Monday, January 25, 2010

Completed projects and Sydney recommendations

I want to show you a couple of things I've been up to....

My only sister, Cyn and I spent some time together Friday working on the "Hanging Garden" quilt top. We had planned on working out the pattern and possibly getting a little of the top together, but we became so enthralled with the pattern that we just HAD to continue and see what it looked like. This is the end result...

Sorry about the dodginess of the picture... every time Liam and I ventured out to take a picture, it suddenly became windy! I decided after trying for two days to just give it a go, and this is what we ended up with.
 I will put up a better picture when I am able to achieve it (it's the perfectionist in me... sorry!)

This is a fabulous pattern - the more we did, the more we liked it. It also goes together quite quickly and could be used successfully for either jelly rolls or scrappy strips, which is what we used. I really enjoyed spending some quality time with Cyn - it is something we have not been able to do
 for a couple of years at least.

I also managed to create some ATC's for our bi monthly swap.... can you pick the theme?

I really enjoyed making these... if you want to know anything more about them, you need to have a guess at the theme, okay? Give me some feedback so I know what you enjoy about my posts. :)

ALSO: Steven and I bought some very cheap flights for a weekend in Sydney, but we need somewhere reasonably priced and clean to stay... can you recommend anywhere to us please?

What should we make sure we see while we are there for out day and a half? I can't wait to read your suggestions!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chocolate fantasy

During 2009, as one of the professional goals I was required to set at work, I elected to learn more about coverture chocolate, as I had no experience in this field of specialty.
I was fortunate enough to stumble into one of Sylvia's workshops, and was hooked from there!

I have attended three workshops so far. Each one built on the knowledge and stills obtained in each earlier one, and I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Sylvia explains all apsects clearly and is a very positive and patient teacher.

The rose decoration is made using chocolate 'putty' and is fully edible. It's good to see the cake decorating skills I learnt in 2008 can be used in other areas!

I have to confess that it was a requirement to complete sensory evaluations on each type of chocolate.... some needed several 'checks' to make sure they were of a reasonable quality to offer to my colleagues and family. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.
Which type of chocolate is your favourite?

First Frenzied flaunt for 2010

Here is the first official Frenzied Flaunt for 2010.... I don't have a massive amount to show as yet, as I have spent a large proportion of the holidays preparing projects to just pick up and 'do' during the year.

Firstly, I'll show you a couple of the Peace Quilt blocks I have completed. I plan to always have one or two blocks with me so I can complete the hand piecing anywhere, anytime.... maybe I should log the various places I end up sewing them??!!

Next, I can show you my progress with my "Friends for Christmas" quilt.... I prepared it all for blanket stitching last January, and it has languished ever since. That was until a very clever QDU'er named Rosemary posed a challenge to complete one Christmas decoration or block a month... I'm ahead of time so far, as I have completed TWO! (Don't worry... it probably won't continue!) Here they are:

I'm hanging off with the beaks at the moment because I haven't decided on the best colours to use (and also because I can't find the *&#@$* book to trace them off... SHHH!)
The bits hanging off such as the rest of the tree branches and the RH penquin in the other picture can't be completed until the blocks are sewn together, so hopefully by July you'll see the whole top together. The RH peguin will then be holding its little star, rather than looking a little empty handed!

The next project is a quilt 4 of us are making for a friend of my lovely mate Judy.... Maree is going to let us use her holiday house down by the sea for a sewing weekend in early winter, so we decided to make her a quilt to say thanks. It is a pattern called "Hanging Gardens" that I bought a couple of months ago.
On Saturday, in between lunching and sipping bubbly, we selected and cut out fabrics for the 13 blocks required for the throw size.

Cyn, Judy and I will sew them up and then get together to work out the rest of the top layout. Stay tuned for progress pictures.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Heaven on Earth! (Part One)

Steven and I have arrived back from our postponed 25th anniversary holiday to Tasmania
….. the most beautiful place in the world, we think!

We were blessed with perfect weather, magnificent accommodation and sumptuous food
– it’s hard to know what to leave out, so get a drink, relax and enjoy!

The photo above shows part of the track to Liffey Falls, a beautiful waterfall which is well worth visiting if you are in the area. We spent quite a while relaxing here, just soaking up the atmosphere.

The first night, we stayed at Lemonthyme Lodge, near Cradle Mountain. It is tucked away on a gravel road in western Tasmania. The lodge is surrounded by forest and has several walks you can undertake. The evening meal was inspirational….

Much to Lana’s disgust, I selected …
“Tender and succulent char-grilled wallaby rump dusted in Moroccan seasoning
and placed on a vegetable frittata, topped with Chef’s tomato relish
and seasoned with red wine vinegar and sumac dressed salad”
The photo doesn’t do the meal justice – it was mood lighting in the restaurant! Steven had Crispy skinned grilled Chicken Breast which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Dessert? We shared a cheese platter and a platter of mini sized desserts that were heavenly!

The next morning, after a relaxing walk to the fern glade on Lemonthyme, we headed for Cradle Mountain. We had managed a flying visit on our postponed honeymoon nearly 26 years ago, but had more time on this trip. Neither of us were sure how Steven would cope, but we chose the Dove Lake circuit, which was not in existence on our first trip. We walked about 8.5 km that day, but enjoyed every moment – this area is SOOO stunning, in so many ways!

We fell in love with this tree… it contained several beautiful burls, which Steven loves to work with…

After such strenuous activity, we desperately needed a rest…
this is what awaited us at Wheelhouse Apartments in Strahan..

This was one of the most stunning places you could ever hope to spend a few days.
After a luxurious spa bath, we settled in to watch the sunset with
fresh fish and chips and a bottle of Tassie bubbly… what more could you want?