Sunday, 30 November 2008

BQL Bag Challenge - November

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft a-gley - OK so it is St Andrews Day, and Mr Burns' quote is apt - I had planned to get the piecing done last night, and then quilt and construct the bag during nap time and once the littles were in bed...... I'm still piecing.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Pantomime - Oh no it's not, Oh yes it is

Pantomimes are a particularly peculiar English tradition - this year was the first for T1 and T2 - baby stayed home with the sitter. The twins loved it. It was Cinderella, with a cast of 60 or so - of course maintaining all traditions - the ugly sisters were men, Buttons a bit of a lush, there was a pantomime horse and Prince's servant was a girl. It was complete with a rendition of Prince Charming by Adam and The Ants and an interlude which had 3 ladies giving Bob the Builder a run for his money - quite hilarious - semi slapstick.
Sponsored by Cadburys meant there was free chocolate in the break (and candy for the littles) - the lack of nanny state also meant that candy was thrown out to the audience - we were sitting in the 4th row and it hurts when it hits you on the head!
A lot of their friends went so that was fun to see everyone - and one or two faces that we hadn't seen for a while. The British Community Council put on the performance, in one of the large city centre schools - that has a 700 seat theatre that any small town would be envious of.

Friday, 28 November 2008

BQL Bag Challenge - November

Just 2 days left to the month and I have finally got a little time - I have a gazillion cards to make, but unless I shift my rear I will not make the November challenge - I might not make it in time anyway. I pulled this group of Nancy Crow fabrics - from a million years ago, they are starched, and ready to go - I have a couple of ideas about combinations - but will see how the test pieces go before I cut the pieces into a million small squares. The ALQS quilt is finished - yeah! - will go in the mail early next week - thank-you patient partner.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Incoming mail

Mmmm - this was sandwiched in between the Internet bill and the phone bill - yummy - it's a 'kitchen sink' type of card, lots of stuff happening. I've never got into stamping, though have a few stamps. I'm crummy with stamps and always get a thick line somewhere because I can't do it right. but these are line free - and smudges of gold on the batik make the card 'live' the bronze strip is a piece of thick paper, there is rickrack too - Thanks Lise - this is a G54 Card Coming from Canada. I spend the day trying to get 'paperwork' done. I just have a little more quilting left on the ALQS quilt. It will get posted to it's new home on Monday - I hope (I never post on a Friday) now for the BQL November bag - Just 2 full days.....

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Groundwork - dried

So this was the piece last night - it wasn't dry this morning - a little damp nearly 24 hours later, but it looked a lot different. I couldn't wait so I stretched it out to dry, I was mildly surprised.

It's a lot paler than I imagined, the brown migrated and almost disappeared - look back at yesterdays post - I was expecting more depth and intensity with the colour - alas it'll do! it is the ground and most of it will get covered. It is however very sparkly! back to the ALQS piece.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Groundwork for the Autumn cards I am late with - I have 'artificial' leaves that I am going to FME onto a blurry, browny background - though I don't actually have the background I imagine - so with the aid of a piece of cream coloured cotton sheeting and 3 bottles of Setacolour the experiment will begin.
First was the solid Sienna - the fabric was slightly damp and a 1 inch brush used.
Then I added the 'Copper Shimmer' this was very similar in tone to the Sienna - and gave a Summer glow to fabric - last was the 'Chocolate Shimmer' this seems a bit harsh in comparison to the other colours, but who knows in the end...
I gave it a good spray with water to blend the edges, then crumpled the fabric to dry - will see what it's like tomorrow. I am aiming for a batikish type of effect with 'puddles' where the low fabric has had more of the paint - who knows - maybe I just get a crumpled piece of fabric that looks just like the picture above!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Incoming mail

So these 3 came on Friday - Karen's Penguin for the Antarctic trade - the snowflake is really thick metal - it reminds me of the French ski school badges we got as kids....

Again from Karen - the Asian Elephant - beautifully done.

Lastly A2M G54 - from Geraldine - last night it dropped to 1.5 degrees - I can dream of sunshine - now I just need to figure out where to put our lemon and orange trees, or to leave them out for the winter with some horticultural fleece on them.
We do get snow here - honest! and the wind that blows some days is bitter - straight from Russia (thank you Russians!)
The front garden is north facing and very exposed - but we did leave a lemon tree out over winter in the past - it survived. Dilemmas..... it would be great if this was all I had to worry about!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

ALQS - it's here

I'm thrilled my ALQS quilt is here, it was a secret trade, I didn't know my partner and was having a peep around folks blogs just a couple of nights back - I made a mental note to myself that this was a sweet quilt and should it not be destined for me, to figure out the block - then I started questioning if I asked for a pink quilt after all - I had toyed with a blue one for the office...
I'm chuffed to bits - It'll go on the wall quietly or else T1, pink girl, will try and nab it.
Solidia, very generously send some Amy Butler (and others) charms, and some note cards. The note card she used to write to me reminds me of the tiles you see in British Victorian houses. I some how think they are made of concrete - have to check that one out.

We went to a birthday party today - the weather is beyond awful and the wind is ferocious. Baby is back to her usual carefree, laid back self. We discovered that she likes Tarkan -she was grooving away whilst the twins played musical statues - very cute. A good day - Banana chocolate birthday cake - delicious!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Incoming mail

These 2 cards use the same charms - quite a coincidence as they both arrived today - the $ card is for the G54 trade from Chris in Al who has a great 'quilting story'. The one below is for the Neocolour trade, it has the same small charm and some beads. The fabric looks like a fancy batik - really the colours are so washed into each other, but strong at the same time. I need to play with those crayons - this came from Sharon in Canada, she already has snow. My friend told me that snow is predicted here next week - it's 10 or so degrees in the daytime here, I hate the thought of the temperature dropping so much over the next few days - I do hate snow.... except for the first couple of hours when it looks perfect. Baby is doing good now - hungry though her trousers are a little loose. Looks like ice-cream is on the menu.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

ALQS - 200

Finally some quilting to show - the little quilt for my partner is coming along swimmingly - baby is picking up and I sneaked an hour on this - OK not sneaked but I felt like I should be doing something else.... paperwork, laundry etc.
Plus - this is my 200th post, I've posted nearly every day since I started. I passed my 1000th visitor around teatime last Wednesday - all very exciting (though I'm not convinced that neo-counter is 'true') I need to think of some number goals to have a little give-away.....

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Oya - Daisy

Due to a creeping case of the blahs and the dreich weather, there has been no creativity here - so another oya picture, these are daises, they have a leaf under and a small amount of fishing line in them to hold the circular pattern stable. they are 2cm across and made in 2 sections, the leaves and the flower - the flower is one piece. Baby is, at last, picking up.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Fake Flowers

This year we are having a Christmas Tree. Apparently the 'place to go' is Euro flora (in English) This is a place I've been hearing about for the whole time I've lived here. So with 2 amigos and the baby off we went! It's a huge warehouse, with ramps (fantastic for the stroller) there are 3.5 floors of 'stuff', flower stuff, Christmas stuff, decorative stuff, Christmas trees, fake flowers and more stuff.
Anyone who has been to a real wholesale flower market will recognise the similarity between how they are packaged. This was a colour fest. It's given me a couple of ideas too.....

I dithered about the tree, the height and fatness and need to check if I need more 'balls' - I do but how many?? I need to ask Martha. So, I will be going back soon... I didn't buy any flowers, but I did get some leaves.....

Sunday, 16 November 2008


One of the hardest aspects of living in an 'international' community is that folks leave. Last night was the 3rd of 4 parties for good 'English' friends of ours. The theme of this one was 'emptying the drinks cabinet' since you are not supposed to transport alcohol across borders. A list of possible cocktails was drawn up and the karaoke machine put on - I indulged in the former, and didn't scare the cats with the latter.
This is when I discovered my friend's 'Signature' cocktail - Mudslide - delicious and at 20% alcohol it isn't to be messed with! I need a 'signature' cocktail...
I have a headache today..... as I don't usually drink.... it was a good night of adult company - and just what I needed. No sewing today. Yes baby still sick.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Incoming mail

The last of my stash of cards that arrived this week, for A2M Group 54 - from Janice in CA - and Autumn from Leah in SC.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Incoming mail

I set a 7 part continents trade with Artsnthemail these are Antarctica from Elizabeth - who will join Margaret's penguins - below is Asia 'Dream'from Margaret (of the penguin card) I always worry slightly about the use of symbol letters, there are some great typos on this blog.
Although this is dated Friday I posted it on Saturday - the joys of Blogger's 'Post Options'. Last night I was just too tired to blog. Baby still quite sick - but tests clear - the mysteries of small, non-talking people...

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Incoming mail

From Kathy in MI

From Elizabeth in ID

From Shannon in MO

This one arrived yesterday from Francoise in Belgium - these are all for the Africa swap. I got more cards today, but will hold on to them for tomorrow as I will get nothing creative done - another Dr visit for baby, an ultrasound this time...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Incoming mail

This cute card arrived today - from Gesine for the Fabricards November mingle. The edge is very well done!
I did manage to do some more hand applique for the ALQS - but it's slow. I'm not sure about showing the progress, I guess it's OK, but then again maybe not!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Oya - carnations

Today is the anniversary of Ataturk's death - so some red and white flowers... These are oya, a type of needle lace - made around Turkey and the Balkan area. It's very intricate - it's not done with a crochet hook but a sewing needle or fine shuttle. I have a small selection of different flowers - some I know others are a mystery - plus a book detailing how to make different flowers. These are carnations.

Sunday, 9 November 2008


I was in the heart of the city early this morning and needed somewhere to pass time, so I took my coffee along to the Dervish lodge, and perched on the edge of the Ottoman graveyard. The markers have 'turbans' for men and flowers for women. Really neat idea, though there are 'better' grave yards around. This is just off ─░stiklal Caddesi - one of the city's big shopping streets. We wandered back to the Pera Museum, eyeing some lovely prayer beads in a shop that also sold Turkish made Milagros, the owner eyeing a sale had a long conversation with me about how many beads go on a string depending on the religion - very interesting- no sale made though. Baby and I then went along to the Pera Museum - which was open by now and saw the 'The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting' - nice - some of it a bit chocolate boxy - though the lighting could have been more subtle - a lot of glare. Some stunning paintings and a couple of surprises, Augustus Johns' T.E. Lawrence painting was small and dauby - not what I was expecting at all - the picture has stature and is more detailed in my mind. Baby, as usual fell asleep half way round.
Added 11.11.08
The other surprise I had trouble finding on the Internet, since I couldn't remember the painter's name.... but - it's John Frederick Lewis' Indoor Gossip- fantastic painting - really stunning.

Saturday, 8 November 2008


No sewing to show - a little on the ALQS, but not enough. Baby still not at all well. I made this I think 2 years ago. Cute card, and I do like cupcakes. No cake here today sadly.

Friday, 7 November 2008


I had hoped to break the back of the ALQS quilt - alas it wasn't to be. Baby is getting better, but having to deal with a gas leak most of the afternoon nibbled into the time I had to applique - it's on it's way though - gas leak is fixed too.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Incoming mail

Thank goodness I got mail again - a day spent doing 'nothing' a trip to the gym and then my Turkish class. Baby is slightly on the mend, 2 trips to the pediatrician - the first on Tuesday (not our regular pediatrician) there was no strong diagnosis - perhaps a virus, perhaps 6th disease, UTI or something else. Then she broke out in a rash on Wednesday, a call to our regular pediatrician semi confirmed 6th disease, but not the violent puking or the low grade fever. So we trekked into the city today. Yes the rash is 6th disease, but there may be something else too - so she catheterized her for a urine sample - very quick. She objected to being held down rather than the catheter. Anyone who has a baby girl and has tried to get an uncontaminated sample will recognise the hassle, this was fantastic - really the way to go. So we'll wait on labs for her and hope it clears it's self up. She's still puking but not as much - euchh - TMI?? What did folks do before washing machines?

So here's the mail -

Now this is my mystery card, no name, no legible postmark - I think I know who it's from, but I'm not in a V trade.......

Joan from HI sent her Autumn card - I'm not sure if you get Autumn in Hawaii - perhaps the weather just gets a little less perfect - the leaves are trapped under fine net and then FME'd - nice technique. Below is Diana's card for my A2M G54 trade.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Incoming mail

The rest of the bumper hall from yesterday, this card came from Maureen in the UK, her '5' challenge in return for my lilac and beaded one.
Below is 'Cats' from Rita in Canada.

Another cat card, from Barb in Wa, very funny ear-rings and of course a super back.

This is the September mingle card from Ann in the UK - celebrating apples

No sewing here - as expected...

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