Saturday 28 November 2015

AAAAAAHHH!!! Summer!!

I know it's still two days away, but the weather feels like it's here already ... AAAAAAAHHH!!!! SUMMER!!! Why do I love it? Let me count the ways ...

Temperatures climb into the mid 20's-30's and this hot-weather gal LOVES IT!! :0)

Light, floaty skirts and tops replace the jumpers and layers of winter.

Crispy fresh salads are JUST RIGHT.

It's almost time for a couple of weeks' break from work.

Lots of parties and catching up with family and friends! :0)

All my fave fruits are ready to be enjoyed ... like ...

PEACHES!! These beauties are from one of our loaded trees ...

MMMMMMMMMM !!! They're so juicy and delicious. And the second peach tree, nectarine tree and plum tree are all loaded this year too. YUMMO!!  Yep ... I sure do LOOOOOOVE Summer! :0)

Til next time ...



Friday 27 November 2015

Secret Squirrel Stuff On Sleigh!!

WOO! HOO!! Ring the bells! Light the Christmas Tree! Not because it's nearly Christmas ... cos this ostrich still has her head firmly in the sand about the "C" word!! I'm celebrating cos for the first time EVER my SSCS parcel is on Santa's Sleigh (or at least Australia Post's truck!!) on the VERY FIRST DAY of mailing!!

Are you impressed?! I sure am! :0) Chookyblue has probably fainted in shock, cos usually (and I've been involved in all SSCS's bar the first one!) I'm one of the recalictrent swappers bringing up the rear to get my parcel posted and Chooky has to crack her whip at me. WHEW!! What a relief! One thing crossed off my overflowing "To Do" list. :0)

Actually, I've had a pretty productive couple of weeks here at the Meares' Madhouse ... I've been able to stay home on my Friday's off for the last two weeks and it's amazing what you can acheive when you actually get to sit down at the sewing machine. :0) Now, a lot of it is still Secret Squirrel "C" word stuff that I can't show you yet, but I CAN show you a couple of cuties that I've finished.

Two little needlecases ... and I do mean LITTLE! They're about 2"x3" when they're folded up like this, so a really handy size to pop in your sewing pouch. And opened up ...

A doubled flap of lovely wool felt that is large enough to pop a couple of needles, some pins, a safety pin and I reckon you could pop in a card of embroidery thread, too. In fact, I think you could probably tack a couple of spare buttons to the felt and wind lengths of a few different coloured sewing thread around a thread card to pop in ... keep it in your handbag or suitcase as an emergency sewing kit. The best part is, they take hardly any fabric to make ... two 7" squares of fabic plus a square of wadding or pellon. I'm making a ridiculously large number of these to use as gifties ... if I ever pull my head out of the sand to deal with the fast-approaching "C" word! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... a good number of finishes going on my OPAM list for November ... THANK GOODNESS!! Last month was dismal. :0) And that's the good thing about OPAM ... it doesn't matter if you finish one project, 50 projecst (honestly! When do you people sleep?!?! :0) ) or no projects in a month ... if you've scheduled a little bit of "ME" time to be creative, to make some progress or be inspired, then that's A-OK. Which reminds me ... OPAMers ... only a few days left of November, so update those sidebar lists and email your tally through to me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg ... or Moo Moo as she is known to her new favourite little person! :0)

Right ... I'm off to find a nice, tall, cool drink before I hit the sewing machine again. Temps here are set to hit 36 degrees today ... and while others are grumbling about it being "Stinking Hot" I've decided it's "A Little Warm" today ... yes ... I am such a hot weather gal! Tee! Hee! Hee! Whatever you're up to today, stay safe, stay thankful, stay creative ... Til next time ...



Sunday 22 November 2015

Secret Sqirrel Stitching & Treasures!!

Hello to all in blogland from a heatwavy top of the 'hill' ... not that I'm complaining overly about the heat, you understand ... I'm a hot weather chick, so not actually feeling it too much cos I would much rather be a wee bit hot than shivering in the cold. Mind you ... I think my washing dried on the line in record time today. :0)

Somehow another week has snuck past me and I'm not sure where it went, but at least this week I did manage some time at my sewing machine. The problem is ... I've been working on Secret Squirrel Stitching for my SSCS projects and weilder of the whip, Ms Chookyblue would crack that whip at me if I showed you ... one of those "S" stands for SECRET you see. :0) But I can tell you it will be nice to put an actual number beside November in my OPAM list of finishes.

So ... since I can't show you any sewing pics (I'm scared of Chookyblue! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I thought I'd share a few pics with you of a couple of new-to-me treasures that have joined my growing eclectic collection in the last couple of weeks. If you've been popping in here for a while now, you'll know that I LOOOOOOOVE pretty china and collect all sorts of vintage goodies, from teapots to trio sets, cake plates to depression glass ... if it's pretty and catches my eye ... and doesn't break the budget!! ... it follows me home. :0)

My first new treasure came home with me the other day when I went in search of a birthday giftie for my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette. She's like me and collects all sorts of vintage pretties ... alas! I didn't find anything that had her name on it ... but I DID find something that followed me home. :0)

Isn't this pretty?!! It's a lovely Johnson Brothers sandwich plate that I fell in love with. The garden scene is just so pretty and peaceful. I love the creamy background colour, too, which really makes those pretty garden colours pop. I have a few nice Johnson Brothers pieces now ... while I don't actually collect specific names brands. Johnson Brothers seem to have made quite a few pretties that I fall in love with. :0)

This second little treasure is just so sweet! It was gifted to me by a lovely lady who has just moved into the retirement village where I work. In conversation I mentioned that I collect vintage pretties and one day soon after, she popped into my office and said she'd found this while unpacking her things and since she was downsizing, didn't want to keep it and thought I might like to adopt it ...

Isn't it pretty!! It is such a delicate little dish ... I'm not even sure what it would have originally been designed as. It is a Limoges piece ... from the makers mark I've worked out that it was made before 1930 but that's about all I could find through Mr Google. Anyone out there know their Limoges?? I'd love some hints. :0)

It balances on three gold decorative legs to sit it up off the table. Perhaps it was a sweetie dish?? I can see it houseing some pretty rock candy or perhaps cubes of sugar for tea parties ... I wonder ...! :0) I think the inside design is too pretty to cover up, so it will just sit and be pretty for now.

I just love their pretty colours! So cheerful! It's always fun to add to my collection and each piece has a story to tell. Do you collect something special? Post some pics of your pretties and let me know so I can pop over for a visit. :0)

But right now, I hear the siren's call of my pillow, singing to me of sleep and dreams, so I'd better sign off for now. I hope your weekend is off to a fantastic start and that whatever you're up to, you've scheduled some time for some fun stuff. Til next time ...



Saturday 14 November 2015

Crazy-Busy Week & Ostriches!!

Hello to you all in blogland! I hope you're all enjoying your weekend so far. I'd love to say I'm sitting back with my feet up, watching a movie whilst doing some relaxing stitching ... but I'd be lying! :0) It's been a crazy-busy week (is there any other kind?!?!) and the ol "To Do" list is building towards eruption point, so my goal this weekend is to cross at least a couple of things off ... hmmm ... not much progress yet!! :0) And since the progress that I HAVE made is Secret Squirrel stuff, let me tell you about my week. :0)

There's been heaps happening at my 'grown up' job lately ... we're down a staff member and three of us are like little duckies ... paddling madly behind the scenes to keep it all running smoothly, whilst maintaining outward calm. QUACK! :0) But this week held a particular highlight for me ... A visit from the QLD Police Pipes and Drums. Yes ... the pipes, the pipes were calling! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Not a great pic, as the red canvas from the marquee gave everything an unhealthy red tinge, but you can see they were in performance mode. We tapped our feet along to such favourites as "Scotland The Brave", "Black Bear", "The Skyboat Song" and "Amazing Grace" ... and it did this Celtic gal good to hear the pipes echoing around our village green. :0) And can I tell you ... my Dad had a grin from ear to ear for the whole day. :0)

But perhaps the best part of their visit came after their concert. You see, they were visiting us on November 10 ... a day before Remembrance Day ... so we took the opportunity to organise our own special mini-Remembrance Day service to pay our respects to all who have served our country in war time and peace-keeping efforts, the service men and women who returned and those who paid the ultimate price and never came home.

One of our residents, a returned serviceman, read three versions of "The Ode", representing Army, Navy and Airforce. Lest We Forget.

... Before Pipe Major Pat Murphy played the traditional Scottish lament "Flowers Of The Forest" as the flag was lowered to half mast.

Afterwards, there was a lunch and time to chat to band members ...

Drum Sergeant Yvonne and Pipe Major Pat (much yummier than Postman Pat! Tee! Hee! Hee!) pictured with Len who recited The Ode ...

Yvonne with Dad and Mum ... see what I mean about Dad's grin? He DOES love his bagpipes! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And you just KNEW that I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to have my photo taken with a cute Scotsman in a kilt, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! This was Jordy ... I could've listened to his accent all day! :0)

This was the fourth time the QLD Police Pipes and Drums have visited us at Highfields and not only do they always put on a fantastic concert, they are very generous with their time answering questions and chatting to residents afterwards. And I heard from many members that they love to visit us, too. For some, it's because the gardens and Village green, and the warm welcome make for a nice visit ... but I have it on good authority that the reason most of the guys like to visit ... is the food! Tee! Hee! Hee! BOYS!!! :0)

So ... add in trying to get the usual household chores done in between frequent storms (full water tanks - YAY!!), running errands and trying to get some stitching time in, I'm sure you'll understand why I stick my fingers in my ears and sing "La, la, la, la ... not listening!!" every time someone mentions the "C" word ... CHRISTMAS!! EEK!! I am SOOOOOO not ready for it to be mid-November! However ... since I've once again signed up for ...

... I can't afford to procrastinate too much longer!! So tomorrow I have to stop being an ostrich, pull my head out of the Christmas sand and get stitching. What a shame ... I'll just have to ignore the rest of the housework! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Whatevre you're up to this weekend, whether you're a Christmas Elf like my bloggy buddy Kerryanne or a Christmas Ostrich like me, I hope you're able to take some time out to relax and be creative. Ooh! Speaking of my Christmas Elf Buddy Kerryanne ... have you been following along with her for ...

If not, make yourself a cuppa, grap a pen and paper and pop over for a visit to get yourself organised for Christmas. I think I'm a bit of a lost cause in getting Christmas organised ... but Kerryanne loves me anyways! Tee! Hee! Hee!

 Til next time ...



Sunday 8 November 2015

YAY! A Finish & October's OPAM Winners!

G'day all! How's everyone travelling? Have you had a great weekend? I certainly have ... if only the weekenda lasted longer! :0)

A mini-retreat with the gals from our Friday Night Sit N Sew group meant not only yummy food, lots of chatting and lots of laughs, it also meant quite a lot of stitching accomplished ... including a ... FINISH!!! YAY!! With no finishes last month (but lots of starts!! I'm a serial starter! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Friday morning was all about prep ...

... sewing the binding on so I could sit, chat and stitch away easily. A couple of hours later ...

TA! DA! The quilt for my brother's number 2 son is FINISHED! Well ... except for the label. :0) I'm pretty chuffed with how it's come together.

LOVE the combi van and VW Beetle. (stay tuned for two new quilt designs showcasing these cuties!!)

The Fabulous Fiona has worked her quilting magic on these sweet boy quilt ... I hope you can see the fun squiggles and wriggly lines she's quilted that complement the simple design without overwhelming it or taking the attention from the applique. THANK YOU FIONA!! She really is my Quilting Magician! :0)

It was given the paw of approval from a couple of furry buccaneers as a swag ...

... and tested for sitting comfort by Jimmy and Rupert Bear. All gave it a tick, so it's just a case of attaching the label and working out how/when to get it to the nephew in Melbourne. :0) Nice to add it as a finish for my November list, too.

And speaking of finishes ... It's that time again where my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg and I have been blown away once again by just how clever and prolific you clever-clogs OPAM gals are! :0) We've tallied up the emails you sent us (thank you to everyone who emails ... it is a BIG help to us!) and we've blog-hopped to catch everyone else's finishes. I DID find a few that haven't been updated for a while ... and a few that blogs have closed. PLEASE ... if you're closing your blog, can you let one of us know so we save a little time in our hopping.

Congratulations to all of you again this month! There were 316 finishes for October! WOO! HOO! Well done to everyone who can claim part of that tally. And to those of you who (like me!!) were working on longer term projects, don't feel dejected ... if you took some time to advance your project/s, if you took a little time out of your busy schedule to stop and do something creative, if you took a little time to nourish your soul with beauty and creativity ... even if it was a ten minute break with a cuppa to cruise Pinterest! ... then well done to you too. Remember to recharge your batteries and take care of yourself ... you can't keep giving out if you aren't topping up your inner reserves. Plus ... we all need regular doses of "PRETTY"!! :0)

Righto ... to the prize draw, Batman! :0) The October winners are ...


Well done gals!! Drop me an email with your snail mail address and I'll pop a little something in the mail for you.

And I think that's about it from me for now. I'm off to think about what we're having for dinner, then maybe a little bit more stitching ... cos I'm not sure I've done enough this weekend! :0) I hope you all have a fantastic week and manage to squeeze in time to be creative. Til next time ...



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