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 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Faith makes all things possible
Hope makes all things work
Love makes all things beautiful
May you have all three for this Christmas
Merry Christmas to all

Merry Christmas **  Feliz Natal **  Joyeux Noel
Buone Feste Natalizie  **  Feliz Navidad

Wishing you peace, love and joy this Christmas season

Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter Exchange - Part 2

I'm back again... two posts in two days.... think that is probably a bit of a record for me!

Yesterday I told you about the exchange ornament and package that I sent to Rita as part of the MS Lovers Blog Winter Exchange.

Today I will show you what arrived in my mail box on Friday all the way from Francesca in Florence, Italy.

I am totally blown away by what I received from Francesca.  I am still in shock by what was in the big box that arrived.... I have been completely and utterly spoilt.

Package of goodies from Italy
Isn't this just amazing....  Francesca stitched the "Trimming the Tree" tree skirt for me.... One of my favourite designs and the full design of what I stitched for my exchange.  You can see the little hedgehog at the end that I stitched for Rita.... Think there must have been some sort of intergalactic telepathy going on here!!

I just love this tree skirt!  I love the way that Francesca has finished it off the little ties and the Christmas ribbon across the top.  Just gorgeous!!!

"Trimming the Tree" tree skirt from Francesca
Francesca also included some other lovely ornaments, a calendar and a little stocking full of goodies....
More goodies....
Francesca said in her note that the little stitched heart is a thank you
for the pixie gift I sent her a few months ago...
Also in the packages Francesca included some red and green fabric and some lovely red and green thread....  and in the stocking there were these gorgeous buttons and charms...
Aren't these just the cutest buttons & charms....
The snowman paper clip was attached to one of the packages
And then to top it all off... there was also this lovely Lizzie Kate chart and a reindeer pot holder....
I am completely lost for words to receive this most amazing and beautiful exchange package from Francesca.  I can't begin to express how I felt when I saw what was inside the box.  I have to admit that I had tears in my eyes when I was opening the packages....  Francesca, you have spoilt me rotten.. and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship and for this most wonderful gift.

I have displayed all these wonderful gifts on the desk with the other Christmas stuff that we have out at the moment.  You will notice that I now have an ornament tree on the desk... Hubby and I saw this when we were out on Friday... and I thought that I must have it to display the lovely ornaments that I received.

Our Christmas display for 2012
Time to go again.... with today being Christmas Eve it won't be long til the man in the red suit comes sliding down chimneys and leaves package for all the little children.

Til the next time we meet Merry Christmas to all

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter Exchange - Part 1

Here I am back again....

I have again taken part in one of the MS Lovers Blog exchange - this time the theme was a Winter Exchange/Christmas ornament.  So with Christmas and the posting date just around the corner I went to my trusty old "Best of Margaret Sherry" bookazine.  This book is full of some great designs so I knew that I would find the perfect one.

It took me a little while to pick the design that I wanted to stitch as I couldn't decide whether to do one of the "Twelve Days of Christmas" or something else.  In the end it was the cute little hedgehogs that swayed me... and I decided to stitch part of the "Trimming the Tree" design.  The part of the design that I decided to stitch was one of the hedgehogs carrying the Christmas lights.  They are all so cute...one day I will stitch the whole design.
Finished ornament
Margaret Sherry - "Trimming the Tree"
Back of finished ornament
To finish the ornament I used a red and green Christmas fabric to border my stitching, trimmed it with some pretty beaded trim, a bell and some more beads.  The backing fabric is a red holly design that I thought would go very well with the beaded trim and the other fabric.

My ornament was mailed off to Portugal with plenty of time to spare.... for a change!  Rita was my exchange partner.  Before stitching my ornament and putting together the rest of the package I spent a bit of time looking over her blog to see what her other interests were besides stitching Margaret Sherry designs.  Rita had mentioned on her blog that she has started doing some scrapbooking so I thought I would put together a package of bits and pieces for Rita to use in her scrapbooking.

Ornament and exchange gift for Rita
MS Blog Lovers Winter Exchange
Included in the package were some Christmas stickers, ribbons, pom poms, buttons, brads, Christmas scatters/sequins, Santa pegs and of course a couple of candy canes!

Rita received the package safe and sound a couple of weeks after I mailed it to Portugal.  I am really pleased that it arrived safe and sound and that Rita adored it!

I have now received my exchange package from Italy, so stay tuned and I will show you very soon the most amazing package that came in the mail on Friday.

Til then, happy stitching

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Totally Useless SAL - New Moon 13 December 2012 Update

Well hello again.... yes, I am still alive and kicking!

Here we are again - another ORT report.  This is the last TUSAL for 2012. Hopefully Daffycat will host this great fun event next year.

This month I have managed to get some stitching done... but I can't show you too much as it is all secret still. Once the packages arrive at their destination I will show you the wonderful little things I have created.

The ORT's jar is again full... and lots of very pretty coloured threads have found their new home in the jar.  So where do we find the ORT's and the dragon this month?  As it's Christmas they can only be hiding amongst the Christmas deco's!

Dragon, ORT's and the Christmas deco's
December 2012 TUSAL
This year we have decided not to put up the Christmas tree just in case a certain puppy decides to pull it down on top of herself!  So in lieu of a Christmas tree we have a little tiny tree on the desk with the angels and some other deco's.

In the background you can see a little pillow that I recently received in the mail from Valerie from Fee le point.  Is this just lovely?!  I love this little stitched scene, and look at all those little buttons and bits and pieces that Valerie also sent.  Just gorgeous - thank you :o)

Gift from Valerie
I have something else to show you as well.... a stitched card all the way from Anne in Canada.  Last month I showed you the card that I sent to Vilma in the USA as part of the Margaret Sherry Yahoo Group Christmas card exchange; and this is the card and calendar that I received from Anne.  Thank you Anne - a gorgeous card, so sparkly :o)

Gift from Anne
Margaret Sherry Yahoo Group Christmas Card Exchange
This weekend is also IHSW.  This month I forgot to sign up.... oops!  But I have managed to actually get some stitching done... but I'm not going to show you as I was finishing off my last secret stitching for the year.

Well dear readers, that's it for another ORT report and IHSW update.  See you all again next year... Pop on over to Daffycat's blog if you are interested in keeping in touch with what is going on with the 2012 TUSAL, and don't forget to drop in on Joyce's blog to check out who joined the IHSW for the month.  Next year we will hopefully be doing this all again.

Til the next new moon in January 2013, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's begin again!

New Moons - 2013
11 January
10 February
11 March
10 April
10 May
8 June
8 July
6 August
5 September
5 October
3 November
3 December

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Totally Useless SAL - New Moon 13 November 2012 Update

Hello again!

Wow, another long absence between posts.... and again no excuse!  I have been stitching and reading blogs even if I haven't been leaving comments... sometimes I do a fly by read and promise myself that I will come back later and leave a comment and of course time goes by and then I don't get back to comment!!  So I must say sorry to everyone for not leaving lots of comments, I promise to try and do better ;o)

So what has been happening around our little ole' place....

I finished my Christmas Card for the Margaret Sherry Yahoo group Christmas Exchange.  I also made a little needle book and some Christmas pins to send to Vilma.

Margaret Sherry Christmas Mouse
MS Yahoo Group Exchange - sent to Vilma

Needlebook and Christmas pins sent to Vilma
I also had some birthday cards to finish off for the Craftbubble Birthday Exchange, but I completely ran out of time for stitching the cards, so I had to buy cards for the last 3 birthdays for this exchange.  But I still felt that I should make something for the lovely ladies... so I spent a couple of hours putting together three little pin cushions.  The cat panels were the perfect size for a pin cushion.
Pin Cushions for Craftbubble Crazy for Kitties Birthday Exchange
I suppose I had better show you my TUSAL photo for the month of November.... after all that's why we are here!

This month the Dragon has an owl for a friend.  The ORT's have a few more threads in the jar and some lovely purple ones on top from the little bit of stitching that I have been doing on Spring kitty - MS Cool Cats number 3.

TUSAL November 2012
Dragon and Owl
This weekend was also the IHSW - but not much stitching has been done in this house over the weekend.... hubby and I have been way too busy sorting out the house.... we are on the move... but more on that later.

Before I go I must leave you with a photo of Mitzi..... I went looking for her earlier today and this is where I found her...

Mitzi in Felix's basket with Felix's mouse!!
When we were cleaning up today I put all of the cat's toys in the top basket so that they wouldn't get sucked up by the vacuum cleaner.  And of course Miss Mitzi, who just adores the cat's toys, found them.  She climbed into the top basket via the bottom one and selected her favourite orange and white mouse - the same mouse that just so happens to be Felix's favourite one too.  I am sure that she thinks she is a cat most of the time!!

Well dear readers, that's it for another ORT report and IHSW update.  See you all again same time next month... Pop on over to Daffycat's blog if you are interested in keeping in touch with what is going on with the 2012 TUSAL, and don't forget to drop in on Joyce's blog to check out who joined the IHSW for the month.

Til the next new moon on 13 December 2012, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's keep growing!

New Moons - 2012
13 December

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crafting Mojo has returned!

Hello again!

Just a quick drop in post to say hello and to let you know that I am still on the planet Earth and breathing....
Most of you probably think I have dropped off the planet seeing as how I have been very quiet on the blogging front lately.. but no, I am still here!

As I have previously mentioned, not a lot of crafting has been done around here... but Friday I did manage to get hold of my little crafting mojo and hang on to it for a couple of hours and actually get some stuff done!

Firstly I made some more counting pins with some of the new beads I bought recently.  I tried out a different glue this time - Glossy Accents.  So will be interested to see if they hold as well the beading glue that I normally use.  I decided to use some red and green beads so that I can have some as Christmas gifts.

New beaded counting pins
I also managed to finished off my next kitty card for the Craftbubble birthday exchange.

Finished kitty card for CB Crazy for Kitties exchange
Last weekend was the IHSW and while I didn't manage to get a lot of stitching done I did actually get around to starting my card for the Margaret Sherry Yahoo group Christmas card exchange that I am taking part in.

Christmas Mouse
Designer - Margaret Sherry
I finished stitching this little mouse on Friday as well.  I now need to turn this into a card... which I will try and do this afternoon all things being equal!

I also have to start stitching my next Margaret Sherry design for the MS Lovers Blog Winter/Christmas ornament exchange.  Design is all picked out and threads are all ready to go... just need to start stitching!

Now before I go I will leave you with a picture of the most delightfully yummy blueberries that we picked this morning!  We have been having fresh blueberries for the last couple of weeks but this is the biggest haul we have had so far... yummy!

Fresh blueberries from the garden :o)
Well, that's it for now from me!  I must go and do some crafting and get my next card finished so that it can go in the mail this week.

So it is bye bye from me, and bye bye from Mitzi.

Til next time, happy stitching

Monday, October 15, 2012

Totally Useless SAL - New Moon 15 October 2012 Update

Oh my goodness... here we go again!  Another ORT report and another month has by without a post from me....  No excuses just one little itty bitty reason -


Nothing much seems to get done around here since a certain puppy arrived... no stitching or crafting, no blogging, no housework!  But we wouldn't be without her.  She is an absolute delight.  Slowly but surely she is growing and every day a little bit more of her brain is delivered.  For the most part she has got the toilet training right although every now and then we have a wee accident indoors...  Oscar is Mitzi's new best friend, but Felix is a lot more reserved and is still not quite there yet.

Now down to what this post should be about... the ORT report!

ORT's, Dragon and Pumpkin
Seeing as how it is October and the other half of the world is going into Autumn and is pumpkin mad, I thought I would take this month's photo with the last of our pumpkin crop from earlier in the year.  Our new crop of pumpkins are just starting to put their little heads out of the ground so hopefully we will have another great crop this season.

The ORT's jar is filling up slowly.  I have almost finished my Margaret Sherry Cool Cat #3 (Spring) but have had to put him away for a couple of weeks as I need to get some stitching done on a couple of cards and an exchange piece.

While there hasn't been a lot added this last month to the ORT jar, I did manage to finish the stitching of my kitty card last night.
Colourful cat designed by Jane Henderson
Cross Stitcher magazine, April 2007
Well dear readers, that's it for another ORT report.  See you all again same time next month... Pop on over to Daffycat's blog if you are interested keeping in touch with what is going on with the 2012 TUSAL.

Now before I wander off to bed.... struggling to stay awake after being woken up at 4am yet again this morning by a beautiful puppy....

On Friday I went to a "Meet the Author" event to meet one of my favourite authors - Monica McInerney.
Me and Monica McInerney (R) after she signed my book
Monica is currently back in Australia doing a tour promoting her latest book "House of Memories".  She is a lovely lady and it was wonderful to hear her talk about how her writing and also how she got the idea for this book.  I am always fascinated by people that can write wonderful stories... how amazing it must be to have a idea that grows and evolves into a story that people like you and me then sit down and read and have hours of enjoyment while lost in a book.  The "House of Memories" was a wonderful story... I started it on Wednesday before going to the event and finished it Friday night.  I just couldn't put it down on Friday... if you haven't read it yet... try and get a hold of the book - it is such a wonderful read - happy, sad and every emotion in between.  Can't wait til Monica's next book comes out... which will be a couple of years away though.

Til the next new moon on 13 November 2012, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's keep growing!

New Moons - 2012
13 November
13 December

Friday, September 21, 2012

Totally Useless SAL - New Moon 16 September 2012 Update

Finally I am here again!  Only a week late - well, not quite a week but almost!

The New Moon was last Sunday 16th September but time waits for no one - especially not me!  A week has gone by and I just haven't managed to get near the laptop to do a post.

I don't really have a lot of news to tell you for this ORT report as there hasn't been a huge lot of stitching going on this month.  I did manage to clean up a few little things that have been hanging around in the stitching  basket.

So what little raggy ORT's went into the jar this month.....

Winter kitty (Cool Cat - Margaret Sherry)
Crazy kitty (Cross Stitch Crazy design - Durene Jones)
Party Paws Panda (Cross Stitch Card Shop - freebie)
Pin cushion x 2 (Cross Stitcher - freebies)
Bear Hugs (Cross Stitch Collection - freebie)
All Our Yesterdays (The World of Cross Stitch freebie - Faye Whittaker)
Best Buddies (Cross Stitch Card Shop freebie - Adam Prescott)

Gosh, when I list them all it seems that I did a lot of stitching but most of the stitching was just little bits of finishing off.... but I will quite happily think that I was a prolific stitcher this month!!

I have also finished the AOY and Best Buddies freebies over the last couple of days and even managed to start the Cool Cats Spring kitty.  So while I didn't seem to have done much stitching on anything big, I did manage to put some more little ORT's in the jar over the month.

ORT's & Dragon - September 2012
This month's picture finds the dragon and ORT's looking after the material that Hubby is going to use to stitch a little quilt for Mitzi puppy to have on the sofa.  She loves curling up on the sofa but leather is not particularly warm for puppies so very soon she will have her own special quilt and cushion to sleep on!

Last weekend was also IHSW.  I didn't get a lot of stitching done with a certain little puppy stealing all the available time in the weekend, but I did manage to finish off a couple of little freebies that I have been  trying to stitch over the last couple of weeks.

"Best Buddies"
Freebie - Cross Stitch Card Shop, Issue 84
designed by Adam Prescott

"All Our Yesterdays"
Freebie - Word of Cross Stitch, Issue 190
Designed by Faye Whittaker
Well dear readers, that's it for another ORT report and IHSW update.  See you all again same time next month... Pop on over to Daffycat's blog if you are interested in signing up or keeping in touch with what is going on with the 2012 TUSAL, and don't forget to drop in on Joyce's blog to check out who joined the IHSW for that month.

Til the next new moon on 15 October 2012, happy stitching and may your collection of ORT's keep growing!

New Moons - 2012
15 October
13 November
13 December

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Here kitty, kitty, kitty!

Oh my goodness, 3 posts in 3 days!!  We can't have that now, can we?!?

Now I promised you a stitching update and here it is...

My latest finish is the second cat from the MS Lovers Blog SAL #3.  As I mentioned in a previous post I started this kitty on the plane going over to Hong Kong.  I am so pleased that I was able to stitch on the flight there and back as I have been wanting to get this cat started and finished for ages!

Cool Cats - Winter
designed by Margaret Sherry
MS Lovers Blog SAL #3
Winter kitty will be finished as a cushion sometime soon.  I bought some material at Spotlight the other day to make the cushion but now I'm not so sure that it's right for the cushion.  But that's ok it can go into the cupboard and be used at a later date for something else.  I will look for something else next time we go up to the quilt shops in Midland.

I also have a finished kitty card to show you.  This is the kitty that I was stitching a couple of weeks ago for the Craftbubble Crazy for Kitties birthday exchange.

Crazy Kitty designed by Durene Jones
Cross Stitch Crazy, Issue 168
The card was a very quick finish as I was late (as per usual) sending it to the UK.  There are 2 birthdays left in 2012 that I need to stitch for and then we will be done and dusted for another year.  The next birthday on the list is mine...

Recently I also finished stitching this cute little panda.  He was a freebie with the Cross Stitch Card Shop magazine.  I'm not sure what I will do with this yet but originally I was going to make him into a card.  May still do that yet - stay tuned!

And one last little stitching finish... a little sampler style pin cushion.  Not finished as a pin cushion yet but think I might have a go at doing that this afternoon....

Pretty Pin Cushion - free gift
Cross Stitcher magazine, May 1999
Designer unknown
Before I sign off, just a reminder that this weekend is the IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend). IHSW is hosted by Joyce at Random Ramblings, so wander on over and sign up for the weekend and stitch!  I hope that this weekend is a real stitchy weekend for me but I guess that will just depend on a bit on the weather and a certain little puppy.

This weekend is also the weekend for a TUSAL update.  Sunday 16th September is the new moon so we will all be reporting on what ORT's have been added to our little jars.  I have managed to put some in my jar this month which is great...  will have to see where we find the ORT's hiding this month for their photo opportunity.

So that's it for this little stitching update, see you all again after the weekend with the IHSW and ORT reports.

Til next time, happy stitching

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Puppy dog tails

Or should that be puppy dog tales!

We have now had our new little lady in our house for just over a week, and what a week it has been!!

Mitzi is the most delightful puppy.  She has been so good and has settled in very well.  The boys have slowly started to come round to having a puppy in the house.  They are not too sure about her when she barks at them and tries to get them to play with her!  The funniest thing is when she is sleeping they both come up and sniff her and check her out... but when she is running around they prefer to keep their distance!

Mitzi loves to chew things - like all puppies.  We have had to barricade off parts of the garden (like the veggie patch) as she thought running around in there was the best thing - all those plants to chew like rhubarb and raspberries or fertilizer!  So now her veggie garden runs have been stopped and she is a bit miffed about that... but better to have her on the other side of the veggie patch than in there eating things that will make her ill.  Bamboo is much safer to chew!  Should have named her Panda!!

And of course what else do puppies like to do?  Dig!!!  There are little holes all around the garden where she decides all of a sudden to dig a hole.  She has found the big holes that Daisy had dug in the back yard and loves running into them and lying down...  but of course she has to make her own as well.  Luckily they are easy to fill in at this stage!

And after a big morning of running around in the garden we just have to sleep.  She is lying on Daisy's old bed - her little mat fits nicely in half of the bed and the other half she lies on when she gets too hot from sleeping on the mat.  We nearly gave these beds away to the dogs home when we took the last of Daisy's food and mats in,  but decided to keep them just in case... just as well we did as they are perfect for a little dog to stretch out on - albeit they are rather large for a little dog!!

Oh, and did I mention she loves the boy's cat grass!  Poor kitties, their life has been well and truly turned upside down by a puppy.  Not only does she bark at them with that high pitched puppy bark, but she also can fit through the cat door into their outside area and then she goes and eats their cat grass!  Yuck dog spit!!  We have also barricaded off parts of the house so she is currently confined to the kitchen, family room and part of the dining room area, which means the boys can go and hide from her in their many hidey holes around the house when she gets too much for them.

I had forgotten how much attention puppies need when they first arrive in the house!  Constantly watching her to make sure she doesn't chew on electrical cables or wee in the wrong spot... but that was last week!  This week she is getting the hang of either going to the back door to go out or heading out the cat door (most of the time), and now that the speakers and my stitching light have been put away there isn't any obvious cables in her play area to worry about.

Tomorrow will be a big day for her as I am going back to work in the morning and she will be home alone with only the cats for company.  I am only working in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday, and will be home on Friday, so it will be a bit of test for her to be on her own for so long.  So far we have only left her for a couple of hours at the most.  But I think she will be ok....  Hubby is at home next week on leave but after that it will be back to the normal routine for us all.  I think she will be ok by then as she has settled in very well and even slept all night last night :o)

Mitzi has already found a place in our hearts and while she will never replace Daisy it is nice to have a dog in the house again.

Stay tuned for more Mitzi updates!!  I will be back in the next day or so with some stitching updates for you.

Til then, keep safe and happy stitching...

Monday, September 10, 2012

MS Lovers Blog Summer Exchange Update

Hi there!  Once again it has been a long time between posts... but just because I haven't been writing doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about what to write in my next post!!

So where do I start....

I have just been going though my blog and realised that I have stitched a few things and not shown you what I have done - naughty me!!

So the question is do I give you a picture-fest today or spread them out over a couple of days and whet your appetite with just one or two finishes today!  Lets see what happens and how far we get today, shall we?

We will start with the MS Lovers Blog Summer Exchange update - silly me appears to have forgotten to show you what I put together and sent for the Margaret Sherry Lovers Blog summer exchange.  My little package went all the way to Mexico!  For this Exchange I stitched the gardening snail and turned it into a pin board.  As it was a summer exchange I also included 2 pieces of pretty flowery fabric, a tin of small pins, a tin of pom poms, small highlighter, post it note and note pad, small flowery scissors and a pen.

The pin board started out life as a picture frame that was sitting in my craft stash, but once I had painted and decorated it and added some pin board cork it was no longer a picture frame but a small pin board ready to hang on Olimpia's craft room wall.

Exchange Gift I sent to Olimpia
Gardening Snail designed by 
Margaret Sherry

Exchange Gift I sent to Olimpia
If you would like to read what Olimpia said about the package I sent her on her blog click here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Of course, I have also forgotten to post on my blog what I received from Olga (Ollie) for the exchange.  I did remember to post about it on the MS Lovers Blog but forgot all about doing a post about it here.... Seriously, I don't know where my head is these days!

So what did I receive in the MS Lovers Blog Summer Exchange - well feast your eyes on this gorgeous box that Olga made for me.  She stitched the lovely mouse and chocolate design and covered a box with pretty pink material, and then filled the box with material, ribbons, some tassels, a Dutch tea pot shaped plate, some choccies and some lovely orange tea bags!  All beautiful treasures in a lovely treasure box!

Summer Exchange Gifts from Olga (Ollie)

Summer Exchange Gifts from Olga (Ollie)

Summer Exchange Gifts from Olga (Ollie)
I have one more thing to show with regards to the MS Lovers Summer Exchange.  Unfortunately the pixies needed to again put on their little pixie hats and send a little gift to someone who didn't receive an exchange package.  I was already in the process of stitching a thank you card for Francesca as she had sent me a pixie gift when I didn't receive my exchange package in the spring exchange - so my thank you card became a pixie gift as well.

Pixie Gift for Francesca
The package also included some threads from my stash, pink post it notes, aida band, coin purse from Hong Kong and a souvenier Perth thimble.

Pin cushion - free gift
Cross Stitcher, issue 53 - designer Anne MacGregor
The pin keep I stitched from a free gift that has been in my stash for sometime....  I also made the little beaded pin and the orange and purple edging braid.

Bear Hugs free gift
Cross Stitch Collection, issue 75
The card I stitched was also a magazine free gift and the flowers and papers were in my stash.  The beaded pins I made to go with the card.  Francesca is on holiday at the moment so hopefully when she returns her mailbox will be filled with pixie gifts!!

So that's it for my update on the latest Exchange that we have done at the MS Lovers Blog.  Our next exchange is coming up soon - this one will probably be a Winter one or maybe an early Christmas exchange. As the Summer exchange went on a bit too long we have decided to give the Autumn exchange a miss and jump straight onto the next one!!

I will be back shortly with some stitching updates for you.

Til then, keep safe and happy stitching...