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I admit to collecting just one or two (or a few) miniature jointed teddies.  All of my bears are small….not more than four to five inches tall at most and are hand made by a range of bear artists from around the country.

A few years ago I met a lovely lady from rural South Australia who made bears… her bears were original and all made by hand.  Each one was different, she didn’t use commercially available patterns and they were few and far between.  I have coveted one of her bears for some time, but I had not had the opportunity to purchase one.

Just a few weeks ago, we were chatting and she asked me for a mailing address….no reasons given and I didn’t ask.  I had almost forgotten the conversation when she popped me a message on line saying there was a surprise in the mail for me.

Imagine my delight when I opened the parcel and found this darling little bear!  I had been feeling pretty lousy and this was just the most wonderful gift. 

Even more special was her note telling me that this was likely the last miniature bear she would be making as she was hanging up her shears!

Thank you, Kerryn. She will be treasured.



Have you been part of a gift exchange in your craft group?  Perhaps you have signed up for a Christmas swap over the internet?  Perhaps you exchange small birthday gifts with your friends at you local Stitch and Bitch group.

Over the years I have been involved in all these scenarios and have often thought I would like something just a little different that wasn’t too expensive as part of my gift to my friend.

I found this little basket at the recent Dubbo CraftAlive – the labels appealed to me as most people who know me realise I am a little twisted! Perhaps these would make a good gift for one of your friends!

All the last minute things that you find you have to do in the lead up to a show and someone chucks a curve ball at you!  Thanks to the help of my lovely friend Mary Jane, I have managed to get everything in order and will be leaving at the crack of dawn for the wilds of central west NSW.

However , my dear little cat deserves no thanks at all… in the midst of all this packing she thinks its a great lark to bring in her latest catch – a young rat – and let it loose in the lounge room!  Luckily both the cat and the rat were successfully ejected into the back garden.  I’m not going to imagine what took place…. Cats – they are such helpful creatures!

This is a of sample new project from Ella and Skysie I have just completed – it will be available as a special gift to customers at the CraftAlive shows this year but I thought I would post it here to celebrate friendship – thanks again, MJ.  You’re a star!

May the hinges of friendship never grow rusty!


Over the past month there has been a flurry of activity on the Fabric Postcard front – I have dispatched a round of cards to friends taking part in the “Stitch Me A Rainbow” swap and I have also sent off my first “Birthday Swap” for a Stitchin’ Fingers  exchange.

In the mail I have received these cards from Rainbow swappers:

Al things Purple from Penny

All things Purple from Penny

Under the Blue Sea from Kay

Under the Blue Sea from Kay

Both of the above cards were made in a “how to class” – the base fabric was made using strips sewn onto a 13″ lightweight interfacing square and flipped…. then they were covered with a selection of knitting yarns and threads.

A layer of black bridal tulle was pinned over and free form quilting/embroidery using variagated threads then stitched. A layer of heavy weight iron on interfacing was applied to the back of the piece before the stitching was started.  The piece was then cut into six postcard sized and further embellished.  This was the first time either of the girls had made cards and I think both Penny and Kay are hooked!

This picture is the card sent to Peggy in the US –  the technique is similar but instead of capturing  the threads under tulle, I stitched each one in place – sometimes using a decorative stitch and/or sewing thread.  Some yarns were stitched in place while the piece was still 13″ square and others were added once the piece was cut down into individual cards.  Decorative embroidery stitches were added to each card individually.

Traces of Teal sent to Peggy

Traces of Teal sent to Peggy

The first card I was to make for the Birthday Swap needed to be into the post quickly as Allyson’s birthday was September 6 – however she is in South Africa and apparently there is a postal strike (at the time we were notified it had been running for two weeks)

Happy Birthday Allyson!

Happy Birthday Allyson!

This card was made using die cut felt pieces I found at OfficeWorks, believe it or not! Each felt layer has been machine stitched in place after the purple ribbon stem had been stitched down. The quilting is a very fine stipple using a Guterman Sulky variagated thread and the centre button hand stitched in place.  Plain Guterman Purple Sulky thread was used for the satin stitched edging.

In class, we plan to explore some Crazy Patchwork techniques over the next few weeks so our next postcard exchange will feature Crazy Patchwork.  It is planned that this exchange will take place by the end of October if there are any takers to join us for this swap.

Sofie has posted on her blog about the swap …. and she has some pictures as well!  You can see here the cards I sent her.  I can’t wait to see what she will create to send back!  She has made some great ATC’s that are used for displays on the site so I am really looking forward to this.

She has also reminded everyone to have a look at the scrapmatts site as the new product for September is up…this includes the new nested shapes range (some of which I have used in my ATCs) and words!  I’m guessing this is what card makers are looking for!

Just in time for Christmas!

Just in time for Christmas!

Today I posted cards for the first ATC swap I have done with anyone.  After the Canberra show, Sofie and I decided we should exchange cards and we challenged each other to use a new green with gold ribbon from ArtStamps Aus.

Sofie has been busy at the Stitches and Craft show at Rosehill in the last week and I have been home recovering from my cold.  I decided I would get to work on my cards and made six or seven featuring the vintage nude pictures I like working with….as well as the green and gold ribbon, of course!

These are a couple of the cards I didn’t send to Sofie (they didn’t get the “challenge ribbon” in them either!)….I wouldn’t want to spoil her surprise when she gets her packet in the next day or two!

Mixed media ATCs

Mixed media ATCs

Naturally, Murphy’s Law dictated that I should have a flat battery in my camera when I wanted to photograph all the cards – this one overly dark shot I managed to squeeze out of it before that nasty flashing red light told me I couldn’t possibly expect it to perform any longer!

This overlocker has now been sold….thank you for your interest!!

A friend of mine contacted me recently and asked for some help in selling her overlocker – its virtually brand new, sitting on the shelf and making her feel guilty for not using it!

It needs a new home.

Are you interested in acquiring a barely used, airjet feed BabyLock overlocker worth $2195 new for just $1500? It comes in it’s original box with all accessories and instructional DVDs.


Babylock Imagine BLE1AT

        BabyLock Imagine BLE1AT

BabyLock Imagine BLE1AT

Instant Jet-Air Threading™

Automatic Thread Delivery System

Full-featured differential feed:
2 to 1 Ratio-gathering
3 to 4 Ratio – stretching
4/3/2 Thread serging

Rolled hemming with 3 threads
Flatlock stitching with 2 or 3 threads
Dial adjustable stitch width: 1.5 – 7.5mm
Dial adjustable stitch length: 0 – 4mm
Dial adjustable built-in rolled hem: 0- 2mm
Heavy-duty cutting system
Side thread cutter
1500 stitches per minute

Built-in needle threader
Electronic foot control
Snap on, multi-purpose presser foot
Built-in accessory storage
Built-in light
Built-in ribbon/tape guide

Ruffling Foot BLE-RF

This overlocker has now been sold…..thank you for your interest!

It was a very excited prospective Grandmother  who asked me in January if I would make her a quilt as a gift for the grandchild she had just been informed would arrive sometime in May.helene

She asked me if I would bring some of my children’s quilts to our next lunch so she could consider what sort of quilt she would like me to make.  Knowing Helene’s penchant for bright colours, I took along my samples of bright I Spy quilts as well as some more sedate choices.

Of course, it was the bright strong colours of the I Spy quilts that immediately sold Helene on the idea of a cot sized quilt – she wanted to take one away immediately!  Given these were my samples and had been traipsed all over the countryside, I could not let her have one of these… besides I wanted the chance to make something different and new for her.

Over the past few months I have put together this quilt – there were a couple of the I Spy fabrics Helene particularly wanted, and I tried to include a fair bit of Green and Purple in the quilt.  The bride and groom had worn purple and green (their respective favourite colours) at their wedding and I wanted to tie that into the quilt in some way.

Quilt laid out ready for basting.

Quilt laid out ready for basting.

The quilt for Eleana was handed over to Helene on Wednesday – Eleana had arrived a trifle early but safely on May 25th.

WAs very pleased with the effect of this diagonal stripe binding.

I was very pleased with the effect of this diagonal stripe binding.

A rapid “touch base” phone call with Jimmie from Fiddlesticks Papercrafts reveals he and Barbie are safe – that it was “close, but we are alright”.

Given the proximity of their home to the Kilmore fire fronts, this is a great relief.

For those of you who know Pamela Gurney from Dancing Needle Designs, I can report that she and her family is, at this stage, safe.

I was able to talk to her at some length last night and she has been overwhelmed with messages and calls from friends and customers from all over the country.

Your thoughts and concern are greatly appreciated.

If you have not had reply from her, please understand that resources like phone links are under enormous pressure and much of the local infrastructure like mobile phone repeater towers have been lost.

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