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!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Penguins on Parade on the last day of the year....

Wow, New Year's Eve of 2011.  Where has the year gone too?  It really doesn't seem like 12 months since I was sitting here writing about the demise of 2010 and now we have 2011 breathing it's last gasp.

As a treat to end the year on Hubby and I decided to go over to Penguin Island.

Penguin Island is a little eco-bird santuary island off the coast of Rockingham - a 5 minute ferry ride to be precise.  There is a sand bar that connects the island to the Rockingham coastline and some stupid people do try to walk across when the tide is out.... however we value our lives and took the ferry!  Even though the sand bar is closed to public access people still walk across it!!!

We have been wanting to do this for years but never seem to have the time so today was the day!! It seems like today was the day for quite a lot of other people as well....  the ferry was so busy that instead of running it every hour they were running it continuously.  The weather was just fantastic - sunny, warm but not too hot with the loveliest sea breeze!  Almost too blowy on one side of the island!!

While over on the island we went into the Discovery Centre and watched the 10 Little Penguins get fed.  When we were talking to the Ranger after the feeding she was telling us how old the penguins were - the oldest is 19 years old!!  Can you believe it!  They all look so young and so little....

Swimming pool where the penguins have their dinner....
The sea water gets changed every day....
Aren't they adorable?

At the moment it is moulting season for the penguins so they are actually highly stressed.  Of course the heat at this time of the year doesn't help either for the poor things.  The penguins in the Discovery Centre are either orphans or injured ones that can't be returned completely to the wild.  They have already moulted so their feathers don't look quite so messy.  A couple of the ones that we saw out around the island are all messy while their feathers drop out.

After watching the feeding we went for a walk around the island along the boardwalk that runs around the areas of the island that the public are allowed to go to.  Part of the walk goes along a section of the beach.  So nice to walk on the beach and feel the sand in your toes.  The beach is littered with these limestone rocks and caves.  They are fascinating, and then we noticed a penguin pop out of one near the water and go for a swim!

Amazing limestone rock formations around the island and the beach

Little penguin hiding under the rocks after he went for a cooling swim

Hubby sitting in amongst the limestone rock formation
As we were heading back to the Discovery Centre to catch the ferry back to the mainland we saw some penguins hiding under the boardwalk.  These ones are still moulting so there feathers all look fluffy and brown rather than sleek and black.

Little penguin hiding under the boardwalk - he is currently moulting which is why he looks all fluffy

Small Little Penguin hiding in the bushes near the boardwalk
When we got back onto the mainland we wandered around the gift shop and bought a couple of penguins...

A new snowglobe to add to the collection!
To finish off our morning out we decided to have fish and chips for lunch and sit and watch the kiteboard and sailboard riders.

Such a lovely way to spend a morning on the last day of the year!

As the final hours of the year roll away I was thinking about the year that has gone by.  I have managed to do far more stitching this year than I have done in a long time.  So in that sense 2011 has been a very successful year even if I didn't quite get all my stitching goals completed.  On a personal level this year has been good for us as well... Hubby started a new job in February and has settled in quite nicely now.  My job is still going along well even with a change of boss mid-year.  Both of Hubby's sons have also had a good year and they both ended the year reasonably settled in their lives... well as settled as a 21 and 25 year old can be!!  The rest of the family have all been safe and healthy this year and made it through the year safe and sound.

Around the world 2011 hasn't been that great for a lot of people.  There has been some horrible natural disasters here in Australia and abroad that have struck at the heart of people's lives and left so many people heartbroken and without loved ones, homes and personal possessions.  Some people have recovered but many are still going along the road of recovery.  I do hope that 2012 is a better year for all those hurt in 2011, and also for everyone else at home and around the world.

I would like to say thank you to all my followers over the last year for your lovely comments and for taking time out of your busy days to read my posts and ramblings!  I would also like to say thank you to everyone out there in blogland - thank you for the inspiration and tutuorials.  I have loved reading all about what people have been stitching and what happens in different places around the world.  Blogging really does bring the world closer together.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and a wonderful, properous 2012.  May your needles stay sharp and your fingers stay nimble over the coming year.

Til next year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day...where's the TV remote?

Hi there!  How is everyone on this lovely Boxing Day?  Did you survive Christmas Day?  Or are you right now wishing you hadn't over-indulged in food and drink yesterday?  Either way I hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas Day.

Today is definitely the day for sitting in front of the telly and not moving very far!!  We had a lovely Christmas Day.  The day started off early as it always does in our house... the sky starts to lighten around 4.45am and once the sky is light the cats are awake, and when the cats are awake so is Daisy and that means it's time for Mum and Dad to get up too.....  We did manage to get a sleep in yesterday to about 5.30am... bonus!

After feeding the grey wonders and having a cup of tea in bed, we took Daisy dog out for a early walk.  Then it was ham and eggs for breakfast and hey presto before you know it's time to put the turkey in the oven!  We then opened the couple of presents that were under the tree and gave the furry ones their stockings.  Daisy enjoys the unwrapping but the cats aren't that fussed!  However there were some little things in a stocking for them.

Daisy unwrapping her Xmas snuggy!
We bought Daisy a new snuggy which she adores.  The first day snuggy always loses a leg or two, but the rest of it lasts for about a month.  Once she gets the balls out of the body the tennis ball is destroyed in a matter of minutes but the plastic ball generally lasts for ages.  You can actually see in the back of this photo what is left of the snuggy that she had been playing with up until yesterday.

Daisy and her new Snuggy
The boys had a couple of new "mouses" and a funny coloured thing in their stocking.  Oscar had a little play.... but Felix liked the new mouses.  I went and checked on him about 1/2 an hour after they "opened" their pressies and found him sitting in front of the Christmas tree.....

Where's the mouse Felix?
He obviously thought that mouse looked quite good as a Christmas decoration!  Honestly, he did this.... neither hubby or I set this up... it was all Felix's work!

After lunch we had an hour of sitting outside on the patio listening to some good old Aussie pub rock (Micheal Buble was all worned out!) and enjoying the very mild summer's day!  (Most unusual for this time of the year in Perth).  My brother rocked up around 4pm, stayed for a leftovers dinner and the night.  It wasn't a late night though as we were all knackered and in bed by 9pm!

So after a big day yesterday, today is a very quiet day doing nothing in front of the telly.  Hubby is trying to keep busy though so that he doesn't worry too much about his eldest son who is currently sailing in the "Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race" in a 50ft yacht called "Knee Deep".  We watched the start of the race and tried to catch a glimpse of Knee Deep - they were up with the big boys in the first starting line this year, but unfortunately "Wild Oats XI" is apparently the only boat in the race... or at least that's what it seems like as Channel 7 only really showed Wild Oats XI.  Never mind....  For the next few days now Hubby will have to be content with following the race via the yacht tracker.....

We have now switched channels and are watching the Boxing Day test between Australia and India.  Sailing and Cricket are the two main staples of an Aussie Boxing Day!!  Oh and of course turkey sandwiches and left over trifle and/or Christmas pud.  Oh my goodness... more food!  Oh well the diet will start next week....

That's all from me for now.  I hope that everyone is enjoying their Christmas holidays.

Til next time, take care...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Good morning everyone!  Merry Christmas! 

I hope that this Christmas Day finds you all safe, happy and well.  Did Santa leave you lots of lovely surprises under the tree or in your stocking?  Did anyone get more stash?

Our day will be a very quiet one with just Hubby and I and the furry ones for lunch.  Hubby's two sons are not in Perth this year - one is in Sydney preparing to depart on Boxing Day and sail in the "Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race", and the other is in the UK where he is now studying Fine Art.  My parents and my two sisters and their families are at my Mum and Dad's in Dongara, but we decided not to travel this year.  So staying home we are!!  However, my brother and his partner have also stayed in Perth and will be coming over later this afternoon and staying for dinner.... well, someone has to help us consume the leftovers!

As we celebrate this very special day in our own special way, I would like to thank you all for reading my blog over the last year and for your comments and friendship along the way.
I wish you and yours all the best for this Christmas and for the New Year to come.  Stay safe and look after yourselves and each other.

Hugs to you all, see you again very soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Totally Useless SAL - New Moon 24 December 2011

Oh my goodness it's time for another New Moon ORT Report.  This is the last one for 2011.

In my little ORT jar this month are lots of Chistmas colours from the Christmas cards that I have been stitching the last month.

This month I stitched a little kitty ornament for the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" Christmas Exchange along with a secret card for the MS Lovers Blog Christmas Exchange, and finally I have just stitched a freebie Joan Elliott design which is a cute teddy Christmas Card.  Oh, and I also finished off a little Christmas stitch into a ornament which I sent to my Mum and Dad for their tree.

All the above will be revealed in a later post - this post is all about the final TUSAL ORT report for 2011!

Where do we find the ORT jar this New Moon... well, seeing as how it's Christmas they must be somewhere with Santa Claus or the elves!

TUSAL 24 December 2011
Oscar and the TUSAL jar and all things Christmassy!
Well, here they are... with Christmas puppy, some crackers, Joy Lindt choccies, snowglobes and of course a cat!!

While I was working out what to do for this month's photo Oscar and Felix decided to put on the Michael Buble christmas CD.  "Michael Buble" - said in our best Graham Norton impression!!  So Michael Buble's CD had to be in the photo too...

After I took this photo Felix decided to have a look at what was in the bag on the table that we bought back from City Farmers.  In this bag is the presents for Daisy dog and the puddy tats!  Of course Felix had to find it, and try to get into it.....  and when he did get into it there was somethng in the bag that I didn't realise was in there.
Can you see the cute little red hat sneaking out of the bag?
The pink thing that you can see is Daisy's new snuggie!!
Have a look at what we found in the bag.... and doesn't this make a great December TUSAL?

TUSAL picture number 2 - December 2011
Christmas gift from City Farmers and the ORT's jar
So that's it for this ORT report and for the 2011 TUSAL!  In January we will start all over again next year.

The hunt now begins for a new TUSAL far to collect my 2012 ORT's.  I do have a jar in mind but.... I think that it is probably way too big.  I received a gift at work the other day which was a jar full of toffees and at first I thought "Yes, my 2012 TUSAL jar!", but - well, have a look and tell me what you think?

Could this be the 2012 TUSAL jar..... maybe not!
If you wish to sign up for the 2012 TUSAL drop in on Daffycat's blog.

Til the next new moon on 23rd January 2012, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's keep growing!

Merry Christmas!

New Moons - 2012
23 January
21 February
22 March
21 April
20 May
19 June
19 July
17 August
16 September
15 October
13 November
13 December

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twisted Stitch-A-Longs

Hello again!  Well, we survived the storms last night.  The media are calling it a one in 100 year storm!  But that probably means nothing these days - they said that about the storm that went through last Tuesday which ended up closing the Perth airport for a number of hours!  This one though was pretty spectacular with some amazing lightning, and that thunder just rolled on and on for hours.  There was a reasonably bit of damage to some people's homes and one town further down south of Perth was even flooded....  Apparently it was Perth's third wettest day for 60 years!  We had 43.6mm of rain yesterday and overnight which actually exceeds Perth's whole summer rainfall average of 35mm!  Looking at the sky tonight I think there is more on the way although the radar doesn't show anything much at the moment.

Enough of the storm chasing.... the storm lasted almost as long as George Clooney's visit to Australia today!!

This is really just a very quick post tonight as I wanted to let you know about some SAL's that are happening at the moment.  I saw these on a couple of blogs today while I was attempting to catch up on blog reading... yet again!  Now while I would love to join in with these I know that I will never be able to keep up so I thought I would do my bit by doing a "shout out" about them so that those of you that may not have heard about them yet can join in.  I will be following the blogs so that I can see what everyone is stitching and who knows maybe next time I might even sign up for one!

These SAL's are all moderated by Vonna from The Twisted Stitcher blog.  There are no rules you just join in and stitch at your own pace.  So if you're interested check them out:

http://ccn-cottages.blogspot.com/ for the new series of CCN Cottages
http://psabcbee.blogspot.com/ for the Prairie Schooler ABC range
http://littlehouseornies.blogspot.com/ for the Little House Needleworks monthly ornaments
http://littlehouseorniestoo.blogspot.com/ for some more Little House Needleworks ornaments

Vonna is also thinking of setting up a SAL for the new LHN Elizabeth Hancock sampler being released this month.  http://elizabethhancock.blogspot.com/

Well that's it for now, so til next time happy stitching!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's a very revealing Secret Squirrel time

Ssh... it's Secret Squirrel time!
While I can't reveal what I have done for my Margaret Sherry Lovers Blog Christmas Card Exchange I can tell you that it is finished and I have now sent it on it's way to Portgual.  All will be revealed around Christmas Eve/Day.  So stay tuned!

But don't panic Mr Mannering... I can reveal something to you!

Today is the reveal day for the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" Christmas Card Exchange.  I have previously shown you what I sent to Sue in the UK, but I haven't shown you what I received until now.

"Crazy for Kitties" Christmas Card exchange from Sue
After unwrapping the packages from Sue (with a little bit of help from the boys) I had to read the book straight away.  It was a lovely book... all about a sweet little kitten who helped an NZ family through a very touch time.  If you get the chance to read this book make sure you have a box of tissues with you!  I checked out Helen's website and it appears that there may very well be a movie coming out sometime next year.

Now while I can't show you my Margaret Sherry Christmas card I can show what else I have been working on over the last couple of weeks.  The CB "Crazy for Kitties" group also did a Christmas Ornament exchange and I stitched a kitty ornament for Maribeth in the USA.  That was mailed today.  Two finishes in one weekend... must be a record!!

Kitty Ornament for Maribeth (Crazy for Kitties Exchange)
"Merry Kittens Ornaments" - Dimensions

My Christmas Tree
We haven't decorated the bottom in an attempt
 to keep the boys away from the ornaments!

Daisy dog all dressed up for Christmas!
(Woof- get these things off me Mum - woof)
Well lovely bloggers I must finish this post in a bit of a hurry as we have a raging thunderstorm outside tonight.  It has been around since about 4.30pm this afternoon and while it was eased off for about 10 mins or so, it is now back with a vengence and with each thunderclap and lightning strike the power is now flickering.... so I think it's time to say goodnight!  Plus the battery is about to run out on the laptop as is my battery - it is way past my bedtime!!

So before I turn into a pumpkin.. night night, see you all again real soon

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December is here....

Happy December.... here we are on the first day of December and it's the first day of Summer here in Australia, not that you would really know it in Perth at the moment.  We have been having the most delightful weather - not too hot, not too cold, just right!  Although it is apparently going to start warming up towards the end of the week, but so far we have had a very mild lead up to December.  Yes, there has been the odd day when the temp went up to the high 30's during November, but there was been rain and lot of very cool, almost cold nights.  We still have the quilt and blanket on the bed, and I have only just taken the flannette sheets off.  Very strange for this time of the year!  I am enjoying every minute of it too as it won't last - Summer will be here with it's full blast of high 30's to mid 40's any day now!

I meant to show you my latest stash additions yesterday in my post... but I forgot..  Still never mind that just means that I get to pop up in your blog reading list again and say hi!

My latest stash additions are actually all related to making cards.  As you have seen over 2011 I have been stitching for the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" group birthday and Christmas exchanges.  This has been such fun and most of us have signed up again for 2012.  We also have some newbies in the list as well.

With the card exchanges I always like to send a small "kitty" inspired gift.  For 2011 I managed to find some kitty notebooks and fridge magnets, but I always have my eye out for anything that has a kitty on it and is small enough to mail overseas with the card.  On the weekend when we were out shopping I found a shop that had lots of kitty things to buy - so I did!  As Hubby said, "if you don't get them now when you see them, you probably won't be able to find them the next time you come looking for them', and that is so true.

So here's what I got - kitty magnets, bookmarks, key rings and hangers.  Lots of pink ones... which wasn't planned it was just how it happened!  So that's all the gifts for next year's birthday exchange sorted, but it won't stop me looking for kitty inspired things as you just never know what you will find when you least expect to.  It feels good to be so organised.... now all I have to do is to be organised and on time with my stitching!!  That might be a challenge....

Kitty gifts for 2012 CB birthday exchange
While were at the shopping centre I finally managed to scout out where the scrapbooking shop is, and once in there that was just as dangerous - or could have been if I hadn't been looking specifically for Christmas paper for my card (which by the way you will notice I didn't end up using - see previous post to see the card).  But hey, stash is stash and it never gets wasted!

Christmas paper, kitty brads and lovely pins
Close up look at kitty brads and pins
As you can see I even managed to find some kitty inspired stuff in the scrapbooking shop as well.  These gorgeous brads will be perfect for the exchange birthday cards.  I also found some lovely pins which I plan to use when I finally get around to making some pin cushions - whenever that may be!!  Nobody said you have to use stash as soon as you buy it!

Well, I guess that's about it for today.  I hope that the rest of your week goes well, see you all again real soon!

Til next time, happy stitching and happy stashing!

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


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.


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.


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.


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