Friday 23 July 2010

Holiday Preparations!

Do you find that sometimes you need a holiday just to recover from all of the things you do BEFORE you go on holiday?!?! That's a bit how I'm feeling tonight ... and I'm only halfway through that list of holiday preparations! EEK!! :0)

In between the usual washing and list-writing of things that can't be done until the last minute, I got a little side-tracked. I know ... that's not at all like me ... MUCH! :0) Do you remember I showed you my holiday supplies last post?

Well, I decided that I REALLY wanted to make a pretty cover for my sketch book ... one that included a tie to keep it shut so I can slip things into the pages and not have them fall out every time I pick it up ... in theory! So ... I raided my stash of fave fabrics ... yep ... more Aviary being used!! And put together a strip-pieced cover. Hmmm ... OK ... pretty, but it just needs a little SOMETHING. So instead of packing my bag or tidying the house so the house sitter doesn't think the place has been burgled before they even get here, I was playing with appliqué designs. I had FUN! :0) And I was pretty pleased with the result ...

Ta Da! Look at those gorgeous Aviary fabrics. I'll be very sad when I eventually run out of them in my stash ... good thing that won't be for a while, cos I stocked up! :0) And open up the sketch book ...

... ready to sketch and play! :0) I had a wee bit of trouble convincing the sketch book that it really DID want to fit into the cover ... a slight miscalculation that didn't take the wadding into account ... but I've taken note of that, cos I'm thinking of including this in a combination pattern later in the year. Oh dear! Add another thing to that "To Do" list!! :0)

Now, when I'm not sketching or lazing around in the coastal sunshine during our two-week beach break, I'm hoping to get some stitching done to catch up with my "Gardener's Journal" blocks. So today I cut, measured, traced, attached stabiliser ...

... and I'm ready to do some serious stitching over the next two weeks!! We'll be tripping around a bit, doing some sight-seeing, catching up with family and even having dinner with a fellow-designer (who could it be?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee!) but honestly ... I really DO intend to do some stitching ... I've promised Chookyblue! :0)

Of course ... side-tracking myself with the sketch book cover kind of ate into my day of packing and holiday preparations, so as soon as I post this ... I'm off to pack a port ... or two ... oh and my sewing bag ... and my books ... and ...! :0) I'll still be keeping up with my emails while we're away, though I may not get to answer them as quickly as usual, so if you usually email me your OPAM finishes, that's still fine and don't forget to update your sidebar finishes lists in case Peg and I come blog-hopping before you get to email us. Which reminds me ... I must go and add my sketch book cover to MY list to set a good example! :0) WOW! Just had a look at my list and July has seen me finish more than double the number of projects I recorded for the last two months - YAY! About time I got my mojo working! :0)

OK ... time to stop side-tracking and procrastinating. I'm off to write a couple more lists, search for the ones I wrote this morning but haven't crossed everything off and pack some holiday gear. Hope you're looking forward to your weekend as much as I am and that you find some time to kick back and relax. Til next time ...



Wednesday 21 July 2010

Mixed Up, Muddled Up Week!!

That's what I've had!! Not BAD, just mixed up and muddled up and I'm not at all sure it should be Wednesday again, cos I'm pretty sure we skipped a few days in there somewhere! :0) Oh dear ... time just seems to keep scooting away from me. Not that I've been idle, mind you, it's been all go here at the Meares' Madhouse, but it may take a little bit to catch you up, so grab a cuppa and get comfy.

The biggest spanner thrown into my well-ordered life (OK ... all of you who know me can stop laughing at the 'well-ordered' part now before you hurt yourselves!!) was a quick visit by my brother and sister-in-law from interstate. Not only was this a great chance to catch up with them, it was also a chance for Mum and I (our boys had to work!) to scoot down the hill to meet up and see the new grandson/nephew in person. Since Mum doesn't drive, I was elected chief chauffeur ... and navigator as we have some doubts as to whether Mum could navigate her way home! Tee! Hee! Hee!

We had a lovely catch up and let me tell you, the newest member of our family is SERIOUSLY CUTE!!! :0) Not that I'm at all biased of course! Tee! Hee! Hee! It also meant my "Moon Dance" quilt could be handed over in person, so it's now winged its way off to its new home to provide snuggly warmth and comfort. I hope it brings my nephew 'beary' special dreams. :0)

Now ... while this trip was wonderful, it DID throw my designing/stitching schedule into disarray. which has meant the last few days have been spent frantically stitching and undertaking my FAVOURITE designing task ...

... writing instructions! Aaaaarrrgghhh!!! However, Kerryanne will be proud of me, cos the instructions are actually all finished BEFORE the project itself is!! Just a bit of hand stitching left to do tonight. This is a Christmas project for "Handmade" in answer to the SOS I received a few weeks ago. It was a bit of a panic, cos it had to be posted off this week, but it's almost done. I can't show you the project, of course, as it's all still Secret Squirrel til November/December when it's published, but I'll share a little sneaky peek with you ...

I know ... not much of a clue, but you'll just have to be kept in suspenders til later in the year ... I promise to tell you when the issue of "Handmade" that it's in is published.

And while I've been playing with instructions, patterns etc, I've been toying with some new ideas to re-vamp my pattern covers and have finally hit upon one I like. Wanna see???

Ta Da! A fresh new look, with some new graphics designed just for me by a good friend who is a graphic designer. She's used some of my sketches as the basis for the designs and worked her magic on them. This is the new cover for the already released "Fairy Bears And Butterflies" quilt ... which is fairly obvious, I guess, as that's what's written on the bottom there!!! :0) I also have two more quilts that have their new cover design finalised and I will be releasing them next month, so stay tuned, cos you KNOW there'll be a give-away!! :0)

Let's see ... what else do I need to share with you???? Oh ... this week's garden update. Well ... I made a rather alarming discovery in the garden on the weekend ... there are ALIENS living in my garden! Really, there are! I took a photo cos I knew you wouldn't believe me. Ready??

EEEK!! The Mutant Alien Carrots That Ate Toowoomba!! Tee! Hee! Hee! OK, so maybe NOT aliens, but certainly mutants. Mum tells me they've grown like this cos they were too close together ... NOW she tells me!! I'm hoping that by picking a few the others will grow a bit longer, but perhaps they'll just mutate into something even more bizzarre ... stay tuned for the gardening horror story! :0) On the other side of the garden, there are MORE aliens ...

These babies are going BERZERK!! They're so heavy that they've made the little trellis sag, and you can't really see the poor lemon tree much any more from this side of the garden, but look at all those flowers! And those flowers are starting to develop into ...

SNOWPEAS! I know, what a shock ... fancy snowpeas actually growing on a snowpea bush! :0) You can see a few in the background there, but I just had to pick the one on the garden edge to taste ... and it was DELICIOUS!! So lovely and crunchy, straight from the garden. THAT'S what I've been looking forward to! :0) You can bet that when we get back from our beach break there'll be HEAPS of yummy snowpeas waiting to be crunched.

Oh ... did I forget to tell you we're leaving on a two week beach break this weekend? You must be the only ones I HAVEN'T told!! :0) I think I've just about driven my workmates around the bend counting down! Tee! Hee! Hee! The house-sitter is booked, the dogs are sulking at being left behind, the plans are made and I'll be tracing off lots of Gardener's Journal blocks to take with me. (I am falling so far behind that Chookyblue will be getting out her whip to hurry me along soon! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I also picked up a few holiday supplies ...

I had to go to Office Works to get the heavy paper for the new pattern covers the other day and while I was there, I decided to take a leaf out of the lovely Kerryanne's book and try to keep all my designs, sketches, doodles, notes and ideas in one book. (Do you have trouble going past all the lovely supplies when you visit a stationary shop ... or is that just me?!?!) Now, my sketchbook isn't nearly as pretty as some of the lovely notebooks and journals I've been seeing in blogland, but it has a nice bright green cover to make it easy to find (in theory!!) until I can find the time to make a fabric cover for it. I also picked up some new pencils cos mine are always going walk-about (I think the faeries borrow them and don't return them!!) and a couple of new erasers, cos I think the faeries take them too! :0) Add a bright, cheery red folder to the pile to keep everything in and I'm set for holiday sketching. I always have lots of new ideas floating around in my head for stitcheries, applique, bears, quilts ... all sorts of things, but never seem to have the time to put them on paper, so I'm looking forward to doing just that. I'm also hoping to post a few times while we're away and I'll still be contactable by email, so you won't get rid of me completely ... as much as you might like to!! :0)

And now that I've written enough to make your eyes bleed if you've made it to the end ... I'm off to organise some dinner, then afterwards, it's stitching in front of TV to get everything done ready for the start of holidays ... YIPPEE!!!! :0) Hope you're all having a great week so far and even if you're not as lucky as me and heading off on holidays, I hope you're managing to find a little time to yourself to create. Til next time ...



Wednesday 14 July 2010

This, That & The Other!!

You might want to grab a cuppa before you start reading today ... I don't know how long it will take to share all the bits and bobs that I have to share, so you may as well get comfy! Go on ... and perhaps grab yourself a bikkie ... or some chocolate, too! :0) So, now we're comfy and set! Here we go ...

Firstly, as promised, I have a photo of the pretties that followed  me home from Quilters Angel on the weekend when Marion and Steph hosted a fabulous store-wide sale.

Mmmmmmmm!!! Yummy fabrics!! :0) Bit of a mixed bag and none were purchased for a specific project. The blue spot ... well, I've already bought and used two pieces of this cheerful dotty fabric, so thought another length would be a good investment. The yellow ... nice yellows are hard to find, so I tend to grab them when I see them. The other three are all part of my favourite-ever range of fabrics from Moda, "Aviary". I have quite a good stash of this yummy range, but didn't have these ones and since I'm using the Aviary fabrics in both my Butterfly Garden and A Gardeners Journal quilts, these will be handy to mix and match. I really thought I was pretty well behaved considering how many fabrics I WANTED to take home! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK, on to a belated vege garden report. I've been a bit slack with this, as so many Mondays seem to be icky weather, or I don't get home til after dark to take a photo. So after 10 weeks of growing (I think!! I'm losing track!!) this is what my vege garden looks like ...

We haven't had very much rain, but there have been just enough sprinkly showers to keep the veges happy and the grass growing. The lemon tree's red pot is starting to be camouflaged a bit now. :0) The snowpeas are going ahead in leaps and bounds ...

Don't know if you can see with the late afternoon sun shining on things there, but there are now LOTS of pretty white snowpea flowers and if you look a little closer ...

... the first marigold is flowering cheerfully away. Plus .. I didn't notice until I was editing the photos, but if you look in the top left of the photo, you'll see a snowpea flower and ... the FIRST SNOW PEA!! YAY! Tee! Hee! Hee! Bet most people don't get this excited over snowpeas, right?! :0) But when we flip to the OTHER side of the garden ...

Oh dear! The beans are looking a bit sad, aren't they?! And the marigolds on this side are at a very different stage to the other side, too, thanks to a couple of heavy frosts. SIGH! Not sure whether we'll manage to get any beans off these poor damaged plants, but I'll wait and see how they go. On the up side, to the right of this photo, you can see the cauliflower plants are thriving. THEY were the plants everyone told me would be hit hardest by the frost! Trust me to not have a NORMAL garden! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The last little thing to share is a bit sad. We've had a horrible day here on top of our hill, weather-wise, today. After several lovely sunny and unseasonably warm days (YAY!!) today clouded over quickly and horrible, gusty winds whipped up. (BOO!) When I got home this afternoon, I had a nasty surprise waiting for me in the carport. The lovely old kitchen cupboard that I showed you a while ago that we discovered at a garage sale has been stored in the car port til we can afford to get the stained glass panels replaced, then we plan to restore the cupboard itself. It had one intact, but loose, stained glass door panel and one frosted glass replacement panel ... until the wind got behind it today and knocked it over!!!! Aaaaarrrgghhhh!!!! So with the able assistance of ...

DIY Dog (A.K.A. Wombat the brainless-but-lovable-Border-Collie!) ... I hauled the cupboard upright ... and was greeted with the musical tinkle of broken glass. BUGGER!!

A couple of the stained glass panes were broken and the entire frosted glass panel was broken ... into LOTS of little pieces that I had to clean up! The decorative timber panel on top of the cupboard is now loose, the drawer pulls (old plastic) disintegrated on impact and a couple of the door catches have been bent. SIGH! It will now take a little more work to restore this beauty. Well ... it's on the list!

And after all the picking up of glass and sweeping out in that cold, cold wind, I think I've earned a cup of Rose and French Vanilla tea in front of the heater, after all ... you've had one, right?! :0) And that wasn't quite as longwinded as I thought it might be, so you won't have time for a second cuppa! Tee! Hee! Hee! May all your weather be fair and kind! Til next time ...


PS. My blogging buddy Julia is back in blogland after a bit of a break, so pop across and welcome her back! She's working on some GORGEOUS quilts!! BH! KRIS

Sunday 11 July 2010

Happy Dancing Over Moon Dance!!

 Hippity ... Hoppity ... Skippity ... Shuffle ... Shuffle ... Bootie Shake!!! Yep, I'm doing my Happy Dance today cos I've FINALLY finished the cot quilt I designed for my nephew ... YAY!!

I know it's been quite a while since I showed you the photo of the top of this quilt all finished and there's some good reasons ... really!! :0) Firstly, I dropped it off to the lovely Quilting Queen, Rosalie who was rather busy at the time, so it was visiting her for a few weeks. Then, by the time I had it back to bind ... I was ambushed by that nasty head cold bug that hung around for a couple of weeks. THEN ... life interfered in general, I've had a few other deadlines and a couple of magazine commissions thrown into the mix ... all in all, "Moon Dance" got put on the backburner. You know how you have projects that really only need a few hours of attention to finish off, but you just can't seem to get motivated? That's where I was at.

I think part of the problem was I'd been told that the quilt was going to be used as a floor rug and after all the hours and weeks of designing, piecing, hand appliquéing and embroidery I'd put into it to make a special cot quilt, it broke my heart a little that it wasn't going to be used for the purpose I'd designed it. I felt like it wasn't going to be respected as much as the work involved deserved. And while I still feel that way a little, I've concluded that this is just one of those risks you take when you put your heart into creating a hand made gift for someone and I just have to let it go. If it is used and loved as a floor rug, as least it's not shoved away in a cupboard.

So ... having worked my way around to this conclusion and finding that I have a way of getting it delivered to my nephew this week, I was motivated enough to get busy yesterday and attach the binding, then spent the night watching James Bond while stitching the binding down, so it was all ready today to take some photos before it gets sent off. Ready for the unveiling??

Ta Da!! Those mischievous little bears are now surrounded by gorgeous quilted stars and swirls thanks to Rosalie once again doing a gorgeous job of machine quilting for me, the checkerboard binding draws all of the colours together and that fabulous giant rickrack border just makes it all pop. So, even though it's been a bit of an epic adventure, it's all done and ready to keep a special little boy cosy. I hope it is loved and appreciated for many years to come and that it reminds my nephew that, even though we may not get to spend much time together as he grows up, due to distance, his Aunty Kris loves him very, very much.

And even though the original quilt is winging off to a new home, I've taken LOTS of photos cos I will be releasing this beary cute quilt as a pattern in the next few weeks. The instructions are already written (Kerryanne WILL be proud of me!!!) and I just have to finalise the requirements list and tweak a few bits of the appliqué outlines and it will be all ready to be launched, so stay tuned if you have a little bear of your own that you want to make a quilt for!

Other than that ... a fairly quiet weekend has been had here at the Meares' Madhouse ... although I DID manage to squeeze in a visit to my home-away-from-home, Quilters Angel where Marion and Steph have had a FANTASTIC three day sale happening over the weekend. Yes ... predictably ... some fabric followed me home and I'll be back soon to show you what was added to my stash ... I forgot to take a photo before I sat down to type this. Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend that included some time spent doing something just for YOU!! Til next time ...



PS. If you're a relatively new blogger (and perhaps even if you've been blogging for a while!) pop on over to visit Chookyblue's blog where she's posted a few things that DO and DON'T work when blogging. It's well worth a read! BH! KRIS

Wednesday 7 July 2010

A Fabric Sale & A Birthday!!

OH NO!!! How could I have FORGOTTEN!!! You'd all hate me if I didn't tell you! I'm going to say the magic words that makes all stitchers' hearts dance with glee ...

The lovely Marion and Steph of Quilters' Angel are about to embark on a new adventure and so they have less to pack and move, they're having a SUPER STORE SALE! If you're within driving distance of Highfields, I recommend you scoot along and have a look, cos there are LOTS of goodies at my home-away-from-home! :0) The sale is for three days only ...

Friday July 9, Saturday July 10 and Sunday July 11

I'm on a road trip with my Beloved Geek Boy on Friday, but I can see a Saturday visit will be in order, cos, let's face it ... you can NEVER have TOO MUCH fabric or TOO MANY patterns! :0) So make sure you check it out. And when Marion and Steph's new adventure is a little more finalised ... I'll tell you all about it!

Another thing I forgot to include in my post yesterday was a big ...


My Dad turned ... 60 ... something (Tee! Hee! Hee!) yesterday. Here he is as a little tacker ...

Aaaaaawwwww!!! Isn't he CUTE!!! :0) Look at that curly hair ... why couldn't he have passed THAT on to me instead of the podgy genes?!?! And here he is nursing a very special baby ...

It's not a great photo cos the sun is shining into the left, but this is Dad nursing me. (Told you it was a special baby!! In SOOOOOO many ways! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

My Dad is a pretty laid back, quietly spoken bloke. He doesn't say much, but when he does it's usually worth listening to. He's never completed a university degree, run a business or made heaps of money, he'll never win a Nobel Peace prize or a Pulitzer, but when we were growing up, he was always in the audience at school plays and speech nights, helped me learn my debating speeches and quizzed me before history exams,  he exhibited great patience (and nerves of steel!!) to teach me to drive and ferried me over much of Queensland for various youth group and school events.

He was a bit misty eyed as he walked me down the isle on my wedding day and though he didn't make a long speech on the day, he sent me a letter the following week telling me how proud he was of the woman I had grown up to be and telling me I had chosen a wonderful man to spend my life with. I didn't tell him (and maybe I won't or he'll get a swelled head!!) but a lot of the attributes that I love about my Beloved GB are ones he shares with my Dad!! That letter is one of my great treasures and is tucked away in my Joy Journal for days when I'm feeling a little blue.

Dad has a warped sense of humour ... which I seem to have inherited ... along with the podgy genes!!! And he is easy to track down in a huge crowd, cos all you have to do is listen for his distinctive laugh! Although that laugh has caused a few embarrassing moments over the years (mainly because of some of the things he's been laughing at!!) I think it's a nice way to be recognised and remembered.

The black hair now has as much salt as pepper, the whiskers are DEFINITELY grey when they grow, his hearing isn't as good as it was and it takes him a little longer to get out of his recliner chair in front of the TV (accompanied by all sorts of interesting sound effects!!!) but I'm not going to trade him in, in fact, I just plain wouldn't trade him, cos he's my Dad and I love him to bits!! Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Here he is with Mum in a portrait taken for their 40th wedding anniversary a couple of years ago. They don't scrub up too badly for a couple of old fogies, do they! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... well ... that's more than I had intended to post today, since I'd only chatted to you all yesterday, but I just HAD to tell you about Marion's sale and tell you how blessed I am to have such a wonderful Dad. And now, I'm off to make a myself a nice cup of rose and French vanilla tea to warm up ... it's currently around 8 degrees and overcast ... AGAIN!! I think I'm going to get a calender and start crossing off the days to count down to spring!!! Hope you're all having a fabulous day ... whatever the weather where you are. Til next time ...



Tuesday 6 July 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up!

Hmmm ... it's Tuesday already. Did anyone else lose Monday or just me? Oh ... mostly me, huh! :0) I intended to share my weekend update on Monday, really I did ... it obviously passed me by, however, so you'll just have to have a Tuesday update. :0)

Well ... a really good thing that happened on the weekend was ... the sun finally made an appearance!! YAY!! I've decided that either I really AM solar-powered, or I'm reverting to the sun-revering ways of my Celtic ancestors! Tee! Hee! Hee! Suddenly, I had so much more energy and felt rather chirpy and this translated into a productive weekend of stitching.

I finished 'building' the 'No Place Like Home' block for my Stitcher's Journal block for June (oops!) and also got the little wreath stitched and a start on the dog house. And it suddenly occurs to me that I meant to take a photo of said progress and I forgot, so you'll just have to take my word for it! :0) I'll take a photo once I get them pieced into the finished block ... sometime ... hopefully before July!!!

Now, having spent a bit of an epic run stitching the house block, I decided that I really wanted to tackle a quick-to-finish project, so after a bit of thought (and the prerequisite cup of tea!!) I decided to finally tackle a little project I'd been meaning to try since ... ooooohhh ... DECEMBER! Oops! Boy, time flies, doesn't it! Tee! Hee! Hee! It was a little project shared by those nutty Gum Nut gals here which actually led you to here. It was for a tea wallet/pocket. And the tutorial was so easy to follow, so simple and so quick ... that I made FOUR! Tee! Hee! Hee! Here they are ...

Aren't they cute!! I put them beside the tea mug so you could judge the size. I don't know about you, but being a tea-drinker, I often cart teabags around in my handbag and if they get left in there a little TOO long ... well ... let's just say the manufacturers probably didn't make the teabags strong enough to withstand handbag travel!! And you end up with loose tea all through your bag ... and if your bag happens to get damp ... well ... let's just not go there and relive bad experiences! Tee! Hee! Hee! Suffice to say, this little tea wallet should save a LOT of wear and tear on my nerves ... and handbags! :0) Can you guess which one is mine?!?!?! When you open up the tea wallets, they look like this ...

See?! Four individually wrapped teabags, just waiting for a smoko break ... and perhaps a friend to share with! :0) The tea in the cup is my latest discovery by Dilmah ... Rose and French Vanilla. Mmmmmmm!!!! It's blended with a really nice flavoured black tea leaf and is rather delicious. I love to try flavoured black teas!! :0) The lovely Joy-Belle has made a loyalty card version of this handy little wallet, which I think will go on my "To Do" list, as I always seem to be searching for one membership card or another - my latest wallet doesn't have room for loyalty cards ... very annoying!!

OK ... what else did I get up to over the weekend?? Well ... since it was so darn FREEZING, I decided to cook up some winter comfort food ...

Stew and dumplings in the slow cooker. I keep forgetting to use my slow cooker, so I'm trying to remember to use it more as everything always tastes delicious and tender. This was my first attempt at dumplings and I was a little alarmed when they expanded to fill the whole pot ... I could see the headlines in my mind ...

"Toowoomba home destroyed in dumpling explosion!!"

... or perhaps an old-style horror flick ...

"The Dumplings That Ate Toowoomba!"

Hmmm ... not sure that will be a box office hit, but then I didn't get "Pulp Fiction" either, so who knows! :0) But back to the dumplings ... which are cooked after all that time spent chatting! :0)

Dinner is served! Can you see the steam rising from this plate of yumminess?? And I have to use a slight variation on a phrase Chookyblue used to talk about her scone cooking last week ...

I may not be a Master Chef ... but I can sure cook a DELICIOUS beef stew with herb and cheese dumplings!! :0)

I know there's been no garden photo update this week, but I lost Monday and today it was cold, dark and drizzly by the time I got home, so still no photo. I will say, the beans and marigolds are looking just a little sad after a second, bigger frost hit on Sunday. SIGH!! Perhaps it's a good thing that I'm not fond of beans! :0) But my Beloved Geek Boy is, which is why I planted them, so hopefully we'll still manage to get a bean or two from them.

Well, I think that's about all I can share with you today. The only other thing happening around the Meares' Madhouse is something I can't share with you yet ... some Secret Squirrel Christmas stitching is happening for "Handmade" after I received an SOS email from Editor Victoria on Friday. Seems I'm not the only one surprised by how close Christmas is! Tee! Hee! Hee! So, for now, I shall sign off and go sit in front of the heater with my secret stitching. Hope you're all having a great start to your week ... and that you're not missing days already like I am! :0) Til next time ...



Friday 2 July 2010

Some WInners Sunshine Amongst Clouds!

This is what the weather is like here on top of the hill ... AGAIN!!! SIGH! More of the cloud and less of the sun, unfortunately! I am getting VERY tired of our constantly overcast, icky, cold weather to the point where I think perhaps I wouldn't MIND the cold quite so much if only we could have some sunny days. This protracted stretch of cloudy weather (no rain, though, unfortunately!) and chatting to some blogging buddies from the northern hemisphere, has made me realise just how much I take our lovely Aussie weather for granted. Usually, even in winter, the sunny days with blue skies outnumber the grey cloudy ones, especially here in Queensland ... we are, after all, the SUNSHINE state! :0) Though I think I'll have a go at the tourism promoters for false advertising at the moment!! :0)

However ... in a bid to spread some 'sunshine' in the midst of my cloudy climate, I have some end-of-month prize winners to announce for OPAM. This month saw OPAMers finish a whopping great 649 projects!!! How good is THAT!! Well done, gals, give yourselves a clap! Way to go!! :0) And as the gorgeous Peg and I blog-hopped our way around blogland, we were treated to some FABULOUS projects - there are just so many clever-clogs crafters out there! :0)

So ... after the final tally was found, I popped the magic numbers into the random number generator thingy and ... it spat them back out! Tee! Hee! Hee! The three prize winners for June's OPAM draw are:

DAWN H; and

CONGRATULATIONS, ladies!! I might point out that it was rather fitting that the random number generator happened to pick Stina's number because she recorded a huge 48 finishes for June! WOWSERS!! Well done Stina!! Stina is getting ready for an exhibition and has been teasing us with sneaky peeks for a while - I can't wait to see some photos of her finishes projects. The winners' prizes are all picked out, just waiting for snail mail addresses ...

Lots of goodies! We have one of Gail Pan's pretty patterns that was donated by the lovely Sarah (Thanks Sarah!), a fat quarter and a fat eighth donated by the fabulous Razzy (Thanks Razzy!), some four inch charm squares I found at my home-away-from-home and had put away for a rainy day, plus some pretty and practical notepads I'd also squirreled away and the handy-dandy mini-sharpies that I can't live without and like to share. I especially like the Lynette Anderson notepad at the bottom left that I again found at Quilters Angel ... rainbows always make me smile! So, Stina, Dawn H and Anne-Lise if you'd like to email me with your snail mail addresses, I'll pop down to my local post office next week so my mate Raymond can help me post your gifties out.

And to all of you in OPAM, whether you registered a finish this month or not - WELL DONE!! As well as finishes, I saw lots of progress photos on people's blogs as I hopped around, so even if you didn't register a finish this month, but made some progress on one or more projects, pat yourself on the back, cos taking some time out to relax with a needle in hand and take some steps towards finishing projects is what OPAM is all about!!

And that is just as well, because I had a bit of a slack June, I have to confess. Today, though, with the icky weather encouraging me to stay indoors, I've been stitching away on my June block for the "A Gardener's Journal" Stitch-A-Long. Yes ... I said my JUNE block. SIGH! Chookyblue will be after me with her big whip if I'm not careful! :0) After managing to finish the first two months' blocks on time, I faltered this month after having the blues and then the dreaded head cold led to not much stitching, then - I ran out of month! :0) I've made some progress today, but am still working on the biggest stitchery block ... No Place Like Home ...

As you can see, I've finished 'building' the house, have 'planted' the two tall trees and am now 'building' the fence. :0) Mind you, all of these straight lines are driving me a little batty ... I think it took me almost as long to stitch the roof as it took my Beloved Geek Boy to replace our house roof for real a few years ago! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hoping to get more stitched this weekend, and perhaps even get Woof and the wreath finished too. Will see how I go. Oh ... did you notice I took this photo in my almost-famous vege patch?! :0) More flowers on the peas and the pretty red lemon tree pot in the background ... had to add SOME colour to a grey ol' day! :0)

Whatever you're up to today, I hope been able to find some splashes of colour and that your weekend is filled with stitching and fun. Til next time ...


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