Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pressed Tin Wall Paper Decorating

Webinars are now over for the month of June! Thank you everyone who sent us such great comments on how much they had learned and how much fun they had! We had fun also and explaining the download projects - 'Double the Luv' double-sided quilt and 'Cool Machine Disguise' (sewing machine cover) reminded me of how much Robbie and I enjoyed making these projects, so we hope you do too!! If you missed the webinar here is the link: you can view it on our website.

Now to my exciting new project. I just discovered 'Faux' Pressed Tin. It is actually a wall paper, that just looks like pressed tin - which I just love. And to prove we all assume no matter how much experience we have, my wall paper guy - who is just so nice by the way, was having problems and just came and told me that he he was putting the paste on the wall, and when he read the instructions it said - paste the paper. Just goes to show the old adage is true -'If all else fails read the directions' never assume, which I have been guilty of so many times. I have to admit that I have been guilty of this so many times and have paid the price, done a lot of unpicking in my day, not only on my own work, but on many a students as well. I have even stayed up all night fixing up a students project!!

These pictures - different exposures shows you the look. At present I am going to paint it - yes you have to paint this wall paper with several coats - well the color is China White, this is the color of my shutters. This is a work in progress so we will see where it leads! I do want to do a little 'Scumble and Wipe' but not sure how it will look, so will do some experimenting.

I am reminded of what I used to say in class, 'There is no such thing as a mistake, only a new creative opportunity' hence the name of my company - Unique Creative Opportunities.

So this wall paper is certainly that!

Off to Dinner and the Movies, so till next time when I will update you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Catching up, where is the month of June going?

I do not know where this year is going. One moment it is June 1 and now it is June 18!! Well June has been a full month, so much so that I have to stop and think where it has gone and what I have done.

Let's work backwards.....

Today we had our first June webinar with another one tomorrow - I actually really enjoyed today, it is so wonderful catching up with everyone and sharing what we are doing. Today (and tomorrow) we did and will be going step-by-step with our two latest downloads - Double the Luv (double sided quilt) and Cool Machine Disguise (cover) as seen below:

You will just love making this machine cover, as it has so many easy exciting techniques in it an that you will love learning.

I have been into the city shopping with my daughters - Sam (blood) and Kath (by association) and had a lovely day. Sammie decided to spurge out on some amazing shoes while I got a much sort after black jacket. Below is Sam in her coordinated outfit - picture doesn't do shoes justice - shoes are by Stewart Weizmann (not sure of the spelling). Those who know me, will not be surprised by the last statement!

Of course I never miss my Yoga or gym work outs, and am just getting better and better, so exciting to see how I just advance each week - just love my gym C2K - I always feel better after a workout, and Yoga is just so spiritual.

Yes I can do both these poses - don't look quite like this, but pretty close. I can also free stand on my head for 60 seconds - which is something I could not do two weeks ago! I always had to had the wall for support, and two weeks ago, I thought, 'Why not try freestanding, worst that could happen is I would have to come down'! And guess what - yes I could stand on my head with no support - I was amazed, excited and encouraged - yes I felt the fear and did it anyway, and guess what I succeeded!

Well and that exciting note, I am off to feed Honey and have a glass of wine, I have earned it after my hard workout. Oh yest wait till you see what I am doing decorating wise, that bit of exciting news, will have to wait till next blog!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Simon, Harvey and Frankie go Chinese!!

When Harvey was around the age of two (he is now 5 1/2) Simon, Kirstin, Harvey and I went to the Chinese Gardens which are part of Darling Harbour - this is by the water where the Exhibition Center was (this has been pulled down now, making way for a brand new complex). Anyway we all got dressed up in Chinese costume - you may remember my pictures back then. Well Harvey has never forgotten, and so when we were all at Darling Harbour last week, we had to have a return visit and this time Frankie had to be in the act too.

How cute are the little ones, and how well Simon looks. It was a fun few hours, and once again the 'boys' had their photos taken by visitors (a thing Kirstin and I were never privileged to have - wonder why)? Good reason I suppose is that we looked ridiculous!!!

Twelve full hours of fun was had by the whole family (Poppa, Noo Noo, Simon, Cleo, Kirstin, Harvey and baby Frankie, who has enough energy for three people). Sooooo much to see, do, run in or around, and over, and so little time - but do it all we did.  Yes I did sleep well, ready for the next day, which was full on once again.

I must confess I do love slippery dips, and swings, I still like the abandonment of sliding, almost 'free falling' only down a solid slippery dip under me, and the nearly flying feeling of swings, especially when you go high. Guess I never quite grew up!

Two days of 'coffin memories' which I will always treasure. Thank you God for glorious memories.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sooooo pleased and excited with my new floor boards!

Well the saying 'no gain without pain' is true when it comes to my new floors! They are all finished and look amazingly beautiful. Took me a day to get everything back together, but that is all over with now. My duplex is four levels with six stairs up to the second level, then about 12 up to the third and seven up to the forth! It is a fun place to live in and great for work.
Stairs leading up to the lounge

This is the floors taken from the kitchen
The stairs took the most time, as the installers were so meticulous but the finished job was just perfect.

I also changed the mirror - always had the mirror table, but the new mirror is framed with bevelled scrolls, looking very chic at the top of the stairs.

Here are a couple of other views of the room. Of course I had to change things around and did another big clean up! De cluttered more, which always make me feel good. Somethings I got rid of from cupboards, I have never used in over 40 years, so why keep them!!

Close up of mirror and birdcage with light in it. 

This is the view  from the dining room
Trust you are enjoying being a voyeur having a glimpse at the renovations to my house.

I was just talking to Robbie and she is doing up her bedroom and has redone her kitchen last year. So change is in the air - remember change means growth so I hope I can continue to grow. with that in mind, here is my thought for the week:

I am continuing to turn my cant's into cans and my dreams into plans while celebrating my goals!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mess before Beauty - new timber floors

Well after much time and deliberation, I decided to pull up my carpet in the lounge/dining room area of my house and replace it with timber floors - limed American Oak. OMG I perhaps did not think of the process! Firstly everything had to be removed from my beautiful French cabinet. The treasures have sat on my kitchen bench for a week now, due to the fact the timber was not in stock. Then all the furniture had to be removed (with the exception of the cabinet which was too much trouble to move!

Carpet and underlay all pulled up revealing the concrete suspended slab! 
The two very thin Chinese lads have worked so hard - so much work. All the 'smooth edge' had to be removed around the edge of the skirting boards. This held the carpet down. Then the insulation underlay and then the boards!
The boards are layered in stepped lengths so the joins are variable.

The lounge area is nearly finished - yahoo, maybe I will make it to the movies tonight after all! The steps are not finished yet, they were the first done and took a lot of time. The boys were very fussy. Once this section of the room is finished, we will move the cabinet back into the room so the dining room can be done. My next post will show the finished floor - am back and forth taking photos. You all know what my week-end will be about - you guessed it getting everything back!

Getting there and starting to look fabulous, just love it! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Fitness Day!!

Well today has been busy, with one thing an another - firstly walk with my Honey, met several 'walking friends' on the way, which is lovely, except when you are on a mission and today is my personal trainer day. So it was rush rush to be at the gym by 10:30 - 'inner peace' was a little evasive!

I am working on my triceps (muscles at the back of the upper arm), which are the hardest to train in woman, but when working well, do prevent the sag and bag one tends to get at the bottom of their arms when getting older, so train these muscles I will!!!

Did my prep workout, triceps, biceps and abs with weights and then relaxation and breathing prior to my work out - which I certainly did. David said I was not concentrating, I said my concentration was on just trying to breath so I did not collapse! Never mind I got through all he dished out for me and am hear to tell about it.

To night is Yoga, although I am tired, I can never miss my two Yoga classes each week. I must be getting better as I can now do poses that were my goals such as the ones below, so that means I must be getting better! I do love Yoga, it always challenges me, Pauline, our teacher, always comes up with a new challenging pose. I do have some poses, my body refuses to accept, but most I can do with some degree of expertise. I can do all the ones below, so that is a start I guess. So I put the challenge out to all my readers, 'If I can do it so can you!' Do it for your mind, body and soul - and if all that fails, then 'do it to keep in an upright position and if you don't use it you loose it'. Let me know what you think!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Webinars and Decorating

Well I feel I am in recovery mode. Three webinars in three days, but all worth it, just wonderful catching up with everyone and showing them how to make our Black and White Designer Pillows, and Toowoon Bay Morning Glories. Everyone loved our first download directions and designs, with customers being thrilled to get instant access to something they wanted to do yesterday, as we all do.

I have had a few suggestions as to what people want us to do next, however in the meantime, please make sure you view our videos and the last webinar, which we have on our website. They will answer a lot of your questions and suggestions.

I am in a redecorating mood at present!! I have rearranged the family room, and it looks great, so much more room, so just love this!

So next I decided to have a mirror in my bedroom! Did I measure from the top of the Federation bedhead (the bed is over a meter of the ground so the bedhead is another meter higher), not I did not! Mistake No 1, then I did not ask how heavy the mirror was - mistake No 2! Well I found this wonderful mirror, just fell in love with it. Bevelled plain mirror with a mercury mirror frame, size of which is 1.03m x 1.29m. Well it did not fit above the bed, but as I have a vaulted ceiling it looked great on the opposite very high wall, Then I had to get it not only up stairs but on the wall! Well if someone had a camera to take pictures of not only my daughter getting the packaged mirror out of her large four wheel drive, let alone, Laurie and I getting it up two flights of stairs, and then hanging it, you would have had a good laugh. However it was all worth it, and it looks fabulous. Moved 'Cherry Ripe' and original Pears print - 1879 and my roses, I am really thrilled with the end result. What do you think? And by the way the beautiful mirror came from Freedom Furniture!

I then moved the mirror I had above my bed to the top bedroom, and it looks great also! I love mirrors in rooms, as they reflect light and add another dimension to any room, try it you will see!!
Hope you enjoy these ideas, (by the way the photo in the frame on the left of the mirror is my grandson (Simon's son) - he is just so gorgeous! Maybe will inspire you to do a little rearranging.

I was supposed to get my carpet replaced with floor boards, today, but alas not till Friday - second level total disaster area, but the best is yet to come!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What a great week, so much happening!

This week has been very busy!! The week-end was beautiful with an amazing Mother's day with my two children Simon and Sam. Here we are pictured below at the beautiful Bather's Pavilion at Balmoral, a small cove beach on the Sydney Harbour with a view from the restaurant straight at to the heads! Just magic, I had such a lovely time.
On Monday and Tuesday, it is gym days, with work outs, Yoga and my personal trainer. Oh boy did he work me hard on Tuesday, nearly did not go to Yoga that night, but did, and of course felt better for it! I did however, sleep very well!!! I am getting really strong now however and am thrilled with my progress.

On another note, we had to have three webinars this week to accommodate everyone who wanted to join us. We showed how to make the Toowoon Bay Morning Glories quilt, and also the Black and White Designer Pillows, both of which are shown below. For the first time ever we had a download for the directions and designs to make the Black and White Designer Pillows, to see how it went - today it is going amazingly well! The TBMG is a design CD with an eBook with the directions to make the quilt. Sorry if you missed the webinar, but you can view it on our web site.

The 3D poppy pillow, such a great new technique to learn, (one of the two pillows) directions and designs are for two pillows

Close up of the center of the Toowoon Bay Morning Glories quilt, so many fabulous new techniques to learn

Thursday, May 8, 2014

'Curly Hair', what do you think?

Just come back from the hair dressers, and as you all know my hair is straight, straight straight! Years ago I used to have my hair permed, as we all did - that was when I had black hair! So today Nat (of Verscarda Hair and Beauty) decided to curl my hair, what do you think, she did it in 5 minutes, mind you, inside an hour, it has gone straight again and she promised I would still have it curled tomorrow.

Never mind it has been fun and I thought I would share it with you. The girl next to me had glorious curly hair and was having it straightened - we are never happy with what we have.


 Am into change at present, am doing some interior decorating changes also, so will share them as I go, but that is another Blog.

Happy Mother's Day to all my beautiful friends, my wish for you all is below, know you all are this with class and style.

My Fabulous Easter

Well the 'greatest plans of mice and men' as usual for me have gone astray! I have been trying to write this blog for over a week now, and because Google has done something to combine accounts or whatever, I could not get into my Blog, but finally we have beat technology so now I get into my Blog!

I had the best time at Easter, up at Toowoon Bay, Simon's two children and mum Kirstin, came down (from Newcastle) and camped next to me - they wanted to camp!! I thought them crazy, but we had a ball! Harvey palled up with a new friend, (born four days after him) and they were inseparable! Such fun, playing up until 8:30 at night, then blissful sleep for 12 hours for Kirstin.

                               Harvey enjoying his traditional 'Hard Rock' chocolate ice cream

Baby Frankie enjoying her first ice cream, of course it was pink!

     Kirstin, Harvey and Frankie, have a romp at Toowoon Bay park with Mz Honey looking on.

Easter Sunday we were joined by dad Simon and poppa. Chocolate overload as a result of the Easter Bunny being over generous - talk about sugar high, but it only happens one day a year.

Robbie and I did some 'retail therapy at Erina Fair, and I finished off my redecorating. Below are some pictures so you see how it looks - color scheme is blue for the water and yellow for the sun! The weather was perfect, we could not believe we were on the beach and swimming in the middle of Autumn, but I do love the sun.

Left is the lounge/dining room. Through the beaded curtain (and yes their is a door) is the en suite.

Right is the bedroom. We turned the bed vertically for the photography in 'A Place in the Sun'. Yes I have my eyes on that quilt for my bed in the van.

Left is the veranda which is covered in with clear outdoor
plastic, with yellow and blue.
canvas blinds, the veranda is glorious in the afternoon sun, This is where most of our time is spent (when not at the beach)!

Stepping up to the
kitchen area - you may have noticed I have a Bali theme!

Below is the other end of the kitchen area, which gets the early morning sun.

Right leads into my dressing room.
Now when I talk about Toowoon Bay, or I am going up to the caravan, you will know exactly where I am heading. Enjoy being a voyeur.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3D and Padded Poppy Pillows Coming

When I posted these pillows on jennyhaskinsdesigns1 Facebook page we had the most views ever - with requests for the directions for these stunning little treasures.

Well the good news is that I have spent the last few days writing the directions to make the two poppy pillows. Yes the directions are finally coming out complete with the designs - I know you are going to love the techniques used in these pillows with step-by-step photos, showing you how easy it is to create stunning embroidery with ease and accuracy.

No matter where I put these pillows, my eyes are constantly drawn to their stunning colors, with the embroidery using Jenny's Japanese Rayon threads, you simply cannot beat the quality of these threads for color, luster and durability.

Been sitting on the computer for three hours today, so decided to jump in the car and go to the gym for an hour work-out and am back now feeling so refreshed and innovated. This brings me to another point, sitting at a computer or sewing machine for hours we do need  a break. Exercise is the way to go, so always take a break, walk around the block, do some stretches, plank for say 60 seconds and drop your head forward and place your hands on the ground - straight knees if you can, otherwise bend your legs a little. Downward folds are cooling, and great for body, mind and spirit.

I have some more personal goals to reach, with my gym and Yoga, will keep you posted, but in the meantime, get ready these Poppy Pillows they are in pipe line!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Waiting for Webinar to Start!

Well I am sure this describes all of us at sometime or another! Simon and I had our day planned down to the last minute today, as we had a webinar planned.

Yesterday I had root canal (three no less in one molar) at the dentist and I do look like I have been hit in the side of my face, however, it is better than yesterday. Was not planning on dental work yesterday, but there was an opening that suddenly came up, so thought why not get it over with! Two hours later it was over. Oh how I love drugs, thanks to them so far no pain - not saying it too loudly however, but am grateful.

So today, off to Doctors for flu shots, and had it all planned down to the last minute - and guess what, somehow Simon got the time zone out by two hours, so now I will be at the Doctors instead of being on the webinar! Am trying to make it for the last half hour. Simon still suffers with as he calls it 'Chemo Brain' so he is excused - if it was me, they would be putting me away!

Robbie and I have been working on the Sunshine 4 All quilts and they are just multiplying before our eyes, and look gorgeous so make sure you visit: site and see them for yourself.

Our last webinar was amazing and totally over booked, so we did put the recording up on our website so those who missed out could view it. Hope we are forgiven now!

Simon is doing well even though he is tired all the time, but looking great. We had a wonderful week-end last week with Simon's children a great time was had by all!

Here they all are, at the Koala Park, just down the road from me. They all look great and so happy.

Well now off for my flu shot, hoping to be back in time to say hi on the webinar.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Simon's Applique Magic II

I am not exactly sure when Simon started this quilt, but it was before his Leukaemia Diagnosis. I know he had been working on Simon's Applique Magic II from early 2013, so it has taken a year for it to be completed.

Early this year he brought around the blocks and asked me to piece them - I laid them out, but used some he did not want me to use, so I had to start again. The blocks have sat in block row piles on my spare bed for over a month and on Friday last I decided to piece this quilt as a surprise for Simon. The piecing, including the tape (on both sides of the quilt) to me around 3 1/2 hours. I did not bind the quilt until Saturday, (had to rush to finish it as I wanted to give it to Simon at his third birthday celebration!

So here is Simon with his next master piece, another double-sided quilt with the reverse applique raw fabric edges this time covered with glorious decorative small satin stitched balls. SAM II is simply beautiful, all the quilting is done in the hoop, there are block built-in stitch cutting lines and it is pieced using the now famous 'Jenny Join'. This means once the quilt is pieced, it is quilted and finished! Saves so much time and money, two quilts in one!!

Don't forget our webinar is this week, where you can catch up on what we have been doing over the past 18 months.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Yoga is a way of Life for Me

No I am not saying I can do this, but it is something to aspire too! I can stand on my head however, which is very exciting. Have been standing on my head and then on my tip toes, for as long as I can remember. Yes I can still stand on my tip toes!

Robbie and I have been piecing S4A quilts again today. We laid out and pieced another five quilts that make 22 so far. We think we are doing very well. Will post some pictures for you soon.

In the meantime, make sure you have registered for our up coming webinare, we cannot wait to talk to everyone again, it has been over a year since we all kept in touch.

So now I am off to do my Yoga work out. Have a great day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Importance of Keeping Fit

For those of you who know me well, know I am an active person, but I never knew active until I started regular exercise. So eight years ago I started walking every morning around three to four kilometers, with my beautiful companion puppy Mz Honey. We have both had surgeries that slowed the walking down for a while, but we never gave up on our walking. I have worn smooth around five pairs of Sketches walking/running shoes. My latest ones are really fabulous - Go-Run in gloriously bright colors!

Over five years ago I also took up Yoga. Yoga is the best,  (it was my Simon who kept saying, 'Mum you would just love Yoga, you should take it up), and take it up I have. I go at least twice a week to class and as of this week, am going three times a week. I can now do poses I thought my body would never do! I want to encourage everyone to take up some sort of exercise and a good starting point is walking and Yoga. Both these exercises help prevent heart attach and stroke, this in its own right is reason enough to start exercise!

Then last year, (prior to Simon's diagnosis) I got a Personal Trainer (PT). I work out with him (David) once a week and work out we do! I also work out three times a week on my own. Talk about addictive, once those Pheromones kick in, you just become addicted! You would be surprised at what I can do now, like plank for 3 minutes, 'death drop' 30 Kilo's more than half my weight, lost 6cm from around my waist and toned up like you would not believe. I now have muscles I never new I had.

So get out there, walk, join a gym and exercise, you will be amazed at the difference it will make to your life!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Simon - Looking Great

For the first time in eight years Simon is at home for his birthday. Here he is, looking and Feeling his old self (thank you God and his world wide support team) with his beautiful Sister Sam and me. We had a great lunch at Bathers, on the water at Balmoral (a private beach on the Sydney Harbour.)

Next day (his actual birthday 2nd of March), Jodie (his best friend ever) planned a special day on a Catamaran with his long time friends and family on Sydney Harbour. Total surprise and a great time was had by all..

I had Simon's two Children (and their mum), come and stay on Saturday night, so they could surprise Simon for his birthday, another joyful moment. Harvey is at School now and Frankie will be two in April - my time flies, but hey my life is flying past so fast also!!

Frankie's mum tells me that Frankie is my kindred spirit, loving everything pretty and glitzy. She saw my pink flower head band and just had to put it on! She is just so gorgeous here putting on her best screwed up nose smile!

Today is catch up day, heaps to do to keep on top of everything.

We are all excited about our up coming webinar, and both Simon and I are so looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

17 Sunshine 4 All quilts Pieced - Yahoo

Robbie and I have now pieced seventeen Sunshine for all Quilts! Yahoo!! We are constantly amazed how beautiful these blocks are and thank everyone who contributed to this project. The overall precision in cutting out the blocks to an exact 8 1/2in makes our job so much easier.

The quilt tops are flat, smooth and beautifully square. It is interesting to note, that orange, yellow and hot pink are not color combinations we usually work in, however we are really getting on well with these colors now and how well they have been coordinated.

We would love to hear from you to see which quilt top is your favourite, so please email me: and we will then tell you which one comes out on top - so to speak!

Here come the 17 quilts tops we have done so far (you will have to keep scrolling down to see all the quilts):

Two ladies did enough gorgeous kids embroidery designs for us to make four quilts. Ladies, your work is spectacular. I had to almost stop Robbie from taking one home - just for her!

Now here are the 13 larger quilts: 

This is the end. Hope you have enjoyed looking at these quilt tops and to everyone who recognizes their blocks, we trust you live what we have done.