Tuesday, November 30, 2010

life's a beach...

While most of the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying wintery weather, we in Cyprus are having to wrap our heads around the fact that we are still walking around in short sleeves during the day and a light sweater at night. The funniest thing is how we are all insisting on wearing our winter fashions in 27 degree weather! It is not uncommon to see fashionistas wearing their boots and scarves in shorts. :)

So instead of sounding like a broken record, I decided to accept it: so we might as well hit the beach!
we took the kids to the coast for fresh fish meze

Psychologically, it is hard for Cypriots to dare go into the ocean at this time of year despite the unusually warm weather, but there were enough tourist 'polar bears' to compensate!

the four of us enjoying the ocean breezes on the boardwalk.
And yes, that is little Daisy on the right!

We had a lovely day as a family, and I came back really inspired to work on my little Clams.
I am having such fun, that I have decided to continue focusing on it for the next few days. I can see that the end is near and that I only need a few more rows to finish my Dolly Quilt.

The first tangerines of the season are here! They are so sweet, and the perfect snack while stitching. Want some?

I have enjoyed the Clamshell club so much (Thanks again Jossie, for letting us join you!), and have learned heaps from my fellow Clammers. It has been so fabulous to share the camaraderie forged by the trials and tribulations these little ones have put us through!  LOL

However, it is amazing to me how the last few rows of clams look so much nicer and neater than the first ones, and yet, those imperfections remind me that I started this little project in Holland with my little niece in June, worked on it in Provence in August, and had my little ones fiddling with them the other day... It amazes me every time, how many memories get stitched into our projects...
Dairies written in thread...

As November draws to an end, I wish you a wonderful and peaceful holidays season ahead!
Thinking of you all,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

8 klosjes and a quick Hello!

Hello, my friends! How are you? 
(Please, Tell me you are also in disbelief that November is nearly over, and that we are only 4 weeks away from Christmas! Yeay!/Yikes!)

8 more Klosjes joined the gang this week making my total 472. And I still haven't had a chance to calculate my grand total, so I will happily keep Klosjing along for now... I just don't feel I have the mental capacity left for anything 'grand' at this moment...
But there is good news on the quilty-front: This week I have (finally!) settled on a setting for my Spotty Dotty Potluck hexi-flowers. It has taken a LOOOOONG time, but I am so happy and relieved that I waited for the right setting to come along!  ...it seems there are advantages to patient procrastination!
This will be a project to be continued next spring. 

Also: The Pinwheel quilt is done! I had a lot of fun working on it this week and rushed to send it off in time to be professionally machine-quilted by my friend Irene. Can't wait to show you when it comes back!

I am wishing you all a lovely weekend, with some fun holiday prep with a sprinkle of stitching!

...or stitching with a sprinkle of fairy-dust that gets the house and home prepped for the holidays... and the kids in bed...
would you believe me if I told you I started this post at least 12 hours ago?!
Oh, joy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Klosjes and Pinwheels

As we are rushing out the door to get our Christmas Family pix, first visit to the vet with Miss Daisy, buy a suit for daddy who's going on a business trip to Scotland on monday, stubborn me still wants to beat the odds and sneak in a show and tell:

I am crazy, I know!

ok let's make this fast:
20 Klosjes got made which means 464 Klosjes. Jippie!

and the pinwheels have grown this week, as well.

I actually think this is me putting off the inevitable questions: what I am going to wear? What can I do about my hair! ooooooooooohhhhhh!
ok, time to face the music!

looking forward to some time this weekend to visit with all of you!

seriously what am I going to wear?!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

little treats

Today, I had some unexpected treats: a letter, just for me, all the way from Australia. Terry surprised me with some lovely charm squares of 'Down Under Flora and Fauna' fabrics. I was so happy, I had to make them into hexi-flowers right away just so I could show her, and since it is One flower Wednesday...

Now I have my very own Kangaroo crossing hexi and can you spot the Sydney Opera House? And can you see the outback pioneer-wagon?

My other treat was an unexpected Coffee break. I don't usually drink coffee, so it was decaf, but just as yummy... just by myself, and my hexies, since I suddenly found myself with unplanned 'in between' time before picking up the kids from school...

It really does pay off to have my hexies pouch with me. And today I also had my camera and my big  hexies bin, yippee!

So in total four more charm hexi-flowers with plain centres were added today. Thank you so much Terry! This is a real treat, and like I already told you, my charm quilt now has a piece of you and Oz in it!

and this is a happy song just for you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Searching for Autumn

This weekend we decided to break the mold and to grab the kids and dog and go to the Troodos mountains to see if we could catch some Fall Colours.

We had so much fun spending time as a family, playing outside and hiking in the forest.

Actually feeling cold,  and having to keep warm by the fire was such a treat, considering we are still hovering around 26 Celcius in town.

I even managed to do work on some Klosjes and Hexies, while the boys hurled themselves down the little hill on their go-carts.

what is it with boys and their wheels...

Vineyards losing their leaves

Apart from teaching  and the usual Klosjes and hexies this week, I really need to focus on some deadlines. I decided to start over on one of the projects I had been working on. This is always a hard decision, but I just wasn't happy with it and besides this new pattern has pinwheels at it's centre. And pinwheels make me smile.

hoping you are having a great start to your week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a little note...

in case you feel in a rut, or feel overwhelmed by your projects, or feel pulled to so many different directions and are confused as to why you keep needing more fabrics and are so easily tempted to making new quilts...

Because we are quilters. And we have a very unique gift and calling...

Just visit Victoria today, if you need a little reminder why we have chosen to be Quilters!


With Joy,

a few flowers for wednesday

I have been looking forward to this One Flower Wednesday as I have missed quite a few. I keep my hexi-pouch in my handbag and hexies continue to get made in the car before picking up the kids from school, waiting for students to arrive to classes and every time I get together with friends. Slowly more hexies get prepared and added to the pile.

I made these flowers using plain centres and I really like their 'charm' effect. I hope that once stitched together with the other charm hexies the flowers will not disappear into the background...one can only hope!

I am really looking forward to a warm cup of tea, and a visit with my fellow gardeners!

Hoping you are all having some 'charming' moments this week!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Little joys

I'm back! I never intended to be gone so long, but such is Life! (mine, at least...)

I have many things to share with you. And I am so sad I have not been able to keep up with what you have been up to, either. But I am hoping things will be more settled in the next few weeks. (fingers crossed!)

Here are my October Clams, good thing these don't spoil... :) Jossie, I really need to thank you for this project, as I am really having such fun with these Clams. And the more time I spend on them, the more I enjoy working on them.
Halfway there!
Can't wait to see what the other Clam-girls have been up to...

Shruti has been patiently waiting for 2 baby-quilts I promised for her 'SPREAD THE CHEER' initiative. Now they are finally en route to India!
Once I had tidied up my sewing room, it was a delight to work on these little ones (32" by 35").

I even went as far as trying out the things I had learned from Leah last year. I kept hearing her encouraging voice in my head, and took out the Supreme-slider. Do I need to say more?! I kept breathing- relaxing my shoulders- listening to my machines' motor- foot completely on the pedal- breathing... And kept repeating to myself what I heard Leah say that learning came from doing...
My loopy loops just kept getting more fluid and by the time I got to the second quilt I even had mustered enough courage to try some McTarvishing...

Thank YOU, Leah!

And the back wasn't too shabby, in my humble Beginner's opinion.

Oh wow: fun, indeed!  I wish I had more time to spend practicing free-motion quilting. Maybe I should make it a point...

In the meantime, I have kept up the Klosjes production in the evenings, over the past weeks. I am happy to say that another 44 Klosjes have been added, making my total 445 out of 600+. I was so encouraged by your lovely comments and amazing support on my last Klosjes update: THANK YOU! Van Harte Bedankt!

I also had the joy of meeting Kristine this week. It was so very nice to share our quilting stories.

We had a great time together, and I even had a chance to ask her to coach me on my hand-quilting.
Kristine showing me how she handquilts

As a self-taught quilter, it was a real dream come true to have someone with so much experience looking over my shoulder and giving me tips. She told me to cut the tail off from my thread once I made my quilter's knot. Also she showed me my quilt had to be tighter on the hoop. She encouraged me to graduate to a much much smaller needle. ( Just like Ria had done, and so I had 12's at home and was able to start practicing right away). And Kristine also showed me how to position my thumb closer to the needle, and as promised I couldn't believe how teeny tiny my stitches turned out!
Thanks Kristine, it really was so nice to meet you!

Yesterday we added a new member to our little family.

This is Daisy. The boys chose her name, and I was really happy with it, as I think it suits her perfectly!  I am sure we will have lots of fun together. She is one of the smallest sized dog I have ever owned, but she holds her own and is perfect with the boys. Rehoming has been going amazingly smoothly, and we couldn't be more thrilled: Welcome to our pack, Sweetheart!

I have one more thing to share with you today. Look what we picked up this morning at the newsstand:

And inside we found this:

My dear friend Elena was invited to be the stylist for this article in this month's Madame Figaro Maison.
And whose quilt is that stylishly draped on the hammock...
It's the same quilt that keeps us warm at night! :)
This is really exciting, especially when you see that I don't even get a last name in the credits... LOL
in greek: Handmade Quilt created by Valentina...
Remember I told you about this quilt here ...

These are the little joys of my busy life.
And since everyone is still happily napping, I will go and see what you have been up to!
See you when I see you!

ps If you like listening to uplifting things while stitching I recommend you listen to this. Thanks for the tip Nadine, who by the way has a new blog!
Found here

Brene has such an amazing blog Ordinary Courage.


My Patchwork Family Through Adoption

A Bit of Africa and China
Came knocking on our door
And in a home where there was longing
Now empty rooms no more

Like a Quilt of Many Colours
Our Family stitched together into One
God's Love and Grace for us Abundant
In the Miracle of our Sons

Written by Valentina