29 April 2008

she's a good doggy

Like most dogs she loves to ride in the car. When we're packing for Bruny she won't let us out of our sight, and we nearly trip over her while carrying our bags etc. to the car. This is her usual position whilst we're waiting in the ferry queue.

She had a treat this weekend though. Friends of Debbie's were visiting from Queensland and had their boxer Lara with them. She's still a pup but this didn't stop our 8 year old from playing. Their chains went in opposite directions so they never got tangled once, a fun time as had by all.
We had an early tide to take advantage of on Saturday and Sunday morning, this is what greeted us on Saturday. I'm so glad I had my camera with me.
About 2 hours later the wind picked up and the entire scene changed. The tide came rushing in and covered the racks too early and the water was all choppy. Such is the life of an inter-tidal oyster farmer!

23 April 2008

material girl

Now that Tara has her birthday present I can show a photo of it. The girl loves red, and polka dots are just the best. I really like the effect of the polka dot lining on the leather straps. Inside the bag was this darling little necklace found on Etsy -
courtesy of Littleput Books. The picture is applied to the back of a scrabble tile and comes in a little tin with a sliding lid. She has a lovely blog too if you're interested.

Tuesday the 22nd was our 2nd wedding anniversary and treated ourselves to a meal at Fee & Me. It's quite pricey but hey, it's worth it - especially if it's only once a year and the food (and wine) is absolutely superb. I was tempted to take the camera and take photos of each dish as they're a feast for the eyes as well as the palate but thought I'd better not. I wish I had as the couple on the table next to us had theirs with them. Oh well, maybe next year!

In between courses Ant took my hand and suddenly placed a ring on it, an eternity ring -

Total surprise. I clearly remember uttering the words "gob smacked" as I had no idea he'd done it (both our eyes welled up too!). An old diving mate of Ant's is a jeweler and made my engagement ring to our specifications, with a sapphire in the middle and surrounded by pearls, as I'm not a diamond type of girl. Tim tried to talk us out of pearls as they don't hold like diamonds do (I can't get the ring wet for example), but in the end we got our way and Tim has a little stash of replacement pearls on hand. I've only lost 2 so far and it was only a few weeks apart when this happened, that's when Ant had Tim fashion the eternity ring to fit snugly around the engagement ring. They had discussed using sapphires instead of pearls for this ring but Ant said pearls are my stone. I queried that, they're not really stones though are they? "Well, pearls are your spat then" he casually replied. The man's got class.


21 April 2008

so who said men can't sew?

Well when you think about it a lot of men do sew, but mostly for business not pleasure. Ant here is sewing for a utalitarian purpose to achieve a driving pleasure goal. I've mentioned the recent Mini Moke purchase (still yet to take a photo, sorry), and one of the first jobs that needed attention was zip replacements in the drivers side of the canopy. I replaced the first but didn't have another heavy duty zip to hand for replacing the other until a few days ago. I've been busy with other sewing, which is the norm anyway, and kept forgetting to do this second zip. Anthony is quite confident on The Thug and well, I'd like to say happily sewed away but I can't, seeing how the vinyl canopy fabric is slippery and caused the poor boy to let loose a few expletives. He got the job done though and it works fine.

Yesterday I made another tunic top in a 100% cotton knit, mainly because I wanted an excuse to try out the Mother-in-law's overlocker (serger) and chose a pattern that I'm familiar with (I think I'm going to suffer from tunic overload before too long).

After sitting down with the instruction manual to learn all about threading the darn thing I then set to work on some scrap knit fabric. Ma didn't tell me if it's got ball point needles in it or not and as they're quite different from standard sewing machine needles I just had to keep going with them. I fear they may not be ball point as one of the stitching lines doesn't always pick up the thread, similar to when you try to use a standard needle on knit fabric with a standard machine. I also didn't feel confident enough to do it all on this machine and I needed to put a zip in anyway. The Bernina is currently in quilting mode - has the walking foot attached, quilting needle and invisible thread, so out came the 99k (Fanny Featherweight is still at the shop). Put a ball point needle in and stitched the neatest zip I've done in a long time. I continued to assemble the top on the 99k and only used the overlocker for finishing the raw edges. I know this is a long winded story but I had to share the satisfaction I got from this trusty old machine.

Fanny came home this arvo so once I'm finished here I'll get her out for a play.

17 April 2008

skirt #7

It's been a little while between skirts so it was nice to be given one the other day for assembly. This one is a wrap skirt in charcoal wool with pale blue and grey raw silk trimmings. The photos don't do the blue justice, it really glowed. The lining is a striped cotton from good ol' Spotlight. Tara is going to hand embroider some birds on it.

Lately Tara has been concentrating on making small purses with (machined) free motioned bird motifs that are absolutely gorgeous and selling them at Cocoon here in Launceston. These purses have a backing of leather and the problem she is experiencing at the moment is that her Bernina is struggling to sew through all the thicknesses. So this is where The Thug will come into it's own. I think Tara is also planning some satchel type of bags with multiple layers of leather which only The Thug could handle - like a hot knife through butter!

While I was at Spotlight today I picked up some charcoal wool blend for myself for a little project that's been in the planning and 'tis still a secret. :o)

11 April 2008

Too many sewing machines? Nah

I've updated my Flickr photos also. I didn't have one of the hand crank either and it was real fun to have them all sitting together, my little family. Of course there's two more, The Thug is naturally too big to be in this shot and my old Singer treddle is packed away, this machine doesn't work either as the tension discs are a bit rusty. It's probably something I could easily replace, one day.....

While I was fiddling with Fanny Featherweight, Ant presented me with a little present - the buttonhole attachment that we saw on Ebay and I mentioned here the other day. The boy really does have his moments! But it's also a ploy, it justifies him spending money on the Mini Moke he bought a few weeks ago that needs a bit of work. So now I can't really complain about him purchasing the Moke against my wishes. He can be very cunning when he wants to!

Oh and an update with Fanny. It appears the timing might be out with the bobbin as it will only occasionally collect the top thread when the needle comes down, I'll take it to my repairer next week. I didn't expect it to be perfect, especially coming from an antique shop and this seems to be the only problem with it. I found so much tangled thread around the bobbin holder, no wonder it's out.

PS. Thanks again everyone for the get well wishes!

09 April 2008

me was a bit crook

In Australia 'crook' can also mean sick - "I was crook in the guts" or "that looks a bit crook" etc etc.

So last Thursday my sinuses became inflamed and when that happens I know a beauty of a cold is lurking, waiting to pounce, no matter what I do. Even today I'm still very 'claggy' and I miss not being able to smell the evening meal when I make it. Although, as I am want to say "she'll get there"....

All I felt like doing over the weekend was hand quilting (see above). Most quilter/crafters will say that they hate being idle, and I'm one of them. I should have stayed home from work on Friday but that would only have frustrated me. It was bad enough not being able to get into the garden on the weekend, especially with the perfect Autumn weather we're having after that awful storm last week.

So enough of my moaning and groaning. I've got a lot more energy now and have finished re-upholstering those stools (scroll down to see the 'before' photo) -

Ant eventually got around to cutting the foam from his work after we had altered the shape of the wooden bases. The fabric is rather gastly but it's from a left over roll that Ant had a couple of rocking chairs re-covered in which also live at the shack, so this way they all match. The Thug also came in handy as I did proper side panels on the seats and backs. He's a good beasty that Thug.

You may also see in the above photo, sitting on the reading chair next to The Thug an overlocker (serger). My mother-in-law doesn't use it any more and has let me borrow it, sort of indefinitely, or until her own daughter wants it, which is only fair. I haven't even had a chance to try it yet, what with being sick and making baby and doggy quilts. I've even bought a couple of cotton knit fabrics and are just itching to try my hand at it, we're off to Bruny this weekend so who knows when it's going to happen?

02 April 2008

good karma

Yesterday was a good day.

Work was busy but I managed to clear up a few niggly things so I felt good for that.

At about 2pm Gail from the chiropractors office rang to see if I could help her, or rather, another client out of a fix and wondered if I'd mind changing my appointment from 4pm to 5pm on Wednesday. I agreed straight away and Gail was so grateful. I felt good for this also.

At 4pm I rocked up to my hairdressers only to find out that I'd been double booked. When my appointment was made 6 weeks ago it was penciled in with the only available pencil to hand, very blunt and faint. One of the other girls must have seen it and thought it looked rubbed out with an eraser, hence 2 appointments made over the top. My hairdresser was very apologetic and said she'd still accommodate me but I said it was no biggie and was happy to reschedule to next week. She was also very grateful and is going to throw in a full treatment and head massage. I'm gonna feel good next Tuesday.

Seeing as I was already in town I thought I'd have another go at trying to find a new winter cardigan, my old one was looking a bit ratty. Especially as a bit of battery acid was spilled down the front, don't ask. I thought I'd try Myer as I had some gift vouchers from my birthday last year. I found this -

and fell in love. It's quite thick too and has been knitted in a moss stitch, the yarn is a rayon/nylon/wool/angora/cashmere blend - man! I'll probably curse the short sleeves but what the hey, I'm feeling good!