I don't have fireflies in my garden - which is a shame... only cats, bees, a dog and the odd dragonfly!! So please settle down with a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quilts 4 Kids

I recently discovered this very worthwhile charity that supplies stitched quilts to sick kids around Australia.  The way I found them was via a blog that I read (The Twisted Stitcher).  Vonna had mentioned on her blog that she was stitching a quilt block for the Love Quilts programme in the US.  So me, being the sticky beak that I am, had a look at the website, and while nosing around I discovered the link to the Australian version - Quilts 4 Kids

Basically the idea is that stitchers sign up to cross stitch a theme square (30cm x 30cm) for the child and then send it to Quilts 4 Kids for making up into quilts to be given to the registered sick children.  The designs that have been stitched are really gorgeous and the quilters do a fantastic job of finishing them and really showing off the stitched squares.  And what a great thing to do for sick kids.  There are some photos on the website of the kids with their finished quilts.  It is amazing to see the number of quilts that have been completed since the group started in 2005.

At the time of my first visit to the Quilts 4 Kids website all the quilts had closed for 2010 and the 2011 children were yet to be listed.

So I waited and checked back a couple of times and then just recently Linde uploaded the 2011 kids.  There are 7 sick kids that the group are making quilts for this year.  I have signed up to stitch for 3 of them, Anakin, Sarah and Alexis.  Each quilt has a due date, and if I can get my fingers stitching quickly enough I would like to try and sign up for a fourth one.  But I do know my stitching limitations, and I just hope that I haven't already bitten off more than I can  chew.... or rather stitch!

So what am I stitching....

Anakin G - Anakin's theme is trains.  So I searched through my old magazines and found a Thomas the Tank Engine design to stitch for Anakin.  The design comes from the UK Cross Stitcher magazine, issue April 2002.  This square is due on 28th Feb, so that gives me just under 2 months to stitch and send.  I started this one yesterday while watching the cricket!

Sarah I - Sarah's theme is butterflies.  I knew that I just had the perfect pattern for this one.  It is an old freebie DMC chart that I sent away for years ago and is called "Wings".  It is a beautiful coloured butterfly with pink flowers.  That square is due on 30th March.

Alexis W - Alexis' theme is the Winnie the Pooh characters.  Well, I do just happen to have one or two Winnie the Pooh patterns, however before I had even had the chance to sift through all my old magazines, books and my stash, the perfect pattern appeared in the latest World of Cross Stitching mag (issue 170) that I bought.  It is a design of Pooh, Eeyeore and Piglet on a Christmas sled.  Just perfect!!  This square is due on 15th April.

So as you can see I have a bit of stitching to do over the next four months!  If I can get a good head start on the first two then I might sign up for a fourth square... but let's not be too ambitious to start with - three squares are probably more than enough for me to handle!!!

So it looks like "Buddha and Bonsai" is on the back burner again.... although I think I might have to spend an hour or so every couple of weeks on it just so that I can get it finished in 2011!

I will post a WIP photo of Thomas in the next couple of days.  So far I have made quite a good start on him and fingers crossed with the next week off from work on holidays I can get him almost finished!

Choo Choo til next time,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Xmas Moggy has landed....

First all, Merry Christmas everyone.  Christmas Day has arrived in it's usual style in Perth - nice cool breeze from the East at 5am which always means a hot day... to be replaced with 30% humidity and a warm 37 deg C.  But a sea breeze from West is due later this afternoon!  Can't wait!!  Love the Freo Doctor!!

This is an late post but not an unexpected one regarding this particular item.  I have been holding off doing a show-off post for my latest finish as I wanted to wait until it arrived in Maribeth's post box in New York.

And it has now has landed in New York, so I can show it off - and how appropriate that it landed in Maribeth's post box on Christmas Eve.

Xmas Moggy Card for Maribeth
This cute little Xmas Moggy came from a free Christmas Card design booklet with the Cross Stitch Crazy issue 143.  All the charts and backing papers were designed by Jenny Ellory.  I didn't use the backing paper this time but I certainly will in the future as they are gorgeous.

I will admit that I made a wee mistake on the stitching - nothing too drastic other than I started stitching the background in 2 threads only to discover that it should have been in 1 thread....  So rather than have a chat with Mr Frog, I decided to carry on... and I think the Xmas Moggy turned out just fine.  The backstitch does show moggy off so my little mistake is really my little design change!!  I do hope Jenny doesn't mind!?

I am now off to have Roast Duck and another glass of champers.  No matter where or how you are celebrating today, the day that Christ was born, have a wonderful day, stay safe and love and cherish one another.

Until next time,
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.  Don't clean it up too quickly.  ~Andy Rooney


Friday, December 24, 2010

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Source of picture unknown
 Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Well, the big day is nearly here!

We have decked the halls, put up the tree and hung the decorations, wrapped the presents, filled the stockings, laid the table ready for the big Christmas feast tomorrow, Christmas carols are playing in the background, (actually it's the "Hairy Bikers 12 days of Christmas" that I can hear...) cards have been sent and received - yep, I think everything is ready for Christmas Day....

The only thing missing is the jolly man in the red suit!   But according to the Official NORAD Santa Tracker website it's not long before he gets underway.

Christmas means different things to different people and there are so many sayings and songs relating to Christmas, so many traditions and every family has their own way of celebrating the birth of Christ.

This year Mark and I are celebrating the day together, just the two of us (with Daisy, Oscar and Felix, of course).  This will be the first year that we haven't spent the day with the whole family, however we will still be following our family traditions.

So Christmas Day in our humble abode will be:

5am start - the cats and dog will no doubt wake us up as the sun will be shining and their bellies will be rumbling.  Once the animals are fed and we have had our breakfast, we will go down to the beach nice and early so that we can enjoy a walk along the water's edge before it gets too hot, then we will come home, make all the family phone calls and wish everyone a Merry Christmas, then it will be time to prepare the Weber so that we can cook our Christmas duck. 

Yep, while it is scheduled to be 38 deg C (100.4 in the old money - deg F) in Perth on Christmas Day we are still going to have our traditional cooked Christmas lunch!!  All washed down with a lovely bottle of icy cold champagne (my one weakness!), and then it will be plum pudding and custard for afters.  By that time my stomach will be full and there will be dishes to be done and all I will want to do is go to sleep in front of the telly!

Mark grew up in England and I grew up in the north west of Western Australia, but both of our families have the tradition of a hot lunch on Christmas Day, and some traditions never change...

So while Bing Crosby might be "Dreaming of a White Christmas", and some countries around the world have more of a "White Christmas" than they want, little old Perth will be sizzling and sweltering through another hot, dry Christmas season.  But hey, that is Christmas in Australia, and I wouldn't be anywhere else!

No matter where you may be in the world, and whether you will be celebrating the day with loved ones or thinking of loved ones who are no longer with us, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and  a Happy New Year.  May 2011 bring you health, wealth and happiness.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by my little blog spot on the world wide interweb...  I have really enjoyed reading all your wonderful blogs and seeing what you are all stitching and creating, and I look forward to seeing what everyone blogs about next year.

RECIPE FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS

To a cup of tradition, time-honored and dear,
Add a generous portion of holiday cheer,
Combine with the memories of Christmases past,
Then sprinkle the mixture with joy unsurpassed.
Add a dash or good spirits, stir fondly until...
You set it to rise in the warmth of good will.
Pour love over all in generous measure,
And garnish with laughter and heartwarming pleasure.
~~By Barbara Burrow~~

And Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Til next time,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Look what I got in the mail...

This year (2010) has been a very different year for me in regards to my stitching. 

In January 2010 I joined an online Forum called "Craftbubble" or "CB" for short.  Upon joining CB a whole new world opened up!  I have never been one for online doings but now I have discovered that having online friends that have the same interests as I do is just so good!  It is really nice to be able to talk cross stitch and not have the other person's eyes glaze over!  (not that I can see my virtual friends when I "talk" to them - but I know their eyes aren't glazing over - their eyes will be sparkling with anticipation and love for our craft!!!).  Along with joining CB I also joined an Aussie crafting forum called "Chatterfox" which is managed by the Fox Collection.

So what has this got to do with the title of this blog do I hear you say.. well, since joining the online forums I have heard about Round Robins and stitching exchanges, and I have drooled over some of the beautiful pieces of stitching that have been swapped between these very talented people.

And I have now done both!!! 

I took part in the Chatterfox Christmas RR and have posted photos of what I stitched in a previous blog.  That was great fun and I so want to do another one!  I would like to participate in a CB RR, but with CB being a UK based forum I was concerned that postage to and from the UK could be a problem, but with Chatterfox being based in Australia sending to and from each member of the RR was so much easier - especially as nearly half of us were WA based!!! :-)  (All those abbeviations and acronyms in this paragragh...)

Oops, gone off the beaten track again.....

Anyway, back to what I received in the mail!  I did finally join a stitching exchange on CB - it was the Crazy for Kitty's Christmas Exchange.  I stitched the little white cat - picture in previous blog for Catdragon (Alison) in the UK and sent that off a couple of weeks ago with a surfing Koala bear christmas tree ornament.  Catdragon stitched and sent her package to me and it arrived safe and sound a week ago.  Then I just had to wait unil the unveiling day on Monday 13th December, and...

this is what I received in the mail
Crazy for Kittys Christmas Exchange
parcel received from Catdragon (Alison)
 Alison stitched and crafted a gorgeous card, a kitty key ring and a sweet kitty saying (which is hanging up in the kitchen as I write!)
Royal "Kitty" Seal of Approval from Oscar!
Thank you Catdragon (Alison) for your lovely parcel - it was a real delight opening up my package this week.

Yep, joining the online forums this year has certainly changed my stitching habits.  It has made me stitch to a deadline and finish something.  But more importantly it has given me my stitching mo-jo back which had started to wither away slightly - mainly because I was only doing big projects and when I was struggling I would put them away and not do anything else until I found them again!  I hadn't realised that I needed a bit variety in my stitching - after all "variety is the spice of life"!!!

So until next time,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

And now for something completely different and totally useless!

I have found something completely and totally useless to do in 2011, but at the same time something so quirky that I have to do it!

A week or so ago while reading some of the blogs that I follow I saw a post about a TUSAL.  It put such a smile on my face that I thought "Yep, I have to do this!".

What's a TUSAL?  I wondered the same thing until I read It's Daffycat: A Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long, then all was explained!

So now all I have to do is stitch, save my old ratty threads (ORT's) and keep an eye on the date, take and post a pic of my lovely bits of ORT's in their jar or wine glass (or whatever I can find to hold them in) each new moon - I can do that!!

I have even listed the new moon dates below so that I can't forget when they are!

2011 New Moon Dates:
January 4
February 3
March 4
April 3
May 3
June 1
July 1
July 30
August 29
September 27
October 26
November 25
December 24


If you want to see what all the fuss is about and maybe even join in this quirky SAL, pop along to Daffycat's blog and have a look at It's Daffycat: A Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long

Til the next new moon!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another addition to the ever increasing stash...

Well I guess it is true, you can never have enough in your stash....

Recently while checking out some cross stitching blogs I came across a really lovely Maia design that I couldn't stop thinking about.  It is called "Winter's Majesty" and is based on the artwork of Karl Bang.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted it - so I started searching online for the design in Australia and didn't get very far.  But, I did find it on the "Sew and So" website, and while I know I should be supporting Australian online and local retailers, with the Aussie Dollars being so good, I decided to buy online from the UK.  Unfortunately, while I was on the Sew and So website I also found 3 other Oriental style kits that took both my fancy and my hubby's fancy....  Plus they had a very good sale on and a good sale is my one weakness!

I was really pleased (and surprised) that I only had to wait just over a week for the package to come from the UK - not bad! 

So now all I have to do is finish my "Bonsai and Buddha" and then I can start "Winter's Majesty".

Winter's Majesty

Pagoda View

Temple View

The Great Wave off Kanagawa
(this is the one that Mark asked me to order)
Now that my stash has increased yet again, I will need to add another couple of years to the already amazing lifespan that I must have if I am ever going to stitch everything I have in my stash!

Still, what is a cross stitcher without a stash??  I don't think there is any such thing!!!

Until next time,