Sunday, February 22, 2015

Enough

One Little Word...it didn't come easily for me this year.

Usually I have word possibilities swirling around in my head for several weeks leading up to Christmas. By the time New Year rolls around, my word is already becoming part of my everyday.

 Not this time.

Seeking inspiration, I revisited my One Little Word choices from previous years, and one thing was glaringly obvious to me. Although the words had changed, the overall sentiment behind those words was always the same...do more, be more, lose weight, get fit, eat healthier, be a better mum ...blah blah blah.

At that point I abandoned the whole concept, dismissing it as just a clever repackaging of the old New Years Resolution.

Then I got to thinking about the constant self improvement that we all seem to be striving for, which led to the question...what if I am, in fact, enough? 




What if I am exactly who I am meant to be right now? I'm good enough, strong enough and I try enough? I work enough, care enough and am fit enough? I spend enough time with all the important people in my life, and my best is good enough?

To be honest...I LOVE that I'm learning to let go of my (often very high/unreasonable) expectations of myself, and letting myself just BE....giving myself permission to call it good instead of pushing myself too hard (and the inevitable disappointment when I don't achieve what I set out to)...accepting that I can't always be everything to everyone.

I'm even learning to recognise when enough is ENOUGH, and that it's ok to step back from activities/relationships/commitments that no longer make me happy.

This One Little Word has definitely given me lots to think about so far!

TTFN xxx


Storytime Sampler

Cross stitch was one of the very first crafts that I ever attempted...and my love for it was instant :) 

I loved the pretty threads, the evenness of the stitches, and the thrill of creating something beautiful on what started out as a plain piece of fabric.

I completed quite a few pieces, collected quite a few kits, and then moved on to other crafts....until I discovered The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery late in 2013.



This small business is run by two very talented friends, who design the cutest patterns! I started with a couple of their Christmas designs (which are currently at the framers...yay!) and then signed up for their 2014 monthly program called Once Upon A Time.


Each month, a new part of the design is emailed direct to your inbox, and you have all month to work on it. Nothing like a deadline to keep me motivated! Once Upon a Time is based on children's stories, and I thoroughly enjoyed stitching it...although i'll admit I still have about half of December to complete ;)

I wasn't planning on signing up for the 2015 program....hahaha...no, really! The theme is classic literature, and I honestly thought I could resist. And I did for a while...until I saw sneak peeks of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, and then I was hooked!


February's block is the Secret Garden, and it is just as cute. The frames are stitched in Weeks Dye Works variegated thread, which gives them a lovely antique look. I'm reading the books as I stitch the blocks...a great excuse to reread some of my favourites, and maybe even add some to that list.


I'm resisting the urge to stitch up the title banner and all of the frames...as I really should finish off Once Upon a Time.

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway ;)

Thanks so much for visiting!

TTFN xxx











Friday, February 20, 2015

Natures Journey-a new project!


I probably didn't need a(nother) new project to work on ;) 

In fact, when Chookyblue announced on the stitch-a-long blog that she was planning a new project  for 2015, I mentally reassured myself that I would not be joining up. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed working on the previous stitch-a-longs...and even managed to complete them all according to schedule...I figured that I had quite enough to work on right now.

Then the project was announced, and I was powerless to resist....I love Anni Downs patterns!



I had signed up before I had the chance to reconsider, and set about choosing some fabrics. The pattern lends itself to scraps, but after lots of auditioning (and mess-making!) I decided to use Bonnie and Camille's Miss Kate as the basis for my colour selections.


It wasn't until I pulled the matching threads that I realised I had reverted back to my standard colours....red, aqua, candy pink and apple green, with some navy and burnt orange to add some pop. Oh well, at least I know I'll love the finished result!

Part One of our stitching schedule was to complete 4 large blocks and 7 small...not too daunting once I got started.



I'm hoping they look a bit more cohesive once I make a few more over the coming months...it's all looking a bit random so far!


I hesitated in stitching the year block. I mean, really, is it likely that I'll finish Natures Journey in 2015?


With the blog being updated with such inspiring work from very talented stitchers, and the encouragement of my stitching buddies, I'm hoping I can keep up the pace. Part One...February stitching...is now complete! YAY!

If you need a little stitching inspiration, the blog is really worth a look :)

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Computers and puppy dogs


Computer issues have plagued me for the longest time. I've been using a rather ancient Windows XP computer and had no end of problems, especially with blogging. My photos wouldn't upload properly, my comments weren't coming through, my posts wouldn't save...it just went on and on...and on. 

So I gave up :(


The good news is that I have overcome my fear of new technology enough to buy myself a new computer...yay! Having a teenager who is tech-savvy has been my saviour...he has created a polkadot background for me, transferred most of my files, and is working on getting my email up and running. I might actually start enjoying using technology once more....which may just translate into
blogging a little bit more often than once a year?  I'll make that my goal.



Catching up a little...remember that little puppy we looked at before Christmas last year? Look how much she grew! She is now a beautiful one year old, and I'm not quite sure what our family talked about or even did before we adopted Gretel. She has become the centre of our household...and helps me with lots of my sewing projects :)



Have a wonderful day, and thank you for visiting. It feels good to be using this space again :)

TTFN xxx

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hello 2015

Hello there...it's been a while, huh?

  













A new year always brings lots of motivation and good intentions, and the beginning of 2015 has been no different. Right now, I'm madly working on my December Daily 2014 album, finishing up Project Life for 2014, binding my Scandinavian Rose quilt (yes...it's almost finished!), and making long long lists of projects that I'd like to complete in 2015...some things never change ;)

Happy New Year to you...and thanks for popping in to visit.

TTFN xxx

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Avalon MBOM

My Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Block of the Month (made in Avalon fabric by Fig Tree and Co) is coming together slowly but surely...can you believe we are up to Month 7 already?

I look forward to each pack arriving in my letterbox, and have been keeping on top of the stitching fairly well...it doesn't take too long once you make a start ;)

Since the last block I showed you was Block Two, we have a bit of catching up to do!

Block Three is another basket block, called Wildflower Bouquet and designed by Laundry Basket Quilts.


Block Four is Radiance by Bonnie and Camille...love all the blues in this one :)


Block Five is Stargazing by Vanessa Christenson...


...and Block Six is Sparklers by Kate Spain.


Block Seven was a bit of a surprise...a house block! It's called Lemon Lodge by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, and makes me very curious as to what the next block will be :)


The new 2014 Mystery Block of the Month program has recently been announced, and I was kind of happy that it doesn't appeal to me...the colours are quite dull, and not my style at all. I have lots of projects that I'd love to finish this year, and a couple of new quilts that I'd love to start...a little more achievable without a MBOM commitment.

Well...a girl can always dream :)

TTFN xxx

Saturday, January 18, 2014

December Daily 2013...hello AND goodbye!

It occurred to me recently that I didn't really mention here on my blog that I completed a December Daily for 2013...much less showed any photos! How slack is that!


Each year that I've been doing Project Life, I question the need for making a December Daily album. After all, how much documentation does one need? Each year, however, my elder daughter convinces me that I should do it...she's very persuasive :)

I decided to change to pocket style scrapbooking and a ready made album for 2013, as it gave me a good excuse to buy a Simple Stories mini album (wink) and also some Christmas themed Project Life-style goodies... aannnnndd I was also aiming for a quick and simple solution ;)

I spent a bit too long on my title page, but loved how it turned out.

I mostly stuck with elements from December Documented by Simple Stories, and some of the Becky Higgins PL Merry and Bright mini kit, with a few extra embellishments along the way.


Wood veneer bits and pieces from Studio Calico added some extra dimension to the plain journal cards, and I scattered them throughout the album.

On the spur of the moment, I ordered a DD mini kit from Polkadot Creative, mainly for this cute little Christmas confetti pocket ;) I stapled it straight into a pocket, and embellished with a clear word from Heidi Swapp's Believe Collection (leftovers from the class I went to in November)

I covered the back-to-front letters on the reverse side with another Heidi Swapp leftover, this time a banner.

Of course, once I started with the Heidi Swapp goodies, I couldn't resist adding more and more :) LOVE these enamel stickers!


I wanted to include a couple of larger photos, and managed to achieve a fairly good quality enlargement from my iPhone photos of Christmas lights...surprising, but great! I added a couple of stickers to jazz them up a bit.

Each year I've done A December Daily album (which is quite a few now!) I include a pocket at the back for my Christmas cards that I received. I've never liked throwing out Christmas cards, but even more so now that they are becoming smaller and smaller in number. Not many people send them these days, and it is SO nice to find them in my letterbox in the weeks leading up to the big day!

Anyhoo...I didn't have any of the correct sized plastic pockets left for the Christmas cards, so cut down a larger one, taped it all together with some festive washi tape, and stapled on top for added strength. It's holding together very well so far.


So there you have it...a little sneak peek of my December Daily for 2013. The stickers on the front of the album are more Heidi Swapp...we received SO many goodies in that class, I will be using them up forever I think :)
I probably should admit that I didn't keep up with it AT ALL well in those busy weeks before Christmas, but managed to pull it all together before the start of 2014 (only just though!). The pocket page format made it very achievable, and I would definitely consider doing that again...especially if there are cute new albums to be bought ;)

Thanks for hanging in till the end!

TTFN xxx

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Project Life 2014...organisation, cover page and Week One


Hello Project Life 2014!


I have to say, I am so excited to be documenting another year :) After falling behind a little towards the end of last year, I spent the last few days of 2013 playing catch-up, which didn't excite me much at all!

Thankfully, once those last few pages were complete, I rediscovered my enthusiasm ;)

I organise my albums, usually two per year, in these gorgeous red polkadot albums that I picked up from Spotlight on sale. I wait for a great deal, and stock up. I recently bought some bookplates from Officeworks to attach to the outside covers of my albums so that they can be easily identified, and looked through often :)

My first cover page for 2014 looks something like this...


...a family photo for the top right corner will finish it off. I've used bits and pieces from my Honey Core Kit, as well as some other cards from my stash.


Spotlight stock some great little phrase card booklets by Pebbles Inc, and they also feature on my title page...I use them quite a lot through my albums.


Machine stitching finished off the page just nicely :)

Week One, which seemed to come and go in a flash, looked like this...

I'm not planning on using a single core kit for 2014...like every other year, I'll mix it up each week according to my photos. This week I've used mostly Simple Stories I (heart) Summer collection, with a few extras thrown in.

Since it's been SO long since I've shared any Project Life pages with you, I thought you might like some close-ups :)


I basically use the same format each week...Design A page protectors, lots of photos, and little bits I collect during the week. Roses chocolates definitely had to be included this week...oh boy, I've eaten some of those lately!


The yellow squares that contain the journaling in these pages are one of my PL staples too...a MUST to include more words when you also like to use lots of photos. Luckily, I have a stamp set that includes squares, circles, rectangles, all in different sizes, so I can customize the colour to suit.

So that's Week One done, and Project Life up-to-date so far ;) Hopefully I can keep the momentum going for the whole year!

Thanks for visiting

TTFN xxx

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hello 2014...so happy to see you!



A new year always brings a fresh perspective on things, doesn't it? There is nothing quite like opening a fresh new notebook and filling it with new lists, new goals, and new projects, all with a renewed determination to do more, feel more, be more.

I truly love the beginning of a new year :)


We have been having a lovely, relaxed holiday period around here...playing with new Christmas toys, relaxing in the pool, and finishing up lots of projects from 2013, which I will hopefully get around to showing you soon ;) Being on holidays has also meant time to play with some of my goodies from a fantastic class with Heidi Swapp and Kim Jeffrees that I was lucky enough to attend last year, most notably, COLOUR SHINE!


I covered my craft table with as much paper towel protection as I could, and handed my girls the pretty plastic bottles. Lydia, my cautious one, was very restrained in her spraying...carefully, slowly pressing the nozzle.


Merryn, on the other hand, went at it like a pro, spritzing and spraying like there was no tomorrow!


Between us, we created lots of colourful, shiny, pretty stuff, and can't wait to have a card making day to use all of our home-made goodies...love crafting with my girls :)

I used some of my colour-shined paper to create my first scrapbook layout of 2014...all about my "one little word", nurture.


"One Little Word" is the brainchild of Ali Edwards, and encourages you to choose a single word to be your focus for a year. I've been choosing a word for several years now, and find it really helpful in guiding my life and decisions...it's amazing how just one word can have such an impact! For me, "nurture" is about looking after myself and my family...my health, my relationships, my creative spirit, and making decisions that have a positive impact on my life. I can't wait to see where it takes me in 2014!


I've used some machine stitching on my colour-shined background, along with some hand cut polkadot strips for my journaling, and a cute little flair button. It felt good to be creating with paper again ;)

Happy new year to you...I hope 2014 holds lots of goodness and creativity for you!

TTFN xxx

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The pitter patter of little paws :)

On this very very hot Summer day in Perth, the family and I took a road trip to meet a very special little someone...


...our new puppy...Gretel :)

Gretel has been on our minds for a long long time. We almost adopted a female tri-colour Cavalier King Charles several times as a playmate for Clancy, but was never sure how he would cope with a puppy's energy, or the sharing of our undivided attention.

After much discussion and a random meeting with a beautiful tri-colour named Riley (of all things!), we decided that the time was right to hear the pitter patter of paws around here once more. We miss our Clancy so much since his passing in July...life is just not the same without a wet nose and wagging tail to greet us when we walk in the door.


Gretel is just on four weeks old, so she won't be able to come and live with us for a little while yet...long enough for us to pack away all our breakable Christmas decorations, and prepare ourselves for a new baby :)

We can't wait!

TTFN xxx