Wednesday, 30 April 2008

A special window

Gran is moving out of the house she and Grandad lived in for over 40 years. I have a lot of wonderful memories of the house and the beautiful garden, but there's one thing I really don't want left behind.
Sometime around 1995 I designed and painted a stained-glass-look window for use in my parents' upstairs extension, and Grand and Grandad asked me to to a matching pair for the windows at the front of their house. Part of the idea was to remove the need for any sheer curtains to make the sitting room more private.
At about 70cm high and a metre wide each, they were quite a job, but I really enjoyed it.
They feature the birdlife they loved, many of which fed on the feeders in their garden, and including a couple of crows as a nod to their family name.
The red gumleaves had to be redone a few times over the years, because initially they received a lot of full sun, and the red faded badly, although the blues are as vivid as ever.
It appears that contrary to what the buyers told Gran, the property was purchased by developers, and the house will be rented for a while before being demolished. I would hate for those windows to go, but a quote to replace them was $444 (albeit with a lifetime guarantee, which is a little redundant!).
So when we stopped by on Saturday to collect a couple of things, I took photos as best I could (the room is full of boxes) and I'm hoping to contact to developer so that we can remove the special windows ourselves before it comes down. Cross your fingers for me!

Gran doesn't know about all this (in fact, she's off in England on holiday while her family packs up and does the move for her!) but if I do manage to get the windows, I'm hoping to get one framed to surprise her.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Fluff Five

Sorry it's taken me so long, Ginger! I'm terrible about being tagged and forgetting. So here are my 5s:

5 things found in my bag:

1. Rusks
2. Work pass
3. Camera
4. a Toy (changes regularly)
5. Wipes

5 favourite things in my sewing room:

1. Professional photo of Eleanor
2. Panda and Dorf
3. The 3 quilts in here
4. Essential technology - camera, sewing machine and computer
5. My STASH!!!

5 things I have always wanted to do:

1. Ski in Europe or America
2. Be a mummy (done!)
3. Touch a Giant Panda
4. Visit Antarctica
5. Buy more quilt fabric!

5 things I am currently into:

1. Trying new quilting techniques
2. Improving my FMQ skills
3. Photographing James & Eleanor
4. Scrabulous
5. Gracie Lou - oh, wait, that's James, and me by default!

5 people I am tagging:

1. AJ
2. Helen
3. Joy
4. Kylie
5. Karina

Friday, 25 April 2008

Practising and peeking

This afternoon I finished a quilt top (peek to the left). But naturally the shops were shut and I needed backing, so I pieced the batting from my many scraps and turned my attention to practising my FMQ skills and trying out some patterns from the books I've acquired recently.

I've tried following quilting lines once or twice before and failed miserably, so put that technique aside until I had the chance to practise some more. It turns out it's not as hard and I'd made it out to be! I still have a long way to go, but I'm happy enough with my work that I'll be using this design on the quilt as soon as possible:I adapted it to fit the shape, and given the quilt design, I think I'll have to adapt it a lot more for the other spaces I want to quilt. I'll need to find something at the quilt shop I can use to mark the quilting pattern, too.I definitely need to work more on my feathers - at the moment I have very little say as to what direction they go! They look ok in the middle of a blank space, but I know if I wanted to do a certain shaped feather it would ignore my will and go its own sweet way!

And here is a peek at the border I added to Joy's RR centre:

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

I just love my Mummy

This is what James told me this morning after crawling into bed with me and asking to hold my hand! And again tonight. Isn't he lovely?
James is verging on 2 1/2 and, to borrow a friend's phrase, is VERY two! He's a bundle of mischievous energy, and is constantly finding new things for us to stop him doing; such as helping himself from the fridge (including some smashed eggs last weekend!), new ways to torment Shadow and Cocoa, jumping on the furniture and more. Although I seem to be saying, "No!" and, "Stop!" far too often, we also have some wonderful conversations.
He has developed a fascination with the sky, and likes to go out and see the moon and stars at bedtime. When we couldn't see it the other night, he told me, "We can't see the moon, 'cos it's too far away." This after a discussion earlier in the day when I had to explain that no, we can't touch the sun, it's too far for anyone to reach! And another night, "The moon's probably ouside, Mummy." Yes. Probably! Every time he sees a plane or helicopter, he tells me, "There's peoples in there, Mummy."
He also surprises me by correctly using fairly conceptual works such as 'either' and is starting to get the hang of me, I and you. In a very non-possessive way, he refers to everything as, "My Bec and my Ra", "That's MY mummy!" (when I collect him from childcare) and, "My sister" (or my princess!).
Although he's not asking "Why?" just yet, he loves everything to have a reason, and most of his sentences finish with "...'cos..." If he hasn't got a reason handy (and some he uses are rather obscure to say the least!) he'll say, "'cos....'cos....'cos....." then trail off as he tries to think of something.
He has finally mastered 'Ls' and for the first week, it was funny to watch his tongue work so hard to achieve it. But it seems that in remembering how to say it, sometimes he forgets to put it in until a bit late, so elephants are ephelants at the moment. He can now say 'Elaine' properly, but for some reason still just slurs over the L in Eleanor.
Since he caught gastro from Eleanor just before Easter, we've stopped the bottles, and he rarely asks for them now. it was a good time to make a clean break, as he was having far too many. He now eats much better. Some evenings he'll have a little warm milk in a mug (he likes the one with a fish on the inside to look at best!) and unless he's in the car or similar, he usually uses an open cup now, too.
Toilet training is stop and start, but I probably need to put a bit more effort into reminding him to go; I'm good at forgetting! The other night he let out a little fart, and chuckled away, then without prompting said, "Excuse me my bottom" which had Simon and I in stitches!
He knows some or all of a lot of nursery rhymes, and watching his DVDs is an active passtime; copying the moves, running around 'dancing' and singing along. His favourite bits involve shouting! He's also learning new songs at Heydee Ho, a weekly singing and dancing session at childcare, and sometimes it takes me a while to work out what song he's asking for.
As well as the gastro, we've had a few colds through the house in the last month, and this has obviously stuck with James. About a week after he got over his first cold, we were driving along when he asked for some cough medicine. I told him it wasn't in the car, and anyway, he wasn't sick any more, he hadn't been coughing. Pause. "*cough* *cough*" (they couldn't have sounded more fake if he'd tried!) "I cough." At random times he tells me, "I'm not sick any more." or, when asking for something he thinks he mightn't get, "'Cos it makes me feel better" with a cute turn of the head.
Last weekend he was riding his bike around the house and told Simon he was riding to work. When asked where he was going to work, he answered, "I go to work in bathroom" and off he went, then turned around, "I'm a bit sick, I'm not going to work now. Need some tabbits (tablets)."
After a rare rainstorm last week, we discovered some puddles and James had great fun jumping in them. His shoes were sodden for days, so at the next opportunity we went and got some gumboots - last season's are far too small! They have Thomas the Tank Engine on them, and for a couple of days he wore them everywhere - and pointed them out to everyone else at the supermarket! He's desperate for more 'piddles' to jump in - maybe this weekend, with any luck!
He got right into his Easter Egg hunt this year, and is still getting the occasional egg. Chocate!!!

Monday, 21 April 2008

A budding quilter

At 9 months old, Eleanor is a lot of fun. She is still commando-crawling after 3.5 months, but is very proficient at it, and we have to watch James closely, because he leaves things on the floor which aren't safe for her. She loves to play with her toys (and James') , but is often happy with just a piece of material to wave around and suck/chew. She loves to pat Shadow and Cocoa, but they usually see her coming and move before she can reach them. One night last week she did a couple of 'real' crawl moves, but quickly reverted to the faster style she has perfected! Here she is crawling outside at Port Hughes at Easter (note the tongue!):
Her 3rd and 4th teeth have come through, and now with 2 at the bottom and at the top, she is finding it easier to chomp through more solid food.Corn biscuits are a favourite, especially if they are swiped from James! She must have Sarah's fast metabolism, because she eats a lot and loves her food, but is still very petite. A lot of her summer clothes were barely worn, because she was still in size 000 until recently.
One of her new warm sleepsuits is a bit big, and she woke several times one night, having squirmed around until the neck was below her waist, and she was naked from the nappy up! That's now in the spare pile until she's a little bigger - only to be worn with a bodysuit underneath! Here they are in their new winter sleep-suits:
Her carers at child care made a breakthrough last week, and she is now drinking milk from a bottle. Until then they were having to squirt it in using a large medicine syringe; very tedious! I am still feeding her morning and night, and one or two during the day when I'm not at work. She has a peculiar feeding style (although she only does this when she's feeling especially active). And yes, she was actually feeding at the time!
She is still sleeping well, and now sleeping much longer at night. We're putting her down earlier, and are trying to to let her self-settle, although some nights are more successful than others, and some nights we spend ages bouncing her to sleep. She still sometimes wakes too early for a morning feed (between 4 and 6) but goes straight back to sleep afterwards.
If I'm on the floor, she treats me as a climbing frame, and she pulls herself to standing with anything she can get a grip on, but isn't good at controlling going back down yet, and has bumped her forehead and nose a few times.
She's also started playing peek-a-boo on her own, very cute!
She still makes her scrunched-up pouty face when she's really happy. She must think it's cute, because it gets a good reaction. But while it shows a lot of character, it is hardly attractive! Her tongue is busy, too. We know she's really happy when she pokes her tongue out with a smile!
In the last week she has been really chatty again. She goes through quiet and chatty weeks, and at the moment we're hearing her babble away a lot; mostly random sounds, but also the start on dadada and mamama. She waves hello and goodbye and repeats a sound resembling hello. She's not too keen on being thrown in air the way James was, but thinks it's great fun to dangle upside down.She is still very much mummy's girl, but is usually quite happy to go to other people now - especailly if I'm still within sight.
With Great-Grandma:
With Nanny:
With Pop:

Playing with James in her cot:


The postman arrived with some unexpected parcels this morning! First an indulgent parcel from Ellie, as a thankyou for the quilt I sent her Little One. I took the lavender eye bag straight out and took it back to bed with me where I was nursing the end of my migraine, and some of the Pink Currant & Tea fragrant melts are in my oil burner now, giving the house a delicious, indulgent scent.
And second, a parcel of 5 quilt books I didn't even know I'd won through Down Under Quilts! I see some enjoyable browsing ahead this afternoon.
So now I'm having some raisin toast, enjoying my scented, peaceful (children at childcare) house, and about to do some sewing.


Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wild Wind revealed

Wild Wind blew into Queensland today, where the littlest Hillbilly will hopefully be allowed to play on it one day! I hope Ellie doesn't mind I used some of the scraps from Red and White and Butterflies All Over; I figured I knew she liked them! Those and the red silhouette stripe fabric which had been a contender for that quilt, too!
I learned a lot about the strips'n'curves technique and how it works, and maybe next time I will have a better idea of what I'm doing and how it'll turn out! I can certainly see things in this one I would change if I did it again (and that's after several recuts when I had the segments all laid out together!)

Monday, 14 April 2008

You knew it was coming...

Here are the photos I got of James at the same time. Tomorrow I'll add some candid photos and a proper update.