Saturday, 27 February 2010

Saturday mornings at Castle Bliss

The MOTH & I used to have a Saturday routine of "up early , walk the dogs, get fit, use up calories blah blah..." You know the good intentions. We've done it for years! Fortunately, poor Lucy and Harry have hot spot (skin infections) which mean we cannot take them out for walks at the moment, so we have had to change the routine...

Since our return from France, the Saturday activity has been "wake up as we wake (still about 5.30am in summer when it's light at 4.30am), shower and go to the Powerhouse museum vege markets for mushrooms, stuffed olives and great coffee and 'bugger the the dogs we'll walk them tonight!' " routines. What a life!

Today we followed the new regime & then headed to the south of Brisbane (we live in the way north West) in search of a garden nursery for supplies. What a wonderful and expensive mistake, dear readers. We arrived home with three triangle palms for the pool yard, a golden cane palm to fill a 'dead spot' in the back garden row, a hydranga because it was pretty, an olive tree because 'what the hell, we've spent a fortune, we may as well feed the cat another canary' and receipts for the leather lounge chairs for our family room and the back veranda dining setting which we have been searching for for about five years - all which seem like impulse buys but which are carefully chosen purchases we could never find, if you know what I mean.

As we were sipping champagne on our veranda chair to celebrate (not that we needed an excuse to sip champagne), it crossed my mind to ask you, dear readers, if you have ever had one of those days that seemed to fall into place but when you then analyse the situation you realise that that dream has been carefully planned and organised up to an inch of its life since Adam was was a nipper at Coogee Beach? Today was one of those days, for us.

Special, huh?

Nobody could afford it to happen too often, but goodness it was fun!

Happiness & laughter, one and all,


P.S. Yes, I put about a hundred stitches into the 'Seasonal Chairs' project this week, but then frogged them. Let's just say that I was having a van Gogh moment and put them in the wrong place. Waa!

Friday, 26 February 2010

I'm Weak - Updated

Blessings from the East

Paris Market

The Library
Designed by Little House Needleworks

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Blunt statement on my part

I'm probably having a fat day which makes me whine more than usual, but quite seriously Nora Corbett of Mirabilia Designs has either got an eating disorder or or a problem with fat people, folks. I really like some of her designs but the models are all so disgustingly anorexic! Do you think that we could approach her to design a few more 'womanly shapes' for her subjects - broader shoulders, bigger breasts and bottoms with proportional waists? As women we really should be complaining! If a man had designed cross stitch like this, we'd have been up in arms long ago.

I'm sick of the pre-pubescent look, to be honest. It kind of gives me the creeps in the same way that 40 year old men used to give me the creeps when they'd leer at my 11 year-old tall-and-skinny, flat-chested daughter dressed in shorts when we went to the beach.

Anyone got an email for her? Please email me so that I can get the ball rolling!

This is what I mean by 'real shape':

Joan Elliott's 'Queen of the Seas"
at least has well rounded boobs, nice waist and a gorgeous bedonkadonk!

Voluptuous Mermaids by Jill Oxton

Monday, 22 February 2010

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Time Out - Update No. 4

In order to avoid stitcher's butt
I'm going out for the day tomorrow and so won't be stitching.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Gee, I'm gonna miss you, darling!

The MOTH and I have been having a running (tongue in cheek) conversation about finances, this, last week or so. It goes something like:

"You spend $X on lunches five days per week, so I can spend the same amount on cross stitch stash, right?"


"I've spent $XYZ on my wine collection, today, Mme Bliss. That must translate into a kit or two from 1-2-3-Stitch, huh?"


The reality is that lunch & pocket money versus stash money cannot be equitable because that wouldn't leave enough room in our house for both stash AND The MOTH. Much as I love cross stitch I love The MOTH more. I'd miss him if trips to Woop Woop meant that he couldn't come home again because of lack of storage space. LOL

It has, however, kept us amused as we sip a glass of wine on our front veranda in the evenings watching the sun set over the hills.

What kinds of similar (totally without use) conversations do you have with the Man of the House, chez toi?

Claire, The MOTH is hoping you are on his side rather than pro-stash. LMAO

Time Out - Update No. 3

I haven't done this much stitching in months!
I'll have pressure sores soon. LOL

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Two Celebrations!


February 14 is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 320 days remaining until the end of the year (321 in leap years).

February 14 is internationally known as Valentine's Day, a holiday celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. In 2010, it is also “Lunar New Year" or Chinese New Year, usually something big in my family owing to Han Chinese origins. Oh happy day to all of you, however you are celebrating it!

The MOTH & I are traditionalists. We went the romance pathway today. We swapped cards, a dozen roses and I cooked a feast of Kashmiri roast lamb followed by French cheese cake (a new recipe) for dessert (perhaps to get the Chinese New Year flavour, it should have been beans and meat and rice). We also did the romantic film bit –Notting Hill being the choice for this year. I’m seriously over-full tonight! Thankfully, Lent starts on Wednesday!

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


Saturday, 13 February 2010

Stitching workshop

Saturday is market day so we went to the Powerhouse Market, this morning. On the way home, The MOTH did the 'manly' thing and had the car washed (water restrictions, yad.da, yad.da, yad.da) at a venue right opposite my LNS.

No, no, no! The resolution is still intact, dear readers! But ...

I enrolled in a 4 week advanced cross stitching course for all the fancy dancy stitches. Hence, calling all stitchers in SE Qld. Come one, come all! The course starts on 15th April and runs each Thursday from 6 to 9pm. The cost is a very reasonable $100.00 for 12 hours of classes.

The teacher is Marjorie Poole formerly from Marjorie's Needlecase, a well known LNS that was on Baroona Rd in Milton.

For reseverations, ring Julie or Stacey at Peppermint Stitches on 07 3161 6606.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Time Out - Update No. 2 - A Quick Stitch

If I Sew Fast Enough, Does it Count as Aerobic Exercise?

This project is a really quick stitch, folks! I stuffed around with it for about 2 hours on the weekend & then had to frog what I did (having gridded the fabric last year before I left for France).

I thought to myself in disgust: "Why am I bothering?" Then, I took a look at the two reasons why (both of whom were asleep at the back door) and made the decision that the only way to get a good grip on the project was to set it as my project for Tuesday afternoon & Wednesday after the MOTH left for Woop Woop. I don't want it to take the three years it took me to do Frederick the Literate. The pic I published yesterday had about 10 hours stitching in it. It's mostly half stitches.

As you can see, I did some work on Thursday too. I hope to finish the quilt before The MOTH gets home from work today.

Get it out of the stash pile and start stitching, girls. With the gridding, it's a cute and easy stitch, I swear!

I do have to fess up to one thing. I've got a New Year's Resolution to keep. I won't buy myself any stash until I've finished at least two projects that I have going. As you all know, I never do little projects, so as I have a wishlist an arm long at 123stitch, I have to actually DO some stitching before I can buy anything on it! LOL

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Time Out - Update No. 1

These sweet little puppies are just tuckered out.
They have been hard at play all day.
Or, if they are like my two,
Mama has used her big voice
so they have run for cover. LOL

Designer: Dale Tremblay Begley
Finished Size: 14" x 7" (36 x 18 cm)

Harry & Lucy
(not puppies any more)

I told you ages ago that resistance was useless & you agreed.
A day of stitching, at last!
The MOTH is away so I took a day out to get the project going.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


9th February 1980

Life's never quite what we expect, is it? Thirty years ago today, I got married for the first time. I was not yet 20 years old. He was 27. We were truly in love, folks, truly in love.

I expected the marriage to last forever. It didn’t. At the time he left, he told me that it was because I didn’t do enough for his career. The truth was that at aged 40, he changed his mind about what was important to him. Marital & family obligations got in the way of work commitments, so he left.

I cried for 2 years. Then I got on with living my life again, not just breathing in and out. I raised the four kids, went to university, then went to Europe & finally went to live in another town where I met The dearly loved MOTH, some time later. The rest is a story for another day.

This long ago marriage was a failure, so why am I celebrating it here on the blog? For me, the most important thing in life is family. The marriage failed but friendship between us & our sense of family prevailed. The ex wasn’t emotionally around for most of my 30s nor early 40s, but, for him, somewhere in the early to mid-noughties, family life took front row again. It’s one of those scenarios where you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s really gone (kids grown up, wife married to someone else, everyone living 2000km away). All off-spring, no matter what age or stage need both parents. We made a great team as parents!

July 1991

June 2007

Family, warts and all, is always a fabulous reason to celebrate!

My simple advice is old wisdom:

Don't ever be afraid to try to make things better;
You might be surprised at the results.
Don't ever stop dreaming your dreams.

Happiness & laughter to one and all. I'm enjoying the beautiful flowers he sent this morning.


Friday, 5 February 2010

House repairs

Picture taken March 2005

I haven't been doing much stitching since I arrived home. We had more water into the house while we were away, so my primary 'creative' focus has been to organise repairs to the roof.

It's going to be a major job! The builder gave me a list of things that I need to do, so I've organised plumbers to fix blocked downpipes, arranged the chopping of the offending trees (and a couple of others that were termite infested), looked at paint combos (to spruce outside the place up - the worst bits cannot be seen in the picture, but they were last painted when the house was built 16 years ago), made decisions to get a couple of skylights installed at the same time, etc. It's hot work but a lot of fun. We won't know the place when we are done.

I probably went too far with the tree pruning, to be honest. All the shrubs that have offended me over the last 4.5 years got the chop. They are the ones at the back of the veranda that you can see. I've made way for some citrus and mango trees (just one mango tree). I will be off to buy self-cleaning Alexander palms for around the swimming pool, too.

Lucy & Harry don't know what has hit them, either. The house has had a good cleaning, so they are not allowed inside until I have enjoyed (for long enough) the dog-hair free zones. LOL.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,