more of a gale than a breeze …

Something fun is happening over at Angie’s blog at GnomeAngel, the start of the Sea Breeze Mini Quilt-A-Long!!! I read about this a while back, and thought, sounds like fun, but I have a lot on my ‘to do’ list at the moment, and another quilting project shouldn’t really be tacked onto the end of that list.

Hmmm … but it’s so pretty!!! I caved in and purchased the pattern from Canoe Ridge Creations, and started pondering, because apparently that’s what you do before you start a new project! What to do, what to do …

I decided that I didn’t want a ‘large’ mini quilt, if there is such a thing, and decided to make mine using smaller blocks, and I also wanted to try a new technique to construct HSTs (half square triangles). This technique worked so well for me that I’m sharing it here on my blog.

Here’s what you do … this will create 8 HSTs the super easy way!

Step 1 … calculate what size to cut your squares of fabric. Here is how you do that.

  1. Decide what size you want your HSTs to be when finished. I wanted 2“ finished HSTs.
  2. Add 7/8” to your finished HST, so 2” + ⅞” = 2 ⅞”.
  3. Multiply this number by 2, so 2 ⅞” x 2 = 5.75”.

IMG_0439

Step 2 … cut two squares of fabric to 5.75 inches, place one on top of the other with right sides facing and draw a pencil line from corner to corner, as shown in the image above.

Step 3 …  sew ¼ inch either side of the pencil lines. You will end up with four lines of stitching on each square.

IMG_0440

Step 4 … using your ruler, cut vertically and horizontally through the squares, taking care not to shift the fabric as you do so.

IMG_0441

Step 5 … then cut along the pencil lines. You will end up with eight perfect little squares.

IMG_0442

Step 6 … set and press the seams towards the darker fabric and trim off the ‘points’.

And then there’s the fun of laying the blocks out, and putting it all together …

IMG_0445

IMG_0447E

Now … why do I have a gale rather than a breeze? It’s sad … I was so very careful as I put the blocks of nine tiny squares together, but I didn’t notice that the blocks in the pattern were not arranged symmetrically. If you look closely at my finished mini quilt, you will see that it isn’t quite right!

Wait, it’s not a breeze, it’s a gale … everything is being blown over, so all my blocks are pointing the same way. I didn’t notice this until I had sewed the last stitch on my binding!!! Arrrrgh! So, of course, I sat down and cut out another one, which is now underway!

My girl didn’t even notice anything wrong with my ‘practice mini quilt’ … it is kind of cute, don’t you think? I’ll post photos of the new and improved version, when things have got back to a breeze, rather than a gale …

Posted in quilting, sewing | 2 Comments

the white stuff – bathroom …

Bo Bedre

[Bo Bedre]

A room with a view this week …

Things to love … floor to ceiling windows, neutral drapes, the industrial wall treatment on the floor and walls, the lovely shape to the bath, the wall of white tiles, and of course, the VIEW!

I could do with some quality time in this space …

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good stuff …

the girl ...

Well hello there, internet friends!

I’ve been away for a few days, doing family things over the weekend. Our girl came a’ visiting from interstate for two very short days (day 1 @ 2 were shared with her boyfriend, who lives an hour away, and day 3 & 4 were with us!) She flew back to work and studies this morning, so it will be a quieter house tonight when I get home from work.

She has had rather a dramatic hair-style change since we saw her last … I would hate to guess but it would probably be in the range of 40+ cms (15+ inches) trimmed off the bottom of her hair, and now she sports a trendy bob. As she says, it’s only hair, and it does grow super-fast, and it will be so much easier to look after.

She is starting to make plans for next year, as she graduates from university in December with a science degree, and an honors year beckons. She may even be moving back in with us for 12 months while she studies at our local university. No definite plans yet, just exploring possibilities. I started blogging in 2005 when she was eleven, and now she is nearly twenty! Time has flown!

It was a lovely weekend with her … we spend time unpacking her cardboard boxes of stuff we had brought home with us, as the cardboard boxes are not designed to last, and were showing signs of imminent collapse! She repacked what she wanted to keep into Ikea clear plastic boxes, and they will be stacked neatly onto stands in our storage room, so when she moves somewhere on a permanent basis and has room to unpack, she can simply collect the plastic boxes and we don’t have to ‘look’ for her things. She tried to sneak a couple of things like trophies and ribbons into my cupboards, but got caught and had to put them into her boxes! We had a fabulous time laughing over her childhood treasures, and she even threw out a lot of old school notes into the recycling bin.

We made a trip to the dump, visited the local quilting shop, wandered through the shopping centre near home, dropped into The Coffee Club, did some ‘secret squirrel’ sewing together, and generally enjoyed our time together, and believe it or not, she managed to sleep in both mornings. Somethings never change.

We love you, chickie!!!

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project 365, week 29 …

project 365, week 29, page 1

project 365, week 29, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – quilting fun | winter goodies | awards evening for the marathoner | breakfast with the man | snuggling into dad’s elbow on a cold winter evening | playing with 1 1/2 inch hsts | our girl is home for the weekend … [wk 29, jul 13 - 19, 2014]

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simply retro challenge, quilt 5 – update 1 and finish …

For month 5, July 2014, I chose the quilt named Framed, from Camille Roskelley’s book Simply Retro. I decided to make my quilt a little smaller than the quilt in the book, and finished, my quilt measures about 130 cm or 50 inches square. It’s a nice lap-sized quilt, or it will be when it’s back from the quilters and bound.

Framed 1

I’ve chosen to work with the Wishes by Sweetwater for Moda collection of fabris, and oh my, they are so pretty!

It was a very quick quilt to run up. It was easy to cut out, and not that long to sew up as it was simple to put together. My favourite part was laying it out, once the blocks had been completed. Even though I messed around with the placement of blocks, I still managed to end up with a couple of blocks together that I wished I had moved. Not perfect at this quilt making business, I’m not!!! But I do enjoy all the practice!!!

I had it sewn up by Sunday afternoon, and I even made myself stay at the machine and prepared the backing too, which I really hate doing. So now I have quilt top and backing ready to go to my local quilters … I sure am keeping my local quilting industry moving along!!!

Framed 2

So that’s it for July, our fifth quilt out of eleven in the book … we are almost halfway!!! Wonder what’s around the corner in August???

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the white stuff – dining room …

Elisabeth Heier[Elisabeth Heier]

I’m sharing a beautiful living space this week …

Things to love … white, white, white everywhere! Love the plain white table, the chairs with silver legs, white walls framing a large window which lets in the view and light, the simply arranged flowers, and the clever way the firewood is stored.

I like the simplicity and elegance of this room … I could happily live here!

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treasure box 98 …

This is my little weekly post called treasure box, where I share photos and links to interesting finds I have come across as I surf, just bits and pieces that catch my attention

You might find them fun too … this week, quilting tutorials to make some pretty blocks!!!

Find 1 … a herringbone block tutorial, by Bijou Lovely.

Bijou Lovely

[Bijou Lovely]

Find 2 … a ribbon star block, by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Fresh Lemons Quilts

[Fresh Lemons Quilts]

Find 3 … star string block, by Little Miss Shabby.

Little Miss Shabby

[Little Miss Shabby]

Find 4 … Barn Block, by Quilting Lodge.

Quilting Lodge

[Quilting Lodge]

Find 5 … Starflower block, by Sew We Quilt.

Elison Lane Quilts

[Sew We Quilt]

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project 365, week 28 …

project 365, week 28, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – herbs on the kitchen bench | new lync headset, i’m such a tech head | quilt 5 in the #simplyretrochallenge, framed | morning tea with megan | breakfast with the man | watching tv with dad | the boys … [wk 28, jul 6 1 12, 2014]

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bits and pieces …

Well hello there, internet-y friends … just a quick blog post on ‘bits and pieces’ happening in my life at the moment!!!

Marathon 1

Marathon matters … this last weekend, the man competed in his first ever marathon, and finished very well, coming in just under four hours. That’s four hours of constant running, and running over a distance of 42 kms (26 miles). I was the very supportive wife, sending him off to the start line with his other 5,500 friends who were competing and then retiring to a warm, comfortable cafe that overlooked the race start. It’s winter in our part of the world, so we like warm comfortable cafes.

Lest you think that I spent all morning in said cafe, be assured that I didn’t! I wandered over to the 30 km spot in the race where I had the one and only opportunity of seeing him mid-race and stood for over half an hour, and missed him totally! Fortunately I saw him finish, and Megan snapped the ‘finishing photo’ for me, as I was too excited to do so, having finally found him in the steady stream of finishers.

It’s a good thing we girls went along to ‘support’ our men (Megan’s hubby also ran the marathon)  … mine was quite incoherent by the time he caught up with me at the InTraining tent, his brain just wasn’t firing on many (or any?) cylinders. I tried to help him pull off the elastic support socks he was wearing to stop blood pooling in his lower legs which were very, very tight and difficult to get on and off, but every time he pointed his toes, his whole leg went into cramp. Finally we got the socks off,  and the boys stood in the cool water of the lagoon, which helped bring down their body core temperature.

Marathon 2

It looks quite deserted in the photo, doesn’t it? Eventually we were allowed to take their hands and lead them back to the car … I’m pretty sure my marathon man wouldn’t have found it, he was that spaced out. I now realize I will have to go to all the marathons to help him get his socks off, then find the car, and drive him home!!!

He obviously enjoyed the experience, because the man has signed up for one at the end of July, in our home city, and the other day I caught him checking out the Boston/London marathons online!!!

Quilty matters … well folks, a couple of weeks back I decided that my 1 ½ hour trip on the bus each day could be put to better use than catching up on my reading, as important as that may be! I may or may not have finished a favourite book series, and hadn’t yet started on the next. As my bus is fairly light on patrons, we nearly always have a whole seat to enjoy, so I popped my little ‘pre-packaged’ bag of hexagons into my work bag, and I spend that time sewing.

To date, I haven’t dropped my scissors, or rolled thread down the aisle, or stabbed a fellow passenger with a sharp needle or pin, but it’s early days yet. Much to my mortification, an elderly gentleman did run up to me yesterday while I was waiting to cross the lights after getting off the bus and handed me an errant hexagon that had obviously escaped!!! I double-check now when I leave my seat …

Hexagon-ing on a bus

So here’s my work bag on my knee, ziploc bag with hexagons, cotton and scissors under the flap of the bag, and the piece I am working on. I have rows of 55 white hexagons to make up, that go between the ‘lemon and lime’ diamonds in my big hexie quilt, and this is as good a place as any to construct them. Goodness knows what the rest of the bus population is thinking … I keep my head down, listen to a quilty podcast and quilt!!!

My #simplyretrochallenge quilt for July (Framed, from ‘Simply Retro’ by Camille Roskelley) is underway! Thursday night the man planned to be away running, and I thought, what a great opportunity to put something on the big screen, sit on the floor with the cutting mat and rotary cutter and cut out the quilt! Best laid plans …

At midday on Thursday, a pole on a main road near our estate caught fire, and we lost power until almost 7 pm that night. No lights … I refuse to cut out a quilt by candlelight! You know, poor lighting, sharp cutting tool … it would all end in tears, I was sure. However, as soon as man and boy were fed, I started cutting, and tonight, I’m pretty sure some pinning is going to happen. I’m excited about this quilts, as it is one of my favourites in the book.

 

Flutter, by Riley Blake[a material girl quilts]

Something else on the burner at the moment is a cover for my machine, which I am making out of a charm pack, and I’m pretty sure HSTs are involved. I’m thinking of writing up a tutorial for the machine cover. It will be made from a Riley Blake collection called Flutter. Stay tuned … more good stuff next time!

Posted in family life, quilting, sewing | 2 Comments

falling in love … with fabric!

Maze and Vale Hand Printed Fabrics, via Red Pepper Quilts[Maze & Vale, via Red Pepper Quilts]

Have you ever fallen in love with fabric? You see something new, and instantly think, ‘Oooh, I have to have that! Right now!’? Or is it just me?

I really enjoy Rita from Red Pepper Quilt’s Sunday Stash posts, which you can find here, where she introduces me to fabrics I would never have discovered on my own! Of course, this can be a very dangerous thing for my PayPal account, but I really love coming across new (to me) fabric lines.

A couple of Sundays back, I found stunning handprinted sustainable fabrics by Maze & Vale. I think I could quite happily create with any of the designs I found on the website.

Maze and Vale, Sample Pack 1

Maze and Vale, Sample Pack 2

[Maze & Vale sample packs]

I’m particularly drawn to the sample packs, which you can find here … You can apparently choose your colours … I think I would like them all!!!

I was intrigued to read on the Maze & Vale blog this … ‘Canadian hands designing and creating in Melbourne, thrift shopping, muted colours, soft linen, wool felt, quilted anything, organic shapes in pottery, tiny seashells, chamomile, the patterns of wood, scandinavian design, Japanese craft books, line drawings, hand dying and hand printing fabric.’

Did you see the important bit? A ‘Scandi’ influence, my very favourite style, which is probably what spoke to me the loudest. I’m pretty sure some of these lovely fabrics will find a new home with me soon!!!

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the white stuff – laundry …

Decor Pad[Decor Pad]

It almost looks too good to be true, this laundry …

Things to love … the glossy white subway tiles, the crystal knobs on the drawers and cupboards, the natural light streaming  through the glass doors, the frosted glass panes in the cupboards that makes storage options beautiful, the glass storage jars, and the cane tray and potplant that warm up the white space.

I think I would be nervous about bringing my dirty landry into this lovely space …

Posted in house design, house stuff, the white stuff | 2 Comments

treasure box 97 …

This is my little weekly post called treasure box, where I share photos and links to interesting finds I have come across as I surf, just bits and pieces that catch my attention.

You might find them fun too … this week, some pretties from Etsy!!!

Find 1 … from BBbronte.

Find 1 - BBbonte[BBbonte]

Find 2 … from cardioceras.

cardioceras

[cardioceras]

Find 3 … from Kadrizinha.

Kadrizinha[Kadrizinha]

Find 4 … from Nafsika.

Nafiska

[Nafsika]

Find 5 … from Life Partner.

Life Partner

[Life Partner]

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project 365, week 27 …

project 365, week 27, page 1

project 365, week 27, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – the marathon men, cooling down after 42 km | breakfast with megan | family | mr fluffy pants | beneath the tv | surprise visitor on my desk at work | early morning, pre-marathon … [wk 27, jun 29 - 5, 2014]

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simply retro challenge, quilt 5 …

So here we are in July, month 5 of our very informal Simply Retro challenge, where we choose a quilt at the beginning of the month and use it as inspiration to create our own quilts. We are using the very gorgeous book, ‘Simply Retro’, by Camille Roskelley, to inspire us. If you ‘do’ Instagram, you can find images of our quilts using this hashtag, #simplyretrochallenge.

I thought I would begin July’s challenge by looking briefly at the quilts we have worked with up until now. In the images below, you can see which quilt design was chosen, who chose it, and their interpretation of the inspiration piece.

01 March Sharon Sweet Life[March - Sweet Life, chosen by me, Sharon]

02 April Cassie Playground[April - Playground, chosen by Cassie]

03 May GnomeAngel Vintage[May - Vintage, chosen by GnomeAngel Vintage, one block]

megfishc, Swell[June - Swell, chosen by megfishc]

So it’s July now, and I’ve jumped in and chosen ‘Framed’, which I’ve been wanting to make since the challenge began.

Simply Retro, by Camille Roskelley[Simply Retro, by Camille Roskelley]

I’ve put aside this collection of fabrics to make this quilt, and hopefully this weekend, I will cut it out. The collection is called Wishes, by Sweetwater for Moda. And folks, I purchased the backing at the same time, which is super organized of me. Usually I finish the quilt top, then agonize over the fact that I can’t get yardage from the collection I have chosen to work with.

Wishes, by Sweetwater, for Moda[Fat Quarter Shop]

The rules are very basic, and you are welcome to join in any time … here are the challenge ‘guidelines’ (and I use that term very loosely!!!) I’d love to know if you’re playing along, and who knows? You may get to choose the next month’s quilt.

  1. We take turns in choosing the quilt pattern we are using, in order of joining the challenge.
  2. One quilt per month? For the month of July, we will make ‘Framed’.
  3. Feel free to interpret the pattern in any way you wish. You can upscale or downscale as desired. Play with the pattern in any way you wish … it is a starting off point, not an end destination. Fabric selection is also up to the individual quilter.
  4. Don’t stress!!! This is a fun project, and there are no quilting police around!!!

And to finish off this post, here are the other three ‘simply retro’ quilt tops I’ve made, to add to the first one you can see above …

02 April Playground 1[April, Playground]

03 May Vintage[May, Vintage]

04 June Swell[June, Swell]

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backing up with backblaze …

BackblazeI’m not sure why I haven’t mentioned backing up with Backblaze before on my blog; I was sure I had, but after doing a search, I can’t find any evidence of a post, so here we go … I love Backblaze!

I’ve used Backblaze for several years now, and I’m very happy with them as an ‘off-site’ backup provider. Digital scrappers can produce some seriously big files over time, and there is always the worry in the back of one’s mind that files could disappear overnight, courtesy of an electrical storm, a fire, or a burglary. Often techie folk back up, and leave the backup drives or DVDs near their computers.

Back in 2011, I did some research and decided on Backblaze to provide me with an ‘if everything else fails’ option for backing up my computer and hard drives of digital files, music and movies. Now folks, it did take a long, long time for my initial backup to complete, and I mean at least six months. You have to be aware that this first backup had to take place while teenagers and digital scrappers (me!) were heavily users of the bandwidth, and you have to factor in somewhat erratic bandwidth too, as our service providers could be unreliable at times.

That said, months after I signed up, my first backup was complete, and now the computer backs up new files continuously, and it is no drama. I have never noticed the continual backing up affecting the performance of my imac either, though in its defence, it is ‘souped up’ to cope with the heavy demands of Photoshop and Lightroom. I have also had two new computers since then, and transferring over the ‘backing up’ procedure (without having to start from the beginning again) to the new computers was not difficult.

Backblaze

You can use Backblaze on either a mac or a PC, and their rates are very competitive, considering your peace of mind is guaranteed. I think I pay about $50 a year to back up my life … I’m a very happy customer!!!

Blog disclaimer  Just so we are all on the same page … all opinions expressed here on my blog are my personal thoughts and judgements about the products I have written about. I am not affiliated with any of the companies and products mentioned, and I post about my experiences because I am happy with the products and enjoy sharing my experiences with other readers.

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the white stuff – home office …

Form and Design, via hemnet

[Design and Form, via hemnet]

Here’s an inspiring little work space …

Things to love … the pale, warm timber contrasting with the white, the modern lines of the chair and table, the lamp with clean, fresh design lines, the green foliage of the plant, well grounded in a black planter, and the fabulous poster.

How could you not be inspired to work in this pretty space?

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hippity hop hop … in a quilty way!

I know I’m not the only one!!! You know, checking out a blog, then following a link to another blog, then finding something else enticing on yet another blog? Today was one of those days …

GnomeAngel

I started at GnomeAngel’s blog … she has something fun about to start on her blog, her very own quilt-along featuring a very pretty miniquilt by Megan Bohr, of Canoe Ridge Creations

Canoeridge Creations[Canoe Ridge Creations]

Oooh, sign me up … I love me a small quilt challenge, especially when it features a bright, modern beauty like this one. Doesn’t that little quilt just make you heart beat a little bit faster? I have an idea already of what I would like to do!!!

And then I did a little more looking on the Megan’s blog … and look what I found!!!

Canoeridge Creations 2

[Canoe Ridge Creations]

My mind immediately went into overdrive, thinking about how I would construct these until I scrolled down and realized all the ‘heavy thinking’ had already been done for me …

Canoeridge Creations 3

[Canoe Ridge Creations]

Oh my, I can see some of these happening at my house pretty soon … so hippity hop hop … I think I have a mini quilt quilt-along with GnomeAngel coming up, and some a new way of working with my beloved hexagons. Love me some internet meandering …

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project 365, week 26 …

project 365, week 26, page 1

project 365, week 26, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – my idea of a perfect evening | a ‘fun’ way to spend a sunday, catching up on the ironing | it was cold at the bus stop this week | indian take-away | afternoon tea with megan & colin | cuddling into dad’s neck on a cold night | lunch time date with captain sparrow & hexagons …
[wk 26, jun 22 - 28, 2014]

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tutorial – diy gold chevron box, by krafty kath …

Krafty Kath 1

[krafty kath]

Here’s a tutorial by Krafty Kath … make this lovely chevron box with scissors, tape and spray paint! You can find instructions and images on the Krafty Kath blog.

Krafty Kath 2

[Krafty Kath]

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bits and pieces …

CharliJust a ‘bits and pieces’ post today, sort of a ‘what I’ve been up to lately’ post …

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, we are almost half way through this year! It is six months under the belt without one of my children living at home, which has been hard at times.

Yes, that girl my scrapbooking community met when she was four, believe it or not, has perched on the side of the nest and launched herself out into the big wide world, and from all reports, she is doing just fine and thriving.

Me? I miss her, as now I’m living in a household of boys. And one of those boys is Charli … he is ‘lodging’ with me until the girl lives somewhere without a cat and a dog! If you are wondering why I take so many Instagrams of Charli, it is because a. he is cute, and b. it is to show his mother that he is alive and well!!!

brunch

For a while now, the man and I have been enjoying weekend brunches, and although I love my French toast with strawberries, this last weekend I ‘taste-tested’ some waffles with cream and butterscotch sauce while enjoying a coffee ‘catch-up’ with Megan.

I need to tell you that these waffles were very yummy, and definitely on my ‘to do again’ list. It wasn’t too big a serving, two waffles, with the bottom waffle filled to overflowing with the very yummy butterscotch sauce.

If you live in Australia, you might like to try this out … I was at The Shingle Inn, which I have visited frequently. They have comfy chairs and great service, and I recommend them. You can find a menu with the waffles here … I like visiting here because it’s just a little bit different to the ‘usual’ coffee shops.

green kettleI’ve been thinking about my black kitchen for some time now and have been wondering how to make it feel a little more ‘friendly’, and on Sunday while waiting for Megan (I’d arrived a little early for our coffee date) I found this ‘sharon green’ kettle. It was on sale (60% off) which seemed to me a very good reason to purchase it.

When I got home I explained very carefully to the man that this was not a kettle, it was an ornament, and he was to never ever boil water in it. Fortunately for him, he knows me very well, and laughingly agreed to go along with this.

Funnily enough, almost immediately my old silver kettle which has been faithfully boiling water for years has decided to start playing up. Of course, the man reminded me that I had a new kettle sitting on the stove, but folks, you can’t boil water with an ornament, can you?

Ikea display units

There is nothing the man enjoys hearing more on the weekend than, ‘Let’s go visit Ikea!!!’ It usually means he has to spend hours ‘building’ Ikea furniture!!!

He can’t blame me for this one though! The boy has a very large LEGO collection that has been in storage for ten years, I guess, and with holidays coming up, he thought he might like to drag it out, build some of the sets, then put them out on permanent display.

I was thinking about the dust factor when I suggested he might like to buy some display cabinets, and we decided on these lovely black/grey Fabrikor glass-door cabinets. Each cabinet came in two boxes, so we purcased two (with the boy’s funds), and the man put them together while I supervised. I love the look of them against the wall outside my sewing studio.

Even though they were not difficult to put together, as in following the instructions, there were a couple of  ‘not so straight’ pieces that were meant to be straight, and it took the man a while to line them up. Fortunately cabinet no. 2 went together a little more quickly than the first!!!

Now my study floor is littered with tiny pieces of LEGO as the boy works on his holiday project … I think it will look great when the cabinets are filled with colourful LEGO stories!

washing lineHave I told you about my little washing line? I really love it … although it is tiny, it is in a superb position, enjoying filtered sunshine through a tree which is on the corner of our property, and lots of lovely breezes. My washing is almost always guaranteed to be dry after a couple of hours on this line, unless it is rained on!

After being on the road for several months at the end of last year without a clothesline, it really is the small things that I am enjoying in our new home.

Finally, we have furniture, rugs and a clothesline, our books and ‘toys’ are now unpacked … truly, it’s the things that you take for granted that mean so much when you are without them for a while.

So that’s it for the ‘catch up’ post, folks … hope your week is a busy and happy one!

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