Tuesday 27 August 2013

A Bit of This and a Bit of That

It's seems like ages since I last posted - apart from yesterday's Liebster news of course. I must say at this time that the beautiful messages I've received in response to that post have truly warmed my heart, thank you so much my lovely friends - you all mean so much to me and I'm so grateful for all the warm loving encouragement you have sent my way. Thank you!

Before I go any further I want to make mention that the lovely Chrissie at  chrissiecrafts is offering YOU the opportunity to enter into a fantastic giveaway - I'm not telling you what it is but go have a look, for you won't be disappointed. And don't waste any time for I think the deadline is Friday, UK time, and 'you've got to be in it to win it', as the saying goes!

I spoke about Jenny Hart at sublimestitching.com in the post entitled 'A Faerie Friend for Red Pixie', and showed you the embroidery threads I'd purchased - well since then my lovely new book arrived and I'm so thrilled with it. Although I ordered my book locally, Jenny does have all her publications available from her website if you are tempted to have a look:

Here is something I made from Jenny's 'Goofy Birds' transfer:

I did enjoy the making of it and think it would look good in a little girl's room, but in the meantime it's gracing the wall of my room! Well, I am a little girl at heart really! Perhaps I'll never grow up - perhaps I never want to!!!

Below you can see a couple of stitchy gifts I have prepared and popped into frames for two friends who will be having birthdays soon! These are very similar apart from the colours chosen so excuse me for being a little bit repetitive! They didn't come from the Sublime Stitching book, although the threads are those I bought from Jenny - I pinched the separate ideas from pics in magazines and put them together to suit these two lovely friends!

Below is Posh Cat - and isn't she arrogant - or maybe sophisticated upper-class snob! The pic is a little dark I'm afraid, but you get the idea anyway? I drew this from the front of a card which I then sent to another friend who was having a birthday - well, I couldn't not, could I!!! We must use every opportunity to produce little lovelies, I think!

You can see that I haven't been idle of late - in fact I had these pics ready to show you a while ago but decided to hold back on them. Quite a bit of progress has taken place and I now have the back and both fronts done - and wishing the sleeves were finished too otherwise this cardi will be for next Winter!!! Not really, for it's a cotton blend recycled yarn and will be ideal for Spring which officially begins on Sunday for us here in Australia. It's a very plain pattern so hasn't taken a lot of concentration - and don't you just love these needles? I don't like the slight strange smell of the yarn though, so it'll need to be washed before I can wear it - otherwise it's quite lovely and works up nicely.

And lastly I just want to show you this cheeky parrot - called a 'twenty-eight' because that's the sound they make! Lovely Paulette at beedeebabee has shown quite a bit of interest in the parrot pics I've posted and I was telling her how naughty they can be, so this is for you Paulette. The quality of the pics is not good as I quickly snapped him through the glass doors, but just look at how he holds the lavender in his claws - very clever but as I said before, quite destructive!

And that my fair and lovely friends is it for this time! Take good care of yourselves and your loved ones and I'll see you soon!

Joy xo

Monday 26 August 2013

Liebster Blog Award

A few days ago I was very pleasantly surprised when gorgeous Chrissie from Chrissiecrafts nominated me for a Leibster Blog Award. I have drawn so much inspiration and encouragement from Chrissie and her lovely blog so feel quite thrilled and honoured to be receiving this! Thank you so much Chrissie!

Now if you are like I was, you may have seen this award mentioned in various places but didn't really understand what it was about? Well, it seems that it's awarded to up-and-coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, and recipients are asked to list some random facts about themselves, as well as answer some questions posed by the person giving the award. I understand that the numbers of questions and facts, as well as the number of bloggers who are nominated, have varied over the time this award has been available, but I will continue in the same vein that it was presented to me, and not confuse the matter! 

I have had to really think long and hard about the 'random facts' about myself - but I'll give it a go!

1   I am a quiet person and enjoy, in fact thrive on, alone time.

2  Therefore, I don't enjoy large gatherings and can become quite 'ungrounded' in such situations.

3  I trained in natural healing therapies such as reiki, reflexology, flower essences, as well as in         counselling.

4  I owned and ran (along with my husband) a dog grooming business, for several years before   

5  I have four grown children (two girls, two boys) and six grandsons.

6  I would have loved at least one grand-daughter but absolutely dote on my boys.

7  I am of Scottish descent and would love to go back and spend six months or so visiting all the places I didn't have opportunity to appreciate before leaving the old country.

8  I am, or was, five feet one inch tall but I believe we can shrink a bit as we get older and I'm not about to measure myself cause then I may find I'm too heavy for my height!!! 

9  I think I may be one of the oldest (Craft) bloggers around, but actually feel twenty years younger than my birth certificate says I am! Now are you guessing?

10 This is a strange fact: browsing in bookshops always makes me need to 'pay a call' - it must be   
 excitement! My daughters think it a huge joke!

11 I am rather sensitive - often too much so, for my own good - both emotionally and psychically.

So now to answer the questions posed by Chrissie:

1  When baking or cooking, do you clean the kitchen as you go, or wait till it's all done then tackle the mess after?
Joy: I so dislike working in any sort of mess so I clean as I go - love to be organised!

2  If money, time and family schedules were not an issue, what would be your dream job?
Joy: That's a difficult one for I have so many interests! I care a lot about people so it would have to be something in the 'help' line. I would love to be in a position where I could encourage young ones to find their way in life, and to help them bring out the best in themselves.

3 Name three things that are always in your fridge.
Joy: Cheese, eggs and milk, and I must add olives.

4  Sweet or savoury?
Joy: I always need to balance those things, isn't it funny - if I have sweet I then need savoury, and vice versa. Having said that, apart from chocolate I really don't seem to need much in the sweet line these days apart from the occasional binge!

5 What is your favourite book?
Joy: Wow! I love the challenge of my Thesaurus and I own a load of self-help and healing books. Apart from those 'The Mists of Avalon' series by Marion Zimmer Bradley have always been faves, as well as Mary Summer Rain's books. Another beautiful title I have read a couple of times already and am about to re-visit is 'Fourth Uncle in the Mountain' by Quang Van Nguyen and Marjorie Pivar. 

6 You have a room all to yourself. How do you decorate it? No one to impress, no one to judge. Your secret hiding place.
Joy: Well, I suppose I am a bit spoiled but - I do already have a room that's all mine and the walls are a linen colour. One of my own paintings, from which hang two angels gifted by a friend, decorates part of one wall alongside my Native American drum, and, apart from the window, most of the other walls are hidden by bookshelves and cupboards filled with my books and special momentos, as well as pics of special family members. My NA Flutes are housed in this room, and I also have my meditation chair  and it's a very peaceful place.

7 Do you have a signature dish? Tell us about it!
Joy: Well, the family always loved my 'Mexicali Chicken' which, as its name suggests, is a Mexican dish with chicken, olives, capsicum, sultanas, chilli, in a tomato base sauce served on a bed of rice. More recently I am really appreciated for my dessert cakes, of which there are many - none of which I can claim as being my own as they are all from favourite recipe books.

Now it's time to name two lovely bloggers whom I choose for the Liebster Award:

I'm sure most of you know FB - she is such a faithful follower, always leaving her sweet messages of appreciation and encouragement, and her blog posts are so lovely with her variety of crafty subjects and garden pics - a pleasure to visit!

Jo just never stops - I'm sure if you gave her nothing she would manage to make something from it! Such imaginative and creative talent deserves to be rewarded!

So FB and Jo, would you please tell us some more about yourselves? A few random facts as well as answers to the following questions:

1  Who has influenced you most in your life?

2  If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

3  If you went back to school what would you choose to study?

4 Are you impulsive when making decisions or do you ponder things first!

5  What is your food preference when you eat out?

6  Looking at your average day, what do you enjoy best?

7  What gives you the least pleasure in your daily routine?

8  Is there a famous person that you would love to meet, and why?

9  Tell us about a favourite place in your locality that you like to visit.

10 If you were marooned on an island what would you choose to have with you?

11 What is your favourite type of film?

I hope I haven't been too hard on you girls - this is quite time consuming but I found it very worthwhile!

Normal post resuming soon! I have brain drain now!

Have a happy week one and all!

Joy xo

Monday 5 August 2013

A Faerie Friend For Red Pixie

Hello again friends, and thank you all for your interest and lovely comments left on my last post - you are all so encouraging and I am really appreciative of each and every message, and of you!

I have been trying to keep up with all your new posts but have been a bit higgledy-piggledy of late! Although everything is fine now I was having trouble typing for a week or so as I burned my left hand - yes, I'm left-handed - and the bandages made things a little bit difficult! Nevertheless, we're all mended and the old skin has peeled off to reveal brand new healthy pink underneath, for which I am very grateful! It was an extremely painful process at the time and I spent a whole night with my hand in iced water - oh, and I must add here - the hospital staff's advice is to never have the water too icy or you finish up with 'freezer burn'! Same difference I suppose when it comes to pain!!!

Another lesson learned - don't lean your hand against a burning hot chimney flue! Have you done any daft things lately?

But, I have not been idle either before or after that nasty incident, so here's a little bit of what I've been spending my time on:

Red Pixie needed another friend besides hedgehog so I set out to see what could be done to remedy his loneliness! Meet Red Faerie, who is very happy to have Pixie as 'bestest'!
I found her in a book which has been on my shelf for quite some time, but I changed her face and hair and then added all the surrounds. I see now that it would have been better to use a lesser thickness of thread for her features - and I may change that yet - but otherwise I'm quite happy with her AND the main thing is that Red Pixie is happy with her! Can you see that she will be a good friend to him?

I also tried out another couple of projects with needle and threads:

Mr Owl is from Aimee Ray's Book: 'Doodle Stitching, Embroidery and Beyond', and Blue Cat was inspired by an ornament my sister gifted me many years ago! I think I'm not happy with the little add-ons around her feet and may make some changes there but thought I'd show you anyway so you know I'm not slacking off!

And we had some excitement recently too! Our elder daughter Tracy had a birthday and our son-in-law arranged tickets for Jeff and I to fly up to Perth for the weekend! It was a total surprise for her and involved a few tears I can tell you! Paul must be congratulated on keeping such a secret - she had no idea whatsoever! We had such a wonderful time together - a bit of a whirlwind of course - but wonderful!

So, whilst up in the big smoke we had a visit to the famous 'King's Park' and took a couple of pics! King's Park is an absolute  must for visitors to Perth - not that we are technically visitors as we lived there for a huge number of years, but it has been a few years since we were actually in the park. Progress is continuous up there - always new plantings, buildings and changes - the staff up there do a tremendous job!

I don't actually have the name of this plant but it looks like it may be related to the Leucodendron.
And the next two pics are of the 'sky bridge' (which is new to me), where you walk over from one area of the park to another; there are glass sides to that particular part of the bridge in the second pic, so the view is not obstructed in any way! Now I have trouble with heights - so - I didn't waste any time in getting from one side to the other! It would have been good to take a couple of pics from up there - but .. ... ... !!!

The next pic is taken from Reabold Hill, which is the highest point on the western coastal metro plain (it's within running distance from my daughter's home - she does it on a regular basis, and it's STEEP)! In the distance you can see Rottnest Island which is a lovely family  holiday destination. The ferry takes about 30 minutes or so from Perth. 
The pic below that one is part of our cityscape taken from King's Park.

Have a look at some of the clever decorative touches at the cafe where we had breakfast on the Sunday morning! They do great food too!

Now then - more exciting stuff! Last post when I spoke about my little embroidery venture and introduced Red Pixie, I received a message from Rachel here and she mentioned Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart. At the time I didn't know whether this was a book or a site and hadn't got around to checking it out, and then the next day my daughter Tracy mentioned the same thing and sent me a link to the actual site - and yes, there are beautiful books as well! So thank you Rachel and Tracy cause I followed it up and am now the proud owner of Jenny's beautiful threads and some of her other accoutrements! It didn't take long, did it! The order was here in just over a week - what service! And Jenny's site is just wonderful - if you are into this lovely easy stitching style then you might like to take a look here . Look at these wonderful colours and thank you card as well as nifty free gift! You can't beat the personal touch, it's just so lovely!

Before I go let me just show you a lovely parrot  enjoying our back garden a week or so again. Isn't he beautiful - but they do get destructive - they snip off the flowers and just leave them lying there most times!

Wishing you all happy days until next time!

Joy xo