Thursday, 30 October 2014

OPAM & A Quilting Sneaky Peeky!!

Do you remember a song that has the line ... "Whoops! There goes another rubber tree ..." ? Well ... I may not be missing any rubber trees, but here it is, nearly the end of the week, nearly the end of the month and I find myself saying ... "WHOOPS! There goes another one!" :0) Can you identify with this, too?!

So if its almost the end of the month, that means it's time for all good OPAMers to update their sidebar lists and email their tally for October through to me or my GORGEOUS Partner In Crime Sweet Peg

And the REALLY exciting thing is ... I HAVE A FINISH! WOO! HOO!!!! It's been a bit of a lean period for my sewing finishes during our house prepping/selling/buying/moving and boy does it feel good to have something to add to that list ... FINALLY!! :0) Here's hoping there are a few more before the chubby bloke in red comes calling. :0) OPAMers ... what have YOU finished this month??

Now ... I have had rather a busy week at my 'grown up' job, so haven't had time to take some nice pics of my finish, but I thought I'd share a sneaky peeky with you all ... Ready?? ... ''

... A free-form quilted butterfly courtesy of the quilting genus of the Fabulous Fiona. This really is just a very small part of the GORGEOUS quilting Fiona has one again waved her magic quilting want to create and it doesn't really show off the colour of the quilt properly either ... well ... you will just have to stay tuned, won't you! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I'm off to play Polly and put the kettle on for a cuppa ... and try to work out what projects to take with me for our Friday Night Sit N Stitch mini-retreat this weekend. WOO! HOO! Wanna bet I end up in the 'naughty corner' again?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Whatever you're up to, I hope there's some creative time scheduled in for you, too. Til next time ...



Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Flannel Quilt In A Heat Wave??!!

Here I am back again ... though it took me a little longer than planned ... how DOES that keep happening?! :0) The year seems to be slipping past me at a faster and faster pace and about the only positive I can think of about that is ... my much-loved warmer weather has arrived ... FINALLY! In fact, we're having a bit of a heat wave this weekend ... not that my Beloved Geek Boy and fellow summer-person or I are complaining. :0)

So what am I doing to stay cool in our heatwave? Why ... working on making a new flannel quilt, of course! Tee! Hee! Hee! I know most people think of making flannel quilts in winter, but when this cheerful range arrived at my Quilters Angel a few weeks ago, I knew I HAD to adopt some, as it is the exact colours that I've been using to brighten up our neutrally painted new living space. Wanna take a peek??

Aren't they cheerful and pretty? And the best part is ...

... I've already been playing with them! :0) This will be a new blankie for me to snuggle under in front of the tele ... big 10" squares to show off the pretty colours. As you can see, I have a very technical way of working out which colours go where. :0) I've played a bit more today and have all the squares joined into rows ready to join them all together tomorrow ... and then it will be off to the quilting magician, the Fabulous Fiona to work her quilting magic on it ... I promise to share with you. :0) I have to say, I'm really enjoying playing with a simple design ... one that I don't have to write instructions for, too. :0)

And ... I also promise to soon share with you another quilt that the Fabulous Fiona has waved her magic quilting wand over ... I just have to finish stitching down the binding ... it's just a wee bit too warm to want a quilt on my lap to work with tonight. I know ... I'm not at all consistent with my hot weather/cold weather stitching am I! :0) Still ... at least I'm back in the stitching saddle ... and it feels GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!! :0)

So what are you working on at the moment? I hope your weekend includes some fabric therapy ... it's the best way to relax, really, isn't it? :0) Now I'm off to make myself a cuppa and catch up on some blog reading ... my RSS feeds were short-circuited during our recent email issues ... SIGH! But I'm sure I'll enjoy catching up on lots of posts. Hmmm ... I may need a second cup of tea! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Saturday, 18 October 2014

A Sweet Treat!!

Well ... after a few more technical issues (aren't there just days where modern technology drives you to drink?!?!) I'm back as promised to share a quick, simple recipe for a sweet treat ... sugar and cinnamon coated almonds. I first tasted this cinnamony, nutty treat when we were visiting Malaney last year and I've been on the lookout for a recipe ever since. I found this one on Pinterest and while the finished result wasn't quite the same flavours, it was pretty close and pretty YUMMY! :0) Got your recipe books ready?

Cinnamon & Sugar Coated Almonds

* 1 Cup of sugar
* 3 Cups of raw almonds (skin on)
* 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
* 1/4 Cup water

How To ...

1. Add sugar, water and cinnamon to a small pan and mix together over heat until it reaches boiling point.

2. Tip almonds into boiling mix and stir through so all almonds are coated.
3. Keep stirring mixture for around 8-10 minutes until the sugar starts to crystalise ... it will look a bit like sand. (but not taste at all sandy ... I promise! :0) )

4. Pour coated nuts onto a paper lined baking tray to cool.

5. ENJOY! :0)

I quite like these tasty treats when they're still warm with a cup of tea beside me, but they'd also make great Christmas hamper additions or a sweet, nutty treat for the Christmas lunch table ... They're on my Christmas "To Do" list. :0)

So there we go ... hope you all enjoy making up this quick, simple treat. Right now, I'm off to enjoy the fruits of my labours ... with a cup of tea ... OF COURSE! :0) Hope your weekend is off to a great start and that you manage to spend some time being creative ... I've got a hot date tomorrow with my sewing machine and some tasty new fabricky treats that I fell in love with recently ... I promise to share pics next time I pop in. Til next time ...



Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Claytons Post & OPAM Winners!

Do you remember the old ad for a non-alcoholic drink called "Claytons"? The slogan was ... "The drink you have when you're not having a drink". Well ... this is a "Claytons" post ... the post you have when you were planning a different post. :0) I HAD planned to share a little sweet treat with you ... but the Meares' Madhouse is currently having a few email issues ... which means I can't email my photos from my phone to my laptop to edit. SIGH! So I promise to share that soon.

So ... what else has been happening here at the MM? I'm still stitching my binding down on my whole-cloth quilt, more boxes have been unpacked ,,, and a major mystery was solved! Intrigued?? :0) You see ... in the packing up to move, two of my MOST important sewing/designing tools were packed in a VERY safe spot. You know ... one of those spots that is SOOOOO safe that you can't find it again?! The missing tools were my 12 1/2" square quilting ruler that I use for most of my cutting (especially a new project I'm keen to get started on!) and my sketchbook where I draw new design sketches and write myself notes when I'm designing ... you know ... important things like measurements, placement, processes ... EEP!

I had looked in so many places, unpacked so many boxes marked "Sewing Room" - who knew I had managed to pack so much STUFF into my sewing room! :0) I couldn't find either of these lost tools. It occurred to me that wherever they were ... they were probably together, cos they'd been two of the last things packed. Hmmm ... the mystery deepened as the pile of boxes dwindled.

Then this afternoon, I had a "EUREKA!" moment. The box right at the bottom of the pile awaiting attention (of course!!) in my sewing room was dragged out from under the flotsam and jetsam, things were flung, things were shuffled until ...

... Ta da! Reunited with old friends and a mystery was solved as thoroughly as any addressed by Monsieur Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes! :0) So ... there's now really no excuse for me NOT to be creative, is there?! :0)

And speaking of creative ... you OPAM gals have been making some GORGEOUS projects in the last month. There were a fantastic 292 finishes for September - YAY!! Well done to everyone who contributed to that figure. And if you were like me and didn't actually get to add any finishes ... but took some time out to work on long-term projects or maybe did some prep work ready to get stitchin' ... WELL DONE! :0) OPAM is all about busy ladies taking some time out from busy work lives, time out from being Mum, wife, cook, cleaner, chief-bottle-washer and doing something that lets loose their creativity, cos when you take a bit of time to create and recharge your batteries, you have more energy to carry through into all those other areas of your life. Don't you agree?

Before I announce the September random draw winners, I want to say a huge THANK YOU!! to my GORGEOUS partner-in-crime Sweet Peg. During the last few months when we've been doing the house juggling and moving, Sweet Peg has stepped into the breach and carried the bulk of the OPAM load. Big Squooshy Bear Hugs to you, my Sweet Friend for being such an awesome co-host and partner-in-crime ... MMMMMWAAAAAAAHHH!!! :0)

OK ... drum-roll please ... the winners for September are ...

Congratulations, gals! Email me with your snail mail addresses and I'll pop a little surprise in the mail for you soon. Thank you to everyone who emailed their finished through to me or Sweet Peg, too ... it really is a big help at the end of each month. It gives us a bit of a head start ... and allows us more stitching time! :0)

Now ... I'm off to reacquaint myself with my sketchbook ... just because I haven't had time/space/my favourite ruler to create in the last little while doesn't mean there haven't been LOTS of new design ideas swirling around in my imagination! :0) And you just KNOW that I'm going to pair that sketchbook time with a cup of tea, right?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you're all having a fantastic week ... I'll be back soon (when the technical issues have been sorted!!) to share my sweet treat recipe with you. Til next time ...



Friday, 10 October 2014

FINALLY! I'm Back!

Well ... I sure didn't intend to be absent from blogland this long, but technology let me down and this is the first chance I've had to get back to catch up with you all. You see, one of the few down-sides we've found to our recent move out of town is the fact that the level of internet service available is much lower and as a result the plans available are either very expensive (paying off a new mortgage here!!) or very limiting ... or both!!

My Beloved Geek Boy looked at the data we had left on our plan for the month, believed the guidelines given by Apple for the requirements to update the operating system on my iPad so I could read my newly purchased e-version of "Romantic Homes" and carried out the update ... which took WAY more data than advised and took us back to dial-up internet speed for two weeks ... AAAAARRRGGGHHH!!! I know, I know!! Some folks ONLY have dial-up speed and I should be grateful to have ANY internet, but when you're used to fairly speedy uploading of websites etc, dropping back SUCKS!! Everything just took so LOOOOOOOONG to load ... I couldn't even enjoy blog updates via RSS feeds in my email folder cos photos kept blocking up the system ... and I am SOOOOO behind in my blog hopping (thanks Sweet Peg for doing to OPAM hop this month!!) ... never mind how much I'm having Pinterest withdrawal symptoms! :0)

So ... here I am back online again with our new month of data allowance kicking in at midnight last night ... I wasn't QUITE desperate enough to stay awake for it to tick over to start my catch up ... but boy am I making up for it this morning! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... what have I been up to? Well ... we had yet another house-warming party with GB's family and workmates which was fun and went well after I finished stressing about not having enough food (can't have people leaving hungry is my motto!! :0) ), my boss has been on leave, so the maintenance boys and I have been 'holding the fort' and I've been ... (dramatic drum-roll please!) ... SEWING!!! YAY!!! I'd love to tell you that my sewing room is now all unpacked and I've been enjoying play time in there ... but I'd be lying! :0) Still wall to wall boxes and a half-painted cupboard in there, but I was having such dreadful sewing withdrawal symptoms that I resorted to this ...

... yep ... setting up on the dining table. :0) Actually, this turned out to be a wise decision anyways, cos the project I was working on was a BIG one and I would have struggled to work on it on my small sewing desk. Step one was to use the rotary cutter and ruler on that pretty minty-sage-green fabric to make ...

... 10m of pretty minty-sage-green binding - don't you just love the tones in this batik fabric?? :0) And this binding was for a ...

... new quilt!! YAY! Now ... I don't really feel I can take much credit for this quilt ... I cheated a bit. You see ... I told you I was struggling with the very neutral taupe colour palette of our new house, right? Well, I was especially struggling with it in our bedroom where we went from a lovely deep turquoise/teal wall colour in our cottage as the background for predominantly white furniture and bedding to having the same white things against a taupe background. Oh how the colour-freak in me struggled! So I bought a minty-sage-green sheet set and a taupe flat sheet, took the two flat sheets and some 100% cotton wadding and handed them over to the Fabulous Fiona, quilter extraordinaire to work her magic. The result ... a lovely whole-cloth quilt to drape across the bottom of our bed, teamed with the minty-sage-green pillowcases from the sheet set and some other cushions to add a splash of colour to our bedroom. YAY! Fiona has (as always!!) done a GORGEOUS job of the quilting ... which she does all on her domestic machine in the free-motion style ... AMAZING!! You can catch a few little glimpses of it in the photo above and I promise I'll share more pics when it's all finished ...

I've sewn the binding on, so that's my stitching-in-front-of-the-TV project at the moment. It may take a while as it is a HUGE quilt ... the biggest I've ever bound ... 96"x104". Once it's on I'll take some close up pics of Fiona's FANTASTIC quilting (she is just such a clever-clogs and constantly amazes me with her talent!!) and how it has brightened up our bedroom.

And on that note ... I think it's time to make myself a cuppa, pop some "Midsomer Murders" or "Rosemary & Thyme" on the tele and get stitching. Oh ... OPAM gals!! Thank you SOOOOOOO much for being so patient with this internet-challenged OPAM host this month! The random prize draw will take place this weekend ... so if you haven't yet emailed Sweet Peg or me ... hop to it! ... and you can still add to your September tally for the draw. Enjoy your weekend, everyone! And even if you don't get to do some stitching, make sure you take a little bit of time out just for "YOU" to do something that relaxes you and makes you smile! :0) Til next time ...



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