Saturday, 28 February 2009

Incoming mail

These 2 shakers arrived from Liz in ID, above, and a Hershey Kiss from Karen B. They were both for the 'Shake your Valentine' trade and worked brilliantly - Karen's has clear microbeads in, which give it the sparkly effect.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Sweet Valentine

My Valentine heart arrived from Elizabeth - it's more delicious in real life. It's hanging above my computer...... Thank-you Elizabeth - this came at a good time.
It was of course, you guessed... raining again, the highlight of today was having T1 home as she was ill on the way to school..... lets hope it's something of nothing. We have a busy weekend with friends in town en-route to their new home in Australia and a birthday party. Will be fun - or - just plain crazy.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


I had a trip into Nisantasi today - baby very kindly gave me her eye infection at the weekend - I saw my opthamologist as I was entering the hospital - a rather larger than life character who dispatched me to one of his colleagues since he was leaving. 30 minutes later I got told I had perfect vision with my glasses and an eye infection..... given 2 lots of drops and sent home..... via the haberdashers - my favourite haberdashers in Osmanbey. I really did need 2 zips to fix the twins' school uniform jackets - and I spied these buttons. The small square ones are just 3/8ths of an inch square - cute... I do have a plan......
Oh yes - it was raining again..... shall I start on about rain again??

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Incoming mail

Today has been a real day of the blahhs, waiting for email, that never arrived, calls, that never got returned, I have 2 days of schlepping into town because I couldn't book appointments on the same day - and it rained, the supermarket was FULL with long lines and all the checkouts open, and I had to park a mile away and it was raining and I didn't have a coat with a hood on, I got the bottom of my trousers wet and muddy, because it was raining. Blahh blahh blahh..... Oh did I say it was RAINING..... again...... blahh blahh blahh..... I need sunshine.....

The nearest to sunshine I have tonight is this card from Nancy in NC - a A2M G54 Card - super cute, she printed the rik-rak too - neat.....

Monday, 23 February 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - February

Done - except the binding, which will get done in a couple of months time when I have more of these quilt-lets and have decided if I am going to sash them together and make a larger hanging or leave them as individual blocks. The final piece - I'm not convinced I like it, but with the quilting it looks a bit different..... will see if I get my act together to make an alternative...

Sunday, 22 February 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - February WIP

It was a grey snowy day - so I stayed in. I got to starch some of the KF fabrics last night, I finished the rest this morning. I didn't clean the iron afterwards...... I have had a major dilemma about how to orient this challenge - horizontal or vertical - it's stitch and flip. I was looking for an Amish-esque feel, but to getting big solid squares looked harsh - the original challenge was a little wonky - I took a look at the completed pieces and went for narrow strips, which I slightly tapered, I'm not sure if this was a good idea.

I'm not satisfied with the finished piece (bottom) The original plan I had in my head was for the red square (top)- February has Valentines after all - but it just didn't look right. So I took it out. When I was pressing it after joining it all together, the iron burped and out came clean water, which cleaned off the roasted starch from the iron sole-plate...... So I either have to wash the little quiltlet or live with beige and odd coloured spots.....
I will finish it - but I may make another..... Oriented the other way - I just can't handle the non-meeting corners, it's not random enough...... will see.... but I plan quilt this one with red thread as my homage to St V.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Incoming mail

Two lovely pieces of mail were waiting for us when we got back from our friends' house. We had a great morning, lunch then spent the afternoon with our friends who are sadly moving soon to Cyprus. We will miss them, but have promised to visit them in their new home. The card above is for the A2M G54 trade, from Katherine in NY, this is one of the first things she made with her embellisher - something I will admire - I don't need another 'toy' this card is luscious, thick and rich..... Below is the KF fabric from Glorious color - I may start my BQL February challenge tonight.... maybe not!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Incoming mail

This is from Mary in Texas for the A2M G54 trade - the ground fabric is embossed and quite leathery.
The last snowman from Rita in Canada

Thursday, 19 February 2009


I don't like clothes shopping - I enjoy wandering around the shops and seeing what there is, but all the squishing into small cabins trying on a zillion things is not my idea of fun....
But.... Yargici - they are different - I can nearly guarantee that anything I try on there will fit - and they use lovely fabrics.
I went in their Nisantasi store en-route to a Dr's appointment earlier - they have their new collection in.... mmmm - shades of porridge, cream, beige, white.... my colours... I spied this necklace and had to have it.

I'm going to hold off any shopping - since it's going to snow on Saturday.... again.... and it's not the season for wearing flimsy silk dresses - yet.... plus with all the crisis talk - maybe they'll reduce the prices before it gets warm - I live in hope.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Shaker Winner

The Random number generator picked comment number 4 - Robbie in Australia - I'll be in touch very soon... and hopefully get this shaky baby on it's way to you. Happy late Valentines.

Remember my major disappointment at the 99% Cocoa chocolate, well I made it into a cake - a recipe that I know is good - slight euch - not sweet enough even though I added extra sugar..... I've learnt my lesson - 85% cocoa is the best.

Unless of course you have Birds Custard Powder, then you make custard, soak the cake in it and eat.... SO yummy...... that's where the cake has gone.... of course baby loves it, T1 and T2 eat it with chocolate spread. It's nearly finished.

Thanks to all for the warming thoughts - it sneaked up to 13 degree - the snow is gone - phew!

Monday, 16 February 2009

If life gives you scraps....

In my great tidy-up I 'found' this collection of 'scraps' - nothing is scrap in my house unless it's almost powder, then I may use it still.... anyway I couldn't let these little pieces alone, they made 4 cards, I've put them in the cupboard, for a rainy day....

Since it's snowing - yes snowing - right now, we may have the 'joy' of a snow day tomorrow - please send warming vibes, we need school....
I also got lucky - I've won Elizabeth's heart - I am thrilled - can't wait for it to come!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Colour cards

I just buckled down and did the colour cards - now I don't know why I hadn't got them finished already - really they didn't take too long and I now have a nice empty gap to fill with another unfinished project....

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Valentine be mine

This arrived a couple of days back but I've been saving it - from Mary for the A2M G54

Friday, 13 February 2009

Friday finishing

I have a gazillion things to tidy and finish - facing the fact I didn't have a pair of clean trousers, I got round to fixing the trousers on the mending pile, T1's skirt and a pair of socks (don't normally darn socks but these are T2's special Spiderman socks) and then topped it off by starting to fix a scarf for T1 - that is going to need a lot of work..... I also got round to finishing off the top part of these colour cards.

I started these when the twins were little using the swatches from Keepsake Quilting. Baby will get them - only 2-3 years in the making..... I have to fuse some backing on them and trim and edge them - before she starts to learn her colours...... I'm sure they'll be done..... OK I hope.....
Funny though, the mending pile seems not to have gotten any smaller. Sadly

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Valentine Shaker Giveaway

Be mine Valentine - want a card? I made this as an extra, just leave a comment in the box - I'll draw this on Tuesday 17th .... a little late but you'll have a rather over stuffed shaker...

Valentines Shakers

These will go out to the Artsnthemail 'Shake your Valentine' group - and one to give away - see the other post...... I made them the same way as the snow globe ones, though decided to stuff them with pink, white, red and heat things. One big wooden charm - no image - they are shaky shakers that are a little over stuffed..... fun.
These will be the last trade for a while - I have a lot of things to catch up on around the house - and of course a pile of UFO's that isn't going down. I do have one more set of cards to blog - with another tutorial - that will come soon.
No more sign ups till things are all taken care of, I was painfully aware I was so behind, so feel the need for a holiday and a major tidy up.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Continents Series - part 2

So the other 4 cards - these 2 'join', Europe and Asia - For Europe I used Aquascutum Prince of Wales check. For the Asian side - a piece of Hamam cloth - pe┼čtemal. Cotton is grown in the south of Turkey - Bursa is probably where this cloth was made - both on the Asian side. They are used for modesty/drying in the Hamam and although were once only white they are available in all colours now and make fabulous table cloths.... these are unused!
The Inspiration for these cards is of course Istanbul - Turkey straddles both the continents and I always get a kick from the sign 'Welcome to Asia' (I don't think there is a 'Welcome to Europe' sign) the European and Asian side are a lot closer - there are 2 bridges - ONLY, linking the 2 sides, though there is a train link (underwater) that is being built - and ferries that shuttle folks backwards and forwards. But the idea and coastline is right and the bridges are in the right spots just a bit more water than there really is!

North America - this card got treated to some very vintage - American made - Levis denim - the jeans had sadly died - Baja California gets held in place by a slip of vinyl.

South America - this card is made in advance of the sign up - yeah. The reverse of this uses up a piece of Venezuelan fabric I have been carrying around the world for years. Hand woven wool and cotton - the size of a place mat. Transformed.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Continents Series

The first 3 cards of the continents series - Antarctica - This was made with lashings of net scrunched and then stitched down with clear mono filiment. I was watching a National Geographic documentary about penguins with T2. They were strapping cameras onto the backs of penguins and letting them swim under the ice - truly beautiful - this is my inspiration for this card.
All of the other continents have a similar format - they have sea and a section of coast-line that I feel is identifiable with the country. The Continent part flips over to reveal fabric from the continent on the reverse. So Australia - the fabric is a kangaroo print on gold.

Africa - this fabric I would like to call 'Dutch Wax Print' though I am not sure if it falls into that category. I got it many moons ago whilst living in New York - I was slightly knocked out by this fabric as the vendor told me the story around the fabric, they are printed in Manchester UK then shipped to Central and Southern Africa. They are glossy and heavily glazed with gold detailing. I have 3 or 4 FQ's in a similar style.

The rest to come

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Caught up

I've been painfully aware that I have yet to catch up with the cards I owe - in particular the Continents series - I ploughed through them today and got them all finished. I'm in advance of myself for once- yeah!

More explanations and details of the cards over the next couple of days, but my thinking was 'Blue planet' - you can't see the detail from space - so all the seas are the same and the land - except Antarctica. On the reverse of each continent is 'local' fabric. the continent is like a flap. There were a lot of cards to make in the end - I just hope they work together.

School tomorrow - thank goodness.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Incoming mail

These both arrived yesterday - Above from Yoke in Holland for the Europe section of the continents trade, below a calorie free cookie from Connie for the A2M G54 trade.

A good but slightly disturbing day - Saturday afternoons are like WW3 in our household and I try and do something outside to diffuse the situation - alas today there was nothing planned till one of our friends offered to swap her daughter for my son (they are all within 9 months of each other age wise and are already friends) - this was the first time we'd done this and just for 3 hours - T1 played nicely with her daughter and it was disturbingly quiet - you know were you go and check them to make sure they are not dead or doing something TERRIBLY naughty, T2 had a great time at my friends house with her son playing garages...... Fantastic..... this will be done again...... of course all hell let loose once T2 arrived back home.

Friday, 6 February 2009


No school holiday would be complete without a trip to the zoo - I was more inclined to go to the Dolpinarium again - I asked T1 and T2 where they wanted to go - T1 wanted to stay at home and play with the 'Treasure box' - T2 wanted to see the monkeys at the zoo - then of course T1 wanted to see the snakes! So off to the zoo it was - baby had no choice and got to see it all. We got taken inside to see the crocodiles - too cold for them outside! - I'm not sure if this was a area that we should have been in, but one of the workers took us in there. The flamingos were having a party - boy they were noisy. The monkeys up to their usual tricks and this time went to see the tiny monkeys that I discovered last time. Snakes are boring - but the reptile house was nice and steamy hot (OK a bit pongy but toasty) Lots of lemurs to keep baby happy - they are so neat - you do get value for money from a few lemurs - Who knows where 1 tiger, 2 lions and a leopard have gone... perhaps it was too cold for them today too.....

T1 took this - really the bars in this section are decorative.....
Our old friend 'itchy bear' (more here) was in a good mood and a lot more healthy looking, happy and relaxed than the last couple of times we've been. He's got only a few teeth and likes bread over carrots or apples.
Back to school on Monday - Hurrahh!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

When a warm wind blows

Today we've had a glorious day of warm weather - while the UK is paralysed with snow I was kicking my self for wearing a sweater and jacket earlier. We have Lodos wind bringing warm air from the south and no doubt rain in a couple of days. The heating was off all day - and the windows flung open. We spent time playing outside on bikes and in a local cafe with friends. Just 3 days left until the school holidays finish.

In celebration of the warm weather I finished a scarf for T2, he chose the wool on Monday and after a false start, this is the scarf. I don't get any pleasure from knitting and will do it only for love - and this 4 year old boy deserves his very own scarf as he was 'so sad' that he didn't have a scarf and T1 has 4 (long story) he's happy now as it's 'so soft' ..... easy!

The warm wind arrived and we said goodbye to one of our friends - off to the army - here military service is compulsory - I now know 3 men in the army and hope that they all come home safely.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Mirror Mirror

Fake old mirror - I was taken by this mirror in Tribeca in Nisantasi - I love their onion poppy seed bagels, (Give me H&H anyday though) cream cheese and smoked salmon - please? I hadn't noticed before that the mirror was made of smaller tiles (maybe because I usually sit in the garden) it's 'fake aged' too - I originally though it was a big aged mirror - so sad as T2 would say.

Monday, 2 February 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - January

I finished this a couple of hours short of the Saturday midnight GMT deadline - nearly midnight here though. I FME'ed it in a circular/bubble pattern. It's not all over and I think I like it that way, though there is a little too much 'puff' in one or two spots so it may get a bit more quilting.
I have yet to bind it -3 reasons - lack of fabric, lack of time and not knowing what the other quiltlets will be like. I would like to have them all with escape hatch finishes - but am not sure it this will work. So will wait perhaps till the March challenge. I have the February challenge details now - maybe it will get started soon... ha!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

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