"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's been a week...

...and the winner of my birthday giveaway has not contacted me. I have no way of contacting her, so I have had to draw a new winner.
Please email me asap with your mailing address and I'll have it in the post to you next week when I get back from Brisbane.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekly catch-up and some Show & Tell...

What a week it has been!
Two trips to Townsville, three days at work, a home to run and a teenager to ferry back and forth every day, a trip to the doctors, the dentist, and the pathologist, two gifts to finish...and I did try to get some of my own sewing done but it just wasn't happening. Meanwhile....
Princess Sophie has been spending her time 'lounging'...
...and playing with Bob-the-Dog, who has a new toy (fondly known as Shorn The Sheep)....
...which Sophie loves to snatch off him and run away with so he will play chase with her!
At 6am each morning a thundering herd of elephants can be heard charging up and down along the hardwood floor of the hall outside our room....well, it sounds like elephants, but it's really these two rascals playing chase. Sleeping in these days is but a fond memory.
Mr E and I have been out on the motorbike again today. We rode to a tiny little town with a population of about 20 residents (common in our neck of the woods) known as Balfe's Creek. We looked over a bike that was for sale but decided it wasn't what we wanted, so had a cold drink and shared a pack of Twisties before the return ride home. (You can see photos of our last visit to Balfe's Creek from June last year HERE ) I am finding life so exhilirating these days, and I know that is from this time spent cruising the highways with my man. :-)
We have some Show & Tell today!
Carrie has finished verse 2 of Give Thanks...
....and Celia has also finished Verse 2. 
We are having a run on verse 2 today, aren't we? Here is Nancy's!
They are all so different, and so pretty!
Has anyone stitched verse 3 yet? 
Thank you for all the heartfelt birthday wishes. How lovely you all are!
My good friend Fee spoiled me with a box of luscious goodies. I thought I was opening an Aladdin's Cave of treasures....
...and the next day I received this beautiful parcel from Katrin, with a Tilda doll!
I was very spoiled, and I love everything. :-)
Thank you so much, girls!
I have been wanting to share something 'different' for my Give Thanks BOM this week, but time was against me, and I am flying down to Brisbane on Thursday so you will have to be patient while I carve out some pockets of sewing time in March. I know you understand. 
PS: My original Shabby Roses quilt that Pam won in the January Auction to raise money for the Queensland Flood relief has arrived in the US! You can read about Pam's excitement HERE. 
It's lovely to know my 'baby' is cherished by such a lovely lady!

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's my birthday!

It's my birthday. 
This card is a vintage birthday card. We're both suited. I'm becoming vintage :-)
The other exciting thing about today is that I have drawn the winner of my birthday giveaway!
You were commenter 196, but I cannot access your profile so have no way to contact you. Please email me with your postal address within 4 days so that I can arrange to have this book...
...posted to you. If I have not heard from you by Friday I'll have to draw a new winner. Sorry! 
Mr E and I rode to Mingela again yesterday for lunch, and this time I took a photo of the old place, and my handsome man. :-)
Not many riders there this week, but the roast beef, roast pork, and vegetables for the $5 lunch were YUM! 
I am having the best time of my life riding with hubby, and we're already making plans for the bike we'd like in the future...
 Dreams. Gotta have dreams. :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New designs!

I've been busy showing you peaks of new designs on and off over the last months, but today I will be offering four of them for you to purchase!

~Oopsie Daisy Table Runner~
is gorgeous! I find that wide table runners often get in the way when you have guests for coffe and cake. They don't leave a good flat space for a mug and plate, and some resting elbows. So this runner is a long, but narrow 11 x 41 inches....

~Buttons 'n' Bows Bag~
So many of you commented on this design, and others asked about a pattern, so what could I do but say 'yes'?! It's perfect for using charm squares, you know. :-)

~Feeling Blue Cushion~
This is another design that had a number of you emailing to ask 'where is the pattern!?', and finally, here it is. I loved working with linen in the stitched block...

~Keep a Cup of Kindness Handy~
For those who love something with a sentiment that expresses the very heart of who you are, this is a beautiful framed applique and stitchery design. It was inspired by my love of the television show, The Waltons. Though struggling through the Depression with barely enough to provide for their large extended family, there was always a cup of coffee and meal to be shared with a stranger or a friend who had dropped by unexpectedly. 
This would be such a wonderful sentiment to hang in your kitchen, or to give as a gift to someone who has shown you hospitality. :-)
All these designs are now available for $4 each as pdf patterns HERE in my Etsy Shop.
I will email them to you within 12 hours of purchase. :-)
Here are two lovely Show & Tells for this week!
Maria has made her hanger and 2nd verse in my BOM, 'Give Thanks', and used fabrics from her stash!
Dawn has finished her hanger too, and two of the verses...
How are you going with your GIVE THANKS hanger and verses?
Next week I'll have something extra to share with you for using with this BOM. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Biking with Mr E!

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away..."
Our family love that U2 song! No matter what sort of day it is, play this and your day changes immediately. 
My beautiful day this week was last Sunday, hugging Mr E from the back of his bike....
 I had the BEST time in years!!
We rode to Mingela, a tiny town with about 20 people, no shop, but they have a pub. Every Sunday bikers come from all around for the $5 roast lunch. I didn't have my camera with me so couldn't take pics but I will next time. Down both sides of the street in front of this very old, falling apart pub, you will find motorbikes and cruisers - and all the riders are middle age or older - only a couple of 'youngsters' amongst us.
It's around 45 klms from us, so a nice 90 klm round trip for my first time out. I can't wait for our next ride. Mr E is a skilled driver, and now I can see he is a wonderful rider as well.
On the sewing front I have been playing around with another Tilda blue Shabby Roses block re-make...
 (this is the original block from my quilt)
...a pieced Christmas cushion for Handmade magazine in pretty aqua...
...number 3 in my latest set of shabby stitcheries...
...preparation for making my new table runner design in a different colour scheme (you can see my 'Bliss' version HERE)
...and a 'Buttons'n'Bows' bag, also for Handmade magazine later this year.
I can't believe how quick it is to make projects without embroidery or applique - this is pretty new to me. 
I made the bag in an afternoon, and the cushion in a couple of hours. Normally it takes me a couple of days or more just to do the stitchery. I think I like piecing things for a change of pace, and it makes me think of how best to bring a project to life without relying on a stitched or appliqued design (hence the bows and buttons on the bag!).
Always learning something new - I think that is the story of crafting, don't you?
I am having some health issues that require me to change my diet, so I'm going to get back to my 'One Body For Living' blog tonight and share what's been going on in my kitchen...if you're interested perhaps you'll have some ideas that you can share too?
Don't forget to enter my 1300 followers giveaway HERE...only 4 more days till it's drawn, which mean only 4 more days till my birthday! No chocolate this year, but I have requested flowers because I love them almost as much. :-)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

1300! A giveaway and some news....

Oh my goodness!
I just noticed my followers have gone over 1300!
What a gorgeous group of craft lovers you all are, so I'd best do something special for you!!
Leave a comment, just one, on this blog post and you'll go in the draw for this gorgeous new book of designs by Australia's Lynette Anderson!

I'll draw the winner on my birthday, February 21st. :-)
Thank you to everyone for understanding and supporting my need to 'pull back' from blogging a bit. 
Mr E has decided that it's time I joined him 'outside' in his own favourite pastime, so yesterday he bought me these birthday gifts, and today I am going to christen them...
...on a ride to Mingela for lunch! 
I haven't been on a motorbike since 1999, so this will be the start of some serious fun time with my beloved and a way to spend more time together. I love the pink in my helmet and jacket...I just couldn't have worn any other colour. ;-)
In my quiet times I have begun a new set of simple shabby stitcheries that could be used on just about anything. Another week or so and I will have them to show you, but for now...
And I also finished another block in the remake of my original Shabby Roses quilt.
This is the original quilt...
...and my remake is coming along beautifully in Tilda blues...
I got very excited this week when a parcel arrived for me. I had ordered a book from Maree that had been on my to-read list for a while, and was so excited that she was stocking it in her online store!
This will be my constant 'down-time' companion for a while to come. I think I should have been a 50's housewife... ;-)
Princess Sophie continues to make residence 'anywhere'. We have a notion that she is marking her territory for all of us to take note of. 
Only one Show & Tell photo this week.
Susan has finished block 2 of "Give Thanks"...
Susan will be one of many followers who will come to a "Gum Tree Designers Morning Tea in the Park" on March 5th in Brisbane, so we'll get to meet face to face. 
If you'd like to know more about the Gum Tree Designers flying in from all over Australia to Brisbane for our first face-to-face Gathering, have a read HERE
If you can make it we'd love to meet you!!
As we're out of towners we're asking everyone to bring a plate of delish morning tea fare to share.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Tomorrow I start back in the Home Ec Dept at hubby's school as a Teacher's Aide. Some of you may remember that I did this late 2009 and for the first half of 2010 as part of our 'living-on-campus' responsibilities. I loved working with the students and our teacher, Jodie, but the position ended when we moved off campus and into the White Cottage (my nickname for our home). Recently I was offered the position again, but this time with a wage. \o/ 

It's 10 hours a week; enough hours to enjoy the responsibility, but little enough that my main love of being a homemaker is not affected. In fact, I get to have lunch every Wednesday with Mr E in his office!

I am sharing this news because my time on the internet will be reduced, and that means I'll be blogging a bit less. This is also a choice I have made because I feel that my time in the home has not been what I desire it to be. Things I love to do for my family are not being done with the patience and time that I used to afford them...blogging, designing, sewing, answering emails and comments - they each take big chunks of my time, my attention and my heart.

There was a time when those chunks of my day were filled with other things; things that blessed the ones I love most. I feel that the last two years has seen me rob my beloveds of my available personal touch in their lives. Each of them has encouraged and supported me in my designing and blogging - that's the true measure of how wonderful they are - but I want to slow down now, and really focus on them again.

I need to *be* there, not just physically, but with my full attention to their conversation, to their concerns and their joys; to capture in my memory every laugh, and the twinkle in their eyes when they play a joke on me, to listen intently and know what is happening in their day to day world without forgetting because I'm so busy elsewhere.

Cyclone Yasi did not change our day to day situation - we still have a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs, employment.
What it did change, was to open my mind (a needed refresher course!) to the fragility of life, the uncertainty of tomorrow, the need to embrace the ones you love and to pour yourself into those relationships with total abandon. 
I hope you can grasp where I am coming from? 
I am a Keeper at Home, a Help Meet to my husband, a child of God - these are the 'jobs' that require the most of me, and the ones I love above all others. 

This next verse for your Give Thanks hanger came to me after Yasi had passed, but there are many manifestations of storms in our lives - sickness, financial struggles, death, unemployment, homelessness, estrangement from loved ones...the list can go on. 
For me, the shelter through all those storms has been my faith. 
~Verse 3~
You can download this mini-quilt verse HERE.
Have you unintentionally gotten too busy and taken a side turn from the things/people that matter most in your life? 
It's never too late to hop back on the right path. :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Show & Tell, and January Challenge Winner

Thank you for your patience with my very overdue Friday Show & Tell.
Let's start with the last of the January Apron Challenge entries!

The skirt Dot used to make her apron was lined, so she has a very useful reversible apron now!
Dee M made her apron from a much loved daughter's dress...
and Connie used a pretty flower girl dress of her daughter's as well!
Thank you to all who participated in the Cinderella Challenge!! You all made some gorgeous aprons, and I think we may have started something - I'll never look at a skirt in the same way again. :-)
I used Mr Random Generator to draw the winner of this prize...
Congratulations, Karen! Please email me your postal address and I'll have the book sent off to you. 

Now for the rest of today's Show & Tell!
You've all been so busy with Give Thanks...

From Sherry - look at that exquisite hanger!
...and from Celia, something very different and so lovely...
Györgyi in Hungary has made hers in her own language, so beautiful!
Heleen in the Netherlands has also added her own special touch to my design!
Ruth's friend Vikki in Canada doesn't have a blog, but she is addicted to stitching these days! 
Lis has just finished her first verse....
...and our last Give Thanks for this week is from Dawn, and I can see she has used a fabric range that I loved when it came out (Woodland Bloom)!
To finish off this week's photos, look at how Carmen used my 2009 Mug Hug design to make a beautiful wallhanging...
...and the needlebook Lyn made using my free Roses Coasters design!
I love everything you talented ladies have made, and I feel quite humbled that you choose to use my designs. Bless you all!!