Tuesday, 31 December 2013


I haven't posted any OPAM's for  few months because they were 'secrets'!!! So here they are - 18 all up - some of the hanging tree decorations are not in the photos.
Onwards I march to 2014 OPAM's!!!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Moving On...

Along with the fun and joy of receiving beautifully handcrafted SWAP presents for Christmas, I also had the pleasure of creating gifts for my swap partners. I thought I would show you what I made for  Marilyn in the 6 Item Xmas Swap
Tree decoration - beaded year Stocking; Under The Tree - Runner; Something Smellie - Lavender Heat Pack; Fat Quarter; Something For The Sewing Room - Crocheted hat Pincushion, buttons & a Crochet Tape Measure Cover; Something To Read was a Biscuit Cookbook & Something To Eat was A Packet of Shortbread (both I forgot to take a photo of!!)
In the Santa Sack Swap my partner was Nanette
Nanette wanted a bag she could use in everyday colours and a she is also a lover of prim!! A Christmas cushion, 4 Tree Decorations, a box of Shortbread, a Lavender Heat pack, some candy cane and 2 little wooden stockings.
I thoroughly enjoyed creating these gifts for Marilyn and Nanette. I participated in 4 Swaps this year for the first time and loved each one - I was a bit dubious as to whether I was doing it all correctly but I think I have the hang of 'Swapping' now - so it is 'bring on 2014 Swaps!!!' My mind is already designing for the first 3 swaps I have signed up for!!
Personally I am happy to bid 2013 goodbye - it has not been the easiest of years for me. One of the highlights has been my time in blog land - meeting online friends, reading their posts of their lives and achievements, learning from and seeing their creations, simpler lifestyles and loving each blogger's friendship!!
So I will see you all on the 'flip side' and a bright and happy New Year to you all!!!

Saturday, 28 December 2013


It never matters how many presents I receive or how much they cost - I love and appreciate them all. But there are some that are just that little bit more 'special'!!. And I received 3 of those on xmas day.

Wind chimes made for me by my eldest son Adam. He is a horseman and has started to make a few things from the piles of horseshoes he has. I love wind chimes but haven't had any hanging for a few years. I was really wrapped with this present!

And these are extra special - our grandchildren made these for us!! The giraffe was made for me by Abbey, and Lachlan made a key holder for each of us!!
I was actually quite spoilt this Xmas with several vouchers - 2 from Bunnings (a couple of hours of looking coming up), one from a local kitchenware store - I am replacing all of my cheap saucepans with really good ones; a multi photo frame with photos of the grandies as babies and a bottle of Kahlua!!! My family have finally worked out what I like LOL!!!
Along with the beautiful swap presents I have been really spoilt!
And to finish off - this is the plant stand that Adam made my mum - she was really pleased with this - like me she loves anything the grandies and great grandies make or do!!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Final Secret Gift!!

Christmas Day arrived and it was time to open the last of my Secret Santa gifts. This one is from Jan. And how lovely it is!!
Thank you Jan - I am thinking it will go nicely in my dining room.
A sweet end to the wonderful gifts I have been spoilt with by my swap partners!!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


To all of my Blogging friends...
Wishing each and everyone of a wonderful Christmas shared with all of the very special people in your life - may today be filled love, laughter, peace and many, many memorable moments!!!

Monday, 23 December 2013

A Bit More This & That This Week

Three days of mid 40's this week - today low 20's and rain - I think my Scottish heritage is really starting to come through.... how I love this cool damp weather and how I detest the hot, sweaty, frying, roasting, steaming never ending hot weather! Or it is just that I am starting to feel the 50+ a few years I have been on this earth!!
So this past week I have been in a 'mood' - no idea what sort of mood but a mood never the less!!!!
must have something to do with the end of a horrible year, or the moon or something!!
This week I have been doing lots of this & that!!! Not much of anything in particular - almost anything that kept me out of the sun!!
All finished - so much nicer!!
carpets being cleaned - probably first time in the 30 years they have been down - at least that is what the water indicated!!
 Bacon, no Crackle, no Diva, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! This is Scarlett!! Where did you get that name from - I like Gone With The Wins - so says my son's partner. Interesting to see how they try to keep this 'orphan' outside when she is 200kg!!!! (because pets DO NOT go to the freezer here!)

 more planting.....
and more planting - all done this morning with the wet cool change!

After 7 years it has finally gone - not because I have been wanting it to go for all of those 7 years.... but because youngest son is living in the old house and the tree had lost half it's branches in the wind and was in the way of his proposed fence!!!!!

 And another one gone - this is a Privet which does wonder for my hay fever and sinus .... NOT!! Once again said son has decided it has to go because it is a nuisance on the corner of the house (as I have been saying for 7 years also!!!)
You can see how close it was to the house - will now have to poison the stump - not game to pull it out as the roots go under the house!

and I have been concocting a pattern and instructions for these covers for a children's workshop - yes I know I could have found one on the net but with copyright and all that I decided to do my own. Just some embellishment to do now! I used to make these 28 years ago with fabric, glue, cardboard, the old thick wadding and lace!!! 
and just wandering around the yard.......
pretty in pink!

frangipani ready to flower..

can we beat the birds to them!!

beautiful when just open and also when at their end...

self sown pumpkin and corn - not where I would have planted them but who cares..

I am told this is a native hibiscus - bush is covered in blooms - such a tough, hardy plant too...

these never say die.....

don't know how this one has survived - I do not have a good history with crepe myrtles!!

just 1 night to go until Christmas eve - and I am no where near organise - who cares - theres lots of big plastic containers to pack everything in that is cluttering up the house - that will make it look tidier. And tomorrow is grocery and cooking day. So I will be ready for a day of visitors on Christmas day - ready maybe not organised!!

Thursday, 19 December 2013


So today is the BIG REVEAL or OPENING DAY for CHERYLL'S Secret Santa Swap!!
So my partner emails me at a silly hour this morning (I know it was a silly hour because I was outside spraying and watering at 7am!! - trying to beat the heat!) - and suggests we co ordinate the opening of our presents!! So that is what we did. And... WOW again for me... I have participated in 2 secret Xmas Swaps this year and I have been really, REALLY spoilt!!
First parcel opened had this sweet little pincushion/thread catcher - just perfect for it's new home on the arm of my recliner!! And a lovely little crazy embroidered heart pomander pattern, 2 Colour Streams threads and a button!!

A 2014 calendar  with lots of choccies that didn't melt!! With my birthday just a couple of weeks ago and the 2 swaps I have a fridge full of chocolates (my 2 favourite brands) to see me through Xmas and new year!!!
Next came a trimmed tea towel, a set of Xmas tea towel and a mitten and potholder and then a lovely Xmas banner. All will be put to use over the next week!!

My favourite present out of them all is this beautiful table centre - that is going on my coffee table next to my recliner, than my little Xmas tree will be going on top!! I just love this!!
Now, isn't this a great idea for swappers!! Nanette marked on the March picture where she lives!! That little 'x' on the white dot marks the spot!!
Nanette has spent the last few weeks laid up with a banged up knee (she just had to have a dispute with a puppy over floor space!!!lol) She wasn't able to use her sewing machine for a while there either - she is on the mend now though as she was out walking the 'puppy' this morning!!
A big thank you NANETTE for this fabulous bundle of Secrets from Santa!!
AND a BIG THANK YOU to CHERYLL for all of her work co ordinating this swap and all of the others she has done this year - a truly wonderful Swap Mumma!!! Click on the link to see the secret Santa Swap blog with the list of participants - you can check out all of the lovely Xmas goodness that has been travelling around the world!!
I am off to get lunch ready - we are heading towards the early 40's today (oh how I hate the heat) so there might be some hand stitching done today whilst sitting under the air con!!


Tuesday, 17 December 2013


On Monday I received my swap parcel from Nanette in Cheryl's Secret Santa Swap.
Opening day is not until Thursday but I had to make sure it all arrived intact and no damage ....didn't I???
And it was .... ALL OK!!!! Just look at all those parcels inside that beautiful Santa Sack!!!
I love the Santa Sack because I don't have one!!!! And look at the sweet Santa Brooch - I think that will be coming off the sack and going onto whatever shirt I am wearing on Xmas day!!!
I am sooooo looking forward to the Secret Santa Swap opening day - those other parcels won't stay all wrapped up for very long!!
THANK YOU Nanette - I am thrilled with the sack and just know I will be thrilled with the rest of the presents also.

Monday, 16 December 2013

More from Jan!!

I have shown you the beautiful tree ornament that Jan made for me in Maree's 6 Items Xmas Swap.
Well, I have opened the next 4 parcels and found......THESE!!!
A sweet Gail Pan pattern - 'Birdsong' Needlecase, cute buttons and lovely FQ; 2 beautiful lavender sachets (already in my dressing table drawers!); a yummy little xmas stocking cookie (still in kit's packet I might add!!) and a beautiful book of quotation called 'Inspiration' plus this....
a sweet little dress bookmark - something I have been going to make for myself for ages and have never got around to doing!!!
Thank you Thank you lovely Jan - love it all so far - and yes I have put the one for under the tree... well under the tree of course!!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

PROGRESS..... sort off

I did a quick walk around this morning with camera in hand. I seem to have spent the last few weeks in a whirlwind and not getting anywhere. But after my walk around this morning I can see some progress on the home front has been made in the few short hours I have actually been at home.
Renovations in the old house have continued at a slow speed. Lots of patching going on, windows coming out, finding the right thickness to close in the gaps means using all sorts of materials....thank goodness for paint.
The grey colour is the the chosen colour for all the walls in the house.

Ceilings are a mess in some rooms (I lived with and tried to keep clean and tidy rooms with holes in the ceiling for 5 years!!). property was rented to various people for a number of years before we purchased it - and no maintenance on the houses for probably 20 years!!) 
Holes fixed, sealer and paint to go on and no one will know there was a hole!! My son and his partner have been doing the hard and high work for me bit by bit! 

The beginning of the fence (6ft high) to separate the farm sheds from the house yards!! Yay!!! I have only waited 8 years for this to happen!
I have started on the transformation of bookshelves for my sewing room. Several different finishes on the bookshelves all to be changed to white!!

Doesn't look terribly good at the moment but this is  a stain blocker, sealer, undercoat in one. I will probably do another coat of this then a gloss paint over the top.
I have had a little 'me' time to do some sewing for myself. I have started on the Rosemary Quinlan embroidery that was one of the projects from the Urban Stitches Tree Change in wagga that I went to. So much satin stitch on this project - I have never been able to do satin stitch nicely or properly so maybe I will be an expert by the time I finish this!! 

And a little bit of time spent on the Melly and Me project from the urban Trees workshop also.
My wonderful friend of 38 years spoilt me with presents for my birthday a week ago. I love this pin cushion!!

And a sweet xmas tree decoration to add to the many she has made for me over the years plus a pair of scissors and scissor keep she found in the kiosk of our local hospital.

And a little bit of socialising - our CWA Xmas Lunch - a relaxed couple of hours with lots of laughs!! Off to Weethalle this evening for my nephews 21st and then I hopefully will have 6 weeks of staying at home (hmmm.... bet that doesn't happen!!lol)
And I always have something flowering in the garden - how good is that!!!