Wednesday 28 November 2012

Special Giftie For A Special Friend!!

Are you one of the people who HAVE to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, special occasions etc. on the EXACT day that it falls on the calendar? I've known a few people who are like that, but I have to say that a few of my friends and I have a slightly different giftie-giving system. We have all decided that we would rather take our time to find the RIGHT giftie for each other and maybe be a bit late, rather than buying something just for the sake of having it to hand over on the day. This system works pretty well for us ... and the rule with birthdays has become that you don't actually turn a year older until the last giftie arrives! Tee! Hee! Hee! The secret to eternal youth! :0)

So ... my dancing buddy Lynda celebrated her birthday in April, exactly two weeks after mine and although I had part of her gift back then, I didn't have time to add to it to make it all that I wanted it to be. I then decided to make it a combined Birthday/Christmas giftie and make it a bit more special ... and I FINALLY had it ready to give to her last weekend. Wanna see???

OK ... it's a bit hard to see what I've done, so let me explain. Lynda enjoys stitching, but as a busy mum of two teenagers and primary 'go-to' person for her 97 year old Nan, and part-time Kinder-Gym instructor, she is pretty time-poor and doesn't get much of a chance to stitch just for herself. So ... I bought a couple of charm packs in a pretty garden-themed range (sorry ... didn't write down the name of it!!!) and then designed a series of stitchery designs to match the garden theme. I then cut the background squares for the stitcheries, traced on the designs and ironed on violene to stabilise them ... so all Lynda has to do ... LITERALLY! ... is make herself a cuppa, find a comfy spot to sit and start stitching! YAY! :0) I tied it all together into a mini-kit with Lynda's favourite pink bow ...
Here's Lynda reading the letter that accompanied the quilt thanking her for her special friendship ... sometimes we forget to tell our closest friends and family how very precious they are to us and it's nice to do that from time to time, cos we ALL like to feel loved, wanted and appreciated, don't we. :0)
A few sentimental tears later (from both of us!!) here's Lynda showing off her quilt-to-be. The stitcheries I designed for Lynda will be incorporated into a quilt design I will release next year ... called (appropriately!!) "Lynda's garden" ... so stay tuned for that one! Thanks for being such a special friend, Lynda and bringing splashes of sunshine to my life ... and yummy lunches to my Tuesdays! Tee! Hee! Hee!
If you're struggling to find a gift for a creative, time-poor friend, why not do the same thing I have. You don't have to actually DESIGN a new project like I did, but why not buy a pattern you think your friend will love - or better yet, raid their "One Day" pattern stash (you know ... those patterns we all buy that we will make 'one day'!!) and gather the requirements needed to complete the project ... maybe even do a little bit of prep work like cutting out or tracing, like I did. None of us enjoy the prep part of creating, so your friend will LOVE it ... guaranteed! :0) And not only will they enjoy working on the project, they will have their finished item to enjoy sooner, as well as having a lovely reminder of your friendship.
OK ... that's about it from me tonight ... I have more to share with you, but it's been a BIG day in the Meares' Madhouse with some exciting doings that I will tell you about soon ... but right now, I think I need a cup of tea and a date with my pillow. :0) Hope your week is toodling along nicely and that you're managing to find time in your schedule to enjoy some creating. Til next time ...
PS. Almost forgot!! Check out the Quilters Angel blog to find out about their super-exciting sale this weekend!!! :0) 
PPS. Almost the end of the month again, OPAMers!! Get those sidebars updated and email finish tallies to Sweet Peg or me! :0)

Wednesday 21 November 2012

The Pipes, The Pipes Are Calling!!

Well ... my name may not be "Danny Boy", but there's something about the skirl of bagpipes that stirs every drop of Scottish blood in my family tree ... and with names like "Kippen", "Menzies", "Duncan", "McLean" and "MacGreggor" hanging from those tree branches that's a LOT of blood being stirred! Tee! Hee! Hee! So it was very exciting for this lassie of Scottish descent when the retirement village where I work once again hosted a visit by the QLD Police Pipes and Drums yesterday. OCH! AYE!! :0)

The visit is part of the QLD Police Service's public relations program and, as for previous visits, the gathered residents LOVED it! There's nothing quite like the echo of bagpipes across the hills. :0) Since I know there are a few of you out there who are like me and love to see burly blokes wearing kilts, I thought I'd share a few photos.

The pipes in full swing under the direction of Pipe Major Pat (The cutie on the left!!)

Hazel introduced the musical items, shared a little about the QLDPPD and explained traditional items of their uniform.

This is a pretty special photo ... the pipers and drummers with the father of the recently inducted QLD Police Commissioner ... the band's 'boss'! Tee! Hee! Hee! Duncan (the handsome senior gentleman in the flash Tam 'O Shanta!) was button-busting proud to pose with the band members ... what would you expect with the surname of Stewart! :0)
Here's Duncan posing for the local newspaper with Pipe Major Pat on the right and another of the pipers on the left (I missed his name - oops!!). Both pipers originally hail from Scotland and I LOVED listening to them speak ... that lovely rolling bur ... SIGH! :0)

Another of our residents, Alec Armstrong ... another fine Scottish name there! Tee! Hee! Hee! ... enjoyed a chat with Ian (on the left) and Pat on the right ... gee ... Pat ended up in a few photos ... can't think why! Tee! Hee! Hee!
After the concert, band members enjoyed a morning tea with our residents, chatting and answering questions ... probably fielding a few requests for their next visit! :0) All in all ... not a bad way to spend a work day, really! Tee! Hee! Hee!
Hope your week is going well and that you're managing to find some time to enjoy creating. Til next time ...



Sunday 18 November 2012

Secret Stitching!

Well ... FINALLY ... I've managed to spend some quality (and quantity!!) time in my sewing room today and am very pleased to be able to add another finish to my sidebar for the month - YAY! :0) I've finished the main part of my SSCS parcel ... Chookyblue won't have to chase me with her whip this year! :0) I thought I'd pop in to tease you all with a few sneaky peekies ...

Peeky one ...
Peeky two ...
Peeky three.
Intrigued?? Sorry I can't show you the whole gift yet ... it has to stay a surprise until ?????? opens it on Christmas Day. :0) Just a few bits and bobs to round up to go with it and I'll be able to pop it in the mail off overseas to ?????
Hope your weekend is proving to be productive and relaxing too. Til next time ...


Saturday 17 November 2012

Busy, But A Bit Of Sewing Acheived!

Yet another week has scooted by me with lots of behind the scenes doings in the Meares' Madhouse ... can't share yet, but it has been a bit stressful and a bit exciting. :0) But ... one of the doings that helped my week speed by was a FANTASTIC play date with my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette. YAY! Her work has meant that we haven't had many play dates this year, but we're hoping to make up for it ... so look out world! Tee! Hee! Hee!
After I toodled down the 'hill', we jumped in Lynette's car and headed off and up a DIFFERENT 'hill' ... Mount Tambourine. Those of you who've followed my blog for a while will know that I've visited this beautiful spot a number of times ... and am yet to see it in sunshine!!! Yes ... the weather is always overcast, often raining, sometimes foggy and on one memorable occasion, a combination of all of these ... SHEESH! Well ... I was running true to form! :0) But it didn't actually rain, so we had a good day ... a REALLY good day! :0)

Now ... it was one of those 'horror', 'grown-up' fortnights where the bills were yelling to be paid, so I was on a bit of a budget, but Lynette wasn't! :0) Our first stop was one of the best little antique shops and let's just say Lynette's collection of depression glass GREW somewhat. So much that the lovely lady serving us had to go in search of a box to pack them in ... and asked whether we could fit the box in the car. Are you curious now?! :0)

Here's Lynette fitting the box in the boot ... no worries! :0) Tee! Hee! Hee! That box wasn't actually FULL, I might add ... there was a lot of bubble wrap to protect Lynette's goodies ... but it looks impressive, right? And you should have seen the look on her hubby's face when we walked in with it! Tee! Hee! Hee! 
We then inspected a few more shops before lunching at George's ... but I got so caught up in chatting, catching up and eating that I forgot to take any more photos ... Oops! :0) We had a lovely day and hope to catch up again before Christmas ... but I'm not thinking about how quickly we'll have to catch up again to fit it in! EEK!
On that note ... I managed to spend some time in my sewing room this afternoon and made some progress on the main giftie for my SSCS  and also finished my Rural Jardin patchwork skirt ... I just have to wash it, screw it all up and dray it ... I'll be back with a photo when the rain stops and I can actually get the skirt dry again. Hope you're managing to spend some time in your sewing cave this weekend ... Til next time ...


Saturday 10 November 2012

Pins Make Christmas Handmade!

Here I am on a rainy Saturday with a LOOOOOOOOOONG list of things I SHOULD be doing. But ... what was I doing instead?? What many of us these days are doing when we're procrastinating ... Playing on Pinterest! :0) I blamed my blogging buddy Kerryanne for getting me hooked on Pinterest and I'm blaming her again today for my pinning indulgence ... it's always good to have someone to blame, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! You see ... it's like this ...

Those of you who've been popping in to visit me here at the home of Tag Along Teddies for a couple of years or more now will know that for the last two years Kerryanne has helped us all get motivated to have a handmade Christmas with her "Simply Christmas" program. Well ... she's at it again!!

Yes ... the countdown to Christmas has begun on the Shabby Art Boutique blog and already Kerryanne has shared some great Christmas ideas ... including her new Christmas planner ... so pop across and catch up with all the happenings.

So ... why does this give me an excuse to procrastinate??? Well ... Kerryanne has also set up a shared Pinterest Board ...


... and she invited me to be one of the pinners. So of course I then HAD to spend some time exploring the Pinterest universe and sharing some of the fun/pretty/yummy/clever Christmas-related pins I found. There are some great ideas pinned already, so why not procrastinate a little yourself and pop over for a visit. You can go via the Pinterest button on my sidebar or pop on your sparkly elf slippers, sing a chorus of "Jingle Bells" and click ...

... to be whisked across by Christmas magic for a visit! :0) You'll be decking the halls in no time and driving your family mad humming Christmas carols! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you have as much fun as I have been having. Thanks for inviting my to play, Kerryanne! :0)

And now I'm off to start writing my Christmas list ... hmmm ... perhaps I should just make a cuppa and have another browse through that Handmade Christmas board ... for inspiration, you understand, not to procrastinate further! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Wednesday 7 November 2012

Recovering & OPAM Draw!

Things have been a bit quiet here in the Meares' Madhouse as I try to get over the last dregs of the Mega-Cold that wiped me out for a week or so, but I'm feeling heaps better than this time last week and the energy levels are finally starting to lift, so that's a good thing. Thank you so much to all of my wonderful blogging buddies who left comments and emailed to wish me a speedy get-well ... it's lovely to be thought of and I'm sure it sped up my recovery! :0)

As a result of the above recovery, there hasn't been much stitching happening, though I did spend a few hours at the design table on the weekend and have the beginnings of a baby quilt design almost ready to start stitching. The fabrics I'm playing with are rather yummy ...

Yummy mint greens teamed with "THAT" colour. :0) These are some of the fabrics in the range called "Veranda" by Verna Mosquera that the lovely Marion and Steph have in store at the Quilters Angel. Oh ... and if you're like me and like a pre-cut or two, you should visit the Quilters Angel blog to find out details of their pre-cut special on at the moment. I'm trying to be good, but the prices are very tempting! :0)
So ... although there hasn't been much stitching happening here on top of the 'hill',  there has been a LOT of activity in sewing rooms around the world! After Sweet Peg and I finished tallying up emailed totals and did our blog hopping, there was a HUGE final tally of ...
WOWSERS!!!! You OPAM gals sure have been busy stitchers! :0) This is our biggest ever monthly total for OPAM, so give yourselves a pat on the back! :0) I think some of you are preparing for pre-Christmas craft and market stalls or just starting to stock up your Christmas box, because there were quite a few big tallies for October. Well done to everyone who added some finishes to their sidebar list and congrats to those of you who may not have finishes to show, but have made some good progress on longer-term projects. Taking a bit of time out to relax and create is what OPAM is all about, so I hope you all managed at least a small amount of peaceful creating. Now I know you've all been waiting to find out ... the winners of the October random draw are:
Congratulations gals! :0) Email me with your snail mail addresses and I'll pop a little something in the mail for you. To my last winners ... SORRY!!!! Your prizes are all wrapped ready to go, but got forgotten in the recent cold-related fog I've lived in for a few weeks. I'll post all of the prizes next week ... what a bad challenge hostess I am!!!!! I promise to try to do better. :0)
But right now, I'm off to contemplate a couple of secret projects ...
Some for this ... Chookyblue's annual Christmas swap, the only swap I've allowed myself to join this year due to being time-poor. And my good blogging buddy and fellow-warped-designer Dr Bunnystein ... I mean ... Toni from the Red Boot Quilt Co. (There is a story behind the nick-name, but Toni might hurt me if I revealed it!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) have started some plotting and planning for a special joint-project, so the designing/sewing mojo is starting to emerge from the head cold-fog. Hope you're all avoiding bugs and lurgies to enjoy your week so far. Happy creating and ... til next time ...

PS. Happy Belated Birthday Bear Hugs to the gorgeous Catherine Sanchez, the best editor "Homespun" mag has been fortunate enough to have at the helm!!! Here's to lots of fantastic new adventures for the coming year ... and some time in your sewing room! :0) KRIS
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