Thursday 30 October 2008

Unearthed Treasure!!

Just a quick post (OK, no laughing you lot who know me well and know I'm practically incapable of writing a QUICK post!!) because life is busy, busy, busy at the moment, but I just HAD to share my unearthed treasure with you!!

A little over a year ago, I visited friends for the first time. As I was given the 'grand tour' of their house, we came to a spare bedroom that had a rather sad looking cast iron/brass bed in it. The base was bent out of shape and sagged, the cast iron had been painted over at some stage and all of the knobs and decorative bits were missing. It looked quite forlorn!! And then I was told that it was going to take a final trip to the tip to put it out of its misery and make way for a new, sturdier, more practical bed. Oh horror of horrors, to a 'collector' like me! (I say 'collector' my mother says 'pack rat' or 'hoarder'!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) So after voicing my horror, I was told that the bed frame was all mine. YIPPEE!! A treasure in the rough!!

My beloved Geek Boy and I took it to an expert on antique brass and cast iron beds, Mark at Timeless Antiques and he assured me he could unearth the treasure that lay beneath years of abuse and neglect. And so I left my new baby in his capable hands!!

Now, it took me a little while to save up my play money and pay it off, but last week, Mark rang to say that my unearthed treasure was ready to come home!! WOO! HOO!! So after GB dismantled the bed that had been in the spare room, the new baby was installed. Mark has done a FANTASTIC job of restoring my 'buried' treasure!! Not only has it been powder coated and polished, he's tracked down replacements for all of the knobs and decorative bits to bring it back to it's former glory. Want to see??

I found it hard to take good photos to show the whole bed, so this is one taken from the doorway. The knitted quilt was made by my great-granny and is made up of smaller squares all joined together to make a really cool pattern.

This shot shows the half-tester frame that will eventually have a valance - we have one above our bed, now I just have to find another somewhere - oh dear! I think that means I'll HAVE to go searching in some antique shops! What a SHAME! Tee! Hee! Hee! You can also see the decorative hoops and discs that Mark tracked down to deck my newsest treasure in its much-deserved finery.

So, there you go, that's my unearthed treasure that I thought I'd share with you - hope you enjoyed the peek. Life is pretty hectic at the moment, lots of deadlines looming and a busy social weekend coming up, so things have to be done before then - it's hard to be so popular! Tee! Hee! Hee! A few sewing projects are on the go, so hopefully I'll be back in a few days with some progress photos. Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Saturday 25 October 2008

Winners Are Grinners!!

And there will soon be two grinning winners, after the trusty "name out of a hat" method was employed to find who will receive the Stitchers Surprise Packs to help me celebrate 100 posts! Drum roll plese ..... the first winner is ...


YAY! Stina and I have been 'chatting' back and forth for a while now, dropping in on each other's blogs to catch up on our latest adventures - how cool is it to have friends on the other side of the world, whose sewing room you've seen even though you've not left the country!! Stina said she's not much for big parties, but loves to celebrate the little moments in life, like taking a friend out for coffee, or a celebration of a 'small' milestone, like celebrating seven years of home ownership! Congrats Stina!!

And the second name drawn out of the trusty hat is ...


Congrats to you, too, Dianne! Diane said that special events in her family are usually celebrated with a quiet dinner at home with family and maybe a cake - YUMMO!

So if Stina and Diane would like to email me with their snail mail addresses, a Stitchers Surprise pack will soon be coming your way. I will take photos before they hit the mail, but will wait to share them until they arrive at their new homes! That way, they really will be a SURPRISE when they arrive!

So ... there you go! Thank you soooooo much to all 54 - yes I said 54! - people who left congratulatory comments - it was a wonderful encouragement to hear that so many of you who've not commented before enjoy reading my musings and adventures. I hope you'll all comment from time to time to let me know what you're up to and what you think of my ramblings! I've made so many wonderful friends in the 9 months that I've been blogging and I look forward to making even more and hopefully, meeting a few more in person in the future. Thank you all again for your fantastic support - even though I blog to amuse myself, it's lovely to hear back that you enjoy dropping by for a 'visit'.

And now, I'm off to watch a DVD with my beloved GB (who helpfully drew the names out of the hat - it was HIS hat after all!!) - we're watching the world snap freeze due to climate change in "The Day After Tomorrow". I quite like a good disaster movie! Hmmm ... that sounds a little bit of a contradiction in terms, but I'm sure you know what I mean!! Hope the rest of your weekend is relaxing and that you get to spend it in the way you all told me you like to - surrounded by family, friends, good food, and lots of fun - oh and perhaps some stitching to make it perfect!! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Friday 24 October 2008

Slowly But Surely ...!

That's how the turtle won his race with the hare, according to Aesop, but in Lynette Anderson's BOM, the rabbits came first and my turtles, or tortoises, have DEFINITELY been a bit slow and steady in putting in an appearance. However ... after attending some staff training sessions with my beloved Geek Boy last weekend (after all, I am VERY practiced at stitching while I listen!), Mr and Mrs Tortoise have arrived on the scene, along with their hitchhiking birdy buddies, Mr and Mrs Tweet!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Here is the slow-moving travel party ...

You'll see I've done my usual trick of dressing the two ladies, with a bow in her feathery hair for Mrs Tweet and a flower behind her ear for Mrs Tortoise (cos everyone known tortoises don't have hair!!), while the two menfolk have gussied up with spiffy bow ties. And my Noah's Ark BOM project so far ...

I'm really happy with how the colours are all looking together, though I may end up shuffling the order around a little bit. I'm going to wait and see what it all looks like finished, but I may also add a few extra log cabin blocks to make it big enough to be a lap quilt - I'll see how much enthusiasm and energy I have when the time comes! In the meantime, I'm enjoying stitching Lynette's little blocks very much - Thanks Lynette!!

Only one more day left to pop your comment on my "Celebrations" post to help me celebrate 100 (plus one!) posts and be in the draw for one of two Stitchers Surprise Packs. I've been absolutely gobsmacked by how many of you have popped in to say congrats and hello - I do hope you'll all pop in from time to time to leave me more comments so I don't think I'm chatting to myself! Mind you ... that happens in real life quite frequently, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if it happens in blogland! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Actually, I popped into my fave patchwork shop, Quilters' Angel, on my way home from work on Thursday to look for a few bits and bobs to go in the prize packs, and instead, this box followed me home ...

Aren't they GORGEOUS!! Almost too pretty to use!! Here's a closer view ...

I'd love to keep these myself, but got them with birthday and/or Christmas presents in mind. Hmmm ... may have to go back and buy myself a set!!! I also had the chance to sit down and catch up with Marian over a cuppa, which was great. We're usually both going a million miles an hour in different directions and only get to have a quick chat in passing, so it was lovely to catch up a bit. There was also a bit of secret squirrel business about an event Marian is planning for next year - it sounds VERY exciting, but SHHHHHHHH!! Don't tell anyone yet! Will fill you in on all the goss as soon as plans are a little firmer!!

Now I'm just about to head back to my sewing room, where I spent the morning hard at work (well, sort of! Since I enjoy sewing it doesn't usually FEEL like work!!) but before I do, I have to pass on a great big


To by blogging buddy, Kerryanne!! Hope you've had a lovely day, today and that you've felt very spoilt - because you're worth it!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Remember to measure your life in friends, not years!

So ... that's it from the Meares Madhouse for today - I'll be back with the names of two prize-winners tomorrow, so if you haven't already - you'd better get commenting! Til then - Bear Hugs!


Sunday 19 October 2008


That's all I can really say!!! I have been BLOWN AWAY by the wonderful response to my 100 (plus one!) blog post celebrations!! We've actually been away for the weekend, so I was away from my computer from Friday afternoon, but my beloved Geek Boy receives notification of all posts to my blog on his Blackberry (read: brain, address book, email address storage unit, alarm clock, work schedule, diary ... you get the picture!!) We'd only been away from home for about two hours when he said to me, "What did you say on your last blog post, because the Blackberry is positively BUZZING with new comments being left!" Tee! Hee! Hee! I told him it was everyone in blogland helping me celebrate my 100 (plus one!) posts. He replied that it certainly SEEMED to be literally EVERYONE in blogland from the number of times his Blackberry was buzzing!

While GB may have been exaggerating just a little, I have been amazed at how many of you wonderful bloggy buddies have stopped in to say g'day and congrats on the blogging milestone! Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and well-wishes - they are so very much appreciated! I've tried to reply to you all to say a personal thank you and I think I have only missed those of you who are listed as "no-reply" - so please take this as my "THANK YOU!" While I know some of you have only popped in for the celebration prize draw, many of you have commented that you enjoy visiting, often visit or frequently stop by - you've just been too shy to comment before, so it's been great to hear from you and realise people out there are enjoying reading about my ongoing adventures!! All of you will be popped into the prize draw and those of you who let me know that you've blogged about my celebration with a link back will be popped in twice. I'm already gathering little surprises to include in the Surprise Stitchers Pack!

I will be back in the next day or so with a "Real" post - I just wanted to thank you all for helping me celebrate, so for now I shall sign off and go see if GB's hip (where his Blackberry 'holster' is attached to his belt!) is still buzzing! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Thursday 16 October 2008


One of my favourite songs by the band "Dragon" is 'Celebrate' - in fact, when my beloved Geek Boy and I were married, this is the song we chose to walk back up the isle to after the ceremony!! Ours was NOT a traditional wedding in SO many ways - I bet that doesn't surprise most of you!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Now, I mention this, not because my mind has wandered off on a random tangent (though it does that a lot! Oops! There it went!) but because the words are: "Celebrate good times, COME ON! There's a party going on right here, a celebration to last us all the year! So bring your good times and your laughter too, we're gonna help to celebrate this party with you!" And that's the song that is circling in my head as I sit down to write this post, because I am CELEBRATING 100 posts! Well, 100 and ONE if you want to get REALLY technical, cos I had to finish telling you about my holiday on the 100th post!

I started blogging in February, a little bit by accident and mostly (like 99%!!) not knowing what I was doing. Someone had suggested that it might be a good way to let people know about my craft designs and patterns, encouraging them to visit the Tag Along Teddies web site. So that was why I started blogging. (oh and because GB said in passing one day, 'Oh, I set up a blog for you to play with.'!!) I wasn't sure how long I would keep it up, as I've never been any good at journaling or keeping a diary. So, I thought it might just be an interesting way of keeping track of the stitching projects I've done throughout the year - I give lots away as gifts that I usually forget to take photos of and at the end of the year always feel I haven't achieved much, this way I have photographic proof that I have! However, it's become so much more!!!

Not only have I found I enjoy blogging - it's just like having a chat with a friend - who takes a while to think before responding! Tee! Hee! Hee! I've enjoyed seeing what other crafters are up to and the sorts of projects people are working on/looking for. But beyond all of that - I've made some FANTASTIC blogging buddies!! There's Kerryanne from Shabby Art Boutique whose blog was actually the catalyst for this whole journey. Kerryanne has also been incredibly supportive of my designing and has even invited me to make a trip to Melbourne in the new year to teach a weekend workshop at her gorgeous studio! Plus, we've become good friends in the process. There's other designers like Lynette Anderson, Rosalie Quinlan, Natalie Ross, Melly, Leanne Beasley, Liz at Teddlywinks - all of whom have given encouraging feedback, but also inspired me to continue with my designing efforts and stretch my creativity. Thank you ladies! There's blogging buddies like Lilly Linda, Peg, Carin, Chookyblue, Granny Loz, Stina, Jo (Vintage Stitches), Jo (Home Sweet Home), Birdhouse Linda and Bek whose wonderful feedback and encouragement has nudged me out of procrastination and into stitching action on many occasions. (Especially Peg who hosted the Five Before The End Of July challenge!) Not to mention all of your wonderful bloggers who pop in for a visit and leave a comment - it's so wonderful to hear from you when you stop by. Not to mention the other wonderful blogs that I pop into for a visit quite frequently - and that list is ever-growing!! I could go on and on (and have been known to!!) but I'll cut myself short and summarise a little, with a HUGE, GINORMOUS, HEARTFELT ...


Now, when you celebrate something, people usually give YOU the presents, but to celebrate this blogging milestone and to say "Thank You" in another way, I'M going to give some presents to YOU - well a couple of you, anyway!! I've been on the look out for lots of fun little giftie items, as well as some stitching supplies, so will draw TWO names from the list of all who comment on THIS post to receive a "Surprise Stitchers Pack" - a lucky-dip of loveliness!! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favourite way of celebrating a special event. Everyone who leaves a comment will go into the draw and I will announce TWO prize winners next Saturday, October 25, Eastern Standard Time. (Darn daylight saving just adds more confusion to the whole time zone issue!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Tell your friends - the more the merrier is the celebration rule!! And if you mention my blogging century on your blog and link back, then let me know, I'll pop your name into the draw twice. Can't wait to see how all of you, my blogging buddies, like to celebrate!

The other thing I'm celebrating today is a FINISH! YAY! I've finally put the finishing touches on my Stitchers' Angel gifts. Now I just have to wrap them up to send them off, but thought I'd give you a sneaky peek first, cos I'm pretty sure my secret angel swap partner hasn't discovered my blog. Here we go ...

The three stitching accessories are, from left to right: a scissors pouch, an embroidered pin cushion and a needle keep. The scissors pouch (which also makes a great mobile phone pouch!) and the needle keep are from one of my patterns called "A Month Of Sundays", which I designed after friends who work full time complained that after housework takes up Saturday, they only have Sunday to sew, so were looking for quick, achievable projects. the MOS pattern includes four projects that can each be completed in a day, which means it will keep you busy for ... A Month Of Sundays! Tee! Hee! Hee! The other bits and bobs are some of my little knick knacks that I've been collecting for a while ready for gifties - a cute teashop shaped tin, which I've filled with Bag Lady teabags like the one resting in front in the photo. The tag to each teabag has a funny saying or quote. Then there's the magnetic note pad that lets you send notes from a "Cool Chick", the smarties-decorated tape measure (got myself one of these, too, and it works a treat!) and another gorgeous, handy little tin that I've popped an emergency sewing kit into, complete with needles, pins, thread, clips, buttons and the teeniest pair of scissors I've ever seen that really work!! Hope my swap buddy will like them - can't say where this parcel is going once it's wrapped - gotta keep some surprises!

Well, I think I've sufficiently carried out my threat of a sentimental monologue, so I shall sign off for now and wait to read your comments on how you like to celebrate. In the meantime, it's cold and wet here in Toowoomba, so I'm off for a mug of the YUMMIEST hot chocolate I've ever tasted. It's Candy Cane Cocoa that Carin sent me just before I went on holidays and it is THE BEST EVER!! I think the cold weather warrants another cup - it's as good an excuse as any!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Monday 13 October 2008

A Whale Of A Tale & A Century!

Well, it took a few more days than anticipated to get back to tell you about the second week of our holiday, but I finally made it! Now, the highlight of week two was our whale watching trip. We were able to book it at the office of the beach resort (cabin park) that we stayed at. When she was explaining the two different types, the girl at the counter said they were both good - one was a half day trip that included morning or afternoon tea, had underwater viewing, but took two hours to get out to where the whales usually were found, while the other was only a three hour trip, was a smaller boat and was FAST! My beloved Geek Boy and I looked at one another and grinned - FAST!! Tee! Hee! Hee! The only catch was, we would have to drive an hour and a half to Hervey Bay to catch the the boat and this meant getting up a bit earlier than we'd like, especially when on holidays! But, we bit the bullet and set the alarm.

Now, I'm sure you've all heard some variation of the saying: "I'd follow my husband to the ends of the earth ... of course I wouldn't HAVE to if he'd stop to ask directions!!" Well that was a bit like the start of our whale watching excursion. Somehow, GB misinterpreted a road sign and took a wrong turn off - something he didn't realise (despite me saying 'Grandma said to take the other turn"!!) until we ended up somewhere we didn't what to be and no where NEAR the marina! So we did a quick U-turn, back-tracked and took the RIGHT turn, arriving at the boat just as it was boarding - PHEW!! We did have a photo taken as we boarded, but it's particularly unflattering to me (though the boat looked good!!) so I haven't included it!!! So, instead, here's a shot of GB settled into his seat. (after taking sea-sickness prevention tablets! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Our crew of two (who looked like they should still have been at school - oh no! I sound like my mother!!!) soon had us underway, slowly til we got to the edge of the marina and then ... Pedal to the metal, sweetheart!!! ZOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!! Oh! I DO so love a good burst of speed!

This was the view from my seat looking towards the front of the boat. Good thing I could see out the SIDE of the boat or it would've been a boring ride! Tee! Hee! Hee!

It only took about 40 minutes to find the first pod of whales - our tour guides/boat pilots were in constant radio contact with other boating traffic, a couple of scientific study groups, so were able to tell us there were quite a few small pods (whale groups, not the chocolate and caramel filled crispy snacks!!) in the area. WOW! They were EVERYWHERE! We tended to stay with one pod for a while, then meander to another, all the while enjoying fantastic views due to small passenger numbers, gorgeous blue, blue water and warm weather. Even though we SAW lots of whale activity, capturing it with our fairly basic digital camera was a bit more of a challenge - we had a LOT of shots of "this is the water where the whale just dived"!! Tee! Hee! Hee! So, here are some of the better photos ...

OK, this was a) another passenger who jumped in front of GB while he was taking the photo and b) the large splash where a whale had just set a new record for the Biggest Belly Flop!! Oh, and I might add that this was accompanied by a fairly awful smell - which the scientists our guides were chatting to via radio informed as was a whale fart!! Oh joy! Just the sort of experience we signed up for - NOT! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I think this one was doing a Loch Ness Monster impersonation!!

This whale had dived under the boat and this was where it came up only about a metre away from the other side - ooooooooohhhh! They ARE big! It was pretty amazing! Then, one of the guides said she could see a whale in the distance breaching. This is where they come up high out of the water and kind of twist around to land flat on their back - very spectacular to watch - so off we motored! When we got closer, it turned out there were two juvenile whales both putting on a good show. Look, they were waving at us!!

And here's another "Just missed the whale" type splash!

At one point the two whales looked like they were competing in the synchronised swimming - they were both on their backs on top of the water, side by side, and rolling from one side to the other waving their fins around in time with each other - very funny to watch! We decided they were obviously juvenile MALES and showing off - TYPICAL! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So after a pretty magical couple of hours, we again headed for the marina, passing a loggerhead turtle, a distant pod of dolphins and the white sandy beach of Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world. Just before reaching the marina, our pilot/captain/guide/secret speed demon let the boat have it's head and we chucked a few lappies, zigged, zagged and spun at high speed - WOO HOO!!! Lots of fun and a fantastic day out. It's just amazing to see these huge creatures up close and makes you wonder even more how countries like Japan can be allowed to hunt them - oh, sorry "study" them!! And when we reached dry land again (with GB feeling a little dozy from the effects of the sea-sickness pills!!) I had a close encounter with a 'beached' whale.

OK, so there's not actually any beach bear him, but it gives you a bit of an idea of the size of these creatures when you consider this is only HALF a whale!!! PHEW! So ... that was our whale adventure - much enjoyed, though Scott slept all the way back to Bargara as the effects of the sea-sickness tablets kicked in big-time!No stamina! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The rest of our week was pretty low key - lots of beach walks, another catch up with Michelle, another dinner with Grandma - very relaxing - and then we were pleased to come home to our own bed and I was pleased to be back in close proximity to my craft stash! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks again to all of you who sent us lovely well-wishes and Bon Voyage messages - it was a wonderful send off for a much-enjoyed holiday!

Now ... the second part of my title - a century! Well, though it hardly seems possible, the trusty counter at the top of my blog tells me this is my 100th post!!! YAY! STREAMERS! HAPPY DANCE!! OK, stopping now! Tee! Hee! Hee! Now, there is going to be a sentimental monologue and a give-away - or two or three!! - but it will be in the NEXT post, so be sure to come back in the next few days to check it out! Until then, "Call me Ishmael!" and have a whale of a week! Bear Hugs Ahoy, me hearties!!


Thursday 9 October 2008

What I Did For My Holiday!

I know, that sounds a bit like a school report, doesn't it? Well, I promised to share some photos and stories of our holiday adventures - it's just taken a few days to get back to it! I'm not really sure where this week went, actually, except it seems to have gone WHIZZING past in a cloud of dust!!

So ... for our holiday, we headed north about four and a half hours to Bargara, which is near Bundaberg. (I'm sure many of you have heard of the famous beverage bottled at Bundy?!?) Whenever we've visited Bargara previously, it's been for family events and get-togethers, which, while fantastic, haven't left much time for sight-seeing, so this time we decided to play tourist a bit. After declaring day one a rest day, we set out the next day on our adventures. We hadn't really even left Bargara when we were brought to a stop by ...

A cane train. Bundaberg is a sugar cane growing region and we happened to be there during the harvesting season. Cane is most often transported from the cane fields to the sugar mills by ... cane trains. They rattle along at a pretty good rate of knots, so I was lucky the camera went through it's focus, red eye flash, take the photo, wait a bit, flash a few lights routine in time to catch it! (I keep promising myself I'll get a quicker camera one day to make like a little easier, but it's on "THAT" list!!) A little way down the road, we called in to check out the recently established Amandine Lavender Farm and gift shop.

Here, we met Helen and had a lovely time wandering through her cute little shop, admiring all the pretties - well, I had a lovely time, my beloved Geek Boy isn't too fond of the smell of lavender after a childhood trauma involving his younger brother splashing a cheap and nasty bottle of lavender perfume on him!! Tee! Hee! Hee! We had a great chat with Helen and, in fact, met with her and her family later in the week to talk about GB designing a web site for their growing business and me designing some lavender-themed stitchery patterns and kits to be sold in the gift shop! Talk about mixing business with pleasure!! I even used the holiday chill-out time to come up with the first lavender design so I could show Helen before we headed home. Wanna see???

I was pretty pleased with how it came up - and I bought myself some lavender tea from Helen's shop, so that was the inspiration - very soothing!

From the lavender farm, we headed for Schmeider's Cooperage where we watched a video about the cooper's trade (they make casks and barrels for those not in the know!) and we watched one of the guys in action making a small barrel that they sell to hold port. Sorry, couldn't get a good photo, as the cooper was working behind a glass safety wall and the reflections were a killer.

Also at the Cooperage is the workshop of master glassblower, Wolfgang Engel. We ended up spending quite a lot of time here, watching Wolfgang at work. This is what the work in progress looked like ...

I reckon he must have to have asbestos hands to work so close to the flame - though this is a small flame compared to what he uses when he's working on the bigger blown pieces. And the end result of this action shot was ...

Ta da! A pendant and earrings to compliment my summer wardrobe! Tee! Hee! Hee! It was also a great spot to pick up some Christmas presents - someone very KINDLY (?!?!?) pointed out it's less than 10 weeks til Christmas and I'm still not done with BIRTHDAYS!!!

So, that was our first day of adventures - we have to strike a balance when we holiday, as I like to be out exploring and adventuring and GB likes to read computer text books, program, sleep, watch movies ... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!! So we had a quiet day next, just kicking back and going for lovely walks along the beach.

We then caught up with a school friend of mine, Michelle. I've told you before how Lynette and I have been best buds since year 4, well we 'adopted' Michelle in year 8 when she came from a smaller school that didn't have high school and the three of us were a trio for the rest of high school. Here's Shell and I having a giggle about the position GB contorted himself into to take the photo without actually getting out of his chair!!

Driving around, we also noticed a number or wineries are now operating in the Bundaberg area, so we felt OBLIGED to check out at least one ... or two ...! Here's GB, the closet soak, in front of the Isis Winery, where he picked up a bottle of nice fruity white wine and a bottle of port for a Christmas gift.

Good thing this barrel didn't fall on his head! Hmmm, perhaps that's where the expression to be "barrelled over" came from!! Who knows!!

Now, since they're only a couple of hours away from Bargara, Mum and Dad came across on the weekend so we could all catch up - oh, and to bring Grandma back from a week's visit! Tee! Hee! Hee! Grandma actually lives at Bargara. We hit the local tavern on Saturday night for a VERY yummy and filling dinner. Here's our three generations of GORGEOUS women!!! Hmmm ... well ... it's three generations of women!! Two out of three ain't bad!! :0)

Do you like my new top? I bought it specially to take on holidays!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Anyways, that's only week one of our trip and I seem to have rambled, so I'll leave it there for now. Be sure to tune in next time at the same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, same Bat-place for the continuing adventures of GB and Super Ted!! Hmmm perhaps not, but I'll tell you about our whale watching trip!! So til then - Bear Hugs!


Monday 6 October 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggitty Jig!!

Hello to all of my blogging buddies! We're back from our two weeks' beach break and gradually easing ourselves back into 'real life' - bit hard, to be honest! Tee! Hee! Hee! I know a few of you were probably thinking I'd fallen off the edge of the planet, but you couldn't be that lucky!! I had great intentions of keeping up with my blogging and visiting other blogs whilst on holidays to keep abreast of what was happening in blogland, but it didn't happen. Although my beloved Geek Boy had his laptop with him, he rarely relinquished it - how rude! He'd mutter something about holidays being his only chance to get stuck into his programming and a new venture he's working on (more about this when he's done, as many of my blogging buddies may find it interesting!!) and tell me that, yes, I'd received two emails, but they didn't need a reply, or he'd 'summarise' what the email said! Hmmm ... not really the most reliable way for me to get my messages!! So, when I got home I found my in box full to overflowing, not to mention the list of posts from blogs I've added to my RSS feeds threatening to take over the in box! Phew! A couple of hours later, I've finally caught up with you all - I think!! In the next few days, I'll gradually pop in to my usual blog haunts for a cyber visit, but thought today would be just a quick post (well ... as quick as I get!!) to let you all know I'm back in the land of the blogging.

I've got HEAPS of photos from our holidays, but haven't had a chance to put them on the computer and get them ready to post, so I'll gradually share these with you in the next few days. However, while I was away, my blogging buddy Kerryanne at Shabby Art Boutique tagged me (Dang! Too slow to escape again! Tee! Hee! Hee!) to answer seven lots of seven questions, so I thought that might be a good way to ease back into blogging after my break. So ... here goes! For those of you who've been popping in for a while, some of these things won't come as a surprise, but you never know, I might just turn out to be a woman of mystery ... or not! Tee! Hee! Hee!
Here goes:

7 things I plan to do before I die:
1. Avoid dying for as long as possible cos the list of things I want to do before I die is just tooooooooooo long to rush! Tee! Hee! Hee!
2. Travel to Scotland and Ireland.
3. Finish writing/publish at least one of the handful of novels I have partly written - romantic/thriller, fantasy fiction, kids books - too many ideas, not enough time!
4. Own a Bed and Breakfast that features lots of 'alternative' industries like having alpacas, olives, hand made cheese (from the milk from the 'heeland coos' Highland cows, I intend to own!), as well as a craft studio to host retreats, a stone chapel and reception hall to host weddings and extensive cottage gardens for wedding photos and just because I looooooove them!!! Why dream SMALL!!
5. Go hang gliding - I LOOOOOOOVE flying and have tried helicopter, hot air balloon, tigermoth, microlight, Cessna ... would be good to finish that list with hang gliding!
6. Compile a coffee table book that combines craft patterns, gorgeous photographs of bears and cottage gardens, yummy recipes, fun poems and trivia bits.
7. Make a positive difference in the lives of as many people as possible!

7 things I do now:
1. Avoid housework as much as possible!
2. Read just about any written material I can get my hands on, especially crime/adventure/suspense novels and craft magazines.
3. Draw bears - lots of bears, all kinds of bears!! - and play with fabric to bring said bears to life! "It's ALIVE!!!!" (Sorry! Dr Frankenstein moment!!)
4. Get paid to sit in a heated/air conditioned office and chat to wonderful residents at a retirement village.
5. Blogging!
6. Belly Dancing (not as much as I was or would like to be doing, but still from time to time - I know, that's likely to keep you awake with nightmares tonight! Tee! Hee! Hee!)
7. Making new friends and enjoying the company of established friends as often as possible!

7 things I can't do
1. Resist buying yummy fabric, DVDs and books!
2. Anything involving numbers or mathematics - no matter how hard I try! My brain is number-resistant!!
3. NOT laugh!! I seem to have taken after my Nan and my Dad who are both remembered for their distinctive laughs and we all seem to see the funny side of most situations - even when other people DON'T! Tee! Hee! Hee! See!! I can't even stop when I'm writing!!
4. Follow a recipe without making SOME changes - either leaving stuff out, replacing ingredients or just adding things that seem like a good idea at the time! Thankfully, I'm a GOOD if unpredictable cook!!
5. Resist caramel tarts .... Mmmmmmmm .... Caramel!!!!
6. I'm with Kerryanne on this one - I can't stop talking! In high school, my best buddy Lynette and I would walk into the class room and the teachers would promptly send us to opposite sides of the room to stop us talking! Mind you - I prefer to think of myself as a 'prolific and effective communicator'!! :0)
7. Wear a mini skirt!! This is NOT a good look AT ALL!!! Gave up in year 8 after seeing a photo of myself in a mini skirt!! My short, podgy legs were meant to be COVERED!!

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex.
OK, most of these apply to my beloved GB, but some are unattained preferences - after all, I'm MARRIED, not BLIND or DEAD, so of course I LOOK, I just don't intend to ACT!! Tee! Hee! Hee!
1. Blue, blue eyes! Especially when paired with dark hair - love that Black Irish look! (My beloved has the nicest baby blues and dark hair!!)
2. Cute tushie (Yep, GB ticks that box too!)
3. Slightly warped sense of humour (Tick!)
4. The ability to laugh at himself (Tick!)
5. Musical talent of some kind (GB plays guitar BEAUTIFULLY - Tick!)
6. Honesty & openness (Tick, tick!)
7. Smooth, muscled chest - not body-builder muscles, outdoor work muscles (Ti... hmmm ... Oh well! Six out of seven ain't bad! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

7 things I say most often
1. I'm a GOOD girl, I am!! (No one seems to believe me, so I have to KEEP saying it!!)
2. You're such a BOY! (said to Scott, my boss, Tony who I work with, my brother Paul, my Dad ... hmmm, most guys, actually when they do something especially 'boy-like;!!)
3. I've been thinking ...! (Scott usually cringes at this one cos he says it invariably costs him time or money - or BOTH!!)
4. No worries! (my bush/outback upbringing!)
5. Someone stole my jammies! (Not sure how this happens, but no matter where I THINK I've taken my jammies off, they're never there when I go to put them back ON! I think the bears move them!)
6. I was a bit BAD ...!
7. I love you! To my friends and family at every opportunity so that there is never ANY doubt that they know I love them!

7 celebrities I admire
Hmmm, can't say there are too many, really. Will really have to put my thinking cap on!!
1. Cliff Richard - not only does he still manage to look hot at 60-something, he does a tremendous amount of charity work and has always openly admitted and shared his Christian faith - even when it could have hurt his career and he was advised against it.
2. Like Kerryanne, I admire Olivia Newton John for her bravery in facing Cancer, then encouraging other people to be more aware of their health and wellness (not always the same thing!), as well as her work for the environment and other charities. Oh yeah, and she can sing!!
3. Lady Dianna - although I'm not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination, I admired the way Dianna worked tirelessly to raise awareness of, and funds for, needs that were not always 'politically correct' (ie. AIDS research and care facilities, land mine clearance)
4. Anthony Warlow - I fell in love with his voice (OK and his looks, too!!) when I saw him in 'Guys & Dolls' when I was a teenager, but like Olivia, I admire his strength and determination in fighting cancer and then doing everything he can to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and support services. Plus, I love his warped sense of humour!!
5. Author Nora Roberts - her imagination seems limitless and she manages to write in so many different styles and genres. I particularly like her mystery/romances that have a little hint of 'otherworldly' about them!!
6. Author Barbara Johnson - for her ability to come through horrible & multiple personal losses with a sense of humour and the wisdom and strength to encourage other hurting people to use humour as a tool of healing.
7. My Mum and Dad! They may not be 'celebrities' to the world at large, but they've always been there for me with unconditional love, support, encouragement and a sense of humour to nurture me (and my brother!) to grow to be who I am today - even when they don't quite UNDERSTAND me! Tee! Hee! Hee!

7 favorite foods...
Uh oh!! Seven is not NEARLY enough to list my favourites!! Which would probably explain my 'Rubenesque' figure! Tee! Hee! Hee!
1. Caramel - anything really, that includes caramel!!
2. Mum's silverside with white sauce and veges - YUM!
3. Mum's Lemon delicious pudding and custard - YUM! YUM!
4. Seafood - especially prawns, scallops, barramundi and mud crabs!
5. Chicken - cooked just about any way you can think of, as long as it's chicken!
6. Summer fruit - mango, watermelon, rockmelon, cherries, lychees
7. Mum's sticky date pudding with rich butterscotch sauce and custard! (Are you getting the impression that my Mum is a good cook? SHE IS! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

And finally ...
7 people I tag to do this:
Hmmm, Ok. Bit stumped now. Kerryanne stole at least one of mine ...
1. Birdhouse Linda at Many Things To Do
2. Melly of Melly & Me designs
3. Nat of Natalie Ross In Stitches (That's usually what her posts keep me in - she's a funny lady!
4. Jo of Vintage Lane Stitches
5. Peg at Happy In Quilting
6. Dorothy at Dorothy Baker Designs ... and ...
7. Liz at Teddlywinks

Now, ladies, I know some people don't like to do the tagged thing, so if any of you want to skip it, that's cool, I won't be at all offended (just a little curious as to what you're NOT telling us! Tee! Hee! Hee!) And for those of you who haven't visited these wonderful creative women yet, do make yourself a cuppa and pop in to visit them - I can guarantee you'll enjoy yourself!

Well, now that I've finished my 'short' post (?!?!?!) I shall sign off. I promise that I will get my holiday photos sorted in the next few days and share them with you. I also have a few exciting things in the designing pipeline, so will share that too ... oh dear! So many things to do and share, not NEARLY enough time or play money! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time, Bear Hugs!

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