Friday, 30 September 2011

The End Is Nigh!!

No, no!! I haven't become one of those "Doom and Gloom" merchants ... I'm pretty sure the world will keep turning ... at least for a bit longer, I hope, cos I still have an AWFULLY long "To Do" list, never mind my "Bucket List"! Tee! Hee! Hee! Nope, the 'end' that I was thinking of ... well ... there are TWO really ... was the end of the WEEK and the end of the MONTH ... today is BOTH! How's that for economy ... two for the price of one! :0)

So, being Friday, it was my regularly scheduled day off and for the first time in MONTHS I actually got to stay home and play in my sewing room - YAY!! :0) As a result, I have been able to add a couple of finishes to my OPAM list in my sidebar - YAY!! The first finish (which is actually my second finish for the month really!!) was my apron that I showed you the 'before' photo of last time. Here's what I came up with ...

Ta! Da! Some red and black loveliness to keep my clothes clean when I'm cooking ... I have a very bad habit of wiping my hands on my belly or my butt ... probably cos they stick out the most! Tee! Hee! Hee! I took the original pocket off the apron ... and BOY! was it attached securely ... very unlike most bought items!!! :0) I used it as a template to cut a red Eiffel Tower pocket, then used it as the lining for the pocket to give it a bit of strength. Add a blanket-stitched applique fleur de lise and a splash of vivid red writing proclaiming "Vive la France!" and I now have a designer apron. Hmmm ... in more ways than one, since I'm a designer and now have an apron! :0) Here's a close up of the writing and fleur de lise ...

I love how it's come up and I even managed to position one of the Eiffel Towers in the centre of my fleur de lise. Now I just have to make it to the kitchen to cook and try it out! :0)

The second finish today ... third for the month ... was a denim bag that I have been meaning to get around to making for some time. In fact ... I made a bag like this for Mum around this time last year and have had the denim and trim fabric earmarked for another ever since ... today was the day! :0)

It was a bit tricky trying to get a good photo of it, as it is a decent size, so kept sagging in various spots ... bit like me, really! Tee! Hee! Hee! There's a reinforced pocket on the front for keys or tissues ... you know ... those things you often need to get to in a hurry. And on the inside ...

... another pocket with a divider in it. A perfect size for sunnies or mobile phone. Can I just say ... I was reminded why I DON'T work with denim very often!! PHEW! It was hard work to manoeuvre the heavy fabric, especially the reinforced straps. Last year, Toni made a whole quilt out of recycled denim ... I loved the quilt, but have to say ... I will NOT be making one anytime soon! :0)

So ... that was my productive end-of-the-week day at home ... oh, along with several loads of washing and the usual household type chores. I'll now add these to my OPAM list ... and OPAM gals, if you haven't already, don't forget to update YOUR finishes on your sidebar list for September so that if you don't get around to emailing me or Sweet Peg, we will still be able to quickly see how many projects you've completed this month. Oh ... and did any of you notice that the OPAM button on our sidebars has had the total number of finishes updated again?? The number of finishes should now be BLACK ... if not ... you'll never know where we're up to! :0)

Just a little reminder, too ... if any of your lovely OPAM gals have made changes to your blog name or email address, please let Peg or I know so we can update our spreadsheet. I found one by accident yesterday and the lovely gal has now updated me, so we're up to date there. :0) Also ... If you've had a spring clean of your blog and changed the backgrounds etc ... please be sure to pop both the OPAM logo button and your list of month by month finishes back on ... last month I came across a few blogs on our list that didn't have the button or had lost their list of finishes ... these things just help Peg and I as we do our blog hopping.

OK ... well ... that's it from me for today and I think I've worked hard enough today to deserve a cup of tea before I think about cooking dinner. :0) I hope you've all had a wonderful and productive week and that your weekend includes some time for you to sit back, put your feet up and relax with some stitching or a pretty craft magazine ... or two ... or three! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Sunday, 25 September 2011

A Step Back In Time!

Well ... the week has flown, the weekend is more than half over and I'm finally getting back here to share some more pics with you that I took while Mum and Dad were visiting. I told you I took the week off work so I could keep up with my Mum ... she runs rings around me! :0) Well ... one of the things she said she'd like to do was to take a little trip back in time and visit the nearby Jondaryan Woolshed because they were celebrating their "Heritage Week" and had all sorts of things going on. So Mum, Dad and I all jumped in the car and headed off ... my Beloved Geek Boy was being a grown up and at work ... well SOMEONE had to be earning the play money that I like to spend! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Jondaryan is about a 40 minute drive west of Toowoomba ... unless there's lots of roadworks going on ... GRRRR! but it really is like stepping back in time. The original property was once the biggest wool producer in the area and a busy little hub for the community. While the economy over the years has changed all of that, the property has been turned into an island of yesteryear, with lots of gorgeous historical buildings being moved onto it to form a little village. The main entry greets you in grand fashion ...

Oh how I would love to have this building to turn into my dream Bed & Breakfast! :0) Once inside the complex, we found that we had arrived just in time for the Heritage Week Grand Parade. There were ...

Horse-drawn vehicles ... I LOVE Clydesdale horses and when I have that dream Bed & Breakfast, would love to have a couple of these gentle giants, along with an open carriage of some sort. Oh ... these photos were taken on my iPhone cos both Mum and I forgot to take our cameras! DOH! So, the quality isn't great, but at least you get a peek at what we got up to. :0) Moving right along ... which the Grand Parade did ...

... There were steam-driven vehicles ... not only did these ones make a LOT of noise, they looked to give a pretty rough ride, so I don't think I want one of those! :0)

... there was old farm machinery that had been lovingly restored. Hmmm ... this actually looks a lot like the tractor I learned to drive on the farm where my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette grew up ... her Dad was very patient with a townie, teaching me to drive the tractor and a column-shift EH Holden ... thought it DID involve some rather hairy moments for all concerned! Tee! Hee! Hee!

... and there were a few gorgeous vintage cars, too. I liked this one cos ... I'm a GREEN girl, after all! :0) Wouldn't you feel like Bonny and Clyde every time you went tooling down the road in this car?! :0)

After the dust had settled on the Grand Parade (Yep ... it's been pretty dry around here lately!) we toddled off to have a look at the other historic buildings that have been moved to the site and restored. This cottage was my favourite ...

It was such a dinky little house, but done up to suit the era inside and the cottage garden out the front was just too cute. Oh ... and that blackboard that you can't read? It was advertising fresh home-baked pumpkin scones ... YUMMO!!!! Of COURSE we had to sample those! :0)

Here's Mum and Dad in front of one of the other cute heritage cottages. You can see who I take after in shape, there, can't you! Tee! Hee! Hee! I keep telling Dad he could have passed on some GOOD genetic traits, rather than just the short podgy ones! :0)

And what would an Aussie heritage village be without at least one outhouse! :0) Here's Mum peeking out to tell us that there were no redbacks on the toilet seat or snakes behind the door ... she wouldn't have been grinning cheekily at me if there were either of those things within a mile! Tee! Hee! Hee! All in all, we had a lovely, relaxing trip back in time. If you're ever in the area ... or you're a local who hasn't visited for a while ... I'd recommend a visit to Jondaryan Woolshed.

Well ... that's about it from me. I still have some pics of the Carnival of Flowers parade to share with you, but I'd better toodle off and do a bit. I've already been a busy bee in the sewing room yesterday putting the binding on my French quilt that's almost ready to go off to "Homespun" ... just have to finish sewing down the binding. I can't show you the quilt, cos that would spoil the surprise, but I can show you  a sneaky peek of the FABULOUS quilting done for me by the lovely Joy who teaches free motion machine quilting at my Home-Away-From-Home ...

This gorgeous fleur de lise design is in each of the squares and it has come up a treat ... perfect for a French themed quilt. :0) Thanks Joy for doing a SUPERB job of quilting this for me on such a tight deadline!!! And the most outstanding thing about Joy's quilting ... it's all done on a domestic machine!! She just amazes me with what she can get her machine to do ... sometimes I can't even get mine to sew in a straight line!! Or perhaps that has more to do with the operator! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And while I was playing in the sewing room, I also had a little play with this ...

My somewhat boring black apron that I bought myself a year or so ago ... oops! :0) That gorgeous red and black Eiffel Tower fabric that I couldn't resist on ebay and my "French Inspired Home" book ... what do you get when you mix the three??? Stay tuned and I'll show you soon! :0)

And on that note, I'm off to make myself a cup of tea and finish sewing down the binding on my quilt. Then, of course, it's on to the FUN part of the designing process ... NOT!! SIGH!!! Guess who has to write instructions this week?!!! So, if I don't surface for a few days, you'll know why. I hope your weekend is going along at a relaxing pace and that the coming week is full of wonderful new adventures for you all! :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Spring Has Sprung!!

YAY! This warm-weather gal is rejoicing! :0) Here on top of our 'hill' we've enjoyed a week and a bit of GORGEOUS spring weather and I think this bear is ready to come out of hibernation! Tee! Hee! Hee! And even if I WASN'T ready ... I would have been forced out of it last week when my parents were here for a visit, cos you have to get up pretty early in the morning and hit the floor running to keep up with my Mum! :0) The week was jam-packed full of errand running, shopping, visiting, appointments etc, but one thing that Mum and I decided to enjoy together was a visit to some of Toowoomba's public parks to see them in all their Carnival of Flowers finery.

We picked the PERFECT spring day to make the rounds of the parks ... the sky was BLUE, the bees were buzzing, the butterflies were flitting and it was warm enough for us to wear short sleeves for the first time this spring - YAY! :0) So ... first stop of the day was Laurel Bank Park. Oddly enough, this was the first time I've ever managed to visit Laurel Bank Park during the Carnival of Flowers, but let me tell you ... it will now be an annual pilgrimage!! You'll see why! :0)

The tour started with some gorgeous cottage garden-style displays, complete with semi-rudie-nudie statuary! :0)

Don't know if you can see ... but Mum is thoughtfully trying to retain this statue's modesty by holding her camera case in front of where her toga's sagged ... the statue's toga, that is, not Mum's! Tee! Hee! Hee! Don't you love those pretty cottagy colours?

Now ... as well as pretty traditional gardens, there were lots of floral 'paintings' ... flowers planted in such a way as to form flowery pictures in their garden frames. Do you recognise this cartoon character??

Sing it with me ...

"Felix the Cat. The wonderful, wonderful cat. Whenever you get in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks ..." :0)

Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon! This was one of the clearest pics ... some of them involved a great deal of crossing your eyes, squinting, standing on your head and just plain guessing! :0)

Some Happy Feet penguins with a pink piggy in the background .... and quite a few others that either didn't photograph well or we just plain didn't know what they were. On the up side ... we made a lot of new friends with the OTHER people who were standing there crossing their eyes, squinting, standing on their heads and guessing what the flower pictures were! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The next stop was the botanical gardens at Queens Park in the heart of Toowoomba. Let me say ... I have never seen so many COLOURS!! It was like a rainbow had exploded and splashed down in the park!! :0)

Pinks and purples ...

... sunny yellows, golds and oranges ...

... tulips. I took this photo especially for Toni who I know LOVES tulips! :0) I have to say ... so do I! They just always look so darn CHEERFUL and bright ... and just a bit exotic, since they're often a bit tricky to grow in our relatively temperate Queensland climate. (though I know 'temperate' wasn't the word I was using for our climate this winter! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Here's my attempt at an artistic shot ... or I tripped as I took it ... can't remember which! Tee! Hee! Hee! It does show you that brilliant blue sky in the top left corner, though, contrasting nicely with those pretty flower colours.

More sunny colours ... they looked cool ... or should I say WARM against that rusty/red coloured hedge.

Doesn't this photo just scream SPRING to you?! :0) Oh ... and others were taking photos too ... that cherry-picker in the background was to lift an official looking photographer up to take aerial shots of the gardens and the gal in the red top to the left of the pic is one of our local TV news presenters ... obviously they were doing a bit of a report on the carnival build up.

So ... having now walked our way around two fairly big parks, we decided to grab some lunch before heading to a third ... Picnic Point ... for a picnic lunch and a look around.

Here's Mum contemplating here quiche ... chicken and asparagus ... YUMMO! :0) But ... from the other end of the picnic table, someone else was eyeing off her lunch ...

This rather handsome fellow sat on the other end of our picnic table for the entire meal ... I think he was hoping for some barbeque fare, but he had to make do with our sparkling company! :0)

The gardens at Picnic Point were a bit behind the others we had seen, so they weren't really showing at their best, but the Council had reinstated a favourite park feature that had been quiet for a few years ...

The waterfall. Since Toowoomba had been on severe water restrictions up until our flooding earlier this year, the waterfall had been turned off and the pond drained. It was lovely to hear and see it adding a special something to the lookout again. In fact ... when my Beloved Geek Boy and I were considering where we would like to get married, we thought about this spot, but settled on a smaller waterfall/pond/park setting in his home town of Dalby.

And speaking of our wedding day ... it was 19 years ago on Monday, September 19. WOW! That time sure has sped past at warp speed! :0)

Here we are ... looking very young ... and taking up far less space than we do now ... oh dear! :0) And you can just see the pond in the background there. I know I often tease my GB, but I can honestly say not a day goes by that I don't count my blessings for finding such a sweet, patient, clever man to spend my life with. We started out as friends and I am blessed to be able to say he is still my best friend. He's not perfect, you understand ... but he's perfect for me, so I think I shall keep him! :0) After all ... after 19 years, the warranty and returns policy have well and truly expired! Tee! Hee! Hee! Happy Anniversary, Scott! I love you more today than the day we stood by that pond to exchange our vows and I'm looking forward to at least another 19 years of shared adventures!! MWAH!!!

OK ... enough soppy stuff now ... I'm off to make myself a cuppa before I have a play in my sewing room. I'll be back soon to share some more photos that I took during Mum and Dad's visit and the Carnival of Flowers. I hope you've all had a great start to your week and I wish you all RAINBOWS in the coming days ... whether they be spring flowers, autumn leaves, hugs from a friend ... or some new additions to your fabric stash!! :0) Til next time ...



Thursday, 15 September 2011

Homespun Angels!!

Are you all like me? Do you wait impatiently for a good thing to happen once you know that it's going to happen?? Do you cross days off calendars, double-check the date, check the mailbox several times a day ... just in case the postie was running a bit late ... OK ... so checking the mail at 10pm starts to be a little obsessive! Tee! Hee! Hee! But you know what I mean ... right?? Or is that just me?? :0)

So ... I've shared often here on my blog about the GORGEOUS group of ladies that formed earlier in the year to make quilts for flood/disaster victims, the Quilting Angels. Well ... the lovely Catherine at "Homespun" was touched by the huge response to Marion's Quilt Drive and asked one of her intrepid writers to liaise with us to put together a story about our Angels ... Jeanette has done a WONDERFUL job of sifting through the PAGES of comments and notes I sent her on behalf of the Angels ... I'm surprised her eyeballs weren't bleeding by the end of it all! Tee! Hee! Hee! AND ...


The issue that features a wonderful three-page spread of story and photos about Marion's Quilting Angels is in the current issue of "Homespun" ... No. 100 Vol. 12.9. WOO! HOO! Waiting over!!

Here's the first pages of our story ... and can you see the two 'Head Angels' in that GORGEOUS photo?? :0) I love this photo of Marion and Steph!! And there's one of my own angels ... made from Anni Downs' "An Angels Story" book a few years ago ... quilt is still on the list! :0) If you haven't already grabbed your copy of "Homespun" you really should, cos as well as the story on our Quilting Angels, there are LOTS of fabulous projects to make ... including a pretty bag by my GAWJUS blogging buddy Joy-Belle, a sweet stitchery hanging by the clever Julie Lovell who I was lucky enough to meet at Stitchers Dream Day Out on the weekend, this month's BOM block is designed by Bronwyn Hayes ... OH! ... and just too many more things to mention that will keep you creating for AGES! :0)

And some good news for those of you like me who have trouble waiting for good things to arrive/happen ... and my blogging buddies overseas ... "Homespun" has gone high-tech and you can now get your subscription online! WOO! HOO! It's through Zinio and the direct link is HERE. So ... no more missing out on issues, no more expensive overseas postage and WAY less storage space needed in your sewing room to store your mags, so of COURSE that means more room for more FABRIC! Tee! Hee! Hee! Not to mention ... that the online sub is a little cheaper than the hardcopy version, so there's also more play money to buy ... you guessed it!  ... MORE FABRIC! :0) Hmmm ... I think this will be going on my Christmas wish list ... along with an iPad so I can read my digital magazines and books in bed! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And now ... I'm off to take advantage of the sunny spring day we're enjoying and will hang some washing before Mum and I toodle off to visit some of our local parks that are brimming over with spectacular floral displays ready for this coming weekend's launch of the Carnival of Flowers. Hope your week is going well and that you too have time to stop and smell the flowers! :0) Til next time ...


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Stitchers Dream Day Out 2011!!

WHAT  a weekend I've had!! I packed so much into it that it's lasted until Tuesday! Tee! Hee! Hee! OK ... maybe not ... it's just taken me this long to be able to grab some time to sort through photos and write a post about everything that happened.

If you've never made the trip up our hill to be part of Stitchers Dream Day Out, hosted by the GORGEOUS mother/daughter team of Marion and Steph Marshall at my home-away-from-home ... AKA The Quilters Angel ... I can HIGHLY recommend it!  It is such a fun day of being spoilt, stitching, chatting and meeting wonderful like-minded ladies ... not to mention being given the first look at SIX brand new project designs!! But ... I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's backtrack to Friday. I rang the shop to ask Sue (who was manning the counter while Marion and Steph finished setting up for the weekend) how everything was going and whether they could use another body to help set things up. Her reply began with ... "WEEEEEEEELL..." Uh oh! That's not usually a promising beginning! One of the guest designers had got caught in bad weather and missed her plane and had to reshedule, which meant the connection with the airport bus didn't work and someone had to drive down to Brisbane, there were gale force winds and it was bucketing down rain ... which led to the discovery that the marquee leaked and the weather forecast for the weekend was an unseasonable cold snap!! EEK! But do you know what?? Marion and Steph and their merry band of workers all pitched in, the rain stopped in time to get set up, the leak was fixed and everything was in place for the Saturday ladies to enjoy their special day of stitching. PHEW!!

Do you see that bleak sky? Brrrrrr!! It was COLD and windy on Friday and Saturday!!

Now ... this was the fourth year that my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette and I have attended one of the two glorious stitching days of this event. And can I say, just quietly, we were REALLY pleased that we booked for Sunday, which was a bit nicer weather-wise than the Saturday! :0) Along with the other ladies, we were greeted by Marion's Mum Ethel with a cuppa and some of the cutest little bite-sized bickies ... which I ate rather than took a photo of ... oops!! :0)

At last ... we were allowed into the marquee ...

Here's everyone settling in to their tables ... do you see the giant pom-pom flowers at the top of the marquee poles? And look at those pretty 'goodies bags'. You just KNOW there's lots of fun surprises in there! :0)  Lynette and I were at what we dubbed the "Naughty Table" ... right up the back corner of the marquee! Tee! Hee! Hee! Obviously Marion has been talking to our school teachers who used to separate us as soon as we walked into a classroom! Marion must have decided to keep all the trouble-makers at one table to keep an eye on us! Tee! Hee! Hee! Lynette and I were joined by Lesley and Nicole, who were at our table last year too, along with new table mates mother/daugher duo Maree and Jo ... also repeat offenders! :0)

Look at those smiles ... you can't half tell they're related, can you! :0) And lovely ladies they both were! In fact ... we all took a vote and decided that we'd like to book our table and table-mates again for next year. Tee! Hee! Hee!

Marion then welcomed everyone and introduced our guest designers for 2011. On the left of this pic is Julie Lovell from Calico Farm Designs, the zany Natalie Ross of In Stitches, and you can just see Libby Richardson of Art Smart Craft Cottage Designs beside Marion ... maybe she was camera-shy! :0) Each of these clever, creative gals had come up with two brand new projects for us to enjoy ... and I KNOW you want to see what they were!!

A table runner and little girl's bag from Libby, wristie pouch and iPad cover from Natalie and some super-cute owls and a set of small stitchery hangers from Julie. How spoilt were we!!!! :0) Bet you wish you came now! Tee! Hee! Hee! Each of the participants was given a goodies-bag and included in that bag was the kit to make one of these GORGEOUS projects and my little kit is to make up Natalie's wristie pouch ... since I've never actually COMPLETED a project I've started at SDDO, I'll keep you posted! :0)

Throughout the day, we were also treated to mini-tutorials by the three designers on techniques they used in their projects.

Libby showed us her painting technique that she uses to add some background colour to her stitcheries.

Here's Julie showing a very attentive Lesley how to create the cute crochet flowers she used to decorate her little owl softies. Natalie demonstrated needle-turn applique ... but got a bit interrupted when she got to our table, so no pic there ... told you we were considered to be the naughty table! Tee! Hee! Hee! I DID however get a pic of Natalie and I together at the end of the day.

Yes ... Natalie IS quite tall and I AM quite short! :0) It was funny, actually ... Lynette and I were having our arrival cuppa when Natalie came to get a kick-start of caffeine and she looked at me and said ... "You weren't here yesterday, were you?" I said, no. She put her thinking cap on and said, "Well, you look familiar to me." I commented that although we hadn't met 'in person' before, we've chatted back and forth on blogs and email ... at which point she said ... "Oh! I know! You're Kris from Tag Along Teddies!" Yep ... recognised! :0) Guess I look like my photo in real life! Tee! Hee! Hee! Natalie and I agree that we have quite a lot in common, including a 'chatty' blog style (OK ... neither of us can manage to write short posts ... that doesn't really make us long-winded!! That's our story and we're sticking to it! Tee! Hee! Hee!) ... we both have a slightly 'left-of-centre' sense of humour ... and we're both rather baffled by the popularity of hexagons! :0) I guess you either 'get' them or not!!

And speaking of slightly chatty, zany gals ... here's Natalie and me with the inimitable Helen. Helen is part of the Quilting Angels group and she is a HOOT and a HALF! :0) In keeping with the day, she had decorated her earrings with DMC and Cottage Garden thread skeins, had fabric strapped to her wrists like Wonderwoman bracelets, had hot-pink Quilters Angel bags as cuffs for her boots and roses tucked into her boots to tie in with our "Down The Garden Path" theme. Everyone will remember Helen! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And speaking of 'naughty' ...

We were taking photos of Libby with 'Our Helen' and who should pop up in the background making bunny-ears and pulling faces??? You guessed it ... Natalie! I think Marion may have to make our 'naughty table' a lot bigger next year! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... that was Stitchers Dream Day Out for 2011 and despite a few hiccups in the weather and some slight reshuffling of transport, a FANTASTIC time was had by all. Well done to Marion, Steph and their team of busy worker-bees for making the weekend such an enjoyable one for all of us who were 'playing ladies'. :0) A big thanks to Julie, Natalie and Libby, too, for sharing some of their brand new designs with us and braving our Toowoomba 'spring' weather to come and 'play' with us ... can't wait til you all come back again for another play date! :0)

OH!!! I almost forgot!! I also got to have a quick catch up with the lovely Jenny from Bundaberg. I met Jenny when I popped into the local patchwork shop in Bunday on a visit ... as you do!! ... and we had a lovely chat. Hope you had as great a day as Lynette and I did, Jenny!! :0) (I would send you over to visit Jenny's blog ... but I confess to losing her blog address - Oops!!!) 

 Are you all completely JEALOUS now?? Cos if you are ... maybe you need to pop over HERE to see what's happening NEXT year and book your place ... I know Lesley and Nicole did before they headed home on Sunday! :0)

I still have lots of stuff to share ... busy weekend, obviously!! ... but I have to shoot off. My parents are here for the week and Mum is keeping us hopping to get through her "To Do" list! PHEW! I'll need to go back to work for a rest! :0) Hope you all had a fabulous weekend too ... I promise I'll be back soon with some other news! Til next time ...


Friday, 9 September 2011

Sweet Friends Make Me Smile!!

You know ... I am very much aware that I have been BLESSED with some GORGEOUS friends and blogging buddies ... it's something I appreciate so much and never take for granted! And just how blessed I am was reinforced yesterday when I came home to find a yellow envelope in my mailbox. Hmmm ... who could it be from? I turned it over ... it was from my gorgeous blogging buddy and OPAM Partner-In-Crime, Sweet Peg. What was she sending me???

What a SWEETIE!! Peg send me a 'just because' giftie to let me know she was thinking of me! (The blue spot fabric she's used for the tie matches my slippies and dressing gown! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

A phone pouch!! COOL!! Peg must have known that the phone pouch I had been using didn't have a catch on it, or a flap to close it and from time to time, my iPhone would make a wild bid for freedom and slide out ... giving my palpitations in the process! :0) I keep EVERYTHING stored on my phone ... addresses, phone numbers, diary dates, 'to do' notes, my music ... EVERYTHING!! So if something happened to it I would be TOAST! :0) AND ... she's used some of my fave fabric from French General ... how very SPOILT am I! :0)

Here's my phone, snuggling in it's new SAFE pouch, ready to pop into my bag.


What a truly GORGEOUS friend you are to me!

And speaking of friends ... my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette, is due to arrive tomorrow afternoon ... AFTER my parents also arrive for their week-long visit. Busy times and no-room-at-the-inn here at the Meares' Madhouse ... unless you don't mind a matress on the lounge room floor, in which case you're welcome to join the madness!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Lynette is coming up so that she and I can enjoy a day of stitching indulgence at The Quilter's Angel annual

"Stitchers Dream Day Out"

this weekend, hosted by the lovely Marion and Steph. This will be the fourth year Lynette and I have enjoyed a day of being spoiled, fed and indulged in our stitching passion and we are SOOOOOOOO looking forward to it! :0) This year's guest designers are Libby Richardson of "Art Smart Craft Cottage", Natalie Ross from "In Stitches" and Julie Lovell from "Calico Farm Designs". It should be a FABULOUS day out cos Marion and Steph always spoil the ladies attending! I promise to report back with lots of photos ... and I promise to enjoy a cuppa for you all too ... OOOOOOOOHHH!!! I may end up sloshing when I walk and spending a LOT of time in the "ladies"! Tee! Hee! Hee! Perhaps I'll just have ONE cuppa on behalf of you all collectively! ;0)

I hope you've all had a fabulous week and that you, too, have some fun stuff planned for your weekend. Til next time ...


Monday, 5 September 2011

Tell Me Why I Don't LIke Mondays!

Why??? ... Cos I'm SURE that Mondays have even LESS hours in them than other days of the week!!! Or maybe it's just that my "To Do" list every Monday is so LONG. Hmmm ... I could be on to something there! :0)

Busy weekend at the Meares' Madhouse ... trying to shovel out the clutter a bit ready for a parental visit this coming weekend ... not to mention two very busy weeks coming up. Not sure I achieved even HALF the things on that "To Do" list, but did manage to get a couple done. The fun one was FINALLY getting a few things hung on the walls in my sewing room ... this required the assistance of my Beloved Geek Boy, you see, so it has taken a while to co-ordinate the hammer, nails, hooks, ladder and chief-stander-on-ladders and banger-of-nails. :0) Anything that can be reached from the floor, I can handle, but these were WAY above my reach-up height ... hence the wait. Here we go ...

The bunting that I finished a few months ago has FINALLY made it to the wall and I'm pretty happy with how it looks ... though it was a bit of a challenge explaining how I wanted it draped ... GB doesn't 'get' bunting, so wasn't being very helpful!! GRRRRR!! And do you see my three new canvasses?? I bought these from the Lovely Lilly Linda after spotting them in one of her lovely photo shoots featured on her blog. I emailed her to put SOLD stickers on them for me and picked them up when we had our bloggy buddy play date. (Linda has LOTS of pretty things that she shows on her blog, so pop across for a visit if you haven't already found her!)

Don't you love the postcard-y effect and the yummy sepia tones?? Ooh La La! :0) Oh ... and do you see the faeries in these photos? Linda says these 'lights' that appear in photos sometimes are the faeries playing. Well ... that explains what happens to things I'm looking for that go missing in the sewing room ... the FAERIES hide them! Tee! Hee! Hee! The other item to finally be hung was a groovy hanger thingy (that's the technical term, you understand! Tee! Hee! Hee!) that I found a while back to house my quilting rulers ...

Ta Da!! I'm not sure what it was originally designed for, but it gave me a classy way to keep my rulers out of the way and safe from being stepped on by GB ... yes ... that HAS happened before ... hence the broken ruler you can see behind the centre ruler!!! Now I can also show off the GORGEOUS ruler covers made for me by my equally GORGEOUS blogging buddy and OPAM partner-in-crime, Sweet Peg. She's done such a lovely job making them that it's nice to show them off! :0)

And speaking of OPAM ... the weekend also saw Sweet Peg and I do our round up and blog-hop. A big thank you to everyone who emailed Peg and I with your end of month tally ... it really does help us a lot to have those emails come in. I'm still catching up on replying to the emails I received ... but I'll get there! :0) I think we must all have been busy with 'real life' during August, cos it was the lowest tally of finishes for the year so far. Mind you ... there were still 392 finishes, so that's not exactly shabby, is it! :0) Well done to everyone who added finishes to their sidebar list and also to those who, like me, were stitching away at longer-term projects. Remember ... if you made some progress for the month, if you did a bit of stitching here and there, then you've ACHIEVED something, so well done! :0) OK ... the random draw winners for August are ...

CONGRATULATIONS, gals!!! Email your snail mail addresses through to me and I'll pop some surprises into the mail for you.

In the meantime ... like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland ...

"I'm LATE! I'm LATE!!"

So I'd better scuttle off and get ready for vocal ensemble rehearsal ... Folk Music concert this weekend and tonight is a full run through ... including a solo by yours truly! EEP!!!! Hope your week is off to a fabulous start and that no one has been stealing hours from YOUR day! :0)


Saturday, 3 September 2011

When Blogging Buddies PLAY!!!

Well ... it's been a little longer than intended since I popped in last to tell you about my FANTASTIC play date at Mt Tambourine last weekend with my bestest blogging buddies the Gorgeous Kerryanne and the Lovely Lilly Linda. I'm finally back to finish telling of our adventures. BUT ... be warned ... there are quite a few pictures to follow ... you know Linda's and my version of A FEW! Tee! Hee! Hee! In other words ... you may want to grab a cuppa, a bickie and get comfy before you proceed. :0)

OK ... so ... what do three blogging buddies get up to when they finally meet up in person? Well ... they go SHOPPING of course! :0) I'm surprised you even had to think about that! Tee! Hee! Hee! Since Linda and her Beloved have been to Mt Tambourine more often than the rest of us, we let them set the itinerary ... well ... Linda did and her brave Beloved was Mr Bus Driver for the weekend! Tee! Hee! Hee! And an admirable job he did, too! :0) First stop ... some antique and vintage hunting ...

Look at that ... a sign that we decided summed us up well! :0) Though ... I don't REALLY think Kerryanne qualifies at an antique!! :0) We made sure that we inspected this and a few other shops VERY thoroughly which led to the discovery of several treasures ...

Here's Kerryanne ... do you see that grin?? That's cos she had just snagged a couple of bargains! :0) Don't you love that rustic ironing board? And the cylinder she's holding is a giant reel of cotton ... more on that later! Now ... after that spot of shopping, we were all a bit peckish and thirsty, so off Mr Bus Driver took us to a quiet little park ... where Linda and I made use of the "Devil-bite-your-bum" toilets! Linda's description of the eco-toilets that made me laugh and conjured up a VERY funny mental picture! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Linda and her Beloved are famous for their car-boot picnics and this is what we were treated to. Here's Kerryanne inspecting the table ... do you see that pretty tablecloth? Who says outdoor dining is roughing it! :0) Then it was back to the shops ... we're not wimps!! We could ... shop all day! The long-suffering husbands were pretty good about our shopping expedition ... mainly cos the shop owners at Mt Tambourine were very good at providing "husband seats" outside. Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... what did I buy?? I know you want to know. :0)

Like Kerryanne, I couldn't go past the giant cotton reels, especially since they're complete with original packaging. I've popped a couple of my 'normal' wooden cotton reels beside it to show you the scale. The label says the cotton is for factory use in the 'boot, shoe, slipper and clothing trades'. It's now sitting on the shelf above my sewing desk ... where ELSE would I keep a giant reel of cotton?!?! :0)

I found some pretty pieces of pink Depression glass that I've put away as birthday and Christmas gifties for my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette ... she collects the pink Depression glass and I collect the green.

I also bought myself a French cafe` CD ... which I'm enjoying listening to as I type this :0) ... and some pretty smelling soaps to go into my giftie stash. Oh ... do you see that pretty birdcage and the Matroyshka (that's spelt really wrong, but spellcheck won't offer me alternatives!!) dollies? Gorgeous gifties from my equally gorgeous blogging buddies. :0) And in the bags I put together for each of the gals was ...

Some cute little bits and bobs that I've been collecting ever since we set our play date and a little stitchery kit of a special Tag Along Teddies design (yet to be released as a pattern) . Each gift was co-ordinated in the gals' fave colours ... pink for Linda and blue for Kerryanne. There were a few of the gifties that we exchanged that we all now have, including the stitchery that says "Friends are tied by heart strings".  Not sure when any of us will get to actually STITCH them, since all three of us seem to be constantly busy chasing deadlines, but we'll have them ready to go when we manage to find some free time. :0)

Now each time I'm at my sewing desk, I'll be reminded of my blogging buddies and the 'time' we spent together. (Get it?? Clock ... time ...oh never mind!!!)

So ... are you still with me?? If so, that's the end of Friday's adventures. Saturday ... the view from our front deck had changed a little from the clear coastal views of the day before and looked like this ...

That pea-soup is where our coastal views should have been. Ah ... yes ... THIS is the view of Mt Tambourine that my Beloved Geek Boy and I are most familiar with ... every other time we've visited, this is the sort of weather we've been treated to! :0) So what better way to spend the day than doing this ...

... and this ...

Did we mind that the weather was icky?? Not a bit!! We were cosy and warm in the lounge room, stitching, chatting, munching and drinking cups of tea and coffee! :0) In fact, we only ventured out later that evening to enjoy dinner out ... and our fearless Mr Bus Driver deserves a medal for negotiating the narrow, winding mountain roads in thick, THICK, THICK fog!! Then ... as it always does way too soon ... Sunday rolled around and it was time for hugs goodbye, promises to start planning our RE-union (very hard to explain to people that we're great friends but only meeting up in person for the first time!!!) and we all headed different directions homeward ... Kerryanne and her Beloved headed south, Linda and Mr Bus Driver headed north and GB and I headed west. We really did gather from all points of the compass for our play date! :0) (no one could have come from the east unless we'd invited a mermaid or two cos there's nothing out there but ocean!! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

So ... that was our VERY special blogging buddy play date. Thank you SOOOOOOOOO much Kerryanne and Linda for an incredibly enjoyable, memorable and special weekend of friendship. I can't WAIT til we get to do it all over again!!

And if you've stuck with me right to the end ... WELL DONE!! Go and reward yourself with another cuppa and another bickie! Tee! Hee! Hee! Meanwhile ... I'm off to do something about our dinner.

OPAM gals ... I'll be back Monday to let you know who the prize draw winners are, so if you'd forgotten to let Peg or I know your final tally for August, you've got another day to do so. Hope your weekend is off to a fabulous start and that it includes some time to relax. Til next time ...

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