....ohh and pencils and paper

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

I am posting early for Tuesdays Treasures with MELODY as I won't have access to the 'puter until quite late in the day as Hubby is working from home :)
My 'treasure' that I would like to share is my love of little houses and I have several little collections of them. Some were gifts, some I even won in a competition. Among my favourites are the ones I painted from designer Kerry English. A friend sent away to her for the cut outs and I painted them. They were a project in one of the magazines....sorry can't remember when and where. I love this little set. They represent all the things I love.....teacups in Rose tea rooms, a book shop, bake shop, florist, quilt shop and antique store. The only think missing is a yoga studio lol. So thank you Kerry for your gorgeous designs. I also have a collection of David Winters Christmas House ornaments that my friend Ann and I collect together. Sorry no piccies as they are packed away.

Thank you Melody for allowing us to share our treasures. Why don't you pop over for a visit.
Recently I have been trying to make my sewing room a bit more organised and having a little clean out and I am ashamed to say I found an assembled quilt, completely hand quilted except for the last 3 blocks. I had forgotten I had even started it. It is such a beautiful design by Rosalie Quinlan and I remember choosing some Northcott Quest for a Cure fabric and stitching it in the "Chicks in Pink" hot pink. I loved stitching it and cannot believe I forgot I had it. Soooooo! I am setting my self a little task of finishing it when the cooler weather comes.
I tell you I don't need that show "Believe it or Not" I just need to look inside my head. I might also add that I have since demolished my clean and tidy sewing room looking for some fabrics for some new projects. (sigh)
Lastly but certainly not least I am very excited to have 100 LOVELY FOLLOWERS *******
So thank you all you wonderful people who have chosen to follow my blog and let me know you think I have something of interest to offer. I appreciate you all.
"It's the people who live within the walls of a house that make it a home"
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, January 27, 2012

Favourite Things Friday with Shay

I am joining SHAY for my  weekly helping of fun with Favourite Things Friday. I have been up since the crack of dawn to get the house in some sort of order for the termite man's yearly check and let me tell you he looks "Everywhere!" It is so yukky, muggy and damp here I looked like a wrung out dish rag by the time I finished.
Thankfully we have a clean bill of health so I am celebrating by shouting myself one of my little favourites when I go shopping later today and that is lovely fluffy pancakes with syrup and ice cream....yum! the photo I am showing you is some lethal pancakes husband and I partook of in Yamba at a cute little place called Sweet Vintage Cafe when we were on holidays. I swear I could feel them zooming their way directly to my hips but they were so worth it.
My other favourite today and you know I can never have just one is Aussie Actor David Wenham especially in the two movies in my photo which we watched again yesterday for Australia Day. I just love these movies and he is fantastic in them. They make me laugh out loud. If you like dry Aussie humour give yourself a treat and watch them. "The Brush Off" is my fav out of the two but they are both great.

My troublesome project had managed to turn it self into a swan...thank goodness and so now I have to find some nice fabric to put "My Country Garden" together. I think it will be something simple but nothing is jumping out at the moment. Those blocks keep staring at me as if to say 'when is it our turn'.
Finally Just to let you know my pattern from the Cookies & Cream Christmas Club is now available for sale. I designed  a cushion called "Mr Meltin Mitten Mender" and is $13.00 AUS. Thanks to all you lovely people who emailed me to tell me you enjoyed stitching him and thought he was cute.
Enjoy your weekend everyone. We are housebound because hubby is on call but that means more stitching for me. Yay! Because.............
"A little bit of what you fancy does you a power of good" - by I don't know who but regularly expressed by my Grandmother.
Blessings Michelle xx

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY !!! everyone for tomorrow 26th January 2012. Pictured above are some of my Aussie favourites.....especially the Aussie poets. These books are illustrated by one of Australia's great artists....another favourite. Pro Hart.
It is so wet here there will be no picnic tomorrow but we DO have Lamingtons and Anzac bikkies for morning tea. Yay! Might even drag out "The Man from Snowy River". I love that movie!
I also managed to solve my mini fabric crisis and have a little sneaky for you. It will appear in Country Threads Magazine later in the year. I am excited now that it worked out and is finished. WooHoo!!

Well everyone however you decide to celebrate our special day I hope it's 'bonzer' and you eat some great tucker and you spend it with your cobbers and get to do a bit of "Waltzing with Matilda".....sorry couldn't help myself. Hooroo! LOL!
Blessings Michelle xx
P.S. The little koala in the teapot is by Logan sculptor William Jones who I used to shifts with at out local art co-op. I have several of his gorgeous pieces.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

Seeing as it is nearly time to celebrate Australia Day this week I thought I would share a couple of Australian themed treasures I love. I don't have a lot of so called "Australiana" but I do love Arnotts tins (even though they are no long Aussie owned) and our flora and fauna. The first treasure is 2 plates my Mum painted for me featuring our very cute Brushtail possum and a selection of our native flowers. I love them because she painted them for me and they depict things I love especially Mrs Poss' because she lives under my house. The second is a print I have in my kitchen and I have had it for many years and I think the artist is Les Miller (it's very hard to read down in the corner). It evokes so many memories for me when growing up and I just love it. Sitting underneath it  is a bikkie tin in the shape of an Arnott's delivery truck.

Do you have any treasures you would like to share. Why not visit our lovely MELODY who hosts "Tuesday's Treasures" and see who's sharing what.
I'm off to try and sort out fabric so I can finish a project that is just not playing the game. Why is it when you discover you don't have enough of the fabric you love for something.....nothing else seems to suit. I actually was dreaming about this wretched thing last night. As the song sort of goes "Some projects are diamonds and some are just stones". As it is not the end of the world I am sure it will work out in the end.
Enjoy your day.
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's in the Genes

Happy Monday every one. It is a very damp Monday in old Brisbane town this morning. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I wanted to share some photos of my eldest Grandson with my Husband, his Mum & Dad. They all went to "Thomas The Tank Engine's" day out. My husband as you know is mad for old trains so he was in his element. As was Master L.  especially when he got to have words with the Fat Controller and visit with all the other engines. I don't know who was more worn out......Grampy could hardly keep his eyes open in his chair last night. I think both train enthusiasts had a great day. So if you don't enjoy family pics you know what to do....
Grampy & L. it runs in the genes....

Finally! I've got control!

Deep & Meaningful with the Fat Controller (may be lining up some future employment)
Engine Driver of course!

Photo with No 1 engine "Thomas" Woo Hoo!

With Mummy

With Daddy
His Grandad loved spending the time with him and can't wait to go again. I think Mummy & Daddy will be happy to wait a while. I guess everyone is biased when it comes to their Grand kids but our boys are just gorgeous even after having a dummy spit 'cos we had to get off Thomas. LOL!
"If we could see life through the eyes of a child it would never tarnish or seem dull"
Blessings Michelle xxx

Friday, January 20, 2012

Favourite Things Friday with Shay

Here we are again at Friday which means I am joining SHAY for Favourite Things Friday.
I love to walk but have to admit I lose momentum from time to time. It is so nice to hear the Magpie's warbling in the early morning and busily getting their breakfast and hopping out of your way as you walk by. I have been having one of those phases of not wanting to get up and get out there lately but then my Husband bought himself a new MP 3 player that also has a radio so he can listen to the cricket on the train and he gave me his old one. He downloaded all my music on to it and I have been listening to it while I walk. Now I know that this is not a revelation to anyone but it has really helped me get moving again and get out of my funk. I do however have to remember NOT to sing out loud when approaching fellow walkers as that's a bit alarming for them. Ha Ha! Sorry still seeing the face of a passer by.
So getting the junk out of my trunk (and trust me there is a lot. I think I have a whole plum pudding in there) with the aid of my music is my favourite this Friday.
My husband also surprised me with a new CD I had been hankering after. Oh it is so 'mellow and gorgeous'. It's going to be added to my playlist real soon.
I am still tidying in my sewing room but some actual stitching must get done today.
I hope to see Mrs Magpie again in the morning gathering her breakfast and I hope you all enjoy your weekend and spend it doing something you love and with people you care about.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lunch to start 2012

Yesterday my friends from my stitching group decided to go for lunch to begin another year of  our special times together. Anne suggested we visit a little cafe at Norman Park called "Lash". The food was lovely and we had a great time catching up on each others doings over Christmas and New Year.  4 girls were absent but we will catch up with them later.
My husband gave into an extravagant whim when a friend came into work with these......cherries from Tasmania. When we had a holiday down there we bought a bucket yes a bucket from a road side stall and proceeded to give ourselves a tummy ache because we couldn't stop eating them. Anyway he decided to order a box (2kgs) which arrived on our doorstep on Tuesday morning. I have never seen such huge cherries and every one so sweet and delicious. I had to take a photo next to a 20 cent piece so you could see how big they were. We have such beautiful produce in Australia why are we not protesting louder about all the rubbish that is being allowed into our country at the expense of our own farmers. While our little purchase may not have been very eco friendly...mileage and all. I am glad we splurged and sent some of our hard earned Aussie dollars to an Aussie farmer in Tasmania. I think we all have to really think hard and check where our food is coming from and try harder to support Aussie growers even if we have to pay a little more which I know is difficult at the  moment to find the extra pennies but think about the alternatives.....pretty grim! My old Uncle Bill used to have a saying "if you pay peanuts you get monkeys" and whilst I too love a bargain I think we need to be a bit more savvy. I shall step down from my soap box now.
 I wish you all a wonderful day and hope that if there is no sunshine around you it is shining within you.
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

I am linking up today with our lovely host MELODY for Tuesday's Treasure. Why not join us and share your Treasure. My little treasures this week are two 3 inch glass vases. They are a beautiful rich golden orange although the photo is making them a yellowy colour and the colour seems to be between the glass...I can't work it out. Each has a rooster hand painted in black on the front. The reason they are so special to me is because they were given to my Grandmother for her 16th Birthday and then she gave them to me. I had always loved them as a child. They are nearing a 100 years old now. They still make we happy whenever I look at them.
Nanna's little "Chooky" vases
I also indulged myself with some Christmas money and bought up on some specials at the Fat Quarter Shop and I think I must be losing my mind. As those of you who follow my blog know I am not one to choose really bright colours to work in. Well not this time......I still love my purchases especially the spots but I have to admit I am thinking what the @#** were you thinking and what are you going to do with them. Obviously I felt the need to step right out of my comfort zone and I felt I needed a challenge......still thinking!
New fabrics and the photo doesn't show how bright they really are.
Lastly at the moment in our house we have a bit of a 'mexican standoff' happening over the little room where I sew. Hubby has covered one wall with a myriad of photos of his beloved commodores and the tiny built in wardrobe was chokkers with other memorabilla. Wait for it I threw a little hissy fit (I know I am ashamed) as yet another piece of Holden stuff did me an injury and so took possession of the shelves in the wardrobe and as I wanted another set of storage draws in the wardrobe (because I like to send you girls unscrumpled patterns) as well I convinced him he really didn't need all those shirts he insists on buying telling everyone he meets instantly where he has been and what he has been doing and he really should send them to Vinnies or Salvos so some one else will have the joy of showing others where he had been. He wasn't amused. Well talk about a back fire. He did divest himself of a few things which filled a huge bag BUT  also decided a some of his favourites jackets etc. (note I said SOME) smelled a little musty so could do with a good wash..........aaarrrghh! So the state of the nation is as follows - (a) I still have commodores all over one wall of the room (b) I have gained the shelves and exactly 15 inches of hanging space to fit my draws in and (c) I have a mountain of washing of the musty favs. I get the distinct feeling I have been slightly out manouvered....for the time being at least. However I will not give in until it is a commodore free zone and fabric reigns supreme here.
Have a great day and as for me I am back to cleaning up 'MY' sewing room and making my way through the washing.
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lovely weather for Ducks today

Well a little wet weather arrived here yesterday and has stayed. As luck would have it just as we were finishing our second day of removing some shrubs and trimming the Jacaranda tree. I have had a bad habit of thinking 'oh that's nice' wacking it in the garden and then regretting my decision AND getting into all sorts of strife with No 1 husband when he has had to be persuaded to help me remove the offender when I can't manage it. So I am banned without doing wads of research into what the plant will do. I even found a rose bush struggling away behind one of the hedge plants(very excited! If it can live this long without assistance from me we're on a winner) I also counted at least 7 orchid spikes with flowers while we were gardening. I love seeing them come into flower as my Nan gave me the original one and it always reminds me of her. We are trying to make a huge effort into making our garden more self sufficient so we can go travelling and not worry if they all dying or gasping for attention or if it will be turning into a jungle while we are away. Also No 1 Hubby can't swing a pick and axe like he once could to remove my mistakes and as I still love my garden a little pairing down has been necessary.
Beautiful orchids abound in my garden at the moment.....thanks Nan.
I did get some stitching done as well and I have a sneaky peek for you as these will appear later in the year and have to be kept under wraps until they come out in the magazine. I love doing these projects and I always get such a thrill when some of you lovely people take the time to write and tell me you enjoyed them and even send me photos of your versions. So thank you.
Sneaky Peeks......hmmm!
Enjoy your Monday everyone even if  it's a soggy one like mine.
Here's a little bit of truth from Paul Wilson's "Moments of Pleasure" to start your week -
"Audit Your Joy"
"Make an effort to appreciate the positive aspects of your life as it is now. Treasure what you've got and you can count on much more".
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, January 13, 2012

Favourite Things Friday with Shay

Can some one please tell me where this week has gone. Which brings me to the point that it is time to visit SHAY   and share a favourite for this Friday and see what favourites others are sharing.
My favourite today is the fact that I received a parcel from the Book Depository containing 2 books I have been wanting for some time. The first and most hankered after is "At Home with Beatrix Potter The Creator of Peter Rabbit" by Susan Denyer which is just beautiful. I remember when I first got the book out of the library and turned to the first page and saw the photograph of her paint box and I knew I would love it. The photography of Hill Top Farm which became her studio is so lovely. I have loved Beatrix Potter for as long as I can remember and as adult really loved her artwork. I visited all her stories again when I had my children. My copy is not as large as the library version but is completely intact and I love it.
The second book is Rachel Aswell's Shabby Chic. Whilst I am not into real shabby chic with everything white I love  seeing the recycled pieces get a new life in a beautiful way and as you who follow my blog know I can't resist and 'old' treasure especially if it has a story. So I have been having a lovely old time pouring over these two books from cover to cover and then starting all over again.
Lastly you may remember just before Christmas Miss Sophie came to visit while my daughter went on holidays. Well Miss Soph. got all dressed up for Christmas Day and I forgot to show you. So at the risk of sending you all screaming away by the mention of Christmas again here is Miss Sophie in her Christmas finery.
Miss Sophie very pleased with her Christmas finery....look at the smile.
"Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it." Eileen Caddy 'The dawn of Change'
Blessings Michelle xx

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday's Teddy Bears Picnic with Melody

Well my dear little bear is very excited about the picnic but hopes it won't be as hot as yesterday. I just call her Ellie I don't know her real name. She was a gift for my birthday in 2000 from my friend Ann and she also has a lovely stitched and handpainted portrait so she thinks she is pretty swish. I don't know whose design she is  but I am sure one of you lovely arctophiles out there will know her beginnings and be able to tell me (hoping). I'll still call her Ellie though because otherwise she won't answer me when I call. Ellie has her lovely pink summer outfit on and is ready to go.
Ellie and her portrait
She insisted on a close up. Talk about ego!
Visit MELODY to see who else is going on  the picnic.
As for me, my daughter and myself have a lunch date with George Clooney and his "Descendants". We are meeting him in a lovely air conditioned movie theatre.
"There is none I love so dear as my worn and raggedy teddy bear"
Blessings Michelle xx

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

Well one of my favourites things to do has begun again for 2012 and that is to join our wonderful host MELODY for Tuesdays Treasures where we get to share a 'treasure' we hold dear.
My treasure today is the quilt that started it all.  I am often asked how I started quilting and so this is it.I began this class with the wondeful and very talented Diane Johnson with absolutely no previous experience in quilting....just becasue I liked the quilt when I thought I might like this quilt making lark. It took me a very long time to complete it  starting in 1995 and finishing hand quilting and binding it in 2001, but I enjoyed every stitch and it taught me so much and you could say I found the 'love of my life' I was and still am truly smitten. I had no expectations of the quilt being difficult as I hadn't a clue about applique or any other form of quilt making. I just thought it was a lovely quilt and I wanted one. In fact when I joined a local quilt group they thought I was being smart alecky and didn't believe it was my first quilt. Goes to show our perception about things can limit our ability to try if we think it's difficult.
All the different techniques were covered. Reverse applique, whole piece applique, overlay. I loved them all.
I would have to say I still love this quilt above all others I have done. What is your treasure today?
"Stitching has the ability to join women from all ages and walks of life together with such loving threads".
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blog Anniversary winner and the weekend that was.

I couldn't begin this week without telling you where my heart lies. It is with all my fellow Queenslanders who suffered so much this time last year in the horrific January floods and up north with cyclone Yasi. Their courage to actually still be standing let alone trying to rebuild their lives is an astonishment to me. I cannot even imagine their pain and suffering especially those who lost loved ones and friends. I would also like to say how it gladdened my heart to witness the genuine goodness and kindness that poured into my home town and state from fellow Queenslanders, Australians and our friends overseas. It restores my faith in us as human beings and I have hope for our global family. So this is where my prayers are headed this week.
I was feeling much revived after my spot of self love and attention  so I tackled the de Christmasing of the house which took me all weekend I might say. It is however shiny and vacumed and polished (except my sewing room which is a whole other story). If you don't hear from me for a while I am probably trying to find my way out of this tiny room from under piles of fabric and other mayhem. Even though I love decorating for Christmas I love the feeling after it is all put away, everything clean and tidy (for a little while at least) and a new year begun.
All clean and shiny now.
This seasonal cleaning allowed me to finally use my beautiful runner and rose cushion I recieved from my lovely swap partner in WA Tarnyia. They look very scrumptious I must say.

Isn't it pretty?
My beautiful Rose cushion on the spare bed away from "Husband Head"
I also have a sneaky peek to show you what I have been stitching. Most are my designs the cute bunny is not and I am sure you know whose gorgeous design it is. I loved stitching this Bronwyn Hayes design...she is one of my favourite designers but I never seem to get time these days to stitch anyone else's. I am really enjoying picking up my needles and threads again after a little break.
Sneaky Peek!!
LAST but not LEAST is the WINNER of my Blog Anniversary Giveaway Ta Da! ALLIE from allie-opps Sweet Happy Life. Congratulations Allie and yes I can hear you groaning from here so cease and desist immediately and send me your snail mail address so I can send you your little giftie.
Another beautiful graphic from Mo at Rose Petals from Heaven
Thank you all for your lovely comments and continuing support and I look forward to another year of friendship, laughter and fun.
Blessings Michelle xx