Wednesday, 25 November 2009

~ Trusting Eyes ~

....... My Dog ~ My Friend .......

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself.

He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.

His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever — in case I need him. And I expect I will — as I always have. He is just my dog.

~ Gene Hill

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

~ Hello Again ~

It's been a while since I dropped by to say hello but over recent weeks I seem to have been suffering with what I have self-diagnosed as 'blogger's block'!! After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at writing posts I reminded myself of the little logo I have seen on several blogs which reads ~ 'Blogging without Obligation' so with that in mind I told myself I would get over it and not to worry.

And so today, with 'my shadow' at my feet ((just as I like it) I am having another attempt.

Well actually this time, I have something really special to write about and I want to share with you the wonderful time I had over the past couple of weeks with my dear friend and SAL/Internet buddy, Sandra from the UK. You may remember I mentioned several posts back that Sandra was going to be coming out to Australia and that we were finally going to meet in person. Well, she came, we did meet, time went very quickly and now she is back home in the UK and our meeting certainly left me with lots of happy memories even if I didn't get many photos. (Well, that is another story ) However, we did get at least one that I can show you so here we are sharing a pleasant afternoon actually sitting together and not on opposite sides of the world as we have been doing for years, stitching our current SAL project Blackbird Designs ~ 'Flowers for Sarah' from the 'Thank You Sarah Tobias' book.

Along with Sandra's lovely long time friend Diane, from South Australia, who I was able to meet as well, the three of us spent a great day at the recent Craft and Quilt Fair in Brisbane and all managed to come away from that with a little bit of stash and also get ourselves some fabric and threads for our planned next years SAL which Diane is going to join us in. We also visited my LNS and the lovely Patchwork Angel, dined out and enjoyed a barbeque together with our husbands. It was certainly a lovely time and has left me with many happy memories.

We had lots of 'gift swapping' and just look at what my dear friend had stitched me for my birthday.

It is a Barry Horton Shaker Box from France. Inside Sandra has lined it with dupion silk and stitched a band, pincushion and tiny scissor fob which is weighted with a coin and has the tiniest gold scissors attached. The pins have been coloured to match perfectly. Oh my goodness!! Needless to say, I was speechless. Thank you so much dear friend, I just love it and will treasure it.

Now, you will have heard it said "Wait there's more"!!!..... Well yes, there was more.....

Not only had Sandra brought DH the most beautiful book with pictures of York, as well as gifts for my little Granddaughters, this is what else she gave me. I was so spoilt. Everything is beautiful and thank you one more time Sandra not only for the beautiful gifts but for your friendship and as I was writing that I thought of the wording around what I think was the first thing I ever stitched for you which was a little Shepherd's Bush pinkeep and the wording around it was...

"Although our lives be miles apart, friendships dwell in soul and heart".

Sunday, 20 September 2009

~ More Framing ~

When I recently had the birth sampler framed, I also had this framed. I stitched it several years back and still love it.

"The Drawn Thread's ~ Cloister Garden"

If I remember correctly I think I have stitched it on lambswool linen with NPI silk thread. To me it is such a 'gentle piece'.

I still have another of the gardens to frame ~ the companion piece "Wildflower Garden" but it can wait for another time.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog and for the lovely comments.

"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, "Garden Thoughts"

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

~ Sweet Baby Sampler ~

I recently finished this.

It is Praiseworthy Stitches ~ Sweet Baby Sampler~ for my sweet baby Grand-daughter.

This really took me much longer than it should have as I did a lot of colour changing which to be honest I found to be a bit of a struggle. It is not that easy to try and get colours just right and I have to say I did a fair amount of unpicking. I am happy with the results now though and I hope when little Miss B grows up she will like it too.

I was looking after my two little ones the other day and I just love the honesty and innocence of the things they say. Miss Milly who is three told me "Nana you have wrinkly cheeks don't you!"

"Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you're just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric."
~Pam Brown

Sunday, 13 September 2009

~ Another SAL Finish ~

Do you know what a griffin is? I didn't!! Well it is a fictional character with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion and he is winged as well!

So here is our sixth finish for the year.

" Whitman's Griffin Tin"

I didn't add much 'creativity' to my version this time and stitched and finished fairly much as the pattern suggested but Sandra added her own touches and made hers just a little different.

Here is Sandra's...

The fabric we have used to line our tins is once again a piece that Sandra has chosen and it is just the most perfect match for the tin and don't you just love those fat little scissors!!

We are now working on our seventh project and here is a preview of my fabric and threads.

Can you guess what it is? It is a very long skinny piece of linen and lovely autumn coloured threads....hhhhhhmmmmmm, wonder what it might be :))))

"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck."
~Emma Goldman

Monday, 31 August 2009

~ Pouch Pixies ~

I love working with felt and I made these ~ well.......just because!!
I am sure my little grand-daughters will enjoy them.

So here is my little bit of whimsy.

"My childhood may be over, but that doesn't mean playtime is."
~Ron Olson

Thursday, 27 August 2009

~ Remember this?? ~

In an earlier post I showed you this tiny oil can that Sandra had sent me and mentioned that we had a purpose in mind for it.

Well here is how it ended up. This is the fifth project in our SAL this year

With thy Needle and Thread ~ ABC Pinkeep.

Sandra and I both found this tiny project to be rather fiddly. Mine is stitched on 27ct linen which being quite a large weave is prone to fraying so when it came to turning him inside out that became a bit of a problem. However, he survived and is happily sitting on his perch now with his strawberry in his mouth after a 'cook' on the microwave after I sprayed some Parisienne essence on him to age him a bit. I also added a rusty pin.

Here is Sandra's version.......

I recently was able to spend a day with my friend Mary (Melbourne) who I have often spoken about and shown some of the beautiful gifts and cards she has made for me. We enjoyed a day visiting my LNS and had a lovely lunch although silly me forgot to take a photo. Thanks for taking time out to spend the day with me Mary :) Now I am counting down the days until I get to meet my other Internet stitching friend Sandra (UK). How wonderful it will be to finally meet the person face to face with whom I have become such good friends. We will have so much to talk about.

will remember the camera this time.

I recently came across this sweet video on YouTube so if you have a chance take a look. You may need to pause my Playlist so you can hear it. Thankfully, my canine buddy continues to be well with no more 'brain tinkles' which is so good.

"Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health."
~ Author Unknown

Friday, 7 August 2009

~ A New Finish ~

I have just completed my latest project in my SAL with Sandra and here is how this finally ended up.

Here are our two different finished versions of....

Tricia Wilson Nguyen -
"Victorian Card Case".

I added the tassel as I thought it added a bit of Victorian elegance and also made some little cards just because :))

Sandra made a beautiful button for her version and used slightly different colours. I always love to see how the two different versions turn out.

So another addition to my 'cake stand' and in Sandra's case...her beautiful sewing treasures cabinet. I must ask her if she will allow me to show you some photos of that one day. I have to say if she agrees, you will be in for a treat!!

"Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are."
~Author Unknown

Monday, 3 August 2009

~ Special Times ~

Those of you who read my blog may have noticed I always like to add a quote at the end. Well this time I thought I might change things around and start with a quote as well.......

"One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything."
~ Oscar Wilde. 1854- 1900

I just love this quote but sorry Oscar, I am not listening to you today and as I remember those known to me (and those I don't know) who haven't reached it , I feel very glad to be able to say I have turned 60.:)))) I am very blessed with the best family, good health and great friends.

My two stitching buddies, Mary and Sandra, both whom I meet through our mutual love of stitching via the Internet, have once again given me the most wonderful stitching treasures which I really want to show you. These two dear friends always put so much effort into wrapping my gifts in the loveliest way which always makes opening them such a joy. Look at this....

Mary chose a bird theme for her wrapping and even made the little box the packages came in. She also makes the most beautiful cards and the detail in this card is amazing. The hummingbirds go with the bird theme.
This is what was in these little delights.
Don't you just love this tiny oil can and Sandra and I do have a purpose in mind for it so 'watch this space' to see how it might end up. Also those old wooden spools, so nice to have. As well as all these treasures Sandra included two pieces of fabric which we are planning to use for a couple of our future SAL's ~we plan ahead :))) and even have next years SAL planned and as if all that wasn't enough, look what else was in the gift.....
As always Sandra's stitching is utter perfection and I can tell you this needlebook is no exception.

Now look what was in Mary's treasure chest.

I love the bird fabric and that little bird button is so precious. Thank you so much dear friends for making my birthday special.

To celebrate our joint birthday's (DH's is five days after mine) our family gave us a weekend away at the Gold Coast with tickets to see the "Australian Outback Spectacular" and what a spectacular show it was.

This is the view of Broad Beach from our 11th floor room.
Don't you just love the blue sky in the middle of winter.

I am a little bit behind again with my SAL but hopefully will catch up and have something to show in my next post.

I am going to end with another quote as well....

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."
~ Author Unknown

Oh Yes, just one more thing..... Ben asked me to says thank you so much for your kind comments.

Friday, 24 July 2009

~Hello, It's Me, ~

Ben, (aka here as Shadow ~ mum's shadow that is!!) ..... Just dropping by to say hello as our friend Mimi mentioned to my mum that I hadn't made an appearance here in a while. Mummy said she was right that I hadn't and so yesterday, mum and I did a bit of a photo shoot.

I don't know if you realise this but it actually takes a fair amount of sleeping and lying around to look this good so that is probably why most of the photos mummy takes of me are when I am working on doing that. Anyway, it was a lovely winter's day here in the sub-tropics yesterday and so I made the most of my 'work' outside in the sun. Here are a few shots to show you just how hard this is. Mum said she liked how the shadows from the Frangipani tree are over me. The tree of course has no leaves on it just now and I think it just looks like a big monster.

You can see in these photos that I got sick of 'posing' and needed another little nap.
Mum said, to tell you that I do like to be active sometimes and recently when we had our friend to stay, they took me to the beach and I had a really good run and a swim. I like the water.

That same day, mum and her friend decided they were going to have a coffee at a cafe that was near the water and to test me out to see if I could be a good boy and behave while they did it. The coffee place allows doggies to be there if they can behave. Well, I am sure mummy didn't think I would but she kept giving me little treats which kept me happy and I was good (wasn't I mum???) Well, there was one incident that mum said reminded her a bit of "Marley and Me", I didn't take off with the table like Marley did but I did almost pull mum off her chair when I wanted to greet another dog that I saw there. Anyway, we had a lovely time at the beach and cafe.

Just to finish off, I want to show you what I have to endure sometimes and let me know what you think.....

This is me last night when mum thought I might be feeling the cold a bit. She tucked me up with a blankie. I didn't really like to say anything as I didn't want to seem ungrateful so I just let her do it. Us Labradors like to please you know.
So thanks for visiting our blog. Mum and me love to have visitors so drop by anytime.

Bye for now.

"Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning."

~Norman Strung

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

~ Christmas in July?? ~

Hello, I am still around but have been a tad busy recently. Not too much to show in the way of my stitching although I am still plugging away on my current SAL which I have to say has got a little behind recently as I have had a friend visiting and we have had lots to catch up on and by the time evening came around - well, I only seemed to be able to managed a few stitches before I could feel my eyes becoming heavy!! Oh well, I will be racing to catch up this week. Can't have Sandra getting way ahead now can I LOL!!

I have something very beautiful to show you though. My visiting friend was asked to bring me a gift from our mutual very dear and long time friend, Wendy (NZ). Now you may remember me showing you back last year of the beautiful Christmas stocking Wendy had quilted and beaded. Well look who was the lucky recipient of one of these masterpieces.

Not only did I receive the stocking, Wendy also made me the beautiful wine bottle cover as well. My photos just don't do these justice as the hand quilting and beading is just superb. The Poinsettias and Holly berries are so real looking. The stocking is lined with gorgeous green and gold Christmas themed fabric and the back of the stocking is corduroy velvet. I hope you can click to enlarge and see the detail. I love them dear friend and feel so special that you made these for me. Thank you!!

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, 19 June 2009

~ Spot the Difference ~

For our third stitch~along for 2009, Sandra and I have just completed "Fancy Work - Whitman's Wynnewood Tin sewing set".

This is mine..... the pincushion has different patterns on each side....

Sandra sent me this perfect match piece of fabric which lines the bottom and sides of the tins and for a little bit of individuality I had enough fabric left to make the thimble pouch to which I added the tiny thimble charm and enclosed a little thimble inside.

This is Sandra's.....

As her little piece of individuality, Sandra made a tiny thread keeper using the same design that is used on one side of the pin cushion.

I really enjoyed this as it was a quick stitch and the assembly was quite simple. Now, I am quite keen to do this type of finishing on my other Whitman's tins but have a few more projects that are more urgent at this point so that won't be in the immediate future.

Number four project is about to be started and here are the threads with the fabric I have chosen to use as a lining.

That could in fact change though as I have found in the past that although a fabric seems to suit a project well when you lay the threads you are planning to use on it, once it has been stitched, the fabric sometimes just doesn't seem so perfect any more. So with that in mind, I will need to get it all stitched before that final decision is made. I am really quite looking forward to this project as it is quite a bright cheery one but I am not going to tell you what it is yet :))))

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments you left about my La D Da Hearts.:))))

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies".
~Author Unknown