Monday, 28 March 2016

The Black and Bling Birthday Party

Lunchtime today we held a special surprise party for one of the girls who is celebrating a special "O" birthday this week. As the theme for the weekend has been Black and Bling we carried on with it and the extra guests came all dressed in their black and bling. The table was decorated with some bling, and even the chairs got some special ribbons. Sorry I did not get photos of all the other decorations. Thankyou to Raelene who loves to decorate. Most of the photos below speak for themselves.

A birthday gift was given, which was very humorous and contained some of the things that might be needed at this age!!

Just before the next photo was taken, Raelene was putting the candles on the cake, and wondered how we were going to light the candles. I went into the lounge to get the matches, which were on the combustion heater, and on my way back to the kitchen, I tripped on a chair leg and ended up on the floor! Just a bit of drama for the afternoon. No broken bones, and I still have some padding for a soft landing, so all is well. I think I remember someone taking a photo while I was on the floor, but not sure if it would be very glamorous for a black and bling occasion! Maybe I might have a bruise or two tomorrow??

This is the obligatory group photo of the retreat stayers, which will be added to the wall of fame!

And these are some of the lunch time guests who looked the part in their black and bling. Love the top hat, and thanks girls for adding to the fun.

It has been a very successful inaugural retreat at Number 8, and I look forward to many more. The house renovations have all worked well. I have enjoyed being more a part of the retreat as I did not have to go home "across the road" to cook and sleep.

Tomorrow it is time to get back to the quilting  machine and finish 2 customs ready for delivery on Saturday.

Blessings, From Jude

Easter report...

I had intended to post this yesterday, but it was such a busy day, that by evening I decided that bed was a good choice and this report could wait until this morning. And my usual very early "get out of bed" time turned out to be much later than usual. It is heading to 8.30am and I am still sitting here in my dressing gown with my first cuppa for the day.

Friday afternoon saw the arrival of a lovely group of ladies to spend the weekend here at Number 8. We have enjoyed some special time together, trying out the "new" retreat place. There has been lots of laughter, some great story telling, good food, and even some sewing time!

Sunday morning a group of us got out of bed, when it was still dark, and dressed in our scarves and coats, to attend the dawn Easter service which was held at the lake here in town. It is always a lovely service, listening to the birds waking up, and remembering the reason for Easter.

The following photos are just a selection from the last few days. There will be some more hopefully later of a special event today.

I had quite a few jobs on my to-do list and number 1 was to make the new curtains for the sliding door which leads from the lounge to the pergola. Here you can see they are made, but not yet hung. They are now hanging, but still need some work, and have not been hemmed.

Pat was designing her quilt on EQ7 and working out what size to cut her pieces for another candlewicked quilt that is being made for her grand daughter.

Brekkie time for the latest riser.

 A picture of concentration as one lady makes some minkie blankets for a baby gift. This was rather slippery to sew and was not easy. She is also wearing her crown, because she has a special "0" birthday this week.

This lady is the quiet achiever and was using scraps to make blocks as in the photo below.

They look great all laid out on the floor.

And then she made some more and some more. Might end up with 3 quilts like this!

And another project that I had to work on was the "wedding" quilt. Progress was made and all the squares are now stitched together. Just need to consult DD3 and DSIL to plan the quilting of this.

Evenings were time to put the feet up, and read some magazines.

This weekend was also a time to try out a few more of the 10 oven functions that the new cooker has. I could not imagine why an oven would need all these functions! Since this "monstrosity" had arrived I have been a bit, lot daunted by it, and thought it was really more than I needed. My children were the ones who told me I "needed" a larger oven. As I had managed quite well all these past years with a "normal" size oven I felt a bit extravagant in finally agreeing with the kitchen plans drawn up by DS for a 900 wide oven. Sunday lunch was roast lamb, followed by baked cheesecake, and I can now see that maybe I might use the different functions more than I thought.

I saw this recipe online somewhere during the the week, and thought this was appropriate for Easter, with the half eggs on the top. It was delicious, and cooked just right. I think I might be loving this new oven after all!!!

Cleanup time, and this lady hardly ever sits still!

Another of my projects was to made a cover for my Kenwood mixer, with the fabric that Michele chose last weekend. This just adds a bit of colour in the corner and really sings! Good choice Michele, thankyou. I put this fabric onto Max, and quilted a crosshatch pattern, and then cut out the pieces, which were then stitched together.

Last year when the hen's weekend was held before the wedding, the theme for that weekend was Black and Bling. When it was time to pack after that, I brought home the decorations and decided I would use them for a Black and Bling retreat here. This weekend we have done that as there is a special birthday celebration happening, so it seemed appropriate. We had a competition where you were given some sticky bling to wear and not allowed to mention some words, and if you did then you lost the sticky bling and the winner got a prize. Here is one lady with some of her "bling".

 And some of the borrowed decorations.

There will be some more black and bling happening today, and I will post that later. Might even get a group photo of us all dressed in the black and bling. 

Progress was made by Jocelyn with these blocks which were started in a workshop with Mary Williams a few years ago.

And Pauline has made progress on this quilt which is a birthday gift for a friend. A border is still to be sewn, and then I shall get a photo.

This little pile is not getting a lot of progress, as the owner is too busy helping others with their projects.

 Pat's progress with the candlewicked quilt.

 Early morning photo before they are all up. The brick wall is due for a quilt or two to hang up there when I get something up for them to hang on.

My sister sent me this photo on facebook yesterday, and thought I might like it. I don't know whose quilt it is, or I would acknowledge them. My sister is not a quilter, or a sewer, but she thought of me. And when I saw this photo, I was reminded a a colourwash quilt that I had started many, many, years ago  in my early quilting years.

So I went to the drawer where all my projects are, that are "patiently" waiting for my quilter to get her act together!! And I found this little wall hanging. Maybe it was time to get it finished?? It seemed like it was meant to be.

So it was loaded onto Max and now it's done. Well, except for the binding and hanging sleeve.

I might have to start working through the pile in the drawer. Some of them are not large and would not take long. So stay tuned for more progress. That "balance" that I have been striving for, might just be about to happen!!

And before I finish up, maybe a photo of Miss Bridie would be appropriate. I don't think she was allowed to get to the chocolate under the paper, but was quite happy with the paper.

I hope you have had a lovely Easter, whatever you have been doing.

Blessings, From Jude

Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday

I found this picture on facebook this morning, and "borrowed" it to post on my blog.
I have spent time in contemplation and remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made for me and you. What an awesome thing, because he loves us so much.

I hope your Easter is full of hope, as you celebrate this special time.

Many blessings to you all,

From Jude

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Back to quilts

A few weeks ago I quilted the following quilt which was made by Shirley of  Quilters Harvest. The pattern is called "All about Baskets" and is a BOM available from Quilters Harvest of Warracknabeal. A very pretty quilt in lovely soft colours, and I am sure they would be pleased to hear from you if you wish to order the BOM. It is a mix of piecing, and applique.

Hopefully the future has more quilt photos than renovation ones, and might include some of my projects too. I was going to call them my UFO's, but I think I might say PHD's, as that sounds much more intelligent, don't you think?  I hope to finish piecing the "wedding" quilt this weekend. I definitely need to get this done as the wedding was more than 3 months ago.!! They are a bit worried about how long I might take to make it, because I started a quilt for DD3 when she was about 18 years old, and it is not finished yet. (She is now in her 30's!!!)

I have some all over quilting to be done today, and a bedroom to clear of all the "decluttered" stuff, so that Val can sleep in the bed this weekend. Yesterday I shifted the rubbish from the pergola, although I admit that most of it has just been moved a bit further out, as the rubbish bin is full for this week. It will take me a few weeks to shift most of it.

Have a good day, whatever you are doing, and wherever you are. The weather here this week is just lovely, and would be good "in the garden" weather.

Blessings, From Jude

Monday, 21 March 2016

Building a kitchen

This post is overloaded with kitchen reno photos, so if you want quilting come back another day. This post is a record for my blog book.

This is how the room looked when they started, empty and needing a panel of gyprock under the window to replace the old rotten piece.

Saturday morning, and the new piece has been put in.

First piece of the puzzle was the units for the corner pantry cupboard. This is where the first problem appeared with an error in the sizing.

While DS was working on the pantry, DSIL was putting these units together. (I think they are called carcases??) DSIL is an electrician, and not a cabinet maker, and I asked him if he might go into a sideline making cabinets!! He assured me NO. I do have some photos of him "on the job", but he told me in no uncertain terms that there were to be no photos of him put on, so....

The pantry is in place. The other shelves inside it were added at the end.

Placing the base units that the cupboards sit on.

Adding the cupboards.

 Putting the benchtops onto the base cupboards.

 All the benchtops are in place, and if that all fits then it's good!!

This was my observation station. Not sure if they liked being watched, but I found the whole process fascinating. I can liken it to making a quilt, and putting the pieces together, and sometimes things don't fit, and you need to come up with other options, or fudge it to make it go together. Well, there were a few problems with some of these units, and I was very impressed with how DS came up with solutions and a workaround to them. (Nearly all of them.)

Overheads going up.

 And doors are added, and this is where is was by the end of Saturday.

Sunday morning, and the kitchen sink is brought in.

The hole being cut out.

And it fits into place.

 This was my "camp kitchen" for a few weeks while I had no kitchen. And all the things that went into my cupboards were washed in this little bowl, as the plumber had not yet connected the taps into the new sink.

My toaster, kettle and a microwave was what I used for this time.

The kickplates are going on, and I was putting on the door handles.

Things are being put into my pantry.

It's Monday morning, and the last few things are being done. The electrical things need to be done in the roof, and this includes shifting the wiring for the stove, which has been relocated to a different position in the kitchen layout. DS did the plans for the kitchen and he did a great job. It is a much more user friendly room now. I am so blessed that he used to be a cabinet maker, and now he is an electrician. 
These drawers had some problem, but DS spent quite a time sorting out the problem and they are done.

Just checking the last few things before he left at lunchtime on the Monday. The rangehood was up but not connected as the box did not contain the flue needed, and it was a public holiday, with no shops open. Under the microwave you can see a gap, where there should be wide drawers, but these were cut wrong, so will be done in the next trip.

This bench top had a raw edge instead of laminated, so will be finished in April when DS comes back to fix a few things.

This is where DS left on Monday. A massive achievement for the weekend. DSIL was here for Saturday, and I thank them both immensely for what they did. All the drawers and cupboards have those soft closer things on them, which I have not had before. Took a bit of getting used to that, and it's funny, because now I expect it, and when I am shutting the doors on cupboards in other rooms, for some reason they don't close properly!!

It is Wednesday and the tilers are on the job to the left, and the plumber on the right. Progress!

The last tile is put into place.

The plumber has finished, with taps connected and the dishwasher installed. The tilers have finished and the it has all been cleaned and I am in!

Maybe I need to post a photo here of the old kitchen, so might come back and edit this post later.

Edited....found a photo, although lots of stuff on the benches, but now I have so much more cupboard  space so that I can clear the benches!! And in this photo the overhead cupboard has already been taken down from the wall. So now I have a lovely pantry cupboard, lots of overheads, the stove is shifted to the side wall, and with benches either side of it, which means more bench space too. The freezer is now in the dining area near the table.

Time to get Max started for the day, and get some allover quilts done this week. It is a short working week, in the lead up to Easter. I am looking forward to next weekend, with some friends coming to stay and try out the "new" house. I have a sewing project I need to finish piecing, and I can't wait.

Be back with some quilting photos real soon.

Blessings, From Jude