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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Own Blog party

Once again I'm joining in this event which is hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full. The idea is that each blogger writes a post introducing themselves; their interests, reasons for blogging etc.


I am a retired primary (elementary) school teacher, who loves to knit, stitch, garden, read and travel. I am Australian and live in Queensland, a state on the east coast. I have a 'blended family' of a lovely DH, 2 daughters and 3 stepdaughters. DH and I are 'empty nesters' now but over the years, all of these young adults  have lived with us at one time or another.

When I retired I joined a knitting group that provides knitted, crocheted and sewn items to the needy in the community. Believe me, it is not just the homeless who are needy. Originally I knitted beanies, children's jumpers, throws etc for the group,but over the last few years I have volunteered to join up some of the thousands of squares that are donated to the group each year. This certainly keeps me busy! The photo shows a number of blankets made with donated squares that I've joined...
I also knit throws that I give away as gifts, or to groups to sell or raffle to raise funds. I try to do a few of these each year.
The photo above shows me working one evening on one of my 'signature' projects, a garter stitch chevron/ripple throw, using a variety of yarns. 
A throw knitted in mohair yarns for my DD2 to celebrate her 30th birthday...

Like a lot of crafters, I have far too much fabric and yarn in my stash...but I still find more that I 'can't do without' and purchase more :-) Like this Christmas fabric that friends were using last year...couldn't find any in Aussie stores, but finally tracked some down in an Etsy store in the US!

I enjoy blogging and even though there is no real theme to what I write about, I share my everyday adventures in living life to the full. 
Over the years, for me, 'writing' was all about the academic aspects of writing ....I wrote to inform...I wrote to persuade, but I rarely had the chance to write to entertain. With the latter role, I can be relaxed in both the style and the language used and that's what my blog has mainly become...to entertain but with some elements of 'informing'.
Last year I wrote posts while we travelled in the UK, France and Hong Kong.
A beautiful scene taken from high on the hill in Whitby, UK...

With my DH after the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day at the Australian War Memorial outside Villers Bretonneux, France...

The view from the window of our hotel room in Hong Kong...a quite swanky hotel overlooking some not quite so salubrious apartment blocks.

Later this year, we are planning to visit Canada, where DsD3 is living and working for 2 years.
My stepdaughter took this very Australian 'onesie' to Canada...oh and the neck support cushion! Lol

Many years ago I loved to embroider but had not worked on any such projects for quite a while. Through blogging, I have signed up for swaps that required stitching and once again I've discovered how much I enjoy it. 
I stitched this mini quilt in a Summer themed swap...

I have also 're-ignited' my love for English paper piecing (EPP) and always try to have a project on the go using that technique.
A Christmas 'ornie' made with small hexies...

A Dillybag (designer is Judy Newman) was a favourite project last year...also hexies!

 The next photo shows my current EPP project, a cushion cover for a friend's mother who is celebrating her 90th birthday. I still have a long way to go with this project!

As well as chronicling our travels, I also write about changes to the suburb that I live in. As the city grows, single houses in my suburb are being replaced by multiple townhouses...I have it all documented if it's in my street! lol


I could go on and on, but just one more thing about me...I love purple! :-)


Regular readers would know that I have just passed the 1000 posts' milestone, so somehow I've found lots to write about over the years:-).

In conjunction with the Grow Your Own Blog Party, I am having another small (but very nice) Giveaway. It's one of Gerhard's lovely fabric patches
I've used the photo from the NaturesFaceArt website so that I didn't have to take the patch out of its packaging. The design features masses of gum blossoms, framed by gum leaves with a beautiful butterfly in the centre. Gerhard's patches are suitable for all kinds of projects, especially patchwork. To enter, just leave a comment on this post...



Vicki, the organiser of the Grow Your Own Blog party has requested that all bloggers who run a Giveaway in conjunction with their post, that February 15 is the date to draw the winner's name. So lots of time for people to visit and leave a comment. 

27 comments:

Maria said...

Loved reading your interesting post Maria...
You look fabulous in that lovely purple hat.

Love love that mini with the caravan. Is there a pattern for it??

Una said...

I love this newsy post and all the photos. I wouldn't be able to use the giveaway prize though, so I'm not entering for that. Someone will treasure it.

Christine M said...

Great post, Maria. I enjoyed finding out a little more about you!

Sara Parise said...

I love the little mini quilt with embroidery! It's so unique and adorable!
You seem like such a one of a kind person too! I can't wait to follow along in your adventures!

Denice Barker said...

Very nice post, Maria. I loved learning more about you.

Phoebe Thomas said...

Hello Maria from a fellow Aussie...I'm one of Vicki's little helpers with the blog hop so I'm here on her behalf to welcome you to the party. Your giveaway is stunning and sooo Australian, I love it! I'm so impressed with the size of your blankets and all that you get up to. You obviously have loads of energy. Enjoy the party!

Deborah Weber said...

How fun to find my way here via the GYB party. How creative you are and what wonderful knitting group you belong to. Nice work on those blankets! I'm partial to hats and I loved your photo in your fab purple topper.

Cache-Mire said...

So nice to meet you, Maria. Love your blankets! And always great to see pics from places on my bucket list! ~Terri

Nonna Rose said...

Hi Maria! I too am retired from elementary education. It is so nice to have found your blog. I look forward to seeing what you are up to.

Pamela said...

Hello Maria, I really enjoyed reading your blog. You have some lovely crafts and I am glad to hear that DH's medical issues are being addressed. I'm following, looking forward to getting to know you more.

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I enjoyed reading your post and found we have a few things in common: teaching (I'm a second grade teacher) and will dream of retirement as I follow your blog LOL! 9 more years!! I also love hexis and quilting. Hope ya stop by and you might like my TuESDAY aRCHIVES LINKY PARTY...looking forward to being your newest GFC follower! Val:)

Lady of the Manor said...

Hello from Missouri, USA!! I'm a retired teacher, too (primary and reading). I'm glad to meet you and look forward to see what you've been up to. Hope you'll stop my and visit me.

linny said...

As always a great read. Always enjoy reading your day to day happenings & seeing what you've made.
lyn.robyn.smith@gmail.com

Susan said...

Always interesting reading your blog, Maria.
And a generous giveaway.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

When I arrived, I landed on your Australia Day post, then found this one. I think you have a sensational sense of humor, and really enjoyed reading both posts. It was definitely nice to meet you, because I sure loved your hexagons AND that fantastic pillow you created. That was FUN.

You live in a lovely area and it was fun to see that you document your changing neighborhood.

I really enjoyed visiting your blog. It was a genuine breath of fresh air.
http://alteredbooklover.blogspot.com/2015/01/grow-your-blog-blog-hop-event.html

Sue Kosec said...

You throw a great party. Thank you for inviting me!

So that you know, I've become a Follower and when time permits, I'll be back to see what other beautiful things were made by your hands!

What this party is all about is to GROW your blog and I'm hoping to do the same. When you get to Section One, check out A Country Chic Retreat and SuZeQ Creations, my personal blog, in Section Fifteen I'd love for you to follow and subscribe to.

Happy crafting!
SuZeQ

Maureen Clare said...

Hi Maria, I don't imagine in a month of Sundays that I would be able to charm the random winner picker a second time but who knows. You never never know if you never never go....Gerhard is so dynamic and flamboyant with his colours. Take care, love your blog xox

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

A really interesting blog post Maria, you pack a lot into your retirement.
My allotment has been lying fallow over these hot summer months but now I'm thrilled to be feeding the soil again ready for the new growing season starting in March, when our weather cools down a bit, and I'll have something to blog about.
It's a very pretty quilting square but no need to put my name in the draw as my needle skills are not as good as my digging skills!

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

Me again Maria. How could I forget to mention your purple hat. Really suits you, you look lovely.

Alexis Borsboom said...

I hope you have a lovely visit to Canada!

alexis at cobcottagecraft.com

Judy Cooper Textile Images said...

I'm visiting from St. John's NL Canada. I've been retired from teaching for 17 years! It's been great so far. Your photos are interesting. Lots of nice projects too. Enjoy your trip to Canada.

Carrie said...

Hello Maria from the U.S.! You are so talented! I can definitely tell you are enjoying retirement. I'm visiting from the grow your blog party. It's nice to meet you!

Gill said...

Hi Maria - lovely to meet you!
I'm visiting from the UK

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Thank you so much for inviting us to visit with you. I enjoyed seeing the lovely blankets/afghans you are putting together for charity and also your hexxie projects. Enjoy the tour!

Addicted2Fabric said...

Hello from A fellow GYBer and a NEIGHBOUR!
I'm Northside Brissy!
I wish i could Knit like you... im so slow!
www.addicted2fabric.wordpress.com

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Visiting from GYB, what an interesting post! I'd love to retire, but it will be few years yet. I like your projects, but it isn't a stash, it is a resource center!

Carol D. said...

Hello from another retired educator. I started in 1973. The thing I looked forward to the most in retirement was my hobbies that had been somewhat on hold over the years. Will be back to read more on your blog.