Friday 31 December 2021

As The Year Winds Down ... !

Well ... 2021 is almost over & for most of us it was NOT the year we planned. However ... despite the plan-changes, event cancellations & challenges, we made it safely to the finish line. Thank you to my ‘tribe’ for your support, encouragement & love. Let’s see what adventures, mischief & stitching 2022 holds. πŸ˜‰ Til next time ...



Saturday 25 December 2021

Christmas Peace!

It’s the wee hours of Christmas Day 2021 & only the night owls are still cruising FB & blogs. 😜 Which seems like a good time to enjoy the Christmas peace & quiet after another roller coaster year. It’s nice to finally have a chance to stop the busyness & craziness to take some time to count our many blessings.

I’m grateful for the blessing of good health for myself & loved ones. I feel blessed to live in a country that has been impacted much less than so many places around the world.  But at the top of my list of blessings is the crazy, creative, caring, supportive & loving 'tribe' I have around me, made up of family-by-blood & family-by-heart. Thank you one & all for the richness you add to my life. You make the colours a little brighter, the music a little sweeter & shine light into my life even on the dark days. πŸ₯° I AM BLESSED!! πŸ₯°

Wishing you all a happy, safe & restful Christmas period. May your blessings outnumber your troubles & may you have the wisdom to recognise them. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜ 



Thursday 23 December 2021

Cheeky Chimpies’ New Home!

Hello everyone! Have you been caught up in the end-of-year crazies like me? My batteries are so flat that the Energiser Bunny just bounced all over me! πŸ˜‚ Thankfully, today was my last grown up work day for the year & I’m on holiday for 10 blissful days! YAY! πŸ₯³ I’m planning on doing some serious sleeping in, some sewing, some reading, some gardening, watching some cricket & spending some quiet time with my Beloved Geek Boy. AAAAAHHHHHH!! BLISS! 😊

And speaking of sewing ... which I did in a roundabout kind of way! 😜 ... do you remember me sharing my “Cheeky Chimpies” quilt with you? Let me refresh your memory ...

Well ... it went off to its new home last week when my Sorta-Sister Tiffy brought her own cheeky chimpy to visit his Sorta-Family. 😜 Little Mr was NOT in the mood for a quilt photo shoot, but Tiffy sent me some pics when she arrived home. Brace yourself for some cuteness πŸ˜‰ ...

AAAAAAAWWWWW! King of the cute Cheeky Chimpies. πŸ˜‰πŸ₯°

I love this pic ...his cheeky grin matches the Chimpies! 🀣 Apparently, he loves the Chimpies & his Mum loves the colours, so I’m calling that a success. 😁 I’ve got the pattern half written & hope to get more done in the next 10 days ... stay tuned if you think you need some Cheeky Chimpies in your life. 😜

And that’s it from me for today. Tomorrow is tidy-the-house-so-it-doesn’t-look-like-Ghenghis-Khan-&-his-marauding-Mongol-hordes-have-been-roughhousing Day, so I think I need some beauty sleep. 😜 Whatever you’re up to I hope you take care, stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Friday 17 December 2021

Christmas Craziness!!

EEP! How has it been three weeks since I posted?! And how is it only a week til the chubby bloke in red starts his round-the-world delivery trek?!! Clearly someone has been stealing days from my weeks again. πŸ™„ Sorry, bloggy friends! The only excuse I have is that Christmas craziness has been in full swing here at the Meares Madhouse for the last few weeks & I’m running behind. Hmmm ... behind-er?!?! 🀣

I HAVE managed a little bit of sewing in the midst of festive frivolities  ...

One of my favourite-to-make items ... a pretty drawstring lingerie bag to keep your knickers & bras tucked away in your suitcase. This was for our stitching group’s Secret Santa & the lovely Chriss was the happy recipient. Like me, she loves French General fabrics & travels quite a bit ... when the zombie apocalypse allows. πŸ™„ So this will be handy for her. And this is our group of crazy stitchers celebrating ...

There were a few of our tribe missing, (& being missed!) but we had a lovely catch-up. My other finish (one for November & one for December ... YAY! ) was another of my go-to gift projects ...

An across-the-body bag that’s just the right size to hold purse, phone & keys for a walk along the beach or a fun night out. I’ve got a version I use for evening outings (I usually carry a dotty backpack rather than a handbag, which isn’t very’classy’ for a night out. 😜) & have made my Mum a couple of different colour versions. This one hasn’t been gifted yet, but is for a lovely friend who’s a bit of a bohemian/hippie like me, so a batik daisy is right up her alley. πŸ˜‰

Now on to other finishes ... OPAM for November. There has definitely been a lot of sewing & creating going on amongst our OPAMers with ...


... for November! WOW! Well done everyone! And I also saw lots of project progress pics when I was doing my blog hopping, so well done to those who may not have any finishes to record, but made some headway on some longer term projects. And the winner of the random draw is ..

Congrats, Cheryll! Drop me an email & I’ll send you your PDF prize pattern to play with. Thanks to everyone who emailed their totals ... it gives me a good head start to collecting the totals each month. 😁

Right now, though, I think I hear the kettle playing my song. 😜 Ooh! Speaking of songs ... I started a little challenge over on the Quilters Angel Tribe FB page for us to put together the 12 Days Of Christmas for Quilters & had some fun results! 😁 I’ll try to remember to share it next post, but you can pop across to peek if you can’t wait. If you’re not yet part of this FB group, just visit the Quilters Angel FB page & look for how to join. It’s a fun, supportive tribe of stitchers. 😁 And that’s me done for today. πŸ˜‰ Take care of yourselves, keep stitching & keep smiling. Til next time ...



Friday 26 November 2021

Aaaaahhhh! Friday!

AAAAAAHHHHHH! How I LOVE Fridays ... especially when I get to stay home & stitch in front of a favourite movie ...

No chick-flicks or girly-girl movies for me! 🀣 I confess that disaster movies & creature-features are among my guilty movie pleasures. 😜 Helping Jason Stratham & crew from “The Meg” rescue the world from a giant shark ... or two! ... while doing some Christmas giftie stitching. 😜 What’s one of YOUR favourite movies that other people roll their eyes at? πŸ˜‰

I hope your Friday/weekend includes some stitching & a guilty pleasure or two. πŸ˜‰ OPAMers ... it’s time to update your sidebar finishes list & email me your November tally. I’ll look forward to seeing some of your gorgeous finishes. 😊 But right now, I think I hear the kettle calling my name, so a cup of apple cinnamon tea & some more movie-stitching is on my agenda. Take care of yourselves, lovelies. Stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling. Til next time ...



Friday 19 November 2021

(Temporary Backup) One Of Life’s Mysteries Solved!

Do you ... like I do ... find that as you get older there are more & more of life’s mysteries in your life? You know ... why does the sun bleach fabric white but darken our skin; why does an even number of socks go into the washing machine but an odd number come out; why do politicians bother making promises when they know they will break them; & where the heck is that ‘safe’ place that we put things so we’ll remember where they are, only to forget where that place is when we need the item?! πŸ™„ I ponder these important questions in the quiet moments of my life ... or when I’m searching for one of those ‘safely’ stored things! πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Well ... today I managed to solve ONE of those mysteries. You see, when I was gathering my fabrics to work on this quilt ...

I KNEW I had a little stash of French General red fabrics somewhere in my sewing room. Now, unlike a lot of sewing rooms, mine is usually pretty neat & orderly ... mostly because I sew on the 10-seater dining table, not in my sewing room. 🀣

My fabric stash stored in baskets ...

... & fabric bundles/sets are stored in the cupboard with the mirror ... fabrics I’ve gathered for future projects or the leftovers of finished projects that I want to keep together in case I want to make a matching project. I searched all through the usual storage spots looking for those French General fabrics to no avail ... which gave me a good excuse to spend some play money with Quilters Angel. πŸ˜‰ Then this morning ... whilst looking for a completely different safely stored something (which I found!) I discovered ...

...  my elusive French General fabrics! They were buried in amongst my stash of backing fabric offcuts ... why didn’t I think to look THERE?! 🀣 Of course ... I’ve now completed my quilt top without them ... so I guess I’ll need to come up with another project for these yummy reds & beiges now. Tee! Hee! Hee! Ah well ..
 I can still say I solved one of life’s mysteries. πŸ˜‚

Whatever you’re up to this weekend I hope you manage to enjoy some relaxing creative time ... & maybe solve one of life’s little mysteries that has been bugging you. 😜 I’m thinking there’s some sewing in my weekend plans. πŸ˜‰ Along with wishing my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette a Happy Birthday for today. 

Here she is showing off the Pechey/Crows Nest gifties I gave her last play date ... Pechey Distillery’s coffee flavoured vodka & Crows Nest Cordial’s chocolate syrup ... the two main ingredients for a Highcountry cocktail. πŸ˜‰

But now I’m off to ... you guessed it! ... make myself a cup of tea. 😁 Take care, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Sunday 14 November 2021

Stitchy Sunday!

Hello everyone ... I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. Mine seems to be going by at warp speed ... as usual! 😜 We were nearly blown off the top of our ‘hill’ yesterday by 40km/hr winds, which have calmed SLIGHTLY today so I can hang the washing on the line without worrying that it will turn the Hills Hoist into a giant kite ... I just get smacked in the face by the occasional wet shirt. 🀣

While yesterday’s gale force winds made indoor activities preferable, I pulled up my big-girl-designer-panties & spent some time writing instructions for my “Cheeky Chimpies” quilt. I made it about three quarters of the way through before my eyes started to cross & my brain started leaking out my ears signifying the time for a break. 😜 So after a dinner break, I popped on a couple of favourite Bond-James-Bond (MMMMMM! Pierce Brosnan’s pretty blue eyes make me SWOON! πŸ₯°) movies & did some stitching on my other work-in-progress ...

It’s a stacked coin quilt with a French splash ... I’m calling it “French Coins”. It will be a gift for a friend, but I’m also toying with writing up the pattern instructions ... will see how much of my brain is left to write instructions after yesterday’s brain leakage! 🀣 I’m in the process of blanket stitching around the appliquΓ© shapes, so that will occupy me for a few nights of movie watching. πŸ˜‰

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope you’re able to enjoy some time being creative ... it’s what refreshes the soul of we creative types. πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful week. Take care, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



Sunday 7 November 2021

Octopus Finish & OPAM!

Are you wondering about that blog title??? 🀣 It was one of those predictive text moments where I started typing “October” & autocorrect/predictive text decided I REALLY meant to type “octopus” ... & it was too funny to change back! Tee! Hee! Hee! 

Despite predictive text’s ‘help’, I actually have an October finish to share with you. Ready??

Ta! Da! My “Cheeky Chimpies” quilt is finished! And I love how it came together. 😍You know this is one of my favourite colour palettes to play with & after lots of sketching & changing during the design process, I love the cheeky expressions on the faces of the hide-and-seek Chimpies. 😁 

It’s a bit hard to see in the pic, but once again my quilting fairy, Fabulous Fiona  worked her quilting magic for me. The background of the appliquΓ© blocks looks a bit like twitching, curly monkey tails, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰ Thanks Fiona! 😘

 It’s ready to go off to its recipient, my sorta-nephew ... my Sorta-Sister’s bub. 😜 I actually got to meet him during a quick visit, but I didn’t have the binding sewn down, so the quilt might be a Christmas giftie. 😜

So ... I FINALLY have a finish to add to my OPAM tally ... it was a bit of a dry spell for a few months. πŸ˜‰ And I’m not the only OPAMer who has been adding to my tally, with ...


... added to the spreadsheet for October, along with quite a lot of progress on longer term projects that I had sneaky-peekies of during my blog hopping. Well done everyone! And the October random draw prize winner is ...

Congrats Raewyn!  Drop me an email so I can send you a PDF pattern prize. And thank you to all of you lovely OPAMers for sharing your creative journey with me ... I love seeing the variety & creativity of your projects & hearing how you’re making time to refresh your soul with needles & thread ... whether that’s stitching, quilting, knitting, crochet or some other soft craft. πŸ₯°

Right now, though, I’m off to play with my black, white & red quilt ... with a cuppa, of course! 🀣 Whatever you’re up to this week, I hope you stay safe, stay well, keep stitching & keep smiling. πŸ₯° Til next time ...



Friday 29 October 2021

Rainy Day Sewing!

It’s a cool & rainy Friday & I’m actually spending the day at home ... YAY! Am I tackling my housework & grown up chores? NOPE!! 😜 

I’ve got my diffuser going with “Cheer” oil blend wafting warm & spicy scents through the house ...

... one of my favourite rainy day movies playing in the background & ...

... I’m starting to construct my special black, white & red quilt in one of my favourite styles ... stacked coins. I’m going to modify the layout slightly from just the traditional rows, but this is my starting point & I’m loving this colour combo. It’s classy, striking & a bit sassy ... just like the gorgeous friend I’m making it for. πŸ˜‰ I’ll share some more progress pics as I go along. 

It’s feeling REALLY good to be getting some creative time after a long dry spell. 😜 I even have a FINISH to add to my tally for October ... WOO! HOO! I’m waiting for a day with better light to take some pics, so will share once I get organised. But that’s also my cue to remind all OPAMers that we’ve nearly run out of another month, so it’s time to email me your finishes for the month & update your sidebar lists ... if blogger will let you, that is! πŸ™„ A few of you have told me you’re having trouble doing that, so just email your finishes & that will be fine. Ah ... technology! It’s a wonderful thing ... when it works. πŸ˜†

And now I’m going to play Polly & put the kettle on for a cuppa before I go back to sorting stacked coin quilt bits. πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful weekend ... stay safe, keep stitching & keep smiling. 😊 Til next time ...



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 ...



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