Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Happy Dance No. 2 - 2009

Queen of the Sea
By Joan Elliott
Date started: 28th October 2008
Date finished: 29th April 2009 (21.30hrs Australian Eastern Time)

It still needs a wash, and probably the removal of excess Labrador Retriever 'specialty fibres', but here it is in all its glory. I'm so very pleased with it!

Thanks Joan for making it possible.

Thank you everyone in the cross stitch blogworld for your wonderful encouragement! I would never have started, let alone finished it without your egging me on.

Hugs, happiness & laughter to one and all,


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Stash Acquistion Beyond Life Expectancy

Feliciy & The Living Doll (Princess No. 2) at Saturday's Beaudesert Races.
Don't you love the hat? The princesses took me shopping on my birthday night before we went to dinner.

I've had a birthday & I've also been stash shopping! Paula made me do it! We chat a couple of times a week & browse the various blogs together, or look to see what online shop has new stash. LOL

Claire unwittingly aided and abetted by showing off her gorgeous Isabelle Vautier cats and directing us to the Grand Marquoir site. Visit Claire's site just for the wow of her work. It's simply gorgeous!!!

Some of the stash sent to me for my big day

Most of my shopping was fabric for a couple of up-and-coming projects (e.g. The Grand Marquoir and a piece of Queen Anne's Lace that I raved about in another entry) or floss needed to do same projects - lots of DMC 838 and 840.

Nevertheless, send prayers that the shopping-for-stash gene mutates & becomes weak or dormant or it has an extinction switch that goes off when one turns 50. I've really got more than enough S'BLE. LOL

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


Saturday, 25 April 2009

Wounded Soldier's Return

The following is an exerpt from the Goondiwindi newspaper. It's an account of my grandfather's return from war (after being injured at Gallipoli) on 15th December 1915. This man was the first in Goondiwindi to enlist & the first wounded to return.
I reproduce it in loving memory of
Private Stanely Graves
1895 - 1974

Goondiwindi last week did honor it's fist wounded soldier, Stanley Graves, son of Mrs. and Mr. J. B. Graves. Not through the fact he was wounded was the welcome bestowed, but owing to the fact that he had returned after doing battle for us - actually fighting for each and every one of the inhabitants of Gooondiwindi.

He fought that we and ours
Might still be free;
Young, ardent, brave, he shared
He went where duty bade him go,
He risked his life against the foe,
Then - crippled in the strife -
Returned from camp and warfare grim,
Where foed had robbed of a limb,
To those who welcomed him

And the form the wecome took showed a real mark of appreciation. The welcome was accorded an unassuming youth; not a braggart; not a person seeking notoriety. He had left Goondiwindi some twelve months agao after having lived a free and unfetted life. It was for the principal of the liberty of the individual against the despotism of the State that he enlisted, and in doing so, he not only responded to the call of the motherland, who called her sons from the uttermost parts of the earth - right from the ragged ends of civilisation - but pleased us, and the extent of our gratification was vented upon his return.

Arriving on Tuesday night, he was met at the station by the Mayor of Goondiwindi (Ald. F. Baker) and many of the leading citizens , and needless to say innumerable friends. Alighting from the train Private Graves was escorted to a motor car placed at his disposal by Mr. Norman Low, where the Mayor formally welcomed him, remarking that he regreetted having to welcome him as a returned wounded soldier, his wounds were only the scars of honour.

On Wednesday, Private Graves was accorded a civic welcome in the Town Hall, where the large room was packed by representative genlemen of the town and district. His worship, the Mayor presided, and several persons spoke to the "health of the guest." The proceedings were most enthusiastic, and were patriotically carried out.

Private Graves in responding made a sensible appeal for the stimulating of recruiting, tracing events to show the necessity for enlistment of every available man.

On the following evening a public welcome was extended the returned wounded soldier, and the seating capacity of the School of Arts was taxed to the utmost. Mr. Fred Gore (Chairman of the Waggamba Shire Council) presided on this occasion, and was supported by several town and country representatives. During the evening, several sons were rendered, being interspersed with dancing.

On Tuesday evening, the 21st, Private Graves was accorded a welcome by the member of the Oddfellows Lodge of which order he is a member. Private Graves will remain in Goondiwindi for some time, and is the wish of all that during his stay he will still further recoup.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my shape to keep.
Please no wrinkles, please no bags
and lift my butt before it sags...

A little divine intervention never hurts!

It's St George's Day and this cross-stitching dragon's 49th birthday.
The above few lines were on the birthday card from my friend, Linda.

It's also the day I pull a name out of the hat for my stash giveaway. Is your name in the draw? The only criteria to be eligible is that you have to have commented some time on my blog before March 23, 2009 (my blog anniversary). You've probably another 24 hours to get your name into the box as I won't be checking online again until tomorrow.

I love the celebration of life (sunshine, warts and all). In my stash pile, I've got a chart that says 'Celebrate Everything'. What great advice! I try to make family member's birthdays a special day every year, and mine is no exception. I don't work on Thursdays. The MOTH also has the day off, so we are meeting friends & the cadet princess for lunch. Later, I'm having dinner with the royal family - The MOTH has a meeting, so won't be there.

I'll update this blog entry with winner details & stash enhancement once I have opened the pile down by The MOTH's side of the bed. Thanks to everyone who emailed, sent cards and / or parcels.

Happy birthday to Cindy-Mae who also celebrates today.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


With The MOTH

P.S. 10.30pm addition. I have had a lovely day. The photograph above was taken at lunch. The Cadet Princess put together the hat. Thanks everyone for the well wishes. Before I fall tiredly into my bed, I must tell you that my kids spoilt me rotten tonight at dinner, right down to a surpise birthday cake with candles at our fave pub's restaurant. I also got some lovely gifts. Why am I at all surprised that my lovely 'DIL' gave me a red g-string. LOL. Very funny!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Happy Dance No. 1 - 2009

Three Hearts
a needle & Fred design

Ellen M. Hurtado

Stitched on: 28 count Antique Lavender (Wichelt Linen)

I can't quite believe that this is my first finish, not only for 2009, but also since July 2008! Where has the time gone?

It's not my fave piece, that's for sure, but it's done! Oh happy dance!!!

Happiness & laughter to one and all,



Hi All.

Remember me? I'm the person to whom many of you have sent a letter almost you thinking that it was going to the big black hole of 'nowhere'. Thanks everyone for persisting.

I've finally come up for air this week. It's Autumn break and I have bought stamps and intend to put pen to paper and write.

Not that there's lot to write about.

I think the media forgets about women of a certain age simply because our lives are like Forest Gump says: one peanut butter sandwich after the other. Not all of us can be like Madonna and dump our rich and rather dishy husband for a signifcantly younger and dirtier married man, buy another baby, submit to more physical torture in either a gym or under the surgeon's knife to look better OR buy a 13 bedroom (train shaken) mansion in Manhatten.

No, no. If you are like me, the kids are less dependent (though they come and raid the fridge or pantry now and again on weekenends). You are quietly enjoying the change of the season, looking forward to wearing different clothes (albeit ones you wore in years past & are secretly relieved they still fit), contemplating potting mix, how the pets will adapt to the weather and trying out new recipes for the man you've been keeping happy since Madonna was married to Sean Penn.

It's truly a beautiful life. Yes we miss the kids and wish we had the $$ that Madoon has (cos it's obviously not keeping her happy) and our boobs are sinking ever south further than our Triumph bras can rescue, but what the heck! LOL

I won't write more now. I'll go attack the pile.

Warmest post-Easter wishes to one and all.

Felicity in Brisbane, Australia.

Friday, 10 April 2009

The Rose Garden - Update No. 7

And now for something completely different...

I want to wait until a finish to show you more efforts on the Queen of the Seas, dear readers, so I figured I needed to do a little stitching on something that I can present. Consequently, I've spent the week working on different projects, for a change - The Rose Garden and Three Hearts.

Voila! A picture of The Rose Garden. Search back and you will see that it's just over a year since my last update. Oh boy! I haven't added a pic of Three Hearts. Blogger is being temperamental about adding pics today.

While I've happily progressed from aida to evenweaves, but I'm not particularly fond of working on linen. Nevertheless, these projects gradually advance towards the finish line.

My big news is that I have been through the stash pile (smaller than some people's, larger than others) and have found a 'new' favourite fabric. It's called Queen Anne's Lace. It was given to me a few years ago but looked a putty colour in the package. I finally took it out of its wrappers the other day and found, to my surprise, a beautiful piece of hand dyed green fabric. I'm going to start my Rules for Happiness again using this fabric, when I finish my mermaid. Er ... and when I've finished at least one chair on my SAL that has sadly been languishing on the shelf.

Happiness & laughter to one and all. Enjoy the Easter break, if you do Easter.


Sunday, 5 April 2009

Harry at 12 months

This blog entry has absolutely nothing to do with stitching and should probably go straight to publication over at Daily Bliss, but I'm in a sharing mood.

I know, I know. It's another picture one of our dogs. But, but, but... He's a beautiful dog. Gorgeous to look at, as dogs go. Gorgeous nature, and, having chewed up the obsolete watering system in our garden, he hasn't chewed up anything but kibble and bones since he arrived in June last year. He's also getting me fitter than I've been in years.

For those of you new to my blog, meet the birthday boy: Henry Bullwinkle Davies, aka Harry. Knowing that a dog's a dog and not a human being, he's the surprise of my life: a wee bit of love I would never have expected. I was hoping for grandchildren. I'm sure to get them one day. Thanks to him, the princesses and prince are off the hook for at least another 5+ years. They are breathing easy and always keen to give him (and Lucy, who is more Paul's dog than mine) a warm pat when they drop in.

Did I mention that I'm in a sharing mood? Apart from a doggy birthday, the news is that I'm on vacation for 2 weeks from 4pm Monday afternoon. I finished an exam on Friday (pure maths), have to be at the college for an afternoon lecture tomorrow - and then I'm free for gadding around. College and school teaching are in recess at the same time. Woo hoo!

The MOTH has just this moment (as I'm blogging) asked me if I want to go to London & Paris with him when he goes in three weeks. I've surprised myself by saying no. It's going to be a rush trip (only for a week for him to attend meetings). I'll pop over with him next time, but organise to stay a week or two longer, as we did for a Canada trip, last year. I must be getting old or senile, or both! Then again, we are talking about popping over to London from Brisbane, Australia, not from Glasgow or Helsinki, both of which are just a hop, a step and a jump away, in comparison. Besides, we have a holiday trip planned for July. We are going to New Zealand. We might even get in some skiing. I am being a patient lady (for once in my life. LOL.

It has been a very weird 18 months. I suspect that it has brought changes that will move me in directions I never thought about. I've chucked my study program, am thinking about moving away from Castle Bliss, the home I have been renovating for the last 3 years (but not away from The MOTH) and am in the process of applying for new jobs in teaching. What's the famous quote? “In times of change learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists (Eric Hoffer)." I've lived and learned and worked out that the price to pay for the course I was doing was too high in terms of home and family. Some things are more important than others. I'm also totally useless at certain aspects of knowledge acquirement, but that's a whole blog entry on its own.

Today, I had late breakfast with the Crown Princess, the Living Doll & their partners. Afterwards, I went shopping with the girls, and the MOTH went off with the boys. Dear readers, there are wonderful times ahead for those of you whose daughters are still to reach their mid-20s. As my mother was infirm & died when I was quite young, I didn't have these times with her. I had no idea that these wonderful little trips are part of the post-teens years. It topped my weekend nicely.

I say 'topped' because I started my weekend on Friday with dinner with my older sister, Jane (the one whose 50th birthday I missed in early March). The Crown Prince then stayed overnight Friday night because he was conducting an orchestra in our village on Friday evening and again on Saturday. A very social time for me without the usual manic deadlines for distraction.

And so to holidays, my birthday later in the month and time to stitch. I hope you, dear readers, are finding some happiness, leisure and laughter in your lives at the moment. Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate.