Saturday, 28 June 2008

Saturday in review ...

Framed!


Prairie Schooler's Bremen Town Musicians (modified).
The Crown Prince did a gap year in Bremen in 2002. As an already very good cellist, he played in about four orchestras while he was over there.


My very own, very special blissful creation & Bremen Town Muso with his picture.

The renovations for this round are complete!

Before

After

It's a dog's life

Last, but not least, a pic of Lucy & Harry.
They spend hours snoozing in the winter sunshine, moving from spot to spot around the garden.


They are just as cute when they are awake!

Cheers!

Friday, 27 June 2008

It has been a busy 10 days

Wednesday, 18th June was The Living Doll's 22nd birthday, so we had a chance to get a family pic

Lucy & Harry (13 months & 10 weeks respectively)

Renovations of the lounge room & library

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Guilty Start No.1


Living with Charm
Date started: 24th June 2008

This project, designed by Lizzie Kate, has been organised for a while even though this is the first you have heard of it. I started stash collecting the patterns, floss & fabric last year. So now that the mojo has returned, I'm starting it (I know me: I have a whole list of starts close together and then finish them over the next two years). The fabric & floss are mostly according to the plan (32 count Lambswool plus Weeks Dye Works threads). Above is Part 1 already stitched.

The fabric is gorgeous to work with & remarkably easy to see even though it's 32 count. I've never liked 32 count fabric before (though I guess a light coloured fabby is easier to see than a dark one). DMC has a nicer feel for stitching & seems a more robust thread, but I don't think this matters for the Weeks when the thread count of the fabric is so high.

Now, the only trouble is that there's a Lizzie Kate Christmas design that I'd like to do AND the housework sampler, too ...

What are you drooling over that you'd like to stitch, dear readers?

Bliss

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Three Hearts - Update No.2

It's cute, huh? The stitching mojo is back, so I can't wait to finish this so that I can get on with some 'real' projects.

Monday, 23 June 2008

I don't get it ...

Recently, someone very close to me had knee replacement surgery. She had had a sore knee for a long time (not one that actually slowed her down from what we could see) & she wanted the pain gone so that she could continue to be active in her life.

All that's good, but now that this person is home from hospital, she's had a turnaround of opinion & has decided that she's going to stay in her armchair and ignore all good advice about pain relief & exercise. She's afraid that her digesics are going to be addictive & she doesn't want to ride a stationery bike. The trouble is that at her age, this line of non-action will probably kill her!

I'm sorry to be rude or to rant, but to be honest, I'm both frightened and cross. I love her dearly & am not ready for her to give up on life.

The key is to keep moving but remember not to overdo it after any surgery! While this person can expect some good days and some bad days, she should notice a gradual improvement and a gradual increase in her endurance over the next 6 to 12 months if she follows the good advice of her doctors and physiotherapist, rather listen to all the scaremongering of the oldies at the place where she lives. It means that she should take pain relief & continue to do the exercises prescribed several times a day. At nearly 80 years of age, an addiction to digesic isn't really a worry (I wonder where she'd get an illegal supply after the doc stops prescribing it anyway). Riding a stationary bicycle can help maintain muscle tone and keep the knee flexible, but I'm sure that gentle walking will do if she doesn't want to ride the bike.

How do we help this person & get her off her stubborn butt?

Have you got any ideas? If so, email me.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Simple is Good

The idea of stitching something simple was a great one. 'Three Hearts' is coming along nicely, don't you think?

While the chart was a birthday gift & I've enjoyed stitching it, the finished product will be a perfect gift for someone special who I know reads this blog ...

I've also finished the fronts of The Crown Princess's cardigan. Tonight, I will take it over to her house (we have been invited for a BBQ) & will make sure that it fits before I start the sleeves.

I hope you are having a few wins too.

Bliss

Friday, 20 June 2008

Renovation Update


Before

Terry the Tiler at work

The walls have been painted. They have gone from dark green (& I mean dark green) to Berkshire White. The carpet is gone and we are in the process of being replacing it with chocolate tiles with cafe grouting. It's going to be fabulous!

Tomorrow the MOTH & I are going to be doing a lot of dusting in order to get the bookshelves looking as good as new.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Paula's Needlework Addiction

Meet my friend, Paula. She has greatly inspired me to stitch. She has has finally become a blogger. Please visit her site and make her feel welcome.

Paula loves the Mirabilia mermaids & overdyed threads and fabric.

These mermaids are gorgeous!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Bliss!



The darling MOTH sent me a dozen red roses today!
Thank you, my love.

Monday, 16 June 2008

I felt like Paris Hilton

No, not hungry ...

I took Lucy & Harry to the park tonight. The MOTH is in Perth, so it was a bit of a feat. I put Harry into my canvas shopping bag & lead the Luce to the park, where I then let puppy out. All went well until the first tree...

He's a male dog & he did what male dogs do.

I've promised Lucy not to take him again on a walk with her until he's a bit better trained or unless there are two humans to walk a dog each.

The "Four Seasons Chair" SAL

I'm joining another SAL with Margaret & Berta. Last year, we did the 'Frederick the Literate' SAL. The girls were such an inspiration!

I think this next project is a very pretty one. I'm going keep it simple & use 28 count white evenweave (I can't go wrong with that, can I?). More news as it comes to hand. For now, I'm waiting on a chart.

Meanwhile, the painting is looking good. I've chosen to continue with the Birkshire White (which is almost yellow) which runs throughout the rest of the house. I'm not putting any feature coloured walls into this room. I don't think it'd 'work' with the rest of the decor. I probably will when I come to painting what the crown prince calls 'The Cross Stitch Room' (it has 3 pictures on the walls - which is more than anywhere else in the house where no pics are hung cos I'm enjoying the paint for a while - LOL).

I've also chosen a new piece of fabric for my '5 Simple Rules' project. I yanked it out of the stash pile this morning, so have only a vague idea what it is - erm, query antique white 28 count linen. We'll all just have to wait and see.

Happiness & laughter always, folks. I hope you are enjoying the current weather wherever you are. It's glorious here in Brisbane at the moment.

Bliss

Friday, 13 June 2008

Friday evening ...

It's Friday evening and we have been home for 10 days already! The grass hasn't had a chance to grow. We've had our friend, Judy, stay for about 4 days, & had a dinner party for 10 people on Monday night, lunch with my Townsville friend, Betty, on Wednesday, we've brought Harry home (he's a planned puppy), organised the painting & tiling of our living room & library (Birkshire White is so much better than a dull green) & even found time for a job interview for next term's teaching. It has been a long week, really. I hope everyone else has had a good one!

Harry is such a delight. Poor ol' Lucy is exhausted - her eyes are positively red-rimmed. The puppy has run the Luce ragged (though when we mentioned a walk in the morning, Luce got all excited). Gypsy is in control! LOL That darned cat is not the slightest bit phased by a new dog in the household.

Tonight, we are having a quiet night at home sipping wine and watching a film. Paul has had an incredibly busy week at work & didn't get in until nearly 7pm. We're watching Mary Poppins (gosh I love London!). To be honest & to put it into perspective: Paul's snoring to the music of said film. Remember it (the film, I mean - Paul's snoring is another story all together)? Paul has had an urge to watch The Sound of Music (probably cos we saw a stage production of My Fair Lady whilst we were in Toronto), but we don't have it on dvd.

What plans for the weekend? We have none at this point except to decide between Jodphurs & barrister white for a paint colour. Paul's off to Perth then Melbourne on Monday for the week, so we are making the most of time together.

Next week, I've got a family busy time because the Living Doll celebrates her 22nd birthday on Wednesday, the Crown & Cadet Princesses have uni exams & William is gonna be in town.

Oh what a wonderful life we lead. More news soon.

Bliss xoxo

The Recipe of Life

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.

The students agreed that it was.

Then, the professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

Again, the professor again asked the students if the jar was full.

Again, the students agreed it was.

And so, it went on. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. Once more, he asked if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and get rid of the rubbish. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Renovations Phase 3


Yes, the #3 is the correct number. Last year, you read all about the kitchen, but what you didn't realise was that that was actually Phase 2 of the renovations of Castle Bliss. I spared you the gorey details of Phase 1. Today officially starts the third phase. Ughh, wish me luck (before & after photos coming soon)!

So what are we up to? We're painting and tiling the living room & library. Yes folks, I have a library in my house! When we bought Castle Bliss three years ago, we had three off-spring living with us full time plus another who came and went. Hence, we needed a palace large enough for the entire brood. Time passes, off-spring graduate, the house emptied. The dining room was 'converted'. Every book lover's dream!

Every car owner's dream will also come true at the end of this phase of work. We will be having a 'garage party' when we are done instead of the planned Christmas in July weekend. Our pile of tiles will be laid & there will be room for The MOTH's vehicle in its rightful place once more.

Renovations Phase 3, Crown Princess's Cardigan Part 2

Yes, the #3 is the correct number. Last year, you read all about the kitchen, but what you didn't realise was that that was actually Phase 2 of the renovations of Castle Bliss. I spared you the gorey details of Phase 1. Today officially starts the third phase. Ughh, wish me luck (before & after photos coming soon)!

So what are we up to? We're painting and tiling the living room & library. Yes folks, I have a library in my house! When we bought Castle Bliss three years ago, we had three off-spring living with us full time plus another who came and went. Hence, we needed a palace large enough for the entire brood. Time passes, off-spring graduate, the house emptied. The dining room was 'converted'. Every book lover's dream!

Every car owner's dream will also come true at the end of this phase of work. We will be having a 'garage party' when we are done instead of the planned Christmas in July weekend. Our pile of tiles will be laid & there will be room for The MOTH's vehicle in its rightful place once more.

While the work is in progress, I'm aiming to finish off the Crown Princess's cardigan that I started last year. I'm knitting her a 'tartan' (read: sea green) coloured cardigan in the style above. So far, I've done the back & half both fronts. Miranda is somewhat 'retro' in her clothes choice and is long & classically fine with dark eyes and black hair (I was often ased if, as a blonde, I was my children's stepmother or the babysitter) so this is going to look magnifique!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Thoreau in Practice


Harry is the 'Fearless Freddie' type of pooch. He's into everything and anything, going confidently in the direction of any whim, er ... dream. Today it was ' 1-2-3 jump off the metre high garden wall & bugger-the-consequences!!!' He survived.

My darling Lucy is living a 'mini me' or 'me and my shadow' scenario. She has the look like of a new mother ... kinda nuts. It's Harry, Harry, Harry all the way. Consequently, I cannot get a cuddle no matter how hard I try (The poor darling has no attention span for anyone or anything other than Harry).

Meanwhile, Gypsy is ignoring Harry & Lucy. Her intestines have not come into the equation at all. Both dogs paraded through the laundry door this morning on their way to the kitchen (they were typical Labradors on a quest for food). Harry met Gypsy in the hallway, so promtly waddled back totally unconcerned. Obviously, he's met cats before.

The MOTH & I are living life like an audience on the side ...

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Here Comes Trouble!



Meet Henry Bullwinkle Davies aka 'Harry'.



He was born on the 3rd April, & brought home today aged 9 weeks.



Gypsy the cat is gonna have her intestines explode when she comes back from her holiday at 'Princess Street'!



Originally, I wanted to call him 'Oliver' but it seems that that's already taken by future grandchildren.



Is he cute or what?



Visit my Daily Bliss page for more details.

Here Comes Trouble!


Meet Henry Bullwinkle Davies aka 'Harry'.

He was born on the 3rd April, & brought home today aged 9 weeks.

Gypsy the cat is gonna have her intestines explode when she comes back from her holiday at 'Princess Street'!

Originally, I wanted to call him 'Oliver' but it seems that that's already taken by future grandchildren.

Is he cute or what?

Visit my Daily Bliss page for more details.

Here Comes Trouble!


Meet our new puppy.

This little man's name is Henry Bullwinkle Davies - AKA 'Harry'. We wanted to call him 'Oliver Bullwinkle Davies' but it seems that that's already taken - the 'Oliver' part is, I mean. 'Oscar' & 'Jasper' were hot contenders on the list of possibilities. The MOTH & I have a fundamental difference of opinion in names for animals. I like proper names. He doesn't. And no, Harry Potter has nothing to do with the choice.

Is puppy cute or what?

He was born on the 3rd April, & brought home today, aged 9 weeks.

Gypsy Cat's intestines are gonna explode when she comes back from her holiday at 'Princess Street'!



In contrast, Lucy probably thinks all her Christmases have come at once. Well, that is until she realises that she's doing the night shift with him tonight! All the literature about labradors is that it's best to get a second dog whilst the first is quite young. This avoids 'jealousy' (for want of a better word). Lucy is 12 months old. Having said that, there is no equality, there is no democracy with dogs. There has to be a dominant dog; there has to be a subordinate dog. It won't take long to work out who's who.



Reality tells me our beautiful garden will never be the same again. Fortunately, The MOTH & I already spend a lot of time with Lucy in our local park just down the street.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Guilt Free Start No.4 - Keeping it Simple


I've come back refreshed from my trip & ready to stitch again. I rarely do quick & easy projects but since my disasters, I'm keeping stitching as simple as I can. I need a 'win'. One of the treasures I received for my birthday was this little cutie.

It's a A Needle and Fred designed called 'Three Hearts' (published in 2005). The fabric is a gorgeous 28count antique purple & the threads are a selection of Weekes colours.

What are you stitching at the moment, people? Let me know, huh?

Happy stitching to one and all.

Bliss

Guilt Free Start No.4 - Keeping it Simple


I've come back refreshed from my trip & ready to stitch again. I rarely do quick & easy projects but since my disasters, I'm keeping stitching as simple as I can. I need a 'win'. One of the treasures I received for my birthday was this little cutie.

It's a A Needle and Fred designed called 'Three Hearts' (published in 2005). The fabric is a gorgeous 28count antique purple & the threads are a selection of Weekes colours.

What are you stitching at the moment, people? Let me know, huh?

Happy stitching to one and all.

Bliss

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

We're Back!


The trip to Canada was fabulous. The MOTH & I had a marvelous time. We wined & dined our way East to West across the country, but thanks to a regime of walking at least 5 miles every day, we came back a little fitter than when we left.

As the days pass, I recover from jetlag & deplete the mountain of laundry, I'll post pictures of people we met, flowers we saw & places we visited.

Meanwhile, the life of more ordinary times (sounds like I'm describing the Liturgical Year) starts again next Tuesday when The MOTH goes back to work. Before then, we have a long weekend for Queen's birthday coming up (that woman has a lot of birthday celebrations around the globe each year, doesn't she?) & a buddy coming to stay for 4 nights.

Oh, & just so that you know, today is Hug Your Cat Day. Go ahead and give your cat a big, furry hug. Gypsy's hug will have to wait until she comes back from 'Princess Street' - i.e. the home of my 2 eldest daughters & the crown princess's consort. Miss Cat has lived a life of luxury & warmth while we were away.

Right now, it's off to do a little blog surfing to see what you have all been up to while we were gone!

Happiness & laughter always,

Bliss

Travel Itinerary in Review

10 May 2008 was all about travelling

(Brisbane - Los Angeles - Montreal)

Boy that was a long, long day! We left Brisbane at 11am, crossed several time zones & landed in Montreal at 9pm

Montreal Accommodation (4 nights)

Sofitel Hotel <- absolutely fabulous place to stay!

1155 Sherbrooke Ouest Montreal Telephone: 1 (514) 285-9000

15 May 2008

Montreal – Quebec Via Rail Canada (3 hours)

Quebec Accommodation: (4 nights)

Hotel Le Priori In the old town - very romantic
15 rue sault-au-matelot
Quebec City

19 May 2008

Quebec - Ottawa (Via Rail Canada) a half a day event

Ottawa Accommodation: (4 nights)

Lord Elgin Hotel Posh & comfortable. We were well looked after
100 Elgin St
Ottawa

23 May 2008

Ottawa – Toronto (Via Rail Canada) 4 hours

Toronto Accommodation: (1 night because it was so awful)

Fairmont Royal York
100 Front St W
Toronto

We then changed hotels to a Residence Inn nearby. It was marvelous.

27 May 2008

Toronto – Niagara Falls Via Rail Canada (2 hours)

Niagara Falls Accommodation: (Overnight)

Sheraton Fallsview Hotel Fabulous waterfront views!
6755 Fallsview Drive
Niagara Falls

28 May 2008

Niagara Falls – Toronto Via Rail Canada

Train 98 Departs: 17:45 Arrives: 19:36

Toronto Accommodation was same as above.

29 May 2008

Toronto - Vancouver (Air Canada 2 hours)

Vancouver Accommodation: 4 nights

Renaissance Hotel More fabulous waterfront views!

1133 West Hastings St
Vancouver

In: 29/05/08
Out: 2/06/08 (room available for late flight on 1/06/08)

1 June 2008

Vancouver - Sydney a surprisingly easy trip compared the one TO Canada

3 June 2008

Sydney – Brisbane

Lots of fog in Melbourne meant our original flight was cancelled. There was lots of water lying around in Brisbane as we flew over (evidence of unseasonal rain in large amounts)

Canada Trip drat

Travel Itinerary

10 May 2008 – 3 June 2008





10 May 2008 -



Brisbane - Los Angeles



QF 175 Depart: 11:05 Arrive: 07:00 (10/05/08)



Los Angeles – Montreal



AC 798 Depart: 13:00 Arrive: 21:02



Montreal Accommodation:



Sofitel Hotel

1155 Sherbrooke Ouest

Montreal



Telephone: 1 (514) 285-9000



In: 10/05/08

Out: 15/05/08



15 May 2008



Montreal – Quebec Via Rail Canada



Train 22 Depart: 12:30 Arrive: 15:30



Quebec Accommodation:



Hotel Le Priori

15 rue sault-au-matelot

Quebec City



In: 15/05/08

Out: 19/05/08



19 May 2008



Quebec - Ottawa Via Rail Canada



Train 25 Quebec – Montreal Depart: 13:05 Arrive: 16:04

Train 39 Montreal – Ottawa Depart: 18:00 Arrive: 19:57



Ottawa Accommodation:



Lord Elgin Hotel

100 Elgin St

Ottawa



In: 19/05/08

Out: 23/05/08



23 May 2008



Ottawa – Toronto Via Rail Canada



Train 43 Depart: 8:35 Arrive: 12:49



Toronto Accommodation:



Fairmont Royal York

100 Front St W

Toronto



In: 23/05/08

Out: 29/05/08

Booking Reference: 43603812

27 May 2008



Toronto – Niagara Falls Via Rail Canada



Train 97 Depart: 8:30 Arrive: 10:22



Niagara Falls Accommodation:



Sheraton Fallsview Hotel

6755 Fallsview Drive

Niagara Falls



In: 27/05/05

Out: 28/05/08



28 May 2008



Niagara Falls – Toronto Via Rail Canada



Train 98 Departs: 17:45 Arrives: 19:36



Toronto Accommodation:



Fairmont Royal York

100 Front St W

Toronto



In: 28/05/08

Out: 29/0508



Booking Reference: 43603812



29 May 2008



Toronto - Vancouver



AC 105 Depart: 10:00 Arrive: 12:00



Vancouver Accommodation:



Renaissance Hotel

1133 West Hastings St

Vancouver



In: 29/05/08

Out: 2/06/08 (room available for late flight on 1/06/08)



1 June 2008



Vancouver - Sydney



AC033 Depart: 23:55 Arrive: 07:55 (3/06/08)



3 June 2008



Sydney – Brisbane



QF518 Departs: 10:35 Arrives: 12:05

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

We're back!

The trip to Canada was fabulous. The MOTH & I had a simply marvelous time. We wined & dined our way across the country, but thanks to a regime of walking at least 5 miles every day, we came back a little fitter than when we left.

I think I found one craft shop in all my exploring (I assure you that I tried to find more) & only stitched on one occasion. I did, however, come home to a letterbox of stitching stash from friends belatedly honouring my birthday in April (photos coming).

The life of more ordinary times (sounds like I'm describing the Liturgical Year) starts again next Tuesday when The MOTH goes back to work. In the meantime, we have a long weekend for Queen's birthday coming up (that woman has a lot of birthday celebrations around the globe each year, doesn't she?) & a buddy (who is madly into scrap-booking) coming to stay.

Oh, & just so that you know, today is Hug Your Cat Day. Go ahead and give your cat a big, furry hug. Gypsy's hug will have to wait until she comes back from 'Princess Street' - i.e. the home of my 2 eldest daughters & the crown princess's consort. Miss Cat has lived a life of luxury & warmth while we were away.

Right now, it's off to do a little blog surfing to see what you have all been up to while I was gone!

Happy stitching,

Bliss

We're back!

The trip to Canada was fabulous. The MOTH & I had a simply marvelous time. We wined & dined our way across the country, but thanks to a regime of walking at least 5 miles every day, we came back a little fitter than when we left.

I think I found one craft shop in all my exploring (I assure you that I tried to find more) & only stitched on one occasion. I did, however, come home to a letterbox of stitching stash from friends belatedly honouring my birthday in April (photos coming).

The life of more ordinary times (sounds like I'm describing the Liturgical Year) starts again next Tuesday when The MOTH goes back to work. In the meantime, we have a long weekend for Queen's birthday coming up (that woman has a lot of birthday celebrations around the globe each year, doesn't she?) & a buddy (who is madly into scrap-booking) coming to stay.

Oh, & just so that you know, today is Hug Your Cat Day. Go ahead and give your cat a big, furry hug. Gypsy's hug will have to wait until she comes back from 'Princess Street' - i.e. the home of my 2 eldest daughters & the crown princess's consort. Miss Cat has lived a life of luxury & warmth while we were away.

Right now, it's off to do a little blog surfing to see what you have all been up to while I was gone!

Happy stitching,

Bliss