Saturday 31 December 2011

A Year Of New Adventures

Well ... It hardly seems 12 months ago that we were ready to welcome 2011. I think I speak for most people ... Particularly Queenslanders when I say that we will be VERY happy to usher 2011 back out the door!! We surely have had a shocker of a year, but despite cyclones, floods, earthquakes (A big G'day to our NZ neighbors!) and other assorted hiccups, there are a few positive things that I WILL take with me into 2012.

The first would have to be the feeling of pride that, in the midst of the year's upsets, there was a strong spirit of mateship, support and camaraderie shown by so many people to help those affected to pick themselves up to start over.

Tied into that is the realization I came to when Toowooma made world headlines with our inland tsunami ... I have a HUGE number of fabulous friends all around the world who care about what happens to me and just 'get' me! :0) What a precious gift!!

Thirdly, I'll take with me into the new year the belief that the next twelve months are going to be wonderfully EXCITING!! I have some BIG plans that I hope to launch ... Stay tuned! And some of my good blogging buddies are also planning big things. Add to that the incredibly positive sentiments that so many of us are feeling as the new year sneaks closer and 2012 is sure to be FANTASTIC!!!

Sooooo .... Are you ready to dive into a year of exciting new adventures with me?!?! Yeah?! Well, in that case ...

2012 ... BRING IT ON!!!

My New Years wish to all of my blogging buddies is that 2012 will see you stay safe, stay well, stay in touch (hint!hint!) and see some of your dearest dreams come to fruition. As for me ... I have to go re-join the party here before someone eats all the pavlova! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time,



Wednesday 28 December 2011

Christmas Catchup!!

Well ... after several days of being a bit of a slug and being disconnected from blogland (was still getting emails on my phone so not TOTALLY cut off!!) I thought I'd better stir myself to post some pics to show you just how darn SPOILT I've been this Christmas and thank the lovely friends who've blessed me with gorgeous gifties! :0) It would take forever and a day to provide a commentary for everything and Chookyblue might doze off in her plum pudding (Tee! Hee! Hee!) so I'll just show you the pretties with SHORT explanations ... I promise! :0)

Firstly, I'll show you how Chookyblue herself has been spoiling me ...

This is the rest of the Advent gifties Chooky sent me ... sorry ... didn't take note of which day was which ... they all sort of blurred together for me anyways! Tee! Hee! Hee! I love the wall hanger at the back there - great saying! Love the quilt labels from Anni Downs' designs, the faerie scissors are super sweet, the little bear stitchery is cute, Chooky's cards are GORGEOUS ... oh ... who am I kidding ... I love ALL OF IT!!!!! :0) And on Christmas Eve, before we hit the road to come to Mum and Dad's place, I unwrapped this ...

Isn't this GORGEOUS!!!! Chooky said that as soon as she saw this pattern, she knew it was "ME" to a "T" (or 'TEA' as the case may be!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I just love it! And Miss Lavender Lil is happy to share a cuppa with her new friends in my sewing room! :0) THANK YOU CHOOKYBLUE!!! I love ALL my gifties! And thanks to Fee for hosting this fun advent swap! :0)

Next on the list is my SSCS ornament and gifties ... I have been a bit slack with posting these - Sorry Trash!! No I'm not being mean and calling my swap partner names!! ... Trash was my swap partner all the way from the UK ... in the middle of renovating a whole kitchen! EEK! She deserves a medal! :0) This was my sweet ornament ...

This sweet hanging got a little banged up in transit, but I just LOVE it! four sweet gingerbread people wishing me happy Christmas all painted by Trash! :0) Then in my Christmas Even un-wrap-a-thon, I was delighted to find these pretties ...

A sweet painted box that will be perfect to protect some breakable Christmas pretties, a fabulous, all-natural, Christmas tree shaped soap (Love pretty soaps!!) and the most FABULOUS green knitted scarf!! Perfect for keeping this hot-weather-chick warm during Toowoomba's notorious winters! THANK YOU TRASH!! I love my gifties! They sure brought a Christmas smile to my face! :0) And a big thank you to the "Hostess with the Mostest" the fabulous Chookyblue! No one organises like Chooky! In fact ... I suspect that if you wanted to invade a small country, she could crack her whip and get it organised in a jiffy! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I've also received some lovely gifties from some of my blogging buddies ...

These pretties were from the Gorgeous Kerryanne ... the notepad must mean me ... "Unorganised Perfectionist" Tee! Hee! Hee! Love the sweet angel orni and the Bear Hugs bookmark. Thanks Kerryanne! Who knows ... the notebook might help me actually GET organised ... maybe! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Do you see that sweet Tweetie sitting on top of my shabby chic birdcage? This was my giftie from the Lovely Lilly Linda ... who gifted me with the birdcage when we had our playdate at Mt Tambourine earlier this year. Thanks Linda!! I love it! :0)

These little pretties smell DIVINE and were a gift from Toni over at the Red Boot Quilt Company. My sewing room smells GORGEOUS at the moment! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks Toni!

These cute coasters were a surprise giftie from the lovely Satu ... who is one of our OPAM gals and my SSCS swap partner from last year. Do you see those teddies lurking in the centre of these coasters?! :0) Thank you so much, Satu! These are too cute! :0)

And this was another lovely surprise giftie to arrive on my doorstep ... bet my Postie is glad I'm away for a few days so he can have a rest! Tee! Hee! Hee! This GORGEOUS little teacup teddy was gifted to me by Miss Kitty herself over at The Chocolate Cat. Thanks Lise ... it is so sweet and matches the wall hanging Chookyblue made for me! :0)

Now ... part of what kept me so busy before Christmas was making some gifties for friends and family. I forgot to take photos of everything, but have a few that I remembered to snap before they were posted off ...

A dotty version of my lingerie bag design ... love this colour ... same colour as my sewing room walls! :0)

This is what became of that lovely purple/plum toned French fabric I showed you a sneaky peeky of a while ago. It was a bit tricky to match the purple tones, but I'm really chuffed with the result. :0)

Yet another version of my lingerie bag design ... I had so much fun playing with different variegated threads and matching them up with pretty fabrics to suit the person they were going to! :0) As I said, there were a few more gifties made, but I forgot to take pics - OOPS! :0)

So ... that's enough for one catch up session ... hope you've hung in there, Chookyblue!! :0) I'll try to pop back in the next day or so to share some party pics from my festive festivities.

OOOH! Before I sign off ... OPAM gals ... you've got just a few days left to record your December finishes on your sidebar lists and email Sweet Peg or me with your final tally for the month. It has been so much fun to see the Christmassy projects appearing on OPAMers' blogs ... you sure have been a productive  bunch! Tee! Hee! Hee! And for those of you who have started to ask the question ... YES!! Sweet Peg and I will once again be co-hosting OPAM in 2012!!! YAY!! Sign up won't be til towards the END of January, so you'll have to stay tuned to Sweet Peg's and my blogs so you don't miss out. I'll see if I can't find a countdown gadgety thing to pop on my sidebar for you to keep an eye on. Hmmm ... will work on that! :0)

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and that you're able to enjoy some quiet, relaxing time-out for a little bit longer. Will try to pop back before that countdown into 2012 to share some more pics, but for now, I'm off to keep a date with my pillow. Til next time ...



Friday 23 December 2011

OK ... I Give In!!!

I give in, surrender, acquiesce, admit defeat ... I QUIT!! It really is Christmas in two sleeps!!! SIGH! Like Snoopy, I think I'm just going to lay down and let it happen around me! I've tried very hard to hold it back this week cos the list of things I wanted to get done before Christmas Eve was long and the hours each day seemed to be short. I tried NOT changing the number on my Santa Countdown Blackboard ...

... but everyone I spoke to corrected me. :0) I tried starting a petition voting to postpone Christmas until February ... and I had a LOT of signatures!! :0) But  ... alas ... we were defeated ... not enough time for it to go through Parliament to be applied this year! Tee! Hee! Hee! So in the end, I've looked at my "To Do" list, crossed off the things I've managed to accomplish and then crossed out the rest, cos really, in the big scheme of things, they weren't that important. :0)

Of course ... one of those things on my list that got scrapped was showing some pictures of the plethora of GORGEOUS gifties that have come my way from friends and blogging buddies. I promise I WILL do this ... but it will now have to be after the podgy dude in red has been and gone. Sorry about that, but I'm sure you're all in the same boat as me and it is named "Overestimating Time Available"!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

We've booked the house sitter, the dog sitter, the mail collector and the garden waterer and will be packing ourselves up tomorrow to head off for a few days with my folks in Mundubbera, so we're looking forward to a few quiet days ... unless my Mum has been writing her own "To Do" lists for us! Tee! Hee! Hee! I'll have my laptop with me though, so might even get time to finally pop in and visit a few of you, my blogging buddies during the break and of course will be able to answer emails and collect OPAM finishes. Yep ... almost THAT time again, too. HOWEVER ... it's my turn to pick random winners, and since I'm approaching holiday mode, don't stress too much about emailing right on the last day of December. By all means update your sidebar list when you finish things, but if you're emailing, you have an extra day or two leeway this month til I'll get around to the draw, so GET STITCHING! :0)

Before I scoot off to put my weary feet up and enjoy a cup of tea, I'd like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Christmas full of lots of family, lots of friends, lots of love, lots of laughs, lots of special treats and lots of GIFTIES! Tee! Hee! Hee! And wish you and yours a FANTASMAGORICAL 2012 full of wonderful new adventures!! If you're travelling, please take care so you can come back to play in blogland again and remember the Reason for the Season ... the most precious gift ever given ... God's Son!

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!



Monday 19 December 2011

Flying In Like Santa's Reindeer!!!

Oh dear! Oh dear! OH DEAR!!! My Monday didn't just go pear-shaped ... I had the whole pear TREE!!! :0) Nothing drastic, you understand, just ... well ... a MONDAY!!!! SIGH! Not enough hours in the day, too many things on the list and several disruptions to the plan mean it's now rather late on Monday for me to be posting the winners of my Santa Sacks/Christmas Pillowcases as promised.

But ... I've finally got to sit down with a welcome cup of tea at the computer. These two festive pillowcases are ready to go to their new homes, so without further ado, the winners are ...


Quilts By Cheryl
(No blog & 'no reply' blogger)

If you lovely ladies can please email me with your snail mail address, I'll pop your prize into the mail ... I know it won't arrive in time for Christmas 2011 , but you'll have it early for Christmas 2012 ... or you can test drive it with some Christmas in July celebrations! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thank you to all of you for sharing stories about your favourite Christmas decorations ... it really is a magical time of the year and I think most of us have at least some fond childhood memories attached to Christmas. Thanks again, too, to the lovely Kerryanne for inviting me to be part of "Simply Christmas 2012". I hope you'll all continue to be inspired by Kerryanne's Christmas offerings this week as we count down to Sunday,

I have so much to share with you and so much to show you ... my poor Postie has been working overtime and I have been SPOILT with special gifties in the mail. But right now ... my eyes are being held open with matchsticks, so I shall sign off and go keep a long overdue date with my pillow. With today being all about the "Pear" tree, I sure hope I don't get woken up by "Turtle Doves"! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...

(from the pear tree!! Tee! Hee! Hee!)


Wednesday 14 December 2011

Christmas Is Coming ... EEK!!!

Don't get me wrong ... I LOVE Christmas ... the food ... the gifties ... the carols ... the food ... the family gatherings ... the food ... holidays ... the food ... Hmmm ... I think we're seeing here why I will NEVER be a catwalk model! Tee! Hee! Hee! But this year, I just feel somewhat swamped by everything I need to fit in before the podgy dude in the red suit comes rattling down our chimneys. (BTW ... our chimney leads into the outdoor LAUNDRY! The only thing Santa will find there is two bewildered doggies wondering who is invading their bedroom! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Believe me, there is a LOOOOOONG "To Do" list that needs to be addressed before December 24 ... guess I'm giving up sleeping for the next week or so! :0)

One thing I HAVE crossed off the "To Do" list, though was to put together a fun tutorial that is being featured today over at Shabby Art Boutique. For the second year, the gorgeous Kerryanne is hosting "Simply Christmas", which aims to get us all into the Christmas spirit with lots of tips, trick, tutorials and yuletide fun and I am today's guest blogger over there. Remember this photo?

Well ... if you want to see how to turn this odd assortment into some quick, fun, budget-conscious Christmas gifties, then don't delay - hop across to visit Kerryanne!! And see how the above turned into this ...

Ta Da! Santa Sacks/Christmas Pillowcases! This is such a great project for anyone wanting to make gifties, but who doesn't have much time ... can be done and dusted in an hour or so. If you DO hop across to visit Kerryanne and make one of these from my tute, I'd love for you to email me some photos. :0) And if you aren't at all fabric/sewing type crafty or you'd just like to see someone else do the work for you ... you're in luck! Leave me a comment on THIS post telling me what YOUR favourite Christmas decorations are and you'll go into the draw to win one of these Santa Sacks/Christmas Pillowcases. And since there are TWO sacks/pillowcases, then I will draw TWO lucky winners on Monday, December 19 ... QLD time! :0) You won't get your prizes before Christmas ... cos Australia Post doesn't have as good a delivery system as ol' Santa!! ... but they'll be ready for next year ... or Christmas in July celebrations! :0) So ... GET COMMENTING! Tee! Hee! Hee!
And with that little job crossed off my "To Do" list, I found that Kerryanne's Christmas Magic was working after all ... or perhaps I'd tasted one of Michelle's Mum's famous rumballs! Tee! Hee! Hee! Whatever the starting spark was, I decided it was time to toss a few Christmas decorations about. Now, I don't go too overboard ... simply because we don't have much room around the place to add decorations etc and our tree stands just 20" tall to fit into our small lounge room ... one of the slight drawbacks of having a heritage cottage to call home! :0) But I managed to add enough Christmassy cuteness to make me hum carols, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite decorations with you to brighten you day, too, and get you thinking about your comment for the prize draw! :0)

There's the Christmas stocking that I painted my very ownself ... under the careful and patient tutelage of a good friend, cos I am no Michelangelo!! :0) Give me fabric any day to get creating ... but I loved this and wanted to say ... "I made it myself!" :0)

Then there's my Christmas angels ... that actually stay hanging above our bedroom door all year round ... too cute to take down! :0)

There's my Rockin' Santa (he's on a rounded base, so he rocks back and forth when you poke him, like one of those children's toys ... not that I poke poor Santa very often!!!) but my two favourite decorations would have to be ...

My countdown Santa, painted from one of Kerryanne's patterns by the same lovely friend who patiently guided me through painting my stocking, and a lovely Christmas candle that the gorgeous Kerryanne gifted me with last Christmas. This little display reminds me of the wonderful friends God has blessed me with and the warmth and light they bring to my life all year round. Plus ... it's just so darn PRETTY! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... how are YOU decorating this Christmas? Are you a bit hit-and-miss like me? Do you go all out like Kerryanne , Lilly Linda and Michelle? Or do you have just a few favourite, sentimental Christmas decorations to celebrate the season?

Right now for me, though, it's back to waving my arms in the air like a lunatic, running around in circles and frantically trying to cross the rest of my jobs of the ol' "To Do" list! :0) Hope you're having a great week ... don't forget to pop over to Kerryanne's blog to see what I've been up to and to catch up on so much more wonderful Christmassy goings on. Til next time ...


Friday 9 December 2011

Christmas Stitching!

PHEW! There went another week and yet again I don't feel like I got as much done as I should have. In my defence ... weak though it may be!! ... we had a weird weather change that threw me into a spin. We went from GLORIOUS summer temperatures last week of between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, to this week where we had several days of overcast skies, fog, rain and gale force winds with top temps of 14 to 17!!! EEK!! How rude is THAT in the middle of summer! So as those of you who pop in regularly would know I was NOT a happy camper and went into hibernation mode for a few days. BRRRRR!! I'm happy to say that today is a bit warmer, though the sun is still hiding, and my mojo seems to have come out of hibernation again so I've made some good progress on a few things.

Most of my attention today was focused on these things ...

Well ... this was the STARTING POINT! :0) The results will have to stay under wraps for a few more days. You see, I've once again joined in the fun of the gorgeous Kerryanne's "Simply Christmas" and I will be making a special guest appearance (Ooh! That makes me sound like someone important, doesn't it! Tee! Hee! Hee!) on Kerryanne's blog next Wednesday to share a tutorial for a quick, fun and fabulous Christmas gift idea. So, don't forget to pop over to Shabby Art Boutique to see what I've come up with ... or maybe you'd like to pop across right now to catch up on all the fun Christmas stuff that has been shared already ... make a cuppa first cos there's lots to read and look at! :0)

I've also been doing some Secret Squirrel Christmas stitching that I can't share with you, but will give you a couple of teasers ...

This is the 'makings' pile for another lingerie bag for a friend's gift. Don't you just LOVE that French inspired fabric!! The colours don't match my sewing room, mores the pity, but they're perfect for my friend. This time I've stitched the little stitchery with a Cottage Garden thread ... "Viola". It's the first time I've played with a Cottage Garden thread and quite liked it ... I love the colour graduations ... so pretty! :0) And I've started stitching in some very different colours for another gift for a friend ...

Rainbow colours for this one ... a Cosmo thread ... I have to say, I'm enjoying working on stitchery projects of just ONE colour ... not as much stopping and starting ... just stitching! :0) 

Something else I CAN show you, is how I'm being thoroughly SPOILED by Chookyblue in Fee's Advent Swap! :0) Now, I showed you my goodies from Day 1 in my last post here, so this was what greeted me in the parcels for Day 2 and Day 3 ...

Not the book, silly!! Or the pencil! The GORGEOUS "Spring Magic" sweet roll/honey roll (??? I get so confused with which is what!!) was Day 2's gift and the cute mini pegs were for Day 3. The journal and pencil are for me to start designing a fun new project to use my pretty new fabric strips. :0) Then there was MORE!!!

Days 4 to 8. I confess that because it took a few days to get to take this photo, I've forgotten which gifties belonged to which day, but I'm pretty chuffed with some new rotary cutter blades, a pretty swish needle threader (happily I don't have too much trouble threading needles, but will be keeping this for when I need to get thicker threads through small needles) , two cakes of HEAVENLY smelling lavender soap (I feel particularly special to get these, since I know Chookyblue doesn't handle 'smellies' very well!!), a sweet key fob in the shape of a Matroyshka (???) doll, two super sweet teddy bear buttons and a skein of GORGEOUS Cottage Garden thread ... this one is "Larkspur". See?! I TOLD you I was being spoilt! :0) Thanks Chookyblue! And thanks Fee! It is so much fun being spoilt with little surprises each day! I hope Chookyblue is having as much fun with the gifties I sent her! :0)

And that about wraps things up here at the Meares' Madhouse this week! :0) I'm starting to panic a little about getting gifties sorted that need to be mailed next week, wondering how the heck I'm going to fit in all of the sewing I want to do for said gifties, whilst juggling half a dozen different Christmas events coming up this week ... I think I should ask Santa for an extra MONTH as my Christmas giftie this year! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I hope you've all had a fantastic week and that your weekend includes lots of kick-back-and-relax time ... and not too much Eek!-it's-almost-Christmas time! :0) And even if you're madly trying to tick things off your "To Do" list before Christmas, I hope you manage to take some time out to spend with family and friends ... after all ... that's the REAL heart of Christmas, right!! :0) Til next time ...


Thursday 1 December 2011

Defeating Photo-Eating Computers!!

Tee! Hee! Hee! Suddenly, I'm having a mental picture of me on my white charger (hmmm ... maybe a Clydesdale would be better to cope with my gym-skipping butt!!!) dressed in chain mail, sword in hand, riding off into the sunset to do battle against some dastardly creature that gobbles up innocent photos. Hmmm ... sometimes reality can be a tad less interesting! Tee! Hee! Hee! Yes ... I am fairly sleep-deprived at the moment, which explains most of my funny mental pictures! :0) (perhaps not all, but that's a whole nother story!!!)

Onto my post before Chookyblue gives up in disgust! :0) Actually ... speaking of Chookyblue ... I had a lovely phone call from her the other night. It was a wonderful surprise and can I just say that even though she may be Queen of the Short Blog Post, on the phone (or in person!!) she's just as chatty as I am, so it wouldn't surprise you that, after we'd been chatting for almost two hours, Mr Chooky wanted to know who the heck she was STILL talking to! Tee! Hee! Hee! Blogging buddies are so much fun! :0) And since Chooky and I are swap-buddies for Fee's Advent Swap, today was the day I FINALLY got to delve into that tempting box of goodies she sent me ... I had been a good girl and waited for December 1!! :0) Now, she had told me during our chat that day one's gift was a "Christmas season survival kit". As Alice would say ... "Curiouser and Curiouser!!"

But all was explained when the little parcel was opened. OOOOOHHHH!! There's some Christmas cards for me to send, some cute little Santa pegs to hold any cards I might receive, one of Chooky's SWEET little stitched Christmas cushion ornaments (or a Festive pin cushion???) a CUTE  bear hugs stitchery ... already traced with pelon on the back and ready to stitch, with the favourite-colour green embroidery thread. Oh ... and some tasty treats to keep up my strength for all the Christmas run-around! :0) The first of those packets is being munched and crunched as I type! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks Chookyblue!! What a lovely way to kick off the countdown to Christmas ... even if I AM firmly in denial about it being less than a month away - EEK!!

OK ... I've also re-taken the photos that the nasty computer ate a few days ago. First thing to show you so you can drool over admire it, is a bundle of yummy fabrics I bought at a recent sale at my Home-Away-From-Home ...

I have been eyeing these off ever since Marion got them in. They're from the "Etchings" range by 3Sisters for Moda. I particularly love the one second from the right in the top row ... its a map of Paris ... yes, I'm still on my French kick and considering some of the exciting plans I'm hoping to implement next year, I will be for some time, so you'll have to live with my obsession! :0)

Another pretty that I have to show you is a sweet prize I won from Lisa at Button Bliss. Lisa has the CUTEST range of laser-cut timber buttons on her website, but she also added some handy (and cute!!) thread organisers to her range and ran a competition with a couple as prizes. Lisa asked us to leave a comment describing our perfect spring day. My response was ...

"The perfect spring day ... well ... my FANTASY perfect spring day would be spent in a gorgeous cottage garden, sitting at a pretty wrought iron table with some equally pretty stitching friends to enjoy a 'high tea' picnic with lots of tasty treats, tea drunk out of vintage china cups and some stitching. Now I just have to find that garden ... shame mine doesn't match up! :0)"

The prize I won when mine was one of the names chosen my Mr Random ...

Hmmm ... perhaps I needed to take it out of it's packet, but I wanted to leave it in there to protect it from the general mayhem of my sewing room. It actually looks like this ...


(photo borrowed from Lisa's blog)

Thanks Lisa! My first thought when I saw these sweet thread organisers is that they would be a great idea to use to do up a kit as a gift for a stitching friend ... choose a stitchery pattern, pick out the threads to make it, pop in the thread organiser and your friend is ready to stitch. You could take it a step further and do what Chookyblue did for me ... trace the design and attach pelon. Your friend would be smiling and stitching in no time, guaranteed! :0)

Last on the list of re-taken photos were two fun projects that I made for my sort-of-sister Tiffy's birthday. (one day we'll just have to adopt her and make it official and easier to explain her place in our family! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I designed this project especially for Tiffy and really enjoyed stitching and making it up ... it was just one of those projects that came together beautifully the first time! :0)

A set of two lingerie bags ... ooh la la!! :0) Yes ... there's still a bit of a French influence there ... couldn't help myself! :0) Now, you may be asking why I've made TWO lingerie bags for Tiffy. Well ... there's a REALLY good explanation ... my Mother suggested it and it's ALWAYS wise to do what your mother suggests! Tee! Hee! Hee! Nah ... well ... YEAH ... but that's not the only reason!! You see, Tiffy is looking at doing some travelling overseas next year and the idea of two lingerie bags is ... one for your CLEAN knickers and bras and one for your WAITING-TO-BE-WASHED knickers and bras when you're packing your port (bag, suitcase, backpack!) so that they don't get lost amongst the rest of the stuff in your port (bag, suitcase, backpack) and if your port (bag, suitcase, backpack) happens to open while you're travelling, there are no red faces over revealing your lacy knickers! See!! I TOLD you my Mum has good ideas! :0) That's why I used two different coloured variegated threads ... so Tiffy can tell the difference so she always knows she's following HER mother's advice to always wear clean underwear ... that's what all mothers tell us, right?!?!? I'll be releasing this pretty and practical design as part of a bigger project next year ... but the cat has to stay in the bag for a while longer ... sorry to all you cat lovers! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... that's me caught up for now. I'd better go start doing some blog-hopping to collect OPAM finishes ... so don't forget to email Sweet Peg or me and update your list of finishes on your sidebar list. And while I blog-hop, I shall enjoy the sound of rain on the roof ... Aaaaaahhh!!! Not a bad way to spend an afternoon ... and if I'm REALLY lucky, there might be a rainbow! :0) Til next time ...


Tuesday 29 November 2011

A Hug For The Soul!

That sounds very Zen, doesn't it?!?! :0) Actually ... it's my way of NOT banging my head against a wall in frustration!

You see ... I had taken photos of a couple of projects I'd finished over the weekend, a sweet prize I'd won from Lisa a Button Bliss a while ago and the yummy fabrics that followed me home from Marion's sale last week, ready to share with you, my blogging buddies. I sat down at the computer, loaded them onto the computer, copied them to the appropriate folder from my camera memory card, then ... as I always do, deleted them from the camera card to free up space for new photos ... cos they were now safe and sound, saved on my computer ... right?!?!?! WRONG!!! Somewhere along the track, something went horribly wrong and the computer swallowed the pictures, then spat them back out into cyber-space somewhere, never to be seen again! GRRRRRRRR!!!

So I shall have to go and dig out the finished projects, prize and new fabrics from where I had very diligently put them away (don't fall over in shock at that! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and take new photos ... but I don't have time this afternoon, so that will have to be a TOMORROW job. SIGH!

So, there I was feeling frustrated at our 'wonderful' computer technology when I decided to use my computer time to look up Google for something. Now, I don't know about you, but when I sign into my iGoogle page, it has personalised settings and backgrounds etc and somehow (more of that 'wonderful' technology!!) I ended up with a horoscope in the bottom corner of my page. Usually I find it a mix of the vague and incomprehensible, but I really liked today's horoscope and thought I'd share it with you. Now, although this was officially the review for the day for Pisces (that's me, two fish swimming around aimlessly ... could explain my 'goldfish' memory! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I really feel it applies to ALL of us for EVERY day, so here's a 'hug for the soul' from Rick Levine.

"This is truly a magical day, if you remember that you can create a positive atmosphere wherever you go by virtue of your attitude. Your spiritual orientation is capable of turning a boring chore into a sacred act of gratitude. But, what others perceive now isn't important. Honour the richness of your imagination and aspire to experience beauty, even if it cannot be put into words."

I hope you are warmed by my 'hug' sent out to all of my blogging buddies. So as I wish on my rainbow ...

I hope you have a week where you can 'experience beauty' in whatever life throws your way ... and I'll be back soon with some photos ... providing the computer doesn't get hungry again!!! :0) Til next time ...


PS. OPAM gals ... don't forget to update your sidebar lists and email me or Birthday Girl Sweet Peg with your list of finishes for November. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET PEG!!! :0) BH!

Friday 25 November 2011

How Does Santa Do It?!?!

Here I am ... back again after a bit of a blog absence ... did you miss me??? I've been snowed under working on some swap gifties that HAD to be in the mail this week ... and after having my Friday off at home ... I made it!!! WOO! HOO! :0) And let me tell you, I have a whole new appreciation for the Podgy Dude in the red suit. How he manages to organise ALL the gifties on that list of his AND stay JOLLY ... is beyond me! Tee! Hee! Hee!

After a few last stitches were stitched, it was time to get wrapping ...

Out came the paper, sticky tape, scissors, the stereo was cranked up so ABBA blasted out to keep me company and I got BUSY! :0) Hmmm ... did I mention that I HATE wrapping!!!! So ... it was quite some time later that the results could be seen! First on the list to wrap was my SSCS gifties that are heading to ... a galaxy far, far away! Tee! Hee! Hee! OK ... a COUNTRY far, far away ... couldn't resist a little Star Wars reference there! :0)

One ornament package for immediate opening upon arrival and one main giftie package for Christmas day ... CHECK!! Can't tell you any more or Swap Mama Chookyblue will come after me with her whip! :0) Hope my swap partner likes her gifties ... I think she will.

Next to be wrapped in the frenzy of paper, scissors and sticky tape (hmmm ... wonder why 'stickytape' was never added to the ol' game of 'rock, paper, scissors'?? It could catch on! Tee! Hee! Hee!) were the gifties for a direct Advent Swap organised by the Fabulous Fee. Now when Fee sent the name of my swap partner, I just about fell off my chair laughing ... and so did my partner ... CHOOKYBLUE! Tee! Hee! Hee! It did make it a lot of fun to buy little gifties for her, though, especially since we've 'known' each other for a few years now through blogging and have even met up for a coffee date. So from amongst the flying paper and sticky tape, there emerged ...

... a pile of shiny, glittery parcels for my blogging buddy/swap partner Chookyblue. These have now been popped on Santa's sleigh along with my SSCS gifties. Santa's reindeer must have been working overtime today ... two parcels picked up from Toowoomba and one delivered ...

Chookyblue tells me that her gorgeous daughter Fairygirl helped by decorating my parcel with Christmas stickers ... looks like she had a ball! :0) Open up the lid and inside ...

... sparkly silver packages!! Chookyblue and I were obviously on the same page when we were picking wrapping paper! :0) Can't wait til next week when I can start unwrapping these little gifties ... who says Christmas is just for kids ... unless they mean us BIG kids too! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks for organising this fun swap, Fee!!
And after all that wrapping, tagging and posting ... I'm EXHAUSTED!!!!! No wonder Santa only does this once a year! :0) I think I shall have a cuppa and then keep an overdue appointment with my pillow. I'll be back soon to show you some pretty new fabrics that followed me home this week! :0) Hope your week has been fabulous and that your weekend includes some time to relax, some time to create and some wonderful people to share it with! :0) Til next time ...



Tuesday 15 November 2011

The Pipes Are Calling!!

Here I am again, wondering where the last week went. And then I think back over what's been happening and I remember where it went! :0)

Before I tell you what I've been up to I need to apologise ... you see ... we've been experiencing some "Technical Difficulties" here ... the server my email travels through has been having a few hiccups and so I've ended up WAY behind on answering my emails. I started to try to catch up with answering them but ... I need to sleep SOMETIME! :0) So ... with apologies, I'll wipe the slate clean and start fresh. If you emailed me during the last three weeks or so and haven't heard back from me... OPAM gals especially ... I'm sorry about that! The 'issues' seem to be sorted, so I should be able to keep up now ... I hope! :0)

OK ... so ... on to what's been happening and why I have such a strange post title. Most of you will be familiar with the well-loved folk tune "Oh Danny Boy" ... one of the lines is ... "The pipes, the pipes are calling from glen to glen and down the mountainside". Well ... today at the retirement village where I work mornings, the pipes were indeed calling across the mountainside. We had a visit from the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums ... bagpipes and drums, that is! Aaaaaaahhhhh!! It was enough to make a Scottish-descended lass's heart warm and fluttery! My Dad's side of the family includes so many Scottish connections that it's a wonder we don't bleed tartan! :0) Kippen, Menzies, Duncan, McLean, McGreggor ... see what I mean! Tee! Hee! Hee! So it's no wonder the squirl of bagpipes makes my heart go pitty-pat!! :0)

Here are the QPPD in action.We had about 80 village residents, family members and friends on hand to clap and dance a reel or two! OK ... maybe not, but there sure were some toes tapping! :0) Then, it was time for a cuppa and a chat with the band.

And look what I found ... a couple of burly Scotsmen in kilts! :0) Pat and Mark had the lovely rolling Scottish burr and had spent time with the Royal Scots Dragoons. Did I mention that sometimes I LOVE my job! Tee! Hee! Hee! Oh ... yes, I am short, yes Pat was over six foot! :0)

OK ... apart from chatting up men in kilts, I've been spending some time in my sewing room ...

This is as much as I can show you, cos it's one of my Secret Santa swap gifties for ... a certain SOMEONE! Tee! Hee! Hee! Still need to finish my SSCS gifties for ???? so that will be this coming weekend's task, I think.

Apart from that ... we've FINALLY been enjoying some fabulous warm weather (some people say hot, but I'm a hot-weather gal, so to me it's WARM! Tee! Hee! Hee!) my Beloved Geek Boy and I have spent some time out in the garden. A bit of weeding, a bit of pruning, some planting up for gifts and some harvesting of herbs and veges from my vege patch ...

Some fresh beetroots that have since been boiled up and stored in their special mixture ... YUMMO! The last of my mega-spring onions that were previously taking over the world, the first of my snowpea crop to the right there and some rosemary, chives and parsley from my herb garden ... those herbs and the spring onion made their way into a DELICIOUS home-cooked quiche. Did I mention I REALLY love this time of year! :0) Warm weather, fresh produce from my garden ... life is good! :0) What's your favourite time of year?? Are you a summer gal like me, or a winter bear?

Well, I can hear my pillow calling my name, so I'm gonna sign off for now. Hope you're all having a great week so far and managing to squeeze some creative time into the busy pre-Christmas timetable. Til next time ...



Wednesday 9 November 2011

At Last!! Retreat Pics!

At LAST ... I'm FINALLY getting around to sharing the photos with you that I took two weekends ago when I taught at the annual Creative Craft Retreat at Lake Perseverance ... some of us are a bit slow! :0) This was the fifth year the retreat was held and the fifth that I've been involved. As usual, a lot of fun was had ... especially in the "Naughty Corner"!  And you can just guess which class group was in that corner, right?! :0) I don't know how I always end up in "THAT" corner ... really I don't! Tee! Hee! Hee! However ... I was in fine company. I had six of the most GAWJUS (as my blogging buddy Joy would say!) gals in my class ...

... Lindsay, who had driven up from the Gold Coast to play with us for the weekend. (That's Olive Bear supervising Lindsay. She and Finnegan were the two patterns the gals had to choose from to make their very own bear) ...

... Cynthia and Allison ...

... Margaret and Ann (these two ladies were like Laurel and Hardy ... had us in stitches all weekend!!) and Pat finished off our group ... but obviously I didn't manage to snap a pic or her hard at work.

Now, from the pics, you can see that the gals were hard workers ... heads down and bums up without me ever having to borrow Chookyblue's whip! ;0) And while there was a LOT of stitching going on in our "Naughty Corner" there was also an AWFUL LOT of laughing going on too! :0) I actually think I can say this was the BEST class I have ever taught! Not only did they get their bears finished in record time (before lunch on the last day with two sessions remaining), their finished bears were FABULOUS and they worked beautifully in a group (the ladies, that is, not the bears! Though the bears behaved themselves too! Tee! Hee! Hee!), helping and encouraging each other and everyone chatted with everyone ... if you see what I mean! It really did make my job as teacher so much easier and more enjoyable! :0) Now you're probably wanting to see the finished bears??? OK ... roll call ...

Here's Cynthia with her boy bear ...

... Pam with her sweet girly bear ...

... Allison with her cute girly bear ...

... Margaret with her mischievous looking boy bear ... and he's already made a new furry friend there! :0)

And last but definitely not least ... Anne shows off her pink girly girl bear. Lindsay had to leave early, so I didn't get a photo of her finished bearbie. WELL DONE GIRLS!!! You'd never know this was the first time they'd made bears! Must have been the excellent teacher they had!! :0) Modest too! Tee! Hee! Hee! Here's our group ...

What a GAWJUS bunch of gals! :0) And on the other end of the table ...

... our HUG of bears ... that's what you call a group of bears. Rather appropriate, don't you think! :0) And in amongst all that chatting, stitching and laughing, there was just enough time for a group shot of all crafty ladies attending ...

If you look closely, you can see me to the left of the group ... about third or fourth from the left, depending how you look at it and how you count! :0) And even though it's pretty hard to see, if you enlarge the picture and peer up the back of the group from me and slightly to the right, you'll see the lovely ... but obviously shy!! ... Val Laird. Val is Mum to Janelle, who is the instigator of this crafting weekend and it was lovely to catch up again. :0)

There you go ... finally caught up ... and now you know why I was exhausted afterwards and still feel like I'm catching up! :0) Hope you've enjoyed a peek at our bear making fun ... it sure kept us off the streets for the two and a half days! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And speaking of keeping busy and off the streets ... if you're looking for quick, simple but effective craft projects to help you stock up your Santa sacks this Christmas, don't forget to pop across to visit Kerryanne at Shabby Art Boutique blog. She's started her "Simply Christmas" fun and clever-clogs Clare from Clare's Craftroom has shared a great tutorial on making Christmas bunting, so don't miss out. There's also a FABULOUS prize to be won that sure would help make your Christmas merry, so pop across to find out the details.

Right now, though, I'm off to let the dogs out of the laundry ... the flick man has been here chasing off all the creepy crawlies for me and Lily wasn't overly impressed. Poor ol' Wombat probably slept through most of it! He's getting old and misses a lot these days while he take a grandpa nap ... or two or three! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope your week is going along nicely so far and that you're managing to find some time to sit, stitch and daydream! Til next time ...



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