....ohh and pencils and paper

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Little Pre- Christmas Sale.

If you love snowmen I have 2 of my patterns featuring snowmen .... "Skates for Hire"
and "Warm Cinnamon Tea"
On sale for $7.00 AUD each or if you want to buy both of them $12.00 AUD for the pair. Which is less than 1/2 price. I must stress I ONLY accept payment through Paypal for overseas customers and postage will be extra. Here in Oz postage is included. Just email me at if you wish to take advantage of this little sale. Perfect for those last minute stitching friend gifts. First in best dressed!!!
Yesterday I received my final gifties from my swap partner in Cheryll's Santa Sack Swap who just happens to be "Swap Mama" herself the lovely Cheryll. There is absolutely no room in my Sack (tote) to fit the latest arrivals. I feel so awfully spoilt. I just didn't realise I had been THAT good this year!!
And just so no one is in any doubt about my integrity when it comes to leaving my parcels in tact I have taken a photo of all the parcels together and you will note the pristine condition they are in.
I have to say though my eldest Grandson is fascinated by the long one on the right of the photo and I have had to rescue it a couple of times from inquisitive little fingers....he is really sweating on discovering what's in it.....I was tempted to blame Lachie and get a peek but he is too sweet and I just couldn't do it.
All my swap packages are sent and I hope they are received with Joy. I even have got some cards away as well. I am really looking forward to some down time over Christmas as this year has been full on, what with our trip away and lots of glorious designing work for which I am ever so grateful. Being a bit organised will help me achieve that.
As we move towards the Christmas season a little saying...
"If you can't find kindness and the spirit of Christmas in your heart you're not going to find it under the Christmas tree"
Enjoy your weekend lovely people.
Blessings Michelle xx

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Special Birthday Wishes

Today is a very special Birthday for my lovely Daughter-in-Law. We feel so blessed to have you in our Family.
So dear girl......with lots of hugs and love, Happy Birthday.
On the stitching front I am almost finished all my strawberry blocks. A couple of sneakies..
Do you love ladybirds? I do....
I am really loving designing and stitching these blocks. It helps when you love the subject.
I also decorated my kitchen yesterday and as I hadn't done the dishes at the time of the photo (no pretense here about being a domestic goddess) I only photographed the little 'gingie' tree.
Speaking of domestic goddess duties I must away and bring home some supplies. It crosses my mind from time to time that if I didn't have to eat I could buy an awful lot of fabric. LOL!
Have a wonderful day.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some Show & Tell and Nice Post

A little show & tell from one of my lovely followers CARIN who lives in the Netherlands and has a lovely blog called " Stitches by Carin". Carin has stitched my free Ginger Tea design and combined it beautifully with a free design she received from me when she ordered "Christmas Bakeshop". She has made them into a gorgeous wall hanging and has given me her permission to share her photo of the finished project with you all.
Look at the gorgeous "gingie" stocking she has teamed it with. Doesn't it look Beautiful. I love seeing how others stitch my designs. Carin has a lovely blog and if you click on her name at the top of my post that will take you there for a visit. Thanks for sharing it with us Carin.
Yesterday I received an order I had been waiting for that I had saved all my pennies to buy. I was as a younger girl very fond of Catherine Cookson's books and read and owned everyone. I know some think they are a bit ho hum these days but I loved them and still do. Quite a while ago they made mini movies out of them and even though I loved them they were a bit too expensive to by them all. Well! I got the best bargain on Fishpond and now I have 20 odd episodes to view at my leisure....yay!

Sadly or happily depending how you look at it all my book have been passed on to be loved by other readers. All except one which I have read several times called "Our Kate" which is an autobiography about the Authors Mother. I just love it. What are you reading at the moment?
Well this old fashioned girl is going to go and make herself a lovely cup of coffee and having decided I have played hookey long enough, I am going to get back to these blocks....
I am appliqueing  the last one and then I can do some stitchery on that bit.
Little saying.....
You are never lonely if you can read a good book. Some of my best friends are books.
Enjoy your Tuesday.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Monday, November 26, 2012

One Mini done

I finally have a little mini to hang on my lovely frame. For something so small it has taken me ages.
I was going to do more quilting on it but I got to impatient to get it on there. This photo is a bit crook. It really looks very cute. This is where it lives now.
I was supposed to be working on my "strawberries" today but after my Yoga session I had this morning ( I am being very good Helen and doing my home Practice) I just felt to chilled out to work so I decided to make like a little elf and get wrapping....
And there are these ones.....
And next there are these ones....
This elf caper is hard work. I am so happy I am making headway in this department. After that I still felt uninspired to work so I played around in snowy corner which is now finished...
and then I twiddled and tweaked the Snowy tree...
I would like to take this opportunity to explain my obsession with 'snowmen' not that I feel I need to defend my obsession mind. But I am often taken to task about not being 'a real Aussie Christmas' with snowmen because we don't get snow here in December. My Grandfather was English and came to Australia when he was 26 to take up a position as a country preacher...a home mission minister they were called. The poor man arrived in Australia after leaving his very close knit family and a cold English winter in December to be sent to Blackall in outback Queensland where the temperatures can reach into the 40's. He also knew no one and after attending the Christmas church service was alone on Christmas Day staying in a hot Outback Pub and was so homesick for his family in England he didn't know how he was going to get through it. When I read that excerpt from his diary it makes me want to cry for him. He often said how much he had missed that cold weather and snow on his first Australian Christmas. Later he was told "ya shoulda said somethin' mate!' LOL! So a little corner of frosty fellows in tribute. We also now have a lovely SIL who is English and it makes him smile too. So long live Frosty Corner I Say! Also I am a bit of flake anyway :o)
Enjoy your evening,
Blessings Michelle xx

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

As I have so much coming up in the next couple of weeks I decided to start getting my Christmas decorations sorted and up......
As you all know I am not known for minimalism in anything. I have embraced this about myself now.
One of the first little things I always hang up is our Family Traditions quilt which is a beautiful design from our very talented designer Christine Book. Each member of our family has their name appliqued in a heart down each side. I just love it as it reminds me of the important things about Christmas and indeed life.
I don't know about you but the thing I love most about putting up the decorations is not the blingy or the latest decorating fad, it's the old favourites that evoke memories of when you made them or if they were a gift, the person who gave it to you or even made it for you. These are the ones I treasure. Amongst these treasures is my little Christmas passion. My collection of Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Santa's and Snowmen. A lot of them have been gifts which makes them all the more special to me.
I also love my little feather tree which I had hankered after for years ( I know the hankering is not very attractive) after drooling over them in the American country decorating magazines. Another special gift from a friend.
Yes I know it is not December quite yet but I do hope you will excuse me for being a trifle early. I am hoping to sew the borders on my little Christmas mini today so I can finally put something on my frame and then I have to find where all my little snowman are hiding so I can put them out with the rest of their Yuletide mates. I am sure they all run amok and have a big party out there when I go to sleep at night. So are you an early decorator, a 1st December type decorator or are you a big 'Grinchy' and wait until the last minute or not at all????

Now on a completely different subject, I have to say I am definitely not the "shoot 'em up and blow 'em up type of girl" when it comes to my taste in movies but I have been a James Bond fan since I was a teenager, curled up and devouring the racey pages of Ian Fleming's wonderful books and trying to hide them from my Mother. Yesterday Hubby and I used a Christmas gift from last year and went to see the latest "James Bond" offering which also came with Coffee and Cake....oohh! It was fantastic! I loved it. I have to say I adore Daniel Craig as Bond. I haven't really been a fan of the 'pretty boy' Bonds as that is not how I always imagined him to be in the books but Mr Craig sure comes close. So needless to say I did return home "Shaken and Stirred" LOL!
I wish you all a wonderful weekend and as my beloved Nan used to say.....
"A little bit of what you fancy does you a whole lot of good"
Blessings Michelle xx

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lunch With Kate Morton

I feel like a star struck teenager this afternoon. My sweet friend Gaye who intoduced me to Kate Morton's books asked me to lunch at the historic Grand Hotel at Cleveland by our beautiful Moreton Bay.
With views across to Stradbroke Island.
The reason for this luncheon was to meet and listen to one of our very favourite Australian Authors Kate Morton (who by the way hails from our very own beautiful Tamborine Mountain). It was wonderful.
Kate is so delightful, charming and funny. I could have listened to her for hours. Hearing about her creative process and her inspirations was pure gold. It was such a wonderful treat when she read the introduction to her new book "The Secret Keeper" aloud to us. I just wanted her to keep going.
We had a lovely lunch, Gaye and I and as you can see I am clutching my books hoping to get them signed by Kate.
Kate was sitting at the next table to us and I was trying to behave in a manner befitting my age but couldn't quite manage it. The other thing that added to the enjoyment of our day was the four gorgeous ladies who sat next to us at our table. Lan, Cheyenne, Louise and Val. It is true readers are the nicest people. Hi Girls! Books were discussed, recommendations given and favourite authors given their dues. It was lovely. Lan works in a lucky thing. She is around books all day.
After dessert Kate was so gracious and signed our books, had photos and talked to each and every one of us.  I bought a book for my Mum as well and she signed hers too (sshh! a secret surprise for her Christmas stocking) Here I am trying not to squeal in delight.
Gaye with Kate.
Kate signing our books. Gaye bought along her sister Bev's book (another lovely friend) for a signature too.
It is such a delight when someone whose work you admire turns out to be so lovely and generous.
So thank you Kate for your fabulous talent for story telling and your beautiful spirit.
Such a day is made even more special when you share it with such a very special friend.
Thank you Gaye.
The other good news is that book number 5 is in the works. We got it from Kate herself, so there is more treasure to come. If you haven't read any of Kate's books....please treat yourself. You will not be sorry.
So that is it from me today. I am going to go to my favourite chair with a cup of coffee and reflect on this lovely day. As the song says "Somedays are diamonds and some days are stones".....THIS was a Diamond Day.
Blessings Michelle xx

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Merry Christmas Lovely Bloggers

Well as promised and after lots of hair pulling and a printer that would not play nice I have a little gift for you on my side bar from "My Sketchpad".
Here is what you will need to make "Sweet Ginger" Tag.
2 x 8 1/2 inches x 4 inches of red felt
1 x 2 1/2 inches x 5 1/2 inches of cream homespun
1 x 4 1/2 inch length of green ric rac braid
1 x 10 inch length of red ric rac braid
1 x 6 inch length of red/white check ribbon
1 small rusty bell, 1 small gingerbread button.
The Dmc threads and guide are on the pattern sheet. B/ S is backstitch, FK is French knots.
Here is what you do.
Download the pattern from my sidebar. (Please let me know if you were successful as I am still really new at this and would hate to think you couldn't do it. I have tested it about a gazillion times....which in my case means nothing)
Make a template of the tag. Cut out 2 from your red felt.
Trace stitchery design on to the cream homespun and stitch using the guide provided.
Press well and applique on to one of the tag shapes leaving room at the bottom to stitch the length of green ric rac braid. Stitch a running stitch right around stitchery piece in DMC 816 (2 strands)
Secure the braid with French knots in DMC 816 (2 strands) leaving a small amount of braid each end to tuck behind the tag Tie a small bow through the rusty bell and sew to the top of the completed stitchery.
Place the tag with the stitchery on top of the other tag shape and blanket stitch them together in a matching thread catching the piece of red ric rac in between the shapes at the top. and ensuring the green ric rac is caught between the two shapes as well. The red ric rac will be the hanger for your tag.
Finish off by stitching the gingerbread button at the top of the tag.
Tie it to a gift package or hang it on your tree.
I do hope you enjoy this little gift from me to you as a way of thanking all of you for your continuing support and lovely kind words. They mean so much. I hope this little tag can add some enjoyment to your Christmas stitching.
Much Love and Blessings,
Michelle xxx

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesdays Treasure with Melody

My treasure this week is a person. A lovely lady called Joy. Joy is just gorgeous and her enthusiasm for stitching is infectious and Joy her words not mine is my Number 1 fan. She has every project I have designed from all the various magazines. We also share a passion for "Gingies". She is also a fellow Queenslander.
It still astounds me that people really love what I do and I am so grateful for this kind of support and encouragement. I sometimes have to pinch myself when I see that another stitcher has loved one of my designs enough to purchase it and make it. The feeling can't be beat. Quite often though you never see what happens to your pattern...whether it gets made or if it is liked or enjoyed So when darling Joy sent me a photo of her version of my little reindeers "Down Reindeer Lane" I was simply thrilled. I have Joy's permission to share it with you....
Well done Joy and thank you so much for your continued support and enthusiasm for my work.
So lovely people is what I am treasuring today. They make the world a better place to be in.
Pop over and visit MELODY to see who is treasuring what and why today.
A little saying I love " Try to make everyone you encounter feel a little brighter for it."
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Morning Monday.

Well not quite more like Good Afternoon. I trust you all had a lovely weekend. I continued on with my secret sewing and I am very glad to say "I'M DONE!!!" Just the wrapping and last minute checking....YAY!
I also made some more ornaments and finished 2 more stars so I have to say....
I am all 'ornied' out. I am sure they will all find nice trees with nice people this year to go to.
I will now be knuckling down to my mystery strawberry blocks now.
But first I wanted to share with you the pattern I made especially for the Cookies and Cream Craft Christmas Club for 2012. I have the gorgeous Sandy's permission to show you as all the 'clubbers' will now have theirs. So here it is...
I had such fun creating this...I really enjoy working in felt. The pattern for "JOY" will be available for purchase from me in December. I love being part of the Christmas Club and there are other lovely designers too....if you have any questions about the club for next year click on the logo on my side bar and just ask Sandy.
This morning I have been attempting to sort out my Christmas decorating ( I know it's early) but I have my Mum coming to stay and lots of the bits are under her bed and there are lots of Magazine samples ON her bed. I have made good headway and the living room is mostly done but my goodness I do make such a mess. I will do some more tomorrow and ease into it. At least Mother will have a bed to sleep in....although she said she didn't care she was quite happy to sleep amongst the cushion covers, runners and quilts. LOL.
Coffee awaits. Enjoy the rest of your day. Oh just quickly....the little freebie for you is nearly done so don't forget to pop back and check.
Blessings Michelle xx

Saturday, November 17, 2012

FNSI Stitching

I am a very happy camper (or stitcher) with what I got done last night at my first FNSI over at Heidi's.
I now have 4 little reindeers for the gift box. Aren't they cuties?
1 little lonely snowman...he's going to a lovely home though.
And I got a fair bit done on my secret gift. I can only show you a little bit though and then it's all hush, hush.
So busy stitching was I that even after sharing my Tim Tams the packet looks like this....
Pretty impressive hey! Well for me it is.
Just another little tidbit. Keep your eyes peeled because I am hoping to have another little surprise for you from my sketchpad. Better keep checking.
Have a great weekend everyone. I am off to check out all those wonderful blogs of the FNSI stitchers and see what they got up to last night.
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, November 16, 2012


Hello all. As I enjoyed myself so much at Cheryll's Friday night stitch-a-long the other week I thought I would jump right in and join Heidi & Bobbie  for
So this is my first FNSI. Just see how you girls have led me astray. It is just lovely knowing that your stitching friends in blogland are spending the evening thinking of everyone who is stitching along. I do think I will keep this to myself however as Hubby thought I had flown the coop of reasonable thinking last
I have my bits and bobs all ready to go. I hope to work on some more ornies for the gift box and a little secret giftie too. SSShhh! Not telling!
I have been to the shops this morning and bought the necessary supplies to sustain me through the evening. I have Mint Slices too....hard to choose. Maybe one of each or two or three.
So I am all set to about you?
It is today the most glorious Queensland day in my part of the world. Hot, light breeze blowing....aahh love it!
That's it from me as I am off to pack the rest of the groceries away and you guessed it, indulge in a nice cup of coffee....
Is it to early to break open the Tim Tams yet?  Thought not!
Have a great weekend everyone and keep your needles threaded. You just never know when that window of opportunity for extra stitching will present itself.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

My treasure today is a little friend I have been going to share for ages. She sits atop my favourite coffee table books and looks after them for me. She is the sweetest little girl.
She is just known as "little bear" and she is made from mohair and is a wobbly head bear. Her collar is made from a piece of Vintage tatted lace. Little Bear is another one of my 'furry babies' created for me by my friend Ann and I love her. When lying down from ear to paw tip she is about 10 1/2 inches.
Look at that face. Handmade bears are my treasure today and thank you to one of my lovely followers Carin  who shared her birthday bears on her lovely blog and they just made me sigh with happiness.
Why not pop over to MELODY'S and see what treasure she has in store for us.
Today I have been bitten by the lazy bug big time and have curled up in my chair and finished reading my current Diana Gabaldon Book.
I thought only to read a little while I finished my morning coffee and ended up not moving until the last page. Plus there was a preview of her new book in the series due out next year...ooohhh! Can't wait!
I have done a little sewing though. I had to unpick some hexies  I was doing as I appliqued them on upside down....don't ya hate that! But all fixed now. This is one of those staring at and scratching the head type of projects. I think I am going to make one of those really long cushions for the couch....still thinking.
I also have made sure I did a few more stitches in my "Beyond the Garden Gate Blocks".
So apart from venturing out to a favourite coffee spot to meet a friend I haven't felt the urge to do much at all except go back to my chair and read a lovely quilting magazine I bought on my way home.
Lazy very Lazy!!!
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Blessings Michelle xx