Monday, August 31, 2009

The Plot is Lost

Today is yet another beautiful sunny day at the Gephart. Summer is certainly leaving us graciously this year with lovely sunny cool days and pleasant clear nights. I am playing hooky from work today - with the boss's permission of course! Just taking the last day of school holidays to spend time preparing for the first day of school - well Little J starts Grade 2 tomorrow and Big J and Middle J don't go back till next week - they'll be a Senior and a Junior respectively this year.
The above photo is the view from our front porch - it doesn't do the view justice. As you can see we are well above street level (27 steps to be precise), which doesn't make us smile when it comes to hauling up shopping bags, but does afford a smirk with the beautiful view!
I found these two pals - Sally & Linus - surveying their domain from the ledge of the front porch. Generally they argue over who is going to get this prime barking location, but today they are too busy enjoying the view :-)
So in reality, although I should be preparing for tomorrow, I am again sucked into a new project - which involves recycling a pair of Little J's Levi's and some quilting scraps into a small bag. Hence the reason for my title - as Mr. VW completely avoiding making a comment when he asked what I was making. Generally he has something positive to say about my little projects, well not always positive, but he at least makes some sort of remark. So with no remark at all for the duration of the project I wonder if I had completely lost the plot on this bag making project.
Please, tell me, am I crazy?

I love it! I used the pockets, the side seams of the legs (the handle), the button and of course the back part of the jean legs (the fronts were worn and thread bare). Lined with my favorite fabric with extra pockets and I stiffened it with some interfacing.

It's small, probably could have been a wee bit bigger, but I don't carry much junk around so I think it will work. I did find it was the perfect size for my camera, ball of yarn, tiny scissors and a crochet hook! Does a girl need anything else in their bag???
Ok I am off now, I think it needs a finishing touch of some tiny crochet flowers....oh and I think Mr. VW might like it if he comes home to some dinner tonight for a change. :-0

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farewell Summer

It's been a lovely day here at the Gephart. The weather is sunny, with just one early morning shower to cool things down. Mr. VW and I have been busy in the garden getting ready for the arrival of Autumn or Fall as the folks over here like to call it. Tidying up the flower beds and trying to shoo away any bugs that might decide to take up residence in the house once the weather gets cool.
Autumn is certainly in the air, the weather is cooling and there are leaves to be swept off the patio each day. This afternoon I took a little walk (well really a few steps as we have a tiny lot) around the garden to capture what's left of the summer flowers.

The Rose of Sharon bush has some beautiful flowers this year - and is apparently home to some bees - do you see the cheeky bum of the one I couldn't persuade to move on while I took a photo?
The beans, peas and zucchini have been replaced by pots of lavender, rosemary and 'mum's on a bed of new cedar mulch (hopefully to keep the stinky bugs away that joined us last winter).

There are one of two pansies left, which you may remember from this post here way back in May.

The 'Mum's (Chrysanthemums) which I planted last year are beginning to bloom.

The butterfly bush is struggling to show it's last tiny flowers.

And to my surprise, the strawberry plants didn't crisp up in the heat of summer, they are now growing like mad and there were loads of strawberries!
I love the arrival of Autumn, getting ready to start back at school, buying new school clothes and supplies, the weather cooling down and the glorious views of the leaves changing on the mountains which surround our little Gephart. I try not to think about the fact it's a sign that old man winter is right around the corner. The farmers almanac tells us were going to have a snowing cold winter this year :: I sure hope those farmers at the almanac are wrong.......

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crochet L::O::V::E

I honestly believe you can fall in love with a crochet project.....honestly. So I guess there is no need to go into detail on how much I LOVE my newest blanket creation. Needless to say I am having challenges in putting this latest project down - rising at in the wee hours before Mr. VW treks off and staying up at night way past Big J (17) & Middle J (16).
Mr. VW is concerned, researching medicine for such an addiction and trying to persuade me that there is life (and dinner to be cooked) beside this newest project.
One day hopefully these little squares will become a lovely big blanket for my bed.....

Please let me know if I am completely nuts about the crochet::love theory.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

J + J + J = FUN!

Today we enjoyed the glorious sunshine and cooler weather and took all three J's for a trip to this lake. It's a challenge these days to wrangle all three of them at the same time into adventure - Middle J & Big J as teenagers have very busy calendars!!!!
The weather I have to say was near perfect - nice a warm in the sun for a swim, nice and cool in the shade for some crochet business (new project - sorry no photos yet). The boys had a fabulous time. Big J and Mr. VW engaged in some fishing, which apparently was quite unsuccessful and Middle J & Little J partook in some sand castle & swimming business. I of course observed all of this from the safety of my blanket!

Choice of sand or grass for my viewing position.
Little J & Middle J racing off to get their swim gear on. (Well Little J was the racing one, Middle J was a little less enthusiastic with Little J's idea of racing).

Big J & Little J enjoying finding stones to skim.

One last look back.
A small treasure presented to me by Big J as we were about to depart.....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Stitch from Home

The last time (4 yrs ago) I went home for a holiday - yes I still call this place home even after 18 years - my Mum helped me find these lovely little cross stitch patterns. She knew full well that even though I was on holiday and only home for 3 weeks, I wouldn't be able to keep my sewing fingers idle. I found them the other day while I was rummaging through my sewing box - actually I found quite a few little (and big) cross stitch patterns I have completed, but done nothing with. Some I even did when I first arrived here! These are my favorites - mostly because they are scenes from home and more because I remember spending evenings with my Mum and Dad chatting after Little J was tucked up in bed for the night. It was the last time I got to spend time with them..... Anyway, I am not really sure what to do with them? I have zero funds to have them professionally frame (the economy has hit us hard here at the Gephart with the lovely Mr. VW losing his job almost a year ago and having to take one at less than half the pay). So suggestions on how to display these would be greatly appreciated!

Sorry for the crap photos (again) it's late here and there is no light.
Quick update on Little J's ghoulish quilt - it's coming along wonderfully and I am now starting to really enjoy working on it! Little J is very excited by the progress I am making and hopefully it will be finished well before his big day.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ugly Quilting.....

.....well Little J won't agree with that title, as he chose the fabrics! As mentioned in my previous post, Little J has a birthday coming up. Well to be precise, it isn't until October 31st.....Halloween. Needless to say, being born on Halloween, our little Jack O Lantern, loves all things ghoulish! As soon as he spotted the Halloween fabric in the shops, he made his second commission request :: a Spoooooky Halloween quilt for my birthday please! He selected all the lovely fabrics and I was briskly put to work. Little J knows full well that although his birthday is more than two months away, it's best to crack the whip now or Mummy might never get done..... :-) So on this sticky hot Sunday, I have been sweating under the light of my sewing machine and the heat of a super hot iron.
Cutting squares....
Gathering scraps off the as not to destroy my vacuum cleaner later on when I am too lazy to pick them up :-)
Sewing squares....36 thus far!
This quilt still has a long way to go, it's hard to be inspired to sew when you don't particularly like the fabric....oh and your number one critic keeps popping in to crack the whip!!!

Leap the Dips

Yesterday we had our annual outing with friends to this park. It's a lovely small park, there is a water playground (sorry, forgot to take pictures) and there are amusement park rides and roller coasters. They also have beautiful flower beds with these amazing flowers (above) which are the size of dinner plates, even though it doesn't look like it in the photo!!! I wish I knew what they are called.

Anyway, the park is just the right size for a short day visit and there are rarely any lines for the rides. In fact there were a couple of times when our group of four boys were the only ones on the ride!!! I braved a few rides, but left the scary stuff to Little J & Mr. VW. We spent the entire day out yesterday, leaving at 9:30am and arriving home at 10pm - so much for a short day trip.....
Ready to ride Leap the Dips which is the worlds oldest roller coaster and was built in 1902!
Almost at the top - way too high and way too old for me!
The camera liked the Ferris Wheel the best :-)
My favorite - the Twister!

And the boys favorite, the Toboggan.
Today will be a quiet recovery day with some peaceful crochet and the start of a new project for Little J who has a birthday in the near future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bird on a Wire

Little colourful birds from Spool......the pattern which can be found here :: Spool Bird Mobile.

I believe there is a flickr pool set up just for these little guys....but it's hiding from me today.

Just a note :: attaching these to the stick is easy, balancing them for display purposes will require your 'second' language....(@%&*) :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Inspired by Marigold Jam

I just dropped by the lovely Marigold Jam and her post today could have been written by me!!!!! I too love to make bags and have her some thought process on them - they come together fast (no patience here) and they are useful - another plus is they generally use small amounts of fabric and therefore cost just a few $$$ to create. So here is a little gallery of my favorites (oh there are many more than this....but some inevitably end up in the "yep that didn't work" pile).
The Swirly Girly Bag. Now this is the first bag I like to say I 'designed'. Now by that I simply mean it was the first bag that wasn't a simple two squarish shapes put together - see the little 'pleat' in the front??? I made one fatal mistake with this bag. The fabric and lining are quite light weight and I failed to use any interfacing to stiffen it up so it's a bit floppy. :-) However, overall I like it - the photo is crap, so you may need to enlarge it to see it better (this probably applies to all the photos).

The Little Bird Bag. I love this bag. It has been used and abused....I wish I could have gotten a good photo of the lining - the fabric is my favorite. But I use this bag almost everyday.....the girls in my office love it. :-)

Patchwork Scrap. Now technically I didn't make the actual bag - but just gave it a make over. The front flap had some gawd awful embroidery on it (yes, I know how can embroidery be awful - trust me it was). So I flipped the front flap over and covered it in some left over 1 inch scraps. The pocket too suffered the same fate with awful embroidery, so I simply covered this over. I do really love this bag - it's quite a summery bag. Nice to sling over my shoulder and I love to see the patchwork each time I open it.
Now all this bag talk has me inspired to create a new one.....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Tone Blue Zig Zag

Firstly, I must thank Mr. VW for permitting the purchase of my lovely two tone blue Zig Zag - lord knows he was a patient man as I surveyed the 1,000's (and I mean 1,000's - the place has been in business since the '50s) of machines during three trips to the one and only local sewing machine store. Now you are probably wondering why on earth I would purchase this old fashion metal clunker of a machine, when I have my fancy new Brother????
Well as much as I love my Brother, it is truly only fond of the gentler side of sewing. It does not enjoy the stippling of my quilts and can put up quite a protest with the various error messages it presents during the process along with several needles being bent and broken. I was advised that these old metal machines are far more enjoyable to use in the free motion stippling process and far sturdier with their solid metal gears - as opposed to the electronics and plastics of my little Brother.
So today at lunch time I whizzed down the mountain to the store to pick up my machine! I grinned like a Cheshire cat all the way back to work. Was worthless in the work effort for the rest of the day and this evening waited patiently for Mr. VW to arrive home to unload the machine from my car - thank heavens it was $5.99 pizza night at the local pizzeria, otherwise the family would have starved! I hurried him upstairs and quickly set up shop. There were a few colourful words (did I tell you I speak 'sailor' as a second language) to be shared as I quickly read the manual, threaded the machine and then proceeded to break the thread at every attempt to sew - perhaps I should have read EVERY WORD in the instructions for threading??? Like left to right for needle threading means left to right, not right to left! Anyway, this beauty sews like a dream and is remarkable quieter than my Brother.
Here is my first attempt to make something - a quick handful of scraps from the basket and a tiny little quilt (normally I don't machine stitch my binding, but I was loving sewing on this machine so much I couldn't help myself). Anyway, this is just a tiny sample for me to keep with my machine as a record of my first attempt to use it! :-)
Now I can really get stuck into making some lovely new quilts for winter..... :-)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Little Pink Zip

Well I have to say today that I am quite overwhelmed with the lovely comments I have received on my blog - I haven't figured out yet how to reply to them :-/ but I would like to say a HUGE thank you to each person who takes the time to comment! It really makes me smile :-) and just makes my day!!!
Here is today's little project. A tiny zippered pouch for me to use in place of the humongous purse i carry in my handbag - a purse that quite frankly has more pockets for 'plastic' than any sane person should have. Now this little pouch does have just one slot for my plastic, because will every one has to have at least one! As it is practically dark outside, the photos are quite rubbish and I couldn't get a good one of the inside.
Tomorrow, I will have some very exciting news to share and hopefully some lovely photos of something 'blue' that Mr. VW has treated me too! Have I told you my favorite colour is blue? Have I told you I LOVE to sew? :-)
Till tomorrow....
Hope you all survive your Monday with a smile......