Friday 26 July 2013

Dust & Noisy & Chippy Paint!

It's still all dust and noise here at the Meares' Madhouse as our dining room renovations continue ... you know ... one of those continuing sagas! :0) Our Federation cottage is about 100 years old (give or take a year or two ... hope to research exact details and history one day!) and so over the years, bits have been changed and added. The room that is now our dining room would once have been an enclosed verandah, as it has narrower floorboards with quite large gaps (under the tired vinyl!) and the wall that separates the kitchen and dining room has had outdoor weatherboards ...

Now ... as you can see in the photo, this allows quite a lot of dust to filter down that wall from the ceiling ... past owners did a dodgy job and there's also some leakage when we get heavy rain. GRRR!! My Beloved Geek Boy decided he had a way to fix this ...

... hit the recycled timber place and purchase some pre-loved tongue and groove boards to cover it up. :0) (He is also doing some re-vamping of the dodgy roof to prevent the leaking issues, but I wasn't getting up on the roof to take a photo!!) There's something special about pre-loved and recycled items, don't you think?

Can't you just see the character in this chippy paint? Don't you wish these boards could tell us their stories? And the interesting thing for me was ...

... colours from the past. I was having a closer look at these pre-loved boards and it occurred to me that some of the colours I've chosen to paint our rooms are very close to some of these. The light green on the left is very close to our lounge/hall/kitchen/ and soon to be dining room colour, the dark green that you can just see dribbles of on the second board is very similar to our main bedroom deep teal and the blue on the board on the right is very close to the cornflower blue of my sewing room walls. How about that! I guess my colour choices are in keeping with the age/original era of our house ... accidentally! I guess you'd call that SERENDIPITY!! :0) 

If you spend a bit of time cruising around Pinterest ... as I definitely do more often than I should!! :0) ... you'll see a lot of chippy paint and vintage items. I'm sure their popularity is due to the feeling that they have a story to tell and look like they've already been well-loved, so they are sure to lend a warmth to their new homes. These boards will NOT be staying chippy and mismatched, but it's been fun to discover some of their 'stories' in the colours. I'll share more pics as the reno progresses ... unless I decide I can't live with the noise and dust and move out for a while! :0)

Hope your week has been fantastic and full of wonderful adventures! :0) Til next time ...



Tuesday 23 July 2013

Still Looking!!

Here I am ... still here and enjoying my break from work. It's not quite as good as a beach break, but having some time at home (in between coffee-catch-ups!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) has been relaxing AND productive ... though I haven't got good photos of my finishes yet ... soon, I promise! :0)

This week my folks have popped down for a visit to help out with some renovating jobs ... well Dad is helping my Beloved Geek Boy ... Mum and I are helping by staying out of the way! :0) In fact ... today at the first thump of a hammer, we packed ourselves into the car and ventured forth on a shopping excursion. We crossed off all the jobs on our list pretty quickly and decided that we deserved a little treat ...

... coffee and cake! :0) There was an icy wind blowing, but we found a nice sheltered spot in the sun and settled down to relax with our treats. And then we headed home to see how the renovating work was going ... 

Overseas friends won't know the TV advert I mean, but most Aussie gals will be familiar with the RACQ ad that shows a renovation boo-boo with a pair of legs poking through the ceiling and a wife sitting on the sofa in the room below, flicking casually through a magazine. The hubbie says "Have you found that ladder yet?" and the wife replies ... in between page turns ... "Still looking! Tee! Hee! Hee! Well I was having a little moment of de ja vu when we got home and were presented with this sight ...

Uh Oh!! GB and Dad were replacing the corrugated iron on the roof of the back section of our house ... over the bathroom and dining room ... and THIS happened when GB bumped the bathroom ceiling below with his knee. Needless to say, the renovation jobs list just had an addition popped on the end! :0) Ah well ... these adventures happen when you are renovating an old home. :0) Mum and I are wondering where we can disappear to tomorrow to avoid any further 'adventures'! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I might add that the bathroom is one room in the house we haven't got around to renovating yet and the ceiling is truly icky due to former owners painting OVER mildew which we can now not get rid of, since it's UNDER the paint ... GRRR!!! Still ... I guess we have a little head start on getting rid of that ceiling! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Hope you are all well and that all your adventures are pleasant ones ... no "Still looking!" moments! :0) I'm going to make the most of the rest of this week before heading back to work again on Monday ... I'm sure I can fit some more stitching and more coffee breaks in! :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday 17 July 2013

Aaaaahhh ... Holidays!!

Well ... I don 't REALLY consider myself to be on 'holiday' cos we're not GOING anywhere ... but my Beloved Geek Boy and I are both having some "not going to work" weeks at home. :0) While I would DEFINITELY rather be sitting on a warm, sunny beach somewhere watching the waves roll in, rather than cold, overcast Toowoomba ... I am enjoying being able to sleep in a bit, mooch around in my jammies til a decadent 11am and am spending a lot of time in my sewing room ... YAY! While a "Holiday" would be nice, a "Staycation" is nothing to sneeze at! :0)

Do you remember me bringing these Tilda pretties home?

Well ... I'm finally finding the time to play with them. I've got one little finish ... that I can't share yet cos I haven't taken a nice photo yet (keep you in suspenders for a bit longer! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and have been working on another project using the same fabrics ...

Hmmm ... a 'tweet' sneaky peeky. :0)

Another 'tweet' sneaky peeky. I bet some of you who pop in regularly are getting an idea of what I might be stitching at the moment. :0) I'm having fun working with these bright Tilda fabrics. I promise to share some finish pics soon ... and then there will be the dreaded instruction writing phase ... GROAN!!!!!

As well as spending time in my sewing room ... which I sometimes have to do to get away from GB's noise!! Have you ever noticed that boys and girls relax differently?? I like peace, quiet and tranquillity, while GB has to have loud music, or a movie, or TV going on all the time ... AAARRRGGHHH!!! ... but I digress!!! :0) As well as spending time in my sewing room ... I have been enjoying some time catching up with friends. I had a lovely play date with my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette on Friday when we explored some lovely antique shops in Paddington ... but the pics were rather unflattering, so I shan't share them or Lynette might stop being my friend! Tee! Hee! Hee! Then ... yesterday I caught up with my 'dancing buddies', Lynda and Deb for a slightly delayed celebration of Deb's birthday a couple of weeks ago ... don't you hate it when 'real life' interferes with your social plans?! :0)

Here we are, having asked our helpful waitress to take our pic. We don't scrub up too badly, do we?! :0) Oh ... and if you like that pretty pendant I'm wearing, you might like to hop across to Deb's new web site called Twisted Trinkets. As well as some pretty floral and patterned pendants like mine, she makes some lovely, slightly left-of-centre jewellery for those who gals who like a bit of 'quirky' and 'unique' in their lives.

So ... that's how I've been spending my 'staycation' so far. There's some minor renovating on the agenda ... when we can get a few clear, sunny days in a row!! ... and my folks are popping in for a visit next week ... and I'm hoping to squeeze in a few stitching play dates (Fiona??? :0) ) ... oh dear! Why do I get the feeling that TWO weeks will not be long enough! :0) Hope you are all having a lovely start to your week and that you're getting to spend a bit of time-out stitching, too. Til next time ...



Saturday 13 July 2013

Tilda Treats!

Are you a Tilda fan? Have you fallen in love with the sweet shabby chic colours and patterns of Tone Finnanger's iconic fabric ranges? Do you love the simply delightful combination of soft colours with warm linen tones? Or are you like me and spend hours drooling over the GORGEOUS photos in her range of books but don't quite get around to making very many of the projects?! :0) Actually ... I think that I can tick the boxes beside all of the above questions! :0) I like nothing better than to while away an hour or two like this ...

A Tilda book ... or two or three!! ... and a  cup of tea ... and you won't here a peep from me except the occasional SIGH that my rooms never look that pretty and NEAT! :0) HOWEVER ... this week I managed to spend a little bit of quality (if not quantity!!) time in my sewing room and actually FINISHED one of the Tilda projects that I have been wanting to make for a while ... YAY!! :0)

This sweet bunny is one of the projects in the "Crafting Springtime Gifts" book and I have had it earmarked (get it ... bunnies ... ears ... oh never mind!!!) for quite some time. I had a little bit of a nudge from the lovely Marion to finally dive in to choose and make up one of my favourite Tilda projects for a special night coming up in the next little while.

Isn't she a cutie?! :0) Marion and Steph have a large range of Tilda fabrics, embellishments, scrapbooking papers, brads and giftwares in stock at The Quilters Angel and since they know that a LOT of people share a passion for all things Tilda, they've been running a Tilda club ...

If you sign up, not only do you get to play with the pretty Tilda fabrics, you get to add to your gift stash ... of course ... some of the projects are so darn CUTE that you might decide to 'gift' them to YOURSELF! Tee! Hee! Hee! This has proven to be a VERY popular program and since numbers are limited, you'd better sign up quick if you want to join the fun.

As another part of all things Tilda at Quilters Angel, Marion and Steph are going to be hosting a series of Tilda-themed "Sit N Stitch" sessions ... each session will be held to make a specific project from one of Tone Finnanger's books ... including my cute bunny! :0) A choice of a couple of different kits in different colourways will be available for participants when they sign up and everyone will gather in the QA workroom to make the project together ... with someone who has already made the project on hand to give help, tips and guidance ... just in case you're like me and sometimes have trouble interpreting someone else's written instructions! :0) So ... make sure you stay tuned to the Quilters Angel blog to hear when these fun sessions get under way ... and I promise to let you know when I'll be helping with the session to make the pretty bunny. The more who come and play the merrier ... and the more cute bunnies there will be to make us smile! :0)

OK ... I'm off to rustle up some lunch ... running on weekend time today and my tummy is starting to complain about it. :0) Hope your week has been productive and that you're enjoying switching to "Weekend Time" too ... including some 'relax and stitch' time ... or maybe just some 'kick back and relax' time! :0) Til next time ...



Monday 8 July 2013

Sunflowers Make Me Smile!

Here I am, back again after a busy weekend of bustling around. You know how weekends are ... never enough time to do everything you want to get done! :0) However, the weather was a bit kinder to this poor hot-weather gal and so I had a bit more energy to put to use. And put it to use I did!!

A few weeks ago, I had an email from a lovely friend ... Catherine Sanchez, former Editor of "Homespun" magazine. Catherine is enjoying being a 'lady of leisure' since finishing up at "Homespun" (and boy oh boy do I miss her lovely, warm editorials at the start of the mag and her special touch in the projects and content!!!) and has been lazing around doing nothing ... NOT! :0) With all her 'spare' time she has taken on the task of coordinating a big craft fundraising event for her boys' school, which will raise money for mission work in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea and she's in search of crafty bits and bobs to sell/raffle/auction. Hmmm ... nothing on hand that I can send, but ... a bit of a search in the sewing room and I found ...

... some pretty charm squares that I was given a while back. Don't you just love sunflowers?! They are so CHEERFUL, spreading their sunny warmth around. A perfect starting point ... with a sweet model helping me there (a gift from a lovely blogging buddy!) . :0) OK ... add some Moda Basics in a yummy, warm colour, some time in the sewing room and ...

VOILA!! Another stacked coin lap quilt top. These are very different colours for me to play with, but I love the vibrant colours of these charm squares. As I said, this is an older fabric range from Moda, "Sunflowers of Provence". I love how the colours came up with the gold sashings ... thanks for your help choosing them, Steph! :0) This top is now ready to send off to Catherine. I would have liked to send it as a finished quilt, but this month's play money is a bit on the low side ... oops! :0) Hopefully someone will enjoy quilting this to suit their own tastes ... and help raise some money for overseas missions. Thanks for asking me to be part of the fun, Catherine! :0)

No other finishes to report ... and this one doesn't really count as a finish for my OPAM list, but it IS one thing crossed off my "To Do" list! However ... a lot of you OPAM gals have managed LOTS of finishes that DO count towards your OPAM totals. In fact, there were 515 finishes for June! WOO! HOO! Well done gals!! Sweet Peg has done the prize draw, in case you haven't caught up with the news yet, so pop over and visit her to see if you're one of the lucky winners. Thank you to everyone who emailed their finishes through to me or Sweet Peg ... this really does make a big difference to us ... even if I don't get to send an email back to you! I hope you're all enjoying being part of the OPAM 2013 fun and managing to set some time aside just for YOU to relax and stitch. :0)

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and that your week is off to a great start. May there be many 'sunflowers' in your week ... things that make you SMILE just by being! :0) Til next time ...



PS. For those of you who are within driving distance ... Marion and Steph are having a Christmas in July super sale this coming Friday and Saturday!!! Make sure you check their blog for details and plan a road trip to visit and take advantage of it ... You'll think all your Christmases have come at once! Tee! Hee! Hee! BH! KRIS

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Unplanned Weekend Fun!

I know it's Tuesday ... ALREADY!!! ... and not the weekend like my heading says, but it has taken me a couple of days to catch up. I feel a bit like a little saying I came across today while looking for something else in my files ...

"Good news!! I'm now only TWO weeks behind!"

Tee! Hee! Hee! Story of my life ... but I digress!! :0)

OK ... so after our impromptu road trip the weekend before, my Beloved Geek Boy and I had planned a quiet weekend of playing catch up and doing a bit of kicking-back-and-relaxing. Hmmm ... THAT didn't happen! :0) First interruption to the kick-back-and-relax plan was the decision to toodle off to a couple of different hardware stores to see what we could see that might help us in some upcoming renovations. You really can spend HOURS wandering around stores like Masters and Bunnings, can't you?! :0) And on the way, we passed a local pine furniture manufacturer and I decided to pop in to see if I could find a storage solution for my collection of winter woollies ... you all know how I HATE to be cold! :0) I love our Federation Cottage, but being around 100 years old, it doesn't have built in storage so we're always looking for ways to store our 'stuff'. After a VERY enlightening wander around the warehouse (oh so many lovely pieces of furniture that would look fabulous in our house!!) I found what I needed ...

A chest. I know it looks so plain at the moment that no self-respecting pirate would attempt to bury treasure in it, but I'm going to paint it white and maybe decorate it in some vaguely French-inspired way ... still thinking about that one ... suggestions accepted! :0) I seem to be spending quite a lot of time wielding a paintbrush this year, don't I? :0)

The second interruption to the kicking-back was a call from GB's sister to see if we'd like to watch a DVD with them that night. OK! :0) Hmmm ... may have wished I'd asked more about the movie first!!! It was great to catch up with them a bit (between movies!) but I did NOT realise that the movie (chosen by GB's BIL) was a sci-fi/horror. EEK! Needless to say ... I watched quite a bit of the action from under my blankie!!! My nerves are NOT made of steel ... in fact, they're more like nerves of wet noodles! :0) Once upon a time I LOVED horror movies, but the older I get, the more vivid my imagination seems to get. I'll just stick to some nice shoot-em-up-blow-em-up adventures! :0)

So ... late to bed after movie marathon (and time spent checking to ensure that hostile aliens hadn't joined the monster-in-the-cupboard!!!). And an early phone call (7:15am is early for our household on a Sunday!) from someone wanting to know what I was doing today for lunch? ... was I free? ... did I have plans? ... did I even know who I was talking to??? Er ... no ... sort of ... maybe ... 42 ... CHOOKYBLUE??? I am not the most coherent person when I first wake up! :0) It turned out that Chooky and Mr Chooky were passing through Toowoomba on their way to Brisbane and hoped to arrive here about lunch time. After managing to shake a few cobwebs loose from my sleepy brain, we made it a date. :0)

After a bit more of a doze, a strong cup of coffee and a few texts back and forth, it was arranged that the Fabulous Fiona and I would meet Chooky at Quilters Angel ... such a hardship for us all! :0)

Here we are, browsing through the gorgeous fabrics at my Home-Away-From-Home. Steph took a happy-snappy for us ... Thanks Steph! :0) Oh ... would you look at that! There's one of my quilt designs in the background! :0)

After drooling over pretty fabrics for a while, we joined Mr Chooky and Fairygirl for lunch and a chat. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday lunch time. :0) Thanks for popping in, Chooky! Lovely to catch up again ... and lovely to meet Mr Chooky and Fairygirl, too. And it goes without saying that it's always lovely to catch up with Miss Fiona! :0)

So ... that was my VERY busy, unplanned weekend. Just think how exhausted I'd be if I'd actually PLANNED something! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Right ... well it's getting colder as the afternoon goes on ... AGAIN!!! SIGH!!! So I'm off to play Polly and put that kettle on for a hot drink of some kind. And perhaps I'll start to do some blog-hopping while I sip cos OPAM gals ... it's a new month!! Have you emailed your June tally to Sweet Peg or me? Make sure you update those sidebar lists and email us, please. Even if you are a bit busy with school holidays and don't have time to blog at the moment, a quick email to Sweet Peg or me will have you updated on our spreadsheet and going into the random prize draw. It's Sweet Peg's turn to do the draw, so stay tuned! Oh ... Karen S and Cyn ... I still haven't received snail mail addresses from you from the last two prize draws that I did (March and May), so if you'd like to claim your prizes, please email me this week or the prizes will go back into the pool.

That's really all from me today now. Hope you're all enjoying your week so far and managing to set aside some time just for YOU to do some super-stitching, creative contemplating or just plain daydreaming. Even if you think you're too busy, I bet you'll find that if you take even half an hour or so just for yourself that it will recharge your batteries and help you get ready to tackle the other things on your "To Do" list. :0) Til next time ...



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