Wednesday 31 December 2008

A Wish For The New Year!

Well, somehow, without me realising quite when it happened, I find myself at that end of the year where we sing "Auld Lang Syn", think kindly of the past year (or tell it not to let the door hit it in the ... er ... butt... on it's way out! Hey Kerryanne!), think of good friends past and present and look forward to the coming New Year that is still shiny with promise and potential. I could go one and on (and Chookyblue tells me I do sometimes! Tee! Hee! Hee!), but in this case, I won't. Instead, I'd like to share a wish for the new year with all my blogging buddies.

"May God grant you always ...
... A sunbeam to warm you ...
... A moonbeam to charm you ...
... A sheltering angel so nothing can harm you ...
... Laughter to cheer you ...
... Faithful friends near you; and whenever you pray ...
... Heaven to hear you."

(Traditional Irish Blessing)

I wish you all a New Year full of health, happiness, friends, fun, laughter, love and LOTS of wonderful new adventures in 2009. Til next time - Bear Hugs!



Monday 29 December 2008

SSCS Thanks!

Now I know you won't believe me, but this will just be a quick post with some thank you's as my parents are still here for a visit and not much time to blog. Stina and I made a pact not to open our parcels til Christmas ... I think there needs to be a support group formed along the lines of AA ... POA ... Parcel Openers Anonymous! Tee! Hee! Hee! But we did good and when I finally got to open my parcel from my swap buddie Karen, I found ...

Pretty tissue wrapped pressies! And under all the pretty tissue was ...

Wowsers! There's a bear in there!! And one that cannot be ignored!! What a bright, funky new bearbie Karen has made for me! And look at those socks - I'm going to enjoy brightening things up come winter when I wear these socks to keep my toesies warm! And then there's the cute little Christmas bell ornament shaped like a snowman (sitting on the bear's left leg) and those choccies - MMMMMMMM!! Now you know I'm not usually a chocolate girl, I'm a caramel girl, but these were SOOOOOOOOOO yummy! White eggnog flavoured choc and white choc with candy cane chips! And not forgetting the cute little mushroom-like pin cushion there! Thank you so much Karen, I feel very spoilt!!

And I can now show you a photo of what I sent off to my SSCS partner who was none other than Cheryl at Polka Dots and Rick Rack. She received ...

Being a bit of a dotty spotty fan myself, I had fun looking for dotty things to send Cheryl. I also decided to step outside my comfort zone a little and do some simple pinwheel patchwork - remember seeing these a while ago? Now you know what I was making with them. And of course I couldn't NOT include a bear somewhere, so a needle turn teddy in a heart was applique`d in place - oh and some rick rack of course!! Plus some fun bits - mini sewing kit, fun sticky notes, cute little sharpie pens, a scented sachet featuring a vintage Santa picture, a dotty mouse pin cushion, some dotty ribbons and one of those gorgeous tea spoons I found with the pretty petite cakes on the end. Hope Cheryl is enjoying her goodies! The bag ended up being quite large in the end - all the better to visit the local patchwork fabric store with says I! Tee! Hee! Hee! A huge thank you to Swap Mama Chookyblue for all of her work behind the scenes co-ordinating swap partners, chasing up and reminding us all along the way, offering photos of past goodies as inspiration and sending gifties to some swap participants whose partners had to pull out for some reason - I don't think anyone else organises a swap quite as well as you, Chookyblue - WELL DONE!

And now (despite skepticism from some of you who know me that I could keep this post fairly short!!) I shall sign off and go find out what everyone is up to. I think I've been busier this week with Mum here than I usually am!! They live in a small town, so when they hit the 'big smoke' of Toowoomba, there's usually a long list of shopping to do, people to visit, things to do - it's a tough job, but I'm a wonderful daughter, so I shall make the sacrifice to go shopping, have coffees and be a social butterfly for my Mum! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Wednesday 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve In The Lounge Room!

'Twas Christmas Eve in the lounge room & not a creature was stirring there,
But for a small flickering candle, & one tiny teddy bear.
Amidst all the glitter & baubles, the Santas that spread round the room,
Instead of good cheer, joy & laughter, these two seemed quite sunk in gloom.
The teddy bear said to the candle, "I'm tiny & oft overlooked,
Not like the angels & Santas or the folk art that's made from a book.

I'm not pretty & covered in glitter, or perched in the Christmas tree,
I'm stuck sitting here up in a corner, where no one will even see."
The candle just sniffed in a disgruntled way & the small flame gave a flick,
"You think you've got problems, what about me? I'm so small it just makes me sick!
What use is a candle that can't burn out bright, as bright as a star in the sky,

I'm little & plain & my light is so weak, I think I'll just sit here & cry."
So there they both sat, the miserable pair, in the corner on Christmas Eve night,
When a soft voice came drifting from somewhere nearby, "Together, you share love & light."
They looked up startled at the source of the voice - it was Mary in the manger scene.
Her face glowed warmly & they stared in surprise as her smile turned to them, so serene.

"Look here at the stable where my baby was born, the baby who would be the King,
It's old & it's draughty, not even ours, yet what happened here made angels sing.
This one tiny baby was God's gift to the world on that very first Christmas night,
And God promised His Son, born in humble surrounds, would grow up to spread love & light.
One little baby changed the course of the world, so don't be distracted by size.
For you, little candle, still shed light in the dark to show where the homefire lies,
And you, tiny bear, with your arms held wide, offer love to the people you see.
It's not about size, or importance you see, but being who YOU'RE meant to be.
One little flame, one ray of light, can spread hope when there's none to be found,
And one little hug can show someone alone they are cared for & love's still around."
The candle stood straighter, flame flickering high, a wonderful, heartwarming sight.
"I may only be little, but if I stand up tall, more people can see by my light."
The teddy bear's smile had emerged once again & his arms were open wide,
"I'll share lots of love, lots of smiles, lots of hugs with those drawn by your light to our side."
'Twas Christmas Eve in the lounge room, not a soul was stirring there,
But a brightly shining candle, & a smiling teddy bear!

Happy Christmas to all my bloggy buddies. May the Reason for the Season bless you with health, happiness, family, friends, laughter and love during this special time. Til next time - Christmas Bear Hugs!


Tuesday 23 December 2008

Edible Christmas Balls!!

I don't know about you, but for me there are some foods that you only seem to make/eat at Christmas time and that it doesn't quite seem like Christmas without. In our family, that means Grandma's Meatloaf (no, not the same one that gets trotted out every year!! Her RECIPE!!)and apricot balls. I know most people think of rum balls for Christmas, but none of us are overly fond of rum (and who wants to risk the breathalyser just by having a little snack!) so we make apricot balls. They're sooooooo easy to make, involve no cooking and only a little mess.

Into a mixing bowl, put one packet of chopped apricots (they even come already chopped in packets, these days - no sticky knife and fingers!!) one can of sweet condensed milk and about two and a half cups of desiccated coconut (if the mix seems a bit sloppy, just add more coconut!). Mix it all around until well combined.

Here's one I prepared earlier! Tee! Hee! Hee! Actually, the odd angle is courtesy of my beloved Geek Boy who took the photo cos my hands were covered in apricot ball mix! Hmmm ... not sure whether he's tried one of those rum balls or if he was being artistic!!

There's no non-messy way to do the next step, really. Take about a teaspoonful of the apricot ball mix and roll it between your palms (make sure you wash your hands first, of course - hey Linda!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) then pop the balls into a bowl of loose desiccated coconut, roll them around til they're well coated. Spread them on a lined baking tray (unless you're particularly fond of washing up!)

(Hmmm ... fuzzy photo. Perhaps I too have eaten one of those rum balls!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Once the tray is full of neat little balls of yumminess, pop them into the fridge until they are firm (I usually make sure it's at least overnight) then pop them into a pretty bowl and serve with a hot cuppa and a smile.

See? Easy peasy Christmas yummies! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do. What yummies do you eat only at Christmas time??

Hmmm ... now I have to go and clean up the kitchen ... how on EARTH did I get desiccated coconut up THERE?!?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Bear Hugs!


Saturday 20 December 2008

Lazy, Laid-Back Lunches!

Yessiree ... I'm starting to get into this holiday mode! (even though I'm not actually on holidays til next Wednesday!!) You see, having finalised all the gifties, I feel I can kick back and take things a little slower and this week I've enjoyed catching up with a couple of friends to help me do that.

Firstly, I caught up with Bek on Wednesday when I met her and her kids for lunch at the Chocolate Cottage coffee shop on the Village Green at Highfields. We had a lovely, lazy lunch, sitting at a table under a big shady tree and enjoying the view down into the Lockyer Valley. Ah ... this is the life!! And Bek spoiled me with a sweet little Christmas giftie. I know Stina and I made a pact about not opening any more gifties before Christmas, but Bek's kids said I could open this one, so that doesn't count!! That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :0)

Aren't these just the sweetest!! I LOOOOOOVE gingerbread men almost as much as I love bears ... and cupcakes ... and birdhouses ... and ...!! The little scented sachet is going into my quilting stash to make all my fabrics smell pretty. The other two pretties will find a home in the lounge room where I can enjoy them. Thanks Bek for a very enjoyable lunch and for my sweet gifties.

So ... that was on Wednesday. Yesterday I found myself again heading for the Village Green for a pre-Christmas catch-up. Have I mentioned I know far too many people and how there's always a rush to catch up before Christmas? Next year I'm going to make a visiting schedule to spread out the catch up lunches throughout the year so it's NOT a rush at Christmas! Can you imagine the look on someone's face when I call in February to say, "Hey, wanna catch up for lunch and beat the Christmas rush?" Tee! Hee! Hee! They'll think I'm crazier than they already think I am! Now, where was I ... Oh yes, at lunch AGAIN!! This time, I caught up with my friend Robyn. We had yet another lovely, laid-back lunch, chatting and enjoying the view from the Chocolate Cottage's back verandah this time, gazing down over the Valley. You really all should come and visit me to check out the view ... once we make a visiting schedule of course! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... after lunch Robyn and I felt OBLIGED to visit all the shops on the Village Green. Rob stocked up on her fave hand-made soaps from Herbal Harmonies, before we trundled over to see Marian at Quilters' Angel. Uh oh! Did you just hear my beloved Geek Boy groan?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Oh yes, something came home with me in one of THOSE pink bags ...

The blue is backing fabric for one of the quilts I'm going to make myself during my 'rest' month of January, the green was on special and ... well ... it's GREEN!! Say no more! :0) and the little bundle in the centre was a lovely Christmas give-away from Marian - how nice is that girl!! And while it's not my usual style, I have a couple of ideas in mind to make gifties!! So ... all in all ... another restful, relaxing, lazy, laid-back lunch with a good friend. Yep! That's the way you're SUPPOSED to get ready for Christmas, I reckon!!

And speaking of gifties ... I got in trouble from Deb for not posting a photo of the goodies she sent to GB and I. I didn't unwrap these, Stina - they came unwrapped!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

She sent us each an 'Emergency' kit. GB's was a brekkie kit for the mornings he's late running out the door. There's a toast decorator thingy, a bowl of cereal-to-go, a mug that made us laugh cos it has that message everyone who uses a computer knows so well and hates: "Thinking .... please wait" and some coffee bags for his first caffeine jolt of the day. And she sent me a stitchers emergency kit for when I'm rushing to someone's place to stitch and haven't had time to get my 'bits' together. It includes a clever thread catcher/pin cushion that has a (heavy!) weight in it to balance on a chair arm, plus a kit for a lavender cross-stitch bookmark (I looooove lavender!) and a handful of herbal teas. Hmmmm is she telling me I'm already too jazzed and I need to calm down with caffeine free tea?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks Deb! I'm sure they'll be put to good use.

Now ... a couple of photos to finish before I go and hang the washing. Last post, I forgot to show you all my complete set (so far!) of Lynette's Noah's Ark BOM blocks. Here it is ...

I'm really happy with how they all look together. Can't wait to have them all done so I can work out how I'll put them all together. I'll probably add some borders at least to make it a bit bigger to be a knee rug size. Will wait til all the blocks are done before deciding! Thanks again Lynette for this wonderful BOM!

And the last photo is of our Advent Calendar.

This is one of my earliest stitchery pattern designs and still one of my favourite. Hey Stina ... this is you and me!! Tee! Hee! Hee! We can 'bearly' wait for Christmas!! :0) Actually, I think we have a lot of company in that regard! The little pockets around this stitchery have the countdown numbers stitched on them and are just the right size to put small candy canes, little chocolates or wrapped lollies like minties, but I didn't get around to filling them this year - oops! Mind you, I think we have enough Christmas lollies and goodies to keep us happy!!

Well, I think that's it from me today. OH! WAIT!! HOLD THE PRESSES!!! Forgot to tell you something REALLY important!! If you haven't already found it, May Britt has designed a gorgeous little Christmas heart stitchery pattern that she is offering to her blog visitors as a Christmas giftie. Just pop over to her blog and hit the download button. Thanks May Britt! It's already on my list of things to do for Christmas NEXT year!! EEEK! If that list has already started before THIS Christmas, what's it going to look like by the time next Christmas gets here!! Aaaaaaaarrrrgghhh!! So ... before I have my anticipatory nervous breakdown ... I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Tuesday 16 December 2008

North Pole Visitors!!

After a week of unusual humidity here in Toowoomba last week, the last few days have been cooler - so cool in fact, it drew some visitors from the North Pole out of hiding!

Firstly, I received a note in my mailbox on Monday to tell me that Santa had passed through Toowoomba and after taking a wrong turn at Hume Street, ended up dropping a parcel for me at the post office instead of my front door. So ... off I went to collect it. Hmmm ... a big box all the way from Utah. OOOOOOHHHHH!! My SSCS parcel had arrived! My swap buddy Karen Mc had been running a little late to post my giftie, but since she put it in the express sleigh, it's already here. So, I opened my box and found ...

A big note telling me I'm not supposed to open my giftie until Christmas Day! Aaaaaarrrggghhhhh!!! Doesn't Karen realise that I was one of those children who went snooping for hidden gifties at Christmas and once they were under the tree, I'd shake them and smell them and weigh them up ... and hope that some paper 'accidentally' tore so I could get a sneak peek?!?!?! Me and Stina ... neither of us are good at waiting!! How am I going to last til CHRISTMAS!!! Swap Mama Chookyblue says it will be character building for me. Hmmm ... isn't character what you get when you don't get what you want?!?! SIGH!! Here's me, trying REALLY hard to be good!! Maybe my beloved Geek Boy should hide it somewhere so there's more chance of me holding out against temptation! Thanks Karen for my giftie - even if you are a tease by not letting me peek!!

Now my other visitors from the north pole appeared over the weekend, but needed a bit of a country Christmas make-over before putting in a PUBLIC appearance. Here they are ...

All the way from the snowy north, Mr and Mrs Penguin from Lynette Anderson's wonderful Noah's Ark BOM. Yes, yes, as you can see, I've added my usual little extras! Mrs Penguin is now sporting a pretty blue necklace and a lovely flower behind her ear (hmmm ... do penguins have ears?? Well, they must, I suppose, or how else could they HEAR!! Another of life's little mysteries that could be solved if I subscribed to the Discovery Channel!!) and Mr Penguin is looking rather smart and has obviously decided to go formal, with a blue bow tie to match his 'penguin suit'! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I've also made some good headway on the latest block, a pair of handsome lions, which I've been stitching in between the Christmas present making and wrapping. In fact, I posted all of the interstate gifties today - much to the amusement of my local Postie! I do my mailing at a quiet little post office and I think I'm the entertainment for my postie whenever I pop in. He's always interested and bemused at the many different places I post to - today's batch involved five parcels, which went to four different states!! Mind you, in the past months I've posted to Sweden, Norway, Germany, USA and UK, so at least today was all domestic destinations!! Still think they should give me some shares in Australia Post or at least a Frequent Poster Discount! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Now, one of those parcels was winging it's way to Melbourne to a certain bloggy buddy who is back home and in the land of the blogging! Welcome Home Kerryanne!! Your bloggy buddies have missed you!! And do you know what that naughty girl did when she should have been preparing to go into hospital?? She took time out of her busy preparations to send me a little Christmas energy boost.

Hmmm ... pretty green paper, lovely tartan ribbon ... what could it be ...

OOOOOOOOOOOOHHH!! Dove Caramel choccies - YUMMO!! Thanks Kerryanne!! These were definitely what gave me the energy I needed to finish my Christmas gift making and wrapping!! Yes ... you read correctly ... I've now crossed off ALL of the gifties that I had to organise this year! PHEW!! And the conclusion I've come to?? I need to be nastier so I don't have so many people to find gifties for next year! Tee! Hee! Hee! Just kiddin'!! While I still have a few left to wrap, they're all safely in the giftie basket, just waiting for pretty paper, sticky tape and a tag. Which is good, cos I think there's only nine sleeps left til the big bloke in red comes to visit. Have you been naughty or nice?? There's still time to turn it all round! Hmmm ... perhaps if I just stay in bed for the next few days I can manage to be a good girl! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time - Bear Hugs!!



(PS. Did you notice that I've 'decorated' this post for Christmas - lots of GREEN and RED!! Tee! Hee! Hee! BH! KRIS)

Saturday 13 December 2008

More Christmas Pretties & An Award!

Calling all cars ... be on the lookout for a missing WEEK! Last seen around Monday, owner not sure where she misplaced it!!

WHEW! This week has just flown by and I'm not sure I can even tell you what I've been up to! Lets see - a Christmas party, a Christmas brekkie (one disadvantage of working at a retirement village where most residents get up REALLY early and go to bed REALLY early, the Christmas party becomes a BREKKIE!!! Eek!!) and a trip to Brisbane ... not sure what took up the rest of the week! It just seems to be that time of year where we're all trying to cross things off our 'To Do' list, whilst catching up with people for cuppas or drinkies that we haven't seen for a while and want to see before Christmas. Note to self ... next year, make up a weekly schedule to catch up with friends more regularly to avoid the Christmas rush!!! Can you imagine me asking someone in February if they'd like to catch up and 'avoid the Christmas rush'?!?! They'll wonder if a) I'm running REALLY early for NEXT Christmas; b) running REALLY late from LAST Christmas; or c) gone completely round the bend (for about the third or fourth lap!!) and have no idea what time of year it is! Tee! Hee! Hee! Somehow, I think I can see lots of people voting for c) !!!

So ... last post, I said I would share some more of my Christmas pretties with you, to help get us all into the Christmas mood. Have had some lovely comments back from people about my pretties - that's the nice thing about sharing, it goes two ways! And I've also visited a few of you fellow bloggers to enjoy a peek at YOUR Christmas pretties, so thank you for sharing - you all know who you are! (and if not, ask Santa for a name badge for Christmas! Tee! Hee! Hee!) And those of you who haven't yet checked out Stina's Christmas tree collection that she featured in her most recent post, you really should! I told her it looks like she's taken the forest indoors to enjoy, cos it's WAY too cold at her place in Sweden to go OUTSIDE! Tee! Hee! hee! She's also been featuring some great snowy winter photos.

OK ... more pretties ...

Here's a jolly fellow I made a few years ago - most years I try to make at least one new Christmas decoration, but have been a bit slack this year ... maybe next year! This Santa reminds me of those rocking clowns you see for kids to play with. My brother had one that jingled every time he was bumped to rock - kept him amused for hours! (my brother, not the rocking clown!!!)

What's better than one Santa? A whole SWAG of Santa's!! These little blokes are hanging in the lounge room doorway - actually, most doorways have SOMETHING hanging in them at the moment ... Santa's, angels, wind chimes ... with two shorties in the house, we can do that, but if any tall friends come to visit, they have to learn to DUCK!!

This is one of my favourite Christmas decorations, cos I actually painted it! Under the strict supervision of my folk artist friend mentioned in the previous post! Tee! Hee! Hee! I'm pretty sure it's one of Kerryanne's projects that appeared in a magazine a few years ago. There were two versions of the stocking, but of course, I chose the one with the teddy to paint! And speaking of teddies ...

You just KNEW there would be more bears, didn't you?!! Tee! Hee! Hee! So there you go, some of my fave Christmas pretties that now adorn my CLEAN lounge room!

Now ... the other thing to happen this week that I've been a bit slack about, was me being named to receive a cute blogging award ...

I was given this award by the lovely Jo at Vintage Lane Stitches - thank you sooooo much, Jo!! I feel rather chuffed that you enjoy visiting my blog and find it creative and (hopefully!) inspirational for your own crafting endeavours!! Jo often has wonderful photos of her crafting adventures and if you go to her post here and here, you'll see some of HER Christmas pretties that finally got me motivated enough to drag mine out of the cupboard!! Thanks Jo! Now, I'm supposed to nominate some blogs that I find creative and inspirational, but I think most of my faves have already been nominated!! There's Kerryanne who makes me drool with her gorgeous paintings and delicious faux sweeties; Julia who's spotty blog background I'm in love with; there's Clare who shared the little purse tissue pouch tutorial; Lilly Linda who shares her pretties at Lilly Cottage and Kiss Noises; Jo in Tasmania who's always up to something, Chookyblue who hosted a wonderful Christmas swap; Peg who's just a super stitcher and must have finished about 50 quilts this year; Melly who makes the sweetest stuffed animal cuties (you REALLY need to see her latest version of Magoo the monkey!!) .... OH!!! Just ALL of the people in my sidebar!!! And I'm always discovering more clever clogs'!! All you have to do is take a trip through the list on my sidebar to see what I mean, so I think the award should be passed on to all of these incredibly creative, clever ladies - let's face it, WE ALL ROCK!!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Well ... time's a-wastin' and I have Christmas gifties that need to be wrapped to be mailed on Monday, so I'd better sign off for now! I'll just add a special cheerio to my bloggy buddy, Kerryanne English. I'm not sure if she's home yet, but she's just undergone a pretty big op, so may not be back on the air yet, but I know she'll be blog hopping when she DOES get home, cos she has to be off her feet for quite a while - which may just drive my very active bloggy buddy round the bend! Tee! Hee! Hee! So .... FEEL BETTER SOON, KERRYANNE!! And if you haven't yet popped into her blog or web sites, you really should make the time to take a peek - but make a cuppa first, cos there are sooooooooo many pretties to look at that you could be there a while!!

I think that's enough from me for today ... hope to show some photos of what I've been stitching soon (still working on the penguins, Judy!!!) and I hope whatever you're doing, you enjoy some time out with friends and family to relax ... and maybe stitch a little! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Monday 8 December 2008

Christmas Cleaning!

Well, we all know the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun - EEK!! So, this last weekend, I decided it was time for a pre-Christmas clean up around the Meares' Madhouse. I know, those of you who know me well are now fanning yourselves to recover from the shock as you pick yourelf up from the floor, but it had to be done!

While I was dusting and wiping, all the while bopping away to the funky tunes of Bernard Fanning, I decided it was time to admit Christmas was on its way and toss around a few decorations. I'd decided not to put an actual tree up this year due to lack of space and so hadn't really intended to decorate much at all, but I thought a clean lounge room was worth celebrating, so out came my favourite decorations. WARNING - quite a few photos to follow, so you may want to grab a cuppa and get comfy!

Here's the little scene I've set up on my old pedal sewing machine in the hallway. I know we don't get snow here in Australia for Christmas (well, mostly!) but I painted this little folk art girlie in a class a few years ago and was rather proud of how she turned out!

These angels hang in our bedroom doorway. They started out as Christmas Angels, but I loved them so much that they live here all year round - they just have some festive company around this time of year!

Also on our bedroom doorway at the moment - what's better than one Santa to give pressies - three Santa's - Ho! Ho! Ho!

This Santa has his sack of goodies open ready to leave gifties behind - hmmm ... a holiday to Fiji ... a gazebo for the back yard ... will have to wait and see!

This Santa is supposed to help count down to Christmas day, but do you see his little blackboard it blank? Couple of reasons - firstly, I have a friend who is a little OCD and when she visited me close to Christmas last year and I hadn't changed the number of days for a while, it sent her a little loopy and she just HAD to fix it for me, so I figured I can't get it wrong if I leave it blank! The second reason - I'm in denial that Christmas is so close and if I write the countdown numbers, it will freak me out! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Here's the heart of Christmas - the Nativity scene. I'm still looking for a nice larger one that's in my price range - all the ones I fancy are a little bit too rich for my Christmas budget, so this cute little one will do for now. Oh, and you can see some of our wedding photos in the tri-frame behind it - hmmmm ... there was a lot less of me back then! Tee! Hee! Hee! Oh! And you may not recognise her with all that blond hair, but that's Lynette as my bridesmaid!!

Here is the little Santa scene on top of the TV - don't look too closely, this was my first try at folk art! See why I keep saying I need a few lessons with Kerryanne?!?! Oh and by the way, this is a kit I bought from Kerryanne way before we became blogging buddies! In fact, when I stopped and had a look, quite a few of my Christmas pretties are from Kerryanne's fabulous folk art patterns, painted either by one of my clever crafty friends or me under same clever crafty friend's watchful guidance!

And here is the little angel seen in the photo before, this time at night with her Christmas light shining. I just love the soft candlelight and how it changes colours!

Hmmm ... there were a few more photos than I realised, so perhaps I'll keep some aside for my next post. In the meantime, I think it's time to go and light those Christmas candles! Hope you're having fun preparing for Christmas! Til next time - Christmas Bear Hugs!


Friday 5 December 2008

Takin' It Easy ... Well ... Easier!!

I know I've been a bit quiet this week, but after all my rushing to meet deadlines, I decided I needed - and deserved! - a week of taking it easy - well ... a bit easier than I had been! If you'd been looking for me this week, you'd most often have found me curled up in the lounge room (under the fan, cos it's been VERY humid here, unusual for Toowoomba!!), with a cup of cinnamon tea (YUMMO!) and a book.

I've been re-reading the first two books in a trilogy, because the third one came out this week - YAY! So off I trotted to get me a copy! And while I was there, found that my all-time fave chocolates are out in the lead up to Christmas - double YAY! I'm not really a big chocolate fan and have only a few varieties that I absolutely can't resist - this is one!

Mmmmmmmm ... Almond Roca! And here is the book I was waiting for - can you guess how I'm spending the weekend?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Nora Roberts is one of my fave authors. She tells a ripping yarn, has fun and quirky characters and a warped sense of humour - my kind of gal!!

So ... you can guess there's been very little sewing this week, though I have started on LAST month's block for Lynette Anderson's Noah's Ark BOM - Judy's in front of me at the moment, cos I got caught out by last month's deadlines. If they ever put anything decent back on TV, I'll soon catch up, but mostly it's just re-runs ... oh, sorry! ... 'encore' airings!!! SIGH!! Even TV re-runs have gone politically correct!! The other little bit of sewing I've done was to experiment with a little something I saw on Clare's blog. Clare is a clever clogs designer (we have so many here in Australia, must be all our fresh air! Tee! Hee! Hee!) who always has something interesting to peek at. She also posted the little tutorial to make ...

This. No, not the coffee cup, silly - the purse size tissue pocket! Isn't this a great idea for little gifties? Practical and pretty and sooooooooo simple! I found I had to play around with the measurements a bit, but I think I had different size tissue packs to Clare, but once I worked it out, it took about 15 minutes tops to whip one up. As you can see, I'm still in my spotty dotty phase!! Check out Clare's tute here for some quick and easy Christmas gifties that will use up some of your stash off-cuts.

And if you're in Christmas giftie making mode, pop across to Gail Pan's blog, cos she's made the pattern for a cute Christmas stitchery available for download. It looks like this ...

Isn't it sweet? And how kind of Gail to give us all an early Christmas present! Make sure you pop over to take advantage of this generous Christmas offer - Thanks Gail!!

Now, before I head off to put the kettle on for a cup of cinnamon tea to curl up with my book again, I thought I'd show you a couple of photos of a little visitor we had in the big camphor laurel tree we have on our footpath.

He's a little scaly breasted Rosella. (I think - not always very good at the bird naming thing!!) Here's another shot of him ...

Isn't he pretty? I just love his vibrant yellow and blue colour scheme! I sometimes think we should pay more attention to nature when we come to pick our fabric colours for projects!

And now ... I hear the kettle calling my name and the siren's call of a good book! Have a great weekend, whether you're stitching or reading - or just enjoying your favourite chocolate! Tee! Hee! Hee! Bear Hugs!

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