Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015

Welcome to my little corner of the Grow Your Blog Party ............

2 Bags Full

Click on the link and it'll take you to the list of around 400 bloggers who have joined the party, and will introduce themselves, and write about why they blog, and their interests. This is a great way to find new blogs and meet new and wonderful people.  

I'm a retired social worker, and live in Australia in a small country town in northern NSW.   I have 2 children, a son and a daughter and 4 grandchildren....3 girls and a boy and 1 great-granddaughter, all of whom live in Ohio, USA.  My son lives in Sydney.  

So with family spread out and far away.....I share my home with this lot......great companions and never a dull moment.
clockwise from left......Neesa, Velvet and Molly and Mirrhi
I started my blog as a way to connect and communicate.  I was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the associated depression and anxiety, and found it hard to be in social situations. Blogging was a good way to have some social interaction,and stay connected to the outside world, but on my own terms.  Those days, thankfully, are behind me now, but I continue to blog about my sewing and gardening, ordinary things, my day to day life, things that interest me and people and places I encounter when I step outside my front gate.  I've made some good friends through my blog, and some I've now met outside of cyber space as well.

I enjoy an eclectic array of handwork......quilting, embroidery and stitching, I dabble in needlefelting, and like to make dolls and toys.  I have a Pinterest board called Creative Miscellany of Things....this sums up pretty well what I like to do.

Here's some pics of various things I've enjoyed making......

Quilts and table-runners
dolls and soft toys
 I give most of my toys to charity, and they go variously to Knit 4 CharitiesMirabel Foundation and Uthando.  I knit as well, and these items, mainly beanies, go to Knit 4 Charities  as well, an Australian on-line group which knits, sews and crochets thousands of items a year to go to the homeless and needy.
Handwork -healing doll, crazy patchwork, kantha stitching
I enjoy living simply, and as sustainably as possible and I do this by growing as much of my own food as I can, I cook from scratch and make my own bread, soap and cleaning goods.  I'm passionate about my garden and growing and this is as important to me and my life as my needle and thread are.

I enjoy travelling and posted here about my recent trip to Tibet, a deeply satisfying and life-changing trip.
Mt Kailash

I wondered when I signed up for the Party what I'd write about....obviously I had no trouble and could probably go on.  If you'd like to know more, take a wander back through my blog, or you can email me at belleg9atgmaildotcom.

To celebrate Grow Your Blog I'm having a give-away, and anyone who comments will go in the draw to win a small prize.  I have two bundles of pretty batiks to give away, and embroidery threads to go with them.  All you have to do is comment on this post, and you're in.

The draw closes at midnight on February 14 AEST and winners will be drawn and announced here on February 15th.  Please make sure you're not a "no-reply" blogger so I can get in touch with you if you're a winner.

....til next time

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Scrappy Saturday

.......linking up with So Scrappy at

In the RSC15 a few people are making wonky star blocks.  I thought, no, not for me.....until I saw Jo's finished rainbow quilt here ( scroll down a bit to see her quilt, it's beautiful) and immediately decided I wanted one too.  So that was what I did today........prepared my squares and stitched up a blue wonky star, first block for my own rainbow.  It's 17 and a half inches finished, nice and big and quick to sew.  I used Flutter.Kat's tutorial here.

I stitched a couple more rows of Walter's quilt  but no photos, that's a bit boring.  The rest of the day I spent in the garden, after two days of very heavy rain we had sunshine, so it was a perfect opportunity to get the weeds out and the lawn mown before it all grows another foot or two.  No pictures of that either, weeds are boring too.

That's all tonight, my next post will be on the Grow Your Own Blog party at 2 Bags Full.

'til then...........

Friday, January 23, 2015

Is it a bird?

or maybe a chicken?


whichever...I'm mighty pretty!

Pat, the recipient, unfortunately couldn't make it to lunch yesterday, so I'll have to wait until next month when we all meet up again to find out what she thinks.  The others, Lajla and Eileen both liked it, so that's a good start.  Chicken bird is about 15 cms (6") high, and half of that is long legs.

I'm pleased with how it turned out ....

....til next time

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Getting on with it

..........the scrappy birthday gift, that is

I made quite a bit of progress today, after umming and aahing about what to make.  Remember in my last post, here,  I talked about the 'fabric' I made from scraps that would be made into a birthday gift ?Well, I played with a few ideas.....a heart to hang, a needle case, a little amulet bag.....nah, none of that worked.  Well, eventually, I had an 'aha' moment and finally knew what I wanted to make.  I added a few pieces of lovely wool felt for making extra bits, and then I was ready to stitch, bead and generally's a fiddly little project!  Now that all the hard decisions are made, it's coming together nicely, and as it needs to be ready to give tomorrow, when, with two other friends, we're meeting for lunch, I'll be stitching away tonight to finish it.

Pieces in play

Not saying what it is yet, but soon enough all will be revealed......any guesses?

.......til next time

Saturday, January 17, 2015

More scrappy blues

too hot to do much sewing, but enough to feel I've accomplished something........

Week 3, more wonky log cabins, linking up again with RSC15  (rainbow scrap challenge 2015) with 6 new blocks.Making these is a bit like eating potato chips, it's hard to stop at just one.  I'm running out of ' 'just blue' blue scraps though and have used some pale and dark blues to finish off blocks.  I have a plan for next week to start some blocks in the aqua shades to begin a quilt for a friend's birthday.

All 14 blocks, hey that's quite a start!
And what to do with all the teeny pieces trimmed off the edges and left over threads.....or orts as I've seen them called, which just means scraps......pile them on some wash-away( solvy) and make some more fabric of course!
Scraps on wash-away

            after being stitched in a net or grid pattern
after washing

close-up of 'new' fabric

This forms a pliable but firm 'fabric' that can be used for embellishment, or cut up to make shapes. I'm going to use it to make a gift for a friend's birthday next week, have a few ideas about what to make with it, there'll be stitching and beads for sure.

..........and an update on Walter's quilt......coming along nicely 
 blocks sewn into fours, and one long strip sewn 

I'm going to need to add borders or it won't be wide enough so I followed Kate's example and have been auditioning fabrics.  I think this brick red works well for a first border, but as I don't have very much of it, there'll be a trip to the fabric store very soon.  Not sure about the second border, something blue I think, but I'll wait and see until the red is on.

Molly!  too hot to snuggle close thank-you
'til next time.....

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Feeling blue

no, not me, I'm good.........just my recent sewing 

A good start, blue scraps tipped out, ready to go
I decided I needed some help to keep me on track with my sewing, so what better way then to join in a challenge.  I came across Angela's blog soscrappy where she runs a rainbow scrap challenge, giving us a different colour to work with each month. This is nearly the end of week 2, I wasn't quite quick enough getting organised for week 1, but going good now.  Angela also gives a tutorial on a different quilt block for those that want to make  sampler rainbows, but I decided simple's better for me, I'm more likely to keep up, and so I've made 7 wonky log cabins so far.  These are 6 and half inches unfinished.  Go here if you'd like to check out what everyone else is doing with their scraps....or join in!

I pulled out some ufo blocks as well, they're pretty much all blue, with a pop of red and mustardy yellow here and there, so they'll do just fine to add to my blue month tally. 
String blocks - not all joined yet, some in pairs though
I made these string blocks about a year ago, planning to give the finished quilt to a friend's husband who had a stroke and now lives in a nursing home.  I gave up on joining the blocks because I think I over-thought it all, trying to make sure same fabrics weren't close together, not too many reds clustered, it got too hard so I put it away.  Last night I sewed blocks in pairs, just as they came out of the bag, and have layed them all out, ready for the next step.  I just have to decide whether to make it single bed size, or wheelchair lap size, not sure which will be most practical.  Maybe the bed size, I can't imagine Walter pulling the smaller quilt off the bed to tuck around himself......he can transfer himself from bed to wheelchair, so it's not as if a nurse will be helping and do it for him.  It'll be nice and bright on his bed too.

In other sewing- some Christmas gifts I've not shown yet........
I filled a pretty jar with hearts for my friend Christine, wife of above-mentioned Walter. They're all different, but follow the red/cream theme, which she loves.  Some are plain with just a little stitching, others patched and beaded. I added strings so she can hang them around the house if she wishes and pop a candle in the jar.......and she's done just that.

Stockings for a friend and her daughter....these were fun to do and filled with silly surprises

15 year old's crazy patched

Mum's - simple Scandinavian look
 And lastly, a little prayer flag that doubled as a house-warming/Christmas gift

I've also decided to participate in this  
2 Bags Full

There's only a couple of days left to sign up, and you can do it here.  This is a great way to find new-to-you blogs, and make lovely new bloggy friends.  And a good way for me to keep my blog up-to-date!

....til next time

Friday, January 2, 2015


    seems my blog is having technical issues..........

Hi everyone, a couple of people have let me know that Blogger won't let them comment.  Sorry if this has happened to you.  Maybe I've accidently re-set or un-set something, I don't know much more about blogger than changing my layout and writing posts!  I have been getting some odd error messages while I've been writing the last couple of posts......silly things like' an error occurring when I was trying to publish....when I hadn't been! " I'll see what I can find out.  In the meantime, please keep visiting, and I look forward to being able to have a conversation with you soon.

.....I wonder if anyone else on Blogger is having problems, maybe it's not just me

....till later