Monday, 18 April 2016

FNSI finishes and a draw

I had quite a few finishes..... not all 'complete' finishes, but finishes of sorts.  Some on Friday night, some over the weekend......
I finished a set of 12 needleturned blocks for a friend....

Can't show you the complete blocks, they're for a sample for a new design....but don't you love the Tilda fabrics?

I went to a bag making/rug making class a couple of weeks ago put on by my dear friend Dianne who is super-talented.  I chose to finish the bag I'd begun a couple of months ago.  She showed me how to finish off the top, make the handles and a flap closure, which I finished by the end of that class.

 However the poor old bag sat there 'naked' for a while so, as the weather's been cooling, on Friday I decided she needed a new 'dress'.  I pulled out my lace doilies and bling and started playing with an outfit.  I've basically chosen how she will look 'dressed' however I still need to find a few silk roses and some pearls and beads to finish off her attire.  I think she's looking rather 'swish' don't you?

As I was on the crochet train, I decided to finish the mat I'd begun earlier this week.  Using 1 inch strips of fabric crocheting them in an oval design with a size 12 hook, took no time at all.  It's so soft under our feet, and all that 'ugly' fabric I swore I'd never use, came in handy.....

....and being cotton, it will wash well and last for ages!  I can see a few more of these on the horizon.

Then I decided a bit of stitching was well overdue. So out came the Snow Hearts and the last few stitches on the last block were done.
Now I can look at maybe some more borders and final sandwiching, quilting and binding for winter.  Don't know why this one's taken me so long....I only had one heart and one line of hearts to stitch!

That spurred me on to some other stitching that's been sitting vintage tea shoppe design.... (a new one to come out later in the year).

This one's well on it's way to completion too...can't wait!
So all in all, FNSI was extremely productive, even though it was lengthened, for me!  Seemed to get lots done,  although in reality, there were only little bits of each to work on to get them to their final stages.  Feels so good, and even better to spend it with like minded FNSI-ers, don't you think?

Have you had a chance to go and visit all of our April FNSI-ers to see how their creative juices flowed?  Pop back here to click on the're sure to be inspired.
This month's winner will be receiving a surprise...... I will reveal it once it's received!  *sneaky sneaky*
Mr RNG again did the honours.......

And decided this month our lucky winner would be.......
lots of secret squirrel sewing business happening at Susan's house! *wink wink*  but she did manage to show us one little completion!

Congratulations Susan!!!!  You're prize will be on it's way this week!

If you didn't get a chance to join with us this month, Next month is my birthday month so there's sure to be something special happening for May!  Pop the date into your diaries.....May FNSI will be 20th May with sign-ups from 16th on the blog.  Can't wait!  How about you?

xox Sugary hugs :o)

Friday, 15 April 2016

Fun with Jamie

It's been a busy week, or fortnight should I say!  What with #1son moving away and a commission plus work and's been hectic!
One of the exciting things I've been doing is taking some 'back to basics' cooking classes with Jamie Oliver's  Ministry of Food pop up kitchen.

We've been fortunate enough to have them set up in Townsville and I 'somehow' came across the ad for it in January this year and thought it would be fun.  Soooo, each week for five weeks, I take the one hour drive to learn a little and enjoy some wonderful food with like-minded people.  And boy, is it fun!
It's amazing how much goes on in one little mobile van....and with 16 of us, it can certainly be a squeeze.....but it's still enjoyable!
Last week we learnt all about eggs....scrambled, boiled, poached, fried, and we watched and learnt so many interesting techniques.  We made ourselves a caramelised onion, spinach and fetta frittata......took some home for was f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s!  I served mine with a rainbow salad drizzled with balsamic glaze......delish!

This week was...........
so a little Proscuitto Carbonara with one of Jamie's Evolution Tomato Salads, and just to finish off, some Healthy Berry Ice-cream!
Next week, Mexican!.....some Chili Con Carne and guacamole!  I can't believe we're up to week 3 already with only 2 left after that!  I wish it would last forever!   If you get the chance, look up Jamie's Ministry of Food Australia and see if they're visiting your town soon....well worth the experience!

I'll be back to show you what crafty stuff I've been up to tomorrow.  In the meantime, have you signed up for our FNSI this week?  Sign ups are HERE.  Don't forget to join us!

xox Sugary hugs :o)

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

FNSI sign ups for April

I've been visibly absent.....lots of things happening here at present and I just haven't gotten to the computer....but I'm here for sign-ups.

Yep, it's that time already!  sneaks up on ya huh?
You know the drill....sign ups are below, link up and share on your social media so everyone can join in.   If you're not sure, click on the FNSI tab at the top of the page for more information.

I'll be back tomorrow to share what I've been up to!

xox Sugary hugs :o)

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Delayed FNSI report but I have a reason....and a winner!

I'm sorry it's taken me so long this month....but my extended FNSI aka EWSI lasted a little longer than expected and the draw was placed (temporarily) on the back burner..

You see, my 21 and a half year old *little* boy had been talking about moving down south to Toowoomba to go to university and to find some work as there is very little here in the north and he made the decision to move this week!  All week he's been finalising first term study and assignments and  packing his gear up.
He packed the car this morning with all his worldly possessions and drove off for his 1300km trip this morning and I must add, I had a tear (or two) in my eye.  I know it's time for him to spread his wings and fly but boy, my heart's feeling it tenfold!

I'm praying his trip is safe and that he gets there safely, that's all.  I know he's equipped to get through the rest of his life, heaven knows we've been through some trials and tribulations, and he's come through those unscathed, but driving all that way on his own will be a challenge.  Ah well, I suppose now I have a new sewing room to set up! *cheeky smile*

So back to FNSI......I'm sorry too, I didn't get to visit much and plans I'd made didn't come to fruition. although I did get some stitching done and one finish!

My Easter bunny blessing was stitched and hooped and I'm really happy with him.  Didn't get to get it in my shop but that will be coming, so at least it will be something you can stitch for next year if you didn't receive it as a free gift for joining in on EWSI/FNSI this month!

I also managed to get a couple of blocks done in The Splendid Sampler....still a way behind but catching up slowly.

To see what everyone else got up to over their long weekend, pop back here to check out their links!

Now for the  moment you've been waiting for........

and if you look back to the links....that's this person......

If you get back to me with your address, I'll post your "Tassie Trip" inspired prize!

I hope you all enjoyed our extra long FNSI this month....can't wait to do it all again next month....and maybe I'll be doing it in my "new" sewing room! *wink* 

xox Sugary hugs :o)

Thursday, 24 March 2016

FNSI Easter Surprise!

Easter is nearly here, and so is Friday Night Sew In which, if you'd seen my previous post, we decided will become and all Easter Weekend affair!

 And in celebrating spending my Easter with you, I thought I'd bring along a little gift for everyone who joins in.......

You can see mine's not quite finished yet, but if you link up and share, I'll send you my latest 'Happy Easter' design.   You can start stitching it on Friday, or you might even like to stitch it over the weekend for a gift on Sunday....either a gift bag or a hooped hanging, as I'm doing.

I've made it simple so it can be stitched quickly.....I started last night about 9pm and got most of the way through....just two eggs and the greeting to go....oooh and the cute little bunny tail, which I'm going to fill with French knots.  I've 'cheated' using a pastel variegated thread, but you can use whatever threads you like, depending on the decor or the person it's for.  The little poofy tail is going to be in white - I'll share a picture when I'm done, but I'm expecting it will reflect the white polka dot background fabric perfectly! *fingers crossed*.

So, make sure you're linked up and shared by Friday, either blog or social media (or both!) and I'll send you the design as my Easter gift to you.

If you miss out, "Happy Easter" will be available in my Craftsy store over the weekend, for $2.00.

Looking forward to our Easter Weekend Sew In... aka EWSI! hee hee

xox Sugary hugs :o)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

FNSI Sign ups for March

Here it is....the moment you've been waiting for!'s sign up time \o/ \o/

Are you exhausted after taking a trip around parts of Tasmania with me in my post yesterday?
I just love re-reading it over and over, I remember something different that I'd forgotten every time I is such a blessed place and I feel so lucky!

Okay, it's decided that we will have an Easter Weekend Sew In.....a looooong weekend is just perfect for it, so Friday night will extend all the way through to Monday.  If you're able to stitch on any (or ALL) of the days, why not sign up.....even if it's for only part of a day!   When you sign up, let everyone know on your blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media,  so they can join in too.

We'll stitch all weekend, you can post over the weekend, once, or every day if you wish.  As long as there's one post on your blog by Tuesday about the EWSI (that sounds sooooo wrong!) /FNSI, you'll go in the draw to win a prize.
I'll do the draw on Tuesday this us the extra time for stitching and posting!
So, are you ready?   I've got lots of projects to do from the Let's Get Stitched girls a couple of UFOs to work on.  Should be some finishes after this weekend!  What about you?

(and I L-O-V-E it!)

I'm soooo looking forward to a weekend stitching with you *wink*

xox Sugary hugs :o)

Monday, 21 March 2016

Holidaying in Hobart and surrounds with the LGS girls and FNSI sign-up news

It's been a while since my last post....I must apologise as I was preparing for my annual trip away with the girls for Let's Get Stitched  in Tasmania this year with Fee as our hostess with the most-est!

**BEWARE:  prepare yourself with a large cuppa as this is a photo heavy post!

Need I say, that what happens on retreat, STAYS on retreat.....but I can share a couple of snaps to keep you intrigued!......

It's always a fun weekend and next year it will be hosted by the gorgeous Dawn in Adelaide.  It's in early March next year, over the long weekend, so save up your pennies and join us.  I know the Barossa Wine Valley has been mentioned *wink wink*

I stayed over a couple of extra days this year....Mr B suggested seeing as I was going so far AND Tasmania is my favourite place on Earth, that I should visit some other places I hadn't seen before.

I booked in to the Freycinet and Wineglass Bay guided tour.  I've done the walk before and it is s-p-e-c-t-a-c-u-l-a-r, so decided it was worth the visit again.  I was NOT disappointed.  The morning started off a bit dreary, nothing short of sleepy weather (so some of the tourists thought, as they caught up on a bit of shut-eye)

On the way there, we dropped into the Freycinet Marine Farm to pick up some oysters for anyone wanting to purchase some for lunch.

Then we headed for our hike up the mountain to partake in the glorious views.  Despite the cool, drizzly weather, which was actually a blessing, the views were outstanding.  Seeing as the sun didn't pop out its head until after the walk, we didn't get as hot and sweaty on our walk as we expected.....I only took my cardigan off three-quarters of the way up the mountain.  Mind you, my leg muscles developed new leg muscles,  I'm sure... They're still twitching!

We stopped off at Honeymoon Bay for lunch, where I shared my time with a very interested Pacific

Next was a visit to the Cape Tourville lookout....more views to behold.  It's certainly a gorgeous place that's blessed with beauty galore.  My legs were like jelly by this stage.

On our way back to the hotel, we visited Kate's Berry Farm.  This was another incentive to take this tour, as my boy and I had visited there nearly 13 years ago when he was only 9 or 10.....and you know what?  It's hardly changed a bit.... more modern cons, but to look at from the outside, it's the same as in my memories....absolutely perfect!

And I got to enjoy some fresh, homemade raspberry ice cream....delicious and guilt-free....I earned it after 4 hours of climbing!

Needless to say I slept extremely well that night....I don't think I even rolled over!

The next day I  headed off on the Bruny Island Gourmet Safari....I hadn't been to Bruny before and this is definitely one NOT to be missed.  Such great tour guides with such wisdom and love for what they do.

We crossed to the island by ferry and our first stop was the Bruny Island Cheese Company.  I have NEVER tasted cheese like it...I could have eaten it by the bucketload.  Needless to say, I'm now on their email list!

Next stop - the Berry Farm where morning tea was served.  Ginormous scones (biscuits) lathered with homemade jam and fresh clotted cream.  These didn't get a photo, they were wolfed down before I remembered....but I did take some photos of the farm and it's plantlife.  Beautiful flora we can't grow in the tropics.

After that, we visited a spot which hosted the feeding of the famous white wallabies which live exclusively on Bruny Island.

These are different to Albinos as they don't have the red eyes and it is not a recessive gene which skips a year as albinos do, but the white wallabies can give birth to successive white wallabies.  There were two hopping about feeding whilst we were there.....and a couple of other Bennett's wallabies, one which thought if he stood still long enough, we'd not see him.....he didn't flinch a muscle whilst we were there....too funny!

We visited the Bruny Island Lighthouse next, and what a magnificent piece of history that was.....manned up until 1996, it was the only way to stop ships crashing into the rocks. Now they have a smaller automated one.  Seeing how things were done hundreds of years ago, really was an eye opener...the isolation of the lighthouse keepers and their families became more apparent but so did what kept them there....the views were nothing short of magnificent.

From there, we headed off to lunch at the Bruny Island Pub aka Hotel Bruny...a deceiving little place that offered the best meals.....a dead giveaway when you saw the carpark.  Again, I scoffed down my share of a seafood platter I shared with a new-found friend from Hong Kong well before I could snap a shot.  But if you're thinking of visiting anytime soon, here's a photo so you know what to look out for!

Coming on afternoon, we saw the oyster farm leases out in the water and the atlantic salmon leases bobbing about in the bay, and were told of many of the interesting things about both before stopping off at the Bruny Island Neck Reserve....a beautiful little lookout on the isthmus between North and South Bruny island which is also home to the local penguin population and a memorial to the last Tasmanian Aboriginal woman, Truganini who was very significant to much of the history of the area.

We popped in to the local 'drive-thru' oyster shop,  'Get Shucked', and picked up a couple of dozen oysters to sample while we waited for the ferry back to the mainland to visit our last 'secret' stop. Thank goodness there were four people who didn't like oysters because that meant we got three each!

Our last stop involved an Italian chocolatier who is world renowned for his nougat, holding an award for the second best nougat worldwide - now that's some feat!  Needless to say, he was sold out by the time we got there.  His shop is disguised as an old service station, and is called the Nutpatch and they even grow their own hazelnuts for their nougat.  But even though we couldn't sample the nougat, we did get to sample chocolate in all its forms and had some lessons in chocolate making.

We also learnt some interesting facts about chocolate.....did you know that you can hold good quality chocolate in your hand for ages and it will not melt?!  We were given a demonstration and didn't melt!   Good chocolate has a 'snap' when you bite into it and doesn't melt in your mouth immediately but has a smooth flavour.   40 grams of quality dark chocolate a day is good for you and helps ward off heart disease and other health issues.  (I'm feeling like a bit of a chocolate connoisseur  now!)    I just had to further test my newly-found expertise by buying some and taking it home to share! *wink*  The best thing is, they send their products worldwide, so now I've developed the taste, I never have to do without!
Dinner that night was simple....some camembert from the Bruny Island Cheese Co. and a chocolate chaser.  Divine!

Wednesday was spent travelling home, which despite my love for Tasmania and travelling, was much looked forward to.  Now, to get back into stitching.....the weather's just right for it!
If you've made it this far....congratulations!  I hope you enjoyed travelling around a little piece of heaven on earth with me. It's been a marathon seven days and I'm only just recovering.

As I said in my last post, due to a problem with my internet provider last week and my jelly-headed-ness, I didn't host FNSI last week, however, if it's ok with you, I'll be hosting it this Friday night instead.  I know it's Good Friday and I hope it doesn't inconvenience you too much, but you know you can join in all fact, let's make it an Easter Weekend Sew In?     Same as a FNSI, but stitching all weekend.....sign ups will be on the blog tomorrow. It will be great to have a long weekend to stitch along with friends, don't you think?

xox Sugary hugs :o)