Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Simple Pleasures!!

Do you ever have those days ... ordinary days, really ... where it suddenly hits home to you just how many GOOD things there are in your life? I don't mean BIG things ... like winning lotto or going on a big overseas holiday ... though I wouldn't say no to either of those things! Tee! Hee! Hee! I just mean the little, everyday blessings that we most often take for granted. I am having one of those days today where I am feeling very blessed and very thankful for 'simple pleasures', so I thought I'd share some with you.

Today I am thankful for and enjoying the simple pleasure of ...

... the bright cheerful garden that I see near my office at work each day. Aren't the portulacca's CHEERFUL?! And I love the deep blue/purple of those salvias, too ... together it's eye-candy for this colour-freak! :0)

... emails from GORGEOUS, supportive, incredibly creative bloggy buddies - Kerryanne on the left and Lovely Lilly Linda on the right. Does this trio look ready for mischief or WHAT!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

... GORGEOUS GODDESSES, Lynda and Debbie D,to share a weekly lunch date with! I confess we don't feast like this every week when we get together ... we'd be the size of three houses!! :0) This was taken at a birthday "Harem" party we had for Deb's birthday a year or two ago. The three of us met while attending belly-dancing classes and just 'clicked'. That was nearly nine years ago and though none of us can get to dance class any more, we still get together once a week at least to catch up ... my doesn't time fly! :0)

... A sewing room that I can hibernate in to be creative. Oops! Not quite this tidy at the moment ... which Fiona would vouch for! :0) But that's the nice part of having a designated sewing room ... it's allowed to have Creative Chaos in there! Tee! Hee! Hee!

... a cup of yummy tea and a 'magazine' (e-version of "Homespun") to enjoy while I drink it ... not to mention the TIME to do both! :0)

... my Sweetie!! Who not only patiently puts up with my creative quirks, warped sense of humour and tendancy to attract fabric like a magnet (really ... it follows me home! Tee! Hee! Hee!) he loves me and encourages most of those traits ... well ... perhaps he'd be happier if a bit less fabric followed me home sometimes! :0)

... Looking forward to a play-date on Friday with my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette. Lots of chatting, something yummy to eat and drink and I'm guessing there'll be a bit of retail therapy on the agenda too ... both husbands just shuddered! Tee! Hee! Hee!

... last, but certainly not least ... parents who I love to bits and who are close enough to want to enjoy a nice long chat ... even if you're calling from a shopping centre just to see if Mum thinks what I've found would be suitable for Grandma's upcoming birthday!!! :0) Picture me sitting in the book section of Big W for half an hour chatting (listening!!) to Mum, watching the world go by ... they really should make those seats more comfortable for people with short legs!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

There you go ... some 'simple', 'everyday' things (and not so simple or ordinary people!!) who are bringing a ray of sunshine to my life today. What are the 'simple pleasures' in YOUR life today? Having a bad day and can't think of anything?? Have another look around you and think harder ... I bet you'll find some if you REALLY look! :0) Let me know what you come up with, post some pics and I'll pop across to share your 'simple pleasures'. :0)

I'm off to refill that cup with more Rose and French Vanilla tea, I think, before I go back to recording OPAM finishes and answering emails. Don't forget, OPAMers ... today is the last day of February ... Sweet Peg and I even arranged for you to have an EXTRA day  to sew in February this year! Tee! Hee! Hee! Don't forget to update your sidebar lists (make sure you've got your badge and list on your sidebar where its easy to find!!) and email your tally for January AND February through to us. We'll wait a couple of days for the deluge of emails to slow to a trickle, then do our blog-hop to catch the rest before our double-whammy prize draw, so stay tuned! :0) Til next time ...


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Blogging Buddies & A Sneaky Peeky!

It's been a few days since I've popped in to chat, but I assure you I haven't been idle. In fact ... I've been a busy little bear! :0) I've been stitching madly late into the night, but have also made time to catch up with some blogging buddies. All work and no play makes life very dull, don't you think?! :0) Hmmm ... no fear of dullness here at the Meares' Madhouse! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The first social event on the list was a delightful lunch on Wednesday when a couple of lovely ladies made the climb up our 'hill' for a play date. Fellow arctophile (bear lover!!) Michelle Ridgway of Rag Tag Stitching and Maree of  On My Verandah met up with my fellow Quilting Angel, the lovely Fiona of Bubz Rugz, at the Village Green and I joined them after finishing work for the day ... my little car is VERY used to turning in there anyways! Tee! Hee! Hee! Michelle and I have chatted back and forth via blogs and emails for a while and have also shared the pages of "Handmade" magazine from time to time, so it was fun to finally meet up in 'real life'. :0) And it was also lovely to meet Maree ... it's always nice to meet new friends, isn't it ... particularly when you find lots in common.

Here we all are, about to enjoy a yummy lunch ... delivered by a very patient waitress who was kind enough (an element of 'don't alarm the lunatics perhaps! Tee! Hee! Hee!) to cope with three cameras and an iPhone so we could have a bloggy photo record of the play date! :0) There was lots of chatting (I know that surprises you! Tee! Hee! Hee!), lots of laughs and lots of sharing about stitchy projects. Of course, no visit to the Village Green would be complete without a visit to my home-away-from-home, but no one bought anything ... NOT!!!! Tee! Hee! Hee! All in all it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Glad you made the trip up the 'hill' Michelle and Maree ... I'll look forward to a return play date sometime soon. :0)

The lovely Fiona and I also enjoyed a stitchy play date on Friday ... the weather was overcast and drizzly, the company was fine, and the chatting flowed as freely as the stitching. Thanks for the catch up, Fiona! Oh ... and a belated Happy Birthday! :0)

Now, I've been madly stitching the sample of a new quilt design using my delicious collection of Rouenneries fabrics. I can't show you exactly what I'm stitching, as I want to keep it a surprise until I'm finished, but I'll tease you with a little sneaky peeky ...

As you can see ... and I'm sure you're not surprised!! ... there's a little bit of a French influence in this project. With the fabrics called "Rouenneries" there couldn't help but be a touch of French, could there?! :0) I promise to show you more when I get a bit further down the track with it. It's been an overcast, gloomy, wet weekend here on top of our 'hill', so there's been quite a lot of stitching happening ... so I may even be back in a few days to show you a little bit more.

But no matter how quickly I stitch, I don't think this quilt will be being added to my OPAM list for February ... maybe March?! :0) I'm sure you lovely OPAMers, though, have LOADS of finishes to add to YOUR lists and with just a few more days left until the end of the month (It's a short one, remember!!) I hope you're all madly updating lists and getting ready to email Sweet Peg and I with your tally. Don't forget  ... there will be a DOUBLE prize draw for all projects finished in January AND February, so if you forgot to let us know your January finishes, you still have the chance to add them to your tally too.

Right now, though, I'm off to pop the kettle on for a much needed cuppa. Hope your weekend has been enjoyable and that you've had some time to kick back and relax with some stitching. Til next time ...


Monday, 20 February 2012

99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall ...!!

OK ... no beer in sight, actually, but I thought you might like a little sing-along to start off your week! :0) You're going to have that song stuck in your head now! Tee! Hee! Hee! The annoyance fun factor of my title wasn't the only reason I chose it. You see, we headed off to the showgrounds on the weekend to have a look at the offerings at the Toowoomba Antiques and Collectibles Fair. There wasn't really as much on offer as I expected ... we wondered whether it was a little close to the big swap meet that was held just two weeks ago ... but I DID manage to find a few treasures to bring home. Are you now re-thinking that title to guess what I found?? Yep ... BOTTLES!!! :0)

I love old bottles ... there's something about the quality of the old glass that catches the light and reflects it around cheerfully ... even the 'plain' glass. So when I got home a went a little, moderately ... EXTREMELY!! ... overboard taking photos of my new treasures. I'm a bit limited in my photography by my aging point-and-shoot camera and a distinct lack of artistic flair! :0) I love to look at beautifully styled, artistic photographs like I see when I pop in to visit my  blogging buddy Kerryanne at Shabby Art Boutique, but I never really seem to be able to emulate that style and flair that she achieves so effortlessly. I blame my journalistic background where I was taught to just fill up the whole frame, front and centre. :0) So with such cooperative photographic subjects (not one of them talked back! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I decided to play a little ... I hope you'll indulge me! :0)  You may like to grab a cuppa and a bickie first! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... BOTTLES! Bottles were actually one of the most plentiful group of collectibles on offer at the fair, so I was pretty happy, as that was one of the things I was hunting and managed to bag a few bargains. I found ...

... large bottles ...

... blue bottles ...

... lovely aqua tinted bottles. Oh!! The bottles that I could have bought home with me ... if my Beloved Geek Boy hadn't started to look at me a little strangely every time I added another bottle to the packages he was carrying ... or perhaps that was just him letting me know the 'packhorse' was ready to go home?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... what am I going to do with these pretty bottles? Well ... eventually (when we win lotto!!) when we renovate the bathroom, I have a mental picture of having a wide picture rail/shelf around the room with pretty blue and green bottles all around to catch the light ... and act as storage containers. :0) But for now I could ...

... pop in some pretty white flowers ...

... I could display some lavender spikes with their soothing scent filling the room ...

... I could display some of the great multitude of buttons that I have collected ...

... I could fill it with pretty cotton laces ...

 OH!!! The endless possibilities! :0) For now, the blue and aqua open bottles are sitting on the door frame of my sewing room and the lidded bottles are on the top shelf above my desk ... the buttons have stayed, though the laces have been tucked away back in the basket with all their friends so I remember where they are! :0) I may not yet have enough bottles to stretch around the walls of my dream bathroom, but it's a pretty good start, I think! :0)

In between playing with my new treasures, I DID spend some time in my sewing room playing with the yummy Rouenneries Deux fabrics I showed you last week, but it will have to stay secret a little longer ... I promise the wait will be worth it, cos I'm LOVING how this new quilt design is coming together! :0)

But for now, I think I shall go and pop the kettle on, make myself a cup of tea and do a little bit more stitching on my new design before I have to head off to choir rehearsal. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and if you weren't lucky enough to discover new treasures, then I hope you managed to steal some "YOU" time to stitch and create. Enjoy your week!! :0) Til next time ...




Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Bit Of French Naughtiness!!

OOH! LA! LA!! No ... not THAT sort of French naughtiness!!! What were you thinking?!?! :0) This is a very innocent sort of French naughtiness ... really! :0)

You see ... I happened to pop into Quilters Angel (as you know I'm prone to do!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and what should I see but the GORGEOUS new range of fabrics being unpacked ... "Rouenerries Deux". It was love at first sight! :0) Oh how I wanted to buy a metre of each ... but the play money would NOT reach that far ... SIGH!!!! Must win lotto somewhere along the track! :0) So ... I got busy with my sketchbook and pencil ...

... sketched out a new quilt design ... measured ... calculated ... calculated again ... scratched my head ... rubbed out ... calculated again ... did I mention that numbers and I really don't get along! :0) But finally, I worked out what I needed to make my new design and then I went ...


I drooled over all of the fabrics, laid them out beside each other, swapped, changed, rearranged until I had my finalists ...

YUMMY!!! Can you blame me for wanting to bring these DELICIOUS fabrics home with me?! I'd love to tell you what I've been stitching this week, but I'm WAY too busy fondling my new fabricky friends! Tee! Hee! Hee! If you want to play with some of these yummy fabrics, you should give Marion a call ... I dare you to stop at just ONE! :0)

I hope your week is going well and that you, too, are enjoying some fabricky fun of some sort. Are you adding to your OPAM list? Or are you working on some longer-term WISPs? I'm looking forward to seeing some pics!! :0) Til next time ...



PS. Have you heard the exciting news from my blogging buddy the gorgeous Kerryanne over at Shabby Art Boutique? She has given her website a shabby French boutique makeover and it is trey magnifique!! :0) Pop over for a visit ... but make a cuppa first cos you'll spend ages looking at all the pretties! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sunday Sewing & Happy Valentine's Day!!

Before you look at that title and the date on this post, let me just say that I KNOW it's not Sunday today ... I'm just a few days behind ... as usual! :0) Actually, we've been having some nasty storms here on top of our 'hill', so I've been turning the computer off more often than usual. In fact, the storm we had Saturday night knocked out electricity for about 9 hours ... starting at about 6:30pm!!! EEK!! Crackers and home-made pesto for dinner that night and a cold shower cos guess who had their hair all frothy and shampooed up when the power went off taking the hot water with it?!?!?! GRRRR!! Not fun. However ... I digress!!! :0)
Sunday I managed to spend some time in the sewing room, though it was one of those days where I didn't seem to be able to focus on doing just ONE thing. So, I played with some of these ...

Lots of scrappy 2" squares that will become new samples for this pattern ...

The Scrappy Hearts Bucket Bag and Shabby Chic Heart Swag appeared in two issues of "Handmade" last year and I'll release them as a combined pattern packet ... once I finish the new samples and take pattern cover photos ... stay tuned! :0) These projects are perfect for using up those little scraps of your fave fabrics that you just can't bear to throw away, so start collecting!

I made some good progress on these projects, but sort of got sidetracked when I decided to try something I'd seen Val and Fiona doing ... cutting some squares that will not only be my thread-savers, but will one day be able to be put together to make a quilt ...

Here's an action shot! :0) Do you use thread-savers? You might call them something different ... trailers, toppers ... the concept is that instead of having a long stretch of thread at the start and end of your seams, you run straight onto your thread-saver, then snip the thread that joins them ... less wasted thread, less loose threads to clean up AND ... if you take the time to cut some squares rather than just using a swatch of scrap fabric that eventually gets thrown out (like I was previously!) you can end up with some strips and squares to make a whole nother project without realising it! :0) Here's my thread-saver project ...

I'm obviously in a 'square' mood! :0) Actually, I've been hoarding saving these bright and cheerful fabrics for a while now with the intention of eventually making an Irish chain quilt. So ... I thought this was a good way to kick-start that. The fabrics are from Rosalie Quinlan's fabric range "Sweet Broderie" and teaming them with white Moda solids will really make them pop, I think. I didn't really enjoy cutting all those squares out ... measuring and cutting is not one of my strongest skills! But they look pretty in their little box ready to be grabbed in between seams and I like how the nine-patches are coming up. Will keep you posted on my progress.

Now ... today is February 14 and we all know what that means ...

St Valentine's Day!!

We don't always do much for Valentine's Day, but since he's away for some work training today, my Beloved Geek Boy arranged for a special delivery to me at work ...

AAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWW!!!! Isn't he a SWEETIE!!! I think I'll keep him a bit longer! :0) The flowers are GORGEOUS, but I felt like the orange paper and bright yellow box were overwhelming them a bit, so I had a little play and now I have ...

... some pretty pink flowers in my green Depression Glass vase on the hutch in the kitchen ...

... some lush red roses and delicate baby's-breathe between matching candles on the lounge room dresser and ...

... the luscious orange lilies and fluffy Australian native foliage have room to spread their petals and leaves on the floor in a bare corner of the lounge room. Somehow, there now seems like MORE flowers to enjoy! :0) Thank you, Sweetie!!! I love my surprise flowers ... and love you too!!! MMMMWWAAAAHHHH!!! :0)

OK ... soppy stuff is over now, you can uncover your eyes! Tee! Hee! Hee! I hope your week is off to a great start and even if you don't celebrate Valentine's Day in a big way, I hope you take the time to tell someone special that you love them. Life is short ... cram in all the "I Love You's!" that you can! :0) Til next time ...



Saturday, 11 February 2012

OPAM List Up & Running!

PHEW!!!! My neck is a bit stiff and my "copy" and "paste" typing fingers have had a workout, but I've FINALLY got around to adding this year's list of OPAMers to my sidebar! HOORAY!! :0)

Now that it's on my blog ... can I get all OPAMers to have a little peek and check that:

A) If you've received your welcome letter from Sweet Peg or me that your name is on the list

B) If you left a comment or sent an email to Sweet Peg or me ... but you DON'T see your name on the list ... drop one of us an email. Those first few days of sign up were just a LITTLE bit hectic ... especially since I was away and working on my iPad and laptop. I know a few fell through the cracks ... OOPS!

C) If you signed up with Sweet Peg or me and your name is on the sidebar list BUT you didn't receive an official welcome letter with instructions for adding this year's new badge ... let one of us know and we'll send you your welcome letter.


D) If you received your welcome letter from Sweet Peg or me AND your name is on my sidebar list ... BUT ... the blog address is wrong. I spotted a couple during my copying and pasting marathon that I think have accidentally had someone else's blog address popped against their name ... very easy to do when you're adding names to a spreadsheet at midnight and going a little cross-eyed! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OH! Now that the list is up ... it would be fabulous if you took a little blog-hopping visit around to meet the other OPAMers ... there are 164 fun blogs on that list ... so you might want to make a cuppa first!!! But I guarantee you'll enjoy peeking at the projects others are working on. And why not leave a comment along the way to say "G'day" and encourage your fellow stitchers ... that's part of the fun of OPAM ... we all have an international cheer squad to encourage and inspire us! :0)

I think that's it. For those of you wondering why there haven't been any winners announced for the January random prize draw ... that's cos it hasn't happened yet! :0) Because Sweet Peg and I have been tied up finalising spreadsheets and sidebar lists etc to get everything running for OPAM 2012 ... and to give you all a chance to get into the swing of updating your sidebar lists and emailing finish tallies to us at the end of each month! :0) ... There will be a double-whammy draw at the end of February for all finishes registered for January AND February, so remember to update your sidebar list and email us with your January and February tallies ... if you haven't done so yet for January ... and stay tuned for that one! :0)

I'd just like to take the opportunity, too, to say a big THANK YOU to the lovely, generous gals who have contacted Sweet Peg and I offering to donate prizes and contributions towards postage. Peg and I (and May Britt the first year!) have made the personal commitment to donate prizes and postage costs out of our own play money to add a little incentive and encouragement, but it is always a lovely boost to have people offer to help us out. :0) And while I know many of you have said you'd play along with OPAM even if there were no prizes ... it's nice to have a little something to spur us on, isn't it! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... I'm now off to make myself a cup of Rose and French Vanilla tea ... and pop my hot pack on my poor aching neck! Tee! Hee! Hee! Then, I think there's some stitching in my near future!! :0) Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope you manage to enjoy some time putting your feet up and picking up a needle and thread ... gotta get those February finishes finished, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...

(or Snoopy hugs! Tee! Hee! Hee!)


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?!?!

Do you ever get in a rut with your meal choices? Answering that eternal question ... "What's for dinner?" can be so tiring. So ... I decided it was time to dig myself out of my rut by digging out a few new recipes and I thought I'd share one with you. Actually ... it's kind of an old favourite. I made it quite a bit some years ago and then kind of ... forgot ... about it. Do you do that with favourite recipes? Cook them LOTS for a while and then they somehow fall off the radar? Well let me share a new old favourite of ours ...


This recipe is REALLY easy and SOOOOOOOO yummy! You can serve it as an entree, with salad or as a side dish with your choice of meat. Our personal favourite combination is with steak and Greek salad. YUMMO!!!

Step 1. Splash some olive oil into the bottom of a fairly deep saucepan. Dice a medium onion and pop it into the oil. Chop two cloves of garlic and add it to the oil. Add a couple of pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Step 2. Roughly dice about 800grams of mushrooms. I take stalks and skin off, but you don't have to. Toss the chopped mushrooms into the saucepan and turn on the heat.

The reason for the deep saucepan ... mushrooms are bulky when raw, but will 'shrink' as they cook down. Stir the onion/mushroom mix so it doesn't stick ... add a splash more oil if it's needed to stop the mushrooms from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Cook until the mushrooms are quite soft and have cooked down.

Step 3. Tip the cooked mushroom mixture into a food processor or blender and blitz those fungi!! :0)

Step 4. Crack four eggs into the processor/blender and blitz briefly until the eggs are mixed in.

Step 4. Pour the mushroom mix into a greased flan dish and pop it into an oven pre-heated to 150 degrees Celsius for around 30-40 minutes ... when the top is firm and the flan starts to come away from the edge of the dish ... so it looks like this ...

Step 5. ENJOY!!! :0)

See? An easy-peasy, tasty dinner treat. :0) So ... what's cookin' good lookin' at YOUR place today?? An old favourite? A new recipe? A good ol' stand by quick-to-make meal? Whatever's cooking at your place today, I hope its quick to make so you have plenty of time to spend stitching! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope your week's off to a great start!! Til next time ...



Sunday, 5 February 2012

Treasures - New, Old & Recycled!!

Aaaaarrrrrrr! Me Hearties! Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me!! :0) Oops! Wrong sort of treasure! Tee! Hee! Hee! It's been a bit of a weekend for appreciating treasures of one sort or another at the Meares' Madhouse this weekend. Would you like to see my treasures? No?? Oh .... OK ... well I'll just go now ... just kidding! :0) If you don't want to see them ... LOOK AWAY NOW! :0)

I know it's out of order ... but I'll tell you about the "Old" treasures I'm loving first off. The HUGE Toowoomba Collectibles Fair and Swap Meet was held at our showgrounds over Friday and Saturday and ... as usual ... I dragged my very patient Beloved Geek Boy out to take a peek. After having to park quite a long way away and having to walk a fair distance, I was beginning to think I should have just skipped it, but we persevered ... and I'm so glad we did! :0) There was every sort of car part, engine part, farm machinery bits and collectible item you can possibly think of, all crammed into the showgrounds ... the WHOLE showgrounds! I have to say, we piked a bit and stuck with the displays that were closer to the car park (about a third of the total!) ... my tootsies would NOT have been happy to walk even further than we did! :0) As always, I couldn't come home empty handed ... though I was pretty controlled, I thought. :0) Here are my old treasures that came home with me ...

A pretty green Depression Glass vase to add to my little collection (the garden's a bit sad at the moment, so a few lavender stalks was the best I could find!), an unusual design pink Depression Glass jug for my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette and some GORGEOUS vintage cotton lace. Hmmm .... it doesn't actually show up very well in the photo ... one day I will own a camera that gives me some lighting options, rather than "Flash" or "No flash". SIGH! Trust me ... it is lovely and I will be looking for a special project to add this to. There was also a timber chest that wanted to follow me home ... I could picture it with a shabby/French makeover ... but apparently GB didn't share my vision! SIGH!! Maybe next time I can convince him. :0)

OK ... onto my "New Treasure". On Friday, we had a gathering of our Quilting Angels and of COURSE I had to take a peek around Marion's GORGEOUS shop to see what fabrics might follow me home this week ... they do, you know ... follow me home! That's MY story anyway, and I'm STICKING to it! Tee! Hee! Hee! I was actually doing pretty well, only had a couple of little bits on the counter that I needed to keep going on a new design. And then ... I spotted something VERY special in a pile of fabrics that another customer had bought lengths from and were now waiting to be put back on the shelves. It was love at first sight!!

Don't you LOVE this fabric!!! I haven't seen anything like this before and even though it is NOT at all "Me" I just had to have some. I think the instant love is because of that 'Grandma's treasures' feel to it. I've decided I'm going to use it as a central panel in a quilt to go on the bottom of the daybed in my sewing room. That way it will show off those big vintage roses. Of course ... I have no idea WHEN this quilt might become a reality, but I have the fabric now, so when I'm ready ... it will be all systems go! :0) Do you ever have "love at first sight" experiences with fabric?? Maybe it's just me! :0)

OK ... lastly ... I'll tell you about my "Recycled Treasure". Some of you who've been popping in for visits for a while now will know there's a bit of a battle in the Meares' Madhouse over the ironing board. I use it as my drawing board, work bench, cutting bench ... and GB actually uses it to ... GASP!! ... iron clothes!!! EEK!! :0) So ... we're always having words over me piling stuff on it and him shifting my 'stuff'. Now ... GB's Dad is a bit of a backyard inventor/innovator and when I mentioned to him that I really needed a work surface that folded away like my ironing board, but was a bit wider and more stable, he said to leave it with him and he'd see what he could come up with.

Last week, he popped in with the solution to our marital arguments. :0) ...

Here's my new workbench ... in use this afternoon. Aaahh ... at last! A stable surface for cutting! Who knows ... this might actually improve my cutting accuracy! Tee! Hee! Hee! And the ironing board can still be accessed ...

I've now got a pretty efficient work station set up ... cutting board, to sewing machine, to ironing board and back to cutting board. :0) This is taken from near the window in my sewing room looking back toward the door ... which would be just to the left of my desk there ... if I had a wide-lens camera! Tee! Hee! Hee! And when I'm finished working or need extra space in my sewing room ...

It folds up and slides behind my cupboard. The best part? It was made on a shoestring budget with a solid ironing board frame and laminate off-cut, both found by my FIL at the local tip shop. Gotta love that! :0)



Thursday, 2 February 2012

Tilda +Tea = Inspiration!

There I go ... doing math again! And anyone who knows me knows I'm actually not very good with numbers! Tee! Hee! Hee! But in this case ... it worked ... sort of!! :0)

When I got home from work today, I was determined that I would tackle something on my VERY long "To Do" list. But ... I just didn't seem to be able to settle down to actually ACHIEVE anything. SIGH!! Do you have those days? You know you SHOULD knuckle down and get stitching, but your mojo seems to have jetlag??? So I did what any self-respecting stitcher would do ... gave up ... put the kettle on ... and dragged out my Tilda books in search of some inspiration and looked at pretty pictures!! :0)

This is how I spent a happy couple of hours ... ensconced in my sewing room with a pretty cup of tea and some pretty pictures ... with a little companion looking over my shoulder! :0) It was just what I needed to get the creative juices flowing again. Not that I actually got anything STITCHED ... but I DID jot down some notes, scribbled a few rough sketches and am now looking forward to a productive weekend, cos I can feel my mojo catching up with me! :0)

After chatting with Marion yesterday at my Home-Away-From-Home, I've also decided to treat myself to some MORE inspiration next month. I'm going to join in the fun of ...

On Saturday and Sunday March 10 and 11. This is the first of Marion's exciting special events for the year and I am SOOOOOO looking forward to it!!! :0) The GSI is all about busy gals SPOILING themselves a little ... and being spoilt! :0) There will be a beautifully decorated marquee set up on the Village Green, with goody bags full of all sorts of wonderful treats ... PLUS ... some brand-new-not-yet-released projects designed by this year's guest designers, Debbie Magee of "Always Stitchin'" and Nikki Tervo of "Nikki Tervo Designs/Brandy Gully". WOO! HOO! I LOOOOOOOVE Debbie's dollies and have already made several from her pattern range and I have been know to stand for AGES at craft shows drooling over Nikki's GORGEOUS ceramic buttons. Did I happen to mention that I love buttons?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Your goody bag will include the fabric kit and transferred stitchery design to start stitching one of the exciting new projects, along with the patterns for all of the new patterns created specially for Girls Stitch In. Add to that DELICIOUS morning and afternoon teas and a SUMPTUOUS fresh lunch and you really can't go wrong!!

The Stitch in is held for two days and you can spoil yourself completely by attending both days ... in which case you get TWO kits for brand new designs ... or you can just treat yourself to one day ... and spend the rest of your play money on fabric from Marion's HUGE range! Tee! Hee! Hee! Can you guess which option I'm leaning towards?!?! :0) The cost for each day is just $130 ... but be QUICK!! Marion told me yesterday that places are starting to fill quickly and you do NOT want to miss out! :0) Pop over to the Quilters' Angel web site HERE for further info or give them a call to book your seat. If you ask nicely, maybe Marion will let you sit up the back with me ... at the NAUGHTY TABLE! Tee! Hee! Hee! Cos you KNOW that's where I'm likely to end up ... especially after this happened last year ...

Here's Sue Daley and Marion bopping away to the live music that was our lunch time entertainment ... that gap in the middle ... well ... that's where I was bopping before I ducked away to take the photo! Tee! Hee! Hee! There's all sorts of surprises in store, plus give aways, prizes ... well ... I can't give away ALL the secrets, can I!! :0) But some people do stitch too ...

See!! And you can also see the gorgeous silk draped lining that made the marquee feel like something out of the Arabian Nights ... and when you have silk drapes, you really MUST have candelabras, darling!!! :0) Guaranteed to not only give you a special treat outing, you can bet Girls Stitch In will rev up your sewing mojo!!! :0) So book in quick and mark March 10 and 11 on your calendar ... I have!! :0)

OH!! I'm feeling inspired already ... so inspired that I think I'll go make myself another cup of tea and plan what I'll take for "Show and Tell" ! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you're having a good week where your mojo doesn't have jetlag! :0)

OH ... almost forgot ... OPAM sign up is now CLOSED!!! Sweet Peg and I will take the next few days to finalise everything and finish sending out the welcome letters. If you have signed up but not yet received a welcome email, please drop Sweet Peg or me an email or leave a comment on our blogs ... our "In" boxes have been such a busy place in the last couple of weeks that your email might have fallen through the rabbit hole somewhere. :0) We'll both also be adding the full list of OPAMers to our sidebars in the next little while so you can all start hopping around to visit each other and admire each others' finished projects, so once we do, just check that your name is on the list and that we have the right link to your blog so people can come and visit you. Thanks to the gals who've emailed their January finishes through to us ... they're being added to the spreadsheet as they come in, but as we did last year, Sweet Peg and I will do a combined double prize draw at the end of February for both January AND February finishes ... so this is your little bit of leeway and time to catch up and time for us to finalise the spreadsheet and get set up for the year! :0) If any OPAMers have questions, please feel free to email Sweet Peg or I at any time ... we're only too happy to chat! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The kettle is calling my name ... Til next time ...


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