Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008 Finishes

2008 was a dead loss for finishes once the first flush of UFO stitching was done, that's for sure! I think that I had a confidence knock that was so hard at the beginning of the year that I wallowed a bit too much for my own good.
Silly me!
Still, it's nice to look back and see what I did achieve.

January 2008

'Frederick the Literate'
adapted from a painting by Charles Wysocki

Date originally started: 16th December 2004 (about 150 stitches)
Date restarted: 2nd January 2006
Date finished: 1st January 2008 (13.50hr Australian Eastern Time)

By Joan Elliott for Design Works Crafts, Inc.
(Design Works Kit #9294 & Leisure Arts Leaflet #2871)

Date originally started: September 2002
Found as a UFO: 26th October 2006 (a two days' stitching added)
Colour chart purchased on EBAY in 2007
Hauled out yet again: 2nd January 2008
Completed: 9th January 2008

Sand Castles
Number 2 in the collector's series: By the Sea
featured in Cross Stitch & Country Craft, June 1989.

Date Started: 25th May 2007
Date Completed: 21st January 2008
Stitched on white 14ct Aida using 3 strands of DMC cotton floss.

February 2008

For Genevieve, my sister - her Christmas 2007 gift finally finished!

For Danielle, my niece - a gift for her 20th birthday on Saturday, 2nd February

July 2008

Living with Charm

Deigned by Lizzie Kate
Stitched with Sampler Threads & Weeks Dye Works
on 32 count Lambswool by Wichelt.

Date started: 24th June 2008
Date finished: 16th July 2008
Date framed and on the wall: 19th September

Monday, 29 December 2008


Guess what's visting us right now?

It's just rain, even though winds were predicted. I suspect it will do the garden good rather than the house any damage. The days are hot++

The nights are close feeling - you know that humidity where you feel like you are breathing under water?

We walk early in the mornings (everything to combat the Christmas spread) and swimming in the afternoons. I'm humouring The MOTH by putting on the air-co during the day, even though I will have to go back to work without one in a few weeks.

Harry has just learned how to swim, so today we played 'fetch' with Lucy and Harry in the pool. They will sleep really well tonight! LOL

Life's pretty good at Castle Bliss.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Queen of the Seas - Update No 5

" There is a time for everything.."
It's nice to have stitching time again!
It won't last, as life gets hectic again in a week or so.

Friday, 26 December 2008


Watch out ladies, you may need to think twice about scent spritzing before heading to the office.

A Detroit judge is allowing a US woman to proceed with a lawsuit claiming a co-worker's perfume made it difficult for her to do her job.

Apparently the woman has provided significant evidence that her breathing is affected by her colleague's perfume. A Chemical Sensitivity Foundation spokesperson has backed up the case telling the Detroit News that "perfume sensitivities are very real," and "are ruining" many lives.

Interesting, huh? I'm allergic to perfume so have great sympathy for the lawsuit claim. My life is unbearable when I'

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas Day Report

Our day was most pleasant. We started it with the Shepherd's Mass followed by ham on toast for breakfast. I then got stuck into cooking our lunch.

Everything came to a halt at 11am so that we could go visit & drink a glass of champers with my Aunt and her family. It was nice.

Then, back at Castle Bliss, the oven went back on, The Living Doll & her partner and The Crown Princess & His Fair Lady arrived, and we soon sat down to a wonderful spread of turkey, ham, assorted veges followed by caramel tart, cherry topped cheesecake, homemade white rocky road, champagne and lots of love and laughter.

That was our day. It was quieter than some, but marvelous all the same. We did a big family event on Sunday with my sisters (should I call them the Drama Queen Quintet? - they are a lovely group of women), their families, the Crown Princess & Her Consort and the others above (sadly, the Cadet Princess was in Townsville).

The MOTH & I stumbled tiredly but happily into bed about 10pm last night, very pleased with the day. If I had died during the night last night, I'd have died the happiest I've ever been. Great, huh? I'm relieved to report, I'm still alive and still very happy this morning. Chuckle.

During the day, we had several phone calls from various my absent off-spring, but not a sound, card or gift (nor a thank you) from the MOTH's boys. Paul hasn't heard from them in months (no Father's Day, no Birthday, no Christmas Day, no thank-you for various birthday or christmas gifts either). It's sad.

Having said that we've had no contact, we're thinking of changing the date of our April 2010 holiday (the one celebrating my 50th birthday that 'clashes' with the MOTH's eldest son's wedding) to June 2010. It's the best we can do. I'm not happy about it, but will be gracious about it for the sake of family peace. I'm relying on The MOTH's mother's phone network (you know mothers-in-law) to make sure the message reaches the boys.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the Christmas season.

It's time to start thinking about a new year's resolution list. This year's was pretty successful (stop smoking, lose weight, get fitter). It's nice to have some wins.

Love, happiness & laughter to one and all,


Thursday, 18 December 2008


The MOTH & I went to see the film this evening. Having lived in the west and the north for a large proportion of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed it, not even noticing that it was quite a long film.

Check out the trailer to learn more about the movie. It's worthwhile to see.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Monday, 15 December 2008

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Christmas Mail

I was delighted to receive an envelope from Berta, my SAL mate, the other day. Thank you, dear friend, for taking time to make me such a beautiful card, choosing a special gift and for sending it all the way to Australia. It's very much appreciated.

Christmas organisation is coming slowly for me, this year. What with the mess and moisture & assignment deadlines, I've done nothing about my Christmas & newsletter posting yet. This morning, however, I am off to the city with the Crown Prince's Fair Lady to finish the girlie gift shopping. My darling young son is turning 25 on Tuesday, so I want to get him a birthday gift, too, and Nadia can help me choose something appropriate.

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


P.S. Sunday: Nadia broke the strap on her shoe while we were out yesterday. She bought a replacement pair in which to walk around for 4 hours. As only a tall, 25 year old can do without getting crippled for life, those shoes had 4" inch heals. I was impressed!

Friday, 12 December 2008

My Christmas planner

Not quite sure how you’ll survive the run-up to yet another family Christmas? Just follow the lead of Pat McDermott, writer for the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine, for she has a cunning plan which I have adapted to suit my family …

Well, what’s the state of play at your house, with Christmas only a few weeks away? Gifts neatly wrapped, fruitcake doused liberally with rum, the Christmas tree a picture of elegant simplicity?

I’m told that there are houses like this, where freezers are stuffed with mince tarts and sausage rolls already, and refrigerators are crammed so tightly with champagne and legs of ham that to pull out one small pot of mustard would trigger an avalanche.

I have a feeling that perhaps your place is more like mine – a tangle of fairly lights and good intentions. Don’t worry. Here’s what we’re going to do.

December 1: Put the first draft of the proposed Christmas Day schedule on fridge door. This is so big kids and their girlfriends and boyfriends can start the delicate negotiations that will eventually decide whose parents they visit first and who they visit last.

To estimate how long they’ll stay at each, the simplest formula is to divide traveling time by the size of the Christmas lunch they have to eat and then factor in the number of cousins coming up the front path carrying cases of beer. Then add 30 minutes of impromptu games of cricket and Trivial Pursuit.

December 4: Today, you and I post Christmas cards. Any earlier and you look needy, any later and it looks like you panicked when you got a card from someone you didn’t remember. Put the second draft of Christmas Day schedule on the fridge. According to the big kids, there’s now a seven minute window of opportunity at 3.23pm on Christmas Day. We’ll have to eat fast.

December 7: It’s time to take little children to see Santa (an elf once gave me a lolly when I agreed to get off Santa’s knee so my four-year-old could climb on instead). It’s not the right time, however, to take a baby on a long flight to see Grandma. For one thing, there’s no truth to the rumour that alcohol affects breast milk. The Crown Princess once stayed extremely wide awake for six hours despite the three generous glasses of chardonnay I enjoyed somewhere over the Pacific. A much better idea is to invite Grandma to visit you. Then she can do your ironing.

December 12: It’s about now that school breaks up for the summer vacation. The kids away at university descend on the spare room which used to be their bedroom. Go Christmas shopping, but do not buy a trampoline. The thrill of a broken wrist wears off fast and then the only thing they’re good for is drying sweaters. I wouldn’t buy a battery operated choo-choo train again, either. It’s well nigh impossible to listen to It’s A Small World After All 23 times in a row without losing control.

Tack up third draft of Christmas Day schedule. The big kids have moved the window of opportunity to 9am. I know that Crown Prince can eat roast turkey and plum duff with brandy butter for breakfast, but will anyone else?

December 16: Stop the world … today is Crown Prince’s birthday. We pretend Christmas isn’t happening! This year he is 25 years old.

December 17: The world has two sorts of people – those who decorate Christmas trees slowly and carefully, and those who dance wildly around the room, breaking ornaments and hurling tinsel. Every family has some of each. I always make the MOTH (Man of the House) go to his room.

December 21: Turn over and go back to sleep. Today’s the day that the extended family arrives for Christmas drinks and a spot of sarcasm. Smile brightly, be nice, and spike the punch if necessary.

December 24: I found that when taking little people to church on Christmas Eve, it’s best to choose one with thick carpets and a boisterous congregation. No one can hear you scream over the carols.

According to the final Christmas Day schedule, the big kids will be at our house and awake around 2pm. They want prawns and ham and no weird salads. When we open presents a few things won’t fit and someone will break one of the good wine glasses, but if all goes to plan, it will still be the best Christmas ever.

And now it’s time for your and I to go to bed or Santa will never come.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Monday, 1 December 2008

A smile that lit up the night sky

I feel better already!

The world may be facing its worst economic turmoil in decades & my house may be a mess, but the heavens smiled on Australia tonight. A rare cosmic alignment tonight produced a smiling face - or an emoticon, depending on your generation - high over the country. Technically, it was called a conjunction. From soon after 7pm until just before 10pm (AET) the planets Venus and Jupiter stared down from the western sky like two brilliant eyes. Directly below, the crescent moon formed a happy mouth.

It was very spectacular! The Crown Prince, dogs & I went out for a walk in Brookfield park to get a good look at it. I felt like the gods were smiling upon us!

Apparently, there was an upside-down sad face visible on the morning of April 23, 1998 (my 38th birthday). I don’t remember it.

Tonight's heavenly show was a fleeting Aussie event (there was no smile on the US or Europe) that will not happen again until the early hours of July 21, 2036 in Australia or until Nov. 18, 2052 in the Northern Hemisphere.