Kainga, where Roses bloom, life is lived at a gentler pace.Living Simply, doing all those good things like stitching, gardening, cooking and reading.

Friday, April 3, 2020

"OPAM for March and a crochet item to finish."


Happy Friday.

I started March with good intentions. I did manage a few finishes, the bonus being I used up fabric in my scrap baskets and fabric cupboard.


I did ask my girls if I made them some scrunchies would they wear them. Yes was the answer. I remember making them for them back in the 80's and 90's. Everything old is new again. I made 13 of them. I do plan to make some more.


 I have kept all my dressmaking patterns from when the children were little. There is lots of fabric in my sewing room to use as well. The Fred Flintstone short fabric has the year 2000 on them. Made a pair of boxers for David back then. This time around they are for Jude and Jacob. The sea themed fabric was used originally for a nightie for me. I have lost count of the number of times I have used this pattern and borrowed it out.

 These two hot pads for the kitchen have proved to be so useful. I used wadding leftover wadding from the circle quilt and used these two curtain sampler fabrics that were given to me years ago. Lovely and thick cotton, just right for the hot pads.


 Now the ball of yarn has only been waiting for two years to be used up. The pattern I used I found on the net on the Redheart site and it is called Colourful Crochet Socks. They are supposed to be made in a hour. My hour took a little longer! I didn't have the yarn that was suggested but the lady in the shop I got the yarn from suggested this Caron yarn and to use it with two threads. You can see how much I had left over. I did realise after I finished I had used a size 5.5mm hook instead of a 5. The dangers of looking at your supplies in the evening. They fit perfectly so I do think your crochet tension has a lot to do with it.

Now I have lots of projects in bags in my sewing room. The BIG plan is to finish them and then my sewing room will look so much tidier. In the bag with the wool for the crochet slippers was this project. Again using double thread, this time two colours. So over the weekend I will finish it up. I wasn't sure what size hook I used for this so tried a few different ones until the stitches were the same size. Can you work out what it will be?

Bits and Bobs.

Earlier in March my sewing room needed a much needed tidy up. It was getting a little dangerous to walk from one end to the other. Had to step over cords etc. So a change to where the table etc was put in place. I was particularly inspired by a You Tube video by Melanie Sullivan of her Sewing Room. Melanie has lots of inspiring videos to watch.

If you love gardening as I do you may find Hannah Maloney of Good Life Permaculture inspiring. Hannah is doing weekly videos of starting a vegie garden. Hannah lives in Tasmania, a beautiful part of the world and does give instructions for other climates and seasons. Hannah was a guest presenter on Gardening Australia last year. I do wish they get her back soon.

In these times that we hopefully never have to live through again. It is indeed the small things that bring joy. Back on the 15th March we called into Dymocks at Midland Gate Shopping Centre and enquired about a Chess book that was suitable for children. They didn't have one but could order one. They said that with what was unfolding they would order it for us , we didn't have to buy it if we didn't want to.  Well of course we are in regional lockdown now. The shop is out of our area. A no go zone for us. We got a phone call earlier this week. I said yes I still wanted it. The salesperson explained that it was $8.00 for postage did I wanted it posted here. No I said I wanted it posted to my Grandson. He asked where he lived and I told him. He said don't worry about the postage he had a worker who would drop it of on Thursday. Well last night we received a photo of Jacob smiling the biggest smile with his new Chess book. So a big Thank you to the staff at Dymocks Midland Gate.

I have had a few people ask me when do you think this will be over. Well no one knows but it has made me think what are the first things that I will do. Besides catching up with family I can't wait until we get back to our fortnightly shop at the Kalamunda Farmers Markets. Sorry Coles but your veg are !2#&*.  You see we haven't bought veg from a supermarket for years. We found that travelling a hour away to the markets and orchards at Kalamunda so much better. It will be good to get back to the two shops we get our other supplies from as well. Replenish in Kalamunda and Wasteless Pantry in Mundaring. We take our own containers and buy what we need. The other thing will be to go to the movies with Lucy. She bought me passes to the Luna Cinema. We have been once but I am hanging out to get back. It will be interesting to see what will be screening.  Oh and to go to Garden Centres and Hardware stores. Our local hardware store closed down at the end of January. So we are left without a garden or hardware store in town.

What are you planning to do later on? Please inspire us all in the comments.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy days.
Bev C

Wednesday, April 1, 2020



Gosh a lot has happened over the past couple of weeks since I last posted. We are now in regional lockdown. So a bit of normality in our days is important. I love to walk. You meet all sorts of people when you are out walking and the conversations I have are important. So important now. This afternoon after lunch I decided to walk up to the tanks. This is where you usually don't meet a soul. 

 Except for some sheep.

Plus some Alpaca's in the other paddock.

 These are some of the water tanks that supply our town. I did stop and chat to a young man who was doing some surveying. Apparently there is going to be a new roof on the tanks. He has to do the measuring then it will be sent of for tender. So life goes on.


 Next to the water tanks is the mobile phone tower. Another essential service, that is even more important now. Over the last couple of weeks I have spent a lot more time on the phone talking to family. As they all live out of our area and in different states and overseas it will be sometime before we see them again.

 Now some people will think that it is dry, this is normal for us.

Just to prove that nature is still going on no matter what here is some Paddy Melon growing. Come Winter we will be kicking them along the ground like we did as children.

I will be back with the few sewing projects I completed in March in my next post.

I hope everyone has some normality in there day. Let me know what you are doing to keep busy.
Our lives and plans have all changed but remember that the Sun will still rise and set, plus you will still put the rubbish bin out! What can be more normal than that.

Happy days.
Bev C

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

"Some quick finishes and OPAM."


We are into March and I plan to continue as I started with finishing projects and doing some quick finishes. Using up those fabrics in the sewing room and gifting them.

Like all sewers I tend to save bits of fabric for one day. Well if they fall out of a pile of fabric I have decided that they quite possibly won't be returning to lurk in the cupboard. Instead I have to decide to use the fabric.

So when this piece of waffle cloth appeared with one hem already ironed it was time to  hem it then find something to decorate it with. Opened the drawers and right on the top was a bag of already cut out Frangipani flowers. Project completed, for the first few days it was used as a table centre. Now it is going to be used as a face washer. 

 I have been continuing to make our soap. I found a different recipe online. A lovely Brisbane lady who has a you tube channel called Elly's Everyday. This is soap made from her Castile Soap Recipe. This lot was made back in the middle of December last year so will be dry and ready to use.

I made up two scarves with the Surfline Logo. I found the pieces of stretch fabric in a box of fabrics that I bought at a garage sale a few years back. I set up the overlocker to a rolled hem for the edging. I did plan to try and crochet around the edges but getting the hook through was proving very hard so that was decided against.

I have a limited selection of baby fabric set aside. Going through them I had enough to make two baby bibs. 

All these projects have been quick and easy to do and most importantly will be used instead of the fabric sitting in my cupboards. I have decided to join in OPAM this year. The idea behind OPAM is to get one project done a month. It is always good to have other ladies joining in finishing up projects or starting new ones. Please check out Kris's blog for the details.

I have been busy purchasing Aida cloth and some DMC threads for a new project. More details coming soon.

Have you joined in OPAM or maybe there is something else that you have committed to in 2020. I would love to know all about it and why you joined.

Happy days.
Bev C 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"I forgot to show this yesterday."


Forgetfulness or just not seeing what is in front of you, whatever it was as soon as I pressed publish yesterday I realised I did not load up the photo of another finish.


Claremont House. This cushion was intended for our lounge but it actually rests on top of the lounge against the wall. No one is going to put there dirty feet on it!!!

Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, February 24, 2020

"I stitched and stitched some more, that is the way to get things done!"


Well I can hardly believe that time has flown so quickly. Lots of lovely things going on. We had Jude and Jacob back in January for a time. Lots of visits to the Library,walks around the river and park. They especially enjoyed the new skate park in town. Then the next week I was able to watch on TV the Australian Open, you would never have guessed at the start of the tournament who was going to be the winners. Celebrated Australia Day in the Park and went to the new Aquatic Centre the next day for a swim. It has been many years since I have been swimming in a public pool. Then in February we celebrated Jacob's 6th Birthday. All during this I decided to stitch and stitch on the circle quilt when I could. It is now hanging out on the line after giving it a wash. It has been dragged around the place and thrown across the floor to see where to quilt next time. I put in a few sheets of those colourwash things, they just came out a bit dirty. No colours bled which was good, as there were a few red fabrics I was wary off.

I was really happy to finish this quilt. It started as a 365 circle quilt but ended up being less circles.

 There was hours and hours of hand stitching the circles on then I hand quilted around each circle. I did start to hand quilt around the border but it would take far to long and the stripes on the blue fabric would have sent me silly.

 I already hand the multi coloured thread in my stash. Many years ago I purchased it intending to crochet a doiley but as it only had the weight of the yarn and not the length I didn't want to take the chance of running out of thread. I purchased the pink and green from the local craft shop. The pink was much easier to sew with, the green one was made in China and not such a good quality thread. It tended to fray easier and was harder to pull through while quilting. It is the first time I have used this larger thread on a quilt, I think it adds a bit of dimension rather than using say a ecru thread.

 I found the perfect backing in my stash. Just the right length and width and the stitches didn't really show up at all. Perfectly camouflaged. This backing fabric came all the way from New Zealand. A few years ago I hand quilted a quilt for my Sister's friend Lisa and she sent me some fabrics as a thank you.
When I started this quilt I was imagining that my stash would magically disappear. Of course it seems just the same.

Back in January I opened my big sewing fabric cupboard and this lovely blue fabric fell to the floor. It had already been cut out. How many years ago I don't know. I thought it was a sign to make them up into the serviettes. These will be gifted along with the quilt to one of my children.

Of course after making one lot of serviettes I had a look through and found this length of cherry fabric that was probably meant to be used in patchwork blocks. I am a sucker for pink so made a set of serviettes for us to use. Most of my serviettes are white which isn't really practical so having these on hand is wonderful.

Every now and again my sister Chris gets asked "Your sister sews doesn't she?" Of course she replies
" Yes but she hasn't done much sewing for a while". So when Chris visited from New Zealand late last year she came with bags of fabric for me to make something. The fabric all comes from t-shirts from the Surfline Factory in Ruakaka in New Zealand. I have divided the fabric into different projects. I have some cushions partially made and blocks that will be made into a quilt. I have found some fabric in my stash that will be made into scarfs, just need to applique on the logo's. I made this table runner with marine images to go with the Surfline logo's. So project number one is done. Oh and the shells in the photo come from New Zealand. Part of Lucy's collection of shells gathered while she lived in New Zealand.

I will have a bit of a break from crafting this week as Lucy and I are off on a road trip tomorrow. Which I know will be memorable to say the least!

Whatever you are doing have fun this week. Please tell me what you are working on, I would love to hear all about it.

Oh and exciting news, WE HAD RAIN this week a whole 8.5mls. it was so lovely to wake to the sound of rain on the roof.

Happy days.
Bev C

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

"The Claremont Home and 240 Circle Quilt."


I have just about finished the work on the Claremont Home. The actual building has been stitched for a while. I did all that bit at the start of last year. I took it along to crochet each Tuesday to stitch but then it was up to the part where a lot of counting had to be done. You can't count, stitch and chat at the same time. So into the darkness it went for a while.


Seeing I am finishing up projects this year I decided it was time to stitch again and the landscaping needed doing. January is a good time to sit inside from the heat and stitch.

Now I am onto the dreaded back stitching. I find this rather boring and tedious, similar to doing dishes for hours on end! I will most likely make it into a cushion cover.

The other project I have picked up again is the 365 Circle quilt which was started a few years ago. The idea was to do a block which contained a circle each day. Well mine has turned into a 240 circle quilt. I know that I could continue but it is such a great size now so why mess with that theory.


 I used up lots of scraps of calico and similar fabrics for the background fabrics. I had forgotten how much pressing you do when it comes to patchwork. I pressed the seams apart instead of to one side. Though when it came to joining the rows together I just pressed them up. I know that is being slack but in the end the recipient's won't be worried about this.

I have since added a blue border to the edges. Next week I plan to purchase wadding. Hopefully I will find some fabric in the sewing room for the backing.

I found a lovely note book in my sewing room that a friend had given me a few years ago. It has a embroidered cover. I have finally decided to write in it so have the first page filled up with items that need to be completed. Hopefully over the coming months I can tick a few off.

Have you got projects planned for the year? I would love to hear how you tackle them. Do you start a new project as a reward after finishing a few or not?

Happy days.
Bev C

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

"What to do with pink bricklayers string and Gnomes"


Sometimes you make craft kits without realising it. That is you make all the parts of the project but you just don't get it completed. That is what happened with the following two projects.

First off I had plans to make Bonnie a shopping bag for her Birthday which was in October just gone. I managed to get it to her a few days before Christmas.

 I used up a Canteen bandana for part of the lining. This fabric suited the base of the bag perfectly. The sale of  bandana's support young people with cancer.


 I followed partially a pattern I found at Atic24 blog then made the rest up myself.
I used up a roll and a half of Bricklayers string which I purchased from Bunnings. It was so lovely to crochet with. I will have to look out for another pattern to finish of the string I have. It was much cheaper to crochet with this than cotton yarn.


 I hand sewed the lining to the bag with a suitable matching DMC embroidery thread. The buttons are more or less decorative but also help hold the handles to the bag. Bonnie absolutely loved the colour of the bag and was most appreciative.

 My other kit I had made up was this pillowslip. It only sat in my sewing room for about two years. Twenty minutes of sewing and ironing and it was done. This will be shared with Jacob and Jude, so handy to have Grandies with the same initial!

Following on the theme of gnomes. This little fellow is now residing near a tree stump in Gnomesville. One of the newest residents having arrived late November 2019. I visited Gnomesville two times last year. The second time I made sure we had a gnome to leave. I lost count of the towns we called into around here and down closer to Gnomesville to find a gnome. Luckily we found this one at the Tourist Bureau in Dardanup.  He was signed by us and left to do his work. In case you haven't heard of Gnomesville, it is one of the top hundred things to do while in Australia. There are over 10 000 gnomes etc there. You can explain to people what it is like but nothing prepares you for the sight of 10 000 gnomes. Both times I have been there it has been busy with people from all over the world. We were lucky to find this tree stump with no other gnomes. I can guarantee by now he has lots of gnome friends with him.

I have recently built a house called Claremont, all went well and now I am up to the landscaping. I will share some more in my next post.

Happy days.
Bev C