Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Crazy Patch As Promised!

A few posts back, I shared some photos of some of my stitching treasures with you - including some yummy antique laces. My blogging buddy Judy suggested maybe I should try my hand at some crazy patch blocks and incorporate some of my laces. Well ... it just so happens that I actually already HAVE 12 crazy patch blocks all sewn and partly embroidered, so I don't think I'll be making more soon, but I promised Judy I'd share some photos.

About 5 years ago (Maybe more?!?!) I attended a weekend workshop with well known Australian Quilter Robyn Ginn - who also happens to be a family friend who took a lot of our wedding photos for us ... but that's another story!! Robyn usually makes 'story quilts' using her own (much simpler!) version of needle-turn applique, but she went through a bit of a crazy patch phase, which led to her creating some MAGNIFICENT crazy patch quilts, winning a number of quilting awards with them and teaching lots of crazy patch classes. Robyn's crazy patch quilts are works of art - you can look at them for DAYS and still find something new every time you look! She just incorporates so much GORGEOUS embroidery, beautiful buttons and lots of lovely symbolism. So ... that's when I made up my blocks and started the embroidery. Yes, this is one of my very WISPy WISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSPs!!! :0)

I love the grape vine on the right of this block and the wreath towards the top. And do you see that little bear on the blue satin background? Cute, huh?!!

I haven't done a lot of embroidery on this block, but love the shiny variegated thread I used to do the big leafy things on the right - I've saved the photos at a bigger size than usual so you can click on them to see the details a bit clearer.

There's a "K" for "Kris" on the left there, and I love how the peacock feathers came up on the right. I also love the effect of the multi-coloured fly stitches up the top there. Robyn showed us this little trick - each time you finish some embroidery somewhere and have just a little length of thread left, pop in a few random fly stitches. With all the different colours, over time, it builds up into a really cool rainbow effect.

There's an "S" for my Sweetie - Scott. And I love how the Sturt's Desert Peas came up in that top section - a native flower here in Australia that is truly spectacular to see in person.

I love the effect of the block on the left - using three lazy-daisy stitches, I created a leaf shape and then did them in all different autumn tones - looks like a tree dropped all it's autumn finery, doesn't it! And I was really happy with how the strawberries came up at the top there, as well as the lavender bush to the right.

Another "K" for "Kris" and can you see the crazy cows to the right on the green background? I embroidered them rows of stocks flowers to munch on.

Here's a green 'spring' version of the leaf effect, on the right, and a spray of fuchsia's at the top left that I was really happy with how they came up.

This is the large sample version of a crazy patch Christmas stocking for a class I taught at our church craft group some years ago. This stocking is about 50cm long, so once I actually FINISH it, Santa will be able to put LOTS of goodies in there for me!! All of the embellishments are finished - I just have never got around to putting a backing and binding on this. Maybe I need to make this one of my finishes for the OPAM Challenge!!

And this is the smaller version of the Christmas stocking, only about 20cm long, so not so many gifties will fit - though small, shiny jewellery boxes would fit nicely! Tee! Hee! Hee! This one, too, just needs the back and binding done - I really should do that!! I think I put off finishing these because I was trying to work out whether I wanted to line them or not, but perhaps I just need to do backing and binding to get them finished!

So ... there you go Judy! That's some of my crazy patch blocks (I have a few more with the piecing done, but no embroidery yet). I loved working with these blocks - I love the depth of colour and textures of the satins, velvets, brocades and silks that I worked with - I particularly wanted to get that rich, exotic and luxurious "harem" kind of feel about them, which I think I achieved. Of course, there is so much more embroidery to do on them that I may be a little grey-haired old lady before I ever get to snuggle under my Harem quilt, but that's part of the fun of stitching!

I did manage to finish a long-term project yesterday, but it's a secret squirrel one for now, so can't show you yet, but will do so once it reaches it's new home. OPAM gals, don't forget to UPDATE your sidebar lists of your finished projects for April and if you have a chance to email May Britt or I with the number of projects you've finished this month, that would be great too. May Britt will be choosing this month's winner, so stay tuned!! And now ... I'm off to find a pair of snuggly socks, cos autumn is starting to make itself known here on top of our hill (you know, that little series of 'hills' we like to call The Great Dividing Range! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and my toesies are feeling a bit icy. Hmmm ... Karen sent me a SUPER pair of stripey socks in the SSCS, so I think it's time to give them a test drive! Stay warm and til next time - Bear Hugs!


Monday, 27 April 2009

Friday Fun With Friends!

Friday dawned (much earlier than I think a day off really should!!) bright and sunshiny with just a hint of winter in the air. The perfect day to pack myself up and drive down the hill to Brisbane to catch up with my bestest buddy, Lynette, for a play date! So ... off I toodled!

After some delays due to some roadworks and an accident where a little white hatchback discovered that bumping into the back of a 4WD was like a mouse trying to move an elephant (no one was badly hurt!) ... I arrived on Lynette's doorstep and we began plotting our path to visit another friend ... the Lovely Lilly Linda at Lilly Cottage!! YAY!! Double play date!!

We managed to get ourselves to Old Petrie Town without taking any detours or scenic routes (a minor miracle, we decided!) and proceeded to spend a very pleasant few hours with Lilly Linda and her Mum, sitting under their shady tree admiring the pleasant atmosphere and soaking up the serenity! "Smell that Serenity!" (Had to include that for all the Aussie film buffs! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Here we are, enjoying our morning ...

I'm the short one in the middle! SIGH!! Can you see ... Linda and I have matching hair colour at the moment!! :0) And look at all those treasures in the background - bet you could play Find It Friday with this photo!!

It was such a relaxing way to spend several hours - drinking coffee and eating fresh-cooked yummies from the Bakery two shops down (I can recommend the custard tarts and Lynette looooooved her caramel tart!!) and generally forgetting the rush and bustle of everyday life - at least for a while! The only drawback was Linda's 'good luck' run-in with some local wildlife! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And, of course, a visit to Lilly Cottage isn't complete without some serious retail therapy!!! Here's Lynette showing us why she should be Australia's next top model! (She'll probably hurt me if she reads that! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Lynette was better behaved than I was ... here are my new Lilly Cottage acquisitions ...

I fell in love with this GORGEOUS shabby chic mini food safe and the lavender-scented wheat bag will be great not only for soothing sore necks and backs, but also warming cold toesies as the nights get cooler!! Here is where the little safe is living at the moment ...

Here it is in our lounge room, the perfect platform for Elegant Ella to stand on and look gorgeous!

Thank you so much for a FABULOUS morning of fun, laughs ... and yummy baked treats ... Lovely Linda! We had a wonderful time and hope to plan a return trip in the not-too-distant future! Who knows, next time we visit, we might even get around to seeing what ELSE is at Old Petrie Town! Tee! Hee! Hee! If you find your self in the vicinity of Old Petrie Town and Lilly Cottage - or want to plan a relaxing excursion, I can HIGHLY recommend it!! And if you're too far away for an 'in person' visit, pop in to visit Lilly Linda to see her GORGEOUS goodies - she has some SERIOUS eye-candy in her shop and shares LOTS of photos on her blog!!

So ... there you go! That's how I spent my Friday! What could be a better way to enjoy our mild Autumn weather than a fun-filled play date with friends! Hope you've had a great weekend - I'll be back in the next day or so with another sneaky peek of my quilt-in-progress and to share some crazy-patch photos that Judy wants to see. OPAM gals - don't forget to send your end-of-month reports to May Britt or me in the next few days! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Saturday, 25 April 2009

We Will Remember Them ...

In Loving Memory of Edward (Ted) Paten who served in WWII in the tropics of New Guinea.

My Gramps.

"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We Will Remember Them."

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Vintage Stitching Stuff!

That's a very TECHNICAL term for what I'm going to share in this post, of course! Tee! Hee! Hee! A few days ago, Julie over at Provincial Patch shared how she placed an ad in her local paper telling folks she was wanting to buy/adopt vintage sewing paraphernalia (big word!!) and she showed some photos of a few of her stitching treasures. I mentioned in passing that I had a little collection of stitching treasures, too, and Julie encouraged me to share ... so ...!

While I've bought a few of the things in the following photos, most I've inherited from someone or other over the years. My mother says I'm a born pack-rat ... I prefer the term ... COLLECTOR! :0)

Don't you love the tin?! I was given this tin by a friend when we lived in Bourke - they'd bought a house from an elderly lady who was returning home to the USA after living in Bourke (in that house!) for about 50 years and so she was travelling light and left a LOT of 'STUFF' in the house. This tin and another box were full of BUTTONS!! Some were pretty ordinary, some were quite old and some were really pretty and detailed. I actually gave quite a few to a fellow quilter who collects buttons - before I really appreciated what a treasure I had and started adding to it! I have wonderful memories of playing with Mum's button bottle as a child ... and that fascination still stands! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Here is part of my ric-rac collection - some of these are still on their original cards and several are a mix of two colours - pretty!

Here are some of my vintage laces. I love the wide, white crochet lace on the right - I have a length of about 2m of it that I will one day find just the right project for. The dark ivory lace is so soft and intricate, but one of my favourites is the piece on the left - I think it was once a cuff from a piece of vintage clothing - before you hang me ... I didn't remove it, I bought it in a bundle of old laces as it is.

Hmmm ... sorry this one's a bit blurry, but you can see that its my collection of wooden cotton reels. Most of the cotton is pretty useless to use, as it snaps off very easily - makes a nice little display on my pedal sewing machine, though!! :0)

Here are a couple of my big wooden spools. They are part of the collection of 'bits' that go with my little Thumbelina spinning wheel. And that isn't a magic mushroom, it's a darning mushroom that belonged to my beloved Geek Boy's grandmother - looks pretty good with my spinning wheel bits!

I don't know if you can see much in this photo, as my camera is pretty basic and doesn't do close-ups very well. Here are a couple of packets of old needles in their original packaging - good strong needles, too, I might add! And with them are a couple of little treasures that, again, came from GB's grandmother. Here's a better photo ...

The top treasure is a little travel sewing kit. You can't see it in the photo, but the picture on is is London Bridge and it has "London" written on it. The thimble screws onto the tube to act as the lid and inside is a cute cotton reel that has a hollow centre to store a needle or two. The other little "thing-a-ma-bob", I've been told, would have held wax to run thread through to stop it tangling and help it run through the fabric easier. Does anyone know if this is in fact what it would be?

So ... there you go, some of my sewing treasures. It's a nice link to have these vintage sewing bits and bobs, as it gives me a sense of connection to the stitchers who've come before me - some family members, some not. I wonder what stories these treasures could tell if only they could talk?!?! Pop over and have a look at Julies ever-growing collection of vintage sewing treasures, too - it's well worth a peek!

Back to some present-day stitching! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Saturday, 18 April 2009

A Present, Prizes & A Peek!!

Well ... it's been over a week since I popped into blogland to chat (well, on MY blog, anyways!!) and it's been a very busy week - which explains my absence! We headed three hours north west for Easter to my home town of Mundubbera to spend the long weekend with my folks and had a WONDERFUL weekend! We didn't do very much at all, really, except relax and kick back. There was a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle on the table that we all worked on throughout the weekend here and there, we watched a few movies, ate lots of Mum's home cooking, read and I managed to do some stitching on my quilt-in-progress. (more on that later in the post!) All in all, it was a lovely way to spend Easter and since Scott had this week off work, my boss told me to take Tuesday off if I liked, to travel back and avoid the Easter traffic - I have a terrific boss! :0) So, then of course it was a case of playing catch up - at work, unpacking (partly!), washing, washing ... oh and some more washing!! We had friends stay in our house over the weekend while we were away, so ... more sheets and towels etc. Plus, there always seems to be loads of washing to do after being away - not sure how that works - do we wear more clothes while we're away?!?! One of life's little mysteries - right up there with where to pens disappear to when you need them in a hurry and what happens to the second sock when you put a pair in the washing machine and only one comes out?!?! Please tell me if you know the answers to any of these! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Then, to end my week on a sweet note ... a parcel landed on my doorstep yesterday. (if anyone ever sends me breakable things, make sure they're well-padded cos our parcel delivery guy is NOT gentle!!!) Now I'd been told to stalk my postie for this parcel, all the way from Germany - Julia let me know she'd posted a belated birthday present to me - What a Sweetie!! I opened my parcel ... and found a note from customs - Uh oh!! The meanies had taken a weighted pincushion from a GORGEOUS thread catcher because they couldn't identify the filling and it will cost HEAPS for me to pay to have it irradiated - oh POOH!! Australia has some of the toughest customs regulations in the world and although I know it's necessary to keep our flora and fauna safe, this is the second time they've taken things from parcels lovely blogging buddies have sent me. Still ... I've got the pocket part of the thread catcher and will make a new weighted pincushion from the pretty blue fabric Julia included in my parcel. I'll show you my goodies ...

Aren't those fabrics PRETTY!! And you can see Julia has also included some sweet treats to help keep my energy high so I can stitch! At least, that's MY story and I'm sticking to it! :0) There's some yummy gummy lollies that are, I think, cranberry flavoured, a lovely mix of sweet and sour; some German Smarties (kind of fun to see chocolates that we see in our shops with the wrapping written in a different language!) because Julia knows I like dotty things and a chocolate bar called "Kuhflecken" and Julia tells me this literally translates into English as "Cow spots" - because the milk chocolate is covered with white chocolate kuhflecken ! Tee! Hee! Hee! How cute is THAT!! And I looooooooove white chocolate! Thank you so much for my sweet present, Julia!! I really have been spoilt by my blogging buddies this birthday!!

OK ... now onto what many of you are waiting for - the announcement of the winners of my pattern launch giveaway! Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who left comments sharing what their ideal weekend would be like. I had such a wonderful time reading them all, and I found that even though details differed, some aspects were common in almost all of the ideal weekend lists - good company, peaceful setting - and CHOCOLATE! :0) Quite a few said their ideal weekend would involve getting all their blogging buddies together for a super stitching weekend - WOW! Can you IMAGINE that party!! All that chatting in so many different languages - what a BLAST it would be!!! I think we'll all keep dreaming about that one. If you haven't yet taken the time, click on the comments on the give away post and read what people said - it will make you wish for a weekend getaway!! So ... I've done my prize drawing magic trick and the winners are: (suddenly I feel like I'm at the Academy Awards! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

The winner of the "Girl Stuff Bags" pattern is ... PEG!! YAY, Peg! (Some of Kerryanne's cute faux cupcakes in the photo there!!)

The winner of the "Beary Christmas Stocking" Wonderful Weekend Kit is ... SHIREE!! Congrats, Shiree!! (The little snowman bell was part of my SSCS gift from Karen!)

The winner of the "Grow With Love" Wonderful Weekend Kit is ... JANICE! Enjoy, Janice!

The winner of "Love Bears All" Wonderful Weekend Kit is ... HANNE! Have fun, Hanne! (Here's the little bear Deb sent me for my birthday!)

And lucky last, winner of the "Lavender Tea" Wonderful Weekend Kit is ... JOY!! Hope you enjoy this 'brew', Joy!

Congratulations to all the winners and if you can email me your snail mail addresses, I'll go and bemuse my mate Raymond at the post office this week. Thanks again to EVERYONE who took part in this fun give away - I would have loved to give a prize to each and every one because I had so much fun reading your dream weekends, but unfortunately it's not possible. However, if you'd like to treat yourself or a friend to any of these patterns, pop over to my Tag Along Teddies website - Paypal means that no matter where you are in the world, you could soon be enjoying stitching one of these fun patterns! :0)

And just quickly before I sign off, I thought I'd show you another sneaky peek of my quilt-in-progress. As I said, I got quite a lot of stitching done over the Easter break and apart from some grumbling about vlisofix not sticking (must seek out an alternative!!), I've been enjoying doing some blanket stitch applique`. Another peek ...

Oooooooooh! A red butterfly!! Butterflies are just so cheerful, aren't they, spreading joy and beauty with their rainbow-coloured gossamer wings!! OK, enough poetic stuff!! If you're lucky, I might share some more sneaky peeks again soon! Hope you all had a wonderful Easter and that your weekend is filled with fun! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Gear Up For A Give Away!!

OK, as promised, I'm back with a SUPER GIVE AWAY!!

As well as the launch of the "Girl Stuff" pattern ...

I'm re-launching an existing range of Tag Along Teddies patterns. The patterns from the "Card Kit" range have undergone a 'make-over' and are re-emerging as "Wonderful Weekend Kits". Each "Wonderful Weekend Kit" comes with the instructions to make the project pictured on the pattern cover, a paper copy of a the stitchery design, a piece of background fabric on which to trace the pattern, a blank gift tag which features a photo of the project and a laminated bookmark featuring the finished project. The "Wonderful Weekend Kits" make a great gift idea - just write a message on the gift tag and "HEY PRESTO" you've got a fun crafty gift ready to give a friend. Or spoil yourself! So many of us work full time, so only have weekends to 'play' with our craft and all projects in the WWK range are designed to be finished in a weekend - start it, finish it - then go to work Monday and brag about it! Tee! Hee! Hee! There are currently four patterns in the WWK range: "Lavender Tea" (which many of you will have seen recently!); "Love Bears All Things"; "Grow With Love"; and "Beary Christmas Stocking Ornament". The "Love Bears All Things" and "Grow With Love" kits also include laser-cut timber buttons made by Lisa at Button Bliss. The little bear in "Love Bears All" is my Tag Along Teddies teddy, but the daisies and lots of other wonderful buttons are available on Lisa's web site, so check them out. Here's a photo of the five patterns included in the give away, along with the bookmarks for the "Wonderful Weekend Kits" and an example of the gift tags. (The others are in the other room and I'm in a hurry to get this posted!!)

So ... I will be giving away one each of these five patterns. All you have to do to be in the prize draw, is to leave me a comment on THIS post telling me about your dream/ideal weekend - things like: what would you do, where would you go, who would be with you, what would you eat (always important, right!!). And you have just over a week to do this. Entries in the draw will close on Friday April 17 (Australian Eastern Standard Time) which may mean my overseas friends need to leave their comment by Thursday April 16. I'll draw four names out of the hat, and they will receive the prizes in the order they are in the photo - so first winner gets "Girl Stuff", second gets " Beary Christmas" etc. Hope that's not too confusing!! I'll contact the winners by email (so please make sure you include your email in your entry if you're a "No reply" blogger) and then post the winners names on Saturday. PHEW! There's a lot of work to a give away!! :0) So now ... GET COMMENTING!!

And now, I'm off to gather up my sewing gear and pack a port (suitcase!) because we're heading off to visit my parents for the Easter weekend, while friends come and stay in our house to attend the Easterfest music festival here in Toowoomba. I'd like to wish you all a happy and safe Easter and hope that as you enjoy the holiday, spend time with family and friends and enjoy your Easter gifts, that you remember the priceless gift that Easter commemorates! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Gifties, Goodies & A Finish!

I know it's only Wednesday and there's a few days left in the week, but I've had a really good week! It actually started last Friday when I went to lunch with my dancing buddies Lynda and Deb to celebrate Lynda's birthday - it's exactly a fortnight after mine, which makes us almost twins! Hmmm ... yes ... only our mothers could tell us apart!! :0) To show you just how silly that is, I'll pop in a photo of the Lynda and I at Lynda's birthday celebrations last year. (mainly cos I forgot to take my camera to Friday's lunch!.

See?!?! Only our mothers could tell us apart! (It's a line from a movie where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny De Vito played Twins!)

Now, when Lynda, Deb and I get together it's always fun, but last Friday we just had the BEST time! And LAUGH!!! We all went away with sore cheeks and stomach muscles from laughing so much - much to the disgust of the elderly ladies sitting behind us who obviously didn't have a sense of humour and gave us VERY disapproving looks all through lunch - which we completely ignored! :0) Even though it was Lynda's birthday, I got a giftie too - a slightly late one from Deb and it was worth waiting for.

A pretty tea cup and matching teabag caddy featuring native or false sarsaparilla - how pretty are they!! I love the deep green and deep purple colour combo - I sure will feel pretty special sipping my tea from this cup!! Thanks Deb!

THEN ... when I got home, I found my Mother-in-law had popped in while I was out to catch up with me to give me a late birthday giftie. I'd missed her, but she left the giftie ...

Isn't this a pretty set! The style is a little more conservative than I usually wear, but the red is so vibrant that I may just have to find something it goes with. As you can see on the jewelry tag, the pendant and earrings are set with Swarovski crystal. Now, Bohemian though I may be, I HAVE heard of Swarovski crystal and my MIL picked this little set up when she and my FIL were overseas at about this time last year, so now I have some internationally famous jewelry! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK, so that's the gifties from my title, now onto the goodies!! I've been stalking my postie for a few days waiting eagerly for this package to arrive and yesterday it appeared in my mailbox!


Yes ... I've been eyeing off the pretty shabby chic colours of the Aviary range from Moda for quite some time, so when I was cruising around Julie and Kerri's Provincial Patch on-line store last week and saw these pretties for such great prices, I just HAD to order some for my very own self!! The plan is to make a quilt for my Mum for her birthday or Christmas ... I won't say WHICH birthday or Christmas, mind you! Tee! Hee! Hee! I saw a gorgeous quilt over at Peg's blog that she made with two charm packs and a metre of matching fabric, so that's what I've got ready to go here. For now, I'm just going to admire them!! Thanks for sending them my way so quickly, Julie!! And look at the cute calendar she popped in, too. It's just the right size to pin on my inspiration board in the office here, so I can keep track of how many days I've lost!! Pop over and see what Julie and Kerri have in their little shop - I dare you NOT to buy something! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And finally ... a finish to add to my OPAM Challenge list! It's only a small project, but it is FINISHED and that's all that matters! I was playing around with some ideas for a small wall hanging to give as a welcome gift to the new residents who are currently in the process of moving into the retirement village where I work. I wanted something that didn't cost a lot to make, didn't take too LONG to make and that would remind them always of Brownesholme. This is what I came up with ...

Ta Da!! The windmill is a symbol/logo that is on anything to do with Brownesholme, as the village has been built on a property that used to be a dairy farm and the original windmill now stands near our community hall as a garden feature, as well as a reminder of where it all began. Here's the real-life windmill on a misty morning.

So ... there you go, that's been my wonderful week so far ... and it's still not over, so there's even more potential for great stuff to happen! In fact ... there's something good for all of YOU coming up tomorrow ...


As promised, I will be launching the "Girl Stuff" bags pattern, as well as re-launching a new-look range, so make sure you pop back and don't miss your chance to go in the draw. Until then ... my there be gifties, goodies and all round fun things in the rest of your day! Til next time - Bear Hugs!


Sunday, 5 April 2009

A Busy Weekend!!

Wow! It's Sunday afternoon already - the weekend sure has flown by at super-sonic speed!! I've managed to pack a fair bit into it, though, so I guess it's time to go back to work in the morning for a rest - Anyone else feel that way?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Well ... the first big news for our weekend was ... IT RAINED! YAY!! Here in the Toowoomba area, we're in a bit of a 'green drought'. That may seem a little contradictory, but all it means is, we get small falls of rain that are just enough to keep the grass green and gardens happy, but none is substantial enough to fill our dams - DAM!! So when it started PELTING down late yesterday afternoon, we were pretty excited! OK, I was excited, Scott ended up looking like a drowned rat due to the fact he's driven home in it (well, he didn't actualy get wet whilst driving!), then had to open the gate, drive the car in, then close the gate, then get stuff out of the boot ... He looked like a drowned rat by the time he came inside!! Tee! Hee! Hee! I mean ... "Oh dear!" I, on the other hand, was out on the verandah trying to get some photos!!

This is what our front footpath was like - can you see the 'river' overflowing the path and onto the grass?

I don't know if you can see if from the photo, but it was still raining rather heavily when I dashed down the front steps to the gate to get a better photo of our footpath 'river'. Hmmm, actually, now that I look at that, the 'river' was flowing BESIDE the footpath! We had about 180pts (45mm), which when added to the 120 pts (30mm) we had on Friday, makes a nice drop of rain - hope there's some more to come and hope some of this lot went into our dams!

And since it was so wet outside, it was perfect weather to curl up and do some stitching ... so that's what I did! Do you remember me showing your this photo a few weeks ago ...

I told you then it was the beginning of a quilt I'm making for a new Tag Along Teddies pattern. Well ... I've started adding some applique and thought I'd show you a sneaky peek ...

A girly bear!! Isn't she a sweetie!! I'm REALLY happy with how this quilt is coming together!! It may be taking a bit longer than I'd hoped (cos life keeps interfering!!) but I am very excited about how I think it will look when it's finished - stay tuned!

And speaking of tunes ... sort of!! I found time this afternoon to audition to be part of a theatre restaurant program which will be held in October. It's called "Murder At The Music Hall". During an evening's performance at the Music Hall, a member of the audience dies - dramatically and loudly! :0) It just so happens that a detective and his constable are in the audience and begin to investigate ... while the show goes on around them!! I've been cast in the role of "Big Lil" - Owner of the Music Hall.

According to the character list, "Lil is eccentric and flamboyant, but also a bit rough. She is a tough businesswoman who won't take any crap and can't be walked over!" Hmmm ... not sure I'm flattered to get this role!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Actually, I think it will be fun - Lil is described as a "Mae West" type character, so I get to vamp it up ... AND wear a feather boa!! Ah yes ... a long-held ambition of mine! Tee! Hee! Hee! I'll also be doing some singing in the Music Hall program, but that's being decided after Easter. So in the meantime, I'll just have to practice my 'come-hither' smile and Mae West's "Come up and see me some time" accent! Will keep you posted! :0)

Now that may seem enough to have kept me busy for the weekend, BUT ... I also spent some time revamping a number of my existing patterns into a slightly new (and I think better!) format, as well as preparing the "Girl Stuff" pattern for it's big launch. So stay tuned ... there will be a photo launch right here this week and of course, everyone knows that means ... A GIVE AWAY!!

OK, I think THAT was as much as I could fit into the weekend, and reading it back, I think I deserve a cup of tea and a 'feet up' sit down with a book! Hope you've had a productive weekend too and til next time - Bear Hugs!


PS. Pop over to see Julie at Provincial Patch if you want to see the two FABULOUS quilts she has made! I'm encouraging her to write the patterns, so if you like what you see - tell her you're waiting for the pattern! Tee! Hee! Hee! BH! KRIS

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Wondering Who Won?!?!

Here we are into a new month and I bet you're all wondering who the winner of this month's end-of-month prize for our OPAM Challenge is. Well ... you almost didn't find out!! You see, I decided that it would be a good idea to print out my spreadsheet of OPAM Challenge participants to go through to find the winning number that the random number generator thingy spat out. It would be easier, I thought, to do so on paper rather than on the screen where I kept losing my place whenever I had to scroll down. I WON'T be making THAT mistake again anytime soon, let me tell you!!! Note to self: with 277 people on the list, not all of them will fit to print out on an A4 piece of paper!!! Not only THAT ... by the time the spreadsheet has a name, blog address AND three columns of month finishes, it doesn't fit on an A4 sheet WIDTH WAYS either! Can you see where this is going?!?! I, in my blissful ignorance hit "Print" and the printer started humming and spitting out pages ... and humming and spitting out pages ... and humming and .......!!!!!! Pretty soon, this is what my desk started to look like ...

I felt like shouting, "AVALANCHE!!!" I was drowning in a sea of paper!! So I did what any wife of a super-techno-geek would do ... took the paper out of the printer and turned it off! Tee! Hee! Hee! However, once I'd clawed my way out of the pile of pages, I found this month's prize winner and it was ...


Congratulations, Sigrun! Now, Sigrun only registered one finish this month (One's all it takes to win, right!!) but her lists for January and February were quite a bit longer, so she's really making a dent in her WISP pile ... plus a few new projects sneaking in there! :0) So as soon as Sigrun emails me with her postal address, this ...

... will be winging its way to her door! There's a GORGEOUS quilt pattern by Material Possessions (one I myself have been eyeing off!), a handy notepad featuring some of our Australian birds, a cute Koala laser-cut timber button (created by Lisa at Button Bliss) which you can just see down near the frog on the notepad, a handy mini Sharpie pen and a matching lollipop for a sweet-treat energy boost so Sigrun can get stitching again for April. Hope you enjoy your goodies Sigrun!

Once again, thanks to everyone who emailed with with a list of or the final tally of their month's finishes - this was such a BIG help to me. As much as I love flitting around your blogs for sneaky visits to see what everyone is stitching, 277 is a LOT of blogs to visit within a day or two, so I can use all the help I can get! :0) Between us all this month, we completed 577 projects!! WOWSERS!! How impressive is THAT!! Well done to everyone who crossed at least one WISP or "To Do" item off their list. And for those of you who didn't have any finishes - don't despair!! There's always next month!! Not only does life interfere to stop us stitching from time to time, I know some of you are working on bigger projects that will take a while to finish, so if you've made even a little bit of progress, that's terrific!! I hope you're all enjoying being part of the OPAM Challenge - I know May Britt and I love to see how clever all of your creative, clever chooks are!!

Just a little reminder to keep your sidebar lists up to date for us - I update mine after each finish, just in case something happens close to the end of the month and I get side-tracked - we ALL know how THAT is, right!! There were also some "No-bloggers" that I didn't hear from this month - we're happy to have you involved in our Challenge even if you don't have a blog, but remember we don't know how to find you to check your progress, so you need to email me or May Britt with your list. I'm still receiving photos from a couple of No-bloggers from time to time, so will soon have a few to show you again. In the meantime ...



In other news ...! I found a photo of another birthday present that I forgot to share with you! Now, all chocoholics, get a firm grip on your chair and you may want to put a plastic cover over your keyboard so the drool doesn't damage the keyboard! Tee! Hee! Hee! This is a photo of something my Grandma gave me when we went to dinner. You've all seen chocolate freckles, right (though they may be called something else overseas) the flat chocolate disk covered in hundred-and-thousands ... well I bet you've never seen anything like this ...

GIANT FRECKLES!! The bus tour Grandma was on included a visit to a small hand-made chocolates shop, so she bought me a freckly birthday treat! Now when I first took a photo of these giant freckles, it occurred to me that you might think I'd found a really small tray to display them on. (actually, it's one of my gorgeous Kerryanne English originals!!) So ... I put a ten cent coin on the plate for comparison. I didn't think to measure the diameter of the freckles (too busy thinking of all those yummy hundreds-and-thousands!!) but the coin is an inch across! Mmmmmmmm ... FRECKLES!! Why am I suddenly feeling like the Cookie Monster from "Sesame Street"?!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Well, that's all from me today, but I've been doing a little bit of stitching on the sample for a new pattern and I'm hoping to share some sneaky peeks on the weekend, so stay tuned! Til next time - Bear Hugs!

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