Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Still Here & OPAM Wrap Up!

Hello lovely Bloggy Buddies! How are you this rather warm Tuesday? I hope you're more alert & awake than I am! I just can't seem to get out of my own way today. I think it's because I woke up with a headache that I can't seem to shake ... Not a migraine (thankfully!) just one of those dull hangy-ony type headaches that sap your energy. Frankly, I don't have a lot of energy to spare, so I wish it would go away! :0)

However ... I'm overdue in popping in to visit with you all, so here I am, catching up. I meant to post on the weekend but someone stole it! :0P This does not bode well for my year if I'm already losing days & it's only January! Tee! Hee! Hee! And that means I'm overdue in doing the last OPAM draw for 2018. December must've seen some hustling & bustling in craft caves all over the world because we had our biggest tally for the year with ...


WOW! I guess lots of us were making Christmas gifties. :0) The really amazing part is that takes our total number of finished projects for 2018 to ...


WOWSERS! What a creative lot we've been! :0) So I guess there must be a lot of craft caves with empty stash cupboards now, right?! Yeah ... I'm snickering here too! Tee! Hee! Hee! Well done to everyone who has contributed to that tally, even if it's only been one finish. In a world where we all seem to be constantly busy & made to feel we're not reaching our full potential if we're not ... It's good to take some quiet time out to be creative, which is what OPAM is all about. I hope you've enjoyed playing along with my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg & me. :0)

So ... The final prize winners for 2018 were ...

Congrats ladies! Drop me an email so I can send you the PDF stitchery pattern for you to play with. 

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! Right back at the start of last year Sweet Peg said she wanted to make a special quilt that will go to ...


All of our 2018 participants will go into the draw & Sweet Peg will announce the winner on her blog soon, so STAY TUNED! :0) 

So ... Some of you have been asking whether OPAM will run this year. In a word ... YES. BUT ... I'll be flying solo to host OPAM 2019, as my truly GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg will be hanging up her Hostess-With-The-Mostest hat. :0(  Sweet Peg joined me to co-host OPAM in its second year & we've encouraged you clever crafters together for 8 years. (Year 1was co-hosted by May-Britt & myself) Sweet Peg was about the fourth blogger I 'met' when I stepped into blogland & she has always amazed me with how much she fits into her busy, busy life, juggling full time work, family, sewing & lots of other activities, but she's decided she needs to make a few changes & slow down a little to have some more Peg Time.Thank you Sweet, Sweet Friend for not only co-hosting our world-wide crafting circle, but also for being a gorgeous, generous friend. I know we'll still catch up with each other in blogland, but I'll miss my Sweet co-host. Big Squooshy Bear Hugs to you lovely lady!!

It will take me a little while to get set up for OPAM 2019 ... And sweet-talk my Beloved Geek Boy into designing an updated badge for us. :0) ... so sign up will start near the end of January ... Stay tuned for the date & details! I hope lots of you will join me again for a year of striving to finish some of our craft projects, whilst having fun, taking some time out for ourselves & encouraging fellow crafters. :0)

Since I think that's more than enough from me for one post, I'm off to see if a cup of tea will kill my headache. Maybe if I use one of my lovely new teacups it will help ...

I'll share the story of how this pretty collection came to live with me next time. :0) Til next time ...



Friday, 4 January 2019

Aaaaaah! Holidays!

Happy New Year to all of my lovely Bloggy Buddies out there! I wish you all a 2019 full of fantastic new adventures, fabulous friends & ... Of course ... FABRIC! :0)

I've been enjoying my staycation over the Christmas/New Year period, though I haven't crossed off many of the things on my holiday "To Do" list. However, I HAVE spent some time playing with a new quilt design ... Quite a LOT more time on the editing stage than I'd anticipated. When I'm working on a new design, I do a pencil sketch, then go over it in felt tip pen, then tidy it up in Photshop to neaten wobbly lines etc. Apparently there was a bit of a hiccup when I scanned my rough sketch into Photoshop & it required a LOT more editing time than I counted on. Whoever thinks pattern designers just scribble a quick sketch & sell the pattern for quick & easy money has not spent several days staring at a computer screen fine tuning a sketch to get it ready for others to easily use. Good thing I enjoy what I do ... Mostly! :0P But today I'm reaping the rewards of my computer time ...

Today I'm STITCHING in front of a favourite movie ... Can you guess which one?? :0) 

In preparing my stitching, I've also had another little play ...

... With my watercolour pencils. I'm pretty happy with the results, but don't want to reveal too much yet ... My new design is still Secret Squirrel.

Stay tuned. :0)

In other news ... I'm a bit behind in the end of month OPAM gathering, so if you haven't already emailed your list of December finishes to me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg  you'd better hop to it. The hop around will happen over the weekend. As for OPAM this year ... Our numbers have dropped quite a bit & I've noticed a few people who signed up this year haven't followed through ... They haven't blogged, haven't added the badge or a tally list or been emailing tallies ... So ... Do we keep going? Are many of you interested in playing along with OPAM still?? Let me know what you think.

But for now ... I'm off to put the kettle on & get back to my stitching. Enjoy your weekend! Til next time ...



Monday, 31 December 2018

Out With The Old!

Hello to all my lovely Bloggy buddies! I hope your Christmas was wonderful & that you've had a chance to slow down a bit. Our Christmas Day was spent with the extended Meares mob & was crowded, noisy & fun. It included lots of talking, lots of food & an impromptu jam session involving most family members, three or four part harmonies, a couple of guitars, a drum box, a violin, a bass & a ukulele. I didn't say our families are conventional! Tee! Hee! Hee! Boxing Day was lower key with my folks visiting for a yummy lunch, some giftie swapping & some test cricket viewing. Two very different celebrations, both enjoyed. :0)

And My Beloved Geek Boy & I have also enjoyed some quiet days at home making a start on a few items on the list of jobs waiting for us to have time at home. As well as some reading, cooking & the usual grown up chores, I've been playing with the beginnings of a new quilt design. Meanwhile, GB has been outside ...

The back deck is a bit of a white elephant ... The previous owners kind of tacked it on cos it sounded good as a selling point in the real estate listings, but with no cover & a less-than-adequate finish, it's not really used but we weren't sure what we wanted to do to make it usable AND attractive ... Until some recent brainstorming. (Which MAY have involved a few glasses of some of the wine we collected during our recent holiday to South Australia! Tee! Hee! Hee!) So ... This will be one of our home improvement projects for 2019. It's a big job & will cost a little bit, so we'll do it in stages ... First stage ... Knocking nails back in, sanding & oiling. You can see GB has used one these babies before. :0) I'll share progress pics through 2019.

And doesn't it seem like just last week that we were welcoming 2018? Where HAS this year gone?!?! I have to say, we're actually pretty happy to see the backside of this year. It's been pretty stressful & brought some dramas along the way that have left us feeling wrung out. BUT ... Tomorrow sees us turn the page of a new adventure book with 365 pages just waiting for us to write on them. 2019 is going to be an AWESOME year!! :0) Thank you to all my wonderful family & friends who have waded through 2018 with us. Amidst the not-so-great stuff, we were humbled & blessed to be reminded time & time again how many loving & supportive people we have in our lives. As I sign off my last blog post for 2018, I'd like to leave you with one of my favourite verses, an old Irish Blessing. Til next time ...



Monday, 24 December 2018

Not A Creature Was Stirring ... !

It's been another hugely busy week here at the Meares' Madhouse with end of year parties, jobs that had to be done before Christmas & all of the Christmas preparations needing to be made. But ... We made it through & my Beloved Geek Boy & I are now enjoying a Christmas staycation. YAY! :0) We've both got lots of things we want to do at home, so that will be our Christmas gift to ourselves ... Staying home! :0)

And as we count down to the jolly man in the red suit's arrival ...

... The gifties are wrapped & under the tree, the Christmas Day food is all prepared & I'm KAPOOPED! So I'm off to bed ... Though I doubt dreams of sugarplums will dance in my head! :0P I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my lovely Bloggy Buddies a very happy, safe & enjoyable Christmas. May you spend it with special people who make you smile & feel loved. Til next time ...



Monday, 17 December 2018

A Christmas Surprise!!

Helloooooooo! Is there anyone out there??! ... Or have you been run over by the "Christmas Express" like I have?! :0P It's been even crazier-busy than usual here at the Meares' Madhouse in the last little while as we try to fit in everything that has to happen before the fat man in the red suit tries to slide down the chimney. But we're down to single digits as we prepare for a short staycation over Christmas ... Three days to go! :0)

In the midst of the madness of finalising Christmas gifties for friends & family, I received a Christmas surprise myself today in the mailbox ...

Do you see the black wrapped parcel on the tree? It's from one of my FAVOURITE artists, Brisbane-based Debra Hood  Debra creates the most GORGEOUS paintings that showcase some of Queensland's character & historic building styles in cheerful, tropical colours. Every time she shows off her fantastic paintings on her Facebook page I drool all over the iPad. Tee! Hee! Hee! You'll know if I ever win lotto cos one of the first splurges I make will be to commission Debra to paint a set of paintings for our sitting room. :0)

When Debra messaged me to say she had a little Christmas treat she wanted to send me, I never imagined what she meant ...

Look at my goodies!

One of Debra's gorgeous linen tea towels featuring screen printed historic houses ...

... Super cute house fridge magnets ... The top one is my favourite!

Most exciting ... A copy of Debra's FABULOUS book "Confetti"!!! When Debra launched her book, I drooled over the sneaky peekies she shared & added it to my wish list ...

Not only does it include some snippets of Debra's work, it shares some photos of some of the unique houses that are the inspiration for Debra's paintings. I love that Debra's paintings are so full of special details ... Furbabies sitting on steps, washing hanging on the line, birds perched in trees ... Each painting is like a fantastic tropical Queensland version of "Where's Wally". :0) If you're looking for last minute Christmas giftie ideas for friends & family ... Or a special treat for yourself, pop across to visit Debra's online shop ... She has lots of goodies to tempt you and not only are you guaranteed to find items that celebrate some of the colours, scenes & architecture that are part of the Queensland & Australian character, you'll be supporting one of our own incredibly talented Aussie artists. Thank you SOOOOOO much Debra for my Christmas surprise! I LOVE IT! :0)

Now I'm off to make myself a cuppa to sip while I enjoy "Confetti" ... It will be my anti-Christmas-stress treatment. :0) I hope you find some ways to keep you calm as we count down to Christmas. Til next time ...



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