The is my December block to Linda of California. I was starting to panic, as I was running out of time to make it, but I managed to choose the fabric last night, cut the pieces out in my lunchtime (I come home from work for lunch) and then soon as I got home from work this evening, I sat at the machine and sewed the block together. PHEW!!!
I saw this recipe for Hot Chocolate on a blog last week while surfing the net and thought I'd make up a batch for presents. I have also made up a few bottles of Irish Cream and will be giving both as gifts...alcohol for the parents and hot chocolate for the kids.
I have been having trouble with my server the past few days, as I couldn't get onto Blogger...hopefully all is fixed now.
I took today off work to catch up on things at home and one was to make up 4.5 kilos of green tomato pickles!... you see in my vegetable garden I had 3 big tomato plants and the rest were cherry tomato plants. The 3 big tomatoes were hit by fruit fly, so they were pulled out and the tomatoes that weren't affected were kept to make the pickles. I ended up with 18 assorted sized bottle of pickles.
So in the last few days I have made 18 bottles of pickles and 9 bottles of Plum Jam. My fig tree is loaded with figs yet to ripen, so hopefully the fruit fly will stay away from them, as I have sold or given away all but 2 bottles of last year's fig jam, so I have room for this years!
I have learnt to number my bottles and lids before I sterilise them to make it easier to match the correct lid to the bottle, so much easier and quicker!
Also I am packaging up my cloth and tea to my partner in Jellywares Christmas Washer Swap. We had to include the partner's favourite blend of tea (English Breakfast, which is also my favourite tea) and a Christmas cloth. I am sending the Angel cloth that I designed.
I received another two Christmas gifts today, and this first one is from another swap I am in, this time it is Coffee Time Stitches, 3-2-1 Tote Bag Swap. My parcel was received from Teresa in California. Teresa went by a theme of winter with blues and greys and includes a little nod to their winter rain...and look what I received!
A wonderful tote bag with an embroidered Sunbonnet Sue holding up an umbrella in the rain with her little dog, plus a crocheted hat,bundle of fabric, a patchwork scarf(well I think it is a scarf with a flannel backing), and a real umbrella! Thank you, thank you, thank you!.
Now the second gift I received today is from my friend of a few years, Vanessa. I sent Vanessa some of my herb spoons a couple of months ago and put a note with them saying "an early Christmas present"...so, she has so kindly sent a gift in return, which included some Gingerbread Buttons and a 5" pack of Moda "12 Days of Christmas". This fabric will come in handy, as I am doing the Fat Quarter Shop's block of the month and it is in this same range of fabric.
Thank you to you too Vanessa... I am certainly blessed with wonderful gifts.
The postie brought me a parcel today at work, so I waited IM-patiently to take it home at lunchtime, so I could photograph it as "before" and "after". The sender was Christine. As I have joined a few different Christmas swaps, I had to do some detective work to see which swap this one was from, so I looked up Christine's blog (she mentioned it on her enclosed card), and there it was... On My Verandah's "6 Item Swap". Here is what I was presented with when I opened the package:
Of course they didn't last that long in the pretty wrapping, and here is what was in the parcels:
They are: 5" Posh Moda squares, Tissues and cover, a book on Quilting Quotations, applique and quilting needles. ric-rak and a Singer tin.... aren't I a lucky ducky?
THANK YOU Christine for such a wonderfull stash of goodies...
I am a member of an Australian Block Swap and I was asked to make a "Crazy" paper pieced block for a new member who joined earlier this month. My swap partner asked for a certain block, but it was only 7", therefore I had to adapt it into a 12" block. So I reduced the pattern by 91% to make it a 6" block, then made 4 of them, joined them and came up with a 12" block!
Hope my partner likes it... I am posting the block tomorrow to her.
Look what arrived in the mail for me late last week... a delightful package from one of my swap partners in the 3-2-1 Tote Bag Swap. The parcel arrived at my workplace, I was going to photograph it before I opened it, but I couldn't wait until lunch time for that, (hopeless aren't I?), so each parcel was unwrapped and this is what Peg sent me:
My bag has wooden handles and a delightful wool embroidery, depicting a farm scene with a house, water tank, fruit trees, sheep, fish, birds, flowers and pine trees all being under the glorious sun.
Next is the rotary cutter holder, mug mat and pin cushion, all again beautifully hand embroidered and in antique colours.
Then this black paper bag came with "winter needs" and that included a sachet each of Latte, Chai Latte, Caramel Latte (can't wait to try this one!), a box of Ferrero chocolates and a nice smelling hand cream.
The recipe is a coffee/chocolate/caramel slice that sounds just "yummy"!
A friend of mine loves black & white cows and has ornaments of them all over her house, so I embroidered this on wood and framed it. I might keep it for myself!
Now for the help needed.... as mentioned earlier, I have been on annual leave and have had my Mum with me while I was tripping around, as Mum is finding it hard after the passing of my Dad in April,(they were married for 60 years and 1 month!) and now she is by herself again in her hometown, that is 450 kilometres from me. She loved looking over my shoulder while I was on the computer and marveled at the blogs and swaps I am in, but she is not computer minded at all.
What I was hoping to do with your help out there is to surprise her with lovely cards and letters from complete strangers telling her that people do care. As she would freak out if I gave out her snail mail address, I was wondering if you emailed me or left a comment so I could get back to you, I could give you MY snail mail address and I would pass them onto her.
Imagine her surprise and tears over strangers contacting her... this might even inspire her to join some of the swaps I am in as she is a patch worker (quilter) as well as me...who do you think I learnt it from?
I am in the Quilting Block Swap - Australia, and this month it was my turn to make a block for Leona with some flying geese in the block.. I "sort of" followed a pattern, then added my own touch to it and came up with this block... I like it so much, I think I might make more of these blocks to make a quilt.
Tomorrow, Mum and I are going to a sewing retreat for a week and this is just my "sewing" pile (machine included)....
and here is Mum's neat pile to go...
I have started getting a few more "supplies" out to take too....
Sorry I haven't been posting much, but I am in the middle of 5 week's annual leave and I don't own a lap top, so I can only post on the few days I am home.
As I can't show you what I am making at the moment as it is for my Secret Santa Swaps, I thought I would show you a few things I have made.
The following is a dog quilt I saw in an American magazine, fell in love with it and made it much bigger that the pattern designed... it even got published in their letters to the editor ...was quite chuffed! My daughter wanted me to make a wall hanging for my grand daughter's wall in Winnie the Pooh... I decided to make a set of three:
Today was my last day at work for 5 weeks...YAH!!!... I am now on annual leave.
I googled "Secret Santa" a few weeks ago, looking to see if there were more swaps out there in blogland, and up came many finds about the Secret Santa of USA... and there is a book written about him. He has also been interviewed (in disguise) on the Oprah Show... I was fascinated, so found the book in Amazon Books...none here in Australia for sale, and read it as soon as I got it....
This man gives away $100 notes around Christmas time and it has run into over one million dollars he has given away.... a story that makes you realise there is good out there in this world... the book was written in 2007, so I don't know if he is still doing it, as he was fighting cancer and would be in his sixties.
A "good feeling" book.... Santa's Secret - A Story of Hope... written by Donna McGuire.
...and yes, I am doing some sewing, but as it is my Secret Santa gifts to my swap partners, I can't show it to you, but here is a little peek!
Yesterday afternoon, while typing away on my computer, inputting invoices, something caught my attention from my left side, I looked down and there was this echidna waddling past my left foot...missing me by inches... it was making a bee line for under my desk, and into the corner... I pushed my chair which is on wheels to my right and watched it snuggle into the corner.
I shouted for one of the boys to come up and get the wildlife out of my office... I have had mice, rats, lizards, harmless spiders, wasps, hornets, (need I go on???) use my office as a refuge... anyways one dawdled up and said "what now?" in an annoyed tone...I pointed, he laughed, and he went off and came back with a pair of welders gloves and the whole staff. The little fellow really didn't want to come out...
Here "it" is (wasn't going to touch those spikes to see what gender it was!)...it curled up into a tight ball, and put it's paws over it's eyes...if you click on the photo and look closely you can see it doing that)...it was so cute...as if to say, "if I can't see you, then you can't see me".
We all went out the back of the workshop and released it in the paddock near a river... where it stayed burrowed down for about 30 mins, then disappeared when no one was looking.
It was not a full grown echidna, nor a baby... but it was so cute and fairly rare to see.
YAH!!! I picked up my computer on the way home from work today, and gee it feels good to play with it again!
First of all, here is what I received from Sue who was my swap partner from Jelly Wares Cloth Swap... I had to laugh when I received the cloth, as it was the same pattern I used in one of the clothes I made and sent... now I have one for myself!
Next is the 4th block in the Fat Quarters Shop BOM... the patterns are certainly easy to follow and fun to make.
Now my last photo is part of Chooky Blue's SSCS 2010... those knitted things are bells and they do have a metal bell with donger in them!
On Friday morning my home computer beeped, screeched and then went quiet..... too quiet.
I shut it down and then tried to start again.... "no server found"..... this does not look good.
I had to wait until this morning (Tuesday) to take my "tower" to the computer Mr Fix-it Shop... things aren't open all day, every day here in "Hicksville"....
Just got the call from Mr Fix-it...my mother board is no more... have to order one in, and as mine is an old computer, they will have to upgrade it to be "just like new".... this will take a few days... again, things aren't quick here in Hicksville!
The mother board alone is $230, then you have to add labour and of course they will probably find something else that "has" to done... GROAN!
So, until I get "my" computer back, I can only sneak onto "my" sites in between jobs while I am at work...SOB!!
(For those who aren't in Australia... "not happy Jan" is a TV commercial that has ran here on and off for a few years .. the person was not happy with "Jan" as Jan forgot to place an add in the Yellow Pages phone book.)
This photo was taken while Mum was here in June, (that's Mum at the machine) and in a few week's time I will be spending some time with her again.
I am taking annual leave and we will be visiting my daughter, a friend and also we will be spending a week at a retreat learning how to use our sewing machines... Berinia Artista. Mum got hers years ago, but has forgotten how to use most of the features, and I loved her machine so much I bought one too.
I now have 3 sewing machines... the Bernina, a Pfaff and an "old" Singer.
First of all I will say that I NEVER read as a child or young adult, but have enjoyed books from about the age of 30... however I am a VERY SLOW reader and only read when I go to bed... sometimes I find it is 3am and I HAVE to put the book down as I have to get some sleep before going to work that morning!
I just finished reading this book: "These Is My Words" by Nancy E Turner... an interesting story that is what I call a "Factional Book"... a fiction based on fact... the book is a diary written by Sarah Prine, a woman full of spirit. The diary is in her words as she travels with her family across the Arizona Territories in 1881 to claim land and settle on that new land... a very entertaining book indeed...
I have been slowly reading Janet Evanovich's numbered books. I bought a set of 10 while in the States a couple of years ago and have been slowly getting the newer ones in the same form to keep the set in uniform.. I am up to number 13... a very funny and good read...for those who have read these books, you will understand when I say, I just "love" the grandmother!
I also have read all of the Jennifer Chiaverini "Elm Creek" books... I buy the new ones when they come out and have to read these yet...
Then I have this set of Amish books and also another 3 sets to read... I bought these while I was in States as well... yes my baggage was over weight and VERY overflowing, with books and over 400 YARDS of fabric... the American economy was boosted while I was there!
I also have this set of books that everyone read when they were young, but not me....