Monday, 24 December 2012

EEK! It's Nearly Christmas!!

EEK!!!! I'm not sure how it happened, but it's just one more sleep til giftie unwrapping time and I'm not sure how that came around so QUICKLY!! This last week, particularly, seems to have whizzed by ... but that could be because I've spent half of it with my feet up. No ... I wasn't on an "I'm over Christmas" sit down strike (although I might save that for next year after battling the rude, pushing and shoving hordes in the shopping centres today!!!) ... I 'blew' my knee on Thursday and have been in a bit of pain and hobbling around since then and keeping it elevated as much as possible. On the mend now, but it did take me out of action for a few days.

Throw in the last mad rush of Christmas gatherings, choir performances and catch-ups with friends and the week disappeared and I'm hoping I've not forgotten anything TOO important on the "To Do" list! :0) Thankfully ... our family made a decision to simplify things a bit this Christmas. We decided that rather than getting lots of things that we don't REALLY need this year, we'd all make a donation to a mission organisation to give gifts to a village in a third world country. The result was enough to buy: a cow, two goats, a pig, four chooks, five vege seed packs and two home water purifier systems. These will be purchased by the mission organisation and will be introduced to a small village to help improve living conditions. Not a bad result, really! :0) With the added benefit of not having to THINK of gifties for family members! Tee! Hee! Hee! And I think giving a cow, some goats and a pig this Christmas has saved my bacon!! Sorry ... couldn't resist! :0)

I was lucky enough, however to be the recipient of a couple of GORGEOUS Christmas parcels this week. A couple I haven't got photos of cos the batteries in my camera died and are awaiting replacement ... DOH!! But I DID get pics of what my SUPER SWEET blogging buddy and OPAM partner in crime, Sweet Peg, sent me. Let's just say I was SPOILT!!!! :0)

 Look at all those goodies ... Christmas in a box! :0)
WOW!!! A fantastic Sweet Peg table centre (I always drool over pics of Sweet Peg's runners and centres when she shares them on her blog!!) and a GORGEOUS depression glass vase ... OH MY GOODNESS!!!!
Sweet Peg and I have lots in common (besides co-hosting OPAM of course!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and one shared hobby is collecting depression glass, so she KNEW I would just LOOOOOOOOVE this unusual vase!! And do you see the star piecing in the middle of the table centre ... GORGEOUS!!!! Thank you so much, Sweet Peg!! What a spoilt teddy bear I am to have friends who know me so well!!! :0)
Oh ... and I can share this pic with you now too ...
This was the ornament I sent to my SSCS partner this year in the lovely Chookyblue's swap. A cute country angel ... who, just quietly, looks like she's having the same sort of bad hair day that I frequently have!!! :0)
And that's about it from me for the year, really. The next week is chock-a-block full of family catch ups (and probably a LOT of morning teas, lunches, afternoon teas, dinners, suppers .... you get the idea!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) so I probably won't get back here to catch up for a week ... or two?!?! So I'll take the opportunity now to thank all of you, my wonderful blogging buddies, for your support, well-wishes and inspiration throughout the year. I wish you a Christmas full of family, friends, peace, happiness and good health. And may 2013 be a FANTASTIC year of wonderful new adventures for you ... including OPAM 2013 ... yep, Sweet Peg and I are lining up again as partners in crime to co-host the One Project A Month Challenge ... so stay tuned for details in the new year!!! :0)
For now, though, I'm off to watch the end of the Carols In The Domain on TV with a cup of tea to get into the Christmas spirit. (or did I mean that I'm off to get into the Christmas spirits?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Til next time ... Remember the Reason For The Season and stay safe!!



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Creating For Christmas!

FINALLY!!!! I have managed to have some uninterrupted time in my sewing room and have three Christmas gifties finished ... YAY!! Just as well, too, since two of them need to go in Monday's mail ... EEK!! :0)

Now I know many of you will agree that it's harder to find projects to make for boys than it is for girls, so I've fallen back on a tried-and-true giftie idea ... applique pillowcases. I've made a few of these now and they have always been well received ... and I remember having a special pillowcase when I was a child, too ... one that had been painted with Hobbytex (does anyone else remember them????) by one of my aunts. It was a Hurdy-gurdy-gondelope ... a bit like an Aussie bunyip ... and I hated when that pillowcase was in the wash and I had to have an ORDINARY one! :0)

So ... here are my NOT ordinary pillowcases ...

This car is from a quilt called "Peak Hour" that was published in "Homespun" a couple of years ago ... sorry ... I couldn't find my copy of the mag to tell you who it was designed by ... maybe Kelly from "Don't Look Now" ????
Isn't this elephant cute?! :0) I adapted a clip art pic to suit ... just loved the rear view! Tee! Hee! Hee!
And the third one is "Raffe" for my brother's little boy ... his favourite animal when they recently visited the zoo in Sydney ... and a companion for the little elephant.
These pillowcases are a fun to make and quite quick, once you work out your design. You can add an initial or even a full name ... or just go with a cute picture. I'm going to add a colouring book or bedtime story book to these ones, but you could also fill them up with lots of little treats for a Christmas surprise and an alternative to stockings. You're limited only by your imagination ... OH BOY!! I could end up ANYWHERE  in that case! Tee! Hee! Hee!
I think I've earned a cup of tea and a bit of a read before I head off to keep a date with my pillow ... I'm re-reading Kerry Greenwood's "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" series ... really well written whodunits set in 1928's Melbourne ... I'd recommend them if you like a good mystery with a bit of humour and a VERY independent lady detective. :0) Hope you're all managing to find some time to sneak into your sewing rooms, too, and that you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Til next time ...


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Calendars ... EEP!!!

Are you like me ... is someone stealing pages from your calendar at the moment so you no sooner turn the page that says "Monday" and suddenly the page says "Friday" ... but the list of things you need to do that week has NOT miraculously kept up ... EEP! It's ALSO the time of year when you start to find yourself writing in events, dates and commitments for NEXT YEAR ... and wondering where this year has gone ... EEP!!!! Or is that just me?!?!?! :0)

I have to say, though, that the date I was adding to my calendar for 2013 is a fun one to be putting aside because it is ...

March 2 and 3, 2013
Hosted by
The Quilters Angel
This is such a fun event (as are all of Marion and Steph's special events!!). It's a chance to pamper yourself and be really SPOILT!! This wonderful weekend of stitching costs $130 per day (you can come one day or both for double the fun!) and this includes two not-yet-released craft patterns designed especially for GSI, a fabric kit for one of the projects along with a prepared stitchery design so you can just start stitching, delicious morning and afternoon tea, a gourmet lunch, wine (non-alcoholic in case you're driving!!), lots of games, prizes and giveaways ... not to mention lots of chatting, stitching, laughing and the opportunity to chat with the two special guest designers.
Oh ... that would be the reason I was writing this event on my calendar ... because the guest designers for 2013 are ...
... the lovely and talented Leanne Beasley and ...
... Yours Truly! :0)
I was so chuffed when Marion and Steph invited me to be a guest designer and I've already started playing with some sketches ... I have to say the fabrics we're working with are GORGEOUS!!! So ... wanna come and play? :0) Maybe you can drop a few BROAD hints to your family because the best part is ... if "someone" buys you a place at Girls Stitch In as a Christmas gift (before December 24) you'll also get a $10 gift voucher to spend at The Quilters Angel ... Woo! Hoo! Stitching fun AND some retail therapy! Tee! Hee! Hee! Maybe you'll be marking events on your 2013 calendar in March too! ;0) I'll look forward to catching up for a chat if you come to play!! :0) Don't leave it too late, cos places are already starting to fill and you DON'T want to miss out on the fun!!
No stitchy pics to share today ... nothing finished ... Oops!! I've done some prep work, though, so am hoping to get some sewing done in the next few days ... I'll be back to share once I do. Hope you're all having a great week and managing to squeeze in some time to stitch. Til next time ...


Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas Crazies!!

Do you have the Christmas Crazies at your place??? We sure seem to have here at the Meares' Madhouse ... even more than is usual for this time of year! Lots of outings, lots of jobs (at work and home) that need to be done before Christmas Eve, lots of people you need to catch up with, lots of gifties to make/bake/buy ... lots of mega-rude people in the overly decorated shops where you hear "I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas" crooned for the 88th time that day while the outside temperatures are in the mid 30's (Celsius!) ... and lots of sleep being missed out on!!! :0) That's why I've been a bit slack on the blogging front. My Beloved Geek Boy and I are both taking a little time off work over Christmas/New Year and BOY OH BOY are we counting down! :0)

One Christmassy happening that happened this week, though, was the arrival of my SSCS parcel. This is the fifth year I've been part of the Secret Santa Christmas Swap hosted by the Hostess With The Mostest, Miss Chookyblue, so I was excited to find this on my front verandah ...

OOH! Even the packaging was Christmassy! :0) It came from the lovely Sharon of Quilting With A Marmalade Cat. It's always exciting to find out who your secret swap partner has been. In this case, Sharon and I have 'met' in blogland because she is one of the wonderful gals joining Sweet Peg and I in OPAM, so it was even more fun to get a package all the way from her home in the USA. Inside ...
... Red and Green parcels ... all labelled with instructions ... Sharon must know that I have trouble not peeking before Christmas Day, cos the label on the green packages said ... "NO! NO! NO" Tee! Hee! Hee! So the green parcels have been hidden away out of sight so I'm not tempted to get my name added to Santa's "NAUGHTY" list ... or perhaps it's too late and I'm on there for OTHER reasons! Tee! Hee! Hee!
There was one red one that said "Open Now" and this one I had the option to open now or pop in the fridge til Christmas. Well ... you know that me and that inquisitive feline hate to be kept in suspenders, so  I opened it along with the ornament parcel and ...
... Here are the lovelies that Sharon spoilt me with!! Two sweet felt and fabric Christmas tree ornaments (which are hanging in a doorway into the lounge room since we don't have room for a tree) and some sweety treaties. YUMMO!! I'm not a chocoholic like GB but I cannot resist the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and there are very few places that I've found where I can get my fix of Reese's or peanut butter M&Ms. (you gals in the USA have so many more interesting chocolates and candies that we do here in Australia! :0) ) And how cute is the snowman on that Hershey's bar? :0) Even the card is cute and particularly appropriate to come from Sharon ... can you see the kitties helping to trim the tree? I bet Sharon's kitties were helping her decorate, too! :0) THANK YOU SHARON!!!! How spoilt am I! :0) And a big THANK YOU to the inimitable Chookyblue for her hard work in co-ordinating the BEST organised swap I have ever come across ... it's the reason this is the only swap I join each year now ... that and the fact that I am SOOOOOO disorganised that swap deadlines stress me out cos I always leave them til the last minute! Tee! Hee! Hee!
The OPAM gals have been stitching away in preparation for Christmas too, I think, with
for November ... WOW!!! Well done everyone! And well done to those gals who may not have recorded finishes, but have made some more progress on their WISPs ... hopefully we'll all have a little bit of time over the Christmas/New Year break to sit and stitch ... hmmm ... I think I shall suggest to Santa that he give all stitchers some quiet stitching time for Christmas this year! :0) OPAM gals ... Sweet Peg will be announcing this month's random prize winners in the next day or so, so stay tuned to her blog.
Right now ... I'm off to tackle the next of those Christmas Crazies tasks ... gifties to be made so they can be posted Monday ... EEK! Time is running out!!! Hope you have all had a fantastic week, not been TOO overrun by the Christmas Crazies, and that your weekend includes some time for you to just sit, relax and create. Til next time ...

PS. A big "CHEERIO!!" to my lovely friend Marion who is recuperating after an operation. Look forward to seeing you up and about again soon ... there are marathons to be tackled! Tee! Hee! Hee! KRIS

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Special Giftie For A Special Friend!!

Are you one of the people who HAVE to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, special occasions etc. on the EXACT day that it falls on the calendar? I've known a few people who are like that, but I have to say that a few of my friends and I have a slightly different giftie-giving system. We have all decided that we would rather take our time to find the RIGHT giftie for each other and maybe be a bit late, rather than buying something just for the sake of having it to hand over on the day. This system works pretty well for us ... and the rule with birthdays has become that you don't actually turn a year older until the last giftie arrives! Tee! Hee! Hee! The secret to eternal youth! :0)

So ... my dancing buddy Lynda celebrated her birthday in April, exactly two weeks after mine and although I had part of her gift back then, I didn't have time to add to it to make it all that I wanted it to be. I then decided to make it a combined Birthday/Christmas giftie and make it a bit more special ... and I FINALLY had it ready to give to her last weekend. Wanna see???

OK ... it's a bit hard to see what I've done, so let me explain. Lynda enjoys stitching, but as a busy mum of two teenagers and primary 'go-to' person for her 97 year old Nan, and part-time Kinder-Gym instructor, she is pretty time-poor and doesn't get much of a chance to stitch just for herself. So ... I bought a couple of charm packs in a pretty garden-themed range (sorry ... didn't write down the name of it!!!) and then designed a series of stitchery designs to match the garden theme. I then cut the background squares for the stitcheries, traced on the designs and ironed on violene to stabilise them ... so all Lynda has to do ... LITERALLY! ... is make herself a cuppa, find a comfy spot to sit and start stitching! YAY! :0) I tied it all together into a mini-kit with Lynda's favourite pink bow ...
Here's Lynda reading the letter that accompanied the quilt thanking her for her special friendship ... sometimes we forget to tell our closest friends and family how very precious they are to us and it's nice to do that from time to time, cos we ALL like to feel loved, wanted and appreciated, don't we. :0)
A few sentimental tears later (from both of us!!) here's Lynda showing off her quilt-to-be. The stitcheries I designed for Lynda will be incorporated into a quilt design I will release next year ... called (appropriately!!) "Lynda's garden" ... so stay tuned for that one! Thanks for being such a special friend, Lynda and bringing splashes of sunshine to my life ... and yummy lunches to my Tuesdays! Tee! Hee! Hee!
If you're struggling to find a gift for a creative, time-poor friend, why not do the same thing I have. You don't have to actually DESIGN a new project like I did, but why not buy a pattern you think your friend will love - or better yet, raid their "One Day" pattern stash (you know ... those patterns we all buy that we will make 'one day'!!) and gather the requirements needed to complete the project ... maybe even do a little bit of prep work like cutting out or tracing, like I did. None of us enjoy the prep part of creating, so your friend will LOVE it ... guaranteed! :0) And not only will they enjoy working on the project, they will have their finished item to enjoy sooner, as well as having a lovely reminder of your friendship.
OK ... that's about it from me tonight ... I have more to share with you, but it's been a BIG day in the Meares' Madhouse with some exciting doings that I will tell you about soon ... but right now, I think I need a cup of tea and a date with my pillow. :0) Hope your week is toodling along nicely and that you're managing to find time in your schedule to enjoy some creating. Til next time ...
PS. Almost forgot!! Check out the Quilters Angel blog to find out about their super-exciting sale this weekend!!! :0) 
PPS. Almost the end of the month again, OPAMers!! Get those sidebars updated and email finish tallies to Sweet Peg or me! :0)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Pipes, The Pipes Are Calling!!

Well ... my name may not be "Danny Boy", but there's something about the skirl of bagpipes that stirs every drop of Scottish blood in my family tree ... and with names like "Kippen", "Menzies", "Duncan", "McLean" and "MacGreggor" hanging from those tree branches that's a LOT of blood being stirred! Tee! Hee! Hee! So it was very exciting for this lassie of Scottish descent when the retirement village where I work once again hosted a visit by the QLD Police Pipes and Drums yesterday. OCH! AYE!! :0)

The visit is part of the QLD Police Service's public relations program and, as for previous visits, the gathered residents LOVED it! There's nothing quite like the echo of bagpipes across the hills. :0) Since I know there are a few of you out there who are like me and love to see burly blokes wearing kilts, I thought I'd share a few photos.

The pipes in full swing under the direction of Pipe Major Pat (The cutie on the left!!)

Hazel introduced the musical items, shared a little about the QLDPPD and explained traditional items of their uniform.

This is a pretty special photo ... the pipers and drummers with the father of the recently inducted QLD Police Commissioner ... the band's 'boss'! Tee! Hee! Hee! Duncan (the handsome senior gentleman in the flash Tam 'O Shanta!) was button-busting proud to pose with the band members ... what would you expect with the surname of Stewart! :0)
Here's Duncan posing for the local newspaper with Pipe Major Pat on the right and another of the pipers on the left (I missed his name - oops!!). Both pipers originally hail from Scotland and I LOVED listening to them speak ... that lovely rolling bur ... SIGH! :0)

Another of our residents, Alec Armstrong ... another fine Scottish name there! Tee! Hee! Hee! ... enjoyed a chat with Ian (on the left) and Pat on the right ... gee ... Pat ended up in a few photos ... can't think why! Tee! Hee! Hee!
After the concert, band members enjoyed a morning tea with our residents, chatting and answering questions ... probably fielding a few requests for their next visit! :0) All in all ... not a bad way to spend a work day, really! Tee! Hee! Hee!
Hope your week is going well and that you're managing to find some time to enjoy creating. Til next time ...



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Secret Stitching!

Well ... FINALLY ... I've managed to spend some quality (and quantity!!) time in my sewing room today and am very pleased to be able to add another finish to my sidebar for the month - YAY! :0) I've finished the main part of my SSCS parcel ... Chookyblue won't have to chase me with her whip this year! :0) I thought I'd pop in to tease you all with a few sneaky peekies ...

Peeky one ...
Peeky two ...
Peeky three.
Intrigued?? Sorry I can't show you the whole gift yet ... it has to stay a surprise until ?????? opens it on Christmas Day. :0) Just a few bits and bobs to round up to go with it and I'll be able to pop it in the mail off overseas to ?????
Hope your weekend is proving to be productive and relaxing too. Til next time ...


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Busy, But A Bit Of Sewing Acheived!

Yet another week has scooted by me with lots of behind the scenes doings in the Meares' Madhouse ... can't share yet, but it has been a bit stressful and a bit exciting. :0) But ... one of the doings that helped my week speed by was a FANTASTIC play date with my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette. YAY! Her work has meant that we haven't had many play dates this year, but we're hoping to make up for it ... so look out world! Tee! Hee! Hee!
After I toodled down the 'hill', we jumped in Lynette's car and headed off and up a DIFFERENT 'hill' ... Mount Tambourine. Those of you who've followed my blog for a while will know that I've visited this beautiful spot a number of times ... and am yet to see it in sunshine!!! Yes ... the weather is always overcast, often raining, sometimes foggy and on one memorable occasion, a combination of all of these ... SHEESH! Well ... I was running true to form! :0) But it didn't actually rain, so we had a good day ... a REALLY good day! :0)

Now ... it was one of those 'horror', 'grown-up' fortnights where the bills were yelling to be paid, so I was on a bit of a budget, but Lynette wasn't! :0) Our first stop was one of the best little antique shops and let's just say Lynette's collection of depression glass GREW somewhat. So much that the lovely lady serving us had to go in search of a box to pack them in ... and asked whether we could fit the box in the car. Are you curious now?! :0)

Here's Lynette fitting the box in the boot ... no worries! :0) Tee! Hee! Hee! That box wasn't actually FULL, I might add ... there was a lot of bubble wrap to protect Lynette's goodies ... but it looks impressive, right? And you should have seen the look on her hubby's face when we walked in with it! Tee! Hee! Hee! 
We then inspected a few more shops before lunching at George's ... but I got so caught up in chatting, catching up and eating that I forgot to take any more photos ... Oops! :0) We had a lovely day and hope to catch up again before Christmas ... but I'm not thinking about how quickly we'll have to catch up again to fit it in! EEK!
On that note ... I managed to spend some time in my sewing room this afternoon and made some progress on the main giftie for my SSCS  and also finished my Rural Jardin patchwork skirt ... I just have to wash it, screw it all up and dray it ... I'll be back with a photo when the rain stops and I can actually get the skirt dry again. Hope you're managing to spend some time in your sewing cave this weekend ... Til next time ...


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Pins Make Christmas Handmade!

Here I am on a rainy Saturday with a LOOOOOOOOOONG list of things I SHOULD be doing. But ... what was I doing instead?? What many of us these days are doing when we're procrastinating ... Playing on Pinterest! :0) I blamed my blogging buddy Kerryanne for getting me hooked on Pinterest and I'm blaming her again today for my pinning indulgence ... it's always good to have someone to blame, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! You see ... it's like this ...

Those of you who've been popping in to visit me here at the home of Tag Along Teddies for a couple of years or more now will know that for the last two years Kerryanne has helped us all get motivated to have a handmade Christmas with her "Simply Christmas" program. Well ... she's at it again!!

Yes ... the countdown to Christmas has begun on the Shabby Art Boutique blog and already Kerryanne has shared some great Christmas ideas ... including her new Christmas planner ... so pop across and catch up with all the happenings.

So ... why does this give me an excuse to procrastinate??? Well ... Kerryanne has also set up a shared Pinterest Board ...


... and she invited me to be one of the pinners. So of course I then HAD to spend some time exploring the Pinterest universe and sharing some of the fun/pretty/yummy/clever Christmas-related pins I found. There are some great ideas pinned already, so why not procrastinate a little yourself and pop over for a visit. You can go via the Pinterest button on my sidebar or pop on your sparkly elf slippers, sing a chorus of "Jingle Bells" and click ...

... to be whisked across by Christmas magic for a visit! :0) You'll be decking the halls in no time and driving your family mad humming Christmas carols! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you have as much fun as I have been having. Thanks for inviting my to play, Kerryanne! :0)

And now I'm off to start writing my Christmas list ... hmmm ... perhaps I should just make a cuppa and have another browse through that Handmade Christmas board ... for inspiration, you understand, not to procrastinate further! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Recovering & OPAM Draw!

Things have been a bit quiet here in the Meares' Madhouse as I try to get over the last dregs of the Mega-Cold that wiped me out for a week or so, but I'm feeling heaps better than this time last week and the energy levels are finally starting to lift, so that's a good thing. Thank you so much to all of my wonderful blogging buddies who left comments and emailed to wish me a speedy get-well ... it's lovely to be thought of and I'm sure it sped up my recovery! :0)

As a result of the above recovery, there hasn't been much stitching happening, though I did spend a few hours at the design table on the weekend and have the beginnings of a baby quilt design almost ready to start stitching. The fabrics I'm playing with are rather yummy ...

Yummy mint greens teamed with "THAT" colour. :0) These are some of the fabrics in the range called "Veranda" by Verna Mosquera that the lovely Marion and Steph have in store at the Quilters Angel. Oh ... and if you're like me and like a pre-cut or two, you should visit the Quilters Angel blog to find out details of their pre-cut special on at the moment. I'm trying to be good, but the prices are very tempting! :0)
So ... although there hasn't been much stitching happening here on top of the 'hill',  there has been a LOT of activity in sewing rooms around the world! After Sweet Peg and I finished tallying up emailed totals and did our blog hopping, there was a HUGE final tally of ...
WOWSERS!!!! You OPAM gals sure have been busy stitchers! :0) This is our biggest ever monthly total for OPAM, so give yourselves a pat on the back! :0) I think some of you are preparing for pre-Christmas craft and market stalls or just starting to stock up your Christmas box, because there were quite a few big tallies for October. Well done to everyone who added some finishes to their sidebar list and congrats to those of you who may not have finishes to show, but have made some good progress on longer-term projects. Taking a bit of time out to relax and create is what OPAM is all about, so I hope you all managed at least a small amount of peaceful creating. Now I know you've all been waiting to find out ... the winners of the October random draw are:
Congratulations gals! :0) Email me with your snail mail addresses and I'll pop a little something in the mail for you. To my last winners ... SORRY!!!! Your prizes are all wrapped ready to go, but got forgotten in the recent cold-related fog I've lived in for a few weeks. I'll post all of the prizes next week ... what a bad challenge hostess I am!!!!! I promise to try to do better. :0)
But right now, I'm off to contemplate a couple of secret projects ...
Some for this ... Chookyblue's annual Christmas swap, the only swap I've allowed myself to join this year due to being time-poor. And my good blogging buddy and fellow-warped-designer Dr Bunnystein ... I mean ... Toni from the Red Boot Quilt Co. (There is a story behind the nick-name, but Toni might hurt me if I revealed it!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) have started some plotting and planning for a special joint-project, so the designing/sewing mojo is starting to emerge from the head cold-fog. Hope you're all avoiding bugs and lurgies to enjoy your week so far. Happy creating and ... til next time ...

PS. Happy Belated Birthday Bear Hugs to the gorgeous Catherine Sanchez, the best editor "Homespun" mag has been fortunate enough to have at the helm!!! Here's to lots of fantastic new adventures for the coming year ... and some time in your sewing room! :0) KRIS

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Watch Out For Faeries!!


October 31 ... All Hallows Eve, or more commonly known now as Halloween. I know we don't really celebrate Halloween here in Australia, but being a bit of a mythology/legend/folk law buff, it interests me where these traditions originate ... so what's a girl to do but ... GOOGLE IT! Tee! Hee! Hee! I did know some of the history Halloween, but it was interesting to read more.

All Hallows Eve ... Halloween ... was originally a Celtic celebration called Samhain (pronounced sow-en) that marked the last day of the Celtic calendar ... their version of New Years Eve. And boy did those Celts know how to party! Tee! Hee! Hee! It was also the time when the veil between this and other realms was ripped aside, with the spirits of the dead free to roam and faeries wandering the land posing as poor beggars asking for food. Those who gave them food were rewarded or 'treated', while those who were too miserly to give food were punished or 'tricked' ... yep ... the original trick or treat. :0)

So ... on this All Hallows Eve, watch out for wandering faeries and feed anyone who knocks on your door and you should be just fine! :0) In the meantime, maybe you'd enjoy a musical treat from one of my fave artists ... Loreena McKennitt ...

Til next time ...


PS OPAM gals ... don't forget to update lists and email tallies!! :0)

Monday, 29 October 2012


By one of these sneaky little buggers ... a FLU GERM!!! How rude is it that I managed to get through winter without catching any chills and bugs and then I get ambushed by one when the weather warms up ... SIGH! So ... that's why I've been off the air for so long. I'm on the mend and hope to get back to my regularly scheduled program soon. In the meantime ... a reminder to all the OPAM gals ... we're almost at the end of another month, so if you can update your sidebar lists and email Sweet Peg and me with your end of month tally, that would be fabulous.

In the meantime ... I hope you're all keeping well and enjoying some time to create ... I hope to be back with some quilty, stitchy stuff soon. Til next time ...



Saturday, 20 October 2012

Some Sewing - YAY!!

Another week has flown by ... must have a word to Dr Who sometime to work out a way to get the timey wimey stuff to cooperate to give me more hours in each day!! :0) It was a busy week at work, which meant not much energy left for stitchy stuff when I got home. BUT ... the weather is back to "proper" spring temperatures ... maybe even leaning towards summer (32 degrees here today, which for Toowoomba is pretty hot ... but I'm not complaining!!) ... so this hot-weather chick is hap, hap, HAPPY! :0)

So ... when I found myself actually AT HOME for my work-free Friday, I bunged a few things in the washing machine then headed full-speed to the sewing room ... WOO! HOO! I've started sewing squares of my Rural Jardin layer cake together to make a patchwork skirt ... but that still has some work to do before it's finished. I DID, however manage to finish another birthday gift to go with the bunting I showed you a while back ...

... A pretty appliqued pillowcase to match the bunting. I had fun with this and was so happy with the applique that I have started to design a cute baby quilt based on it ... so stay tuned! :0) This will now be a pretty bedroom set for our niece ... Hope she likes it! Actually ... if you need to make a kids' gift in a hurry and want something that will be enjoyed for ages, buy a plain pillowcase and machine applique something to it to personalise it. I've made one for a number of the nieces and nephews now, often with their first name initial plus a truck/car/icecream cone etc and have orders for a couple more ... to stop fights! ... cos apparently EVERYONE wants the 'pretty' pillowcases! :0) So ... another finish to add to the list.
And then I completely sidetracked myself by playing with Photoshop ...
... smudgy pastel look ...
... textured background, I like this one ... I could play all day! :0) But I'd better scoot back into my sewing room and see if I can't get another finish added to my list by the end of the weekend. Hope you're all having a relaxing weekend doing something that you enjoy with people you like! :0)



Sunday, 14 October 2012

Wardrobe Malfunction!

Yep ... I'm still alive here! :0) Another busy week has fled by with not much to show for it ... how does that keep happening?!?! No sewing here this week, though ... SIGH!! The temperatures here on top of our 'hill' dropped into single figures again and I went back into hibernation mode ... good thing there aren't any bears living in Toowoomba, cos they'd end up VERY confused! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I HAVE been playing with a few new designs ... some stitcheries and a new applique quilt ... but only a very little bit of hand stitching took place. I DID, however, finally tackle a task I'd been putting off for a while ... try TWO YEARS! :0)

Yep ... I cleaned out my wardrobe! That may not seem too earthshattering, but let me tell you ... it was a HUGE job that was WAY overdue. For sometime now, a corner of my bedroom has been looking like my wardrobe spat all of it's contents out. You know how it is ... clothes that still fit ... if you just lose a couple of kilos ... clothes that have a sentimental tie because someone gave them to you or you wore them for a special occassion ... clothes that you LIKE, but just don't have reason to wear any more ... the skirt you used to wear with a top you got rid of ages ago and doesn't match anything else ... you see what I mean. Add to that a defective drawer in my tall boy which cut down my storage space and it all just got too much. But after several hours of the wardrobe equivalent of "Snog, Marry, Avoid" I had three FULL garbage bags ready to go and my clothes fit into my storage ... mostly! :0)  SOMETHING was acheived for the weekend at least.

I'm hoping that now that I've taken care of that looming chore I'll be able to settle down to some sewing this week, so I hope to be back soon with some stitchy, fabricky stuff to share. Hope you've all had a great weekend with a bit more stitchy stuff involved than mine and that your week is FANTASTIC! :0) Til next time ...



Saturday, 6 October 2012

Random Catch-up Ramblings!

Oh dear! More than a week has slipped by again before I've managed to get back here! It was SUPPOSED to be a quieter week, but that didn't seem to happen and although I have some adventures from last weekend to share with you ... I'm having to dash off unexpectedly today so am just jumping in with a quick update on yesterday. Perhaps if I tackle one day at a time I'll catch up! :0)

OK ... so ... yesterday I loaded myself into the car and headed off down the 'hill' to Brisbane for a long-overdue play date with my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette. Due to her work commitments, we haven't managed many play dates this year, so this was a bit of a catch up ... a lot of catching up going on here today! :0) We started our play date with lunch at a newly discovered tearoom and gift shop. The gift shop was fun ... the lunch at the teashop (which didn't actually serve the advertised high-tea unless you'd rung at least 24 hours in advance ... something NOT mentioned on their web site!!!) was pretty ordinary. So we decided to treat ourselves to a visit to one of our fave antique shops ... with MUCH better results! :0)

Now ... somewhere in the last month of busy-ness (on September 19, in fact!!) my Beloved Geek Boy and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. WOW! That time sure has flown by! :0) Although we didn't really get to celebrate the event due to the extremely hectic schedule of last month, we decided we'd keep an eye out for a special 'something' for each other's anniversary gift. We don't always exchange gifts for anniversaries, but 20 years seemed like a milestone worth marking. :0) Where is all this connected to Lynette's and my fave antique shop, I hear you asking? Well ... I found the gift for GB to buy for me! :0) It jumped out at me within a minute or two of walking into the shop. I drooled. I walked away. I came back and drooled a bit more. I walked away. Lynette urged me to look at it again. I walked away ... oh who am I kidding!!! In the end, it came home with me! :0)

It was a large pendant that featured Scotch thistles. Those of you who know me know that my family tree has a LOT of tartan wrapped around it (Kippen, Menzies, Duncan, McLean, McGregor ...!!!), so anything Celtic or Scottish catches my eye! :0) The nice lady at the antique shop said she thinks this was originally a belt decoration, but has been turned into a pendant somewhere along the track ... and is now just right for me to wear and enjoy. I emailed a photo of it to GB to show him what he'd bought me! Tee! Hee! Hee!
And while we were antique browsing, Lynette found a belated birthday giftie for me ... you know how we are with our gift-giving ... we'd rather wait and find just the right thing for each other. Well ... this pretty caught my eye ...
I think it's meant to be a sugar bowl. It caught my eye because I was sure it had the same pattern as another piece in my collection. When I got home and took a look ...
I found that I was right ... because the piece I already had (the one on the left) is this same piece ... just missing it's lid! Go figure!! :0) So ... now I just have to keep an eye out for a spare lid ... don't like my chances! I'm guessing that like a lot of sugar bowls, the lid has been dropped and broken somewhere along the track before it came to live with me. Still ... my little collection of green depression glass is growing and looking pretty ...
Although ... if I get too many more pieces, I'll have to find another home for it, cos space is getting to be a bit limited here on the hutch! Maybe that will be a good excuse to buy a new, larger hutch! :0)
Lynette and I then finished our day with a coffee and a sweet treat (which I forgot to take a photo of!!) at our fave coffee shop, "The Nook" ... and the disappointing lunch was completely forgotten! :0)
So that was my Friday ... oh ... along with some yummy mail that I had been anxiously waiting for ...
... another Rural Jardin French General layer cake! :0) I have bought SO much of this range!! This particular layer cake will be the basis of another patchwork tiered skirt for moi, since I've already been wearing my purple version quite a lot. I just love the soft, antique blues and reds of Rural Jardin ... I'll show you the skirt when it's finished ... but for now will just stroke, pet and enjoy my layer cake! :0)

Right ... my small window of blogging time is up and I need to scoot off. I promise to come back soon and share some pics of our adventures last weekend. Oh ... Sweet Peg has done our OPAM random prize draw, so stay tuned to her blog for the winners' names. An apology to last month's winners ... I'll be posting your prizes this week ... PROMISE!!! :0) I'm off to get organised, so enjoy the rest of your weekend. Til next time ...


Friday, 28 September 2012

It's Amazing ...

... what you can get done when you actually have a WHOLE uninterrupted day at home! It's been a VERY rare commodity for me in the last few months, but today I stayed home ALL day - YAY!! :0) So what's a girl to do with a day at home but ... tackle the dirty washing!!! SIGH! It's not fun being a grown up most days is it?! :0) However ... once that was underway, it was a bit of Loreena McKennitt and Enya drifting through the sewing room speakers and I locked myself in!

So what did I achieve for the day in my sewing room? Well ... I'm pretty sure my stress level reduced! :0) But I also managed a couple more finishes - YAY! :0) Wanna see? First cab off the rank was  ...

A blue square! Just kidding. :0) If I show you how it looks opened out you'll get the idea ...
... it's a card wallet. Perfect for popping an iTunes or gift card in to mail off, but also a handy place to store loyalty cards ... cos most shops have them these days and if you're like me you can never find the one you want when you want it. This little batik beauty will be winging it's way to someone as a (late!!) birthday gift. One thing off the "To Do" list. :0)
Next project tackled was ...
... some pretty pink bunting. (It looks like the Eiffel Tower is having a party, doesn't it!) No ... I haven't fallen on my head and suddenly started loving pink ... despite Marion trying to 'infect' me! :0)
This pink bunting is another belated birthday gift (can you tell I've been busy and slack with birthdays this year? Oops!!) this one is for one of our nieces ... I hope she'll like it ... it's probably not the usual gift she would be expecting.
But really ... what's not to like about bunting ... it makes it seem like a party day EVERY day! :0) You can see that despite my aversion to pink, a few pieces have snuck into my stash when I've been sewing for pink-loving friends. It always feels great to be able to make things just from what you find in your stash, isn't it.
So ... THAT'S what I can manage to achieve when I stay home for a whole day ... just think of what I could achieve if I stayed home more often! Nah ... probably not going to happen ... too many places to be, things to do, people to have cuppas with! :0) So I guess I'll just make the most of the odd day I CAN grab at home.
Two more finishes for my OPAM list ... it's actually looking respectable this month after a couple of quiet ones. :0) How has YOUR Friday been? I hope you've had a good one, whatever you've been doing, and I also wish you all a relaxing, creative weekend. It's a long weekend here, so we have a few plans, but I'll be back to share some pics with you next week. Til next time ...


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Still Here ... Still Busy!!

PHEW!! It really has been a busy couple of weeks around here! There was only a break of a few days between Stitchers Dream Day Out before preparations for Creative Fields got into full swing. And what a FANTASTIC display we saw this year! Quilters from all over the Toowoomba, Highfields, Crows Nest areas and beyond put their GORGEOUS creations on display  and the many visitors to the exhibition during it's five day duration had a tough job to choose their favourite to vote for in the Viewers' Choice race. I spent a bit of time at the exhibition during the last five days, where our Quilting Angels group had a stall to sell some handmade goodies ... oh ... and there may have been a bit of chatting involved, since Marion, Fiona and Bev were on hand, too! :0) A big congratulations to Marion and Steph for organising another fantastic quilt exhibition and to all the clever-clogs quilters who had their quilts on display. There really are a LOT of clever stitchers around. :0)

During Creative Fields, there was also a very special quilt on display for the raffle the Quilting Angels are running until the end of November ...

This quilt has been made up with the original Quilt Aid blocks, which were donated to the Quilting Angels by Homespun magazine. The blocks are the original designers' blocks and they were put together by Linda Rother and was quilted by our very own Quilting Angel, the talented Fiona ... she did a MAGNIFICENT job!!! :0) I think we're all secretly hoping that we've bought the winning tickets, but if you think you'd like to give this quilt a home, raffle tickets are still available from Marion and Steph at The Quilters Angel. A big thank you, too, to the lovely ladies who were selling tickets in this raffle during Creative Fields.
So ... what have I been up to besides sitting and chatting at Creative Fields? Well ... I DID manage to get a couple of projects finished this week. In the lead up to Stitchers Dream Day Out, I decided to challenge myself by attempting to tackle the task given to Gail, Nikki and Natalie ... to design a project/s using only five fat 1/8's. I chose the bright colourway and came up with ...
... A stitching case/folder. If features a sweet girly bear who is sitting stitching, with the saying,
 "A stitch in time ... saves my sanity!"
While there would be some people who would say it's too late to save my sanity (Tee! Hee! Hee!) I had a lot of fun stitching this project. "A Stitch In Time" was the theme for this year's SDDO, hence the starting point for my stitchery. You can see there's a little frilly pincushion to match ...
... And when you undo the ties on the top and sides of this sewing caddy, you will find ...
POCKETS!! If you're anything like me, you try to store a LOT of bits and bobs in your sewing pouch/case/folder and then spend more time looking for things than you do stitching ... or is that just me?! Tee! Hee! Hee! So when I was designing this, I popped in a pocket for whatever you're stitching, one to house a pen/pencil (there's probably room for two in there if you wanted to test it out), a spot for your scissors ... which I seem to spend most of my time chasing!! ... and six good size pockets up the other end for threads and other sewing essentials. And I've attached them so that when you close the folder and tie it, nothing should fall out and there are handy carrying handles so it can be carried like a bag. I've started writing the instructions (GROAN!!! ) so will be releasing this new pattern soon. Not my usual colours to work with, but I really enjoyed the cheerful shades.
So ... that's another two projects I can add to my OPAM finishes list (note to self ... remember to update your sidebar list!!!) for September, which is WAY better than I managed for August. :0) And that is, of course, a reminder to all you OPAM gals out there to update YOUR finish lists in your sidebars and/or drop an email to Sweet Peg or me with your tally for September. Sweet Peg and I always love to see what you clever OPAMers have been creating. :0)
OK ... I'm off to be Polly and put the kettle on ... hope you're all having a great week and managing to steal some time to create ... or just taking a bit of time out to put your feet up, sip on a cuppa and be inspired by by some crafty prettiness in magazines or on line (damn you Pinterest! Tee! Hee! Hee!) Til next time ...

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