Wednesday 27 March 2013

Bouncin' Bunnies!!

Here comes Peter Cottontail,
Hopping down the bunny trail,
Hippitty, Hoppitty, Easter's on it's way ...

Oh yeah ... whether you think you're ready for it or not (I personally fall into the 'NOT' category!!!) Easter is just a few sleeps away and I've had some hippitty, hoppitty  critters arrive this week to remind me of that.

Now ... this hippitty, hoppitty story began with one of my good blogging buddies, Dr Bunnystein ... OOPS! I mean ... Toni Alexander! :0) of the Red Boot Quilt Co. having a designer-de-clutter. Toni decided to give her creativity a bit of a nudge by clearing out some of the 'clutter' in her sewing room. I'd advise you to keep an eye on her blog cos there are some fun bargains to be had as she cleans out. Her plan is to sell off some of her stash of fabrics that she's been staring at for a while now so she can justify buying some MORE pretty fabric, some new colours, patterns and designs to give her creativity a boost. And what a great justification for buying new fabric! Tee! Hee! Hee! Right there with you, Toni! :0)

Now not only is Toni preparing to sell of some of her stash fabrics, she is also selling off some of her pattern samples ... she's still got a few pretty quilts available, I think, so pop over and visit. I had been watching Toni's clear-out and de-clutter posts, thinking she is much better at de-cluttering than me!!! :0) And then my heart did a little pitty-patty-happy-dance!!! I couldn't believe my luck!! Toni was selling off one of my FAVOURITE of her pattern samples!! I was in contact with her so quick that I think she had just finished pushing the "Post" button when my reply arrived! Tee! Hee! Hee! And yesterday my lovely new purchase arrived  ... wanna see what made my heart go pitty-patty??

The Bunnies At Kew Gardens! Isn't this just the CUTEST wall quilt you've ever seen!! :0) It makes me smile every time I look at it! I actually had this one on my "To Do One Day" list ... and now it's all MINE!! YAY!! There is just something about Toni's bunnies that puts a smile on my face ...

This one is my favourite and actually reminds me of Toni ...

What do you think? Can you see the resemblance?? Oh ... she doesn't REALLY have a moustache in real life ... just saying! Tee! Hee! Hee!

... there's a bunny family ...

... girl bunnies ...

... and boy bunnies ... and they all look just a little MANIC! :0) Perhaps they are Mad March Hares in disguise! Whatever they are, they make me SMILE every time I look at them! :0) Thanks for the prompt delivery, Toni! And if you would like some bouncin' bunnies to make you smile, you can buy a copy of the pattern from Toni HERE. Toni also has a number of other Bunny themed patterns for quilts and softies and you'll also see her cute Easter Bags in the current issue of "Australian Homespun" ... it was the creation process of these bunny bags that led to her pseudonym "Dr Bunnystein". Yes ... we designers can be a peculiar species! Tee! Hee! Hee! You should check out Toni's web site to see her full range of patterns ... she is such a clever, creative designer who is in LOOOOOOOOVE with colour ... MY kinda gal! :0) If I didn't have so many of my own new design samples to stitch, you can bet that I'd be making quite a few of Toni's designs ... one day! :0)

Oh ... and a little something extra HOPPED into my parcel from Toni ...

... a chocolate Easter Bunny and some lovely birthday goodies ... a pretty smelly for my bath and some yummy tea ... can you see the name of it? "Girlie Grey"!! :0) Toni said she couldn't resist! Tee! Hee! Hee! It's  a Lady Grey blend, I think and you can bet it will be greatly enjoyed by this tea-sippin' gal! :0) Thanks Toni!! :0)

OH!!!! Something I've been meaning to share for a while was a special parcel that arrived from Brenda a few weeks ago. Brenda is also having a stash-clearing clean out and sent packages off to me and my lovely OPAM partner-in-crime, Sweet Peg ...

... there were some cross-stitch kits, pretty little buttons, some charm squares and some sweetie-treaties. Brenda thought that since she was cleaning out her stash, Sweet Peg and I might like some pretties to play with or pass on as OPAM prizes. THANK YOU BRENDA!!! :0) What a sweet parcel to receive and a lovely sentiment behind it. I have to confess ... the Peeps and Valentines treats are no more ... I don't usually have a sweet tooth, but the Valentines treats were YUMMO ... gotta love white chocolate with a bear on it! :0) And we don't have Peeps here in Australia and I confess to LOVING these marshmallowy goodies! :0) You gals in the USA and Canada have such INTERESTING and YUMMY sweetie-treaties! :0) Perhaps it's a good thing that I can't get some of your sweetie-treaties here or I'd be a 'cuddlier' bear than I already am! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... I'm off to play Polly and try out some of my "Girly Grey" tea. I hope you're all having a fantastic week and in case I don't get back here, may this Easter be a time of rest, relaxation and reflection for you all. Til next time ...



Monday 25 March 2013

None The Wiser & Finishes!

Well ... here I am ... 'another year older and another year wiser' as the saying goes ... but apparently sometimes the 'older' shows up without the 'wiser' !! Tee! Hee! Hee! I had a low-key but enjoyable birthday ... lunch with a good friend and dinner out with my Sweetie, my parents, my boss and his wife ... Hmmm ... have you ever noticed that as we get older, birthdays seem to involve less PRESENTS and more FOOD?!?!?! :0) A huge "THANK YOU!" to everyone who helped make my day special with birthday wishes. I've got to the point where I don't really count YEARS each birthday now (I've well and truly run out of fingers and toes! Tee! Hee! Hee!) ... I count my BLESSINGS ... and each of you lovely friends and blogging buddies are on that list ... MMMWAAAAAAHH!!! To you all!!

So ... what have I been up to besides birthday bingeing. :0) Well ... I did manage to sneak a bit of sewing time in last week and have finished my "ME" project that I had been working on. Remember I started with this ...

... A "Paris Flea Market" layer cake. Well it now looks like this ...

 TA! DA! I added a couple of borders in my favourite fabrics from the range and ET VOILA! you have a pretty queen bed size quilt ... or maybe a bit bigger, as it hangs over the edge by about 9 inches each side.

It's currently laid out on our guest bed ... a restored brass bed that I LOVE! ... waiting for me to be able to stop admiring the pretty fabrics long enough to fold it up to take it off to the quilter. My whole aim with this quilt was to Keep It Simple Stoopid! so I'm just going to have a largish all-over design quilted on it so the gorgeous fabrics are still the stars ... Perhaps I will have to call this my "French K.I.S.S. Quilt"!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Now even though I've finished the TOP of this quilt, it doesn't count as a finish-finish (in the language of our OPAMers!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) but someone in the family DID finish something this week ...

Here's Mum with her cute finish ... a panel soft-book featuring Paddington Bear. While Mum has been dressmaking for years, she's never tried quilting, patchwork or much craft-type sewing. We joke that she'll clothe the world and I'll decorate it! Tee! Hee! Hee! So after she picked up this sweet panel at Quilters Angel, I promised to help her put it all together.

 I had a bit of a 'moment' when we were working on it together. It suddenly struck me, as I read the instructions, cut out the panels and showed Mum how to hold the ruler, use the rotary cutter etc, that this same scene had played out many times over the years ... in reverse! There have been MANY times when I've sat watching as Mum cut out, pinned or sewed a new outfit or costume for me ... usually at short notice! :0) A bit of role reversal, but a nice, relaxing time of stitching with my Mum. :0) She and Dad are house-sitting for friends in Toowoomba at the moment, so it's been nice to spend a bit more time with them than usual. One of those "as you get older, you appreciate it more ..." type of moments ... as I get older, I appreciate the times I get to spend with friends and loved ones more and more ... because they are the precious times when lasting memories are made! :0)

OK ... that's it from me for now ... I'm off to play Polly before I head off to bed. OPAM gals ... don't forget to update your sidebar lists ... only six days left of March  ... EEK!!! The year is flying by scary-fast! :0) Hope your week is off to a fantastic start and that it gets even better as it goes along. Til next time ...



Wednesday 20 March 2013

A Long Time Ago ...!!

... In a galaxy far, far away ... oh wait! That's a completely different story! Tee! Hee! Hee! Just a little nod to Mr Spielberg and one of my all time fave movies there. :0) Actually ... it was only 43 years ago ... not so long in the scheme of galaxies and intergalactic happenings, perhaps, but fairly life changing for first-time parents Bill and Bev Kippen ... that a little bundle of joy arrived ...

... the now-not-so-little bundle of mostly-joy has had a lovely day so far, having lunch and a birthday muffin with a lovely friend and looking forward to dinner with Beloved Geek Boy, parents and boss and wife. I won't promise to take photos cos the food at my fave restaurant is always so YUMMY that I just want to dive in and start enjoying! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks to all my lovely bloggy buddies who have already sent birthday wishes and greetings ... it's always nice to be reminded that I am special to some very special people! :0)
As my birthday wish back to you, my friends ... as well as a bit of a nod to St Patrick for last Sunday and my Scottish heritage, I thought I'd share some lovely words I found recently that were translated from ancient Gaelic runes:

Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

And here's to another year of fantastic new adventures for this birthday gal with lots of loving family, good friends, fun new experiences, lots of laughs ... and LOTS of fabric! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Thursday 14 March 2013

Soothing Sewing!!

Hello there! I feel like I've been a bit out of the blogging loop after a couple of busy weeks. In fact ... I feel a bit out of the loop with life in general ... though some would say that just makes me LOOPY! Tee! Hee! Hee! After a month or more of concentrated effort to design projects for Girls Stitch In, then a busy week at work, followed by some travelling and a mini family reunion to help my Grandma celebrate her 90th birthday ... what I REALLY needed this week was some soothing sewing. You know ... nothing too taxing mentally ... not a project that I had to take notes about as I go along so I can write up the pattern instructions ... not a giftie for someone else ... something simple ... something pretty ... and something just for ME!! :0) So I started to play with this ...

... a "Paris Flea Market" layer cake by Three Sisters that was given to me for Christmas by a sweet friend who had seen me drooling over this yummy range! :0) I'm making up my layer cake into a quilt for our guest room and trying to stick to the K.I.S.S. principal ...


Tee! Hee! Hee! I have to keep reminding myself NOT to start planning appliqué or stitcheries ... just to let this gorgeous fabric range shine. Sometimes we can get so caught up in making complicated patterns and adding lots of extras, that we lose the magic of the fabric ... so I'm trying to remember to K.I.S.S. as I go along. :0) It's been a lovely way to enjoy some sewing without stressing ... keeping the FUN factor alive in my creation. What do YOU stitch/sew/work on when you want to de-stress?? Hopefully you're getting to do a bit of that sort of stitching this week! :0)

Alrighty ... I'm off to cut some border strips for this sweet project ... I was smart enough to stock up on some metreage as soon as the WHOLE range arrived at Quilters Angel. :0) And I'm glad I did ... cos Marion said they've already sold out of a couple of fabrics, so ... if you want some of this YUMMY range of fabric for your very own self, pop into the shop, ring or email Marion or Steph ... and let me know what YOU'RE making from my new favourite range. :0)

Til next time ...



Thursday 7 March 2013

Exciting News Times Two!!

I KNOW!!! Two posts in two days ... unprecedented! :0) It's OK Chookyblue ... I promise today's post won't be as long ... I'd hate for my long-winded blogging to be resposible for driving my friends to drink! Tee! Hee! Hee! (you'll have to read Chooky's comment from last post to find out what I mean! :0) )

Now ... as my title says, I've got TWO exciting things to share today. The first is ...


We're off to a flying start for OPAM 2013 ... 594 Finishes for January and 481 Finishes for February! WOO! HOO! Well done to you all ... there must have been some flyin' needles and thread out there in blogland! :0) Thanks to everyone who emailed their finishes through and made sure their sidebar list was up to date ... that just makes the task of bloghopping a bit easier for Sweet Peg and me. :0) Sweet Peg has already posted the January winners on her blog ... so pop across for a check if you haven't already. That means it's my task to announce the February winners ... drumroll ...

Congratulations gals!! Now ... a bit tricky this month ... Tudy and Marilyn, you need to email Sweet Peg with your snail mail ... she has some goodies to send your way! A big congrats to all of you other super-stitchers who have been able to add finishes to your sidebar lists - I bet it feels good to cross some things off your "To Do" list. And even if you didn't get to add anything to your finishes list, if you took some time out to relax and stitch, then you're a winner too! :0)

Right ... on to the SECOND exciting thing ... Have you ever had a dream that you've held for some time ... and finally managed to make it come true? My gorgeous blogging buddy Kerryanne over at Shabby Art Boutique would be able to tell you how that feels, cos that's what happened for her this week when her brand new E-Zine was published ... YAY!! :0)

If you love all things shabby, French, vintage or farmhouse, then this is one e-mag you don't want to miss. There are profiles on crafters and bloggers who LOOOOOOVE all things shabby, French and vintage, there are decorating hints, tips and inspiration, cute craft ideas, book reviews ... oh so much to read and see! :0) And the best thing about this pretty publication ... it's FREE!!! Kerryanne is sharing this lovely inspiration and images with you four times a year. If you want to download this lovely read, then pop across and visit Kerryanne ... and make sure you say "THANKS!!" :0) Or, you can scroll down my sidebar and click on the link I have there. Make yourself a cuppa and ... Robert's your uncle, Fanny's you're aunt! :0) You're set for an enjoyable SHABBY, FRENCH, VINTAGE interlude.

In fact ... I think I'm going to play Polly so I can enjoy a cuppa and another browse through "Simply Shabbilicious". :0) Hope your week is going well ... mine seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye ... or perhaps I'm still catching up after my busy weekend and having LOOOOOOOOONG blinks! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...


Wednesday 6 March 2013

HUGE Weekend ... HUGE Fun!!!

I'm back!!! This week sure has slipped past awfully quickly again. I promise I wasn't just avoiding you! :0) But I HAVE managed to fit rather a lot into the week during my absence  so grab a cuppa and get comfy ... this could take a while to catch up! :0)

First, I had a STRESSFUL week ... some of it was my of my own making!! ... with deadlines looming for Girls Stitch In, final pattern printing etc. for GSI and trying to fit in the 'grown-up-they-expect-you-to-go-to-work' stuff too. :0) Throw in NBN technicians wanting to dig in my yard, printers that didn't want to play nicely ... and a 2am ambulance call-out and hospital visit for my Beloved Geek Boy with chest pains (he is A-OK, no heart issues at all ... the culprit was inflamed chest cartilage from a fall on wet concrete a day earlier but that didn't help MY stress levels!!!) ... you can see why I was a wee bit twitchy by the weekend. But that was OK, cos I got to PLAY all weekend at Girls Stitch In!!! YAY!!!

Marion and Steph of The Quilters Angel (AKA my home-away-from-home!!) organise the BEST stitching days and this year was even more exciting for me cos I was one of the guest designers ... I believe I may have mentioned this a time or two ... or three ... or more! Tee! Hee! Hee! I was originally sharing the designing/teaching role with Leanne Beasley, but this changed a couple of weeks out from the event. I won't say too much, except that I was disappointed on behalf of Marion and Steph who put so much time and effort into planning these events that are not only great fun for the gals attending, they're a fantastic opportunity for designers to show people what they're all about. I thought it was unprofessional of Leanne to pull out so close to the event and not follow through on an agreement she had arranged some six months earlier. BUT ... can I tell you that there was a silver lining to this 11th hour cancellation ... I got to play with the inimitable Nikki Tervo instead! YAY!! Thanks for coming to play at such short notice, Nikki! And you can imagine that poor Nikki was MADLY stitching for the two weeks leading up to Girls Stitch In to get her projects ready (many funny text messages flew back and forth over the last week!!) and I can honestly say, the gals who came along for the weekend were super spoilt! :0)

Now, I have to confess I don't have many photos for a couple of reasons ... firstly ... my camera is REALLY old and REALLY unhappy with dark rooms and since our weekend weather was more suited to the UK in the middle of winter (without the snow ... thank goodness!!! Just overcast, grey, foggy and rainy!) I got a LOT of black photos. I have to say, though, the school hall where the event was staged was PERFECT for a stitching weekend. And any of us with experience of past stitching events in the marquee with uncertain weather were heard to mutter frequently ... "Thank goodness we're not in a marquee this year!!" :0) The second reason was ... I was kept so darn busy over the weekend chatting and giving mini-demonstrations etc that I just plain forgot to take more ... Oops!! :0) I'll share what I did take!

Here's the room all set up ready for the stitchers to arrive. Pretty balloons, sweetly covered chairs ... goodies boxes!!! ... chandeliers ...

A display of some of my pattern samples on the shop table ...

... and here are the Sunday ladies listening to Nikki introduce herself and show her designs ... which were GORGEOUS ... and which I forgot to get photos of!! OOPS! Sorry!! But if you pop over to visit Noela, she has lots of lovely photos of the day, including Nikki's designs ... a writing folder/compendium with a pretty stitched flap, a loyalty card folder, little zippy pouch and small photo album cover ... all with beautiful stitchery designs on them. And my projects for the day ...

A large (and I mean running-away-from-home-for-the-day large!!) tote bag which features my 'perfect' stitching spot surrounded by birds, bees and butterflies (only in the stitchery, not reality ... unfortunately!!) ...

... and remember I said I'd used up most of the fabric? That included designing a large project pouch, a small phone/glasses pouch with a snap closure, a larger phone pouch with snap closure and a tiny drawstring pouch featuring a button butterfly that would be just right for holding threads for your current project to keep them handy and separate from other threads. I have to say, these fabrics were GORGEOUS and I had a lot of fun using as much of the fabric as possible to make pretty projects. And for those of you who were unable to come and play with us on the weekend ... I will be releasing these five matching projects as a paper and PDF pattern next week, so stay tuned! Some good gift-giving ideas there. :0)

Now ... as well as stitching, the gals who attended GSI enjoyed yummy morning and afternoon tea ... a DELICIOUS gourmet lunch, which disappeared before I could get photos! ... live entertainment during lunch, lots of prizes and give-aways ... and the chance to show off their prowess a little with a 'show and tell' time. Even Marion had something to share ... some items Steph has made for her for birthdays and Christmas, including a great tote bag ...

Its a bit hard to see in this photo (dodgy camera!!!) but this bag features some nurses with attitude ... cos in her 'spare' time, Marion is also a nurse AND studying to get her uni nursing degree!!! I'm not sure when she sleeps! :0)

Everyone had a fantastic weekend. There was lots of chatting, lots of eating, LOTS of laughing ... and a few people even managed to do some stitching! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks to all the gals who came along and made it such a fun weekend ... it was lovely to meet you all - some for the first time and some 'repeat offenders' from stitching days past! :0) It was great to meet up with a few blogging buddies like Noela, Cheryl and Lynda, too. Not to mention getting to giggle with Nikki 'the duck whisperer' Tervo again! :0) HUGE thanks and congrats to Marion, Steph and their merry band of workers for putting on such a wonderfully organised event. If you missed out ... there's always Stitchers Dream Day Out in September! Tee! Hee! Hee! Pop across to Quilters Angel blog to see more pics and find out more about SDDO. I'll be there ... will YOU?! :0)

Right ... well ... if you're still with me ... well done! You deserve another cuppa! :0) I promise to pop back again soon, as I have some exciting things to share with you, but right now, I'm going to be Polly and put the kettle on for a cup of tea. Whatever you got up to over the weekend, I hope there was at least a small amount of time squeezed in there for some relaxing time to create. Til next time ...



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