Tuesday 31 December 2019

Ring Out The Old Year, Ring In The New!

Well ... Here we are. It's the last day of the month, the last day of the year & the last day of the decade. WHEW! No wonder we've all been a bit tired ... Look what we've come through?! 😜 I have to say that 2019 hasn't been as calm, uneventful or productive as I'd hoped. There were certainly some disappointments & challenges along the way, but do you know what? There were WAY MORE positives than negatives, it's brought me to where I am now & it's brought us to the point of a new beginning as we ring out the old year & ring in the new. I've decided that 2020 is going to be an AWESOME year!! 😁 And now it's up to each of us to MAKE it awesome. πŸ˜‰

The end of the year is always a time of reflection & resolutions are made for the coming year ... Most of which don't last to the end of the first week! 😝 However, I tend not to make new year's resolutions ... See previous comment about not lasting to the end of the first week! Tee! Hee! Hee! But I do try to set at least a couple of goals for the year. Last year I made it a goal to design my first block of the month (BOM). Due to the aforementioned challenges encountered during the year, I didn't get to finish it ... BUT ... During this lovely Christmas staycation, I've been able to design, edit & prep the last two blocks, so that goal WILL be met ... Just a little later than I'd anticipated ... Sat tuned! πŸ˜‰

Somehow, my creative process inevitably sees the dining room table buried in an avalanche of fabric & general sewing flotsam & jetsam! πŸ˜‚

So what are my goals for 2020? I've chosen two ... The first goal is to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that we use. This is a bit of an ongoing goal ... I've been using the "green bags" for groceries for more than 15 years & for the last couple of years, I've been using re-usable mesh bags for our fresh produce, as well as choosing other "green" options when possible ... But in 2020 I am aiming to be more mindful of what goes in our bin & find more replacements for our use of plastic. I can let you know how I go with that ... If anyone is interested ... Even though it's not sewing related. 😜

My second goal is a little harder to measure ... I'm going to try to be kinder. That doesn't seem like a monumental goal, and yet ... Think of the HUGE difference in the world we would see if everyone made that their goal! 😳 If we all made a concerted effort to be more patient when we're in the slow moving lane at the post office or supermarket or the traffic jam; took time to smile & say hello to elderly people we see in the course of our day; offer to open a door or carry things for someone we see struggling; only leave positive & encouraging comments on social media posts (stick with Mother's golden rule, "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all!" & just keep scrolling! Just because you disagree with a post or opinion doesn't mean you have to attack the person.) ; send encouraging/funny texts, emails or cards to friends & family; make a simple meal for a busy young mum or unwell friend ... There are literally THOUSANDS of small ways we can be kind every day ... If we CHOOSE to. πŸ˜‰

So ... That's what I'm aiming for in 2020 ... As well as catching up with friends more & doing more sewing, of course! 😜 Those goals are carry-over goals every year. 😁 And as we get ready to sing "Auld Lang Syne", I'd like to thank all of my blogging buddies for popping in to visit & chat this year. I've made some wonderful friends through blogging & appreciate all of your encouragement & friendship. My wish for you all as we turn the page to a new day, a new month, a new year & a new decade is that you stay safe, stay well & enjoy the many new exciting adventures that come your way in 2020. 😊 And as I sign off, I'll share a favourite Irish Blessing. Til next time ...



Saturday 28 December 2019

Hooray For Holidays!!

Hello to everyone out there in blogland! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, however you may have celebrated. My Beloved Geek Boy & I enjoyed a relaxing, quiet day with my folks, which was just what the doctor ordered after a crazy-busy couple of months. And we're now both enjoying some time at home, resting, recuperating, sleeping in (though GB's body clock isn't cooperating there! 😝 ) & getting around to tackling some of the jobs that have been on our "to do" lists for a while.

And with some rest & extended time at home, I'm finding that my creative mojo has kicked in (I think it had been holidaying in the Maldives without me! 😜) & I've been hard at fun-work designing. I've just finished prepping the second-last block of my block of the month design-in-progress & am looking forward to some stitching this afternoon in front of the cricket ... Yes ... I actually LIKE watching cricket. 😜 In fact, it's the only sport I'll watch. 😝 And something else I've started playing with is ...

... My project for Girls' Stitch In, where I'll be one of the guest designers. (I can't give TOO much away yet ... It would spoil the surprise! 😜 I've got lots of ideas I'm playing with already. Isn't it wonderful how some quiet time at home can recharge your batteries?!

If you really want to spoil yourself (or drop hints about late Christmas gifties or birthday gifties! πŸ˜‰) you really should come & play with us on March 14 &/or 15, 2020. In case you'd like more details, I'll pop them on the end of this post. Nobody organises a better stitching retreat than the Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph of the Quilters Angel! πŸ˜

But right now, I think it's time for some lunch before I settle down to stitch & help the Aussie cricketers beat New Zealand ... Sorry to all my Kiwi buddies! 😁 Oh ... OPAMers ... It's time to get your last tally for 2019 to me & update your sidebar lists. 😁 I wonder who else has been enjoying some holiday sewing time? HOORAY for holidays! 😁😍 Til next time ...




SATURDAY 14th and SUNDAY 15th MARCH 2020

Our Guest Designers for 2020...

NATALIE BIRD (The Birdhouse)
KRIS MEARES (Tag Along Teddies)

Our 'Girls Stitch In' is all about treating yourself and celebrating womanhood!
Take time out for YOU, be surrounded by all things girlie and hand stitching (which we all know is FABULOUS for the soul!) 
The ‘Girls Stitch In’ is an annual event, with new designers each year.


The cost of the day includes:
A lovely day out with the designers who have created special projects for the weekend. Each day will be relaxed, as the guest designers will be giving demonstrations with their specialty, mingling with the participants and giving any help you need. A special lunch, morning and afternoon tea. Coffee, Tea & Cool Water available all day (Please advise at registration if you have any food allergies as catering is prepared offsite). Prizes and Giveaways. A beautiful gift bag filled with goodies, patterns for all event projects AND a mystery kit (stitchery already transferred) to start hand stitching on the day.
Special Pop Up Stores for shopping!

Highfields State School SmART Space Hall (Right next door to The Quilters
Angel, ‘The Village Green’!) New England Highway, HIGHFIELDS QLD

Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March 2020
(the Sat and Sun are repeated, so you only need to attend 1 day but you are welcome to come along to both!)

9.30am till 3.30pm
(arrivals from 9am)

$150 per day
($75 deposit required to secure your spot which is strictly non- refundable )

Full payment MUST be received by March 1st 
or your spot and deposit will be forfeited

Your Hand Sewing Kit (Needles, hoop, scissors, etc), Threads (list available in
February), a Coffee Mug, a Camera to take photos of the projects.

Sunday 22 December 2019

Forget The Partridge In A Pear Tree!

I just had to pop in & share some Aussie Christmas cuteness. 😜 

This morning when I got up, I headed out into the hallway to open the front door to see if there was a breeze to be caught. I then ducked back into the bedroom to grab my phone & water bottle. As I picked up the phone from the bedside table, I heard a peculiar noise from the front door. Poking my head round the doorway I saw ...

... This feathery little critter gazing back at me. He was still quite fluffy & small, so a bubba kookaburra. He was periodically letting out an enquiring warble, which I took to be the kooka version of, "Where are you, mama??!" He wasn't at all afraid of me & I managed to open the door to get a better pic ...

He eventually flew off (with a few wibble-wobbles! 😜) in search of his mama. Never mind the partridge in a pear tree ... We had the Aussie equivalent ... A kookaburra on the verandah. πŸ˜‚ Actually, we get so many birds coming into our yard for water & seed that I should try to do an Aussie bird version of the 12 days of Christmas ... Except ... It's already 30-something degrees out there, so perhaps I'll just stay inside & plan some Christmas cooking. πŸ˜†

Hope you are enjoying the countdown to Christmas ... Til next time ...



Friday 20 December 2019

It's Beginning To Taste Like Christmas!

Hello all! I hope you're well & haven't been buried in the Christmas Crazies as we count down to the fat man in the red suit's visit. 😜 I was starting to think I had been, but managed to claw my way out from under the tinsel avalanche & am currently enjoying my first day of two weeks of freedom! YAY! 😁 

It's been another topsy-turvy year of changes with my grown up job, which has sucked my creative energy down the plug hole this last couple of months, but for the next two weeks I'm planning on playing with pencil & design notebook, fabric & thread ... & as little else as possible since I have a couple of deadlines looming early in 2020! EEP! 😳😜

Now most years, in the lead up to Christmas I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen making Christmas treats. This year, with one thing & 10 others! 😜 ... I was way behind on that. So I picked one of the simplest of our Christmasy faves to make to encourage our Christmas cheer ... Sugar coated peanuts! YUMMO! πŸ˜‹ 

Add a jug of iced tea & it's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas. 😜 I love iced tea but don't like how sweet most of the commercial brands are & although I often comment that I should experiment with my own brews ... I never quite get there. So today I thought I'd brew up some Cranberry & Blood Orange from Tambourine Tea. I'm liking it better iced than hot! 😝 It's quite fruity & refreshing ... & washes the yummy nuts down nicely. πŸ˜‰ 

Do you see the woven fan in the background? It belonged to my gorgeous Grandma & came to live with me when we lost her a few years ago. Both sets of my grandparents lived in Mackay in North Queensland & I have childhood memories of my Grandma & my Nan both fluttering these sorts of fans on hot & humid summer days, before air conditioning was ever heard of. I quite like the swoosh of a hand held fan ... I think it's the back & forth rhythm ... It's almost hypnotic & encourages you to slow down & go with the laid back flow of summer when it's too steamy & hot to be rushing around. Or maybe that's just me feeling holiday-lazy! 😜 Do you have favourite memories & treats that go along with Christmas? I'd love to hear them. 😁

Whatever you're doing in the countdown to Christmas Day, I hope you remember that it's more important to spend time with loved ones & the special people in your life than it is to spend time fussing to get things 'just right'. We sometimes miss the treasure of spending time with the special people in our lives, don't we? Right now, though, I think it's time for another glass of iced tea to be sipped under the ceiling fan ... Almost as relaxing as the swoosh of the woven fan, but the ceiling fan does all the work for you! πŸ˜‚ Til next time ...



Sunday 8 December 2019

OPAM & An Italian Treat!

Hello all! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I haven't had the weekend I planned ... But that seems to sum up this year! 😜 Part of my weekend plan was to do this post yesterday ... But that didn't happen! I dragged GB kicking & screaming (actually he was more resigned! πŸ˜‚) off to the shopping centre to tackle the Christmas shopping. We actually did pretty well & crossed most gifts off the list, but by about 3pm we'd been trampled & prodded enough by the "Holiday Cheer" that we felt like we needed a big glass of Christmas spirits ... With ice! πŸ˜‚ And as it was around 40 degrees & muggy, we decided to treat ourselves to a salted caramel frappe & watch a movie at GB's work ... Among many other audio visual things, they install home theatres & have a display theatre in the showroom ... With air con! πŸ˜‚

However ... Today after doing a few grown up chores, I've added emailed tallies to the spreadsheet & blog hopped to collect the rest of your finishes for November ... Big thanks to those who emailed tallies &/or made sure their sidebar list was updated. It's a big help to me. 😁 Well ... I've concluded that everyone has been busily sewing for Christmas because November was the biggest tally for the year ...


YAY! Well done everyone! And the random draw winner is ...

Congrats Maria! Drop me an email & I'll send your prize PDF pattern to you to play with. 😁

Now, with all of the doings here over the last month or two, I've done very little sewing, so don't have any pics to share ... But November was birthday month for my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette & as a fun way of celebrating, we signed up to be part of a pasta making class. Mama Mia! πŸ˜‚ The class was hosted by the lovely Kat & mischievous Sonny, the dynamic duo behind Foodie Shots photography. As well as taking superb photos of colourful culinary cuties, Kat has a passion for encouraging people to rediscover the pleasure of simple, traditional food prepared well using local produce. And the class was held at one of Lynette's & my fave play date destinations ... Bunnyconnellon.

Lynette & I were joined by 10 other fun & friendly people to learn the art of pasta making from local chef, Steve.

Here's Steve in demonstration mode.

Then it was our turn. We all made pasta dough from scratch & half was bundled up to take home & the other half fed through the handy pasta roller to make our lunch. Here's Lynette concentrating hard. 😜

And here's my efforts. 😁 Two things ... It was a STINKIN HOT day that made it a bit challenging to keep the pasta dough from drying out & made us all 'glow'. πŸ˜‰ And second ... Thanks to the lovely lady who took these two pics for us while we had floury hands. 😁 Of course once the pasta was made & cooked ...

... It was time for lunch! πŸ˜‹

Handmade fresh pasta with a simple tomato sauce ... & a glass of Bunnyconnellon wine, of course! 😜 And afterwards ...

Lots of plates that didn't need to be scraped. 😝

And a Happy Birthday cheers to my Bestest-Buddy. 😘 We had a fantastic time & would definitely look at attending other cooking workshops organised by Kat & Sonny of Foodie Shots  If you're stuck for gift ideas for friends or family members who are foodies, why not treat them to a workshop or  ... Like Lynette & I ... Attend one together. For those of you not far from our little corner of the world, I know the lovely Kat will be organising more workshops next year so check out her Facebook page to keep up. I would HIGHLY recommend Foodie Shots workshops, as this was the friendliest, most relaxed, best organised workshop I've ever attended. Kat had everything on hand ready to go ... & Sonny helped put everyone at ease by making us laugh. 😁 And it goes without saying that any time spent at Bunnyconnellon is enjoyable, especially with my Bestie ... Although it does make the husbands a little nervous! πŸ˜‚

And on that note, I'm suddenly feeling peckish! πŸ˜‚ So I'm off to find some Bunnyconnellon olives to have with my cheese, crackers & G&T. 😁 Have a fantastic week! Til next time ...



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