Sunday 30 November 2014

Quick Catch-Up & OPAM Reminder!

G'day all! How has your week/weekend been? We've had a bit of a revolving door here at Edward House over the last couple of weeks, so we've been kept a-hoppin'. :0)

My folks were here for a 10 day visit ... it was lovely to have them just come and VISIT, rather than their last two trips down here where they were helping us get our old house ready to sell and then move lock-stock-and-barrel into our current country abode. This trip, they could relax, do some Christmas shopping, visit with friends and enjoy our 'serenity'. :0)

Mum and Dad left Thursday and my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette arrived Friday night with her bag packed for a weekend sleep-over play date ... WOO! HOO!! We've had a lovely weekend of second-hand-shop-hopping, antique inspecting, boutique browsing, coffee shop comparing. market meandering, scenic driving ... and in general, enjoying a catch-up of epic proportions ... both husbands are shuddering  in the aftermath! Tee! Hee! Hee! And when we'd shopped til we dropped, we retreated to the back deck of Edward House, the ideal spot to enjoy the 'serenity' in the afternoon cool ...

You can see that we've rather mastered the art of "Deck Sitting". Tee! Hee! Hee! Comfy chairs, cups of tea and somewhere to put your shopping-tired feet up to watch the afternoon bird brigade as they visit the duo of birdbaths in the back garden. It's been a lovely weekend of friendship. :0)

Now, even though there hasn't been any sewing during the last couple of weeks, I was a busy bee before that to get my SSCS gifties all finished and in the post ... WOO! HOO! I think it's the first time ever that I was ON TIME. :0) Thanks Chookyblue for being the Hostess With The Mostest again this year. Chooky isn't having an easy time of things at the moment thanks to the extended dry and some poor hungry stock. Pop over and help cheer her up a bit. :0)

So ... As a result of my SSCS sewing frenzy, I had EIGHT ... count 'em! ... EIGHT! ... finishes on my OPAM list for November ... my best tally all year! :0) How have the rest of you super-stitchers been travelling? Have you been madly stitching to help Santa and his elves? :0) Whatever you've been up to ... it's time to update your tally list in your sidebar and email me or my Gorgeous Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg. Quick Sticks! What are you waiting for ... get emailing and updating! :0)

Right now, though, I'm off to have my last cuppa for the weekend before I hit the pillow ... it's EXHAUSTING doing all this RELAXING, you know! Tee! Hee! Hee! Have a fantastic week, everyone! Til next time ...



Wednesday 19 November 2014

Sweetly Shabby Christmas Winners!!

What a busy week I've been having! Firstly, an update on the "Big Bang" sewing machine dilemma. After telling you my adventures with my exploding Husky, imagine how rattled my poor nerves were when it happened a SECOND time with a SECOND sewing machine!! EEK!

I was recently given an old Singer sewing machine and when I thought my Husky had a terminal illness, I dragged it out to see how it went ... I had barely started sewing, only to have it also go BANG and fill the room with smoke - exactly like my Husky! - EEK! How could the same thing happen TWICE?!?!?! Thankfully, this time, my Beloved Geek Boy was on hand to witness it. Being the "Mr Fixit" type he put his electronic testing equipment to use  ... and worked out there was nothing wrong with the machines ... WHAT THE?!?! It turned out to be a dodgy power board causing surges. Goodness knows where all the smoke and melty smells came from with both machines, but BOTH were still in working order ... WOO! HOO! I'll book my Husky baby in to see the machine Dr for a check up, but for now, she's happily sewing away and my SSCS gifties are almost ready to hit Santa's sleigh! One of life's many mysteries. :0)

So ... I've been playing with my little stash of these fabrics ...

... some Scandinavian Christmas fabrics the lovely Lynette Anderson sent me to play with a few years ago ... so there's been lots of Secret Squirrel stitching going on to keep me busy ... and my folks have arrived for a bit of a visit. It will be lovely for them to have a relaxing week or so's visit with us, as their last two visits have seen them helping us de-clutter and prepare our old house for sale and then move into our new house. Both times they went home for a rest! :0) This time, they get to enjoy our 'serenity' ... out here at our new house you can smell the serenity! Tee! Hee! Hee! (Aussie movie reference!)

And of course, I've been meeting some new blogging friends who popped in for a visit after enjoying my guest post over at Kerryanne's shabby chic sandpit HERE.

Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments and feedback about my "Sweetly Shabby Christmas Stocking". It's great to know lots of people are going to have fun playing with my design for Christmas. :0) Now ... I promised two lovely visitors to both of our blogs would receive a PDF copy of my "Sweetly Shabby Christmas" pattern that features several Shabby Chic Christmas projects featuring soft pretty colours and some mix 'n' match Christmas stitcheries. Well ... those winners are ...

Congratulations, gals! Just drop me an email to let me know your preferred email address for me to send your prize patterns through to you! :0)

And even if you weren't' one of the winners, you can get your own copy of my fun, pretty Christmassy pattern on my web site HERE. It's available as a paper pattern packet and as a downloadable e-pattern. It's great value for money, as not only do you receive instructions for THREE Christmas projects, it incorporates several easily-adapted stitchery designs that you can use in all sorts of ways. Hope you all have as much fun with it as I have! :0)

Now, I'm off to play Polly before I go and spend some quality time with my Husky ... gotta finish those SSCS gifties or Chooky will be after me with her whip! :0). Hope everyone is having a great week so far and managing some fun sewing time. Til next time ...



Saturday 15 November 2014

It Went BANG!!!!!

Imagine the scene ... there I was, sitting in front of my sewing machine, putting in the last pin before attaching the binding to another version of my Sweetly Shabby Christmas Stocking when ...


I nearly fell right off my chair!! That nasty loud noise had come from right beside me, though I had no idea WHY or from WHERE EXACTLY??? Then ... smoke started pouring out of my beloved Husky ... OH NO!! After that initial moment, where in cartoons you would hear crickets chirping, I dived for the power point to turn off the power, then hauled butt ... and machine!! ... out the handily-close French doors, placed my smoking and now-suspect baby on the deck and backed away quickly. I'm not really sure what I thought it was going to do next, but I thought it might be WORSE, so was obviously not taking any chances! :0)

SIGH!!! It seems my Husky is not happy. (You THINK!?!?!?! )

Here's my baby in happier days in my old sewing room. SIGH!! My Husky and I have travelled around a great part of Australia together over the last 24 years and I'd really hate to lose her this way ... I shall be making an appointment for her with the sewing machine doctor when next he visits my Home-Away-From-Home to see if he can perform life-saving surgery that won't cost me an arm and a leg.

In the meantime ... I have to work out how I'm going to finish the sewing I need to do on my SSCS gifties (90% finished and needing to be mailed this week - EEK! ). But first, I think I'll just have a little sit down and perhaps a cold drink to soothe my poor frazzled nerves.

Hope your weekend is off to a much less dramatic start. If you're in the parts of Australia that are experiencing this heat wave (even this summer-lovin' chick is feeling the heat a bit today at around 37 degrees and climbing!!) make sure you stay cool, drink lots of water and maybe pop some containers of water out into your garden for the birdies ... I know our resident feathered friends have been making good use of our birdbath today to keep cool ... and I may just join them if it gets much hotter!! :0) Til next time ...



Friday 14 November 2014

Aaaah! Summer's Coming!!

It's 31 degrees C here on top of our 'hill' today heading for a predicted top of 37 ... I've got this handsome bloke singing outside my window ...

(for overseas gals who don't get to enjoy the magpie's song, check out this YouTube recording.)

The TV guide tells me there will be a one-day cricket match on this afternoon and I'm home for the WHOLE day to do some sewing. (well ... after I finish this post ... and have some lunch! :0) )


I know the calendar doesn't tell me it's summer yet, but it sure is FEELING like an Aussie summer day.


But enough gloating for now (sorry to you gals up 'north' who are dreading the approach of winter chills!) :0).

It's taken a little while for me to get back here to share a little decorating update from our new home, "Edward House" with you, but I thought I'd at least share a little of how we're settling in. While most rooms (except for my sewing room and the sleepout which are full of boxes - EEP!) are set up as 'rooms', there's still a LOT of floofing, tizzying, jooshing and fiddling about (all very technical terms there for us decorators! Tee! Hee! Hee!) to be done before everything looks the way I want it to. But really ... that's part of the adventure of moving to a new house, isn't it? And since I have some pretty definite ideas of what I want, I'm just waiting til the right pieces of furniture and accessories come along. I promise to share updates as that happens. ;0)

Now, I shared with you that since moving into a VERY neutrally painted house, I'd discovered that while I love to look at photos of white-on-white, French-inspired, shabby-chic farmhouse styles of decorating ... this colour freak struggles to live with all that lack-of-colour! :0) The biggest struggle for me was our main bedroom. Because this is how our old bedroom was decorated ...

... dark teal walls with white furniture and linens ... our new bedroom ended up looking a little bland, with the white 'bits' against a light taupe wall colour. I know ... all you fans of white and neutral colour decorating (like my blogging buddy Kerryanne) are wondering what the problem is, I really was struggling to find "ME" in the neutrals.

Until I had a brainwave!! (it's OK, I was sitting down at the time so didn't hurt myself! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I remembered my clever-clogs Quilting-Queen the Fabulous Fiona creating a whole-cloth quilt for another friend ... using two queen bed sheets. Hmmm ...!!! So off I went in search of the "RIGHT" colour. It took a while ... apparently "MY" colours aren't "in" at the moment! Grrrr!! Story of my life! But at last I was successful! I bundled up my sheets with some wadding and entrusted it to my quilting guru ... and I was NOT disappointed!!

It's hard to get a good photo of the entire quilt as the colour tends to wash out a bit and the quilting detail can't be seen from a distance ... and it was really meant to be folded back to add a pool of colour at the foot of our bed ... so that's what I've photographed. But first ... let me show you some of Fiona's  GORGEOUS free-motion quilting! Now ... Fiona knows me pretty well, so I just told her to "Go for it!!" with the quilting designs. Can I just say ... "WOW!!"

She quilted a Celtic heart/trinity knot in the centre of the quilt ...

... a border of connected Celtic knots (sorry about the colour in this one - it washed out for some reason) ...

... and some free-hand butterflies to flutter around the quilt. Thank you Fabulous Fiona!! You captured all of the elements that are "ME". How lovely to have a clever-clogs quilter nearby who 'gets' me. :0) Would you like to see how it looks in our bedroom? OK ... I've kept you in suspenders long enough. :0)

Ta Da! I love how it adds that soft, serene sage-green splash to all that neutral and white. And since the top sheet was actually part of a set, there's a fitted sheet to sleep on and pillowcases to add more colour. I'll be adding some more splashes of sage and teal around the bedroom as I find the perfect bits and bobs. I'm also keen to add some more French/Paris touches, but for now, I'm finding that some colour soothes the colour-freak! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And now I'm off to make myself a yummy summer salad to munch for lunch while I start to watch the cricket. Then it will be back to the sewing machine (which is handily still on the dining room table so I can continue to watch the cricket!!) to finish off my ...

... swap gifties, as they have to be mailed next week ... EEK! Thankfully, I'm nearly done. So what are you up to today ... enjoying some summery heat or some winter-promising weather? I hope you're enjoying your day as much as I'm enjoying mine. :0) And don't forget to enter my give-away in my last post linking in to the gorgeous Kerryanne's "Simply Christmas" series and my guest post over at Shabby Art Boutique a couple of days ago.

Right ... some home-grown lettuce, tomatoes and herbs are calling me to add some other salad-y goodness to them for lunch, so I'm off. Til next time ...



Wednesday 12 November 2014

Playing In A Friend's Sandbox!

I know I've been a bit MIA again (remember earlier comments about snail-paced internet once our new internet plan downloads run out?! GRRR! ) but I promise I've been a busy little bear. :0)

Now ... I can't show you some of my stitching projects cos they're Secret Squirrel projects, but I do have a very special one to share. You see, I'm playing in a friend's sandbox today, with a guest post over at the lovely Kerryanne's blog Shabby Art Boutique as part of her ...

For the fifth year, Kerryanne is putting the "hand-made and home-baked" back into Christmas ... and she's invited me to play along too ... WOO! HOO! :0) Kerryanne was my very first blogging buddy and I'm blessed to also call her friend in 'real life'. We were even able to meet up for a fun weekend play date along with another blogging buddy, the Lovely Lilly Linda a few years ago. Aaah ... what adventures we had! :0)

So you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to join in the "Simply Christmas" fun with a guest post. And even MORE excited to share a quick, fun, pretty project to help inspire people to approach Christmas creatively this year ...

... by sharing a tutorial to make my Sweetly Shabby Christmas Stocking. This project is simple, quick to make and oh-so-versatile. Make it in traditional Christmassy colours or use some of your fave sweet shabby fabrics like I did. This is the second version I've made and it uses some pretty Tilda fabrics. The original Sweetly Shabby Christmas Stocking was part of a pattern design I released earlier this year ...

Sweetly Shabby Christmas includes instructions to make three fun, sweetly shabby Christmas projects ... a drawstring bauble bag featuring a stitchery, some frills and shabby rosette flowers to keep your precious breakable decorations safely stored; a string of shabby chic bunting which includes some versatile Christmas stitcheries and ... of course! ... the sweetly shabby Christmas stocking to hang on your own mantle for Santa to fill, or to pop surprises in for someone special as a gift this Christmas. This pattern is available as a paper pattern packet, as well as in a downloadable PDF format so you can get stitching quicker. :0)


To help Kerryanne celebrate her "Simply Christmas" series ...

Two lucky Shabby Christmas fans will receive a downloadable copy of my Sweetly Shabby Christmas pattern and it's SOOOOO easy to enter! All you have to do is leave me a comment on THIS post to tell me why you love my Sweetly Shabby Christmas goodies, THEN pop across to say "G'day! Happy Christmas!" to Kerryanne and leave a comment on my GUEST POST at Shabby Art Boutique. Just like Santa, Kerryanne and I will be ... making a list and checking it twice! ... to match comments, then NEXT WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 19 I'll randomly pick two winners ... and two people will get early Christmas gifties! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And while you're checking out Kerryanne's GORGEOUS blog, you really should take the time to enjoy your "Simply Christmas" posts and check out her "Simply Shabbilicious" e-zine, too. She really is an incredibly talented lady, our Miss Kerryanne, so you are sure to come away from your visit with your creative inspiration overflowing! :0) Thanks to Kerryanne, too, for the sweetly shabby digital scrapbook elements for a couple of the pics I'm sharing ... I TOLD you she was creative! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Right ... I'm off to keep a date with my much-neglected pillow. I hope you all enjoy popping over to visit Kerryanne ... I always do! :0) Whether you're in the midst of Christmas preparations ... or being a bit of an ostrich about it, like I am for the most part (six weeks ... EEK!! ) I hope your week is toodling along nicely and that you're taking time out to be creative. Til next time ...



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