29 December 2008

Happy Holidays and SSCS treats

I can't believe after all that build up Christmas has come and gone. Wow!
Despite the craziness it was well worth it and quite enjoyable. We had a very quiet day at home, a lazy morning and a lunch that was so late it became dinner.
My girls got together and made a gingerbread house on the 23rd of December. For a first try it turned out pretty good and they definitely enjoyed decorating it.

Here it is in all its glory. I think as many lollies were consumed in the making, as were applied to the house, but i guess that's also part of the fun.

Liv made a special gingerbread snowman just the right size. He was the first casualty on Christmas day.

But alas, now there is none.

I was thoroughly spoilt on Christmas day by my SSCS partner Sherri. Sherri gave my 3 gorgeous handmade gifts, a tablerunner, a basket and a little zippered bag. All beautifully made in very pretty fabric.

As well as these lovely gifts, Sherri also sent me 2 American quilting magazines and 2 patterns.

Thank you Sherri for your beautiful gifts and thank you Donna for organising this great swap, it really made my Christmas day.

12 December 2008

There's HOW many days 'til Christmas ?!!!

Wow ! It's hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner. Maybe i should start thinking about what i can get my kids, there's nothing like last minute pressure to make a girl completely freak out.
It was also a big surprise to see how long it had been since my last post. These things can't be helped when your laptop decides enoughs enough and packs it in. It was only through my DHs expert part replacement that we are back up and running again. Being without my laptop is almost as bad as being sewing machineless ( which won't / can't happen - i have quite a few back ups ).
Anyway now i can show what a wonderful blogger sent me in Chookyblues SSCS.

My rather naked Button Annie is doing a great job minding the presents until Christmas. However they did get a fondle and squeeze before being removed to a safe height. A big thanks to Chookyblue for organising this swap and a huge thanks too to my secret santa.

10 November 2008

My Stitcher's Angel

A lovely package arrived for me today, my Stitcher's Angel gifts.

Susan, my angel, did a terrific job on a sewing caddy, a drawstring bag and a pincushion. Aren't they fabulous ! Susan's blog is Homespun Quilts.

On Saturday night i had a lovely time at the Christmas At Foothills Do. Sandra and Lesley gave us a fun, relaxing evening of sewing and frivolity.
I got to meet Nicky of Little Needle Case fame, "Hi Nicky!" and we had a secret Santa swap which i managed to stuff up.
I really should start reading instructions again. I completely overlooked the the line that said pick 6 items out of the 10 listed to include in your gift. Doh! Oh well, live and learn. Regardless, it was a lovely night.

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29 October 2008

Duckie update and more

As i had anticipated yesterday the duck family have moved on. Fortunately they left via the creek, a perilous venture, but safer then any other alternatives. At least now i can concentrate on more then just their antics and well being.

I have finally completed my Stitchers Angel gifts. Wow, with a whole 2 days to get them in the post - at least thats how much time i think i have ! They will soon be off on a long trip overseas.

All i need now are some Aussie treats to send with them. I hope my swap partner likes chocolate!

28 October 2008

And Mumma duck said Quack, Quack , Quack !

But only 10 little ducks came back !

Sadly, one little duckling didn't make it through the night. He could have fallen victim to any number of predators but most likely it was an owl. We often see them out and about in the evening.

Chances are the duck family won't be staying with us too much longer. They are taking longer and longer strolls away from the safety of the pool, and may soon be ready to take the kids for a swim down the creek. It would be the safest way for the family to leave our yard, any other route would put them in constant danger.

Yikes ! They're heading towards the lane besides our yard. I can't take this kind of worry !!!
There are so many dogs and cats that roam in our street.

Panic session over ( for the moment ) they have decided the pool yard is a safer place to be.

With our very cute guests here I rushed off this morning to get a battery for my other camera so i could zoom in and get some pleasing pics of all their goings on, but the rotten thing is showing only a blank screen. A known fault apparently. Not happy !!

Anyone got a favourite SLR camera they would like to tell me about. I think i'm in the market for a new one!

27 October 2008

Forget the magpies.... BEWARE THE DUCKS

I had an unusual sight greet me this morning as i glanced at our pool ( extremely loose use of the word ). A family of ducks !!!! Now ducks are a common sight on or beside our pool but this time they were not alone !!!!! At first i thought, cool, five little ducklings, how sweet. But no! Mummy duck has eleven little ones to look after !!

It looked like Mummy, Daddy and babies were doing fine until it was time to take a dip. Now Mum and Dad have no problem getting in and out of the pool, but the 14 inch leap the ducklings would need to make is a bit excessive.
So this is were the warning comes into it. No matter your intentions wild ducks just don't get it. I decided the only way to avoid mass duckling fatalities was to step in and help. Daddy duck took serious offence to me coming between him and a stranded duckling sitting in our pump intake thingie. He gave me a very loud hiss and a good flapping at which was very impressive and a little unnerving. Very glad ducks have bills instead of pointy beaks.
However all ended well. I managed to fashion a ramp out of a plank of wood and added a step inside that intake thingie ( I'm not big on the lingo) if that makes any sense. After a few hit and miss attempts all the ducklings managed to evacuate the pool. I just hope they remember how to do it next time too.
Hmmmmm, this really puts the brakes on our pool cleaning for summer.

Last weekend i took myself to Wagga to visit some of my family. It was really nice to get away and spend time with my parents who i rarely get to see.

We had an outing on Sunday with not a child in sight. Involving a trip to the Wagga Art gallery to look at a collection of old local photographs, an ice cream in the park and a visit to a local nursery for some seedlings. All in all a relaxing afternoon. Above is a pic of my parents and 2 of my sisters.

Here is somewhere our resident ducks would be much better off. If only it wasn't 5 & 1/2 hours away.

13 October 2008

Such a lovely weekend

Great food, wonderful company and fun projects make for a fabulous day.

Saturday i was fortunate enough to attend the Glen Harrow Stitch-in with Rosie and Leanne where we had a perfect day full of stitching....... no cooking, no cleaning and no kids looking for their lunch. Pure bliss.

I managed to finish the stitching on Rosies project on the day and then pieced it together today...... It's nice working on smaller items that are finished quickly.

To make a great day even better........ i was lucky enough to win a prize. Five super pretty fat quarters. ******** Big big Grin *********

( I also had a great prior weekend watching Casey Stoner ride to victory in the MotoGP at Phillip Island --- Yay Casey !!!!! )

28 September 2008

Tagged and released.

I have been tagged by Julie at Simple Stitches , and while i am not going to tag anyone else ( because i am shy and retiring) i thought i might try and come up with 7 random things about me.

1. I had a tattoo and have had serious thoughts about getting another.
2. I am the youngest of 5 girls.
3. I hate trifle.
4. On the weekend i am off to the MotoGP on the back of hubbys motorbike.
5. I am a softie for frogs.
6. I really, really like Turkish Delight
7. I am very much a morning person.

Not very exciting, but as i said i am shy and retiring.

My Swap Bag arrived safely...Yay !

Last week the bag i made for Linda's Bag / Bucket swap arrived safely in California. So now i can reveal more then the little sneak peeks i was giving previously, as well as the little extra gift i sent for Rhonda.

I used a bag that my sister made for me years ago for inspiration and two Rosalie Quinlan stitchery designs for the outside pockets.
As an extra little gift i made Rhonda a little softie. She has been named Mindy and was a delight to make. Mindy is designed by Tone Finnanger and is from her Sew Pretty book.

12 September 2008

It's been a good week

I can't believe that it is already the 12th of September, however considering we have had two birthdays this week i really should know that without thinking too hard.
On Tuesday it was my dear hubbies 38th and the following day our big boy turned 16.
Wow, time really does fly !

Last week ( ok on August 31st ) i was the lucky winner of a pattern from Willow Valley Store in Cathy's 10000 visitor giveaway. I went for another bag pattern ...... you can never have too many bags.

Then yesterday my bag from Linda's Bag Swap arrived. My swap partner was Bonnie from Calamity Janes Cottage

Bonnie sent a lovely bag, in the colours i love and she included a great little zippered pouch (complete with chocolates) , a gorgeous froggy brooch and some lovely mags. Wasn't i spoilt ?!

Today i sent off my bag for my partner XXXXXX in the X.X.X. I had lots of fun making a special gift to go with the bag , something that is very fitting for my swap partner when you see her blog. Unfortunately the only pics of this gift are on Lynda's (BozzyBlog) camera so you will have to wait to see what it is. If Leanne Beasley happens to read this ... yes i got her made and sent and i reckon she turned out very nicely to boot, i just hope she behaves herself on the long trip.

I thought i would get in on the act and find some pretty flora to photograph. What do you think ?

29 August 2008

A bag swap peek and more

I have been very quiet of late, but thats only because i have been busy sewing. Not a lot of sewing for myself but i have managed to get some presents made for swaps and birthdays. It is a relief to write that i have finished the bag i am swapping in Linda's bag/bucket swap. I am usually quick to start but very slow to finish when it comes to bags, but this month i have finished 2 and am part way through another.

Here is a bit of a look at what i have made. I hope my swap partner likes neopolitan ice cream.

It's nothing like the first peek i gave a few weeks back. While i really liked what i had originally started making , i decided that it was far too cutesy and set about making another bag based on one that my eldest sister had made me years ago.

The 2nd bag i made is a present for a little girl turning 9. It is a great little bag, very simple but still pretty enough. It is from a pattern by Leanne Beasley in the latest Australian Homespun magazine.

Hexagons are popping up everywhere and when my friend Lynda had some on auction i couldn't resist grabbing them. I'm not sure exactly what i plan to do with them, but having them ready and on hand when i do decide is the bestest.

I love frogs ! I think they are fabulous little creatures. And it is very exciting that soon we will be playing host to oodles of wiggly little tadpoles. Its not our first time as foster parents to lots of taddies, last year we had a swimming pool full of them.

Sadly, that didn't end so well for the late bloomers, but fortunately this year the frogs have restricted themselves to a little derelict pond. Once these little guys grow up there is going to be a massive population explosion (much to my hubby's dismay...... he thinks they're "noisy little buggers").

This pond really isn't a pretty sight. We were ready to pull it out back in February but once the rains came it filled up again and became the nursery that it is today. We will have to get in much quicker next year so that a new pond can be nicely established somewhere nearby for the next round of frogs and their offspring.

Yippeeeee! The sun is shining and the sky is a brilliant blue. I can't wait for Spring !!!!!!

12 August 2008

Against Dr's orders

Thank you for all the advice on managing sore over-worked shoulders. I am feeling better...... not 100% yet, but getting there. All would probably be great if i could stop myself from picking up needle and thread but that is a near impossible task.
Anyway using my loopy logic i decided to do some hand piecing, since it was a stitchery which first got me in trouble. Not real smart i guess, doing anything by hand is the problem. But i am pleased with what i have to show for my time and aching arm.
From yet another blog tutorial..... who can resist trying them all out ?

This is from a great pincushion tutorial by May Britt at Abyquilt . Silly me made my flower upside down by getting my piecing a little muddled up, but i still like the effect it created. May Britt has a few lovely tutorials that really need to be checked out.

There are also a few giveaways happening at the moment too.

Lila Tueller Designs is in the last days of her gorgeous giveaway.

Candace at Wraggedypatches is celebrating 100 posts.

Cheryl at Polka Dots and Rick Rack is celebrating her blogiversary.

Until next time ......

07 August 2008

Warning - Stitching can be hazardous to your health!

I was having such a lovely time this week. I was ahead on the housework front and able to indulge in lots of stitching, but it's come back to bite me. I've managed to over-stitch and caused myself an injury of sorts. Nothing major or dramatic and all self inflicted due to my poor hoop holding technique, but not what a girl wants or needs. Basically the muscles in my left shoulder have stopped playing the game due to being held in one position for hours on end and those unhappy muscles are causing me some very unwelcome pain. Moan, groan.

This block is just one of the culprits in my incapacitation, the others were probably the stitchery blocks for the bag/bucket swap bag I am making. Either way this does bode well for me finishing my Butterfly Garden block before next weeks class. Not happy Jan.

04 August 2008

Making progress

I decided to get started on my bag for Linda's Bag/Bucket swap and have made some good progress so far. A little more stitching and i will be ready to put it all together. Here is a bit of a peek at how things are going. I know it doesn't reveal a lot but you can get an idea of colours etc.

It's just as well i am on track with this swap as i have signed up for a couple of others that are happening soon too. The first is the Stitchers Angel swap organised by Helen at Hugs & Kisses and the second is Chookyblue's SSCS 2008. Hmmm.... wonder what i can come up with for swap partners there ?

On the giveaway front :- Maree over at Farmyard Crafts is having a 50th post giveaway until the 10th of August. So head on over and say G'day.

Last week i was trying my best to be a good "Holly Homemaker" and as a result the house isn't looking too bad and the mountain of washing i usually have to face is down to a mole hill. So today, i can happily do some stitching without feeling the big guilt. "Sigh"

And now it's time to stitch.

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24 July 2008

Tutorial fan through and through !

I love the way blogger share their knowledge and create fantastic tutorials. You really could learn something new everyday.

Last Sunday Linda (All Stitched Up) let us all know that Lisa at A spoonful of Sugar had created a tutorial of her cute covered tape measure. So of course i went straight over and had a look.

Today i made one too, its no way as awesome as Lisa's but I'm still pretty happy with the results. I made mine to match the thread catcher and bucket (both made from blog tutorials) i had made recently for secret gifts.

I wonder if it's all still a secret???????

Thanks Lisa for your great tutorial !