Thursday 25 February 2010

Food, Friendship & Fabric!!

Yep - FOOD, FRIENDSHIP and FABRIC, what more could a girl ask for to make an week enjoyable and I've been lucky enough to enjoy all three!!

I seem to have eaten out more than I've eaten at home lately ... no wonder I'm looking more and more like my bears!! :0) (Guess I need to dust off the exercise bike ... SIGH!!) Yesterday I caught up with my bestest buddy Lynette for a quick lunch when she made a flying visit to Toowoomba to sign some legal documents and today I met up with another of my local blogging buddies ... The Marvellous Miriam from Bubba Chenille

Now, you may remember me mentioning a couple of posts ago that Marion and Steph at Quilters Angel are holding a "Busting At The Seams" sale from today through to Sunday, so Miriam and I very cannily organised to meet up today for lunch at the Chocolate Cottage (cottage burger and chai latte .... MMMMM!!) to build up our strength before we hit Marion's sale.

Well ... as we've found in the past, Miriam and I had a FABULOUS time chatting, catching up with what we've each been up to, sharing plans for the next few months and just generally enjoying a relaxed chat. Isn't it funny that we never would have met up but for the funny world of blogland and now we LOVE to get together for a chat! :0)

Once we'd done justice to our delicious lunch, we headed over to Quilters Angel where a big sign announced 30% off ALL bolted fabric!!!! Miriam and I read the sign a few times to make sure we weren't reading it wrong!! What a FABULOUS sale! Can you tell that when Marion does something, she doesn't do it by halves! :0) And so we proceeded to enjoy the wonderful, cosy atmosphere of Quilter's Angel as the piles of fabric bolts in our arms grew ... and GREW ... and GREW!!! Tee! Hee! Hee! We meant to get a photo of us both with our pile of bolts, but got so sidetracked choosing fabrics that we forgot! Oops! But I CAN show you what I brought home with me ...

Now, I know it's kind of a funny mix, but you see, they're for several different projects. The greens on the left ... well ... actually, I bought them just cos I fell in love with them! :0) The blues are for two different new designs I have in various stages of production and the three on the end are for a special mission for a friend. And the best bit ... thanks to Marion's Busting At The Seams Sale .. my budget ISN'T ... busting at the seams, that is! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks Marion!! And if you're within driving distance of the Village Green at Highfields, you have until Sunday to take advantage of Marion's sale!!

Miriam found some yummy fabrics and pretty rick-rack to take back home with her, so you just know we'll both be kept busy playing with our new pretties now! :0) Thanks for coming for a drive up the hill, Miriam, it was lovely to catch up again! And if you're in search of handmade treasures, pop across to visit Miriam's blog and she'll tell you all about the fabulous Handmade Expo events in Ipswich.

Just a little reminder to the OPAM gals ... there's just three days left to get projects finished for February, so don't forget to update your sidebar lists of finishes and email your lists to Peg or I so we can add them to the trusty spreadsheet.

And now, I think I'm off to play with my new fabrics for a while. Hope your week has been a beauty so far! Til next time ...


Monday 22 February 2010

Show & Tell!

Ok ... finally there's been some action around the Meares' Madhouse, even with all the socialising we did on the weekend! Both my Beloved Geek Boy and I got stuck in around the house yesterday and finished not only our household chores, but also a couple of special projects.

Before I show you what GB finished on the weekend, I need to remind you of the back-story ... Do you remember me showing you this photo when we renovated our kitchen?

Sadly the pretty plant is no longer with us - a nasty little bug thingy chewed through the stem below the surface and my poor plant went to Plant Heaven. SIGH! I just don't seem to have much luck with indoor plants! However ... I digress!! I commented at the time that this wall looked a little blank and I'd have to find something to jazz it up. So, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I received my yummy new Tilda books in the mail. You'll remember the event, cos I think my Happy Dancing registered at about 8 on the Richter scale! Tee! Hee! Hee! One of the photos I shared with you was this one ...

And I confessed to having china-display shelf-envy whilst drooling over the pretty display at the top right of the page pictured here. Well ... for Valentine's Day, my usually-not-very-romantic, doesn't-believe-in-overcommercialised-holidays/events GB took himself off to the hardware shop to buy some timber, spent a busy day ensconced in his father's workshop (we don't have a decent shed for him to play in!) and made me this ...

Isn't it FABULOUS!!! I was SOOOOOOOOOOO happy with it ... GB got smothered in smoochies and nearly had his ribs broken with happy hugs! :0) I haven't been able to show you before now, cos he was waiting for the glue to dry on the dowel rods before painting ... then it rained and was bad paint-drying weather ... so Sunday was the first chance he had to paint it a nice glossy white for me to match my face-lifted hutch. I am SO keeping my GB! :0) I even have some extra space up on those top shelves for future additions to my pretty china collection - YAY! Hey Lovely Lilly Linda ... MORE collectibles fairs!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thank you for a PERFECT Valentine's Day giftie, Sweetie!!

And if you look up between the teapots (I seem to have a bit of a teapot fetish!!) you'll see the project that I finished. It's a little bear from a pattern in the same Tilda book that the china rack photo was in. He's a slightly primitive ... in a pretty way ... bear made to look a bit bedraggled and in need of a cuddle and a bikkie. I imagine he'll find BOTH in my kitchen! :0) Here's a closer look ...

He's not very big, he'd fit inside the teapot. In fact ... I think I will christen him "Teacup"!

So ... there you go ... they're the projects finished in the Meares' Madhouse in the last 24 hours. I also made some progress on a companion project to my shabby patchwork hearts, so stay tuned for a pattern release in the not-too-distant future. And now ... I'm off to cook some dinner before heading off to our After Five Monday night rehearsal - LA, LA, LA, LA, LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Til next time ...



Saturday 20 February 2010

A Social Butterfly!

That's what I've been this weekend so far!! I've been flitting from one play date, to another, one lunch out to another and having oh-so-much fun along the way! :0) It probably would have been better for my WAISTLINE if my socialising had been spread out a little more, but ... you only live once, right, so you may as well enjoy the ride! :0)

OK ... so ... as I said last post, I headed off down the hill to Brisbane bright and early Friday morning to spend the day with my Bestest Buddy Lynette. We had decided to have a bit of a relaxed day, stitching at her place before heading out for lunch. Well ... we DID spend some time at her place and then go to lunch ... we just seemed to skip the 'stitching' part of that plan! :0) You know how it is when friends get together - the chatting rages out of control and before you know it two and a half hours have passed and you've barely scratched the surface of what's been happening with you both since last time you caught up!

Well, we had a delicious lunch at Gardenway, one of our fave destinations as the food is fabulous  ... and FILLING! After chatting and joking with the friendly staff (part of the reason we keep going back!) we waddled into the gift shop for a little look-see. I did buy a set of three tins ... but forgot to take a photo - oops! We then returned to Lynette's place so she could whip something up for her kids' afternoon tea. And this gave her the perfect opportunity to test drive her birthday gift ... her appliquéd apron and tea towels ...

Doesn't she just look like Super Mum, ready to whip up bikkies at a single whisk! Tee! Hee! Hee! Well ... it took a bit more work than a single whisk, but her kids enjoyed freshly baked chocolate slice and were very impressed with her new kitchen fashions. And Lynette loved her apron and tea towels, so that was fabulous. Now I just have to find/make something for her Christmas catch up present! :0)

Then ...this morning saw me heading out to another social gathering - a few of the gals from After Five, the vocal ensemble I joined last year for the theatre restaurant production ... and stayed! ... had been talking about getting together for a 'Girly Outing' for a while. We finally did something about it today and enjoyed a DELICIOUS brunch. But you'll have to take my word for that, as I was too busy enjoying eggs Benedict with bacon and mushrooms to remember to take a photo! :0)

After enjoying a relaxing chat over a final latte, I then scooted home just in time to get a text message from the Lovely Lilly Linda to tell me she and her beloved, Tim, were just a few minutes from our place! YAY!! We enjoyed a relaxed lunch of chicken and salad on fresh bread rolls - prepared by my Beloved Geek Boy!! How spoiled am I to have a domesticated hubby!! :0) and chatted ... and chatted ... and chatted!! :0) Then, fortified with yummy lunch, we headed off to the showgrounds to the Antiques and Collectors Fair.

Ooooooohhhhh!!! The pretties we saw!!! But I was a good girl ... relatively ... and didn't blow the budget too badly, adding to my pretty bottle collection.

As I said I wanted to ... I collected a few more pretty blue bottles and couldn't go past the cute little clear bottle in the front (perfect to pop an incense stick in to make the house smell good!) and the gorgeous green bottle at the back was so pretty and so unusual with it's original glass stopper still in it, that I just HAD to bring it home. And that little yellow stool was a giftie from Linda and Tim that they found in an interesting shop on their way up the hill. Thanks Linda and Tim!! It will get a white coat of paint and be found a special spot to sit. And here are my bottles on the now almost-famous hutch ...

And the best bit was ... I now have TWO blue bottles to give my friend - they aren't in the picture, they've been put somewhere safe so I don't snaffle them for another display somewhere! Tee! Hee! Hee! I shall keep my eye out for a similar green bottle at my next foray to a collectibles fair, but then I think that will be it for this space - I'm trying REALLY hard not to clutter it ... AGAIN! Tee! Hee! Hee! So many treasures, so few flat surfaces to display them! :0)

Now, after traipsing around the collectibles fair, the four of us decided a bit of a caffeine boost was in order, so we hit one of my fave coffee shops - the Angel Cafe. This is what Linda ordered ...

How cute is this chickie!! :0) I think this was a chocolate crunchie gateau  ... or something similar!! And I had ...

A mango and lime torte and a chai latte. Hmmm ... not my best look, perhaps, but you can tell I was having a good time and I guess that's the main thing, right! Although, looking at my multiple chins, perhaps I should stop socialising at coffee shops! Tee! Hee! Hee!

PHEW! So ... there you have my social whirlwind of a start to the weekend ... and there's still SUNDAY to go!!! Probably going to have a quiet day tomorrow to make up for it. But it was so much fun catching up with Lynette and Linda and Tim. I don't make new years' resolutions as such, but decided this year I would MAKE more time to catch up with friends and family, cos they're the ones who make our merry-go-round ride of life worthwhile! I have to say, I'm enjoying putting that sort-of-resolution into practice!! Although ... perhaps I should have added one about losing some weight! :0)

And now ... I'm off to make toast and Vegemite for dinner, cos we have had SOOOOOOOOOO much food today! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope to do some stitching tomorrow and since quite a few of you showed interest in a pattern for my patchwork shabby chic hearts, I shall start writing some instructions for that, so stay tuned. I hope you're having a fantastic weekend and managing to squeeze in some time to spend with friends and family, as well as a bit of time to spend just on yourself, doing something that makes you smile. Til next time ...



Thursday 18 February 2010

A Finish - YAY!!

There hasn't been a lot of stitching going on here, for one reason or another, but today I'm VERY happy to share with you my first OPAM finish for February! YAY!! :0) I've been feeling just a little left behind as I see photos of gorgeous projects you clever clogs OPAM gals have been creating, but just haven't been able to get myself motivated. Then, on the weekend, I decided to play around with an idea I'd been toying with for a while. After a slightly longer process than planned, this is what I've finished ...

A swag of pretty patchwork hearts with a reminder of one of my favourite Bible verses ...

1 Corinthians 13:13 "And these three things remain: Faith, Hope and Love ... and the greatest of these is love."

I wanted to make a couple of fabric type accessories to dress up our face-lifted hutch and I raided my pretty-but-too-small-to-be-useful fabric box to find some shabby chic fabric scraps, cut out some 2 inch squares, joined them together, played a bit, fiddled a bit, stitched a bit and ... VOILA! :0) Who said those bits of fabric were too small to be useful! :0) Here's the dressed up hutch ...

I love how the pretty colours look against the white. Mission accomplished ... and a finish to add to my sidebar list. Oh ... yes, Joy ... those TWO blue bottles still look very much at home there, but it's OK, cos I'm off to another Antiques and Collectors Fair this weekend at the showgrounds and I'm sure I can find at least ONE more pretty blue bottle to give my friend! :0)

There may be some more stitching happening tomorrow, as I'm going for a drive down the hill to visit my Bestest Buddy Lynette for a play date. After tossing up what mischief we'd get into ... uh ... I mean ... what creative pastime we would indulge in ...we've decided to spend some time stitching, then go out for something yummy for lunch. As any good blogger would, I shall report back soon! :0)

I hope you're all having a fabulous week and have some fun stuff planned for your weekend. I sure have ... but more about that later! :0) Til next time ...



Monday 15 February 2010

Double Excitement!!

Yes, it's double Happy Dancing all around the lounge room today - oops! There go the neighbours again complaining about our clog-dancing pet elephant! :0) I have TWO exciting things to share with you today, so BRACE YOURSELF!!

OK ... the first one was some yummy mail that arrived. I told you a little while ago that I was one of the lucky winners in Bronwyn Hayes' recent give away ... well ... my prize pattern arrived today - WAHOOOOOOO!!! And it was so beautifully wrapped that it was almost to pretty to undo ...

Don't you just LOVE that paper!! So many of Bronwyn's gorgeous illustrations. I finally brought myself to rip the sticker to open it, though and inside I found ...

OOOOOOOOOHHHH!!! More Happy Dancing!! Bronwyn's "My Little Tea House" bag pattern! Now I have been drooling over the sample for this pattern at my 'home-away-from-home' for ages and now I can make one of my very own!! Hmmm ... as soon as that 'To Do' list shortens a little. SIGH!! And don't you love the little card on the dotty ribbon that features one of Bronwyn's stitchin' ladies?! I think it's going to join my inspirations pinboard. A HUGE


to Bronwyn for such a wonderful prize - I'm pretty sure that I'm addicted to Bronwyn's stitcheries, especially her stitchin' ladies.

Now on to the SECOND exciting thing to share with you today. It actually involves Marion and my home-away-from-home. Marion is having a HUGE ...

Busting At The Seams Sale!!

It runs from Thursday February 25 to Sunday February 28 and a 'little birdie' told me that there will be MASSIVE savings to be had, with some fabrics being reduced to as little as $5 per metre! WOW! OK ... those dates are SOOOOOO marked in my diary, cos a gal can never REALLY have TOO much fabric, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Specials only apply to IN STORE sales, so you'll just HAVE to come and visit Marion at Quilters Angel at Highfields to see WHY this has become my home-away-from-home.

And while I was telling you all about this, I had a ... THOUGHT!! It's OK, I was sitting down, so I didn't hurt myself! :0) My thought was this ... maybe there are some blogging buddies out there who would all like to kill TWO birds with ONE stone. Well ... not literally of course, cos that would be mean to birdies!! Perhaps we can combine a little stash-stocking at Marion's sale with the opportunity to have a bloggy get-together?! If there are any bloggers within COOEE of Toowoomba who think they might like to check out Marion's "Busting At The Seams Sale" AND meet some blogging buddies in person for a cuppa and a chat ... let me know. We just might make an outing of this if there is enough interest. And if not ... All the more fabric for ME! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I'm off to take a closer look at my lovely prize from Bronwyn and perhaps juggle my "To Do" list to see if it will fit in a bit higher up the list! :0) Hope you're having a fabulous start to your week. Til next time ...


Friday 12 February 2010

A Day Interrupted!

How was your day today? Mine was NOTHING like I'd planned!! And while that was partly frustrating, cos I didn't get anything done (except a couple of loads of washing and a bathroom clean, does that count?!?!) I DID get to catch up with some friends, so I can't really say the day was 'wasted'. It just wasn't what I'd planned! Hmmm ... in fact, I think that's the epitaph they should put on my headstone ... "This wasn't what she'd planned!" Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... still no stitching here today, but I DID do a bit of fiddling with my recently-face-lifted-hutch. Before it's face-lift, I have to confess the hutch was full of decorative bits, but it was also the dumping spot for a lot of paperwork, so more often than not, you couldn't tell WHAT was under the pretties and paper piles. It's was just two steps from the back door, so a really convenient dumping spot. So when we re-vamped it and repositioned it, I wanted a less-cluttered look for the hutch. That, of course, meant sorting through what used to be on it and working out what stayed and what needed a new home - cos they're my treasures and I'm NOT just tossing them out!! EEK! :0)

And that then led to me having to WASH a rather thick layer of dust off everything before it could go to its new home or be put aside whilst I find a new home for it. Hmmm ... who'd have thought so much DUST could accumulate in one place without forming a new PLANET! Tee! Hee! Hee! After a rather tedious hour or so at the sink, some time spent fiddling, positioning, changing, re-positioning ... you get the picture! This is what the hutch now looks like ...

Ta Da! I was originally going to make some mini curtains for the insets in the bottom doors, but have decided I quite like the all-white look now that I've lived with it a few days. I may also add a few more softie-type items, but this will work for now. Here's a closer look ...

My recently-acquired rosey trios have been joined by my Aynsley tea set - I didn't realise just HOW similar the two patterns were til I had them displayed together! And me being an anti-PINK girl, go figure!! :0) I found a couple of small blue bottles that were in another room (my collections tend to spread like ivy throughout the house! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and they're now keeping my collectibles fair-finds company. I acquired the little rustic birdhouse ... hmmnm... somewhere!! The little cheese display dish on the right was a wedding present and it now houses some of my collection of faux cupcakes made by the clever clogs Kerryanne and the pink tray on the top shelf featuring cuppies is her fabulous decorative painting work, too, as are the GORGEOUS rosey vintage items on the top of the hutch. I joke that there are parts of my house that are beginning to resemble shrines to the cleverness of my blogging buddy Kerryanne! Tee! Hee! Hee! My trio of Nelson Ware jugs were discovered in a tiny antique shop one weekend when my Beloved Geek Boy and I were enjoying a B & B break in the Lockyer Valley. The Royal Albert sandwich plate was a gift from one of the lovely ladies who live in the retirement village where I work. The dolly on the left is my design, Teacup Tilly and she is one of a trio of dollies preparing for afternoon tea together called "Tea Party Pals". And last but certainly not least is the beautiful Floppsy the bunny whom I adopted from the Lovely Lilly Linda when she held a market stall at Jondaryan. PHEW! Are you still with me?!?! :0)

Now, the top of the hutch used to be home to my collection of enamelware, so it needed a new home. Here it is ...

Some of this collection came from MY Grandma and some came from my beloved GB's Grandma Kent. The white mixing bowl you can see on the left at the back was rescued by my Gramps from the Emerald tip years ago. Apparently, the local school had a huge clean out to 'update' their Home Science department and tossed out all sort of perfectly good stuff. This bowl is HUGE, so Gramps cleaned it up and took it home to Grandma. I bet it could tell a story or two about cooking disasters! :0) Of course, this was in the days when you were allowed to find and take home 'treasures' from the local tip - no more!

All together, that side of the kitchen now looks like this ...

Oopsie! That fridge isn't too 'photogenic' is it! :0) I think like most people's fridge, it's full of notes and mementos that are put there cos we spend so much time at the fridge that hopefully it will jog our memory! :0) I love the drawing there, though, as it was done for me by my goddaughter, Erin.

And do you know what has suddenly occurred to me? That it's not just how pretty these things LOOK that makes me want them in my home - though they do look good, don't they! :0) It's the STORIES that are attached to each item. My home is full of wonderful stories, with each of my 'pretties' acting as a prompt to my memory. No wonder I love puddling around decorating so much! :0) Do you have 'pretties' at your place that have a special story attached? I'd love you to share some with me! Why not post some photos and tell your stories, then let me know so I can enjoy YOUR stories too!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what I've been doing instead of stitching and enjoyed some of the stories that I've shared. And now ... do you see the red kettle in that last photo? And the little single-serve teapot? I'm going to go and put them to good use and make myself a cup of lavender tea! :0) Hopefully, there will be some stitching happening here on the weekend and I'll be back to share some photos with you. In the meantime, I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and manage to schedule something fun just for you, whether its stitching, reading a book, enjoying the pretty pictures in a craft mag ... or discovering new treasures with stories to tell! :0) Til next time ...



Tuesday 9 February 2010

No Stitching Today!!

Nope! No stitching going on here today! Why? Cos I was too busy enjoying the results of the postie's visit!!

The last two of my Tilda books arrived! YAY!! So, as you can see ... I was WAY too busy enjoying a cup of tea, a piece of apple slice and a relaxed browse through my new 'friends'. Aaaaaaaaahhh!! Now THAT'S the way to spend the afternoon! :0) Would you like to take a peek as why I have fallen in love with these books?

Don't you wish your kitchen looked as pretty as this? Mine received its renovation makeover last year and STILL doesn't look this good! :0) I'm working on it though. Tee! Hee! Hee!

And then we move into the dining room. I have some serious china shelf-envy happening here! See the shelves on the wall in the background? THAT'S what I'm looking for to adorn my newly painted but very blank kitchen wall. Still looking ...! :0)

Now, you should have guessed there would be a BEAR in there somewhere, right?! :0) And what a cute teddy bear this one is. Oh dear! Did you just hear my "To Do" list scream in agony as I mentally added most items in the books to it? Tee! Hee! Hee!

So, I'm sure you're starting to understand why I put my stitching aside today to enjoy my pretty new books. And the backdrop for these photos is a recent face-lift patient that I've been meaning to show you. The pine hutch was one of the first pieces of furniture that my Beloved Geek Boy and I purchased together when we got married - and it was bought second hand from a friend who was moving towns and didn't want to arrange it's transport! After a bit of a rough move a couple of house-moves back, the hutch was looking a little tired and battered, so GB and I gave it a face-lift with some gloss white paint. It now fits perfectly into the new kitchen but ... I still have to work out what to display on it and how, as I've decided the previous 'stuff' that called it home needs to be culled a little. Here is a wider shot of the hutch ...

I couldn't take the full length as there are a couple of boxes of 'stuff' in front of it waiting to be sorted - do  you put those sort of jobs off too or is that just me?? I forgot to take a "Before" photo of the hutch prior to it's paint job - oops! But the white sure is an improvement and I love how the vintage runner looks on it - I'm a sucker for vintage linens, especially if it has pretty cross stitch or embroidery on it.

So ... that's my update for today. I might just make it back into the sewing room tomorrow now that I've drooled over my new books. I shall be back with a stitching update when some stitching is done! :0) Til next time ...


Sunday 7 February 2010

BBC Report!

No, no! I haven't been hired by the British Broadcasting Company to report on the doings in blogland ... though that could be fun! :0) My BBC report is about the bottles, bears, china and collectibles encountered at the Toowoomba Antiques, Collectibles Fair and Swap Meet that we visited yesterday.

Now, I had been mentioning this event to my Beloved Geek Boy since about Tuesday when I saw an ad on the local TV station and had been commenting how nice it would be to go and have a look. In reply he told me (somewhat gleefully, I thought!!) that the weatherman was predicting rain and storms all weekend and that it would probably be washed out. However, Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny - sure there were dark clouds to the west, but I figured a morning jaunt to the collectibles fair would be fitted in before rain hit. So off we went, my beloved still keeping a close eye on the dark clouds and, I suspect, willing them to hurry up so he had a valid reason to cut our collectibles hunt short! :0)

While the Antiques and Collectibles Fair is an annual event, we hadn't actually attended last year due to GB having to work (he probably did a happy dance at that mixed blessing!) so when we arrived, we were more than a bit shocked and gobsmacked to see how HUGE this fair/swap meet was!! I wish I'd remembered to take my camera, cos the photo of the car park would've blown you away, I'm sure! For a moment, I thought GB was going to do a quick U-turn and head home again, but being a loving hubby, he knew I REALLY wanted to have a look, so we parked the car and joined the steady stream of people walking towards the entry gate.

We walked ... and we walked ... and we walked ... you just about needed a cut lunch to get to the ENTRY!! Hmmm ... this was all VERY different to our last visit to the fair! However, we paid our entry fee and began to wander. OH!! What TREASURES there were gathered in that dusty showgrounds!! If I'd had unlimited funds ... and a very large truck to get it all home!! ... I could have bought just about anything you care to name, cos I'm sure it would have been represented there! We walked MILES, I'm sure of it, and even GB who is not as prone to exaggeration as I am, said that it was probably a two kilometre hike from where we parked the car to the front of the showgrounds, where we then turned around and headed back again. By the end of it, we were hot, dusty, thirsty, footsore (I wore sandals not realising just how far I'd be walking!!) and a little sunburnt, but it sure was an adventure!

So, I hear you ask, after all that walking, did I BUY anything? Do teddy bears LOVE honey?!?! You BET I bought something ... some THINGS, actually! :0) First purchase of the day was this pretty trio duo. Hmmm ... not sure that's really how it would be referred to, but you know what I mean ...

Aren't they PRETTY!! I just love the little roses on the white background. They're pictured here with the two GORGEOUS and incredibly realistic faux butterfly cakes that the lovely Kerryanne sent me for Christmas. I actually got these two trios for the bargain price of $10 for both, as the one on the right has a crack in it (doesn't matter for display purposes!) and it was almost time for the exhibitor to pack up, so I think he was trying to sell things so he didn't have to pack them to go home! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Here's a closer look at one of the cup and saucers. It's just so darn CUTE! :0) And once I had them home, I realised these two trio sets were very similar to my Ainslie tea set, which is great since I'm missing a trio from it. At a stall a little further along I found ...

A couple of pretty blue bottles. It doesn't show quite so well in the photo, but when the sun shines through the blue glass, these bottles are magic! Such a vibrant blue. One is for my little collection of vintage bottles and the other is for a friend who was eyeing off my collection on a recent visit. I thought I'd buy her a bottle to get her started on her own collection, after all, the hunting and collecting is half the fun, right! :0) And the flowers are sprigs from my Geisha girl shrubs in the front yard - they've loved the recent rain we've had and are flower madly and sending new shoots out everywhere.

Pretty as a picture! My BOTTLES and CHINA. So ... that's a "B" and a "C" from my title. I wonder what the other "B" could POSSIBLY ... be?! Why ... a BEAR, of course! You didn't REALLY think I could go to a collectibles fair without liberating a bear, did you! :0) Here's the newest member of the Tag Along Teddies Hug ...

Her name is Ruby ... now! :0) The lady I bought her from said she used to have three sizes of this style of bear, one big, this one and a smaller one, so she called them Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. This bear is in pretty good condition except for some mold stains on one footpad ... I'm not sure if I like her dress or not, though. She may end up with a new outfit in the future, as she really doesn't strike me as a Mama Bear particularly and she will be keeping my other Collectibles Fair rescuee, Rupert, company. Remember Rupert?

This was after I'd performed some cosmetic surgery on him to restore his handsome features. I may end up making Ruby a girly version of the sailor collar to match Rupert, will have to see how she feels after living with us for a while. :0)

So, there you go ... that's how I spent a happy, though exhausting, few hours yesterday. Today is overcast with odd showers sneaking in from time to time, so I've been helping the Aussies bat in the one day cricket match against the West Indies team. Cricket is one of the few sporting events I'll watch on TV, not sure why I like it, unless it's cos it's played in summer and if there's cricket on the tele ... I know I'm enjoying my favourite season! :0) And I think I just heard someone get out in the background, so I'd better go back and help them - not that I'm probably a great help, since I'm stitching too and tend to take my eye off the ball! :0)

Before I sign off, it's been a year since the horrific bush fires roared through Victoria, destroying homes, bushland and wiping whole towns from the map. 12 months on, life has moved on, but although it is no longer in the news, those areas affected are still fighting their way back, cleaning  up and rebuilding. The tenacity and courage of the people in these areas reminds me of the lyrics of a song by Colin Buchanan (an Aussie country music singer/songwriter) called "Come What May" ...

"Cos there's been fire before in Illabo
And there'll be fire again,
And come what may,
There's been worse things in our way
It's our home, and we won't leave without a fight!"

So to all in the fire-affected regions, we send our thoughts and prayers to you and look forward to seeing the phoenix rising from the ashes - cos it's your home and you won't leave without a fight!

Til next time ...


Wednesday 3 February 2010

Bits & Bobs Today!

Yep ... that's what I have to share with you today ... bits and bobs! Hmmm ... I wonder where that saying came from? Will have to Google it sometime. What on earth did we ever do before Google was so readily on hand to answer all our odd and random questions?!?! And if you talk to my Beloved Geek Boy, he'll tell you I am just chock-full of odd and random questions! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... first I'll let the OPAM gals know ... if you haven't already caught up ... Peg has posted the winners of the very first end-of-month draw for OPAM 2010, so pop on over to see who the lucky duckies were. Thanks to everyone who emailed their list of finishes to Peg or I - this was a HUGE help to us and made the process much easier and less time consuming ... so we had more time to stitch too! :0) We did run into a couple of blogs that didn't have the OPAM button linking back to Peg or I, so if you haven't got round to doing that yet, if you can, it would be appreciated. We also found a couple of blog links we've been given either didn't work, or went to a blog that didn't seem to be active. (To add your links to our spreadsheet, we copied and pasted, so if ours is wrong, it's because that was what we were sent) Half the fun of OPAM is everyone blog-hopping to peek at the projects being created by other clever crafters, so even if you just pop a short post on from time to time with photos of your finishes, that would be great. If you can check your link on both Peg's and my sidebar list, that would be helpful too.

A total of 687 projects were finished in January by OPAMers! WOW!! How's THAT for starting the year off with a bang!! :0) Well done to you all! And well done to all of you who didn't register a finish, but made some good progress on some bigger projects - I know a few of you have been making blocks for swaps or working on long-term larger quilts and since I'm working on my version of "Butterfly Garden" I know that some projects just take a bit longer to tackle. But that's OK, cos remember that enjoying the journey and process of creating something is every bit as important as having a finished project. So keep stitching, gals and we'll see if we can beat that number next month!

And speaking of my "Butterfly Garden" quilt ... I've put all of the mini blocks for block one together to form ... well ... block one, of course! :0) Here it is ...

I'm pretty chuffed with how it's coming together - and my Beloved Geek Boy is happy that I've promised NOT to buy any more fabric to create it - it all has to come from my stash. Hmmm ... shouldn't actually be a problem with that - there certainly isn't a fabric shortage in my sewing room! :0) I've started piecing the mini blocks for block 2, so I'll show you them when they progress a little further.

Now ... even though I'm not supposed to buy anything to make "Butterfly Garden" ... I DID pop into my home-away-from-home Quilters Angel the other day to pick up some pretty verigated Cosmo threads that I had eyed off on my last visit to see Marion and Steph. I had managed to resist temptation that time ... but I finally decided that some new verigated threads would be handy for a couple of projects on my drawing board, so these followed me home ...

Aren't they YUMMY!!! I thought that green and red were likely to be my most used colours, so that's why I started with them ... yes ... STARTED ... because I'm pretty sure I'll be adding to this little collection before too long - they are all just so pretty!! Marion has a great range of colours in the Cosmo threads, so you can stock up ready to stitch! :0) Of course ... she also has LOTS of other yummy fabrics and quilty bits, so it could be just a little dangerous to your budget if you pop in to play in person or online but WHAT a way to GO!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... that's my bits and bobs for today. Now, I'm off to sink into this picture ...

Remember I said I enjoyed browsing through the Lovely Lilly Linda's craft and decorating library? Well ... I came home and promptly ordered my three favourite of the Tilda books from Fishpond - and didn't pay full price for any, thanks to a special offer and some specials! YAY! This is the first one to arrive - Sew Sunny Homestyle and I think I love it best of all! It's not only a great craft book, it makes a GORGEOUS coffee table book. The photos are amazing and you just want to crawl between the pages and live in that house! :0) So I'm off to drool over the pictures and have a cup of lavender tea.

OH!! I almost forgot!!! The photo of my red and green quilt above reminded me! I was one of the lucky winners in Bronwyn Hayes' Australia Day give away! WOO! HOO! Happy Dancing here!! Bronwyn is my favourite designer (yes, even designers have favourite designers!!) so I was pretty chuffed to win one of her yummy patterns. And if you're like me and love Bronwyn's stitchery designs, pop on over to her blog, cos she's very generously sharing some of her kitty cat stitcheries in the next little while. The first one is available now and the kitty is curled up on a cute cane chair, snoozing in the sun - what a life!! Wonder if I can come back for my next life as a kitty! :0)

OK ... well .. NOW I'm off to enjoy my cup of tea and a meander through my new craftt book. Hope you're all having a fabulous week and managing to steal some time just for YOU to sit and stitch ... or drool over a pretty craft book! :0) Til next time ...


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