Thursday 1 January 2015

Santa Sack Swap 2014

I had the pleasure of swapping with Shez of Enjoying Life.  And for the first time ever, it was a swap with someone I'd actually been blessed with meeting face to face - what fun that was Shez!!  (Psssttt .... Can't wait to see you again in March!!!)

First up, the items she blessed me with ...

Since we've both previously received/have sacks and stockings we decided we'd make a bag each and she made this gorgeous little bag to hold the rest in.

A set of her darling kitchen towels (t'was my one request - can you blame me?!!! *wink*) 

 A darling 'Life is Beautiful' stitchery wall hanger which works perfectly with the pink walls we have in our bedroom (oh, yes, I still share a bedroom with my little one *smiles*)

A beautiful necklace that I've already worn out twice. I don't normally wear silver-toned jewellery but this is just gorgeous - and not heavy in the least!!

A fun little snowman to hang up next Christmas season

Such a charming face ...

And a Christmas mug with some yummy drinks and candy canes to warm my belly

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful!!!  Me was muchly blessed!!! ... Oh, and she also blessed my daughter with a delightful book and a few little sweeties (both which elicited some delighted cries!!).

Though I seemed to have forgotten to take a photo of the items I sent to Shez, she shared a photo of them on FB and her blog, so I thought I'd borrow one with everything in it to share here ...

  • A bag which combined an extended version of the 'Tis The Season' bag with one of Jenny Reynold's free stitchery patterns
  • A gorgeously soft cream scarf using a new-to-me stitch 'broomstick lace' (pattern link can be found HERE); 
  • A necklace made with blue river stones (I believe ... can't quite remember, it was so long ago I bought them); 
  • Some gorgeous 'French lavendar' scented soap made by one of my favourite handmade soap makers up here in Darwin 'Sari soap' (she's online HERE);
  • A set of two darling little doilies (pattern found in an old 1980s crochet magazine I was lovingly gifted by one of my old music teachers recently; and
  • A couple of lovely thick (I have two layers between the fabric sandwich - one of heat resistant Insul-Bright  and one of a normal quilt batting) pot holders.  The first uses a paper pieced (my first) Circle of Geese quilt block (I can't remember where I downloaded my pattern from but you can find a pattern HERE on the Craftsy platform).  The second was a Snowman block, minus his arms, eyes and buttons, for which I followed Lori Holt's directions, shared on her IG account  (directions began from this post).
  • The sweeties you must always have (in my opinion, lol) in a swap - this time, malteasers and a large candy cane).
  • And I wrapped the gifties (apart from the bag) in fat quarters of Shez's favourite Christmas fabric range by Annela Hoey, Cherry Christmas ... so 5 FQs with ribbon & ric rac to secure.
I've participated in this swap the past two (I think) years and enjoyed putting together the presents immensely ... though I must admit that my studies (I've been doing a Cert III in Education support which I should complete in April ... potentially followed by a Cert IV) got in the way of getting this swap together early enough to send on the appointed day.  Thankfully I managed to get it in the post and it arrived the day before unwrapping so phew!! BOY did the Lord answer my heartfelt prayers that week!!!!!!! ... I do so hope I will be able to participate again this year - it is such a fun swap to be a part of!!

Saturday 5 April 2014

Thought I'd gotten lost, eh?! *wink*

I apologise for my lack of posting over the last few *ahem* months.  They've been a bit hard, a bit frustrating, and gone VERY quickly!!! It's hard to get my head around the fact that it's already the beginning of April!!  Seriously!! Where has time gone?!!!

I have been joining in with Friday Night with Friends with Cheryll, and Friday Night Sew In with Wendy ... I've just been lazy about blogging about it - saw-ry!!!

This last week I've been working on my first ever doily, and on Friday night I finished the final row.  The design is one from the booklet "Masterpiece Doilies" (1997, Leisure Arts Inc.) by Patricia Kristoffersen, that my mother has had sitting in her draw for all these years *grin*.  I've often flicked through it and thought that I really should give one of these designs a go, but it wasn't until late last week that I decided to finally give it a go.  It seems I crochet quite tight, so of this design I decided to go with a thicker thread, and a bigger needle.  It's come out just over 1in larger than the book indicates, but after giving it a nice steam with my new Oliso Pro iron (LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!), it has turned out really quite lovely!!

"Majestic", over 17in" diameter.
Milford Satin 2Ply, Perle No. 5 thread; 2.0 crochet hook
Before I tackled the doily though, I made the two crocheted crosses below (plus another with tails & tassels on both ends) a go.  This design is by Lyubava Crochet on Craftsy - you can find the pattern HERE.  I've added the smaller to my keys, though the larger one isn't quite big enough to use as a bookmark - my books are too tall for this beauty.

Another recent finish was this gorgeous shopping companion, designed by Marilyn Duncan, the pattern for which we received at the Lets Get Stitched retreat in Melbourne last month.  It's hard to believe that this time last month we were all getting ready to head down for this fabulous long holiday!!

I will try to make an effort to post some more updates on the projects I've been working on over the last 5 or so months, though most everything was shared in my instagram feed.  Also, if I've been quiet with regards to commenting on your blogs these past few months, it's been because I really haven't gotten on as much as I used to - I realised that following my blogs was taking up SOOO much of my time, so now I'm giving myself a small window of time to read - and so I'm often just reading, rather than commenting unless I feel an intense urge.  I am hoping to catch up, but it may take me some time.

And for now, I must leave :) ... I've started another doily from the same book, and I'd like to get a few more rows on it before my need for sleep overtakes my concentration (was up quite late last night, then quite early this morning). 

Monday 7 October 2013

SKoW ... 'Best Friends'

'Best Friends'

I was working on this block, little by little over the course of last week, since finishing off my 'sewing' block.  For some reason I enjoyed the needleturn over the stitchery this time, lol, which felt like it was taking forever *wink* ... especially all that hair!!! *giggle*

I've drawn up some ideas for my last block, but not quite decided yet.  I'm thinking I'll either go with my original choice of wine & cheeses, or my new option: gymnastics (I did it for eleven years from a young age, coached littlies for several years, and now my daugther has been going for over 3 years!!  I LOVE watching it, and often find myself scrutinising the gymnasts as a judge would, lol!).

I'm going to give myself a couple of days to mull over the ideas, and start on the cutting for a pieced quilt for my bed I've been wanting to make for a couple of years while I decide ... I also have WIPs, UFOs and USOs (Un-Started Objects *wink*) to sort through and organise, amongst other things this week.

Have a crafty kinda week xx

Sunday 6 October 2013

[Oct'13] FNwF check-in

Friday began late - I just can't seem to get past this lethargy that keeps hanging around, especially during the day ... and, on the flipside, as soon as the sun goes down I seem to have an inability to get myself to bed, despite being dog-tired!! If I could sleep 12 hours a day or more without feeling guilty, I would ...

Anywhoo ...

Friday afternoon was spent doing more organising of my fabric & craft organising.  I was lucky enough to win some vouchers for Bunnings a few months back, and earlier in the week I went to purchase a large cupboard to help me store and organise my sewing accoutrements.  It's been fun going through my things, but also frustrating - as much as I have, there is so much I feel like I need to get it just right *wink* ... I still have quite a bit to go through and organise, so I'll show pics once I've got it done :)

Late Friday evening I got started on my sewing project for the evening.  The "Buttercup Bag", designed by Made-by-Rae designs.
We had a birthday party to go to on Saturday for one of the little girls in Miss 5's class and so we went to Spotlight and these were the fabrics & buttons she chose.  Such a good combination if I do say so myself *grin*.  We've also picked out some fabrics for a bag for her - another fabulous combination I'll show later in the week once it's been put together.

I totally recommend this pattern for anyone interested in making themselves, or someone else, a nice little bag.  It was easy to follow, the pattern pieces were simple, and I can totally see myself making quite a few more of these - both for myself and as gifts for others.

Once again, it was wonderful knowing there were other like-minded sewers around the country and globe, all sewing 'together'!  And thankyou to Cheryll for once again hosting this fabulous monthly get-together!!  I may not report in every month/fortnight/week, but I do enjoy knowing there are others out there just as enamoured with needle and thread as I am!! 

Enjoy a quilty kinda week!! xx
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