Tuesday 26 July 2011

Back From The Beach!!

Well ... what a difference a week makes! Or more accurately ... what a difference a few days at the beach makes! :0) I'm feeling much cheerier this week, back to my usual self after a lovely few days at Burrum Heads with my folks. I really do hate winter and it seems that a beach break is the only way to beat my winter blues ... works every time! :0) Now you KNOW I took a few photos to share with you. (I think I have the same problem with the definition of "FEW" that Linda has - A few photos ... a few craft magazines ... a few bears ... a few pieces of fabric in my stash ...! Tee! Hee! Hee!) So ... you might like to make yourself a cuppa and get comfy before we go any further ... OH! And maybe you'd better slop on some sunscreen ... we ARE going to the beach after all! :0)

So ... Thursday saw my Beloved Geek Boy and I throw a few things into the bags, pack the car ... UNpack the dogs who weren't going with us but thought they should be ... and hit the road, heading about four hours north east to Burrum Heads. This has become a bit of a favourite beach escape destination for Mum and Dad and GB and I as it is fairly undeveloped, so still nice and quiet ... lots of serenity to be enjoyed! :0) We usually end up at Burrum Heads for a break at least once a year, sharing a rental house with Mum and Dad. Not only does this share the expenses, it shares the cooking and cleaning up duties, too, as well as giving us a nice catch up with them ... one of those WIN-WIN situations! :0) For the last few years, we've rented the same little cottage facing the Burrum River during our beach breaks, but this time, we were in a different house ...

This was our home-away-from-home for four days (Mum and Dad are still there ... lucky ducks!!) Do you see that lovely little front porch? Well ... that's where I spent most of my weekend ... soaking up the rays! Told you I was solar-powered ... just like the house! Tee! Hee! Hee! And if you stand on that front porch to look out, you'll see ...

... THE SEA!! We were situated right where the mouth of the river feeds into the ocean, so wonderful water views, as well as the entertainment of watching the boats coming and going. Hmm ... do you see those two little specks near the edge of the incoming tide?

Well ... what do you know! It's the brave fishermen! :0) Dad and GB enjoyed drowning a few worms and prawns ...

And here are the mighty fishermen returning with their monster catch in the bucket! ... Or NOT! Good thing we had steak ready! Tee! Hee! Hee! But as GB said ... they spent some time in the fresh air and sun, felt the sand between their toes and the soothing sound of the ocean, so the time wasn't wasted! :0) Don't you love a philosophical fisherman! Tee! Hee! Hee! I have to say, though, he wasn't wrong. We were blessed with some of the most GORGEOUS beach weather. Yes, it was still cool at night, but the days were all wonderfully warm and sunny ...

... with the most FABULOUS blue, blue skies!! I think this is what they call 'Caribbean Blue'. How's this for a postcard picture? :0) None of the colours have been played with ... it really was this gorgeous in real life and the crystal clear water was graduating shades of teal ... it made me wish that I could dip a paintbrush into it to capture the colours!! None of the photos I took really showed the water colour, so I just enjoyed it in person ... sorry! :0)

So ... what did we do during our beach break? Well, you already know the boys went fishing and they also hit a few little white balls around the nearby golf course. Meanwhile, Mum and I ...

... took Sunny the spoilt Chihuahua for some lovely long walks along the beach. Hmmm ... just noticed that if Sunny had stayed very still, he would have blended in with the sand. Commando Chihuahua! Tee! Hee! Hee! And on our walks we saw ...

... some local wildlife. This soldier crab was a little slower than his several hundred brethren who all scuttled away from us and disappeared into the sand before I could take a photo. We returned him to his regiment after the photo shoot. :0) We chatted to a few pelicans ... but the photos I took were a bit fuzzy, so I won't bore you with those.

We also enjoyed looking at the other houses with beach views ... this was my favourite, I think. Not only is it a cute cottage, it has the prerequisite verandah on the front for sun-sitting and contemplation! :0) And there's that FABULOUS blue sky again!! When we weren't toodling along the beach, there was a bit reading all around, a bit of ...

... sewing. Mum made me a cheerful dotty dressing gown cos she can follow dressmaking patterns and I can't!! :0) I stuck to some hand stitching whilst sitting in the sun, but don't have any finishes to show, just some progress on a Secret Squirrel project. There was also a bit of ...

... jigsaw solving. Whenever the four of us head to the beach, we make sure there are several jigsaws packed ... it's not unusual to have all four of us crowding around the table to work on a puzzle ... though it DOES get a little confusing and crowded sometimes! Tee! Hee! Hee! All in all ... the four of us kicked back to rest up from a busy period that involved colds and work stress. A wonderful way to beat the winter time blues! We're such party animals, aren't we?!! :0)

Back to 'real life' and lower temperatures this week, but definitely feeling cheerier and almost completely over my icky cold. Still counting down the days til winter is over, but someone cheered me up today by telling me they think we'll have an early sping! Can you see my smile beaming out to you from here! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you all had a lovely weekend and managed to find some time to do something to relax you and make you smile! :0)

On a sadder note ... my thoughts and prayers go out to my blogging friends in Norway. The events of late last week shook not only the people of Norway, but everyone around the world. I think that with the internet, and for me particularly, blogging, bringing people from all over our globe closer together, such tragic events affect us all because it feels close to home. On the positive side ... it also means that there are millions of supportive thoughts and prayers being sent to the people of Norway at the moment. While we can never fully understand the actions of one man, my prayer is that from this sorrow, unity will grow and flourish.

An event like this also reminds us that it is important to live every day to the fullest and take every opportunity to tell our friends and loved ones how much we love them, so lets make sure that we do!! Til next time ...



Wednesday 20 July 2011

Recovering ... Slowly!!

I know ... another week has gone by without so much as a peep or a growl from the Meares' Madhouse. Sorry to neglect all of my blogging buddies, but the nasty head cold really did a number on me. I couldn't take any time off work last week cos my boss was on holidays and someone had to hold the fort (the way I was feeling last week, the Indians would have overrun the fort for sure if they'd attacked!!) so when my work week ended, I hauled in the drawbridge (well ... closed the slightly draughty door!), set forth the moat monsters (one of whom would lick you to death before you made it to the door!) and hibernated.

There were some kindy-kips, some DVD viewing (helped solved quite a few Midsomer Murders!) and once my head settled back onto my shoulders, there was a little bit of stitching ... though nothing to show at the moment. I DID lower the drawbridge long enough for my dancing buddy Lynda to pop in and check that I was still in the land of the living and have a cuppa with me. Isn't it nice to have friends who'll check up on you when you're sick? :0) But apart from that I spent three days in front of the heater, snuggled under my flannel blankie ... and it did me the world of good! I'm over the worst of my bug and just have a bit of a snuffle and tickly cough left ... I think that means I'll survive! :0)

And ... to help my body get over the few leftover symptoms ... we're off to join my folks for a few days at the beach ... AAAAAAAHHHHH!!! Coastal sun, fresh sea air ... even if it rains and is as windy as it is here today, we figure it will STILL be WAY warmer than on top of our hill!! :0) All that's left to do is pack a port and leave a list of instructions for the dog/house sitter ... and decide which stitching projects to take with me, of course! Tee! Hee! Hee! I promise I'll be back next week with a more interesting update ... I should have a couple of things I can show you by then, though I seem to be doing a lot of Secret Squirrel stitching at the moment. Hope you're all keeping well and warm ... or cool if you're one of my blogging buddies in the northern hemisphere. Hope you all manage to steal some time-out for YOU this weekend and you can think of me at the beach ...

Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Wednesday 13 July 2011

I'm Over Winter!!!

That's it! I quit! I've had enough of frosty mornings, crunch icy grass, thermometers that don't creep much above zero first thing in the morning, sneaky flu bugs and horrible winds!! In short ...


SIGH! In case you hadn't guessed by my ranting ... and my week's absence from blogland ... winter ills have caught up with me and I'm grumpily nursing a nasty head cold. I'm sure I'll recover in a few days with some naps, olive leaf extract, orange juice and some cold and flu tablets, but I'm not feeling very sociable at the moment. No stitching happening cos my nose drips and my head threatens to fall off, so I shall just curl up with a book and sulk for a bit. I'll be back when I feel a little more like my usual cheerful self. Hope you're all managing to avoid the dreaded lurgy and have found somewhere warm to ride out winter. (for those suffering through winter that is!!) Til next time ...




Tuesday 5 July 2011


Can you keep a secret??

Well ... in this case, it's OK if you can't!! :0)

The Quilters Angel is having a


Celebration and sale!!

There is a very festive 20% off all Christmas goodies, so make sure you pop in to visit my home-away-from-home to help you stock up for Christmas!!

I'm off to write my Christmas list, I think ... what a shock it will be for my friends if I actually get organised early this year!! Or maybe I'll just go and treat myself to lots of Christmas goodies instead! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Enjoy! And don't say I didn't tell ya!! :0) Til next time ...

"Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells!"


Sunday 3 July 2011

June OPAM Winners & Quilt Update!!

G'day all! How are you all feeling today? Relaxed, refreshed, rested and ready to dive headlong into the new week???? NAH!! Me either! Tee! Hee! Hee! I think it's some kind of weird time warp thingy that makes the weekend days go by much quicker than week days ... I'm sure Dr Who would have an explanation, but since he's not here, I'll just sigh loudly and enjoy my last few hours of the weekend! :0)

A big thank you to all the OPAM gals who emailed Peg and me with their lists of monthly finishes - it is much appreciated!! And thanks to those who popped some pretty piccies on the emails to show us what you'd been working on. It always amazes and astounds me just how many different types of crafts you clever-clogs gals are working on out there in blogland! The variety is stunning and I know Peg agrees with me when I say we feel very privileged to get a peek at your finished projects! Thank you for sharing your creative journey with us!! :0) Something that I particularly like to see is when one of you clever crafters decides to tackle a project after seeing a photo of someone else's finished quilt/softie/stitchery ... it's exciting to see that while we're enjoying our own crafting experiences, we can also encourage others to 'have a go' at something new ... which is, of course the whole idea behind OPAM ... to encourage us all to indulge our crafty side more! :0)

Peg and I have updated the spreadsheet and done our blog-hopping so that I can now tell you there were ...

633 Finishes

... for the month of June! WOW! That is STUPENDOUS!! Well done to you all!! And once again, as I blog-hopped around, I also saw updates on longer-term projects, so if you've been plugging away at one of your long-term projects and made some progress ... WELL DONE! To you too! :0) I just get so excited to see such wonderful projects being created!! OK ... on to the random draw for this month's prize winners. Drumroll please ... The prize winners for June's OPAM draw are:

Congratulations gals!! If the three of you can drop me an email with your snail mail address I will be popping a little surprise into the mail for you this week. And a big THANK YOU as always to my GORGEOUS partner in crime, the Sweet Peg!! The end of the month is always a busy time for Peg, so her co-hosting assistance is doubly appreciated!! MWAH! To you Sweet Peg!! :0)


I don't have anything new to show you for my weekend efforts, as yesterday was spent helping a friend celebrate her birthday  (Oops! Must remember to share the photos of that next time!!)  and today has been spent proof-reading pattern instructions and editing pattern outlines ... I've just about sent myself cross-eyed!! :0) So it was a very welcome relief to get a call from my brother to interrupt my cross-eyed stare. It's always great to have a chat with Stretch and even more exciting this time, as he was telling me he'd just snapped a rather special photo for me and had emailed it through.

Some of you may remember me showing you a photo of this quilt last year ...

"Moon Dance" was designed to celebrate the arrival of my brother and SIL's first child. Well ... the special photo I received today gave me an update on both my cute little outback nephew AND his quilt ...

AAAAAAWWWWWWW!!!! Isn't he a HONEY!!  Not that I'm at all biased! Tee! Hee! Hee! Stretch said that this morning someone decided he wanted to sit on the floor to play and, spotting his quilt on the desk, pulled it down and sat on it, where he stayed happily for a while. Don't you think he looks like he's waving to his Aunty Kris? Actually ... he's probably wanting Daddy's phone that the photo was being taken with! Tee! Hee! Hee! My SIL tells me that the quilt has been a great spot for my sweet nephew to enjoy some nappy-free time. It's so lovely to see this quilt that took a little piece of my heart with it being loved and used. I wonder if he's discovered yet that it was quilted with glow-in-the-dark thread and that if the back is exposed to lights for a couple of hours, then you look at the quilt in the dark ... the stars and moons quilted into it glow like the real thing! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Well ... that's about it from me today. I'm off to enjoy a quick cuppa and some time drooling over my pretty new books before I have to think about getting dinner ready. I hope you've all had a restful weekend and that the coming week is a good one for you - happy creating!! Til next time ...



Friday 1 July 2011

Sewing Room Retreat!!

Hmmm ... started to do this post yesterday arvo, but blogger was not playing nicely ... AGAIN! So, here it is ...

If you're looking for me in the next few days, I won't be in the kitchen ... I won't be in the lounge room ...I sure won't be in the laundry ... I'll be in my sewing room, where I've retreated to enjoy some yummy mail! :0)

I don't know about you, but I sometimes find myself just TOO tempted by internet shopping. When I really should be writing pattern instructions or answering emails, I find myself cruising the on-line shopping boutiques, not for clothes, but for books and fabric ... my two biggest weaknesses!!! :0) I do buy most of my fabric-y goodies from my Home-Away-From-Home, because I believe that if we don't support our local quilting shops, they won't be able to stay in business to provide us with lovely places to visit and shop, but every now and then, when I'm poking about on-line to see what's out there, I find myself clicking on the "Add To Shopping Cart" button ... because I have NO will-power! Tee! Hee! Hee! That happened a little while ago when I was dropping in to visit Sharon. I first 'met' Sharon when I was doing a bit of a link-hop through blogland and I landed on her Red Geranium Cottage blog. So ... of course!! ... when she started an on-line quilting store, I started to pop into it from time to time, too. I had been a very good girl and refrained from clicking THAT button ... until she offered a couple of books I had been eyeing off for some time on special, along with some great specials on charm squares. Oh dear! I succumbed! :0) You know how it is ... it was one of those days where you need a little bit of retail therapy to cheer you up a bit ... it worked! :0)

These are the two books that I have been drooling over.

The first is “The French Inspired Home” by Kaari Meng of French General. I fell in love with the French style through the “Rural Jardin” range of fabrics, followed by the “Pom Pom de Paris” range. This GORGEOUS book is chock full of inspirational photos as well as instructions on how to create some of the pretty French-style accessories to add a bit of French flair to your own abode.

 The second book is the latest offering from the clever-clogs Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched. I love the whimsical look of Anni’s designs and they are always so much fun to create. Of course ... I will have to finish making Anni’s “A Gardener’s Journal” before I let myself start of any of the projects in “Some Kind Of Wonderful”! :0) I love the quilt the book is open to in this pic ... “My Favourite Things” ... and I also love the “Daisy Quilt”. Oh dear! I’ll have to live to be 357 to get through my “To Do” list!! Tee! Hee! Hee! The other purchase was some charm squares ...

 The “Grace” charms were on a super end-of-stock clearance and Sharon popped in the “Countdown To Christmas” Charms for me to use as OPAM prizes ... Thanks Sharon!! What a sweetie! :0)

 And speaking of OPAM ... It’s the end of the month again, gals! I know ... how does it roll around so quickly ... but it does! Which means it’s time to make sure you’ve updated your finish list on your sidebar and email Peg or me the number of your finishes. You don’t have to send us photos ... but we do enjoy seeing what you’ve been creating! :0) Oh!! And one of our OPAM gals is a ‘star’ on Bronwyn Hayes’ blog at the moment. Jeanette has been featured in Bronwyn’s most recent “Sew & Tell” spot, so pop across and get to know one of your fellow OPAM’ers a little better! :0)

 Right now, though, I’m off to sip that cup of tea you see in the photo (have you posted pics of your teacups yet?? Let me know!!!) while I enjoy strolling through my lovely new books, so if you’re looking for me, I’ve retreated to the sewing room and barricaded myself in! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...


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