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 .....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

We have a winner ..............

With the excitement of finishing off my Gardener's Journal quilt, I nearly forgot that midday today was the time to draw the winner in my 2nd anniversary of blogging giveaway!    So I have now over 70 scraps of paper in a basket and am drawing out ........... (drum roll please) .......... natalyK ...... congratulations!!  Thanks so much to everyone for entering and leaving such lovely comments on my blog - I have read and hopefully replied to most of them and I'm sorry if I have missed a couple of replies.   Nataly, if you could email me your postal address, I will package up all these goodies and post them to you in the USA!   Congratulations Nataly and thanks to all who joined in the fun!  

My Gardener's Journal Quilt is Finished!!

I'm so excited to show you my finished Gardener's Journal Quilt!   I gave it to my dear friend Jenny to machine quilt and I picked it up on Friday night on the way home from work (and had a lovely cup of tea and banana cake with Jenny!)   I'm really happy with the finished result!

A close up of some of the beautiful quilting Jenny has done - her brief was to "just do what you think" so I left it entirely up to her and I'm amazed as what she has done!  It's gorgeous!

I have stitched the label on this morning (having stitched the binding on last night while watching the ladies Australian Open tennis final).

And although this is not a great photo, I got David to hold it up out in the sunshine in the hope that you could see some of the detail of the quilting!   So glad it's finished!!  Thanks to Jenny especially for the lovely quilting and to Chookyblue and the ladies for the inspiration to get going and ultimately finish it!   I'll definitely be joining the next "Stitch A Long" which is going to be "Tis the Season" quilt!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January Ornament Finished!!

I have joined the 2011 Ornament A Month Challenge and have now finished off my January ornament (just in time)!!    I made this ornament for a class at the end of last year but gave it away for a Christmas gift, and as I really liked how it turned out, I decided to make another for me!  So this has become my first ornament for 2011!    Thanks to the organisers for the inspiration to have 12 ornaments made by the end of this year!!    Only 11 more to go!! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gum Tree Designers "New Beginnings" Appeal

The Gum Tree Designers (a group of very creative Australian designers) have launched an appeal to help out the women in Queensland who have lost everything in the floods.   If you click on the link above to their website you will read about "New Beginnings".     I'm putting a call out to all my Needlework ladies, and anyone else who is interested, to come on board and support this worthwhile cause.  If you could make up a small bag with - a handmade sewing caddy with pincushion and needlebook, a pair of embroidery scissors with a scissor keep, six individual skeins of stranded embroidery thread, embroidery needles, and one fat quarter of fabric.    If you could make a cloth bag to put it all into, that would be even better!    If my Needlework ladies will support this cause, I will arrange for the postage to Queensland where they will be sorted and delivered to individual quilting groups in the flood devastated areas!   Good idea?   Absolutely!   Have a look around your sewing room and see how much you have in there and then ask yourself where you would be if you lost it all!   Let's get together and see how many "New Beginnings" we can come up with!   Thankyou!

I Choose ..... (by Max Lucado)

Today I have read this and wanted to share it with you ........

No occasion justifies hatred;
no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love.
Today I will love God and what God loves.

I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.
I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...
the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see
people as anything less than human beings,
created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as
anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I will over look the inconveniences of the world.
Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll
invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the
wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment
to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new
assignments, I will face theme with joy and courage.

I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone.
Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to
the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I will go without a dollar
before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked
before I will boast. I will confess before I will
accuse. I choose goodness.

Today I will keep my promises.
My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates
will not question my word. My wife (husband) will not
question my love. And my children will never fear
that their father (mother) will not come home.

Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.
If I raise my voice may it be only in praise.
If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer.
If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I am a spiritual being....
After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.
I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal.
I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy.
I will be impassioned only by my faith.
I will be influenced only by God.
I will be taught only by Christ.
I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
To these I commit my day.

If I succeed, I will give thanks
If I fail, I will seek His grace.

And then, when this day is done,
I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

.... MAX LUCADO  (When God Whispers Your Name)

Canvas Work Scissor Fob

As Needlework starts again next week (after a two month holiday break) I thought I should show our first project for the year.   I loved creating this canvas work piece incorporating ribbons into the design.    For the ladies who will be stitching - the colours I have used are DMC colours - 223, 224, 3012, 3013 and ecru.   I have used 3mm ribbon.     And can you see the dolphins on the thimble?   This thimble was given to me by a stitching friend a couple of years ago and it sets on my sewing room shelf reminding me of how beautiful the dolphins are (and that I should be at the beach swimming with them and not sewing!)

And this is the back of the scissor fob!
And yesterday - Australia Day - we did manage an hour or two at the beach!    Here is Claudia (Tim's dog) who sat with me while David surfed on his new surfboard!

Although there wasn't much surf, the water was a gorgeous colour and a nice temperature for the surfers who were out (and for those of us who ventured in for a swim!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today we are celebrating Australia Day - a day we celebrate our wonderful country, our relaxed lifestyle and our diverse heritage!   We celebrate our cultural heritage and the fact that we are home to many and varied nationalities.    And after the recent flood devastation in Queensland and Victoria, we celebrate the fact that we give a mate a helping hand no matter what the cost.    So whether you are at the beach, having a barbecue with family and friends, participating in a ferry race,  or a thong swim challenge at Bondi, or simply enjoying the moment ..... enjoy your Australia Day!    We do have cause for celebration as we live in such an amazing and diverse land!

I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains.   I love her far horizons, I love her jewel sea, Her beauty and her terror - the wide brown land for me!     (Dorothea Mackellar)

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated a special lunch at one of our local seaside restaurants with our son and his girlfriend who live in Western Australia!    We absolutely loved our seafood platter - enjoying all the wonderful things our sea has to offer - prawns, oysters, lobster, fish, calamari, etc. etc. (and there was fruit there too!!) 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blogging Anniversary Giveaway Prizes

For the celebration of my 2 years of blogging anniversary (see my post on 18 January 2011) I have decided to give away the items in the collage photo below - there are three lovely pieces of fabric tied with a gorgeous green gingham ribbon, a canvas work scissor keeper or decoration, some DMC threads, a lovely little notebook with gorgeous colourful cover and a pair of really nice little scissors with the pink breast cancer logo on them!    If you wish to be in the draw for this gift, please leave a comment, not on this post, but on my post on 18 January 2011 to have a chance of winning!  If you mention it on your blog, you will get another chance in the draw!   Good luck everyone - I will draw on 30 January 2011 and let you know the winner the next day (and I will post overseas too!)

I guess it would be fair to say that canvas work is one of my favourite forms of needlework.  I just loved this little canvas work kit which I purchased in England a few years ago and have finally found the time to stitch!    Thankyou also to everyone who has commented and left lovely messages on my blog over the last two years - you know who you are!!  I have made some lovely friends around the world with a common interest in needlework and embroidery and it is just wonderful to enjoy their blogging journeys also!  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Canvas Work Creativity!!

I had a lovely day in Canberra today organising some classes and projects for our 2011 Stitching on the Bay and Stitching on the Lake Days with Sylvia.       We had a productive and creative day and I even managed to sit in with the Hobbysew ladies for an hour or two of social stitching!  (Never let a stitching chance go by!!)    And what a surprise - the stitching I had grabbed to sew was exactly the same pattern as Sylvia had stitched here for her friend Paddy a while ago!  Great minds think alike!  This is my second version of this canvas work and my colourway is pinks and mauves - I will show it in the next day or sew when it is sew together!   Nice scissors too!

And one of the ladies had finished off her Christmas stocking from the Stitching on the Lake Day late last year - it looks fantastic!!    

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2 Year Blogging Anniversary and a Giveaway!!!

This week has been fairly full on at work and on the weekend we went to Sydney to join our children all together again before our son and his girlfriend head back to Western Australia tomorrow after their Christmas break!   We enjoyed a lovely breakfast/brunch at the Q Station , Manly in Sydney on the harbour foreshore.   It was the old Quarantine Station and has now been converted to lovely accommodation and conference facilities with a beautiful dining room which overlooks the harbour.  All the old rooms are signposted and I just had to get a photo taken outside the "Former Ladies Sewing Room" - here we are after breakfast - me, daughter Ashleigh, Sam's girlfriend Nadia and Elliott's girlfriend, Andrea!

I was very fortunate to win a beautiful prize from Perri from Stitches in the Bush which arrived the other day - a gorgeous piece of quilters muslin and a very vibrant new Cosmo thread - bright red - which Leanne Beasley uses for lots of her stitchery.  Thanks so much Perri!

And I have just realised it is the 18th January today and two years ago today I started blogging!   So ... as this is some sort of a milestone of sorts .... I have decided to have a giveaway to celebrate 2 years of new friendships, creative friends and inspirational blogs!!   I haven't decided what the giveaway will be yet ... but it will be special!    If you would like to enter, please leave a comment below and if you would like to mention it on your blog (for another entry) please do so!   The winner will be drawn after midday (Australian time) on 30th January 2011!   Good luck everyone and thank you for sharing my blogging journey with me!     This is my local beach - where the idea to start blogging was created with my good friend Sylvia!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Quilt Top is Finished!!!

Here is my finished "Gardener's Journal" quilt top - finished at 11pm last night!   I was determined to get the last block sewn together and joined to all the others and then thought the borders were not too far away so decided to finish it off!  What a great feeling!  And as I have lots to do in the way of stitching, and don't have time to quilt by hand, I took it to a friend today who will machine quilt it for me!   I'm happy with the end result - it's not perfect and not every little square matches - but I love it!  Thanks to Chookyblue and her friends for inspiring everyone to get together and make this quilt!  It has been heaps of fun! 

The weather here in Australia has been all over the shop lately  and you will all have seen and heard about the devastating floods in Queensland and northern New South Wales - can I ask you to please keep everyone affected by the floods in your prayers?   Thankyou!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Block E Finished!!

I have finished off my second last block in my Gardener's Journal quilt!   This is Block E and I'm nearly at the end of the quilt!   It's a great feeling!

I could then attach Block E to Blocks C & D  -  so it is all now beginning to take shape.  I hope to have a little time this afternoon to put together my final Block I. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another Gardener's Journal Block Finished!

I'm happy to report another quilt block finished for my "Gardener's Journal" quilt.   This is block B and I now only have two left to put together before the quilt top is finished (well almost - there is binding etc. to do still!).

And this block says it all - taking time to "smell the roses" is what I plan on doing in this creative year of 2011!

And the good news is that I could then join blocks A and B together!    Looking forward to having it all finished within the next few days hopefully!   Thanks to the Stitch A Long group and Chookyblue for organising this stitching frenzy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gardener's Journal Quilt

Yesterday I finished off another of my "Gardener's Journal" quilt blocks - block F.   Having finished quite a few of the stitcheries, it is fun to be able to assemble the blocks now! 

A close up view of the dove cote and the primitive basket of flowers!   I have decided I really do love Anni Downs designs and I am enjoying working through the "Gardener's Journal" book!

And more excitement .....   once I finished block F, I could sew it together with block G which I had finished off a while ago!    I can see this quilt top coming together nicely within the next week or so!  Shame I have to go back to work next week!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I have decided to join It's Daffycat's TUSAL (totally useless stitch a long) and keep my jar of offcut threads for the year!   Until I find a nice jar to keep them all in (and there will be lots because I plan lots of stitching!!!) I decided a wine glass would do for the moment!   It will be fun to check out all the others (178 so far) who are doing the same!

And I have finished some of the shoo fly blocks for the Vignette in Stitches quilt, designed by Leanne Beasley, which  I am making.   I'm using some lovely Nancy Halvorsen fabrics for my blocks!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gardener's Journal Quilt

An overcast and rainy day yesterday meant I got to sit down at the sewing machine and stitch together some quilt blocks!  I assembled block D of my Gardener's Journal quilt by Anni Downes.

Then I realised that blocks C and D could be stitched together, so there was great excitement as two blocks were attached!     Hopefully today will bring more time for another block to be assembled!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Early Days in January 2011

We have had no internet for the last three days which has been a little frustrating but it's back on again now so I will share the first few days of January 2011 with you.    On New Years Day I decided to organise my Vignette in Stitches new mystery quilt.  These are the colours I have chosen and this beautiful Leanne Beasley quilt is going to be fun to stitch I'm sure!

New Years Day also found us all down at one of our secluded beaches here on the south coast - away from the bluebottles which plagued our own beach on that day!    This was the view as we walked down to the beach!

When Santa bought Chelsea this pink float for Christmas, I'm pretty sure he knew I would float around the beach that afternoon - the colour of the sea was spectacular and temperature warm.  OK so right now I'm thinking of those of you in the snow and cold!!
And we celebrated 2011 on the evening of 1st January with all our children and their partners and Tim's parents who live in the next street to us!  (Thanks Pete for taking the photo!)  It has been so lovely to have all the children home for a week or so and one by one they are now returning to work!    And as I have another week off until work resumes, I have been organising some stitching for Needlework for this year, assembling some quilt projects and stitching up a bit of a storm - more on that next time!!