Friday, December 11, 2009

One of Mother Nature's Jewels

Oooh isn't this beautiful beetle so shiny and green.
It is a Green Scarab Beetle (diphucephala sp.). Found it this morning and just had to take it's photo to show you. I love it's irredescent green colour.

It is also quite tiny........
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mailbox delivery..... and garden pretties

Hi everyone, it seems like absolutely ages since I last posted.
It's beginning to look a lot like christmas here .....lots of present wrapping,  decorating and christmas baking underway.  On Tuesday, I did a little christmas shopping at Sunshine Coast Plaza (one of those huge shopping centres) and it was oh so busy. I am so glad I live in a little country village away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.

Narelle is my swap partner for the christmas ornament swap (organised by Robyn and Clare). And look at the wonderful things she sent me. As you can see from the photo above, the little wreath is looking very christmassy on my tree. Thankyou Narelle.

Also, in the package Narelle sent, was a lovely handmade card, and some gorgeous treats.  Mmm the little chocolate pudding was delicious!  The gifts came in a beautiful gold and red organza drawstring bag. What a lucky girl am I. (The christmas ornament I made for Narelle, is still making it's way to outback queensland)

What's flowering in my sub-tropical garden at the moment? These beautiful white flowers above, are coffee tree flowers. They don't smell like coffee, in fact they have a beautiful jasmine/gardenia fragrance - just lovely as you walk past in the cool of the evening.

And also flowering beautifully are my blue hydrangeas. I just love that shade of blue, so soft and pretty.
Well my dears,
I am off to sip a cool drink on the verandah, it has been a very warm day here today.
Sandi x

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Redwork design

Hi everyone, I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek of my new project for 'Country Threads' magazine.
This is one of the cute little birdy characters, I wonder what he is up to..... :)
Don't know how that chocolate got there :)

Happy Stitching,
Sandi x
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mini Christmas Puddings

I'd like to share with you a gorgeous recipe sent to me by the lovely Maureen from CrazyQstitcher. I made these scrummy little puds over the weekend. They would be great to take along to a Christmas celebration.
You could make some of these now, and pop them in the freezer, as you know how hectic christmas time can be.

1 x 800g bought dark fruit cake
1 x 375g dark chocolate
small amount of alcohol (I used 1/4 cup Bundaberg rum)
small bar of white chocolate

Crumble the fruitcake, heat enough alcohol to moisten and flavour same. Melt dark chocolate and stir into cake. Both alcohol and chocolate need to be hot so the chocolate does not set.

Roll into balls and decorate with melted white choc and tizz up with green and red for holly. (I used some christmas sprinkles - holly leaves and berries).

If you put your index finger to thumb, this is the size of the ball.

Green/red cherries cut into little bits are good for holly leaves, ...or lolly snakes, jubes not rolled in extra sugar are okay too.
Puddings are very rich and will freeze.


Sandi xx
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Tawny Frogmouth and her baby

Nesting in our big tipuana tree between the house and railway carriage studio, we have a mother tawny frogmouth and her baby.... aww....isn't it cute. They are a night bird, similar to an owl. Mr tawny roosts nearby, and you can often hear them calling to each other during the day. They make a humming sound mmm...mmm....mmm.
The tawnies had a nest in the same spot last year, and had two babies (this year only one). Baby tawny stares down at you with it's big orange eyes as you walk past. :)
Cheerio for now,
Sandi x

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Picnic quilt progress

This is the picnic quilt that I wrote about, two posts ago. It is called 'Flowers for Thee' by the Chook Shed Pattern company. It is coming along. And it is a great portable project. I will re-arrange the blocks around when it is time to piece it together.
Happy Stitching,
Sandi x
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Sweet Treat for Dot

Hey, someone has to eat the leftovers  :)  scroll down.......

It was my MIL's birthday last week, so I thought I'd make her a basket, and fill it with some home baking.
I whipped up this cute little fabric basket following Pink Penguin's tutorial - very easy - I will make some more of these.

Then filled the basket with some little iced gingerbread men and stars.

Dot loved it!

Happy Days!
Sandi x
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sweet Friends, Bits and Bobs.

I had a lovely visit last week,  from one of my bloggy friends, Sandrine. She gave me a beautiful handmade soap that has the most wonderful blackberry fragrance...mmm yummy. (thankyou very much, Sandrine)

I went to the Brisbane Craft & Quilt fair recently, with some of the gals from the quiltgroup. I didn't buy much really, but I had a great day out looking at everything.

One of the fabrics I bought. It is Japanese and printed on both sides. There is the cherries/braid/strawberries on one side, then the blue check/polkadots on the other.

Hubby gave me an Angus & Robertson bookstore voucher he had been given, lucky me. Whilst looking in the bookstore, I found this lovely book, Material Obsession two, full of inspirational quilts.

I have started working on another quilt - 'Flowers for Thee' by the Chook Shed pattern company.  I found this (old) pattern in a magazine, at my quiltgroup's library. It has a lot of tartan fabrics in it. I will be able to use up a stash of tartan pieces that I have had for a very long time. The quilt is made up of a four-patch and an appliqued block that has a simple basket and heart on it. I think it will make a nice picnic quilt.
Happy Stitching,
Sandi x
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Strawberry Pincushion Tutorial

Would you like to make a strawberry pincushion? I will show you step by step, how to make these little cuties.
It is very easy. (This pattern will make two pincushions).

You will need:

::  8 inch square of red fabric
::  scrap of green felt
::  strong thread, sewing needle, scissors
::  stuffing
::  hot glue gun

Click here for the free pattern sheet for the strawberry leaf top.

Let's get started!
Draw a 7 1/2 inch circle on a piece of paper. Mark the diameter. Cut out the paper circle.
Pin to your fabric, and cut out the circle of fabric.

Cut fabric circle in half. This will make two pincushions. (one for you, one for a friend).

Take one of these pieces and fold in half. Right sides together. Pin. Draw a line in pencil along the straight edge, curving it just before the fold (see photo) - because you don't want to have a 'pointy' strawberry :)
Stitch along the line. Stitch second strawberry.

Next, turn the fabric right side out. (it will look like a cone). With doubled strong thread, sew a gathering stitch about a quarter of an inch from the top.

Stuff the strawberry firmly. Pull in gathering thread and tie in a knot. The strawberry leaves will cover the top of the strawberry, hiding the gathering and the small area of stuffing in the centre.

Cut out the strawberry top paper patterns (A) and (B).
Pin to the felt and cut out around the pattern. Or trace around the pattern with a white dressmaker's pencil. Then cut out. Cut out another set of leaves for the second strawberry.

Using the instructions on the pattern sheet, hot glue the strip of three leaves (A), and roll up to form the stem with three leaves attached. (be careful of your fingers with the hot glue - ouchy!) Open out the leaves, and glue the to the three flat leaves (B).

Glue these two together to form the strawberry top

Hot glue underneath the strawberry top and attach to the strawberry. After glueing the top on, I like to put a small dot of glue under each leaf to hold it down.

Voila! She is done!
I hope you will enjoy making this fun project. These cute little pincushions would make an ideal gift for a sewing friend.
Happy Stitching,
Sandi xx

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We Have a Winner

It is time to draw a winner for my 'Berry Nice' giveaway. Thankyou to everyone who entered, I enjoyed visiting all those blogs :)
Drum roll please:
The winner is Gudrun (from Iceland).

Sandi xx

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkins and Whirlygigs

Do you like my pumpkin? I made some of these for friends quite a while ago now. (but didn't get around to making one for myself). I had the fabric already cut out in the eight segments, plus the stalk, and then it was put away (and forgotten about). Well, I found the pattern and fabric recently, and finally made it. Don't know whether I'll use it as an ornament or a large pincushion. :)

These whirlygig blocks are adapted from a pattern I saw in a recent magazine. Their blocks were a zig-zag design, but just by using the block in a different way, I could make whirlygigs. The bonus with this block is that there are no templates, easy peasy!
Happy Stitching!
Sandi xx

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Berry Nice Giveaway

As part of the Blogtoberfest celebrations, I thought I would join in the festivities with a little giveaway. This is what one lucky person will win. A strawberry pincushion (made by me), two fat quarters of fabric, and three handmade strawberry buttons;  sweet.....

Just leave a comment below, and you can go into the draw. You must have a blog to enter. It will be drawn on 20th October. I am happy to post overseas.

Good luck everyone!

Sandi x
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Beach Day

Friends of ours were camping at Double Island, (north of Noosa), on the beach. So we packed a picnic lunch and joined them for the day. Great view from the campsite.

Catching the car ferry across the river, on the way there.

I got to fly my new kite. I saw a kite stall at a market a little while ago, and bought a bright rainbow coloured one. Hubby asked who I was buying it for, and I said 'me' - I had always wanted my own kite.
I had fun flying it :)

The campsite, tucked in under the trees.
We had a lovely day there, relaxing with our friends.
Whilst there, we saw several pods of humpback whales travelling north.
Hope you had a great weekend too.
Sandi x
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yesterday's Dust Storm

Erkk!  This is what it looked like here yesterday in our little part of the world, just after lunch. A huge dust storm covered a big part of eastern Australia.

This is a before photo, taken about a month ago.
Blue sunny skies today. Still a bit windy, but nothing like yesterday. Thank goodness that this phenomenon doesn't happen very often.
Cheerio for now,
Sandi x
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