Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mid-Winter Ice Challenge

The water balloons were filled and frozen, a mallet was used to pounded the ice. Three buckets of icy water!

There's a charity donation challenge doing the rounds on Facebook - the Ice Challenge! It was only a matter of time before our active Facebook children found themselves nominated (by one of their cricket coaches). The challenge must be completed within 48 hours, filmed and uploaded to Facebook, specifying your chosen charity and the friends you in turn nominate to carry on the challenge.

Master T and Miss N relished the chance to douse Miss G - and then push her into our very cold swimming pool (we have had frosts recently).

Another tray of ice balloons for three more buckets of icy water and Miss G had a chance to "assist" her twin in her challenge. Times like this I'm pleased to NOT be on Facebook - and that we have mild winters!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Humility and Nobility

Pondering something our pastor said today - the need to hold in balance our humility and nobility. As Christians we are sinners saved by grace yet at the same time we are sons and daughters of the King.

Photos taken yesterday during my sunset walk with Miss E (6) - I love those clouds and colours....

Sharing at SkyWatch Friday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Winter Wonderland

It's wonderful having Miss E senior home for winter break. Whether it's a picnic in the park together, or a trip to the movies with the younger ones or shopping one on one, Miss E has definitely been playing the big sister in a special way. Only one more week to go before she heads back to college/uni in the Big Smoke of Sydney.

Master J has been missing this family time as he has been back in lectures (up on the tablelands) for a few weeks already. Last Friday there was a morning of excitement at his uni campus as snow fell. Master J had never seen snow, in fact none of our children had seen snow except Miss E (22) who was too young at the time to remember. I had to chuckle at his email which accompanied his photos - 
"Well it finally happened. I can now die in peace knowing that I’ve seen snow." 

I promptly replied:
"That’s great news - no point tolerating all that freezing cold without the benefit of seeing a little snow!
Just don’t make any plans to die anytime soon!!!!!"

Still enjoying those beautiful sunsets whenever I can......content to live with warm sunny days and a few frosts instead of the of the snowy cold of the tablelands.

Sharing at SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Whispers of Royal

Royal Whispers is now at the finished quilt top stage and I love how it shimmers in the light.

A week or so back when I placed the almost-completed rows beside each other they just didn't sit well. Too much colour and busyness. This brought me back to the same question I had when I first pulled these fabrics together. With the help of Miss O, who has an eye for these things, I went searching for something special in a blue/navy/?? to place between the rows. I brought home two contenders, one of which proved to be too dark. The Royal Arabesque Satin, of which the shop had only 1/4 of a yard left, was voted the winner. 

Yesterday I started sewing the rows to the royal sashing with a width of 2 1/2" but found the blue over-powering, it was shouting rather than whispering. Out came the quick unpick/reverse stitcher. Today I tried a 3/4" sashing strip which seems to be just the right amount to let the rows do the talking.

Basting and quilting will be something of a pleasant challenge. I have a few ideas but the answers will work themselves out as progress is made.

Sharing at WIP Wednesday, I Quilt.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Smoky Sunset, Super Moon

If you haven't seen tonight's moon, let me encourage you to go and have a look right now! (Or when it rises in your part of the world). It's a Super Moon, when the moon's orbit is closest to the Earth so it appears larger and brighter. Tonight, Saturday July 12th, is the first of three Supermoons in 2014.

I am still buzzing from this evening's walk where I witnessed a beautiful red smoky sunset on one side of the horizon then eight minutes later an amazing moonrise on the other, the smoky haze adding extra colour to the sky. All these photos where taken within 35 minutes on my walk (no tripod). I hope you have opportunity to enjoy it too!

Sharing at Our World Tuesday, SkyWatch Friday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Royal Whispers

Just as I hear and see the wild birds singing freely each day, I also hear whispers of God's love for me. Sometimes it seems that the more difficult the circumstances of life, the more desperately we need to hear those whispers.

 The last few months have been very challenging for us as a family as my husband struggles towards wholeness of health. He's been completely unable to work for the last three months but is slowly improving. Thankfully he has a large amount of paid leave he has been able to use. My role, and indeed that of our whole family, has been one of carer - and he has needed a huge amount of care and encouragement.

To be totally honest, much of the motivation behind the quilt I have been working on over the last few weeks has come from a desire to be wrapped in luxurious beauty, comfort and an expression of love. I have felt uplifted being surrounded by the rich, glistening colours of threads and fabrics as well the prayers of others and the whispers God has spoken to me in the quiet places, through nature and the words of others. For these reasons I have named this quilt "Royal Whispers".

Over the last week I have experimented with needle-turn appliqué as a way to add some happy birds to my quilt. These birds are from a Michael Miller fabric range named "Flock"which I recently ordered from Hawthorne Threads.

Their feet and beaks were later embroidered with a little DMC stranded cotton.

Sulky's Sliver thread has found its place again several times in my work this week, as well as more Sulky rayon, 12 Wt cotton Blendables and DMC variegated stranded cotton.

Do you also find your quilting choices/motivations reflecting what's happening in your own life at the time?

Sharing at Work In Progress Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Everyday Joys

A quick walk revealed a beautiful smoky sunset after today's frosty winter beginning. The changing scenes from our town bridge never cease to amaze me.

Miss E arrived home from uni very late last night - wonderful aromas of curry and rice are coming from the kitchen as I type - she has missed cooking while away. It's a real treat to have each of our older two come home for winter break - alas Master J's break was short and he has come and gone already.

The creative drawings of our younger ones delight me - and the accidental chalky handprints on the clothes!

I hope you have time to savour those uplifting little joys during your week too.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

 It was one of those lazy winter Sunday afternoons. A rainbow lorikeet dropped in to say a friendly hello. Then I enjoyed a beautiful walk around the river, spotting others out soaking up the sunshine too. A time to down tools for a few hours and refresh.....

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sparkle and Shine

The last few days have seen more play with my colourful mixed fabrics for my current quilt. There has been much fun adding hand stitching, machine stitching, braid and ribbons. I've been using Sulky 12wt variegated cottons, Gutermann rayon/viscose threads, DMC embroidery threads (metallic and cotton) and some Sulky Metallic thread.

Another new-to-me thread I have thoroughly enjoyed using is the Sulky Sliver. I began using it for a little hand stitching as shown above and below. I love the sparkle it adds to the cloth.

This afternoon I decided to see how the Sliver "thread" would stitch using my faithful (29 year old) Janome. A quick google search gave tips on how this can be done. You need to use a larger size needle (e.g. 14/90 or a special metallic needle), reduce machine tension right down and use the reel on a vertical spool pin (which I had never used until today). Using the silver Sliver on top and ordinary white cotton thread on the bobbin, it sewed beautifully. I sewed straight stitch with the Sliver using the regular machine foot and also experimented with some free motion outlining using a darning foot.

The Sliver, which comes in 24 colours, adds a true sparkle to the fabric and is smoother to the touch than the metallic thread. I can't wait to use it on some more pieces.

Extra Notes: You can learn more about Sulky Sliver Metallic thread here. You will find it at a number of retail outlets including AmazonThe wonderful people at Gutermann generously sent me a surprise parcel of mixed threads, including Sliver and Metallic threads, a few weeks ago to add to my own collection. 

***Updated October: You can see more of my Sliver experiences here.

Sharing at WIP Wednesday.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...