Friday, 22 October 2021

To Scrappy Or Not To Scrappy!

Don’t fall over in shock! Yes ... I’m actually posting twice in the same week! πŸ˜† Our weekend is shaping up to be another busy one that won’t include sewing time, so today is IT if I want to rev up my trusty Husky. 😜 

So there was some cutting & now there’s some joining ...

I’m preparing binding for my Cheeky Chimpies quilt that I picked up from my clever quilting fairy, Fabulous Fiona this week. I decided to go with scrappy binding. I love how strips left over from the piecing in a quilt can come together to frame it for the binding. I think it ties everything together. I don’t do it on every quilt ... just the ones that I think need a bit more of a colour splash. 😜

Here it is, all wound up ready to attach. That’s the backing fabric folded over for a cheeky chimpy to peek from behind ... I’ve incorporated strips of it into my scrappy binding to further tie things together. I know not everyone likes scrappy binding ... do YOU?? πŸ˜‰

Now, though, it’s time for a refreshing cup of tea before I attach the binding. Stitching it down will be my hand stitching project for the weekend & I’ll share a pic of the completed quilt soon. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Late Is My Middle Name!

OK ... so Late isn’t REALLY my middle name, but I’m starting to think it should be! πŸ˜‚ Another month where I’m late to share the OPAM roundup & random draw winner ... sorry about that. I’d like to say it’s cos I was caught up stitching, but despite a little bit of stitching happening, it’s mostly been “other stuff” that has distracted me or drained my energy. Still ... here I am, finally, catching up. πŸ˜‰

Some of you clever creatives out there have obviously been doing my share of the creating, as September tied with August as the most productive month for OPAMers ... there were ...


... for September.well done everyone! And a pat on the back for those who made some progress on longer-term projects in September even if they didn’t get to add to their finishes tally. That was me, but after picking up my “Cheeky Chimpies” quilt today from my quilting fairy, the Fabulous Fiona, I’ll have a finish for my October list ..
 YAY! πŸ˜† And the September winner of the random prize draw is ...

Congrats Jeanette! Drop me an email & I’ll send you your PDF pattern prize to play with.

Now I may not have done much sewing in September but I HAVE done some plotting & planning for a couple of new projects, including a quilt for a friend who’s facing an ongoing health challenge. For something a bit different for me, here are the fabrics I’ve gathered to use ...

Even though I’ve not played with this colour combo before, it’s been on my “gonna do it one day” list. I’m thinking about a modified stacked coin quilt, so I’ll see how I go. Stay tuned! 😜

But now it’s time for a quick cuppa before I contemplate what we’re having for dinner tonight. I hope you’re all keeping safe & well & managing to squeeze in some creative time in your days. 😊 Til next time ...



Friday, 8 October 2021

And The Crazy-Busy Continues!

Yep ... just when I think life can’t get any crazier, it proves me wrong! 😜 Somehow I find myself in the middle of October, convinced Christmas was just last week & my phone’s calendar ap is malfunctioning when it tells me what day it really is. 😝 The last couple of weeks have been even busier than usual with lots of time spent travelling, amongst other things, but there has been some fun stuff mixed in.

Last Friday I took a drive down our ’hill’ to catch up with my Bestest-Buddy-Snce-We-Were-Nine Lynette. It had been a couple of months since we’d caught up so we decided to treat ourselves to high tea at a new spot Lynette discovered.

Don’t you just love these old corner store buildings? And the food ...

DEEEEEEEEELISH! 😍 I think this spot might need to go on the repeat-visit list.

Saturday I enjoyed a catch-up with some of my crazy stitching tribe, which was lovely as always. Then Sunday GB & I took a ‘little’ drive to tow his folks’ camper four & a half hours north to Woodgate beach, helped them set up camp & drove home again in the one day ... deciding at the end of it with sore backs & butts from sitting that maybe shorter trips are better these days! 😜 It seems that although we don’t mind getting older, our bodies are taking it badly! πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ Monday was a public holiday here in Queensland so it was catch-up-on-grown-up-chores day before heading back into the work week, which was busier than usual due to said public holiday giving one less work day in which to tackle the work needing to be done. With the next two weekends looking almost as busy again, GB & I have decided that this weekend we’re pulling up the drawbridge, releasing the moat-monsters & hiding from the world ... we’ll be hiding in our blanket fort on the sofa, only emerging to find snacks, if you’re looking for us! Tee! Hee! Hee!

But before I get on to building my blanket fort, I thought I’d better pop in to remind OPAMers that it’s time to update sidebar lists (if blogger is playing nicely for you. πŸ™„) & email me your September finishes tally list. I didn’t get to add any finishes (see previous comments about life being crazy-busy!) but I did get the baby quilt for my Sorta-Sister to flimsy stage ...

Cheeky Chimpies. πŸ˜‰ The colour isn’t great in this pic ... the appliquΓ© blocks’ background colour is a soft dusty blue & you can see I’m still using up my stash of blues/greens. I’ve now got this bundled up with its backing & wadding to drop into my quilting fairy the Fabulous Fiona this week. This wasn’t going to be written up as a pattern but ... I’m thinking about it now as I love how it turned out! 😜

And that’s about it from the Meares’ Madhouse for now ... apart from letting you know that Facebook isn’t allowing me to post on my Tag Along Teddies page at the moment ... who knows why! πŸ™„πŸ˜³  The constant changes & rewriting of rules, conditions & algorithms of social media just does my head in. What ever happened to, “if it ain’t broke - don’t fix it!” SIGH! For now, though, I’m off to hang another load of washing on the line (still playing catch-up with chores. 😜) & then I think I’ve earned a bit of time for a cup of tea & a read. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Well ... !

Well ... I have no idea where the last few weeks have disappeared to. There’s been hardly any sewing or stitching here & I’m WAY overdue with the OPAM roundup ... to the point where it’s almost time to remind you about the NEXT tally check in. 😜 Things at the Meares’ Madhouse seem to have been madder than ever, so I’ll catch you up on what I can remember has been happening ... grab a cuppa & get comfy. 😜

I mentioned last post that GB had shared his nasty head cold with me ... well that took a couple of weeks to shake properly (& our weird cold weather regression has brought back the tickly cough ... GRRR!) but thankfully I was over it in time to enjoy Stutchers Dream Day hosted by the lovely mother/daughter duo at the helm of The Quilters Angel  Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph. Low numbers due to many things, including border closures & concerns about snap lockdowns, meant the event couldn’t go ahead in its usual format. However, the Queens of Reinvention put together a fabulous online stitching adventure, as well as hosting a stitching-in-the-garden day for those of us close enough to come & play. I didn’t even pretend to stitch this year ... I just swanned around chatting, giggling & admiring everyone else’s work. 😜 Here are a few happy snaps I took on the day ...

Some of my Friday Nutters sewing tribe enjoying a cuppa & chat on the glorious spring day.

Lovely to catch up with some of our regular crazies. 😜 These gals always make each other a SDD gift ... this year one of the clever clogs made sun hats from Australian wildflower fabric to fit the day’s “Australiana” theme. There was a story to go with the bloomers ... but it makes me blush! πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Michelle is one of our overachievers & shared her finishes from Girls Stitch In back in March & last year’s SDD  ... I loved her version of my “Bloom Where You’re Planted” project bag. πŸ₯°

More show & tell pretties.

Last year’s SDDO projects completed.

Felicity modelling her Australiana hat & some finishes.

Julie sharing her version of my “Spread Sunshine” tote & Mabon Bear patterns.

We had a fantastic time together & we’re all incredibly appreciative that Marion & Steph bent over backwards to make sure SDD went ahead. Thank you, lovely ladies! 😘 Big thanks to this year’s designers, too ... Katie Dawson of Cottage Garden Threads (who couldn’t come & play in person as she lives in Victoria) & lovely local designer Lauren from Molly & Mama. If you’re interested in joining us for Girls Stitch In or Stitchers Dream Day, visit the Quilters Angel online store to see more, sign up for their newsletter to keep up with what’s new ... or by pattern, fabrics, kits & notions! πŸ˜‚πŸ₯° 

Just a little note from me about supporting our local businesses & events ... I know some people are hesitant to book into events at the moment because we’ve all had plans disrupted by lockdowns & border closures ... BUT ... if we don’t keep at least TRYING to support events organised by our local businesses (quilt shops, local community groups, councils etc) they won’t be there in the future for us to enjoy.

On to the delayed OPAM draw for August ... there were ...


For August ... WOW! Our biggest creative month so far this year! Well done everyone! And the random draw winner is ...

Congrats, Maria! Drop me an email & I’ll send you your PDF pattern prize. πŸ˜‰

And if you’ve made it to the end ... you deserve another cuppa, so go & put the kettle on ... that’s what I’m going to do! πŸ˜‚ Whatever you’re up to this week, I hope you’re staying safe, staying well, stitching up a storm & keeping a smile on your dile. 😊 I know life is topsy-turvy for many people at the moment, so please make sure you look after your special people & look after yourself. If you’re struggling, please reach out to someone for a chat ...& you can always drop me an email, too, if you need a splash of crazy in your week. πŸ˜‰ Til next time ...



Friday, 3 September 2021

Spring Sulking!

Hello to my lovely bloggy buddies out there! I hope your week has been wonderful. Mine was pretty busy but uneventful & I was looking forward to today so I could catch up with some stitching friends ... but now I’m sulking! You see, spring arrived this week ... which I was happy about ... & I’d made it all through winter without any winter lurgies pouncing on me. And then ... my Beloved Geek Boy brought home a nasty head cold & “kindly” shared it with me. SIGH! A spring cold somehow adds insult to injury. πŸ™„ Add to that, today was supposed to be when I caught up with some stitching friends, but since I didn’t want to share my germies further afield, I decided to stay home. So I’m sulking cos I feel crummy & because I’m missing a catch-up with friends. DOUBLE SIGH!

But ... my lovely stitching friends have been checking in with me through the morning & sent me a couple of photos that made me smile.

Wendy & Julie modelling their finished versions of my “Spread Sunshine” tote bag that I designed for Girls Stitch In last year. Didn’t they do a fabulous job!

And Julie also finished her version of my Autumn Solstice bear, Mabon. I’m always chuffed to see the projects that people make with my patterns & it’s especially lovely when good friends enjoy making them. πŸ₯° (Thanks to Chriss for being official sewing photographer. πŸ˜‰)

So ... I think I’m going to make myself a cupcake & snuggle under my flannel blankie with my kindle to ride out this cold. Of course, I’m incredibly grateful that it is ONLY a cold making me feel a bit snuffly & out-of-sorts & not something more serious. Big hugs to all of you struggling with illnesses, especially when lockdowns & travel restrictions are adding further stress. Big hugs, too, to those of you being affected by lockdowns. Stay positive & find something that makes your heart happy to concentrate on. πŸ₯° And to all of you ... stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Sunday, 29 August 2021

Don’t Blink!

Not only is this a reminder of my favourite Dr Who episode ever, it’s good advice for me at the moment because it feels like every time I blink, a month passes by! 😜 Amidst work, family stuff, designing & stitching, somehow August is coming to an end. Next thing we know, the jolly, fat man in red will be getting his border passes & QR scanner in order ready to deliver gifties. 🀣 On the up side, the cold winter weather shouldn’t be here too much longer. YAY! 😁

As I mentioned, I have actually been managing some designing & stitching, including putting this block ...

... and it’s friends together for a baby quilt for my Sorta-Sister ...

Here are the blocks laid out ready to join ... they’re together now & I’m about to go & attach the border. The bub is due in a few weeks, so I need to get my butt into gear. 😜

And speaking of getting butts into gear ... OPAMers ... it’s that time again. Time to update your sidebar tally lists & email me with your August totals so I can update the spreadsheet. I love seeing the projects you clever clogs crafters are working on & finishing. 😁

But now I’m off to have a quick cuppa before attaching a border. Whatever you’re up to this week, I hope you all stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😁πŸ₯° Til next time ...



Sunday, 15 August 2021

Life Is What Happens ...

... When you’re making other plans. πŸ™„πŸ˜œ To say the last couple of weeks haven’t been as planned would be an understatement. It’s been crazier & busier than ever in the Meares’ Madhouse. As well as my work situation still being a bit stressful, we’ve had my Dad in & out of hospital a couple of times after tests showed that he had had another heart attack (first was about 15 years ago) or maybe a couple of smaller ones. He’s now the bionic man with three new stents inserted to keep his heart happy. I’ve also been taxi to my Mum who doesn’t drive, have been helping behind the scenes with a big military history event that will be held next year, helped my Beloved Geek Boy celebrate another successful circumnavigation of the sun with birthday treats, as well as madly designing, editing & stitching on the quilt for my Sorta-Sister’s Bub who is due to make his grand entrance next month. Toss in getting the first of our anti-zombie jabs & it’s no wonder I keep running out of hours in my days & feeling exhausted! πŸ€ͺ

On the positive side ... Dad is home & feeling better, work has settled a little bit, GB had a tasty birthday (fave scrambled eggs for breakfast & lasagna for dinner. πŸ˜‰), anti-zombie jabs number one done without me embarrassing myself with my needle phobia (though I really think I deserved at least a lollipop for being brave! πŸ˜‚) & I’m making good progress with the baby quilt ...

This cheeky chimpy has been smirking at me as I stitch. πŸ˜‰ There’s a bit more stitching to do before I put the blocks together, but hopefully next time I’ll have a quilt top to show you.

And in a smoother-than-the-backroads transition ... I’ve also managed to complete the blog hopping for the OPAM finishes for July. Thanks to those who remembered to email their finishes through ... much appreciated. The final tally for July was...


YAY! Well done everyone! And well done to those like me who are working on longer term projects that have had some progress made. And the random prize draw winner is ...

Congrats Fabulous Fiona! Drop me an email & I’ll send you your PDF pattern prize. I may be a bit slack with my roundups each month, but I hope that playing along with OPAM is encouraging you to take time regularly to be creative. That’s our main goal, after all.

Righto ... that’s it from me for today & I think I’m going to take a little break to enjoy a cup of mango tea & a read before I get back to my “to do” list. I’ve just started a new book by a recently favourite author, so I have to be careful not to disappear into the book & forget to come out. 😜 Nothing like a bit of midlife magical crisis & snarky humour to entertain during a cuppa. 🀣 I wish you all a wonderful week. Special shout-out to those of you in lockdown. Be kind to yourself & reach out if you’re struggling. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Monday, 2 August 2021

Blessed With The Best!

Hello everyone! Sorry to keep falling off the radar ... life is a little challenging at the moment ... we all have those stretches, don’t we? The ones where life’s ups & downs toss us around a little more than we were expecting. Grown up job is a bit tense & stressful & my Dad has been admitted to hospital to have some tests run after a suspected heart episode. Add the craziness & uncertainty of COVID & lockdowns & my poor brain has been whizzing in circles & turning my tummy into a washing machine. I’m not usually a worrier or stresser but ...

However ... I’ve been reminded in the last few days that I am blessed to have the very best of supportive friends & family around me, checking up on me, checking in with me, giving supportive hugs & passing the tissues when my feelings leak out my eyes. They’re my TRIBE & they’re the BEST!! 😊 I always know & acknowledge how blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life, but the bumpy bits really bring it home to me & I am GRATEFUL!

So ... there hasn’t been a lot of stitching happening here (still!!) , though I have made a bit of progress on the baby quilt I’m making for my Sorta-Sister, so that’s a step in the right direction. For all of you other lovelies out there who are part of OPAM, however, I’m sure there’s been some activity in your creative space, so don’t forget to update your sidebar list of finishes & email your July tally through for me. I’ll do the blog hopping & tallying on the weekend.

I hope all of you are doing OK , especially those who are caught up in the current lockdowns. It’s so frustrating & tough for people who are doing the right thing & still have life disrupted because some people don’t think the rules apply to them. Gather your tribe close (zoom, emails & messages count!) & stay safe & positive. Take care everyone & I hope to be back soon to share some actual sewing progress. πŸ˜‰ Take care, stay well, stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling (even if some days it’s through gritted teeth!) Til next time ...



My Tribe of Sassy, Sexy, Strong Wild Women! πŸ₯°

Monday, 26 July 2021


Well ... Monday has rolled around again &lived up to its legend ... SIGH! Not feeling 100%, forced to get up earlier than I like with the temperature below five degrees, a run-in with the boss at my grown up job & cold westerly winds whipping winter to new lows. If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be snuggled under my flannel quilt with a book & treats from a weekend road trip ...

My favourite Mango Tea from Tamborine Teas & some indulgent salted caramel chocolate. It won’t fix most of Monday’s muck, but it might cheer me up a bit. πŸ˜‰ Hopefully your week is off to a better start, but whether you’re off the blocks & running or dragging the chain like me, I wish you all a wonderful week. Take care, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Friday, 16 July 2021

Try & Try Again!

Finally ... here I am, back to catch up with you all out there in blogland & announce the June OPAM draw winner. This is about the fourth try I’ve had at finishing the blog hopping & posting ... I keep getting interrupted & sidetracked ... the story of my life! 😝 Some of the sidetracking has actually been sewing ... SURPRISE! πŸ˜‚ I’ve made some progress on my blue squares ...

I’ve now got five nine-patch blocks together. There will be appliquΓ© blocks between, but I’m still working out what to do there, so it’s on the back burner while I contemplate. I also made some progress on my new stitchery quilt design-in-progress ...

This is my “Happy Hippie Chick” quilt & I'm having fun with it when I can snatch time to work on it. My brother calls me a leftover hippie ... I object to the ‘leftover’ bit ... but I’ll own the hippie title. 😜 These stitcheries are incorporating some of my favourite things ... Combis, Beetles, mendallas, pretty colours, Cottage Garden Threads, fun & stitching. I’ve got a couple more blocks to design before I tackle how I put it at together ... any suggestions to throw into the pot???

Another slight sidetrack was a visit up the hill by my Sorta-Sister Tiffy for a birthday lunch for Dad ...

Here’s Mum, Dad & I ... can’t half tell we’re related, can you?! 🀣

And Mum & Dad with Tiffy. You can see that Tiffy is the reason for the blue baby quilt. 😜 There was also a trip down the’hill’ in there to help Tiffy celebrate her baby shower. Tiffy boarded with Mum & Dad to finish high school with her class after her family moved from town ... & some 15 years later she’s just been absorbed into our family. 😜

So ... that & a bit of stress at my grown up job have kept me from adding any finishes to my OPAM tally ... but some of you have been busy stitching bees with ...


Recorded for June. Well done everyone! And as I hopped around the blogs, I saw lots of progress being made on longer term projects, too, so that’s fabulous. I also saw some fabulous hand knitted socks that I was envious of ... I hate wearing shoes, so winter often sees me wearing warm socks around the house to stop my toesies turning blue ... & I’m hopeless at knitting anything other than a straight stocking stitch scarf! 🀣 The random draw winner for June is ...

Congrats Karen! Drop me an email & I’ll send you a PDF copy of a Tag Along Teddies pattern as your prize. But right now, I think I’m off in search of lunch ... time seems to have got away from me ... AGAIN! 😜 Wishing you all a safe & restful weekend. Special cyber hugs to those of you in lockdown again. It’s rainy here today with a forecast of the rest of the weekend being freezing, so I’m planning to hibernate in front of the fire with some stitching or a book. Stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊  Til next time ...



Friday, 25 June 2021


There went another week! It went zipping past in a blur of busyness, a family visit & crazy catch-up with my grown up job, plus my boss is away for two weeks & we’re a staff member down, too. I’m looking forward to the weekend, even if the weather gurus are telling me it’s gonna be a NAAAAAAASTY weather weekend! 😳 Hibernating in front of the fire with books, movies, stitching & cups of tea sounds like my preferred plan. 😜

So here I am finally getting around to the OPAM roundup for May ... just in time to remind you to update your sidebar tallies for June! Tee! Hee! Hee! I think everyone must have had a bit of a disrupted May, actually, as it’s our lowest tally for the year so far with ...


But ... during my blog hopping I saw that many of you are working away on longer term projects, so that means less finishes, but still enjoying some creative time. The winner of the random prize draw for May is ...

Congrats Janice! Drop me an email & I’ll send you your PDF copy of a Tag Along Teddies pattern to play with.

And really, that’s it from me for today. I’m off to put the kettle on ready to start my weekend ...

A cuppa, some Enya, a scented candle burning & some stitching. My version of a winter survival kit. πŸ˜‚ Whatever you’re up to, stay warm, stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling. Til next time ...



Sunday, 20 June 2021

Holiday Hiatus!

Hello to all of you lovelies out there in blogland! I know I’ve been off the map for a few weeks - sorry about that. It’s been a bit of a holiday hiatus time. A couple of busy weeks at grown up job to cover all the things I’d normally do during the two week break we have then enjoyed! It had been almost a year since my Beloved Geek Boy & I had had more than a few days off in a row, so it was much-anticipated. πŸ˜‰

We started our break with a road trip four & a half hours north to Bargara beach, near Bundaberg.

It was tough looking at this view for four days, but we somehow managed. πŸ˜‚ While we’ve spent a lot of time in Bargara & Bundaberg over the years (my Grandma lived at Bargara until her passing four years ago) there were still places we wanted to visit this trip that we hadn’t managed previously ... apart from the Quilters Shack which is a repeat visit destination. 🀣 Whilst researching his family tree, GB discovered his great-grandmother was buried in Bundaberg Cemetery so we popped in for a visit ...

Sadly, there’s no marker or headstone, but a site map gave him the plot number & a reference photo, so we were able to track it down. Our visit to Bundy also coincided with the anniversary of my Grandma’s passing, so we paid her & Gramps a visit at the crematorium memorial gardens ...

Here’s Mum next to Grandma’s plaque. Gramps’ plaque is on the adjacent wall set aside for retired service men & women, as he served in New Guinea during WWII. The gardens were beautiful & my keen gardening Grandma would approve. πŸ₯° We also finally got around to visiting the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks factory - home of Bundaberg Ginger Beer ... YUMMO! We joined a taste-test tour to try the range of soft drinks produced there ...

And chose our complementary six-pack ... apple cider, blood orange, burgundy creaming soda, traditional lemonade, mango & grapefruit were my picks. I don’t drink a lot of soft drinks, but these are a nice treat that I’m gradually working my way through. 😜 During our time at the beach, we took a day for a mini road trip an hour & a bit to Maryborough where we met up with my Uncle, who drove from the Sunshine Coast to show us through the Military & Colonial Museum, which he is heavily involved with.

I’m not usually a big fan of war-related museums, movies or books (GB has to wait until my sewing night outings if he wants to watch war movies. 😜) , but I really enjoyed visiting this one because the focus isn’t so much on the fighting & battles, but on the stories of the ordinary people who found themselves caught up in extraordinary events.

... like Herbert James, whose medal set this is. We also enjoyed a VIP tour of the “ANZAC To Armistice” walk in the nearby park.

GB & my Uncle with a statue of the first man ashore at Gallipoli, which marks the start of the walk. If you’re ever in/near Maryborough, I can highly recommend the Military Museum for your itinerary. And just across the road is the Port of Maryborough Bond Store. Maryborough in its heyday was one of the busiest ports in Australia & the bond store was where goods were offloaded & stored until the import duties, or BOND, was paid & items collected. Not only are there interesting displays sharing some of Maryborough’s history, the gift shop sells some rather tasty liqueurs ... some vintage port & Turkish Delight liqueur may have come home with us. πŸ˜‚

And that pretty much filled up our beach visit ... which for the first time ever saw our usual rainy weather hold off until the morning we headed home.

Did I mention it ALWAYS rains when we visit the beach?! 😝 It didn’t, however, stop us from enjoying a last walk along the beach ...

And dipping our toesies into the rather cool waves. What the photo doesn’t show is the grumbling from GB about “hurry up & take the photo cos it’s freezing” or the manic giggling of the photographer who actually took the shot three waves ago but didn’t tell him! Tee! Hee! Hee!

It was then home to “the fridge on the ridge”  for the rest of our break which ... sadly for us hot-weather chooks! ... lived up to its name, with most of the last few days’ temperatures barely creeping into double digits .. EEP! πŸ₯Ά And sadly it’s back to impersonating responsible adults again tomorrow ... SIGH! Just as we were starting to feel rested enough to begin tackling the list of things we thought we’d achieve during our break. 😜

I realise I still haven’t done the last OPAM roundup & random draw ... & it’s almost time for the next one! 😳 I promise to be back in the next day or so to do that. But right now it’s time to put the kettle on & round up some firewood because the temperature is already on the decline for the day ... BRRRR! Whatever you’re up to this week, I hope you stay warm (or cool, for those in the northern hemisphere. πŸ˜‰), stay safe & keep smiling. Til next time ...



Sunday, 30 May 2021

Square Dancing!

Hello to you all out there in blogland! 😊 And greetings from the top of our chilly ‘hill’ this sunny Sunday. I know that ‘chilly’ & ‘sunny’ don’t seem like they should go together, but that’s winter on top of the Great Dividing Range, our ‘hill’. 😜 The calendar may say it’s not winter yet, but our weather is getting a head start, with the last two nights down in the lower single digits ... so it’s almost time for the Meares’ Madhouse to go into hibernation ... we wish! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Since I can’t hibernate, I’m doing the next best thing ... Sunday sewing. And I’ve been playing with my favourite teal/aqua/green/blue stash again, doing some square dancing ...

I’m making a quilt for a blue baby due to our extended family later in the year & while I’m kinda making it up as I go along, I’m starting with some nine-patch blocks. They’re going to be interspersed with some appliquΓ© blocks ... once I decide what I’m appliquΓ©ing. 😜 Stay tuned! πŸ˜‚

And it’s also that time of the month that I remind all of you lovely OPAMers to update your sidebar list of finishes for May & email me your final tally for the month. I’m looking forward to seeing where your creative journey is taking you at the moment. 😊

While my next step with my blue quilt may still be a mystery, my next step today is ... you guessed it! ... to make myself a cup of Tambourine Tea! πŸ˜† Mmmmm ... I think I’m in a Summer Night’s Dream mood. Wishful thinking, perhaps! πŸ˜‚ Whatever you’re up to today, I hope it includes something creative. Special shout-out to those of you in Melbourne who are locked down again. Stay safe, everyone & keep smiling! 😊😘 Til next time ...



Friday, 21 May 2021


Hello, hello! Greetings to you all from the top of our ‘hill’ this sunny-but-blowy Friday. 😊 It’s my official day off for the week & I’m happily spending the day at home, puddling around doing a few chores (my Mum would be proud! πŸ˜†) , indulging in a little fantasy fiction reading & having another play with ...

... my favourite colour stash. 😍 There’s a blue baby due in our extended family in a few months, so I’m starting to think about quilt ideas ... simple squares, half-square triangles, appliquΓ©, stacked coin ... Oh! The many choices that lay before me! Maybe I need to have a cup of tea to help me think about it. Tee! Hee! Hee!

While I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, I thought I’d share a few quick pics I took last weekend when my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette & her Sweetie came for a drive up our ’hill’ to check out the annual Hampton Food Festival. It had to be canceled last year due to the zombie apocalypse, but it’s a great day of showcasing the many food & beverage producers that are thriving in our High Country Hamlets area.

After navigating the sign-in & lining up for a while in the large crowd in attendance, we rewarded ourselves with a yummy raspberry muffin from Bakers Duck ... they have a cafe/bakery in Toowoomba if you’re looking for sweetie-treaties. πŸ˜‹ We also stocked up on ...

... our favourite olives. 😍 Previously Bunnyconnelon olives, that part of one of our favourite local businesses has moved into the hands of Coolbardie Olives. Whatever name they’re sold under, they’re DEEEEELISH!! The Dorset ones are my favourite, with Bush Barbie close behind. The chili Cha Cha Cha bottle is GB’s pick ... I won’t fight him for those ones. πŸ˜† Our other splurge was to help us grow our own local food ... a couple of herbs to replenish my back-door herb pots, a couple more residents for my veggie patch & ...

... a couple of native finger limes. These will be potted up this weekend ... after we discovered we’d used the last of our potting mix. We MAY have also introduced Lynette to our favourite gin & vodka distillery, Pechey Distillery. They are literally just down the road from where we live ... five minutes down the road - how convenient. πŸ˜‚ No purchase for us, as we have already been enjoying a tipple purchased at a cellar door visit last year, but Lynette adopted a bottle to give it a good home. πŸ˜‚ We rounded out our play date with a late lunch picnic at one of our local dams ... also just down the road from our house. πŸ˜‰ Pechey really is a great spot to call home & share with our friends. πŸ˜„ We munched on some of our olives, some Bunya cheeses (also purchased at the food festival) & some crackers while we soaked up the serenity ... & commented that some good soaking rain is still desperately needed in our catchment, as the dam levels are still very low. All in all, it was a relaxing way to spend a Sunday & if you’re looking for a fun foodie experience, keep a weekend in May aside next year & come & check out the Hampton Food Festival. They have a FB page you can follow to keep up with news.

Right now, though, I think I hear the kettle calling my name, so I’ll sign off. Have a wonderful weekend no matter what you’re up to. Til next time ...



Friday, 14 May 2021

An Outing & Catch-up!

Greetings to all of you lovelies out there in blogland! I hope your week has been wonderful. Mine has zipped by in a bit of a blur that included GB being away for a few days for work, a lovely lunch with a friend & a relaxing stitching catch-up with a couple of other friends. And it kicked off with an outing for Mother’s’ Day last Sunday ...

Here’s me with my Mama. πŸ₯° And she’s modeling her Mothers’ Day gifties ... a colourful new scarf to brighten her winter wardrobe & a pretty new bag for when she’s playing ladies & just wants something to carry purse, keys & phone in. Then it was time for a Mothers’ Day outing ...

About 15 minutes drive from our home is the beautiful Ravensbourne National Park. Mum is pointing to the walking track we thought about checking out ... but decided lunch was better. πŸ˜‚

It was busier than we’d thought it would be, but we snagged a table for our outdoor feast. Definitely a lovely way to spend time with Mum for her special day. πŸ₯°

And Mother’s’ Day motivated me to hit the sewing machine, which means I actually added something to my OPAM tally ... FINALLY! πŸ˜‰ After doing the end of month blog hop this afternoon, I can see that many others have been more productive than me, with ...


... recorded for April! Well done, everyone! And some of you reported progress on longer-term projects, too, which is great to see. The random draw winner for April is ...

Congrats, Narelle! Drop me an email & I’ll send you your prize PDF pattern.

Right now, though, I hear the kettle calling my name, so I’m off to make a cupcake ... my order from Tambourine Tea arrived last week, so I’m enjoying Mango Tea, Black Tea with Lemon & Ginger, Summer Night Dream tea & Apple & Cinnamon tea. The hardest part is deciding which one I feel like. πŸ˜‚ I wish you all a relaxing & enjoyable weekend. Til next time ...



Friday, 30 April 2021

Missing Mojo!

So many pretty fabrics, so many projects & designs in various stages of creation ... so little focus or motivation! SIGH! πŸ™„ Do you have periods of manic creativity followed by times when your sewing mojo absconds to the Bahamas without you?? Or is that just me? πŸ€” How do you get your mojo to give up it’s holiday in an island paradise to come home & get your groove happening again? I’ve decided to try lighting my creative fire by spending some quality time wallowing in my fabric stash. I’m not sure if it’s working, but the pretty colours are giving me a rainbow on a grey, overcast & dreary ‘hilltop’ day. 🌈πŸ₯°

For those of you whose mojo hasn’t decamped to tropical destinations, here’s your end-of-month reminder to update your OPAM finishes list for the month on your sidebar & email me your April finish tally. Hopefully some of you have had more luck corralling your creativity than me. πŸ˜‰ But ... it’s another long weekend here ... three in a row is messing with my mental calendar, but the sleep-ins are welcome! ... so I’m hoping to jumpstart my mojo again. I’ll let you know how that goes ... stay tuned! πŸ˜† Whether you’re enjoying an extended weekend or just making the most of a usual one, I hope you enjoy it & find time to enjoy some creative pursuits. Til next time ...



Sunday, 18 April 2021

Autumn & OPAM

Hello there! I hope you all had a relaxing Easter. GB & I enjoyed the quiet time at home, though I confess the public holidays & short weeks have scrambled my mental calendar & derailed my sewing mojo ... but the extra sleep-ins were nice! πŸ˜†

As a result of the missing mojo (sounds like a Nancy Drew adventure! πŸ˜‚) there hasn’t been much sewing, stitching or designing going on, but the mild autumn weather has seen GB & me out in our garden. While a lot of our energy has gone to weed-taming after our recent lovely rain, we have also been enjoying the abundance of colour & growth in our back yard. With no sewing pics to share, I thought I’d share some garden sneaky-peekies instead. πŸ˜‰

The marigolds have sprung up in huge numbers & are currently spreading autumn cheer near our back steps. Some people aren’t fond of marigolds because of their pungent scent, but I love the cheerful splash of colour they bring to the garden & that they attract beneficial insects to our yard. These have all grown from seeds Mum collected for me from her garden, along with some nasturtiums that are a bit overshadowed by the marigolds. I’m hoping that now they’re established, these cheerful chaps will come back season after season ... I love self-seeding cottage garden flowers. 😊

The Mexican Sage is so pretty at the moment, with its grey foliage & bright pinky-purple flower spikes. Best of all, it’s survived our extended drought period & is tough as old boots ... pretty boot, though! πŸ˜†

And proving you can be productive wherever you find yourself planted ... we have a very healthy pumpkin vine emerging from our compost bin that has about 10 pumpkins of varying sizes on it. This is the biggest & it should be ready to pick just in time for pumpkin soup cooking. πŸ˜‹ Funnily enough, the two pumpkin vines I purposely planted in our fruit & vege patch haven’t yielded any pumpkins ... go figure!

And our strawberry plants have thrown out some runners, which have been snipped & planted out according to Gardening Australia instructions. There are even a few fruiting flowers on the older plants ... hence the mesh covering to keep the were-rabbits out ... Wallace & Gromit fans understand! πŸ˜‚ Actually ... the mesh is more to stop our resident persnickety possum, Percy, & the cheeky king parrots ... but that doesn’t sound as exciting as were-rabbits, does it?! 🀣

And as spent plants are pulled out or given a hard prune back, I’ve collected some seed for next season. Do you save seeds? I’m new to doing so, so it will be interesting to see my success ... or otherwise. πŸ˜† We’ve also dug over the vege beds & planted some snow pea seeds, with hopes of adding some more crops next weekend ... rain & other commitments meant it didn’t happen this weekend.

So that’s been taking my time in recent weeks, rather than sewing ...but I know many of YOU have been playing in your creative spaces because I’ve just completed the March OPAM hop around. There were ...


... for March. WOW! Well done everyone! And well done to those who made some progress on some long term projects, too. The winner of the random draw prize is ...

Congrats, Christine! Drop me an email & I’ll send your PDF pattern prize. But right now, I think it’s time for a hot drink to stave off the cool air that’s drifting in as the sun starts to go down, so I’ll wish you all a wonderful week. 😊 Til next time ...



Sunday, 4 April 2021

Easter Greetings & OPAM Reminder!

Easter Greetings to you, my bloggy buddies, from the top of our slightly soggy ‘hill’. With a four-day long weekend over the Easter break, GB & I had been planning to spend time in the garden, trying to win it back from the weeds. The weather, however, has had other ideas & there will be no gardening here ... unless we make use of a snorkel. πŸ˜‚ Still ... we’re just so thankful to have ALL of our tanks full of water for the first time ever, that we’re happily enjoying the rain from the comfort of inside, where we’re watching movies, reading, stitching & snoozing ... that’s GB you can hear snoring! 🀣

I also tackled a bit of machine sewing to make a face mask for GB who has struggled to find something that fits without sliding up under his glasses ... this is the first time QLD has had mandatory mask wearing, so we hadn’t had to worry about masks previously during the zombie apocalypse.

A little disheveled, but cute ... the mask, too! πŸ˜† I have to admit I won’t be mass producing masks ... let’s just say curved seams aren’t my favourite thing. πŸ™„ And hopefully we won’t need the masks for too much longer. At least it was a finish to add to my tally, though.

And speaking of tallies ... she says, segueing smoothly to her next point! πŸ˜‚ ... we’ve crossed over into a new month so OPAMers ... update your sidebar lists & email me your March tally so I can update the spreadsheet. Maybe we’ll all have additions to our April tally after this weekend. 😜

Well ... that’s it from me this wet Easter Sunday, I’m off to make myself a cup of apple & cinnamon tea to sip while I stitch in front of a fave movie ... hmmm ... shall I help save the world from super villains, an undead mummy, or a giant killer shark?!? 😜 Whatever you’re doing today, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...




Friday, 26 March 2021

March Madness!

Well, hello there, all you lovely bloggers buddies! I know ... it’s been so long since I popped in here to catch up with you that you thought I’d been kidnapped by a shape-shifting dragon who had whisked me away to some exotic location to keep me safe from an evil sorcerer hellbent on ruling the world. (Just quietly, why would you want to rule the world when it’s such a mess??! πŸ˜‚) OK ... maybe I need to stop reading fantasy fiction for a little while! Tee! Hee! Hee! 

The real reason for my blogging MIA is much more mundane ... March Madness. πŸ˜‰ You see, March is one of our busiest months of the year, so I just haven’t squeezed in time for a blog catch-up ... until now. So, fair warning, this will probably be a long post with lots of pics ... Chookyblue ... you’re gonna need a cuppa! 😜

So ... my last post, I shared a teasing sneaky-peaky of my Girls Stitch In projects ... well ... we had a fantastic time with a live video to launch GSI on the Saturday morning when we would usually be gathering & lots of stitchers from all around Australia grabbed their kits. My projects ...

Ta! Da! “Be Your Blooming Self!”. The drawstring project bag is surrounded by various sized pockets to stash your tools for a stitching day & the matching ruler pouch also features a pocket to store your rotary cutters & scissors.

Here’s the other side of the bag & more pockets, as well as a couple of my signature rosette flowers. 

And a closer look at the main stitchery. The inspiration for the theme of this project was ... as women, we are often made to feel like we have to be & do everything ... we feel we have to have a career, family, look catwalk ready, prepare gourmet uber-healthy meals, spend hours in the gym, keep a perfect house, juggle all of life’s’ balls’ while never breaking a sweat. And we can fall into the trap of looking at those around us who seem to have the “Insta-worthy” life while we feel we’re failing. But if you look around the garden, you’ll see all of the plants just doing their own thing, adding their own unique beauty to the world & never comparing themselves to the plant beside them. This bag is a reminder that we just need to be our blooming selves. 😊 

Huge thanks to Marion & Steph of The Quilters Angel for inviting me to be a Girls Stitch In guest designer this year & for finding a way to keep the event happening even when it couldn’t happen in person. Thanks to Lauren of Molly & Mama for also sharing her lovely talents as a guest designer. Patterns for “Be Your Blooming Self” are available from the Quilters Angel online store & if you’re quick, there may still be a few kits in the luscious Tilda fabrics I played with. 😁

I almost forgot ... before GSI there was time for a lunch catchup with a couple of blogging buddies ...

Fabulous Fiona & the lovely Janice ... & Janice’s hubby Mick who was official quilt-holder & photographer 😜 ... & I caught up for lunch. I’ve been chatting with Janice via blogs for years now & we’ve enjoyed a couple of play dates when she & Mick are passing through our area & I’m lucky enough to catch up with Fiona at least once a month for stitching time. Lots of fun & chats enjoyed. 😁

Next on the busy schedule was an extended birthday weekend for yours truly. 😜 Hey ... if you have to add another number to your age, you may as well enjoy it, right?! 😝 So last Friday saw GB join my folks & a busload of saucy seniors (GB & I lowered the average age somewhat! πŸ˜‚) for a day tour to Brisbane where we headed for the river ...

... for a lunch time cruise on the Kookaburra Queen paddle boat. Lunch was a delish smorgasbord & the views ...

Skyscrapers & sailboats ...

... river panoramas ...

... heavenly historic buildings. And enjoyed with some of my special people ...

Dad (who I don’t at all look like! πŸ™„πŸ˜), Mum, birthday girl & GB. If you’re looking for a a relaxing way to see Brisbane’s river views, I can recommend a cruise on the Kookaburra Queen. Thanks for the birthday treat, Ma & Pa. 😘

So then on Saturday ... my actual birthday ... & the autumn solstice for those aspiring pagans 😜 ... I received a phone call from the lovely Marion to say she was on her way to drop in. When she arrived ...

... I found she’d collected a couple of stitching buddies along the way, as well as Angel-in-training Miss Zoe ... & a rainbow birthday cake. 🌈 So ... I put the kettle on & we enjoyed an impromptu tea party. 😁 Thankfully, they are true friends & fellow stitchers so overlooked the fact that most of the table was covered in sewing clutter. πŸ˜†

Rainbow cake ... enjoyed from pretty china plates & eaten with vintage cake forks. 😁 Thanks Marion, Miss Zoe, Kerry & Rachel for helping me celebrate another successful trip around the sun. 😘 And adding to the birthday fun & calorie count, GB took me for a Sunday drive down the ‘hill’ to Esk for celebratory coffee & cake ...

... or in my case, iced tea & butterscotch slice ... YUMMO! 😍 Add lots of birthday messages on FB, texts & emails & it really was a fun birthday weekend. Thank you to everyone who has helped make the last year a good one ... & here’s to another trip round the sun full of adventures. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜

And that’s about it from me. I promise to pop back a bit sooner next time, but hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on my mischief. πŸ˜‰ And now ... I think it’s time for a late lunch, so I’ll sign off. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Til next time ...



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