Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Silly Season Strikes!!

Are you like me ... feeling just a little shell-shocked that somehow ... when you weren't looking! ... the so-called "Silly Season" just snuck up and jumped up behind you shouting "Surprise! Here I Am!!" No??? Just me being ambushed by Christmas ... again?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So you might be guessing that the Meares' Madhouse may have changed addresses, but the madness and mayhem continues ... you'd be right! :0) It's been one party or break-up after another, whilst still having to be a 'grown up' and go to work, round up (or make) Christmas gifties AND try to fit in the cooking of some special Christmas goodies. Somehow sleep is being squeezed out of the mix there. Now I KNOW I'm not alone there! :0)

I know that Christmas parties are like kids ... you're not supposed to have a favourite! ... but I DO have a favourite Christmas gathering this year. It was our Friday Night Sit N Sew group's break-up last Friday night ... and I played hostess here at Edward House.

Oh! The planning and scheming that went into this party! The preparations, the organising ... the fluttering of eyelashes to enlist the help of my Beloved Geek Boy! Tee! Hee! Hee! (Just quietly ... the offer of a back and neck massage was MUCH more effective than the eyelashes!!) You see ... as much as we loved our previous home, the cosy cottage really didn't have the ROOM to decorate for Christmas or entertain ... and more often than not, we celebrated Christmas at someone else's home or out of town, so I was looking forward to letting my Christmas spirit loose. I decided on a rustic/shabby chic/simplified/red-and-white theme for decorations and was REALLY happy with the results. Sorry the pics aren't better ... a new camera is on my Wish List To Santa. :0)

Here's the table before it got dark enough for the candles and lights to really be pretty ... and my blogging buddy Fiona checking out my garden from the deck in the background!:0)

I laid the table with some inexpensive white tablecloths, added a frayed runner of hessian down the centre, then asked GB to cut me a few 20-30 inch long branches from one of our backyard pine trees. Hmmm ... I think I'm buying him a tape measure for Christmas cos I ended up with two small trees!!! Maybe not quite ... but way longer than I mentioned ... it's obviously a boy thing! :0) I then wove a couple of battery operated sets of red Christmas lights through the branches to look like glowy berries, added some red candles in groovy K-Mart special tin/lanterns ...

... repeated the theme, along with some half-price berry branches from a speciality shop (don't you love the reflection of the fairy lights in the glass of the painting?!)

... Scattered more candles around the room ... including my favourite Christmas candle there made for me by the lovely Kerryanne of Shabby Art Boutique ...

... added the tree in a rustic cream can ... and called it Christmas party central! :0) The only thing missing then was ...

... my sewing buddies to share it all with! Oops! A couple on the right dodged the camera there ... that would be Gail-Sue and Sue-Gail! :0) We had a lovely, relaxed evening of chatting and eating Christmas goodies that everyone contributed to and I had managed to squeeze in some sewing time amidst all the preparations, too, so was able to gift each lady with ...

... a sweet Christmas stocking for their tree. If you look in the photo above of the Christmas tree, you'll see all the stockings looking decorative. Thanks for a wonderful evening, ladies ... looking forward to catching up again in the new year to chat and laugh ... oh ... and maybe a bit of stitching will get done, too! Tee! Hee! Hee! Mind you ... since I made 19 of those little stockings, my OPAM tally is looking the healthiest it has for ever and a day! :0) 

Someone else who had been doing some sewing was the Fabulous Fiona who gave me a GORGEOUS giftie ...

... a GORGEOUS wine cooler bag with a fun patchwork stocking tag (great minds think alike!!) and ... would you look at that! There's one of Fiona's favourite forms of size-judging-implements in there! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thank you Fiona!! I'm looking forward to sipping a glass or two on the back deck over the Christmas/New Year break.

So ... that's how life here is muddling along here. I've got a few more things that I hope to share with you before I take a little break over Christmas, but we'll see how we go. :0) I hope you're enjoying some time catching up with friends, decorating and eating favourite foods in the lead up to the holidays. What's your favourite Christmas activity?

I think it's time to play Polly, then tackle some more Christmas cooking. Til next time ...



Wednesday, 10 December 2014

I'm A Muddle-Headed Wombat & OPAM Winners!!

Most Aussie gals will be familiar with this kid's book and will know that the main character is a muddle-headed wombat who is always muddling and mixing things up ... and today I'm feeling like I can very much relate to this mixed up marsupial. :0) You see, it is MY turn to do the OPAM prize draw for November ... except ... I'd FORGOTTEN that it was MY turn!! OOPS! Thank goodness I have a wonderful, understanding Partner-In-Crime in Sweet Peg ... Thanks Sweet Peg for being patient with this forgetful muddle-headed wombat! :0)

So ... did you get a lot of sewing, stitching and creating done in November? A lot of you sure did, with the highest monthly tally for the year so far coming in at ...

501 Finishes!

WOO! HOO!  Well done to everyone! Why do I get the feeling that there's been some frantic Christmas creating going on in sewing rooms around the world?! Tee! Hee! Hee! I have to say, I was VERY happy to be able to add my best tally for the year in November ... I had 8 finishes for the month! YAY! That tally included my SSCS gifties that flew across the seas to Nancy in the USA. Since her parcel arrived safe and sound, I can show you what I made her for the OPEN NOW ornament part of the giftie ...

... another version of my Sweetly Shabby Christmas Stocking, this time in some of Lynette Anderson's "Scandinavian Christmas" fabrics ... which I was pretty happy with and Nancy says she loves it, so all good ... it's always a little nerve-wracking to send handmade gifties, isn't it? You can never guarantee someone's style and likes until you see their reaction. :0) I can see I need to make up a couple of new versions of this stocking for myself and GB cos it's so much fun to see how it comes up in different fabrics and colours. Hmmm ... it may have to be for NEXT Christmas! Tee! Hee! Hee!

But ... I digress!! OPAM winners ... a big thank you to everyone who emailed their tallies through to myself or Sweet Peg ... this is a HUGE help to us in saving time spent scrolling through blogs. And a big thank you, also, to those of you who make sure you update your sidebar list of finishes before the end of the month ... this is another big help to us, as we can see at a quick glimpse how creative you've been. And even if you didn't get to add any finishes to your tally, but you took some time out from the busy-ness that is well and truly pushing us towards Christmas ... well done! Progress can come in leaps and bounds ... and sometimes it comes in baby-steps. :0)

Right ... the winners for the November draw are:

Congratulations, gals! Be sure to drop me your snail mail addresses and I shall pop something in the mail to you ... hopefully in time to be a Christmas treat.

Righto ... I'm off to make myself a cuppa and answer a few emails ... I am SOOOOOOOOOO far behind with emails that I may just draw a line and start again! If you've emailed me in the last couple of weeks and haven't heard from me ... SORRY! I've been pretty busy at work and home getting organised for the end of the year stuff ... I promise to try to do better! :0) I hope you're all having a lovely week so far ... we've had some rain, so our tanks are looking a bit healthier, the garden is happy and the grass has remembered how to be green ... but we could really do with another inch or two to fill the tanks completely and give everything a really good soak ... fingers crossed! :0) Whatever you're up to, take care of yourself as the busy 'silly season' ramps up ... Sweet Peg and I want you to be happy, safe and well enough to join us again for OPAM in 2015! :0) Til next time



Friday, 5 December 2014

Santa's Sleigh Arrived!

Well ... in reality it was probably the little yellow car that our postie drives that delivered a very special parcel this week ... my SSCS 2014 parcel arrived on my mailbox ... it was too big to fit IN the mailbox! :0)

My parcel had come all the way across the globe from southern Germany where my swap partner Dagmar lives. It's always so exciting to find out where my SSCS partner hails from ... I've made blogging buddies all over the globe. :0)

I opened the box to find ... I had been SPOILT big time! Ooooohh!! Look at all those lovely parcels just for me!! :0)

There were pretty things and tasty things, something for me to 'make' and something 'made' for me. You sure can tell that Dagmar has tagged-along to visit my blog a time or two to see what I like ... fabric to play with, a gorgeous teal green decorative bottle that is already living on my mantle, as well as a sweet wooden teddy bear Christmas ornament, some tasty gummy bears and five ... count 'em ... FIVE yummy Lindt bears! MMMMMMMMMMM!!! I don't eat a lot of chocolate, but when I do splurge, it tends to be on Lindt choccies. :0) Mind you ... those poor little bears were just a wee bit soft from sitting on the mail box for a few hours, so I popped them into the fridge ... aaaahhh!!! Christmas in Queensland where the summer sun beams down on us ferociously! :0)

... my lovely new cross stitched ornament ... I love that it spells out "Joy", "Love" and "Peace" ... the heart of Christmas right there! And this bottle is so PRETTY ... I just love this colour! In fact, it is a good match to the colour I'm introducing into our main bedroom, so it may find it's final home in there. :0) And what a cute teddy bear with his smart red and white bow. Thank you Dagmar! I love all my gifties and feel very spoilt indeed. There's nothing that makes you feel more special than to receive a giftie that really suits your tastes! :0)

... And just to prove that I've been a good girl (so far! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Here is a pic of my main giftie form Dagmar under my little Christmas tree, which is starting to look more Christmassy with my two new ornaments. Thank you Dagmar for your special gifties!! And a huge thanks, too, to Miss Chookyblue for hosting SSCS even in the midst of your 'real life' not being much fun. I only join one swap most years and I keep choosing SSCS, not only cos it gives me the whole year to get organised (in theory!!!) but because it is the best organised and run swap I've come across in blogland, Thanks Chooky!!! And may you get your Christmas wish of buckets and buckets of rain!!

Well ... that's all the news from me today, I hope to be back soon to show you some Christmassy stitching ... I need to get my skates on cos some of it needs to be done before next Friday when I'm hosting the Christmas break up for the Friday Night Sit N Sew gals ... better make myself a paper "To Do" list rather than rely on a mental one so I don't miss anything! :0) I hope you've all had a fantastic week and that your weekend includes some time to kick-back-and-relax. Til next time ...



Sunday, 30 November 2014

Quick Catch-Up & OPAM Reminder!

G'day all! How has your week/weekend been? We've had a bit of a revolving door here at Edward House over the last couple of weeks, so we've been kept a-hoppin'. :0)

My folks were here for a 10 day visit ... it was lovely to have them just come and VISIT, rather than their last two trips down here where they were helping us get our old house ready to sell and then move lock-stock-and-barrel into our current country abode. This trip, they could relax, do some Christmas shopping, visit with friends and enjoy our 'serenity'. :0)

Mum and Dad left Thursday and my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette arrived Friday night with her bag packed for a weekend sleep-over play date ... WOO! HOO!! We've had a lovely weekend of second-hand-shop-hopping, antique inspecting, boutique browsing, coffee shop comparing. market meandering, scenic driving ... and in general, enjoying a catch-up of epic proportions ... both husbands are shuddering  in the aftermath! Tee! Hee! Hee! And when we'd shopped til we dropped, we retreated to the back deck of Edward House, the ideal spot to enjoy the 'serenity' in the afternoon cool ...

You can see that we've rather mastered the art of "Deck Sitting". Tee! Hee! Hee! Comfy chairs, cups of tea and somewhere to put your shopping-tired feet up to watch the afternoon bird brigade as they visit the duo of birdbaths in the back garden. It's been a lovely weekend of friendship. :0)

Now, even though there hasn't been any sewing during the last couple of weeks, I was a busy bee before that to get my SSCS gifties all finished and in the post ... WOO! HOO! I think it's the first time ever that I was ON TIME. :0) Thanks Chookyblue for being the Hostess With The Mostest again this year. Chooky isn't having an easy time of things at the moment thanks to the extended dry and some poor hungry stock. Pop over and help cheer her up a bit. :0)

So ... As a result of my SSCS sewing frenzy, I had EIGHT ... count 'em! ... EIGHT! ... finishes on my OPAM list for November ... my best tally all year! :0) How have the rest of you super-stitchers been travelling? Have you been madly stitching to help Santa and his elves? :0) Whatever you've been up to ... it's time to update your tally list in your sidebar and email me or my Gorgeous Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg. Quick Sticks! What are you waiting for ... get emailing and updating! :0)

Right now, though, I'm off to have my last cuppa for the weekend before I hit the pillow ... it's EXHAUSTING doing all this RELAXING, you know! Tee! Hee! Hee! Have a fantastic week, everyone! Til next time ...



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Sweetly Shabby Christmas Winners!!

What a busy week I've been having! Firstly, an update on the "Big Bang" sewing machine dilemma. After telling you my adventures with my exploding Husky, imagine how rattled my poor nerves were when it happened a SECOND time with a SECOND sewing machine!! EEK!

I was recently given an old Singer sewing machine and when I thought my Husky had a terminal illness, I dragged it out to see how it went ... I had barely started sewing, only to have it also go BANG and fill the room with smoke - exactly like my Husky! - EEK! How could the same thing happen TWICE?!?!?! Thankfully, this time, my Beloved Geek Boy was on hand to witness it. Being the "Mr Fixit" type he put his electronic testing equipment to use  ... and worked out there was nothing wrong with the machines ... WHAT THE?!?! It turned out to be a dodgy power board causing surges. Goodness knows where all the smoke and melty smells came from with both machines, but BOTH were still in working order ... WOO! HOO! I'll book my Husky baby in to see the machine Dr for a check up, but for now, she's happily sewing away and my SSCS gifties are almost ready to hit Santa's sleigh! One of life's many mysteries. :0)

So ... I've been playing with my little stash of these fabrics ...

... some Scandinavian Christmas fabrics the lovely Lynette Anderson sent me to play with a few years ago ... so there's been lots of Secret Squirrel stitching going on to keep me busy ... and my folks have arrived for a bit of a visit. It will be lovely for them to have a relaxing week or so's visit with us, as their last two visits have seen them helping us de-clutter and prepare our old house for sale and then move into our new house. Both times they went home for a rest! :0) This time, they get to enjoy our 'serenity' ... out here at our new house you can smell the serenity! Tee! Hee! Hee! (Aussie movie reference!)

And of course, I've been meeting some new blogging friends who popped in for a visit after enjoying my guest post over at Kerryanne's shabby chic sandpit HERE.

Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments and feedback about my "Sweetly Shabby Christmas Stocking". It's great to know lots of people are going to have fun playing with my design for Christmas. :0) Now ... I promised two lovely visitors to both of our blogs would receive a PDF copy of my "Sweetly Shabby Christmas" pattern that features several Shabby Chic Christmas projects featuring soft pretty colours and some mix 'n' match Christmas stitcheries. Well ... those winners are ...

Congratulations, gals! Just drop me an email to let me know your preferred email address for me to send your prize patterns through to you! :0)

And even if you weren't' one of the winners, you can get your own copy of my fun, pretty Christmassy pattern on my web site HERE. It's available as a paper pattern packet and as a downloadable e-pattern. It's great value for money, as not only do you receive instructions for THREE Christmas projects, it incorporates several easily-adapted stitchery designs that you can use in all sorts of ways. Hope you all have as much fun with it as I have! :0)

Now, I'm off to play Polly before I go and spend some quality time with my Husky ... gotta finish those SSCS gifties or Chooky will be after me with her whip! :0). Hope everyone is having a great week so far and managing some fun sewing time. Til next time ...



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