Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cherries & Ric Rac!!

HELLOOOOOOO! How are you all out there in blogland this fine February evening? I hope this finds you all well and enjoying (or having enjoyed if you're in the same time zone as me!) a relaxing weekend. It's been a bit of an odd weekend here ... nothing really went to plan and we seemed to have people coming and going most of it, which meant I really didn't get to tackle most of the projects on my "LIST" for the weekend. SIGH! Never mind ... there'll be time another day and we definitely live by the mantra that people (especially family) come before chores/plans. So ...

Not much progress on any sewing projects as a result of said comings and goings, though, after a few messages back and forth to my blogging buddy and fellow designer Toni Alexander, some decisions were made about the direction to take on my current new quilt design ...

 ... My cherry quilt will be having some yummy jumbo ric rac added to it next time I get to work on it. I also did a bit of dinosaur sketching ... no sneaky peakies yet. :0)

Another job that I DID manage to complete was updating our list of participants for ...

If you take a peek at my sidebar, the list of clever clogs creators who are joining Sweet Peg and I this year in our challenge to ourselves to complete One Project A Month is now displayed. Do yourself a favour ... make a cuppa, grab a bikkie and take a bloghopping visit to these lovely ladies ... I guarantee you'll be inspired by all of the wonderful projects being worked on and completed. And while you're there, leave an encouraging comment ... we all like to be cheered on, don't we?! :0)

Now ... if you forgot all about OPAM, but have joined us in past years and really wanted to join again ... send me an email and I'll sneak you onto the list ... I did notice that a few of our blogging buddies who have been part of OPAM just about since the start haven't popped their name on the list ... maybe you were away from your computer during sign up, or life got a bit busy ... just email me to join us again. Also ... if you THOUGHT you had joined OPAM, but you don't find your name on my sidebar list, please email me with your details ... I had a few email hiccups during the sign up period, so your email may have disappeared into the ether and I'd hate for anyone to miss out on the fun. :0)

And just a reminder that Sweet Peg and I will do a double-whammy prize draw at the end of February for all finishes for January AND February, so if you haven't send your January finishes yet, just send them when you send your February finishes. And don't forget to pop them on your finishes list on your sidebar. :0)

The other tidbit I needed to share with you is pretty exciting for lovers of Tilda fabrics ... my Home-Away-From-Home, the Quilters Angel has just received the GORGEOUS new range from Tilda ... WOO! HOO!

Isn't it PRETTY!!! I must be a Gypsy fortune teller, cos I foresee some of these pretties coming to live at MY place very soon! Tee! Hee! Hee! And if you're within driving distance of Toowoomba you can clap your peepers on these pretties next weekend ... February 12, 13 and 14 when the Marvellous Marion and Stupendous Steph are at Craft Alive at the Toowoomba showgrounds. These pretty Tilda fabrics will be featured on their stand ... stand 15 ... just to help you along! :0) I'm hoping my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette can take time from her busy schedule to come for a play date to check it out with me. :0)

Well ... that's about it from me for now. Have a fantastic week and I wish you all some creative time to enjoy. :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Before The Storm & Book Review!!

Greetings one and all to the residents of blogland from the icky, sticky, storm's-a-brewing, humid top of our 'hill'. BOY! Even this confirmed hot-weather-chick is a bit melty around the edges today. I sure hope the brewing storm brings some wet stuff and humidity relief soon ... It's knickers-stickin' weather if you ask my 92 year old Grandma! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Since it's too icky-sticky for my sewing mojo (I love the dry heat!) what better way to spend the afternoon than with my feet up and a cup of tea beside me in front of the fan (no air con and currently no breeze!) diving into a book. I'm a bookworm from way back ... if you ask my Mum, she'll tell you I've been devouring books since I was about 8 months old ... of course, these days I READ the books as opposed to gnawing on the pages! Tee! Hee! Hee! I come by my love of reading very naturally ... Mum and Dad both love reading and some of my earliest memories are of being read stories before bed.

And since today is the first Wednesday of the month, I thought I'd join my GORGEOUS blogging buddy Kerryanne from Shabby Art Boutique in her ...

Kerryanne is rediscovering her love of reading and sharing a book review on her blog on the first Wednesday of each month and inviting her blogging buddies to join her. I probably won't manage it every month, but since reading is how I've spent this afternoon, today it's working! :0)

So ,,, to my review. First, I have a confession ... this is actually a RE-READ, not a first time read. Do you re-read books? My Mum shakes her head at Dad and  me cos we can both read books we've enjoyed over and over. Some of my books are old friends who have travelled with me through 12 house moves since I left home to go to uni 27 years ago ... I've lost track of how many times I've read them. 

In the last few years, I've become a firm convert to e-reading. When my Beloved Geek Boy first bought me an iPad for my birthday/Christmas one year, I was sceptical ... how could this flat electronic device replace the joy of turning paper pages? Well ... my iPad and I are now inseparable! :0) Not only is it SOOOO easy to buy e-books and have them delivered within minutes, there's the biggest bonus for me of having the contents of several large bookcases stored handily on my iPad that fits in my handbag. :0)

But I seem to have digressed somewhat from my path of reviewing my latest re-read ... stop giggling Chookyblue!! :0)

So my book ...

... is by one of my favourite authors, Nora Roberts. While some of her stories are a wee bit predictable, most are a luscious mix of mystery/murder/crime with a splash or romance ... and several of my favourite of her series' have a gloss of magic, myth and 'otherworldly' to spice them up.

"The Collector" doesn't have that otherworldly quality, it's one of Nora's clever, twisting, entertaining murder/crime stories which sees professional house-sitter Lila thrown into a whirl of murder, theft, lost artworks, psychotic villains ... and of course, attraction and love! After witnessing the murder of a model whilst house-sitting, Lila finds herself drawn to team up with well-known artist Ashton to investigate what REALLY happened. Ash, meanwhile, has his own reasons for investigating the murder. Can they find why the model was murdered and who is responsible before someone ... maybe one of them! ... becomes the murderer's next victim??

Lots of twists, some interesting tidbits about lost art, humour and romance ... not a bad way to escape from reality for a while! :0) It's not rocket-science, but a fun read that will keep you guessing and a great introduction to Nora Robers' writing style if you haven't yet 'met' her. :0)

And if this doesn't sound like your sort of book, pop across to visit Kerryanne HERE to see what SHE read this month ... and I think others will be sharing some suggestions of their own. Uh oh! I can see none of us are going to get any of our shores done this month ... we'll be too busy READING! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Before I head off to check that my silverside is cooking happily, just a quick OPAM note. Official sign up is now CLOSED. If you've emailed my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg or me to sign up and haven't received a welcome letter back ... please let one of us know. I've had a few email hiccups this week, which I think are now sorted. So ... you OPAMers should now have our badge on your sidebar and under it, the start of your list of 2016 finishes ... or these can also be put on a separate blog page as long as it's easy for Sweet Peg or me to find. As you finish projects, pop them on your list so you don't miss any in the end-of-month panic. There won't be a prize draw for January ... yet. Sweet Peg and I will do a double draw at the end of February for January and February, so if you like you can send the tallies for both months then, or, as some people have already, you can send your January finishes now. Have fun creating, everyone! :0)

Til next time ...



Friday, 29 January 2016

Quilt Delivered & Date With A Star!!

Happy Friday to all of you out there in blogland! I hope you've all had a great week. I'm not sure I have very much to show for my efforts this week ... lots of pattern and template editing ... BLECH! Still ... good progress made, so my "Combi Conga Line Quilt" pattern will soon be available - WOO! HOO! :0)

And speaking of quilts ... do you remember last year I shared this quilt with you?

Well ... it was made for my brother's number two son ... We call him "Aussie Tom" cos he was born on Australia Day ... and ... well ... his name is Tom! Tee! Hee! Hee! Actually ... he's pretty lucky ... not many of us get a public holiday for our birthday every year! :0)

But I digress ... I know ... how unlike me ... NOT! :0) I held onto the finished quilt until this week when I sent it off for this year's birthday and got a message from my brother to say it had arrived and was about to be used for story time ...

Here he is (wearing a shirt featuring another well-known Thomas!) sharing his quilt with younger brother Oliver ... who has apparently put in a request for his own quilt since people keep sitting on this one! :0) We put so much time effort, skill ... and play money!! ... into creating our quilts that it is always very gratifying to see them being used and loved. I've got some ideas for young Ollie's quilt ... it's next on the designing list once I finish editing "Combi Conga Line" and the cherry quilt I showed you the start of a couple of weeks ago. Aaah ... the lament of a designer/quilter ...

So many quilt designs,
So many pretty fabrics ...
So little time and play money!!

Tee! Hee! Hee!

Now to the second part of my title ... a date with a star. Well ... I may have exagerated a LITTLE!! :0) I DID spend more than an hour last night with a star ... and 1,500 other people! :0) Guy Sebastian was in Toowoomba as part of his current tour and my Beloved Geek Boy's work was given four free tickets to attend a display of sound gear, then stay for the concert. SWEET!! 

OK ... so maybe it's a good thing that there wasn't a test about said sound gear as a proviso to getting into the concert ... cos I'd have been sitting outside on the steps. :0) Instead, I joined those 1,500 people for a rockin' hour and a half of music. 

Not a great pic, but if there weren't bopping boddies in the shot, the stage lights were super bright, so you'll just have to take my word for it that this really IS Guy Sebastian! :0)

If I hadn't already been pretty impressed with Guy, I would've been by the end of the concert cos ... unlike a lot of modern artists ... there were no pauses for costume changes or set changes ... it was just solid music ... and he sounds as good in person as on recordings. And has a quirky sense of humour. OK ... fan rave over! :0) It was worth the late bed time ... 45 minute drive home after meant a later-than-usual-night-owl-bed-time ... to enjoy a night of quality live music. Not sure GB felt the same when he had to get up for work this morning, but it was my day off, so I was fine! :0)

Right ... I'm off to keep an overdue date with my pillow ... thank goodness for the weekend! :0) Oh ... have you signed up for OPAM 2016 yet? Don't forget ... you've only got a few days left, cos sign up closes on Febuary 2. The list of creative clever clogs' joining us is growing and Sweet Peg and I are looking forward to sharing lots of lovely finishes this year. But now ... to the pillow, Batman!! :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

PSSSSSSTT!! No Reply Bloggers!

PSSSSTT!! A quick little hint to some gals who are commenting, but showing up as "No Reply" bloggers ... If you are a "No Reply" ... I can't reply to your comment! :0) You can change that in your blog profile ... and if you really want to stay incognito like Secret Squirrel, make sure you pop your email address in your comment so I can chat back to you.

Diana P ... to answer your question (cos you're one of my "No Reply" commenters) ... YES ... overseas bloggers are more than welcome to join OPAM ... ANYONE can join as long as they have an active blog and a love of creating. :0)

Right ... SHHHH! Secret Squirrel, signing off ... Til next time ...



Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Let The Fun Begin - OPAM Signup OPEN!!

Well ladies ... IT'S HERE!! Yes, sign to join in all the fun of OPAM 2016 is now officially underway! :0)

WOO! HOO! We've got a brand new, fresh logo, thanks to my Beloved Geek Boy and do you see that total?? So far, all of you clever clogs creaters have finished 43,409 projects whilst playing along with OPAM over the last seven years ... WOWSERS!! :0) Never in our wildest dreams did May Britt and I think this is where OPAM would go when we started the very first one in 2009. And my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime for the last six years, Sweet Peg and I are continually blown away at not only the number of projects you gals have finished (cos that's only one goal of OPAM) but also the variety of projects your creativity leads you to.

And we can't wait to see what 2016 brings! :0) So whether you're a "Repeat Offender" or a "Newbie" if you would like a low-stress, non-fuss, encouraging way to get some of your projects FINISHED in 2016, then we hope you'll play along with us for OPAM 2016. Whether you're a serial-starter, a lapsed stitcher getting back into the swing of things after a break away from the sewing room, or your mojo has taken a trip to the Bahamas without you and you just need a little nudge and a deadline to motivate you ... then scroll down and read the OPAM guidelines, then email me or my Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg to join us. We hope you'll find OPAM an encouragement to take a bit of time out of your busy schedule just for YOU ... to be creative and to recharge your batteries. 

Let the fun begin!

Til Next time ...


The One Project A Month (OPAM) Challenge Guidelines 2016

The idea of the “One Project A Month Challenge" is pretty simple ... To try to finish at least ONE craft project by the end of each month. This can be something you’ve had partly done for a while (a Work In Slow Progress WISP), a pattern you bought ages ago that you finally get around to making up, a kit that's been sitting in your craft cupboard that needs to be made up, or a completely new project. This is meant to be a low-stress challenge  - if you don’t finish a project every month  - that’s fine! We understand sometimes life interferes with our plans. We also realise some projects are meant to be long-term and have a LOT of work involved, like a quilt or a cross-stitch. The main aim of the OPAM Challenge is to give us all a bit of a motivational boost and to give us all a big world-wide cheer squad to encourage and inspire us.

However, there is quite a bit of time and work involved in running OPAM, so Sweet Peg and I have some guidelines we ask people to read AND please only sign up if you intend to follow through. If for some reason during the year you decide you don’t wish to remain part of the OPAM Challenge, just drop Sweet Peg or me an email to let us know. Please read through ALL guidelines before you sign up.

1. Participants must have an ACTIVE BLOG. If you change your blog address, drop us an email telling us your old address and what you’ve changed it to. It it's a private blog, please sign at least one of us in so we can check in with you from time to time.
2. Numbers won’t be limited for the sign up for OPAM 2016, BUT ... it WILL CLOSE on February 1 ... You must sign up before that or miss out on joining in the fun.
3. Participants can sign up via email to Kris or Peg, or via a comment on EITHER blog AS LONG AS it includes all asked for information.
4. Participants MUST provide all info asked for. * Name (first and initial of surname in case of double up names); * Email; * Blog address.
5. Participants MUST have the OPAM Challenge badge on their blog sidebar and link it to either Kris’s or Peg’s blog.
6. Participants MUST keep a list of each month’s finishes on their blog sidebar and update it BEFORE the last day of each month. (This is easiest if you add each project as you finish it.) If you can put this directly under the OPAM badge on your sidebar it will be easier for Peg and Kris to find it. You may also choose to have a separate OPAM 2016 page on your blog.  That’s fine too as long as it’s clearly labelled.
7. Only ‘soft’ crafts are included in the OPAM Challenge, ie. Projects made from fabric, thread or wool. Some examples are: embroidery, patchwork, quilting, cross-stitch, knitting, crochet, practical sewing (curtains, clothes etc), long stitch, appliqué.
8. QUILTS: A quilt will only be counted as a finish if it is COMPLETELY finished ... Quilted and bound. Flimsies/tops won’t count as finishes.
9. BOM’s: Blocks that are part of a BOM (Block Of the Month) program will only be counted as a finish when they are joined, quilted and bound. Individual BOM blocks DO NOT count as a finish.
10. If you can email Peg or Kris your list of finishes each month BEFORE the end of the month, this would be appreciated, as it cuts down the amount of time it takes to check finishes for the month. (and saves Peg and Kris from getting square eyes!)
11.  Lastly, participants MUST ... Have fun! After all, the reason we craft and create is to relax, have fun and take some time away from the “Have to do” tasks to do the “Like to do” ones! :0)


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