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!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My last post....

That made you look, didn't it!!!  Well, it is the last day of November, so this is my last post for November 2011!!  And seeing as I didn't post much during the month I thought that I would end the month on a high note, so to speak.

Where, oh where has the month and the year gone?  Tomorrow is the 1st of December, which means that Christmas is around the corner with the New Year of 2012 chasing behind and catching up very quickly!  Can you believe how quickly 2011 has flown by?

I was thinking the other day about what goals I had set for my stitching for 2011 and whether I had achieved any of them, and then thought about what my stitching goals for 2012 would be.  But that is for another post!  I may not have achieved all my goals but I have certainly done a lot more stitching this year than I have done for a very long time!  So that is an achievement in itself :o)

This post, as it is the last one for November 2011, is a bit of a stitching update.

So what have I been working on over the last month?  Besides my snowman for the MS Lovers Blog SAL #2,  I recently stitched Margaret Sherry's photographer cat for the birthday of an online friend of mine in the USA - Maribeth.  This card was part of the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" birthday exchange.  Maribeth often tells me about the trips that she does around her home state of New York and I thought that the photographer cat would be the perfect fellow to stitch for her.  Plus he is a ginger cat as is Maribeth's kitty!  So two ticks in two boxes... can't go wrong!

The design has been published in one of the cross stitching mags but in this instance I stitched the design from the bumper Margaret Sherry Collection design book.  I so love that book - all those great designs in one spot!

Stitched photographer cat from Margaret Sherry Collection
Finished card for Maribeth

I also stitched a Christmas card for the same group's Christmas Exchange.  My card is now on it's way to Sue in the UK but I thought it wouldn't hurt to let you see a sneak peek of her card... so here it is.

Finished card for Sue (Crazy for Kitties Christmas Exchange)
Design was stitched from the "Cross Stitch Favourites 2011" magazine
I know that it is a very plain and simple finish to the card, but after finding this delightful vintage paper I didn't want to put anything else on it except the stitching.  For once I stayed my hand with the extra emblishments.  The paper was a freebie in one of the paper crafting magazines.  I only buy those magazines if they have good freebies like papers or stamps!

I am still stitching my ornament which is also for the CB "Crazy for Kitties" group.  This should be finished by the weekend, and then I will start on my secret stitching for the MS Lovers Blog Christmas card exchange.  I know exactly what I am going to stitch and how I am going to finish the card, but my lips are sealed as we have all been sworn to secrecy until the card arrives at its destination, or at least until Christmas eve when Nia will post pics of those that haven't quite made it to their destination on the MS Lovers Blog for all to see!

So, fellow bloggers, that is it for the last post of November 2011.  See you in December when we start the countdown to Christmas and 2012.

Til next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday Night at the Movies

What better way is there to spend a Saturday night than at the movies?  Well, maybe watching old movies at home on Saturday night!

That's what our Saturday was all about last night.  Hubby cooked a delicious steak dinner which I washed down with a lovely glass or two of sparkling wine and then watched 2 of my favourite leading ladies in a sweet, happy movie called "How to Marry a Millionaire".


This movie came out 11 years before I was even born...

I just love watching old movies and to have a movie with Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall in it was an added bonus, so how could I not have watched it; even if I have watched it a couple of times before!  After that movie finished I then watched a wonderful old Frank Sinatra movie - "Pal Joey".

A great way to spend a Saturday night!  Didn't get too much stitching done though... which was probably just as well as I would probably have had to "frog" all the stitches done after having a few glasses of bubbles....

Til next time, happy stitching!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"The Wedding Quilt" Giveaway

Hello again... I don't normally do 2 posts in one day... but there is always a first time especially when there is a good reason for a 2nd post!

Over the last few months I have been reading some fabulous novels by Jennifer Chiaverini - the Elm Creek Quilts novels.

All devotees of these fabulous books have been hanging out and waiting for the new release - The Wedding Quilt.


This book has now been released in the US, and one of the bloggers that I follow - Loris from Lucky Pup Quilter - has been given the wonderful job of reading, reviewing and then having a giveaway for some lucky person to also get the chance to read the new book!

Now if you haven't read the books I recommend you do... the characters are rich and believable, and the history that is wrapped up in the stories with the backdrop of the US Civil War period are fascinating.  The stories that are set in today's time make me so want to go on a Quilt Camp and be part of this wonderful life!  Reading these books re-ignited my dream of creating a quilt... although I haven't had the courage to start one yet.... I leave the quilts to Hubby while I cross-stitch - but a girl can still dream can't she?!?

So how do you get in on the action?  Simple, just drop in to Loris' blog, say hi and sign up for the Wedding Quilt giveaway

Til next time, happy stitching and happy reading!
 

Totally Useless SAL Update - New Moon 25 November 2011

Hello dear blogging friends!  Here we are again, another New Moon and another ORT Report.

In my little ORT jar this month are lots of colours from all the stitching I have been doing - some of which you have seen and some you haven't as yet viewed.

So what have I stitched this month?  Well, I stitched the Margaret Sherry "Snowman" as part of the MS Lovers Blog SAL; the "Photographer Cat" from the Margaret Sherry book; "Kitty in the Window" from the Christmas Cross Stitch Favourites magazine, and finally I am now stitching a kitty ornament from a Dimensions kit that has been hiding in my stash for many a year!  I haven't posted pics of the photographer cat or kitty in the window yet as they are on their way to opposite ends of the world - once I know they have arrived safe and sound at their destinations I will post a pic for you all to see.

I had planned to take my photo this month with a cute little purple owl that I bought from the Cat Alliance charity group.  We regularly have 2 lovely older ladies sit in our shopping centre for a week knitting and sewing while surrounded by all the gorgeous handcrafted things that they make.  They sell them to public to raise money for the Cat Alliance group - a very worthwhile charity in my humble opinion.

Then yesterday I heard about the death of one of my all time favourite authors - Anne McCaffrey.  My love of fantasy novels was ignited in the early 1980's by reading these wonderful and fantastic books all about the world of Pern and the dragons and their riders.  Anne was born on 1 April 1926 and she died of a massive stroke at her home in Ireland on 21 November 2011, aged 85.  I have read just about every one of her books bar the most recent ones that have come out in the last couple of years.  It's time to start re-reading all about Pern again....

This morning when I took my TUSAL photo I decided to include my lovely orange (maybe he is really a bronze) dragon in the photo with the owl in memory of Anne McCaffrey.

Original TUSAL photo - November 2011
Well, that was this morning.... things changed this afternoon!

While Hubby and I were out shopping this afternoon, we went to Bunnings to get a few things including some new veggie seedlings.  In the Garden section I noticed that they had a new display of air plants (Tallandsia), and in among this display was some dragons.  Dragons... lots of different colours - purple, black, green, orange, blue, some with wizards, some with crystals.... oh, the choice!

We did eventually choose... a green one wrapped around a crystal ball, a purple one siting on a pile of books, and finally a tiny green one for my desk at work.  Below is my new TUSAL photo, complete with seedlings and fresh cat grass plants in the background!  Oh, and of course Oscar enjoying a fresh feed of cat grass!!
New TUSAL photo - November 2011
Dragons are in memory of Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)
So that's it for this ORT report.  There is one more ORT report to do for 2011... and then we will start all over again next year.

If you wish to sign up for the 2012 TUSAL drop in on Daffycat's blog.

Til the next new moon on 24th December 2011, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's keep growing!


New Moons - 2011
24 December

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giveaways

Hello again!

Sorry, November hasn't been the best of blogging/posting months for me.... I have no idea where the month has gone!  Besides being extremely busy at work and quite busy at home, I have also been busy stitching, which all comes down to very little time for blogging!  I do so wish there were more hours in the day and more days in the week sometimes... but only if those hours and days are for my leisure time - ie more stitching, more blogging, more spending time with hubby and the four-legged babies.  If wishes were $$ we would all be very rich people!

So what is a good excuse for a post... giveaways!  While catching up on my blogging today I have come across some more giveaways.

Fabulous Frogger - Lesli is holding a giveaway that closes on 3rd December 2011.  She started off small and now the giveaway is growing... for every 10 new followers she is adding another item to prize loot!  So far there are charts, threads, charms and thread organizers.  Click on the link below to have a look and sign up for Lesli's giveaway.

http://fabulousfrogger.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-first-giveaway-wooo.html

Wagapapa Creations - Wagapapa is holding a giveaway that closes on 30th November 2011.  This is a First Blogaversary giveaway.  The giveaway is some lovely fabric, a Lizzie Kate chart, DMC needle case and some thread.  Click on the link below to have a look and sign up for Wagapapa's giveaway.

http://wagapapacreations.blogspot.com/2011/11/1st-blogaversary-giveaway-sorteo-1er.html

Crafty Stitchers - Cyndy is holding a giveaway that closes on 10th December 2011.  The giveaway is a gorgeous Raggedy Ann and some fabric.  Click on the link below to have a look and sign up for Cyndy's giveaway.

http://craftystitchers.blogspot.com/2011/11/goodies-in-mail-and-new-give-away.html

That is all the gievaways that I have found so far...  I apologise if I have missed your giveaway.  Even though I have spent almost the whole day reading blogs, I still haven't caught up!

Before I go I thought I'd share something cute with you....

We had the pest control man here today spraying for all those nasty creepy crawlies that come out in an Australian summer and like to spend the hot days inside my house... you know the ones I mean - black ants, cockroaches and spiders!  Now because my two boys are both inside cats and nervous of strangers I put them in our bedroom for safekeeping while the guy was here.  When I went back in to let them out of the bedroom Felix was asleep in the corner of the walk-in robe, and Oscar had buried himself in amongst the bedclothes.  He climbed in between the comforter and the blanket - nice and cosy, or at least he must have thought so as he stayed there for another couple of hours after the door was opened!  Cheeky little fellow :o)


Today is TUSAL day... so I am about to go and find a nice spot for ORT's jar to have it's photo taken in.

See you soon!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roll up, roll up, it's time to sign up for TUSAL 2012

TUSAL stands for "Totally Useless Stitch A Long"


Oh lordy, it can't really be almost 2012... but yes it is!  And how do I know - well, besides Christmas and New Year being only a few weeks away, the other way I know that 2012 is almost here is that Daffycat is now taking registrations for next year's TUSAL!

Daffycat has advised that there are some changes for next year's TUSAL - nothing too onerous though.  The changes are:

1. New participants are welcome to join at any time, yes, even in December 20121

2. No stash donations will be accepted for a prize fior 2012, however Daffycat will still have something to giveaway at the end of the year.

Being a part of the TUSAL is very easy and lots of fun.  All you  have to do is:

1. Get a glass container and save your thread clippings or ORTs (Old Ratty Threads!).  Some stitchers include fabric trimmings, thread bands or any other stitching cast-offs they gather. You may continue filling this jar throughout the year OR you may empty the jar and start over each month ~ no firm rules here!

2. On (or about) each New Moon take a picture of the ORTs in your jar and post it to your blog. Yes, you MUST have a blog to be included.  Reasonably "late" posts will be accepted, but posting several updates at once is cheating!

3. Yes, you can use your current ORT jar or jars. This isn't a contest...the stitcher with the most ORTs doesn't win!

4. You must post a picture each New Moon, even if there has been no "progress" to show.

5. Label your Totally Useless posts with "TUSAL" to make it easier for Daffycat to find your posts at the end of the year.
 
So what are you waiting for... drop in on Daffycat's blog and sign up now for TUSAL 2012!
 
Til next time, happy stitching
 
 

Friday, November 18, 2011

What do IKEA and Margaret Sherry have in common?

By joining the two together I managed to complete the first part of the Margaret Sherry Lover's SAL.

Yes, the snowman is done!  Now all I have to do is stitch the Santa.....

It took me some time to work out what to do for this SAL.  I thought about doing them as ornaments, then as christmas cards, or even little cushions... but nothing really grabbed me as the ideal "vehicle" to show the lovely designs off until the IKEA Christmas catalogue dropped into the post box.

Now I hear you asking what does the IKEA catalogue have to do with the MS designs.... not alot except for the lovely teatowels that were in one of the photos.  This started me thinking that maybe I could stitch them onto a teatowel and as we were going up to IKEA anyway to have a look at some storage cabinets to put in the craft room, the timing was perfect!

The teatowels came in a pack of two.. even more proof that this was the right choice!  The next thing to do was to raid the stash drawer and see what waste canvas I had hiding in there.  I found some 14ct but that would have been too small to stitch the design in the middle of the teatowel, so after searching a bit more I located some 8.5ct DMC waste canvas that I must have bought about 20 years ago and never used!  Perfect!  Nice big Snowman for the middle of the teatowel.

IKEA Christmas Teatowel - just perfect for stitching on!


So after measuring and basting the waste canvas onto the teatowel off I went.... Snowman took just a week to stitch, and then out came the waste canvas and, look at what we have...
Stitched using 4 strands of DMC for x-stitch and 2 strands for backstitch

Finished Santa Teatowel
(I really should have ironed this before taking the photo!)
A lovely big snowman (albeit without pom pom).  I did buy some little pom poms to stitch on the top of his hat but have decided he doesn't need a pom pom.

If you want to see what the other stitchers have done with their Santa and snowman designs pop on over to the MSherry Lover's Blog and take a look.

Now it's about time I started the Santa design on the other teatowel, but first I have to get a couple of small cards done and sent to the UK and the USA and then Santa is the next on the list.  Hopefully he will stitch up nice and quick too!

Til next time happy stitching