Monday, 26 January 2015

Happy Australia Day

Hope everyone who celebrates this wonderful day has a good one.  

Congratulations to my friend Tatjana who became an Australian Citizen today, and we were privileged
to witness her taking her oath.


Thursday, 8 January 2015

One chapter finishes as a new one starts

Yes, we've sold the house.

We will be beginning our new chapter on the 3rd of February when we drive our lovely new ute and caravan down the Bruce (Highway 1), towards Brisbane with all our belongings either in the van or packed in a shipping container to stay at my Brothers home.


First stop is Brisbane to settle the doggies into their new home along with Chris and Rachel. Helping them to unpack and get things organised. Then a few days later we will make our way out to Warwick to stay with my brother for a few weeks to get things sorted on the Van.  Only to pop back into Brisbane to Doggie and cat sit for a few days whilst Chris and Rachel head back to Townsville to bring my car to Brisbane for them to car sit whilst we are travelling.

So the packing, sorting, clearing out has begun.  Still got to downsize some more on what I'm taking in the van, as of the weight restriction, but I'm getting there.  To help, Michael bought me a new little mini Elna machine, she is so cute and only 2.2kg.  As i don't intend to do more than just the basic sewing whilst we're travelling.

Transferring most of beads into bags from their round containers I have saved myself over 10kg.  Who would believe there to be so much weight in those containers, thank heavens for zip-lock bags.
We've done a few mod's to the van, Michael has created my new 'Craft storage area'.
 Firstly, we removed the lounge that was there and put down some carpet and have placed my drawers on top. We can still remove the drawers to get to the compartment underneath where the House battery and electrical stuff is.  I then made a cover which Michael attached to the van to secure the drawers whilst we are moving.  It keeps it all nice and tight and secure.

 Next was the dining table. I hated it as the seats are the cafe type and have lost their sponginess. So until we can replace.



 Michael converted the big table into a much more smaller one, which still pulls out to be the big one.



So no more hitting our legs on trying to get in and out, much more leg room.  We eventually will replace these seats with two recliners.










Other than a smaller TV, mini washing machine for the ensuite and a single induction portable cook top, we will wait until we get to my Brothers home before we make any more modifications.




















So let the packing begin..... hope it all goes through smoothly..... settlement I mean.....

Arlene


Friday, 2 January 2015

CQJP 2015 Crazy Quilting Journal Project - Aussie Outback Themed Quilt

Well for the fourth year running, I will be creating a new piece for the home, my travelling home in fact.
Even though 2013-14 piece is still be finished, it will be worked along side this one. The 12 days of Christmas is half way there, just got to do 7 - 12. Most of the 3D ornaments are designed and two of the blocks have their gold numbers attached.  To refresh your memory here are the first 6 blocks.

Here are the 30 blocks made for 2015's project.  I hope to do up to two blocks per month, but with travelling we will see.

I have labeled each block and for each row.  Bagged them up so to keep them free of dust and dirt as we travel. I have created a template for each block, as each block is exactly the same template.  I can design it and note lace, braid, beads and thread colours and types etc to each.


I found a great book for Aussie flower designs: Jenny Bradford's Embroidery Collection, has some wonderful motifs for me to add.



















I'll be using a lot of my own drawings for the animal, bird and insect motifs, including the odd beetle, dragonfly, butterfly and grass hoppers here an there in 3D, and forever been aware that the quilt will be washed from time to time.


I now just need to sort my embellishing goodies into bags for each block, dye lace etc to suit the shades I want and I'm off and stitching.

Arlene

Monday, 29 December 2014

Last of CQ Round Robins

Well I have finished my work on my final two Round Robins with Crazy Quilting International for a while due to us off travelling our great county in a few weeks.
Both of the Round Robins were themed 'Garden and Flowers'.

Traditional RR - Candji's block.  I added a beetle and sent to Gerry to complete as this was a time when we were preparing the house for sale.

My naked block:


And my finished block, just stunning, so much work and detail.  Will be made into a cushion for our new caravan.

 Then the DYOB (Do your own block) - Barbara's blocks, this is my work.
 Barbara's full set after I had completed mine.  These were sent to Elizabeth to do one and then she would send the set home to Barbara.
 Elizabeths's block, my work
 Elizabeths full set.
Now to refresh your memory this is my original set (they were destroyed by a post office truck fire), my second set I sent contained four fans.
 Here are my completed blocks.
they will be added to the other six blocks from the Southern Cross Crazies Round Robin and made into a single bed throw (eventually, as they are now packed).

They will all look so good together I think.

Thank you to all the ladies who worked on my blocks, I will miss doing them, but I will have CQ to keep me busy with the 2015 CQJP starting up in January and I have at least 30 blocks to do, as well as the remaining six blocks in my 12 days of Christmas Wall hanging.
Here are my CQ Blocks for 2015, they will be made into a bedspread for the caravan, in Aussie outback colours.


Well that's the last of these RR posts for some time.

Arlene


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Step back in time - St Pauls Cathedral

A friend asked me to repost this about my time at St Pauls Cathedral as it was on my other blog and they wanted to show their daughter some of the volunteer work I did whilst I was over there.

2006-2009 I volunteered at St Pauls Cathedral assisting in the recreation of their new vestments to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the burning of St Pauls.  I helped with the goldwork on several items.  The Alter Frontals, vestments, the Bishops cope and Mitre.
 
 Working with the other girls (I'm middle right side-checked blue shirt) on the Bishops Cope.
 Closeup of some of the work we did, this is the eagle's head for the back of the Bishops Cope.

The Bishops Mitre, I did some of the goldwork along the base.
 Some of my friends at the final exhibition.

And the completed mitre and cope.


Sometimes we improvised to get the stitching right.  I would lay on the floor of the crypt and have the ladies push the needle through and I would push it back out.  It was too hard to reach the centre sometimes.
 One of the many crosses made, they took approximately 8 - 10 hours each.
At the first blessing of the robes.

It was an amazing time.
Arlene

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Fibres and Fabrics Yarn Bombing for Christmas

Read the post here




Don't forget their Christmas Fair this weekend coming: 6th & 7th Dec, QCWA Hall, Denham Street, Townsville (if you happen to be around).

Arlene


Friday, 21 November 2014

My new craft room

Well this time 12 months ago I was moving into my BIG new craft room, the renovated half of our double garage.
12 months on and I am moving again, but downsizing this time.  This is the area that will be my 'new craft room' for the next couple of years. The cushions and back board will be removed and a board placed on the bottom for extra support.
Yep, it's in a caravan. Now I only get the area where the cushions are, the bottom section below the cushions is where the 'operating system' of the caravan is. Batteries, charging system, fuses etc.  Now I have to put into this area: 60kg approximately. My bead box, with the hands free hoop,
 these 9 drawers
 The blue box, red bag on top, the bright blue box and the school port.  Other than my sewing machine, cutting mat and rulers that's it.
Could you cope with such a small area????? I'm going to have to and I'm still reshuffling stuff, as I'm still over weight (not me, but my gear - ha ha ha).  I didn't think weight would be one of my issues, but we only have 400kg to add to our van, as it would then become overweight and that can cause big problems on the road. I still need to cull about 10kg, so I think I'll be leaving some of the beads behind, as there really is no where else for me to remove that kinda weight.

The 400 kg includes all food, water (yes water too), gas bottles, BBQ, hubby's Kite surfing gear, kitchen gear, all the linen, our clothing, washing machine (twin tub weighing only 5kg), laptops, TV, etc.  It all adds up.  Thankfully hubby has got most of the real heavy stuff sorted (Tools, his diving gear, pushbikes) as it will live in the back of our towing vehicle.

Here's our new home:

The floorplan:
Just swap the bed over to the other side, it also doesn't have the slide out option, but the bed extends/retracts to give you more room to walk around the bottom.



Well would love to hear your thoughts.

Arlene

Thursday, 13 November 2014

.... and so a new chapter in our lives is about to begin

Do you sometimes think that your life is a endless book, with mini chapters and long ones too. Some that have continued fragments from others. Well Michael and I are about to start another new chapter in our book. We're moving, but not just out of our house but we're off travelling our great country.

We have lived here in Townsville for the past 26 years, although I have often complained about the heat, we really didn't want to live anywhere else, but circumstances change, health mainly, so we will be leaving the Tropic's early next year to travel Australia for an undetermined length.  Michael's current employment with BAE will terminate on the 29th January, 2015 so from then, he will be an unemployed person for the first time in his adult life, I think secretly he's ready for the rest, he's worked hard and has been a loyal employee.

What's the plan, well, sell up and move, it's simple, right, yea, well kinda.  We have started the packing and cleaning of our home, decluttering and selling off anything that we didn't want to put into storage or take with us (which is going to be kept to a minimum).  Select a real estate agent and put both the house and the unit on the market.  The unit is now sold, waiting for the contract to become unconditional. The house has just gone on the market this week. The house at the moment is the cleanest it's ever been, with inspections from prospective buyers every day, it has to look 'smick'. I wonder if Rosey and Ally suspect their little world is going to be disrupted.  Son is also moving, to Brisbane, so Rosey and Ally will go to live with him.

What to pack, oh boy, parts of this has been easy, but my craft room has been the hardest to pack up. As I intend to continue working and improving on the App, to teach online and on our travels I obviously need 'stuff' to work with.  How do you plan for future projects when you just don't know what they are going to be.  I'm also restricted to just 70kg of 'stuff' which includes my sewing machine.

I think I have worked it out, but I know for sure I will be culling it more when the time comes to move out of the house.

So if you were given the opportunity to live in a caravan for a couple of years and were able to take some of your 'hobby' with you what would you take.  Would love to hear your comments.

Arlene

Friday, 17 October 2014

New Tutorials - on Etsy

Well it was time for me to move along with my classes, as Joggles will no longer provide them, here on my blog I have added another page tag at the top which says - 'Tutorials for Purchases'.

This is where you will find the links to my Etsy shop for the tutorial directly.

New Tutorials will be added frequently but to start you off there are two now listed in the shop.

The Australian Themed Stumpwork Needle case:

Spring Blooms Cushion cover:

I hope you will enjoy making these two lovely designs.

Arlene

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Gold Beetle Class

A few weeks ago the Burdekin Sewing hosted the Bi-Annual Show and Tell and whilst them Gloria asked me if I would come and do a lesson on 'My Beetle', the gold one. Well of course I said yes, she's been asking for sometime, but we just never got around to setting a date.  Well pushed by the thought that I'm leaving north Queensland early next year, we finally set a date.

Well I spent a lovely few days for some lovely like minded people, teaching and creating my Gold Beetles.  The results were fabulous, 6 pretty specky beetles were created. We had the class at my Southern Cross Crazies buddy Alison. Lovely large cool airy home, with plenty of yummy food for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

Here are all but two of the finished Beetles:

  Flo's beautiful pink one.

These three pictures shows Gloria's Green, yellow, brown and blue beetle from different angles.


 This stunner belonged to Jill.


This one is Robyn's. I think she did an amazing job with the blue beads.


 And Roslyn made this beauty.


I also made one as a class example, actually I made two. First this one: to go on a Pansy CQ block to become the top of a box which was Wednesday's lesson.  The block is one of six I have stashed in a draw that I was going to make into curtains for my craft room double sliding door, but since were now moving house, I thought I would use it as it was the right size for the lid. 
The second one is for a CQ Gardens and Flowers block for Candji. (He will be in another post when I finish him off).



and the finished box:

This is Flo's beetle finished and placed on the top of her newly made box.  Just stunning in true life as her fabric choice was very striking and shimmered in the light.


I am very proud of my students work, it was a very relaxed workshop and even though we chatted (a lot) we still managed to make the beetles in two days. The box was done in a morning, it was very easy to do. Thanks Ali for the instructions.

Just a reminder too, my last Beetle class with Joggles begins next Tuesday (my birthday), so if you want to learn how to do the other one, just jump on over and sign up.


Arlene