Tuesday 27 January 2009

Wonderful Weekend & A Wabbit!!

Here I am again, recovering from a busy, but wonderful weekend! It was a long weekend for Australia Day on Monday - a time for flag waving, charcoaling meat on the barbecue, watching the cricket and catching up with friends. Well ... we did two of those things, so I think it could be considered, "Mission Accomplished"! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Saturday was household chores day, but Sunday was PLAY DAY!! My bloggy buddy, Lilly Linda and her beloved Tim took a little drive from Brisbane to come up our Hill (our part of the Great Dividing Range! tee! Hee! Hee!) and started our fun by meeting for lunch at the Village Green at Highfields - where else!! After a little bit of confusion about WHERE we were meeting, (Scott and I were at the FRONT while Linda and Tim were at the BACK!!) we treated ourselves to a yummy lunch.

Who are those celebrities hiding behind dark glasses?!? Tee! Hee! Hee! You can also see that our lunch had just been delivered and we were about to tuck in - YUMMO!!

Of course, after finishing lunch, Linda and I felt OBLIGED to pay a visit to my fave patchwork shop, Quilters Angel, where Marian asked if I was leading Linda astray - I pointed out very quickly that she doesn't need my help and it's more of a mutual encouragement to mischief! Tee! Hee! Hee! The boys were playing with the new car and getting the Bluetooth function to work while we were playing with fabric ... and lace ... and buttons ... and ric-rack .... and ... well you get the picture! :0)

After quick visits home and to the motel for showers, we all met up again at Weis' restaurant for a DELICIOUS smorgasbord dinner!!! Mmmmmm ...!! Diet??? No diets HERE this weekend! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Here we all are, snapped by a helpful waitress! Hmmm ... looks like Scott's had one too many glasses of what's in that ice bucket! Nah, not really, he was just snuggling!! Awwwwwwww! We had the BEST night out!! Isn't it great when you get on REALLY well with someone and discover that your husbands also get on well?! That's what we found!! So all four of us chatted happily for the evening - lots of stories, lots of laughs, lots of friendship!! What more could a gal want from a weekend to call it wonderful? How about a surprise giftie!!! That's what Lilly Linda gave me at dinner!! Awwwww ... What a SWEETIE!! And although I didn't get a photo of it (too busy unwrapping!!) it was a ... "brown paper package tied up with strings .." are any of you hearing the Sound of Music in the background there?! Inside I found a GORGEOUS little shoulder bag made by the very talented Lilly Linda (will show photo further down!) and a pair of the prettiest sparkly earrings!! How spoilt was I!!

So ... I hear you say ... it couldn't get any better than THAT! Well, you'd be WRONG!! The reason Linda and Tim had climbed our hill was to attend the Handmade Expo being held at Jondaryan Woolshed as part of the Australia Day celebrations on Monday. What's better - A CRAFT FAIR!! YAY!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Linda had a stall at the fair that was just FULL of lots of pretties from Lilly Cottage. The craft displays were set up in the wool shed and, as it was a VERY warm day, there was a certain country 'fragrance' about the shed - especially since there was a small mob of slightly stage struck sheep who were going to perform later in the day in a shearing demonstration! Tee! Hee! Hee! However, Linda was closer to the door than the sheep pens, so not quite so 'fragrant' and she had soooooooo many pretties that it took everyone's mind off it anyways!! Take a peek ...

Look at the pretties!! And there's the bestest Pretty, right in the middle, smiling at me! :0) Now, you just KNOW I couldn't leave ALL of those pretties there! Yes, I adopted a new playmate for my bears!

Here's Floppsy the Wabbit, settling into the spare room very nicely! One day I'm going to have so many bears etc in there that there won't be any room for guests, but in the meantime ...!!! And beside Floppsy is the GORGEOUS bag that Linda gave me!! Isn't it GREAT! I LOOOOOOOVE the vintage postcard photo she's incorporated - don't know if you can see, it's a belly dancer! Linda knows I used to attend belly dancing classes - until my class was cancelled - GRRRR!! And can you see my pretty sparkly earrings!! Yep ... spoilt!! Thank you Linda!!!

There were other attractions at Jondaryan to celebrate Australia Day, too, like a representation of the famous Lighthorsemen cavalry unit ...

There were wonderful old buildings to admire ...

And of course the shearing demonstration with the nervous sheep as stars! Tee! Hee! Hee! We didn't stick around for that, having spent quite a few years in outback and rural areas, it's a bit "Ho-Hum" for us.

So ... that's how we spent our long weekend!! You can now see why there was no stitching done! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks Linda and Tim for a WONDERFUL weekend of friendship - we'll have to have an encore` performance sometime soon!!

And speaking of stitching (which I did in passing!) May Britt and I have made the decision to close the sign up for our 'little' One Project A Month Challenge on January 31. We now have over 260 participants and we're a bit afraid that if we leave it open as we'd originally intended, our email "In" boxes will explode from all the extra emails! Tee! Hee! Hee! There are some great finishes being posted and only a few more days until the first End of Month prize draw, so get stitching, then posting and let me know so I can add your finishes to my spreadsheet.

And finally ... that's it! If you've made it to the end - well done! You deserve a cuppa ... or maybe some chocolate ... to reward your patience and perseverance!! Any excuse, right! Tee! Hee! Hee! I hope that whatever you did this weekend that you enjoyed yourself. Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Sunday 25 January 2009

Some "No Blog" Photos!

I know ... you don't hear from me for a WEEK then you can't shut me up!! My Dad will tell you that the first part of that is the unusual bit, not the second! Tee! Hee! Hee! May Britt and I have been receiving some wonderful emails from people as they finish projects for our Challenge and it has been so encouraging for us to see how much everyone is enjoying being part of it!! And although most participants are showing off photos of their finishes on their blogs (make sure you visit some or all to admire the work being done!!) some people are "No Blog" -ers and just sending May Britt and I the photos. Now ... I thought it was a bit selfish to keep these wonderful photos all to myself and thought I'd share some of them with you - and of course it gives our "No Blog" -ers a chance to preen! Tee! Hee! Hee!

These first photos are from Stacia (No Blog). She's finished a brilliant little project - a purse organiser!

Isn't it great!! A long strip of pockets that you then slip all of the "ESSENTIALS" into (boys don't understand this!!), you then roll it up and just move it from bag to bag!! How organised is THAT!! I don't know about you, but I have lots of yummy bags that I've made or been given that I don't use as often as I'd like, cos it takes a ages to find all of the "ESSENTIALS" in my everyday bag, then transfer them across. Then, sure as eggs, I'll get where I'm going and find I've forgotten something VITAL!!! So I just don't use these pretty bags as often as I'd like. Here's a closer photo of Stacia's purse organiser.

I think I might have to make myself one of these!!

Then we have some photos from Sheila (No Blog) who's been a busy gal and finished two projects. The first is a Christmas 'left-over' ...

Isn't this a lovely Christmas hanging? Lots of work has gone into that one. And Sheila's second finish was for a challenge. She tells me she took the easy way out, but I still think it came up nicely!

Isn't this pretty!! Can't go past pretty hearts and easy or not, it looks great!

And ... Mary (No Blog) has also sent me a photo of three of her finishes - some very funky phone pouches - pretty AND practical!!

There may have been some more photos from "No Blog" -ers sent to me, but if you'd seen how full my email in box is, you'd understand how easily misplaced things are! If I find some more, or receive more, I'll try to share them with you, too.

Well done to everyone who has been crossing WISP's off their list!! It's great to hear how excited everyone is about getting some WISP's finished and also the sense of achievement it's giving people!! So ... it would be well worth your while to make yourself a cuppa and take a browse through the list of Challenge Participants' blogs in the sidebar - there is some FANTASTIC stitching going on out there in blogland!!! And now ... I'm off to meet up with Lilly Linda for some lunch and chatting!! Bear Hugs!


Saturday 24 January 2009

Buttons, Blue Tongue & Bits & Bobs

Well, here I am! I know I've been a bit absent this week (though there are those who would say I'm 'absent' most of the time! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I've had a mild case of the 'blahs'. Nothing was really wrong, except my 'get up and go' got up and went!! I just haven't had any energy - so I've mostly curled up with a book in front of the fan! But ... my energy seems to be returning in the last day or so, so ... here I am back again!

Now, some of you may remember, before Christmas I was fortunate enough to win a give away from Lisa at Button Bliss when I helped her name her laser cutter - I suggested Lazarus, cos it had 'returned from the dead' after a trip to the laser machine doctors. My prize was $100 worth of wonderful laser cut timber buttons - which I gleefully chose after much deliberation. Not long after that, Lisa ran into a few 'technical difficulties', including a laptop (that has all the laser/design/etc software on it) that developed a drinking problem - it met with a glass of drink and fizzled! So Lisa was only able to send me my buttons this week - wanna see?

Look at all these pretty buttons!! Boy oh boy am I going to have fun here!! Thanks again Lisa!!

The other bit of excitement this week was heralded with a flurry of barking from our adopted dog, Lily. For about 15 minutes, I heard her letting out a strange 'yip' every 20 seconds or so. Finally deciding enough was enough, I marched out to shout at her - whereupon, both Lily AND Wombat slunk sheepishly out of my garden! Aaaaarrrggghhh!! They both KNOW they're not supposed to be there (the sheepish looks said it all!!) so I decided to see WHY they were in there and found ...

One of these. (I had to use a stock photo cos I was too startled at the time to remember to get my camera!) This is a blue tongue lizard and yes, they really DO have a pretty blue tongue! They're one of Australia's native lizards and are great to have in a garden as they control the snail population. Usually, they're found in more rural areas, but we have an urban blue tongue who we have christened "Bob". He lives in some old timber under our verandah and puts in the occasional appearance - he does a VERY convincing snake impersonation which has given me a start a time or two when I've come across him unexpectedly!! EEK! But mostly, he just hangs out under the house or in the garden - until he's bailed up by two noisy, nosey dogs!! So, the dogs were told off and convinced to find something else to do and Bob went on his way!! Never a dull moment here!!

And really, that's about all the action there's been around here this week. I did manage to work on a few bits and bobs with sewing - a bit more stitching on my Noah's Ark BOM (Judy's now all caught up, so that puts her two blocks in front - oh no!!), a stitchery patch finished for an upcoming birthday gift and I finished putting together the sample for my Secret Squirrel project for Marian's retreat. (Hmmm ... wonder if that counts as a finish if I still have to write instructions?!?!) So ... I guess the week wasn't a complete write-off!

And speaking of finishes ... May Britt and I are getting lots of emails from Challenge participants to tell us of finished projects, so make sure you pop into some (Or all!!) of the blogs listed under the Challenge banner, cos there are some clever chooks out there in blogland who are gleefully tackling their WISP piles! Don't forget, if you HAVE joined May Britt and I in this challenge, make sure you pop a Monthly Finish list on your sidebar and keep it updated so we can see at a quick glance how many projects you've finished. And if you can drop May Britt or I an email, that helps too. May Britt and I have both been visiting as many of the blogs of participants as possible, but we just keep running out of hours in our days!!

And now, I think I'm going to toddle off and put my jim jams on and keep a date with my pillow, cos I'll need LOTS of energy tomorrow to pack in a day of fun when Lilly Linda comes to visit Toowoomba!! YAY!! Linda and her beloved are heading up the hill for a day of fun catching up with MY beloved and I, but also to get ready for the stall that Linda and Laura are having at Jondaryan Wool Shed, about 40 minutes from Toowoomba, for Australia Day. We've promised Kerryanne that we'll take photos, but I'm not sure it's smart to have photographic evidence of us getting into mischief! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Sunday 18 January 2009

Cross Another One Off!!

YAY ME!!! The crowd goes wild! I can cross another WISP off my "To Do" list and add it to my sidebar list! This project was SUPPOSED to be a birthday gift for my friend Miss Mary half way through last year. Well ... it didn't get finished, so Miss Mary received a different giftie for her birthday!! Then ... it was supposed to be ready for me to give it to her for Christmas. Yes ... well ...!!! Life interfered and she went away early for a holiday ... project still didn't get finished! But this week, I got stuck in and the result is ...

The wording says: "A Friend's gate is never locked!" A sentiment that I just love! I was VERY pleased to be able to cross this WISP off my list, as I've been feeling rather guilty about it for some time. Of course, Miss Mary is now away for a few weeks, so I still can't GIVE it to her!!! Ah well, when she gets home again we'll have a good reason to catch up for a cuppa!!

And speaking of catching up with cuppas ... why not make yourself a cuppa and take a wander through some of the blogs of May Britt's and my One Project a Month challenge, because I'm starting to get lots of emails from people finishing projects! May Britt and I are also both popping into as many participating blogs as we can (without chaining ourselves to the computer!!) and it's so exciting to see what your clever crafters are creating and heart warming to get feed back from you all about how you've appreciated the little 'nudge' to finish some WISP's! Thank you for all your lovely comments and encouragement - to May Britt and I, and also to each other! I love that we all have such a HUGE cheer squad cheering us on, with members all around the world!!

Oh! Before I forget ... Clare is having a give away to celebrate 50 posts (very pink give away!!), Julia is celebrating her blogiversary with a give away, Lilly Linda is having a give away, Jo Jo is celebrating with a give away (oops! Was supposed to post photos of my rotary cutter and mat, my sewing lamp and my imagination! Visit her to find out why!!) .... oh there are just wonderful give aways EVERYWHERE!! Enjoy exploring and you may find even more!!

And now ... I'm off to choose my next WISP to work on - who knows, I may even get THREE finishes for January! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Wednesday 14 January 2009

Showered By Sweeties!!

OK! Grab a cuppa cos this is a post where I play 'catch up' with some WONDERFUL things that have happened to me in the last little while that lead to me telling you I've been Showered by Sweeties! No, not the lolly/candy type of sweetie (though there WERE some of those involved - Mmmmmmm ... Caramel!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) the type of Sweeties I'm talking about are those I've met since discovering blogland and they're listed as my Blogging Buddies in the sidebar!! Let me tell you just how blessed I've been!!

Firstly, I came home yesterday to discover a box on my front step. (OK, not ticking, good start!!) Hmmm ... my birthday isn't til March ... I haven't been indulging my addiction to Kerryanne's glorious folk art recently ... I hadn't signed up for any new swaps ... no return address, but Australian stamps ... postmark too faint to read ... where's DCI Tom Barnaby when you need him! Tee! Hee! Hee! So, without the TV detective's assistance to solve the mystery I had to do things the old fashioned way - I opened the box!! :0) And I found ...

Ooooohhh!! Lots of goodies in my box! But still no clue as to who it's from. So I opened the card (which was a gorgeous country style one featuring a teddy bear!) One of those blogging buddies, Joy, had sent me a surprise!! Now, Joy decided that since my Stitchers Angel parcel from last year went astray somewhere between Budapest and Toowoomba (my partner did the right thing, her postal service wasn't as reliable as she was!!) she would send me what she called 'a little something'. LITTLE??! Look what was in that box.

A cute T-towel that lists all of the reasons that Teddy Bears make the best friends - see why I'm obsessed with bears!! A GORGEOUS little zipper bag featuring a Bronwyn Hayes stitchery (from our 'chats' Joy knows I LOOOOOOVE Bronwyn's stitcheries and made a quilt last year featuring nine of them!), some YUMMY special caramels (Joy knows I'm a caramel girl!!), the cutest bee pencil and a little patchwork bucket/bag that missed this photo for some reason - oops! Here it is ...

Isn't it cute!! I've seen lots of these popping up on people's blogs and now I have my very own!! And here's a close up of the zipper bag ...

Joy has used variegated red embroidery thread which has come up BEAUTIFULLY!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Joy!! I feel VERY spoilt!!! See? What a SWEETIE!!

THEN ... I was given an award by another of my blogging buddies, Kerryanne. Now, I also received this award from another blogging buddy, Judy (my Noah's Ark BOM partner in crime ... I mean STITCHING! Tee! Hee! Hee!) And it is a lovely award that touched my heart - it is a Friendship Award. Now, I'm one of those people who believes the saying that, "The best collectibles are friends" and I try very hard to be a good friend, so to have two ladies I admire a lot tell me that they thought that of me was lovely. OK, so maybe I got a LITTLE teary, too!! Tee! Hee! Hee! So ... onto the award...

The meaning of this award:

This blog invests and believes in Proximity- nearness in space, time and relationships.
These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends .
They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement!
Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut ,even more friendships are propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers!
(Not actually sure I can cope with more attention than May Britt and I are already getting with our challenge! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

And I'm supposed to pass this award on to 8 fellow bloggers, to include the above text in their blog.

This is the tough bit, cos I have made so many fun friends and blogging buddies in the not-quite-a-year that I've been blogging!! The first two buddies I made were Kerryanne and Linda, so right back at ya, Kerryanne and Linda gets a double up, too. Judy and I have been encouraging each other in our Noah's Ark BOM, Stina and I helped each other be strong and not unwrap our SSCS gifties early, Peg is Super Stitcher (no lycra! Tee! Hee! Hee!) who amazes me with what she achieves, Joy not only sends gorgeous surprise gifties, but sends fun emails, Rosey is always good for a giggle, May Britt and I enjoyed email chats even before we decided to co-host our challenge ... OH NO!! I've listed eight, but have soooooooo many more blogging buddies!!! But then, left to my own devices, I'd list EVERYONE on my sidebar, so perhaps I should stop now!! Thanks gals for your friendship, support, shared giggles and encouragement - in short, your incredible FRIENDSHIP which has nothing to do with geographical proximity!!

OK, enough mushy stuff!! I also managed to stand still long enough to get tagged - TWICE!! Certainly doubling up this week! The first tag was from Birdhouse Linda (that's not her blog name, it's just how I identify her in my list of about 7 Linda/Lynda's that I know!!) She tagged me to show the fourth photo in my fourth photo folder. It was my Dancing Pics folder, from my Bellydancing performances and get togethers. (bet you're glad number four wasn't me in full costume! Tee! Hee! Hee!) The photo was ...

This is another of my Lynda's that I've collected! Tee! Hee! Hee! This was at a coffee celebrating Lynda's birthday the year before last. Look at my RED hair!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Perhaps I'll go that way again when I get bored next!!

And the second tag was from Rosey at Agapanthas and Goldsworthy (Your blog is hard to spell, Rosey!!) She tagged me to show the fifth photo in the fifth folder, which was a lot of moderately badly lit photos taken at my beloved Geek Boy's brother's wedding. Number five is the happy couple.

As I said, the lighting was pretty bad. Our camera doesn't have a great flash and it was a very overcast afternoon in the shade of some big gum trees on the Brisbane river. Lovely setting, lousy photographic light!

PHEW!! OK, I think I've covered everything I was supposed to catch up with!! Thank you again to all my "Sweeties" who "Showered" me in friendship this week! And now, I think I've earned a cup of tea before bed. Hope all you challenge girls are happily stitching away - don't forget to email me or May Britt when you finish a WISP. Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Monday 12 January 2009

Shhhh! Secret Squirrel!!

That's right, I'm busily working away on my Secret Squirrel project! And although I can't show you what I'm working on (THAT'S the Secret Squirrel part!!) I CAN tell you WHY I'm stitching madly on a new design instead of tackling a WISP.

My Fave fabric shop, Quilters Angel at Highfields, is holding a "Girls' Getaway" Weekend and if you're in driving distance of Toowoomba, you can now start booking your place!! The brochure says:

"Santa's come and gone, we've welcomed the New Year, the kids are back at school and work's started ... Now it's time for YOU!! Join us for a "Girls' Getaway" Weekend - no cooking, no cleaning, just relaxing and doing what we love ... STITCHING!

WHEN: Friday March 13 to Sunday March 15
TIME: From 4pm Friday to 12 noon Sunday
WHERE: James Byrne Centre, Highfields
BRING: Projects you wish to work on, sewing machine (or share with a friend), towel.
COST: $250
INCLUDES: Mystery Project, Kit and Tuition, all meals, accommodation and lots of fun!!"

Now, that "Mystery Project" and the "Tuition" part of that invitation is where I come in. My Secret Squirrel project is the Mystery Project and I'll be providing the Tuition!! Marian has decided that most women don't take enough 'Time Out' for themselves - they're so busy running around being a wife, mum, home maker, that they forget to take some time out to do what makes THEM happy. So ... Marian is organising a time for them to do just that! She's even providing the bedding, so all you need to bring is your craft and a towel - hmmm, I think we might also make clothes and a toothbrush mandatory for the comfort of the other guests! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... if you want to treat yourself to a 'girly', 'crafty' weekend, visit Marian's web site HERE and check it out, then book in quick, cos I think places will fill pretty quick once word gets out!! The brochure I picked up is hot off the press, so you, my blogging buddies are getting an early heads-up!! You knew I had to come in handy for something some day, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Now although I don't know all that Marian is planning, I attended a day of her Stitchers' Dream Day Out last September and there are always lots of prizes and give-aways, fun, laughs and the chance to meet and chat with other like-minded ladies while indulging in our fabric addictions. It's going to be GREAT!!!

OK!! I've done my Happy Dance (and probably convinced the neighbours that we now have a pet elephant who is learning Irish clog dancing!!!) so I'll be able to calm down and go stitch now!! Just had to tell you all!! OH!!!! And of course, the BIG news in my little corner of the world is that my beloved Geek Boy has once again come to my technological rescue and I really do have my email back now. PHEW! Talk about a complicated, frustrating process!! He's changed servers to go with someone he knows. (and who lives in Toowoomba, so if something DOES go wrong, we know where he lives and will hunt him down! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

And now I really am off to stitch - but have the Secret Squirrel theme song running around in my head - oh dear! Think I'd better put some "Midsomer Murders" on the DVD to drown it out! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Sunday 11 January 2009

Further Frustrations & A Finish!

This is how I feel at the moment about computers!! It seems my previous post's Happy Dance was a tad premature. Those of you who've been trying to email me again will have realised that the stupid company with the stupid crashed server still hasn't fixed the stupid problem PROPERLY!!! AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!! So I've been doing the only thing that really dealt with the problem - SULKING! Tee! Hee! Hee! Ended up turning the computer off entirely and reading a book!!! However, I think I'm now over my fit of peak and thought I'd better tell you all DON'T EMAIL ME YET! I'll pop another little post up when the dust finally settles. Stina knows how I feel - she's been without internet for 10 days, so we've commiserated with each other!!

Now in between swearing at the computer (well ... the company that can't run an efficient server hosting business, anyway!!), sulking and reading - My! I have been busy! Tee! Hee! Hee! I managed to finish off my blue quilt!! Fanfare!! The crowd goes wild!! Wanna see?

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. And before my smarty-pants friends point out the 'rose' coloured inner border - Don't bother!! My beloved Geek Boy has already given me a worried look and said, "You're mellowing - you've bought pink fabric FOR YOURSELF!" I still say it's 'rose'. And it does have spots, so that has to count for something!! Actually, I tried REALLY hard to put other colours as the inner border, but none of them made it 'pop' the way the 'rose' spotty fabric did ... so ... It ended up measuring 52" almost square. (Nothing I make seems to be ENTIRELY square! Tee! Hee! Hee!) So there we go ... my first finish for May Britt's and my Finish One Project A Month challenge. I'll be adding it to my side bar later this afternoon when I try to update my slightly-out-of-date list of challenge participants. Don't panic if you think you've signed up but don't see your name on MY list - check May Britt's list - and then panic if you don't see it! Tee! Hee! Hee! Just kidding! Just drop May Britt an email and she'll fix it right up - and I'll catch up sometime soon!

Right now, though, I'm off to do some Secret Squirrel designing. I know I said I was taking January away from designing, but after a chat with Marian at my fave fabric shop Quilters Angel, I need to get sketching. Can't say too much until details are all finalised, but I will tell you that if you're within travelling distance of Toowoomba, you should set aside the weekend of March 13, 14 and 15!!! Will update you as soon as I can - the suspense is good for you! Tee! Hee! Hee! So until next time - Bear Hugs!


Friday 9 January 2009

I'm Back On The Air!!!

Skippity, hoppity, shuffle, shuffle, booty shake!!! Here's me, scaring the neighbours by doing my Happy Dance!!!! Yessiree!!! After three and a half days with no email ...


Not all of my web site is back on line yet, but at least I can once again communicate without the complicated back-and-forth system of blog-hopping that I've been doing for the last day or so!! The only BIG drawback is ... Any emails sent during that time have vanished into cyberspace, never to be seen again!!! So ... if you have sent me an email any time after about 5pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time!) on Tuesday, I haven't got it and will NEVER get it. If you haven't already emailed May Britt to help you with Challenge questions or sign ups, please drop me another email and I'll actually get it and be very excited about it! Tee! Hee! Hee!

May Britt and I now have over 180 ladies signed up for our One Project A Month Challenge and a few have already started to notify us of their first finishes - Well done!! I'm hoping to add my own first finish to my side bar list by tomorrow - the binding is almost sewn down on my blue quilt - thanks to no email!! There's that silver lining! Tee! Hee! Hee! Can I just remind ladies who are signing up to give me their FIRST NAME (and surname initial for more popular names!), BLOG ADDRESS and EMAIL ADDRESS. I can see there's some serious stitching going on out there in blogland, which is SOOOOOOOO exciting!! And just think ... the biggest advantage of us finishing some WISP's is that we can then justify buying more fabric and more patterns! Not sure my beloved Geek Boy (my computer hero at the moment!!) agrees with that, but it's worth a shot! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... I'm off to make dinner, then solve a few more "Midsomer Murders" and stitch that binding on. Happy stitching and Bear Hugs to you all!

P.S. Chookyblue will be VERY proud of me for doing a SHORT post! Tee! Hee! Hee! BH! KRIS

Thursday 8 January 2009

Mad, Mad, MAD!!!!

This is me at the moment!!! Sitting in front of the computer, tearing my hair out and wishing I could send a computer butt-kick to the stupid company who still haven't fixed their stupid server so I can have my domain back!! AAAAARRRRRGHHHHH!!! So ... still no web site ... still no email ...only way I can communicate with my blogging buddies is via blogs. Oh! And found out (the hard way of having a comment refused!!) that I can READ blogs on typepad, but because my domain currently doesn't exist, typepad doesn't think I exist either! Huh! Got news for typepad!! Thankfully, blogger still admits I'm here and I can leave comments on blogger blogs. I can also read comments left on mine - just have to reply with a blog visit and comment! Talk about the long way to do things! And the REALLY annoying thing? Unless people who've been trying to send me email in the last couple of days re-send the mail ... I will NEVER see it! There could be important information in those emails!! I might have won a give away! I might have won lotto! I might have forgotten to pay a bill! Hmmm, actually, of the three scenarios, THAT one is probably most likely! Tee! Hee! Hee! SIGH!!

However, during my lunch break today, I decided (since I couldn't read my email!!!) to pop into a few of the blogs of gals who've signed up for May Britt's and my challenge and on one of them (sorry! Can't remember whose - but know it was a name that began with "A" cos I was working my way down the side bar list!!) I found that the lovely blogger finished each post with a list of the day's "Gratitudes" - things she was thankful for that day. Some were big things, some were everyday little things, but she was doing the ol' "Count Your Blessings" thing - and I felt just a little ashamed of myself for spending so much time grumbling about being out of the communication loop!! So ... I made a decision to stop grumbling (well .... cutting down the grumbling a little!!) and use the time in some other way! Instead, I stitched up a storm!!

So ... MY gratitudes for today (I won't steal this lovely lady's idea permanently, just borrowing it for today!) are:

* I could 'lurk' on people's blogs to see what my blogging buddies were up to.
* I have my beloved "Geek Boy" to sort out the stupid computer problem (eventually!)
* And I now have the borders and binding on my blue quilt!!!

Tomorrow is my day at home, so I will be popping on a DVD and stitching down the binding, ready to do my famous "Happy Dance" and add my very first finish to my side bar list!! Hmmm ... the DVD I'm anticipating spending the day in front of is a little different to others I've read bloggers heading off to watch - like "Pride and Prejudice", "Ann of Green Gables", "Sense and Sensibility". No chick flicks for this chick .... murder, mayhem, mystery and some quirky British humour are what I have in mind! I'll be spending the day helping DCI Tom Barnaby and his side kick Sergeant Troy to solve the murders of "Midsomer Murders"!! I like a good who dunnit and mystery! And I'm MUCH better at helping Tom and Gavin solve THEIR mysteries than I am at solving the mystery of "who keeps hiding the TV remotes down the back of the sofa!!" Tee! Hee! Hee!

Well ... if I'm going to be busy detecting tomorrow, I need a good night's sleep, so I'll sign off for now. If any of you have been trying to contact me by email about the challenge, drop May Britt a line for now and she'll be able to help you, or you can leave a comment and I'll take the long way round and visit your blog to answer if you require one - or I'll just enjoy thinking someone found my post interesting and amusing!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Tuesday 6 January 2009

I Just LOOOOOOOVE Technology!!!

NOT!!!! Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh!! OK - I've got that out of my system, so I feel marginally better!! Why am I turning the air blue?! Well, it seems the server my Tag Along Teddies domain is registered with went down late this afternoon. No worries, it's usually something small, they tell all customers what the problem is and when they think it should be fixed. Aha, not tonight! They just went off the air and when they DID put a report on their report page that only super geeks like my Beloved Geek Boy know how to access, it said they should be up and running in 20 minutes. That was an hour and a half ago!!

Now those of you who are as technical as I am (read: as technical as a turnip!!!) will be wondering why this is a problem. Well, it means not only is my web site down, but I can't send or receive emails - at a time when my In Box has been so full of emails from super enthusiastic people signing up for our Challenge that May Britt and I are struggling to keep up!! EEEEK!

So ... for those of you who have been trying to reach me by email and getting rude messages from YOUR email server telling you that MY server doesn't exist - SORRY!!! Please be patient and try again tomorrow - or if it's urgent and about the Challenge, drop May Britt a line and she will be able to help you.

In the meantime, I'm off to do something very low-tech ... SLEEP!!! Hopefully when I wake up in the morning it will be all fixed - I can hope, can't I? Til then, low-tech Bear Hugs!


PS. Hope you're feeling better, May Britt!!!

Sunday 4 January 2009


That's what I am!!WOW! When May Britt and I decided to invite all you stitching bloggers to join our challenge to tackle WISP's, little did we realise just how many people have been hoarding WISP's in their sewing cupboards, just waiting for some incentive to finish them off!! We have been overwhelmed by the response so far (not to mention tied to our computers for quite some time to process everything!!) and still they keep rollin' in!! Well ... it may be bigger than Ben Hur, but it sure is great to see how excited everyone is getting about tackling some of their longer term projects. Mind you, I have a funny mental picture of sewing cupboards all over the world, ready to burst because they're stuffed full of our WISP's!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... just a few house keeping things! Now because this challenge HAS grown a lot bigger and quicker than May Britt and I first envisaged, we're still working out a few little details, so I do hope you'll be patient with us (OK, probably mostly ME!!!) as we wrap our heads around things, clarify things and perhaps (though we'll try not to do too much of it!) change things. Firstly: When you're signing up, can you all PLEASE make sure you give us your FIRST NAME (perhaps a surname initial if your name is a popular one!), your BLOG ADDRESS and your EMAIL ADDRESS. This just makes things a bit quicker and simpler for us to add you to our list. At the moment, we're having to track a few people down through blogger to their blogs and this takes a bit of time - time where we could be tackling OUR WISP's! Tee! Hee! Hee! Also, some of you are registering as "No Reply" when you leave comments, so we can't email you back with details, comments, or just a little welcome. If you don't want to change that, please make sure you give us your email address in the comment you leave. Oh! And if you've registered with us, but your name doesn't appear on our lists for a day or so (allow a little bit of time for us to read our emails then add it) please send May Britt or me an email to let us know, cos we don't want anyone to miss our or feel left out! It certainly won't have been missed on purpose, but with over 100 people already signed up, you can understand things might get a little chaotic!!

So ... now you've registered to be part of our Challenge - what now? Please make sure you pop the Challenge Badge on your blog's side bar with a link to either my blog or to May Britt's. Please also add a list of finished projects for each month to your side bar - like both May Britt and I have done. Not only will this be a great encourager to you as you see what you accomplish, this is where we will be checking at the end of each month to pop your name in to the End Of Month Prize Draw. If you could also email May Britt or I as you finish something, that would be great, as we can then tell others about it with links in our posts. If you'd like to email us a couple of days before the end of each month with that month's finishes, that would be great too for us to double check. And don't forget to post about your finishes on YOUR blog and pop photos on - after all, half the fun of finishing a WISP is showing it off! Tee! Hee! Hee!

One final thing (for now, at least, until I remember something that I forgot to tell you that I had remembered I'd forgotten to tell you!!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) the crafts we're including in our challenge will be limited to 'soft' crafts - anything made from fabric, plus knitting and crochet. I know there are a lot of you out there who do other crafts and although we'd LOVE to still hear about them on your blogs as you finish things, they won't count towards our prize draws.

PHEW!! I think that's it ... except for the MOST IMPORTANT THING ...


Please don't stress about this, it's just a way for us all to encourage each other to tackle some of our WISP's. And if anyone has any problems at all along the way, please drop an email either to me or May Britt - between us we should be able to come up with a helpful answer!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Now onto the irregularly scheduled craziness of Tag Along Teddies!! :0) In between answering emails, adding to lists, having a little panic attack in the corner!! ... I've actually managed to do a little bit of sewing on MY first WISP to be tackled. It's a quilt for the day bed in my sewing room that's been on the "to do" list for a little while, but it took me some time to find just the right fabrics ... which I finally did before Christmas. I found ...

A bit different to my usual greens, but I fell in love with these ice-blues. Here's what I'm doing with them ...

This is two of five rows that I've put together of the blocks. I'm making this as a quilt-as-you-go quilt so I have a better chance of finishing it for the challenge!! Tee! Hee! Hee! These two rows have had their seam-covering strips sewn down and the others are beside my sewing chair waiting for me to leave the computer and get back to sewing!!!

So ... I think that's what I shall do!! Keep popping in here and over at May Britt's blog so you know what we're up to - and to make sure we're leading by example! Tee! Hee! Hee! And enjoy your stitching challenge journey! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Friday 2 January 2009

New Year's Action, Excitement & A Challenge!

EDIT: The One Project A Month Challenge (OPAM) CLOSED on January 31!! The number of participants just got too big to keep it open! If you've missed out SORRY! - but why not play along at home and tackle your WISP pile, taking inspiration from the blogs in the partisipants' list in the sidebar. Happy Stitching and Bear Hugs! KRIS

Well, here we are in 2009 - barely! And already there's action and excitement here at Tag Along Teddies!! And YOU are invited to join in the fun! Interested? Read on!!

It all started innocently enough (as these things often do!!) with May Britt and I commenting to each other that we want to finish some of our WISP's (Works In Slow Progress - that sounds so much softer than UFO's, doesn't it? Tee! Hee! Hee!). We decided to have a little challenge between May Britt, her friend Hanne and I to finish at least one project each month. And then ... we thought ... why not invite others to join us? So the result is that May Britt and I are hosting the:

Now, some parts of this, May Britt and I are still sorting and finalising, but here are the basic guidelines for our challenge.

1. Participants will try (we know life interferes sometimes!) to complete at least ONE craft project by the end of each month. This can be something you've had partly done for a while (a WISP!), a pattern you bought ages ago that you finally get around to making, or a completely new project - it's entirely up to you.

Hmmm ... that's actually the main guideline!!! This is meant to be a VERY low pressure, fun, encouraging challenge. The journey of crafting should be as enjoyable and important as the destination of having a finished project! We're hoping that the challenge will just give us all a little motivation, or as May Britt said, a kick in the BUTT! Tee! Hee! Hee!

But wait ... there's more!! If you'd like to join our little challenge, all you have to do is email me at: kris@tagalongteddies.com or May Britt at abyquilt@hotmail.com and let us know so we can add you to our list. Then, pop our little badge (kindly designed by my beloved Geek Boy!) onto your sidebar with a link back to either this blog, or May Britt's blog where we've posted the guidelines for the challenge. Then, each time you finish a project (big or small, all types of craft, it doesn't matter!) post a photo of your completed project on your blog and email either me or May Britt so we can update our list. If you don't have a blog - DON'T WORRY! You can still join in the fun - just email a photo to me or May Britt and we'll pop them on our blogs and add it to our list.

If you DO have a blog, you might like to pop a list of your completed projects for each month on your sidebar - to help May Britt and I keep track, but also so you can see just how much progress you've made throughout the year. Won't it be nice to look back in December (EEK! But it's only January 2!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and be reminded of your achievements?

Now ... to give us all a little bit of incentive, May Britt and I are also going to hold a prize draw on the last day of each month. Everyone who has registered a completed project with us for THAT MONTH will go into the draw - if you've completed more than one project, you get an entry for EACH finish, so have more chances of winning some yummy gifties!! May Britt and I will take it in turn to do the draw and provide the little prize (I'm up first for January!), so there'll be plenty of surprises and variety to keep us all motivated. Then, on Christmas Eve, we'll have a super-size prize draw where ALL of the entries will go back into the draw for a special prize drawing - but details of this will be worked out closer to the time. After all, it's January and December is a loooooong way off - right?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

There are also other bloggers out there who have decided to challenge themselves, including one at http://crazyforprimitivequiltsandgardens.blogspot.com/ so if you come across more in blogland, let us know so we can all visit and encourage each other - isn't it great to have such a HUGE cheer squad on our side!!

May Britt and I will both put a list of Challenge Participants on our sidebars, with links to people's blogs so we can all visit each other and admire finished projects - not to mention make new friends along the way! OH!! And very importantly ... you can join us at ANY TIME - there is no cut off or deadline, you just have more chances of winning some fun prizes the sooner you join us! May Britt's friend Hanne and our mutual blogging buddy Stina have already signed up, so why not join us for some stitching good fun!! :0)

WHEW!! I think that's it ... at least enough to get us all jump-started!! If you have any questions, just email me or May Britt and we'll try to give you an answer that makes sense! Tee! Hee! Hee! I am SOOOOOOOOO excited by this challenge and co-ordinating with May Britt! So excited, in fact, that I hardly slept last night cos I had so many thoughts and ideas running around in my head! Tee! Hee! Hee! Well, I think that's it from me for now. I'm off to pop the Challenge Badge etc on my sidebar and then lock myself in my sewing room to get going on my first finish for the year! Happy stitching - Bear Hugs!

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