Tuesday 30 June 2009

I Won! I Won! I Won!!!

OK, you've probably got the idea by now that I WON something!! :0) Now, I'm rather excited about that BEFORE you get to the prize, cos I NEVER win ANYTHING!! I've lost count of how many give-aways I've joined, raffle tickets I've bought, prize forms I've filled out ... and I NEVER win! Oh ... well, except once when I was at Uni and I entered a "Woman's Day" romance writing competition ... I won a HUGE bottle of perfume ... that made me sneeze! :0) But apart from that ... I just don't seem to be 'lucky'.

However ... my luck took a turn last week. While I was sulking about the nasty head cold ambushing me, I took a bit of a cyber-stroll through blogland to cheer myself up and catch up with my blogging buddies I'd been too busy to catch up with the week before. All was uneventful (but fun and informative, of course!!) until I popped into Melly's "Melly & Me" blog. I started to read her post announcing the winners of her most recent give away ... and nearly fell off my chair when I saw "Kris" listed as one of the winners. Hmmm ... well, I've discovered there are a few other bloggers with the same spelling as me, so I still didn't get excited. Then, I ran the computer cursor over the name ... and saw the link come up as "http://tagalongteddies.blogspot.com". WAIT! That's ME!! Must be a mistake. Move the cursor away ... put it back ... nope, still comes up with MY blog address! Maybe I'm sicker than I thought and I'm hallucinating (at least there's no pink hippopotamuses dancing before my eyes ... ALTHOUGH, being on Melly's blog ... it could happen!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) OK, one more sanity check here before I get excited ... move the cursor ... move it back ...
Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Oh wait ... WHAT did I win?!?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Let me show you, cos it arrived in today's mail ...

I won a copy of the latest "Melly & Me" Pattern, 'Feathered Friends', signed by the lovely Melly. Isn't this a seriously CUTE bag!!!! And, OK, I won't be making it in THAT colour, but it's pictured here on top of part of my stash, so you can see that I should be able to find SOMETHING to make it in ... hmmm ... which fabrics would look good?? SIGH! I had to be good and not start making it straight away cos the ol' "To Do" list would shriek like a Banshee at me for attention, but I can play with my fabrics and plan ... right???! Thank you soooooooo much, Melly - and Rosie!! - for my prize! It was certainly a lovely thing to find out and help cheer me up last week when the nasty head cold had a hold of me and it sure was nice to get FUN mail today instead of bills!!! (it's THAT time of year!!) I love dropping into Melly's blog, as I never know what new critter there will be to greet me - there HAS been a pink hippopotamus before!! And the most GORGEOUS dodo who is still on my "One Day" wish list! Tee! Hee! Hee! I just love the sense of fun this lovely pattern range captures!! And Melly has a new logo, too, so if you haven't popped over for a visit for a while - treat yourself!! And while you're there, you can take a peek at photos of the yummy projects in Melly's recently released super-special book "Kaleidoscope".

And now that I've exhausted myself with happy dancing, I'm off to do some more stitching - stay tuned for more sneaky peeks! What will be revealed next .....??!! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Monday 29 June 2009

Quick Sneaky Peek!

While it hasn't been much fun having a head cold for the last week (am back to about 80% now!!), the hibernating under my flannel blankie and stitching in front of DVD's has meant quite a bit of hand stitching has been happening here at the Meares' Madhouse. I've already shown you the yummy Aviary charm squares that I started my new quilt-design-in-progress with ...

... that I then sewed together like this ...

Well, this last week I have been stitching away at the applique elements of my new quilt - and quite enjoying the process ... in between blowing my poor dripping nose! :0) I've finished stitching about 85% of the applique, so thought I'd follow through on my promise of a sneaky peek. Ready??

Time to stop and smell the flowers!! (Which I can do now that my cold is finally going away!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Some cheerful yellow daisies! Hmmm ... whatever could be hiding on the rest of my new quilt??? Should I have a guessing contest??? You'll just have to stay tuned for more sneaky peeks to find out, cos I'm going to keep you in suspenders a bit longer! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And on that teasing note ... I'm off to curl up in front of that heater again to continue my stitching. I'm really quite convinced I was meant to be a bear who hibernates all winter!!! Hope you're all having a great start to the week! Bear Hugs!


Saturday 27 June 2009

Cure For The Common Cold!

OK, so, maybe I'm exaggerating a LITTLE and it's not actually a CURE for the common cold, but it sure did make me feel warm and fuzzy inside! :0) And that, of course, was a visit to my home-away-from-home, Quilters Angel yesterday because Marion and Steph were having a FABULOUS fabric sale!!! Woo! Hoo! Words to warm a stitcher's heart!! :0) So, I bundled up warm (cos it was overcast and icky - AGAIN!) and toddled off to stock up my stash - cos I just don't have enough fabric!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I arrived at Quilters Angel at about 10:45am and already there was a steady stream of clever crafters popping in to take advantage of the sale (Marion was also expecting a couple of busses from Brisbane to visit later in the day!!), including a regular visitor to my humble blog! This lovely lady (I realised AFTERWARDS, that I didn't catch her name, so "Hello" to the lovely lady I chatted to!!) said that she'd read on my blog how I'd been ambushed with a head cold and thought maybe I'd be too sick to make it to the sale. I told her I wasn't THAT sick - I'd have to be on my deathbed to miss a fabric sale and even then, I'd probably try to crawl off it! Tee! Hee! Hee! I also had a nice chat with Cristina (hope I spelt that properly!!) who is a bit of an arctophile too, so we compared bear notes for a bit before I blew all my play money on fabulous fabric! Now, some of you will have noticed a bit more pink creeping into my stash and into my projects in the last year or so. As well as being influenced by a number of friends and blogging buddies who are pink-freaks, I've been getting little nudges towards pink from Marion, who keeps reminding me that even though it may not be MY fave colour, there are lots of people buying my patterns who DO like pink, so I should incorporate it a bit more. Now when she was packing up my purchases, Marion said she'd give me another 'subtle' nudge towards pink. This is what she handed me ...

A pink bag full of my fabric. Don't know about you, but I wouldn't call this a 'SUBTLE' pink nudge - about as subtle as a brick through a window! Tee! Hee! Hee! It was, however a very good size to fit the fabric I'd stocked up on - bet some of you can guess where I headed ...

Yep ... the Aviary range! In fact, I picked out so many that I collapsed the pretty display - oops! And do you see that - another 'pink nudge' from Marion with that bow!! :0) Mind you, how good does all this look bundled up with a ribbon - thanks Marion!! Oh ... and keep an eye on Marion's blog in coming weeks, cos a little 'angel' whispered in my ear that there are LOTS of specials and promotions taking place at Quilters Angel, in the shop AND on line throughout July, so check in regularly so you don't miss out! I'll update you when I catch more whispers from my 'angel' friend! :0) So ... after my sale stock up, my Aviary stash now looks like this ...

Mmmmmmmmmm ... they are just TOO yummy!! I have a couple of projects in mind for these delicious treats, but have to cross a few things off the ol "To Do" list first. In the meantime, I'll just pull them out from time to time and fondle them! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I also wanted to thank you all for your lovely 'Get Well' wishes - it's been so nice to know that you all care and are thinking of me while I'm a bit under the weather. I think the worst of the cold is over, just a bit of sinus snuffles and sniffles left, so my prescription for the rest of the weekend is ...

My trusty flannel blankie, some "Midsomer Murders" DVD's and my new best friend - a box of eucalyptus and aloe tissues!! MUCH kinder on a poor, sore shnozzy! :0) Hope you've all got wonderful things planned for the weekend - and that you don't have a cold like me! OPAM Challenge gals should just about be finalising their finish lists on their sidebars and sending May Britt their end-of-month finishes - it's May's turn to draw the winner! If you usually send your emails to me, that's fine too - I'll forward them on to May Britt.

OH!! Before I go back to solving murders ... my blogging buddy Kerryanne of Shabby Art Boutique is gearing up for an exciting sea-change and that means she has to pack up her gorgeous little studio. (I have serious studio envy every time I see pics of her workspace!!) To lighten the load for packing, Kerryanne is going to be having a big sale of some of her FABULOUS folk/decorative art patterns, so pop on over to visit her and find out how you can join in the fun. And now ... Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy are waiting for me to help them figure out 'whodunit' so I shall sign off for now. Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Wednesday 24 June 2009

A Bit Under The Weather!

This is how I'm feeling at the moment! After a very busy month or two, I obviously got tired and run down enough that an icky head cold was able to ambush me! How RUDE!! The last few days have seen me single-handedly keeping Sorbent tissues in business, I think, while my poor nose alternates between being blocked up and dripping like a tap. I threatened to stick a tissue up my nose and leave it there to save blowing - but my Beloved Geek Boy said it wasn't a good look and that I should reconsider!

And although my nose is red enough to rival Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, there have been a couple of nice side-effects to having a cold. The first has been my Beloved GB cooking dinner the last few nights and making me soothing cups of lemon scented tea while I stay cosied up under my flannel blankie! Aaaawwwww!!! Isn't he a SWEETIE?!!! I think I'll keep him! And the other positive side-effect of feeling so icky has been the last few afternoons after work being spend snuggled on the lounge under my blankie with "Midsomer Murders" DVD's, stitching away on my new quilt-design-in-progress. I'm not quite ready to show sneaky peeks, but I have made some good headway, so hope to share a peek in the next few days.

Now in amongst my foggy head and dripping nose ... there has been another lovely thing happen.

Anne-Lise passed on a Friendship Award to me. Thank you Anne-Lise - what a lovely gesture!! And what a CUTE award! Aren't these little bears so SWEET!!! Of course, since they're bears, I MAY be just a TEENY bit biased! Tee! Hee! Hee! Now, I'm supposed to pass this on to eight blogging buddies, but as I keep saying ... I just can't choose! So to all of you who pop in regularly, especially those I also exchange chatty emails with - thank you for being my blogging buddies and please feel free to add these super cute little bears to your blog! And pop on over and say G'day to Anne-Lise, too - bet you enjoy your visit!!

And now ... I think I'm going to go take some cold tablets, have a hot shower and put myself to bed to see if I can sleep off some of this icky head cold! Hope you're keeping well whatever you're up to - don't forget to update your sidebar list of finished projects and email your end-of-month report, all you OPAM Challenge gals ... the end if nigh ... of the MONTH that is! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ... Bear Hugs!


Friday 19 June 2009

Butterflies Away, Adventures & An Award!

Well ... it's been a VERY hectic, slightly stressful, busy week, which is why I've been a bit absent from blogland. BUT ...


After writing all the instructions, tracing, scanning and editing applique elements, choosing photos and answering lots of profile questions, I mailed everything off to "Homespun" today, including my "Butterfly Hunt" quilt. It was like sending off my baby!!! Oh dear!!! All of you crafters will know what I mean ... all the decisions about colour, placement, all the hours of stitching and now I have sent it off to someone for a little holiday! Mind you, I am very confident that the lovely Catherine and her team at "Homespun" will take very good care of my 'baby' and it will be super exciting to see it in the December issue of my favourite craft mag!!! So, what's a girl to do now? Why ... buy more fabric of course! Tee! Hee! Hee!

My friend Deb is visiting from Newcastle for a few days and INSISTED (that's MY story, anyways!!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) that I show her my home-away-from-home (AKA Quilters Angel), at the Village Green where we felt OBLIGED to indulge in a tasty lunch and warming cuppa! :0) Now, you KNOW that Marion and Steph have trained their fabrics to jump off the shelf and follow me home, so of COURSE I brought some pretties home with me!

Yes ... you guessed it ... MORE yummy Aviary fabric!! I do have a project in mind for these lovelies, but you'll have to wait til I cross a few things of my "To Do" list before I get back to play with them and share. Mind you ... I am having a psychic moment here and feel that next Friday I'll be adding more to my Aviary stash!! You see, Marion's having a FANTASTIC sale next Friday and I'll be there to support it! :0) Pop over to her blog to get the details!! And if you can't join in the fun ... I'll just tease you with photos of what I buy next week! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Then, today on our way back from seeing my Australia Post buddy, Raymond, to post "Butterfly Hunt" off, Deb and I called in to see Lisa's new shop at Precious Time. She's recently moved into a bigger building, so of COURSE we had to explore her extended space - oh, and some fabric followed me home! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Pretty greens - I know, how UNUSUAL for me to be buying GREEN fabric, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! I also have a use for these yummy greens in mind, but it will be a secret a bit longer - you'll just have to wait!

Now another 'pretty' to join my sewing supplies was a special parcel from the Lovely Lilly Linda. Do you remember me complaining about cold fingers a few posts back and bemoaning the fact that I hadn't found any fingerless gloves in pretty colours? Well, the Lovely Linda found me something special to keep my fingers warm ...

Some BLUE fingerless gloves!! So now I'll have warm hands, but still be able to type!! Thank you Lovely Lilly Linda!! What a wonderful gift to warm my heart ... AND hands! :0)

And speaking of things to warm my heart ... the lovely Miriam at Bubba Chenille passed on a friendship award to me earlier this week.

Thank you Miriam!! Miriam lives on top of our cold hill too, though we're yet to co-ordinate ourselves for a catch-up cuppa, and she is involved in the Handmade Expo events that take place regularly at various locations in the south east of Queensland. So what is this award all about? Well, the text that goes with it says:

"This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Well ... I tried ... but I couldn't just choose eight of you blogging buddies to pass this on to, cos I just have too many friends who have charming blogs and who make blogging buddies all over the place, so if you're name is on my sidebar, "Thanks for being a friend!"

And after that catch up and the busy week I've had, I think I've earned a cuppa and some 'feet-up' time, so I'm off to put the kettle on and maybe read a little bit before I head back into my sewing room this weekend to play with the quilt that is developing from those Aviary charm squares I showed you last post. Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope you have some fun stuff scheduled and I'll look forward to catching up with your photos. Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Friday 12 June 2009

Exciting News, Disappointment & Some Sneaky Peeks!

OK, I've dug a little bit of that snow from over my head and thought I'd better update my blogging buddies on my past week. It's been exciting, scary, stressful, exciting, COLD, nerve-wracking, exciting ...!! I think you get the picture here!! :0) And because of all that has happened - and because I can't seem to share 'short' stories (sorry Chookyblue!), you may want to grab yourself a cuppa before you catch up with my week.

Let's see ... I shared a photo of my finished "Butterfly Hunt Quilt" top with you and after asking for quilting ideas, I decided I would dig into my play-money and get it professionally machine quilted. So I trundled out to my home-away-from-home (ie. Quilters Angel!) to show Marion and Steph how the quilt had come up, because they've both been INCREDIBLY encouraging and supportive as I've worked on this project. Marion sent me off to see Rosalie at Rose Quilting - where I re-met a stitching friend! You see, Rosalie was at the retreat organised by Marion earlier in the year where I taught my "Girl Stuff Bag" pattern. So we had a lovely chat and I left the quilt top with Rosalie and went in search of just the right backing fabric and wadding.

The next day saw me back at Quilters Angel to buy the wadding, when my mobile rang - hmmmm ... who could it be? Mostly my buddies sent text messages cos once we get chatting on the phone, it could be hours before we get off! So text messaging is our self-defence against huge phone bills! Tee! Hee! Hee! It was the lovely Catherine Sanchez from "Homespun" magazine (my all-time fave craft mag!). Not only did I deal with Catherine a couple of years ago when I had a project published in "Homespun", we discovered at that time that we did the last two years of our Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism together here in Toowoomba at USQ - small world, hey!! :0) So ... Catherine told me she's back full time at "Homespun" - after Beck left to do some further studies - and she had a problem. It seems they were a project short for the December issue and so Catherine had dived into blogland to see what all the designers were up to. She saw the photo of "Butterfly Hunt" and thought it would be 'just right' for the December issue's theme - would I be interested in having it included? Hmmm ... gee ... wait ... tough decision ... let me think about ... YES!!!!! Tee! Hee! Hee! So, the GOOD news is, "Butterfly Hunt" will be featured in the December issue of "Homespun". The DISAPPOINTING news for you, my blogging buddies, is that I can't show the finished "Butterfly Hunt". You'll have to wait til December!! BUT ... I will share a couple of little sneaky peeks to show you the GORGEOUS machine quilting that Rosalie did for me!!.

I hope you can see this ... Rosalie quilted the centre panel of my quilt with a butterfly meander - how cool and appropriate is THAT!! And it even looks cool with just the blue spotty backing fabric! :0) And a peek at the front quilting ...

Rosalie used a pretty variegated thread that looked perfect against the Ava Rose fabrics I used for the front.

Hmmm ... this one is a little harder to see, but it's the pretty butterfly shape Rosalie quilted into the four green corner blocks.

So ... that was the super exciting part of the week, which led to a Happy Dance or two ... or three! ... I can tell you - one of which scared Rosalie's poor doggies and kitty! Oops! Told you it's like an elephant clog-dancing! Tee! Hee! Hee! Big thank-you's to Rosalie who worked super-hard to get my quilt quilted for me ahead of schedule and to Marion and Steph at Quilters Angel for encouraging me to 'have a go' at designing a quilt pattern!

Of course, once the excitement settled a little, I started to panic and stress a bit, because suddenly, I had an actual deadline for the pattern instructions to be written by! EEK!! You all know the instruction writing part is my least fave part of the designing process!! And then a hectic, muddled week at work got thrown into the mix and I started to stress a bit more ... I felt like that snowdrift had fallen on me!!! However, Catherine has now let me know that I have a little more time to get the instructions etc. finished and sent off than I thought I did, so I'm feeling a little less pressured and I've also made a pretty good start on the writing, so slowly digging my way out of the snowdrift! Feels cold enough, too, since it's been down below zero the last couple of days!! Mind you, Mary in Wyoming (no blogger) wins the "my-place-is-colder-than-your-place' competition. Remember, it's SUMMER in Wyoming, but Mary sent me some photos of SNOW that fell this week in her yard! EEK!! I'd be asking for a refund if it was cold enough for snow in summer!!! :0) Stay warm, Mary!! And all my other blogging buddies who are like me and hate the cold! Oops! I've digressed - how unusual for me!! :0)

Where was I?? Oh!! Yes, the other sort of bad news resulting from "Butterfly Hunt" going in "Homespun" is that I won't be releasing it as a stand-alone pattern until March next year, so if you miss your December copy of "Homespun", you'll have to wait a little while! BUT ... don't despair entirely!! It seems now that I've tackled designing my FIRST quilt pattern project, I'm on a bit of a roll and have already started another. And to help make up for not being able to show the finished "Butterfly Hunt", I'll share a couple of sneaky advance peeks. Ready??

I started with these ... (drool, drool ... Aviary fabrics!!!) And I then did this with them ...

Here are my squares in rows. I've since joined them all together for a centre quilt panel, but will save other details for future sneaky peeks. As you can see, I'm continuing my love affair with the Aviary range of fabrics - they are just so darn PRETTY!! So stay tuned for updates on this quilt - it will also feature some blanket stitch applique` - I've started the designing process and am already VERY excited about it!!!

So ... there you go! THAT'S what's been keeping my snowed under this week! Thank you all for your encouraging comments - even if you're a 'no reply' blogger and I haven't been able to email you back. And now ... I'm off to thaw out my fingers! Did I mention I HATE cold weather?!?! You're sure to hear that a LOT over the next few months! I think I need to find a pair of fingerless gloves - only problem is, I've only seen boring colours - I want rainbow colours! Tee! Hee! Hee! Don't want much, do I!! And I know it doesn't get anywhere near as cold here on top of our hill as it does during the winter in the northern parts of the northern hemisphere like Sweden and Norway, but you have to remember that I consider anything below 25 degrees Celsius as being cold! :0) What can I say, I'm a summer gal!! Wherever you are and whatever you're doing this weekend, I hope you stay snug and warm and have some fun stitching planned. Til next time - Bear Hugs!


PS. Did you make it right to the end?? CONGRATULATIONS!! You deserve another cuppa! Tee! Hee! Hee! BH! KRIS

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Still Here ... I Think!?!?!

PHEW!! What a week I've had ... and it's not over yet!! So much to do and so little time ... not even time for a proper post!! EEEK! Just thought I'd pop in to let my blogging buddies know that I'm still alive ... just a bit snowed under at the moment - figuratively speaking!! :0) Mind you, today was cold enough that I wouldn't have been surprised to see REAL snow!!! Have I mentioned before how much I HATE the cold weather?!?! I think I have - temps have already dropped to 3 degrees overnight and the high was 14 - which didn't account for the NASTY westerly winds that dropped it a few more degrees. But I digress ... nothing unusual there!! :0) The 'snowed under' part is an unexpected-but-exciting deadline that I'll be back to tell you about in the next day or so ... just as soon as I dig myself out of my figurative snowdrift! Anyone got a shovel?? Tee! Hee! Hee! Stay warm and til next time - Bear Hugs!


PS. Did you notice my BLUE type? That's how cold it is! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Finally! A Winner!!!

Thank you all for your lovely messages, for understanding that sometimes life is what happens when you're planning something else - and for not shooting me at dawn! Tee! Hee! Hee! All you OPAM Challenge gals will be happy to know that I've FINALLY waded my way through the list of blogs (OK, so sometimes I forgot I was on a mission to collect finishes and got side-tracked by pretty pictures!!!) and I have the May OPAM winner to announce ... Ready?!?!?! Congratulations to ....

Mary L at Quilting In Oz

YAY!! Uproarious and spontaneous applause from the gallery!! Oh .. well ... in a cyber kind of way, at least!! :0) Now due to the whole "Life Interfering" thing, I don't actually have a photo of Mary's prize that will soon be winging it's way to the USA to delight her (I hope!), but as soon as I finish getting my act together and it's all ready to post off, I promise to post a photo. Congratulations, Mary! Email me your snail mail address and you can then start stalking your postie!! :0) I'm sure postie's world-wide live in fear of blogging swaps and competitions - cos it must add tons to their mailbag when blogging parcels are soaring around the globe! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And can I just say a big CONGRATULATIONS to ALL of you OPAM gals for your wonderful efforts this month in finishing projects. In total, 453 projects were finished!! How cool is THAT!!! Well done all you stitching fanatics!! And if you didn't actually get to record a finish this month, but made some progress on your projects - well done to you, too! Having just finished my quilt top, which took a while, I know how you're feeling, so keep plugging away at your projects and we'll look forward to seeing photos once you DO finish them. Just a little reminder to everyone to make sure you update your sidebar list for May Britt and I. I noticed this month that more of you are making sure that's done - thank you! It just makes it a bit time consuming for us to have to skim through posts to see if you've finished anything if you DON'T have that handy little list on your sidebar. And let me tell you, that's DOUBLY tricky for me if your blog isn't in English!! :0)

Once again, thanks to you all for being understanding about me running a few days behind with this announcement - much appreciated!! Right now, I'm off to pick up my Beloved Geek Boy and think about what we're having for dinner, but I'll be back in the next few days with some exciting news - well, I was excited, anyways!! :0) Hope you're having a great week so far and til next time - Bear Hugs!


Tuesday 2 June 2009

Sorry! Sorry! Dreadfully Sorry!!

I'm not really a Monte Python fan, but this John Cleese apology is appropriate today! (Probably the only MP quote I know!!) You see, it's my turn to finish the end of month tally and pick the prize winner for the One Project A Month Challenge that May Britt and I are hosting ... And I AM doing this!! ... just not yet!! Hence the apology!! I had hoped to be posting the winner now, but life has interfered and I just haven't got round to all of the blogs that I didn't receive reports from yet. So ... SORRY! I thought I'd just let you know that the May winner WILL be announced very soon and hope you'll all be lenient, forgive me and not have me shot at dawn for yet again losing a day or two this month!!! I promise to be back as soon as possible with the winner! Til then - Sorry! And Bear Hugs!

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