Tuesday 18 September 2018

My Pick! Book Of The Week #3

My pick this week is as easy as it is fun. After all, who doesn't love a bit of folk inspired whimsy? After the week I've had (despite it being only Tuesday) I definitely need some mood boosting colour and this cutey is coming off my shelf and under my crayons for some art therapy, pronto!

To be honest, I fell out of love with colouring books about 2 years ago. Perhaps it was because I received so many of them. They make such easy and appropriate gifts (what could be better than gifting some creative down time?), that between the activities and classes I run, volunteer and meet at, somehow I ended up with a whole stack of them. Or more accurately, a whole car boot load of them. I don't ever remember telling anyone I liked or collected colouring books. I mean, I'm sure I didn't. But somehow word got around that I did .. and then it got out of control. I suddenly had so many. They didn't even make it into my house. 

Yes, I'm afraid I must admit that I passed 99% of them on because I could see that they just weren't my thing. I didn't even re-gift them. I simply became that person who gives things away to almost anyone at almost any opportunity. Any friend walking me to my car to say goodbye after a quick coffee or lunch would inevitably end up with 2-3 colouring books tucked under their arm. And this went on for a while. And the worse thing was, the more I gave away, the more I seemed to receive. At one point I had 57 of them in my boot and I didn't know why.

Then, one day my DH was tidying up my car and he discovered my colouring book stash. He was totally perplexed how I'd managed to accumulate so many without purchasing a single one. I told him I didn't know what to do with them all and he promptly delivered them to our local Op Shop. To this day, I have no idea why I didn't think of that myself? 

Of that whole colouring book chapter in my life, this pick of the week was one of the very few I decided to keep for myself just in case the mood to colour in ever took me. And now it has. 

So now I'm off to sharpen my crayons..

Monday 17 September 2018

My Instagram Account Has Been Hacked!

Update: After many emails, in app reports and stress, I have now been un-hacked, have taken back control of my account and am happy about it! This has been a huge cyber security wake up call. 2 step verification for everything from now on. My Instagram account is cosy, it's only 4000+ followers so I am super fortunate. Browsing Google I can see that hundreds of users with many more followers than me did not get the happy ending to their hacking saga that I did.

My Instagram account has been hacked!

It shouldn't have happened to me. I do all my own blogging and Instagram-ing, so it's not like my password is compromised, stored anywhere or easy to crack. My mistake is that I didn't have 2 step verification activated. If I did, this couldn't have happened. Please, if you're reading this, go and update your Instagram password. I would hate for anything like this to happen to you.

This morning, I received an email from Instagram advising me that my Instagram password had been changed. This worried me immediately as I knew I hadn't changed it. This is the email:

So I immediately clicked the link to 'reset my password here'. When I got on the Instagram platform it was obvious that whoever hacked my account had also deleted my email and my username. So technically, my hacked account didn't even exist. This loophole meant that I couldn't take back control of my account. It also makes the email above completely useless. Because if you have changed your password, you wouldn't need to reset your password and if someone has hacked you, you CAN'T change your password anyhow. So what's the point? This email link doesn't give you any special overriding powers at all. 

I tried to log into my hackers username account, thaddeu_waltons2p, hoping that this email generated link would work just the once to seize back my account, but that was wishful thinking. 

After 45 minutes of reading everything on the help and support section of Instagram, I filed a complaint that this hacker was impersonating me. Because he is. He hacked my account and changed my user name to his own and deleted my email. But my images are still there as is my name, image and details. As part of my report I had to take a photo of myself holding up an ID and send this to Instagram too. I was anxious but hopeful. Then this afternoon, I got this reply from Instagram:

Thanks for contacting us. It looks like you're having a problem logging in. To get help with login issues or learn about what you can do if you think that your account has been compromised, visit the Help Center: http://help.instagram.com/374546259294234/?ref=cr

So, it looks like someone devoted exactly 3 seconds to my filed impersonation complaint before binning it. I'd already read everything over in the help centre concerning 'compromised' accounts and they all advised the account user to LOGIN to their account and update the password. Something I can't do.

So, thaddeu_waltons2p hacked my account and is now impersonating me and I can't do anything about it. I tried to secure my original username "esther.aliu" and breathed a big sigh of relief that it's available. This is good news. The bad news is that this new "esther.aliu" account is empty. I've lost all my posts. I've lost all the wonderful and tangled connections I made over the years. I don't want to let my old account go. And I certainly don't want anyone to impersonate me. I'm just so annoyed.

And Instagram? After making me file a complaint, upload a picture of myself holding up ID and explaining everything in detail.. they just think I'm having 'trouble logging in.'

Wednesday 12 September 2018

WOW: Basket Case Quilter Alert!

WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays
If you follow my Instagram account, you'll know that the minute I set eyes on this fabric, it was MINE! Sometimes fabric just calls out to me and this fabric was shouting. There's something about the baskets, I'm crazy for baskets and as I stood there I was wondering what I would make from this fabric.. and also if there was enough fabric on the bolt?!

Anyway, sometimes you've got to stop what you're doing and just make a little something special just for the pleasure of it. I decided to use one of these gorgeous baskets for a special little something below. I just had to pair it with the green fabric. It was the first fabric I thought of to match it up with in the shop too. Isn't it funny how some fabrics just slot into an idea straight away?

Now that I've got the first play out of my system, I'm thinking about a table runner with some naive applique fruits and sprigs in between for an easy table length. Hmmm, I'm still deciding. One things fore sure, whatever I make - it'll be devoted to theses abundant baskets on blue. Sigh
What's Your WOW?

Friday 7 September 2018

'Australis' by Jenny Henry

It looks like we're starting to gather a flock of Australis birds at the moment! Look at this beauty! You won't be surprised to find out that this gorgeous project is created by Jenny Henry. As well as being a Moderator in my Group, I'm always showing off her work because she is so talented and prolific. Jenny makes more of my projects that I do, so I'm doubly lucky that I get to show off her creative flair and see the results! Jenny has a superb eye for colour, I am always saying so over in the Group when she posts progress pics because I am always so impressed with her ability to use fabrics together to their best potential.

Anyhow, look at this wonderful bird. Isn't he just a sight! It looks like creative backgrounds will prove to be a feature of this pattern. Although I envisioned a plain background when I designed Australis, boy was I wrong. These textured, interesting backgrounds are really adding another dimension to the wall hanging and I love it!
Here's a close up of the fabrics Jenny used on the body, aren't they super effective?!
I love everything about Jenny's incredible wall hanging, it's a masterpiece.

Thank you so much for once again allowing me to share your creative talent Jenny. 

Wednesday 5 September 2018

WOW: Morning Glory Progress

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Today I am busy finishing my Morning Glory borders, left and right sides. I did 4 earlier in the week and now I have 4 left to do before I stitching them into position.
I can't wait. I am loving Morning Glory more and more each time I work on it. 

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 4 September 2018

'Australis' by Valerie Giles

Talk about swooning! I'm all in a flutter over how Valerie Giles has created her very own 'Australis'. Not only is Valerie's the first to be made, but she's gone ahead and improved the pattern with a background that simply inspires. Look at the details in her leaves. I just love the dappled nature of her background selection and frankly couldn't have done it better myself. I should mention too that my pattern 'Australis' is for the creation of the bird. This incredible background is all down to Valerie's own flair and style, I had nothing to do with it! So far this image is of the project sewn together, ready to be layered and quilted. I can't wait to see the 'final' result as this wall hanging is already perfect in my eyes!

It makes my day when quilters as talented as Valerie make my patterns and I'm doubly lucky when they share their work over in my Group. It's truly an inspiration to us all and a huge motivation for anyone looking on and learning. 

'Australis' is one of two bonus projects I'm releasing to paid members of my BOM 2018 program. It's an art quilt project and I know many members were pleasantly surprised when it was released because it is so different to the usual 'bonus' offerings. I love trying new things and experimenting with techniques, so to see Valerie create the pattern and then take it one step further with a stunning background is just my jam. I'm over the moon, can you tell?

Thank you for allowing me to share your work with readers beyond our Group,Valerie.

Monday 3 September 2018

Morning Glory: Making Part 9

Yes, we really are up to Part 9 and isn't this quilt coming together beautifully?! We're well on the home stretch now and the finished top is very nearly in sight. This month it's time to create the setting triangle blocks according to the quilt layout in your pattern. You'll make all 4 sides and add in the applique petal pieces put aside earlier. When you sew in the triangles, take care not to stretch the fabric which is tempting to do as it's on the bias and will give easily.
These previously set aside blocks come alive when they're set in with the triangles, I am really loving the dark blue background of my own colour scheme. Usually by this stage of construction I think about what other fabrics I could have used, but this range has been gorgeous from the get go. And, somehow, it keeps growing on me. It was love at first sight and I still love it now. This is a new fabric experience for me!
And now I'm stitching the left and right sides of each of the four sides. I can't wait to move past this step. This quilt top is quickly nearing completion and I can hardly believe it..

BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!
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