22 May 2017

Block 8 Progress at Last

This week I have been working on block 8 of Celtic Tree of Life.  I'm going to have to do some work on the final template but the block is looking pretty spectacular.

I am also waiting on the arrival of the fabric for block 9 which I will get on to as soon as Block 8 is all stitched.

There are quite a few photo's on Instagram of the block coming together a couple are here.  I got about ¼ of the way stitching yesterday and last night so will be powering on again tonight.  I'm hoping by end of next weekend I will have the block finished and ready to release.

Yesterday my sewing buddies and I had a sewing day we were trying to do this regularly but life just gets in the way sometimes.  I know I really needed it and so did they.  We picked fabrics for Delilah by Jen Kingwell.  I even managed to cut one block.  The other girls did way better but I was wanting to do a bit of everything.

I also started working on the MO BOM which I now have all the blocks for, most of the fabrics I loved for this BOM except their choice of background fabrics.

The day went way to quickly always the way when you are having fun.  It had done wonders for my sewing mojo which needed a big rocket.

I'm off to do some more stitching.  Fingers crossed I'll catch up again at the end of the week.


12 May 2017

Celtic Tree of Life

Sorry the pattern updates have been a bit slow the last couple of months.  There is quite a bit going on behind the scene which has sapped the sewing mojo.  But I have the top and bottom rows sewn together and the border for the central block completed.

Those of you who have teenage kids will understand some of the stuff we are going through, they are complicated creatures and both hubby and I have wanted to find an escape from adulting on more than one occasion over the last few weeks.

On top of this having to dealing with my MIL decline which is harder on my hubby than me.  At least she is only a 2 minute trip in the car to see her or a 5 minute walk which is a blessing if she is sleeping or is completely off with the fairies (which is more the case than not now) and he can come straight back home.  Just found out she has had another fall today.

I've been crocheting a blanket the past couple of weeks, originally I was thinking of giving to my MIL however things tend to go walkabout at the nursing home so I have decided that I won't be giving it to her and I won't ever give her one of my quilts. We did purchase a nice quilt cover for her and thats been missing for a while now even though it was well labeled.  Mo's put dibs on the blanket now, she pretty much puts dibs on everything I make 😉 especially if she can snuggle up and keep warm with it.  I'm at the halfway point now and it should make a great blanket to throw over ones legs while watching TV sprawled on the lounge.

Back to the Celtic Tree of Life, here is the top row sewn together and the central block all bordered.  The side panels will be 8" x 36" finished and I haven't quite decided if they will be celtic knots or pieced blocks.  First I will have to see if I have enough light fabric to make the panels.   I had already picked out rectangular knots so we will just have to see if we can get them to fit.


As you can see I haven't stuck to the original block placement.  I don't know whatI am going to do for borders.  I originally thought I'd do an appliqué border but it is kind of losing its appeal. 




07 May 2017

New Author


I'm 2 books deep into this series and I'm hooked.  It got recommended on Penny Reid's Facebook group by quite a few members which is good enough recommendation for me.  The series is 5 books and they are all out so no waiting to finish them before you move on to the next one.    If you love the Harry Potter books you would probably love these though the characters are older and more sophisticated.

It has everything, a strong female lead, time travel, a prophesy, shape changers, seers and vampires.  There is a battle against evil across time and real moments in history.  Book 1 jumps between the present time and Victorian England, Book 2 jumps back to pre Elizabethan England.

Bubbling in the background is a love story 125 years in the making.

Book 1 is free on Kindle, or you can get the first 3 books for the price of 1.  I went and purchased all 5 books so that I could just keep reading.
I saw a review that recommended it for teenagers 14 years and above.  Mo is on book 5 of Harry Potter at the moment and I have told her she should read these but she won't read on a kindle or ebook format and to get the paper copies of these books is $$$$ unfortunately.

02 May 2017

Going Slow

I guess the school holidays has been a time to just slow down.  Can't say I have had much sewing mojo unfortunately and have been crocheting at night.

I have trimmed the centre block down to 32 ½" square and am working on the square within square blocks to go round the edge.  There are 132 of them so if you want to get started you can following the same instructions as for the corner appliqué blocks there are just more of them.  As the centre square is pretty light, I have been using darker greys for the background of the square within a square blocks so that they form a defined frame.


Mo hosted 6 girls for a sleep over.  They usually meet up every school holiday and it usually at one of the other girls houses who has a separate room outside for them all to make noise in, but they expected that friend to be away this time so Mo volunteered us for the event.

We did a Costco run and got a big platter of sushi.  I also came home with a small fortune in other food stuff.  Mo went nuts in the fresh food fridge section and Costco is pretty good for some of the healthy food options she likes to partake in (nuts and nutmeal, raw cocoa, chia seeds etc).  All the unhealthy option were put in the trolly by Maestro.

The sleepover was Friday night and Mo cleaned the house while I was at work and got everything ready.  She even made breakfast for the girls in the morning.



I've probably told you that Mo has got into running, in a big way and she runs about 12km every other day.  She has been having problem with blisters lately, and she sent me a picture while I was at work yesterday of her bloody sock and the terrible state of the ball of her foot and it really broke my heart it looked so painful (I won't treat you to any gory pictures).

She had planned to run after I left for work an we discussed the state of her feet and put a pad over the affected area and thought this would do the trick as she said it wasn't sore.  She did it only really stung for a couple of minutes when she was running so she was surprised at the state of it when she had finished.

I ended up booking her into the Drs just to make sure there wasn't any infection he has just said leave off running... which is going to be hard because as soon as it feels a bit better she wants to run again.  In the meantime DH worked with  a guy who runs marathons and he asked for some advice and he sent us a heap information about what he does and link to website about blister care and prevention for runners.

So I did a crash course last night in what to do with blisters and went to the chemist in search of hydrocolloid dressing which we found and gave her immediate relief and covered the hole in her foot.        The stuff is kind a like skin and helps the body to heal at the same time.    We are heading to a specialist running shoe place on the weekend to replace her shoes and I think I will be spending a small fortune on socks and other blister prevention products over the next little while and try and keep her from running for a week 😔.

20 April 2017

Big Day - I think I may need to sneak off to bed early

Its school holidays at the moment and Mo has been booked into have her braces off for a few months now, they told me they could come of at the end of January but I have been putting it off because (well they've only been on for 12 months) initially they said 2 years (maybe longer because of problems with her jaw).  So we budgeted to pay them off in little under 2 years (not 1) and in order to get them off you have to pay the balance which at the time was $2k+ plus fork out for the gold wires an extra $700.   We also had to do it 3 appointments over the course of the day as she had to get some removed so I decided the school holidays would be it.

So my day went like this.  Wake up 6.30 do my walk, have breakfast, have shower get ready to leave the house at 8.30 as there is a lot of road work on our side of the city and her appointment is at 9.30 in the city.  Go to put the dog out so she can do her business then bring her inside and notice a piece of cotton jutting out from her foot (I'm thinking OMG needle).  I pull on it and she starts to whimper and carry on I start to panic, I feel her foot around the toe and I can't feel anything in the foot and even when I push on the toe she seems fine, I pull on it again she cry.  If I leave it alone she is ok so I put her to bed and leave its 8.40 so I head out all the while feeling a bit sick thinking of the X-rays and vet bills that are going to be on top of today's dental expenses and there is no way I'm letting DH know about this as he is always making comments about needles (which I am pretty careful with).

We head into our first dental appointment and the Orthodontist decides there is a gap in her bottom teeth that they'd really like to close before this afternoon (WTF).  So they take the top wire off and the bracket that needs to come off the tooth that must be built up by our regular dentist then proceed to wire the bottom teeth up with various bits and bobs.  Mo's eyes are watering as the bracket was stuck really well due to the smallness of the tooth and the amount of cement they used and the wiring up is ok she says but hurts a bit.

We head to our regular dentist who builds her tooth up and does a really good job but she isn't happy that they only removed one bracket because she would like to make sure that the teeth match and she can see them with all stuff still stuck to her other teeth.

By lunch Mo's a bit emotional about having to go back and have the rest of the brackets removed.  Orthodontist has ask us to get there early so they can do more tightening up and assess if they are going to take the braces off now (more WTF is going on in my head).  We arrive 20minutes early  end up waiting another 20 minutes after our set appointment time to see someone (well and truly over this now). They then proceed to wire Mo bottom teeth up a bit more but decide they can take them all off today (like this gap couldn't have been taken care of in the 14 months the things have been on instead of the last 3 hours).  1 ½ hours later we head home to deal with the dog.

Dog is still in no destress, piece of cotton is still there stuck in place.   I ring the vet and book and time to head down I tell them I suspect she has a needle in her foot but she isn't in any pain.  I said I will try and see if I can determine if there is actually a needle in her foot or not as it is an hour before they can fit us in.

I end up laying on the dog and pinning her under me with her foot sticking out and hold her leg still and have a good look at the cotton and the toe.  To my utter relief there is no needle just the cotton caught on a rough piece of her claw and when I was pulling on it, it was pulling her claw causing pain.  Further embarrassment and big vet bill avoided.

It about 4pm and Mo wants to do grocery shopping.  Mo does all our cooking and she makes me a shopping list every week.  Today as it is school holidays she wants to come with me... no shopping list because there isn't much we need apparently.  My regular shopping trip takes about 45 minutes   by the time I go to the supermarket and the fruit and veg store (a bit longer if she send me on a goose chase for something obscure).

Mo is really careful about what she eats and she likes to read the labels.  We are an hour in and only about halfway through the supermarket.  My hubby texts me to say he is on his way home.  

I'm at the end of an aisle (she also doesn't like it if I go ahead and she is reading and trying to decide if she is going to get veggie pasta or wholemeal).  My hubby is in no way a patient man, he will not stand in a line for anything no matter the incentive.  He said they were ¾ hour in a health food shop yesterday when he was on parenting duty.  We managed to make it home just before 6.

I think I'm going to bed now with a good book which I will probably fall asleep before the end of the first page.  
 




17 April 2017

Putting it all together

As discussed in my last post, this pattern will be updated from now until the end of the quilt as I decide how it will go together.

Again we have been dealing with a few family issues and people being unwell including me now with Mo kindly sharing a cold with me this Easter.  I hope to get back out to the sewing room today for more background blocks.  There is lots of them so they will keep you busy.  



Here are the first 2 blocks all finished.  I now have to decide about the centre row and how that will come together, it will have a border of blocks as well I am just unsure how big the two side blocks will end up being and wether they will be enough room for another 2 celtic knots or not.  

Its was hubby's birthday yesterday and Mo has been baking again.  




She made him a cake that looks like a pizza 😜

31 March 2017

Planning the Finish - Celtic Tree of Life

The rest of this month I will be working on the top and bottom rows. This pattern will be available from now until the end of the program as it will end up being the last pattern of the month with border options.

I now how I will frame each of the appliqué blocks but have been a bit stuck with what I will do with the celtic knots, but I came up with an idea in the shower this morning (where all brilliant ideas are born).  It incorporates the finished border which until this morning I wasn't sure there was going to be one but I think now there will be and as with Flowers with Alison it will be huge.

So stay tuned.  The top and bottom rows will give me an idea of the size of the two narrow side blocks for the centre row which will be the patterns May and June.  Then there will be no more patterns until the border is finished.
 
Blocks all trimmed ready to frame.

26 March 2017

Centre Block Complete



The centre block is complete and I have updated the pattern on the Celtic Tree of Life Page so download the new version.  

15 March 2017

Progress Report and a Template


Sorry this block is coming in dribs and drabs, but I am wondering if I am meant to finish it the way I am going.   I did something to my back getting out of the car last night and I'm not sure if sitting or standing is better at this stage the only way I'm not in pain is I lie flat on my back.

I have decided to release the next lot of templates which are the leaves and the critters.  At this stage I don't plan to add any bees but the templates are there if you want to use them.  The plan is for 4 birds, 3 dragonflies, 4 butterflies  (2 different types of butterflies).  Once the block is all complete I will update the instructions with the finishing detail and add the photo of the finished block.

Thank you for your patience.

09 March 2017

Managing Expectations Again Sorry

Hi everyone, I've been pretty quiet on the blog front.  I'm working away on filling in the centre block and it may be a few days late.  As you can see from the progress photo below I still have a few leaves  to stitch and then I can start on the critters.   I have prepared the templates for these but have to pull fabric and stitch there are lots of tiny pieces which may prove to be a bit scary but we will see how it turns out.  I could post the templates on the 15th but I would prefer to have a finished block picture to post with them so it may just be a few days late.

Last week I was fighting a sinus infection and narrowly missed having to go to the Dr's to get antibiotics I was giving it one more day on sailine treatment and then I was going to make the call when it righted itself.  During that time I couldn't wear my glasses and my eyesight is getting worse and I can't see enough to sew at night without them.  I have that problem where my arms aren't long enough 😆.  Sorry for the excuses but I really was under the weather and every time I put my head down the pain.

I've been thinking long and hard about my next BOM program and I have decided that once this BOM is finished I think this will be my last free BOM for a while and I will change it up next time.  I know we all love free stuff however in order for my business to continue I need to sell patterns, so next BOM the block's will be on sale for half price for a month then go up to full price.  That way I can cover the cost of the running my website and maybe actually pay for the fabric to make the quilt.

As I will be selling the patterns from the outset the lead time for the next BOM will probably be a little bit longer as I will want to get most of the quilt finished before we start.    I know that this will mean I will probably lose a lot of subscribers but in the end this is my business and I need to make enough money to keep it going which sadly isn't happening at the moment.

16 February 2017

OOPs

Sorry everyone I loaded the wrong template yesterday.   Please head to the page and download the correct template which is ready now.

15 February 2017

Celtic Tree of Life Block 7 Part 1


I tried everyone but it just didn't happen, there was a week in there were I was just too tired from over thinking to sew. 

We are back on track this week and I am about ½ way through doing branches.  There will probably be some more added next month but you get the idea with this picture and we can fill in the blanks next month.   

Just remember that you will need to download the pattern again next month as it will be updated with additional instructions and there will be more templates. 

Head to The Celtic Tree of Life Page to download this instalment.

10 February 2017

What a Week


Its official my brain is fried.  Not only from the heat this week but all the stuff we are dealing with at the moment and our aircon died then resurrected itself.

It seems like we work out how we are going to deal with stuff and pay for care and we have had our head buried in government websites for over a week no.  We thought that we were probably in the clear with how it was all coming together then our understanding of the information is all wrong because of course the wording can be taken 2 ways.  We are screwed.  

When you are old in Australia and you have to go into care you either have to have a lot of money or non at all, god forbid you have a house that the family wants to keep hold of because then you a triple screwed.  



03 February 2017

Schools In

Let me say that at least the return to school has been uneventful which is a good thing because there are far to much crap going on in the home front for us to deal with any stress with the kids at school.  Though Maestro has come home today requesting a change of class from one of his elective subjects (the one he was most excited about mind you).  But I think he is big enough to deal with that on his own.

MIL is still in hospital but we have been told that she needs to be in a nursing home as she needs more care than be provided at home without help and the waiting list for in home services is long.  Due to all the thinking about how we do this and going through government regulations about what the cost will be I have had a couple of sleepless/restless nights over the last week.  DH went back to work today (probably for a rest) but after being on leave for 6 weeks I don't think he will be getting one.  He will probably need more time off to see government people about getting age care placement for her.

Despite this the Tree of Life Block is progressing and I will have the tree portion of the block done by the 15th as I wrote last week.  I working on the last section of the trunk and will start working on branches soon.  Next month will be the additional critter templates and leaves, I haven't decided if flowers will be involved as well so I'll surprise you.

Mo goes back to tennis tonight, she only had one hit out during the holidays so it may be an interesting or very quick match.

Here is some blocks I am working on for a baby quilt.  They have to be trimmed yet and i probably have enough blocks for 2 quilts we will see how enthusiastic I am about making 2 probably with all going on not very
.


28 January 2017

Birthday's and Back to School

Mo turned 14 today, I can't quite believe that.  I still think of her as my little girl.  She has always had a pretty strong personality within the family unit, but is quiet as a mouse to the outside world.  the control freak in her has reared it head over the last few months.  Genetically she has got a double dose of it so it was bound to come back and bite us sooner or later.

The Vegan experiment comes to an end when she goes back to school, but she is still going to avoid red meat and probably dairy to a certain extent which is ok with me, the fact that she will be introducing a bit more protein into her diet will be good.  

I am amazed at the variety of food that she has added to her menu in the past couple of months.  She didn't eat a big variety before and would never eat tomatoes (except on pizza).  She has even tried a red sauce on pasta but she said biting into a tomato still makes her want to vomit.  We were having hamburgers one night so she made vegan patties from black beans, I had one and I enjoyed it better than the red meat hamburger.  The great thing is that she is trying lots of different foods and eating whole foods and has cut out a lot of the processed stuff so at least she is eating healthy.

We went to lunch yesterday to Veggo Sizzle yesterday in the city and had a Vegan lunch, it was a bit of a wait for our meal but all the dishes were lovely.  Today she made us Vegan pancakes for breakfast and her birthday cake was a vegan cheese cake which was really yummy.

Poor hubby is spending between 6 or 7 hours every day at the hospital with his mum this last week and although she is starting to move around, the general anaesthetic has had an effect on her dementia and conversations are repeated every 20 minutes or so.  The boys are now seriously thinking about a nursing home as BIL probably isn't going to be able to look after her at home to the extent that she now needs.

School starts back on Monday so we will be back to routine and running around.  It has been nice to not worry about having to be anywhere at a certain time for a few weeks but all good things have to come to and end sooner or later.


24 January 2017

Lowering Expectations

My favourite author has a section in her newsletter called lowering expectations, which lists when her books are to be released and changes that may affect those releases AKA life.

Well life sent us a curve ball on Friday night, though it was really only a matter of time with the number of falls she has had, my MIL fell getting out of bed and broke her hip.  Poor hubby has been going backwards and forwards to the hospital which luckily for us is only a 5 minute trip.  I think we are just hoping they don't discharge her too soon.

Back to lowering your expectations.  Centre block for Celtic Tree of Life is well on the way, however, well on the way is still a bit of a long way away as the tree is going to be quite involved.  Though I have just had a thought, if I can get the actual tree finished by the 15th I might just release the templates for that and then once all the critters and leaves are done release those next month, this way I won't be so under the pump.  I stitched for 2 hours straight last night and can't say I made much of a dent.  So I will soldier on.

15 January 2017

Block 6 Celtic Tree of Life



Here are the blue banded bees all finished and the pattern can be downloaded from the Celtic Tree of Life Page.

Next months pattern may be a little late, I will be working on the centre tree block which is going to be pretty large and the tricky bit is going to be preparing the templates for you.  It will probably incorporate some of the critter templates already shared and I see a few different variations of them as well coming into play.

Follow my instagram feed and Facebook page and I will keep you up to date on progress.  Once the centre block is done I will have a bitter idea how the quilt setting will finish up.

10 January 2017

Bookish

Of course I have been doing lots of reading over the break.  Before kids, I use to read books on my own never talking about the books I read because lets face it I read Sci Fi Fantasy books and nobody in my circle read much or read these types of book, others just look at you weird.   I now read lots of different types of books, lots of romance,  Sci fi Fantasy,  paranomal, the occasional thriller, classics and historical fiction, but I have never been involved in a book club.

I'm actually quite an introvert so a face to face book club is probably way out of my comfort zone.  However since discovering reading again, with new genres and new authors and now reading with the added connection of social media and all the lovely links that you find in the back of ebooks you can actually interact with authors like never before and as an extension of that join reading groups online which is pretty fun.

One of my favourite author's reading group (Penny Reid)  started reading one of her novels today.  I've read the book a couple of times so its no biggy if I don't read along but its fun to interact with other readers give your opinion.  Of course there is no obligation to say anything and you can just read all the feedback and how others view the various characters if you want.

Some of the groups are reading groups and only open up to discussion when they are going through the book, like Penny's.  Others are for a specific type of genre or just one author's books with lots of discussions about all their books with read alongs thrown in along the way.  

I'm in a one dedicated to a group of male romance authors which is a lot of fun they have video read alongs every week and various video discussions.  Only problem is I am usually at work when these are on and some get a it naughty so probably not good at work listening.  A couple of the authors get a bit excited when reverse sexism comes up in the press, or stuff about indie writers not being proper authors etc so you get the occasional rant which is fair enough as it is the way they make a living.   But the guys are great writers and they can write from both the female and male perspective and their books cover a broad range of genre's and subtypes and they constantly interact with their readers.

Another great thing about following authors is that they all support each other, cheer each other on and promote and share good books they have read freely, introducing you to new authors along the way.

So it isn't hard to understand that my TBR list is a bit out of control at the moment and doesn't show any sign of getting any smaller in the near future.




 


09 January 2017

First Day Back at Work Mehh

Had to get up this morning while the rest of the family slept in and trudge of to work.  At least it wasn't quite the disaster I was expecting mainly because the boss is still on leave and he must of had his phone off today... maybe his wife has put the foot down 😡 which I wouldn't blame her in the slightest.

Its been a lovely couple of weeks off with no schedule though the excessive heat at the end of the last week could have not happened.  There was some mild nagging from DH to plan something for each and every day which I quietly resisted, but we did end up doing stuff even if it was just a walk on the beach, movies, walk down and up Mt Lofty.   On the Mt Lofty trip I  failed miserably and had to turn back, however the other 3 managed it.  DH looked a bit worse for wear and has sworn never to attempt it again but  Mo did't even look like she broke a sweat (we have decided she is a machine).

Mo is running 5km a day on the treadmill and the vegan experiment is going strong.  She is trying lots of different foods and recipes though shopping with her has become a marathon experience, I'll be glad when she is back at school and just leaves me a list.   She says it is a lot of work to research and ensure she is getting enough protein and she wishes someone can just do it for her but it is keeping her busy in the kitchen and at least she isn't cooking cakes anymore which is helping me.

Sewing has been a bit slow over the break, normally I work on a few projects while I am home but I really just lacked motivation, the heat probably didn't help. Block 6 is nearly finished just have to add antenna's to the bees and she's done.  I think I seriously need my eyes tested as I was really struggling during the day now and reading labels have me wondering if my arms are long enough for me to focus.  Joys of ageing.