Tuesday, 30 December 2008

~ You would have to agree ~

You would certainly have to agree that I have the nicest stitching friends and I just couldn't wait to share with you how they have spoilt me this Christmas.

Dear Sandra and Mary, if you are reading this, it is giving me a chance to say thank you one more time for not only your beautiful gifts but your friendship that has grown out of our mutual love of stitching.

Look at this ....
Back in July, Sandra stitched me a bourse for my birthday and these precious little accessories she has stitched for me for Christmas, go with it. Now I have this beautiful set.

There is a pinkeep, needlebook and a tiny scissor fob which is stitched over one. My Gingher 'Lanell' scissors match this to perfection.

But wait....there is more!!!

Sandra knows I love tins and that I also love fairies and look what she sent me as well ...

Inside these tins was more treasure ~ shell buttons, GAST threads, a thread winder, and a dear little waxer which Sandra had made and is in the shape of an oak leaf. I also received a Cath Kidson carrybag :) Don't you just love those 'Bygone days' tins.

Now as if I wasn't spoit enough with that, look what my dear friend Mary has given me. The beautiful scissor holder she has stitched holds the pink breast cancer scissors of which part of the proceeds from every sale goes toward breast cancer education and research. I just love it and especially what it symbolises.

Mary also gave me a beautiful panel of the Twelve Days of Christmas (similar to the one shown in the photo) You quilt it and embellish it. On a trip to Toowoomba yesterday, I was lucky enough to stop by a beautiful shop called The Quilters Angel at Highfields and guess what I found. The perfect fabric to back and bind it and also a lovely hanger which fits it perfectly so I am all set Mary to hopefully have it ready for next Christmas. Here is a photo of the panel.

So you see what I mean when I say I have the nicest friends.

Ben and his 'bestest' friend Indy had a lovely Christmas too and here they are waiting to give the doggie biscuits their seal of approval.

Until next year..

True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.

~Dave Tyson Gentry

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Sunday, 21 December 2008

~ Yummy ~

My Shadow is a dog of many talents. Not only does he model, as he showed you in our last post, he can also cook and yesterday, he supervised me in making this batch of delicious Canine Cookies which he will give to his doggy friends at Christmas.

The Ingredients

The Waiting

The Result

The Lab Test

The Finished Gift

Ben hopes Indy and Georgia like his Canine Cookies as much as he does.

Here is the recipe which Dr Harry shared on Better Homes and Gardens

Canine Cookies

2-3 cups parsley finely chopped

1/4 carrot finely chopped

1/4 cup grated .mozzarella cheese

2 T olive oil

2 and 3/4 cups wholemeal flour

2 T unprocessed bran flakes

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven 180C. Grease or line baking trays. Mix parsley, carrot, cheese and oil in a bowl. In another bowl, mix flour, bran and baking powder. Add parsley mix and stir well. Gradually add water and mix well add more if needed to make dough moist. Knead for 1 minute on a floured surface.

Roll out dough to 1cm thick. Using a small cookie cutter or glass cut out as many shapes as you can.

Bake for 20-30 mins. Remove from oven and leave on wire rack to cool. Biscuits will harden as they cool. Store in an airtight tin and dog proof container.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.

~Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

~ Greeting Friends ~

My Shadow and I had a photo shoot the other day and here are some shots of the result. He definitely 'works the camera' well don't you think :)

Greeting Friends

It's Christmas and time to greet you once more,
But what can I say that I've not said before
Except to repeat at this meaningful season
that I have a deep and significant reason
For sending this greeting to tell you today
How thankful I am that you passed my way.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

~ A Year of Ornaments ~

Well my year long SAL with Sandra is over. It has been a great experience and thank you Sandra for being a wonderful SAL partner. I am certain the assembly of some of our ornaments has at times been a tad 'trying' for us both and at times we have thought they were destined for 'the bin' but overall, I hope it has helped us learn and improve on our finishing skills. I know I am pretty happy with my finished results and now have 12 ornaments that I wouldn't have had otherwise and without the encouragement from Sandra.

So here are our year long efforts....
These are our five With My Needle designs which make up a nice little needlework set

My version with the background fabric shown as used for the lining

Sandra's version

and the other seven of my versions...

and Sandra's full set...

I have another couple of finishes to show as well. this is from the 2008 JCS Christmas book and is from Blackbird Designs...

and this, my Blackbird Designs 'Pins and Tulip Pincushion' from the
Thank You Sarah Tobias book.

so I really have been doing the odd stitch or two :) and now it is time for me to get back to the baby sampler I am stitching for my darling little No 2 grand daughter. Hopefully, I will be able to show you this in the new year.

Until next time.

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.

~Mother Teresa

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

~ A New Month, A New Season ~

How quickly December has come around. Everyone I speak to seems to says the same thing. The year has just flown by. I wonder if you are like me and remember back to when you were a child and what a long time it seemed to be from one Christmas until the next.

I recently caught up with my DF Shirley, who was visiting from NZ and we spent a couple of lovely days together. Shirley shares my enthusiasm for stitching and crafts and we managed to fit in a visit to this beautiful shop on the Gold Coast Laraine's on Capri

Shirley gave me this lovely gift she had made.

It is a cute angel cushion and a scissor case, red scissors and the cutest little beaded 'humbug' scissor fob. Thank you Shirley :)

Speaking of dear friends, my long-time DF Wendy, also from New Zealand, sent me these photos of her recently completed Christmas stitching. This gorgeous Advent Calendar is quilted and embellished with sequins and beads....

and this beautiful stocking is quilted and beaded. Aren't they great.

Well done Wendy!!!

I have been quietly working on a few bits and pieces for gifts but still won't be able to show you until they have been received.

Lastly, I must show you a very special picture of three little fairies I found in the bottom of my garden they other day. Don't they make a beautiful picture :))) Three very special people in my life ~

"And as the seasons come and go, here's something you might like to know. There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day. So listen, touch, and look around - in the air and on the ground. And if you watch all nature's things, you might just see a fairy's wing."
~Author Unknown

Sunday, 23 November 2008

~ And Finally...

after really lagging behind this month, I have finished my November onrnament in my SAL with Sandra. This month we stitched the With My Needle pin keep from the JCS Ornament 2006 book and it is the 4th in a series of five designs from this designer. Next month is our last ornament and will be the 5th and last one in the series. I just can't believe how quickly this year has passed and it seemed no time since Sandra and I started our little stitch-along.

Here is Sandra's version ...

and my version ...

I have finished something else which is for a Christmas gift so I can't show that as yet. Another little gift I have finished recently is this little pincushion. You may remember the three gorgeous pincushions I received as a gift from my DF Mary back in July. Well this is a similar one I made for my friend, Shirley.

It was fun to make.
Apart from these bits and pieces, progress has been a bit slow on any other WIP's this month. Oh well, there is always next month.
I recently received my lastest pair of Ginghers which are called Sarah. Of course I had to have these as my first Labrador was called Sarah. She was a very beautiful girl and we had her from the age of 10 weeks until she went to Rainbow Bridge at the age of 15 and a quarter. She grew up with the children and was a very special part of our family. "Run free sweet Sarah"

I can't remember where I first saw this picture but look at these little darlings. Too cute but I really hope they were there only for a split second to get the photo and someone underneath to protect them!!!!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

~ Empty Nest Syndrome ~

Well, they have flown the nest and boy was it scary. Not just for the babies but for DH and I as their 'birdie grans'.

Yesterday, I just happened to see them both sitting on a branch at the top of the nest and couldn't believe my eyes as the day before they were still inside the nest albeit getting rather big to fit. DH and I just watched as they both preened their little feathers and kind of fluttered and flapped in the tree getting further away from the nest. One went but I didn't see him leave and then the other little one was left and started crying. It was heart wrenching as he cried and cried and so did I :(( He tried flapping and fluttering but just didn't have the courage or strength to take off. DH and I were getting quite distraught too and couldn't do anything although instinctively you just want to help. Mumma bird came back and was flying back and forth and I think trying to encourage her little one to take off. Finally after a very long time he kind of fluttered and hopped with Mumma encouraging and staying close by and fluttered part way around the garden all the while with DH and I watching in trepidation.

Amazingly, I found No1 birdie sitting in a tree nearby but he seemed to be the stronger of the two and appeared quite happy but no 2 was still causing us concern and I think by this stage was just exhausted and spent the afternoon in a bush with Mumma fluttering around close by. I was concerned as to whether she would continue to feed him now he was away from the nest but Sandra, you were right. She has continued to be close by and we are happy to report this morning have heard and seen baby with Mumma still nearby. We worry about the neigbouring cats and predators but now the littlies who we have become quite attached to are out in the big, scary, real world and there really is nothing we can do.

Hope you make it little ones and have a long, safe and happy life. Every time we see one of that particular honey eater now in our garden, we will be wondering if it is one of 'our birds' :)

PS We will leave the nest there for you just in case you feel inclined to come back to use it again and thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with us .

Not a lot I can show you this week in the stitching department but I am quietly working away in the background on a few bits and pieces. My SAL with Sandra this month is not making much progress but I must get onto it as Sandra already has her version stitched and probably assembled by now as well.

There is an oldie that I still love and is quite appropriate I think given my 'birdie' post today.

It is Prairie Schooler "Prairie Garden"'

My Shadow, thankfully continues to be in good health without any further seizures. Here is the handsome fellow today :)))))

I had seen this gorgeous picture a long time ago somewhere but came across it again today on the Legacy Embroiderers board. You may have already seen it but isn't it just so special !!

That little boy looks a lot lot my little boy......well, he is 34 now but when he was little:))) I just love that.

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the
flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is
come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

~ Solomon

Until next time.....


I have to edit my last post to add some good news!!

We have just been out to take a look at the little one and lo and behold.....both babies are side by side in the tree!! How wonderful is that. About 20 metres away from their nest. All is quiet now and No2 is happy to be joined with his nestmate.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

~ This and That ~

The babies continue to grow but are causing us some concern as the nest seems to have tipped on an angle and we are unsure what to do. We are concerned for the safety of the little ones but fear if we start to intervene by trying to adjust it, Mrs Bird may not like the fact that we have handled things. What to do ?? Such a dilemma. I know that in nature this is what happens but we are concerned about predators and also the fact that the babies might fall out!! We did manange to get a photo this week and although a bit hard to see, here they are...

Well....we decided rightly or wrongly we had to do something as the babies were on the verge of toppling right out. DH tied the nest up and poor Mrs B was quite frantic and let it be known but we couldn't let anything happen. The babies are quite vocal now ~ well tiny, tiny little chirping is coming from the nest and I can just see two little beaks wide open waiting for mumma to come back to feed them. It is really hot here today so hope they don't get too hot out there. Oh dear, this really is quite nerve wrecking.

I can now show you my finish that I spoke about in my last entry. It was a gift for my dear friend Mary's birthday which is today and I know she has now received it. I didn't want to show you in case Mary happened to drop by my blog and see it.
Anyway, "Happy Birthday Mary" and hope you are having a lovely day.

I stitched an Indigo Rose design ~ Mary's Pin Pillow for her which I thought was appropriate because of the name. I changed the colours from the original design and stitched it with Thread Gatherer and Gloriana Threads both called by the same name ~ Dried Roses. I love that name as it seems to just perfectly describe the colour.

This week the posty brought me something nice too. My new Gingher's arrived. I now have Roberta design added to my collection which brings the total of my Ginghers to eleven pairs.

My beautiful shadow is here at my feet as I write today and is more special and loved than ever (if that is at all possible) after giving us a very scary experience the other night. I won't go into detail as I find it really hard but he gave us a big scare and although the vet suggested a 'wait and watch' approach, it seems he may have had an epileptic seizure. We have found out it is quite a common thing in dogs and we hope this might have just been an isolated incident.

"Love you big boy"

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."


Monday, 27 October 2008

~ Congratulations Mrs Bird ~

We have babies. I suspected yesterday we might have but today I can actually see them and hear tiny chirping. I wish I could show you photos but I haven't been able to get a good photo and don't want to disturb her. I know she is a honeyeater but there are many types of honeyeaters and I am not certain what type she is but I do love how has shared this wonderful act of nature with me and I have spent a lot of time watching her sit on her eggs and now tending her babies. I love how the gentle breeze rocks the nest and it reminds me of a baby in a cradle. Very cute. Thank you Mrs Bird :)

Recently, I was very lucky to have received this gorgeous scissor keeper and fob from a very talented lady who creates the most beautiful works of art. You can see her beautiful work here.
Just Lilla ~ Lilla lives in Hawaii and makes all kinds of beautiful vintage works using gorgeous velvets, silks and lace. I really just love that Olde Worlde look. What a gift to be able to create like that. Thank you so much Lilla.

I have been stitching but am not able to show you my recent finish yet. Next time though.

To me, the garden is a doorway to other worlds; one of them, of course, is the world of birds. The garden is their dinner table, bursting with bugs and worms and succulent berries.
~ Anne Raver