Colour can improve your mood.

I am feeling a bit sad this week because I learnt of the death of a beautiful spirit and talented crocheter,

Marinke.

You can find her blog a creative spirit here.

I haven’t kept up to date with her blog lately and reading of her passing via another blog, was a real shock.

Marinke or Wink as she liked to be called, wrote very openly about her battle with depression.

Sadly she lost her battle and took her own life.

Wink’s blog posts were  always filled with colour and she was a talented photographer of nature.

She will be very missed in the crochet world.

Her blog helped me through my own depression 3 years ago.

Along with medication and counselling,

I learnt how to crochet and how to use colour in my craft work.

I found that the crochet kept my mind from wandering to dark thoughts.

It also helped by completing something tangible.

The use of colour in my crochet improved my mood.

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I started to photograph nature and look for beauty in nature.

The world is full of colour and Mother Nature provides it all for free.

Doing this on a regular basis, has been a lifesaver.

When I let my guard down and stop taking photos of nature, my mood dulls.

In honour of Wink, I will think of her whenever I crochet or take nature photos.

Melbourne is having a long, cold and dull winter this year.

It is hailing tiny beads of ice, at present.

That is ok, because I am snuggled up nice and warm inside crocheting the blue shawl in the above photo.

A recent visit to our local wool shop, filled my head with beautiful shades of man made colour.

My daughter chose this gorgeous denim coloured wool, which will look amazing with her red hair.

I will have to take daughter number 2, to the wool shop to chose her colour.

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Winter means pansies and I love pansies.

How can you not feel happy when you look at their cheery faces.

These are on my front verandah in a sheltered sunny spot.

I have been buying pansy fabric on the destash sites, so that I can make a pansy quilt.

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The view out my big, back window is of my lovely purple iris.

Everything else in the garden is dormant and flowerless.

These iris have flowered every winter for the last 24 years.

They survive the hot Australian summer on minimal water and come back

strong every winter.

My crafting plan for the coming week is:

I am hoping to hand applique the coloured hearts onto the quilt in the below photos.

It is amazing how the addition of the hearts, has turned this quilt into a celebration of colour.

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Yes there is one heart missing, you observant readers.

I didn’t notice till I loaded the photos onto the computer.

So much for my powers of observation.

I hope you are having a lovely day.

Thanks for reading my blog, it means a lot to me.

Cheers

Linny J

Rehoming an unfinished project

How long do you spend pondering over a project that you are not 100% in love with?

Do you plod on in a loveless way, just because you always finish what you start?

For me it has been a few years of pulling this hexagon project out and looking at it,

wondering where it would go when finished.

I have made 8 hexagons, so I was getting a good idea of what direction this was heading in.

It is very vintage look fabric by called American Jane by MODA.

Great for a vintage kitchen or house.

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The problem is that the colours in the fabrics are not my usual taste.

So after all the hard work to finish a hexagon quilt or blanket, how would I use it

other than a picnic rug. We rarely go on picnics.

So today I decided to rehome it and sell it to someone who would love it.

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Have you discovered the fabric destash sites on Facebook yet?

Here in Australia we have stacks of them.

Some specialise in patchwork fabrics, others in a particular fabric designer.

So I bundled up all the fabrics & hexies , took these photo’s of them.

Then I listed them on a Patchwork & UFO ( unfinished objects) Facebook  group

for a very reasonable price.

Within a minute of the listing, they were sold.

The power of the internet.

My hexie babies are heading to a new home.

I will stop pondering about them and can get onto

some Tilda projects, which are more my style.

I just love this concept of re-homing rather than wasting.

What you don’t want some other crafter might.

Do you re-home unloved projects or keep them ?

Have a great crafting weekend.

Cheers

Linny

Patchwork Holiday- Bright 2015

Do you have a holiday destination that inspires your creativity?

Mine is a trip to an Alpine  town in Northern Victoria, called Bright.

It is a 3 and a half hour drive from home.

Both Hubby and I love mountains and we hear them calling often.

We haven’t been there for two years and were both excited about our holiday.

All that fresh air gets my creative juices flowing.

For me it is an escape from the busyness of living in a home with 3 young adults and a big city.

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I load up my sewing machine and my patchwork, whilst hubby loads up the golf clubs.

He goes off to play 18 holes and I get sewing.

I didn’t pack the trestle table like our last holiday to Bright.

Instead I totally rearranged the unit, so that the dining table was close to a powerpoint.

I love the serenity of being alone in the unit.

This holiday I took along some small projects to work on.

A pack of charm squares or 5″ precut squares from

MODA called Beach House and  another set of 5″ charms called Bella White,

became a small quilt top.

I love precut packs as you get a sample of every piece of fabric in a range.

Like a box of assorted chocolates.

The colours in this range are pale and whitewashed looking.

The dark green and brown look a bit out of place though and

my least favourite colour in this fabric range.

This is my first attempt at making windmills which is an easy pattern,

but care must be taken to get the triangle points all matched up.

There was some unpicking two or three times, to get things as close to perfect.

I left in my Amish mistake, to acknowledge that only God is perfect.

 It is a great rule for me as perfection is something I rarely achieve in my projects.

I will quilt and bind it sometime in the future.

For the moment it will join my works in progress pile.

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Speaking of works in progress, this next one was a project I made last time I was in Bright, two years ago.

You may remember the runners from the fabric range by Bonnie and Camille called “Marmalade”.

When I got home from that holiday, daughter No 1 fell in love with them and begged for one.

Being such a sharing person I agreed.

She wanted an orange backing and orange binding for hers.No embroidery either.

I liked the lime green backing and  a white binding with the green machine embroidery.

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Mine was finished quite quickly but my daughter’s remained a work in progress until this holiday.

All that was left to do on the runner was to bind it.

I was determined to finish hers on holiday.

A few weeks ago on the internet, I managed to track down some orange and white striped fabric from the same range for the binding.

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It is really interesting how different the two runners look.

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I really love this range of fabric and it’s summery colours.

As it is winter here In Australia, these colours are a bright cheer up.

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After these two projects, I was feeling very creative.

Bright has a gorgeous Patchwork Shop and I headed in to have a look.

The first thing that caught my eye was the box of Tilda fat quarters.

I adore Tilda fabrics and their vintage style fabrics.

What did appeal to me was a doiley pattern hanging on the wall,

made from the very same Tilda fabrics, that I was eyeing off.

We had only been in the store 5 minutes before I was paying for my

new Tilda Fat quarters, kit pattern and embroidery threads.

My hubby was amazed, as he usually spends a long time hanging around waiting for me.

I plan to work on a few more of my unfinished projects before I start this kit.

Aren’t these fabrics below so lovely?

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Till next blog.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers

Linny J

Flower Crochet Coasters

It is time to return to one of my favourite craft activities.

Crocheting flower coasters in these gorgeous colours.

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I blogged about these bundles of joy, way back in 2012.

I made 6 each for my two daughters.

The pattern was on Yvestown blog.

This shop has since changed hands but the original blog posts are still available.

My daughters have requested more coasters. So I need to refresh myself with the instructions.

From memory they are fairly quick to make. A great activity for front of the television.

I used cotton thread, which gives them a lovely texture.

My daughters have used them as mini doilies, bunting and hanging off a real tree branch.

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I highly recommend this pattern.

Click on the Yvestown link above and you will find the pattern.

Happy crocheting.

Cheers

Linny J

To blog or not to blog.

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You have probably noticed that I have been absent from my blog for quite a while.

I actually was going to close my blog, when renewal came around this month.

It seems that everyone these days has a blog and that we are all shouting in cyberspace to be heard.

I have been doing lots of soul searching of late and pondering the following :

What am I trying to say with my blog and what direction should I take?

What do I have to say that would be of interest to anyone in blogland?

Do I fear that my life is so insignificant in the grand plan of humanity,

that I need to leave a visual footprint that “I was here” ?

Yes I think this might be the case for me.

When that blog renewal notice came around yesterday I found myself willing to press the renew button.

So here I am today, back writing a blog and no clearer as to why.

Maybe by the end of this blog post I will have an answer.

A theme seems to be taking shape in this post Self Doubt.

The downside of social media is that we now have a insight into how other people live their life.

This can leave us comparing our life to others and coming up feeling dreadfully

short of being perfect, of being successful and of being popular.

As we peruse snapshots of beautiful holiday destinations, fantastic jobs, beautiful homes and families,

we can be drawn into a comparison game in which we feel less successful and sadly lacking in our life.

Depressing thoughts indeed for some.

I recently fell prey to this sort of social media comparison.

My high school is having a huge reunion soon and photos are being shared on facebook.

Linda Year 11 group girls photo

It is great that with the help of social media, people can be reunited and reminded of those high school days.

I moved out of town in my 20’s and have only kept in contact with my best friends from school.

The School Reunion has a facebook page which I joined.

I was drawn to snooping how people had changed since school.

So, yes I confess I became a facebook stalker, a voyeur.

Seeing the photo’s of the popular group and the tough girls group has for me reopened that box of teenage insecurities about popularity, being bullied, the pressure of not having the perfect body and coolest clothes.

That box that had been closed shut for 30 years has suddenly been opened

and those feelings are there still. There are some new insecurities to add to the old ones.

Is having an ordinary life successful enough? Will I fit in 30 years later or are the old stereotypes still in place?

I have decided not to go to my school reunion, as I suspect it will resemble the movie

“Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. “

I will have to come up with something better than inventing post it notes ( you need to watch the movie to understand this).

Not being able to lie without my facial expressions giving me away, sadly prevents me from creating a fabulously successful tale of my life since school.

I have no nerdy hero who will fly in his private helicopter to rescue me in front of everyone.

Better to stay away.

Back to why I need to keep my blog open.

It is for me to use as a way of expressing gratitude in my life.

It is the simple act of gratitude that puts those unworthy feelings back in the box.

I am alive and healthy.

I have a wonderful family who love me.

I have a job I love and am loved in return.

I have a modest house but live in a beautiful leafy area.

I have food in abundance and access to medical treatment if needed.

I have true friends.

I have travelled to the other side of the world and seen things that I never dreamed possible.

I am blessed to be here where I am.

Right here, right now.

Taking photos of nature or my craft projects keeps me centred and focused on what is important in my life.

They ground me.

My blog is my visual diary of gratitude and abundance.

I am worthy.

As I am at this present point in time.

I was worthy in the past and will be worthy in the future.

We all are.

Thanks for following me for the last few years and welcome to my recent followers.

I have made some wonderful friends through my blog and enjoy sharing your life through your blogs.

Posy dress. Vintage McCalls 7087

This pattern is straight out of the 90’s. In fact it is copyrighted 1994.

Can I call the 90’s vintage yet ?

In my mind I relate the 90’s to the years of motherhood and when my brood of 3

were all little children.

I feel vintage, so surely this pattern must qualify as vintage.

Anyway,despite it’s age the dress is a basic button up the front pinafore.

The length of the dress needed to be shortened a good 25cms to give it a more up to date length.

The shorter dresses nowadays look great with leggings under them.

Longer dresses clearly are no good for climbing either.

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I have been a fan of designer Aneela Hoey for quite a few years now.

She captures the joy of childhood in her whimsical fabric designs.

This beautiful apricot fabric is from her range Posy.

To me it evokes childhood memories of times spent blowing dandelions to make the fairies fly.

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I had not made a dress like this for my daughters when they were little.

I am a zip in the back kinda gal.

My challenge was going to be neat buttonholes.

The buttons at the front, meant that they would be a very visible feature of the dress.

My Janome has an automatic buttonhole stitch which is easy to use.

For some reason I felt panicky that I would wreck the beautiful  fabric by messing up the buttonholes

This dress was 10 days in the making because I was scared of making the buttonholes.

It sat for 9 days waiting for the buttonholes to be done so that I could attach the bodice to the gathered skirt.

I avoided this button project like The Plague.

I have done lots of buttonholes over the years, I was just a bit rusty.

Thinking back, I remembered that I made a denim pinafore with studs for buttons all the way down the front, for one of my girls , way back in the 90’s.

Wow how clever and adventurous I must have been back then.

This thought gave my confidence a much needed boost.

Swing back to the present.

Well two days ago, I bit the bullet and having the house to myself I was able to take my time and have a practice run or 4.

So happy to say that I did it.

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I decided to sew a button on each pocket. The red buttons pick up the small traces of red in the flowers.

They were my Miss Em’s idea. I was going to play it safe with white buttons.

I have to say I love her choice.

The buttons are the perfect decoration.

I had toyed with adding lace but then decided I wanted this to be a dress for a child to play in.

Just like all the drawings of children playing that Aneela Hoey designs for her fabric.

The final detail was to cut out this cute selvage and adhere it to the dress.

It was too cute to throw out.

Have to say I love this pattern. The lined bodice is easy to make and everything went together very well.

A great little pattern , given a new look.

Now this lovely dress is all ready to be sent in a parcel to my little niece.

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Here she is modelling her new dress.

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Embracing my age.

 

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“You could see the signs of female aging as diseased, especially if you had a vested interest in making women too see them your way. Or you could see that a woman is healthy if she lives to grow old; as she thrives, she reacts and speaks and shows emotion, and grows into her face. Lines trace her thought and radiate from the corners of her eyes as she smiles. You could call the lines a network of ‘serious lesions’ or you could see that in a precise calligraphy, thought has etched marks of concentration between her brows, and drawn across her forehead the horizontal creases of surprise, delight, compassion and good talk. A lifetime of kissing, of speaking and weeping, shows expressively around a mouth scored like a leaf in motion. The skin loosens on her face and throat, giving her features a setting of sensual dignity; her features grow stronger as she does. She has looked around in her life and it shows. When gray and white reflect in her hair, you could call it a dirty secret or you could call it silver or moonlight. Her body fills into itself, taking on gravity like a bather breasting water, growing generous with the rest of her. The darkening under her eyes, the weight of her lids, their minute cross-hatching, reveal that what she has been part of has left in her its complexity and richness. She is darker, stronger, looser, tougher, sexier. The maturing of a woman who has continued to grow is a beautiful thing to behold.”

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

I stumbled upon the above quote today. I just had to share it with you.

It is beautiful in it’s description of the female body and spirit as we age.

It reminds me that my attitude towards aging need not be one of anxiety or worry.

My wrinkles tell my story of a life lived.

I choose to call my hair silver not gray.

I choose to continue to grow as a woman and a human being.

My journey forward will be an adventure.

Thanks for reading.