Monday, December 30, 2013

What I've been up to on my holidays....

 I've been wanting to make this quilt up for simply ages so I was determined that these holidays I'd get started on it, this one block turned into.......
 25 blocks, which turned into.......
 5 Rows of pretty presents......
 Which then morphed into this flimsy :) I've just finished making up the binding and it's now ready to head off to the quilters in the New Year, so hopefully I'll have it done and dusted for Christmas 2014 Woooo Hooooo...... I just love this fabric range "12 days of Christmas" it's so cheery and Christmassy :)
 I've also been inspired by Sharon to start back onto cross stitch, nothing too elaborate but very Christmassy as well I seem to have a theme running here lol.....I have a few more Christmas cross stitches I'm planning on working on over the coming weeks in preparation for Christmas 2014......please tell me I'm not the only one doing this Christmas planning so early????
 I also wanted to show you the three Christmas candle mats I made for gifts this year, a simple disappearing 9 patch block :)
I also made this block keeper up  using Tilda fabrics as my sister's main present (besides the crocheted blanket I had been making her throughout the year)  I wanted to surprise her with a little something besides the blanket and I think I succeeded, now to get onto the one I'm making for myself  in red & white with a touch of old gold :)
I'll be  back with photo's of the gifts I made and sent to my Christmas swap partners in the next day or so :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Swap with Cheryl, Celebrate swap & Maree's 6 item swap

 Cheryl and I decided we'd love to do a one on one swap for Christmas when we met up at one of our Mill Rosie meet ups and we got to exchange our gifts at Leanne Beasley's Christmas gathering in November and decided to wait till Christmas day to open them and boy I wasn't disappointed with what Cheryl decided to make for me, this is just absolutely gorgeous and I had no idea what it was as Cheryl had wrapped it around a cardboard tube so no amount of squeezing or shaking gave me any clues......not that this happened often LOL :) Thanks Cheryl I LOVE IT!!!! It will be taking pride of place on my coffee table in the lounge room next year so everyone can admire it, Maybe if you're willing we can do another Christmas swap for 2014, hint, hint??? :)
 The lovely Maria sent me this gorgeous handmade basket for Maree's 6 item swap as my final "under the Christmas tree" gift and inside were two balls of beautiful blue wool with if you look closely has blue sequins through them, love them! Maria also sent a ball of multi-coloured hand painted merino 4ply and I can't wait to try crocheting with this I have just the scarf pattern in my head that will go beautifully with this wool. Thanks Maria, I've loved everything you've sent me for this swap and I did finally get the chance to read the book you sent me and you were right it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, I'll have to see if my local library has this author so I can read more of her books :)
 This Christmas wall hanging I received from my "Celebrate swap" partner Leanne, I just love Natalie Ross's stitcheries and the fabric she combined it with to make up this wall hanging fits it perfectly, I'm no too sure what the fabric range is called but I'll have to find out as I've fallen in love with it., but wait there's more.......
Leanne also sent me this cute bunting made out of the same fabric range, utterly gorgeous and will definitely be hung in my sewing room next year to celebrate the season! Thanks Leanne I've enjoyed exchanging swaps with you throughout the year but most of all I've enjoyed getting to know you better through them :)
I hope everyone had a great Christmas, New Years Eve is nearly upon us and then........2014, oh boy another year to look forward to with all it's promises and surprises for everyone my wish is that you all have a happy and safe 2014 and I'll see you back here safe and sound for more bloggy fun in 2014 :) Barb.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa Sack Swap.....

 I received this gorgeous hexie stocking from Carol in the Santa Sack swap and I was certainly spoilt!
 I must admit I did decide to open one present last Thursday and thank goodness I did as it was forecast to be a 40 degree day and this is what was in that parcel, chocolate which went promptly into the fridge! I saved the rest of my gifts for opening yesterday after I finished my last day of work which involved cleaning walls, cots, equipment and copious amounts of laundry all day!
 First up came this beautiful jewelled lock and bookmark dress :)
 Another beautiful Christmas bag, reminds me of a crown with all those bells at the top and it made such a lovely sound as I was opening this parcel. Love it Carol!
 Next came a Christmas tea towel decorated with hand appliqued gingerbread men, already hanging in my kitchen and hubby has been warned not to use it as a hand towel for his grubby mitts :)
 A beautiful and practical food cover which will come in handy tomorrow to keep the flies away from our picnic lunch and it's also been weighted so it wont blow away :)
 Carol must have spies working over here as this is soooo me in the colour department as well as in the love of paper department, a book of sticky notes will certainly come in handy next year and the Shmick notes are sitting beside our telephone ready to do there thing :)
And finally a gorgeous zippered pouch to use for my sewing projects throughout the new year, thanks carol I had so much fun with this swap and I loved everything you made/sent for me :)
 I haven't heard from Carol yet to see if she's finally opened her gifts from me as Carol was also waiting till this yesterday to open them but when I do I'll do another post with pictures of what I sent her :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

6 item swap.....Thanks maria :)

 I picked these up from the post office yesterday but waited till today to start opening my parcels....well all of them except for the one for under the Christmas tree :) My swap partner was Maria from and no Maria I had no idea it was you sending to me in this swap! and I'm glad to hear you like reading my blog :)
 I opened up my Christmas tree ornament 1st but instead of just one I received two from Maria, a handmade hexie one which is just beautiful and another that she couldn't resist buying for me when she saw it at one of the shops.....thanks Maria they're both hanging from my tree now :)
 Then I just couldn't resist opening my other gifts, some very yummy smelling hand crafted vegetable soap I love my soap's especially handmade ones! Maria also gave me a lovely pack of fabrics for the sewing room depicting fruit and vegetables, I haven't seen a lot of this type of fabric so they will be a lovely addition to my stash, Maria also sent me a beautiful Leanne Beasley designed pincushion a very lovely addition to my pin cushion collection.
 For something to eat Maria sent me one of my favourite chocolates Ferrero which I have to admit the box has already been opened and sampled.........
For something to read Maria sent me "Knitting" by Anne Bartlett which I'm planning on saving till I'm on holidays and can relax fully and just spend the day reading it in one go if I want to, I've been seeing this author popping up on a few blogs and must admit I was going to source out a few of her books for reading over my break so thanks Maria you certainly picked the perfect book for me :)
And finally the parcel to be placed under my Christmas tree, I must admit I've had a bit of a shake and gentle squeeze before placing it there lol, that's half the fun with swaps.....thanks Maria I've been totally spoilt :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Done & dusted!

Finally added the children's name tags to their Christmas stockings, roll on Monday when we start to hand them out before we finish up for the year......another tick on my to-do list not much left on it now :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Stockings finished!

this weekend saw me sewing like a mad woman to get these 19 stockings over the finish line.....mission accomplished! phew!!!  now I just need to finish stitching the name tags, attach them with a hanging loop and then I'll be able to wrap them and hand them out the last week of work.
 I only needed to make 16 stockings but I had enough lining fabric to make an extra three so thought what the heck another three wont make much difference to the scheme of things lol.....I think I'm a glutton for punishment but this stocking tutorial I found makes them so easy to whip up I'm thinking of enlarging the pattern and making one with a stitchery design on it, what do you think am I crazy or what to even consider making one more stocking??? :)
Edited to add the tutorial link as a few have requested where I sourced the pattern from:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

FNWF.... the results of hard labour!

 Friday night saw me cutting out and making up one of these stockings, still need to hand sew on the ric rac and name tag but I wanted to get an idea of the size before I.......
 cut out 18 more as well as......
 18 linings....... so this is what I did with my time last night now for some time at the machine today and tomorrow and hopefully these other 18 will look like the first and be that much closer to being finished :)
 I also had a coffee break to refuel and opened up the parcel Cheryll sent me and was gobsmacked by these lovely individualised drink coasters if you look closely she's personalised every one of them! Thanks Cheryll I love them but most of all I love your kindness and thoughtfulness XXXX
 Also arriving at my door stop was a couple of swap parcels, this gorgeous paper pieced stocking is from Carol in Cheryll's Santa Sack Swap......wasn't I spoilt but wait it's also full of pressies but I can't open them till Cheryll says we can :)
 Here's a close up of Carol's stitching aren't the stitches soooooo tiny! I love it Carol, the colours are just sooooo me! :)
Another swap parcel also landed this week from Leanne my partner in Mrs Martin's Celebrate swap, don't you just love the felt bell ornament. Thanks for being my partner for this swap Leanne it's been great fun exchanging parcels with you throughout the year :)
Now to get cracking and finish those stockings, maybe a coffee or two thrown in as well. Don't forget to check out the other girls who joined me stitching last night at and see what they got up to on their crafting night :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013's getting closer!

 The trees been traditional red, white and green with a touch of gold
 The sideboard decorated for pink :)
the crystal cabinet has also been decorated and a mini wall hanging hung above's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at my house, how about your home?? :)