Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tuesday's Treasure!!

Here I am, back as promised to share today's instalment of my week of ...






I have to say, today was a really easy day to pick a treat, treasure, blessing or mini-miracle to share with you. You see ... about nine years ago, I did something I'd been wanting to do for years. Something DARING! Something  RISQUÉ! Something UNUSUAL! Something LEFT-OF-CENTRE! Something ... FUN!!!! I joined a belly-dance class! You were on a completely different wave-length there, weren't you?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Now, not only did I discover that I LOVE belly-dancing, I was fortunate enough to meet two very special ladies ... Lynda and Deb. We'd all been in the same dance class for a couple of months when someone suggested we hit a coffee shop after class ... about six of us did and somehow, Deb, Lynda and I (The Terrible Trio my Dad calls us!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) got chatting. Next time, just the three of us went for coffee ... the next time  lunch ... then we alternated meeting at each other's home for lunch ... until we found that we'd built a lovely friendship. (brace yourself ... photo coming!!)

Although the three of us no longer attend dance class together (we all dropped out for one reason or another as 'life' interfered, but I've just started back again ... oh my aching muscles!!!!) our friendship has continued to grow stronger and we try to meet up at least one a week for lunch ... usually on a Tuesday. (see now why I knew there would be something special for Tuesday's check-in! :0) ) Now, Deb couldn't come today, but Lynda was able to and we've just finished a lovely relaxed time of lunch, chatting, cuppas and laughing. Today, my gorgeous friend Lynda is my Tuesday Treasure ...

I feel very blessed to have so many wonderful friends in my life. No two are the same, though we all overlap at some point of our interests/talents/hobbies, and each one splashes my life with beauty and joy and is more precious to me than gold! Lynda and I both like to stitch (though she doesn't get much time to do so!), we both love to read  ... and we both have a warped sense of humour! Tee! Hee! Thanks, Lynda for being such an important part of my life ... and for being my TREASURE this Tuesday!! Here's to many more Tuesday lunches! Tee! Hee! Hee! (I would have had TWO Tuesday Treasures if Deb had managed to join us, but I'll try not to be too greedy and 'make do' with one! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

And while Lynda was here, I gave her a little surprise ... one  that has been on my WISP list for quite a while now ... you could say it was a very WISPY WISP! :0)

Hmmm ... the photo is a bit dark cos we'd closed the blind against the glare, but can you see the pretty, fuzzy purple and pink scarf Lynda is modelling beautifully? :0) And in the background you'll see I'm still enjoying Monday's MINI-MIRACLE! :0)

BTW ... If you're looking for more treasures on a Tuesday ... the lovely Melody over at The House On The Side Of  The Hill hosts a link up party on the second Tuesday of each month, so pop across and take a peek.

So ... how is YOUR week going so far? Are you keeping an eye out for TREATS, TREASURES, BLESSINGS and MINI-MIRACLES?? Even if you don't blog about them, I hope my little challenge to myself encourages you to look for the splashes of joy in each day.

I'm off to play Polly and put the kettle on ... I know ... I seem to do that a lot, but as my Nan used to say, 

"Everything looks better after a sit down and a cup of tea." :0)

My Nan was a wise woman, don't you think! Tee! Hee! Hee!  Til next time ...



PS. OPAM gals ... today is the last day of April!! Please update your sidebar lists and email Sweet Peg and me with your month's tally of finishes.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Mini-Miracle Monday!!

Have you ever stopped to think about how many treats, treasures, blessings and mini-miracles we overlook each day? That sounds very "ZEN" doesn't it?! :0) It was a thought that occurred to me today as I used a machete to hack my way through our front jungle garden to check for mail. (OK ... I may be exaggerating slightly about our overgrown garden, but I'm pretty sure the Geisha Girls are plotting to take over the world!!)

Amidst the tangles of lavender, Geisha Girl blooms, bottlebrush, seaside daisies and grevillea  I spotted a splash of unexpected colour ... a ROSE! Now, I did actually plant about six rose bushes at one time, but they have never done very well for a few reasons ...

1. They are very shaded by a camphor laurel tree on our footpath (don't get me started on the camphor laurel, AKA the bane of my existence!!)

2. I never remember to water them! (Oops!!)

So on the rare occasions that they manage to pop out a bloom despite my lack of care and attention, I am somewhat surprised and rather grateful that nature is smarter and tougher than I am! :0) But today's rose was a little reminder to me that life is full of unexpected treats, treasures, blessings and mini-miracles that we can easily overlook in the busy-ness of our days or by forgetting to look around us and appreciate what we've got. So I am challenging myself to spend a week looking for ...






And I will attempt (note no extravagant promises being made here! Tee! Hee! Hee!) to blog my treat, treasure, blessing or mini-miracle each day. Would you like to join me? There are no rules, just keep an eye out during your ordinary day for that little splash of extraordinary, blog about it and maybe pop back to leave a comment or email me to tell me about it so I can peek at your blog post too. Treats, treasures, blessings and mini-miracles are even more fun when we can share them, don't you think?! :0)

So ... here is my Monday Mini-Miracle ... my rose ...

It's a "Peace" rose ... rather fitting for me to find a bloom so close to ANZAC Day. It's a buttery yellow in the centre with a blush of pink on the edges of the petals and it smells DIVINE!! Now ... I got a little carried away here and carted my mini-miracle from room to room to see where it looked prettiest ...

Here it is against my green lounge room wall. It was quite interesting to see how the different background colours changed the colours of the rose ...

I think I like this one best ... a bit of gauzy muslin in front of my sewing room blue wall. 

I hope your week is off to a fabulous start. I hope to pop back here to share my treat, treasure, blessing or mini-miracle with you tomorrow, but right now, I'm off to play Polly and pop the kettle on for a cup of tea. Til next time ...



Sunday, 28 April 2013

A Finish & A Find!!

SIGH!! The weekend is almost over and it's almost time to be a grown up again and go to work ... There just never seems to be enough hours in a weekend does there?!  And that list of jobs allocated to the weekend never seems to be finished!! :0)

However ... I DID manage to cross a few things off the ol' "To Do" list ... including FINALLY finishing an overdue birthday giftie for Steph. I had the hand stitching finished in time for Steph's birthday, but never seemed to find the uninterrupted time to finish it ... til this week ... YAY! :0) 

Ta Da! You can't see it in the photo, but this is another version of the snap closure pouch I designed for Girls Stitch In earlier in the year. The fabrics are from the "Flirt" range ... one of Steph's faves! :0) I had fun playing with them and was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I also made one for my Mum ... but forgot to take a pic .. .oops! :0) So ... another finish to add to my sidebar list ... are you OPAM gals keeping your lists up to date ... it's almost the end of the month again! :0)

Right ... to the "Find" in my post title ... after finishing the painting of my kitchenette a couple of weeks ago and putting it into it's new home in the dining room, it became obvious that our large round dining table was ... well ... too LARGE!! So this weekend, with a little bit of browsing time up our sleeves  my beloved Geek Boy and I decided to take a look at a few furniture shops to see if we could find a suitable table. Hmmm ... most were bigger than we were looking for ... not to mention PRICEY!!! So we took a peek at a couple of second hand stores and an antique store ... we're looking for a table with character, after all. Hmmm ... still no joy. Then ... almost as an afterthought, we popped into a recycled timber spot ... 15 minutes before closing! ... and lo and behold, we found ... THE ONE!!! :0) Now ... it DEFINITELY needs some TLC and is in DRASTIC need of a makeover, but we were pretty chuffed ...

Here it is, as it arrived in our carport. I'm not sure if it is, but it reminds me of the old style school teachers' desks, complete with storage drawer and original handle and lock (no key, so no secrets being hidden!!). Someone has put a coat of HIDEOUS varnish over it that we couldn't even begin to budge with paint stripper ... first time that's happened!! And the best part was the price ... a fraction of the price of any of the new tables we looked at AND they were taking 20% of all furniture this weekend ... YAY! :0) So next weekend will see us break out the sandpaper and sanders, paintbrushes, paint and sealer to give it a new lease of life. I can't wait to see it all spruced up ... love the turned legs especially and I'll have to come up with a secret or two to hide in that drawer! :0) I know it's meant to be a desk, but it's perfect for our  dining table needs with the space we have. I love it when a plan comes together! :0)

Well ... that's it for me today. I'm off to watch a bit of TV and break out the knitting needles ... the weather is cooling down and I need a new scarf or two to cope with winter ... BRRRRRRR!! :0) Hope your weekend has been as productive as ours and that your week includes some new treasures! :0) Til next time ...



Thursday, 25 April 2013

Poppies For Remembrance

Today is ANZAC Day, though it's late in the day as I find time to type this. A day near to the heart of Aussies (and their allies) when we take time to remember the men and women who have served their country as part of our armed services and their support services. The idealist in me hates all war, all violence, all conflict, but the realist in me knows that as long as some seek to enforce their will or beliefs on others and evil men seek to hoard power, there will be a need for people to step forward and defend. To all who have served their country in any way, past and present ... Thank You! We will not forget.

One of the symbols of our remembrance is the red poppy ...

Lest We Forget

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Painty Projects & A Bloggy Buddy!!

Are you surprised to see me back here so soon? I DID tell you I'd try to get back this week to share some photos with you of my finished painty projects ... I think I've finally managed to wash all the paint off me ... I seem to get almost as much paint on myself as my projects! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... first up is our 'new' wardrobe. Remember it started off looking like this ...

... and with a bit of sanding and several coats of paint (thanks for all your help Dad!!!) ...

... it's taken on a whole new, slightly French provincial personality. The light isn't fantastic, but you get the idea ... I'm REALLY happy with how this wardrobe has scrubbed up. And although I couldn't find the door and drawer knobs that I wanted (you know ... the ones that were EVERYWHERE a couple of months ago and nowhere to be found now!!!) I'm happy with how these antique-brass-look ones came up. I originally thought about trying to 'shabby' it up a bit, but my Beloved Geek Boy has trouble coping with furniture that is painted and then deliberately chipped, knocked around or 'shabbied'. :0)

On to the second painty project ... the kitchen cupboard thingy ... which I never quite know what to call, but Maria referred to it as a kitchette, so I will be led by her ... plus it's shorter to type than 'kitchen cupboard thingy'! Tee! Hee! Hee! So ... from this ...

... to this ...

I am REALLY happy with how this beauty has come up!! I had thought I would add a French transfer to the bottom door panels ... testing out a technique seen on Pinterest ... but couldn't find any wax paper at the supermarket ... and now I kind of like it as it is. I'll keep an eye out for more pretty little hangy-things ...

... but for now I will just admire my pretty teacups ... which are readily on display through the new clear glass. :0) And do you recognise another painted lady on top of the kitchette?

 Yep ... the hat case I painted is on the left, with a pretty tag tied on with tea-dyed lace and keeping it company is a white doctor's bag-style bag that came to me after my great-aunt passed away last year (aged 99!!!) and a couple of vintage ports (suitcases for non-Queenslanders!!) that have been waiting for the perfect spot to sit. Add a dainty doily dolly my inlaws gave me for my birthday and it's looking more 'lived in'. :0)

... A few of my newer treasures that I don't think I've shared before ... I love the two end plates ... I might just have to keep an eye out for them in other colours ... the birth of a whole new collection! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... there you go ... a couple of painty projects crossed off the ol' "To Do" list ... which feels great! :0)

On a different note ... A flat minor perhaps??!! Tee! Hee! Hee! ... It's always lovely to meet up with a bloggy buddy and I had the chance to do that today. Even though we chat to bloggy buddies all around the world, I am often reminded that the world is, in fact, often a SMALL place. A while ago, I shared some pics on my blog of the gorgeous gardens at the retirement village where I work four mornings a week and mentioned that the village is at Highfields, about 20 minutes north of Toowoomba. Imagine my surprise and amusement when one of my bloggy buddies, Janice, said that her aunt and uncle live in a retirement village at Highfields ... you guessed it!! The same village where I work! :0) 

Now, since Janice lives in NSW and has only been up this way on quick visits, we hadn't ever managed to meet up, but today, my office door slid open and there was Janice and her beloved, Mick ... what a lovely surprise to start my work day! :0) Much chatting ensued ... we even drove my boss out of the office with our chatter! Tee! Hee! Hee! Good thing he's used to my chatterboxy ways! :0) It was lovely to meet Janice and Mick in "real life" as they passed through on their way home from a motorcycle event. Janice was off to hit the shops with her aunty and Mick was off to play croquet ... ooh! la! la! :0) But we were good bloggers and remembered to get a happy snappy first ...

Lovely to meet in 'real life' Janice! Hopefully your next visit will fall away from Tuesday so we can go and play at my Home-Away-From-Home! Oops! Did you just hear Mick and GB groan out loud?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Well ... that's it from me for now. I hope to be back soon to share some photos of some stitchy projects that I have managed to finish ... just need to add a few finishing touches to their display. Hope your week is off to a fantastic start and that it includes some time to create. Til next time ...



Sunday, 21 April 2013

Swapping Needle For Paintbrush!!

Here I am ... back again ... FINALLY!! I know I've been a bit of an unreliable blogger the last month or so, but there's been some really good reasons ... promise!! :0) As well as the ongoing dental visits that mess with my week (and my head!!!) my parents have been in Toowoomba for the last nine weeks house sitting for friends who've been caravanning. As a result, I've been taking as many opportunities as I could to spend time with Mum and Dad and have also played chauffeur quite a bit, cos Mum doesn't drive. I've really enjoyed having them close by (they live three hours away normally) and I'm going to miss them now they've headed home again.

So ... there hasn't been a lot of stitching going on here  ... though there has been SOME happening, just not finished! :0) I have, however, swapped my needle for a paintbrush a lot in the last few weeks. Now, not all of the painty projects are finished, but I thought I'd show you my starting point for a few.

The first project to be tackled was a kitchen dresser/hutch we bought at a garage sale a couple of years ago. When we first bought it, it looked like this ...

... the one at the back. (the dresser in the front received a red makeover that I've shown previously) We had tossed up whether we could afford to have the second stained glass panel restored to match the one on the left, but then ...

... it was damaged when gale-force winds whipped across the top of our 'hill' and it was knocked over while stored in the carport. Replacing both stained glass panels was just too much for our budget, so we decided to get a retired friend to replace the glass with clear on both sides, repair a few other minor damages sustained in the gale-force fall and it then looked like this ...

 ... Hmmm ... not the best photo and not really showing the clear glass doors I was telling you about ... oops! :0) However ... this is the step I was up to when I went looking for ...

... the blue paint left over from painting my sewing room. Are you now wondering what the heck I've been up to??? It's almost finished, so I'll share a photo next time ... just to keep you in suspenders a little longer! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Another start was a not-so-little something for our bedroom. For some time now, we've been searching for a new white free-standing wardrobe. Can I tell you ... it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to buy free-standing wardrobes and most that we managed to find were ultra-modern looking ... not what we were looking for to go in our Heritage style cottage that's decorated in an eclectic shabby/French/cottage/chic kind of style. I'd all but given up when my sort-of-sister Tiffy moved to Melbourne and said we were welcome to HER wardrobe that someone had given to her ... WOO! HOO! It was the right size, the right style ... it was just a bit ... well ... PINE!! :0)

Here it is sitting on a tarp, ready to be painted ... oops! Drawers have already been pulled out. We took advantage of the wonderful covered outdoor area at the house Mum and Dad were house-sitting cos we don't have a weather-proof outdoor area to work in ... our carport leaks like a sieve! :0) While this project is now finished, I haven't managed to take a good pic yet, so promise to show you that one next time too ... yet more suspenders for you to be kept in! :0)

The last painting project to be tackled was a bit smaller and quicker to complete. Some time ago, one of the residents at the retirement village where I work gave me an old hat suitcase (???) I think that's what it would have originally been used for, anyways. Here it is ...

Hmmm ... not the most attractive colour, I didn't think. So what's a gal to do, but reach for a paintbrush to shabby it up a bit. :0)

A new shabby/French coat of paint for the old girl. I promise to take some better photos this week once it's in it's final display spot.

this is what the inside looks like. It's in pretty good condition so I'm not going to mess with it.

So there you go ... I haven't been completely idle, just not stitching much. It's been nice to take a little break from stitching, actually, and get a few of the painty-type project finished that have been on "The List" for quite some time, but I think I'm about ready to hit the sewing room again, so I'm sure I'll have stitchy things to share soon. :0)

Hope you're all having a wonderful, relaxing and/or productive weekend and that it sets the tone for the coming week for you. I have another dentist appointment tomorrow ... EEK!!!! but after that, hopefully my sewing room will call me. Happy stitching to you all! Til next time ...



Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Slacko Checking In!!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!! What a slacko I am to have been away from blogland for so long!! ESPECIALLY since I know the lovely OPAMers are waiting to hear who the winners of the March prize draw are ... OOPS! SORRY!! :0) Let's just say that I got caught up in the short week following Easter, an emergency dentist visit ... which resulted in me having to return to the dentist this Friday to have a root canal ... EEEEEEKK!!! Did I mention my dental phobia!!!!!!! SIGH! Don't you hate being a grown up some weeks?!?!! :0<

So ... on to the OPAM news.  537 finishes for March ... YAY!! Well done to all you clever-clogs stitchers out there!! There sure have been some BUSY needles and sewing machines stitching away! :0) Doesn't it feel GREAT to cross projects off the ol' "To Do" list and add them to your finishes list in your sidebar! :0) And even if you didn't get to add anything to your finishes list, if you took some time out to catch your breath, relax and create, then you're a winner too. :0) OK ... drum roll please ....

The winners are ...

CONGRATULATION GALS!! :0) If you'd like to email me your snail mail addresses, there will be a little surprise popped into post for you. I hope you're all enjoying being part of OPAM 2013 as much as my gorgeous partner-in-crime Sweet Peg and I enjoy seeing your fabulous finished projects each month. Isn't it nice just to have a bit of encouragement, a gentle nudge to finish things ... and a world-wide cheer squad! :0) Thank you all for playing along ... especially those of you who took the time to email your finishes through to Sweet Peg or me ... it's a huge help! :0)

OK ... off to have a cup of tea and watch a bit of mindless TV, trying to take my mind off my Friday date with the dentist .... SHUDDER!!! Hopefully I will survive my ordeal to come back and show you what I've been sewing. I hope you're all having a great week so far and that there's some time to kick-back, relax and STITCH in your itinerary. :0) Til next time ...



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