28 August 2013

For Mum & Dad - - -

This week I have been working on the Flowers for my Parents 
Diamond Wedding Anniversary Cake.

And I have had a few frustrating hurdles to overcome...

#1 Faulty products:- The realisation that my tub of pre-mixed flower-paste didn't actually have flower-paste in it! Flower paste has an ingredient to make the work set very hard - very quickly.  So, when my flowers were still malleable 2 weeks after being made... you know there is something really wrong!

#2 Lost Instructions:- One of my online groups has a thread running at the moment about not being able to find things in our sewing rooms.... At least there you can get someone to help you look for it - BUT somewhere in my head there is the instructions for making Roses.... I just needed to ... remember... where I put them!

# 3 Petal Dust:-
This makes your flowers come to life - but it gets everywhere!
... and unfortunately I missed some when cleaning up and promptly got green in my white Icing...
amongst other places.....

Putting all the mess aside -
It is satisfying to watch some plain pale green icing slowly change into something that actually looks like a Rose Leaf.

#4 Breakages:-
Oh well - at least it was a sample, and not a very good one at that ...
... but nevertheless it is a good example of why you should place your finished work somewhere safe.

So - Having sorted all of the above I then was able to sit down to the fun part of wiring the spray.

All I need to do now is take what I had made...

Add a bit of "Bling"
Yes there are 60 of these 'diamonds' scattered throughout the bouquet -
(because my Dad will count them!)

Decide on a design

... (I really needed more Roses)

Until finally I got the finished spray.

It isn't quite the semi-heart that I was after - but I don't think Mum & Dad will mind....

Now all I need is a cake to put under it!

22 August 2013

Getting Sidetracked - -

I am SUPPOSED to be working on my cake decorating but it is VERY difficult to stay focused.
And sometimes - just sometimes, you have to STOP what you are doing to go and smell the flowers!

Just like these Freesias I am, as the saying goes,
"Between a Rock and a Hard Place".

Knowing what I SHOULD be doing
and what I WANT to do is .......
no fun at all.

So what is it that has distracted me so much?

The sight of Prunus Trees in flower.
This makes me smile as it it the first sign we have that Spring is nearly here.  The blossom only lasts a short time before the warm September winds pick them off the trees and blow them like confetti down the street.

Prunus Trees are said to provide some of the most spectacular Spring blossom and includes - Almond, Plum and of course CHERRY.

I also noticed the climber that brightens the side fence has put on a flush of new growth. (DH pruned it drastically while I was away). And right up the very top -out of reach of the 3 men in my life who like to pick these blooms for their Lady Loves...
... is it's very first, very fragrant ROSE bud.

And finally -
the reason why I started thinking about this post -

Across the street in my neighbours garden...

... a LILY.

So, whatever it is that you are doing today.
Take a break, Go outside
Take a big deep breath of beautiful fresh air
and take some time to 'smell the flowers', for tomorrow they could be gone.

(This post is dedicated to Karolin - 05/03/1965 - 10/08/2013)

17 August 2013

Scatterdays - H

I am quite sure that H really should stand for ...
HOW the HECK did Scatterdays come around so Quickly?

But today's letter the HUMBLE H - has the honour of hosting the following categories:-
H - Sticky. My post this week is a bit late and it is due to this Heavenly Sticky mess! - It doesn't look much here but it is in fact a double quantity of my Homemade Wedding Cake mix.
I am very HAPPY that the cake is finally in the oven which is Humming away and filling the House with the fragrance of warm spices and baking.

For those who would like to see what this mix looks like once it is cooked you can  Click here to 'share a cuppa tea and a piece of cake'!

H - Wearable. 
Ok - this is my HAT and I am pleased to say it is STILL WEARABLE after it's trip to the US (on my head) and back again (shoved in the suitcase).

I actually had it made for me, years ago by a Millinery Company that sold to the public.  We have been through a lot together so it was only fair that I took it along with me.

H - Breakfast. 
Ahh - Brekkie! Those of you who have visited my other blog
(Myrtle & Me) will know that I prefer my Poached Eggs for Breakfast with a light coating of HOLLANDAISE Sauce.

H - Hiding Place. 
When I saw this category my mind went straight to a book I was given as a Sunday School Prize.
It is the Story of Corrie ten Boom a watchmaker from Haarlem, Sth. Holland who found herself working with the underground during WW2 and the Hiding Place they made in their shop.

I think I will read it again before it goes back to it's Hiding Place in the bookshelf.

Scatterdays will be back on the 31st August - with the letter E.

14 August 2013

Trying to get Organised -

Struggling to find that 'sweet spot' in my work environment often sets the tone for how I handle a project.  Like so many others I do not have the luxury of a dedicated place where I can work on separate hobbies that are in fact poles apart in their needs.

Quilting creates an enormous about of clutter, loose threads and fluff - so it needs to be kept well away from my Cake Decorating which requires a clean work surface and NO FLUFF which can find it's way onto and into the icing I am working with.
(It also does not help when our beautiful cat Spike .... is moulting ... again....)

When I spied this clever piece of equipment in the local Art Supply Store (Riot) I could see so many of my organisational issues disappear into one neat little package.

So armed with this new 'tool for the job'* and a couple of awesome reference books, I have set up in the front sitting room, far away from the quilting - but not the cat - and I think I can say,
"at least it LOOKS like I am organised" ..
I have now the task before me, to make the Flowers to go on DD's Wedding Cake. And while I am at it I also need to make some for DS#1 as his wedding is less than 2 months after his sister's and then remember that I wanted to do something special for my Parent's 60th (That's Diamond) Wedding Anniversary at the end of this month and before I pack it all up I also need to keep in mind I had promised to make the Wedding Cake for DS#2's friends from Uni - well at least that isn't until April or was it March?!

Then, (Gasp) maybe then, I will be able to take a breath,
and the question will be....
What was I doing with that quilt?

Footnote: Since writing this post - I have been advised by DS#1 that he is having a new Clarinet Student coming tomorrow for a lesson ..... so now I have to move it all - back into the kitchen!

* "Tool for the Job" - my Father's favourite saying to justify buying a specific usually expensive specialist gadget.
"When you have a job to do you buy the 'tool for the job' - makes life easier!"

3 August 2013

Scatterday - U

I found it difficult to find things for todays letter. But in the end I did manage to find something....

 U is for Magazine I am not sure if this really counts but when I was tidying up yesterday I discovered a USA travel magazine.  My other option was a copy of Down UNDER Quilts....

U is for Yellow
DS#2 has a photographic collection of signs - this one has to be the most USELESS warning sign we have seen.

U is for Dangerous - 
Entering an UNDERGROUND Cave without a proper Guide can be UNWISE and extremely DANGEROUS.

U is for UFO - 
My cot quilt panel entitled "A Zebra of a Different Colour" has proved to be a long term inhabitant of my UFO basket.
Initially started for *GN#1 (whose Dad is in the ADF) I wondered if 'rainbow coloured' Zebras were appropriate...
It is now a rather large sampler of what NOT do do when trying to learn to Quilt ...
I think that ULTIMATELY it will end up on the floor UNDERNEATH a future grandbaby of my own.

*Great Nephew (now 6 yrs old!)

1 August 2013

Metallic Thread and Me - -

I really love the look of metallic thread - the way it sparkles and shines when the light catches it. It is just beautiful, and the extra Pizazz it adds to a project is priceless.
BUT - even though I have a very good sewing machine and all the enthusiasm needed - sewing with Metallic Thread has alluded me.
It just wound off the spindle and ended up a tangled mess.

I tried all the suggestions that worked for other people and even concocted a contraption of my own involving a stationery spike and a lot of rubber bands. It worked - for  a while.
Then I happened upon a post that sent me to a link that offered a solution for "Just $19.95 plus postage".  I declared that was a lot of money for what looked like a bent paperclip.

While I was studying the image before me, I came to the realisation that the solution to my problem was sitting proudly in plain sight!

I actually had everything I needed to encourage that thread off the cone the correct way  -
in my machine's tool kit!
All I had to do was to lower the thread guide arm 45 deg and shove the thread cap onto the spindle, then continue threading the machine as normal.

Why wasn't this in the instruction manual?

Works like a dream, and I was thrilled with the result - So thrilled in fact that I even ventured to try another Nemesis of mine ...
- Free Motion Quilting!