Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why Swaps and Giveaway?

I've been pondering for a while, why we like swaps and giveaways.

One reason, is some of us, make many things and give as gifts, but often don't have friends or family who do the same in return. So swapping is one way of getting a "special hand made gift" we haven't made, but someone else has invested time into. We therefore appreciate the time and effort gone into it. Whereas when we make something, we're with it the whole process until it's complete - so getting a completed swap/gift in the mail is something special.

I'm swapping in different ways. In our local patchwork group we're swapping heart blocks every two months. We've done machine pieced hearts and appliqued hearts; the next swap is embroidered hearts and finishing off with crazy-patch hearts. I've swapped DJ blocks for fabric and other things.

You can read and see a photo at the bottom of Pam's post here of what I sent her recently.

Sometimes I reach out to someone just for the pleasure and offer to do something, maybe because it's something they can't do or would like to finish.

Then giveaways, there are so many wonderful and generous crafters and bloggers, so many things I would love to have, but the "dice" hasn't fallen my way yet!!

Giveaways are another form of giving, almost a "Pay-It-Forward" thing. Talking of "Pay-It-Forward" I've been working on my gifts that I promised. But I can't show any pictures yet.

Tell me why you like swaps and giveaways. Or if you can think of any other ideas as to why swaps are appreciated.


So here are two more giveaways.

Frummie is have a "Two 2 yard Giveaway"

Lurline is have a "Regency Dandy Giveaway"

Monday, August 24, 2009

View from my window

After seeing Pat's view from her window. I thought I'd show you a photo from my window, taken today. It has been going from showers of rain to sunshine all day. The cattle in the paddock belong to our neighbour.

Now you know that my "header photo" is in fact from my sewing room, taken in winter time. We have rainbows showing across the valley all the time.

I also decided to put in a photo of our other Golden Retriever, "Sam". He's getting on years - he's deaf, has an old husky bark and is 13 years old (in human years). "Kelly" has rich golden reddish fur, whereas "Sam" is the very blonde fur.


Khris is having a "50,000 visit" giveaway on her blog. She will give/make one of her dolls. There are so many talented ladies around in blogland.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pet photo's

I showed a couple of my daughter's photo's yesterday of our lambs. Today I thought I'd post a photo my son took the other week, on his digital camera, with it set on "sepia". It's of one of our two pet Golden Retriever's - "Kelly", taken on our front verandah. I just love this photo.


Quilt N Quilt Things is having an amazing giveaway on her blog in celebration of her 100th post.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another Lamb

We had another lamb born this week. This is a photo my daughter took of the lamb and mother.

The lamb born last week, now known as "Floppy Ears" is such fun to watch as it plays and runs around. This is "Floppy Ears" also a photo my daughter took.

"Civil War" give-away package

Elaine is once again hosting a giveaway this time a "Civil War" giveaway package. Those of us who love Civil War fabrics would all dearly like to be a part of this one.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fungus Doctor

I'm sure you're surprised to know that such an occupation exists!! A "fungus doctor".

We required his knowledge recently. My daughter noticed this very interesting fungus growing at the base of our retainer wall of our new extension. My son took a photo of it and wondered if his uncle would know what it is, who knows a lot of our native flora and trees, also does dieback mapping in the jarrah forrest here. However, he hadn't seen it before, so told my son that we'd need to send the photo to the "fungus doctor".

Here is a photo of it:

And this is what it is called: a cup fungus, Aleuria rhenana or the stalked orange peel fungus. The "fungus doctor" commented that it was a nice photo.


Karen is having a "giveaway" on her blog. There are so many wonderful and giving ladies in blogland. Karen comes up with some great "Tool Time" ideas!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friends across the world

It's amazing how friendships develop across the world, from sharing common interests and hobbies.

Rosa is one of those friends. She is celebrating her "250th blog with a Giveaway". So pay her visit and see what happens.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Treasure Box of Memories - Part 2

This is the progress I've made so far for the items for my Nanna Hill. If she was still alive - she'd be 105 years old, amazing to think of it that way.

The "Heart" booklet is based on a design from Bunny Hill designs. It's a free pattern for a Bunny Hill Needle Case that could be given as a valentine's gift. I'm not going to use it as a needle case, but will add cloth pages to write the family tree of my Nanna, some interesting facts and information about my Nanna and other things I think of as I go along.

She was widowed for 50 years, being widowed 13 years after she married, and was left with three children, including my Dad, who was 3 years old at the time. Nanna and Grandad had talked about emmigrating to Australia from England. She continued to think on this dream and made plans to set about fulfilling it. She worked hard to save the money to bring her family to Western Australia. It took her another 11 years to do this. I think she was an amazing women.

I will make a needle case as well and will use the Blackbird Designs "French Souvenir with the Eiffel Tower" as Nanna was fluent in five languages including French. Funnily enough I'll be able to put a needle in that needle case of my Nanna's.

About a month ago my mum was going through things she had been given from my Nanna's things, and there was some incomplete embroidery items, including a crinoline lady apron by Semco (details on it - R890 "Maid's Apron"). Threaded at the bottom and not even rusty, was the needle she was using. It still glides in and out of the fabric smoothly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Treasure Box of Memories

I loved seeing the different projects on Blackbird Designs using their Petites Lettres Rouges sampler. So decided I wanted to make a treasure box of memories for both my grandmothers and my mum, who all were talented at hand work, as I referred to in a recent blog.

The treasure box will include:

- a small sampler for each, personalizing with their own name
- a heart needlecase which will turn in to a “cloth book” with details of their ancestory, lives and their interests and some important facts
- a pincushion with design done by myself – after playing around with a “Cross-stitch program” I have on my computer – I found it was quite easy!!
- Somes photos of them as young women and their marriage photo
- Plus anything else I think of along the way.

Here is what I’ve started for my Nanna Hill, she passed into glory in 1989. I'm using "Duck Egg Blue" throughout the projects. She had her lounge room painted with this, had it in the upholstery fabric and on a floor carpet. Also a round mounted plate with an "old fashioned girl" in it on the wall.

First lamb for the season

It was rather exciting when hubby came in to declare our first lamb for the season had just been born late yesterday afternoon.

It's exciting because we didn't think we'd get any lambs, as the new young ram we got from our brother-in-law, died in May. We feel it was from a snake bite. We didn't know if he'd had a chance to perform his duty with the ewes. However, it seems all will be well for lambs this year!!!

It's fun watching them and how quickly they start trying to jump and run around, including trying to climb the base of a large pine tree!!

We're told to "behold (or look) to the Lamb of God" - the Lord Jesus Christ, who came as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. We no longer need the old law and sacrifices - they were a shadow of the reality; they were to point to the coming Messiah and Saviour.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One of my passions

It's interesting to see how many of us have more than one "crafty passion"!

I was 8 years old when I learnt to embroider in my school class. I remember the "big year 7 girls" coming over to help us out. It involved threading wool and sewing patterns on hesian bags. This is in the late 1960's. Both my grandmothers sewed, knitted and embroidered. My mother embroidered a new cushion cover while in hospital having each of us children. She also made all our clothes on the "good ole" Singer treadle sewing machine. It is still going and she still uses it. I used it days before I left home to get married, making my "going away outfit" on it.

Birthday presents and end of year class honour gifts to me, were embroider sets. I learnt knitting, then learnt to crochet when I was 12 years old, by a lovely old lady who lived up the street from us. She was so tidy and particular that I had to sit around the corner from the kitchen door on the back verandah. Makes we smile when I think about it. I then went home and taught my mum how to crochet. From my teens, due to "Home Ec" in high school and into my twenties, I did my own dress making.

Mid twenties I discovered cross-stitch. The ladies that served me, in the shop I bought my first kit, book and threads from, kindly warned me "it was addictive"!! They were exactly right. I haven't stopped. In amongst that I got into bobbin lace making, then patchwork and quilting.

My most recent cross-stitch was a gift to Kaaren. I made one for myself, only personalizing it for me instead.

However, I have many large and small one's on the go all the time. Many getting completed and moving onto the next. The last two "large" ones, completed last year, were the Dear Jane Cross-stitch designs by Linda Myers. They are "Quilt Sampler VI: leaflet 79" and "Quilt Sampler XIV: leaflet 92"
So, um Sew....many crafty passions. I can never say I'm bored and don't know what to do with myself!!


Here is a lovely giveaway for Lynn B’s one year blog anniversary. Another lady passionate about cross-stitch!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The worth of a week

I'm one of those people who likes to be organized and productive all the time. I write lists and think about what I want to accomplish, why and when. Most weeks it is tied down to a routine between family, ministry and personal time slots. Most Wednesday's can tend to be for me only, which means its craft time. But I do get other spots in the week. At night I do a lot of hand work while my husband is busy studying to all hours for preaching and sermon preparation.
Now I'm flexible enough to change my plans, when family, friends and church needs require. I look upon "interruptions" as "God's appointments." As ultimately God guides and directs my steps, so my plans my be "just my plans" for the time slot and not what He wanted.

But I must confess when lying in bed and losing days, because I'm sleeping and too weak and too fuzzy minded and in too much pain (my head felt like it wanted to explode at the throat!!!) to do any "sensible craft work", it is sooooo hard. I did pray a lot as I mentioned in my previous blog. I did get to think about things in the coming weeks. I did get to plan some things in my mind, but couldn't do anything with my hands. I think you know what I'm talking about, as I certainly have identified with different ones of you in your times of sickness and troubles.

I have turned a corner though, yesterday afternoon around 3:00pm I woke from a very deep sleep and felt "so much better". The pain had eased away enough that I could eat a whole sausage and mixed vegetables and swallow a full cup of tea. How wonderful that was? I had another and final antibiotic injection at the hospital this morning and my doctor was very happy to hear things were improving. So thankfulness to the Lord for His restoring power for another day.

So a week is valuable, whether I accomplish much of what I enjoy or if God's plan is to have me laid low, to restore me in His time.


I was able to quickly look at some blogs and found some friends have been busy planning also.

Elaine is have a second "Stimulus Package Giveaway"

Jenny is having a "Giveaway" including a Christmas stitchery.
Terry is having "A Hint of Pink" giveaway for reaching a milestone of 30,000 hits.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My turn to be unwell

A few posts back I talked of health, wellbeing and thankfulness, after being "Nurse Mum" on my rounds between my two children.

While I did the checking and giving of medication I had time to sit quietly while they slept and made the following:

It is a "Travel Case" pattern my friend Cyn sent me. A design from P3Designs. This designer has a couple of variations on this design.
It is very simple and cute. The cutting mat in the back pocket, is 7inches by 5inches, so it's a mini "travel case". Cyn very kindly sent me the mat. I hadn't seen that size mat before. Next time I'm near a large store I'd like to buy one of the mini rotaty cutters and a few other things to put in it as well.

However, as my blog title reads "it's my turn at being unwell."
It started just over 6 days ago. Initially the horrible symptoms of flu with fever and sore throat. Anyway it continued on to an extremely sore throat, that makes my head want to burst open, with all sorts of secondary pain in my teeth, jaws, neck, eye socket, ears and so forth. It is now quinsy. I've had to go in for antibiotic injections the last couple of days and more to come. My doctor said if our country hospital wasn't so full, as it is at the moment, he'd have me in hospital. I am struggling to eat and drink, let alone anything else.
- But I'm thankful I can get up, then quickly get back to a warm comfortable bed.
- I'm thankful for the "cariness" of my family. The kids have been fantastic, giving back their love and attention they received some weeks ago.
- Before I fall asleep again, I can pray for friends and their needs.
- I'm thankful the next breath God gives me and accept His purposes for my days, right at the moment. It includes not being able to go up to Perth with hubby for a preaching/teaching engagement he has in Perth. He'll take our daughter up, who will enjoy spending time alone with her grandparents, something she hasn't done before. My son will stay behind helping to keep things happening here on the home front.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pay It Forward

This is something I've seen a few times on different blogs and always thought it a lovely idea. When it came up on Janes blogs I seriously thought about it and the special committment I considered this to be.

This is the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on.

So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on the blog requesting to join this PIF exchange.

I do not know what that gift will be yet, although I have ideas mulling in my head!! and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise!

What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
I look forward to creating something special for the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post.