Monday, 19 September 2016

Studio back in action

I can't believe that I have not posted since I moved in! But it is perhaps not a surprise. My first priority after sorting out bedrooms, was to get my studio back up and running, but Oh, so many boxes!! And things just stuffed inside them. I had some overhead lights put into the studio and removed the funny, useless porthole style wall lights that did nothing for my sewing. A television was installed, so that I can watch/listen to something while I work and then the walls had to be made good again, so my decorator spent a couple of weeks in there too. New curtains were made and hung and then finally, I could get all my sewing stuff together in one place again, for the first time since last November.
I bought and built a new desk and some wall units from IKEA and then the sorting out started. I am still not totally organised, there are still some boxes around, but I will get round to sorting them out early in next year.  For now, I just need to try and catch up and get to grips with my Handiquilter again.

Quilts hanging off blanket hangers in the store room just off my studio

I have also been busy with renovations in the bedrooms upstairs and some large trees have been removed from the garden, increasing the amount of light that shines in through my studio windows. My garden is currently being redesigned and the works on this will start shortly.

Southwest Corner of garden when I moved in

Same corner after trees removed and new fence panels added

There have also been 2 new additions to my family, Lyra, who is now 18 weeks old and Jinx, who is 10 weeks old.  They are both Miniature Schnauzer girls, but not related. I have been spending most of my days on the kitchen floor, watching them and training them and playing with them.  They are so cute and totally adorable.  Smokey was not impressed when Lyra arrived, but by the time Jinx came, he was totally used to it and seems to tolerate Jinx more than Lyra. Lyra and Jinx plays together all the time, very rough sometimes and I have to stop myself from interfering and stepping in, but when watching them, I have realised that Jinx, although less than a third of Lyra's weight, is actually quite feisty and daring and will certainly in no uncertain terms let Lyra know when she has had enough.  Their training continues, walking is a bit difficult at the moment as Jinx is not allowed out yet, Lyra can go on short walks but Smokey needs longer walks. I am working on it.

Lyra and Jinx
Lyra and Jinx likes to sleep together

Festival of quilts
I volunteered as a judging angel this year and spent a day shadowing and helping the judges before the show opened. What an amazing experience. I have enjoyed it so much that I have signed up to do the Quilters Guild Judging course, which starts in October and takes 2 years to complete.  In the meantime, I hope to be accepted as a judging angel again next year and will keep volunteering until I have qualified.

World Quilt show 2016
Just after I got back from FoQ, I had the most wonderful and unexpected news that my quilt "Kutch Diamonds" have won a second place in the World Quilt Show in the traditional category.  I feel so honoured and can hardly believe it.  I entered "Kutch Diamonds" as I just did not have time to make a quilt specially for this show.  It will now go on tour to several shows in the USA before returning to me around March next year.  My friend Lynda Jackson, the UK Handiquilter Educator, entered her quilt Cappuccino Dreams into the same show and won a highly commended.  It seems to have been a really good year for the UK with so many of our quilts winning awards. When congratulating the winners, one of the contestants called us Team GB! I like that!

Kutch Diamonds at World Quilt Show

My ribbon, Second in traditional category 

Fitness on holiday
I took 2 of my children with me on an activity holiday in Croatia in August, where we did kayaking, canoeing, rafting, walking and cycling. I surprised myself by how much I loved the kayaking, also the canoeing, but cycling was not so much fun.  Perhaps if I was just a bit more fit, I would enjoy it more, but by the time I had reached 17 kilometres, doing steep uphill and downhills, I had decided that I am not enjoying it and that this was supposed to be holiday and fun, so I gave up. My kids enjoyed the holiday so much that they have asked if we can do a similar style holiday next year, so I am going to have to work on my fitness.  So, the plan is to start running. I have bought new trainers and downloaded apps on my phone to get me started.  Now I just need to pluck up the courage to get out there and give it a go. Hopefully I will be able to take Lyra with me when she is a little bit older. She has a lot of energy and seems to really enjoy running.  But first, I need to get myself off this couch!

Proud mom
I hope he does not mind, but I am so proud of my oldest son, who is now a Master of Science majoring in Natural Resource Management at James Cook University in Cairns.  He has now moved to Darwin, where he will be doing a PGCE.