Friday 28 September 2012

It's Amazing ...

... what you can get done when you actually have a WHOLE uninterrupted day at home! It's been a VERY rare commodity for me in the last few months, but today I stayed home ALL day - YAY!! :0) So what's a girl to do with a day at home but ... tackle the dirty washing!!! SIGH! It's not fun being a grown up most days is it?! :0) However ... once that was underway, it was a bit of Loreena McKennitt and Enya drifting through the sewing room speakers and I locked myself in!

So what did I achieve for the day in my sewing room? Well ... I'm pretty sure my stress level reduced! :0) But I also managed a couple more finishes - YAY! :0) Wanna see? First cab off the rank was  ...

A blue square! Just kidding. :0) If I show you how it looks opened out you'll get the idea ...
... it's a card wallet. Perfect for popping an iTunes or gift card in to mail off, but also a handy place to store loyalty cards ... cos most shops have them these days and if you're like me you can never find the one you want when you want it. This little batik beauty will be winging it's way to someone as a (late!!) birthday gift. One thing off the "To Do" list. :0)
Next project tackled was ...
... some pretty pink bunting. (It looks like the Eiffel Tower is having a party, doesn't it!) No ... I haven't fallen on my head and suddenly started loving pink ... despite Marion trying to 'infect' me! :0)
This pink bunting is another belated birthday gift (can you tell I've been busy and slack with birthdays this year? Oops!!) this one is for one of our nieces ... I hope she'll like it ... it's probably not the usual gift she would be expecting.
But really ... what's not to like about bunting ... it makes it seem like a party day EVERY day! :0) You can see that despite my aversion to pink, a few pieces have snuck into my stash when I've been sewing for pink-loving friends. It always feels great to be able to make things just from what you find in your stash, isn't it.
So ... THAT'S what I can manage to achieve when I stay home for a whole day ... just think of what I could achieve if I stayed home more often! Nah ... probably not going to happen ... too many places to be, things to do, people to have cuppas with! :0) So I guess I'll just make the most of the odd day I CAN grab at home.
Two more finishes for my OPAM list ... it's actually looking respectable this month after a couple of quiet ones. :0) How has YOUR Friday been? I hope you've had a good one, whatever you've been doing, and I also wish you all a relaxing, creative weekend. It's a long weekend here, so we have a few plans, but I'll be back to share some pics with you next week. Til next time ...


Thursday 27 September 2012

Still Here ... Still Busy!!

PHEW!! It really has been a busy couple of weeks around here! There was only a break of a few days between Stitchers Dream Day Out before preparations for Creative Fields got into full swing. And what a FANTASTIC display we saw this year! Quilters from all over the Toowoomba, Highfields, Crows Nest areas and beyond put their GORGEOUS creations on display  and the many visitors to the exhibition during it's five day duration had a tough job to choose their favourite to vote for in the Viewers' Choice race. I spent a bit of time at the exhibition during the last five days, where our Quilting Angels group had a stall to sell some handmade goodies ... oh ... and there may have been a bit of chatting involved, since Marion, Fiona and Bev were on hand, too! :0) A big congratulations to Marion and Steph for organising another fantastic quilt exhibition and to all the clever-clogs quilters who had their quilts on display. There really are a LOT of clever stitchers around. :0)

During Creative Fields, there was also a very special quilt on display for the raffle the Quilting Angels are running until the end of November ...

This quilt has been made up with the original Quilt Aid blocks, which were donated to the Quilting Angels by Homespun magazine. The blocks are the original designers' blocks and they were put together by Linda Rother and was quilted by our very own Quilting Angel, the talented Fiona ... she did a MAGNIFICENT job!!! :0) I think we're all secretly hoping that we've bought the winning tickets, but if you think you'd like to give this quilt a home, raffle tickets are still available from Marion and Steph at The Quilters Angel. A big thank you, too, to the lovely ladies who were selling tickets in this raffle during Creative Fields.
So ... what have I been up to besides sitting and chatting at Creative Fields? Well ... I DID manage to get a couple of projects finished this week. In the lead up to Stitchers Dream Day Out, I decided to challenge myself by attempting to tackle the task given to Gail, Nikki and Natalie ... to design a project/s using only five fat 1/8's. I chose the bright colourway and came up with ...
... A stitching case/folder. If features a sweet girly bear who is sitting stitching, with the saying,
 "A stitch in time ... saves my sanity!"
While there would be some people who would say it's too late to save my sanity (Tee! Hee! Hee!) I had a lot of fun stitching this project. "A Stitch In Time" was the theme for this year's SDDO, hence the starting point for my stitchery. You can see there's a little frilly pincushion to match ...
... And when you undo the ties on the top and sides of this sewing caddy, you will find ...
POCKETS!! If you're anything like me, you try to store a LOT of bits and bobs in your sewing pouch/case/folder and then spend more time looking for things than you do stitching ... or is that just me?! Tee! Hee! Hee! So when I was designing this, I popped in a pocket for whatever you're stitching, one to house a pen/pencil (there's probably room for two in there if you wanted to test it out), a spot for your scissors ... which I seem to spend most of my time chasing!! ... and six good size pockets up the other end for threads and other sewing essentials. And I've attached them so that when you close the folder and tie it, nothing should fall out and there are handy carrying handles so it can be carried like a bag. I've started writing the instructions (GROAN!!! ) so will be releasing this new pattern soon. Not my usual colours to work with, but I really enjoyed the cheerful shades.
So ... that's another two projects I can add to my OPAM finishes list (note to self ... remember to update your sidebar list!!!) for September, which is WAY better than I managed for August. :0) And that is, of course, a reminder to all you OPAM gals out there to update YOUR finish lists in your sidebars and/or drop an email to Sweet Peg or me with your tally for September. Sweet Peg and I always love to see what you clever OPAMers have been creating. :0)
OK ... I'm off to be Polly and put the kettle on ... hope you're all having a great week and managing to steal some time to create ... or just taking a bit of time out to put your feet up, sip on a cuppa and be inspired by by some crafty prettiness in magazines or on line (damn you Pinterest! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Til next time ...


Friday 21 September 2012

Creative Fields Is Coming!!

DON'T FORGET!! Creative Fields is on this weekend! Despite a HUGE weekend last week with Stitchers Dream Day Out, Marion and Steph are back working their little butts off getting things organised for the second annual Creative Fields event. There will be a fantastic exhibition of quilts and other fabric art created by local stitchers, demonstrations, a merchant mall and raffles. So why not pop into:

Highfields State School SmARTspace Hall
Saturday September 22 to Wednesday September 26
9am to 5pm

Entry is just $2, so well worth the door price to come and take a peek. I'll be popping in and out throughout the five days, so if you're coming out for a visit, drop me an email (or leave a comment here!) and I'll try to catch up with you for a chat ... it's always fun to catch up with blogging buddies!

I'm off out there this afternoon to help with the hanging of the quilts ... which is always fun! ... so I'd better go and hang my washing . It's also Carnival of Flowers weekend here on top of our 'hill' so it really is a fantastic time for you to come for a drive if you're within an hour or so of Toowoomba and Highfields. :0) Oops! There goes the washing machine ... better go. Til next time ...



Thursday 20 September 2012

And The Fun Began ... !!!

Oops! I meant to be back a little sooner than this, but somehow this week is zooming past at the speed of light and I need to borrow a certain "Blue Box" so I can cheat a little with time and get more accomplished. Wibbly, wobbly or otherwise, I just never seem to have enough time in my days ... I know there are a lot of you out there saying, "Amen, to that sister!" Tee! Hee! Hee! Now ... even though I've divided my 'report' in two, there are still lots of photos left to share, so you might want to grab a cuppa and get comfy ... sorry Chookyblue! :0)

So ... Stitchers Dream Day Out 2012. Where to begin ... my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette and my dancing buddy Lynda and I were all booked in to 'play ladies' on the Sunday of this fun stitching event, so I offered to be one of Marion's 'voluntary slaves' for Saturday ... errand running, serving in the mini-shop and helping out wherever possible. So, I was braced for action as the curtains parted to let the excited ladies into our new venue. Can I just say, the marquee in the middle of the Village Green was a fun spot for SDDO, but the school hall turned out to be a FANTASTIC venue ... lots more room for displays and an extended mini-shop (Woo! Hoo!), more room for tables, more room for the designers to show off their pretty pattern samples ... and perhaps most importantly for us ladies ... MORE TOILETS! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Our lovely guest designers got things rolling for the day be showing us their brand new, never-before-published patterns that they had designed especially for the day with two bundles of fat 1/8s that Marion had sent them to play with ... two very different colourways and six very different and wonderfully new designs ...

The gorgeous Gail Pan's bright design ... a cute stitching folder - sorry ... forgot to photograph inside ... DOH!!
This was Gail's second project ... and the one I received the kit for in my goodies bag ... a sweet sewing bag with a needle keep to match. Can I just say ... I am in LOVE with that Cottage Garden thread 307 ... its like antique gold - YUM! :0)
Nikki's bright projects ... this woman cannot waste a single bit of fabric ... she used the very last scraps to make the little thimble keep in the front of the photo! :0)
Nikki's softer colourway project ... a block keeper and a sewing pouch ... lots of stitching and some special buttons. (Nikki's discovery: It takes a LOT longer to STITCH lines in a design than it does to DRAW them with a pen! Tee! Hee! Hee! She was still stitching the night before arriving!!!)
Natalie's bright project ... a different sort of stitching folder ... it is a tri-fold design and I've photographed it with one third open to show an inside panel, along with the front of the folder.
Natalie's softer coloured projects ... a handy mug bag to keep your fave tea cup or coffee mug safe and a little zippy bag to pop your sewing stuff in so it doesn't get lost.
Everyone received a kit to make one of these six lovely projects in their goodies bag with the stitchery design already ironed on, whisperweft attached, ready to stitch, so it was a chattin' and a stitchin' we could go! :0)
While I was kept pretty busy serving in the mini-shop, I DID manage to get out and about for a chat or two ... did you really doubt it?!?! :0) And on one table a lady caught my attention and said, "I was told to say hello to you." When I asked who'd said to do that (thinking maybe we had a mutual acquaintance) she replied ... "YOU did!" It turned out to be the lovely Lynda (I seem to collect Linda/Lynda's!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) from Bettsylyn ... one of the SSCS gals and it turns out that when she told me she was coming, I told her to grab me and say hello! :0)
Here she is with yours truly and another blogger, Miss Kayly. It was lovely to catch up for a chat ... bloggers are such nice people in person! :0)
I have to tell you, I went home rather footsore from standing on concrete for two days in a row on Saturday night, but when Sunday dawned, my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette and I were raring to go. We met up with Lynda and prepared to have a girly day of fun! :0)
Here we are on the second-naughtiest table ... the back table usurped our title this year ... what a rowdy bunch! Though I think Nikki was a bad influence there! Tee! Hee! Hee! And joining us on our table was another blogging buddy ... the lovely Narelle from Pins and Whiskers ... one of our OPAM gals ...
Here we are saying ... "Dr Livingston, I presume?" in amongst the lush palm trees that decorated the hall ... it felt like we were on a tropical island somewhere ... almost! :0) Narelle was fun to spend the day with ... along with some of her friends from Mt Perry ... which isn't all that far from Mundubbera where I grew up. Blogland can be a small world! :0)
And of course, throughout the weekend, I enjoyed catching up with the wonderful guest designers ...
Gail ... Gail and I have chatted back and forth via blogs for a while, so when we met up on the weekend, we both felt we already knew each other. Can I just say ... Gail is such a sweetie! I'm looking forward to our paths crossing again soon. :0)
Nikki ... we're both laughing here cos when our photo was about to be taken, we both said ... "Lean forward!" Apparently, it's a more flattering pose/angle ... but it just cracked us up instead! Tee! Hee! Hee!
Natalie ... Natalie showed us all a simple way to sew a zip into a little pouch bag. Hmmm ... I might even have to finally give it a go ... I've had zip-phobia for some time! :0)
A HUGE thank you to Marion, Steph and their merry band of helpers for providing some mad stitchers with the perfect way to kick back and relax. If you haven't attended a Stitchers Dream Day Out, you really should put it on your calendar for next year. Or maybe you'd like to come to the March Girls' Stitch In where there will be two fantastic Aussie designers ... I know that because Leanne Beasley is one of them and the other is ... ME! :0) I was very chuffed when Marion invited me to be a guest designer for Girls Stitch in ... and since my birthday is in March, it must be my early giftie! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope some of my blogging buddies can come and play with us.
But right now ... my body is telling me it's been a VERY busy week and it's going to be even busier over the weekend, so I'm off to keep an overdue date with my pillow. Hope you're all having a fantastic week. Til next time ...


Monday 17 September 2012

Stitchers Dream Day Out 2012 - WOW!

PHEW!!!!!! What a BIIIIIIIIIIIG weekend I've had! In fact ... I think I'll have to take a couple of posts to tell you all about it or I'll hear about it from "Queen of the short blog post" Chookyblue! Tee! Hee! Hee! I'll start by saying that although I feel like I packed a LOT into my weekend and am rather foot-sore and weary today ... I had a BLAST! :0)

This weekend was set aside as the 2012 Stitchers Dream Day Out, hosted by the Marvelous Marion and Stupendous Steph of The Quilters Angel ... AKA ... my "Home-Away-From-Home". This annual event is always such a fun weekend of relaxing, stitching and chatting with fellow-stitchers without having to worry about cooking or feeling guilty for neglecting the housework ... apparently some people DO feel guilty about the housework-neglect ... although I can't claim to be one of them! Tee! Hee! Hee!

This year, I offered my services to Marion and Steph as a "Volunteer Slave" to help set things up ready for the big two days of stitching fun. With a new venue to 'break-in', there were plenty of jobs to go round.

There were tables to be dressed ...
... bows to be tied (Helen concentrating on her bow-tying skills!!)
... a mini-shop to be set up (there's the Fabulous Fiona intent on tying more chair bows!)
... display screens to be assembled ... how many quilters does it take to assemble a display screen?? Gotta tell ya ... four was the minimum without anyone busting their foo-foo valve cos these suckers were HEAVY!!! :0)
... goodies bags to put in place (Ooooohh!! There sure were some goodies in those bags!!!)
... more goodies to be stocked in the mini-shop and designers' samples to be displayed (on those heavy-suckers display boards!! Tee! Hee! Hee!)
PHEW!!! It's easy to forget, when attending these retreats, just how much work goes into them behind the scenes so that when the ladies arrive, all they have to do is sit, stitch, chat and enjoy the day. Marion and Steph have been planning this year's event ever since they finished packing up after LAST year's event (in fact, I think Steph may have had plans in mind even BEFORE that! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and their attention to the little details that make a day successful just blow me away. They work so hard, worry about forgetting things, make lists (and check them more than twice!!), arrange, rearrange, do their best to cater for all needs for the day, lose lots of sleep ... I don't know how they do it year after year ... but ... on the day ...
... they're cool, calm, collected and greet participants with a welcoming smile! :0) Here's Marion vamping it up with this year's guest designers ... Natalie Bird from "The Birdhouse" designs, Marvelous Marion, Nikki Tervo of "Nikki Tervo Designs" and "Brandygully Designs", and the gorgeous Gail Pan of "Gail Pan Designs". And what-do-you-know, we've got a show! :0)

Stay tuned for the second installment of Stitchers Dream Day Out, when I'll share the GORGEOUS original project designs created especially for the day by our clever-clogs designers and I'll show you the blogging buddies that I 'bumped into' during the weekend. I'll keep you in suspenders a little while longer! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ..


Tuesday 11 September 2012


Do you ever have times where you're incredibly busy, you have a REALLY long "To Do" list, a short amount of time to do it ... and someone throws spanner in your plans? Well, that's what happened to me this past weekend. And the spanner thrower was ...

... our boofy, brainless-but-loveable Border Collie Wombat. Imagine a dark night, a predominantly black dog sleeping at the bottom of the back stairs (where the light is broken!) and a perpetually late couple rushing to get somewhere on time. Let's just say it wasn't pretty and the end result was me spending the weekend with ...
SIGH!!!! Needless to say, that "To Do" list is still just as long and nothing got done. The good news is I've been able to put aside the crutches, but I'm still a bit of a 'Hop-Along-Casidy' and that's frustrating cos the next two weekends are SUPER full and SUPER busy! This weekend is ...
YAY!!! Two days of fun, food, friends ... oh! ... and some stitching of course! Tee! Hee! Hee! Nikki Tervo, Gail Pan and Natalie Bird are this year's guest designers, so I think we're in for a fantastic weekend ... especially when you add in yummy food, prizes, giveaways, competitions, chatting and goodies bags ... I can't wait! This year the "Naughty Table" is booked up ... my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette is coming up from Bris for our annual stitching play date, my dancing buddy Lynda is joining us for her first SDDO and my fellow Quilting Angel Fiona is set to come and play for the first time, too ... along with some gals we met at Stitchers Days past ... and I know there's some blogging buddies coming to play too ... WOO! HOO!! We're gonna have FUN!!! :0)
But wait ... there's MORE!! Even if you can't come and play with us this weekend for SSDO, you might like to pencil in a trip to Highfields the weekend after when the lovely Marion and Steph will host the second annual
This fantastic showing of local arts and crafts, along with a very impressive quilt exhibition, will be open to visitors from Saturday September 22 to Wednesday September 26 from 9am to 5pm at the Highfields State School SmARTspace Hall. There will also be a merchant mall, so bring your friends, bring your play money and come and join the fun! :0) I'll be spending quite a lot of my time there ... it's so conveniently close to where I work! Tee! Hee! Hee! If you'd like more information or would like to display some of your completed quilts in the quilt exhibition, contact Marion or Steph on 4630 8062 or email them. Hope to see you there ... let me know if you're coming to play and we'll catch up for a chat! :0)
OK ... I'm going to hobble off and put the kettle on. Hope your plans are going along smoothly and spanner-less-ly (I'm pretty sure the original author of Oxford's Dictionary just rolled over in his grave!!) and that your week includes lots of stitching time. Til next time ...


Friday 7 September 2012

Slack! Busy! Slack!!

That about sums me up over the last little while!! I have been rather absent from blogland ... and very slack in encouraging OPAMers this month ... SORRY!!! I know you all understand that sometimes life becomes a bit of a steamroller running out of control and at the moment, I'm feeling a like that steamroller rolled right over the top of me ... EEK! So ... While I have about 15 minutes between arriving home and leaving again, I thought I'd better pop in to tell you ... I'M STILL ALIVE! And let you know who the OPAM prize winners for August are.

OPAM stuff first. Thanks once again to all of you who took the time to email your list of finishes through to me and to Sweet Peg ... it does make our life a little simpler at the end of the month ... even though I'm very slack and behind in answering your emails! EEK! Congratulations to ALL of you who made some progress on long-term projects, crossed things off your "To Do" list or who just took a bit of time out to gather inspiration. All up, you clever stitchers (I have to say YOU because I certainly didn't contribute to the tally ... DOH!! ) managed to finish ...

472 projects!

WOW! Well done!! I'm hoping I might actually manage to contribute to next month's tally! :0) And the winners of the random draw prize are ...

Congrats, gals! If you'd like to email me with your snail mail addresses, I'll pop a little something in the mail for you soon.

Oops! My blogging time is almost up, but before I sign off and scoot off again, I thought I'd share a couple of pics with you. The first one is an actual FINISH for September ... YAY!!!! Already I'm ahead of my August tally! :0) Remember those yummy purple batik fabrics I showed a while ago? Well, they now look like this ...

Yes, I finished my skirt and I am REALLY happy with it! :0) It fits nicely, isn't too gathered, so doesn't make me look to 'fluffy' and I love the vibrant purples. I can see a few more of these being made in the future now that I've worked out just the right 'formula'. :0)
The second pic I'll share is some mail that arrived this week ...
This yummy toile fabric will one day become Roman blinds and a new doona cover for our guest room. ONE DAY ... notice me not making any rash claims as to WHEN this might happen! Tee! Hee! Hee! I've been looking for just the right fabric to finish decorating our guest room but it wasn't til I spotted this on eBay that I knew I'd found "The One". I'll just pat it and stroke it a bit for now! ;0)
The husband is tapping his foot and pointing at his watch, so I think that means I'm out of time and need to scuttle out the door again ... off to a Trivia night ... my head is FULL of trivia, so maybe I'll do well! :0) Hope your little corner of the world is a bit less hectic than mine! Til next time (which I promise won't be quite as far away as this post was!!) ...

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