Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sliding Down The Slippery Slide!

WOW! We're already two weeks into 2018! I feel like I was sitting at the top of the slippery slide called 2018 on New Year's Day, looking forward to a fantastic year of adventures ... & then someone gave me a shove & I'm already sliding along at breakneck speed with the days going by in a blur. SIGH! Why do I get the feeling someone will soon be telling me how many days til Christmas! :0)

So ... What have I been doing between the blurring days? My grown up job is keeping me busy at the moment with my boss on leave. I've also had a rather social week with a stitching play date with the Fabulous Fiona ... Who very graciously allowed me to stitch down some binding for her when I left my sewing pouch on the dining table at home ... I worry myself some days! :0) I also had a lovely catch up with a former workmate ... We chatted for hours! Why do we leave it so long between catching up with friends when we have such a wonderful time?! One of my resolutions this year is to try to address that. And a dinner out with my folks who are house sitting just five minutes away from us at the moment. See ... Busy blur happening here. :0)

We were looking forward to a quieter weekend. So ... My Beloved Geek Boy & I took one of our mini road trips yesterday down our 'hill' in search of a new birdbath to accommodate the large flock of black cockatoos in our area who come into our back garden twice a day for a drink ... The terracotta pot we'd been using cracked. Uh oh! So off we went. Oh ... It was also much nicer in the air conditioned car than the house since temperatures reached 38 here & 46 in the Lockyer Valley where we were pot shopping. It wasn't so much the heat but the humidity that we struggled with, we being summer chickens. :0) We were successful in both staying cool & finding a new birdbath ...

... One of our resident black cockatoos checking out the new watering spot. He approved & called all his mates. :0)

Today was a bit cooler ... Only 36 degrees & as I write this, the promised cool change has come through & dropped the temperature to the low 20's. A bit nicer to sleep.

And besides tackling my grown up chores today (why is there so much washing for two people in a week ... And since about 80% of it is boy clothes, I think GB must wear several outfits each day! :0P) I've also been working on a little something that the OPAM gals will find interesting ...

... Hmmm ... A stitchery design. I wonder what it will be for??? Stay tuned! :0)

Right now, however, I'm off to sip my pre-bedtime cup of tea & sulk that England won the one day cricket. I hope you've all had a fabulous weekend & that if, like me, life is feeling like a fast ride down the slippery slide, that you throw your hands up in the air & ENJOY THE RIDE! :0) Til next time ...





Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Endings & Beginnings!

Obviously whoever was stealing days from my weeks last year is at it again already in 2018! :0) I had intended to be back here for a chat with you all before this, but ... ! Never mind, I'll catch you up on my news now. :0)

Let's start with the "Endings" part of my post title. I don't think I remembered to share that I had once again joined Chookyblue for her Secret Santa Christmas Swap. This was the tenth year I'd played along with Chooky ...WOW! Doesn't time fly when you're having fun! This year I was pretty chuffed to find I would be sending to Raewyn in New Zealand. Raewyn & I met for a play date a couple of years ago when she was in the neighbourhood & we've chatted back & forth since. So gifties to Raewyn were ...

... A Christmas ornament ... Or in this case, a set of mini patchwork stockings. I've made lots of these for myself & friends now ... They're fun to make & look great on the tree. Then for the main giftie ...

... A zippy lingerie pouch to keep her knickers safe when Raewyn travels ...

 ... And a matching monogrammed drawstring pouch for washing to be kept contained in Raewyn's bag, or somewhere to stash her sewing.

... And a Tag Along Teddies pattern & some Tilda fabrics for her to play with. Hope you enjoy your gifties, Raewyn! :0) 

Now ... My partner remained a secret for much longer because ... Santa misplaced my parcel in his storeroom! Well ... Either that or he took quite a while to decide whether I belonged on the NAUGHTY or NICE list! Tee! Hee! Hee! However ... Santa finally believed me when I said I was a good girl (stop laughing, you lot!!) & my parcel arrived yesterday all the way from Norway ... No wonder it took a while to get here! :0) And my lovely secret swap partner was Laila ... & boy did she spoil me!

Isn't that paper cute!

First, the ornament ...

Isn't it pretty!

And signed by Laila to remind me who spoilt me in 2017. Then there was the main giftie ... & one advantage of my parcel arriving late was ... I didn't have to wait to open it! :0)

A beautifully made zippy pouch to hold special things ... I think I'll use it for special sewing projects. And inside Laila had included two little choclatey treats (which got popped straight into the fridge after being in our 32 degree summer heat), a takeaway drink cuff which will be handy for sewing coffee play dates & some pretty Tilda fabrics straight from the home of Tilda, Norway. :0) I especially love the teal background ... I treated myself to the same fabric on the cream background when I was on holiday ... Perfect! :0) Thank you so much for spoiling me Laila! And a huge thanks to Chookyblue for once again hosting this fun swap during a particularly busy & difficult time. It's lovely to have this swap to look forward to each year.

And speaking of looking forward to a yearly event ... To the "Beginning" mentioned in my title. A few of you lovely OPAM gals have been asking whether my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg & I would be running OPAM again this year. Well ... It was a bit of a debate ... Our numbers have been dwindling as more people leave blogging behind to cross to what Chookyblue calls "The Dark Side" ... I.e. Facebook, Instagram etc & Sweet Peg & I have been aware of climbing postal costs ... But so many of you have told us how helpful you find OPAM to give you a bit of a nudge off the couch & into the sewing room. What to do!

We finally decided we'd run it again for 2018 ... But with a bit of a difference. This year we'll keep the monthly tally going & tell you all how many exciting finishes there are each month, but there won't be a prize draw. So ... OPAM will still be here to encourage us all to spend some time creatively, but there won't be prizes sent out ...though I AM working on a little idea that I'll share with you once I work it out.

So ... Sign up for OPAM 2018 will be towards the end of January, so make sure you stay tuned to our blogs for the sign up announcement.

Right that Chookyblue is rolling her eyes at the length of my post, I'll sign off for today. I hope you're all having a wonderful, positive start to 2018 ... A positive attitude can make a huge difference, can't it?! :0) Til next time ...










Sunday, 31 December 2017

Ring Out The Old Year!

Well we are in the last hours of 2017 & I have to say I'm ready to usher it out the door because it hasn't been one of our best. We've faced quite a few challenges at the Meares' Madhouse this year, work-wise & financially ... Did I mention that I really hate having to be a grown up?! ... & emotionally. We had to say a final goodbye to my gorgeous Grandma, a precious friend from our time in Bourke & a number of the residents of the retirement village where I work in my grown up job. And adding to that list in the last few days was news of the sad passing of fellow designer & gorgeous human being, Rosie Dekker.

However ... It's also been a year where through those things above ... Perhaps even because of them ... I've been reminded that I am surrounded by supportive, encouraging, loyal friends & a loving family, not to mention a Heavenly Father who has helped & strengthened us every step of this challenging year.

So ... Even though it's been a difficult year & we're pretty happy to see its end, I can honestly say that as it winds down ... I feel exceeding blessed!

Thank you to all of you, my lovely blogging buddies, for the richness you've added to my year. I look forward to sharing more creativity, laughs & real life craziness with you in 2018. :0)

I tend not to make New Years resolutions, but would like to share a Celtic Blessing with you for the new year about to start.

May love & laughter light your days,
And warm your heart & home.
May good & faithful friends be yours
Wherever you may roam.
May peace & plenty bless your world,
With joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons 
Bring the best for you & yours.

From me & mine to you & yours ...




Thursday, 28 December 2017

There's No Place Like Home!

Holidays are wonderful ... Going to new places, seeing new things ... But sometimes having a 'home-i-day' is just what the doctor ordered. You know ... A 'holiday' at home. :0)

We had a relaxing, low-key Christmas Day with my folks who are house sitting in the local area & our day was topped off with a bit of Christmas magic ...

The biggest, brightest double rainbow I have seen for years! The photo really doesn't show it off properly. Sadly we couldn't see the ends of it so didn't know where to dig for the pot of gold. It's a shame ... Our holiday could have become permanent. :0)

And for the last few days, I've been hanging out at home. There's been some sewing ... Remember this?

Well now it looks like this ...

I'm loving these pretty fabrics. I had originally thought to just add inner & outer borders ... But now I'm toying with appliqué ideas ... I can't help myself. :0)

While my new ideas bubble away on the back burner, I've moved on to a task I've been procrastinating about for a while ...

... Writing pattern instructions. SIGH! The cricket is keeping me company through the day, as you can see in the background, & in the late afternoon ...

... Some of our local wildlife is providing company. This is my view out the dining room French doors where I've been sitting to type. Can you spot them? Black cockatoos. We have a big flock of them living in our area & in hot weather they visit us morning & evening to take advantage of the bird baths & big water pot we have in our garden. They're so interesting to watch & seem to have a better & more orderly system of coming in to land than Heathrow airport. :0) The only drawbacks are they tend to break branches with their strong beaks while they wait their turn ... & the noise! :0)

So ... That's what's happening here at the Meares' Madhouse. Are you enjoying a holiday or a 'homi-i-day' ... Or are you back to having to be a grown up? Whatever you're up to as 2017 winds down I hope you're finding the beauty & joy in the everyday. :0) Til next time ...








Sunday, 24 December 2017

The Best Christmas Gift!

Amidst the bustle & craziness that surrounds Christmas it can sometimes be easy to get caught up, uptight & stressed. I found a great reminder the other day that I thought I'd share with you. I don't know who adapted it so can't give credit, but it's actually an adaptation of one of my favourite verses. 

1 Corinthians 13
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights & shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator. 
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meats & arranging a beautifully adorned table at meal times, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook. 
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home & give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels & crochet snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties & sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on those I love the most, I have missed the point.
... In other words ...
Love stops the cooking to hug a child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried & tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china & table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But the gift of love will endure.

I wish you all a happy, safe & restful Christmas spent with the special people in your life. Til next time ...




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