Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Needful

 
After a while with cardmaking and other paper crafts you end up with an assortments of scraps and such that can be used in a variety of ways. I’ve made myself a needle book using felt pages to hold the needles and I decorated the cover using left over paper items from other craft projects. I added some checked ribbon trim and used some silk ribbong to tie the book closed.

For the needlebook pages I simply used a pamphlet style stitch to sewn them into the cover.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Lesson: How to hand stitch a nine patch quilt block

 
To start with work out your paper template for the size you want to cut your fabric. You will need two pieces of cardboard. One piece is the size you cut your fabric. The second is ( mine is ½ inch smaller) your seam allowance and the actual finished size of your squares once you stitch them.
 
 
Using a very sharp pencil trace around your first piece of cardboard. Mark the corners clearly.

 
Using the second piece of cardboard trace around with your pencil, mark the corners clearly. This is your seam allowance.

 
Cut your fabric, using the large square as your guide to cutting out your squares.



Cut the amount of squares you want for your nine patch. I used five of one color and four of another color. You could use a scrappy look if you like and cut out nine different colors.


Using back stitch, stitch along your seam allowance. Only stitch from corner to corner along one side.
 
 
When you turn the fabric over you should have a neat seam.
 
 
Stitch your blocks to make the following arrangement. If you are using all different colors don’t worry about how you stitch your blocks. Just stitch down one side.


 
Stitch row 1 blocks. Stitch row 2 blocks. Stitch row 3 blocks. Join the rows. Stitch row 2 along the bottom of row 1. Stitch row 3 along the bottom of row 2. Make sure all your corners match in the centre when you finish.

 

Your finished block will look like this. Remember on the outside you will still have an allowance to join your blocks. As shown in the image make sure those corner points match. Easy! Now you have more to sew to make up a nice bed quilt.
 
I'm not a quilter and this is my first attempt. Ideally you should have a 1/4 inch seam allowance but I am mathematically challenged and didn't want to mess around with 1/4. I think a 1/2 inch seam allowance will probably make a bulky seam I'll see how it goes and adjust. So keep it in mind traditionally you need a 1/4 inch. My finished block is 91/2 inches. I am hoping to finish this all by hand. I'll see how that goes. Good luck with yours!


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Table settings



 
Dinner time is not dinner time if the table isn't set. You need some well buttered bread, don't skimp buttering the sides or the corners. Coasters, placemats,  cutlery, plates and the other little items for your dinner like salt and pepper shakers. Then it is time to sit down and enjoy the time.
 
 
When it is all done there's washing up after the final cup of tea, or coffee, or other drink of choice.
 

 
A litte sneak peek into 'Olive's' house and her table has a very different look. Some naughty fairy has explaining to do after tipping over a whole bottle of potion. I hope they will set the table for dinner later?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Red and Gold

 
The marigolds under our grape vine are enjoying the unusually warm autumn sunshine weather.  They are little spots of bright cheery colours.

 
The Crazy Quilt is coming along very slowly, but has some interesting additions. Many of the fabric are thrift finds or old clothes or fabric given to me. It truley is a make do sort of quilt.

 
The strawberry plants are doing well too. Though this will likely be the last of them when the colder weather settles in. These are an alpine variety (I think), they are very sweet and juicy.

Tin and Wool

 
I've been working on a crochet shawl and it is coming along really well. I haven't crochet before, so this is something to learn. I wasn't particularly interested in making a granny square throw after my Mum showed me how to do a basic granny square, which led me to go online to search for an interesting project. I found this on Catalina Stan's youtube channel and followed her very good instructions on how to crochet a shawl using a granny square process. She explains it far better than I, and her youtube channel is very helpful. The first part for how to work a triangle based on a granny square ( which can be worked up into a shawl) is found here: Part 1

 
I've also been sorting through a lot of my craft stash, organizing it into a more neatly stored approach. I was overdue for a declutter and this helped sort out the remaining items I wanted to keep. I used some old biscuit tins mum had to store small scrapbooking items and photos I printed off from my blog. I'm pleased everything is starting to come down to a simplified manageable state. Mind you, I had to do a lot of previous decluttering to achieve this level. The worst clutter culprits for me are books and magazines, I now stay away from magazines and look online for inspiriation. To keep the books down I buy one book related to a subject instead of several. ( That's what I tell myself, I still come home with several books related to the same subject).

 
All my sweet craft things now neatly stored in sweet biscuit tins. Like the Arnotts tin says, I can 'enjoy'. It's a bit like finding your grandmother's button tin and sorting through all the glorious treasures the tin holds.

 
I fussy cut a lot of A4 paper of images printed off my blog. The program I have allows me to print off several photos together on an A4 piece of paper saving wasting paper when things aren't sized properly. The program allows me to print off 6x4 sizes and so on all neatly aligned to A4 photopaper. The images are now more easily stored and I can sort through them later when I want to 'scrapbook' a junk journal.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Homely living

 
I spent sometime at my art desk painting, stitching and making. I also sorted through most of my fabric folding it into some order. The painting I did is for some plant signs. I was just going to write the plant names on them, but painting has always been my favourite past time so I had to ‘fancy’ the signs up.


Daily remembrances are added to an old junk journal. I made some fake Polaroid pictures and added them to the journal.

 
Thrift store sewing goodness at the store from yesterdays browsing. I brought some wool for the crochet shawl I am making.
 
Tonight for dessert we are having homemade Pavlova. Well, the toppings are homemade, we brought the Pavlova base cheaply from the store. This is truly an Aussie icon and maybe the sweetest dessert you’ll ever taste.
 

  
How my day ends, hanging up the dish towel.  When you have no dishwasher someone has to be nominated.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Quiet days



 

The skies are overcast and rain is looking to move in. These are times to spend indoors with a touch of painting. I’ve been inspired to make my own plant signs for my garden using old bits of timber found around our house. It was a bit of an exercise to use the tools to make the signs but I achieved the results in the end. More on that later.


 

Lunch time and there is plenty of fresh salad with easy to do quiche.

 

 
You will need 4 eggs. 1 1/2 cups of milk. 1/2 cup of self raising flour. 1/2 cup of grated cheese. 11/2 cups of filling of choice. Mix in bowl eggs, milk, self raising flour. Add cheese and fillings. Bake in preheated oven at 180 c for 40 minutes or until set. Serve hot or cold.

Base:
Mix together butter, flour, and a pinch of salt until mixture resembles breacrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk and 1/4 cup chilled water, mix together. Form pastry into disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and regrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface until 5mm thick then line spring form tin pressing pastry evenly in sides and base. Trim excess pastry at top. Prick base with a fork. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat ove to 190 c. Line pastry case with baking paper, then fill to top with dried beans and bake fir 30 minutes. Remove beans, then paper, and bake pastry for a further 15 minutes. Brush base immediately with 1 eggwhite.
 
 

My dad and I also went thrifting to stores I usually don’t go to. I found some lovely vintage treasures for next to nothing.  I brought home some clothing items I’m starting to favour, long skirts and blouses. I also found a beautiful handmade quilt that is very heavy and will be really warm for winter.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Left Overs



 
The beginnings of a basic supper time meal.  Curry Sausages are a simple enough meal to make. Cut up onion.  Garlic. Celery. Carrot. Peas. Pre-cook your sausages (or used left overs).
Brown Onion and Garlic in a pan with some butter. Add some stock of your choice, just enough for the curry base. Add your carrots and celery and peas.

 
Add in your curry powder. Add your sausages and then mix together to cook. You can make up a mix of plain flour and water to add to the base to help thicken it a little to gravy consistency.
 
Serve up with some mashed potato and bread with butter. Comfort food for the weather when it starts to get cold.


Autumn is now starting to show in all kinds of ways. Mostly from the sounds of rustling leaves as you walk along the street on a windy day and the leaves follow after you.

 
A junk journal has some colours hinting at Autumn. And giving more inspiration for future junk journals.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Show of hands

 
My dad and Great Uncle taking time out reading the newspaper while waiting for the ladies to serve up lunch.

 
In the kitchen, pickles and ham sandwiches are on the menu. My desire is next year the yields from my garden will be enough for us to make homemade pickles.


 
In the garden, I’m finding out the dwarf capsicums are ready to be picked. They only grow this big.
 

I also discover our regular visitor out enjoying the garden as well. We babysit him for his master when she is at work. He enjoys the garden as much as we do, too.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Simple changes

 
 
I have made some changes to my blog. I want it to reflect more on my interests of homemaking and caring for the elderly. In the process the posting may become a little more about things closer to me, though I won’t make it too personal.
 


There will still be much about vintage things and crafting too. As I do like to keep my hands busy as I can.


 
I also have developed an interest in gardening now and hope to share more about that activity too. I have a helping hand from my dad when I wonder about how to plant something. Of course the internet is useful too. 

 
There will also be more about cooking, mostly the things my mother teaches me and I’ve taught myself.

 

It’s not so much different to what I usually post about, maybe just a little less ‘formal’. If you have any questions or want to know how I did something [If I haven’t add a link to show you how it was done or where I found it] feel free to leave a comment.
 
My blog is pinterest friendly too and you may pin as you wish.

Kind regards,

Shiralee.



Saturday, 13 April 2013

Autumn moments


 

 
I've been cleaning and sorting.
I found some new treasures and old treasures from my stash. Thrifted finds of books and a basket have been added. The old lamp came from my parents. And the card with the flowers have hand made rolled flowers that have been inked and glittered slightly. Tim Holtz tattered flower die was used to create the music sheet flower and some decorative bling mesh was cut up for the centers. The bling mesh came from a secret santa swap from CraftingPassionz (facebook) That was some time ago.
 
The marigolds are out in our garden and the grape vine has finished for the season. Still it is fairly warm for Autumn.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Golden Days

 


 
As I work through my crazy quilt, adding little bits of seam stitching and some waste canvas cross stitch motifs, the quilt takes on some of the Autumn scenery starting to show in the garden. I think when it is finished the crazy quilt will show as a type of journal of days. But that is when it will be finished. There's still a long way to go with the piecing of the foundation.

A walk in the park

The wartime rations continue, porridge is the staple for morning breakfast. I did some researching on line and during the 1940's, w...