....ohh and pencils and paper

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29th 2012 - A Leap Year.

Just had to do a post today as it is a leap year and a big Happy Birthday to all of you who only get a 'real' one every 4 years.
I have been trying for ages to find some time to pop down to my friend Maree's to visit her lovely new home and yesterday I got the chance. We have had 2 catchups in a week which has been lovely.
Maree baked these gorgeous yummies....
Of course I declined (yeah right). I also caught up with Allison who I hadn't seen for ages which was also lovely.
We had a great old natter and we got to see first hand the latest issue of "Country Threads" magazine which features Maree's gorgeous bag project on the cover.....very exciting!
I did do a little stitching from Anni Down's lovely book. I enjoyed stitching someone else's design for a change.
I loved the royal tour around Maree's new home it is just beautiful!
Today I went to my stitching group hosted by my friend Lorel and had another day of laughter, yummy food and managed to complete my "Country Garden Quilt" top.
After much tooing and froing I decided to applique a little spotty chocolate heart in each corner and I am quite happy with it now. It has the "sweet country" look I was after. Now I can get on to layering it and quilting it.
Woo Hoo!!
Finally I just wanted to show you a little spray of roses... it's from the Carpet of Flowers range and I had transplanted it and I thought I had killed it (on the cards for me) but I noticed today a lovely spray of red flowers and just had to put them in a little vase.

I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow .....maybe nothing but I hope I don't lose any of you. My lovely followers. I have added two other options for following me on my sidebar but I guess we will just have to wait and see what transpires on the morrow.
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody - Pets

Today I am linking up with MELODY to see what furry, feathered or finned treasures everyone holds dear. As our dear boy is in doggy heaven I have some little photos of my 'Grand dog' Miss Sophie who many of you will already have met. Miss Sophie is a Poodle with Attitude and definitely rules all she surveys.
You would think butter would not melt in her mouth....WRONG! Here she is looking every bit the sophiscated French Girl but wait.....
Caught in the act after deciding it would be fun to unravel all the garden bags and run around with them in her mouth with Joyful abandon. Catching her was also part of the game. What fun!!!
When she visits me she makes a bee line for my very sacred meditation cushion even though she has been shoosed off many times and languishes there like some eastern princess...
We love Sophie though as she is one fiesty dog for one so small and is afraid of nothing and no one. I am sorry that the photos are so small it is obviously something I have done incorrectly.
So here's to our Miss Sophie who lives her life with great "Excitement & Joy" everyday and never  apologises for it. We could all take a leaf out of her book.
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, February 27, 2012

Antedote to Cabin Fever.

Good Morning all and welcome to a brand new week. I hope you all had a lovely weekend.
My husband works in the city in an office and suffers from the equivalent to 'cabin fever' and when this happens it's in the car and a drive is on and when I say a 'drive' we never go just down the road. Saturday afternoon we drove to Redcliffe which is a lovely bayside suburb on the other side of town to us despite the fact it was raining. We did get a walk along the foreshore which I will show you another post without getting too wet and had a lovely coffee and a slice of Key Lime Pie...YUM!
The view through the rainy windscreen.
Now Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny so a picnic was suggested and no plans were made except we were heading south. We ended up at a beautiful beachside spot in Northern NSW called 'Brooms Head' ONLY about a 3 hour drive from home. Still it was a lovely spot for a picnic.
This was our picnic spot under the trees looking out over the ocean.

Now it may sound incredibly selfish but I love a deserted beach and having it all to myself (the camera man was of course the exception)

You can't always trust the camera man to get your best angle though can you?

Further up the beach there was a bit of weed had blown in but it was so beautiful and peaceful. We decided we would end our big trip later this year here at this great spot and spend a few days chilling out before heading home and getting back into real life.
These beautiful roses from MO are for my very special daughter with love from her Mum xxx.
Have a wonderful week everyone,
Blessings Michelle xx

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My shopping

I said I would show you my purchases from Highfields on Wednesday. First more Japanese fabric for my Mum's quilt.
And I spied some cute little tins that just happened to be houses....well need I say more. I also bought a sweet little birdie to go with 2 others I have, some lovely felt and some gorgeous lace.
And then there was the fabric I chose for "My Country Garden" quilt. It looks so pretty, this photo is a bit dark. I really do need help in the photography department.
After putting the blocks together I have put the green aside and used a pretty plain blue which is featured in the floral fabric and I am very pleased with it. You know how you buy that gorgoeus top off the rack only to discover when you try it on at home it looks hideous well the green was something like that. It won't be wasted though because I love that olivey marbled green  for appliqued leaves and stems etc. just not for this.

I have decided to applique some chocolate hearts in each corner of the floral border so will show you when it's done.
I just love this chocolate spot fabric. Spots & Chocolate what's not to love.
Have a great weekend everyone. We are going to have to get out the Exit Mould if this weather keeps up.
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, February 24, 2012

Visting Friends at Highfields

On Wednesday I was fortunate enough to take a little road trip up the range beyond Toowoomba to the beautiful spot of Highfields with my friend Maree where met up with 2 lovely fellow bloggers. The gorgeous Fiona from BubzRugz and Kris from Tag along Teddies. Being a teddy fancier from way back I had been a fan of Kris's lovely creations for a long time so it was wonderful to finally meet her face to face. I was delighted to meet Fiona as she has become a special friend through blogging. Speaking of Fiona she had a BIRTHDAY yesterday. Happy Birthday for yesterday Fiona. Blogger would not let me write a post so I am late with my wishes.
We met at the Village Green at Highfields which is at the centre of several lovely shops including the Quilters Angel...where of coure we bought nothing...NOT!
We started with morning tea on the green which looked out over the range. Some VERY friendly magpies took over the vacated table beside us and finished off the leftovers to much warbling and chortling.

Fiona surprised us with a gorgeous gift of a beautifully made mug rug in gorgeous fabric (I have taken a photo of her beautiful embrodiered detail on it) and one of her lovely felt daisy pins. Very spoilt we were.
Isn't her work beautiful. After we 'ripped' open our presents in lady like fashion. We hit the patchwork shop and I am very pleased to say after conferring with Kris I finally found fabric to complete "My Country Garden" quilt...thanks Kris. So I can't wait to finish it now. I bought one more piece of japanese fabric to complete my Mum's quilt too. I will show you my purchases in a later post as I don't want to upset blogger in any shape or form after yesterday's effort.
We then had a lovely lunch together at the Chocolate Cafe (need I say more and yes I did buy some to take home) and harrassed the poor waitress to take 4 shots of us with each persons camera in true blogger style.

What a 'bevy of Beauties' we are. Thank you girls for a simply wonderful day. I could have chatted to you both for ages more (oh no! I hear you. She talked enough as it was lol!)
No Favourite Things Friday today as Shay is being a social butterfly (her words) but having a girls day out with Maree and meeting these great girls would be my weeks favourite. If you are ever in this part of the world you should do yourself a great favour and visit Toowoomba and Highfields. It is a favourite spot of mine.
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

Good Morning. After yesterday's glorious sunshine we are greeted today with an overcast and very humid morning. Still there are 'treasures' to be found in every day and I am linking up with MELODY today to see what 'treasure' everyone is sharing. Why don't you pop over for a visit.
My 'treasure' today comes from a gentleman and he was the true essence of one. When I was 3 years old my Father died and several years later my mother remarried and I was adopted by her new husband (he passed away in September last year). We came from the country and lived with my adopted Father's Father at Bardon which is very close to the now very trendy Paddington while our new house was completed. He was such a loving man and we took to each other straight away and I am sure I drove him crazy hanging out of his back pocket where ever he went. He lived in a beautiful big old Queenslander with open verandah's and a huge breakfast room and kitchen. In the corner of the kitchen pushed up against the wall was a small scrubbed pine table around which were 3 old bentwood chairs which he said came from his parents house in Paddington.
When he died I was asked if there was anything I would like and I said these chairs although I don't know what happened to the 3rd. So I have had these chairs now for 32 years and they are tatty, well loved and have been the home to many a quilt and doll or bear. One is in my dining room complete with quilt and bear.
I love this one because he repaired the seat and I love looking at his handywork. The other chair stands in my entry way next to my Nanna's hall stand and as they really liked each other in real life I think it's a good match. Try and ignore the dirt and dust on the floor (the housework police are going to raid me any day now)

This sweet man was the one who grew my lovely Jacaranda tree in a jam tin for me that I have posted about before. When I was flatting in Red Hill as a teenager he would hitch a ride with people and bring me eggs, vegies and soft drinks so I wouldn't starve. LOL! I loved him just like he was my real Grandfather and I knew he loved me too. I have come to realise more and more over the years how special he was to make a little girl feel so special and included in his family.So he and his chairs are my treasure today and always.
"Always send people away richer for the experience of having encountered you"
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Morning!

Good morning everyone. I hope you will indulge me this morning as I wax lyrical again about my little brightly coloured feathered friends the 'rainbow lorikeets'. I think I love them because they are gifted in the talking department like me. I really wanted to write down this experience and share it with you other wildlife lovers out there. So if that's not you look away now.  As I was returning from my early morning walk this morning (I pass a sports field with a structure on it with a guttered roof) I saw all these lorikeets and there must have been at least 20 or more all along the roof of this structure. It looked like a scene from Alfred Hitchcocks film "The Birds" I have seen them massed in trees at dusk but not like this. I had to stand still and watch them for a while to see what they were doing. I thought perhaps there was blossom or seeds on the roof but they seemed to be in the guttering itself. As I went a little closer I could see they were all relishing an early morning bathe as there was water trapped in the guttering and what's more they were all taking turns. Washing and preening themselves, splashing the water over the sides of the guttering and sqwarking to each other. Hopping up on the roof so someone else could have a turn. It was such a delightful thing to see and it was a lovely way to start the day so I thought I would share it. Of course I didn't have my camera with me. The ones in the photo are in my palm tree in my garden. Observing Nature never fails to bring me joy.
Now I did do some stitching yesterday. Basting a quilt together actually which I quite enjoyed accompanied by my "Songs from a Secret Garden" cd rather loudly I might add. I have tried pins etc. but I am a boring old fashioned girl and like the process of basting the layers of a quilt together.
I also did some more designing and drawing and added to my pile of Japanese blocks. They are looking so pretty and I can't wait to start stitching them together in rows.

I hope you have a great start to your week and find some 'stitching' time today.
Blessings Michelle xx

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A nice day out.

Yesterday Mr R. and I drove north to visit my wonderful best friend Ann in her gorgeous new is so beautiful. I am so thrilled for her as it is has been her dream for quite a while.
Ann has settled right in and has been making the most devine cards (some of which she gave me to for a giveaway later) She also showed me 2 beautiful framed Christmas pieces she made and one still under construction...oh so lovely!
We decided seeing as we were up that way we would visit Noosa and Tewantin where we spent our honeymoon and many holidays in our early married life. Boy has it changed. We haven't been there for quite sometime and if I am honest we were a little sad. I had planned to stop and go for a nice walk at Noosa but it was akin to a lunatic assylum and not a car park to be no photos at Neussa! as David Wenham says. We went on to Tewantin and we could see elements that remained the same and so we stopped at the Marina and had some yummy fish and chips while listening to a little group of musicans playing and singing.
We then had a wander around the wharf and looked at all the boats and of course had to have a pic taken.....realised after posting these photos a hair brush and a bit of makeup wouldn't have gone astray. Ah well! At least you get to see the real me in my natural state. No airs and graces here I'm afraid. It was lovely to revisit these memories together and we cannot believe we have been married for 40 years later this year.

It was a lovely day. So good to spend time with my dear friend (it's still too far up the highway!) and I miss her so much but it is wonderful to see people you care about happy.
Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Blessings Michelle xx

Saturday, February 18, 2012

If you are one of my followers this post is for you.

I have been very concerned with the announcement from Google That "Google Friend Connect" is going to be removing anyone not using their platform or who are non bloggers on March 1st. As I treasure each and everyone of you who are my followers and don't want to loose any of you....especially my 'non blogging' friends you will notice I have added the "linky friends" site to my sidebar. You can join up for free and follow me this way. I cannot transfer you over all I can do is to ask you to follow me. You can read about here I felt I had to let you know ahead of time so you can decide what you wish to do. Being a 'nonteccie' this has been quite stressful for me. There may be a better solution but I really didn't want to wait and lose everyone while I found one.
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, February 17, 2012

Favourite things Friday with Shay.

Friday has arrived with a flourish once again which means it's time to visit SHAY
 to see what wonderful take on the world she has for us this week for 'favourite things Friday'.
Those of you who know me know that I am a huge "Eagles" fan along with my beloved and yes as tragic as it is I do have the T-shirt. This band has been so much a part of our wayward youth and something we passionately share. In fact our kids used to weep and wail in the car as we sang along. They say  they know the songs off by heart but not in a good way. We have never missed going to see them each time they came to town. So as I tried to make my way to Yoga this morning it seemed as if the universe was conspiring against me what with  the rude lady at the post office who pushed in, the new trainee man at the post office, on ramp closures to the freeway, crazy traffic etc. I decided to take a deep breath and slip on my favourite Eagles CD "Long Road out of Eden" and have a little groove as I tried to find a way on to the blasted freeway. Eventually I arrived with minutes to spare and had a beautiful class with the gorgeous Janeen. As I made my way home all blissed out and pondered FTF I thought "The Eagles" (and Yoga) today have to be my favourite. They just get better with each passing year and help me find that hip young thing that still resides within me regardless of how old I am or what I now look like. Music is a powerful thing.
On to some stitching I have been trying to get to a whole heap of different projects done lately and I finally got my "Teaparty Angel" wall hanging together ready to quilt and bind and then into a pattern....Yay! I do like her I think she is really sweet and she had been so patient with me. I have also got nearly 20 Japanese blocks done for my Mums quilt. I am loving the way it is looking. Who knew I would enjoy these fabrics!
Well that's it for me. I hope you have a great weekend doing something you love.
After the lovely 'senior moment' stories you all shared with me after my 'shower experience' I thought this little piece of advice was apt. Thanks I loved them all.
From the wonderful Paul Wilson's little book "Moments Of Pleasure" ......
'Giggling and laughing are known as aerobics for the inside. Find something to laugh about and you'll feel better immediately.'
Blessings Michelle xx

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How do you know if you are getting old???

I thought I would share a little story with you that may make you chuckle. I had thought that I was growing old quite gracefully and was mostly on top of my game but one just shouldn't Assume Anything ......
The other night after a very busy day I dove into the shower after dinner. I suddenly felt quite disorientated and quite panicked as my eyesight had gone quite blurry. I flung the shower door open in a bit of a panic just as hubby entered the bathroom. "What on earth are you doing?" says he. "I feel really odd and can't see properly" says she. "That's because you are still wearing your damn glasses" says he roaring with laughter as he leaves the bathroom. Oh MY! Why is it when you do something really dumb there is always someone there to witness it. The even funnier thing is a 'mature' friend of mine many years ago told me she had done this exact thing and I had remembered would you possibly forget you had your glasses on? Now I know. Well just had to share couldn't have his "nibs" thinking he had to tell everyone he meets.
I know some of you ladies out there of a 'certain age' will understand completely.
Now when the fog and mist cleared from my glasses I managed to stitch some more of these...
and a lot of these.....

These little fellows and I are becoming very good friends. You will have to wait a while to see what they become.
Have a wonderful Wednesday.
"Learn to laugh at yourself we human beings are very funny people....just ask any dog!"
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody and A New Little Book & Valentine's Winners.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone in my time zone and early wishes to those of you who are not.
The beautiful graphic above is from Mo at Rose Petals from Heaven.
How lovely that Tuesday's Treasures falls on a day that represents love and affection as it is what we all feel for our gorgeous hostess MELODY. Why don't you visit her wonderful blog and see what treasure abounds.
My treasure today is 2 little 'furry' girls from my Cherished Teddies collection themed for Valentine's Day. I loved them the minute I saw them way back in 1993 & 1995. They have between them a little stitchery heart that I bought at a craft fair many years ago. I don't know who the stitcher was but it is such a sweet and simple little thing and I treasure it. It has hung on a cupboard door handle where I see it everyday for a very long time and still reminds me more often than not 'simple' is beautiful. My two sweet girls are sitting on a beautiful milk jug covered crocheted by the very talented Marina from Maisie and the boys. I treasure this as it was a "just because I liked it" gift sent to me from Marina. I do use it for what it was intended but with it's lovely heart design I just had to share it again.
I have finally finished another little book of stitchery drawings as everyone seemed to love "Christmas Fixin's". This little one has drawings you can use to stitch for friends or loved ones when you want to express that special little sentiment or add to another gift. I have loved doing it and I hope you will enjoy it too.
As it is Valentine's Day I have decided to add the little book to my giveaway and also to giveaway an extra copy.
"Stitchery Keepsakes" $14.00 Aus. Paypal excepted. Email me to secure a copy.
Well I suppose you would like to know who the winners are:
The winner of the Valentine's day giveaway is Jeanette from Jeanette's Place.
The winner of the extra little "Keepsakes" book is Marcia from Daisy Jane.
Congratulations to you both and I hope you enjoy your little gifts. Thank you everyone for continuing to play along with me and participating in my little giveaways.
"If you think there is no 'one' special person in your life you are's you."
To my Valentine. You know who you are...............
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, February 13, 2012

Good morning Monday

Good Morning everyone. I have been for my early morning walk and it is a beautiful morning. I had lots of feathery company. The lorikeets were sqaubbling over their breakfast and speeding from tree to tree. They are a delight to see.
There is a beauitful enviromental park near where I walk and the trees are magnificent and never cease to thrill me. it's mornings like this I am very glad I live in Queeensland.
I spent time with both my Grandsons this weekend which was special. I did get some stitching done I lot of which I can't show you yet but I can show you what I have started stitching for my Mum who is turning 80 later in the year. My Mum loves Japenese fabric and in particular "Japenese Ladies" as she calls them. So I wanted to make her a little quilt to curl up under when she is reading which she loves to do. I saw this pattern in a Patchwork & Quilting magazine (sorry don't know the designer as I no longer have the magazine) I had traced and cut out the templates for another day. I thought it would be very portable and would also showcase the fabrics she loves. So I got nearly 5 blocks done but will need a bit more variety in the fabrics. I have really found it relaxing stitching them and I think it will come together really quickly. Sorry I forgot to press them before I took the photo.

I think she will love it. I also have a lovely Japenese panel that I am going to make into a tote bag to pop it in for when I give it to her.
That's it for me I hope you all enjoy the first day of your working week.
P.S. I 'might' just be finishing off another little book of drawings at the moment and if I get a move on I 'might' just be able to show you very soon......note I said "might"!
Blessings Michelle xx