Sunday, December 20, 2009


Another reason I have stayed away from the internet is a bit depressing for me.  The 15th December was my son Anthony's 15th birthday, and he isn't with us anymore to share in the celebration.

At this time of the year the junk mail and shops are full of toys I know he would have loved but I can't buy presents for him anymore. Its been six and a half long years without him.

 I was going to do a memorial post on the 15th for him but it was a emotional day for this family.  His sister and I fought and his brother has a anguished breakdown like I haven't seen since Anthony died.  So no posting was attempted on that day, but today I feel sad for not doing it as if I let him down (sounds embarrassingly silly to me).

So today I will say something about my dearly missed son.

He was a extremely smart little boy.  I know a lot of parents are bias but I don't think myself brilliantly smart and though I thought my children did ok at school I didn't think Anthony was very smart.  This is mainly because  I couldn't teach him to read.  My other two picked it up before they started school but not Anthony.  The teachers at school couldn't teach him to read either.  I would sit him on my lap with word cards and it was frustrating.  I though he was maybe dyslexic or had some kind of learning disorder.  BUT  the school thought otherwise.  They assessed him with high IQ but his behaviour was out of control.  They diagnosed him as possible Asperger Syndrome and sent us off to Autism Association for confirmation.  I cried and was stressed out that my son was possibly autistic and would have challenges ahead of him.  BUT the Autism Association tested him and the final conclusion was no he did not have Asperger's.

A month after we were told he did not have Asperger's he came home from access weekend with a headache.  A week later he was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma.   I wish he had Asperger's Syndrome instead.  Two years of chemo and radiation.  We almost lived in the hospital.  We would get a week home every now and then.   Five months of daily radiation therapy.  Not all at once but 9 weeks then six weeks then 5 weeks.

A couple of days after brain surgery my dh and I return from lunch to Anthonys hospital room to find him sitting up in bed FLUENTLY READING a Kzone magazine.  He gave me a guilty look and then shrugged his shoulders as if to say:

"Oh well, mum can know I can read now and was just pretending I couldn't, to get some extra quality time together with just her and me, but now I don't need to because she is stuck in this hospital with me. And I am bored sitting here with nothing to do".

He missed a hell of a lot of school.  He might make an hour a day of school after radiation therapy.  You would think he would be behind in class but no!  His teacher spoke to me one day how he was extremely smart and amazed her that he could slip straight back into class work  with so much time off.  Also that she wanted to put him into the top maths group but he would then be the only boy in the group and she wanted him to be happy with his friends.  I said that some of the other boys might catch up and go with him into the other group but she said Anthony blitzed them in Maths. So he was smart, cunning and wise.  (wiser than me I found out later)

The picture above is not a very good scan of an old pic but I like it.  It is one of only a few pictures I have of Anthony before he got sick.  Anthony is the tall one wearing blue army clothes.  His older brother Brandon looks shorter but I think they were the same height.  People would confuse them for twins even though Brandon was nearly two years older.

Again the pic above is not very good but I could not delete it.  They were taken on automatic timer and afterwards Anthony asked to view them.  I gave him the digital camera and he gasped out to me:

"Mum!  The next time you tell someone that I am an Angel and they don't believe you, you now have proof!  See!"

He then showed me the picture and the halo above his head.  This was taken only a week or so before he died and in two years of taking photos of him in hospital we have never got one with a halo over his head before.  It made me cry because I knew he was dying and was scared that my troubled belief with religion and God and not having my children christened would prevent Anthony from getting into heaven.  This picture was like a message for me to not worry, God loves all.  I might not get in but innocent little children will.

My son liked all things Army as you can see from the pics.  In most of them he wears army clothes and most of his favourite clothes I made for him.  Like the blue outfit in one of the pictures above.

Goodnight baby!  Mummy misses you

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Join us and have some fun!

I have not blogged in awhile or even read other people's blogs for a couple of weeks.  Do you want to know why?  TEENAGERS.  My teenager has finished high school for the year and is home on the internet.  With the plan we are on it's great when I am the only one logged on but our speed is shaped when we go over our 5gb limit.  It's so slow with three people using it at one time that I don't enjoy it.  Internode won't let me up-grade to faster speeds and 50gb limit until the Fifth of January either.

But today I gave in and spent au$5.00 for a 2gb data block and started catching up with my favourite blogs.

It's a good thing too because I was reminded about a PIF group (Pay It Forward) I have joined. I am excited about this as it will be my first and it sounds like fun. It's being run by Naomi of Nomes's Brag Along.  If you like getting surprises in the mail pop over to her blog for detailed information.

You might get a softie or something else from me if  you join.

The above sounds like a bribe lol.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Dishsoap Aprons

A staff Xmas party was upon me and I had a few pressie's to get.  I made some little aprons (with soap bottles lol).  Quick and good gifts for work colleagues.  They were a hit with the ladies!  A few other staff members who weren't on my list asked me if I would make them some.  Back to the sewing machine...........

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Egg cosies

I think egg cosies are cute.  They are also fun to make.  Very easy and quick to sew.  Need a quick fix of sewing in your busy life?  Egg cosies don't use much fabric and mine only took 20 minutes to make.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Oh what fun, it is to sew..."

I love Tone Finnanger patterns!  I have just finished her xmas stocking project from the book Crafting Christmas Gifts.  While looking for a link for people who may be interested, I went to Quilt Fabric Delights but she has sold out of this book.  But while there I ordered the Easter book by Tone Finnanger.  Can't wait for it to get here.  She is super fast with deliveries.  The only hold up is I do not have a credit card. Yes indeed I do not and never have owned a credit card.  People look at me strangely when I tell them that but it must be why I live debt free.  I only pay cash so if I don't have any I don't spend any. I will be getting a debit VISA card one day as paying by money order is getting expensive ($4.50 + stamp + envelope costs). Visa Debit cards use your own money I hear but what are the fees?

xmas stocking from a Tone Finnanger pattern

I made this stocking for a work colleague for no other reason than we started talking about xmas and she mentioned wanting to get a stocking for her very first grandchild.  Well! I jumped right in and offered to make her one.  Also her grandson is gorgeous! Chubby cheeks! I love chubby cheeks!

Most of the fabric came from my stash except the lining.  All cotton type fabrics were used and I used thin fleece for the interfacing (turned out a bit bulky).  I would leave out the interfacing next time and see how it goes.

All the patterns I have come across from this talented lady are very easy to do.  AND the best bit is I haven't come across any errors in the patterns or instructions yet.  It makes me really confident of success when starting her patterns and therefore a good sewing session is guaranteed!  How many people have come across a project in a book or wherever and half way through it just makes no sense?  You are left wondering if something was left out of the instructions and you end up having a disappointing sewing day.

A big thank you to all pattern makers who proof read their books before publishing!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sew Sunny Homestyle

Got a couple of craft/sewing books lately.  The above book by Tone Finnanger is my fourth by this talented designer.  It is the thickest yet.  Jam packed full of patterns! Yeah!  My favourites in the book are the animal softies.  I will take a pic of my "projects to do" from this book as soon as camera battery charges and I have no work commitments.

I am in a softies phase lately but I also go through bag making phases and kitchen accessories phases too.  I can feel a hat making phase just around the corner so watch out for my creations of  caps and cloches.

This hat phase was triggered during the heat wave and I had to purchase fish and chips for tea as it was too hot to cook.  While at the servo waiting for our tea, I saw a stand full of caps.  Many were made from linen type fabrics and houndstooth and tweeds.  I have had an itch to make one ever since.

Another recent purchase is from Rosalie Quinlan.  I got it from Quilt Fabric Delights.  I have her other sewing book and thought it quite good so picked this up without doing much research.  It has enough projects, that I like, to be worth the au$29.95.  This is when you compare the cost of an individual pattern here in Australia,  between $15.00 - $25.00 ea.  Makes spending $30 on a book with about 15 patterns and full sized templates good value.  No more running to work to enlarge patterns. he he

Must go Hubby has started defrosting tea and he never does that! So! Must be he is subtly telling me I am a slacker.

More Softies

 No name softie from the book Softies is meant to be a giraffe.  That's what the designer calls her design, but my friends call my creation an alien. My skinny little alien.  A fun project to do and one of the first projects started and finished from the book.  I have been reading the Two little Banshees blog for years and fell in love with all her great softies.

A pattern for one of her creations in the book "Softies" was THE reason I purchased it.  I also have made her platypus design published in a Handmade Magazine. Pics soon.

I know the pics are not great and I should get a kick thumbs down award for them but my camera is not being my friend at the moment.

One of my first softies made ever!  I just scribbled a shape on newspaper and cut them out, did the face and some sewing/stuffing and voila!  Inspiration came from some blogs read 2006/2007? and the only blog I can remember the most was called Moopy and Me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Love Softies

I have been busy with sewing lately, but just haven't quite finished enough to take photo's.

The witches costume was finished and waiting for my niece to turn up and try it on.  I was going to take a pic of it then to show, but she arrived at my home while I was at work and rang me at work to say thanks and took off with it.

I have also nearly finished Xmas stocking for a work colleague.  Will not say much more about it as I will do that when I can take a photo.  I will say however that it is a Tone Finnager pattern.

I do have some finished projects that I completed awhile ago and just waiting for me to get off my lazy bum and blog them

 This is Ducky.   I love Ducky and he still lives with me.  I learn't a new skill during the making.  It was in constructing his beak.  At the start it looked difficult and maybe too involved for a lazy girl like me but I wanted the softie badly so I had to make it.  And let me tell you!   The processes involved in this ducks construction were extremely easy.  Yes even the beak.  If you would like to have a go at making one yourself, visit "The Long Thread" here.

It's hard to judge the size of this owl from this picture, and since I don't have him anymore, I  will guess he was/is about 30 - 40cm in height.  I gave him to my grandma on her 81st birthday.

I made him using up some scrap fabrics and recycled fabric from old jeans.  I love his golden eyes the most and the fact that I can't find any one thing that I would alter.  You all know that we sewers are our own worst critics and find faults with what we make that nobody else would even notice.  This owl is one of the few exceptions.  I have no itch to undo and redo any part of him.  It leaves you feeling completely satisfied and on a sewers high for a day or so.

For those who want to know about the designer and pattern I will go now and dig out the magazine.  I do know that the pattern came from a Australian sewing magazine, "Handmade".

I found it!  I am not surprised to find the designer is "Jhoanna Aranez" of One Red Robin fame.  The issue of Handmade magazine is Vol 25 No3.

That's it for today as I want to show you my current projects and must finish them first.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heatwave Post

We are still having the unexpected heatwave here.  It has sapped all of my energy and I am coping by turning the stereo up really loud to drown out the heat.  It works, believe me it really does.  Cold drinks help too!!  Don't worry about the neighbours.  We live in area of 5 acre allotments so lots of distance between us.

I still haven't been crafty lately but have some pics of projects completed awhile ago.  The photo's are poor quality but they were taken with my old camera and I will never declare myself a photographer.  Just a girl with a camera.  I enjoy sewing more than the picture taking. Oh well, on with pic uploading........

This is Stanley.  Gone to a good home now but still fondly remembered.  He is from the book "Softies" and designed by one of my favourite designers Fiona Dalton of "Hop Skip Jump".  I am a newbie to softie making and I think Stanley turned out ok.  He was easy to make or the instructions in the book are really well written. 

Emo Girl.  She was a great scrap using project.  I cannot remember where I found this doll on the internet, so if anyone has an idea, could they let me know and I can give credit where its due.

I saw this doll on someones blog and wanted one of my own.  I couldn't get a copy of the pattern so I finished up making my own pattern.  She turned out alright and exactly how I wanted her to.  She has also left me to go live elsewhere.  My little niece is looking after her.

Must go.  My boss just rang and wants to add some stress to my life (only joking)  The security guys at work want to do something to our electronic keys.  Wipe the data clean or something like that.  I hope mine works when I go in this weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The temperature here

is hot, hot, HOT, and we are told to expect another three days of it.  DH tells me that it will be a record heat wave for November.  Well that helps me cope......not!!

Too hot to do housework.  So I have been trying to sew.  Yes I said TRYING as its even too hot to sew anything new.  I have been pottering around doing little bits to some UFO's.  Very little bits that don't make much  difference to the pile of UFO's but they are getting closer to being finished.

I have some pics of completed projects from before I started blogging and will post about them until this heat wave is over.

 This oven mitt was fun to make.  I don't know if anyone else gets the urge to make something with  what I call "yucky" fabric.  Just to get rid of it.  As I can't just throw away fabric even "yucky" stuff.  And does anyone else find that the project ends up fun to do and the finished article looks unbelievably good?

This oven mitt was such a project.  The lining was not inspiring me or the scraps I used for the applique, but made into a linen mitt the fabrics all work right.

Pattern was from Lotta Jansdotter's "Simple Sewing" book, but I just followed my own plan in making it up.  It would have been an exceptionally quick project except I decided to hand quilt both sides of gloves and hand quilt the lining (in front of telly so no hard task).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fun with fabric

I made this journal cover for my daughter and it was a fun quick project.  My daughter is really, really into japanese art, fashion and manga, (manga mad).  She has been a fan since around ten years old.  At around twenty she still is obsessed with pokemon.  I started liking japanese craft once I started sewing non garment type things like bags and stuffies.  I fell in love with all things zakka from reading blogs on the net.  I had found stacks of free patterns on japanese craft sites ( but when my computer started playing up, my dear hubby reformatted and I lost it all. arrr

I have been learning to make these Kanzashi flowers.  This is my second one. The petals are made from 2 1/2 " fabric squares.  I will need to practice at this size for a while before I attempt the little ones.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I am a Naughty Girl!

Time is moving on and the tax return deadline is only a few nights away and what am I doing?

A green "Pleated Beauty Handbag" from the Bend the Rules Sewing book. Making this bag has been heaps of fun. Selecting fabric and matching contrast fabric, embroidery, and slowing seeing it come together has been an oasis in a boring life of work and tax. And as you can see I am nowhere near finished.

Its very easy to make but for the pleats ( I'm embarrassed to say). Firstly I couldn't decide which side I should press the seam allowances and I think this would make a world of difference in lining up the pleats.(maybe). I will try it differently next time. (I pressed the seam allowance toward outer plain green fabric).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Op Shopping Therapy

My car drove me crazy today so I made it also drive me to my favourite op shop, the "Salvo's". And I found some beautiful fabric, two fantastic pillow cases and some brown felt. The green I have already started cutting out the pattern pieces for the "Pleated Beauty Handbag" from Amy Karol's "Bend the Rules Sewing". It wont be the first thing I have made from this great book. I have done the No Cash Wallet, which fits my cards perfectly and is always in use, and made the "Charming Handbag". I'll get some pics of them soon.

What a day!

When your already have a day full of "tasks that need doing" like taking a kid to the doctor, bills to pay, shopping etc, you don't need your car to play up!!!

Everything was fine until some tough looking fellows approached me and asked for help. Their car had a flat battery. I drove my car over to where they were parked and opened the bonnet. They had jumper leads and were men so I let them get on with it. No action from their car.  One guy scratches his head and says he's sure its the battery. I get out of my car and look under my bonnet. And politely ask if they would mind me putting the leads on the battery and not on the plastic casing they had it on. Voila! cars start, battery's charge and away everyone goes.

Well!.... my car gives me grief down the road and stalls all the way to drop off daughter and then all the way home. I give up on registering hubby's car (got until Monday anyway).

I told my husband about the problem with the car and he is puzzled until later I tell him about helping some strangers. He said jump starting cars nowadays can upset the computers in them. Power surge kind of thing.

Morale of story is not to jump start a car unless 1) you have the modern leads with a surge protector, or 2) you don't connect the negative to the flat cars battery.  You clamp it onto the engine somewhere and the positive onto battery terminal.
Both clamps can be attached to good car. Both cars must be off completely when attaching jumper leads. This post should be "How to be a good Samaritan".

I hope hubby didn't want to rest this weekend. ha ha

Monday, October 19, 2009

Too busy to sew.

My boss is going on holidays, so I have extra work days to do. Which means busy, busy, busy and no time for sewing! Well sewing my stuff that I like sewing. I still have to fit in my time schedule a witches costume for a niece (who wants it in like two to three weeks), a xmas stocking for a work colleague, and do my tax and assist with my partners complicated tax.

So no fun sewing for me. I am contenting myself with some pics of a recently finished project. This purple bear I made for my daughter who took it home with her as soon as she saw it and before I got a photo of it. Today she came over with it and I took some quick crap shots as you will be able to tell from above pics.

Its from a Australian "Handmade" sewing magazine. The designer is Jhoanna Monte Aranez. Made of polar fleece and cotton scraps for the dress. Flower is made of felt.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blue Flower

Here is a Blue Flower I made recently. Its from the book "Kanzashi In Bloom" by Diane Gilleland. I have been trying to work out how to make this flower for years until I got the above mentioned book. It gives very easy to understand instructions and lots of pics.

I am currently trying to master making these in a small size. I want them tiny enough to fit in some studs for little earrings. Small sizes are fiddly and frustrating.

A New Adventure

I have finally started a blog that I have been meaning to create for about two years now. I started reading others blogs in 2006 and felt I should contribute. Its my thank you to all other bloggers out there for years of inspiration and help. (Even though you never knew you were).

I have a lot to learn about this blogging business. Adding photos and linking and heaps of other things. First will be how to turn bold type off! Instead of having to highlight the text all the time.

This blog will mainly be about my sewing adventures and other crafts.
I will try to add a pic of a little blue flower I made recently. If you see it I have succeeded, if not well...........