Tag Archives: pineapple

Making stuff – again

Thank you to all who reached out to share and support when I was having a tough time last week.  The great news is that things have continued to improve since then, so much so that I had one morning this week when all three children were at school!   Of course I had left my crochet bag at home, so wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself for a while!

I have managed to get into the sewing room, and my other favourite making place, my armchair, and produce a few new things this week.   After a special request I made another pineapple tea cosy – tweaking the pattern as I went, and am very happy with the results.

Then I decided to play with the idea of a cactus tea cosy and love this result!

Some time in the sewing room meant some dome style tea cosies and a wrap around cosy!  My fabric stash is being re-discovered and I am loving it!!

A few more tiny cacti have grown in tiny teacups and I made some trivets with recycled t-shirt yarn.   You might say that it has been a productive week!!

In the midst of all of this Spring has sprung (finally) so that might explain the additional energy I have had – all that vitamin D soaking in!    My ‘to-do’ list is long at the moment – cleaning the house, finally painting a couple of rooms, getting some more sewing done, listing things in my shop……  so let’s hope that the sun stays out for a few more days!

I hope that you have had a creative and inspiring week.

Tea obsessions

The resurgence of my creativity has continued!  Over the last couple of weeks I have made more tea cosies, have poured tea-scented teacup candles, have potted succulents in tea cups and have crocheted succulents in tea cups!  I have also made more reusable tea bags.   The idea of using a theme and creating around it is working well!  And being creative continues to be the best therapy for my busy, overwhelmed brain.   The last few weeks have been hard, with both my boy and my middle child experiencing difficulties that have impacted on the whole family.  Having something creative to sit and do while the world is crumbling really helps my sanity!  The fact that people also give me lovely feedback on the output doesn’t hurt either!

This was highlighted this morning when I ducked out to deliver a tiny teacup crocheted cactus to someone who I have communicated with online but haven’t met in person before.  On the drive into town I was feeling awful – tired, overwhelmed, and close to tears.  But after meeting with this delightful young woman who was genuinely interested in meeting me and in what I do, I walked away with a smile and a much lighter heart.  In discussing what I have been doing I also had some ideas on a new product (still in the tea cosy line) that I am going to work on over the weekend.  Replacing my feeling of stress with the feeling of being creatively inspired was the best medicine!!   That and a cup of tea when I got home and the rest of the day has been much better!

  

I had a similar experience a few days ago when I received a message from a friend who lives interstate, telling me that she and her husband love what I am doing and want to invest in me, and could they order a pineapple tea cosy like the one I had just made. Now this message on it’s own would have been a highlight, but the author of the message is a very talented artist, whose work I have admired for about 20 years, so to receive that sort of compliment just made me glow inside!!!   I am happily working on a new pineapple, tweaking the pattern as I go, because I think I might publish this one too!    The lovely thing is that the first pineapple came about as a a result of a comment that one of the women who follows my Facebook page made about another cosy, which has a succulent on top (the green one above).  So the collaborative process has been lovely!

Growing this ‘tea obsession’ has meant visits to various op shops, and more frequent visits to Spotlight to buy wool. The funny thing is that I have enjoyed tea and the rituals around making tea for a very long time. But it is only now that my children are noticing how much I enjoy tea – or in the words of my boy, how much I am ‘obsessed’ with tea!  I have been taking them op shopping with me, which they enjoy as they get to find things for themselves, and my boy likes to tell the shop assistants that his mum is obsessed with tea and tea cups and tea pots. Then he tells them about all the things I make that he thinks are awesome, and everyone comes away with a smile.  I complimented him on his social interaction with some counter staff yesterday, after he told them about the delivery I was making, and he said ‘you are really good at talking to people too Mum.’   To receive such lovely compliments from this boy who has worked so hard to overcome some significant battles has really been lovely.  He tells me that my obsession with tea is quite nice really!

 

These days it is hard to know how to write about the difficulties that my children are facing.  They have a right to privacy, and I have to weigh up the greater good of sharing their/my struggles with mental health to reduce stigma, versus their right to privacy.  I think that this in part is why I haven’t blogged as much over the last year or so.  What I can share is that I have learnt a new appreciation for the public school system, where they have no choice but to embrace diversity and be flexible in their approach to educating students who don’t fit into the ‘normal’ box.   While one of my children has thrived in the Catholic education system, the other two have not, and it has been detrimental to their long term mental health. Luckily I know more now, so have felt comfortable making the latest round of changes for my middle child, and she is already happier and more positive.  But it means I have to re-establish relationships with yet another school, getting to know the staff, keeping track of how she is being supported, and generally starting from scratch again.  That in itself is exhausting, but on the bright side, the new school is the one that my boy will probably attend for High School so at least they will know me by that time!

My collection of tea pots to use as models and for trials is growing!

The other exciting news to share with you from the farm is that it snowed last weekend!  With no snow all winter it was nice to have an afternoon of it just before winter ended!  The kids and dogs had a great time out in it – even if they refused to dress warmly for it!

While I am still uncertain how all of this tea obsession will go in the longer term, in the short term it is providing joy, and that is what I will focus on!   I  hope that you are taking care and finding joy in small things around you too.

 

Friday Finds – A list of 30 (+ more than 50) free tutorials for quilt blocks

I am really enjoying finding my various collections of online tutorials to share with you. After a fairly consistent theme of bags, bags and more bags over the last few weeks I thought it might be time for a change! Before I became hooked on bags I started on patchworking quilts. I am yet to develop the bravery to tackle actually quilting one myself (I have outsourced that so far) but am working up to it! The quilts I have made so far have all been made through using various online free resources. The tips and hints I have picked up that way have been amazing!

The four quilt tops that I have made so far are:

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Today I thought it might be useful to share my collection of links to the tutorials that I have used, and others that I have read, or pinned, to use in the future!

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Star Blocks – Cluck Cluck Sew

Tana Liberty lawn – Purl Bee (Loving those Circles!!)

Vintage Turning Modern – Mode Bakeshop

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Easy Peasy Log Cabin tutorial – Stitches in Play

Pinwheels in the Park – Sew Mama Sew

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Squares and Strips – Cluck Cluck Sew

Crayon Box Tutorial – Sew Mama Sew

Garden Fence – Hyacinth Quilt Designs

Windy Days Quilt – Mode Bake Shop

Starflower Block – Ellison Lane

Zig Zag Quilt without triangles – Bee Square Blog

Salt Water Taffy – Moda Bake Shop

Simple Circle Quilt – Make it… a Wonderful Life

On the Go – Moda Bake Shop

Plus Quilt – For the Love of George

Oh Deer Quilt – Tonya Dusold

Love Mini-quilt – Sew Mama Sew

String Quilting Primer – Quiltville’s Quips and Snips

Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt

Jelly Roll Quilt – Christa Quilts

Wonky Block by Heather Jones – Sew4Home

Storm at Sea quilt

Storm at Sea Quilt pattern – Generations Quilt Patterns

Wonky Star Tutorial – Silly Boo Dilly

Scrappy Summer Free Quilt Pattern

Scrappy Summer Quilt pattern – Cluck Cluck Sew

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String Quilt Block Tutorial – Film in the Fridge

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Pineapple block – One Shabby Chick

JellyBeanStars Charity Champions: The Garage Girls Quilting Together

Baby quilt – McCalls Quilting

Picnic Quilt – Sew Mama Sew

Perpetual Motion – Originate and Renovate

Pinwheels and postage stamps – Sew She Sews

Scrap Jar Stars – A little bit biased

Of course I am not the first to think of making such a list!

At All People Quilt there are links to 30 scrappy quilt projects.

If you look at this link to the Babble site you will find another 25 links to quilting tutorials.

If you look at the Gen X Quilters site you will find a whole library of quilting blocks!

Enjoy coming up with ideas of how to use these tutorials.  Just preparing this list has fired my imagination!