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, March 22, 2011

Anyone for tennis?

So what do you get when you have a spare couple of tennis balls lying around the house and two bored cats!  Well, according to the "Law of Felix and Oscar" - you get a whole lot of fun.... but don't let Daisy Dog see them!

Last night Felix and Oscar were moping around while I was doing the dishes - Daisy Dog was sound asleep somewhere.  On the kitchen bench was a packet of three tennis balls that we bought for Daisy but as yet hadn't opened.  So me being me thought - "wonder what the cats would do if I gave them a tennis ball to play with?" 
Felix took to the ball straight away.... Oscar had a little play and then preferred to watch his brother have all the fun.  But then that is Oscar all over... he is just too grown up to play like a kitten!  Felix played with the ball for over an hour - think he has a new "Precious".  That is until Daisy finds the balls and then they will not be around for much longer....

So enough of my crazy cats and their tennis balls....

It must be about time to give you a bit of a stitching update.....

Have been stitching on the "Winnie the Pooh & Friends" quilt square for the last week or so.  I am really pleased with how quickly this is coming along.  It is a really nice design to stitch.  The design was in Anchor threads so I have had to convert to DMC, but I think I managed to get the crucial "Pooh" colour right.  Eeyore is a blue colour which looks about right as well!

Eeyore & Friends design
World of Cross Stitching, Issue 170
My aim is to have this finished by the end of the week and then I can finish off my "February" MS Cat and start my "March" cat.

Margaret Sherry Culinary Cats
MSherry Lovers Blog SAL
February's cat is almost finished - just need to do his feet and tail and then the backstitch....

So that's it for this very quick post....

Til next time

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top o the morning to you!

It's St Patrick's Day today - 17th March.  All around the world today is the day that people will be "wearing the green" and will be Irish for the day! 

March 17th is actually the date that St Patrick died in 461....  St Patrick's Feast Day has been celebrated by the Irish since the 9th and 10th centuries, and over the years St Patrick has become the patron of Ireland.  Since those humble beginnings St Patrick's Day has grown to become an international event with parades and parties and lots of "green beer" being consumed all over the world.

The Irish have a number of blessings and sayings for all occasions, and I have found a lovely blessing for friends that I would like to share with you today.

A Wish for a Friend
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers-
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours-
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

While trawling the internet for St Patrick's images I also found a great fun website devoted to St Patrick's Day - http://stpatricksday.com/

I hope that everyone enjoys St Patrick's Day no matter what you may be doing.

May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed by the smiles of the people you love

Til next time,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friends... where would we be without them?

Happy Monday to everyone!  This little post has been churning around and brewing in my poor addled brain since Friday, and I have finally been able to find the time to sit down and put it down on paper - so to speak!  On Friday something happened to spark the intial thought and then today something else happened that crystallised the thought pattern and I knew that I had to do this post.

Last week was a very busy week for me at work - one of the other Secretary's where I work was off sick.  Generally what happens when V is off work is that I look after her boss and keep things ticking over for her - which I did again last week.  No problems, always happy to do this (that's coz I'm such a nice person).  However, last week my job was busy as Monday was a public holiday and as I don't work Fridays (normally) I only had 3 days to do all my work in.... no problem - can do my job with my eyes closed - sort of.  The fly in the ointment was that V's boss was going overseas on business so her job was actually very busy.  So what do we have at the end of the week - a very tired and worn out Noni....  I also ended up working from home on Friday morning and then went into the office Friday afternoon - see I told you I was a nice person!!

This week will be more of the same except that V's boss is away so I can hopefully catch up on my work and get V's work under control - yep, she is still off work sick this week (she is not a well bunny at all).... so I am multi-tasking / multi-functioning again this week.... oh well, that's what I get paid to do, so I'm not complaining....

Sorry, the point of this post wasn't to rant on about work and how busy I am, nor how my brain has decided to start short circuiting.... I actually wanted to say how wonderful it is to have such caring friends...

On Friday morning I was feeling none too flash and not looking forward to going to work in the afternoon, when I got a lovely boost in the mail.  There among all the bills and other non-descript junk that gets put into the letterbox was a lovely card all the way from Emily in Florida *Emmie's Ramblings*.  It put a real smile on my face and gave me a much needed boost to get on with the day.... thank you Em, it was really sweet of you to send me the card to say hi, and it did make my day.

Emily's lovely card
Today was another day at work surrounded by masses of paper; emails coming in at the rate of a thousand knots and the phone ringing off the hook and that lovely red voice mail light flashing at me every time I put the phone down or came back to my desk....

....But what did I find on my desk one time I returned after I had been running up and down stairs delivering docs - a nice hot cup of tea!  Do you know when I saw it my brain went - "what, didn't I drink that this morning... I'm sure I did!"  Then I saw the note from Sally *Bizzi Hands* saying that she had made me a cuppa....   It really was just what I needed at the point in time - energy levels were running on empty - I had only had one cup of tea all day (I don't count the cup I have when I first get up - that is mandatory) and I was starting to feel the need for lunch (it was 1.30pm) so to see a lovely hot cup of tea sitting there waiting for me was a real treat - thank you Sally, what would I do without you to keep me sane?!?
Yep, this is what I look like when I need a cup of tea!
Image found on the web
Friends - what can we say about Friends?

"Friendship is the golden ribbon that ties the world together"

When this idea for a post starting brewing in my brain, I had a look on the internet for some quotes and sayings about friends.  Of which there are so many!  There are so many places that we meet people and make friends.  Some people are friends for a very short time and some become life long friends.  Some friends are in our lives to help us through difficult times and then they or we move on - these friends are often our Guardian Angels in human form.  True Friendship can spring from the smallest of moments as does True Love. 

I count my blessings that I have such lovely friends - whether they be people I know and speak to personally in the "real world" or be they people that I have met via blogs and online forums and speak to online and through emails.  All of these people have opened their lives and hearts to me and others around them.  Friends are there in the good times and the bad... friends laugh with you and cry with you - and they are there to give you the hug that you need when things are getting on top of you.

I am lucky to count my husband as my best friend, and my family as friends as well - not everyone in the world has that luxury.

With everything that is going on around the world at the moment we are need our friends more then ever, and hopefully we can reach out with both hands and tie that big golden ribbon around everyone else that needs a friend right now.
Yesterday brought the beginning, tomorrow brings the end, but somewhere in the middle we've become the best of friends.

Til next time,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wings and a play!

I know, it should be "on a wing and prayer".... but in this instance I am talking about "Wings" and a kitten playing!

I finally finished "Wings" yesterday - yipee!  This design did take a little bit longer to stitch than I had hoped - not all down to my slow stitching.  The issue with this pattern, which I didn't notice til I started stitching, was the original printing of the pattern.  The detail in the design didn't always match the symbol legend so it did take some nutting out in places to get the colours right, and even then I'm not sure if they were right!

I also modified the design slightly by adding the little butterfly on the left and changing around the flowers.  I also didn't stitch all the flowers as doing so would have made the design too big for the specified square dimensions.

Overall I am quite pleased with the result.  Now I just need to wash and press it, and then pop it in the mail to the Quilts 4 Kids team.

"Wings" by DMC
Stitched for Sarah I (Quilts 4 Kids)
Stitched on 14ct white aida in DMC threads
I have had a look at some of the other squares that have been received so far for Sarah I - her quilt is going to be really lovely when it's finished with all the colourful butterfly squares.  All squares are due by the end of March so I will have to keep checking back on her pages to see what else arrives for her.

I also managed to spend a couple of hours on my February MS cat last night - I will now finish him off either today or tomorrow and then it is onto the next quilt square for Quilts 4 Kids.  I will be stitching Winnie the Pooh for Alexis W.  Quite looking forward to stitching a Pooh design.

Ok, so where is the kitten playing...  I have finally managed to get a photo of Felix playing before he spotted the camera and took off!  While I was sitting in the study this morning he came in and started playing with the cord from the venetian blind and was jumping around on the window sill trying to chase the leaves that were blowing around by the front door.  He was having such a lovely time amusing himself until he saw me take his photo and then he was out of here!  Oh well.....

Felix trying to chase leaves by the front door!

Felix playing with the venetian blind cord
That's all for this stitching update... I am now going to sign off blogger and go and do some ironing (boring) and then get back onto stitching.  Have a nice Miss Marple taped from last night to watch as well.  Not a bad way to spend a Monday Public Holiday, even if I do say so myself.

Til next time,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Couch Potato - what Couch Potato??

Well, I probably don't need to tell most of you how wonderful Margaret Sherry's designs look when they are stitched up - we all know and love her cats, dogs, hedgehogs etc.  But in this instance, I think I may have a first for you....

My husband is now a Margaret Sherry convert/lover as well however he isn't a cross stitcher - he is a quilter!  Recently he was going through some of my cross stitch mags looking for a small, simple design that he could turn into an appliqued quilt block.  He came across a number of suitable designs and tried out a couple of them, but then I showed him the 2009 Margaret Sherry calendar that came free with the "Cross Stitcher" magazine and he went into raptures.... well, sort of!  I'm pretty sure that he nearly started drooling over the cute little animals though!

Margaret Sherry 2009 Calendar
Freebie from Cross Stitcher magazine 2008

He immediately picked out a number of them that he could transfer and use as an applique quilt block and the first one he has completed is the "Couch Potato" dog.

The orginal design looks like this.....

Couch Potato dog

However, if you want to see what my hubby did with the couch potato you will have to go and visit his blog - Mark's Quilts.  I promise you it is worth seeing.  I am really surprised at how well it turned out!

So yet another source of pleasure is derived from Margaret Sherry's designs!

Til next time

Friday, March 4, 2011

Totally Useless SAL Update - New Moon 4 March 2011

Welcome to March! I was trying to think of some sage words to start off my TUSAL post - but unfortunately my brain hurts and nothing would materialise to the forefront of the brain cells... so all I can say is Goodbye February, Hello March.

March is such a lovely month - for those of us here in Western Australia we have a public holiday on Monday (yippee) for Labour Day.  Labour Day is celebrated in other countries as well as Australia all for pretty much the same thing - to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.  Labour Day's origins are based on eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.  But for most of us it is just an excuse to have a day off and do some stitching!!!

March is also the month that we celebrate some very special Saints around the world:

St Patrick's Day... for those of us with a trickle or two of Irish blood running through our veins (which I do have a drop of!) it is a day of celebrating all things Irish - the Irish pubs have lots of green beer for sale and everyone is Irish for the day!  But more of that on March 17th!

For the Welsh, March 1st is St David's Day.  We don't hear much about St David here in Australia but for the Welsh he is a National Hero.

March is also the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and here in the Southern Hemisphere it is the first day of Autumn... oh yeah and I believe that!!!  Summer still has her grip firmly on us here in WA! 

March is also the Autumn Equinox and Spring Equinox - depending on which half of the world you live in.  The Equinox falls around the 21st March this year.  We have noticed that it is getting darker in the mornings when we get up so it won't be long before we are getting up totally in the dark again - which heralds Winter for us!

And one other big thing that is going to happen in March is a "lunar perigee" or in English - the Moon will the biggest we have seen for 18 years.  This means that it will closer to the Earth than it has been since 1993.  So exciting!!  Note to self - have to get the telescope out on March 19th to have a look and see if I can find the "man in the moon"!

Anyway that's enough about the exciting month of March!  You are all waiting to see what my TUSAL jar looks like this new moon.  I have lots more ORT's in there but they are still mainly butterfly ORT's.  This butterfly has taken longer to stitch than I thought it would but we are on the home stretch and it will finished this weekend... then I can stitch a bit more on my February MS cat, and start Pooh for my next Quilts 4 Kids square.  So lots to be getting on with....

Ok, so where did I discover the ORT's hiding this month - on the Buddha shelf surrounded by beautiful crystals!  Think they are trying to tell me that it's time to get back to the Bonsai and Buddha WIP that is fast becoming a UFO!

TUSAL Jar update
New moon - 4 March 2011
For more info on the TUSAL pop over to Daffycat's blog

I hope that everyone has had a productive month of stitching in February and I look forward to seeing what is stitched in March.

Until next time,