Saturday, January 26, 2019

Achievements this week

DH has been crossing off  lot of tasks on his to-do list this past week or so. 

One major task was putting an end board and kick plate on the cupboards he made in our laundry room. This was inspired by him watching the kitchen installers at their job -and being brave enough to ask them how to do things! They kindly showed him how to get the kick board to be level with the floor, and he is now very happy with the result. No more litter getting underneath the cupboard, and the whole thing just looks 'finished'.

He also recycled an old shelf we had, and painted some brackets black so that they could be put up on the wall in the kitchen. Now I have a place for some plants, and the room looks more balanced with the high over head cupboards at the other end.  

I have been doing some gardening. I cut back some of the things in the back garden which were getting overgrown. We are hoping to open a community pantry for donations of food and fresh produce, so I have been potting up some herbs to donate for its first week. I have divided some mint which needed some new soil and a bit of a spruce up, and they are coming along nicely. 

I have been harvesting tomatoes. blueberries and lemons and limes this week. We have quite a few passionfruit. DH made some very delicious passionfruit butter! We found one of our pomegranates had split so I picked it for salads. The rosellas (small parrots)  have been coming to the mulberry tree each morning, so I don't think we will get much more fruit from it now. I am happy to share with them. 

Today I have been tidying up in the sewing room, which doubles as a home office. I have been shredding old papers and taking it out  to the compost. This is reducing the amount of files I have on the shelves in there. It is such a good feeling to get around to these jobs! 

We don't get to the beach as often as we would like, but we did get one really good walk down there last week. 

I took a solo walk around my suburb this morning -such a beautiful morning and quite cool enough to be enjoyable. The beach is better though! 

There are still more small jobs like this to be done... I can see a basket full of junk behind Dora over there on the left, for example. My sewing room has a way to go before it is operating and storing the way I want. 

Meanwhile I have returned to my Blue Mountains inspired quilt blocks. Time to make pairs of dark and light skies...and there are lots more to go. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

First Quilt Finish for 2019

This is the first quilt to be finished for 2019, made entirely by me. It is for our WAQA community quilts -to be given to a charity which supports teenagers with cancer. They asked for 50 quilts made from the bandannas they use as a fundraiser each year. I made this one, and also quilted a similar one in red. I will be handing them both over tomorrow night at the Sewing Night meeting. 

There were a few issues with the quilting of this one. My beloved Nina, the 306K 1954 Singer sewing machine had all sorts of issues with free motion quilting this time. I did everything I could think of to fix it: new bobbin, new needle, even watched a YouTube demo and took apart and reassembled the upper tension. In the end I had to abandon it and use my much newer and much smaller Bernina. 

My FaceBook vintage sewing machine group suggested that some of them had also had similar problems from time to time. Maybe the machine bed needed some polishing. Some people use glad wrap on the machine bed to help things glide. Others suggested 'operator error' -going too fast for the machine. 

Anyway, using the Bernina just proves that it is always handy to have more than one machine! 

Maybe Nina was just a bit worn out after quilting two of these quilts in a couple of weeks! 

I spent today tidying up my sewing room.

Time to get back to the project I started last year and had to put aside -the queen size Scrappy Mountain Mysteries which will be my new bed quilt. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Start as you mean to continue

The word of this year will be FUN!  I want it to be a year in which creativity, spontaneity and good humour can find room.  These lovely fabrics are new to the Sewing Room, thanks to Christmas and  a birthday soon after. I always find new fabrics inspire new imaginings. 

I spent today doing a much needed tidy-up of my sewing room. DH has put up a pin board for me, and I have rearranged some things. I have completed one of the two community quilts I need to complete this month, and the other one needs to be pinned together.

A year for gardens, and walks in nature.

This montage was a result of a walk around Yellagonga Regional Park -Lake Goollelal on New Year's Day. This lovely lake is right in the middle of our northern coastal suburbs, and a real gem. The 4.5km trail is just challenging enough to be done in about an hour, and full of views and birds and flowers to enjoy.

One of the things we want to do is to visit Walyunga National Park  a few more times per year. We usually get there in winter/spring but the indigenous Nyoongar people recognise  6 distinct seasons -wouldn't it be great to visit a national park in all 6 and try to notice the differences?

We love to walk on the beach too. Now that we don't have to be here to let tradies in, we can walk more often there too.

I have further plans for the garden here at home. Looks like the passionfruit will be coming to the end of their natural life soon, so they will need replacing. I also want more flowers on my roses!

A year for risk taking -because when I am stretched a bit out of the comfort zone, the payoff is often an increased sense of being in the present - really living the moment. That means that I will be trying to improve my quilting skills, my cooking skills and more.

In 2018 I got a bit better at making shortcrust pastry from scratch...but I wonder if I could also do choux?  I have made pasta from scratch a few times -either lasagna or hand cut fettuccine but what about if I expand to include some filled shapes like tortellini? There is also more potential in working with shop bought Filo pastry too . Then there is the whole bread thing. I enjoy making bread, and there are skills to develop here -for instance I would like to make herb scrolls.

This is one of the pay-offs for being retired- having the time to play in the kitchen more.

A year for travel

We love opportunities to travel in Australia. We have plans to visit our other favourite place, Melbourne to see DS and his lovely wife graduate in March.

We are missing visiting our favourite WA country town of Albany - it has been altogether too long since we visited and would like to visit Geraldton too this year.

A year for decorating 

We enjoy freshening things up around here. With the kitchen reno behind us, we have plans for the master bedroom. We also want to sell a park home that DH has been managing as executor for a family member. It hasn't sold and has been a problem, so we are going to take it on as a project to try to make some changes to make it more attractive for a buyer. It has quite an ugly watch out for posts soon which will show what little we have to work with, and how far we can get to make it better with very little in the way of a budget.

A quietly fun life 

Really, the life we love is one in which we are quietly enjoying things around here. Dinners with friends, reading books after lunch, growing as much as we can, contributing to our community. Hope your new year is full of good things too.