I have been very bad these past few weeks about getting anything done craft-wise…lots of thinking about projects, joining swaps, and reading way too many quilting and knitting blogs. I’m currently working on a new sock, my first using tiny tiny yarn (Trekking Pro Natura wool/bamboo mix) and am sewing 4 patches for a Christmas tree skirt I started years ago now it seems!

 Ages ago, Katy tagged me with the 7 Random Things meme, so I thought I’d scare you all a bit with too much detail about me, lol!

  1. I hate to fall asleep without some sort of background noise! This might be partly due to the fact that my DH snores, loudly, but when he is travelling I often sleep on the sofa so I can watch sci fi programs late at night!
  2. My Jerusalem Tattoo

  3. I have a tattoo! After college I saved for a year and then travelled all over the UK, through France, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Israel and Egypt. I spent Christmas 1993 in Jerusalem, whereupon on Christmas Eve I got this tattoo, from a Coptic Christian woman who actually had an apartment IN the old walls of Jerusalem. Her business was called “Electric Tattoo” and the design is my own to commemorate my time in the Middle East: Hand of God was a symbol all religions used…so I used the Hand of God with Muslim evil eye motif, the Star of David and the Christian Fish symbol…there are dove heads there for peace…my little hope for peace in that region, and a physical memory of my 3 months spent in Turkey, Israel and in Egypt.
  4. On same backpacking trip I travelled alone, meeting up with fellow travellers…most people think I was crazy, but you meet so many people that way!
  5. I was still dating someone else when I started dating my husband, shame on me!
  6. I have a bachelor’s degree in French and German literature, but never used it for a job. I took a one day class on graphic design, and now charge quite a decent rate doing freelance graphic design.
  7. I was an au pair for a well-known family in France (if you have ever been there and know the Centres Leclerc, I worked for the daughter of the founder of the company) I lived in a 14th century chateau for nearly a year, and my French became fluent there!
  8. I’ve been very lucky with traveling for jobs I’ve had. Mostly secretarial jobs, but have gotten to travel to NYC, LA, and Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania) for a great company working with the US Agency for International Development.

I have a fellow quilting friend coming over tonight to work on the Brian Boru wallhanging our group is doing. Will take a photo for you guys when it is done…the festival is in July, so we better get going!


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.

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 flowers…so 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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I’ve been making slow progress these days, but I have finished Barbara’s Crazy Quilt round robin block I had been working on…it has been posted off to the next recipient a day before the deadline, yeah!

I also started working on the Dear Jane blocks I want to hand quilt for my pay it forward swap. If they aren’t done in time to be Christmas decorations, I figure they will make cute valentine ones, lol. The blue block is for Barbara’s Dear Jane, I promised one a while back as a thank you for all the help she’s given me since we met!

I’ve also started on a few ocean waves blocks for my scrappy ocean waves bed quilt. I will make this for our bed I think! I have a feeling my Dear Jane won’t be on the bed for a while, lol, as hand quilting won’t be speedy here with this newbie! I am using all my reproduction scraps and like the look so far.

We are really looking forward to our trip out to Oregon in a few weeks. Anyone in the Portland or Bend areas want to meet up? I am hoping to see Patti and Cher while I’m there (How is Saturday the 16th for you guys? I will be jetlagged, but that won’t keep me from some quilt shops!). My parents have retired to a new house in Bend, out in the mountains, so we plan to stay in Portland at the start and end of the trip to keep mountain pass driving to a minimum…

I am starting to think about 2007 goals… I think 2 bed quilts for my own house, many wall hangings, and a focus on quilting for our family again. I still only have one of my own quilts in the house and it is in bits, fallen apart from abuse (my first quilt). I love giving quilts to friends, but they appreciate any thoughtful gift, and I want to quilt for my girls this year as well…and sew some clothes for them…make some dolls maybe… So maybe 2007 will be year of the family for sewing and knitting projects…hmmmm

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