Thursday 30 May 2013

Hoot! Hoo Loves Owls?!!

HOOT! HOOOOO!! Are you like me and LOOOOOOVE cute owls in all sorts of forms? There's just something cute and soothing about them ... maybe its those big eyes ... all the better to SEE you with, my dear! Oops! ... I think I'm mixing up my fairytales! Tee! Hee! Hee! Whatever the appeal is, I've been having a little play with my sketchbook and pencil sketching some birdies ... including the wise old owl.

So ... imagine how excited I was to see a GORGEOUS new range of fabric at my "Home-Away-From-Home" when I popped in to visit Marion and Steph this week, called "Nested Owls" by Adorn It. Are you getting a hint of the cuteness I found?! :0) I asked Steph to cut some pieces for me to add to my sketches to play with ... wanna see??? Of course you do, cos you're all as addicted to cute fabric as much as I am! :0)

Ta da!! Aren't the colours cheerful and bright?! I couldn't help but smile when I saw them ... especially with those cute little owls looking up at me. :0)

This little bloke is my favourite cutie ... see ... he likes me too ... he's WINKING at me! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And this one is super-cute, too. I can't WAIT to play with these pretty fabrics ... hopefully there'll be a bit of time this weekend (in between the 'grown up' chores!) to make a start ... how EXCITING!!!! Do you get excited when you're about to start a new project ... or is that just ME?! :0) If you want to add some of this CUTE fabric to your own stash, give Marion and Steph a call ... can you resist?!?! :0)

Hope you're all having a great week and that your plans for the weekend include some fun stuff as well as the 'grown up' stuff. OPAM gals ... have you updated your sidebar lists and emailed Sweet Peg or me with your tally? Well ... get tallying and updating! :0) Meanwhile ... you just KNOW what I'm off to do ... just call me "POLLY"! :0) Til next time ...



Sunday 26 May 2013

Another Use For Tea Cups!!

Here I am ... huddled under my flannel blankie (which is looking a little bedraggled and in need of replacement ... it's on "The List"! :0) ) trying to keep my toesies warm. What a nasty cold week we've had here on top of our 'hill' ... and another busy one, too. Somehow, that keeps happening! :0) With appointments galore, a quick trip to Bris to take my folks to the airport and busy times at work for me and my Beloved geek Boy ... there was no sewing time AGAIN this week ... SIGH! So I was determined that there would be SOME time for creativity this weekend.

Well ... the 'grown up' chores ate into my plans a bit, but I DID manage to spend a couple of hours doing some hand stitching and a few hours sketching and editing a new applique design (which I'm VERY excited about!!!). The other 'creative' time spent relates back to my post title.

Last weekend when we were at a local nursery buying a rose bush for my MIL for her Mothers' Day gift (she was away that weekend and so were we, so we were playing catch-up!) I spotted this little cutie ...

You can't tell from this photo ... I should have put something beside it to give perspective, the little pot is about two inches across ... it's a teeny cutie! :0) Now ... I was originally going to plant this into one of my pretty teacups ...

... but I decided it wouldn't give the little African Violet plant enough room to grow. So off I trotted to see what I could find. And what should jump off the shelf at me but a soup mug that looks like a giant tea cup. Funny story ... I then grabbed a bag of African Violet potting mix and headed for the checkout. The nice young man operating the checkout said, "I'll just pop them in two bags ... you wouldn't want to get potting mix in your soup mug". You should have seen the funny look he gave me when I said ... "Actually, I'm going home to do just that to put a plant in it." :0) Which is what I did ...

Here it is being looked after by a cute little bear made for me by my blogging buddy Toni Alexander. Now I just have to manage to keep it alive! :0) I confess to having a very poor track record at keeping indoor plants alive ... Oops! I thought I'd give it another go, though, and hope this sweet violet won't be a victim of my neglect. 

African Violets hold a bit of a special place in my heart because my Nan, who passed away when I was 15, was a great African Violet collector and grower. I remember watching her water them and care for them when we visited for holidays and loved for her to show me all the different varieties and colours in her collection. Maybe this little plant will be the first in MY collection ... fingers crossed! :0)

Hope you've all had a great weekend and that there's been splashes of colour and creativity in your activities. Have a FANTASTIC week! :0) Til next time ...



Tuesday 21 May 2013

Deliciously Shabbilicious!!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH!!!! I'm  so EXCITED!!! And I just can't hide it ... I'm about to lose control and I think ... OOPS! I think that song's already been sung! :0) But I AM rather excited cos the second edition of my gorgeous blogging buddy Kerryanne's FABULOUS e-zine is now ready to be enjoyed ...

Once again, Kerryanne has gathered gorgeous photos, deliciously shabby/French/cottage decorating and craft ideas together for us all to enjoy. There are some lovely profiles on some clever shabbilcious goddesses and some wonderful  new blogs to visit and drool over. :0) And the best part ... it's FREE!! So ... pop across to visit Kerryanne to say a big


And you can go HERE to enjoy Simply Shabbilicious Issue 2 ... but make yourself a cuppa first and put your feet up, cos you'll be there a while to enjoy it! :0)

I'm off to have another look ... guess that means I need to play Polly and put the kettle on for a cuppa ... bet you knew I was going to say that! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you enjoy Kerryanne's shabbilicious treat. Til next time ...



Sunday 19 May 2013


G'day all! Not a lot of stitchy stuff happened this week ... in fact I'm not at all sure where the week went ... apart from a play date with my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine. It had been a while since we'd caught up, so that was nice. Add to that the cold snap our weather has taken and my hibernation reactions are starting to kick in! :0)

So ... since I don't have any stitchy stuff to share ... I thought I'd share some of my randomness ... I seem to have an excess of randomness! Tee! Hee! Hee! Here goes ... 10 random things about yours truly that you may not know ...

1. I can't sleep in a room where the wardrobe/cupboard door is open ... the "Cupboard Monster" might get me! (yes ... my Beloved Geek Boy thinks I'm slightly nutty, but why take chances?!! :0) )

2. I met my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette in the library when we both hid there to get away from a 'cat-fight' going on amongst the other girls in the class soon after I changed schools. She taught me to play draughts (checkers) and we've been best mates ever since. Mind you ... she can still beat me at draughts! :0)

3. Lynette and I drove the school librarian mad looking for books on ghosts, myths, unsolved mysteries which we devoured. Of course ... these days GB has banned me from reading these books as my imagination is TOO good and keeps us BOTH awake afterwards! Tee! Hee! Hee!

4. The two colours I like LEAST are PINK and ORANGE. (though I'm learning to incorporate pink in my designs ... cos apparently some people like it! :0) )

5. One of my other hobbies besides sewing is ... BELLYDANCING! I love the music, it's great exercise and very liberating ... it brings out your inner sexy goddess! :0)

6. I LOVE 'whodunnits' ... books, TV shows and movies. I love to work out who 'dunnit' before the detectives. :0) It's my favourite way to spend a cold winter's day ... along with some stitching! :0)

7. Jobs I've had include: serving at a chemist in my hometown, holiday nanny,  packing citrus fruit, Journalist/Photographer with a country newspaper, Teacher's Aid, Receptionist for a Chiropractic Clinic, Product Demonstrator at a supermarket, Admin Assistant at a retirement village ... as well as craft designer, of course. Just call me a 'Jack of all trades' ... or maybe that should be 'Jill'. :0)

8. I LOVE all things Celtic ... the music, the myths and legends, would LOVE to visit Scotland and Ireland, and love Celtic knot designs.

9. I've met two of my favourite fellow-designers ... Bronwyn Hayes and Toni Alexander ...

Bronwyn visited for Stitchers Dream Day Out a few years ago.

Toni and her youngest daughter visited for a playdate a while ago. (Must be time for another play date, Toni!!)

10.  I dream in full colour with sound ... not that my full-colour, surround-sound dreams always make sense! :0) (although I'm sure the dream about Hugh Jackman was SUPPOSED to be real! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Do you now feel you know me better or have I confirmed your suspicions that I'm a little weird?!?! :0) One thing you all DO know about me is ... I love a good cup of tea and I think that's where I'm now heading ... to play Polly and put the kettle on. :0) I hope you've all had a great weekend and that the coming week is fantastic for you. Right ... cuppa and hug the heater ... I HATE cold weather!! Til next time ...



Sunday 12 May 2013

Happy Mothers' Day!!

To all Mums, Nana's, Great-Grandmas ... I hope you had a special day with family gathering around to remind you how much you are loved and appreciated! :0) And since it was Mothers' Day ... we trekked off to Flaxton near Mapleton in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland where Mum and Dad are currently house-sitting. If you haven't explored this area of Queensland ... you really should!!! :0) It's GORGEOUS!! Imagine rolling green hills with fat, happy cows grazing (I know they were happy cos they were smiling! Tee! Hee! Hee!), stands of old tall trees, picturesque villages ... and you can also see the ocean! Perfect, right?! :0)

We've often visited the popular village of Montville to enjoy its great selection of arts, crafts, boutiques and specialty shops and made a return visit this weekend for some browsing ... oh ... and maybe a FEW things followed me home! Tee! Hee! Hee! A gal's gotta shop!!! :0) We enjoyed a DELICIOUS lunch, munched on some hot cinnamon-and-sugar-coated almonds (YUMMO! Gotta get me a recipe!!) ... and then it RAINED! My Beloved Geek Boy and I are starting to think we're not meant to visit mountains cos whenever we do (ie. numerous Mt Tamborine visits!) the sky leaks ... SIGH! So the afternoon was spent working on a jigsaw and adoring two cute doggies and generally just hanging out with Mum and Dad. Not really a tough way to spend a rainy arvo! :0)

Today dawned nice and sunny and we thought we were set, so after a Mothers Day church service, we put together a picnic and headed off to a pretty park ...

Mum and I laughing cos when GB went to take this pic he captured a really odd expression on Mum's face cos she was trying to swallow a grape and smile at the same time! Tee! Hee! Hee! Love ya Mum!! One of the things I love about Mum is her ability to laugh at herself ... a trait she has passed on to me! :0) In fact, my Mum has many traits that I admire and while I know I missed out on some (that neat/tidy/organised trait seems to have bypassed me entirely! Tee! Hee! Hee!), if I've inherited enough to make me half the woman my Mum is ... I reckon I'll be doing OK. Happy Mothers' Day, Mum!! Love you heaps! :0)

And here's a pic of the boys. They were being so difficult about having their photo take ... pulling faces etc ... that I threatened to name this pic "The Three Turkeys" ... they looked at me strangely and said ... "There's only two of us" ... not from where I was looking! :0) The very busy scrub turkey in the background was pretty chuffed with the Mothers' Day picnic leftovers he was finding! :0)

So ... after lunch was finished we decided to head off to see some privately owned botanic gardens ... at which point it started to ... RAIN!! SIGH! Still ... we had a sort of long-distance peek from the cover of a pergola ...

You can see the grey skies that closed in and the rain in the background coming in off the coast. Still ... it was a pretty view. :0)

... one of the water features. This 'garden' consists of over 3 acres and since it's on quite a steep, hilly block, some very hard work has obviously gone into creating this beautiful space. We're hoping to go back and see it properly one day ... when it's NOT raining!!

We then headed home ... and found the rain had cleared a bit closer to Flaxton, so we stopped in at Kondalilla Falls national park. After a VERY steep descent from the car park to the start of the walking trail, we thought we'd better check the walking guide before heading off to the falls, as we had limited time before GB and I had to hit the road to head home. Hmmm ... OK ... 1.4km circuit taking approximately 45 minutes. That was doable ... so off we headed on our walk. And we walked ... and walked ... and walked ... and after about 30 minutes reached ...

... a small waterfall that was NOT the Kondalilla falls! SIGH! Pretty, though. :0) And so we set off again ... walking ... walking ... walking ... did I mention there were some really STEEP sections of trail?? And that I am incredibly UNFIT?!?!?! :0# After we estimated we'd walked well over half the distance (and another 10-15 minutes), we reached the top of some steps that went down ... down ... down ... we could see people waaaaaaaay below us walking down and it was a looooooooong way away. A look at the clock (and just quietly, a check of the ol' spaghetti legs!!) and we decided we just didn't have enough time to get down to the falls and back to the car by the time GB and I needed to hit the road ... another thing on the  'next time' list. So much for the estimated 45 minutes on the sign! Perhaps if you were a  mountain goat or an Olympic triathlete you could manage it, but since we were neither of those ... we headed back to the car.

We've decided that either someone in the National Parks and Wildlife Service has a nasty sense of humour in signposting distances along walking tracks or they're paced-out by a VERY tall man ... who loses count of how many strides he's taken and fudges the distance from time to time! :0) We may not have made it to the main waterfall, but it was still a very pretty walk ... when I wasn't huffing and puffing up a hill! :0) All in all, a lovely way to spend the weekend and celebrate the special part Mum plays in our life.

How did you celebrate Mothers' Day? Low-key or fan-fares galore? Whatever you did, I hope you all made your Mum feel super-special ... and if you are a Mum ... I hope YOU were SPOILT, too! For those whose Mum is no longer with them physically, I hope memories of your times together warmed your heart today as you thought of her.

OK ... I think it's time for a cuppa before I take my tired, aching muscles off to the shower and bed. I hope your week is super-fantastic and includes lots of time to create. :0) Til next time ...



Sunday 5 May 2013

Retreat Treat!!

How has your weekend been? I've had a BLAST!! :0) And I'm combining my Saturday and Sunday






... into one post, cos I've had a FANTASTIC weekend that definitely qualifies with more than one of the above. :0) You see ... I've spent most of the weekend with a FABULOUS bunch of gals on a sewing retreat with our Friday Night "Sit N Sew" group. Imagine, if you will, a quiet spot away from suburbia and traffic with one building set up as a workroom, one building set up as a kitchen and dining room and one set up with bedrooms. Now add 14 FABULOUS clever-clogs stitchers (OK ... 13 clever-clogs stitchers and me! Tee! Hee! Hee!), an abundance of DELICIOUS food, lots of stitching and quilting projects ... and you can tell we were in stitchers' heaven! :0)

Now ... I can't tell you the antics that went on during the weekend ... we all know that ...

"... what happens on stitching retreat STAYS on stitching retreat!!!" :0)

... but I did take some photos to share with you.

Here's Sue and Lisa hard at work ... oops! Do you see that purple packet on the table there? I wonder who thought there would be chocolate at a stitchers' retreat?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Jenny-Lee and Carol were also busily stitching away. Most of the gals were working on the same quilt pattern designed by Nikki Turvo and made with the pretty Tilda range of fabrics. I decided I already had enough projects on the go and really shouldn't start another, so I did some knitting and hand-stitching.

Here's "the other Chris" working on block placement.

And my fellow "Naughty Corner" occupier, Gail (AKA "the other Sue"!!). She was a bit like Cookie Monster counting his cookies ... except she was playing with her fabric stash! :0) She says she saw a whole new side to me by sharing the naughty corner with me for the weekend! Tee! Hee! Hee! And what was being stitched?

Beautiful quilts! :0) All of the quilts I've taken happy snappies of need some applique and stitcheries added to them, but you'll see how great the pieced tops are. The really interesting part ... most of the quilts were made with the same selection of fabric squares and it was the way each lady put her squares together and the borders they chose that gave each their individual look. This one above is Gail's quilt.

I think this might be my favourite combination ... lovely soft blues and aquas ... I think these squares might have been from one of the Tilda pre-cut packs that Marion and Steph have in stock. This is one of three versions of this quilt made by Jo (who is holding the quilt) and her Mum Maree ... they were the power team of the weekend! :0)

Here's Sue (AKA "The other Gail!" ) with her version Nikki's quilt. That blue border is striking isn't it?!

Oops! The photographer obviously had a little giggle in the middle of this one! :0) And "Uh Oh!" I can't remember who's quilt this one was ... maybe if was another one of Jo and Maree's???

This is another by Mother/daughter Jo/Maree team. See what I mean about the same squares all coming up differently

And this is a quilt top Jen put together over the weekend she was working on her own projects, too ... looks like a roll of musk lifesavers, doesn't it. :0)

So my TREATS for the weekend overflowed!! :0) Before I joined the Friday Night Sit N Sew group, I was always a bit reluctant to be a 'joiner'. I don't really consider myself to be a quilter ... or a patchworker ... not even really an embroiderer ... I consider myself to be a hand-stitcher, so have never really felt like I 'fitted' into any sewing groups.  I've also found in the past that some groups can be very clicky and just a bit ... well ... bitchy. So I was a little hesitant to go along when Marion invited me to a Friday evening of stitching ... but I am SOOOOOO glad I went along! :0) This gorgeous group of ladies come from all walks of life, work on all sorts of projects and are friendly, accepting ... FUNNY!! :0) ... not to mention creative and they have not only made me feel welcome, but they have sort of absorbed me into the group. I LOVE getting together with them on a Friday night! :0) Thanks for making me feel so welcome, gals, and thanks for a wonderful weekend! A special thank you to Marion, too, for co-ordinating our retreat weekend ... what a woman! :0)

Well ... now that I've shared my weekend TREATS with you, I'm off to play "Polly" and put the kettle on. I hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine and that it included some time for your to be creative ... OPAMers ... have you emailed your finishes to Sweet Peg or me?? Sweet Peg is almost ready to do the prize draw. (And a big MMMMWWWAH to you, my sweet Partner-In-Crime for doing most of the blog hopping this month while I was off playing with the Friday night gals! :0) ) Enjoy your week!! Til next time ...



Friday 3 May 2013

Blessings Galore!!

OOPS! I didn't get back yesterday to post my,






... but I have a really good reason!! Actually ... my BLESSING for yesterday WAS the reason I didn't get back here to share with you. Confused?? Most of the time, so am I! Tee! Hee! Hee! You see, yesterday's blessing ... that I don't have a photo of ... was a STORM. Now, it wasn't a nasty blow-down-trees, knock-down-power-lines kind of storm ... it was a short showery one, with just enough rain falling to water my vege patch for me. Wasn't that thoughtful?? :0) But ... I didn't want to turn my computer on with thunder and lightning about, so I didn't get to blog about it yesterday.

I do, however, have today's BLESSING to share with you ... TWO in fact ... Do you believe you have angels in your life? I do ... in so many ways! :0) But I happen to have a few QUILTING ANGELS in my life too and today was our monthly get-together. Not all of us were able to gather, but look who WAS there ...

... Beautiful Bev and Fabulous Fiona! :0) We had a lovely time of chatting and creating together, as we always do when we gather. I met these gorgeous ladies in January 2011 after our local area had been devastated by floods. Marion and Steph opened up their shop's workroom for volunteers to come and make quilts to be given to flood victims, many of whom had lost everything they owned, including their homes. The quilts were our own small way of reminding people affected by the floods that they were thought of and cared for. 

When we first started working on the flood quilts, there was quite a large group of people involved, but as the weeks went by, numbers dwindled, until we were left with a core group of about 8-10 stitchers/quilters. Thanks to Marion's co-ordination, we gave out more than 250 quilts (I think it's a lot more than that, but I've lost track of the tally!!) and met some wonderful people who were surprised and grateful for their quilty gift. 

After the immediate need passed, a few of us decided we'd like to continue to get together to stitch and chat. I feel so very blessed to count these talented, generous ladies as my friends ... see ... I am friends with ANGELS! Tee! Hee! Hee! So today's BLESSINGS are my Quilting Angel friends. Thanks for adding to the richness of my life's quilt, ladies!!!

OK ... now I'd better skedaddle and get ready. I have a weekend stitching retreat to prepare for. Can you guess what tomorrow's TREAT, TREASURE, BLESSING, or MINI-MIRACLE will be tomorrow?! :0) Hope your week has been fantastic and that your weekend includes some time to kick-back-and-relax time. Til next time ...



Wednesday 1 May 2013

A Sweetie Treatie!!

Happy May Day!! Did you see the faeries around midnight last night? The wee hours of May 1 are one of the travelling times for the Sidhe, according to Celtic mythology ... and it's also a time when the Wild Hunt rides ... hope you DIDN'T see them, cos that would be BAD! :0)

OK ... back from being 'away with the faeries' ... here I am for day three of my personal challenge to find a ...






... in each day for a week. Actually ... I think the biggest challenge isn't finding it, so much as remembering to blog about it! Tee! Hee! Hee! Are you sick of hearing from me this week yet ... or did I scare you off with my belly-dancing photo yesterday ... not for the faint-hearted! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... so today, as you will have gathered from the post title, I'm sharing a sweetie treatie with you all. The weather here on top of our 'hill' is starting to turn cooler (RATS!!) and it's that time of year when I start to go looking for something hot and yummy to warm me up. Today I rummaged through the pantry and found one of my favourite winter treats ... hot chocolate! Now, I'm not usually much of a chocolate fan, but I do like a nice mug of hot chocolate when the weather is cool. My favourite is the white hot chocolate, but it's hard to get the mix for it in my usual supermarket haunts. Another tasty hot choc treat came from a Christmas swap a few years ago ... it was chocolate and candy-cane chips ... YUMMO!! But with neither of those options in the pantry, I settled for Nestle's choc-mint as my TREAT today ...

A pretty green Depression Glass plate, a couple of fresh sprigs of mint from my herb patch and a couple of pieces of yummy slice. And since there's nothing more fun than SHARING treats, treasures, blessings and mini-miracles, I thought I'd share the recipe for this yummy Ginger & Lemon Slice with you, my blogging buddies. It is easy-peasy, super quick and best of all ... DEEEEEEEEEEEELICIOUS!!! :0)


Into your favourite mixing bowl pop:

1 cup SR Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup chopped preserved sweet ginger
1 teaspoon of dried/powdered ginger

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Melt together 125g butter & 1 tablespoon of golden syrup & add to the dry ingredients. Mix it all up well & then pop it into a small, paper-lined slice tray & cook in a moderate oven (I cooked on 100C but my oven cooks really quickly!) until slice is evenly golden & coming away from the sides of the tray a little bit. Leave slice in the tray to cool.

Lemon Icing
Put 1 1/2 cups (approx) icing sugar into a bowl. Add the juice of one lemon & a teaspoon of melted butter. Stir well. Depending on how juicy your lemon is, you will need to add some boiling water to this mixture to get the right consistency. To avoid sloppy icing & the whole ... add more water ... too sloppy ... add more icing sugar ... too glunky ... round-about, just dribble in & stir in a little boiling water at a time. Spread your icing over the slice,  then use a sharp knife to cut into bite-sized squares and Robert's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt ... you've got a Ginger & Lemon sweetie treatie to enjoy with your choice of hot beverage. :0)

There you go ... a TREAT for Wednesday in my week of challenging myself to find a TREAT, TREASURE, BLESSING or MINI-MIRACLE each day. Hope your week is toodling along nicely and that you, too, are finding little splashes of the extraordinary in your ordinary days. :0)

OPAMers ... we've crossed into new month, so don't forget to get your sidebar lists updated and email your April tally through to my gorgeous Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg or me. I can't wait to see the fun projects you've all been creating!! :0) Oh ... I'm still waiting for Karen S to get back to me with a snail mail address so I can send prizes to last month's winners ... Karen, can you please email me ASAP ... THANKS! :0)

Right ... I'm off to get myself organised for belly-dance class ... got my skirt, got my coin belt and got my shimmy all ready! :0) Til next time ...



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