....ohh and pencils and paper

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wild & Woolly Weekend

Good morning everyone. What a weekend!!! My heart goes out to all those poor people who suffered through the 2011 floods and have had and continue to have the most anxiety ridden time. Some residents in the Lockyer Valley, Gympie and Ipswich have only just finished repairing their flood damaged homes from last time. Poor Bundaberg or "Bundy" as it is affectionately known to Queenslanders is suffering so much. I have family between Bundy and Maryborough so I have a soft spot for this  beautiful area of our state. Thankfully all my family are safe. Hang in there Bundy!
We were safe and dry for which I am extremely thankful for....a bit of a river through our side garden but nothing whatsoever to complain about.
The wind was shocking and we fully expected to find our very tall palm trees blown out of the ground but they stayed put.

Our Son and his little family lost power 1pm Sunday and are still waiting for it to be restored along with many others but at least they are safe and so is their home. Cooked brekky and some hot showers were in order from the parents and happily given.
Today, despite all that has gone before I have to mention that is a very special day because our eldest Grandson....
Starts Prep year at school. I know it is a cliche but the time seems to have flown by. His Grandad and I are wishing him a wonderful day. He is very excited and keen to go. So you just know I will have piccies in the uniform coming too.
On the sewing front it was more quilting....
and quite a bit of DVD watching and keeping a check on our fellow Queenslanders via the News.
I hope that everyone is restored to their homes as quickly as possible and that the suffering and clean ups aren't too drawn out for them all. My prayers also go out to those in NSW now facing more of the same.
Blessings and Prayers to all,
Michelle xxx

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Australia Day & FNSI

A very Happy but soggy Australia Day from me..
Mr R. loves Australia Day and we had planned a day in the pool and a barbie with the family. Alas a bit damp but as our barbie is on the verandah  our lunch was not affected.  we decorated the table as you can see. You can also see the weather did not dampen the mood of the cook either.

Each year we are 'encouraged' (forced) by the man above to wear an assortment of very tacky Australiana he has sourced with great amusement and then we allow people to take photos of us....(several family members threatened violence if their photos appeared anywhere in cyberspace) duly noted!!!
See what I impressed is Grandson no 1.
Sometimes it's easier just to give in...DD and eldest Grandson
The boys in I don't know what???? Mohawks I think. Silliness aside we had a lovely barbeque lunch....some lamb of course. We also had lamingtons
Some very cute Aussie themed patty cakes
A delicious caramel tart, which I cannot show you a photo of as we ate every last crumb.
The boys loved the cupcakes although the youngest liked how they looked more than how they tasted. One koala cake gone!!
Not so the other chap....our cake quality control officer...
Crikey mate we had a bonza time (sorry but it had to be said).
I have had such a busy last couple of days I completed messed up the linking up and such like for
So I do hope I am excused this time. I was however stitching along with you all. I was very busy hand quilting the "Strawberry Quilt" and I am now on block two.
With this weather we are having I think I will be doing a lot more of it over the next few days. Even though I am a bit late I am going to pop over to HEIDI'S  to see what everyone else was up to last night.
That's it from this very tired Aussie girl. I can hear my lovely chair calling to me already. I hope that however you celebrated this wonderful country of ours today it was with gratitude for this amazing place in which we live and also kept all those in our hearts among us who are dealing with the consequences of when this rugged and sometimes harsh land of ours decides to not play very nice.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wednesday Night Stitching.

On Wednesday night my friend Diane asked me over to catch up for the New Year, wish our lovely friend Sue a Happy Birthday and do a bit of stitching. I wanted to share with you a beautiful bed topper that another friend Theresa was hand quilting for Diane. It is cross hatch quilting and has beautiful needleturn applique decorating it. Also stitched so beautifully by Theresa. Here is a very happy Diane (left) and it's very talented creator Theresa (right)....
Isn't it just gorgeous!!!
Here is Sue with some of her birthday loot.
Diane had told me that she had also invited a friend that she used to work with who loved to stitch to come along as well. Monica was just lovely and had 2 gorgeous bags she had made that we just drooled over (forgot to take a photo). In the course of our conversation it turns out Monica is one of my lovely followers and recognised "Strawberry Quilt" I had taken along to work on.
Talk about a small world. We had such a good time we are going to do it again real soon.
As you all know talking is something I seem to do very well so only a few quilting stitches got done on my quilt. I haven't much stitching as I am playing host to a little almost 5 Grandson. I did however manage to get some stitchery on to another journal cover but it is just a sneaky as it is a gift too.

We have had a little rain from the edges of the northern cyclone I think so even though it is higher humidity at least it is a little cooler around here. Have a great Friday everyone. I am off to do a little hand quilting.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow.

Being somewhat cooler today and even a little sprinkle of rain...lovely, I was having a little investigation of a burst of colour outside my front door. Turns out my sweet little orchids are coming into bloom.
They are beginning to peek out everywhere.
They always make me smile. They are so delicate and just so pretty.
I was up early this morning as it was time to baste the 'Strawberry Quilt'.....
I got it all done before breakfast. Feeling pretty pleased with myself I thought I would keep going and baste No 1 grandson's I spy after breakfast and isn't it always the way 3 pieces of different sized batting and all a smidge to small...aarrghh! Normally I would add a bit here or there but as it is to be well and truly loved I wanted it to be in one piece. So just as I was assessing the deviation in my mornings plans my lovely friend Ann arrived from up the coast for a coffee and a chat while she waited for her DH to come out of surgery (get better quick Mr H.) Isn't it wonderful how the sight of a friends face just turns your day around.
We had a good old catchup and chat not to mention a very nice morning tea.
On the stitching front I have done a little more on my Easter mini and Bunny now has a face.
I also finished another journal.....I am starting to think maybe I have a problem already....can't seem to stop as there is another waiting in the wings as I type.
It actually looks prettier in real life and doesn't have it's gizzards yet. Sorry! Notebook.
Well I am off to clean up my dining room table and put away the non fitting wadding and I Spy quilt until I can get some more. I also think I am going to be tied to a certain Strawberry quilt and a hoop as a deadline looms quickly ahead.
Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, January 21, 2013

Making a Journal

Good morning. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. The heat found us again on Saturday so it was another day of family cooling off in the pool and a little stitching. I also couldn't get my nose out of my book on Sunday. When I caught up with my friend Noela last week she had made some lovely journals and she showed me how she had made them and encouraged me to have a go which is just what I did.
I was really pleased that I could follow the directions (amazing for me, that's why I design my own becasue I am really bad with instructions). I started with a very plain one to see how the pattern worked although I was a little nervous as I love this fabric. I
 then got a bit braver and I even added a little stitchery to one to use as a gift for a special someone.
These two are completed and I began another one.....
They are very addictive. My only complaint would be that even though I used an A5 journal I think perhaps it may have been a touch too big as they were a very snug fit. Could also be my sewing as I have said before there always seems to be a discrepancy between the tape measure and my brain. Never mind this measure twice and cut once. I can measure 20 times and still cut it wrong. LOL. I am going to have a look at some other brands of journals and I am hoping that if I make a few more they will get better.
On Friday the lovely postie bought me a sweet little note from Cheryll. You see we had a swapper who let her partners yes 'partners' down in recent swaps and I volunteered to be one of the monthly Angels (which I loved) and as a thank you Cheryll sent me 2 of her lovely quilt labels. Thank you Cheryll.
Aren't they cute! Now on the subject of swapping you will see on my sidebar the pledge button. It lets everyone know that I have taken the pledge to be a responsible and caring swapper. If you click on the button you can read about it and take the pledge too.
My thoughts about sending someone a gift are "If you don't like it or wouldn't want to receive it chances are your swap partner won't either" so think about who is receiving your gift and give from your heart (which does not have to mean expensive just thoughtful) and not your junk draw. If you can't commit to it DON'T do it. There is no shame in saying "sorry not this time" and it will save a whole load of disappointment (a) for the recipient and (b) in yourself for letting them down. So be a kind and thoughtful swapper :)
Here endeth the lesson!!!!
I wish you all a safe and wonderful week,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Friday, January 18, 2013

FTF with Shay

I am just sneaking in for FTF.... today I am afraid my Favourite is an oldie but a goodie for me. I even think it was a favourite this time last year first guided Yoga class for 2013 with my sweet friend Helen.
Helen provides a beautiful class and even though a daily practice at home is lovely, there is nothing quite like putting yourself in someone else's hands and being guided through it.....AND great news I didn't need two mats side by side and I didn't have spillage over the edge. Lying on my mat always feels like home.
So as boring as it might be this is far and away my 'favourite'. I am off to visit SHAY to read about other favourites so why don't you come too or  better still post one of your own.
I have been doing a little more secret stitching....
Wonder what this will grow up to be and where it is going???? I am having a lot of fun with this. I do love a secret or three.
My Mum who has just left to go home :( left me the new Monica McInerney book "The House Of Memories" to read.
So I am looking forward to losing myself in this one.....great to know we have such wonderful Aussie authors.
I wish you all a great weekend. Another hot one for us as the nice reprieve we had is now history and worse for finding a cool spot is on the agenda.
Take care,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lovely Morning Catchup

Even the incompetence of one of our telecommunication provider could spoil the lovely day I had today.
Firstly I have to say I only went to get backing fabric on the way to my coffee date but these fabrics followed me home.....didn't even know they were there until I found them on the back seat of my car.
Don't you just love raspberry red!!!!
I then headed off to meet my lovely friend Noela from Quilty bits from the blue room. A lot of you will have visited her lovely blog. Noela and I spent 3 years together at college playing in clay and glazes. Lost touch and then met again at a Bloggers meet here in Brisbane. We had lots to chat about and share including a little show and tell. No photos as the Coffee club is not conducive to flinging quilts about although I did try.
We did indulge in a 'tiny' little citrus tart. We then conned the waitress into taking this photo so she could have the table as we had chatted for absolutely ages. We had the nicest time and had a huge giggle over a photo I found from those days and NO we won't be sharing it. LOL! All I can tell you is that I was half the woman I am now and the jumper I was wearing reinforced my belief that giving up knitting was a smart move on my part. Thanks so much Noela....gotta do it again soon.
I hope you have spent the day doing something you enjoyed too.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some Sneaky Stuff & Show & Tell

It seems that a lot of 'sneaky' stuff for swaps is going on already here in blogland and I am pleased to say I am right in the thick of it. So..............sneaky stuff No. 1
Doesn't look much I know but there are a lot of little stitches under there.
The other sneaky thing that has been taking up so much of my time and given me much angst is lots of planning, stitching and instruction writing for this......
I can now say thankfully that it is complete. There was a huge amount of work in this project but I am super happy with the results. I will tell you all about it fully in the very near future. I just thought I would give you a sneaky because I would hate you to think I have been lolling about eating chokkies and daydreaming (both of which are very acceptable past times to me) however such is not the case and it has taken up a huge amount of my time.
Well on to "Show & Tell".  I am in a birthday club and one of the sweet ladies in it with me PAT from Club Quilt Narromine  sent me a piccie of a project she had done from my "Christmas Fixins'" booklet. It is so lovely I asked Pat if I could share it with you all....
Isn't it gorgeous! I just love the spots and it is so beautifully stitched. Thank you Pat for sharing it with me.
Just had to say I finished Kate Morton's book "The Secret Keeper" and wow! Loved it and so sad it is over.  I didn't see the ending coming at all. If you haven't read it do yourself a big favour. Write faster Kate I need another fix already. I promise I will stop showing off now.....
Blessings Michelle xxx

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hello Monday

Hello all. I hope you have not all melted away in this heat and are still with me and are staying safe. For all of you lovely folk where it is cold we do wish you could send us some in the post.
I had a very relaxing weekend despite the heat and as a dear friend had her 60th birthday before Christmas myself and some other friends went to the "Willows" tea room at Mt Gravatt central for high tea to celebrate this wonderful milestone. I am ashamed to say I failed my duty as a blogger and horror forgot my camera. I felt like I had left one of my arms at home.
We were secreted away in a lovely little room with air conditioning and sat down at the prettiest table which was beautifully set with Lady Carlyle china.....devine. Now as I don't have any of that pattern (sob, tear drop falling) and I really wanted to show you how pretty it is, I found this one.
We also had a few of these slip past our lips in between the laughter and chatting.
It was a lovely after noon with very special people.
Sunday saw me tackle the little boys I Spy quilts and I managed to get one top together with it's borders
and the other one is almost together. I still have a couple of rows to sew and borders to go on this one.
They aren't pressed very well and look a bit scrunchy but you get the idea. Master L saw his the other day and is giving me the hurry up about it..
I then got invaded by the future owners of these quilts for swims in the pool so no more sewing for me but it was lovely and cool and we had lots of fun and managed to devour Weiss bars and icy poles before retreating to the air con. to relax.
I hope everyone has a lovely week. I am going to leave you now and get cracking on a instruction writing project that I have been doing in drips and drabs and which really needs attention but one which I have been avoiding. So time to stop procrastinating and get on with it.
Blessings Michelle xx

Friday, January 11, 2013

FTF is Back

One of my favourite things is back......
Hosted by the gorgeous SHAY from Quilting in my Pjamamas This in itself could be my FTF however after finally de - Christmasing the house I have been finally able to use my gorgeous table runner made for me by the lovely Cheryll for Christmas. So this is it for today.
It looks so lovely on my dining room table and Cheryll has made it using another all time fav....Robyn Pandolph fabrics.
Aren't they gorgeous fabrics. I love it so much I have to stroke it each time I walk past it. (I probably shouldn't have said that out loud )I have one other 'fav' today but as you can't smell what I can I shall have to tell you that there is nothing I love more than the smell of these little beauties...
ripening and yes they are in a shoe box because up here in the tropics you have to fight for your homegrown produce. You have to beat the flying foxes and the possoms to your crop. So when the crimson blush comes on the mangoes off the tree they come trying to leave their stalks on so they won't bleed sap on themselves and into the trusty shoebox they go to a treat and as I said the smell is devine. These are a couple of baby "Bowens".
Pop on over to Shays FTF and share your favourite thing today.
On the sewing front I have decided I needed a little company whilst doing a little Christmas pattern for this year so a couple of friends are going to stitch with me which will be lovely. I'll show you mine and their progress as I go.
NOTE: with regards to my naughty little 'freebie' Angel, I have reloaded her and have had several girls tell me she is now working ok.....fingers crossed. I seem to create an error when opening it up for public access. I do hope you will all bare with me as I hope I will get better at it as I go along.
Have a lovely week end everyone. Please stay safe and try and stay cool friends here in Oz.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Year Freebie

Good afternoon all on this sticky hot day. Whilst deciding on my little freebies for you I noticed a lot of you are involved in Valentine swaps or like to stitch gifts for a special friend and so I thought you might enjoy my little "Heavenly Friends" Angel.
You would think that having already done 3 of these I would get the hang of it.....well in a word 'NO!' So goodness knows what you will get but I do hope it is this sweetie above. If not please feel free to let me know.
Enjoy Friends :)
I had the white ant man here today and so that requires a lot of sitting around and moving this or that so I couldn't really get into anything big so I sat and finished "Autumn"....

And then he was still here so I started "Easter".
After this one I only have "Winter" to go. Of course I had to have a 'frosty' but because I am a nice girl I will include an extra drawing for "Winter" for all those Aussies who prefer not to have a snowman.
That's it from me and a big thank you to my lovely friend up the mountain Fiona Bubzrugz for assisting me with some quality control in organising to get my 'freebie' on to my blog.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cherries and a Winner!

Every year my other half has an extravagant indulgence. He orders 2 kg of Tasmanian cherries and they arrived at our door yesterday morning. We are not extravagant people (quite the opposite) by any means but this is a little gift to ourselves each new Year.
Oh what a treat it is.....
They are so sweet and delicious and HUGE.
Speaking of fruit. I have all the borders on my strawberry quilt.
So backing, batting and into the quilting hoop are next on the agenda and then I'm afraid you will have to wait until later in the year to see the end result. I have to say I am quite pleased with the result.
WINNER: The winner in my little blog anniversary giveaway is..............
LESLEY from Cuddle Quilter!!!!!! Congratulations Lesley. If you could email me your snail mail address I shall send off your little win. Thank you everyone for taking part.
Today is our first stitching group catch up and as always can't wait to see the girls. I am sure "the jaw will be sore". We are expecting the higher temperatures that the southern states have been experiencing so not looking forward to that. Being with friends will help I am sure.
Do something kind for yourself today and treat yourself as your very best friend.
Blessings Michelle xxx