Sunday, April 25, 2010


These also arrived last week. There is a story behind the Kona charm packs.

This is the sashing fabric I bought at Spotlight, a waste of time wasn't it, in my defence it does look better than this, it looks a lot darker in the photo.  So I will definitely be leaving it as it is and continue on. At the very least it saves me a whole lot of unpicking, and that is a very very good thing.

 From this

to this.....still needs to be a whole lot bigger

And we have had some sun this week, here's proof


In case you were wondering

My profile photo is a penguin soft toy.  In 2007 we wet to Fiji with some friends. One of the girls took a penguin along. We, as mature adults, decided to have a bit of fun with it, so the following photos are the result. 

Hope this answers any questions.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Exercise + me = bad outcome

No dogs were harmed in the following, just me. 

There has been extreme lack of exercise here for some time, partly as I hurt my foot last time I did some serious exercise, partly it's so hot and humid in paradise , and mostly coz I'm lazy.

I tend to either do no exercise at all, or go all out and work out 7 days a week, which I can't sustain, then I stop. Never ending circle!!!!! I need to find a happy medium.

I have now been doing no exercise at all for quite a few months, which has led to weight gain, and consequently high blood pressure.  To counteract this, I have been madly dieting, and dare I say doing well at that, and trying to get back into a bit of exercise, of 30 mins a day.  The weather has been very wet here, and I could go out in the rain and walk with an umbrella, I don't, because our rain is usually torrential, and an umbrella would possibly keep the top of my head dry. I have been intending to use the treadmill at home, but that is boring.  Yesterday I decided I just have to walk, even if I only do two 20 min sessions a day. It is quite hilly around here, and the road I have to walk along to go anywhere further than a 20 min walk has no foot path, very limited pedestrian access and very fast trucks and cars. It is quite dangerous.

Which leads me to todays story. Walking for 20 mins means I can take the dog for a nice quick stroll, on a quite undulating circuit.  It should be pleasant, but as I found out yesterday, due to dogs roaming loose around here it can be quite hazardous for me.  As a dog approached us, I picked Karma up as I thought he might be in danger , and as I picked him up, he bit me, HARD.  Karma is 8 yrs old, he has never bitten me before, ever.  Then when I walked away with him and reached our yard I put him down and he bit me again. HARD, he broke the skin, this from a dog who won't eat bones, biscuits or anything hard.  So there goes the idea of my 20 minutes of walking the dog morning and afternoon. Apparently a number of the dogs in the street are allowed to roam free.

If Karma thinks he is going to get walked again after biting me twice, well, he is very sadly mistaken. (He is an inside dog, but we live on 3 acres so he does get exercise.)

Innocent? I think not.

After this aborted attempt, I went for a walk with Renata, walking along having a nice chat, as we weren't exactly being strenuous,  I tripped over the foot path, did a couple of running steps thinking that I would just stumble, and found myself sprawled on the ground after going A over T in a very undignified manner, ending with a grazed knee and ankle and sore hands. It was funny, in fact very funny, so you can chuckle here, only my pride and dignity were damaged, the graze isn't too bad. Fortunately for me, Renata was the only one who witnessed it....I hope.

This leaves me with the question, which is worse?

A. Doing no exercise

B. Exercising and ending up with serious injuries.

I think I do need to exercise, but I am contemplating buying one of these outfits,
as I should have enough padding to protect me when I fall, and have the extra bonus of sweating off a bit of weight at the same time.

Might need a helmet too.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I was going to say that I've got nothing, as I haven't been feeling particularly crafty or creative this week. I think I may have lost my Creative Mojo, so if you happen to find it lurking around somewhere can you please send it back, I miss it. I think my sense of humour might have run off with it as well.

I have been thinking hard about what I have achieved this week, rather than all the things I didn't get done. Not much, but at least it was better than nothing!
So without further ado here is a sample all of what happened this week, (except for the boring bits and the fighting with a teenager bits).
This arrived in the mail, and I have a plan for it.

I finished appliqueing this. Actually, it was more like, if I have to applique another one of these, I will throw the damn thing into the dam, (pond for all the non Aussies), or put it on the driveway and run over it a few hundred times. So it is finished as much as it is ever going to be.

I completed this, which is the back of that (scroll back up one photo).

Then something exciting happened, a good fairy sent me a lovely Hancocks of Paducah catalogue, thank you very very much, good fairy. So I have been drooling over that and clocking up a Bank Balance Busting wish list the last couple of days.

This arrived in the mail this afternoon.
Woo hoo

Complete with cat's butt!!
Another reason to empty my bank account, the colour card, not the cat's butt!

I have been crocheting a couple more squares for the SIBOL project. Slow going, but I will get some more done in the next few days. They all badly need blocking before they go o/s. Notice my creative side has well and truly disappeared as the green/yellow/blue one is an exact copy of the one in the book 200 Crochet Squares. I never ever copy exactly, this is not good.

Finally a note about some lovely bloggy friends. Who really cheered up my week. I have had some really great belly laughs this week from some wonderful bloggers. Including a post on how to eat Vegemite and, a video on a poor unsuspecting victim friend eating Vegemite for the first time. You really made my week. Thank you. You will find the video here, on Home Matters 1st.

PS Some other stuff arrived in the mail too, but I didn't want to load too many photos, so they can wait for the next post.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The joys of parenting

An interesting weekend.   No swearing today, but there could be some soon.

Yesterday, because I am the worst mother in the world and the bitch from hell. I took my "angel" bitchypoo to the hairdressers and paid over 100 bucks for her to have a cut AND colour.

During the week, I had to take her to the doctors, as she had severe pain in her side.  No, it was not from me stabbing her with a large kitchen knife.  The doctor ordered an ultrasound as she thought it could be an ovarian cyst, or kidneys.................. or something. On Friday she had the ultrasound, and the result, ................... no sign of anything,...................... everything in perfect working order.  So yesterday, whilst we are sitting at the hairdressers,  I was over the other side of the room from her, (picture, a large, open salon, with big open space in the middle, and  about a dozen people in there) where we both know all of the staff there really well, but didn't know one single client that was in there that day,  Miss Bitchypoo pipes up with,

"Hey mum, I showed Bodie (boyfriend) my ultrasound last night."

Well, you could have heard a pin drop in there, the place froze.

A couple of people then turned and looked at me in horror.

I had to declare loudly and emphatically, that, no, she isn't pregnant. Aaarggghhhh!!!!!!!

This morning I don't know what I have done wrong to her, but I can take a guess that it is possibly because  I woke up breathing.  I am proud to report I am again the mother from hell.

Currently, Mrs QIMP and I are vying for the honour of being the worst mother in the world. Unfortunately I might have to throw in the towel as Mrs QIMP has a couple of extra years of parenting up her sleeve, which I don't think I can ever catch up.  In the meantime, I am doing a pretty damn good job by just waking up in the morning, and not uttering a single word.

I have just come back from a trip to hell Spotlight. Looking for the elusive colour for the sashing on the quilt. All of the Sunshine Coast decided to go to Spotlight today.  After looking at every roll of fabric in the store, I lie, I actually didn't look at the sparkly ones or the furry ones or the camouflage ones, but just about every other bolt and finally deciding I had to buy something as I had trekked the universe to get there, I bought some cotton voile which was the only 100% cotton that was in a sort of kind of nearly matching colour to the Martinique. Now I am not sure whether I have been an idiot in buying that, but I am crossing my fingers that the stars and Mars are aligned and it will work out ok. I also bought some more acrylic yarn for the SIBOL squares, some nice need your sunglasses bright colours.
Yet again I have managed to get trough a day without doing anything very productive.


Friday, April 16, 2010

A crappity crap week

I suppose I shouldn't really complain, as there will be zillions of people that have had way worse than me, but it's my blog and I can whinge if I want to.

Firstly I bought some Martinique charm squares, as I really liked the colours and patterns. I am not normally into pastels and I really don't like peachy tones, but I was intrigued by the combinations in Martinique. First step was to find a pattern, and the Coin Quilt from Moda Bakeshop seemed like a nice idea. How hard would it be to find a nice co-ordinating plain fabric to match.  Well, on the Sunshine Coast, really really really really hard. Yes, that hard.  See why I call my blog Sunshine? Paradise? It is paradise but paradise is not perfect. Anyway I digress, I eventually settled on a sort of aqua slightly duck egg blue. Great idea at the time, and I took the Martinique with me when I chose it, but this is the result. (BTW it was all creased as I have been carting it around with me trying to find alternate sashing.)

It is too pale and makes the whole thing look pastel and icky, basically, I can't stand it. Now normally I would throw it in a corner and look for something else to do, but I am mature older now, so rather than have a hissy fit, I came up with an alternative plan. I searched through my stash and found some fabrics that I think and hope will look much better with the sashing. So now all I have to do is unpick the whole thing and start again. Easy, ha ha ha ha ha. 

So this is what I hope will look good with the sashing. Wish me luck.

This happened at the beginning of the week, so left me in a crafty depression, and although I have shuffled my fabric stash and petted it longingly, I haven't actually done anything. I didn't even get much crocheting done either, I only finished another 3 squares of my throw.  (Sue, they are only 3" squares not 6" so it is not very big yet.)

Karma has taken to hopping into my basket that holds my throws and finished crochet cushion.  But he usually only does it when I am not here. Not impressed. I think he needs a haircut, he can't see.

To top off my fab week, I was feeling a bit crappity crap yesterday, went to the doctors today, and I have high blood pressure, yay!!!! The joys of aging and having a teenage daughter. We won't mention the fact that I have put on weight and have done very little exercise in the last few months. No, that is not the reason at all, cough cough.

To finish on a positive note. 

1. I love the Fat Quarter Shop. I sent off an email to them when I saw the result of the sashing debacle and they so kindly replied and offered some alternatives that I could use for the sashing. I am still trying to figure out which one to use as I had my heart set on a kind of coffee/latte colour, which, from what I gather doesn't exist, unless I can get my hands on a Kona Basics Colour Chart. Then I might be on to something. 

2. I am now on tablets to help with the blood pressure and that is all the incentive I need to lose some weight and do some exercise.  It is a bummer really because I hadn't put on that much weight, just enough to send my body into -what the heck is she doing- mode.

3. I read this , this week, a post by The Bitchy Stitcher, and it made me feel so much better, I cried I was laughing so much, as I am sure every quilter has wanted to do that to one of their quilts in progress.

This weekend I am going to start on another quilt which I forgot to take photos of the fabric first, so I will leave that as a teaser for another post. I can't face the coin quilt at the moment, I need a win before I attempt to fix it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I am 1 today, it's my Blogiversary.  Woo hoo


I can't believe it is a year since I started. A year ago  I barely even knew what a blog was, yes I admit,  I wasn't exactly the most up to date IT kind of girl.

So my achievements for this year are:
1. Ditched a friend (frienemy).
2. Dived head first back into the crocheting and quilting world, and I must add here that I love every            minute of it.
3. Started a flickr account.
4. Started buying stuff online!!!!
5. Started taking more photos of everyday things.
6. Made some lovely new friends online.
7. Lost some weight and found it again!
8. Went to Europe by myself and met some great people while on holidays.
9. Had a big birthday party for a big birthday, not telling which one though.
10. Survived another year with a teenage daughter.

All in all a pretty good year, don't you think?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prawn (Shrimp) Lime and Lemongrass Risotto

This is a huge favourite in our household and also with my friends. It is adapted from the Marie Claire style series - "Supper", by Jody Vassallo.

Prawn, Lime and Lemongrass Risotto

1kg (2lb) prawns (shrimps) ......(I use frozen raw prawns, which I defrost by placing in a bowl cover with cold water, add some salt and sit on the bench or in the microwave until they are defrosted, depending on how hot it is and whether the cats are prowling)
1.5 litres chicken stock (just over 3 pints)
30g butter
dash of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 tblspns finely chopped lemongrass
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
2 cups arborio rice
1 tblspn fish sauce

Peel and devein the prawns, if you are using frozen raw, you shouldn't need to do this step.
Chop prawns, you can leave some whole if you wish.
Heat butter and oil in a pan, add garlic, chili, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves and cook over medium heat for 3 mins, or until lemongrass is fragrant.
Add rice and cook, stirring for a minute to coat the rice.
Add a ladleful of stock, stirring until the stock is almost all absorbed before adding another ladleful. Continue stirring and adding stock for approx 15 mins.
Add the prawns and cook for a further 5 mins.
Stir in the fish sauce.

PS You can omit the butter and oil at the beginning and just heat the herbs in some of the stock, before adding the rice, then it is super low fat.

PPS I usually only make it for the two of us so I reduce the quantities and wing it.

PPPS For the two of us I only use about 500mls of Campbells Chicken stock and top up with water.

PPPPS You can use fish stock instead of chicken stock, I just don't like fish stock (too fishy!!!!)

PPPPPS This looks quite soupy, I sometimes make it more wet than it theoretically should be. It is all about personal preference.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Where's our lunch?

(Excuse the crumbs on the bench.)

I promise this is not going to turn into a blog about my pets, but these are so cute.

You can't see me, I'm not here.

I found a top loader!!!

My wonderful, fabulous, bestest friend, Renata, has an old top loading washing machine in her garage, yippee, so yesterday I washed and tumble dried my first raggy quilt.  I crossed my fingers that when I opened the machine, my stitching had survived and I would have one whole quilt as opposed to 56 pot holders. It did and now I think I might have to make another one!!! Thank you so much Renata, you saved me a trip to the laundromat and my quilt looks fab, even if I do say so myself.
I didn't even notice Bailey in that photo above until I had downloaded it!

I give up trying to get a photo without these two!

This morning:

Can you see that tiny frog?

Corellas eating the seed pods.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Craftiness can be bad for you, and a couple of photos.

I woke up this morning with RSI.

After spending way too long a lot of the day yesterday diligently cutting the seams on the raggy quilt, I ended up in pain today. Fortunately it didn't last too long, but I was not impressed.

I gave up going to the gym because I was forever suffering from injuries -
and probably other body parts that I don't remember want to forget.
I was a walking/jogging/exercising disaster.  I had a personal trainer, well not personal exactly, as we went as a group so he was personal for 4 - 6 of us at a time, so let's say group trainer then. It was much cheaper that way, otherwise none of us could afford him. Unfortunately the only time my competitive nature came in to play was in the gym, and it wasn't so much that I wanted to be the best, I just didn't want to be the worst, so I would always push myself. That is why I was always injured.  So you can imagine my WTF moment when I woke up with my wrist throbbing this morning, until I realised it was the quilt's fault ( not mine of course, have to blame the quilt)!!!!!!

I thought doing genteel things like quilting, crocheting, knitting would release me from the ravages of pain and suffering. Until today my muscles, back etc have never felt better.  I am not saying that now I am in perfect physical shape,.................... far far far, (too far), from it,............... but at least I can walk, I don't look like I am 110, hobbling everywhere, and I don't wince and groan when I stand up or sit down.  Today's pain lasted only a few hours, as opposed to a week or more from gym related injury pain.  I now will make a note to myself, if I ever decide to make another one of those quilts.....................DO NOT SPEND ALL DAY CUTTING IT!!!

On another note, I found out from the Queen of Quilting Mrs P herself that it would be far better to wash the quilt in a top loader washing machine or even better the laundromat. I have a front loader so my next mission is to find a laundromat. How embarrassing I don't know the location of the nearest laundromat. So now a big sigh from everyone, as you will all have to wait a wee bit longer to see it finished, until I :
A) find a laundromat, or a lovely friend who has a top loader, none come to mind though....    and
B) wash and dry the quilt.

In the meantime, here is a photo of the back

And some random photos, just because I can.

The first one for Mrs QIMP, I promised you a photo of the cabinet, here it is.

Finally, Bailey, because he is special, in his own lovely way!!!! What more can I say, at least he is modest.

Almost a year

I just realized it is almost one year ago that I started blogging. The person who showed me what blogging is all about and helped me start on this journey is no longer my friend, for a very good reason.  Has this happened to you? Do you have friends who have fallen by the wayside?

Do you receive chain emails  telling you how friends come into your life and go out of your life for a reason?  I have received quite a few of those over the the last few years, at least they are better than the -if you don't send this on to 300 people, you will  lose all your money, get sick, the plague or locusts will come etc.

I have a lot of very dear friends, some who I have known for many many years, as far back as primary school.  Over the years I have found that you sometimes grow apart, move away, take different life paths.  I have moved many many times in my life, I'm an ex army wife.  I have lived in 3 different countries, many different places, but all through that time, even though I have temporarily lost contact with dear friends, or we have been too busy with our own lives to ring or write,  when we find each other again, we have always picked up where we left off, as though it was only yesterday we were last in contact. (Sorry about the long sentence, hope you managed to take a breath.)  I think it is a special friend that can understand that they are still in your heart, even though you don't keep in contact as much as you should.

I have lost very few friends along the way and it's funny, I don't miss any of them. They came into my life for a reason, I think,  this one to help me on the road to blogging to show me that the friends I still have are true friends,  that I should cherish the friendships that I have, that friendship goes much deeper than the superficial stuff of life. Life is not a competition, it doesn't matter what you have, it is how you use it.

Anyway enough of this introspective stuff. I am happy happy happy coz I have lovely lovely friends I have had for many years, and all the new friends I have found since starting this blog.  If it wasn't for "she who shall remain nameless" I wouldn't have found you at all.

I'll drink to that, and for Mrs QIMP and the sixth food group, a Tim Tam or two and some Nanaimo bars.


I am glad they photoshopped my legs in this portrait.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm busy

Raggy/shaggy quilt

This is going to take longer than cutting it out and sewing it together. 
None of my scissors will cut through 4 layers of fabric, so 2 at a time it is.

Have I told you I get bored easily?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sewing, pets and an Amish quilt

Most of the weekend I have spent playing with the linens from the Craft Expo. However it was interspersed with these........

Karma having a little rest on the cushion on the chair. He needs a haircut.  He looks depressed, that's because I caught him up there and told him off. Although he doesn't look like he is going to move does he.

Next, this one, yes it's her head not her backside. I had to rescue her from here as she lost balance and nearly fell. It's only jut over 6 metres to the ground!!!!!!!! (20 feet)



Then I had to contend with this...................before


Hmmmm, fortunately I had written down the order in which they were going to be sewn, otherwise I would only have 1 cat and 1 dog now. Don't you love that gorgeous lime green throw I found to use as a  base to place the squares when I was arranging them, should have warned you to put your sunglasses on.

Finally, I visited a friend yesterday, when they were in the States they bought a beautiful Amish quilt from Berlin, Ohio.  All hand sewn and hand quilted.

Isn't it fabulous.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday flowers

A lovely potted gerbera I found at Big W.
And of course, the cat. Without fail, as soon as she sees the camera!

I am playing with these, this weekend.