Cats & Quilts - a match made in heaven... (except maybe those stubborn little clouds of fur that latch on to the fabric!)

Kitty Quote of the Day

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. - Jean Cocteau

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Birthday-Love Stash Quilting

Hi all

I've signed up to be a Birthday-Love Stash quilter with Wendy from Sugarlane Quilts.

Here's how Wendy explained the new group;

I have the same problem every year........ someone’s birthday rocks around and I am TOTALLY unprepared for it and end up making something and sending it weeks (and sometimes months!!!) later.....or offering some feeble excuse and feeling exceptionally bad!!!!! I am known as the ultimate procrastinator...... So for 2013, I thought I’d try something a little bit different and thought, if you're like me, you might just want to join me!

Each month I will round up a number of different free patterns off the web, just simple but very lovely things, to make for birthday gifts....and each month I WILL COMMIT to making something (because I’ll be prepared!), and stashing them away for when the time is right to parcel them up and send them off so they arrive ON TIME for some lucky birthday gal or guy!

So, are you in the same boat as me??? Are you itching to join me in creating your own Birthday Love Stash???

So if that sounds good to you too, click on the link to Wendy's full post Birthday-Love Stash 2013 & join us.
I plan to start by making a stash of cards - why let the fact that I am not a card maker stop me - simple will be the key & I have scounted up some ideas already.....
Another great blog for constant project ideas is The House On The Side Of The Hill with our gorgeous Melody. She searches high & low and comes up with great ideas & projects.
And here's one I found today - a Christmas block as I just can't seem to get past Christmas crafts yet and it is a beauty.
This is by Erin from One Piece at a Time, from a 2011 quilt-a-long. You can download the instructions and make it in to what ever takes your fancy. Applique & a bit of stitchery - bliss!
I've filled out my diary - yes I still prefer a paper book like a scheduler at home, electronic at work. My first occasions are a Fat Quarter Birthday Club member on January 11th & my gorgeous Uncle Gordon who turns 89 on January 12th. What do you send by post to NZ to a man who never asks for anything for such a big birthday..... It was books, including The Royal Flying Doctor stories for Christmas as Uncle Gordon was the Head Ambulance driver in our home town for 30+ years. I have to ring home & beg for ideas.....
Out for lunch on a day in Blenheim with Uncle Gordon Christmas 2010
So if you need a bit of pressie prompting like me, join us in this group.
Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Friday, December 28, 2012

SSCS & Other Gifts

Hi all, survived Christmas and now trying to live out the Perth Christmas Heatwave of 2012. 10  days of temps around 40+ degrees & not even a low 30 forecast until next Thursday 3rd January - that's next year!
I'm just thankful that the worst I have to complain about is the heat & it's not as if I didn't know if was coming - it's been the same for the last 26 years I have lived here & every year I say 'I can't take another year of that' and every year I do nothing about it. Bah humbug to me!
On to more exciting things. Here are a few pressies that were under my tree from lovely bloggers;
From Michell in New Zealand from Michell's Place blog, this is my SSCS swap present. A gorgeous table runner & Michelle tells me it is her first time at FMQ - awesome - if only I can get to that level I will be happy! It's just the perfect size for my coffee table & gorgeous colours and prints.
Thank you so much Michell & your Christmas decorations (gingerbread man & snowman) opened earlier & blogged about here took pride of place in my little Christmas decorating. The Father Christmas & Stocking were brought at the Drysdale Craft shop (on the Bellerine Peninsular) while on my Ballarat holiday.
Also under the tree was this huge box of goodies from our gorgeous Shez which will be put to great use. What could be better in a sweaty, smelly Perth heatwave???

And this gorgeous angel who will take pride of place on my tree each year to come. Thank you my angel Shez! xx

And from our lovely friend Melody, another parcel I brought home from Ballarat. It contained lots of goodies, a kitty-cat bag, a snowman applique bag with choccies & candy canes and the most beautiful woollen pin cushion.

And a close up of the linen bag - chocs long gone & only a couple of candy canes left too....

And the kitty-cat pin cushion. I haven't made anything with wool felt yet & this is my first gift made of such so I think you have managed to give me a new obsession Mel. It is just delightful! Thank you dear Melody xx

And to end this is the cat & mouse Christmas card my cousin Chris sent me from New Zealand. She is a card maker, knitters & crocheter but i would say from this card that she has a lot of stitching potential too!

Spoilt again & loving it!

Happy New Year!

Tracee xx

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas With Brunnie =^..^=

Hello friends, Brunnie still here & muma came home from Ball-a-rat, happy, happy. Muma brought presents for me & Hun-bun and muma brought back Christmas present from Aunty Shez. Hun-bun & I meow with happiness but muma say 'no boys, Christmas presents have to go under the tree until Christmas Day'. I say, 'if only I had thumbs muma'!

(there's our presents from Aunty Shez, right at the front right  - nom, nom, nom!)

Finally, the big wait is almost over, only 1 more sleep until I make my 21st Christmas!

Muma's rushing about cleaning, blogging, shopping, making lists (muma loves lists), Hun-bun been outside playing and Brunnie been big helps to muma.

First I help by asking muma to not put the gas fire away, I still like sitting in front of the cold gas fire on my fluffy. Panic - where's my fluffy muma? Brunnie touching carpet!

Muma says 'remember late last night Brunnie when you barfed all over your fluffy & now muma's had to put it in the washing machine'. Whoops - saved muma time by keeping gas fire out & took it away by making her wash fluffy......

To make up for the extra washing tonight I helped mum make yos. First I supervised the yos....

Then I grew slightly bored of the yos....

Then I napped while guarding the yos - all good muma! Sometimes I wonder how muma manage to do anything on her own?

See  muma's yos on the tree - not many, muma rather slow at yos making or maybe someone like Hun-bun nicking them, that's why I guarding the yos.

Now to show you that Little Brunnie is a refined feline I want to introduce you to my favourite Christmas Carol. It is by my favourite group, The CATalunia Boys Choir and is very aptly called Meow. It brings a tear to my old eye to listen to the stirring lyrics. Hope is makes you purr friends!

So from Little Brunnie, Huney-bun & Muma, we wish all our friends in blog land a most splendid Christmas & a New Year filled with happy & healthy family, friends, fabric & fun! (& furkids!).

Merry Christmas!

Brunnie xx  Hun-bun xx  Muma xx

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mrs Martin's Christmas Angel Swap

Very early in 2012 I signed up for this massive swap to be a Christmas Angel through Mrs Martins Quilt Shop. There was a long list of pressies to send & many, many months to prepare for it. As the months went by it went a bit like this,
  • plenty of time,
  • still time yet,
  • oh fun better start planning,
  • no panic I've done a few small ones & know what I am going to make
  • better get organised now
  • hell it's October
  • OMG only 4 weeks to go
  • have to post on the 1st & fly out for Ballarat that day so no sneaking in a couple of extra days
  • good thing I'm a night owl & love a good stitch after a 9 hour work day!
  • Thursday 29th, have to finish that binding & wrap everything
  • Friday 30th, posted!
And not only did I post on time but I made what I planned & was very happy with what I made. That was until..... I opened my present from Karen!
My swap partner Karen is someone new to me, from Victoria & with the blog Just Purrfick. We both filled out a form of what we would like for Christmas colours, preferences etc. Karen made me go 'What the.....' when she mentioned anything Steampunk would make her day. So I went straight to Google & found pics of Victorian era clothes, steam contraptions & anything mechanical especially with time mechanisms. So it was back to Karen with a please explain & she pointed the direction to how this era has been captured in stitchery etc. Of course, it helped when a few months later Spotlight advertised Steam Punk things to use in jewellery making & craft.

So that started me off but most of what I made is a mystery at this point as my laptop has refused to open back up after I returned from holidays. I had a couple of pics on my camera but the rest is sitting on my hard drive behind a sad grey screen. So I'm about to try a few things to recover everything (technical stuff like fingers crossed behind the back while hitting the on button, or yelling loudly, please open - it's Christmas, or connecting it to my new desktop PC & hope I can access the hard drive) then it will be back to the laptop specialists to pay squillions of dollars to see if they can recover it. That's twice this laptop has died in the two years I have had it. The first time it was replaced under warrantly & they said they were all faulty in this model of TOSHIBA! but if completely replaced why would it happen again....... Great when they work, boat anchors when they don't....
Back to the important stuff, the amazing, overwhelming & totally brilliant stuff I received from Karen, my Christmas Angel. I will number the items we had to send as I get to them.

Here's a pic of everything!

From the moment I opened the postbag I was oohhhing & ahhhhing. My pressies were wrapped in the panel you see at the back of the main pic - floral cats and with a beautiful cat tag (1) addressed to me. The panel & the gorgeous ribbons are just bonuses Karen was kind enough to send.

My Christmas applique - love the 3D pom pom & ribbon (2)

A sewing kit of fabrics, braid & bling (3), a stitchery (with or without frame) (4) with this gorgeous white frame (love the colouring) & a Christmas postcard (5) with vintage santa - wonderful!

A candle mat (6) with brilliant piecing! A Christmas decoration (7), I got two, a red & a green bauble, these are soft & gorgeously festive.

But oh no, not just one decoration or two I also got the rest of the set of kitty decorations to match my gift tag. Won't these get lots of future use in the Quiltkitty Christmas decorating.

Something sewing (8) - well I got the whole kit & kaboodle from Karen. A black polka dot case with many zipped see thru pockets, great for carrying a travel project & will definately have an outing on my next trip away. Inside as you can see is some embroidery scissors, patchwork needles, a pad with sewing pics, a vintage tin containing cottons & a clover thread cutter pendant - spoilt or what!!!

 And just when it couldn't get better! A Santa sack (9) & better still Karen made me an applique santa bag so I can use it for more than just as a sack at Christmas. The applique is exquisite & look in the close up pic - it has my name on it. Oh, just too special!

And finally something to nibble (10). Guylian Chocolates. This didn't make my first group pic - not because the box is really empty & I have ate them already, but because I put them straight under the tree so I wouldn't eat them before Christmas & then forgot to pull them out for the pic.

So what can I say about all that - much more than I ever expected Karen, your stitching & sewing is exquisite and your kindness & generousity seems to know no bounds. Is it only in the craft world that someone would spend so much time. effort, expense & care on a virtual stranger (pun intended!) - I am thinking in most cases yes. I love it ALL!!! A big Thank you & Merry Christmas Karen.
Karen is doing a post of my pressies on her blog as soon as time permits after celebrating a wonderful family Christmas but the email I received says she is very happy too so a great swap all round.
A big thank you to Karen Martin of Mrs Martin's Quilt Shop for hosting this swap & bringing more magic into Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Tracee xxx

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Welcome Mini

Here is my gorgeous Welcome Mini sent to me by Larrissa from Crafty God Chick. In the parcel as well as the Welcome Wall-hanging is a gorgeous knitted washer/flannel, some mint & lavender tea (might calm me down over Christmas???) and two lots of ymmy choccies, Lindor & Guylian.

Larissa very thoughtfully put my precious Little Brunnie & Hun-bun in my welcome hanging & lets face the facts, they are the owners & therefore welcomers to the house. The stitching is exquisite Larissa & I love paisley so it is deemed PURRFECT by all three of us. Thanks very much!

Another gorgeous addition to my little mini collection, looking forward to more next year if you are up to it Swap Muma Chez??? Thanks for all your hard work with this club Chez, we all have had such fun and have beautiful minis to decorate our homes with thanks to you! xx

Happy Days!
Tracee xxx

Friday, December 14, 2012

Made Me Think of YOU Chooky Blue

During my week in Ballarat I did a day trip to Geelong & the peninsular. It was a great day & I saw some lovely little towns & enjoyed the Geelong waterfront.

On the drive down I saw something that made me thing of our Stitch-a-long Swap mama Chooky Blue. They really tickled my fancy too so on the way back I decided to stop & get some pics of the girls for my delight & Chookies!

Bravo to The Happy Hens Egg Farm for their gorgeous girls!

Someone has worked very hard on these towering metal chooks.

My kind of art!

May your hens be happy too!

Tracee xx

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Ballarat Holiday

Hi all, back from my week's holiday in Ballarat & after 4 days at work this week it is feeling like a bit of a happy dream......
Many of you may will have seen posts on the pages of my gorgeous friends Shez from Enjoying Life and Melody from The House on the Side of the Hill. It was the first time I had met both of these glorious women & they are everything you would expect from reading their blogs - caring, sweet, extremely humerous, generous, loving & at times a little mad (zany mad definately not angry mad!). To say I fitted in well with that last attribute would be an understatement....

So what do three quilting bloggers do when they get a day together?

Hug, laugh,  talk, laugh, shop, talk, laugh, eat, laugh, talk, shop, laugh, talk, shop, talk, laugh, shop, talk, laugh, hug, hug, hug! Doesn't that sound like the best day.

We started our big day out at Spotlight, went to the local shopping centre (newsagent - quilting mags!), spents ages with Gail at Gails Patchwork Emporium & had a tour of the rebuilt shop, lunch at Such & Such giftwares & cafe, a visit to the stunning Ballarat Patchwork & the delightful homewares store next door, a visit to Eureka Patchwork & finally a visit to Lincraft. What a great day & the company made it extra special!
We did make the occasional purchase & in a later post I may tantilise you with some of the goodies I brought. With such precious cargo I had it all in my hand luggage trolley case for the trip home. I was one of the lucky people picked for the explosives residue check & the security man opened my hand luggage, looked at my magazines, fabric, patterns, braid, ric-rac, yo-yo maker & little already made yo-yos etc & asked 'What is all that?' I very indignantly said ''That's my sewing!' He couldn't do anything for laughing & sent me on my way with '├Łou enjoy'. That I will....
So a big thank you my two special friends for your hospitality & can't wait until we can do it all again!
Tracee xx

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekends With Brunnie =^..^=

It's a CATastophe friends! Things going pear shaped for Hun-bun & Brunnie!

Muma got out the suitcase. Brunnie say 'where we going muma?

'I'm going to Ballarat', muma says. What muma mean she going to Ball-a-rat - without Brunnie!

Hun-bun says 'don't panic old Brun cat, Dad's cat sitting'. Brunnie say 'but why muma going to Ball-a-rat, you brought muma a rat Hun-bun not many sleeps ago & muma not even like the rat, so why she want to go Ball-a-rat?'

Muma say 'Don't worry Brunnie, Pop look after you & Hun-bun and muma go to a town called Ballarat & visit with Aunty Shez & Aunty Melody'. Ahhhhh that will make muma purr seeing Aunty Shez & Aunty Melody, makes more sense to Brunnie now.

But why Brunnie not going to Ball-a-rat to see Aunty Shez, Aunty Melody & the girly whirlies??? Why Brunnie have to stay with Hun-bun & have no muma to snuggle with at night......

Brunnie leave a little parcel of fur in the zipper to remind muma of me while she away. Brunnie say 'hurry home muma & bring me a present!'

Heavy sigh...
Brunnie xx

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SSCS Decoration

Hi all

While it is steaming hot over the Eastern States of Australia, Perth is having rain, hail, storms and cool nights. The hail stones almost made it look like snow last Saturday.

Now we have had storms for the last two days again & last night while I was finishing my last Christmas Angel swap present, we had a blackout. Even that couldn't stop me getting those last stitches done & I'm sure many a quilter in days gone by has stitched and tea dyed their work by lamplight only.

I have received my SSCS swap from a blogger new to me, Michell from Michell's Place in New Zealand. Michell has a lovely festive blog going at the moment so pop over & visit.
I have put my main SSCS pressie away for Christmas & opened my very large decoration present. It would be best described as a present extravaganza!

Not only is there a gorgeous little gingerman decoration but also a ceramic snowman decoration, a kitty tea bag holder (purrfect!), some embossed Christmas gift tags, a box of 25 kitty Christmas cards (even more purrfect!!) and a culturally Kiwiana New Zealand 2013 Calendar. Being Kiwi born I love having Kiwi calendars in my house & this one is gorgeous. Totally beyond spoilt I say!

Thanks very much to Michell for my lovely gifts, can't wait to open the sewn gift too.

I see I have just ticked over 100 followers too. I was planning to have a giveaway when that happened but with work tomorrow, payroll & paying accounts for the club I do Treasurer for tomorrow night and then flying out on holiday for a week first thing Saturday morning, I will have to leave it until when I come back. Thanks though to all those who have signed up as followers, those dear friends who comment on my posts & the readers who I hope will become followers, commenters & friends in the future. Watch this space in a couple of weeks time for a close to Christmas giveaway! 

Happy swapping!
Tracee xx

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beginning To Feel A Lot like Christmas....

Looks like most of us are busy Christmas crafting, either for swaps, for friends & family or to decorate for Christmas ourselves.

Last night I started a new stitchery (no I haven't finished all the others, yes the one I was doing is for a swap too & I will get back to it) as I couldn't resist the free Christmas Tag patterns Bronwyn Hayes from Red Brolly posted as a freebie yesterday.

Here's my effort during 3 hours of Criminal Minds last night (I did wander off & look at real estate for awhile too...).

If you haven't been to the Red Brolly blog, click here to go check out the four designs & download your own copy.

I have also finished a lovely Christmas tablerunner - so happy & bright, 1 for me & 1 for a swap.

It's gorgeous with the yo-yos at each end. I made mine with the large Clover Yo-Yo maker & they were superfast to make. (do you like my new polka dot slippers for summer?).

This pattern is called 'Believe' by Marg Low. I first noticed it here on Barb's blog, made in the very pretty Quite Contrary range of fabrics. I knew it would be the perfect pattern for my swap partner so asked about it & before I knew it the original pattern was in my letterbox.

What a sweet & kind thing to do.  So to continue in that spirit, if you would now like this gorgeous pattern, the first to say so in a comments will get it. Let me know you want it & I will reply asking for your mailing address & post tomorrow. There will be plenty of time to still make this up for this Christmas or ones to follow.
The boys had a lovely evening last night. First Hun-bun basked in the last rays of sunshine on top of the reticulation valves ....
Then it was heads down & tails up for a fish dinner. Yes, that is a towel under their bowls, they are very messy eaters especially Hun-bun who sometimes likes to trial his food on the tip of his paw, if OK he eats it from there, if not, he shakes his paw & puts sticky bits everywhere. Brunnie is just regular old man messy.
Then they were joined in mutual admiration for the gas fire. Fancy a 30+ day in Perth cooling down enough for jumper & socks for me & the gas fire on half for the boys.
This is about the closest I have ever seen my boys, they are not ones to snuggle together, much to my dismay. It was a little too close for Brutus's likely, Hun-bun has just closed his eyes after giving Brunnie a bit of a swipe across the back of his head - he can be a little bu**er that Hun-Bun!
Happy Sunday!
Tracee xx