Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Another Freakin Cat Post.....

About five weeks ago, it was brought to my attention that our sweet kitten - Bella - had been visiting one of our neighbours and using their ridiculously huge sandpit as a litter box.  Said neighbour came a door knocking to ask if I had a little black cat with a blue tag (council tag)?  Ummm, yes, I said.  He proceeded to tell me that he had trapped her in his back yard and I should come and get her.


I walked with this imbecile to his home, about five houses away, all the time asking him incredulously that when he said "trapped her" did he actually trap her?  Yep.  I was greeted at his home by his ever so delightful cranky and mouthy wife, telling me how disgusting it was that my cat was shitting in her kid's sandpit.  I agreed, with a pleasant but confused smile on my face.  As I rounded the corner in to their back yard I was horrified to see our little Bella in a metal trap, freakin out.  My Chelsea (Bella's human mummy) was equally if not more horrified and quickly ran to get her out.  It was a very warm day - we're talking 27 degrees - and Bella had been in this trap for who knows how long, without any water or food.  Cranky pants wifey was talking and I wasn't really listening, as I watched Chelsea take Bella home.  I kept asking cranky and her dickhead husband what exactly it was that they expected me to do?  She's a cat.......

They suggested I needed to keep Bella from entering their property.  Ahuh....right.  I repeated that she was a cat, and perhaps they could look at getting a cover for their sandpit - LIKE MOST PEOPLE WITH COMMON SENSE WOULD DO.  Nope.  Nope, not something they would consider.  So after a few more minutes of banter, and me telling them I would do my best, and perhaps they could think of some natural deterrents to keep cat/s away from their sandpit, I wandered off - bewildered.

I mean, is it me, or is going to the trouble of hiring a trap from the council to willingly trap a beautiful little kitten - who just happens to be registered with the council and is not some random stray - just bizarre?

For the following week, I kept Bella inside the house because I was basically too scared to let her out, for fear they would either trap her again, or do something worse.....

Fast forward to last week.  I was sitting upstairs and saw a council van pull in to the driveway.  Didn't take me long to figure out why they were here.......  Ever so lovely ranger tells me that he has my cat in his van.  It had been trapped by someone in the neighbourhood.  I asked him by who, and when he said he couldn't tell me - I told him.  With some very choice words.  I was not a lady.....

I asked HIM what the f*ck I was expected to do?  Well, his suggestions were nothing short of amusing.  Apparently "people" cut slits in pvc pipes, and put them over their fences so cats can't jump over them. Mmmmmmm, that's fabulous!  Cos I want my home to look like some kind of DYI disaster?  I'm thinking razor wire would be equally as effective?  Give it that "detention centre" shine?

Orrrr, we could build/buy a cat run?  Oh yeh, cos that's why you have a pet cat.  So it can be trapped in a f*cking wire enclosed building.  Sure.

Orrrrrr, we could just keep the cat inside - like - forever.

I very politely sarcastically, with a touch of f*ck you, told the ranger that the use of common sense was lacking in some people's brains, and that the council's  willingness to go along with those lacking common sense made me very cranky.  Collected Bella from the TRAP in his van and gave him a generous wave and smile and sent him on his way.

A few days later, he returned with the official letter of complaint and warning, that if Bella steps paw on their property again, we will incur a fine and Bella would be impounded.  Nice.

Now - the husband and I have had a few interesting conversations about the predicament we have found ourselves in.  He suggested we could go and shovel some of our dog shit on to their front yard, but hey, that wouldn't be very neighbourly would it?  I had a friend on Facebook offer us some chicken shit to share with them, but I thought that was too kind, because at least you can use chicken poop to fertilise your garden?  All I've managed to do is give the a*sehole a good case of staring as I drove past their home this afternoon.  Time will tell.......

In the meantime, I am trying not to lose my proverbial mind over the fact that I now have a kitty-cat trying not to lose HER mind at the fact that she can no longer go out and enjoy the great outdoors.  Long gone are her days of climbing the trees in our front yard, or wrestling with our two puppy dogs in the backyard.  Now her days are spent staring longingly out the windows, meowing incessantly and clawing any or all the furniture she can possibly manage without copping an earful from me.

Not to mention the fact that every time I hear the front or back door open everyone yells "DON'T LET BELLA OUT'!!!!!!!  Followed by the sound of running as the closest person to the door chases after her if she's managed to escape.

Soooooo, friends.  I ask you this - what would you do?  I understand, I really do, that there are cat haters out there.  In fact, I used to be one myself.  Before I was a cat owner, I had to go and buy sandpit covers begrudgingly to keep the neighbourhood cats from deficating in said sandpit.  It's common sense yes?  And even now, as a cat lover liker I have had to throw things at random cats who've come a knocking at our door to pester our own cats.  Once again, common sense?

I'm seriously at a loss.  Help.

***  Cat haters and non-constructive comments will not be appreciated.  Although if they're highly amusing comments I may laugh.

****  We are responsible cat owners who bring their cat inside at night and register her too.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fab Friday Giveaway Winner!

Hello hello!  Remember that fab giveaway I posted about on Friday?  Well - we have a winner!

Glimma can be found with lots of other yummy fabrics at The Intrepid Thread!
Congratulations to #68 - Sowing Stitches!  

And here's a sneak peek for all of you following my Bloom Bloom Pow progress!

Can't help myself.... Have to get some #bloombloompow assembling done before dinner!!

One down.... Lots to go! #bloombloompow @freshlypieced
Half a bloom!
I will have a FULL update for you all on Wednesday - when it will hopefully all be pieced together!

That's all folks!  A quick post is a good post yes?

Have a fabulous week! xxx

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Stash #13 - Got to be in it to win it.

In what may just be a minor miracle, this is the only new addition to my stash this week.  Lucky for me it didn't cost a thing!  Yep, I won a fabulous giveaway over at Sew What Sherlock!  It was sponsored by the lovely Julie over at The Intrepid Thread.......who also just happens to be behind the giveaway I'm having at present - you can enter HERE.

I did a quick post yesterday and mentioned that I have had a good run of little wins from giveaways - something that has literally never happened to me.  So I'm going with that saying -
"You've got to be in it to win it!"

I'm in love #theintrepidthreadrocks
Gorgeous FQ bundle of Urban Mod.  I LOVE Art Gallery fabrics, so this has been stashed away with lots of company.

That's all folks!  I'm linking up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth.  You can too!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ever Wonder Why You Don't Get Replies To Your Comments? THIS is why!

A quick Saturday morning post.  One question.....

simply square button

I'm asking you because yesterday I posted a fabulous fabric giveaway from The Intrepid Thread, and when I woke up this morning there were over 130 comments/entries!  Which of course, is very exciting.  What is not very exciting is seeing there are quite a number of you who are "no-reply bloggers".  Some of you accept that and are happy with that setting, and leave me your email address to reply in case you are the winner.  However, I do believe quite a number of you do not know that you are a no-reply blogger and have probably wondered why you don't receive replies to your comments on blogs and giveaways?  Well, this my friends is why!

If you click on that big red button above, it will lead you to a lovely blog called Pleasant Home.  The lovely lady who resides over there has given you a tutorial to follow to undo this!  If you click on the button it will lead you there!

As someone who never ever used to enter giveaways, but has let loose with wild abandonment and find herself commenting left, right and centre on all things everywhere - I must say - it is paying off!  I usually NEVER win anything.  True.  BUT - the tides they are a changing.  I have won a number of giveaways over the last couple of months, and am so excited.  I would hate for any of you to think you aren't winning because of bad luck, when in fact, it's just because the giveaway givers can't actually contact you!

So, go on.  Go make yourself contactable!!!!  GO!

ps.  I usually DO reply to all contactable comments on my blog.  However, with the number of comments on giveaway posts, I have to surrender and look like i'm rude!  Please know I do read ALL of your comments!!!! xxxx

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Fun Day Giveaway!

A couple of years ago, I made the decision to start making beautiful kid's clothes to sell.  I researched for what seemed like forever to find the most unique and delicious fabrics.  In the end, I chose Valori Well's Wrenly range.  And I made my first fabric order with Julie from The Intrepid Thread.  Since then, I have ordered wayyyy more yards of fabric than I care to tally.  And Julie has always been extremely helpful and quick to reply to my queries.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, a few weeks ago, Julie posted on FB that she was looking for a host for her fabric giveaway.  I couldn't answer quickly enough (literally, I was third in line I think) and was beyond thrilled when she emailed me to ask if I was still interested?  Ummmmm - yehhhhhhhh!!!!!

Needless to say, I am SOOOO very excited to be able to bring you this fabulous giveaway!  I couldn't decide which colourway to choose, so threw it open for discussion with some online friends.

Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter

And here it is!  A beautiful fat quarter bundle of six prints from the Glimma range.  I wish I could enter, but alas, that would be cheating!

All you have to do is go and check out Julie's SHOP and leave me a comment under this post, telling me which fabric from her "coming soon" ranges you love the best!

In the words of one very famous Australian - "Do yourself a favour" - get yourself some fabric goodness from The Intrepid Thread!

** Giveaway open worldwide and winner will be chosen on Monday 29th April.  If you are a "no reply blogger" please make sure to leave your email address in your comment.

T.G.I.F.F. #15 - A quick project makes me happy!

Wednesday night I was just sitting there minding my own business, when I received a lovely message on my FB page.  Kaitlin had been referred to me from another business owner, the lovely Mich from Lilli May's.  I was pleasantly surprised and grateful that Mich had thought of me.  The messenger was after a quilted cushion cover for her Mum for Mother's Day, and was wondering if I could help her?  I didn't have to think about it - I LOVE making cushion covers!  And although I have been running around like a headless chook these last few days, after chatting to the new customer about her preferences and throwing some ideas around, I threw all plans of continuing with my wholesale order prep out the window and used my public holiday oh so wisely.

Without further ado, here is my first ever quilted cushion cover order......

When Kaitlin told me her colour choices, I knew I had the perfect fabric.  This little Coquette charm square pack was the one.  I did simple straight line quilting, using a gorgeous "signature" brand variegated thread that had been given to me.
Kaitlin asked that I embroider Mum and Nannie on the cushion.  I wondered how I would do the embroidery, but ended up getting some scrap fabric and wadding and playing around with script using free motion quilting.  Once I was finished shitting myself confident I could get the job done, I just jumped right in!  And I am pretty damn happy with the end result!
Pretty yes?  I can also say that this is probably the most perfect my binding has turned out!
And the back is just simple cream homespun with co-ordinating strip of Coquette.  With a basic envelope finish.

This was a reasonably quick project - and you know how impatient I am - so this makes me very, very happy!

I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F. over at What A Hoot.  You can too!

P.S. Be sure to pop back here tonight.......I have a little surprise for you all!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday #17 - Bloom Bloom Pow Wow

Last week's WIP is continuing.  I've been singing Black Eyed Peas on a way too regular basis but have just stopped short of shaving half my head and digging out my old Reebok Pumps.  This quilter can't quite wrap rap whilst cutting quilt blocks!

Sooooo pretty #bloombloompow
So this is where I left off last week.  All the blocks pieced and ready to rumble....
The first cut is the deepest #bloombloompow
Over the weekend, I very carefully unwrapped thy golden 60 degree triangle ruler and steadied myself for some serious cutting action.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement! I read and re-read and then read again Lee's instructions.  I felt a bit like Santa, checking my list, then checking it twice.....  The first cut was certainly the deepest!
To the left, to the left - keep your prints to the left!
Once I got in to the swing of things, cutting these rows of triangles out was relatively easy.  I'm quietly excited about the "waste" zigzags up there - wondering if I can incorporate them somehow in to the back of the quilt?  Hmmmmm.  So, this picture above is what the rows SHOULD look like when cutting out.....
Wrong wrong wrong!!!
And this my friends, is how it SHOULD NOT look.  This was the first of my half blooms being cut, and as you can see - I royally stuffed up!  It took me a few minutes to work out where I had gone wrong.  Basically, when you get past singing Boom Boom Pow, you need to move on to a bit of Destiny's Child - To the left, to the left - the print (in my case here the pink) of your background needs to be to the left of your cut triangle.  Does that even sound like it makes sense??  Well, there was a reason why this was stuffed up.....
When I pieced the half blooms, I put the strips on incorrectly.  In the above photo you can see that there is one slightly smaller rectangle on the left of the middle row?  Well, that row should basically be flipped.  And then I would have been able to get my three triangles cut AND have the pink to the left of the triangle.....phew!

Anyway, I have rectified the issue, and was able to unpick and re-piece the offending blocks, all but one, which has had to be re-made!
Ok last one!
And this is the end result of all that cutting!  Aren't they delicious?
I saw Kristy over at Quietplay on IG today playing with her blooms, so I joined in!  Don't they look awesome?  And they are also surprisingly quite large in size!
A bit more eye candy.  I can't wait for Friday's instructions, and to get my sew-jo on!

And that's all I've got for you friends.  But what a beautiful WIP it is!  You know it's not to late to join in the fun!  Head on over to see for yourself.

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Stash #12 - The AQC Edition (Additions)

Good evening!  This is going to be as short and sweet as I can manage!  I've been trying to write this post all day but our internet has a technical problem in the line - so it keeps dropping in and out!

This past week has seen an influx of goodies welcomed in to my sewing room.  Well, only some of them can live in there, as there's no room left!

AQC loot!
These are all the pretty fat quarters I picked up at The Australasian Quilt Convention.  I bought them from a total of six different vendors, making sure I spread my monetary love!  I got some beautiful prints from fabric lines I'd been coveting for some time but couldn't justify a whole overseas order.  There's some Comma and Type, and also a couple of gorgeous Art Gallery prints.  Had to grab some Toy Story for one of my favourite little boys who has a thing for Woody and Buzz.  I was quite happy with my picks.
And more goodies
I also got myself some quilting gloves.  Have to be better than the Coles gardening ones I've been using!  The Scissorman had a special on rotary blades, so stocked up on them too.  And I found those great little half hexagon templates thingies aswell!
I received this little bundle of goodness from GJ Creative.  I won a $50 voucher, so stocked up on a few things and bought Clover clips for the first time as well as a Clover marker.  Hoping they help me!
In happier news.... Pretty mail delivery! A giveaway win from @adrianneonthewindyside thank you!! Xx
I also received this gorgeous pouch that I won from Adrienne at On The Windy Side.  She very kindly added a gorgeous little craft book and some charm squares.  Happy days!  For someone who never wins anything - I had a good run!
Fabric anyone? @sharondoesbali
Then Friday........THIS came!  It's the hugest fabric order I have ever placed - 75 yards of cotton duck and twill.  This pile of yumminess will become 120 cushion covers over the next month!  Wish me luck!
My first Sullivans order! Just need the fabric now!
And my first ever trade order with Sullivans.  Fabulous service and great prices.  Bias binding anyone?

Ok, that's it!  My house is officially a storage room for fabric.....

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash being hosted by Kate's Quilts this week!  Pop over and check it out!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Australasian Quilt Convention - Done. And a little old T.G.I.F.F.

 A couple of months ago, I googled "quilt shows".  Mr Google led me to a fabulous website HERE which gave me all the dates for craft and quilt shows in Australia this year.  I then added all the Melbourne dates to my calendar, in the hope that I would be able to get to them all!

The first cab off the rank was the Australasian Quilt Convention.  Of course, nothing goes completely to plan for me, so when Chloe decided that Tuesday night would be the perfect timing to get sick, I started panicking that I would not be able to go yesterday.  Thankfully, both my sister and husband came to the party and played tag team, so I could jump on a train in the morning and make my way to the city.  The train ride was entertaining as always - I felt like I had been transported back to 1992 with a variety of homeboys and ganstas (wannabes) riding my carriage (that sounds wrong).  We even had an impromptu dj performance - as you do.

So here are some pretty pictures from my day.....

 A wet and cold walk through Carlton Gardens to get to the Exhibition Building.  A beautiful part of Melbourne.

The line to get tickets.  Lucky I bought online the night before!

The beautiful Exhibition Buildings!

There was a beautiful display of "Quilts from Korea".  This was my favourite of the bunch.  It is called "The Beautiful" by Eun-Ryoung Choi.  She says "I intended to express many Korean traditional beautiful patterns and beauties in this quilt".  I think she succeeded!

A close up of amazing stitching.  I'm pretty sure there's hand stitching there?

Another display was the AQC Challenge: Free.  I love this one!  It's called "Free Beach" by Elaine Surmfels.  It is hand dyed background with various threads, silk and beads.  She has used thread painting, free motion raw edge appliqué, free motion quilting and beading.  "My quilt was aimed at stimulating those emotions within us.  To make people smile, feelings of being liberated, uninhibited and carefree".

The detail in this quilt is amazing.  The texture brings it to life.

The third display were all quilts by teachers.  This one is "Last Night's Left Overs" by Deborah Louie.  The colours and the fractured dresdens struck me!

Isn't it just beautiful?

This quilted portrait of quilter Margaret Rolfe drew me in.  It is quite large in size, and the colours are mesmerising.  It is called "The Quiltmaker" by Jenny Bowker.  She used traditional machine piecing, raw edged applique, free motion quilting, hand dyeing, paint applied on a quilted surface!  Amazing.

The best part about all of these quilts was when you got up close and personal with them.  The detail is very impressive.

And my favourite from the day - "Maynard" by David M Taylor.  One of the most gorgeous, unusual quilts I've seen.  It looks like a painting from afar.

And up close.  The first picture I took was inadvertently of the dog's bum!  I thought it a little inappropriate, so took another.  Millions of stitches making up for texture and shading.  Again, amazing.

This gorgeous quilt grabbed me as I rounded a corner!  It is from the "Best of the Best" display - all the quilts from around Australia, which have been awarded at quilts shows.  This particular quilt is called "In Love with Dahlia" by Sandra Aston.  It is machine pieced and quilted on a domestic machine.  This gives me much hope for the future!

Just look at those feathers!

A great part of the day was finding quilts that were made by some ladies I "know".  Well, I know of them through the Quilt Club Australia Facebook group!  This beauty is by Jill Radcliffe.  "Wheels to the West".  Hand appliqued and machine pieced.  I especially love the little triangles around the borders - they remind me of bunting!

This close up shows you just how beautifully pieced it is.  In awe.

And another of the ladies from QCA - Sheila Oaten - is the creator of this piece of magic!  "Kaffe and Kim and Me" is a beautiful version of Kim McLean's Flower Garden.  All hand needle turn applique.  Amaze-balls!

Big, beautiful Kaffe flowers!

I also sat and listened to a seminar about thread.  And needles.  I learnt quite a bit!

AND I met another lovely lady from QCA!  Norma!  Hope your hand heels quickly!

All in all, I spent around five hours there.  Five hours!  I wandered around aimlessly for about one of those hours, spent half an hour in line to get some lunch and the rest of the time pawed beautiful fabric, bought some quilting tools and generally just lapped it all up!  This lovely photo is of the most daunting escalator in Melbourne.  Parliament station gives me the heeby-jeebies!  So long and steep!

And when I got home, I unpacked my bags and found all this lovely loot!  I will show it all to you properly in my Sunday Stash post.  I'm quite pleased with my purchases.
And in breaking news - I started AND finished something today!  I told you last week that I had been invited to take part in a paper piecing bee - well, here's my first block!  Gemma is the Queen this month and her theme is Party.  You can find her inspiration board HERE.

Yay! My first ever block for wombat stew!
Birthday candles for Gemma!  I used Kristy's pattern, which you can find HERE.  She is quite the clever gal!

Phew!  What a post!  I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F. being hosted by Sew At Home Mummy!
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