Monday, 27 December 2010

are we there yet?

Well Christmas is over and we had a very low stress enjoyable Christmas Day.
Now there will be time for stitching and crafting!

Last Thursday I mailed to Carol the stitching round the block top with my part of it done. I hope she is happy with the results. Now they just have to be completed.
Today I had a bit of computer time surfing the net for some new stitchery patterns. I found one site www.needlecrafter.com that had some lovely new holiday projects to add to the lovely ones I was gifted last month in swaps.
Narelle from Country Roses mentioned a few months ago (while we were in the thick of Christmas crafting) that next year we should start early and encourage each other to get things done each month.
 I am getting psyched up to start next month, What better time to 'commit' to something than a new year!
Hexies have been the most I have been doing lately as they have been quick and easy to pick up and put down.
This week I have some stitcheries earmarked for a special thankyou gift.

Hope everyone has had an enjoyable Christmas and a big thanks to the lovely people who visit my blog regularly and leave wonderful comments. I look forward to keeping up with you in the new year too!
cheers for now
Marina

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

lovely friends..

Yesterday I received a gift in the mail from lovely Els in the Netherlands. Els and I were stitching angel swap partners two years ago and we have kept up correspondence since. Els sent me this surprise parcel of goodies for Christmas. It has the most adorable handmade gifts in it. She also sent a huge bag of used postage stamps for No 3 son who has had fun sorting through. Soaking and sorting should entertain him for a few days of the holidays at least!



these adorable fabrics are going to be used only on a special project they are just so beautiful!


I have been busily working on hexies and my Stitching round the block duties.
I just had to give you a sneak peak..... Just the stitched butterflies and then it is home sweet home to Carol's house. She included a lovely charm pack with her original stitchery and I just had to take some artistic licence so that I could use up more than just what was needed for the hexies. I could have made heaps more hexies with the enclosed squares of loveliness, but one must have some self control, musn't one!

Am just LOVIN' the holidays..
Now to think of a thankyou gift for Els.
cheers
Marina

ps the mystery of the missing Hungarian swap parcel has been solved. It arrive back at my home yesterday after having made a brief visit to the Hungarian post office on the 29th of November, then it began its journey back here marked 'insufficient address'. I had forgotten the house number and street name! After much apologising it is making its second trip to Hungary leaving today.
Sorry to my swap partner for being such a nuff.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

a touching gift

yesterday we had our craft group break up lunch.
My Kris kindle gave me a wonderful heartfelt gift. I was so touched by the thoughts that accompanied my gift.
Three years ago my grandmother passed away. When we cleaned out their home we discovered where we got the hoarding gene from. She had worked in a woollen mill when she first came to Melbourne and she used to knit and crochet a lot. Her immense stash of wools was distributed to people we knew who would use it. My craft friend Mari was a happy recipient of some of the wool.
This is the poem that accompanied my gift..


In sewing circles it is true
That expertise resides in few,
And those of us without the knack
Bewail our sewing savvy lack.
So, with wool I wove a rug
From your Nonna's woolly stash,
I hope the memories it brings
Will all be bright and cheerful things!

And here is my lovely gift...

Mari has made a few crocheted delights for other members and I have always hoped that one day she would be my Kris Kindle. My wish came true and with much more.

Hope your weekend has been wonderful!
Marina

Friday, 17 December 2010

catching up

Well the last week has been a hectic one work wise, counting down to the end of the working year! But I have made it so three cheers!
Thought I would post a catch up of the weeks events.
I have finished some little gifts, one I can show, one will be a surprise so it will remain hidden for now.
We have our craft group break up this Saturday so I had to quickly finish that gift.
Here she is, a little babushka door hanger...


I sent off a hexie for my 'inch hexie swap' partner.
......then this loveliness arrived in the mail from Lorraine. I will now be working on the fourth step in the Stitching round the block for Carol. She included some lovely fabrics with her original stitchery and I have had lots of fun selecting which ones to use for the hexie flowers in the fourth border.
They are small and quite fiddly but fun to make. You can see how small they are compared to the needle I am using to tack them down.


I have been anxiously waiting to hear from my Christmas swap partner in Judit's swap, in Hungary. I sent my parcel on the 20th of November but it still hasn't arrived. I will be so disappointed if it goes missing. I am going to start preparing another parcel just in case I don't hear from her in the next week. Gotta hate goodies getting lost in the mail!

How cute is this book, Maisie is immortalised in print too! Ironically the little boy in the story is named Andrew the same name as no 2 son. Storybook Andrew learns about being caring and being gentle towards his pets but not before Maisie gets squeezed and tormented. Pamela Allen writes some gorgeous children's stories and we have a few of them from when the boys were little.
One last pic...
Quoting the lyrics of a John Denver song..
'Where would life be without home grown tomatoes,
There's only two things money can't buy
And that's true love and home grown tomatoes....'


Looks like we may have tomatoes for Christmas!!
Have a lovely weekend!
cheers
Marina

Thursday, 9 December 2010

are we there yet?

The final stretch is often the longest....
I have received some lovely goodies in the mail today!
Firstly I received the lovely pattern from Helen Stubbing's blog...


then this lovely 'welcome hexie' arrived in the mail from Jane. It is a lovely thought to make new members to the Hexie swap a welcome hexie.
Mine is made for my swap partner and I just need to get it in the mail.

My last parcel is the wonderful Maree's Christmas swap parcel from Dzintra.
I so enjoyed opening each parcel ( I can't wait for Christmas!)
She also included a lovely Hugs and Kisses christmas pattern so I will have two new Christmas crafting for next year! All the goodies were lovely so thankyou very much Dzintra!


Some more treasures should be arriving in the mail soon so I am sitting tight waiting!
Hope you are having a good week I wish I could find some crafting time but it just isn't happening!
I can't wait for next week I hope I can make it!
cheers
Marina

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

tuesday treasures

Last night I was rummaging through a pile of papers and came across this old photo.
No 3 son was only about 5 weeks old and it was his first visit to Santa with his brothers. We used to take the boys to Myers and we would line up for ages so that they could reluctantly sit on some strange man's lap. Needless to say this year was our last visit to Santa. It just got so hard with 3 boys. You can see how impressed no 3 son is.

This photo does bring back a lot of memories of times when life was simpler and everything revolved around these three munchkins. They aren't off our hands yet but I loved it when they were young. Spending time with them and teaching them about everything they didn't know. Now they can probably teach me things, or they think they can.
Have a great Tuesday
marina

Sunday, 5 December 2010

swap arrived at it's destination

Maree from On my verandah emailed me today to let me know that my swap gift has arrived to it's destination at Lisa's house in New zealand.
we had to send something handmade, something to eat, something to read, a Christmas ornament and something for the Sewing room.
Can't wait for my swap to arrive.
Finger crossed it will be soon.
Hope your weekend has been a good one.
marina

Saturday, 4 December 2010

the week that was.......


Well what can I say about the U2 concert........ Absolutely amazing!!! I am so glad I went. We have all their concerts on dvd so I was prepared for what the live concert might sound like and I was also a little prepared to be a touch disappointed in case they didn't sound the same. I needn't have worried they were superb and Bono and the Edge's voices were the best I had heard them. I wish I was going again. No 1 & no 2 son are off to Sydney next week to see them there. I want to go too!!
Now on to crafty business....
The postman made a lovely drop off this week again.He brought this beautifully wrapped package..


......that contained this gorgeous sewing kit. I have seen them on Lynette Anderson's blog and they are always snapped up like gold. Bronwyn Hayes has opened up a blog shop on her blog and she has so many in her shop to choose from. I just had to have one.
This week also saw a visit to one of my favourite fabric stores, GJ's in Lygon St, Brunswick East. They had one of their regular 25% off sales and I desperately needed batting for the numerous tops that need to be quilted. You know what my main job will be these holidays....
Besides the batting I bought some of the lovely Bliss fabrics they had on the bolt. I have a jelly roll and charm pack and want to gradually add some extras. I also found some Super bargain fat quarters to add to my Boys' story quilt. They were only $2.00 each and then there was 25% off them too. Amazing.

Each time I start to sew up a square of the boys story quilt I always regret not having more fabrics so now I think I will have a great range to choose from. My more recent additions are a little brighter than the first stash I had collected but I am hoping they will still blend ok.
In regards to the batting, I purchased a thin polyester batting recommended by one of the ladies at Gj's. Made sense for the tops I have to quilt. I'd love to get other peoples opinions on batting. What do you guys use for batting and why do you choose this type?


Well that is the week that was...
So it's goodbye from me, and it's goodbye from him...
Hope your weekend is cruising along nicely!!
cheers
Marina

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

a lovely mail delivery plus a Tuesday treasures post

Today I received a lovely surprise package in the mail..



Some lovely hand painted buttons from Eli and one of her lovely new stitchery patterns that included a hand painted button. This bundle of loveliness was a gift from the talented Eli from raccolto d'autunno. I stumbled across Eli's blog a little while ago and I have enjoyed testing my lapsing Italian skills by reading her blog and emailing her. Eli's English is far better than my Italian, Just proving the adage 'use it or lose it' . As an adult I only spoke Italian with my grandparents and since they have passed away I have missed not speaking the language. Eli's blog in Italian and English lets me have a little bit of that connection with my heritage. I usually cheat when emailing Eli and write in English as I struggle to find the right words and correct tenses quickly enough.
Eli is selling her patterns and buttons on her blogsite- you can click on the link above or click on the first picture.


Just a quick Tuesday Treasure post...
Here are my childhood dolls.
The baby doll in the blue crochet outfit is from when I was around two years old. She was brought for me so that mum could kidnap and dispose of my old extremely well loved and battered doll. I put the lovely new doll aside and kept my old raggy doll. She did disappear years later and then this doll got some loving and wear. The Chrissy doll is a replacement for one I had at Primary school that got damaged. I loved to 'grow' her pony tail and brush it. The two dolls on the ends I got when I was 12 and we were living in Italy so they have been well travelled.  The one on the far right was bough at a festa (called a sagra where my dad comes from). I love her hand painted face and long black plaits.

Hope your week is going well. Off to U2 tomorrow and I can't wait!
so Thankyou Eli!
cheers
Marina

Monday, 29 November 2010

hexies and healing hearts.

Saturday I went to my monthly craft group. I spent a lovely morning. This weekend I mainly concentrated on some healing hearts to send to New Zealand. I have only managed some ones with Kiddy prints for this batch and will work on some more for next week. Just need to stock up on some vliesofix and cream homespun.

Just thought I would show you what else has been filling my stitching time now that my swaps are done. These hexies are from the jelly roll of Park avenue fabrics that I bought a little while ago. Boy is it taking a lot of time to make these up. I want to make all the hexies before I start putting the flowers together. I made one up because I wanted to see how the fussy cut birds looked. The whole jelly roll is cut ready to go and the next batch of pieces is just waiting to be tacked down.
I am also taking part in a hexie flower swap and these will be added to my scrappy hexie top. I could finish it the size it is but the swap was too good an opportunity to pass up to add to the top.
Friday in the mail I received another jelly roll that I had forgotten that I had ordered. It is a Rural Jardin jelly roll to go with the fabric I received from Oddbjorg in our friends swap. Just need to decide whether to chop it up and add it to the Park avenue hexies or use it for something else.
Decisions, Decisions.

Saturday night Dh and I took  the boys, my sil and her hubby and my mum out for dinner to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I can't believe the years have flown by so quickly. We went to a beautiful seafood restaurant right on the marina (how appropriate). DH and I went there last year for our anniversary too. It was a lovely night spent with people who are dear to us. We actually met at my sil's house. I used to babysit her boys as she was a friend of my mum's. I still blame her for us getting together!
Off to U2 on Wednesday! Woohoo. Can't wait. Dinner with the work girls on Thursday, also expecting some goodies in the mail. I am looking forward to this week.
Have a lovely week...
cheers
Marina

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Sneak peak and Survivor Wednesday?

Well I haven't had to play the immunity idol yet, am keeping it till after the merge in case someone tries to vote me off...
I stayed up last night to watch this weeks instalment of Survivor. I love to see the behind peoples backs play and how surprised people can be by another alliance member's betrayal. Poor Brenda thought her 'queen' would save her by sacrificing his immunity idol- sucker!!.
That's for those of you that fessed up to being survivor fans.
I have finished my round of the Stitching round the block and it will be going on a little trip to Fiona's this week. Of course there are sneak peaks!



Who let the bugs out?
that's it for today.....
cheers
Marina

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

tuesday treasures..

Here is my tuesday treasure for this week. It is a new treasure.
No 1 son returned from a month in the Cook Islands on Sunday. It was a real great life experience to be living and teaching there. We are huge Survivor fans and often made references to Survivor in our exchanges. Survivor has filmed two series in the Cook Islands and on the island of Atui (where he stayed) they actually filmed a reward experience. When he was a bit homesick I would tell him to keep looking for the immunity idol and try not to get sent to exile island!
So what should he bring me but a carved mask. My own immunity idol!
Now I just need to work out what I will be immune from...  housework, domestic drudgery, teenage nagging? Will let you know once it starts working.
He also bought me a lovely black pearl. Well, I was off with Jack Sparrow references...
I think I watch a little bit too much tv!
 speaking of which....Saw Harry Potter last Friday.
Can't make up my mind on the verdict. I did enjoy it but just felt it lacked detail for me. I love so many of the support characters but in all the films they are never developed as much as I would like.
I want to see it again as it did bring the book to life for me. Will also look forward to the final film next year.
Have a great week!
Marina

Monday, 22 November 2010

new santas..

Every year I like to get a new santa well this year there will be two! I went to a market night at the school I worked at last Friday and they had these adorable door stop santas.
 The next afternoon I went shopping and found this lovely at Coles. I think he is gorgeous and no one has offered to take him to the shooting range!
Craftiness has included preparing hexies for a new hexie flower project. I have cut a jelly roll of Park Avenue by 3 sisters. I have mailed my Swap package for Judit's Christmas swap so it is winging it's way to Hungary.
Last weekend I prepared the Stitching round the block for my contribution to the block.
I have added a few little things that I hope will turn out nicely.
Here is a sneak peak....


Hopefully the photos have all loaded ok! No more giant multiple photos lol.
See you tomorrow for Tuesday Treasures...
cheers
Marina

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

big apology to readers of my blog

I have to make an apology and my excuse is that I am technologically challenged and the 'puter doesn't do what I say when I push the button!
Poor Fiona politely pointed out to me that sometimes I have jumbo photos of the same things in my posts. (Thankyou for pointing this out Fi I appreciate it heaps!)
I thought this was funny as sometimes I have great difficulty uploading photos to my posts! Well Der!!! they have been uploading and sometimes many times in fact and at Jumbo size!
they don't appear when I am writing a post so I have assumed that they aren't there.
I also have problems seeing pics all the time on other blogs but couldn't work it out. Well.... ta da I have sort of worked it out. When I blog or look at blogs through Mozilla is when I have 'photo' issues. When I go through my internet provider I don't but the uploading is much slower.
So sorry to everyone who has been looking at my ginormous multitude of photos thinking 'what is she doing?', but the pics look nice? I have fixed up the most recent posts to the way I had thought they were looking like and as a form of compensation No Pics on this Post!
Has anyone else had these issues? would love to not feel alone in Dersville!
cheers
Marina

tuesday treasures

Last week I had an urge to hunt out some old craft that I had done as a teenager. Tapestry used to be quite a popular craft, perhaps it still is,  and you could get wonderful prints on canvas to stitch. My mum taught me  how to stitch and my first attempt was a small kiddies picture. Once I finished that I was allowed to have a more grown up one.
 I was mad on horses and dogs when I was young and mum bought this lovely Semco tapestry for me. I can still remember looking at all the colours thinking how beautiful and silky they were. I can recall stitching it and dreaming of having a horse. Well never got the horse but I did finish the tapestry.

When we lived overseas we visited an aunt in France, she took mum to a craft shop and they had the most wonderful tapestries and I was allowed to choose one. I was only 13 and it seemed huge at the time and we bought all the wonderful french wools to go with it. I was so excited. It took awhile to finish but I got there.
Unfortunately they are all unframed. I must get around to it! 



(I have had trouble  uploading the large pic of this tapestry. It is an underwater scene in blues. You can get a picture from this close up. It is of the seahorse my favourite part to stitch.


Here is another horse that I have done. It was lovely to pull them out of storage and look at them again. Lovely memories in them all.
There are two others that I have done that I don't have pics of. A hunting with hounds and horses scene that was for my grandmother and a gold panner that I did for my aunt.
One day it may be fun to do another one. I must admit I prefer this to cross stitching.
have a great week.
Marina

Saturday, 13 November 2010

a lovely giveaway at Retromummy...

There is a lovely giveaway here at Retromummy....
It runs till the 21st of November.
The goodies on offer are 14 fat quarters of Rosalie Quinlan's new fabric range. Just gorgeous!
cheers
Marina


Friday, 12 November 2010

feeling hot, hot, hot....

Well where is the thunderstorm and the cool change!!Today has been a stinker in Melbourne. We have had a few warm days, we have even hit 29-30 degrees. The change was supposed to come early afternoon with heaps of rain but so far....nil, nada, niente, rien, zip, zero, zilch, hakuna! Well you get the picture.
 I wish it was winter again..
One good thing about today was that a special parcel arrived from Oddbjorg in Norway. When she sent me her friends swap goodies she hadn't finished one item and said she would post separately. Today it arrived and it is the most gorgeous bag in my favourite colour-blue.


I even took it for a test run to the post office to post the above items to Carol in NSW who didn't receive any goodies from her colours swap person. Lisa asked if anyone would like to make some things and I was more than happy to. I hope she likes them.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend..
cheers
Marina