Etsy Treasuries #41 to 47

28 11 2010

I don’t always get emailed when one of my items has been added to an Etsy Treasury, so every so often I do a search for my store name (RhondaMadeIt) in the Etsy Treasuries and find a few I didn’t even know I was featured in!

Here are the latest ones from the past few weeks; by my reckoning, they are the 41st to 47th Treasuries I’ve been part of.

Click on each thumbnail to open the image in full size.



No design wall? Improvise!

28 11 2010

I don’t have a design wall for laying out my quilting designs, so today I improvised for a quilt that I’ve designed. The design looked good on paper, but until I cut out the fabrics and pinned them up, I didn’t know whether it would work.

Fortunately, my sewing room (an ex-bedroom) has a wardrobe door that opens into the room, directly opposite the entry door. I swung both doors fully open, put a skirt hanger over the top of each, and strung a large piece of quilter’s muslin between them (a sheet would work too). Voila! Instant design wall!

Unfortunately, I can’t show you pics of the design as it’s part of a challenge and the ladies involved in the challenge read this blog occasionally. We’re meant to keep it all ‘secret squirrel’! 😉

Suffice to say, my improvised design wall worked well. I laid out my fabrics, shifted some around, then took pictures of the layout so I can pull down the fabrics and know where each is to go in the finished piece.


Rampaging spinach!

14 11 2010

Because of my recent shoulder surgery, I haven’t been into the garden for a few weeks. But this weekend I made some progress. I pruned the overhanging vegetation from the fence line (not too much, thank goodness, as I keep it pretty much under control — otherwise doing the perimeter of an acre would be a nightmare); shredded the hard cuttings and put the mulch back on to the garden; and binned the rest (the shredder doesn’t like palm fronds). That was Saturday.

Today (Sunday) it was time to tackle the vege garden where I’d noticed that the spinach plants (Swiss chard and rainbow chard) had transformed themselves into Triffids! They’d all gone to flower and had sprouted up to fence height (6 ft). I removed the flower heads and binned them (I have ENOUGH spinach plants that pop up from nowhere — I sure don’t want more!), then I cut all the leaves off the remaining stalks and threw them over the shredded paper I’d put down on the soil in the vege garden. Hopefully the slaters, soil bacteria and fungi will do their job and break down the paper and the leaves, helping the soil for whatever gets planted or pops up next.

Meantime, the potato plants that sprouted all over winter and that I thought had finished producing (they all died off) have started sprouting again, so it looks like I’ll have a continual crop of potatoes (not that we eat many).

All types of Kangaroo Paws

14 11 2010

There’s nothing like springtime to turn those ‘ugly duckling’ strappy nondescript plants in your garden into beautiful swans — in this case, Kangaroo Paws. As we’ve only been in this house since February, I didn’t know what sort of Kangaroo Paws we had. I had recognised some of the ugly strappy plants as being ‘roo paws, but until they flowered recently, I had no idea how many varieties had been planted by the previ0us owners. Kangaroo Paws come in all sorts of colours (yellow, orange, red, red and green, green, and I think I’ve seen some black ones in the front garden), and we seem to have most of them!

Here are a few just from ONE of our back garden beds.



So. Darned. Close.

10 11 2010

What is it with me and fire?

Last night I was preparing an Indian curry for dinner. One of the last stages before serving was to put two refrigerated Naan breads in the toaster to heat through and crisp up slightly — something I’ve done plenty of times before. I’d used the toaster only a day ago and the bread got burnt with the setting on below 1 (next one down was ‘Defrost’; highest is 6) and I’d had to press the Cancel button to eject the toast and stop it ‘cooking’ any more. I’d forgotten about that…

So there I was. Standing at the stove top ([2] in the picture below), stirring the curry, with my back to the appliance hutch where the toaster with the Naan bread was (1). The bowls, the hot rice, etc. were on the counter to the side of the stove top (3), ready for me to serve up. I’d called my husband a few minutes earlier.

He came into the living area and immediately smelt burning and saw that the whole ceiling was covered in about 30 cm of smoke, and that the toaster was spewing out smoke at a rapid rate! I hadn’t smelt it or seen it — I *had* noticed a slight burning smell and thought it was the curry. I had totally forgotten about the Naan bread, which was now almost totally black and nearly on fire.

I immediately spun around on my husband’s shout, hit the Cancel button on the toaster, and closed the appliance hutch door to about 90% of the way down. I got my husband to shut the doors to the hallways so that the smoke alarms wouldn’t go off. Then we opened every door and window in the area to try to disperse the smoke. We even had a pedestal fan on for some time, moving it around to try to get it to shift the smoke out of the kitchen/living/dining areas. Even several hours later, the smoke smell was very noticeable, as it was when we got up this morning. We’ve had everything open fully today to try to get rid of the smell (it’s been raining a lot but there’s been no wind or breeze to speak of, which is hampering our efforts to disperse the smell).

The toaster is history — I suspect that its thermostat is gone and the mechanism it uses to pop up the toast when it’s ready has failed too… which was why the Naan bread burnt in the first place. There are scorch marks on the toaster, so I suspect it was only moments away from catching on fire and perhaps causing an electrical fire. I really don’t want to think too much about that….

I called the Sunbeam Customer Service people this morning to see if it was a known issue. I knew the toaster was out of warranty (I bought it in 2003, so while it was old-ish it wasn’t ancient by any means), but was curious to find out if this thermostat/temperature regulator failure was a known issue. The lady I spoke to there said she hadn’t heard of it.

Guess I’ll be in the market for a new toaster this weekend… And a Lotto ticket!

Oh, and the new toaster will be going on to the counter top when I need to use it, not the appliance hutch where I can’t see it.

Update: New toaster purchased and unpacked. Not used yet.