Friday, 15 September 2017

Catching Up!

Hellooooooooo to all of you out there in blogland! I hope you are all well ... & will forgive my absence from the blog. It's been a bit of a crazy few weeks with one thing & another. The first reason for me being a bit quiet was the fact that my Beloved Geek Boy & I succumbed to some leftover winter lurgies within days of each other. I was ambushed by a nasty head cold & then GB was hit by a flu bug. We're both on the mend now, but I'm pretty sure we deserve shares in the tissue company! :0)

And while GB was in the midst of dying (he doesn't get the traditional 'Man Flu' but he really was miserable!) & I was still snuffling my way through the days, the calendar rolled around to Stitchers Dream Day, our big weekend of exciting stitching hosted by the Marvellous Marion & Stupendous Steph of the Quilters Angel. Although ... We minions & friends had to muddle through most of the set up without either of our fearless leaders because Steph was in the midst of bringing the next Angel generation into the world! :0) What a way to kick off the weekend! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... I thought you might like to see some photos of our fun. This year's theme was "Blossom & Bloom" & the guest designers were Libby Richardson of Artsmart Cottage & the lovely Lauren of Molly & Mama. Roll the photos! :0)

As usual, my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette came up to play & here she is peeking in her giftie bag.

And Julie was caught with her hand in the bag, too. :0) After the intros, it was time to get cracking ... Apparently SOME people actually STITCH at these events! Go figure!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Here's Wendy with photographic proof that she was hard at work stitching.

And Felicity was very impressed with how much she managed to stitch.

There were also some mini workshops, with Libby sharing her simple but effective fabric painting techniques (Do you see who's standing beside Libby? Yep, Nikki Tervo came up to play! ) ...

 And here's my sewing friend Maureen concentrating hard to duplicate Libby's sample. (Maureen & I used to sew together weekly when we lived at Bongeen ... About 15 years ago! Wow! Time flies when you're having fun!)

Lauren shared her tips & techniques for English paper piecing. Although I can't see myself rushing out to start stitching hexies, Lauren's work is lovely & she specialises in small, easily achievable projects for those who want to create but don't have a lot of time.

And one of the best parts of Stitchers Dream Day (besides being thoroughly spoilt!) is time spent catching up with friends. Libby & I are both bear lovers ... & both shorties! Tee! Hee! Hee!

It was wonderful to chat to Lauren, too, & Lynette & I always enjoy our play dates. :0)

And fun to catch up with Felicity ... Who's just as crazy as me. :0) (That glow is obviously the light reflecting off our haloes! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Oh! What about this year's special projects, I hear you ask ...

Lauren's hexies tote bag, complete with embroidered hexie key fob/scissors fob ...

Another Molly & Mama design, a glasses case featuring sweet floral embroidery ...

And matching the glasses case is a handy zippy pouch, also with sweet embroidery ...

I confess this is my favourite project this year ... Even though it's pink. :0) Libby's signature painted teddy shown off in a needle caddy ...

And last but not least, Libby's second project, an embroidered wall hanging.

Once again a huge THANK YOU! To Marion & Steph for a fantastic weekend of friendship & stitching. (Steph took care of most of the planning & had lists & notes for us minions to follow just in case she went into labour ... Good planning pays off!!) Thank you to Libby & Lauren for their gorgeous projects & to all the sewing enthusiasts who came along to play.

Of course ... A big CONGRATS! To Steph & her partner Peter on the arrival of Zoe Maree ... You can imagine how chuffed Marion & her Sweetie Col are to be grandparents. :0) By the way ... Little Zoe obviously takes after her super organised Mum ... She arrived on her due date! :0)

Right ... That explains why I've been missing in action for a bit ... I promise to try to get back here soon with some pics of what I've been sewing, but right now, I hear the kettle calling my name, so ... Til next time ...
















Sunday, 3 September 2017

Thankful For My Dad!

It's Fathers' Day here in Australia & although I am fortunate enough to see my Dad (& Mum!) at least a few times most weeks, it's a reminder that I am very thankful for my Dad. He's got a warped sense of humour, is incredibly politically-incorrect, is likely to start singing some random song based on something you say, is an expert at pressing all the wrong buttons on computers & remote controls (& sometimes his offspring!) & moves at the combined speed of ten turtles unless he feels like moving faster ... I'm sure his motto in life is, "Don't rush me, don't rush me!" :0)

But he's also been the quiet rock our family is built on. He drove my brother & I miles during our growing up years to attend youth camps & sporting carnivals, he taught us not to backchat Mum (his leather thong around our butts reinforced that!), he showed great patience in teaching us to drive, he helped us move house more times than I can remember & even though he has never been one for emotional speeches, we've never doubted that he loves us.

As you can see from these two photos we look nothing alike & I was clearly left on their doorstep by faeries! :0P

Dad gives great bear hugs, happily adopts my friends & I just love him to bits! Happy Fathers' Day, William Ronald! :0)




Friday, 1 September 2017

Spring Has Sprung!

YAY! Spring has finally arrived ... Though the weather man tells me our overnight temperatures will continue to be below five degrees for the next week or so. But I've been waiting for winter to finish, so today was a good excuse to celebrate September first with a girly lunch date.

You may remember my Mum's Partner-In-Crime Marg from some of our previous adventures. Well, Mum had arranged to take Marg on a bus trip as a birthday gift ... & it was canceled! So we decided it was a great excuse for a girly lunch road trip. We headed off to Spring Bluff historical railway station 15 minutes north of Toowoomba. Good decision! :0)

This pretty railway station is well worth a visit if you're in the area ... And with the annual Carnival Of Flowers just two weeks away, the gardens are looking so pretty.

This little garden pocket is surrounded by fabulous big trees & quite protected from some of the frosts & freezes we experience on top of our 'hill'.

We had a great chat with chief flower whisperer Owen who was happy to answer questions, identify plants & share his lovely workplace with us. He said our peculiar warm/cold/warm winter weather has caused him a few headaches, with some plants flowering earlier than usual, so he was madly replacing spent plants ready for Carnival judging next week. All of that chatting about garden work made us hungry, so we climbed the steep stairs to ...

The Pancake Cottage. Don't these two look like naughty school girls ready to get into mischief?! :0) we soon found a nice spot on the verandah for lunch ...

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Pancakes! :0) Absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS!! 

A savoury chicken & mushroom in white sauce for starters ...

And a traditional Dutch pancake that had sultanas in it, topped with apple compote & whipped cream for seconds. We shared two servings between the three of us ... And were still so full at the end that we decided to go for a waddle around the garden to settle it all. :0)

We were treated to the songs & colourful antics of many varieties of birds, including this little cutie that none of us could identify. Maybe a finch? Will ask GB the bird enthusiast when he comes home. :0)

All in all, it was the perfect way to celebrate the first day of Spring ... & I topped it off by popping in to visit Marion at the Quilters Angel where they were celebrating their 13th shop birthday with a fantastic 30% off sale. I was pretty well behaved ... Just some backing fabric & some mix-n-match spots. 

Whatever you've been up to today as you've welcomed the first day of Spring ... Or Autumn if you're north of the equator ... I hope you've enjoyed some time with people who make you smile. :0) OPAMers ... Have you updated your sidebar lists & emailed your tally to me or Sweet Peg? You'd better hop to it! Til next time ...









Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Winter Roars Out/In!!

Well ... The last couple of weeks have certainly disappeared in a puff of smoke ... Though given our recent temperatures, it's more like a puff of "dragon's breath" cold cloud! BRRRRRRR! Winter here on our 'hill' has been unusually mild this year ... Not that this hot-weather chicken was complaining! :0) We really thought Spring was here early ... Then winter decided to roar in ... Er ... Out?!? ... With an icy blast. It was TWO DEGREES in my kitchen this morning!! EEP!! Come on/back, Spring!

So in amidst the icy cold snap, a sneaky UTI, busy 'grown up job' schedule & hosting a gathering of the Meares clan, there hasn't been a lot of sewing happening here, but I have tried to soak up a bit of warmth in the garden ... Which has all been a bit confused by our funny cold-hot-cold weather. Some winter flowering plants are just showing now, while other Spring flowering plants have jumped the gun. So while my garden is reflecting the non-conformist personality of its owners, it's awfully pretty. :0)

This is one of the new spring flowering gardens we've established this year, near our back steps ... Which may as well be our main entrance since everyone who knows us comes in the back door. :0)

It's a bit hard to see in the pic, but there are delphiniums between the agapanthus at the back & the very showy snapdragons at the front. It's the first time I've grown delphiniums so am keen to see them flowering. The snappies sure are putting on a colourful show ... A nice, bright, cheerful way to go into the day as we head down the steps. But I still can't wait for spring to get here for real ... & warm up the temperatures! :0) Not long now! :0)

And speaking of not long now ... OPAMers ... We're about to run out of another month, so please make sure you update your sidebar lists & email your tallies to me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg.

Another reason to celebrate the end of August (as if farewelling winter isn't cause enough for celebration!!) it also marks my Beloved Geek Boy's Grandmother's birthday. Tomorrow, Gran Kent will turn ...

102 years old!

WOW! She doesn't recognise many people any more, but she can usually find something to make her smile & laugh.

This pic was taken two years ago when we celebrated her 100th. GB is on the right, his younger sister & her two daughters are beside him. Gran Kent hasn't changed much since then ... Though I think GB has a few more grey hairs! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Right ... I'm off to have a HOT shower for the first time in three days ... Some cloudy days & a problem with the booster on our solar hot water led to lukewarm showers ... Not good! All fixed today, though, & the sparky is my new hero! :0) Hope your week is off to a fantastic start. Til next time ...






Saturday, 19 August 2017

Girly Stitchy Road Trip!

Our brief glimpse of Spring has been blown away by freezing gale force south-westerlies here on our 'hill' ... In fact, we've just about been blown OFF the top of our 'hill'! :0) So when the going gets tough, the tough go on a girly, stitchy road trip! :0)

A contingent of our Friday Night Sit N Stitch gals hit the road today to drive down the 'hill' (before we got blown off!!) to the friendly little town of Esk, where Chriss had booked us a cosy little room to sit & stitch & enjoy yummy treats at the Nash Gallery & Cafe. I forgot to get a pic of the cafe, but it's in a gorgeous old Queenslander. We happily settled in for some stitchin' time ...

We had our own room to ourselves ... Maybe they thought it would help keep us out of trouble ... MAYBE!! :0) And we all DID do some stitching ... See?! Photographic evidence! :0) But after a while, we really needed some sustenance ... How fortunate that the menu offered some DEEEEEELICIOUS lunch options! :0)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!! It was then back to the stitching & chatting ... Oh! & quite a bit of laughing!! We even provided entertainment for other people visiting the cafe ... A lovely cyclist decided that maybe she needed to take up stitching since we made it look like so much fun. ;0)

And after expending all of that energy stitching & chatting ... It was time for afternoon tea. :0)

The lovely ladies of Nash do their own baking & the vanilla slice was FABULOUS!

Chriss thought so too! :0)

And Kerrie gave it the finger-lickin'-good thumbs up.

Sue enjoyed a slice of pear & pistachio torte.

Gail loved her vanilla slice, too ...

She enjoyed it a LOT!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

We even had a "Ta! Da!" Moment from Kerrie ...

Isn't this a cute quilt? Good job Kerrie! :0) 

It really was a wonderful way to spend a horrible windy day. Huge thanks to the friendly, helpful staff at the Nash Cafe for helping to make our mini sewing retreat such an enjoyable, relaxed day. If you're passing through Esk or looking for a great place to meet friends, I can highly recommend the Nash Gallery & Cafe.

And now I'm snuggled up in front of the fire under my trusty flannel blankie with my Beloved Geek Boy ... Not a bad way to spend a wild & windy Saturday. :0) I hope your weekend is as enjoyable as mine is shaping up to be. Til next time ...












Friday, 18 August 2017

Rock On Friday!!

It's Friday. It's my day off. I'm home ALL DAY!! :0) So what's a gal to do? Why ... Play with some pretty fabrics for a new design ...

... & turn up the 80's Rock & sing along, of course!! :0D ABBA, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, ACDC, John Farnham, Pat Benitar, Cyndi Lauper, Maddona, Crowded House ... Can you tell the sewing machine is ROCKIN' today?! Tee! Hee! Hee!

What do you have planned for YOUR day off/weekend? I hope it involves some creative outlet & some favourite music. :0) OOPS! Bon Jovi is singing "Have A Nice Day" ... I really should help him! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...




Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lazy Sunday & OPAM Winner!

Hello to you all! Have you had a restful weekend? After our road trip yesterday, we had good intentions of being very productive around the house today.  Yeah ... that didn't really happen! :0) We had a lovely sleep in, then a leisurely brunch on the side verandah in the sun ... mashed avo and fetta on olive sour dough toast and freshly brewed coffee whilst enjoying our unseasonably warm August weather. AAAAAHHH!!  BLISS!! We wondered what the peasants were doing! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Then there was some garden watering for GB and thorough kitchen cleaning for me (hmm ... would have preferred they got swapped!!) The plans were then to head out into the garden ... but our across-the-road neighbour decided to burn off some felled trees/branches ... AGAIN!!! GRRRR! ... and the smoke in the front yard was too nasty to venture out in ... so it was indoor time. A spot of reading for me (thank you Nora Roberts for the MANY hours of entertainment your books give me! :0) ) and some family tree research for GB ... who is coming to the conclusion that perhaps his great-grandmother was a little free in her definition of marriage and that our surname should probably be her maiden name of O'Reilly! Tee! Hee! Hee!

All in all ... it wasn't a bad way to wind down and recharge the batteries to help us get ready to face the new working week ... SIGH!!!

However, before we get tossed kicking and screaming back into the working week, I need to catch up with the OPAM draw for July. Thank you to everyone who emailed their finish tally through to me and my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg and a big thank you to Sweet Peg who did most of this month's blog hopping when I got caught up in life's craziness. There were 196 finishes for July - WOWSERS!! That's our second biggest total for the year so far! There must have been a LOT of  flying needles of one sort or another around the world. :0) And the winner of the random draw is ...

Congrats, Dory! Email me with your snail mail address and I'll pop a little something in the mail for you ... along with the last two winners of the draws I've been responsible for  - OOPS!! Sorry girls! During the craziness of the last few months, I DID manage to wrap the prizes all ready to post ... and then put them in a VERY safe place. So safe, in fact, that I only re-discovered them this week ... SHEEPISH GRIN!!! :0)  What a slacko host I've been this year ... thank you all for being patient with me.

And in amidst the comings, goings, busy-ness and craziness, I HAVE managed a little bit of sewing. I can't unveil the finishes yet, but I CAN give you a bit of a sneaky peeky ...

... some patchwork from pretty fabrics ...

... and some stitching in a pretty Cottage Garden thread. I'm loving how these projects are coming together and can't wait to show them to you .. just as soon as I finalise the last project.

Well, that's it from me for now. I hope the weekend has given you time to recharge your batteries and that you have a fantastic week. I'm just hoping that a scratchy throat doesn't mark the start of a cold for me ... I'm heading for the olive leaf, lemon and honey drink and putting myself to bed. Til next time ...



Saturday, 12 August 2017

A Birthday Road Trip!!

Hello to all of my lovely blogging buddies! Yes, I'm still here, we've just had a couple of very, VERY busy weeks, so blogging got pushed to back burner ... How DOES life get so darn busy?!

After all the busy-ness of the last fortnight, my Beloved Geek Boy and I decided to treat ourselves to a fun read trip ... A bit of a birthday treat for GB whose birthday fell on Friday. :0) So this morning we piled into GB's 4WD, nicknamed "Big Blue" (since my Corolla is a "little blue" car!) & set off on a new adventure. :0)

When we head off on our road trips, we usually have a destination in mind, but we take lots of side roads & backtracks along the way ... There are so many interesting Little pockets to see. :0)

Today, after some dusty gravel roads were driven & some winding, forest flanked roads were traversed, we arrived at one of our favourite play date destinations ... Montville. Lots of fun, interesting little shops to explore before climbing up the hill (huffing & puffing! I really should get fit!!) where we found a fabulous spot to enjoy ...

... LUNCH! :0) Yummy lamb shanks with seared mushrooms, a roasted tomato & creamy mashed potatoes ... DEEEEEEEEEEELICIOUS!! :0) Here's the birthday boy ... Isn't he a cutie?! :0) And all the while we enjoyed stunning views ...

Isn't it gorgeous?!

If I lived here I'd never get anything done ... I'd spend all day gazing out at the view. Tee! Hee! Hee!

We took a different route home ... Different even to the one we'd planned since the dodgy internet signal in amongst the rolling hills meant the map ap on GB's phone disappeared for a while. Ah well, that's half the fun of our road trips. :0)

Whatever you're up to, I hope you're having a great weekend so far. I'll pop back in tomorrow with the OPAM winner ... Sorry my crazy busy-ness has made me tardy with the draw ... I'm sure you know the feeling. :0) Til next time ...







Sunday, 30 July 2017

Wonderful Winter Weekend!

Now it's not very often I find ANYTHING wonderful about winter, but the weather has continued to be very un-wintery here on our 'hill' this weekend ... Thumbs up! :0)

The weather wasn't the only thing that made this weekend wonderful though ... My Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette was up for our first big play date in quite a while ... YAY! The weekend started with some coffees, some lunches, meeting up with other friends ... Oh, & we MAY have visited a shop or two ... Or twenty! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Then today we decided to take a little road trip ... To the Bunya Mountains. This beautiful spot is somewhere Lynette, my Beloved Geek Boy & I all visited during our growing up years, so return visits are always enjoyable. Oh ... Did I forget to mention this was the monthly market date up there?! :0)

So off we went for a drive ... Which the tourism site told us was "20 songs" away ... A somewhat unusual way to say it was an hour & a half drive up winding mountain roads, dodging wallabies, goats & a herd of dairy cows until we reached the top of the mountains amidst the thick cool-climate rainforest dotted with the monstrous bunya pines that give the area its name. And there we strolled around some interesting market stalls ... Working up an appetite. :0)

Here's Lynette ready to attack her pancakes with maple syrup & bunya nut ice cream.

GB & I also decided pancakes sounded like a good idea. :0) After our delicious treat, which we enjoyed whilst listening to a talented young singer/ukulele player, we thought a walk along one of the numerous rainforest paths would settle our tummies before we headed home again ...

The tall & the short of it. :0P Towering trees, swaying ferns, trickling stream, birds calling ... AAAAAAHHH! Bliss! :0)

A bit more of a walk ... & hundreds of steps!!! ... further on & we found another waterfall ... Do you see those bare toesies?!? Her nickname at school wasn't Amazon for nothing! :0)

Then it was a return drive home where we rounded off the weekend with some relaxing deck-sitting with a cup of tea. Weekends don't get much better than that. :0)

What have YOU been up to this weekend? Whatever it was, I hope it made you smile. :0) 

OPAM gals ... It's time to update your sidebar lists & email your tally to me & my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg. The end of the month has rolled around again ... The year is just flying by - EEP!

Have a fantastic week! Til next time ...







Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A Walk In A Winter Garden!

As I typed that heading I had the tune from "Walking In A Winter Wonderland" playing through my head ... AAAAAARRRGGHH! Now it's stuck there! Clearly my subconscious has tuned into the "Christmas In July" concept ... Despite the fact that my conscious is definitely an ostrich that buries its head in the sand to avoid the countdown to the "C" season. SIGH! The ways of my mind are mysterious indeed! :0P

However ... I digress ... Rather more than usual! :0) Winter, garden & a walk around same. :0) Those of you who've been dropping in to visit me for a while now (are you still out there?! I don't hear from many of you anymore! :0( ) know that I'm not at all a fan of cold weather & that the 'cold' label kicks in anytime the temperature drops below 20C. :0) Usually, that happens here on our 'hill' from April through to September with little warm weather respite between, but this winter we've enjoyed some very mild, pleasant winter days that have been perfect for gardening ... It must be global warming! Tee! Hee! Hee!

My Beloved Geek Boy & I spent most of last weekend in the garden & I took some pics to share with you. Grab a cuppa & get comfy ... Especially you, Chookyblue! :0)

Do you remember we re-vamped a big section of our front garden last year & went with simple, multiple plantings of camellias, marguerite daisies, agapanthus & lavender? Well, that was a stroke of genius ... If I do say so myself. :0) You can see in this pic that everything is VERY happy & growing madly. Daisies & lavender ...

... Another lavender with a pink daisy in the background ...

... This daisy throws flowers that are several shades of pink, from pale to quite bright ...

... Pink & a buttery yellow daisy complementing each other ...

... Looking back along the row of mixed lavender bushes that we'll eventually train into a hedge border ...

... & looking toward the front fence. Don't the daisies look pretty behind the grey/purple lavender colour scheme? ...

... Lavender, agapanthus, daisies & Camelia. This is a very special Camelia. It's called "Jennifer Susan" & is special to us because GB's Mum's name is Jennifer & her sister, who we lost to cancer two years ago, was named Susan. This is its first flower, so we're pretty chuffed. 

... A closer look with the lavender in the background ...

... & a zoom out view of this garden. Even more daisies & lavender have flowered since the weekend, so I'll have to take some more pics on the weekend again. & in other parts of the garden ...

... Another pretty Camelia ...

... My favourite Camelia ... It's a very pale pink with darker blushes on the rims of the petals & a big open flower ...

... Just about ready to bloom, with the house in the background ...

... Out the back, under the trees where Percy the persnickety possum & pals lurk (while they plot to munch on my petunias & burst the sides of the bird feeder cos they're so podgy ... From eating petunias & birdseed!!! ... A vibrant bromeliad is flowering ...

... So are all its friends! Don't you love the pop of that bright pink against the dark green leaves? ...

... And the echinacea are showing a final burst of colour before they hibernate for a month or two.

We've always said we want our garden to have some kind of colour all year round & we're gradually getting that as we adapt & replant the gardens we inherited when we bought the house & as we add more of our own planning & planting. Somehow you always feel like you can breathe a bit easier in the garden while you're surrounded by colour & listening to the songs of the many different birds that share our garden. It's also a nice background for sitting on the verandah with a friend & a cup of tea ... Or adult beverage!! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I hope you've enjoyed our walk around a winter garden ... & hope you enjoy having that darn song stuck in your head too! What are friends for if not to share! Tee! Hee! Hee! Enjoy the rest of your week ... & remember to stop & admire the flowers. :0) Til next time ...

















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