Thursday 31 December 2020

A Fresh Start!

Well ... It's New Year's Eve. We made it to the end of a challenging year & despite a few speed bumps & hiccups along the way, we've ridden it out fairly well, in fact, GB & I feel exceedingly blessed & thankful. Our family & friends are safe & well, GB & I both had our normal incomes remain uninterrupted, I've had my most productive designing year ever & been part of some exciting stitching events with Girks Stitch In & the Love & Hugs From Australia Stitchalong. That doesn't mean we're not hoping 2021 is a wee bit calmer. 😜 

Like so many situations in life, the way we choose to look at 2020 can either be negative, focusing on what we missed out on or lost, or we can choose to look at the positive ... What we've learned, how we've reevaluated our priorities & the many instances of kindness we've witnessed during the year. I choose the positive. 😊 And that's also how GB & I are heading into 2021 ... With a positive anticipation of lots of exciting new adventures & a fresh start. 😁 

Thank you to all of my lovely blogging buddies for sharing my creative adventures this year. Your encouragement, support & care has meant the world to me & spurred me on when I got discouraged or sidetracked ... I hope you'll 'tag along' with me into the next chapter of Tag Along Teddies & the Meares' Madhouse. πŸ˜‰ And as we count down the year that seemed to keep trying to outdo itself in the challenge department, I'll share one of my favourite Irish blessings with you. In the meantime, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Friday 25 December 2020

Take A Breath & Count Your Blessings!

It's Christmas Eve & my Beloved Geek Boy & I are just starting a mini break from our grown up jobs. YAY! 😁 There are lots of jobs on the "To Do" list for the next week, but first, two tired, worn out teddy bears are intending to stop & take a breath. 

After the roller coaster year we've had, it's nice to finally have a chance to stop the busyness & craziness of our merry-go-round life to take some time to count our many blessings ... Top of that list being the crazy, creative, caring, supportive & loving 'tribe' we have around us made up of family-by-blood & family-by-heart. Thank you one & all for the richness you add to our life. From GB & me, we wish you all a happy, safe & restful Christmas period. May your hearts be full, even if your wallet is empty; may your blessings outnumber your troubles & may you have the wisdom to recognise them. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜ til next time ...



Tuesday 15 December 2020

Christmas Dilemma!

Hello, hello! How are all of my lovely blogging buddies? I hope you're keeping well. I confess to being a bit weary & frazzled at the moment ... The Christmas Crazies have well & truly hit the Meares' Madhouse & GB & I are both experiencing a Christmas dilemma. On the one hand, we both seem to have heaps of things that need to be done before Christmas so we need more time ... On the other hand ... BOY! Are we looking forward to a week's break! So Christmas can't get here soon enough! πŸ˜‚ Both of us are super busy with our grown up jobs, but there have also been a few celebrations happening ... Including a Christmas gathering of some of our Friday Nutters ... er ... Friday NIGHTERS 😁 ... stitching group.

The lovely Julie hosted our party ... & we JUST fitted into her dining room ...

There were a few of us who couldn't make it & a couple who exited before photo time, but it was wonderful to hang out with these loonies who are such an important part of my Tribe. And it wouldn't quite be Christmas without a Secret Santa swap ... I received a pin cushion & one of Natalie Bird's fun Christmas panels. The gift I gave (finished five minutes before I walked out the door! 😝) was ...

... A black & cream version of my "Girls Stuff" mug bag. This is such a quick, fun pattern to make ... I've lost count of how many different colour combos I've made it up in & it's such a handy size. You could pop your sewing bits in it or as I did ...

... Pop in a pretty mug & some tea & coffee serves for a fun giftie. I have a Tilda version for myself that I take to stitching retreats. 😁 While we were visiting Julie, she showed off her finished version of another of my patterns, "Holly Bear" ...

Isn't she sweet?! & the bear is pretty cute too! Tee! Hee! Hee! Both the "Girl Stuff" & "Holly Bear" patterns are available from The Quilters Angel online store HERE ... Just use the handy search tool. πŸ˜‰

And speaking of finished projects ... I've finally managed to finish the blog hopping & done the random draw for OPAM for November. There were ...


WOW! Well done everyone! And as I hopped around blogs, I also saw progress shots for lots more long-term projects, so well done to those clever clogs, too. 😁 And the November draw winner is ...

Congrats Cheryll! Drop me an email & I'll send a PDF pattern prize to you.

PHEW! I think that's me all caught up ... For now! 😝 Which is just as well, since there's a carols service & another Christmas party still coming up before the week ends. 😜 Maybe I'll just sleep from Christmas Day through to New Year. Tee! Hee! Hee! Whatever you're up to, stay safe & don't let the Christmas crazies run you down. πŸ˜‰ Til next time ...



Tuesday 8 December 2020

Too Hard Tuesday!

Yep ... Tuesday has been a struggle ... Though to be fair, it's not really Tuesday's fault. 😜 It's kind of a cumulative effect of 2020 - the year that keeps saying, "hold my beer & watch this!", multiple staff changes & resident grumbling at work, the Christmas-crazies part of the year & two nights of sleep deprivation. Which all adds up to one mush-brained zombie. 😜

The lack of adequate sleep has probably been the proverbial straw ... Sunday night was incredibly icky-sticky-humid which saw even this hot-weather chook toss & turn, then last night we had a mini tornado smash through our little spot on the map. Lots of trees knocked down or dropped big limbs, two local roads blocked by fallen trees & loss of electricity due to one of the tree falls. We're fortunate to have a gas cooktop, so could cook dinner & boil water for cuppas, we had containers of drinking water on hand because we had to buy our second load of water for the season, lots of candlelight due to my addiction to scented candles ... BUT! ... When we don't have power, we don't have water because we rely on an electric pump. Can I tell you, even in hot weather a cold splash bath is NOT fun! 😳 And we definitely missed our fans trying to sleep in the heat. Power was finally restored 11 hours later, so all is back to what passes for normal now, but I'm mushy-brained from lack of sleep ... Not that anyone today has been able to tell the difference to my usual mudding! 😝

Adding insult to injury, although we copped the horrible mini tornado winds, thunder, lightning & power loss ... We only got two millimetres of rain. SIGH! More rain dances needed. 😜 Since sewing with mush-brain didn't seem like a wise life choice, here's a pic of my HUGE tomato harvest ...

Tee! Hee! Hee! Actually, considering the rough life my poor tomatoes have had, this is a pretty good haul. 😝 Perfect to add to tonight's dinner anyways. πŸ˜‰

And for those of you without mush-brain who HAVE been sewing & creating ... It's time to update your OPAM tallies. Due to all of the above I'm running a bit behind with the blog hopping, so you've got a couple of extra days to email me with your November finishes.

And since GB has just arrived home, I'm off to cook Greek Lamb meatballs & warm salad with tzatziki for dinner then off to the land of nod to catch up on some of my lost sleep. Til next time ...



Thursday 26 November 2020

Bonus Home Day - YAY!

Some of you who have been visiting my blog for a while know that, apart from my pattern design business, I have a day job four half days a week. I call it my "grown up" job because I have to be on someone else's timetable & it involves a certain amount of responsibility. I like my grown up job ... Most days. 😜 But there is nothing quite as enjoyable as a day at home on a usually-scheduled work day, when you have the freedom to set your own schedule. That's me today. 😁

I've had a bit of a sleep in, did a bit of tidying/cleaning, had a cuppa with a lovely friend & her gorgeous granddaughter & I'm now feeling like I have the energy & concentration (that's the bit that goes missing when I'm tired or stressed! 😜) to tackle some Christmas sewing. But first, I think I need to fuel up with something yummy for lunch ... & I thought I'd share my new fave lunch recipe with you. 😁 I struggle to find a good balance between yummy & healthy for lunch options ... It's often mid afternoon by the time I have a chance to eat, so I'm VERY hungry & want something quick to prepare. Why is it that so many 'quick' food options aren't as healthy for us?! 😜 I'm also a savoury-craving gal, as opposed to sweets. So on the weekend I experimented a bit with some flavours & healthy ingredients & came up with a delicious & pretty healthy savoury muffin recipe ...

MMMMMMMMM! Cheese & Chorizo Savoury Muffins. 😍 They're made with wholemeal flour (which you could switch for GF flour), almond milk & olive oil with flavoursome chorizo, chutney, tasty cheese, halloumi cheese, onion, mushrooms & herbs to make your tastebuds dance. πŸ˜‰ I'm a bit naughty & serve mine with a favourite chutney & dollop of sour cream, but they'd be great with a ewe-gurt or labneh. They're DEEEEEEE-LICIOUS straight out of the oven, but almost as good reheated in the microwave for 40 seconds or so. They keep in an airtight container for at least three days ... They may last another day or two, but we'd eaten them all by then. 😝 They would also freeze well, I think, if you wanted to make a batch on the weekend to take a couple out each day for the next week's lunches. 

Enough teasing ... Here's the recipe ... ENJOY! 😁

Cheese & Chorizo Muffins

* 1 1/2 cups whole meal flour
* Salt, pepper, herbs (I used a dried Italian herb mix because I was too lazy ... Er ... Hungry 😜 to pick fresh herbs)
* 1 cup grated tasty cheese
* 4-6 diced mushrooms (depending on size)
* 1 small diced onion
* Chorizo, diced
* 180g Halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4" cubes
* Grated medium zucchini
* 3/4 cup almond milk
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup chutney
* 1/4 olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Place diced chorizo, mushrooms & onion in small pan & sautΓ© until onions are translucent. Cool a little.
3. In large bowl combine flour, salt, pepper, herbs, grated cheese, diced halloumi, grated zucchini & mix through. Add chorizo, mushrooms & onions & combine.
4. In separate jug/bowl combine almond milk, egg & chutney & whisk together before adding to flour mixture along with olive oil & mix until just combined.
5. Line 10x3/4 cup ramekins with baking paper & divide muffin mixture between them.
6. Place ramekins on baking tray to make handling easier & cook for 15-20 minutes until firm to touch or a toothpick stuck into muffins comes out clean.
7. Cool for 10 minutes & serve with chutney & sour cream.

Let me know how you like my muffins if you make them. Bon appetite! πŸ˜‰

And on that note ... I'm off to warm up a couple of muffins for my lazy-day lunch before getting stuck into some sewing thus afternoon. Til next time ...



Monday 23 November 2020

Catching Up ... AGAIN!!

Hello to all my lovely cyber buddies! I hope this hot, dry Monday (well ... It is in our corner of SE QLD. 😜) finds you well. I'm popping in to play catchup ... AGAIN! Catchup seems to be my default setting at the moment. 😜 The year has not only been odd, topsy-turvy, unsettled & muddly, it's flown by so jolly quickly that I think I'm just hanging on by my fingertips! 😳 Still ... The main reason I'm playing catchup this time is for a fun reason ... I spent a couple of days at the bottom of the 'hill' helping my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette celebrate her half century. If you say it like that, it sounds like we're cricket lovers rather than middle-aged mischief-makers! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Lynette gathered a few of her tribe together to enjoy a birthday high tea at Dinmore Cottage ... & what a great time we had! I love that, as well as being best buds, Lynette & I kind of slide right in amongst each others' friends & never have a problem finding something & someone to chat about & to ... If you follow me! 😜 so ... Here's the group of us ...

Look at us all gussied up playing ladies! πŸ˜„ Well ... some of us had to pretend harder than others that we're ladies! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Here's the birthday girl ready to enjoy delicious treats ... & they certainly were DEEEEEE-LICEOUS! I confess, we all waddled away from the table. 😝

And yet somehow we all found room for birthday cake. 😜

Uh! Oh! They let her have a sharp implement! πŸ˜‚ It was fantastic to help Lynette celebrate her special birthday, but even more special to realise we've helped each other celebrate 41 birthdays during our friendship. We've gone quite different directions in life, but whenever we get together time, distance & differences disappear. I feel pretty blessed to have someone in my life that knows all about me ... & sticks around anyway! 😜 She may not be my sister by blood, but she's definitely my sister by heart. ♥️ Our goal is to cause mischief together in the nursing home when we celebrate our centenarians. Half way there! πŸ˜‚

And in other news ... All of that sugar must have sent my sewing mojo into a hyperactive spin, cos I actually managed a finish yesterday ... YAY! Remember a while back I showed you this pic ...

And I told you I was planning to make a new sample of this pattern ... "Vintage Diva Backpack"? Well ...

Here is the new version ... It just needs drawstrings, which I forgot to get from the Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph when I picked up my supplies. Not a great pic as it was taken at night, but it gives you a good idea of the finished look. It just shows how a change of fabrics can completely change the look of a project to help you individualise it. On this new version, the stitchery has been swapped to a focus panel ... A great way to showcase your fave larger print fabric. Patterns & kits for this fun, handy & quick-to-make project can be found on the Quilters Angel online store site HERE  Don't forget ... If you're a Toowoomba/Highfields local, or passing through, you can save on postage & coordinate an order pickup with the lovely Angels. Just ring or drop them an email to coordinate.

And now ... I think I hear the kettle playing my song. 😜 Whatever you're up to this week, stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling! 😁 Til next time ...



Thursday 12 November 2020

Catching Up!

You know ... I think I spend most of my life 'catching up'. I'm not sure I ever actually manage it & I often feel like the hamster in a clip I've seen who is running his little legs off, stops for a second to catch his breath & finds himself spun round & round before being flung out of the wheel. 😜 But ... Here I am, trying to catch up again. 😝 How have you all been? Well, I hope & staying positive in this topsy-turvy year. 

I'd love to show you all some sewing pics ... But I've been a bit of a slacker, with only a bit of machine sewing happening towards making a new sample for a pattern. But ... I CAN share a photo of a new pattern that I finished in September, but didn't have a chance to share ...

Ta da! This pattern is called "Champage Is Always A Good Idea" & includes instructions for two projects: a round-based drawstring wine bottle bag featuring the Champage stitchery, & a simple glass protector pouch with Suffolk puff flowers. Pop a bottle of bubbles & a pretty glass in the bags & you have a lovely giftie for a friend. Or ... Pack that glass & bubbly into a picnic basket with some yummy treats & enjoy a relaxing picnic. The pattern is available on The Quilters Angel online store HERE. Looking for Christmas giftie or Secret Santa ideas? Here you go. 😁 The Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph can also do up a kit for you to make your version of this fun set, or to gift to a friend. 😁

And speaking of picnics ... I toodled down our 'hill' last week for a play date with my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette & while we didn't pack bubbles (both driving & being responsible grown ups! 😜) we did enjoy a picnic ...

YUMMO! Lots of tasty treats (that's kombucha in the glass, by the way, which technically does have bubbles. 😜) & ...

... Lovely surroundings. We were at the Roma Street gardens in Brisbane, a peaceful oasis amidst the busy city.

Here we are! Do you know how challenging it is to get a selfie when one of you is height-challenged?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Such a relaxing day of catching up with my bestie. 😊

For those of you who HAVE been sewing rather than picnicing ... I've finally finished the OPAM blog-hopping to update the spreadsheet for October. There are so many gorgeous projects being finished amongst you all! Well done to those with finishes this month & kudos to those of you stitching along on longer term projects, too. As I hopped around I saw progress shots of knitting, crochet, weaving, cross stitch, embroidery, paper piecing & more. What a lot of clever clogs you are! πŸ˜‰ Our tally for October was ...


And the winner of the random draw prize of a PDF pattern is ...

Congrats, Susan! Drop me an email so I can send your prize.

And that's about it from me for now. I think it's time for a quick cup of tea before tackling dinner . Whatever you have planned for the weekend, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling! 😊 Til next time ...



Saturday 31 October 2020

Ice Ice, Baby!

Hello to you all out there in blogland! I hope you're having a great week. Another busy one here & I suspect it's going to stay that way as we start the slide down the tail of the year to Christmas. On the "YAY!" Side of things, we received some much-needed rain this week ... About a third of what we need to fill our tanks, but a nice start. We seem to have mostly been on the edge of the storms ... Until today ...when we might have preferred to miss out. 😜 

A couple of nasty hail storms swept across our part of south-east Queensland. Thankfully, we weren't home at the time or my Beloved a Geek Boy's ute would have been rather the worse for wear because it's too big to fit in the shed. My little car was tucked up inside, but got splattered with mud from the force of the rain & ice hitting the dirt driveway at Mach 5.

When we arrived home about an hour after the storms, there were still a lot of chunks of ice this size on the lawn. 😳 They were probably a bit bigger when they fell. Feeling grateful that the worst damage was stripped leaves off the trees lining our driveway & my poor triffid tomatoes took a battering. Ah ... Spring storms combine with 2020. 😜

In other news ... We've run out of month again, so it's time for all good OPAMers to update their sidebar lists & email me their October tally. 😁

And that's about it for me today. It's time to finish my cuppa before I head off to bed. Enjoy the rest of your weekend ... & since it's All Hallows' Eve, watch out for faeries, cos it's one of their moving days. πŸ˜‰ 

Til next time ...



Friday 23 October 2020

Friday Freedom!

Hello to all you lovely people out there in blogland! I hope you're having a fantastic week. Mine was a bit muddly ... I'm breaking in a new boss who is (by his own admission!) a "bit of a talker". Hmmm ... THAT'S an understatement! 😜 So everything seemed to take twice as long to accomplish, which left little room for creativity. BUT ... Today is a grey, stormy-feeling kind of day & I have no appointments to fill my Friday day off, so I'm FREE ... To do some sewing & stitching. 😝 These are the pretty fabrics I'm playing with ...

I know ... Not my usual colour palette, but I'm making a new sample for ...

... My "Vintage Diva Backpack" . I think I need to make myself a teal/aqua version of this backpack because it is such a handy size to pop a few necessities in when you're off on a vintage treasures hunt with your bestie ... A backpack means both hands are free to pick up bargains  ... Or fondle fabric if you happen to stumble into a quilting supplies store. 😝 The pattern is available from The Quilters Angel online store HERE  It's a simple, quick, fun project to whip up for yourself ... Or your partner-in-vintage-treasure-hunting-crime. πŸ˜‚

We've had just under an inch of rain thus week, which means we won't have to buy another load of water -YAY! More fabric money! Tee! Hee! Hee! And with the glowering skies & our resident whip bird calling, there's likely to be some more rain soon, so I'm making myself a cup of Mango tea, popping on my current fave movie "Justice League" & enjoying my Friday stitching freedom. 😊 Whatever you're up to, I hope you enjoy some creative time to relax. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling! 😊 Til next time ...



Monday 19 October 2020

Still Kicking!

Hello, hello! Yes ... I'm still alive & kicking, despite my unplanned absence from my blog. Please excuse my slackness, life has been rather hectic in the last few weeks & my head is spinning trying to keep up. Grown up job has been keeping me hopping & I now have a new boss to break in. 😜 I'm really hoping things settle soon so I get some of my sewing mojo back, because at the moment, it's as AWOL as I have been from blogging. 😝

My creative energies have been channeled into a different direction since the spring weather brought my Beloved Geek Boy & me out of our winter hibernation ... We've been gardening. GB gas been working his way around the garden to install a watering system to make the most efficient use of our precious water & we've been seeing what has survived the drought conditions we've been experiencing & spreading more of those plants around. Still a lot of work to be done ...once we get some desperately needed rain. SIGH! One part of the garden that is thriving, though, isn't actually IN the garden ... It's on our side verandah ...

Here's my little pot of Tuscan tastiness. 😜 Two different varieties of tomatoes, purple basil & oregano. I'm starting to suspect the tomatoes are actually triffids. 😝

And my happy herb corner. I think the mint is plotting to compete with the triffid tomatoes for world domination. Tee! Hee! Hee! I've got mint, lemon balm, parsley, sweet basil & sage growing here & two clumps of chives in the vege garden. We have been enjoying delicious herb-flavoured scrambled eggies for weekend breakfasts. πŸ˜‰

After doing the OPAM blog hop this month, I think others have been as distracted from sewing as I have been, as September gave us our lowest tally so far for the year. But ... Finishes or not, the goal of OPAM is to get us creating, & many blogs I hopped to showed progress on bugger projects, so well done. 😁 And the winner of the September random prize draw is ...

Congrats, June! Drop me an email & I'll send your PDF pattern prize. Although I don't have any pics of projects to share at the moment, I do have a sewing related pic ...

A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a relaxing sewing play date for a few of our Friday Nutters group. A day of chatting, giggling, munching & a bit of stitching was balm for busy Stitchers. Oh ... & do you see Julie's teddy-in-progress! She was making my "Holly Bear" pattern & picked up a few tips. 😁 The pattern for Holly Bear is available from The Quilters Angel online store HERE.

And that us it from me tonight. I promise to try to get back here a bit sooner next time ... It's almost time for the NEXT OPAM check-in ... EEK! Where is the year going?! Whatever you're up to, please take care of yourself & your loved ones. Keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Saturday 3 October 2020

N.W.S.A Project.

Happy Saturday to all of you, my Bloggy buddies from around the world. I hope you've had a fantastic week. Mine has been a bit frustrating. After a busy week at my grown up job, I finally got to enjoy some stitching time yesterday ... Only to discover that I had a N.W.S.A. Project on my hands. If you've been creating for a while (especially if you're a designer) you will have found yourself with one of these. You know, a ...

Not Working Start Again 

... type of project. SIGH! Sometimes, what seems like a good idea on the design sketch just doesn't LOOK right when you start stitching. The colours don't work, or the balance is wrong ... Or you just don't like it. So this was my N.W.S.A. dilemma ...

What was supposed to be a colour-graduating feature is just way too strong against the softer colours of the writing above it. Both elements look great ... Just not together. 😜 So it's back to the beginning to retrace, re-colour & re-think the thread colours. Good thing it's a long weekend here & I have an extra day to 'play'. 😝

And speaking of playing & creating ... OPAM gals ... It's the changeover to another month, so if you haven't already, please update your sidebar tally lists & email me your September tallies to add to our spreadsheet. Even if I don't get the chance to reply to your emails or comment on your blog posts, I love seeing everyone's finished projects each month. There are just so many clever-clogs crafters out there. 😁 If you're looking for some inspiration, make yourself a cuppa & hop your way around the blogs of fellow OPAMers listed in my left sidebar. You'll be amazed at the variety of projects & hopefully, inspired to create more yourself.

As for me ... It's back to the drawing board for a colour re-think. 😜 Enjoy your weekend & if you're traveling, stay safe. Til next time ...



Saturday 26 September 2020


I know 2020 has been a mixed up kinda year, but now our seasons seem to have muddled themselves up. 😳 We went from lovely Spring days with temperatures in the mid to high 20's to today ... A "feels like" temperature of FIVE degrees with 50km/hr gusty winds! EEP! Spring! Come back!!

And since you know how much my Beloved Geek Boy & I LOOOOOOVE cold weather so much - NOT!! - we're snuggled down in front of a fave movie ... Or two ... Or three. 😜

Can you guess what we're watching? πŸ˜‚ Some Secret Squirrel stitching to keep my hands occupied & it's not a bad way to ride out a weird weather swing ... Though I hope Spring returns soon!

What are YOU up to today? Whatever it is, I hope you're keeping safe & well. I'm off to keep stitching & helping to save the universe. 😜 Til next time ...



Monday 21 September 2020

Exciting News!

Hello everyone & happy Monday to you all ... Even if you're like me & Monday signals having to go off to a grown up job to impersonate a responsible adult for the week! 😜 Well, to help add a splash of colour to your Monday & get your week off to a creative start, I'm popping in to share some exciting news that I hinted at last post. Are you ready for it?! 😜

Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph of The Quilters Angel have announced that plans are already underway for their next fantastic stitching event ...

WOO! HOO! Girls Stitch In 2021 is already taking bookings & even MORE exciting for me ...

I've been invited to be one of the guest designers!!

This wonderful stitching weekend will be held on Saturday & Sunday March 13 & 14, 2021, so if you love gathering with other creative stitchers, love to be spoilt & get excited about being amongst the first people to stitch two brand new projects designed especially for the day, then sign up! 😁 Lauren Wright of Molly & Mama is the other guest designer, so you'll get to chat & stitch with us both. For full details head over to The Quilters Angel website HERE. Let me know if you're coming to play so I can say g'day. 😁

So I'm off to start playing with some sketches & stitchery ideas. πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful week. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



Wednesday 16 September 2020

Catching Up ... A Bit!!

Hello! Hello! Yes, I'm still here & haven't been abducted by the invading aliens that I suspect are the next thing to be thrown at us on the 2020 Apocalypse Bingo Card!  πŸ˜œ I've just been super busy with my grown up job, madly writing pattern instructions for a deadline (will share soon - promise!) as well as the usual craziness that is life in the Meares' Madhouse. But ... The best thing that's kept me busy in the last couple of weeks was getting ready for the annual Stitchers Dream Day Out, hosted by the Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph of The Quilters Angel  And since it took place last weekend, I can now share some pics. So ... Brace yourself, Chookyblue  & everyone grab a cuppa, cos there are quite a few photos to share.

Stitchers Dream Day is my favourite stitching event for the year & with the zombie apocalypse continuing, it wasn't a certainty this year, but Marion & Steph were determined to provide a big splash of stitching happiness in the midst of 2020's upheaval, so they spent WEEKS jumping through all the hoops needed to run the event in a Covid compliant way, while still making it fun & full of surprises for us all. And what a fantastic job they did! 😁

Everything was a bit more spread out thus year, but still pretty & fun.

And of course my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette came up the 'hill' to play. 😁

And repeat offenders Felicity & Bec were back to join the fun ... & they brought show & tell! Both had finished the project I designed for Girls' Stitch In back in March! WOW! They did a lovely job ... & it was great to catch up with friends from away. 😁

Another familiar face, Michelle, brought her finished version of my "Old Ted" wall hanging to show me. Doesn't it look great? Michelle & her daughter have made a few of my designs now & it's always fun to see their versions in different colours with little variations that personalise
 them. And speaking of different fabrics ...

... Kerrie-Anne made her version of my "Spread Sunshine" bag from Girls' Stitch In up in more Autumn-y colours ... Isn't it fun to see how different fabrics change the look of a project?

Another familiar face, the Lovely Lesley, brought her version of my "Life Is Good" bag for show & tell. This was another Girls' Stitch In project from a few years ago. I use my own version as my sewing bag because it's really roomy ... & pretty. 😁

Loretta brought her "Life Is a Good" bag, too. 

I can't remember this lovely lady's name (Sorry!!) but she had done a wonderful job of creating "Spread Sunshine". (Did I mention how much I LOVE that range of Tilda fabrics?!)

Bev got a little creative & turned her "Spread Sunshine" stitchery into a project folder ... I should have taken a photo of the inside. And she also changed the accompanying tablet pouch into ...

... A tablet cover. I so enjoy it when people use my patterns as a starting point for their own creativity.

Designers for SDDO this year were Debbie McGee & Nikki Tervo. Sadly, Debbie had to pull out at short notice due to illness, though she sent her projects along to keep people stitching. And it was great to catch up with Nikki & her hubby John over the weekend. 

A HUGE THANK YOU to Marion & Steph for persevering through extremely difficult circumstances (fabrics not arriving until a week before, threads not arriving at all & having to be changed, pages & pages of forms & outlined plans filled out to meet Covid guidelines, restrictions on food serving, bottles & bottles of sanitiser ... To name just a few challenges!) to host this fun & relaxing weekend for us to enjoy.

Now ... usually this is where I'd share photos of the projects that were designed especially for SDDO ... BUT ... I'm not going to! 😜 You see, Marion & Steph know that lots of lovely stitching friends were unable to come & play this year due to travel & border restrictions so ... They are offering two Mystery Packs over on their website. One of the fun elements of SDDO is knowing that your gift bag will contain four bot-yet-released patterns, the pre-printed stitchery design for one of those patterns & the fabric pack to make it up, as well as a few little gifties & goodies. And that's what the mystery packs include. So, if you'd like a bit of stitching mystery & fun surprise in your life, pop over HERE to check the packs out ... But be quick because packs are limited. And I won't share pics yet because it would spoil the surprise. πŸ˜‰

WHEW! So ... That's my reason for being a bit absent from blogland & why I'm late with the August OPAM roundup. At least that's my story & I'm sticking to it! 😜 Thank you to everyone who emailed their tallies through ... Much appreciated. So after adding & blog hopping, the August tally was ...


WOW! Think of all the space there is in sewing cupboards around the world now. πŸ˜‚ And the random draw winner is ...

Congrats Joanne! Drop me an email & I'll send your prize. Well done to all of you who had finishes for the month & to those who made some progress on longer term projects. Right now, though, I think I've earned a cup of tea, so I shall sign off ... But I'll be back soon with some VERY exciting news ... So stay tuned! πŸ˜‰ Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



PS. The patterns for "Spread Sunshine" & "Life Is Good" bags available from The Quilters Angel online store. 😁

Sunday 30 August 2020

I Smell Spring!

It's almost here ... Spring is so close I can smell it ... Or maybe that's just my hay fever playing up thanks to wind-tossed dust, smoke from reduction burn offs in the nearby forest & the late-winter flowering wattle trees! 😝 While my hay fever is indeed off the charts for all of those reasons, the weather was nice enough to see GB & I out in our garden during this last week of our break. We have an acre with lots of gardens so there's always something we're wanting to tackle. 

GB was installing a watering system that should help us keep things alive without wasting water ... We only have rainwater, so have to be careful. I was on weeding & transplant duty ...& boy are my muscles telling me about it! 😝 Already there are signs of the garden coming out of its winter hibernation ... Trees are budding, early stone fruit trees are in bloom & ...

... The freesias are scenting the air with their sweet perfume. I couldn't resist bringing a few inside. I wish I could share their scent with you. 😍 And their sunshiny colour pop is brightening up the mantle at the moment.

Today, though, I took time off gardening (my muscles wept in gratitude! 😜) to tackle some Secret Squirrel sewing. Now ... I can't give too much away, but here's a sneaky-peeky at my work station ...

I told you I couldn't give too much away. πŸ˜‚ Stay tuned, as I'll be able to share more soon. πŸ˜‰

What I CAN share is the names of the two winners from my "Christmas Cuties" pattern prize draw. Thank you to those who shared some of their favourite Christmas memories with me. 😘 It was lovely to read about special traditions, people & celebrations. And the winners of a PDF copy of my "Christmas Cuties" patters are ...


Congrats, ladies! If you'd like to drop me an email, I'll send your prize pattern to you to give you a jump-start on Christmas giftie stitching. 😜  And if you weren't one of the winners but would like to buy a copy of "Christmas Cuties", you can pop over to the Quilters Angel website HERE to get stitching for Christmas. 

But now, I need to hit the pillow because it's the end of our two week break & we have to go back to work at our grown up jobs tomorrow ... SIGH! If only I didn't have a mortgage & a fabric addiction to pay for! Tee! Hee! Hee! I hope your week includes splashes of colour & lots of stitching time. Oh! OPAMers ... The month is ending, you know the drill! 😜 Take care, stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling! 😊 Til next time ...



Wednesday 19 August 2020

Happy Early Christmas!

Hello! Hello! Or should that be a Santa ... "Ho! Ho! Ho!" ! 😜 Christmas is coming early this year ... Nothing about 2020 should surprise us anymore, right?! 😝 Today I'm sharing my block as part of the Love And Hugs From Australia Stitchalong! YAY!

I have a little confession to make ... I don't really "do" Christmas. I hear gasps of shock & horror out there! 😜 I might put up a tree ...

... & a couple of folk art pieces designed by my gorgeous blogging buddy Kerryanne English ... But that's about it. So I found it a bit challenging to design a Christmas block ... Especially a 4" block! YIKES! That's much smaller than I usually play with! 😳 But once I visited The Quilters Angel & Steph helped me choose some gorgeous aqua & French red Tilda fabrics, I was on my way! 😁 And the finished block ...

Ta! Da! A slightly shabby chic Christmas tree in a bucket. 😜 I stitched it in a Cottage Garden Thread (of course! 😝) called "Galah". So then I needed to make it up into something ...

A sweet Christmas hanger. I LOVE that aqua floral & the raspberry stripe was perfect for binding. But just like the old telemarketing slogan ... But wait! There's MORE! 😁

While the tree block is available as a free download from the LAHFA Facebook page or by following the button link in my left sidebar here ... I designed three more stitcheries & three more projects to create my "Christmas Cuties" pattern. It's the stitcher's equivalent of a "choose your own adventure". 😜 You can mix & match the four stitcheries with the four projects to create your own favourite Christmas project. All four projects are quick, simple & fun to make & are ideal for Christmas gifties ... Or to spoil yourself. The pattern is available from The Quilters Angel HERE & a limited number of kits in the same yummy fabrics are available HERE

But wait ... There's STILL MORE! To celebrate the release of my Stitchalong block & "Christmas Cuties" pattern, I thought we'd also celebrate Christmas a little early (2020 is already so topsy turvy that we may as well shuffle Christmas around! 😝) so I'm giving away TWO PDF copies of "Christmas Cuties". All you need to do is leave a comment on THIS post to tell me your favourite Christmas memory & you'll go into a random draw to win. The draw winner will be posted here on Sunday August 30 (Queensland time).

PHEW! After all of that, I think I need a cup of tea. 😜 I'm looking forward to seeing lots of versions of my Christmas tree block ... & the projects from "Christmas Cuties", but now I'm taking my cuppa & settling in front of the computer to do some more appliqué template editing ... The end is in sight, but it's a bit of a slog to get there. 😜 In the meantime, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling! 😁 Til next time ...



Sunday 16 August 2020

Easy Like Sunday Morning!

Or all day Sunday, as was the case for us today as we enjoyed our last full day in the Sunshine Coast hinterland before we head home tomorrow.

Sunday's adventures were a little lower key. Nice sleep in, self-cooked brekky & then off to explore some interesting backtracks & sidetracks ... & would you look at that! One track led to the Yandina Ginger Factory ...

... where macadamia & ginger sundaes were consumed before we thought to take a photo for you to drool over. 😝 Arvo catchup with family , then a trip to a fave seafood spot & back to our accomodation for ...

... fresh prawns & grown up ginger beer. Ah ... Holidays! 😍

Hope you're all keeping safe & well. Til next time ...



Saturday 15 August 2020

(Temporary Backup) Weekend Adventures!

I'm making up for my recent absence a bit, aren't I?! 😜 But I thought you might enjoy hearing about our weekend adventures ... So far! 😜 My Beloved Geek Boy & I are starting our two week break with a long weekend away, courtesy of my folks who shouted us a treat for our combined 50th birthday gifties. (GB hit his milestone last year & I caught up in March. πŸ˜‰) Now ... We went in search of a cosy B&B ... But ran into trouble finding somewhere, as our usual choices were booked months in advance when travel was allowed again after our lockdown. Eventually, we did find something ... Not quite ticking all the boxes, but interesting. So we warned friends & family on the Sunny Coast that they should brace for rain (further explanation coming further down) & hit the road ...

And this is our base for the weekend. Not bad, but a few niggly things to deal with ... Still ... We're on holiday! 😜 Today after a bit of a sleep in we went for a drive & the first stop was the Patchwork Angel. Yes ... Something flung itself off the shelf at me & demanded I take it home. πŸ˜‚

You can never have too much spotty fabric & the pretty floral will be a border option for a layer cake I bought a while ago. While chatting to Penny & Chuck ... & a couple of other lovely fabric collectors, it came to light that ...
A) one lady lived just five minutes from our Home-sweet-home (small world!) ; &
B) there was a pop-up gin & cocktail tasting just down the road a bit. 😁
So of course we had to investigate. 😜 

Don't you love this cart?! It was the bar where our barman was being kept VERY busy. 😁 We decided to try a tasting paddle ...

Flavoured liqueurs were mixed into fruity cocktails ... But we agreed our favourite was ...

... The Diablo alcoholic ginger beer. MMMMM! It made wonderful Moscow Mules for our evening tipple tonight. 😁 We decided to skip the gin tasting, as we could see the clouds starting to bank up & we had a few more stops to make. Next ... Montville, so I could ...

... Stock up on my Tambourine Teas. πŸ˜‹ A gal can't live by alcoholic ginger beer alone, after all. 😜 After stocking up on tea, we decided Montville was a bit too peoply & headed for our temporary home base ... Via Melany Cheese ... Before heading home to enjoy our spoils. And, in keeping with our reputation for making it rain every time we get within cooee of the coast ...

... It started bucketting down. (Seriously ... We're starting to think we should warn people when we're heading towards the coast so they can avoid planning outdoor events! 😜) Which made it perfect to sit on the balcony, watching the rain while we feasted ...

It was YUMMO!! With full tummies, we curled up with kindle (me) & Netflix (GB) to enjoy the rainy afternoon. There was also a soak in the spa with Enya crooning her Celtic tunes ... But there's no photos of THAT! 😝 And now, we're kicked back relaxing, recharging the batteries that were nearly flat after a full & challenging seven months. NICE! Thanks Ma & Pa! 😘

What are YOU up to this weekend? Having adventures? Stitching? Gardening? Just chillin' at home? In lockdown? I'd be interested to hear. 😁 Right now, though, I think it's time to sample some of my Tambourine Tea ... Mango is tonight's choice. 😁 Take care of yourselves, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁 Til next time ...



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