....ohh and pencils and paper

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bits & Bobs

I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend here in Queensland.
My Daughter has extended Family from overseas staying at the moment and we got together for a small gathering to celebrate my Son-in-laws you can't tell which sport he plays??
Melissa made another great variation of the Kit Kat cake.
The little boys had a ball and ran themselves ragged.....isn't it great to be cousins and love trucks and diggers together. They are so cute the pair of them and yes I know I am 100% biased.
I have been trying to get ahead a bit with my secret stitching....just a little sneaky look. Sorry it is a bit blurry!
I would like to share with you a little pic my Daughter sent to me I don't know who is responsible but I must say thank you as it is too cute. It combines two of my loves "Furry doggie people and Yoga".....
Who said Downward Facing Dog was a hard pose?
I love the expression on the little chap about to join in.....well it made me smile.
I am off to make a brew and get back to quilting.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Week That Was

Good Morning All. Friday has once again arrived leaving the week that was a blur. It has been such a lovely week for me catching up with friends and having the opportunity to see just how clever, creative, innovative and wonderful women are through their quilts and stitching. It really makes my heart and soul happy to see such strong evidence of this. The other thing that is wonderful amongst stitchers is their ability to share.
This week I received 3 more little packages of squares for my boys I Spy quilts. A lovely bundle from Fiona  Bubz Rugz, a sweet package from Susan from Susan's Sewing Space (with extras for future I Spy's) and also some cute squares from Marina from Maisie and the Boys.

Thank you so much girls, it will be so lovely to have a little bit of you all in my Grandies quilts.
Wednesday saw me down by the bay for my Friends stitching group at Gays home. I love it down there. We were a very small group as many are still away travelling. My friend Denise gave me this gorgeous package complete with real Lavender and as we were at Gays with all her gorgeous treasures found I couldn't waste a photo opportunity.
This is a belated birthday gift and is such because my friend dropped and smashed the first one and had to wait until she went home to her country town to get another. You see she knows I just love home made jams.
This jam is from the quaint little Queensland town of Nanango (my Grandad was Minister there many years ago). Can't wait to have a little try (or big try) of the contents of this jar.
On the sewing front I am starting to put the long hexies in to rows and have 4 done so far. Stitching the black however is proving to be a bit difficult on my eyes. I find I am nervous to look at what I have stitched in daylight.
I have also been doing secret stitching (not as much as I would like) and I am back basting the quilt that wouldn't play nice. I think it is going to have to wait until next year. I will show you a pic when it is done.
I have also completed the BOM "Merry Mistletoe" I was sharing with my online stitching group. I had to get a wriggle on because these girls were threatening to overtake me and a lot of you had asked me for a pattern. Want to see a pic.......
I had added a bonus block and made a little giftie bag with it.
I have finished the pattern and just need to get to the printers next week and then it will be available for all you people who have enquired about it. The price will be $16.50 Aus.
Now I also have STRICT instructions from the "Bossy Mouse" to tell you that her pattern is called "A CHRISTMAS TAIL" and just because her family name is "Mistlemouse" she is in no way related or involved with the quilt above. It appears "I" have confused you all and she is not amused. I am now in possession of the rest of her fabric and she is next on the list. I am beginning to think her name is "Moaner" Um Can Mice read???? Hope not or I will never hear the end of it.
I must fly I have a man coming to give me a quote on a new front screen door. Finally!!! It has been torn for so long since Miss Sophie and Doccy got overexcited when another dog went up the street and it looked dreadful. So YAY!! Then off to have a catchup coffee with my Bestie Ann.
I hope you all get to do something that makes your heart sing today.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday"s Treasure on Wednesday

The reason I was missing in action for TT was that I drove up the Range to Toowoomba to meet my lovely friend Fiona from BUBZRUGZ. You see we made a date a year ago for me to come and play and go to the Teapot Exhibition and visit Creative Fields exhibition as well. Toowoomba is just a picture at this time of year as it is also "Carnival of Flowers" time as well. The town is overflowing with gorgeous blooms everywhere you look.  Look at these Clivias. They were massed under this tree...I was excited because I had one Clivia in flower at home!!
We began our day with a tour of the lovely quilts and stalls on show at Creative Fields at Highfields and I got to see Fiona's gorgeous Butterfly Garden quilt in real! Her applique and embroidery on it are just beautiful ( I wish I had bought a bigger bag to snaffle it off the wall and bring it home with me)
We then headed into Town to the Teapot Exhibition and the sight of all that gorgeous china sent me weak at the there are quite a few pics. Not as many as I would have liked because (a) I was too busy talking to Fiona and (b) I was still too busy talking to Fiona.

We decided before we took in all this beauty we needed a Devonshire Tea. We had a tea & scones surrounded by vintage embroidered aprons and linen tea towels.
I was surprised at how many of the linen tea towels I recognised from my Mum and Nanna's collections. This is just a small selection of them... they were hanging from the ceiling and on the walls all around the hall.

There was a gorgeous display of all things 'Violets' in china.

Of course I had to have a photo of the Christmas offerings.
The most expensive piece of the collection is this sumptuous Silver Teapot on the stand....

We visited the Toowoomba Quilters quilt show and there were some very inspiring quilts there. Alas no photography allowed. We then headed off to a beautiful park for lunch...Laura Banks Park.
Fiona had made a delicious picnic lunch for us and we had it on a real Plaid tablecloth and real serviettes under the shade of the lovely trees and listened to live music.....just magic.

Our lunch was so yummy and very healthy and Fiona had made it look so gorgeous.....I have to admit to being led astray however and managed to devour several luscious strawberries dipped in chocolate. This is Fiona doing a quality control test before she gave one to me.

After our lovely lunch we did a tour of the park to look at all the beautiful flowers. I loved this bower of wisteria. It smelled so beautiful....
Fiona found some pretty pansies to perch next to.

To top off this wonderful day Fiona gave me a lovely gift package with a very cute 'selvage chookie', a mug rug which she thinks look like me ( I can certainly see the similarity in her ample proportions lol)handmade cards and handmade soap by Fiona and some very cute 'gingie' buttons. How spoilt was I.

I went home a very happy but tired little bunny. Thank you so much Fiona for sharing this lovely time in your town with me. It was such a very special day. I had the best time and I shall  remember it for a long time to come.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day Trip

You would think after 40 years of going on (long) day trips I would not trust my other half when he says "fancy a drive to Coff's Harbour" but no off we went...Jackson Browne in the cd player, grooving away. You see apart from his family and friends, sport and Holdens Gary's other big love is music and when the opportunity came to get his little mits on a pair of speakers he had hankered after since his youth he leapt at it.....trouble was they were in yep! Coff's Harbour. I thought we might get to stay the night and have a little look around but no he wanted to come straight home and play with them so all I got to see of the place was lunch here....
and some pretty pansies smiled at me while I was getting back in the car to come home.
I am therefore today retiring to my chair (while the installation of  'those' speakers takes place) with a bit of stitching and drooling over my new fabrics that I bought. I have been dancing around the Moda 3 sisters range Sentiments for ages and started out by buying a charm pack thinking that would ease the craving.
Well didn't work and  just made the hankering worse so I gave in an bought a few pieces.....
Oooohhh! it is just so yummy and gorgeous and so gloriously red. I have no idea what it will be for but I am loving just looking at it and ok yes stroking it....I admit it. I know you all do it too!! At least the husband being home curtailed the running through the house with the pieces streaming out behind me and doing the happy dance.
Ok Coffee Time and I shall be visiting your blogs from my chair.
Oh by the way 'the wonder speakers' do sound awesome (but don't tell him I told you)
Have a simply wonderful day and as Gary has proved it is never ever too late for a little dream or two to come true.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bloggers are Such Nice People

After reading about my I spy quilts for my Grandsons I have had lovely offers of fabrics from my on line friends one of which was SUSAN  from Thimblestitch. Her very cute squares arrived today and I know the boys will love them in their quilts and she also put extra shine on my day my surprising me with the sweetest little handmade thread catcher. It is just adorable and I love it.
Thanks so much Susan for your kindness.
I have been very busy and managed to get a few projects to the finishing line and am sewing the binding down on this one.
I would also just like to say a great big thank you and send  huge squishy hugs to all of you who left me such uplifting comments with regards to my interview on Bronwyn Hayes lovely blog Red Brolly. It was so kind of you all and I really appreciate it. With regards to the interview my Daughter Melissa took all of the photos and got generally driven crazy by her mad Mother for a whole day trying to decide what I wanted.
I shall leave you with a lovely photo  Melissa took while we were preparing for the interview. You can see more of her photography here. I just love this one.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh Sew Excited

To say I am a little excited would be a huge understatement. You see I have been keeping a little secret and today I can tell you I have been very blessed to have been interviewed by my favourite Aussie designer, the simply wonderful and very generous  BRONWYN HAYES  of Red Brolly fame on her gorgeous blog. Like you need reminding who she is. As a huge fan of Bronwyn's work from the very beginning I am so thrilled and I am trying to be very contained about it all but failing miserably....WOO HOO!!!

If you click on Bronwyn's name it will take you to the interview. Let me know what you think.
Thank you so much Bronwyn and Sanchia you've made my day.....and my week.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday's Treasure with Melody

Time for Tuesday's Treasures with my lovely friend MELODY My 'treasure' today has a little story. Yes I can hear you groaning and saying "don't they all". Many years ago we had a little extension put on our humble abode and in anticipation of it being completed I had put on lay-by (if you don't know what that is ask your Mother) a lovely rustic country kitchen dresser. I had paid it off bar about $50 and was due to pick it up after a 2 week vacation at the coast. When we arrived home I was rushed to hospital to have emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. When I regained some sense I reminded Hubby I needed to collect the dresser. He arrived at the little country store to find it totally empty....on further enquiries in the centre it turns out they had packed up in the middle of the night and as they say here in Oz "Shot through" Now this was no tiny store and it was packed to the rafters with furniture. I was devastated when a very ashen Husband told me what had happened. I had scrimped and saved for that cupboard. A week later when I returned home I found that my husband had managed to find one that was similar and arranged to have it delivered and in place when I got home. So I really love my dresser and I have totally ignored any references to it no longer being in 'vogue'
Don't care it will always be in vogue for me. So my treasure is my kitchen dresser.
As you can see I am no minimalist and I love that it holds a lot of my other treasures.
Why don't you pay a visit to Melody's lovely blog and see what other treasures are being shared.
I recently got such a fright reading on other people's blogs how many days until Christmas. The main reason being I have not finished the long hexagon quilt for my Mum's 80th in December. You may remember some posts about the lovely Japanese fabrics that she just loves. So I found the box, got them out and finished all the cutting out and recommenced stitching them. I now only have 12 more left to make and then I can sew the half hexies down the side and sew the rows together.
Still a few gaps but I am getting there.
The quilt in the "naughty corner" has now told me what is required and it does involve a little more work from me and some unpicking....yuk! So that's where you will find me today. Still nursing a horrible sinus headache but at least I feel better than I did over the weekend.....a day in your Jim Jams cures a lot.
A little quote I like to send you on your way.
"A good friend loves you in sunshine and in shadow".
Blessings Michelle xxx

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Weekend That Was

Here we are with a shiny brand new week stretching out ahead of us. My weekend was fairly quiet as I have been a bit off colour....a little bug has come to visit. I always think of comedian Billy Connolly when I say that as he once said he always visualized a little bug going around knocking on people doors when they said "oh there is a bug going around" LOL! Anyway I do feel a little below par so not much got done in the sewing department. The bits I do have to show you got done last week.....first MERRY MISTLETOE is coming together nicely and I have basted it ready to quilt. I really quite like it now even though at first I frightened the heck out of myself choosing these brighter fabrics...thinking "what WERE  you thinking my girl" but I just loved the spots and they went so well together and as I have decided it is now all about what I love here we are.....see the beautiful graphic at then end of this post.
I have also been wanting to make an I spy quilt for my Grandboys for a while so I started putting all the squares together that I have been collecting for ages....I thought I had stacks but still need a few more. So I will be on the lookout at the stores for some extras. They are very simple little quilts. Just 5 inch squares sewn together with a plain border but I think they will love them as they are two little boys who find the world to be a very interesting place.
Well that's it from me for today. I am going to leave you with two lovely beauties from my poor neglected garden. This pink geranium was a cutting permitted by the owner of a quilt shop (now closed )and is always a reminder of a great day out with friends and her lovely shop when it blooms.
and this pretty pink bottlebrush that I planted in memory of Steve Irwin. This one has really taken it's time flowering and I was starting to despair of ever seeing any blooms....but nature has it's own timetable. It is simply gorgeous and has gold tips that sparkle in the sunlight. Well worth the wait.
This gorgeous graphic is another beautiful offering from Mo from Rose Petals from Heaven and spoke to me immediately.
Enjoy your day,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some People Just Enhance Your Day.

Today I had my day enhanced considerably by gorgeous TERESA from "All Things Vintage" when we met for coffee as we had been promising to do since before I went away. Teresa's blog was among the first I began to follow when I began this blogging journey and I felt I knew her so well before I actually met her in person at the Brissy blogger's meet. We both love ' inpiring words', all things "Olde" both like to Journal, stitch and love a great piece of cake as you can! Caramel Tart!
The time just went way too fast and I could have easily talked with her for hours more.
You may have seen on Teresa's blog her post about Bryce Courtney's sweet little book "A Recipe for Dreaming". Well Teresa very generously gave me a copy as a gift. It is gorgeous. I love it.
It is beautifully illustrated by Anie Williams.
It's a little treasure of musings and beautiful sayings and to say it is right up my street would be an understatement. I have curled up in my fav chair this afternoon and devoured every gorgeous page.
As I said some people just make your life happier and this lovely lady is one of them. Her humour and wonderful positive attitude are a joy to be around.
Thank you Teresa for a wonderful time and also for my gorgeous gift I shall treasure it.
I hope your day had been enhanced by someone today too.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh Sweet William

I have been with my quilting friends for the day and even though we were a small gathering it was lovely as always. I didn't do much stitching, a lot of chatting though. However on the way I had to post parcels and I needed to buy some of this....
I needed it for a Santa sack and other bits. While I was there these gorgeous fabrics fell into my bag (n0t literally I did pay for them.
After a huge indulgence on my behalf in buying two of Michelle Hill's gorgeous William Morris Applique books earlier this year I have been collecting pieces of fabric for the applique to make one of these beautiful quilts. I have always loved William Morris designs since seeing them in an art book many years ago. I have not however been able to find some background fabrics I liked so that I could begin.......until today while pellon shopping. I know they don't look spectacular but oh what a treat when I lay all the collected fabric with them. YUM!
So now my only dilemma is how can I manage to needle turn all the applique in these blocks as they are designed for fusible applique and not whimp out and when can I start????? It is not like I have anything else on the go at the moment either.
I have been very good though and basted "Portabello" and have even quilted a little.
I noticed these beauties were coming into bloom as well. A bright spot in a very neglected garden at present.
Ya gotta love Mother Nature!
Enjoy your evening folks, I'm off to ponder the 'needle turn' dilemma and get brave.
Blessings Michelle xxx