May 24, 2007

Visit from a Blogging Friend!

Beautiful Quilts Barbara made for girls, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Look at these beautiful quilts that Barbara made for Aine and Aisling, Raggy Heart quilts in their favorite colors: Pink, Pink and PINK!!

Barbara and I met via my blog early last year, and have chatted ever since on Messenger and even Skype... It was great to have a quilty friend to chat to last year when my husband was working at his new job here in Nenagh while I was still trying to sell the house in Waterford!  Day after day with little grown up conversation can make a momma a little nuts!! I went to visit Barbara and her husband Hakan last October and she helped me baste my Dear Jane quilt and taught me some hand quilting (which I haven't mastered yet, unfortunately!!!). This past week, Barbara and Hakan came to visit us! I must say, not so much quilting or crafting was achieved here thanks to two little dynamos who fell in love our visitors who spoiled them!! We had a great time showing them around, doing some shopping, and Dave and Hakan got in some golfing 2 of the days. I took them into Limerick, around our area to see Lough Derg, to Bunratty Castle for an Irish music and dancing evening... and a long day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. I am very happy now to not get in the car for any trip further than the grocery store for a week or so, lol!!

Goodies from Barbara

Barbara brought the girls even more goodies, cute Pippi tshirts, Princess tins full of cookies, cute teddy backpacks...but she spoiled me too! Check out the gorgeous fabric and wonderful project bag she brought me. I admired that bag she made last year, and wow, now it is mine!! Thank you so much Barbara!!

Goodies from Jenni!!I got some other goodies this week too! Jenni sent over a great package for a swap that we are doing. I'm sending her a big stack of civil war fabric pieces (reds, pinks and blacks) for her Civil War Diary quilt, and she sent me a cool Australian quilt mag (Down Under quilts), some great civil war pieces from her stash, a hilarious Aussie Sheila magnet and some cute stickers for the girls. What a great week for gifties!!

Moebius Basket pre-feltingI also managed to make another moebius basket while Barbara was here... Well, I started it, and then finished it while visiting DHs mom in Dublin after dropping them to the airport, sniff sniff... I used Noro Kureyon yarn, and it is probably not thick enough to make a nice firm felted bowl, but it looks pretty so had fun helping me felt it too...will post a photo after it has dried, right now it has a balloon stuffed in it to make nice round shape.

May 17, 2007

Just like Tribbles, They Keep Multiplying!

Ocean Waves scrap blocks, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

See that basket? That is my basket of smaller Dear Jane scraps and muslin scraps... See those blocks? I got 37 8 inch blocks from that basket and it is still FULL!! I did manage to clear it of anything that could be turned into a 3 inch square, so I have a crumb pieced quilt in the works (in my head in design stage, lol) for the small pieces.

Barbara and her husband Hakan arrive tomorrow for a visit. I am looking forward to a crafty week, Dave is looking forward to a golf filled week. I hope to show them around a bit as well, and take them out to hear great traditional music. Should be fun... if my poor kids ever get rid of the germs that keep coming around... There are more head colds and ick going around and everyone's kids seem reinfected around here... Keep your fingers crossed that my girls are happy tomorrow morning, I have 5 hours round trip in the car with them while I pick up our visitors at the airport in Dublin. I really hope I don't have to tell Barbara and her DH to find their way by train, but will have to if the kids are not on the mend!! Ugh...what bad timing.

UPDATE: Have been up since 5am...looks like Barbara will be arriving by train and I will take my coughing, sniffling, fluey kids to Limerick (30 minutes) instead of Dublin (2 1/2 hours) to pick them up. I wasn't relishing 5 or more hours with cranky kids after 4 hours sleep (did I tell you I was up at 2, 3 and 4 am as well with kids!!) I hope they don't mind taking the train!!

The Trouble With Tribbles...

Tribbles!, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Ripple Crochet Dishcloth

You can't make just one... I finished a ripple crochet dishcloth and had some leftover dishcloth yarn. While looking for a new pattern to make another I found this cute pattern for a little round potscrubber. I was able to make two of them with the leftovers. I love being frugal!!!dscf0589-1.jpg

I am slowly trying to make a swatch for my first pair of proper socks done in fingering weight yarn (my first was worsted weight type house socks, great to get the hang of it, but I'd love some socks I can wear with shoes!!)  I am using Trekking Pro Natura (75% wool, 25% bamboo!) and the colors are beautiful...will show that as it progresses, but it too darn boring at the moment to blog!!


May 15, 2007

More Moebius Magic

Moebius Bowl, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

This is my first Moebius bowl and my first felting experience. Most people probably felt using their washing machine. Most of Europe use front loading machines, which you can't open during the cycle to check on the felting, so I used the bathtub, bubble bath and two exuberant toddlers to agitate my bowl for felting, lol. It turned out pretty well, but is still loose...I think I will try to refelt it and tighten it up again...wool is very forgiving!!

May 9, 2007

Amelie Cardigan

Amelie Cardigan, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Well here it is with its buttons attached now, an official Finished Object! It was a great pattern...the sleeves are a bit tight on me, but I hope that they will stretch out a bit... I love all the cables, especially the celtic pattern around the yoke.

Now on to my moebius felted bowl...I am currently being killed by just one part of the moebius technique I am trying to get right...I fudged it on the scarf and I am trying to get it done right for this next project.

I might start on a few ocean waves blocks again...moving forward...slowly!

May 7, 2007

Moebius Scarf

Moebius Scarf, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

This is the wildest knitting I've ever done! You used a long cable needle (about 4 feet long!) twist it around itself and make a moebius strip, some sort of mathematical thing with only one edge...when you knit you knit from the center outwards, it is wild to see it grow that way! I got the pattern and technique from books by Cat Bordhi. This is the book I used. I plan to make a moebius felted bowl from it next!

May 4, 2007

Getting Started

I have been trying to figure out whether I wanted to upgrade to typepad or other blog hosts. I like the look of Wordpress and this is a pretty nice free blog...looking forward to figuring this out.

May 1, 2007


Dave's brother John is a vintage car collector, and this is his new baby a 1913 Ford Model T. He was down for a rally in Limerick and stayed with us during pox season this weekend.

I've seen several photos lately of washing lines and bleeding heart here is my homage...our little fairy garden with bluebells, pincushion flowers (appropriate for quilters, no?) and some tiny bleeding hearts peeping out...

The washing line is new with me. When we first moved here I didn't own a dryer, it is a luxury here in Ireland still...most houses will have the washer most definitely...but while we were renting for our first few years in Ireland, I had to dry clothes on very weak radiators in winter as it was always rainy! I promised I'd never use a washing line again, lol! Since 1999 I've had a house and a dryer, and never had a washing line... but while I'll never go back to hanging socks for weeks to dry in a damp house during rainy weather and winter, I am loving using a washing line in our gorgeous sunny weather we've had lately. Something very zen like hanging out those clothes, just being in the moment of the day, hearing the birds singing, feeling the breeze... I've been really inspired by other bloggers and by my fellow Irish friends who always hang out their wash to get the line and get out there!

Here is a basket I made back in the days ( I really need to get back to making willow baskets, I loved it!!) it is full of seeds I should have planted out...still not up to it today, but maybe tomorrow!!??

I am sorry that I am not the best blogger. I see less and less comments on my blog and I know it is because I don't leave many myself. I read a lot, but am not great at commenting. But I've been lucky to make some wonderful new friends through this blog and I've been asked by my fellow expat Tracy at Pink Purl (wonderful crafty blog, go visit!) to name my five inspirational blogs. I met Tracy because I was looking up a Norwegian craft designer who does a craft line called Tilda. I'm glad that I left a comment...and found her blog.

So my five international inspirational blogs are:

Pink Purl (Norway): US Expat Tracy has a wonderful way with words. Her cooking, crafting and gardening are lovely to look at and her posts make you slow down and appreciate your days.

Spools and Thimbles (Sweden): Dutch expat Barbara makes beautiful quilts, bags and is into lots more crafty things. She and I have become friends and real life and she inspires me everyday to do new projects and get others done. Looking forward to having her and her husband visiting in a few weeks!

Tazzie Quilts (Australia): Tazzie how do you get so much done with two children!! A published designer, she makes me amazed with each post how much she can get done in a day, lol, and still manage to coach a netball team and keep up with housework. You are my mommy hero, and I love all your projects!!

Yarn Harlot (Canada): I love this blog...she is very funny, check her out. Obsessed crafters will relate, she may even get you knitting! I think she has something like 8000 subscribers on Bloglines, and she uses her power, lol, for good, raising money for Medicins sans Frontieres. She is also an author and has some really funny books out there.

Quilting with the Past (Netherlands): I love antique quilts and love Lucy's quilts inspired by them! Lots of eye candy here.

There really are so many more that I love to read, but check out some of these, lots of good stuff!

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A Pox Upon This House...

Ugh...since last Thursday night there has been much sniffling, aching, moaning, and whining in this house, and some of it was even the kids, lol. My oldest, poor Aine (onya), got a nasty sore throat and a bit of a flu, which morphed into a bad head cold which I had Sunday (while DH was away all day on a vintage car rally with his brother...can we say TIRED!). Aine is still not 100 percent now on Tuesday, but she is so much better than she has been... I just wish for longer than 1 hour increments for my sleep soon, before I go demented. Sleep deprivation is cruel.

But on the flip side, not leaving the house to go farther than the wheelie bin to dump our trash has led to lots of progress on various projects...

My Amelie Cardigan by Debbie Bliss (in her new book based on her Pure Cotton line) is done...just need to buy some buttons! This is a beautiful cardigan with some unusual construction...probably a bit challenging for my first big sweater in a long while, but well worth the work.
Aisling's I Spy a Double 4 patch quilt is done.

I have made good progress on the girls knitted fairy dolls, just wings and some sewn dresses and they are done!

Many many HSTs have been sewn and pressed (have to get my rotary cutter back from Kathleen, who I taught a 9 patch to last Monday, and has now nearly finished her first quilt!!)

I had some lovely photos of my garden, washing line, and the said vintage Model T Ford car of my brother in law...before the pox came upon me...was planning a lovely montage, but that is too much work right now...

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