Friday 26 February 2016

Playing With Pieces!!

Happy Friday to you all out there in blogland ... although I realise some of my blogging buddies in the northern hemisphere are still getting to grips with Friday! :0) Once again I find my "day off" taken up with "grown up" chores before I get to do any fun stuff, but that's where I'm heading now ... to chop up little pieces of fabric and put them back together again. :0)

With my hitchhiking infection sapping most of my mojo, I hadn't really found the motivation to do much on the stitching/sewing front so far this week ... until I saw something that I just HAD to have a go at! Are you like me? You see a project/block/method shared by someone else and even though it's not your usual track to take ... you just HAVE to have a try to see if you can do it? Or is that just me with my Curiosity-Killed-The-Cat personality?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

My "I wonder if I could do that?" moment came this week whilst scrolling through Facebook. Many of you would be aware of ... may even be participating in ... the Splendid Sampler being hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. There are over 10,000 gals from all over the world linking up for this free sampler quilt and somehow (still not entirely sure how!!) I was invited to be part of the Facebook group where gals are sharing their blocks, sharing tips and asking questions. What a FANTASTIC project this is, not only to give folks a chance to learn new patchwork/piecing/stitching techniques, but also to hook up with like-minded people from all corners of the globe who are all cheering each other along. Big congrats to Pat and Jane  and all the designers involved for achieving this.

Now I know this seems a bit random (no clever comments about random being normal for me, Chookyblue! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and you're still wondering how it links into my sewing this week ... well ... one of this week's blocks was by Melissa Corry

Isn't it cute?! I borrowed this image from the Splendid Sampler page. Now, this block (all the sampler blocks) are 6" finished ... which means LOTS of LITTLE pieces. So I won't be tackling this as a whole. being a bit of a piecing gumby!! :0) ... BUT ... I kept thinking about those pieced hearts until I decided to have a try ... in a much BIGGER version! :0) The result of my fiddling and playing (I didn't look at Melissa's pattern, just sort of nutted out what size pieces I needed) was ...

... a fairly respectable looking pieced heart! :0) I LOVE it!! This will be 7" finished ... no fiddly small bits for this patchwork gumby! :0) Now this was just a try-and-see block, but I'm so happy with it that I'm already planning a project to incorporate it into ... once it has some friends! :0) Thanks for inspiring my starting point for this new project, Melissa! :0) If you haven't yet discovered the Splendid Sampler quilt along then pop over for a peek ... follow the links from the blog to the galleries of finished block photos or to the Facebook page to see the progress ... I dare you to not be inspired! :0)

And speaking of world-wide cheer squads, sewing projects and being inspired ... OPAM gals ... it's almost the end of February ... though you DO get one extra day this year! :0) Please make sure you update your side bar finish lists and email me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg with your January and February tallies. Sweet Peg and I will be doing a double-bunger prize draw in the next week for January AND February ... so make sure you're up to date.

For right now, however, I'm off to get myself another cold drink of water (36 degrees and pretty humid here today!!) and get back to playing with pieces of hearts. :0) What are YOU playing with today?? Til next time ...



Tuesday 23 February 2016

Pillow Talk!!

HELLOOOOOOOO! How are you all this find Tuesday? I'm happy to report that although I'm not 100% recovered from my weekend "BLAH!", I AM feeling a bit better. It seems a naughty little infection has stowed aboard and I'm busily drowing it in cranberry juice and lemon juice. :0)

So, not a lot of action around here, as most of my energy seems to be going into sleeping. :0) BUT ... I DID manage a little bit of weekend sewing.

It all started when some of the YUMMY new Tilda fabrics followed me home from The Quilters Angel on Friday night when I joined my crazy stitching buddies for our Friday Night Sit N Sew. :0)

MMMMMMMMM!!!! So PRETTY!!! :0) There were lots of delicious fabrics in the latest offerings from Tilda to choose from, but these were the four that: a) matched the wall colour of our guest room; and b) I couldn't live without!! Tee! Hee! Hee! So after some measuring, head-scratching ... some more measuring and some more head-scratching!! Oops! :0) ... the result was ...

... a fuzzy-out-of-focus pretty pillow! :0) Obviously the bug I'm fighting affects my ability to take clear, focussed photos! :0) So ... now the guest bed looks like this ...

I'll be making a couple more smaller cushions with those other yummy Tilda fabrics in the future. My idea is that in summer the "Paris Flea Market" patchwork quilt can be folded 'artistically' across the bottom of the bed (tee! hee! hee!) showing the white waffle-weave doona cover, with the full size Tilda pillowcase and a scatter of pretty cushions bringing colour to the top of the bed. One day ...! :0)

Not much else happening here this week, so nice to be able to add at least one item to my OPAM finishes list. OPAMers ... are you remembering to add your finishes to your sidebar lists? Have you remembered to add a list of finishes to your sidebar?! Just checking!! :0) Hope you're all managing to spend some fun time in your sewing caves. I'm off to have a nice cup of tea while I watch Antiques Road Show ... I lead such an exciting life! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...


Friday 19 February 2016

What's On Your Cutting Board??

It's Friday, my 'day off' from my 'grown up' job and the day that I always PLAN to achieve great things in copious numbers ... and it rarely happens! :0) Today was no exception ... I planned to make some progress on my cherry quilt ... BUT ... I've been feeling a bit "OFF". You know ... nothing you can put your finger on, just not full of energy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. So I decided I was better off tackling something a bit more manageable ... and non-thinking. :0)

Before Christmas, I showed you these little cuties ...

Outside and ...

... inside. Cute pocket-size needle keeps. I had big plans to make quite a few of these to pop into my giftie basket ,,, then life interrupted and they weren't finished - Oops! :0) So today I dragged them out of the sewing cupboard ...

... and I had a bit of a production line going. There's around 20 altogether and you can see I'm currently part way through turning them right side out. Tomorrow ... after the 'grown up' chores are tackled - BLECH!! ... I'll press and top-stitch these little cuties, then sew on some buttons and clips. That's the plan, anyways! :0) So what's on YOUR cutting board this Friday?

Now, though, I think I'm going to go find something to dull my headache so I can choof off to Friday Night Sit N Sew tonight to catch up with the gals. I'm not sure there will be much STITCHING involved in my evening, but at least I'll have fabulous company while I feel a little MHEH! :0) Hope you've all had a great week and that your weekend holds lots of fun stuff. :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday 17 February 2016

Play Date Treasures!

Happy Hump Day to all of you out there in blogland! :0) I quite like Wednesdays ... it means I only have one more 'grown up' work day in my week before my weekend starts ... gotta be a good thing, right?! :0)

So last time I popped in, I told you my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette was due to visit for a play date to visit Craft Alive with me. I also promised to try to remember to take photos ... OOPS! :0) Bad blogger! Tee! Hee! Hee! Lynette and I did have a lovely play date and although our time was limited, I think we crammed in the important things ... a craft show, visits to antique shops, lunch, coffee, adult beverages whilst reviving the ancient art of deck-sitting and lots of chatting and giggling.

And although I forgot to take photos of us during our adventures, I thought I'd pop in and share some photos of the treasures I found during out antique shop hopping. And both of us did indeed find some treasures ... you know where you have a run of being in the right place at the right time? That was us on the weekend ... wanna see?? :0)

First find was this pale minty green cake stand. Now ... before you wonder if I've lost the plot ... I know this isn't an antique or collectible and it's got a few little chips, but it cost under $10 and is a handy size and with a paper doily to hide the chips, it will be very useful, so, it joined my collection. I actually have some winter white pieces in this same style, so it will be a handy match for afternoon teas. :0)

This was my biggest bargain and the one I was most excited about ... it's a lovely platter. I just love the soft grey/blue pattern. And when I turned it over, I had a little chuckle to myself ...

... because it was made by one of my favourites ... Johnson Brothers. I seem to be drawn to their designs. :0) It's a slightly different makers mark to the ones I've seen for Johnson Brothers before, but interesting that it caught my eye. Better still, it was under $20. BARGAIN! :0)

And another pretty treasure that followed me home for under $20. Isn't it pretty?! I love the creamy background colour that really makes the flowers pop ... dusty rose sweet peas, blue cornflowers and a yellow splash in the middle. And in another serendipitous moment, it turned out that ...

... it was another of my favourite creators of china pretties. :0) I have another Meakin trio that this one is now living beside ...

They both have pretty flowers on the creamy background. Ah ... a successful weekend of hunting for treasures with my Bestest Buddy. :0)

In other exciting news ... my fellow designer and blogging buddy Toni Alexander shared some exciting news on her blog today ...

Her GORGEOUS book "Happy Quilts" is available for pre-order through Amazon and other online bookshops ... WOO! HOO!!! How exciting! I've already earmarked a copy for myself autographed my the clever clogs designer! :0) Toni will also be selling the book through her blog once it's hot off the printing presses, so make sure you keep visiting her to be ready to grab your copy. I'm a little bit lucky and have seen sneaky peakies of some of the designs in "Happy Quilts" and can tell you they are FANTASTIC!! Toni has a knack for designing and creating fun quilts that make you smile and send your imagination spinning ... perfect for the little people in your life ... or the big kids at heart ... like ME! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And that's about it from me for this post. I hope you're all having a fabulous week and OPAMers ... don't forget February is like me ... it's a shorty!! :0) So make sure you remember to update your finishes lists and email your tallies for January and February to me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg. I'm looking forward to seeing all the lovely projects you've all been working on. :0) But right now, I'm off to hit the shower and keep an over-due date with my pillow. Enjoy the slide down the tail end of the week to the weekend. :0) Til next time ... 



Friday 12 February 2016

Vodka + Lemon + Cloves = ???

Well ... here I am at almost 2:30pm on my Friday day-off, having started the day with fantastic intentions and quite a long "To Do" list ... and not a whole-heck-of-a-lot to show for the morning!! I'll give you a clue as to why this is so ...

No, no ... there hasn't been a wild drinking binge ... that's scheduled for later in the afternoon! Tee! Hee! Hee! Just kidding! One drink then I go looking for a cup of tea ... I'm such a party animal! :0) Perhaps this would give you a better clue ...

A few of you might have guessed now, but let me explain how I came to be rummaging in the alcohol cupboard so early in the day. :0) You see ... my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette is coming up the 'hill' tomorrow for a sleep over play date to go to Craft Alive with me ... YAY!!! So that makes today 'housework' day ... SIGH!! I started off well ... popped a couple of loads of washing in the machine, hung them out, did a bit of a tidy-up, then decided to change the sheets and air out the guest room ... it's a lovely sunny day with a sweet, fresh breeze, so EVERYTHING is open to let the fresh air in. :0) 

And it was at THIS point that my momentum threw the map out the window and stumbled off track. You see, I remembered my GORGEOUS blogging buddy Kerryanne from Shabby Art Boutique sharing a post a while ago about making up a special blend room freshener spray over HERE ... and I decided that this was just what I needed to do. :0) So I gathered my supplies ... Vodka, distilled water (though I used filtered rainwater) and my choice of essential oils. I chose lemon and clove bud oils. A bit of a compromise cos while I love both, my Beloved Geek Boy isn't overly fond of straight clove oil scent. Gotta keep my tech support happy. :0)

On a side note ... I LOOOOOOOVE essential oils!! I use them for all sorts of things. If I'm home for the day sewing or designing, I have my oil burner going ... most often with lemon, orange or clove oil wafting through the house, though sometimes it will be a combination of two or more. My absolute FAVOURITE oil blend is sandalwood, orange and lavender ... unfortunately, sandalwood is one of the most expensive oils and it's only if I receive some as a gift or I manage to see it on a good special that I treat myself. I pop a few drops of clove oil in my hot water with some white vinegar when I mop our timber floors. I splash peppermint oil into warm water in my foot spa if I have tired tootsies (peppermint oil is also great for nausea, though pregnant ladies need to read up before using it) and nothing is as soothing as a few drops of lavender oil in a warm bath to relax. (a little tip I learned for using essential oils in baths ... add the oil drops to a splash of milk and it helps it to mix better rather than sitting on the surface of the water). Rubbing a little lavender oil on your temples can also help with headaches ... unless you don't like lavender, then it might make it worse, so don't do that! :0)

But I digress ... I know! What a surprise! Tee! Hee! Hee! Stop giggling Chookyblue!! After mixing up my ingredients in a spray bottle, I also remembered that Kerryanne has generously shared some pretty labels and tags on her blog HERE. So the end result of me taking a sidetack was ...

Ta Da! Fresh smelling room spray prettily labelled. I DID discover one little problem though ... I dug the spray bottle out of a cupboard, wondering at the time why I wasn't making use of it for something ... after the first couple of sprays of my lovely new room spray, I remembered WHY I hadn't been using the bottle ... it LEAKS when you spray! YIKES! With no other bottle options, I decided that I would use up this batch of spray through the house, then discard the dodgy bottle, buy myself a new spray bottle next shopping day and make a new batch of room spray that can just sit on a bedside table waiting to be used. So now the house smells lovely and fresh (I discovered that spraying screen doors and windows with the spray worked well to diffuse it through the room as the breeze blew) ... and so do I. The dripping bottle meant my t-shirt ended up soaked in the front and I smell beautifully of lemon and cloves! Tee! Hee! Hee! Oh dear! I don't think I'll be the next Martha Stewart! Tee! Hee! Hee!

HOWEVER ... the lovely Kerryanne has MANY wonderful tutorials for homemaker ideas on her blog besides the two I've shared links with, so make sure you pop across to visit her  HERE.

So now that I've completely sidetracked myself and used up much of my sewing time, I think I'd best choof off, grab some lunch, then hit the sewing machine. I'll try to remember to take some photos of Lynette's and my play date tomorrow ... but we might just be too busy having fun to remember! Maybe we'll revisit the vodka and lemons!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Sunday 7 February 2016

Cherries & Ric Rac!!

HELLOOOOOOO! How are you all out there in blogland this fine February evening? I hope this finds you all well and enjoying (or having enjoyed if you're in the same time zone as me!) a relaxing weekend. It's been a bit of an odd weekend here ... nothing really went to plan and we seemed to have people coming and going most of it, which meant I really didn't get to tackle most of the projects on my "LIST" for the weekend. SIGH! Never mind ... there'll be time another day and we definitely live by the mantra that people (especially family) come before chores/plans. So ...

Not much progress on any sewing projects as a result of said comings and goings, though, after a few messages back and forth to my blogging buddy and fellow designer Toni Alexander, some decisions were made about the direction to take on my current new quilt design ...

 ... My cherry quilt will be having some yummy jumbo ric rac added to it next time I get to work on it. I also did a bit of dinosaur sketching ... no sneaky peakies yet. :0)

Another job that I DID manage to complete was updating our list of participants for ...

If you take a peek at my sidebar, the list of clever clogs creators who are joining Sweet Peg and I this year in our challenge to ourselves to complete One Project A Month is now displayed. Do yourself a favour ... make a cuppa, grab a bikkie and take a bloghopping visit to these lovely ladies ... I guarantee you'll be inspired by all of the wonderful projects being worked on and completed. And while you're there, leave an encouraging comment ... we all like to be cheered on, don't we?! :0)

Now ... if you forgot all about OPAM, but have joined us in past years and really wanted to join again ... send me an email and I'll sneak you onto the list ... I did notice that a few of our blogging buddies who have been part of OPAM just about since the start haven't popped their name on the list ... maybe you were away from your computer during sign up, or life got a bit busy ... just email me to join us again. Also ... if you THOUGHT you had joined OPAM, but you don't find your name on my sidebar list, please email me with your details ... I had a few email hiccups during the sign up period, so your email may have disappeared into the ether and I'd hate for anyone to miss out on the fun. :0)

And just a reminder that Sweet Peg and I will do a double-whammy prize draw at the end of February for all finishes for January AND February, so if you haven't send your January finishes yet, just send them when you send your February finishes. And don't forget to pop them on your finishes list on your sidebar. :0)

The other tidbit I needed to share with you is pretty exciting for lovers of Tilda fabrics ... my Home-Away-From-Home, the Quilters Angel has just received the GORGEOUS new range from Tilda ... WOO! HOO!

Isn't it PRETTY!!! I must be a Gypsy fortune teller, cos I foresee some of these pretties coming to live at MY place very soon! Tee! Hee! Hee! And if you're within driving distance of Toowoomba you can clap your peepers on these pretties next weekend ... February 12, 13 and 14 when the Marvellous Marion and Stupendous Steph are at Craft Alive at the Toowoomba showgrounds. These pretty Tilda fabrics will be featured on their stand ... stand 15 ... just to help you along! :0) I'm hoping my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette can take time from her busy schedule to come for a play date to check it out with me. :0)

Well ... that's about it from me for now. Have a fantastic week and I wish you all some creative time to enjoy. :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday 3 February 2016

Before The Storm & Book Review!!

Greetings one and all to the residents of blogland from the icky, sticky, storm's-a-brewing, humid top of our 'hill'. BOY! Even this confirmed hot-weather-chick is a bit melty around the edges today. I sure hope the brewing storm brings some wet stuff and humidity relief soon ... It's knickers-stickin' weather if you ask my 92 year old Grandma! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Since it's too icky-sticky for my sewing mojo (I love the dry heat!) what better way to spend the afternoon than with my feet up and a cup of tea beside me in front of the fan (no air con and currently no breeze!) diving into a book. I'm a bookworm from way back ... if you ask my Mum, she'll tell you I've been devouring books since I was about 8 months old ... of course, these days I READ the books as opposed to gnawing on the pages! Tee! Hee! Hee! I come by my love of reading very naturally ... Mum and Dad both love reading and some of my earliest memories are of being read stories before bed.

And since today is the first Wednesday of the month, I thought I'd join my GORGEOUS blogging buddy Kerryanne from Shabby Art Boutique in her ...

Kerryanne is rediscovering her love of reading and sharing a book review on her blog on the first Wednesday of each month and inviting her blogging buddies to join her. I probably won't manage it every month, but since reading is how I've spent this afternoon, today it's working! :0)

So ,,, to my review. First, I have a confession ... this is actually a RE-READ, not a first time read. Do you re-read books? My Mum shakes her head at Dad and  me cos we can both read books we've enjoyed over and over. Some of my books are old friends who have travelled with me through 12 house moves since I left home to go to uni 27 years ago ... I've lost track of how many times I've read them. 

In the last few years, I've become a firm convert to e-reading. When my Beloved Geek Boy first bought me an iPad for my birthday/Christmas one year, I was sceptical ... how could this flat electronic device replace the joy of turning paper pages? Well ... my iPad and I are now inseparable! :0) Not only is it SOOOO easy to buy e-books and have them delivered within minutes, there's the biggest bonus for me of having the contents of several large bookcases stored handily on my iPad that fits in my handbag. :0)

But I seem to have digressed somewhat from my path of reviewing my latest re-read ... stop giggling Chookyblue!! :0)

So my book ...

... is by one of my favourite authors, Nora Roberts. While some of her stories are a wee bit predictable, most are a luscious mix of mystery/murder/crime with a splash or romance ... and several of my favourite of her series' have a gloss of magic, myth and 'otherworldly' to spice them up.

"The Collector" doesn't have that otherworldly quality, it's one of Nora's clever, twisting, entertaining murder/crime stories which sees professional house-sitter Lila thrown into a whirl of murder, theft, lost artworks, psychotic villains ... and of course, attraction and love! After witnessing the murder of a model whilst house-sitting, Lila finds herself drawn to team up with well-known artist Ashton to investigate what REALLY happened. Ash, meanwhile, has his own reasons for investigating the murder. Can they find why the model was murdered and who is responsible before someone ... maybe one of them! ... becomes the murderer's next victim??

Lots of twists, some interesting tidbits about lost art, humour and romance ... not a bad way to escape from reality for a while! :0) It's not rocket-science, but a fun read that will keep you guessing and a great introduction to Nora Robers' writing style if you haven't yet 'met' her. :0)

And if this doesn't sound like your sort of book, pop across to visit Kerryanne HERE to see what SHE read this month ... and I think others will be sharing some suggestions of their own. Uh oh! I can see none of us are going to get any of our shores done this month ... we'll be too busy READING! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Before I head off to check that my silverside is cooking happily, just a quick OPAM note. Official sign up is now CLOSED. If you've emailed my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg or me to sign up and haven't received a welcome letter back ... please let one of us know. I've had a few email hiccups this week, which I think are now sorted. So ... you OPAMers should now have our badge on your sidebar and under it, the start of your list of 2016 finishes ... or these can also be put on a separate blog page as long as it's easy for Sweet Peg or me to find. As you finish projects, pop them on your list so you don't miss any in the end-of-month panic. There won't be a prize draw for January ... yet. Sweet Peg and I will do a double draw at the end of February for January and February, so if you like you can send the tallies for both months then, or, as some people have already, you can send your January finishes now. Have fun creating, everyone! :0)

Til next time ...



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