Monday, 31 March 2014

It's The End Of The Month!!

PSSSSSSSTT!! OPAMers ... have you remembered that it's the end of the month today? If you haven't already done so, can you please update your sidebar "Finishes" list and email Sweet Peg or me with your final tally for March. Have you had a good stitching month? Or have you been working on longer term projects and made some good progress? Or are you like me ... working on lots of different projects, distracted by all the pretty new fabrics because you have A.D.O.P. ... Attention Deficit ... OH! Pretty!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I've got LOTS and I mean LOTS of photos to share with you from my weekend at Girls Stitch In, but it's going to take me a couple of days to get them sorted, so I'll keep you in suspenders for a few days! :0)

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend ... I sure had a blast chatting with stitchy, quilty ladies ... but BOY am I exhausted today! I think I'll head off to play Polly and put the kettle on for a cup of tea, then it's time for bed for this tired little teddy bear! :0) 

Til next time ...



Saturday, 29 March 2014

Still Here!

Hello! Hello!! Yes, I'm still here ... life just seems to have overrun me a little in the last couple of weeks, so I haven't had a chance to pop in and say "G'day" to you all in blogland.

I'm not completely sure HOW the last couple of weeks have zoomed past, but one thing that has been taking a lot of my time has been ... the dreaded INSTRUCTION WRITING!!! EEK!! :0) So what have I been writing instructions for? Well ... do you remember these fabrics ...

Well ... they are the fabrics for this year's ...

... which is happening this weekend - FUN! :0) I promise to be back with some photos soon ... after another day of stitchy, quilty, giggly fun tomorrow! :0) However ... I digress ... I snaffled a pack of the fabrics that this year's guest designers were asked to play with to see what I could come up with. I know ... NOT at all my colours ... but do you know what? I had a whole lot of fun and LOOOOOOOOVE the projects I came up with! :0) Wanna see??? OK ...

TA! DA! These three sweetly shabby projects are all included in my new pattern "Sweetly Shabby Christmas". The instructions include a bauble bag ... to safely store your breakable and precious heirloom Christmas decorations, a sweet stocking to put Christmas treats in and Christmas bunting to brighten your Christmas tree or decorate your shabby chic home. Sorry I don't have any close up pics of the stitcheries yet ... did I mention I finished writing the pattern instructions yesterday morning ... just 24 hours before Girls Stitch In?! Tee! Hee! Hee! Nothing like pushing a deadline ... good thing I wasn't one of this year's guest designers, isn't it! :0) Even though these weren't really MY colours, I do love shabby chic and vintage prettiness, so I had fun making shabby rosettes and frills for these projects. I think I might be making some more versions of these pretty projects ... maybe in some shabby greens and blues. :0) Would you like to make your own version? The pattern is now available from The Quilters Angel and will soon be on my web site ... be sure to send me photos if you choose to go shabby this Christmas. :0)

That's it from me today ... I'm off to drink a cup of tea and soak my feet ... best not get those two things mixed up!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Tuesday, 18 March 2014


That's how I'm feeling this week! A huge and heartfelt ...


... to all of you lovely blogging buddies who have left comments, sent emails or sent text messages after hearing of Wombat going to doggy heaven. I've cried, I've sniffled, I've giggled, I've bawled ... I've single-handedly kept the tissue company in business! ... and I've been absolutely SMOTHERED in friendship, love, support and cyber hugs. Thank you! For those of you who left me a comment on my tribute to Wombat post, I'm intending to email you personally ... the week has just got away from me a bit.

Now, amidst the sadness of Wombat leaving us, there have been some wonderful things happening to make me feel truly blessed. One was the opportunity to spend last Friday in Brisbane with my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette enjoying a play date. This was our first for the year and we'd REALLY been hanging out for it!

Now, a play date isn't a TRUE play date without a yummy lunch ... and a photo of Lynette! :0) Lynette is convinced that all of my blogging buddies will think that all she does is sip iced tea or coffee and gobble yummy lunches, cos there are so many photos on my blog of her doing just that! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Like this one! :0) Doesn't that little parcel on her plate look intriguing? Inside (she tells me!) was a mushroom and potato risotto kind of mix. I forgot to take a photo of my lunch ... I had a  chicken Caesar  wrap ... something light so I could fit dessert in! :0)

After lunch, we went exploring in Newfarm ... a part of Brisbane I am not familiar with and hadn't visited for over 20 years. Surprisingly (NOT!!) a LOT had changed!! What had once been dockside and industrial warehouses have been converted into HUNDREDS of inner-city units and apartment complexes. Very convenient for those who work in the city, I'm sure, but I don't think I'd cope with how built in everything was!

Another regular feature of our play dates is a visit to an antique shop ... or two! :0) The first place we stopped was in the running for DUSTIEST shop EVER!! We had to wash our hands when we were finished!! ERK! But ... I did manage to find a treasure or two ...

This was my favourite find ... something to add to my green Depression Glass collection. Being of Scottish descent, I LOVE the thistle emblem, so just had to adopt this little dish. Which turned out to be perfect for ...

... holding a special treat that also touched my heart. Two of the guys I work with knew that I was feeling a bit blue with Wombat's loss ... and decided to cheer me up a little with two blooms from our village rose garden (on my desk at work, so no pic) and two Turkish Delight bars ... because they know it's one of my favourite sweetie treaties. Wasn't that thoughtful!! I joke that it's like having two younger brothers at work, but they really are wonderful blokes and I feel blessed to work somewhere where the staff are like family.

So I'm now off to enjoy a cup of Rose and French Vanilla scented tea with one of my cheer up treats. Yep ... I am feeling very cared for and very blessed this week over the top of my sadness ... thank you to you all!   Til next time ...



Saturday, 15 March 2014

Saying Goodbye To A Friend!

WOMBAT - 1999-2014

This post may take me a little while to write, but I really want to do it. The time-consuming part will be reaching for tissues from time to time. You see, today we had to make the hard, heart-breaking but necessary decision to take our 15 year old brainless-but-loveable Border Collie, Wombat, for his final trip to the vet. He had been struggling with bad arthritis in his back legs for some time, was deaf and going blind, slept a lot and missed a lot of happenings, but he still seemed to darn cheerful that we put off today's decision. But in the last week, he's been in increasing discomfort and we knew the kindest thing was to let him go to doggy heaven. But oh, it has been so hard today to let him go!

Wombat joined our family about this time of year 15 years ago when we visited a friend who was breeding Border Collies ... she had just one puppy from the litter left needing a home. I said no (we already had a dog at the time) but my soft-hearted Beloved Geek Boy said 'yes' and Wombat came to live with us. I might add here that we didn't name him ... my friend did. Apparently he looked like a fat, furry wombat when he was a day-old puppy. I would have renamed him with something that sounded a little more dignified ... but it wouldn't have suited him! :0)

We were renting a house on a farm at the time Wombat came to live with us and he was definitely GB's dog ... he went to work with GB who was working on a cotton farm and Wombat would spend hours every day running along beside the tractor (he ran for MILES!!) or riding in the back of the ute ... wherever GB was, Wombat was nearby. When most people think of Border Collies, they think of sleek, intelligent, hard-working sheep dogs full of grace, poise and skill. We have always joked that Wombat was hiding behind the door when all of those attributes were handed out, because he has always been a bit of a clumsy goof-ball ... but oh-so-loveable! :0)

He LOVED to chase the ball and play on the beach ...

He loved to swim and chase the splashes and waves were even more fun cos he didn't have to make the splashes himself before he chased them! :0) When we lived on the farm, there was a small dam that he spent hours swimming in, but he really liked to have company. So he would tease our small flock of geese to make them chase him, gradually leading them down to the dam where he would swim while they sunbaked. He hated storms, skateboards and green peas (I swear he licked them clean then spat them out again!) , loved his ears and tummy scratched and he loved when his 'Grandma' visited, cos she spoiled him with scraps and treats when she was cooking. :0)

He was so good natured and loved everyone, that we always joked he was a 'watchdog' ... that he would watch burglars come and he would watch burglars go! :0) But he proved himself to be a true guard dog a few times when we moved into town.

He hadn't moved quickly for quite some months and slept a lot of his days away in the sun or at the back step so we'd trip over him as we went out and let him know something was happening. It was so very hard to say goodbye to him, but we couldn't stand to see him in pain any more. It would have been selfish to let him keep deteriorating as he was. I couldn't face the vet's office, so said a tearful goodbye to him in the backyard ... I think he knew I was distressed, cos he just snuggled in for a cuddle and an ear scratch. GB told me he was fine until he was coming out of the vet's clinic from leaving Wombat behind and saw a Border Collie puppy in the waiting room that looked just like Wombat did 15 years ago when he came into our lives. Even tough guys cry when they lose a friend. But it was sort of a comfort, too, showing the wheel of life turning - as the world lost one lovely Border Collie, another was just starting his life's journey. I hope that little puppy is as well-loved as Wombat!

So ... this is my little tribute to a loyal, funny, loving friend who will be very much missed. There is a vacant bed and an empty dish in our laundry ... and a doggy-shaped hole in our hearts. Goodbye old friend, sleep well and enjoy being a bouncing, energetic puppy again in doggy heaven.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Back With A Mixed Bag!

To misquote a movie slightly ... "I'm BAAAAAAAAACK!" :0) Sorry to be absent from blogland for so long ... we had to make a quick trip to Melbourne for a family event that kind of knocked the stuffing out of me. We spent quite a lot of last week travelling ... cars, planes, trains, buses ... we spent hours on 'em all! Boy were we happy to stay home for a couple of days this weekend! :0)

So although I haven't been popping in for many visits and I hadn't sewn a stitch for a fortnight until Friday night when I joined my stitchin' sistas for Friday Night Sit N Sew at The Quilters Angel, I DO have a few bits to show you.

In between tackling the mammoth task of dealing with "Mount Dirty Washing", I headed into my sewing room, not to sew, but to ...

... wield cutter and ruler to ...

... cut squares ... LOTS of squares!!! There were actually more than this, but I sent one batch home with my Mum. :0) The 240 eight inch squares will soon be three new patchwork tiered skirts for yours truly. Given time, I may just end up with a patchwork skirt for every day of the week! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Now, my Friday night stitching was binding sewing. I'm happy to say that my "Holiday In Paris" quilt is ... FINISHED! YAY!! :0) It's only taken two ... er ... maybe three?? ... years! In fact, it's been so long that I've forgotten. :0) But I'm happy to say I'm still in love with this design, so I thought I'd share a few pics with you to see if you love it too ...

... red giant rick-rack and red binding frame the quilt ... one of my fave 'have a cuppa and a browse' books there. :0)

... ready to curl up for a read in my sewing room ...

Ta Da! The full quilt. It's a little hard to see in this photo ... sorry! It was an icky day outside, so it was taken indoors and the lighting is a bit dodgy. In case you can't see it, the centre block of each square is a sepia toned stitchery of a holiday 'snapshot', complete with a caption ... like you'd find in someone's holiday photo album. When I had it quilted by the clever Rosalie of Rose Quilting, I wasn't sure what design to go with, so she suggested a separate design for each block reflecting the 'snapshot'. It worked pretty well, so I thought I'd show you a few ...

... A stylised Eiffel Tower ... it's a bit like me ... short and podgy! Tee! Hee! Hee!
The Arc de Triumph ...

... fashion fixin's ... Paris is tray chick after all! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Now, of course, it's the dreaded instruction writing phase ... BLECH!! :0)

Still working on some Secret Squirrel projects that are waiting for me to feel inspired to hit the machine instead of the hand stitching ... still waiting!! :0)

In the meantime, I think I'm going to play Polly and put the kettle for a cuppa before I head off to bed ... still trying to catch up on some sleep after our busy couple of weeks. I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and that there's been some stitchy stuff happening at your place. Don't forget to check in with Sweet Peg to see if you were one of the winners of the February OPAM draw! Til next time ...



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