Thursday, 30 June 2011

June Tis the Season Blocks

Just scraping in by the skin of my teeth. Smile

mice, elfelfmice

They have been stitched for a while but I’ve been flat chat making birthday gifts & I’ve done hardly any blogging of late.  My July blocks are already done but I’ll post them in July.

There has been an issue with these 2 blocks with the contrast, so many light things on the light background. They are a bit easier to see in ‘real life’ but I may restitch the mice in a darker grey.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Emma’s Birthday

I’ve been busy the past few weeks making a lap quilt for Emma for her birthday. She came down yesterday & we had a great day.


You may notice a theme here, Emma loves green. Smile

Emma's quilt 2

The quilt, it’s lap size, 48” x 60”. I stippled the blocks & hand quilted the circle section using ‘big stitch quilting’ & candlewicking cotton. I’m a convert, love it, much easier than trying to get tiny stitches & I really love the look of it.

Emma's quilt labelEmma's quilt

I found this pretty border online, added my message & printed it out.
I love quilts with legs!!

Emma's birthday cake

The cake!!! I made it & dh decorated it, pretty spiffy.
Yes Emma loves cats, she doesn’t have one as her partner is allergic.

2011 birthday

& the gorgeous birthday girl. Smile


I’m not sure if Zaphod was guarding the pressies or
thought he was one, lol.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

I haven’t run off & joined the circus.

I did plan to blog my vintage shop finds of last week, but I couldn’t find the #@*!ing camera. This week, I found said camera, had some more vintage finds, but just don’t have time to do a proper blog. I’m flat chat trying to get some birthday goodies finished.

Photos next week…… Smile

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Non-Positive Side of Coeliac Disease

Tonight I received an email from the Coeliac Society, in it was a request for people with Coeliac Disease to do a survey. A psychology student is doing a paper & trying to show the positive side of having Coeliac Disease. Hahahaha good luck with that one. I did the survey hoping I would be given the opportunity to describe what it’s like to have Coeliac Disease, but no it was just 4 pages of sometimes repetitive questions where I could answer ‘never’ through to ‘often’. You know those ones where you have to have an opinion & then rate it.

Now I have to say there is 1 positive thing about having CD & that would be that if you stick to the diet you tend to eat a very healthy range of foods & I’m all for that, but the negatives far outweigh the positive. After all I could eat a healthy range of foods & not have CD.

The negatives, well let’s go back to my diagnosis in January 1985. I’d had classic CD symptoms all my life but no Dr ever suspected. I’d been diagnosed with gastro enteritis so many times it was ridiculous. Anyway I’d gone to this gastroenterologist with problems after the birth of dd Emma. Turned out I had a duodenal ulcer, it responded well to treatment but on a follow up appointment he asked other questions & I described the symptoms I’d had forever. He said he’d check my ulcer had healed & performed another endoscopy. He also checked for CD, but I didn’t know that. Next appointment he said, ‘Well I’ve worked out what is wrong with you, you have Coeliac Disease.’ Great, what is CD coz I’ve never heard of it. He wrote it down, drew a little diagram of my small intestine, told me to join the CD Society, get some gluten free food from the health food shop & pushed me out the door.

I went to the health food shop & they sold me some of those big round thick rice cakes that catch fire in the toaster in 2.3 nanoseconds if you try to freshen them up. They told me I could eat peanut butter. So I lived on peanut butter on rice cakes until I got some info from the CD Society. I stuck to my gluten free diet for months & then had a follow up endoscopy to see if my intestine had healed. It had, so I had CD. I wasn’t upset, hell I was so relieved to have a diagnosis after so many years of suffering & illness, & I was so relieved to not have the horrendous stomach aches.

But then you realise that life has to change, big time. I love cakes, where some people go on pub crawls, my Mum, sister & I used to go on cake shop crawls, I kid you not. We also used to go to lovely little coffee shops & treat ourselves to something yummy. No more. Not possible. I had an Italian neighbour who made the best pizza in the world & would invite me in to lunch sometimes, no more. In fact eating out anywhere, ever, was over.

Imagine looking in the window, knowing that you can never eat any of these cakes. It SUCKS!!!

Over the years people have become aware of CD & that’s a good thing because you don’t have to explain why you can’t eat the yummy thing they are offering, but it also means you sit there with nothing, trying to look as though it doesn’t matter & you really don’t mind. The when they know you can’t eat the food they hold the plate out to you & say “You can’t eat this can you?’ GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR I went to two Christmas parties just last year, one was bring a plate affair & there wasn’t a single thing on the table that I could eat.  I took my own food as always, but you feel very alone sitting there with a dry old gluten free sandwich when everyone else is tucking into some really yummy Christmas food. The second was a sit down luncheon where I was told there would be food for me. Of all the food on the table, the only thing I could eat was the strawberries that had been put out as a garnish!!!

If you like eating out, going to people’s homes for meals & just socializing in general then it’s hard. Over the years we’ve had people for meals but are never invited back, the old' ‘too hard’ thing. Food is such a huge thing in our lives, how many cooking shows are there now? Foxtel even has a cooking channel!!! Whenever we socialize it all revolves around food. Friends drift away coz you can’t go for coffee anymore (I’m also lactose intolerant & allergic to caffeine), you can’t do lunch. Yes I know some places offer gluten free these days but you have to be very careful. I’ve asked about GF food & they’ll say there’s only a little flour in it, it’s ok. No it’s not, not even a little bit. A Coeliac Society newsletter a few years back said that Muffin Break were now selling a range of GF muffins. I’ve never had a muffin, they came in after I was diagnosed so I was excited about that. I went to Muffin Break & saw lots of great looking muffins but which were GF? I asked, ‘Oh I think it’s those & those.’ ‘Does anybody actually know??’ No it seems no one was absolutely sure which ones, so I gave it a miss. You sometimes see a GF friand in the case with all the tasty cakes. I tried one once. Just a stodgy little lump of yuck.

Which would you choose???

There are a lot of GF foods in the supermarket now, trouble is most of them are very high fat & I’ve had to incorporate low-fat into the equation after a nasty bout of pancreatitis a while back. No known cause, but staying low-fat would be the way to go I was told. At least I didn’t have to cut out alcohol, I don’t drink, lol. Of course you have to pay 2 – 3 times more for GF foods than ordinary. A nice loaf of bread $2 odd or a GF loaf of bread that could be used in place of a brick, same weight &  texture, probably not as tasty will set you back $5 - $6.

If you see one of these little bricks of bread in your supermarket, pick it up, feel the weight, give it a squeeze, well try & give it a squeeze. Smile

Now having had my big whinge I have to say that having CD is a pain in the bum, literally, if you don’t stick to the diet, but in the scheme of things if you had to have a permanent health problem, there is a hell of a lot worse. If you stick to the diet you’re ok. It’s the way it impacts on your lifestyle that is the hard part. It’s definitely added to my agoraphobia.

SO if you have a friend or relative with CD or any allergy for that matter, please make the effort to find out what they can eat & try to have something when you ask them around. You have no idea the effect it will have on them. When I taught patchwork one of my students brought me a GF birthday cake she’d made for me. It was the first birthday cake I’d had in years & I was so touched that she’d gone to this trouble.

Sunday, 5 June 2011


It’s cold & very windy here today, Molly has the right idea.


I’m under the quilt with her. Smile

Saturday, 4 June 2011

We Revamped the Pantry

Our last kitchen was brilliant coz we designed it to suit us. Now this kitchen is a much nicer looking kitchen, but it’s smaller & the pantry  has been a challenge since day 1. Firstly it’s a triangle??? & secondly they just didn’t use the space to the best advantage. Last week I’d had enough, & announced the pantry was the next project, so that’s where some pine & a tin of paint came in.

Before: what a mess!!!!!

before - full2before - full

Then you look to your left & see… a blank wall. There’s only a couple of inches behind the door frame but enough space to put a shallow shelf that will hold tons of stuff.


Such fun living off the dining room table for a week.

after - empty

The old shelves with a lick of paint, finally banishing the one very poorly applied coat of ‘builders’ paint.

after - empty all

The new shelves in place.

after - full leftafter - full all

After: all sorted. Woohoo, spiffy. Smile

btw the blue looks quite sedate in the pics, it’s really quite bright, a little brighter than I intended, but it’s certainly a huge improvement.

One more project to tick off the list. What will be next??????

May Books


I’d wanted to read Where the Heart is for a long time, after seeing the movie. Yes it’s the one where the girl lives in Wal-Mart, great book & the movie was very close to the book which I always love.

Murder on the Leviathan was different, translated from Russian, our hero is Poirot like. A whodunnit that had me guessing till the end.

The Chestnut Tree, set in WW2, telling it like it was, how lives were changed, happy, sad, some romance, a good read.

Winter Solstice, now I bought the dvd for this a few weeks ago, & I thought the story sounded familiar, but when I looked, I didn’t have the book, I must have borrowed it from the library. The next week, while browsing the books in an op shop, what do I find??? Winter Solstice, great timing, now I’ve reread the book, I’ll watch the film. I really enjoyed the book but it ends too soon. I googled to see if there was a sequel, there is & there isn’t. There isn’t a sequel for the book, but there is one for the film, called, wait for it, ‘Summer Solstice.’ So I’ll keep an eye out for it.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Colourful Friday–flowers

I wasn’t sure how I’d go finding flowers in the garden the 3rd day of Winter but I did quite well, I think. These are all in the front garden.

We put some little lavenders in a few months back & they’re all doing well. This is the pick.

flowers - lavender

flowers - roseThere are roses all along the front garage wall which is nice for the neighbours but we rarely see them. They were an overgrown mess when we moved in but after I gave them a brutal prune they’ve all done - camelliaflowers - camellia1We also planted camellias along the front fence line, we’ll add more & hopefully end up with a hedge of them. They are still quite small but all have been flowering.

To check out others posting their Colourful Friday flowers: