Friday, April 26, 2013

Bonjour Quilts

Today it's all about the admin.

Firstly: I changed my name to Well, my URL. You know what I mean.

I've been meaning to change for a while and the demise of Google Reader was the push I needed. So please do update any links that you need to.

Secondly: no more Google Reader come 1st of July. If you're an aggregating type you'll need to find yourself a new platform.

Replacement options are out there - most folks in the crafty sphere are changing to Bloglovin' or Feedly. If you are with Bloglovin' and want to continue following me, click below:

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If you're with Feedly, just add to your feed.

It's been a bit boring around here, just a whole lot of this since our shipping container arrived from France a few weeks ago:

At least someone enjoys unpacking boxes:

The rest of us, not so much. So I've given myself a very nice incentive to get it done:

This is my NEW MACHINE!! *hyperventilates, pokes self in eye with seam ripper*

I've jumped ship from Bernette to Janome; I hope she lives up to my high expectations. I'll be sure to let you know once I get her out of the box.

A few lovely commenters on my Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show post reminded me that I didn't show you my purchases, so let me correct that.

For some reason Marg and I found ourselves very drawn to the Japanese themed booths - I picked up these various cuts with the idea of making some new lounge room cushion covers.

Happy colours! 

I am also pulling bits and pieces together to make a low value quilt of some sort - these will go towards that collection. (For the non-quilters, by low value I mean low colour value, not that I'm making a cheap and nasty blanket.)

Continuing on with fabric news - I've just ordered some vinyl from the US to re-cover our dining room chairs (see tartan in first photo). Cats, children and fabric-upholstered seating don't play well together.

I found some pictures from last year and realised I hadn't shown you the Christmas gift I made for a lovely French friend who was very good to our family while we were there. She really loved this quilt:


And this one:


So I combined the fabrics from the first with the design of the later, et voilĂ :

The backing is a print from Dear Stella's Ikebana called Medallion in White (with a thin border of Tiles in Charcoal from the same line). Quilting was a simple grid down the centre of all the sashing lengths.

It's lap sized and my friend seemed quite happy with it.

Hopefully I'll have some more sewing, Janome sewing, to show you in the near future. Until then, have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Things to do in Hong Kong: Yum Cha, Markets and Trams, Oh My.

We stopped off in Hong Kong for a week on our way back from France to Australia.

We thought it might help us adjust to the new time zone and the warmer weather, and we were right on both accounts.

January is a great time to visit Hong Kong - the weather was perfect, the crowds were minimal. We even managed to time our trip to coincide with the locals going back to school, which was fantastic when we went to Hong Kong Disney (more on that in a later post).

Advert for an anti-aging serum. Love the name.

I have lots of Hong Kong Awesomeness to share, but before I do I'd like to say a big thank you to Jo over at The Ghost Who Shops. She was kind enough to email me with some great advice on enjoying her city-state.  Thanks Jo!

High on my agenda was partaking in Yum Cha - traditionally a morning/lunch/afternoon tea experience that consists of lots of small portions (called dim sum) to share:

Yum Cha: Hong Kong's answer to tapas

You can either order from a menu, as we did at Lei Bistro:


Or choose from the carts circling the restaurant floor, as we did at the Metropol:


The fun part is making sure you don't end up with chicken feet. Unless you like chicken feet.

For getting around, you can't beat public transport in Hong Kong. Buy an Octopus card and you'll be able to travel (bus, train, ferry, cable car) everywhere without having to look for change. A bonus when sightseeing with kids and extra hands are hard to come by.

The tram system is excellent. Jump on at the back and exit at the front - remember to duck if you have a little one in a baby backpack.

What George Clooney* rides when he comes to town

Trams are a great way to get a feel for the city as well:

Why, hello there.


We took the tram/metro to Kowloon one afternoon to visit the Temple Street Night Markets:


Loved the gates:



You probably won't find anything life-changing at the markets but it's a good place to pick up some cheap and cheerful souvenirs.


If you're over at Kowloon at night you might as well stick around for the Symphony of Lights which lights up the skyline every night at 8pm.


The kids will enjoy it; the adults will be probably just be amused. It's greatly improved by having an ice cream in your hand.

Frick'n Lasers

We caught the ferry home

If you're short of evenings in Hong Kong I would recommend you visit Victoria Peak over the light show.

You catch a tram up to the top of the Peak:

Steep incline makes for wacky pictures

You'll be rewarded with a spectacular 360 degree view over Hong Kong.

A peek from The Peak.

Make sure you check the weather forecast for the days you're there so you can pick the clearest time to visit. I would've loved to go back during the day, too.

Well, that's probably enough for one post - I'll be back with more later. There is so much to do in Hong Kong.

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

P.S Congratulations Eva and J on your new baby girl!!

*This is only fair given the Hugh video last week:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show

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Hi there everyone! Hope you all had a great Easter (if you celebrate it) and are having a wonderful weekend.

My email account was hacked yesterday - I'm so sorry if you received a strange email from me. Well, stranger than usual. Hotmail was onto it fairly quickly and shut my account down - it was really hard for me to verify I was the account owner because I hadn't changed all my alternate contacts since leaving France. So learn from my mistakes here - make sure all your security details (phone number, alternate email, etc) are up to date as it makes account reactivation so much quicker.

But back to the crafting! The weekend before Easter I convinced Marg to come out again and we headed off to see the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show.

We met up at South Bank Parklands, with its gorgeous bougainvillaea arbour:

Arbour at the South Bank Parklands, Brisbane, Australia

And then marched on to the Exhibition Centre (straight past the markets, no stopping, how's that for dedication):


I was still wearing a moon boot for my broken foot at this stage, so marching is probably a little over-exaggerated. However, we got there all the same.


There were 25 or so quilting/sewing related stalls (out of 100) which isn't a bad ratio.


We enjoyed looking over the exhibited items such as the Queensland Lace Guild display:

This was made by a man, baby! *said in an Austin Powers voice*


There were the Challenge Quilts which had to include this source fabric:


Lots of interesting techniques to study (but for the love of Liberty, don't you dare touch):

Once a Goddess, always a Goddess: Jeannie Henry

Plumage: Sue Byrnes

Fleeing in Fear: Lyn Barber

Egyptian Delight: Jane Rundle

We also spent some time perusing the Texstyle Exhibit, which showcased fabric based design projects created by Year 12 (graduating) high school students.

We loved this dress (for its techniques - we are both past our ra-ra skirt wearing days):

16th century Russia inspired dress with hand felted bodice and nuno felted skirt-
Brittany Thompson.

Nuno, you say? Why yes, the technique of felting loose fibres to a lightweight, gauzy fabric. And did you know it was developed in Australia?


After all the lovely fabric:





Finally a use for all that bubble wrap

And seeing the guts of a Bernina machine:


We were very hungry and decidedly parched:

A late lunch on South Bank.

Then we wandered down to the Brisbane River:


And caught the ferry upstream:

Ye-olden-day version we saw from our modern ferry.

The Brisbane Customs House (c. 1889): it's not a French medieval town, but it'll have to do.


Dark clouds were brewing and a storm warning was issued. Marg's lovely daughter offered to drive me home, saving me a train ride. Or even a bike ride:

Great idea, although not sure if they get much use?

Lipton Ice Tea. Gee, that reminds me of something:

Oh Hugh, never stop dancing. Or taking your shirt off.

Have a great weekend, tout le monde!

P.S. I was doing nearly the exact same thing in Marseille this time last year.


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