....ohh and pencils and paper

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Thing Leads to Another

Not long ago I received a desperate plea from one of our blogging friends Susan of Thimblestitch on behalf of one of her lovely friends Patricia (not sure if she has a blog. Love to know) who was at a crucial part of Kate Morton's latest book "The Secret Keeper" only to discover she was missing pages...eeek! Can you imagine. Horrible for an avid reader engrossed in a wonderful book, anyway a remedy was delivered and today I received the most gorgeous card  with the most beautiful words chosen by Patricia and oh so pretty Cottage Garden thread in the mail from her as a thank you.
Now as I was contemplating her kindness and gazing at the gorgeous thread I felt as if I really wanted to use it on something special. After a little pondering I decided to get my 'long term (very long term) crazy patch blocks' ( some of you will have seen them before) out and ponder some more. This in turn led me to sewing all 9 blocks together.....
As I have wanted to do some layering and embroidery over the seams. Most of the blocks are complete like these two...
but there are others that need a lot more stitching on them. Which led me to source all my lovely threads, beads and notions and find a case to put it all in.
I want everything together so I can do a little whenever the mood takes me. These blocks are very special to me as I began them after joining a Crazy patch stitching group hosted by the wonderful and very talented Ruth Stoneley who passed away shortly after from breast cancer. I even have a few very special stitches in some of my blocks that were done by Ruth herself. So I would like it to be completed at some stage in the near future. So thank you Patricia for your kindness and for getting me inspired all over again.
I have backing fabric, batting and I am all set to sandwich the "Faerie Bear" quilts hopefully tomorrow.
I have finished stitching block 4 of my bear stitcheries and I bet you can't guess what she is celebrating???

Block 5 is in the hoop.
Today is a very special day as my lovely friend Teresa from All Things Vintage is celebrating a very special birthday so why don't you pop over and help her blow out "ALL" those candles. LOL!
I wish you a day as special as you are. *****Happy Birthday****
I am off to get myself ready to be out the door quick smart for a spot of stitching tonight with some friends.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More of the Same

I am hoping I will be able to get my webbed feet back into my shoes after the downpour here over the last couple of days. I braved the elements to get to Yoga yesterday so I think I am entitled to curl up at home today. I took some bikkies I had made from Christine's yummy recipe. They were a hit.
Mine are a little paler as I didn't have any essence and I subsituted a teaspoon of dissoloved coffee which was fine but I really want to try it with the chikory and coffee essence as I am sure it will maker them nicer.
I am now just doing the emboidery on "pink faerie bear (that's why she has thread across her face)
I assembled her in her top this morning and I should have sprayed and pressed before taking the photo.
Little "red faerie bear" now has a ladybird on her toes....
A little bit of stitching on ladybirds antenae and then it is backing fabric, wadding and quilting for both of them. I have both lots of binding all set to go.
As they say "Thats was all she wrote"
I am off to throw some more wet washing into the dryer. Somehow that just doesn't conjure up the image of a Domestic Goddess does it....
Wherever you are be kind to yourself.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Saturday, February 23, 2013

More Teddy Stitching

What is it about a blue sky and light breeze that lifts your spirits? After the miserable skies we have had lately I am delighted to see such a pretty day.
I have been very diligent in my bear sewing. First the finished applique block...
I then put a simple quilt top together but I think it looks rather sweet.
She also has a garland of red guipure lace daisies and I think perhaps a lady beetle on her foot in the works. I am going to bind it in the red check. No borders. I like that look.
I also began "pink" Faerie Bear...poor thing has no face yet.
My little stitchery bears have not been neglected either and I managed to finish block 3 and start block 4.
They are such fun to dress in threads and stitch. I am loving it.
Lastly my "Tea & Roses" table runner is a new project in the latest Country Threads Magazine.
I used some of my dwindling stash of favourite Robyn Pandolph fabric for it. Does anyone else stroke their favourite fabrics and sigh or is it just me.
Enjoy your weekend all.
Blessings Michelle x

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Applique Time

I am starting to applique the flowers on the "Faerie Bear" strip. I like how it is looking. I did however forget how long it takes to applique one of these. I only got one and a bit done last night before bed at 11pm.
Poor bear is looking a bit like me.... a bit wrinkly in this photo. At least she will smooth out after a bit of a press unlike me LOL!

So lots more applique to come.
Yesterday I had placed in my hot little hands the 4th book in the Woody Creek series by Joy be honest I have been hanging out for it. Yay!!! Now I am too scared to open it as I KNOW nothing else will get done until it's done. Plus also found out there is another in this series....oh my goodness!

Lastly but by no means least I wanted to tell you about my lovely blogging friend Karen at Sunburnt Quilts I received a lovely gift from Karen in the post after admiring these little sweeties on her blog.
If you pop over to Karen's blog you can see them in all their gorgeousness. Aren't I lucky. I really feel the need for a little rustic white tree with some of these hanging on it. Of course some for the grandies as well.
Karen tells me the "Sewing Connection" stocks these cute patterns as well as 2 other lovelies by Karen.
I think they are just adorable. Thank you so much Karen.
I am now off to 'hunt & gather' for the next week....imagine if you didn't have to eat. I would be thin and drowning in piles of fabric purchases. But then there would be no TimTams...hhmm!
Thank you also for the wonderful response I have had to my "Stitcher's Alphabet". You gladden my heart.
Enjoy your Thursday,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Decisions, Decisions.

You may remember my gift for my dear friend Helen.... the journal with the Initial on it.
Well of course you know me and I couldn't just stop at one so I ended up drawing the whole alphabet and have been trying to decide whether to put it into a little booklet style. The trouble was it was a big waste of paper having 1 letter on each page.  After much uming and ahhing I decided to just put it into pattern form and have 2 to 3 letters on each page. So I now have it all printed up...
As you can see by the sneaky of the other letters they are very cute. So useful for all those stitching friends gifts as well. You are only limited by your imagination as to what you can use them for. If you would like to purchase one the price is $14.00 Aus the same as the booklets. Just email me if you would like to purchase one.
I thought I would also give you a sneak peek of the un-glamourous side of designing.
Thankfully I got all pattern assembly done and we may even get dinner on the table.
I am very excited about these particular patterns. I do love them all as they are my creations but you can't help but have little goals in your mind as you go along. One of mine was to have a BOM but I had no clue how one went about it. Cue the very lovely and generous Marilyn from the gorgeous shop The Patchwork Teahouse at Warburton in Victoria. She loved my show and tell at the bloggers meet at her shop last year and wanted it for a BOM. Her help has been invaluable and I am thrilled to be able to tell you my quilt is hanging up in her gorgeous shop and we are all set to go. This is the quilt completed.
It is called "Christmas Memories" and has literally been created all over Australia as I stitched it on our Outback adventure. A little close up.
I have learnt a lot during this process. It is so easy to get caught up in the "I am not good enough game" and 2nd guess yourself but one of the main things I learnt is that I really want people to know when they look at one of my patterns that not only does it look hand drawn and home made but it actually was... it is who I am.  At the end of the day I can only put forth an authentic version of myself to be happy. So I am very pleased with how they turned out in the end.
If you are interested you can pop over to Marilyns and let her know.
Well that is it for me today....enough work. Tomorrow I am going to happily go and play with my friends and chat and stitch. I am really looking forward to it.
Enjoy your evening.
Blessings Michelle xx

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Monday

Good Morning all from (rainy) old Brisbane today. I have been slaving over instructions and assembling patterns this morning and decided to take a break and have a cuppa with you for a while. I also wanted to tell you something rather exciting about my Family. I have been hugging a gorgeous secret to my heart since last year. I am going to be a Nana again not Once but Twice very soon. The first little person is coming in about 10 weeks and the second about a month after we are doubly blessed and just can't wait to meet them both on the outside. It has been so hard to keep from blabbing I can tell you.
So of course quilts are needed and both my girls are very different. DIL loves bright and funky colours particularly red while DD likes more pastels and is definitely a fan of pink. So here is what I have done so far.
I still have some bright flowers to applique around this Beary Faerie and I am going to reverse the bear and  change the flowers for butterflies in the 2nd quilt and I am using these fabrics for No 2. so they will be a bit different.
As you may have guessed we have had the results of scans. Me I am hoping they are right ( please don't relay any stories to me about scans being wrong as I am sure I have heard them all) otherwise there will be some panels quickly purchased and they will be getting in touch with their feminine sides early. I could not decide what to do for ages but I am happy now with my Happy Bear Faerie and hope they will be too.
I have enjoyed my cuppa with you but it is back to the instruction writing now.
I do hope wherever you are you get to do something you love.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Back with the Bears

I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday. I have been relaxing and playing with my much neglected Bear stitcheries. I have managed to finish 2 blocks and I am working on the 3rd.
Gee I have missed them. I am loving choosing their colours and stitching them. I have a couple of other projects I need to be working on as well so I am keeping my bears close so they don't go back in the cupboard because we are having so much fun together.
I have also been playing with this fabric.
I will share what I am doing a little later when I get a bit more done.
Ok back to the bears, coffee and a wee chokkie.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Vanishing Week & a Winner

Happy Valentines Day to you all.
A gorgeous little gift from Mo of Rose Petals from Heaven to inspire you.
What a week, it has just flown by in a blur. I was lucky enough on Tuesday to catch up with the very lovely Khris from Sew Prim Khris  for a coffee, chat and a bit of retail therapy. Came home with some cute pressies for the grandies. Unfortunately no photo as I forgot to take my camera.....senior moment. It is so nice to finally meet bloggy pals in the flesh so to speak. We have vowed to repeat the experience. Thanks Khris for a lovely time.
Around Christmas time Mr R. was asking me how did I want to celebrate "That" birthday which is coming up for me in the middle of the year. I really didn't want a big party and then I heard that my very favourite of all times and forever singer was coming to Brisvegas. So even though it is months early I decided that this would be a perfect way to celebrate for me. No other contenders. I was very happy to be perched in the rafters just to hear her sing and play all my favourite songs.
Now we are a family of moderate means so when Mr R. came home a couple of weeks back with these....
Gold seating no less I was completely blown away. Sooooo last night I got to share the same space with Carole King. Amazing!!!!! What a woman!  If you for one minute entertain the idea that you are too old to do something let me tell you this woman sang, grooved and played the piano for over 2 hours and she just turned 71 years young.  I did take some photos but forgot to take the big camera and my little one was in a word pathetic but I had to post just one for posterity.
Wanting to hear Carole King sing live has been a very long time coming so I did what all crazed fans do and
lashed out on the program and bought the T-shirt. I am one very happy woman (and so is the girl that still lives inside who wore out her "Tapestry" record, cassette and 2 Cds) that I got to celebrate this special milestone in my life (even though it's early)in this way. Needless to say Mr. R. is on the NICE list for sometime to come.
I was a tad weary this morning as I was too excited to sleep soundly but Mr R. who had a couple of leave days wanted to go and see the film LINCOLN which we did and we thought it was brilliant.
I have only managed a tiny bit of stitching this week. I have gone back to my much neglected little bear blocks and am still on block one.
That is it from me. I am sorry I have not been able to get to read everyone's posts. I have been trying but I think I am going to have to just begin a fresh.
Enjoy your Valentine's evening.
Blessings Michelle xxx
PS Oh I nearly forgot the winner of 500th post giveaway is Sandy N from Sandy's Patchwork Angel.
Congratulations Sandy! If you can email me with your snail mail address I shall get your parcel off to you.
Thanks everyone for all your wonderful comments.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More Candles to Blow Out

Last night we went out for an early dinner to celebrate a special young man's 5th Birthday. Our eldest Grandson.
It's very thirsty work being the Birthday boy and turning 5 (love the cheeks) . It is also thirsty work being almost 3 and helping your cousin celebrate.
Thank goodness apple juice comes in big sizes. It was all good fun, great dinner and the chocolate cake was delicious.
Cutting the cake with Mummy and Daddy's help and his mate, his younger cousin watching proceedings. So much cuteness at one table...I know extremely biased Nana here.

I have been missing the last few days as I have been in top gear getting all the hand quilting done on my
"Strawberry Fields" quilt as it is now officially known as. Yesterday afternoon I put in the last stitch.
Yippee! Woo Hoo! are just a couple of words that spring to mind. I adore hand quilting but the weather has made quilting this one a bit of a trial so I am glad it is off my lap. Now just the instructions to do and then it will be shipped off and you can see it in all it's glory a little later on in the year.
I have today indulged myself in reading all day non stop. My newest book is the first of a series of three my friend Bev introduced me too. They are written by brilliant Aussie author Joy Dettman and I literally could not put it down until I finished it and then immediately picked up number two which I also had to tear myself away from to write this post.
It is one of my most favourite things....having a book you cannot put down.
I hope you have had an enjoyable I'm off back to my book.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

500th post

Oh my goodness!! 500 posts! Seems like I only recently posted about number 400. I am not going to wax lyrical. You all know how much I appreciate your lovely comments and support. I am however going to have a little giveaway to celebrate.
The latest Country Sampler magazine, a Moda mini pack (Cinnamon Spice), Gingerbread Kisses stitchery booklet (what else goes with cinnamon and spice) and a cute card referring to...yep chocolate.
If you would like to be in the draw just leave me a comment to that effect. I will draw it next week.
Good Luck!
I consider myself a glass 3/4 full type of girl but after watching ABC's Foreign Correspondent last evening I felt rather discouraged. The topic was the decimation of our wild elephant population in Africa by poachers for the illegal trade in ivory (which is supposed to have been outlawed many years ago) The focus was on the brave and dedicated African rangers who risk and lose their lives trying to halt poaching and the Aussie foundation trying to raise awareness and funds to give these rangers the equipment and supplies to do their job. I am not going to brow beat you about my particular beliefs on the subject but am giving you a link if you want to go and check it out for yourself or make a donation click on their name below.
Thin Green Line Foundation
I don't know about you but I just love knowing that those beautiful beasts are out there in the natural world.
And as I heard somebody say once "The only folks who look good wearing Ivory is Elephants"

Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Another Happy Birthday

Did you ever have a best friend?
I had to wait a really long time before I received one. But it was so worth the wait. My dear friend Ann is celebrating a "BIG" birthday today. She is such a true friend she decided to try out the big number first to see how we would like it before it was my turn....NOW that's a true friend!!! So glad you got there first. Tee hee! It is lovely having older friends.
I celebrate having you in my life dear girl. I hope you have a fabulous day...oh and Happy Birthday for yesterday to Mr H.
I am still.... quilting................but I did finish stitching the Winter mini. I just need to make it into it's little quilt.
Also some little gingies who will make an appearance later in the year, so just a sneaky...
Here's a little graphic from Rose Petals from Heaven to ponder.
Blessings all,
Michelle xxx

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Another Special Day

Today is another special birthday celebration for my sweet friend Melody from the House on the Side of the Hill. Melody is on the right with myself and the lovely Christine at Patchwork Teahouse at Warburton in Victoria last year where I was lucky enough to meet Melody in person. What a treat!
She is such a fun, generous, caring and inspirational person. Big hugs Mel I hope you have a simply wonderful day just like yourself. Pop over and leave her a greeting. I know she would love it.
Yesterday I banished myself to my sewing room to tie myself to the sewing machine. You see I don't love sewing the way a lot of you girls do....I love stitching which is different. I was very pleased with my efforts as I now have all but one mini for my stand finished.
I just have to get a wriggle on with "Winter" and then it can go into pattern form. I have wanted a "Seasons" set of little quilts for ages but hadn't seen any I liked but the mini stand is perfect and now it isn't naked anymore since I de-Christmased.
I loved creating these. I also found I got to use up some left over bits of favourite fabrics to make the borders. So now I can look at them regularly when it's their turn.
Thanks girls for your inspiration to dive into mini ownership. LOL! It was good to rest my fingers yesterday as well but "Strawbs" and I will be back together tonight, hoop in hand.
Enjoy your Sunday.
Blessings Michelle xxx