....ohh and pencils and paper

Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell 2012

The brand New Year is about to delivered all shiny and full of promise and I don't know about you but I always do a little reflecting at this time on the year that is coming to a close and like most of you I have lost some wonderful people close to me this year,  celebrated milestones, achieved personal goals, fluffed a few others, made new friends and treasured old ones. In other words lived a life. 
I want to take this opportunity to thank all you wonderful folk out there, some of you I know personally and others I feel as if I do. You make me laugh, smile and touch my heart on a daily basis and I have to say aid and abett in my obsession with fabric needle and thread. I feel as if sometimes I truly am sitting around having a cuppa or doing a spot of stitching with you.
So thanks again for all your lovely comments and support.
I wish you all a New Year full of Blessings, good health and lots and lots of stitching time and I look forward to spending more time with you all in 2013. What better way to finish my post for 2012 than with the beautiful artwork of Mo from Rose Petals from Heaven who never ceases to inspire me.
Blessings to you all,
Michelle xxx

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Back in the Sewing Room

Well all the plans to actually tidy and sort my sewing room (aka disaster area) have been shelved as I have some projects that have deadlines looming and so here I am. I sometimes laugh to myself and think if fellow stitcher's out there with their gorgeously appointed sewing rooms could see the chaos in which I create sometimes they would be horrified. But it gets done so I guess that's the main thing.
Lots and lots of cutting out to do...yuk! I sometimes also feel like the biggest fake when I see all you marvellous sewers out there using fantastic tools and sewing such wonderful things when I "hate" rotary cutting and tools and sewing anything that is not a basic straight line. I marvel at you all. I am happiest with a needle and thread and a pencil and scrap of paper. I guess that's what makes being a stitcher so fascinating, having all sorts of techniques for all sorts of people and so many wonderful things of others to admire.
Here is a little sneaky of two things I have been doing and the first was a complete indulgence for Angel and redwork....loved every minute.
The other is a cute winter project for Handmade.....
Not much of a sneaky though is it. Not really what I am used to working in but I like to step out of my area of preference occasionally as it consolidates within me what I truly love, so I think it is a good thing. I also think it is pretty.
Before I head off to my 'cutting' I thought I would ask you all if there is a particular subject or theme you would like me to include in my freebies this year. I can't promise I will be able to deliver everything but you 'never know'. I have a sweet little simple drawing for you after New Years so if you were planning to download the Gingies ones there you better be quick as I will be taking them down in the New Year.
On the subject of the free designs I share from my sketchpad, I know that you will all do the right thing with them and enjoy them in the manner in which they are given. Even though I try with all my heart to keep my blog uplifting and a positive place to visit I  feel  the need to once and for all  address and put aside negative comments and feelings about giving something away for "free" on my blog. So here are my thoughts.....
Anything I originally create is mine to do with as I choose. If I want to hire a plane and do an air drop of my designs I can.Sharing what gifts and talents you have "does not" make you poorer in the giving it actually promotes well being and kindness and comes back to you a thousandfold. Money is just one type of currency that makes the world turn. Being able to share with others has been a goal I have had for my blog from almost the beginning as those who know me well will attest to. So I really hope I don't have to hear about how my free gifts are detrimental to others trying to make a proper 'buck' again. I hope you will all understand that I really felt I needed to express myself on this matter and will not be going there again.
"A Candle does not become dimmer when other candles are lit from it's flame"
Enjoy the rest of your day,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Friday, December 28, 2012

Good Morning!

I hope a lovely Christmas was had by all. Ours was a quiet Family affair with much comedy relief by our beautiful Grandsons throwing themselves into the festive day with as much abandon as they could muster. Kids just know how to enjoy themselves completely.
I have enjoyed my little blogging break even though not visiting to see what you have all been doing wasn't an option so I did a lot of relaxed blog hopping.
Since my last post I received the sweetest gift from my lovely friend Melody It is a gorgeous pincushion in wool felt with a very cute sheep to mind my pins.....
Sooo Cute!
Even though I was a naughty "gimme Piggy" and opened all my swap pressies (all of which were gorgeous) I did as I was instructed and placed my 'for under the tree' gift, under the tree where it remained in tact until Christmas morning. My lovely Angel was Jenny of  Elephantz. Inside my parcel was the loveliest journal and you all know how I love a brand new journal....
Isn't it adorable. I just love it. I loved it even more when I opened it up and saw this....
How cool is that. I have already told Jenny that I am going to use it for all my creative musings as I feel having been created by such a creative force as Jenny my musings will feel very much at home within it's covers. Thank you Angel Jenny. I love it xxxx
I have really needed a little time out and some time with my other half and so we have just spent out time relaxing, reading, having a rum ball or four, watching some favourite DVD's. I have read one of my Christmas gifts already and I have no excuses except to say I like him and he reminds me of my youth and much of his music was the sound track of my life when younger. "Vagabond Heart" remains one of my all time favourite CD's....
Very interesting!!! I find other's lives very interesting and Rod's sure is that.
I also have been able to curl up in my fav chair with my pencils and you know how I LOVE that!
There is even a little freebie for you in that lot so better stay tuned. I haven't felt like picking up a needle and some thread but I am sure I will shortly. I worked and stitched until 11pm Christmas Eve when I downed tools and decided no more for a wee while. I have several projects in varying stages of completion with a couple of deadlines attached so I felt a break was in order.
The other thing that I have been indulging in is one of the reasons I love Queensland....MANGOES!!!!
Take a look....
At the moment I am hanging out for the produce from my daughter's tree which is a Bowen Mango tree. The best in my opinion and I won't even enter into a discussion about it. The buzz is there are some heading this way  later today but alas still need a lit more ripening. Mind you I have managed with the store bought one above and it's mates. They will only make the Bowens taste better.
Well that is about it from me. Lots of thoughts and reflection on the year that is fast disappearing and how to move authentically into 2013 staying true to myself and my craft. Hopefully I will have lots of you along to see how I get on with all that.
Take care,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kindred Spirits

This will be my last post before Christmas and I thought the gift of  special friends seemed perfect to share. This morning I received a visit from my lovely friend Gaye who arrived with a surprise gift for me from another friend of mine who is one of Gaye's family. She had recently been on an overseas trip to Canada and  was also lucky enough to visit Prince Edward Island. Those of you who know me well will already know I am a huge "Anne" fan and the "Anne of Green Gables" books were amongst my favourite growing up. It is on my 'dream' list to visit there one day. Well inside my little gift bag was this...

The sweetest little minature porcelain "Anne" doll, a "Kindred Spirit" book mark and post card and a post card which features Anne's bedroom as described in the books by the Author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The little doll and the painting on the bookmark and post card were commissioned by the Authors family to celebrate "Anne's" 100th birthday. My friend wrote of the wonderful experience on PEI on one of the postcards even relating how they had "raspberry cordial" which you will understand if you are a fan.
To say I was touched was an understatement....I think there might have even been a little tear ( I am such a sop). To think one friend would think of me and that the other would come down and surprise me with it was so beautiful. True Kindred Spirits. Thank you and huge hugs to you both.

So I would like to take this opportunity to say to all my Kindred Spirits out there in blogland a very heartfelt thank you for your kindness, affection, encouragement and support throughout 2012. The way you have embraced me and my art continues to touch my heart.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you
And the pure light within guide you on.
Michelle xxx

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Time for Family

Christmas for me is a time for Family and Friends, letting them know how much they mean to me all year round not just at Christmas. Today I had a very special bonus. My Aunt came to meet my Mother and myself bringing with her, her Son, my Cousin and his family who now live in New Zealand where he is a ranger. I haven't seen him for so long and it was just wonderful to catch up with him and his lovely wife and daughters. The years just peeled away and it was if I had seen just yesterday. Lots of laughs and stories...
Their girls are such lovely girls and I was thrilled to see them again. Their Mum took this shot so we took it in turns as I wanted to make sure she was in the next one.

This is my Aunt, my cousin and my Mum.
It was wonderful to see photos and hear about the beautiful part of the world in which they now live. It made my day.  I am definitely saving up both money and courage (sitting on a plane) to go for a visit.
Another beautiful gift from Rose Petals from Heaven.
Blessings Michele xxx

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lovely Blogging Friends

This year I have been blessed with some gorgeous handmade ornaments from my blogging friends and I thought I would share them with you.
Aren't they cute. There is a sweet little Christmas toadstool from Shez,lovely checkerboard heart from Cheryll, beautiful ornament with gorgeous handpainted button from Marina , cutest little beaded Christmas tree from Christine, sweetest little gingie minus nibbles from Fiona and such a beautiful crystal star from Liz.
This next photo is of a lovely Santa handpainted by the very clever Teresa. He almost missed out on a piccie as he was very happy amongst the branches of the Christmas tree.
Thank you lovely friends. It is so nice to have you on my Christmas tree.
I don't know about you but the madness of this time of year really ends up getting to me a bit and so I try to keep it simple and do as much as I can as early as I can to avoid the craziness....sometimes you JUST have to venture out. Like I did yesterday but when I finally got around to blog hopping I wondered in childlike awe at the beautiful graphics of Rose Petals from Heaven. Which have the ability to just make you feel better. Here is a little peak and they are two of my favourite things as well .....
And this gorgeous fellow is helping me feel a whole lot cooler in this Queensland Summer heat...
AAAhhhh! Thank you Mo.
I hope you are maintaining your equilibrium out there and that your Christmas Spirit hasn't lost it's Jingle Bells
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Secret Santa Sack Reveal & Tuesdays Treasure

OMGoodness!!! Today is the day we get to open our Secret Santa Sacks, a wonderful swap by the very lovely Cheryll of Gone Stitchin' who just happened to be my swap partner. I have been THROUGHLY ruined not just spoilt. Look at all this gorgeousness. It wouldn't fit in the beautiful bag Cheryll made me.
Here we go!!!!! July and August....
Everything was themed...ooh how I love a theme. Gorgeous shoe bags, the sweetest little cup and saucer in matching shoe box and then a gorgeous red scarf, initialled hankie and hand towel set.
But wait there is more. Next we have September & October.....
More pretties. Lovely stationery in a gorgeous box, smellies and beautiful coathangers (guess this means I also get to have something on them) and the sweetest tatted book mark and a pretty keyring.
November & December...
More favourites here. A curly wurly scarf YAY! love those, chokkies & Christmas hand towel and the sweetest tool bag complete with supplies. I was hankering after one of these when I saw it on Cheryll's blog.
I am a huge fan of Robyn Pandolph and can you see that gorgeous bundle of fabrics....dreamy!
My Christmas gift which I could not save (sorry too feverish) is the most beautiful table runner made from the same range of fabrics.
Isn't it just beautiful. Cheryll has been very naughty. She asked me for a list of things I like and so I gave her a list of quite a few things thinking it would be helpful to her for ideas....NEVER did I think she would give me the list I think in it's entirety. A very naughty Elf but ohhhh sooo NICE!!
Thank you so much Cheryll for your thoughfulness and kindness. You have enriched my festive season a hundredfold. I feel very spoilt.

Tuesday's Treasures:
As this is the last one for the year and a real favourite of mine as is my lovely friend MELODY who is our hostess I had to join in. As you have been aware having been bombarded with my mad Christmas decorating and especially my memory tree it is a treasure to me. Today treasure today is however my Christmas gift from my Mum for my tree. I have been allowed to open it as she wanted to see it hung on my tree. So here is my gorgeous Royal Doulton Old Country Roses Peace Dove.
Being a gift from my Mum it will always be a treasure. I am getting a little collection of OCR ornies now.
Why not pop on over to Melody's see what other treasure is being shared.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Very Special Day

On Saturday as most of my followers know my brother and sister and I hosted a little surprise afternoon tea for our Mother who turned 80 last week. She knew something was afoot but not what. It was so wonderful to be able to surprise her.
All of her family and friends were there. All her children, grandchildren and great grand children. Even my nephew who works in Western Australian flew in to surprise her. We haven't all been in the one place at the same place since I don't know when. It was wonderful.
A friend of my Daughter made and decorated the cake. Mum loves bright happy colours so it was perfect and the cake itself was chocolate and vanilla marble cake...gorgeous.
Here is Mum cutting her cake with her younger brother (my Uncle John) by 12 months cheering her on.
He is a talented woodturner and he made my Mum the most gorgeous pen from purple gidgey wood.
There is only the two of them left now. He also gave her the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers including old fashioned tea roses and their beautiful perfume is pervading my living room.
Aren't they just gorgeous.
This is my sister, myself, my Mum and my little brother (who last week had a bad accident in the wet coming off his motor scooter, very lucky boy!!!)
Mum was also very thrilled with the long hexagon quilt I made her...
We stayed on for a family dinner and fell into bed very tired and happy little vegemites.
Happy Birthday Mum.
"A Mother hold her children's hands for a short while but holds their hearts within hers forever"
Blessings Michelle xxx

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 5 - Week of Christmas

Welcome to Day 5 of Cheryll's week of Christmas. My offering today is another Plum Purdy design on a wooden candle block. Each side has something different. There is a Snowman, reindeer, gingie and plum pudding. I top it with pip berries and a cranberry candle.
I also love Thomas Kinkade's work. He is a wonderful artist and is known as "The Painter of the Light" I have a Winter Santa with a winter scene painted inside his coat....
His companion is a gorgeous snowman with a scene painted on his front...
I read his life story in a book called "Home for Christmas". A very heart warming story.
This is a close up of wooden tree where I hang some ornaments I painted and a few extras like my little Elf Boots.....
A couple more ornaments. A stocking from Harrods...
The next two are from the Czech Republic. The glass heart is so very heart stops every year when I unwrap hoping it is still in one piece...
The little embroidered bells in the corner are from Malta.
I love my ornament from Banff in Canada....
The beautiful bell  beside it is from Croatia.
Last but not least a beautiful handmade snowman ornament ( I think it is from Germany but my book is packed away so I am not positive)
Before I go I just wanted to share what I made for my lovely friend Kay who had a "big special" birthday recently. I thought I had blown it because I temporarily forgot she reads my blog and I posted the makings on a Friday Night Sew in. Thankfully she didn't see it and I can now show you how it turned out.
It is a needlecase with her Initial embroidered in flowers on the front. I loved stitching it for Kay.
This is the inside.
That's it from me for today. I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I am very excited as tomorrow we are having my Mum's 80th surprise afternoon tea. She doesn't know what's going on  it is so funny. I will be able to at last give her the quilt I made her.....very excited here.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 4 in Week of Christmas

Day 4 folks in Cheryll's week of Christmas  Have we seen yours yet??? Have you popped over to see all the lovely decorating around in Blogland? Oh there is some gorgeous Christmas candy to see.
I thought I would share a couple more ornaments but first a little piece of my Frosty corner on my hutch. I really love painted Christmas decorations and this one is a fav....snowman and gingerbreads...
Speaking of Gingerbreads, this is a little 'gingie' corner of my kitchen.
Are you ready for another lot of ornies.
Firstly a lovely frosty wedgewood one.
These next two hale from Canada and the silver snowflake is from the New York Metropolitan Museum.
Lastly a hand painted glass one from Austria.
Keeping in the Christmas Spirit yesterday I took my Mum to my Stitching Friends Group Christmas lunch. We had the loveliest time. The girls all bought little gifts for my Mum so she would feel included. She was so touched by it all. Here we are enjoying ourselves.
Our lovely friend Jacky hosted our lunch and she decorated the table beautifully. We all bring a plate and always end up with a delicious feast. Aren't we a good looking bunch...a real bevy of beauties.
In case you were wondering Santa obviously thought I was VERY good this year and my wonderful Secret Santa Kay made me the most gorgeous "Frosty" table centre which just looks great under my Frosty tree.
I have said it before and I am going to say it again, I feel so blessed to have these special ladies in my life and their kindness to my Mum really touched my heart.
"Friends are the gift you give yourself"
Blessings Michelle xxx
PS Do you want to see more ornaments or are you sick of them???