Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review

I'm in the perfect spot right now as I reflect on all that 2012 has dished up. I've just finished my second glass of Sav and eaten copious amounts of Brie, dips and Jatz. And I've just taken myself out to the verandah of our holiday residence here on the northern coast of Tasmania.

So, where do I start? It's past year has given me and my family more financial security than ever.we bought our first home together, which meant we moved. And although the move was physically hard, it was mentally easy and I can honestly say has made for a much healthier family!

My kids have continued to make me proud. I now have an extra man living I the house, as the 14 year old continues to mumble inaudibly and sleeps in (finally!), I look up to him(literally,as he's pipped me I the height stakes) and cannot be more pleased with the person he is growing to be. The other three have com along I leaps and bounds, and although I faced up to the fact that I was not the perfect mother, I know I must've doing something right.

Today, being my 9th wedding anniversary with Andrew is the best day to reaffirm what I knew within weeks of meeting him - he is amazing, and I thank the heavens above for sending me a man who has passion, drive and goals. He also has a huge heart and thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread....who am I to argue?

We've had family members leave us and others fighting to stay on. Battles that are still not won, but will be give a fair crack!

But the biggest thing that has impacted my life this year and has made all of the previously mentioned things magnified, is witnessing grief and loss in its most devastating form. My beautiful friend lost her soul mate and partner/husband of almost 30 years and her pain has been beyond my imagination. Watching someone you care about go through hell can only be described as incredibly sad. I can't tell you how many times I have told her "it's fucked" because there are literally no other appropriate words to describe it. Through it although, she has showed incredible strength and will,to be there for her amazing children. And reaffirms what I have always known about her, that she is awesome.

Her loss has altered my priorities somewhat. I hug my husband tighter and more often, and whenever things seem really shit and hard to deal with - I think of her.  I also see rainbows differently.....

So all in all, 2012 has served up some crap, with a side serving of goodness. I'm hoping to take the side serve and make it a regular in 2013. I'm starting the year with the most positive outlook I think I have ever had, and hope it will hold me in good stead for all that fabulousness that is yet to come!

And with that my friends, I wish you all a wonderful New Years Eve and better still,a healthy and happy 2013! Thank you all for dropping in and I hope to see you all more in themes year!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

I've got My Ranty Pants on.....Again

So I have my ranty pants on tonight.  Most of my ranting of late is to do with social networking and teenagers.  Basically because I have a teenager and he lives and breaths social networking.  Don't get me wrong - I am quite obviously in to social networking, but the past six months or so have opened my eyes way more than I am comfortable with in regards to the way our teenagers are portraying themselves to the world.

And here are just a couple of examples why.....

I've been banging on to Lochie about being aware of what he is "liking" on FB.  The fact that when I look through my newsfeed I can see that he likes 50 girls status's and/or photos of them leaning forward in to the camera lens with their tongue hanging out the side of their mouths makes me queasy.  Not because he likes that sort of shit - he's a teenage boy with a pulse - but because these girls are putting that crap up there for him and a million other boys and possibly pedophiles to see....

The fact that I can then (if I wanted to) right click on any of said photos and save them to my computer makes me ill.  And I'm a harmless, 37 year old Mother of four.  Who else could save these photos to salivate over???

Then there's the posts he likes from ridiculous FB pages and/or groups.  One of them was beautifully titled "Straya C*nts".  Lovely.  Let's just say I was able to delete this page from his list whilst I still had his password...  I pointed out to my beloved son that not only was I seeing this shit in my newsfeed, so were his grandparents and potentially anyone else who had eyesight.  I am no prude, and have been known to drop the odd "C" bomb, but would not and could not in front of my parents or grandparents.

Last week was the straw that broke the camel's Mummy's sanity!  Now that Instagram is gaining a tight hold on everyone, it seems a young girl whom I'm assuming is probably quite charming, has named herself "Infinity Whore"......and Lochie is "following" her.  There are so many things wrong with this scenario I don't even know where to begin.  The bottom line is this - no 14 year old girl should be naming herself in any way, shape or form a Whore.  Not for amusement, not for popularity and certainly not for anything but degradation.  Unfortunately it took quite a few conversations, raised voices and the reality that he will some day in the near future have two sisters the same age as this girl, to finally get through to him that this was NOT OK.  Oh, and a phone call to his Father threatening not to pay phone bills or give him access to any form of internet and/or phone if he did not use communication tools in a way I find respectable.

  I posted this on his FB page and we spoke about it.  I think I'm on track....
{Source unknown due to random FB post}

To top all of this, last night whilst scrolling through  FB world, I see my darling son has liked a young girl's status about it being nice to know that some people care out there.  For some unknown reason it raised my curiosity, and when I clicked on this girl's page I was horrified.  There were several posts about wanting to kill herself.  About how close she lives to a train line.  And that she had tried to kill herself the previous night.  As I read through it all, I wondered who her parents were?  I wondered who I could contact to let them know their baby was in trouble?  And as I scrolled down this stranger's page, I recognised two other children in her photos.......  They just happen to be a friend's children, and after emailing said friend, I find out this morning that she is the friend's step-daughter.

My friend was very grateful I had emailed her, and during a phone call this morning explained that the young girl had been banned from FB, but had obviously opened up her own account and gone on to block all family members from any access to her page.  What she didn't think about was the ever growing six degrees of separation that FB has helped to create and make public.  Her step-mother now has screen shots of her page so she can somehow deal with the situation at hand.

Now I questioned my actions this morning.  Should I have butted in?  Should I have made contact and let this girl's family know what was going on?  I DID NOT HESITATE.  I would want someone - anyone, to butt in and contact me if God forbid I had no idea.  And as another friend pointed out - I could not live with myself if I hadn't and something happened.

It has also made me wonder how parents are dealing with the 24/7 presence of social media in our children's lives?  Another friend asked me last week how long I thought it would be before Lochie would no longer allow me to be friends with him on FB?  Ummmmmm - how about NEVER?!?!  We have rules in this family - and many relate to his usage of FB.  I believe that having his password for the first couple of years he was on there was the single most smartest thing I could have done.  I picked up so many inappropriate things, but turned them in to lessons for him.  He knows that if he wants to use FB, he needs to follow my wishes of using it respectfully - OR HE WON'T HAVE IT.  As I said to him last week - having his phone, laptop and unlimited access to WiFi is a PRIVILEGE,  NOT A RIGHT.  And I am more than happy to remove his privileges whenever I see fit..... are you dealing with your kids and social media?  Would you alert a parent to a potential issue on their child's page?


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Back to THE Suburb

Last night, we ventured back in to our old suburb.  Apart from getting my hair done, it's the first time I have been back.  We were invited to a get together for Christmas drinks, dinner and swimming.  Perfect.  Only it took me quite a few weeks to decide whether we would be going.  You see, when we moved back in July, we not only moved house, but I moved my head space.  I made a conscious decision to give myself time away from a place that had not only been home for eight years, but had also been very difficult for me to live in for the last two years we were there.

I've written quite a few posts about the shit I went through, but nothing really specific.  I don't find much point in re-hashing past events that I'm "over", but for your sake I'll make it short and sweet.  When Chelsea started Kindergarten, I met a group of really great chicks.  I wasn't really keen on making new friends as I (and this sounds ridiculous) already had enough good friends to get me through.  In fact, I'd only met one of my best friends a couple of years before at playgroup.  Anyway, I embraced these new friendships, and before I knew it, there was a group of us that would sit together at school events, get together on weekends, and go out for dinner on occasion.  Just after I had my hysterectomy, my best friend started distancing herself from me.  And over a month or two, was being so strange around me that I constantly found myself asking her whether I had done something wrong?  After many responses from her that all was well, I was left very confused, but was also very aware that she was spending a whole lot more time with one of the other Mums from school, and to be quite honest - I was hurt.

Eventually I ended up emailing her, and really pressing for a reason as to why things had changed between us?  And that's where it all headed down hill.  Things deteriorated quite quickly and before I knew it I was a bit of an outcast at school and was ignored and shunned by the same people I had become pretty close with.  It devastated me.

Facebook showed me in no uncertain terms that the group were still all friends, and that I had been left out of social gatherings, and my now ex-best friend quite cheerfully changed her profile pics and status updates to include others instead of myself.  Whilst a couple of those women still were polite and cheerful to me in person, my trust was damaged and I had no idea what was being made of me behind my back.   I had become consumed by the events, and was not coping - I'm not ashamed to say that I ended up in counselling.

Thankfully I have an amazing husband, whom at the time told me in no uncertain terms that this group of women would all eventually combust, and turn against one another.  True to his word, this exact thing happened, and some of those same women were left feeling exactly how I had felt.

Throughout this whole shitty ordeal, came a few wonderful things.  I met some other amazing Mums at the school.  And some I already knew became closer to me, and helped lift me out of the crappy situation I was in.

So my mental health was of utmost importance when we moved.  I needed to literally get a whole suburb out of my head.  I needed to re-centre my trust and figure out who it was I wanted to keep in touch with.  Five months later, and a cuppa with a friend early this week ended my break up with suburbia, and helped me to realise that I was now over it.

Fast forward to last night, and a lovely evening spent with some of those same Mums, talking over drinks and screaming kids in the swimming pool.  There wasn't much talk about the past, I'd spoken to each of the women there already, and had buried the hatchet.  It takes a big person to apologise for past mistakes and an even bigger person to let it go.  So yep - I'm calling myself a bigger person!

Anyway, this bigger person has had a fabulous day at work and has just popped the kids in to bed.  Andrew is comfortably planted on the lounge with PS3 controls firmly in hand and I'm wondering how we are going to manage hiding a bike in the shed for 24 hours without the kids sniffing it out?  So with my mental health back at it's best - I will now go and plant my own arse on a different lounge and think of some more reminiscing to share with you before this year is over!

Have you ever felt a time or place has sucked the life out of you?  Do you ever want to throw a video game station out a very high window??  

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Thirty-one years ago, I changed schools.  I was only one term in to grade one at Merrimac Primary School when we up and moved to a more country-ish town called Coomera.  Back in 1981, Coomera didn't have much.  There was a milk bar at the caravan park on the corner of the highway, a police station and a small grocery store (well there was probably more, but as a six year old those were the most important!).  My parents built a huge 52 square home on seven and a half acres.  We had dams, stables with horses, chickens galore and an aviary with all varieties of feathered friends.  There was a slow moving little creek that ran through the property and up until our pool was built I have memories of jumping in the creek or being dragged around the dam.  I won't go in to the time that dragging ended up with me being taken to hospital for my first set of stitches - let's just say that dams also have rocks and reeds growing under the water!

The local primary school was quite some kilometres away.  Over the other side of the highway, where not long after we moved, Dreamworld opened right across the road from said school.  My Mum would get a job there in the early 80's, along with lots of my friend's Mums, and some afternoons after school, we would wander across and dump our bags, and go through the back gate to spend a couple of hours on rides and water slides. was pretty tough.

Kids would come from miles away to this school.  Literally.  We would be picked up by the bus, mostly outside our own house - because neighbours were so far apart!  And we would all congregate at this same school.  It was here that I met the majority of my closest friends - even now, after all these years.

I wasn't what I would call a popular kid.  But I also wasn't not popular.  If you get what I mean?  My entire school life was spent bouncing from one friend to the next, one group to another.  And without sounding up myself, I think I was a pretty well liked kid.  I don't recall being teased (well, until high school when some smart ass boy asked me if I'd been sunbaking under a flyscreen?) or pushed around, I just went to school, learnt and had fun.

The reason I'm sharing all of this with you today?  Well, last Tuesday I decided I needed to send my Dad a hamper for Christmas.  You see, his Doctors have given him the "thumbs down" to travel to Melbourne for the festive season.  His health has been shocking since his little heart episode.  In fact, I'd been holding my breath until Thursday just gone, when what I think was a bone marrow biopsy (I say think because my dear old 69 year old Dad cannot for the life of him give me the proper names for all the tests he's been going through!) came back with nothing!  Hoorah!  I'd spent ten days freaking out because his doctors thought he may have bone cancer.  Now, it's just waiting on further results for his heart, kidneys etc etc.

Anyway, back to the hamper.......  I went online and was quite frustrated by the options laid out before me.  $70 for a crappy little hamper with crackers, red wine and other bullshit added in.  No good for my Dad who doesn't drink red wine, is not a fan of crackers and doesn't stand for bullshit.  So I headed over to the old faithful Facebook and popped up a status to all my Gold Coast friends, wondering who lived close to my Dad?  A couple of girls I went through school with popped up and a certain lovely lady only lived ten minutes away and was more than happy to put a hamper together for me AND drop it off to my Dad!  I was thrilled!

I messaged her a list of possible items - XXXX beer, Violet Crumble, fruit mince pies and a little pudding.  And lots of fresh fruit.  This wonderful human being went above and beyond for me, and blew me away with the end result.  She delivered it to my Dad yesterday.  Now, she had not seen my Dad for probably 25+ years, so to go to a near stranger's home and deliver a gift with personal touches is a big ask!  But she did it.  And she gave my Dad a hug and a kiss from me too.  AND sms'd a photo for me too!  Dad was surprised.  She said he was speechless.  Well, until he figured he had some company and wanted to have a chat.....

Dad with his loot!

I'm sharing this because I want to remind everyone that the Christmas spirit is in fact well and truly alive and kicking.  When I posted the photo on FB yesterday afternoon and did a public thank you to my friend, everyone I grew up with was chuffed.  Another of my life long friends messaged me and I sat in tears with gratitude for the friendships that were formed such a long time ago.  I don't know what was in the water in those little towns in the 1980's, but whatever it was - it helped form a great bunch of children, who have grown in to a wonderful group of adults who are just plain AWESOME!

And just keep this in mind, next time you're travelling down that huge and busy Pacific Motorway on the Gold Coast - Just when you're passing the McDonald's and big stores that line those towns, think of the hundreds of country kids who kicked around in the dirt and had no idea what a Maccas was.  Imagine us crossing the two lane highway to get to our school bus.  And try to picture a much simpler time.  Because that was my childhood.  Well, part of it anyway.....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chevron Love

When I first spotted chevron patterns I fell in love.  I bought yards and yards of rainbow chevron, I have a yard of navy blue and white hidden away, and when I put a bundle of fabric together for Cadyn's quilt, I knew I wanted some chevrons in there too.  I had no plans to make them a "feature" of his quilt, but I guess it just organically went that way!  I finished this baby last Saturday, and have been holding off showing the final results until today, which has been very difficult!  To say I am thrilled with the end result would be a huge understatement.  I don't think I have ever been so satisfied from a project - ever. 

So, here it is, my Chevron Love quilt!

This quilt has given me a new love also - for my walking foot.  For those non-sewers out there, a walking foot would have to be a quilter's best friend?  The fact that I could quilt this together with no trouble at al, no shifting of layers is a sheer miracle!  Sewing will never be the same....

The best part about this quilt?  My eight year old, hard-to-please son LOVES it!  I was trying desperately not to show it to him until Christmas, but Melbourne's weather stepped in and got all Darwin on us.  So I could not sew for a few days and when the temperature finally dropped it was a Saturday, and he was home.  But he kept me enthused with his passing comments in between cricket commentary.....bless.

I also finished a bunch of other goodies this week, and LITERALLY have NOTHING left to sew for 2012!  Oh, except for Chloe's dress that has been on my sewing room floor for about two months......must get on to that.

I'm linking up with Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday!  What have you finished this week?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Things To Do List - The Christmas Edition

I was at work today with a great chick, and we were both lamenting over the fact that we had no idea what we would be serving Christmas Day.  She hadn't started her Christmas shopping and we were wondering how on earth we would pull it all together?  And just to drain me even further, my Zen keeps getting misplaced stolen.  So, here is my to do list.....

1. Finish sewing the gifts that are half done on my sewing table.
2. Bake the Christmas cake.  The same one I made at work today without the aid of a beater.  I now have guns to rival He-man.
3. Do grocery shopping.
4. Write a list of what to get when grocery shopping.
5. Write the list BEFORE I go grocery shopping.
6. After said grocery shopping, change my mind about what we're eating Christmas Day and start all over again.
7. Investigate the option of ordering and picking up roast chickens on Christmas Day.  (Is this really an option!?!!?!?)
8. Call Family Assistance and see whether they have re-instated my child care rebate, which will in fact then put my debt to creche off the list.
9. Go to the city tomorrow morning to enjoy the spectacle of Christmas festivities with my littlest one.
10.  Figure out how we will fit 15 people at our table for Christmas lunch.
11. Find the KK gift I bought for my work Christmas dinner tomorrow night!
12. Take presents from hiding spot Christmas Eve only to find that one child has 80 presents and the others have five.....
13. Wrap presents.
14. Stop allowing people to steal my Zen!
15. Breath and enjoy myself....

Ten more sleeps til our Tassie break.  Not that I'm counting.

Are you making a list or just winging it???

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness - Amidst the Sillyness!

So I've been trying to be all up-beat and stuff about this whole festive thing happening at the moment.  I've made a myriad of handmade gifts for teachers and friends - and even my kids.  I'm taking Chloe in to the city on Thursday as a surprise, to go and see the Myer Christmas windows and whatever else Christmas themed we can find in there.  I've been to Christmas gatherings, have my work dinner this week, and am heading to a friend's house from our old neighbourhood on the weekend for a catch up.  For good measure - I'm even baking a frigging Christmas cake!!

I've finished the gift shopping.  Still yet to wrap everything.  I've sort of decided what we will be eating Christmas day, but still really have no idea.  I even managed to track down the last remaining hire car 12 seater mini van in Tasmania, for when we arrive there after Christmas.  We are thinking this holiday will be rather reminiscent of National Lampoon's Vacation!

I'm still looking forward to the excitement my kids bring to the table on Christmas Day.  The ripping open of wrapping paper, the untwisting of stupid bloody plastic ties ensuring parents cannot help Barbie escape from the box she came in.  The fighting over whose toy is who's, and the closely followed by threats of Santa asking for said toys to be sent back to him...

Amongst all of this excitement and happiness, there's also the reality that there are so many people out there who are doing it tough.  Whether it be financially, poor health or they will be missing someone at their family gathering.  A few days ago, I followed the lead of a couple of other business pages on Facebook.  I posted on my Ms Midge page that I would like to get in to the spirit of giving, and asked people if they knew of anyone who could with a little extra Christmas cheer?  I had 13 lovely ladies respond, without telling me details, just that they knew someone.  The following day I had to choose.  Which I couldn't really do!  So I chose to send a bigger gift to two little sisters and the other recipients would all receive something small.  

To say I was touched by the response would be an understatement.  Many people messaged me to say they would be paying it forward.  That they themselves would find someone to give a gift to and lend a helping hand.

I posted my packages today - and I had absolutely no idea what to write in the cards!  So after a bit of procrastinating, I scribed that it was a Secret Santa gift, to brighten their day.  I'm hoping it does.

Random act of music - I love this song.  I think it could be an anthem for the World.

How are you getting through this "silly season"?  Any random acts of kindness?  Paying it forward?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday.....on a Thursday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm a little late on the W.I.P. post this week!  Had a shit of a day yesterday and basically just willing this last couple of weeks of 2012 to finish swiftly.  I'm also hoping that this little baby of mine will be finished fairly swiftly too!
I've continued work on my son's quilt, and I must say, I am so very pleased with how it is turning out.  I am literally winging it, so had no plan as such to how it would end up looking.  
(Please excuse the photos - it's a 35 Degree day here, so all the blinds are shut!)

I spent Sunday afternoon on my hands and knees on the tiled floor basting it all together with quilting pins.  Hard work!

This is how the back turned out.  I used lots of the already cut out pieces that I did not use for the front.  And quite a few off-cuts.  I popped in to Lincraft and grabbed the grey Homespun, but really didn't know what I would do with it.  I just knew I didn't want the back to be all white.  I'm really, really happy with it.

Close up of the pieced back.

And two days ago, this little yard of fabric arrived, ready for binding.  I had to search for this print, and found it on Etsy, through a seller I hadn't used before.  They were very quick in processing my order and shipping it!

The other purchase I made this week was this:

Yep, a walking foot for my Bernina!  It's still sitting in the box like this.  I'm going to be very brave and attempt to use it this weekend!!!  I bought it from the same shop I bought my machine - Easysew in Hobart, Tasmania.  They have 20% off Bernina feet until the end of December.  Lovely people to deal with!

So that's it.  All the other sewing I did this week is finished.  I'm on the home run with orders - only one appliqued tee and one pair of shorts left and I'M DONE!!!

What's everyone else been working on this week?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year?

I headed off to the shops yesterday, just for a couple more last things.  Just like the day before, when I ducked in for a couple of last things.  I also need to return to the shops to return one of the last things I bought on Friday.  No doubt, next week will find me there again.  

Yup - Christmas.  The most wonderful time of the year?  For the last couple of weeks I've been talking with family and friends about the upcoming festive season.  We've been making plans, deciding who is going where, and doing what.  Swapping gift ideas.  Texting family members for gift ideas.  Giving up on gift ideas and literally asking people "What the hell do you want"???  And oh, finding new hiding places for gifts - seeing as though my Great Grandma's old armoir now resides somewhere other than my garage.  It's the same old story, year in and year out.

All this work, for one day.  Or many days if you have split families like my husband and I.  Every year I wonder why we all go to so much trouble.  And then I remember.....  Monday's venture, to a different shopping centre, saw Chloe visit Santa.  Again.  And she still smiled like a goose and got all excited.  Friday night saw us lying on the grass at the kid's school, listening to out of tune Christmas Carols whilst watching other kids running around the oval with flashing reindeer head bands.  And the next couple of weeks, in the lead up to the big day, we will no doubt be inundated with more Christmas traditions, whoever's they are, and will suck it up and enjoy them for our kid's sake!

They've been making their list, in fact, they wrote them twice.  Santa probably doesn't give a shit who's naughty or nice - because he will still come to town!  Doesn't mean I can't use it as leverage though?

Despite everything - the crowds, the car park rage, the endless rolls of wrapping paper and sticky tape - I still love Christmas.  I love savouring the sheer joy on my kids faces (albeit through sleepy eyes).  I love giving gifts - and receiving them (unless they're dodgy!).  But most of all, I love it when it's all over.  When we can sit back and relax.  Well, until the packing and travelling begins.......

Wonderful or Woeful?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tired T.G.I.F.F.

This week hosted by Quokka Quilts!

So this is going to be a rather rushed and badly photographed post!  Basically because we not long got home from another version of TGIFF (Thank God it's finished Christmas Concert - TGIFCC).  Here's what I've been up to this week, amongst other things.  Lots of "firsts".

I bought this pattern for an ipad sleeve from Pattern Patti.  Super duper easy, but I changed it up a little by using some gorgeous Flora scraps and doing a little bit of simple quilting.  Another Christmas present ticked off the list!

Yesterday afternoon, I decided I NEEDED to make a zippered pouch.  I then wasted used my time wisely, and searched for way too long and came up with this little number.  It's Noodlehead's Wide Open Pouch.  And this is quite obviously the first I have made, and I have quite obviously not mastered it!  And whilst taking the photo I realised I have also sewn the fabric upside down on this side! Whoops!  Anyway - onwards and upwards - I have found a different zippered pouch tutorial I'm going to give a red hot crack over the weekend!  My daughter is more than happy to have this one....

This little piece of divine is the first clutch I have ever made!  It's the Aggie Wristlet Clutch, and I bought the pattern for $5 on Black Friday.  Whilst this is far from a fail, and will be given as a gift, I need to make more to perfect my technique!
And on the business side of things - I've "perfected" a vision in my head by merging two patterns and coming up with this beauty!!  LOVE making them and am wrapt to have had two orders already!  Perfect Summer dress.

Ok, Must. Go. To. Bed.

What you been up to sewing-wise this week??

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday - Another Debut!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Now that I'm a Quilter, I have been learning about all of these wonderful linked up bloggy posts!  And today's is brought to you by Freshly Pieced!

This past week has been fabulous sewing wise.  I finished up all of my custom orders for Ms Midge, so was able to find a couple of things to sew for Christmas, which I will share here on Friday - cos they're finished!  But what surprised me most was my strange gravitation towards a project I started a couple of months ago, and had shelved in the "too hard shelf".

I made a rag quilt for my eldest daughter earlier this year, and ever since, my youngest son (8) has been asking me when he's getting a quilt.  So I did quite a bit of homework trying to find the perfect fabric prints and was wrapt when I found the Quilt Blocks range from Moda.  I also added some grey chevron - because I just loved them.  I emailed Julie at The Intrepid Thread and asked her to put a bundle together for me, and she very helpfully took a photo for me and emailed it back to see if I liked it!  Which is extremely helpful when she is on the other side of the world!

When it arrived, I found a pattern I liked that didn't look too hard (and I can't find now!), started following it, and then veered off track quite quickly!  Seems I am not one to follow patterns so well.....

I cut lots of rectangles out, not really knowing how I would piece it all together, and then as I started to piece it, worked out what I thought would look good.  I asked for a bit of advice from my quilting friend Gemma, and got some great tips.  Then shelved it.

When I finished my first real quilt the other week, I guess it gave me the confidence required to start this project up again.  So when I took it off the shelf on Saturday, I gave it a red hot crack, and actually finished the top!  Gained some more advice and tips from Gemma, and stunned myself when I actually unpicked a whole row because it just didn't look right.  So. Unlike. Me.

I also decided that I would switch the direction of the quilt.  That is, have the rows going long ways opposed to cross ways.  Mainly because it would have ended up being a bloody king size quilt - and that is so not happening!!!  But then I added the white strips to the top and bottom and it's sort of almost square now - so I guess the recipient can work out which way he likes it best?

I have now ordered a yard of the darkest blue print to make the binding, and am going to use quite a bit of all the leftover rectangle and strips to do something tricky with the back!

I just have to get through the whole basting stage, quilting stage and binding stage - and will have another quilt!  Yay me!

So - whatcha think???

Monday, December 3, 2012

Changing of The Guard - Sans Uterus

I don't know how many times I have said it, but I'll say it again - I'm so glad I do not have a uterus anymore.  I usually utter this sentence upon seeing a divine little newborn human being, as I did yesterday whilst at the local shopping centre.  Andrew was sitting next to me in the hairdressers, whilst we were wrangling the four kids and trying our hardest to keep our shit together whilst one niggled at another, and the four year old was trying desperately to break one of the chairs.  I saw the newborn bundle and my insides ached.  I'm assuming the part that was aching, is the big black hole where once my womb lived?  The same part that grew five (well, only four of them "successfully") human beings.  The part that gave me so much joy, but also so much pain.  Andrew gave me a look when I said it.  You know - THE look.  The "are you fucking crazy" look?

I fear if I still had my uterus I would have continued to churn out babies like nobody's business.  I would have put up with the morning all day sickness, the burst blood vessels in my eyelids from heaving so violently.  I would have gone through the trials and tribulations of gestational diabetes, paying $3 a day for a sugar free chocolate bar, just to get my "fix".  I would have bitched and moaned about how much I hate being pregnant, but in the next breath, declare how thrilled I was to have another baby on the way.  I would have put up with the agony of a shot pelvis.  The embarrassment of having to be pushed around the shops in a wheelchair - for I could not walk longer than 10 minutes without the pain becoming overwhelming.  Yep - I would have gone through all of that, over and over - just for that amazing feeling of elation when you have that gooey, strange little bundle of joy in your arms.


I'm so very thankful, however, that I don't have that option any longer.  My body waved the white flag and I surrendered.  I am so very happy with my tribe.  Only a matter of weeks ago I told one of my best friends that I was happy I did not have to go through the up's and down's of a new baby.  The elation of its arrival, and the deep desperation for sleep.  An hour later, she told me she was pregnant!  Problem solved.  I can live vicariously through my friends.  I am finally the one who can offer to babysit.  I am on the precipice of some form of freedom.

I'm almost on the other side.  2013 will be dishing out time.  For me.  For the first time in more than 14 years, I will have more than a fleeting couple of hours to myself on a regular basis.  In fact - I will have TWO WHOLE DAYS A WEEK!  When this occurred to me a few months ago, I said to Andrew I could pick up some extra work.  And then I found my head and screwed it back on and slapped myself.  Those two days a week are going to be filled with lots of nothing.  I am not planning anything.  I'm winging it!  (Ok, I'm being hopeful, but I really AM planning on doing lots of random shit that is totally unplanned)

So, as I patiently await the arrival of numerous bundles of joy, from a lovely array of friends, I will be busily not planning what I will be doing next year.  I will be filling my diary with play dates, of the grown up variety.  I may finally remember what it is like to go a whole day without having to feed someone else, change the channels constantly and figure out why Barbie's shoes won't stay on or translate Dora's antics!  Hola!!

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