....ohh and pencils and paper

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....

Good Morning all! I thought I would share my Christmas decorating so far.....I am nearly done as I am only have two trees this year as it will be too much temptation for little tiny fingers to have the see I usually have a snowy tree and a handmade tree, the one in the entry, a memory tree and the main tree plus No 1 husband took a fancy to a large fibre optic number that has to go somewhere. Apart from the main tree the others are only 4 footers. So here are a few piccies. No whingeing I did warn you previously that I had the Christmas elf dust firmly upon me....
In the entry way - many old favourites.
Living room - this is our Family quilt with our names in the hearts. A beautiful design from talented Aussie designer Chrsitine Book
My collection of Heartwood Creek Santas by Jim 'em
"Gingie Corner" in my kitchen still a few more bits to put out.
Snowy corner off the Kitchen.....more to come! I know Crazy!
Living room - The large Kris Kringle was made for me by my friend Ann many years ago and he is still one of my favourites. The wooden ornaments Ann bought back from Europe for me and look at the beauitful card I recieved from her last Christmas.
As you can see I like a lot of handmade decorations and favour the 'Country Christmas' feel. I will post some more pics when I am done.
I have also been sewing some of these little chaps.....
Little snowy ornaments.
Hope you enjoyed your little tour and have a great day.
Be kind to yourself; as kind as you would to your very best friend.
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Everyday and for always Treasures

Due to the extemely sad news revealed on Melody's earlier post on Monday about out friend Liz's loss we won't be linking to her blog today. Melody asked us to reflect on our 'real treasures' this week and let them know  just how precious they are to us. So it is with much love to my Children and Grandchildren I deciate this little post to them. Simple things become the traditions of your Family.
We like a lot of other families have the tradition of the special photo taken on Santa's knee...some showed expressions of excitement and delight....others uncertainity....who is this big hairy guy??? I love them all.
I treasure these photos of our little Grandson's as I do  the one of their parents taken many years ago that takes pride of place on our sideboard every year.(I'm sorry I couldn't get a better photo of it) It takes me instantly back to that day and how we always had to go into "Big Town" (the city) to see the real Santa. We would plan the big day and excitement would mount as the day approached. It is one of my favourite memories with my children. It was always such an exciting day, looking at all the windows dressed in Christmas splendor and some had Christmas stories which continued in each window. I loved to watch their faces light up with excitement. We always had a special  lunch as well. My Son insisted on having his Sister with him for this photo and chat with Santa as it was all a bit daunting for him to do all by himself.....he soon got over that in the following years and was first with his list.
It is also a lovely record of how they had grown each year. I love having the 2 extras photos now  to place beside it on the side board of my beauitful Grandsons and I recognise the pleasure my kids get from doing this with their little ones.

The real Santa in "Big Town"

I'm starting to get the hang of this "Santa" caper! (eldest Grandson)
Hey! This bloke's really fun. (Baby Grandson on his first visit to Santa)
My Children and Grandchildren are the Treasure I hold most dear everyday of every year.
I have had in the last few days some very exciting parcels from my lovely 'post lady'......
First my Advent Swap parcel arrived absolutely choccers from the wonderful Vicki all the way from Tasmania.....I have been very good and have only done the obligatory little squeeze (that's my story anyway). Roll on Thursday!!!! Let the fun begin!

I don't know how Vicki fitted all these parcels in was full to the brim.
Second was my special Friends Swap pressie from the gorgeous Kate. I opened it to put the pressies under the tree you see but Kate had wrapped them so beautifully and some of the contents were visable (really) and so I have had the most delicious peek of what is to come....oooooooohhhhhhh!
so you could say that with all this generous 'Kringle Kindness' I am a very blessed girl.
Thank you Vicki and Kate so much.
Would you not be tempted?????
"Everything I do and say with Anyone makes a difference" -Gita Bellin
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, November 28, 2011

Brissy Bloggermeet & Jingle Time

Well I have finally had my much awaited dusting of 'Elf magic' and am starting to feel a wee bit Christmassy.
So don't say I didn't warn you. Saturday I dragged out the Christmas boxes and did a little bit of "throwing Christmas" about. I have oodles of Christmas decorating items (because I have a problem) and every year I start out by saying I'll just put a little bit up and as soon as I open a box and see some of my Christmas favourites I just have to open one more to look for such & such and then it is all over bar the Christmas tunes. I was resisting starting this process until my DIL said "you're late with your decorating this year". So at the moment my house looks like Santa and the Elves and Reindeers have been into the Brandy Sauce and the "funny" Christmas brownies and gone completely mad. Boxes are littered everywhere with Decos hanging out of them and I am thinking why? why? why? can't I be like everyone else and just have a tree.
On Sunday the gorgeous MAREE and I travelled down to Cleveland on Brisbane's Bayside to meet up with other Brisbane Bloggers for a cuppa and a nice lunch. It was a typical Queensland day with lots of sunshine and a tad warm. We had a great time and I loved getting to know these beaut Brisbane (and surrounding areas) girls. I also discovered once again it really is a small world. Now I hope blogger plays nice because I want to show you the photos of these lovely girls.
The lovely old "Grand Hotel" Cleveland.
Brisbane, blogging, bevy of beauties!!!!!
Myself and Maree...we're smiling must have been after the citrus tart.
Yours truly and Noela - we were in the same class at tafe for our Studio pottery course and spent 3 years together and I haven't seen her since 1988.....incredible!
Joy and Marilyn
Lynda and Susan
Kayly - she and I discovered we worked for the same company but at different times!!
Thank you Blogger! Have a wonderful Monday and remember to treasure those you love and mean the most to you.
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, November 25, 2011

Favourite things Friday with Shay.

More of my freind Cathy's "Seduction" roses
My 'Favourite' thing this Friday apart from the beauties above is a favourite with all us stitchers.......NEW FABRIC!!!!!!!!! This year I have made a concious effort to use what I had and I haven't done to badly either. The fact my 'non-quilting, fabric collecting friend decided to divest herself of her incredible stash into my sewing room and devote herself to her real passion...making gorgeous cards has assisted me in my purpose. HOWEVER! There comes a time when a girl just falls in love and no amount of good intentions or virtue will save her. And so it was with me when I decided to design and draw up another little "Bear" quilt that had been hammering away in my head for ages. I wanted something special in the way of fabric but nothing seemed right and then I discovered a new range by Fig Tree for Moda called "Butterscotch & Roses". I swear the earth moved. I haven't treated myself this way for quite a long while so I felt I was overdue. So I dived in, ordered and waited with baited breath........
It has finally arrived and it is gorgeous. The joy I felt tempted me to roll around in it on the floor and run through the house with the glorious strips streaming out behind me. But you will be pleased to know I resisted this temptation but only just.
I am really looking forward to stitching my new little 'furry' girls in the New Year and using this fabric and I think I way include some lovely "Cottage Garden Threads" in the stitching.
Yum! Yum!
and more Yum!
I think this little 'furry' girl is going to love be surrounded by all this gorgeousness!
Visit the witty and wonderful SHAY to see what other 'Favourites' are about.
Finally I would like to ask you all a little question and you can feel free to ignore me and not answer. It's kind of a little survey about the new trendy catch word "Branding" and I just wondered if you thought my designs were recognisable as mine straight I have a distinct style you know as me when you see it or do you have to look to see who designed it. I have always marched to the beat of my own drum and never really followed trends. Just done what ever took my fancy. I thought that was a good thing. So I thought I would ask you my lovely followers what you think?????????? Just interested that's all.
Another of Paul Wilson's lovely quotes:
"Make someone else's Day"
"There is no better way to enrich your own life than to help someone else enrich theirs. Be generous - for the pleasure of it."
Have a great weekend everyone no matter what you're doing - ENJOY!
Blessings Michelle x

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Lovely Day!

This week seems to be the week for catching up with lovely friends. Today I had lunch with a lovely friend of mine, Diane. It was lovely to see what she has been stitching and up to. Diane has exquisite taste and loves nothing more than putting together fabrics in fabulous combos. She is also a beautiful bag maker and we used to very rudely call her "The Bag Lady". Diane along with my friend Ann has been so supportive and encouraging to me in my designing efforts. Always showing me how pleased they are for me, giving me ideas and tips and it has meant the world to me as I sadly discovered that not everyone is pleased by your success no matter how low key you try to keep it. But that's enough of that as my blog is a place happiness and gratitude and I am very grateful for a freind like Diane. I have a photo here of Diane with some bags (of course) she is stitching from my "Holly & Berries" gift bag pattern. Thanks so much Diane for a wonderful Day.
3 Little bags in a row...the last one is not my stitchery design. It's so very cute though.
I also have finished and wrapped my last swap pressies and I wonder where they are going and who they are for?????????
Secrets, Secrets, Secrets!!!
I don't know if I shared this little quote with you before but it is one of my favourites and this week it seems to be a perfect fit.
"Hang with the Happy" by Paul Wilson from his little book "Moments of Pleasure"
"Absorb the happiness that others enjoy; spend more time with happy people and you will discover that happiness is catching."
Blessings Michelle xx

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stitching with Friends.

I went stitching with friends today at my friend Sandra's lovely home. We were a small crew but a fun day was had by all. Sandra as I have mentioned before is an extraordinary cook and always treats us to something devine. Today we had Almond flan with raspberries and cream...Yum! And of course our tea out of lovely china cups....I love every 2nd Wednesday. Sandra purchased my baby quilt pattern "Honey Bear Wishes" to make for a friend's new little one and she had show and tell with it today. She has done a beautiful job and her fabric choice was gorgeous. Sandra has a wonderful talent when it comes to putting fabrics together in a glorious way and this wee quilt is no exception. It gave me a real thrill to see it done in her colourway. It's the bit I love best seeing what others do with my pattern.
The lovely Sandra with Honey Bear Wishes (the photographer is a bit crook)
I have posted off my parcel to my Santa Sack partner TARNYIA a little early but I have had such a busy week tied to my computer guessed it 5 sets of instructions and YAY! I did it. For a few weeks anyway. So today I got to do some nice easy peasy stitching and chat.
Hmmm! Wonder what's in here??????
Off to perform my 'Domestic Goddess" duty and cook dinner.
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

Turesday means it's off to MELODY'S for Tuesday's Treasures where we all join in and share places, people, items, experiences that we treasure.
My treasure today is a book afriend found in a op shop for $2.00. She found 2 oth them and another friend has the other one. It's call the Myth & Magic of Embroidery by Helen M. Stevens. The embroidery is out of this world and has beautiful dragonflies, butterflies, spiders webs, sumptious roses, mythical dragons and wonderful celtic designs. There are aslo beautiful quotes of poetry and prose heading up each new section. One browse and I was in love. I am in awe of this lady's incredible talent. It gives me endless inspiration curling up with this book and it was such a bargain.
What treasure do you hold dear. Pop over to the wonderful Melody's and share it with us.
There are the sweetest bees embroidered throughout the book but I love this page with the little bee busy inside the open rose.
Another beauitful rose and friends.
Yesterday the postie left me the sweetest little surprise from Melody for bringing a bear to her wonderful Teddy Bears picnic....some lady bird choccies Yum! I did save them for the photo and a gorgeous Scissor finder. Thank you Melody I love it.

Melody's lovely surprise and isn't the card just gorgeous!!
Have a wonderful day and I hope you find a little stitching time.
May there be peace in your thoughts,
May there be peace in your words,
may there be peace in your Heart.
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, November 21, 2011

Welcome to Monday.

My "Star" Jasmine in flower. A star it is. It does this all by it's little self. Never ceases to amaze me.
Good Morning one and all to a brand new week. I know one day is as long as another realistically but they seem to be flying by and hurtling towards the end of the year at a frantic pace. So I decided a quiet weekend was the ticket......a little baby sitting duty and lots of sewing. The binding is on and stitched down on my commission project for Country Threads...Yay! I also sewed the borders on my 'hexie' Flower Garden quilt.
It seems a little wavy to me on the  last border and I thought I was doing so well. I had been very afraid to sew through the hexies that's why I hadn't finished it. So now I am not sure if it will be ok once I add the applique to that last border??????? This is why I prefer to sew with a needle and thread because no matter how I follow the rules and do everything right with a machine I seem to have these sorts of difficulties...ARGHH! I also have to decide what to applique (thats the nice bit)....being a garden I thought of tiny 'hexie flowers', bees, butterlies, birdies....all of them. Hhmmmm! Still thinking.
I can say with absolute certainty that I have finished all my 'secret sewing'. I have most of them wrapped  even AND some are being posted today.
Have a lovely day everyone.
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, November 18, 2011

Favourite things Friday.

Turner's Beach Yamba
Well Friday had rolled around again which means it's over to SHAY'S for FTF to see what favourites are being shared. By the time you have read my post today you'll probably think I have 'rocks' in my head because that is my 'favourite' today. Rocks, rocks and more rocks!!!
I just love a rocky coastline with waves crashing over it. I love the sound, the sight, the smell, the sheer awesomeness of Mother Nature fashioning the coast line as she chooses. When were on holidays we visited much of the coastline around where we stayed and I became fascinated with the rocks (much to the groans of No 1 Husband). I don't know where this fascination for rocks comes from. Maybe it was the 3 years at college studying them and what results you could get by crushing them and making glazes from them and other wonderful treasures the earth provides for us to make fabulous pots and glazes.
So that's my from my holiday!
If you are familiar with Yoga you may have encountered mandalas which are meditaiton tools and are usually decorative circles which you mediatate upon to keep your focus and I thought this was a beautiful natural Mandala.
This rock was taller than me...I know that's not hard!
Can you see the heart shape in the rock.....or is it just me???
I just loved the texture which was across a large expanse of rock face at Woody Head
Yours truly a very happy little camper wandering along the rocky outcrops.
This reminded me of a patchwork quilt
How neat is this one...smooth on one side and groovy pattern on the other.
Well there you go! I hope this post has not put our relationship on rocky ground (sorry couldn't help myself). I promise to get over my holiday soon but for now I am still enjoying reflecting on it. Imagine how boring I am going to be when we first Central Australia next year :)

"Nature is the most thrifty thing in the world; she never wastes anything; she undergoes change, but there is no annihilation, the essence remains - matter is eternal" by Horace Binney.
Blessings Michelle xx

P.S. Please check previous post for November's Giveaway's Winners.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Winners!

Waves at Woody Head
It is time to announce the winners for November's giveaway and tah dah......
1st draw : Kathy - Sew happy house
2nd draw: Cherise
3rd draw: Jeanette - Jeanette's place.
If you girls could let me have your snail mail address and which one of my patterns you would like to chose. I shall get it posted off to you. Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who joined in and left me such lovely comments.
I have been sweating it out under my quilting hoop to get my little commission finished and am making good progress. It has been a very good excuse to watch the very handsome Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and I revisited the wonderful "Man from Snowy River". I so love that movie....the scenery is spectacular.
I have also read Di Morrisy's great new book "Opal Desert" which I loved also.....I only discovered how much I loved her books about 2 years ago. For some reason I didn't think they were for me until a friend was insistent I read "The Valley" which was about where she grew up. I enjoyed it so much I have been playing catchup ever since. I am now reading "The Islands" which I bought in Ulmarra.
Well that's it from me today. I hope yours is wonderful.
Happy Stitching,
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

My Treasure today is my Husband's Grandmothers Sewing Basket. Whenever we visited them at their little retirement cottage at Bribie Island she could be found in her favourite chair embroidering or crocheting around a recently completed piece. When we got engaged she worked about 20 pieces for us and even though they weren't fashionable back then in the 1970's I loved and treasured them amidst much nose turning upwards from my friends.
When she passed away anything "useful" was removed from the basket and it was destined for the rubbish. It looked so forlorn divested of all it's treasure except for a few  old damaged pieces of doiley's. I couldn't bare it and so asked if I could have it if it was going to the tip. It was presented to me with screwed up faces and so it came home with me. It just represented so much of who she was and I couldn't see it go to the tip. It reminded me of all the times I sat with my own Grnadmother as she tatught me to embroider.Years later when "doiley dolls" were all the rage the old damaged doileys inside got a new life too.
I still have nearly all of our '20' and I treasure them all. I have 2 favourites one I can't find (if you saw my linen cupboard you would know why. Sshhh!) which is an old fashioned car with a romancing couple taking a spin and the other is the bluebird centrepiece.

I like to think she would be so happy a fellow stitcher has her basket now.
I also am amazed at how the threads of stitchers connect us through the generations.
For other Treasures today visit the wonderful blog of MELODY  from "The house on he side of the hill"
Lastly but certainly not least I wanted to show you my ever bulging Christmas tote (Santa Sack) from my Swap partner Tarnyia in CHERYLL'S Secret Santa Sack swap. Soon the squishing and poking can stop and the fun of opening can begin******
Give your face a  wonderful workout today and smile........
Blessings Michelle xx