About Me

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Love my family and my faith .. love being "Biccy" to our grandchildren, love being creative ... embroidery, needlework, patchwork, quilting .....love the beach and sand between my toes ... love to read ... love where we live on the South Coast of New South Wales .... love exploring the great outdoors .... travel and tropical islands ..... recently retired and looking forward to finishing all my UFO's .......

Some lovely blogs to visit .....

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fabric, Books and Threads!!

When I was at Jukejema Quilting Barn yesterday, I really needed to have this new book by Janelle Wind called "Pieces of Me" together with a couple of pieces of fabric to go with it! Loved the bright bright colours!!

When I couldn't find the variegated threads I wanted in Nowra, I travelled a little way north to Berry to a wonderful shop called "Sew and Tell" which is another favourite of mine. I wanted some variegated threads for a couple of projects I have in mind and so decided on some Threadworx colours which took my eye! Also bought a few packets of linens in a variety of colours for some more projects I have in mind!

I also found these fabulous Nepalese purses made from felt which have been imported into Australia by a company called "Himalayan Journey". I thought they were pretty and another reminder of fantastic times in Nepal!

And this wonderful Threadworx green and red variegated thread will work wonderfully with a Christmas project which I have on the drawing board!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jukejema Quilting Barn

Well .... what a fabulous day I've had! I woke up with a spring in my step (for the first time in a week) and even managed to negotiate the 4 steps down to the clothesline! On the way back I spotted my beautiful orchids have flowered so came back inside to get the camera and take a picture! See what happens when you don't walk outside your back door for a week?

I had to go back to the surgeon today and have the stitches removed from my knee (happy dancing now!!). He was happy with the job and so am I and I can now walk a lot better without stitches and a bandage holding it all together! So......... I went to one of my favourite shops in Nowra called Jukejema Quilting Barn! It was so lovely to be able to have a browse through the lovely fabrics and things there! I loved all these bright and breezy summer prints made into some great things from Janelle Wind's new book "Pieces of Me". This little display was in the window!

And I loved all the colours in this fabulous quilt hanging on the wall! And I had a delve through the baskets in front of the quilt and found some goodies that I really really needed to have!

Loved this little set of designs from Amberwood Crafts which are classes being taught at the shop at the moment! And after quite a long while I wandered just down the road a few doors and enjoyed a lovely coffee and pumpkin soup for lunch! It was so nice to be out and about again! I'll share my shopping with you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Day Book Journal

Because I am at home and because I have the time at the moment ..... here is another Day Book Journal !!

Outside my window ..... it is pouring with rain and quite cold! There are kangaroos in my back yard standing in the pouring rain eating the grass!

I am thinking .... how lovely the sound of rain on the roof is!

I am thankful for ...... my lovely family who have looked after me since my knee surgery last week - particularly my sister Wendy (retired Intensive Care Sister) and my daughters, Ash and Chelsea, and of course my husband, David! And also all those who have sent flowers, good wishes, food and loving thoughts over the past week! Thankyou all!

I am wearing ..... now this is a picture ... track pants, polar fleece top and my warm sheepskin slippers! I'm comfortable and warm!

I am loving .... the fact that it is getting easier to walk and my exercises are becoming easier to do!

I am stitching .... my "Gardener's Journal" blocks because I want to have another one finished by the end of July - not long to go!

I am hoping .... that I can drive a car in the next few days so I can get back to work and back to some form of normality!

I am drooling over .... all the things in my Craft Basket which I haven't got to yet but which I hope to get to in the very near future!

I am sorely tempted by ...... the box of chocolates in the cupboard which someone kindly gave me to assist in the recovery process! I have so far not been tempted but could be if I have to stay at home for another day or two!

I am hearing ...... "Hillsong United" CD in the background and loving their wonderful Christian music!

I am reading ..... The Lonely Plant Guide to Italy !!! Now I wonder why that could be!!

On my mind ..... are all the people who have serious illnesses who are bedridden and cannot leave their houses - it has only been six days for me and I'm over it already!

From my picture journal ...... my sister Wendy and I celebrating a significant birthday for me (and a great surprise by our respective husbands) last year in Vanuatu! Pretty sure they are non-alcoholic cocktails .... but then again ..... maybe not! With the cold weather and rain here today, I would love to be back there enjoying the warmth and sand between my toes! But particularly I want to thank Wendy for coming down and looking after me (and making me do my exercises!!)

Little Finishes & More Flowers!

This seems to be about all I can manage at the moment - little finishes! I finished off this little cross stitch pin keeper which is adapted from a "Gift of Stitching" pattern! I liked the variegated Anchor thread which I had and this stitched up and went together fairly easily! The knee is still being rested and I am trying to get right into the bottom of the craft basket but it's not really happening! Too much dozing on the lounge I think! And the effort to get out into the garden to take a photo has just about worn me out!

I had finished off the stitching around this little Christmas Tree which we are doing next week at Needlework. I have missed out on Needlework last night and today and am missing my ladies lots! However ... when it came to stitching this little Christmas cushion together on the machine, that was another story! What would normally have taken about 10 or 15 minutes, took about an hour - you simply have to picture me with the sewing machine on my sewing table and my left leg resting on the bed beside it (trying to keep it up) and my right foot trying to negotiate the foot pedal! Hilarious! Glad no-one was watching!

And my lovely neighbour bought in the brightest and cheeriest bunch of orange flowers to cheer me up! She must have known orange is one of my favourite colours! Thankyou again to everyone who has sent me emails and messages and prayers for a quick recovery - it has been lovely to know you are thinking of me!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Firstly a very big thankyou to everyone for their good wishes for a speedy and painless recovery! I have received lots of lovely emails and comments from so many of you and it has been so nice of you all to be thinking of me - so thankyou! Your prayers are appreciated also! The operation went well and I spent most of yesterday sleeping off the anaesthetic on the lounge - not a great deal was achieved! I have received some beautiful flowers too! Today I have been more productive - doing my stretching exercises and resting my leg - but have managed to stitch together this little canvas pincushion which I made a little while ago and which just needed to be stitched together and filled! I "planted" it into the arrangement of flowers that the girls from work sent - I think it looks nice sitting amongst the gerberas!

I also managed to stitch the blanket stitch around this little Christmas Tree which is being made into a cushion for Needlework in a couple of weeks time! Nothing too taxing here!!

These are the beautiful flowers the girls from work sent - so bright and beautiful and the scent from one of these is just gorgeous!

And I had a lovely visit from some of my special "sewing" friends this morning - Maree, Karen and Lynda and they bought morning tea and this lovely cyclamen plant which is also gorgeous! So you can see I have been spoilt (my sister has come down to help me out - she's a retired Intensive Care Sister - so she's bossy and makes me do my exercises) and my eldest daughter and her boyfriend have come to visit for a couple of days and David is now back from his case in Sydney - so I have a house full of people running around after me and spoiling me which is nice! Thanks again for all your good wishes and prayers - I really appreciate each and every one and will hopefully get to respond to each of you personally! Thankyou!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Basket is Ready!!

I spent some time last night getting together my projects which I will be working on whilst I recuperate from my knee surgery I am having this afternoon! I have put them all in my handy African market basket (which I just love) and which I will have close at hand while I have my leg up on the lounge for the next few days (hopefully it will only be a few days). I have a little bit of everything in there - a blackwork project, some canvas work, a small cross stitch project, and a large cross stitch project - wonder what I will pick up first!!!

And the other bag which will be beside me is my "stitching briefcase" which is my handy case I take with me everywhere because it has most things in it! This at the moment holds all my pieces for my "Gardener's Journal" quilt which I am making with the Stitch A Long group! I hope to get a couple more squares stitched while I'm able to! I plan on being so productive, so I hope that's what happens! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Needlework Finishes

Last night at Needlework some of the ladies had some beautiful projects to show which they had finished off over the break! Asta has finished this beautiful cross stitch heart for her mother and had it framed - the colours are beautiful and I'm sure her mum will love it!

Chris had finished off this lovely little embroidered "Christmas Chocolate Basket" which was a project from one of the Stitching Days which Sylvia and I hold throughout the year here. This was very bright and colourful and now ready for this years Christmas Chocolates! It's sitting on top of an embroidered needlecase we made a while ago at Needlework, using embroidery onto pale green Lugana fabric! It looks great Chris!

And, although not finished yet, this quilt from the lovely book called "Flowerbed" by Bronwyn Hayes, will be gorgeous when Wendy finishes all the stitching and puts it all together. The book is lovely and Wendy's embroidered squares so far are looking fantastic!

And all of Wendy's squares and the book are tucked away into this great little stitching bag which her friend Jennifer made for her with the quote "A friend is like an angel who reaches for your hand and touches your heart"! Love the fabric she has used with all the thimbles all over it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Day Book Journal

I thought it was time I posted another Day Book Journal as my plan to do so weekly has gone by the by! And so today ....

Outside my window...... the sun is coming up - it has been raining overnight and everything is crisp and clear (and cold!!)

I am thinking ..... about how lovely it will be to get together with my Needlework ladies tonight and tomorrow as we have just had a two week break!

I am thankful for ..... an electric blanket on these cold nights!

I am wearing ..... pants, shirt, jumper and boots - I'm off to work today!

I am loving ..... getting my basket organised for Needlework and getting some projects organised for later this week when I have to put my knee up for five days after surgery!

I am stitching .... my Gardener's Journal blocks interspersed with some canvas work and projects for Needlework! It's good to have a variety of things going!

I am hoping ...... for a pain free quick recovery from my knee operation!

I am drooling over ..... the lovely patterns I received in the mail the other day from Drawn Thread!

I am seriously tempted by ........ more lovely patterns from the Drawn Thread!

I am hearing ...... peace and quiet - I am the only one here at the moment!

I am reading ...... "Xinran - Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother" - the untold story of Chinese mothers who have lost their daughters - simply an amazing read!

On my mind ..... I have one day, today, to finish lots of work before I have a week off for surgery! Not sure how I'm going to fit it all in today!

From my picture journal .... this is the canvas work Christmas starry night decoration we will be stitching tonight and tomorrow at Needlework!

And I snapped this photo of my husband reading my Blogging Journal Book when it arrived last week - I think he just wanted to see how many times he was mentioned!! Have a great day everyone and thanks for being patient and reading my Day Book Journal for today!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Needlework Projects

These are a couple of the projects we will be working on over the next few weeks at Needlework! This very handy Journal Cover has all your favourite needlework items stitched onto the front and is a nice covering for a journal or diary! This is one of my good friend Sylvia's designs which she has kindly lent me for this semester's stitching projects!

And another of Sylvia's designs - this cute little felt beehive pincushion - pretty simple to stitch and assemble - a great idea!

Although this isn't a Needlework project, it is one I made a while ago and had lent it to Sylvia so she could teach it in Canberra and she returned it to me the other day! I love the colours in this little hanging - all soft, muted tones of lavender and green! And I'm particularly liking the bright yellow grevillea bush which is flowering abundantly in my garden at the moment and which adds a dash of bright colour to my photos!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blogging Journal

I received a lovely book in the mail this week - "Peaceful Threads by Fiona" - my printed journal of my first year of blogging! I decided to have it printed through Blog2Print and it only took a couple of weeks. The front cover has my first photo I ever blogged after a day on the beach in January 2009! This is "our beach" on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales!

The back cover has an embroidered sewing case I made a while ago! It is a really nice quality hard cover book with about 270 pages - gosh I really have rambled on a bit in a year!

And the photos and printing inside are a great hard copy of my first year of blogging. My husband even enjoyed reading through it the other night and remembering the family milestones and photos and bits and pieces of embroidery work from 2009! I think I might print out my journal annually as something of a diary my family can look back on in the years to come!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Canvas Work and Inspiration!

This is another colour version I have stitched of the pincushion shown in the last post. I stepped outside my comfort zone a bit with these colours!

And this is an English bookmark kit I purchased a while ago which is very useful and again a canvas work project which I always love to do!

I got together yesterday with my stitching friends and we had the day together stitching, lunch and chatting! It was good to catch up as we all work and don't get together as often as what we really should! This is Karen's beautiful needle case made for her by Sylvia from a Lynette Anderson design. The colours are great!

And Karen is obviously going through a "red" phase because she was sewing the binding on this lovely quilt she has made recently in a class with Jan Smith.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Christmas Canvas Work

I know Christmas is a bit of a long way off but I'm into decoration mode now and have finished this lovely stitched canvas work decoration designed by Sylvia. This is what we will be doing in our first week back at Needlework next week!

And this little fellow sits on my shelf in my sewing room and always keeps an eye on what I'm working on! I made this little Santa bear (4" high) a while ago, but love having him watching me all the time!

Another canvas scissor fob but this time attached to my other Clover cutter! You know how you always can't put your hand on the one you're after when you need it??? So I have two!

And although I have hung this for the photo, this is a canvas needle pincushion which I have stitched and which I took the pins and needles out to photograph! Love the colours in this one and the simplicity and effectiveness of canvas work!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scissor Fobs & Pincushions

This has to be one of my favourite scissor fobs and scissor keepers! I was lucky enough to receive this very special gift in an exchange from Liz who lives in The Netherlands. The colours are gorgeous and I love that she has put our initials and our countries onto the little scissor fob. This is really very special!

I love anything needlework related, so I have lots of pincushions and needle rolls too! This simple cross stitched needle roll gets a fair bit of use on my sewing table!

This pincushion is canvas work with ribbon which I made a long time ago but which sits in my little basket on my sewing desk. I love the muted colours and this is another favourite! I have lots of favourites!

And one of the many little needlework baskets or boxes which I keep some of my bits and pieces in. This is freehand embroidery which I completed a while ago, but again I love the use of the ribbons to segment the flowers - and all on top of a very cheap $1- basket! I think it's worth more now with the embroidery on top !

Saturday, July 10, 2010

After last night's rain!

We have had lots of rain here lately and quite a bit last night too! So.... after our morning walk along the beach we walked back home to find all the plants covered in rain drops. They looked so lovely glistening in the dappled sunlight ... so I took some photos! I'm still trying to work out my new little camera so they aren't fantastic, but I think you get the general idea!

I also worked out how to write on my photos with Picassa! One of my readers commented on my lovely garden and I have to tell you I am not a gardener but I do have lots of native Australian plants in my garden (which were there when we bought the house) which just thrive on no attention and no watering but astound me when they flower so beautifully!

And this reminded me of Chookyblue's blog a little while ago after the rain at her house!

Friday, July 9, 2010

More Scissor Keepers/Fobs

Continuing along the lines of the previous post - here are some more scissor keepers/fobs! One of my followers has pointed out they call them "fobs" in the States - we do here also! This is stitched with Appletons crewel wool and is the keeper/fob for my Clover thread cutter which you can see hanging sideways over the grevillea plant! This comes travelling with me always because I don't want to lose my tiny scissors to the security check at the airports!

I love the colours in this fob! I have used some variegated DMC threads for this fob and added beads and a tassel and this hangs on yet another pair of pretty embroidery scissors!

This was a recently made brightly coloured fob which I made as a humbug and attached to a very bright pink pair of scissors - I'll never lose either of these - they are so bright!

And this is my good pair of scallop scissors and as I don't want to ever lose these (they were quite expensive) I have attached a large scissor clown which I made years ago! This scissor clown has some lavender inside also so the scent is lovely too!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Scissor Keepers

After I posted the photo of my beaded scissor keeper in the last post, I decided to count up how many pairs of scissors I had in my collection and photograph their "keepers". I do like embroidery scissors so I can't really tell you how many pairs I have, but I thought I would share some photos of my favourite "keepers"! This is a cute little canvas work keeper on my favourite old pair of Stork scissors. The variegated thread I used was a Chameleon thread from South Africa!

I bought these lovely black and white scissors at the Craft Show recently and in the absence of a blackwork scissor keeper (I have made many and given them away as gifts) I decided to put this alphabet sampler keeper onto this pair of scissors for the time being!

Not to forget my big red fabric scissors - they are red so I can always find them! They have a matching canvas work strawberry on them with little gold beads! This has been an all time favourite to make for my scissors - I have made quite a few in various colours!

And I took this photo this morning as the sun was coming out and shining on the gum tree behind! I thought the sun and shadows and colours gave great effects! Even if the scissor keeper looks like it is being choked! So there are a couple of pairs of scissors and believe me there will be more to share with you over the next few posts!