Monday 30 September 2013

Weekend Stitching & OPAM!!

Hellooooooooooo!! How are you all coping with the start of another week? Did you have a great weekend? Here at the Meares' Madhouse we had an incredibly rare event on the weekend ... we actually STAYED HOME! :0) I know ... radical behaviour, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! As a result, my OPAM finishes list is looking a bit healthier.

The last month or so has been so busy here that I really haven't been doing a lot of stitching, so when I had not ONE... not TWO ... but THREE days at home ... in a ROW!! I hurried up and got the 'grown up' jobs out of the way, then hit the sewing room. The result of our stay-at-home weekend ... we caught up on more than half a season of "Arrow" episodes. :0) And ...

Ta Da! Four mini stitchery hangers FINISHED!! :0)

I had a little play with some variegated thread, a simple stitchery design and a few different embroidery stitches.

I love this rich rusty red/brown colour ... must remember to buy some more. :0)

A purple version ...

... and  a pink version ... with an added sucky puff. :0)

I had a lot of fun stitching these simple, but cute hangers ... the finished hangers are only 4 1/2 inches square. They'll be going in my gift basket ready to splash some "LOVE" around to friends. In fact ... I think I'll be making a few more of these ... although I did have a few issues with the self-binding technique ... will be trying something different next time. What's that saying ... "Live and learn". :0)

So .. that's four finishes to add to my OPAM list ... and the calendar is telling me that it's that time of month when you  lovely, clever-clogs OPAMers need to update your sidebar list of finishes and email my gorgeous partner-in-crime Sweet Peg or me with your final tally for September. Have you had a good month? Have you got lots of finishes? Have you not got any finishes ... but you made some progress on some of your WISPier WISPS?? :0) We wanna know about it, so drop us an email. Due to all the crazy busy-ness of the Meares' Madhouse in the last month or so, I still haven't sent the prizes from a couple of draws back ... EEK! Sorry gals! You know who you are and I have your parcels on the list to be posted this week. Thank you for being patient!! :0)

Okey doke ... I'm off to enjoy sipping a cup of Sleepy Time tea and watch "The Amazing 80's" on the box. Talk about de ja vu! :0) I'm an 80's gal, so it's pretty funny to watch this flashback. So many historic events, so much fantastic music ... SOOOOOO many tragic fashion bloopers! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope your week is off to a great start. Til next time ...



Saturday 28 September 2013

Oops! Absentee Checking In!

OOPS! It's somehow been almost two weeks since I popped in to catch up with you all ... not sure how THAT happened!! My only excuse is that the Meares' Madhouse has been living up to its moniker. :0) There've been visitors coming and going, quilt shows to help with (and admire!!), busy stuff at my 'day job' work ... and I think someone has also been flicking through my calendar days at a much quicker speed than I'm ready for. :0) Mind you ... if one more person says ... "it'll soon be Christmas." I may have to commit an indictable offence! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... I won't catch you up on all the to-ings and fro-ings right now ... but I promise to be back with some pics in the next day or so. I really just popped in to quickly share a photo my Mum emailed me this morning. Now ... that very statement would not have been typed just 12 months ago! You see ... Mum used to send me emails by writing her 'email' out in longhand with paper and pen, hand it to Dad to type and send ... which led to some VERY funny 'editorial comments' in the midst of Mum's messages from Dad. Very amusing! :0) But then ... my Beloved Geek Boy helped Mum and Dad buy an iPad and lo and behold ... Mum has learned how to take photos on it and email. But I digress ...

Some of you may remember last year when Mum fell in love with my "Aaah ... Paris!" quilt which featured in "Homespun" magazine ...

Well ... Mum decided she needed a few cushions to match her quilt. So when they were visiting, I dug out a couple of French-inspired appliqué shapes and the remaining stash of "Pom Pom De Paris" fabrics that I had in my sewing cupboard and sent her home to play. Now, Mum's never done any patchworking, but she has played with machine appliqué over the years. This morning's photo will show you how well she did ...

Ta Da! A plethora of French-inspired pillows! :0) Obviously my creativity comes from my clever Mum. :0) I keep telling her that when she moves closer, I'll corrupt encourage her to do some more patchwork, appliqué etc ... I'm sure I can get her hooked too! :0)

Okey doke ... I'm off to play Polly and enjoy some lovely stitching time. I can't remember the last time I had some time at home just to sit, stitch and enjoy some Midsomer Murders and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. I'm looking forward to it! :0) Whatever you're doing, I hope your weekend includes some fun stuff and I promise to be back soon to share pics of the last couple of weeks. Til next time ...



Tuesday 17 September 2013

A Dream Weekend!!

WHAT a weekend!! I'm absolutely exhausticated, footsore and sleep-deprived ... but BOY! did we have fun! Tee! Hee! Hee!

As I've been telling you for a little while, this weekend was the annual Stitchers' Dream Day Out hosted by Marion and Steph of The Quilter's Angel ... and it IS a stitcher's DREAM day out. :0) It was a busy, busy weekend, all in all ... you know ... getting the grown-up chores done early so I could play for the whole weekend, tidying the house to welcome visitors ... and of course, playing with all those other keen stitchers! :0) I was fortunate enough to have two good friends travel from Brisbane to join me ... my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette and fellow-designer Toni Alexander of the Red Boot Quilt Co. YAY!! :0) Things were all set for FUN!!

Now ... there are quite a lot of photos to follow, so perhaps you need to grab a cuppa and a little snackie, get comfy and settle in for a read and a peek at our weekend of fun. Sorry Chooky ... no way to make this a short post! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The hall was decorated beautifully as always, in keeping with this year's theme, "LOVE". Do you see those helium filled heart balloons? I spent a lot of the weekend feeling a bit like a navy warship dodging mines! They seemed to jump out at me as I went past! :0)

This is a photo of all the ladies ... taking photos! :0) Before the stampede began, everyone was keen to get photos of how gorgeous the room looked ... and look at those lovely giftie bags!! Oh yeah ... we were SPOILT! :0) The guest designers for this year's event were Rosalie Quinlan, Debbie McGee and Ella Madsen ...

Look at these GORGEOUS and inspiring women!! Ella, Deb, Rosie and Marion. It was wonderful to catch up with Deb again ... she's such a sweetie! :0) And lovely to chat with Ella and Rosie, too, as they are both designers whose work I have admired for many years. Each of the girls were given two bundles of fabrics and asked to design two projects for the weekend ...

Deb's first project was this SUPER cute handbag-shaped pincushion. This was so darn cute!! It's a great size so you can't misplace it on your sewing table, has a handy pocket on each end for pencils, rotary cutters, scissors and needles, the front flap lifts to store needles and the handle makes it very handy to transport for those sewing days with friends.

Deb's second project was a sweet sewing pouch in funky black, red, brown and pink with a stitchery on the front.

This was one of Ella's designs ... a knitting bag featuring one of her crinoline ladies. Ella loves to research the history and stories of these ladies of yesteryear ... and some of them were just a little bit RACY if you know what I mean! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Ella's second project was an elegant iPad pouch with the theme of this year's event stitched on the front ... this is the project I started stitching ... and no I'm not going to show you how much I didn't ... er ... did get stitched for the day! :0) I was severely sleep-deprived ... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :0)

This is one of Rosie's projects ... a pretty stitchery which has been combined with a stitcher's hoop to make a wall hanger. Rosie's other project was a sweet bag featuring half Dresden plate paper-piecing ... but I forgot to take a pic of it ... Oops!! Check out the Quilters Angel blog to see it.

Here's some of the gals from the Friday night stitching group I meet up with once a fortnight. There were LOTS of goodies in the giftie bags! :0)

And speaking of gifties ... Donna and Ruth (Friday night gals) attend one of the Stitcher's Dream Day Out days each year together and they exchange gifts that carry the theme of the day. Ruth made this GORGEOUS framed scrap-booking project ... and the pretty matching card you can see on the table. Donna's gift to Ruth was a set of three little boxes filled with pretty bits and pieces that featured 'love'. What lovely friends to have! :0) There were lots of other friends enjoying the weekend ... as well as some Mother/Daughter combos ...

This lovely Mum travelled from north of Cairns to join her Brissie-based daughter to come and play. This was the first stitching for our dotty-dress-wearing-daughter ... and she FINISHED the stitchery for her project! WOW!! She was showing us all up! :0)

Another Mother/Daughter team ... we nick-named them the 'Overachievers'! :0) Miss Daughter on the left travels from Mt Isa each year to play with us and she ALWAYS has projects from the previous year all finished ... plus a few extras! ... to share during show and tell. I didn't get a good pic of their shirts, but they showed the swaps and changes that we had with the date for this stitching event thanks to our 'wonderful' past prime ministers.

Throughout the weekend, the lovely designers shared lots of tips, tricks and mini-demonstrations. Everyone was enthralled and listening closely ... or were they?!?!?

The Fabulous Fiona of Bubz Rugz ... it's always the quiet ones you have to watch out for! :0 There's one on every table, isn't there?! :0) ) Or in our case ...

... perhaps there were TWO!!! :0) My Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette decided her stitched swirls looked a little like a moustache. Are you guessing which table we're talking about here??

Yep ... Table Two AKA "The Naughty Table!" :0) Here we are in all our glory ... though, to be fair ... Lyn on the left was lovely and quiet, stitching away while the mayhem went on around her! :0) That's Toni holding our table number. We had a wonderful time of catching up, chatting, being spoilt and LAUGHING!! Oh ... and apparently some people STITCHED! :0)

A HUGE thank you to Marion and Steph and their band of merry helpers, the clever-clogs designers Rosie, Deb and Ella, to all the lovely ladies who joined in the chatting and laughing. It was so much fun to catch up with some of the gals I'd met at previous Stitchers Dream Days and Girls' Stitch In, not to mention blogging buddies ... Hi Cheryl and Lynda! :0) If you haven't managed to attend one of the Quilters Angel's special stitching events, I would HIGHLY recommend that you do!! You not only enjoy a relaxing day with great company, you get SPOILT!!! :0) I can give you a little whisper about next year ... Christmas is coming early next year ... in April!! I'll share more details with you once they're finalised ... promise!! :0)

And now ... we're all catching up on some sleep and getting ready for this coming weekend when Creative Fields kicks off ... pop over to the Quilters Angel to get the details. Anyone would think Marion and Steph have way too much free time! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend and that your week is off to a wonderful start. Til next time ...



Wednesday 11 September 2013

Spring Has Sprung On The 'Hill'!!!

Those of you who visit my blog regularly will know that I HATE cold weather, so I have been over the moon the last few weeks to find the temperatures here on top of our 'hill' have finally been CLIMBING ... YAY!! :0) And this is particularly handy since it's almost Carnival of Flowers time here in the 'Garden City'. (September 21 & 22 is the weekend when most activities happen).

The retirement village where I work has once again been entered in the garden competition and my boss's green-thumb wife and our two maintenance blokes have been hard at work to get the gardens ready for judging. I'm a wee bit biased ... but I happen to think that, not only do the gardens look fabulous all year round, I think they look particularly gorgeous just at the moment, so I thought I'd share a few pics with you ... share a little bit of spring to see what you think.

The irises near the large pond have been showing off ... there are so many shades of purple flashing around amidst lush green.

The clivias add bright orange splashes in shady spots ...

... the poppies are waving their gelati-coloured petals in the breeze ...

... pretty statues hide amongst the foliage ...

... don't you love the deep purple of the violets against the deep green of their leaves? And this chooky always makes me smile ... a bit like another Chooky I can think of ! :0)

... and a few unexpected little surprises in shady corners ... love these ceramic mushrooms!!

... a rustic wheelbarrow holds a woven basketful of flowers underneath the ornamental peach tree. (at least ... I THINK that's what that tree is!! Whatever it's called, it's PRETTY! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

... those blossoms are  so pretty that I HAD to take a close up pic of them ... soft pink against blue sky ... very shabby chic! :0)

And again with a ray of warm spring sunshine beaming through the branches! I'm sure you'll agree that I'm VERY spoilt to work amidst these lovely gardens ... I keep joking that one day they're going to find me knocked out on the ground because I've been so busy looking at the gardens and the scenery that I'll bump into a tree or pole and knock myself silly! Er ... Silly-ER perhaps! Tee! Hee! Hee! If you're within a day-trip drive of Toowoomba, I'd HIGHLY recommend you hit the road to visit during the Carnival period ... and of course, if you DO ... give me a shout and we'll catch up for a cuppa ... or a stroll in the gardens! :0)

But before Carnival weekend, there's STITCHER'S DREAM DAY OUT weekend!! We're all counting down ... perhaps for different reasons! :0) Marion and Steph are madly finalising everything to spoil the stitchers counting sleeps to see how much time they have left to get it all done. And my mad mates and I are counting sleeps til we get to PLAY!!! WOO! HOO!! :0)

Apart from that ... not much stitching happening cos I've sprained my wrist lifting a monster pot plant ... BUGGER! Ah well ... next week. For now, I have to shovel out the house in preparation for visitors ... EEP! Is there a "Housework Hotline" that I can call for housework emergencies?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Whatever you're up to, I hope you're having a fabulous week and enjoying the show nature is putting on for you ... be it spring or autumn! :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday 4 September 2013

Hopping With Excitement!!!

Lots of happy 'hoppy dancing' happening here this week ... for a couple of reasons ... let me share! :0)

The first reason for 'hoppy dancing' was the completion of my 'wabbit' I mentioned last post as my August OPAM finish. Do you remember earlier this year I showed you THIS cutie that I'd made?

This little Tilda bunny was made from "Crafting Springtime Gifts" and she is now sitting up at Quilters Angel greeting visitors and tempting them to buy some of the yummy Tilda fabrics Marion and Steph have in stock. Well ... I decided I would like to make another version of this bunny. She was fairly quick and simple to make ... though this time round, I DID make a couple of changes to make things go a bit smoother ... you know me ... can't just make up a pattern without putting my own variations in it! :0) The result was ...

Ta da! A spring time bunny to sit on our dining table. I love how she turned out ... I particularly like her dotty pants and hat. :0) Perhaps that can be her name ... Dotty the Dining Bunny! :0)

So ... that was reason number one for my "Hoppy" dance. Reason two ... it's just over a week until ...


I've booked my seat and am looking forward to loads of stitching, chatting, eating yummy food, giveaways, prizes, competitions, meeting fellow-designers ... OK ... maybe not LOADS of stitching, but loads of the other things! Tee! Hee! Hee! This year's guest designers are Rosalie Quinlan, Debbie McGee and Ella Madsen and Marion and Steph always spoil us silly ... let's face it ... who DOESN'T love to be SPOILT! :0) 

This year I'm even MORE excited about Stitchers Dream Day coming up because I'm going to be spoilt even more cos I'm sharing the time with fantastic friends!! Those of you who've been popping in to visit me for a while know that my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette and I always enjoy this fun event ...

This was a couple of years ago ... and neither of  us have changed a bit! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hmmm ... actually ... I think we've swapped hair colours! :0) Then ... last year, my Dancing-Buddy Lynda joined us ...

... and we had even MORE fun! :0) Well ... THIS year, I have ANOTHER friend joining us on the "Naughty Table". Tee! Hee! Hee!

Looks like she's got a head start on the silliness, doesn't it?! :0) My blogging buddy Toni is coming to play, too ... I am just SOOOOOOO excited that I can hardly wait!! Mind you ... I've got a LOT to do before then ... EEK! Not enough days in my week!!! Do you want to come and play with the Quirky Quads? If you're VERY quick (in the next day or two!!) and contact Marion and Steph, I happen to know there are a few places left. Let me know if you're coming to play ... I'll be out there helping on the Saturday and 'playing ladies' on the Sunday, so if you're coming, we can catch up for a chat ... you KNOW how I love a good chat! :0) Just 10 more sleeps!!

OK ... I'm done 'Hoppy' dancing for now ... the neighbours are all rushing to stand in doorways to ride out the unexpected earthquake! :0) I think I need a cuppa to recover from my outburst of bouncing excitement. Hope you're all having a fantastic week and that there are some BOUNCE-worthy things happening in your life. :0) Til next time ...



PS OPAM gals ... have you emailed Sweet Peg or me with your finishes?? Random draw almost here, to hurry!!!

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