted colours and I’m ready for a small break from all the browns of the TOT fairy.  I’ve been thinking about making some potpourri from herbs in the garden and one of the smaller stitcheries (or a sheep) will be just right for the front of it.

He who works with his hands is a labourer,

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman,

He who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist.

                                                              FRANCIS OF ASSISI