Sunday 28 January 2018

OPAM Countdown!!

That's right ... The countdown to OPAM signup has begun! :0)

My GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg & I are just tidying up the last few details & then we will be ready to open the signup for the TENTH OPAM on ...


YAY! Both Sweet Peg & I have been getting emails & questions about when the OPAM fun would kick off, so now you know! :0) As we've hinted, there will be a few simple changes in place this year compared to previous years, but the basic concept remains the same. 

OPAM is a very low-stress challenge to us all (I include myself in there!!) to take some time out of our busy schedules to relax & be creative as a way to recharge our batteries & enjoy a little guilt-free ME time. It's also connecting like-minded creative ladies from all around the world to encourage each other & be inspired by each other. It's FUN! :0) And if you don't finish one project each month, that's OK ... You don't get rapped over the knuckles ... Which is lucky for me or I'd have sore knuckles! Tee! Hee! Hee! Both Sweet Peg & I will post the guidelines on sign up day & we're always happy to answer questions.

Oh ...we've also become aware that someone has set up a Facebook group & is using the same One Project A Month - OPAM name as our blogging challenge. This ISN'T connected to Sweet Peg or Me or THIS OPAM challenge. While it's a bit rude that someone has 'borrowed' our name, we feel that at the end of the day it's all about encouraging people to be creative, so we'll just keep doing our thing ... After all, it's worked pretty well for the last nine years! :0) Just make sure to send your tally to the right spot.

Righto ... Are you getting excited about another year of being creative & being part of a world-wide sewing circle?! I am! :0) So mark FEBRUARY 1 on your calendar & stay tuned! Til next time ...




Saturday 27 January 2018

Kitchen Magic!

Hello to all of you lovelies out there in blogland! I hope you're having a great weekend so far. It's a pretty warm one here again, though there have been a few clouds around & a strong breeze that has kept it to the low 30's & very liveable, especially for this summer chicken. :0)

Although ... I was forced to question my sanity (What there is left of it!) because where did I decide to spend most of today in these summery temperatures? Why, in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove, of course!! :0P You see, last weekend when GB & I went for an air conditioned drive, I called into a fruit shop that had tomatoes for $1 a kilo ... Less than a quarter of what I've been paying in supermarkets! So I stocked up & today I've performed some kitchen magic with those tomatoes.

I've skinned, I've chopped, I've roasted, I've simmered ... & so have the tomatoes! Tee! Hee! Hee! The result is ...

...some DEEEEEEEEELICIOUS tomato chutney & some sweetly tangy tomato sauce ready to be heated & poured over pasta. YUMMO! I actually had some of the chutney with crackers & cheese for my lunch & it definitely gets the two-thumbs-up taste rating. :0) Because I roasted the tomatoes & onions etc longer than usual before simmering them to make sauce, this batch is thicker than usual & only made half as many bottles, but the extra roasting sure brought out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. I wonder if GB wants to go for another drive tomorrow to get more tomatoes! :0)

That's about it from me today ... EXCEPT ... To tell all you OPAM wannabes & repeat offenders to watch this space, cos my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg & I will be finalising our plans in the next few days & sign up will open SOON! Remember to stay tuned to BOTH of our blogs so you don't miss any of the excitement. :0) And Sweet Peg & I do indeed have a few surprises up our sleeves!

But right now, I'm going to put my feet up with a cold drink & cruise the "Dark Side" as Chookyblue calls Facebook. :0) Does anyone else end up mesmerised for hours by videos of cake decorating, nail designs & hair styling, or is that just me?!?! :0P Til next time ...




Friday 19 January 2018

A Designing Day!

Once again the week has gone by in a blur. Once again I've got nowhere near the number of jobs crossed off my "To Do" list that I'd planned. SIGH!!! I really think the only solution is to start writing shorter "To Do" lists! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... it's my first "day off" from my grown up job that I actually have nothing on, nothing planned and nowhere to go ... so I'm about to settle in to do some pattern design work ... instructions are written, but I need to edit my stitchery outlines in Photoshop ... GROAN! Its a time-consuming job that sends me slightly cross-eyed if I sit at it too long and forget to get up for a walk around and stretch. :0) I sometimes wish my hand was steadier when drawing my original designs ... but my handwriting is atrocious and straight lines often end up with the wibble-wobbles ... a bit like me after editing stitchery designs for a while! :0P

But before I sit myself down to get editing, I thought I'd share my latest ready-to-release pattern ... the one whose instructions were finished when Chookyblue and I were challenging each other during our holiday to get off the couch and do something productive. :0) She had six quilt tops together by the end of our time and I had one pattern ready for release ... I think she won. :0) OK ... drum roll ... introducing ...


I LOOOOOOOVE the way she turned out and the combination of a few 'girly' touches that make her pretty but not fussy and frilly. And it was that combination of "pretty but practical" that led me to name her Marion May, after two of the wonderful women who have had a huge impact on my life … the Marvellous MARION, owner of my favourite fabric shop “The Quilters Angel”, chief encourager and friend; and my wonderful maternal Grandma, Edna MAY Paten, who passed away aged 94 last year. Both of these special ladies have faced tough times, trying times, lean times and challenges, yet managed to face them with strength, grace and determination, while always having time to help others. And while both could be described as ‘practical’, both ladies also appreciate the ‘pretty’ … just like Marion May Bear with her touch of lace, pearls and flower on her hat. I’d like to be just like these wonderful women when I grow up! :0) The pattern for Marion May Bear will be available from The Quilters Angel after tonight ... I'll deliver them when I head off to our first Friday Night Sit N Sew for 2018 tonight ... WOO! HOO! I've missed the gathering of my crazy tribe during the holiday. :0)

And if I'm going to be ready to go out tonight, I'd better scoot off and get pattern editing ... AND pack my sewing into my handbag ready to go so I don't end up helping the Fabulous Fiona sew down binding again! Tee! Hee! Hee! I hope you're all having a fantastic week and that your weekend includes some time for you to spend on YOU. If you're in the northern hemisphere ... stay warm. And those in the southern hemisphere, especially my fellow eastern staters ... stay cool and drink plenty of liquids ... apparently WATER is recommended above all other fluids ... go figure! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Sunday 14 January 2018

Sliding Down The Slippery Slide!

WOW! We're already two weeks into 2018! I feel like I was sitting at the top of the slippery slide called 2018 on New Year's Day, looking forward to a fantastic year of adventures ... & then someone gave me a shove & I'm already sliding along at breakneck speed with the days going by in a blur. SIGH! Why do I get the feeling someone will soon be telling me how many days til Christmas! :0)

So ... What have I been doing between the blurring days? My grown up job is keeping me busy at the moment with my boss on leave. I've also had a rather social week with a stitching play date with the Fabulous Fiona ... Who very graciously allowed me to stitch down some binding for her when I left my sewing pouch on the dining table at home ... I worry myself some days! :0) I also had a lovely catch up with a former workmate ... We chatted for hours! Why do we leave it so long between catching up with friends when we have such a wonderful time?! One of my resolutions this year is to try to address that. And a dinner out with my folks who are house sitting just five minutes away from us at the moment. See ... Busy blur happening here. :0)

We were looking forward to a quieter weekend. So ... My Beloved Geek Boy & I took one of our mini road trips yesterday down our 'hill' in search of a new birdbath to accommodate the large flock of black cockatoos in our area who come into our back garden twice a day for a drink ... The terracotta pot we'd been using cracked. Uh oh! So off we went. Oh ... It was also much nicer in the air conditioned car than the house since temperatures reached 38 here & 46 in the Lockyer Valley where we were pot shopping. It wasn't so much the heat but the humidity that we struggled with, we being summer chickens. :0) We were successful in both staying cool & finding a new birdbath ...

... One of our resident black cockatoos checking out the new watering spot. He approved & called all his mates. :0)

Today was a bit cooler ... Only 36 degrees & as I write this, the promised cool change has come through & dropped the temperature to the low 20's. A bit nicer to sleep.

And besides tackling my grown up chores today (why is there so much washing for two people in a week ... And since about 80% of it is boy clothes, I think GB must wear several outfits each day! :0P) I've also been working on a little something that the OPAM gals will find interesting ...

... Hmmm ... A stitchery design. I wonder what it will be for??? Stay tuned! :0)

Right now, however, I'm off to sip my pre-bedtime cup of tea & sulk that England won the one day cricket. I hope you've all had a fabulous weekend & that if, like me, life is feeling like a fast ride down the slippery slide, that you throw your hands up in the air & ENJOY THE RIDE! :0) Til next time ...





Tuesday 9 January 2018

Endings & Beginnings!

Obviously whoever was stealing days from my weeks last year is at it again already in 2018! :0) I had intended to be back here for a chat with you all before this, but ... ! Never mind, I'll catch you up on my news now. :0)

Let's start with the "Endings" part of my post title. I don't think I remembered to share that I had once again joined Chookyblue for her Secret Santa Christmas Swap. This was the tenth year I'd played along with Chooky ...WOW! Doesn't time fly when you're having fun! This year I was pretty chuffed to find I would be sending to Raewyn in New Zealand. Raewyn & I met for a play date a couple of years ago when she was in the neighbourhood & we've chatted back & forth since. So gifties to Raewyn were ...

... A Christmas ornament ... Or in this case, a set of mini patchwork stockings. I've made lots of these for myself & friends now ... They're fun to make & look great on the tree. Then for the main giftie ...

... A zippy lingerie pouch to keep her knickers safe when Raewyn travels ...

 ... And a matching monogrammed drawstring pouch for washing to be kept contained in Raewyn's bag, or somewhere to stash her sewing.

... And a Tag Along Teddies pattern & some Tilda fabrics for her to play with. Hope you enjoy your gifties, Raewyn! :0) 

Now ... My partner remained a secret for much longer because ... Santa misplaced my parcel in his storeroom! Well ... Either that or he took quite a while to decide whether I belonged on the NAUGHTY or NICE list! Tee! Hee! Hee! However ... Santa finally believed me when I said I was a good girl (stop laughing, you lot!!) & my parcel arrived yesterday all the way from Norway ... No wonder it took a while to get here! :0) And my lovely secret swap partner was Laila ... & boy did she spoil me!

Isn't that paper cute!

First, the ornament ...

Isn't it pretty!

And signed by Laila to remind me who spoilt me in 2017. Then there was the main giftie ... & one advantage of my parcel arriving late was ... I didn't have to wait to open it! :0)

A beautifully made zippy pouch to hold special things ... I think I'll use it for special sewing projects. And inside Laila had included two little choclatey treats (which got popped straight into the fridge after being in our 32 degree summer heat), a takeaway drink cuff which will be handy for sewing coffee play dates & some pretty Tilda fabrics straight from the home of Tilda, Norway. :0) I especially love the teal background ... I treated myself to the same fabric on the cream background when I was on holiday ... Perfect! :0) Thank you so much for spoiling me Laila! And a huge thanks to Chookyblue for once again hosting this fun swap during a particularly busy & difficult time. It's lovely to have this swap to look forward to each year.

And speaking of looking forward to a yearly event ... To the "Beginning" mentioned in my title. A few of you lovely OPAM gals have been asking whether my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg & I would be running OPAM again this year. Well ... It was a bit of a debate ... Our numbers have been dwindling as more people leave blogging behind to cross to what Chookyblue calls "The Dark Side" ... I.e. Facebook, Instagram etc & Sweet Peg & I have been aware of climbing postal costs ... But so many of you have told us how helpful you find OPAM to give you a bit of a nudge off the couch & into the sewing room. What to do!

We finally decided we'd run it again for 2018 ... But with a bit of a difference. This year we'll keep the monthly tally going & tell you all how many exciting finishes there are each month, but there won't be a prize draw. So ... OPAM will still be here to encourage us all to spend some time creatively, but there won't be prizes sent out ...though I AM working on a little idea that I'll share with you once I work it out.

So ... Sign up for OPAM 2018 will be towards the end of January, so make sure you stay tuned to our blogs for the sign up announcement.

Right that Chookyblue is rolling her eyes at the length of my post, I'll sign off for today. I hope you're all having a wonderful, positive start to 2018 ... A positive attitude can make a huge difference, can't it?! :0) Til next time ...









Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...