Oct 29, 2013

Interview with Christine Cohrs

Over the next few months I hope to bring you interviews with some inspirational and influential creative people.

Christine sells these gorgeous framed mini quilts

First cab off the rank is Christine Cohrs.

Christine Cohrs is a well known Queensland Quilter with many years experience as both a maker and teacher.  Christine has won numerous awards and has been published several times in both Australian and International Magazines.  I have known Christine for several years after taking some of her classes.  I'm now privileged to call her my friend as well as a great inspiration.

Christine is a wife, mother of 3 and Grandmother to 4 beautiful girls (and one on the way).

Dresden Plate Quilt designed by Christine and Hand Quilted

At what age and how did you start quilting?
  >1991 age 30

Christine designed this mini quilt and teaches it in her beginner applique class

Who was/is your greatest craft influence?
> Kim Mclean, Susan Garman

Did you have any family craft or quilting influences?
> Yes my grandmother and older sisters.

Who do you draw inspiration from?
> Old quilts, I love the traditional quilts, 1930's,  books, blogs. Love the International Quilt study centre in Lincoln/ Nebraska and have been three times and hope to go again next year.

Do you do any other crafts/hobbies?
> I do a little crochet, little knitting and have done in the past many other crafts like macrame, cross stitch, embroidery

Do you make friends through your crafting?
> Yes I think I have made most my friends via my hobby/ work and blogging, even formed friendships all around the world and meeting when visiting other countries

You've recently had a quilt featured in a major international magazine.  Can you explain how that came about and what an honour it is?

> Oh yes and I am very proud of that too, Quiltmania would have to be my all time favourite Patchwork and Quilting magazine around. I have been blogging since 2007 and come across Quiltmania site and left a comment a few years ago and the editor visited my blog and I had posted parts of that quilt. Early in the year I was contacted and asked if I would be interested in having this quilt published as a pattern. Well yes I was....... It has been published in the special summer edition 2013 and would have to be the proudest moments.

Christine's beautiful quilt as featured in Quiltmania

Anything else you'd like to share?
> I love what I do and have met many famous quilters working int the industry, people like Kaffe Fassett, Jo Morton, Robyn Pandolph, Kindred Spirit, Susan Garman, Nancy Kerns, Rita Verroca and many more. Been lucky enough to have quilts published by our very own magazines like Down Under Quilts, Australian Patchwork and Quilting, Homespun and Quilters Companion. The quilt in Quiltmania also won Retaining the Tradition at the Queensland Quilt show a few years back sponsored by Australian Patchwork and Quilting.
My dream is to publish a book and maybe travel a little with my teaching and go back to Houston Texas. Oh yes and make a Baltimore Quilt.....

Another of Christine's quilts featured on the cover of Down Under Quilts 

Thank you so much Christine!
You can find Christine blogging at Once Upon a Quilt and on facebook.

Oct 27, 2013

pumpkin time!

Halloween is becoming increasingly popular in Australia as years go by. We decided to get into a bit of the spirit and as preparation for our upcoming USA trip.

Last week I took the kiddies off to choose a pumpkin.  I knew the local fruit shop had special carving pumpkins so we headed there to choose our victim.

Weighing in at a whopping 6kgs he sat on our kitchen bench until this afternoon.   Although Halloween isn't for a few days we wanted to carve it as a family so decided to do it this afternoon,  even though it may not survive in our heat until the actual date.

The design process was a group effort and elements from each of our drawings was incorporated into the final draft.  Husband Guy wielded the big knife to remove the lid and then the kids and I had the lovely job of removing the seeds and stringy bits.  Then Guy once again was in charge of cutting out our design.

We are all pretty pleased with our first attempt!

Oct 23, 2013

Exciting times ahead - aka Life is Crazy!

The latter quarter of the year is always a busy one for us.  October is our wedding anniversary, November is my birthday and December sees both Christmas and BOTH Little Guy and Amelie's birthdays.  We pack 80% of our 'stuff' into this time.  Husband Guy feels very poor!

This year as well as all of the usual celebrations, we are going on a holiday, a very big holiday.  A very big, family, overseas holiday.  I'm so excited it's not funny.  I haven't been overseas in 8 years.  I haven't been to the USA in 15 years.  Last time I went there Guy and I had been dating for 1 month.  Since I last graced the home of my American relatives I've been to Europe twice, all over Australia as well as getting married and having two wonderful children.

We are going to Seattle, Sacramento and to San Francisco.  We are meeting friends for the first time.  Friendships forged through the blogging and craft communities.  We will eat, drink and be merry at our first Thanksgiving.  We will shop til we drop at the Black Friday sales.  We are going from the 30+ degree heat of Brisbane to the 4 degree cold of Seattle.  We will ride the cable cars in SF and scale the Space Needle in Seattle.  We will hopefully discover that Seattle, the home of Starbucks, does  actually know how to make a good espresso.  We will eat our way through the Pike Place Market in Seattle 8 times over and enjoy the freshest of fish at Fisherman's Wharf in SF.

I have crocheted a suitcase full of beanies and scarves for us and our friends.  I've bought warm winter clothes on sale here at our end of season sales.  I've made and bought unique and handmade Aussie gifts for our American cousins.

I have  mental 'to-do' list as long as my arm.

But I am SO EXCITED!!!  Can you tell?

Anyone have any travelling-with-kids recommendations?  Any siteseeing recommendations?

Oct 21, 2013

Handmade Christmas Item Swap

**swap now closed**

Hello crafty friends

If you would like to join in this year's Handmade Christmas Swap please email me: meandmy2guys@gmail.com

Open internationally,  all you have to do is make a little something Christmassy and send it to your allocated partner.  I'll leave nominations open until the end of next week and you need to post in the first week of December.

Have fun!

Image by @carter_and_brown

Oct 19, 2013

awesome biscuit recipe

If you haven't tried this biscuit recipe yet for Condensed Milk Biscuits then you really must. Super easy, super versitile and super yummy. And cheap!

I have made 2 batches now, in flavours such as cranberry, choc chip, white chocolate and macadamia. They are biscuits, they aren't a health food. But sometimes we all need a biscuit!

My family loves them and I feel very Martha being able to whip up some freshly baked biccies in about 5 mins flat (from the freezer!).

Go... try it... I dare you to only make 1 batch!

Oct 14, 2013

Brisbane Open House 2013

I'd heard a bit about the Brisbane Open House initiative through a few of my Instagram friends. Significant buildings and some homes are opened to the public with tours available explaining significant features and architecture. When we were at the University of Queensland the other day we stumbled upon a couple of BOH tours. One of the Uni in general and one of the new Engineering Building. We didn't take either tour as we didn't think the kiddies would tolerate it but we did have a look around on our own. You can see my pictures of the Great Court here.

The new Engineering Building looks out over the lake and has commanding views of the University and the City from its upper floors.

It is a beautiful building both inside out out, right down to the fire hydrants. Husband Guy was a bit jealous, the other Engineering buildings that he studied in are quite old and cold.

The use of wood and glass inside coupled with the impressive staircase which appears to float is fantastic.

Once again the University of Queensland is definately a great place to visit with beautiful gardens and buildings and sculptures.

Oct 12, 2013

tourist in my own city - University of Queensland

Every year around September/October Brisbane trees come alive with colour. Purples and Reds and Yellows. My favourite trees are the Jacarandas which flower a brilliant purple. The ground around them is like purple carpet and they make a spectacular sight. One of our Universities - the University of Queensland - has an especially large amount of these trees. Quite close to where husband Guy works there is a pedestrian and bus bridge you can cross to reach the University. Every year we say we should head over to the Uni and check out the trees - and today we finally did.

Since Husband Guy attended the University it has changed quite a bit. It's easy to see when looking at the buildings and facilities why it is usually ranked quite highly in terms of world class tertiary education. I find the whole place confusing and maze-like having attended Brisbane's other two Unis.

The Jacarandas didn't disappoint, putting on a beautiful display, creating a purple carpet and even turning part of the lake purple with their reflection.

The lake is a hive of flora and fauna. Huge lizards basking in the sun, or in one case relaxing in the cool water. All manner of ducks and water birds. Even a few turtles basking in the sun. The water lillies were my favourite part - I seriously felt like I was back in Monet's garden in Giverny - complete with a bridge!

The Great Court lives up to its name - a huge courtyard completely surround by stunning sandstone buildings. It really is of European standards with the columns and arches but with distinctly Australian accents carved into our native sandstone.

If you go for a visit there is plenty of places to get something to eat or a coffee even on the weekend. We opted for the classic pizza place right by the Schonell Theatre. Awesome pizza and very cheap with views over the lake. Kids got some lemonade which in their books equals awesome.

If you're looking for a pleasant day out I'd highly recommend a visit to the University. There is plenty of grassy spaces to take a picnic or have a little run around. You can find more info about the Uni here.
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