Saturday, 19 August 2017

Girly Stitchy Road Trip!

Our brief glimpse of Spring has been blown away by freezing gale force south-westerlies here on our 'hill' ... In fact, we've just about been blown OFF the top of our 'hill'! :0) So when the going gets tough, the tough go on a girly, stitchy road trip! :0)

A contingent of our Friday Night Sit N Stitch gals hit the road today to drive down the 'hill' (before we got blown off!!) to the friendly little town of Esk, where Chriss had booked us a cosy little room to sit & stitch & enjoy yummy treats at the Nash Gallery & Cafe. I forgot to get a pic of the cafe, but it's in a gorgeous old Queenslander. We happily settled in for some stitchin' time ...

We had our own room to ourselves ... Maybe they thought it would help keep us out of trouble ... MAYBE!! :0) And we all DID do some stitching ... See?! Photographic evidence! :0) But after a while, we really needed some sustenance ... How fortunate that the menu offered some DEEEEEELICIOUS lunch options! :0)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!! It was then back to the stitching & chatting ... Oh! & quite a bit of laughing!! We even provided entertainment for other people visiting the cafe ... A lovely cyclist decided that maybe she needed to take up stitching since we made it look like so much fun. ;0)

And after expending all of that energy stitching & chatting ... It was time for afternoon tea. :0)

The lovely ladies of Nash do their own baking & the vanilla slice was FABULOUS!

Chriss thought so too! :0)

And Kerrie gave it the finger-lickin'-good thumbs up.

Sue enjoyed a slice of pear & pistachio torte.

Gail loved her vanilla slice, too ...

She enjoyed it a LOT!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

We even had a "Ta! Da!" Moment from Kerrie ...

Isn't this a cute quilt? Good job Kerrie! :0) 

It really was a wonderful way to spend a horrible windy day. Huge thanks to the friendly, helpful staff at the Nash Cafe for helping to make our mini sewing retreat such an enjoyable, relaxed day. If you're passing through Esk or looking for a great place to meet friends, I can highly recommend the Nash Gallery & Cafe.

And now I'm snuggled up in front of the fire under my trusty flannel blankie with my Beloved Geek Boy ... Not a bad way to spend a wild & windy Saturday. :0) I hope your weekend is as enjoyable as mine is shaping up to be. Til next time ...












Friday, 18 August 2017

Rock On Friday!!

It's Friday. It's my day off. I'm home ALL DAY!! :0) So what's a gal to do? Why ... Play with some pretty fabrics for a new design ...

... & turn up the 80's Rock & sing along, of course!! :0D ABBA, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, ACDC, John Farnham, Pat Benitar, Cyndi Lauper, Maddona, Crowded House ... Can you tell the sewing machine is ROCKIN' today?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

What do you have planned for YOUR day off/weekend? I hope it involves some creative outlet & some favourite music. :0) OOPS! Bon Jovi is singing "Have A Nice Day" ... I really should help him! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...




Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lazy Sunday & OPAM Winner!

Hello to you all! Have you had a restful weekend? After our road trip yesterday, we had good intentions of being very productive around the house today.  Yeah ... that didn't really happen! :0) We had a lovely sleep in, then a leisurely brunch on the side verandah in the sun ... mashed avo and fetta on olive sour dough toast and freshly brewed coffee whilst enjoying our unseasonably warm August weather. AAAAAHHH!!  BLISS!! We wondered what the peasants were doing! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Then there was some garden watering for GB and thorough kitchen cleaning for me (hmm ... would have preferred they got swapped!!) The plans were then to head out into the garden ... but our across-the-road neighbour decided to burn off some felled trees/branches ... AGAIN!!! GRRRR! ... and the smoke in the front yard was too nasty to venture out in ... so it was indoor time. A spot of reading for me (thank you Nora Roberts for the MANY hours of entertainment your books give me! :0) ) and some family tree research for GB ... who is coming to the conclusion that perhaps his great-grandmother was a little free in her definition of marriage and that our surname should probably be her maiden name of O'Reilly! Tee! Hee! Hee!

All in all ... it wasn't a bad way to wind down and recharge the batteries to help us get ready to face the new working week ... SIGH!!!

However, before we get tossed kicking and screaming back into the working week, I need to catch up with the OPAM draw for July. Thank you to everyone who emailed their finish tally through to me and my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg and a big thank you to Sweet Peg who did most of this month's blog hopping when I got caught up in life's craziness. There were 196 finishes for July - WOWSERS!! That's our second biggest total for the year so far! There must have been a LOT of  flying needles of one sort or another around the world. :0) And the winner of the random draw is ...

Congrats, Dory! Email me with your snail mail address and I'll pop a little something in the mail for you ... along with the last two winners of the draws I've been responsible for  - OOPS!! Sorry girls! During the craziness of the last few months, I DID manage to wrap the prizes all ready to post ... and then put them in a VERY safe place. So safe, in fact, that I only re-discovered them this week ... SHEEPISH GRIN!!! :0)  What a slacko host I've been this year ... thank you all for being patient with me.

And in amidst the comings, goings, busy-ness and craziness, I HAVE managed a little bit of sewing. I can't unveil the finishes yet, but I CAN give you a bit of a sneaky peeky ...

... some patchwork from pretty fabrics ...

... and some stitching in a pretty Cottage Garden thread. I'm loving how these projects are coming together and can't wait to show them to you .. just as soon as I finalise the last project.

Well, that's it from me for now. I hope the weekend has given you time to recharge your batteries and that you have a fantastic week. I'm just hoping that a scratchy throat doesn't mark the start of a cold for me ... I'm heading for the olive leaf, lemon and honey drink and putting myself to bed. Til next time ...



Saturday, 12 August 2017

A Birthday Road Trip!!

Hello to all of my lovely blogging buddies! Yes, I'm still here, we've just had a couple of very, VERY busy weeks, so blogging got pushed to back burner ... How DOES life get so darn busy?!

After all the busy-ness of the last fortnight, my Beloved Geek Boy and I decided to treat ourselves to a fun read trip ... A bit of a birthday treat for GB whose birthday fell on Friday. :0) So this morning we piled into GB's 4WD, nicknamed "Big Blue" (since my Corolla is a "little blue" car!) & set off on a new adventure. :0)

When we head off on our road trips, we usually have a destination in mind, but we take lots of side roads & backtracks along the way ... There are so many interesting Little pockets to see. :0)

Today, after some dusty gravel roads were driven & some winding, forest flanked roads were traversed, we arrived at one of our favourite play date destinations ... Montville. Lots of fun, interesting little shops to explore before climbing up the hill (huffing & puffing! I really should get fit!!) where we found a fabulous spot to enjoy ...

... LUNCH! :0) Yummy lamb shanks with seared mushrooms, a roasted tomato & creamy mashed potatoes ... DEEEEEEEEEEELICIOUS!! :0) Here's the birthday boy ... Isn't he a cutie?! :0) And all the while we enjoyed stunning views ...

Isn't it gorgeous?!

If I lived here I'd never get anything done ... I'd spend all day gazing out at the view. Tee! Hee! Hee!

We took a different route home ... Different even to the one we'd planned since the dodgy internet signal in amongst the rolling hills meant the map ap on GB's phone disappeared for a while. Ah well, that's half the fun of our road trips. :0)

Whatever you're up to, I hope you're having a great weekend so far. I'll pop back in tomorrow with the OPAM winner ... Sorry my crazy busy-ness has made me tardy with the draw ... I'm sure you know the feeling. :0) Til next time ...







Sunday, 30 July 2017

Wonderful Winter Weekend!

Now it's not very often I find ANYTHING wonderful about winter, but the weather has continued to be very un-wintery here on our 'hill' this weekend ... Thumbs up! :0)

The weather wasn't the only thing that made this weekend wonderful though ... My Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette was up for our first big play date in quite a while ... YAY! The weekend started with some coffees, some lunches, meeting up with other friends ... Oh, & we MAY have visited a shop or two ... Or twenty! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Then today we decided to take a little road trip ... To the Bunya Mountains. This beautiful spot is somewhere Lynette, my Beloved Geek Boy & I all visited during our growing up years, so return visits are always enjoyable. Oh ... Did I forget to mention this was the monthly market date up there?! :0)

So off we went for a drive ... Which the tourism site told us was "20 songs" away ... A somewhat unusual way to say it was an hour & a half drive up winding mountain roads, dodging wallabies, goats & a herd of dairy cows until we reached the top of the mountains amidst the thick cool-climate rainforest dotted with the monstrous bunya pines that give the area its name. And there we strolled around some interesting market stalls ... Working up an appetite. :0)

Here's Lynette ready to attack her pancakes with maple syrup & bunya nut ice cream.

GB & I also decided pancakes sounded like a good idea. :0) After our delicious treat, which we enjoyed whilst listening to a talented young singer/ukulele player, we thought a walk along one of the numerous rainforest paths would settle our tummies before we headed home again ...

The tall & the short of it. :0P Towering trees, swaying ferns, trickling stream, birds calling ... AAAAAAHHH! Bliss! :0)

A bit more of a walk ... & hundreds of steps!!! ... further on & we found another waterfall ... Do you see those bare toesies?!? Her nickname at school wasn't Amazon for nothing! :0)

Then it was a return drive home where we rounded off the weekend with some relaxing deck-sitting with a cup of tea. Weekends don't get much better than that. :0)

What have YOU been up to this weekend? Whatever it was, I hope it made you smile. :0) 

OPAM gals ... It's time to update your sidebar lists & email your tally to me & my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg. The end of the month has rolled around again ... The year is just flying by - EEP!

Have a fantastic week! Til next time ...







Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A Walk In A Winter Garden!

As I typed that heading I had the tune from "Walking In A Winter Wonderland" playing through my head ... AAAAAARRRGGHH! Now it's stuck there! Clearly my subconscious has tuned into the "Christmas In July" concept ... Despite the fact that my conscious is definitely an ostrich that buries its head in the sand to avoid the countdown to the "C" season. SIGH! The ways of my mind are mysterious indeed! :0P

However ... I digress ... Rather more than usual! :0) Winter, garden & a walk around same. :0) Those of you who've been dropping in to visit me for a while now (are you still out there?! I don't hear from many of you anymore! :0( ) know that I'm not at all a fan of cold weather & that the 'cold' label kicks in anytime the temperature drops below 20C. :0) Usually, that happens here on our 'hill' from April through to September with little warm weather respite between, but this winter we've enjoyed some very mild, pleasant winter days that have been perfect for gardening ... It must be global warming! Tee! Hee! Hee!

My Beloved Geek Boy & I spent most of last weekend in the garden & I took some pics to share with you. Grab a cuppa & get comfy ... Especially you, Chookyblue! :0)

Do you remember we re-vamped a big section of our front garden last year & went with simple, multiple plantings of camellias, marguerite daisies, agapanthus & lavender? Well, that was a stroke of genius ... If I do say so myself. :0) You can see in this pic that everything is VERY happy & growing madly. Daisies & lavender ...

... Another lavender with a pink daisy in the background ...

... This daisy throws flowers that are several shades of pink, from pale to quite bright ...

... Pink & a buttery yellow daisy complementing each other ...

... Looking back along the row of mixed lavender bushes that we'll eventually train into a hedge border ...

... & looking toward the front fence. Don't the daisies look pretty behind the grey/purple lavender colour scheme? ...

... Lavender, agapanthus, daisies & Camelia. This is a very special Camelia. It's called "Jennifer Susan" & is special to us because GB's Mum's name is Jennifer & her sister, who we lost to cancer two years ago, was named Susan. This is its first flower, so we're pretty chuffed. 

... A closer look with the lavender in the background ...

... & a zoom out view of this garden. Even more daisies & lavender have flowered since the weekend, so I'll have to take some more pics on the weekend again. & in other parts of the garden ...

... Another pretty Camelia ...

... My favourite Camelia ... It's a very pale pink with darker blushes on the rims of the petals & a big open flower ...

... Just about ready to bloom, with the house in the background ...

... Out the back, under the trees where Percy the persnickety possum & pals lurk (while they plot to munch on my petunias & burst the sides of the bird feeder cos they're so podgy ... From eating petunias & birdseed!!! ... A vibrant bromeliad is flowering ...

... So are all its friends! Don't you love the pop of that bright pink against the dark green leaves? ...

... And the echinacea are showing a final burst of colour before they hibernate for a month or two.

We've always said we want our garden to have some kind of colour all year round & we're gradually getting that as we adapt & replant the gardens we inherited when we bought the house & as we add more of our own planning & planting. Somehow you always feel like you can breathe a bit easier in the garden while you're surrounded by colour & listening to the songs of the many different birds that share our garden. It's also a nice background for sitting on the verandah with a friend & a cup of tea ... Or adult beverage!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I hope you've enjoyed our walk around a winter garden ... & hope you enjoy having that darn song stuck in your head too! What are friends for if not to share! Tee! Hee! Hee! Enjoy the rest of your week ... & remember to stop & admire the flowers. :0) Til next time ...


















Sunday, 23 July 2017

FINALLY! Some Sewing!!

Hello to all of you lovelies out there in blogland! I hope you're all toodling alone nicely. :0) Life here at the Meares' Madhouse has been scuttling along at its usual breakneck speed ... Where do the days go?!

I've got a few things ready to share, but need some pics to show you, so will get on that this week. In the meantime, my sewing mojo that was missing over the last month or so finally showed up on Friday ... It helped that I actually got to spend the day at home. :0)

When I head off for the day, I always take a water bottle with me ... Love our rainwater. :0)

It's a really good size, it hold a litre of water, fits in the door holder in my car, but it does occasionally leak a little when tipped over & I end up with damp patches in my handbag. Also, during summer I fill it with cold water, so condensation leaves more of those damp patches. My way of combating this has been to wrap it in a hand towel held on with a rubber band ... Not very attractive, but it worked. :0) But ... I thought I could probably come up with something a bit more attractive ...

Ta da! I made it in a quilt-as-you-go style using towelling as my base. Pretty on the outside, absorbent on the inside. Hopefully this means no more damp patches in the handbag ... Which it matches ...

So ... Coordinating & dry ... All good! :0)

I did finish another project, but it's one of the pics I haven't taken yet. I'd intended to do it this weekend, but we had lovely sunny, warm (for winter) days this weekend, so my Beloved Geek Boy & I spent it in the garden ... More of those pics I need to take. :0) Stay tuned!

Whatever you've been up to this week/weekend I hope you've enjoyed some time doing what makes you smile. I promise to be back soon with those pics. Til next time ...






Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Gardens & Dinosaurs!

I know that's an unusual pairing, but it sums up what's been happening here at the Meares' Madhouse over the last few days. We have never claimed to be normal! :0)

Remember I said we were planning on a slug day at home on Sunday to recover from Dad's birthday bash? (Lots of big squooshy bear hugs to everyone who sent Dad birthday greetings, by the way!) Well ... Sunday STARTED in sluggish fashion with a sleep in & yummy brekkie of mashed avo & fetta on toast with poached eggies ... Then the plan changed ... That could be the motto for my Beloved Geek Boy & me! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Whilst cruising around "The Dark Side" (according to Chookyblue!) I saw a reminder for the QLD Garden Expo, an event we've been talking about going to for some years, but somehow never quite got to. Well ... We're both keen gardeners, we had the time ... So we made a mad dash to get ready & hit the road for the two & a half hour drive to Nambour. 

We'd left it a bit later than most people would have to get going, so knew our time would be limited, but thought we could still see most displays. We headed straight off to find the display gardens, as one of the FB pages I follow (stalk seems like such a harsh word! Tee! Hee! Hee!) belongs to landscape architect Clint Kenny. Some of you may have seen one of his gardens which was featured on the ABC television series "Dream Gardens". It was my DREAM GARDEN, alright! When we win lotto & buy more land. :0) (you can find the ep HERE)

That's a long intro to Clint's display at the garden expo! :0)

A cool water feature with buckets & watering cans that are part of the feature but removable so you can give the plants a drink, then pop it back. And lots of hardy, dry weather tolerant but pretty flowering plants. I also loved ...

... This display. The 'shack' is set up as a rustic outdoor bar, but I would love to build a similar facade to hide our unattractive garage, as well as double as a potting bench. It's on the "To Do" list. :0) I also love the large rusty metal leaf sculpture. Gathering ideas was one of the reasons we wanted to visit the expo. This display was designed by Saul Johnson of SJ Landscapes. Then there were the community group displays ...

I liked that the pond of this feature mixed logs with rocks for a lovely natural look.

And this was a vege patch on steroids. :0) Each bed represented vege crops from different countries.

This herb garden was made into something grand with the addition of the huge arbour. Hmm ... Would you believe there had been nobody anywhere near the arbour in the ten minutes we were chatting to a vendor nearby about some organic weed control ... Then as soon as I turned around to take this photo, these ladies walked right into the middle & stood there for a lengthy discussion. GRRRR!

We didn't buy much (just a small bottle of the organic weed killer to try) as there weren't a lot of the cottage-y type of plants available that we're looking for to boost our garden, but it was worth the trip to gather some contacts & get some fresh ideas. We're off to the Toowoomba Camelia Show this weekend & I think we'll have better luck on the plant hunt. Stay tuned for garden updates. :0)

Now to the dinosaurs ... I shared a while back that I'd designed a new quilt for my brother' No. 3 son for his birthday. I was able to deliver it in person when my brother & his family came north for Grandm's funeral ... But Master Two (year old) wasn't sitting still for a pic at the time. However, I received a quick-click from my brother this week ...

You can see he's a bit of a cutie (not that Aunty Kris is at all biased! Tee! Hee! Hee!) & in the pic he's going "Ooh!" while pointing at the dinosaur. Love it! :0) The second version of this quilt is almost ready to be released as a Tag Along Teddies pattern ... I finished the instruction writing yesterday ... YAY! ... And just have to proof read the instructions & finalise the requirements list & get a good cover photo, then it will be good to go & available for sale at The Quilters Angel. The pattern is called "Dinosaurs Go RAAH!" . :0) The name came after a conversation on the phone with my brother. He was telling me he had taken his three boys to the museum & they'd loved the dinosaur display ... when in the background, a little voice said, "RAAH!" . My brother, unruffled, replied, "That's right, buddy, dinosaurs go RAAH!" It's now a standing joke in our family that when someone says dinosaur, someone else says "RAAH!". :0)

Right, so that's what's been happening here ... You're all caught up on our doings. :0) I hope you're all having a great week & that you're making sure your week includes doing things that make you smile. :0) Now I'm off to boil the kettle for a cuppa before I make dinner, then it's time to cheer the Mighty Maroons on in the big decider game of State Of Origin. Til next time ...










Saturday, 8 July 2017

Birthday Celebrations!

Hello to everyone out there in blogland! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. Here at the Meares' Madhouse it's been party central. :0) This week my Dad celebrated his 70th birthday ... He's still a spring chicken, really. :0) So today we gathered some of Dad's friends to eat way too much & enjoy cake. Tee! Hee! Hee!

Our dining room expanded for the day to fit everyone in.

There's the birthday boy up the end of the table. And it's not a proper birthday without cake ...

Aaaaaw ... Pretty cake! 

Make a wish & blow out the candles. 

Here's Dad with his girls ... Yours truly, my Sort-Of-Sister Tiffy & Mum. And can you see the inside of the cake?

Rainbow cake! :0) I'd love to say we made the cake, but we didn't. It was a Cheesecake Shop treat & was DEEEEEEEEE-LICIOUS!

See! Finger-lickin' good! :0) And Dad received a pretty special giftie from Mum's clever clogs friend Marg ...

Hmmm ... What is it? A frame? Sort of ...

... A miniature of Dad's office. There's the print of Uluru that he has on his wall, mini jigsaw puzzles ... Including one that is half together with all the mini-mini bits! There's a can of coke, golf clubs, even his cricket trophy. So clever.

And here's the photo that will convince you I'm really adopted! Tee! Hee! Hee! Love ya heaps, Pa!

Oh! And at the end of the party, the cake looked a bit different ...

I think we all enjoyed it! :0)

And after all the mad preparations of the last couple of weeks, I think tomorrow will be all about my Beloved Geek Boy & me sleeping in & being slugs. :0) I MIGHT motivate myself to do some sewing ... But I might just veg in front of a movie ... Or two or three! :0)

Whatever you're up to for the weekend, I hope you get to spend some time with the special people in your life. Til next time ...













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