Sunday 23 August 2020. #109

Hello friends! Welcome to a sunny but cold south coast of New South Wales. It’s a beautiful day but the apparent temperature is only 5.2 degrees Celcius! It’s lovely in the house as we had the sun streaming in to warm it up. At this point I’m hoping this post makes it out on time and as I like it. The WordPress editor has been updated and it’s very clunky. I hate it when improvements seem to be like taking a step backwards. I can only go back to the Classic Editor if I upgrade to a business plan and that’s way out of my budget. To add to that, my Adobe Lightroom wasn’t syncing with my phone and I’ve had that issue nearly every week. Despite the fact that I uploaded more than half last night, the photos are coming through at a dribble over several hours and not in order. It means I can’t finish any section until they are in and edited. Enough complaining!

This week has been as normal a week as I’ve had since before the Covid lockdown in March. Sunday was a bitterly cold day and I had to go into town for an Osteopath appointment in the late afternoon and I also called in a the hospital to visit my mother in law, Jean, who had been admitted the evening before with a broken hip. Unfortunately she was still in theatre so I didn’t get to see her then. Even though it was a nasty day, it was nice to see such a beautiful magnolia bush. It has been working hard toward spring! On Monday, I caught up with some girlfriends for breakfast at Huskisson. It’s the first time I’d been able to get to one since April when we moved to Bawley Point. I also have a picture of the three agave plants that my friend Kerry gave me. These are pups from her plants that will go into the front garden when we get around to it. Robert is currently working on the front garden, preparing it for the turf we’re ordering once the winds die down. The turf underlay needs to go in first and we don’t want that blown away before the turf arrives. We’ve had some beautiful sunrises to wake up to and I can’t help myself but take a photo. I restrained myself and only put one here. 😊 I did get to visit with Jean twice since my first failed attempt.

On Tuesday, I finally got the bike out and dusted off for its first ride since January. It had been locked up in storage and recently under the house. The tyres needed pumping and I was off! I rode Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Apologies for all the photos but it’s such a beautiful area that I took heaps!

On Wednesday I had a few girlfriends over for a sewing day. It was a lovely day and nice enough to sit on the deck for lunch. My friend Carol had her art studio open on Thursday and I even got some painting done! I spent a lot of time in my studio this week but have not done much for setting it up further as my Ikea order doesn’t arrive until tomorrow. I have been cooking again. I found another of @notquitenigella’s recipes, this time for a Moist Pumpkin and Walnut bread – it was very yummy but I forgot to add the pepitas on top before putting it in the oven. I also made some Portuguese Custard tarts. This is a very old recipe of mine and I always make them when I make my Apple and Pecan friands. I forgot to take a picture of those but I made them gluten free for our sewing day. This uses 5 egg whites and I use the yolks for the tarts. I had a mishap while making the friands – I totally forgot to put in the melted butter! I realised at about halfway through cooking so I spooned some over each of them. They turned out perfectly even without the butter as all I managed was for the butter to sit on the bottom of the cupcake pan. That just goes to show that they probably don’t even need the butter!

Knitting

Knitting has slowed down this week as I’ve been able to use my studio for other crafts. Previously, all I did was knit. Most of my knitting this week has been on the Big Wool Baby blanket as it is so easy to pick up and knit on. This is about halfway now so should be finished in about a week. There’s really very little to say about this one! Sorry – there’s no link for this one as I can’t find it anywhere.

I’ve made little progress on the Baby Sports Fan pullover as it reached a tricky point. I’m always spurred on by the fact that a post is about due so last night I finally finished off the shoulders. Originally I was going to use a three-needle bind-off but instead I went with a kitchener stitch – doesn’t it look great? Once that was done I was able to pick up the stitches for the sleeve. I can only do one at a time unless I split the ball of green in half – I don’t want to do that so I’ll do them separately. I am doing this by magic loop but I’m thinking I can possibly use my Chaiogoo shorties inter-changeables instead. I’ll see if I can get it small enough today.

Spinning

I finally finished my Ixchel Fibres October batt club spin! I have been listening to my latest books so I spent a good amount of time spinning. I finished it last night so it qualifies for Stash Dash but I’ve yet to count up the meterage. You can see the final skein and the three skeins together. I have finally put all three in to soak and I’ll be hanging them up very soon.

Sewing

Last week I showed a picture of some overalls that I’d cut out. I sewed these together on Wednesday during our sewing day. I had a cut at centre front of the neck that I needed to resolve and ended up making a “V” slit. I think they turned out quite well – the actual colour is in between the two photos. I bought some buttons yesterday so now I can add the buttonholes and finish it off.

This week I got to use my studio dining table for cutting out a large pattern, which is one of the uses I have for it. I pinned out the Charlotte dress pattern and cut it out – what a dream to have this table for cutting! I have been doing a step or two most days and it’s coming along nicely. I have essentially finished the top half, though I intend to stitch down the facing as it doesn’t like staying in place. I have now started on the skirt section and hope to have it finished by next week. I tried the top on and it seems to fit. The beauty of a wrap dress is that you can fudge a little either way. The skirt has a lovely frill and I think that may be a little bit fiddly – mainly just hemming the frill. Stay tuned for a dressmaking finish perhaps next week!

If you’ve read my recent posts you’ll know that I have a couple of grand babies coming in a few months time. This has inspired me to make a few baby things and, in the way of TomKat Stitchery‘s module sewing, I have worked out a couple of baby modules. The first three of the fabrics below are new and the other two have been waiting patiently. I now have plans for them and some others that you’ll see in Acquisitons. The first three are for Baby 1 and the two bottom ones are for Evie. Baby 2 fabrics are shown in Acquisitions but I’ll have a better photo of all of them when they are dry. The first two photos are of a muslin that I hemmed up – so easy to do and it’s ready! The other two fabrics are for the Made By Jacks Mum (MBJM) Pick’n’Mix bodysuit, short sleeve version. This pattern is amazing as it has the option of t-shirt or body suit with three necklines and two sleeve lengths and an option of fold-over mitts. There is plenty of fabric so I’ll probably be making some items for Baby 2 out of these as well but I also have the MBJM Over-it-alls that could come from this fabric too. The final two pics have some jersey for a Pansy dress and some cotton for a Geranium dress for Evie. If there’s enough left, I may be also able to make some shorts for Baby 1.

Patchwork

I’ve made some progress on my Superman baby quilt this week. I attached some short sashing inbetween the smaller pieces and laid out the blocks so that I could balance the colours. I think it works but I could move the blocks around all day and still not be happy! Since then, I’ve added the longer sashing to the large blocks and will now be able to join the columns and then put those together. I’m thinking this top will be finished by the next blog post and I’ll try to get it sandwiched for quilting.

Painting

As I mentioned in the opening, I got to do some painting at my friend Carol’s place this week. I’m not very artistic but I like to dabble and prefer to be instructed, or I try to copy something. I chose another of Wow Art’s YouTube tutorials – this time an African sunset. It’s not finished yet, mainly I have to complete the sun and I’d like to adjust the highest sun reflection as it’s not right. The painting started with a masking tape circle which I couldn’t remove until it was dry and now I need to paint into that to blend it to the rest of the sunset. I really like how the trees came out and I’m happy with the bottom two thirds of it. At least I have fun doing it. 😊

Acquisitions

I have purchased some more baby fabric. I don’t think I showed the lovely dinosaur jersey and animal muslin in my last post but I had already purchased it. Yesterday, I called in at Spotlight and picked up a few more fabrics for my Baby Modules. Baby 1 is a boy but we don’t know the gender of Baby 2 so I tried for some neutrals. It’s very difficult to get a neutral that doesn’t tend to one gender or the other. I also needed some ribbing and there was an extremely limited selection. I managed to get some white but I couldn’t get a pale cream. Even looking on the website I was unable to find what I need so I think I may try to tea dye some white to get the colour I need. I also purchased the 5Berries Alex shortie romper pattern which is ever so cute! I’ll be making a few of these – you can add frills to the straps too. I have a few baby gifts to whip up and these could be perfect. I also bought a baby shorts pattern which I don’t have here but I’ll include it when I get some patterns that I ordered online. There is currently a 5 for $20 sale for Simplicity, Butterick and McCalls patterns at Spotlight but they didn’t have many of the ones I wanted. I managed to get online and have taken advantage of this fantastic deal. Normally, a single pattern is about $20, if not more! It was even hard to look at the pattern books and in the pattern drawers as there was competition to get to them. It was so much easier to order online!

Paraphernalia

I had a feeling that this week’s post would be a long one! I think it’s because I can now dabble with most of my crafts, rather than being limited to mainly knitting. Last week I had started listening to The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn but I really wasn’t enjoying it. Instead, I started and finished Sulfur Springs by William Kent Kreuger (Book 16) and have started Extreme Prey by John Sandford (Book 26). I have several series that I listen to and it’s like listening to an old friend. There are several more in these series yet for me to listen to. I’ve also watched some more of the latest season of The Blacklist and started on the fourth season of Cardinal on SBS On Demand.

Tomorrow is the day my Ikea order is arriving and I’m excited for it. That means I’ll be able to get my studio set up properly. I hope it doesn’t take forever to put all the furniture together – I’ll be asking for some help with these. Hopefully, I’ll have a studio update in the next post, assuming I get much done. I don’t have a lot on my plate this week so should be able to make some good headway. Tuesday night is Book Club and I have a physical book to read so I don’t know if I’ll get that finished in time! I have my Evie day on Wednesday and I’m hoping the weather is nice for a trip to the park.

I think I’ve managed to get this post done properly in the new editor and have babbled enough, so until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!

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