Saturday 24 May 2014

Scary Steps & A Precious Gift!!

Hello all!! I had intended to be back here a little sooner, but there have been a few scary/exciting things going on in the background of the Meares' Madhouse this last week ... the Madhouse has been a little more manically mad than usual! Tee! Hee! Hee!

You know how in life you cruise along for a while, bumping along nicely, slowly plodding along on the track to "achieving your dreams" and everything is pretty comfortable. Then ... suddenly, something gives you a jolt ... not necessarily a bad jolt ... just enough of a nudge to push you out of your comfortable groove that might become a rut if you're not careful. That's what's happened to my Beloved Geek Boy and I this week, quite out of the blue. It's EXCITING ... and SCARY!! We've taken a giant leap out of our comfortable groove and even if the steps we've taken have to be retraced backwards for a bit, if things don't progress smoothly, we now find ourselves OUT of the groove and needing to take more steps forward ... wherever that might lead us ... EEK!! :0)

So ... why am I telling you this if I'm being all cryptic and mysterious? Well ... I like to keep you all in suspenders! Tee! Hee! Hee! But the main reason is, whichever way we move forward, I might have to be away from my blog for a week or two at a time and just wanted to let you know that I WILL still be checking in and I will still be working with my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg to run OPAM, I'll still be lurking around blogland to visit you all ... I just might not have as much of a chance to sew and design for a while, so I might not have a lot to share with you. BUT ... I hope you'll stick with me, cos like ol' Arnie

  ... "I'LL BE BAAAACK!!" :0) 

And I'll share a bit more about our big changes when I can ... promise. :0)

So ... no sewing projects to share this week, but I wanted to share with you a precious gift that I received recently. Those of you who have been popping in to visit me for a while now will be familiar with my lovely dancing buddy Lynda ...

You may also recall me mentioning a little while ago that Lynda lost her much-loved 99 year old Nan a couple of months ago. Well ... it seems Lynda used to share stories of our adventures with her Nan and when Nan was deciding on homes for some of her special treasures (she had terminal cancer, so had a little time to make these decisions), she specially chose a precious gift that she asked Lynda to pass on to me. I was so touched when Lynda gave me Nan's gift. Lynda had obviously told her lots about me ... uh oh! :0) In the package from Nan, I found ...

... A GORGEOUS china trio!! Isn't it PRETTY!! I hadn't seen this design before, I think it's called "Blossom Time" and it just reminds me so much of spring here on top of our 'hill' in the Garden City. Oh how special it made me feel to unwrap it from it's nest and display it on my dining room table ... I confess there was a tear or two, as well. Lynda said her Nan told her often how lucky she was to have good friends (Debbie D makes up our dancing trio). Personally, I think I got a pretty good deal ... not only do I have a gorgeous addition to my tea cup obsession ... er ... COLLECTION ... I have the most precious gift of all ... a loyal and loving friend ... in the gorgeous Lynda. Big Bear Hugs to you, Lynda!!

So ... that's a little update from the Meares' Madhouse. I'd better sign off and go tackle my very LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG list of chores and jobs. Have you ever noticed that dreams don't just happen ... we have to be willing to take a leap of faith towards them, then work like crazy to make it happen. :0) Hope your weekend includes a few wishes and dreams moving a little closer. Til next time ...



Sunday 18 May 2014

MIA & Mothers' Day!!

Here I am!! Did you miss me?! I know some of you did, cos I had lovely emails and phone calls from a few of you checking to make sure I was OK, since I'd been absent from blogland for a little while. How lovely to have people who care enough to check up on me! :0)

I know it's been a couple of weeks since I popped in to say G'day, but it sure doesn't seem that long ... the year is just flying past, isn't it?!! So, what have I been up to? Sadly, not much stitching. :0(  But ... there has been some good stuff happening.

Firstly, my 'grown up' job has been pretty busy lately ... lots happening and a boss having to be out of the office a lot, so yours truly has been holding the fort a bit more ... hope it's not like the old westerns when the Indians come roaring over the hill to sack the fort ... EEK! :0) So all of that has led to some longer hours and less time to stitch or blog ... but I have been doing a little bit of lurking around to see what everyone's been up to.

The other thing that took me away from the computer was a short beach break. Both GB and I are pretty busy at work and unable to take a longer break at the moment (plus the budget is shaking it's head vigorously!!) but we decided to take a four day weekend. We were craving some salt air in our nose and sand between our toes, so northwards to Bargara we went. Since my Grandma lives at Bargara, it was kind of a two-birds-one-stone thing ... though no birdies were hurt in any way! :0) Wanna see the view we enjoyed for four days??

Tough to take, right?! :0) And you can see how I spent a lot of my time ... a cup of tea ... or two or three ... a tasty piece of my Mum's fruit slice and my trusty iPad to read and relax to the rhythm of the pounding waves. Aaaahh ... BLISS! :0)

And because Bargara is only two and a bit hours from Mundubbera ... and it was the Mothers' Day weekend ... my folks joined us, which was great. As well as a fun catch up, we all celebrated Mothers' Day together with a casual lunch out with Grandma.

Here's Grandma holding part of her Mothers' Day giftie ... some beautiful pink roses. She looks pretty good for 91, don't you think? And I think Mum looks pretty good for her age too ... though we were a bit windblown that day. ;0) Add another one to the mix ...

... and you have three generations. We had a lovely time catching up with Grandma and Mum and Dad ... in fact, we really didn't want to come home ... did I mention it was WARM?! :0) But, we had to be grown ups and come back to work ... SIGH!!!

And this weekend when I had big plans to have a bit of a tidy up in my sewing room (I know ... radical behaviour for someone who operates in creative chaos! :0) ) but ... my back had other ideas ... EEK! A pinched nerve in my lower back has seen me hobbling around cautiously and spending a lot of quality time with my heat pack staying horizontal ... see ... even the IDEA of housework is bad for you! :0) My back has been a little less painful today, so hopefully ... if I behave myself for a bit longer ... I'll be back on my feet and playing catch up this week. Who knows ... I might even get to do some sewing ... fingers crossed! :0)

Hope all of you are keeping well and that your weekend has been relaxing. I'm hoping I'll be back to chat with you again in a few days to share a lovely gift I received, but in the meantime, I'm off to play Polly and put the kettle on for a cuppa before I go and reheat my heat pack again ... aah ... my warm and comforting friend. :0) Til next time ...



Sunday 4 May 2014

Freezing Cold & Furniture!

Here I am, reporting in from the South Pole!! Well ... that's what it FEELS like! SIGH!!! it's not even a week into May, the last month of autumn and winter has queue-jumped a few weeks to show up early ... how RUDE! It got down to about 2 degrees Celsius overnight here on top of our 'hill'. The gas heater has been hauled out of storage into the lounge room and fired up. My Beloved Geek Boy and I are considering moving into the lounge room and living in a doona-and-lounge-chair cubby until spring shows up! Don't laugh ... we might just do it! :0)

Add to the nasty cold temperatures some horrible gale-force winds and you can imagine that two hot-weather-ducks are NOT happy. About the only plus that we've come up with (besides a really good excuse to dag around in jeans, pullover and ugg boots!) is that the horrible winds are preventing small planes from doing to much taking off and landing. Air noise isn't usually a concern for us, but there was a classic air event planned for today and that always brings out the Snoopy in me ...

Curse you, Red Baron!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

GB and I have made ONE foray out into the cold, though. We bundled up and set out on a special mission. Do you remember almost 12 months ago, I told you we were renovating our dining room? 

We covered up these weatherboards (our dining room was once upon a time a covered verandah thingy housing the outdoor loo ... happy to say there's indoor plumbing these days!!) and we painted. Then things went on hold while we saved our pennies to have new vinyl laid ... THAT was a drama and a half!! I haven't shared any pics of that, as we had been trying to get the flooring company to replace faulty vinyl ... with no success to date ... GRRR! Don't you hate it when you pay 'professionals' to do a job and it's shoddy?! If you're buying vinyl or carpet in Toowoomba, ask me which business to AVOID!!! But ... moving on ... I shared with you pics when we refurbished our 'new' dining table ...

... from this to rescued beauty ...

... to this ravishing refurbishment. Aaaaaahhh! And ...Aargh!! You can see the old dining room vinyl there ... I'd forgotten how dark it looked. So we had a lovely French-style dining table ... but no chairs. Here, I have to confess that when it comes to dining, GB and I are of the non-conformist, bohemian school of dining ... ie. we're lazy slugs who eat in the lounge room, balancing our plates on our knees! :0) We really only use the table when we have guests ... or my Mum and Dad are here. ;0) But ... I had a plan ... and after squirreling away some Christmas and birthday money, I put in an order for some chairs ... which after much anticipation, came home yesterday ... wanna see???

Ta Da! One French-inspired chair! Can I say, these chairs weren't overly expensive, were made locally AND ... they're really comfy to sit on! The stain on the seat and back are a very close match to the table top, which is great and they're good and sturdy. We've been using fold-up director's chairs as dining chairs for years after our 'proper' dining chairs fell apart due to their bad design not surviving the normal wear and tear of use. Do you see that lovely fresh black and white checker board vinyl? We're loving the look and the way it works with the room ... shame about a couple of flaws that the company won't acknowledge or do anything about AND the damage done to the freshly painted walls during the installation ... GRRRR!!

Two new chairs gracing the dining room. I love how they look. We only ordered two at this point due to budgetary constraints and being uncertain whether four chairs would make our small walk-through dining room too cluttered ... they are a standard item for the company where I had them made, so we can always get more in the future, but ... I'm still considering the possibilities. I'm thinking I might stick with the two and add something like this ...

I'm thinking I'll get two or four of these, paint them white and have them folded up on hand for extra seating ... or to just look pretty! :0)

The dining room isn't completely finished yet ... there still needs to be some skirting board put in place (that's been on hold while we see if the flooring company would fix the problems they left us with ... GRRR!) and I'm still on the look out for nice wall art ... I'm sticking with black and white to match the flooring, maybe with a pop of red, as red is the accent colour in the lounge room and kitchen that adjoins the dining room and carrying through a bit of a French theme. I'm also thinking of a cafe curtain/drape/swag to soften the look of the timber blind on the window ... I have something in mind for that, just have to wait til it's available, but I promise to share. I LOVE to decorate and make our house a welcoming, cosy space to hang out and relax ... if only I didn't have champagne tastes on a mineral water budget! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... that's about all that's happening for us here at the 'fridge on the ridge' as Toowoomba gets called. It's climbed to a massive 13 degrees here now ... SHEESH! I am NOT looking forward to winter really arriving, if this is what autumn is like!!! Hope you're all enjoying your weekend ... OPAMers ... Sweet Peg and I have done our blog hopping, but you still have a day to email finishes through to one of us to go on the spreadsheet before Sweet Peg does the prize draw ... remember to always check in with BOTH of us, as we take turn about ... and check back over past winner announcements, cos there's a few gals who haven't emailed snail mail addresses to have their prizes sent.

OK ... I'm off to have a mug of something yummy and warm to fortify me for a trip outside to hang the washing ... BRRRR!! Mind you ... with the gale force winds, I may be picking up my sheets and towels in Brisbane ... Toni ... keep an eye out! Tee! Hee! Hee! Then, I think I'm curling up in front of the heater with some stitching and a DVD ... hmmm ... Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Death In Paradise, Midsomer Murders ... so many favourites to choose from! :0) Til next time ...

(Aaaah ... the fun you can have with Photoshop effects! :0) )



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