Monday, 24 December 2012

EEK! It's Nearly Christmas!!

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

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

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

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



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Creating For Christmas!

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Calendars ... EEP!!!

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

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

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


Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas Crazies!!

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

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

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

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

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