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Welcome to my world - mostly the fabric world that I escape to whenever I have time. Hope you enjoy it and please feel free to comment.....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sneak peaks revealed...at last.

I have been teasing you with sneak peaks like this and others and it is finally time for me to reveal what I have been working on. 
 Every year my quilt group, the Gumnut Quilters, indulges in a Christmas lunch.  This year there are a couple of girls who have to work so we added a Christmas dinner into the schedule.    At our Christmas lunch we swap Kris Kringle presents.  These are usually bought or made and given in secrecy.  No-one know who gave what till everyone has opened their gifts and then we all guess.  Last year we also exchange coat hangers, this year it will be pin cushions, and there is also a lottery of extra gifts - things we have collected throughout the year that get wrapped and given out according to a lottery.  

Tonight was our Christmas dinner and tonight we exchanged our Kris Kringle gifts.  I always make my gift and try to come up with something personal to the person I am making it for.   This year I was making for Irene, our resident Canadian.   We all know that Irene doesn't like blue, has two sons, three gorgeous grandbabies, likes a tipple (or three) and bakes like a pro.  She also likes polar bears and moose.  So, I settled on the last two for my inspiration for her gift but it caters to her love of baking too.

I took this pattern for a  wall hanging and used the moose and turned it into an apron.  

 Chocolate Moose - Yummmmm!  Well, maybe not this sort of moose.

I also showed you this sneak peak which I turned into.... 
I reckon Irene is all set to cook now!  And seeing as she is the hostess for our Christmas Lunch next week I sure hope they come in handy before then!  Ha Ha
I have one other gift for Irene.  She has a great sense of humour and, for reasons completely unknown to me, I am often on the receiving end of her humour - can't imagine why!  So I thought I would inject a little humour into her gift and this is it!  I follow a blog that was promoting this calendar which was put together as a fund raiser.  I am just kicking myself that I can't remember the blog it comes from  - maybe one of my followers can tell me.  Anyway - this is certainly likely to appeal to a certain type of quilter - not sure what sort of quilter - but the look on Irene's face when she opened her calendar tonight was priceless.
 Not all the models are hunky specimens - some are an acquired taste shall we say.

The Quilters Shirtless Men and Spicy Burrito Calendar!
 Mr Shy!

Unfortunately the calendar that I got was printed with the pictures upside down but I really don't think that it matters as I doubt Irene will actually hang it up anywhere.

And of course, every gift needs a gift tag.  I made a couple - one to keep (this is the front)
 and one for Irene.
 This is Irene, me and Sharon.  You can just see Lyn's head - sorry Lyn, this was taken by the waiter. 
 Sharon with her beautifully wrapped gift that turned out to be a very Bradley Apron in a matching box that Lyn brought in Intercourse PA especially for Sharon.
 Those facing you are Debbie and Irene
 Glenys holding up her gift, then Cynthia, Andrea and Jennie
 Irene modelling Chocolate Moose!  Thank goodness we were down the back of the restaurant!
 Told you she would love it!
 These are what Sharon made for Audrey.  Sharon does beautiful hand work and anything for Audrey has to be soft and pretty just like her.
 And this is what I received from Glenys - yep! Doing a happy dance!  Don't you love it!  Wait till you look up close.  
 All those branches are hand embroidered and they are SO NEAT!!!  Must have taken AGES.  Some of the bigger baubles are picked out in gold thread but I couldn't capture that with the camera.  My lack of skill.
 And look at the tiny detail on this little plate - each little picture is no bigger than 3/4 of an inch  - so tiny.  This is going on my dressing table -away from clumsy teenagers!
We had a hoot of a night - the food was wonderful and the company was great - way too much laughter but at least we weren't the loudest table in the restaurant! 

Till next time......happy stitching!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

and I love it.

I put one of my trees up yesterday for the sole purpose of being able to display my owls for a photo but I am really planning to decorate the house on the weekend.  I will have three full sized trees - one 7ft and two 6 1/2 ft trees.  They are all the same - tall and skinny.  that makes it easier for me to manage.  Last year we gave away our other 7ft tree because it was just too hard for me to manage on my own.  It was so wide at the base that I couldn't easily put the lights and decorations on the top by myself.  I would love to say that we decorate the tree together each year but the boys only ever wanted to put a few decorations on when they were little and then as they got older they totally lost interest altogether.  My girlfriends' daughters used to come over and do it with me and we would make a night of it but this year everyone is too busy - my kids have lots of after school things on and so do the other kids and the weekends are way too full as it is.  So, this year I will probably put the carols on and do it myself in spurts in between playing taxi driver and personal shopper and chief cook and laundry lady.

I do love the see the tree decorated though - there is nothing like a lit tree - love it.  And in honour of the Christmas season being just around the corner I decided it was time for a little Christmas give away with an Aussie flavour - two surfing Santa potholders made by yours truly and two Aussie bird ornaments - the one on the left is a rainbow lorikeet and the other is a blue wren - like was featured in the book I told you about in yesterday's post.
There will be a couple of other bits and pieces thrown into the mix too but the only thing I will tell you about is that I am including a fat quarter of the Santa fabric as well.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment.  Simple!  I will draw the winner in time for my post on Sunday night.  One entry per person please.  International followers welcome too of course!

I have been working on a Christmas present today as well - but can't show you anything just yet - the recipient just might see it or not but I can't take the risk!

Till next time.............happy stitching!

Monday, November 28, 2011

ten blue wrens and seven funny owls!

I had to go and collect a book for myself from the bookshop today and while I was there I picked up this book for my littlest niece Meghan's birthday!  I love it!  it is too cute and very Australian!  I would have loved to photograph all of the pages for you but that would spoil the surprise.  I know non international followers wont be able to get their hands on this little gem though so I have included some pics.  The blue wrens on the cover are the same as the ones that flit around my yard all day long.  So cute and so tiny!

 I love the extra note that says "There were six lamingtons, none left now!"   How funny!
 Here is the inside back cover which shows just a snippet of each page.  Just too cool!  Wish my boys were little enough for me to read it to them again.  It is just such a classic Aussie read for a little one!
   After enjoying the book I managed to get some sewing done today and completed my seven little owls.This one is called Wonder Owl on account of the red and white striped belly - reminds me of Wonderwoman!
 And here they are all together perched on my yet to be decorated Christmas tree.
I quite enjoyed making these and I actually managed the hand sewing required for the mini yoyo eyes without my hands getting too sore.  I have to move on to some other projects next but I think I will be coming back to these again  - maybe even before Christmas.

Till next time......happy stitching!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Owl be watching you....

Not much sewing done today but three of my little owls did manage to get their eyes....sort of.  I have made the yoyos anyway and at the moment they are just sitting on the unsewn and unstuffed body pieces.  They really need their beaks for the faces to come to life but hopefully that will happen tomorrow. 

What we did get done today was more Christmas shopping - some for the boys and lots for my husband and maybe I bought one or two things for him to give me.  Every year my husband buys his own books, CDs, DVDs and wine for me to give him.  It is impossible to buy surprises for him.  He has so many books, CDs and DVDs that I can't keep track of what he has and doesn't have.  He used to maintain a spread sheet - yes seriously! - of his books.  Not sure if he has kept it up to date or not.  After years of getting his wish list in the last week before Christmas I finally decided that it was just wiser to make him get his own things and with my knees being really bad I can't do all the walking anyway.  Unfortunately his birthday is the middle of January too so it is doubly as difficult.  Every year I try to come up with a surprise but most years I can't.  So instead I focus on making the house look nice, doing all the wrapping except my gifts of course and making sure we have yummy food - all his favourites -n for lunch and dinner.

My friend, Donna, over at Donna's Lavender Nest nominated me for a Liebster Award.  I am honoured that she should think of me.  It is such a nice compliment but the problem is that the last time I received and award I had trouble finding willing recipients to pass it on to.  So, what i have decided to do is pass it on to all the lovely blogs that I follow who have less that 200 followers.  If you are one of them feel free to take it up and carry it on. 

Now some admin help - please.  Over the last couple of days I have noticed that I can't comment on blogs that I used to be able to comment on including my friends Celia and Cathy.  This is really annoying as I haven't changed any settings and I know they haven't but it seems to be a fault with blogger.  I have logged out and logged back in again and can't seem the fix the problem.  If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

Till next time............when I hope to have more to show you...........happy stitching!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A rescue, a finish and starting all over again!

More small mercies.  It rained constantly last night so not a good thing with a leaky roof.  Handsome hubby and headed out in the rain this morning to do some grocery shopping - that is after we saved this little fellow from the pool.  We have had so much rain this last week that he must have been washed out of a tree or similar.  He is lucky that there was so much rain as a week again he wouldn't have been able to reach the tiny little frog sized ledge where the tile ends but the rain has filled up the pool.

After we came home from the shops the skies had cleared - about the first time in a week.  We have had only 45 mins sunlight all week which very unusual.  But the sun came out in perfect time for my hubby to get up on the roof and and fix the broken tile that was causing the leak!  Now all we need is some more rain to test the tiles and make sure we have found the culprit. 

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!!!  I am doing another happy dance as I have finished my pin cushion.  This one is for a Christmas swap with my Quilt group and it was MY idea so I had better do it and do a good one!  Phew!  I started a cool one a few days ago but the pattern wasn't well written and it was not clear what to do - ugh.  It is now filed in the WPB (waste paper basket) 

Today I started my plan B and at last it is finished! And I think it is of an appropriate standard!  Yahoo!!!!!  Actually I think it is quite cute but way too much trouble for me to want to make another one in a hurry!  And of course, I can only show you a sneak peak........

 until December 7th.

As soon as the pin cushion was completed I moved onto the next project.  These are "Who Knew" and are either pin cushions or ornaments.  I am going with ornaments - who could stick a pin in these cute guys!
 How cute is that!  I have to make Christmas Decorations for my SIL and my niece so this is the choice for this year.  It is almost becoming a family tradition with my SIL.  She doesn't sew but she enjoys what I do. 
I will probably make some other ornaments too but at least if I get these done it takes the pressure off me!

Till next time....happy stitching!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanks Goodness for Small Mercies!

Some times you just got to be thankful for small mercies - like when your roof is leaking after a week that has only seen 45 minutes of blue sky the leak is over your kitchen sink AND your husband is home to deal with it instead of being away on business!  Let's just hope that the forecast for tomorrow is wrong and the rain will stop long enough for handsome hubby to investigate the roof.   Like I said, some times you just got to be thankful!

On a more positive note - I finished one Kris Kringle present today  - sneak peak only till Wednesday night.  That is when the Gumnuts (my quilt group) is exchanging gifts.

I also finished the baby quilt I have been making for little Isaac.  It is been so consistently wet over here this week that it hardly stops raining and drizzling so this is the best I can do for a photo (oh dear here comes the heavier rain again!) 
 This is in lieu of a label.  Five labels forming the Southern Cross.

I bound it with the same pale blue that I backed it with - this blue is such a soft pretty hue!  I love it.
None of us really have time to start stitching laundry bags and quilts for our lady soldiers but that doesn't mean we have been idle.   Irene has dug out fabric and washed, dried and ironed it, Andrea has delivered another lot, Celia is thinking about patterns and plans.....

I have another couple of sewing deadlines to meet and then I will start cutting out.

Pin Cushion due 7 Dec
Little Niece's sewing 10 Dec
Big Niece and SIL xmas decs due 12 Dec
Friend's, Sister, nephew's Xmas gifts due 14 Dec
D9P due 20 Dec
Sisterhood Kris Kringle Due 21 Dec

Can't be more specific than that as some of them read my blog (Tarja, Jenni.......)

By the way, I need some suggestions for interesting Christmas decorations to make.  Can anyone recommend any websites or tutorials?  I have some ideas but it is always great to know of more and after all...... tis the season!

Till next time...........happy stitching!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Warning! No pic post!

Sorry girls, no photos to show you tonight as I have been working on a kris kringle present for one of my quilt group - a fellow Gumnut or Nutter as we call ourselves. 

Big news of the day is that I received a lovely email from Jo, the lone female soldier of the group we have been doing things for.  What a lovely surprise.  I won;t copy all of the email here but I am sure she won't mind me sharing one little quote from her with my quilty friends :

"I love my quilt so much but I don't want to use it in case it gets ruined :) Its so beautiful I put it on my bed and at night time I fold it away. I just love it. :) "

Isn't rewarding to make something and have it appreciated!  Earlier on today my friend, Celia asked me if I thought the girls would like some bags.  I asked the Warrant Officer for some info regarding the girls and he suggested that jo reply to me.  She has given us the intials of four of her friends who she thought would love some girly things.  Celia is now planning to sew and so are the Gumnuts.  I feel four more laundry bags and four pretty girliy quilts coming on. 

I think the rest of my quilt group is a bit burnt out after all the sewing we have been doing lately so the quilts will probably have to wait till January.  Celia has said she might be able to make one or two quilt tops so that will be lovely!  If anyone else wants to get involved too just let me know and we will work something out.

I finished my kris kringle gift number one tonight - the major one - and I am about a third of the way thru the accessories to go with it.  More sewing tomorrow until I have to collect the boys from school.  Sadly I might have to post about other things for a few days till I get my secret christmas sewing done.  I will see what I can do. 

Till next time.........happy stitching!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gumnuts Meeting

We had our normal Gumnut Quilters meeting today.  Our mission today was to make a quilt for Cynthia's son (Cynthia is the one in the red vest).  Her son is due to go to Afghanistan later this year or early next year.  We want Cynthia to have a quilt ready to post to him as soon as he departs Oz. 

 As always seems to happen we cut too many strips for one quilt so kept on going to make two quilts The second one will go to another fellow who is currently in Afghanistan and who is the son of neighbours and friends of a couple of the quilt group members.

We managed to get the two quilt tops completed and layered and I have brought them home to quilt.  I will do that tomorrow and then will drop them off to Andrea to bind them.

While we were together today we also made a suprise for another Gumnut Quilter.  Oue lovely Sharon is having a tough time at the moment as her husband has several health issues to deal with.  he walks with a walker frame.  I showed Sharon the walker bag I made for my elderly uncle and she said she wanted to make one too.  With her husband back in hospital at the moment she isn't going to be able to get the sewing done so we made one for her today as a surprise - well, mostly Glenys and Irene made it.

 We used Gumnut fabric for the pockets - appropriate huh!  Andrea found this curtain fabric years ago and bought quite a bit of it - we have been using bits and pieces of it on various projects for years.  We made Cynthia;s son a laundry bag from it and put some of it on his quilt as well.
It was Andrea'a birthday today and Irene brought her these gorgeous flowers. Peonies?  But, the name aside - aren't they beautiful!! 

 I have spent the night tonight working on my Kris Kringle present - just about finished the applique.
Hopefully I will finish the project tomorrow - that's the goal!

Till next time......................happy stitching!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

it is beginning to feel a lot like.....

Christmas!!!!!!  And I love Christmas!!!!

And I love The Christmas Shop.  I had to go there today to collect my new Christmas tree which had finally come into stock.  It is such a pretty place - I just love all the decorations and trees and lights and so on....  I took a few pics to share.

 Got to love the Christmas dinnerware
 especially the Mary Engelbreit bits.  Love Mary Engelbreit.  Her Santa is just so jolly and gentle looking!
 This has Aussie ornaments on it - I had hoped the picture would turn out better
 but at least you can see the dolphin surfing Santa and kangaroo!!!
 While i was there I managed to convince them to give me some ornaments to go on the tree for Afghanistan.  Oops I haven't told you about that one.  My husband posted the box for me - Kmart had a super cheap 1.2m Christmas tree and we coupled it with 8m of silver and red tinsel, some Christmas lights and a few red baubles.  They were all super cheap but it won't matter - they still look festive and now there are some Aussie critters to live in the tree too.  From left to right we have the Tawny Frog Mouth Bird, a green tree frog and a dolphin and then in the bottom, a row of platypus!
 Of course, as well as picking up my tree I had to pick up a few other little bits - like this Santa hat garland (Cute or what!!!)
 and this really cute Santa
 And a couple of other bits that are going to be part of an Aussie Christmas giveaway in a week or so. No hints......yet!

Did you notice that some of these photos have a camouflage (you can't see me) theme.  This USED to be a DPCU, er that is disruptive pattern combat uniform shirt.  Now it is going to be quilt fabric.  The Warrant Officer from Fly Boy's cadet unit, after a request from me, dropped off a tub of old uniforms for me to use.  This is the first shirt.  I have cut it up so that it can be used in a quilt we are making tomorrow.  It is going to the son of one of our quilt group ready for when he goes to Afghanistan in coming months.   
 I have cut two strips that include the pockets and I will take the rest of the fabric with me so that we can use more of it if we want to. 
So, no sewing today but I still think I had a good one!  I will make up for the sewing tomorrow - first quilt group then a peaceful evening at home - while my boys are away at camp!!! for two nights!!!  I love my boys, but all that extra sewing time - YAY!!

Till next time.....happy stitching!