Letting the weather affect one's life!

I dislike Winter! "Hate" is probably too strong a word for my feelings about it now that we live in the subtropics, but I still complain if the temperature drops below 20 degrees (68 F).


I've achieved very little over the last Winter month, had very little motivation, thin on ideas, generally feeling down, and spending lots of time reading inane Facebook posts because I couldn't be bothered doing anything else! I've been blaming it on the fact that some of the outlets for my designs have closed up, accompanied by lack of sleep.

Until yesterday!

Yesterday was one of those amazing Queensland winter days with a temperature of  29 degrees (84 F).  I was up early, out in the garden dealing with all those weeds that have been crying for attention for weeks. Then into the sewing room and out came a design that has been sitting ready to be put together for a couple of months. All the embroidery was done but I've been hedging on it and putting it in the too hard basket. It didn't take long at all to audition a few fabrics and work out the overall plan. By the end of the afternoon, I had cut out all the pieces and started sewing them together.


 I achieved more in one day than I had in 3 or 4 weeks! Then it hit me! I was still not getting much sleep, circumstances hadn't changed, but the weather had!!! Everything had come to life because my body thought that summer had arrived!  I had totally forgotten how the weather affects my life! [There's a medical name for the syndrome - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).] So, I'm all enthused about stitching again. Even though I know it will revert to being cold again a few times in the coming weeks, there's a light at the end of the tunnel and Spring is just around the corner.


My lovely day was finished off in the late afternoon with a delightful walk with DH around the local Pond and down to the Beach  - perfect!


Thinking of Spring reminds me that I recently put the Friendship Garden door hanger pattern, with all its pretty flowers, in my Craftsy Store Bring on Spring!

Happy Stitching!
Val

Dreams and Reality

Sometimes I just have to pinch myself to make sure my dream is a reality. As I have mentioned before, I dreamt that one day my craft would be recognised as being good enough to be published. To have my name on the front cover of one of Australia's favourite craft magazines, just blows my mind!


I feel so honoured to have another profile in Patchwork & Stitching magazine, especially as there will only be another two or three issues before it closes down for good.


Here's what the article looks like inside.


In the same magazine is my Stitching Fairy, another collaborative effort with my grandson.


I told him I wanted something else beside the fairy in the drawing and he came up with "one of those abstract flowery things" as he calls it: 


It was just the perfect addition to the design. I used water colour pencils to add spots of colour.


The stitching fairy is ready to work all night for us and have all those pesky bindings stitched down by morning!


Vol 17 No 12 if you would like to stitch this one.

I can't say I am running on all four cylinders at the moment. Continued lack of sleep takes its toll after a while. My husband had quite a relapse with his skin problem this week and we are ever so thankful for skillful and helpful doctors who have gone the second mile to assist in the control of this debilitating autoimmune disease. But it all takes time and effort and tends to drain away the creativity!

I did manage to achieve one craft project - a decorated hand-towel. I am rather pleased how well it turned out.


I machine-appliqued the cupcakes and then combined lace, fabric, ricrac and some Prairie Points to finish it off. I have another couple of towels I could do, so I hope I can be disciplined enough to drag myself from Pinterest, Facebook and aimless Googling and have enough energy to do them, as I think they are worth the effort. The dream doesn't turn into reality without a certain degree of exertion!

Val

Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Pattern 7

The year is flying by and it's time to give you the second last block in the 
free Block of the Month Wall Quilt
You Are Blessed


This is the verse for Pattern 7:
You’re blessed when you get your inside world — your mind and heart — put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
Matthew 5:8


 My husband and I live in a beautiful area of God’s creation - rainforest, beach, ocean, lots of places to walk in the bush, wonderful flora and fauna. I find it hard to understand people who can’t see how amazing God is when they look at the intricacies and beauty of nature.


 Light dawned as to why this happens, when I read our verse for this month’s block. It’s only when our inside world is put right that we can see God in the outside world. How amazing that Jesus came to make it possible to get our mind and heart put right. We can have a new page in our life every day — no need to always be trying “to turn over a new leaf”. 

I do hope and pray that you are blessed as you stitch this block. You can download the free pattern 

I've had one of those 'bits and pieces' weeks. We have had some very restless nights with my husband having a bad cough and his skin condition playing up, so with being very tired, I have been feeling rather lazy and not too interested in sitting at the sewing machine. There's been a couple of medical appointments, the dishwasher to be given its regular deep clean, a Community Morning Tea to attend, and yet another attempt at getting our modem with the right settings so that the phone doesn't drop out.  Then yesterday morning when I turned on my computer I couldn't believe my eyes, as everything had been reset as if it was new and never been used - no emails, no favourites, no programme settings - all disappeared!  After the initial panic, I guessed it was probably an automatic upgrade to the operating system that had gone wrong, so I did a system restore and thankfully everything came back to the status quo.

About the only crafty thing that I did accomplish in the week was to upload the Raspberry Sherbet Table Runner to my Craftsy Store.


The runner is quite simple to make, but very effective with the colours offset by the black contrast. The pattern is available here.

My latest Patchwork & Stitching magazine arrived yesterday and I was happy to see my name on the front cover!  Yes, there's an article about me in it!  I'll show you more next time.

Happy stitching,
Val

A Bilby and a Birthday

Australia has some amazing marsupials and one of the cutest is the Bilby. I have never seen one in the wild, probably because they are nocturnal and tend to live in the desert! One brilliant fact I discovered is that their pouch opens backwards so as not to be filled with dirt when they are digging their burrows! How cool is that! There has been a push over the last decade or so in Oz to focus on the Bilby as an Easter icon rather than the Bunny.

I decided I would like to feature a Bilby in a stitchery so asked my clever grandson to draw me one having a birthday party ... so here is Belinda Bilby:


The pattern is in Patchwork & Stitching Magazine Vol 17 No 11.


Belinda even featured on the cover:


Sadly, Patchwork & Stitching Magazine will be closing down at the end of the year. Also the wonderful Country Threads Magazine will be coming to an end too. I guess it was inevitable with the availability of so much on the internet, but browsing the internet instead of lying in bed with a magazine in my hand enjoying a good read, just doesn't cut it for me. 

Of course that limits the outlet for my work too, so I'm feeling a bit dejected at the moment. I was designing for seven magazines - four of them have met their demise, so there's only three left! Maybe I will have to do a search for international craft magazines that might take Australian Designers' projects ... or take up gardening ... or do lots more housework!

It's been quite cold where I live which always plunges me into a depressed state, so as I'm longing for summer, I thought I would make available the pattern for my Ice Cream Parlour Wall Hanging:


You can find it in my Craftsy Store here.

Keep an eye out next week for the next block in the 
 You are Blessed.

Happy Stitching,
Val


Children - gifts sent from Heaven

Hubby and I are back home after spending 10 days with our family at the beautiful Whitsundays. 


It's a tropical paradise and in spite of some drizzly weather, we were able to enjoy a number of bush-walking outings.


As daughters do, Janelle produced a pile of mending and altering to keep me occupied. With four growing children, there's always plenty of that to do.  I didn't have to remind her of the saying below as she quoted it to me before I had a chance to mention it!:


We enjoyed meals at home and meals out, board games, movie nights and just hanging out together - there's nothing better than being with family! It was a delight to see our grandchildren growing into such delightful young people.

I always enjoy designing for children and I have recently put a couple of these designs in my Craftsy Store. My Refrigerator is an interactive wall-hanging, all the pieces being removable for pretend play.


The pattern is here.

Then there is the Shipshape Game which is a fun way of teaching toddlers shapes. It is based on the Memory Game and the pattern for the box to keep all the pieces is included.



You can find the pattern here.

Now to face a new week. We've been home four days and I've caught up with all the holiday washing, preserved seven bottles of pears, collected for the Leukaemia foundation, written some emails, have a hair-dressing appointment tomorrow and then I need to do some mending of my own. Hopefully the diary will be empty for a couple of days after that so I can put together this wall-hanging:


Be thankful for the gifts you have been sent from Heaven!

Val