Sunday, 26 January 2014

January Birthday Love Stash

Where has January gone to...... Happy Australia Day to everyone (what's left of it anyway). I've already shown you my gifts for January but I'll share again - the recipient will love them I'm sure (not necessarily the fabric though as it's an old school skirt!).

I'm working on some more card holders to put away; don't know who for... just in case - I'll share the photo's tomorrow.


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Orange & green..........

As you know I made a card wallet yesterday; well DH saw it and requested a smaller version. OK not a problem but then he brought me the fabrics he wanted...... YUK but as the saying goes "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

What does anyone else think??

On a happier note I made some birthday gifts; a scissor holder and a pin cushion/scrap bag. These I'm much happier with - I'd be happy to receive them.

I've joined in the fun with Narelle at 1 Xmas item a month; I've finally finished my Lynette Anderson "Christmas Fun" wall hanging. I know it's 11 months away but it's never too early to start being prepared........

See you soon

Friday, 24 January 2014

Grow your blog...

Hello and welcome to those of you who are visiting my blog for the first time. This is my first "Grow your blog" adventure so I just wanted to share a little 
bit about me and why I blog....

My name is Melanie; I'm a wife, daughter and mum to 2 DD's (teenage years!). In my professional life I'm a Registered Nurse but due to some health problems last year I'm reassessing which direction I need to take my life in next.

I'm a newish blogger. I opened my blog in February 2012 but didn't have the courage to actually post anything until October 2012 (oops). I "peeked" at others blogs I bit the bullet and just did it.

I blog a little about my life (my DD's achievements in Scouts and a little bit about me & DH); but my main blogging is reserved for my craft. I enjoy showing other crafters my creations and items I swap and receive.

I love taking part in swaps from all over the world and have made some new friends this way who also share a passion for craft. My main craft is quilting but I dabble in other crafts too - an angel upcycled from a book, cross stitch and paper folding. I'm no chef or cook (not my passion at all) or artist but I do love to see others work who were given these gifts.

So while you're here have a look around - see some of my creations - you may even find a photo of me (something else I don't do well) but you'll have to go back to Oct 13.

Why have I joined in Vikki's blog party? Simple to make new friends who share a passion for sharing. This can be anything; families; friends; crafts; faith; pets; likes; dislikes....... the list can go on forever but the passion everyone puts into their blogs doesn't ♥♥

As a small thank you for taking the time to visit and look around I'm having a giveaway. My main passion is quilting and fabric so just by leaving a comment (about anything at all) you could win 2 fat quarters and a skein of thread. 

The winner will be drawn February 15th and they can choose either a theme or a colour and I'll find fats to suit. 

Don't forget to go see who else is "growing their blog".

I'm going to make new friends now.........


A new card holder for Friday Night Sew In

I had a great night tonight joining in with lots of creative people for Friday Night Sew In. Thank you to Wendy for hosting; dinner was delicious (definitely a recipe to try at home).

Part of the night was spent "choosing" fabric for my next Anni Downs block - (not happy with the fabrics I've chosen tonight so will try again in the daylight) but here's what I've accomplished so far - 

 the needle turn applique is improving with each stitch.

I did do some sewing... I received a beautiful felt purse kit for Christmas from Kaye over at Kitten Stitching. Now this is my favourite purse and I love it to bits but I do struggle finding the "right" card.

So I consulted my friend "google" and found a pattern over at Nancy's Couture. Fabric chosen; sewing machine ready..... and the end result is.......

I should never lose a card again.  

Hope everyone else had a productive night; I'll pop round over the weekend to admire.......... 


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Travelling Treasures is going too ..............

Drum roll please .......... the winner is.......... (sorry a minute late!)

Congratulations Kaye - your parcel will be in the post tomorrow. In case you're all wondering why I put the maximum at 6 when the post says 12 comments this is because 6 of the comments were my replies. 

Kaye was also my partner for the Secret Santa Swap hosted by Cheryll over at Gone Stitchin but I can assure you it wasn't fixed DH did the screen shot for me of the Random Org and then we worked out who No 5 was.

I'm sure there'll be some treausures in the parcel that you will enjoy.

Thanks to Debbie for starting this journey; can't wait to read about it's future travels.

Off to pack a bag (shame I can't go too).........


Look what's in Travelling Treasures ............

What with everything that happened last week I forgot to show you what's in Travelling Treasures and what treasures I'm keeping. Thank you to Debbie for reminding me. I do feel bad for not doing it sooner but better late than not at all. So first here's what I'm keeping...........

DD2 fell in love with the quick unpick and button. The seam guide will help me with accuracy in my next challenge and you can never have enough quilt labels or patterns either ♥♥

Now what could be on it's way to you.........

As you can see there's a lot to choose from (something for everyone) but that's part of the enjoyment.

See you tonight for the draw.

Melanie XX

Monday, 20 January 2014

Last boarding call for Travelling Treasures

There are so many treasures to chose from. The parcel is packed; it just needs a destination. Where to......... Travelling Treasures will be drawn at 9pm (SA time) tomorrow. To be in the draw just leave a comment with your ideal destination - I still feel a trip to the Northern Hemisphere is in order even though the temperatures are a lot more pleasant here in SA this week (only 25C today!).

Call back tomorrow to check out where it's going...........


Friday, 17 January 2014

Mother Nature at her worst.......... but so thankful for a wind change

Well we've had a few scary days here and one's I don't wish to repeat in a hurry (hence no blogging). As you may know SA is nearing the end (fingers crossed) of a prolonged heatwave, we haven't been below 41C since Sunday and even the nights have been hot (28C +). 

Tuesday was hot and dry spent inside listening to the updates on the radio as there were fires throughout SA and one not too far from us (7km). We kept a watch out the window at the smoke and had a plan in place just in case!

6pm we decided to go for a swim as there was cloud cover and it might help to cool us down. DD2 and I went to take the cover off and I noticed a big cloud of smoke heading our way. DD2 went to alert DH by the time he came outside we couldn't see the road (100m away) or the neighbours 500m away. Thick, hot smoke and ash were heading our way. Mad dash inside to wake DD1 (having an afternoon nap!!); get my mam and the dogs and then off we went.

The front was heading directly for us. We only went 1km away to neighbours but they live up a hill (we're down in the valley) so had a good view of what was happening. They too thought our place and the closer neighbour's were gone as our properties just "disappeared" into the smoke.

The CFS were busy fighting the bigger blaze but we were being looked after by someone - the wind just suddenly changed direction and headed up the paddock over the road away to our right (we were later told the wind speed was up to 50km/h). We were just all so fortunate; paddocks and some sheds were lost and sadly some animals but no human life and no homes close by (one was lost at Rockleigh).

The first photo I took on my phone and was the view from our neighbours when we got there (our property is just behind the tree line to the bottom right of the photo). The second was taken by the CFS and is what was heading towards us!

A huge thank you to all the CFS crews who are still out there monitoring and fighting fires. Today remains a high risk day; very windy with thunder and lightening forecast ahead of a cool change. 

We're ready to activate our plan again; as much as I love my home and love living here I won't stay to fight a fire; we'll go at the first sight of anything heading our way.

Keep cool and safe.
Take care all my bloggy friends 


Monday, 13 January 2014

Travelling Treasures all set for take off..............

Travelling Treasures is refueled and ready for take off. Flight path is yet to be decided though. 

To determine where in the world she's heading all you need to do is leave a comment telling me your ideal destination and I'll let "Random Org" pick a number.

At this moment in time my ideal destination is anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere (preferably near some fantastic quilt shops), as we're heading into a week of 40+.

I'll make the draw next Tuesday (21st Jan 9 pm South Australian Time).

Looking forward to reading about your destinations.


Saturday, 11 January 2014

First FNWF 2014 ..........

Last night was the first time in 2014 we got together for FNWF. Cheryll arranged this and 63 took part - will that be the record for the year?? 
What did I do - well I pinned a quilt together ready for quilting - this has been sitting in the UFO pile for quite a while; so earlier in the week I got a bee in my bonnet and completed all the blocks (the stitcheries and stars were done!) and last night I put the layers together. We're expecting a heatwave here next week so the plan is to quilt it then. It's a Lynette Anderson Design called Christmas Fun.

I also worked on some secret stitiching for Cheryll's "Initial Heart Swap" - here's a peek - 

and then I decided I didn't want to get the machine out as DD1 received the latest Downton Abbey Series on DVD for Christmas and she's dying to talk about it with someone so (sigh) I had to watch the fist 3 epidsodes. OMG (as DD1 would say) - I won't spoil it but can't wait to watch some more tonight.

So while watching I decided to do some hand sewing. I've had this for a while but haven't got around to starting it (mainly because I'd made up my mind to "needle turn" the applique and I've not done that before).

I bought it as a BOM so I didn't have to choose the fabrics (which for me is often the longest part of a project). I decided to do the smallest block first and then if I didn't get the hang of needle turn I could go back to the tried and tested vliosofix for the rest. Well I have to say he's not quite centred and a bit googly eyed but for a first go I'm more than happy. A Christmas Tree is on the list for tonight - I'll keep you posted (if I don't get too engrossed in Downton Abbey).

Don't forget to pop over to Cheryll's and check out what everyone else has done. I'm popping over later today as I need to take DD1 to work now.

Bye for now


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Emmaline Clutch - a new challenge....

Yet another swap creation. This time a clutch bag designed by Emmaline Bags; some parts were a definite challenge but overall I'm really pleased with it and would be happy to receive it. Not sure where it's heading yet; will just have to wait and see. This is a swap being run through The Sewing Library Swap Group on FB. I would definitely make another but with a "snap" lock instead. Modelled by DD2!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Swaps sent and received and made....

Warning - this is quite a long post showing off thing's I've received; sent or made in the last week. I received squishy mail today - blocks from Joanne my November partner in the Quilting Block Swaps Australia - both beautiful and a label too. 

I've been working on and sent my January block (QBSA) to Brenda in Ohio. I've not made a card trick before but I'm pleased with how it turned out- Brenda asked for this block in blacks/whites on a white background.

For the Christmas Block Swap Australia Deborah in Michigan asked for any block in traditional colours - again a new block to me (can't remember it's name) but loved making it.

I've also sent out my fat quarters to LeAnne my January partner and the January birthday girls (won't show the photo's just yet).

I'm also taking part in a swap on FB - 12 blocks (but I made 13 - someone else may still join) in black and whit with one accent colour; I chose red; here's the results - 

pleased with some and not others. I won't recieve my "pile" back until Marchish; which gives me time to work on my New Years Day Mystery Quilt (again run through FB). I've finished the mystery but think I need to add borders and then quilt it. I got a bargain at the OP shop today; a QS wool blanket for $10 that I'll use as wadding. 

DH has taken up sewing (he's made table cloths for the tables he uses at the local farmers markets and a thread catcher) which is fantastic but he's not the best at putting things back where he found them so I made him a scissor keeper for his very own scissors (fabric only LOL). "Manly" colours but with a hint of girly in the flower...........

Last but not least - Kaye sent me a purse to make as part of my Secret Santa Parcel - well here is the finished item (it fits beautifully in my new handbag) only problem is DD2 keeps hinting that it would be much better for her LOL.

I think that's all for now - I'm working on a clutch bag (quite a challenge) but I'll post that when I finish it.

Travelling Treasures

Look what came in the mail today.............

Travelling Treasures from Aunti Marti - the packet was overflowing as you can see. Very definitely spoilt for choice; haven't decided what to take and what to add but I've a few days before I need to make up my mind. Also not sure how to decide where it goes to next so stay tuned and I'll post again with the plan! 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Grow your blog

As you've seen in my earlier post I'm planning big changes for 2014! My first step is to join Vicki on 25th January to grow my blog. My followers have more than doubled since Chookyblue helped me with some technical problems but I need to expand further. Check Vicki's post and join in the fun......

2014 New Beginnings.

Well 2014 is well underway; lots of reflection on 2013. It wasn't the best year for me; I've been off work since August with work related stress (and very high blood pressure) - I'm a lot better than I was and plan to return to work on a graduated return plan in February but my heart is just not there anymore. I'm a registered nurse with some management responsibilities and for 20+ years have loved my work but now I feel "emotionally" empty; too many hoops to jump through; way too much paperwork and no end in sight to the bureaucracy. Time for some soul searching and to head down a different path. 

My mam lives with us and is only 67 years young but has ??skin lymphoma (due to all the holidays the results of a biopsy still aren't available); both my girls are growing and will soon have flown the nest and I feel I need to spend more time with all of them while I can. A change in career is what's needed but as yet I don't know what.

I would love to be able to work from home and incorporate my craft in some way so with this in mind I'm asking how others set off on this journey.........

any advice you can give me? What is the most important thing to consider; where did you start?. I know that the first step will be the hardest but I think it's time. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Pledge Taken.........

It's that time of year again to pledge commitments to swaps with Cheryl over at Gone Stitchin; here's my pledge

I Melanie will try my utmost...
·        To always swap on time.
·        To always email a THANK YOU to my partner.
·        To be considerate and thoughtful when choosing a gift.
·        To give my partner the quality of gift that I would like to receive.
·        To communicate when it’s required.
·        To NEVER over commit and let a partner down.
·        To advise the swap mama when I receive my gift.

This I sewomly pledge....

Happy dance - I've got my partners details for the Valentines Swap and have already made a start.

I know I'm late but I would still like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy 2014.