Archive for September, 2008

The weekend

We spent a lovely relaxing weekend up at Sewjourn – did a small amount of gardening but not much more – it was great as it was the first weekend of relaxing there since the renovations started around Christmastime.  There’s still lots of jobs to do but as they are not urgent…….  We do have a list to work through though otherwise all the ‘extras’ won’t get done!  I did take my sewing machine up to sew the cushion for the front bedroom…….but left my machine foot at home!

The girls started their embroidery however and are all loving it.  It’s great to see them so keen – embroidering last thing at night and first thing each morning!  They are doing a fantastic job!


Even sewing right through to her nightie didn’t deter Ella!

Saturday morning I discovered The Drapers of Mt Macedon – a gorgeous patchwork shop only 20 minutes drive from Lancefield.  Housed in a beautiful old wooden building they stock a fantastic range of fabrics from reproduction to brights – this shop is definately on my new list of favorites!  Pop over and check out their website – they have just started a new blog as well.


These are a few shots of the view last night as I was tidying up the studio for our next lot of guests this week………well OK the quilt wasn’t sitting there initially but the light was nice so I set it up.  I love this quilt and it is normally over the sofa in the family room at home – these photos are a reminder to get quilting on some more quilts for the beds at Sewjourn so that this one can come back home!


In the city……

Last Friday, daughter No. 1 went to the Royal Melbourne Show with friends and the other girls and I ventured into the city (along with half of Melbourne it seems as the AFL Grand Final parade was on – I think we were the only Melburnians not dressed in footy colors!)  We caught the train in, dropped off my squashed engagement ring at the jewellers (that’s another story!), looked at some shops, had lunch, a tram ride, ate Trampoline icecream and then went on the ferris wheel at Birrarung Marr……lots of fun!

What a gorgeous city we live in!

Free time to play…..

Monday, the ‘official’ start to the school holidays we met a couple of friends, one from Ballarat, at Ardrie Park.  It’s such a great park – the younger children can go into the fenced off play area whilst the older ones can run to their hearts content – and they did until the rain was heavy enough for the mums to call it a day.  We ended up at Chaddy and spent ages in Borders where I picked up the latest copy of Australian Quilters Companion which has a DVD by Meredithe on how to use perspex templates for quilting – well done Meredithe!  The only crafting the girls did on Monday was draw a design to embroider.

Tuesday, we had two extra girls for the day – lots of fun.  The day started with a 3D jigsaw…….everyone really did work well together.


Then we progressed onto cooking.  It was good fun – I love cooking but haven’t really done that much (apart from quick and easy family meals!) this year.  We started with muffins (chocolate and caramel of course)

Then choc chip cookies (full of M&Ms)…………Kate did have an apron on but still managed to get covered in chocolate…….


The finished products looked good……..and were very yummy too!


Next on the menu was Pizza Scrolls for lunch.  Everyone was keen to help rub the butter into the flour!  These were simple and delicious – even if we did forget the cheese!


Afternoon craft activity was making cards – all 5 girls were occupied for hours!  I had a small play with my Stampin’ UP! stamps – especially the new jumbo wheel which is fantastic!  I think I could get quite hooked on this.

Today was a lazy day – did go looking at sewing machines – I would like to get a basic one for the girls to use……..any suggestions?  I have seen a couple of eBay but just not sure.  The girls drew their embroidery patterns onto calico but that was all the crafting that happened today…………there’s always tomorrow.


All my friends know that I am definately a fabric girl not a paper girl – Scrapbooking although very popular has never really taken my fancy but a couple of weeks ago I had a Stampin’ UP party for my sister who has recently become a demonstrator and I think I am hooked.  I love their range of stamps and papers and have already made a couple of cards with my goodies………trouble is the sensible part of me knows I don’t really a) have time for another hobby b) have the space in my house for even more crafting supplies and tools or c) have the money to spend on yet another crafty pastime…………  But then I don’t always listen to the sensible part……….  I sort-of justified my purchases by the fact that I am going to use gorgeous paper and stamps for my Information Book at Sewjourn so that’s a WIP.  Another plus is that my girls all LOVE making cards and with the school holidays here it’s a great activity for us all (we are staying home these holidays, all looking forward to just being here and chilling out after such a busy year and being away so much of the time so we have decided that these will be our ‘Crafty Holidays’!)

A couple of my friends have put their purchases to good use though this weekend……….it’s such fun having crafty friends and sharing ideas, projects and (for these girls anyway) finished items. 


Bonnie made these lovely bags for her daughters 18th birthday party on Saturday night…….it was a French Theme.

And Suzie made these goodie bags for her daughter’s birthday party on Saturday afternoon – it’s not a great photo because they’d already been handed out when I arrived so had to prise them off a few 6 year olds who watched anxiously and wouldn’t let me have them for long enough to be really artistic!



I did manage to snap this photo of her lovely kitchen display on the way out though…..didn’t realise until I was posting it now though that she has Sewjourn business cards on display!!! (Thanks Suzie)





I can’t imagine not being surrounded by craft really – my Mum has been crafting constantly for as long as I can remember as do her friends, my sister and a lot of my friends too.  Now my girls seem to have caught the bug……….I assure my husband there could be much worse addictions!

Before and after: Dining Area

There wasn’t a huge amount to do to this area but with painting, polishing the floor boards and decorating it now looks really special.  The highlight of course is the gorgeous table made by my clever husband………..


        BEFORE                                          AFTER

The table was made from boards of a mezzanine floor removed from the Studio and seats 10 people.

Aside from the painting and polishing of boards, the light was replaced…………….


     BEFORE                                  AFTER

And mirrors and a print were added for decoration…………………………………………..



Over our months of renovating we have enjoyed pies, pastries and bread from the Lancefield Bakery but last week I got talking to the lovely owner, Rosie, and she took me out the back to proudly show me their 130-year-old Scotch Oven…… takes 12 hours each night to cook the bread!  No wonder it tastes so special.


Yoyo curtain

There hasn’t been a lot of crafting going on around here lately…too busy getting everything ready at Sewjourn and trying to catch up on work but 3 hours at a gymnastics comp this afternoon meant I managed to get lots more yoyos done………the curtain is starting to take shape now!  Thanks Bonnie and Dale for helping out also.

And well done Ella……great effort again!  A win for the last comp of the season!

Before and after: Bedroom 1

The front bedroom is probably my favorite bedroom. It was painted Antique White USA, floor boards polished and new curtains hung…..and there’s a big difference!





This is a print we bought in Vietnam last year which I recently framed to hang – the colors match the fabrics in the quilt (Summer in the City by Urban Chicks) perfectly.  I made the quilt from two packs of charm squares and some brown and blue chenille.







I covered this canvas in fabric from the Blossom range, also by Urban Chicks.  The chair has a cushion which I am still to recover with the yellow and orange stripe fabric from the same range.  The silver birds were a gift from a friend.






The fireplace looks cosy filled with pine cones but it is for decoration only!  It would probably work but we have decided not to use it as the cottage has gas ducted heating, a reverse cycle heater/airconditioner and a combustion wood fire in the lounge area so it is not needed.





The door to this bedroom has panels of glass (it was probably a lounge room once upon a time) which have been sprayed with opaque paint today and with the help of some very kind friends I am making a yoyo curtain to hang on the back of the door – it’s from a variety of fabrics including the two Urban Chicks ranges…….it may not be there for the ladies staying next week (there’s just one piece of fabric hanging there at the moment) but it will be there soon…… The small framed piece of crotchet was done by my great-grandmother who must have spent hours doing her beautiful work because we are very lucky to have many doilies, runners and Mum even has a table cloth that she made. The bed frame was an eBay purchase, the chest of drawers given by a friend and the lamp and vase were  op-shop finds but it all seems to work together well.

Before and after: Studio

Without a doubt the room that has undergone the biggest transformation is the Studio.  More than one person suggested at the start that demolition was the best option and I’m sure many more people had their doubts but didn’t actually verbalise them!  But 8 months down the track and (not without lots of hard work) our vision has been realised.

This became this…………….


And this turned into this……..

Inside this transformed to this…….
And……the kitchen changed (for the better)
This became a bathroom…….
And even the wall art is of a different nature!!!
Of course there were many steps along the way – if you are interested in seeing a summary of those please look here.
There is still a couple of extras to happen including a design wall, another cutting table and garden under the back verandah so stay tuned………..
Over the next couple of days ‘before and afters’ of rooms of the cottage will be featured.

Enjoying themselves…

I’ve been overwhelmed by the lovely comments and useful suggestions from our ‘First Guests’ – if everyone enjoys themselves as much as these ladies (and leaves Sewjourn looking as clean and tidy as they did!) then we are in for a fun time…..!   Thankyou ladies!!

Here’s a few photos of them relaxing, creating and enjoying……..


Along with Linda’s Christmas Quilt  these girls and their quilt tops will be amongst the first on our ‘Sew n Tell’ page of the website.