Sunday, August 29, 2010


The tv cabinet I picked up off eBay last week, has now had five coats of paint,  a bit of arty sanding, and a rub down with beeswax.   The computer and printer now have a much nicer home.   

One thing I didn't notice until I was down on my hands and knees sanding was this little detail.

A penny from 1913.    I decided to leave the decorated door as it was, mostly because I would still be trying to remove it three weeks next Friday.      Let's see how long it takes me to have things stuffed in, on and under....

I also got wheels added to my "design wall".   I like saying that...."design wall" - I have one of those now.   I also finished the two strips for this quilt and added an extra row of the disappearing nine patch.   Just need to add the thin white borders and then the final floral and then it is quilting time.   Maybe later in the week.

And what is a post without Norman.    Three weeks of Prozac has kept the old Norm a little subdued with a hint of hissy.    A couple more days and he should be back to his charming/vicious personality that we all know and love (that would be a hint of sarcasm there) but hopefully the floor can take a rest - who knows, next we will get a dog and seriously mess with his head.  Bwaaahhh.

Bye for now.   Sue xxx

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Saturday started bright and early, lots to do today.    Went to vote, then my faithful assistant (DH) and I went for coffee.     After a brief coffee break, it was on to filling my car with everything bar the kitchen sink, and then I headed off to what was to be another action packed 10am to 10pm session at our local community house.    Being the executive in charge for the day, I had completed a couple of samples and given everyone written instructions on the necessary preparation for the day.      The mystery for this quilt was the Disappearing Nine Patch quilt.   Lunch and dinner are supplied on these days enabling everyone to just get on with art of quilt making.   Jan produced a spectacular Sticky Date cake complete with gallons of sauce and cream (notice how I concentrate on the healthy portion of the meals).
As you can see from the following photos, everybody had a different theme.
Carol chose a stunning colour palette.  Lots of mustard, pink and greens whilst Helen went with a black and white palette, charged with a shot of fluorescent green and orange.  Many of us wanted to covet Helen's black and white stash.

Jan is another die hard fabric collector - her stash of Kaffe Fasset fabric has to be seen to be believed.  

Jan got to the point of sashing, before calling it a night.    The lime green and white just added to the fresh look of the whole quilt centre.

Liz from over at Teddlywinks is gearing up for grandkid  quilts.  It had a bit of an "I Spy" arrangement going on.
Vrinda in a sewing marathon finished the entire quilt top.    We both spent some time working on the corners to get a good pattern match going.   We were successful on EVERY corner!!

Vrinda also bought along her finished quilt top from our previous Mystery Quilt day.

Vicky was the speediest in finishing the centre, not being able to spend the full amount of time with us, her centre was done and dusted by 5 o'clock.    It would be safe to say that Vicki spent more time sewing and less time talking!

Elizabeth chose a coffee, cream and chocolate theme.   

Here is some of it sewn together.

Whilst everybody was busy beavering away, I thought (just for a laugh) that I might cut some fabric for another quilt.  After all, where is the fun in not having 5 projects on the go at the same time.   So I cut these -notice how they are pinned to my "design wall".

There is so much going on in this fabric that I have now had to come up with an alternate way of putting them back together again, so it doesn't look like the original fabric.  We will see how it goes.

The following are the samples I did for the Disappearing Nine Patch.   The first  sample I made was from furnishing fabric - why? - because it was there and it cost $5.60 (and there were enough squares cut at 6 1/2 inches that you could have covered a house with it.
I embroidered a few flowers that I digitised as appliques and it doesn't look that bad.  I am thinking of just putting polar fleece on the back  - it weighs rather a lot.    

 The second sample is once again in the purple vein.    I am going to add a flower border to each end to make it long enough to cover the window seat.   The colours have turned out to be all wrong here so imagine it in a different green and purple flowers.    Lot of work for the cat to sit on!

Sunday saw us (faithful assistant and I) off to pick up my latest prize for the week that I "won" on eBay.   I have been momentarily banned from any further eBay purchases, you will see why later in the story......
as much as some will think it horrific that I would entertain such an idea, I am going to paint this white and distress it.   The yellow flowers are a bit faded and naff, but otherwise the cabinet is fantastic and is not the cheap pine I was expecting when I won the auction.   (Won being such a subjective term, it cost money to "win").   So stay tuned on that one.   I am working on the elf at the moment to see if I can con him into getting busy with the sander - I detest the sanding part - then I will drag it upstairs to paint - it is too cold and damp in my neck of the woods to paint outside - I envisage puddles of paint at my feet.   The plan is that this will house my computer, printer and embroidery cd's and such, and hide the dust - again - refer further down and you will ask - "Does this woman really worry about dust?"

Now just for a laugh and this is why I am banned from eBay for a moment, this is my room - panoramic style.   I think I have a little bit of work to do - soon!!

Bye for now.    Sue xxx

Monday, August 16, 2010


I have been cooking up a storm, mastering the art of sponge drops. Started with the basic recipe and then tried them in chocolate (that could never be a bad thing). We had these for morning tea for Running Away from Painting this week.

and because you have seen them and now want to try them, here is the recipe.

Pre-heat the oven to 190 c (375f)
Line trays with baking paper or silpat sheets
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour, sifted 3 times
extra caster sugar

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick. Gently fold in the flour. Spoon mixture on to prepared trays - don't flatten - make sure there are an even number - 24 rounds make a good size. Allow for some spreading. Sprinkle with extra caster sugar and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on the trays. When cold, peel off the paper. Sandwich together with whipped cream and jam. These little cakes are actually better if you make them a day ahead and fill - the sponge cake is quite firm when first made, but goes soft if left for a few hours or overnight.

If you are using greaseproof paper, you may have to dampen the paper on the underside, before trying to peel off the cakes. The newer baking papers don't require this treatment.
Here are a couple of fillings I have tried so far:

cream and raspberry jam
cream and raspberries (frozen)
cream and lemon butter or lemon spread
chocolate cream.

To make the sponge drops chocolate, I simply took out two tablespoons of flour and replaced them with cocoa power. To make the chocolate cream, I added cocoa powder to the cream, with sugar and vanilla extract.

I "won" this on eBay last week and my faithful assistant and I went and picked it up yesterday. An office partition that is now my "design wall". I had thoughts that it may spend some time out in the garage airing - coming from an office, I was thinking stale cigarette smells or other horrors but it was actually in really good nick. There were some stains from tea or coffee, but once home, I cleaned it down with woolmix and some lavender oil and it has come up a treat. We had to get some help to lift it up to my room. It is 1800 x 1800 and our stairs are not, so it had to be hoisted up over the railing.

Don't you just love the state of my room. It looks the same in all 4 corners, but I have three quilts on the go and a mystery quilt to prepare for Saturday so it will stay like this for a bit yet. It doesn't bother me, I can find stuff. The husband started to point out a few issues until I told him to go have a good hard look at his sheds.

So now I can say, have a look what is on "the design wall" this week. I pinned this in to position because I can, I have nearly completed all the squares for the bedspread/quilt as you go quilt, but have had to stop to work on it and concentrate on other bits and pieces.

During the month, the husband and elf went to Malaysia for eight days, taking my camera with them. The elf was playing representative cricket for the Yarra Valley. I chose to stay at home, cricket, 35 degree (c) heat and 87% humidity - not my thing.

Once the cricket finished and the boys had time to shop, I asked (now I realise foolishly) if they had seen any fabric stores. I was picturing exotic silks in jewel tones. Text messages were sent back and forth with pictures of assorted fabrics. Photo's would come of fabric, texts would be sent in reply with things like - that looks like upholstery fabric, or that is butt ugly - until in one of the pic's I saw a sign in the background - Indian Silk - so I sent him off in that direction. The husband said he bought me 10 pieces of what the trader assured him was Indian silk. I was picturing lots of loveliness and silkyness - here's what he came home with:

.....bloody polyester scarves. He got shafted - the trader saw him coming. Before any further trips to the exotic east, lessons will be given on fabric. Something else to go to the op shop.

Here's Norman - he has issues - first I noticed that his back leg would become momentarily useless and he couldn't put any weight on it, secondly - we have bouts of "inappropriate urination" (not related to the first issue). A trip to the vet confirmed that he seems to have a dislocating knee cap - at this stage we are taking a wait and see approach on that one (apparently it is unusual in cats - just my luck and truly I shouldn't be surprised because - oh, that is unusual - seems to be our mantra with lots of things we buy or own). His second issue, well, I am giving him Prozac! We have had him on it before when renovating the house, so we will see how he goes. At the moment he is sleeping in strange places and seriously has the "can't be bothereds". I am risking life and limb just giving him a dose - he hasn't lost the agro streak. Last night when the husband was getting ready to put both the cats out, he asked if I could get Norman because the night before he had growled and hissed at him, my reply was that if I had to put my fingers in his mouth, he could pick Norman up off the chair!!

Things I learned this week.

Whilst cooking a part of the evening meal in the microwave one night last week, I learned that you CAN burn through aluminium. I had finished the main meal off using the high mix feature of my convection microwave combination. I had bought a dessert (Sara Lee Danish if you must know) and turned the microwave on - I thought I had hit the convection button to cook at 180 but apparently, I didn't. I turned in my chair to see smoke in the kitchen and a strange blue light in the microwave (that would be the arching - never done it before) so calories were burned - literally - because the danish had been busy microwaving for some time and had a black hole burnt in it and the rest was set like concrete. Lesson for the week. Double check programs between dishes - idiot!

Bye for now.
Sue xxx