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, May 31, 2011

Last day of May....

Hello everyone!  Hope you are all doing ok....

I was doing a wee bit of blog stalking ealier while having a cuppa of tea and a bit of lunch - I know I should be working.... but for some reason I have no motivation for work this week!  May have something to do with the fact that today is my last day at work for the week as I am taking a couple of days leave while the Catmax man comes around to re-install Oscar and Felix's outdoor playground.  (They can't wait to get back outside in the fresh air again!) 

With my 2 days leave and my normal day off on Friday, and the Public Holiday on Monday for Foundation Day, I will have 6 days off!  Woo Hoo..... I feel a happy dance coming on... Just think of all those stitching hours that I will have!!!

Here's a little bit of WA history for you.  The Public Holiday on Monday is a Western Australian holiday to commerate the founding of the first British Colony in the state of WA.

The first Europeans to visit the Western coast of Australia were Dutch explorers in the 1600s.  Later a French party also visited the area.  However, many early visitors were not positive about the land's potential so they travelled further.  In 1826, the first British settlement, an outpost of the army, was established in Western Australia.  During 1827, Admiral Sir James Stirling led a number of explorations along Australia's west coast and recommended that a permanent settlement should be established in the Swan River area.  In 1829, he returned to the area with a navy vessel, HMS Challenger, and the merchant ship Barque Parmelia.

On June 1, 1829, Australia's west coast was sighted from the Parmelia, although the ship did not reach anchor until the following day.  Later that year, more ships arrived in the area and Perth was officially founded.  The area was known as the Swan River Colony until 1832, when it became known as Western Australia.  In 1834, Stirling, who was the administrator of Western Australia, decided to hold an annual celebration to unite the settlers, masters, servants and Indigenous Australians within and around the colony.  June 1 was the chosen date because it was the anniversary of the first sighting of Western Australia from the Parmelia and marks an important victory for the British navy over the French in 1794.
The public holiday on the first Monday of June is to celebrate
WA's Foundation Day
I am a very proud West Australian, although I was actually born in South Australia!  My parents moved over to WA in 1966 when I was a wee little 'un, and we have lived here since then, except for about 18 months in 1969/70 when we went back to SA for awhile.  But the call of the West saw us back here to stay.....

But, I digress - again.....

As I said when I started this post, I was having a quick blog stalk while having lunch and I noticed a giveaway that Krystaline at  Relentless Stitching has going at the moment.... the giveaway ends on 3rd June 2011.  So pop on over to Krystaline's blog and say hello....

Don't forget that tomorrow is the "New Moon" so it will be time to dust off the ORT's and upload a pic so that we can see how much they have grown over the month.

Til next time, happy stitching and may the only frogs you see be the ones in your garden!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Purffect Partners

Hello again.... It's Sunday afternoon and I have been fiddling around doing some blog stalking, updating my photo album on FB, and now I thought I'd do a quick post to show you my latest little finish, and also what I have added to my stash!

Last Saturday hubby and I went off the Craft and Quilt Fair.  We try to go every year when it's on as it really is our only chance to see all the wonderful crafting ideas that are out there in one spot, especially the quilting stuff for hubby.  This once a year treat always comes to town around hubby's birthday so he gets to spend up big, and he also gets to choose his own pressie.... This year was no exception - the credit card got a workout as hubby spent lots of $$ on quilting stash... Meeza was very good in comparison!  Hubby could have spent more... I saw him drooling over the Husqvarna Viking sewing machines!!  Last time he drooled over a Husqvarna it was a ride on lawn mower and we bought it!!!  This time we were good and kept the credit card in our pockets...  By the way - I never did get to use the Husqvanrna lawn mower - I used to do my mowing on the old green Victor ride one!  It was much safer coz when I ran into things it didn't matter with the old one!!!  But that's another story...

Anyway, I digress... as is my want to do!!!

At the show I did buy three new kits to add to the ever increasing stash in the drawer!  I bought two Dimension kits - "Maggie the Messmaker" and "Kitty Litter".  That was going to be all until I saw the "Colours Down Under" stall and drooled over a finished and framed Chatelaine Designs "Taj Mahal Mandala Garden".

I have followed Joyce's stitching of the Taj Mahal on her blog Random Ramblings and thought that the design was stunning.  And then to see it in real life and up close.... wow!  So I decided to buy a small Mandala... or rather a chart pack of 3 small ones and at some stage over the next 12 months I will give one of them a go.....  So watch this space!
Latest addition to the stash drawer!
As you know I have recently been stitching a number of quilt squares for Quilts 4 Kids so I haven't stitched much of anything else of late!  After finishing my last quilt square, I decided to stitch something small, or even finish off a small UFO (of which there are many to choose from) before carrying on with my Margaret Sherry Culinary Cats.  So I went through the basket of UFO's and had a quick look at all the freebies in the box.. and what did I decide to finish... well another Margaret Sherry design!  Just to warm me up for my culinary cats!

I can't remember when I started stitching the "Purrfect Partners" cats.  They came as a freebie with Cross Stitcher issue 196, February 2008 but I do know that I didn't start them that long ago!  I think I started them around this time last year and for some reason put them away... as you do!  So I decided that they would be my next finish! I finished off the last of the backstitch this morning while waiting for my brother and his family to come and visit.
Purrfect Partners - Margaret Sherry
Cross Stitcher, Issue 196
Purrfect Partners finished 29 May 2011
No longer a 2010 UFO!
Another 2011 finish to add to the list.... now I will go back to my MS Culinary Cats and work on them for the next couple of weeks and get them finished off. 

Just before I go....  what else does a dog and cat do on a very windy and cold winter's afternoon while mum is playing on the computer???

They cuddle up together! 
Daisy to Oscar - you do know this is my bed, don't you???
I had to take a photo of Oscar and Daisy asleep together as this is quite a rare occurrence.  Whenever the boys try to sleep with Daisy she gets jittery and moves away... but this time she obviously decided that sleep was what she wanted and if she had to share with the cat... well so be it!!!

Daisy - Oh blow it... I will just ignore you - you are not there!
I don't see you.....
Purrfect Partners indeed!
Til next time, happy stitching!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wyatt A's completed quilt

Just a quick post to show you the picture of Wyatt A's completed quilt.
Wyatt A's finished quilt
My four monkeys are at the end of the last row.  The monkey squares are fabulous - I love how everyone has a different type of monkey.  Makes for a very special quilt for a very special little boy.

If you go to the Quilts 4 Kids website you will see Wyatt with his completed quilt.  Seeing Wyatt with his finished quilt makes me feel really proud of what I stitched.

Til next time,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Angels and Cats!

Well, firstly sincere apologies for not being around much the past month or so.... don't know where time is going to.  I can't believe that it is over 2 weeks since my last post!  I have been very busy at work lately, and have been doing my stitching every night.  Also things have been quite busy at home over the past few weeks as well.... so it's no wonder that I haven't had much time to get on the computer!  The poor old computer sits in the corner of the study wondering what has happened to me - I think it will soon leave home if I don't start it up more regularly!!!

So if I haven't been online, then what have I been doing??

I finished the last bit of backstitch on my playful puppy and started the Precious Moments angel for the final Quilts 4 Kids square that I had signed up for.  The angel is now finished and was sent off the other day.  The quilt square was for Tatum R, and her theme was Angels and Butterflies.  This design was so easy to stitch and I really enjoyed it.  It was lovely watching the angelic face appear.  It was a free design from the Gloria and Pat website and is called "Light the Way".  I just love the Precious Moments designs.  Hopefully I will have the opportunity to stitch some more of these cute angelic designs one day.  The backstitch on this design was so easy - the designers actually tell you in what order to stitch the backstitch and where certain areas start and finish (ie around the sleeves and hands) so there is no trying to interpret for yourself.... makes backstitch a joy to do!!!
Precious Moments "Light the Way" by Gloria & Pat
Stitched for Tatum R - Quilts for Kids
 So for now I will be taking a break from the quilt squares as I have to finish off a couple of other things - mainly my Margaret Sherry Culinary Cats!  I am currently finishing off a little MS cat that I started ages ago - just to prepare myself for the Culinary Cats onslaught that will start on the weekend!

I also quickly made up a birthday card to send to the UK as part of the Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" birthday exchange.  I had previously stitched the "Kiri kitten" so I just had to pull it all together as a card.  I spent a lovely Friday morning doing the card while the weather was trying to blow the backyard away.  I recently bought the "Ultimate Crafter's Companion Pro" so I used that to fold and score my cardstock.  I also watched the instructional DVD to see what else you can do with it.  I don't make a lot of cards but it does help to have the Ultimate Pro to do some of the different folds.  Not sure how creative I will be with it but you never know!
Birthday Card for Craftbubble "Crazy for Kitties" Birthday Exchange
On the home front, we have recently had our patio (pergola) pulled down and replaced with a lovely new gabled one and had the paving relaid to suit the new patio area.  The next step is to get the cats area reinstalled so that they can go outside again.  They have been very good boys over the last month while they have been house-bound.  But I think that on the 4th June they will be very happy kitties!  The area that they will have is going to be larger and will allow us the space to sit in the screened off area with them and Daisy Dog.  The boys have been quite excited since the new structure has been up as now we have 2 little Willie Wag-tail birds coming in under the patio for a visit.  They have always visited the back yard but usually hang around by the vegie patch.  Although, once the cat's screen goes back up they might not want to come so close to the house.... I'm sure that Felix and Oscar would be very happy to welcome them in though....  It is so funny watching Oscar and Felix when the birds come close to the house - they make these funny meow noises and their whole bodies quiver...  don't think they would know what to do though if they were confronted with a bird!  And fingers crossed it stays that way - that is one of the reasons they have a safe outdoor area to play in - birds and cats are both safe then!!!
Willie Wagtail sitting on new patio gable
and then there were 2!
Willie Wagtail might be able to wander around on the patio now but
after the 4th June the cats will be back in this area.....
Oscar sound asleep on the elephants!  Notice how the cushions are all now laying
down so that a very special little man can curl up and go to sleep...
What else can a boy do but sleep when he can't go outside!!!
Well, I guess that's about it for this post.  Hopefully the next post will be much sooner than 2 weeks!!!

Til next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

A Mother's Love
There are times when only a mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.
There are times when only a mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
There are times when only a mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.
For a mother's heart and a mother's faith
And a mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the angels
And sent from God above.
--Author Unknown--
Til next time,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Take me home country roads....

On Wednesday night Mark and I went to see "The John Denver Story - Take Me Home Country Roads" as told/sung by Rick Price.  What an amazing show.

An amazing show and a great night out!
To be honest I wasn't sure about going - while I do love John Denver's music, and I remember Rick Price as a singer from the early 90's, I was a bit hesitant.  I don't usually like tribute shows, and also I hadn't heard a thing about this show, hadn't even seen it advertised - so I had no idea what to expect.  But as Mark was given the tickets by someone at work... I thought well let's go - if it's no good we can always leave during the interval!

What a surprise we got...
After the first song I was smiling and very happy that we had decided to go.  The show was fantastic!!

Rick Price put so much feeling and energy into all the songs that he sang.  At times I would swear that I could almost hear John Denver's voice.  We spoke to Rick after the show and he said that they performed 20 songs in the 2 hour show!  20 lovingly presented songs...

When it came to the end of the show the last song was a really beautifully performed solo - only Rick on the piano and the only one on stage... and then the lights went down as the song drew to a close and all was in darkness....  very moving end to the show.  I wasn't the only one with a hint of a tears in my eyes at the end!

Now the thing to remember is that this show is not a John Denver impersonation or tribute show as such -  it is Rick Price singing the beautiful songs of John Denver interwoven with some narrative of his life story.  There is no denying that John Denver's life was complicated, and in real life he wasn't necessarily the simple country boy that his songs portrayed, some people might not agree with the choices that he made between family and career, but that was his life for better or worse.

An absolutely brilliant show - well worth the effort of going to see it if you get the chance.  Rick Price was brilliant and the Colorado Quartet were fantastic.  What a talented bunch of guys - and all Australian musicians too!!!

John Denver's songs really are timeless classics and there is always a story in the lyrics - and you can actually understand the lyrics!  When I was growing up in the 70's it wasn't cool to be a John Denver fan but it's funny how I knew every single one of those songs performed!  And I could sing along with almost all of the lyrics.....  While we don't have John Denver here anymore we do still have his music and I for one am very grateful that he left behind such a beautiful legacy for us all to enjoy.

At the end of the show we decided to stay back as one of the Theatre attendants told me that Rick Price was going to come out and say hi.... so why not do the groupie thing!  I am so glad that we did stay back an extra 20 minutes.  Rick is a really lovely person and it was a real treat to be able to talk to him about the show and to thank him for a great night's entertainment.  Rick was kind enough to sign our programme and our tickets.  We now have a nice memento of the show - one day I will get around to getting them framed.  (Didn't think about asking him if we could have a photo taken with him though, oh well....)

While I am writing this post I am playing YouTube videos of John Denver.....  I have also discovered that there are 3 rehearsal videos on YouTube from the show.  It was great to watch them - bought back memories of a great night out!

I hope that you have more "days that are diamonds, than days that are stones"

Til next time,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Totally Useless SAL update - New Moon 3 May 2011

Well, well, well.... here we are again!  Another new month and another new moon! 

This month sees my little ORT's jar full of some lovely colours from all the quilt squares that I have stitched.  I have had to squish them down a bit this month so now I am developing quite a tight little mound of ORT's in this jar.  Next year I think I will start with a bigger jar!

This month's photo has been taken next to a very surprised flower fairy (angel) sitting in the cat's basket....  I took a couple of photos of the ORT's and the fairy in different locations around the house but decided to use this photo as it came out the best!

So what has contributed to the ORT's this month: well there was all the browns from the monkeys, then the whale with all it's grey threads, and now finally the puppy with his pretty colours.

TUSAL 3 May 2011
While I was looking for TUSAL photo locations I was joined by superstar Felix!  Or should I say "Australia's Next Top Cat"!  Felix decided to lay across the end of the table watching me find the perfect spot so I decided that maybe he would like his photo taken with the ORT's - it seems that he did.  No sooner had I put the jar next to him he started to move it to the perfect position and then lay there with his paw on it - as you can see by the photo below!  So this month I have two TUSAL photos!

Felix and the ORT's
Sounds like the title of a good book!!
I wonder where my ORT's will want to have their picture taken next month??  For more info on the TUSAL pop over to Daffycat's blog.

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date - Stitching Update

Now for a quick stitching update on the puppy quilt square that I am trying to finish off... I know it's late!  But it is almost done - last bit of backstitch tonight and it will be in the mail tomorrow - unwashed this time though.  Never mind that's what happens when you get sick and don't feel well enough to stitch for any length of time!
Puppy quilt square for Jacob K (Quilts 4 Kids)
I have really enjoyed stitching this puppy and I think that I will stitch another one from the booklet at some stage.  They have such cheeky little faces!

Chart Booklet designs by Debra Page
Til next new moon on 1st June 2011, happy stitching and collecting of ORT's.