Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

These mischievous dogs are Jack (left) and Eddy. They belong to Mark and Rachael and are the funniest little dogs ever! If you are familiar with the Jack Russell breed you will understand, although Eddy seems to have some dacshund in him - short legs and rotund body - but the body could be due to his insatiable appetite!

Now.
Down to the serious stuff.
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!
I have compiled my list.
These resolutions are UNBREAKABLE!
The BEST kind!
AND I think they will last for much longer than a year!
Here we go.............
1. Eat more chocolate.
2. Watch the midday movie in my pyjamas.
3. Buy more fabric for my stash.
4. Make more quilts.
5. Eat more chocolate.
6. Adopt more teddy bears, either by purchasing or making them.
7. Do less housework (hmmmm......is that possible?)
8. Make more lemon tart.
9. Making more lemon tart also involves drinking more coffee - nothing nicer that lemon tart and fresh coffee, except, of course, chocolate!
10. Oh, and eat more chocolate.

And I'm going to keep every single one of them!

Happy New Year Everyone - and remember to keep your sense of humour no matter what!
Liz

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year Looming

Christmas has come - Christmas has gone! It was LOVELY with our little Sean gurgling his way through the festivities! Here he is with Paddington Bear. I must tell you a little story.
In the seventies, when my children were small, their Grandma (my Mum) went back to the "Old Country" as she used to call it, for a holiday and to catch up with friends and relatives. Mum was born in Wales.
She sent lots of postcards, the last one letting us know that she had "surprises" for Paul and Mark (we had visions of the t-shirt printed with "My Grandma went to England and all she bought me was this lousy t-shirt")!!
The Qantas flights from London usually arrived at Tullamarine around 5 am in the morning - we picked up a very tired little lady (she was under 5 feet tall), struggling through customs with a couple of peculiar lumps and bumps about her person. These bumps appeared to be two furry noses. On further inspection, the boys were delighted to find a Paddington Bear each, with different coloured duffle coats and rain hats to tell them apart. Mum passed away in 1991 - the boys treasure these bears to this day.
This Christmas, Paul gave Sean his very own Paddington - what a thoughtful and loving Dad he is!!!!
I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by - I know, you hear that all the time. But 12 months ago today was the day Mark and Rach were married! Melbourne's unpredictable weather - Last year the temperature on New Year's Eve reached 42 degrees - today the top temperature predicted is 22 degrees!!!!!!!
Happy First Anniversary Rach and Mark!
I hope you all had a happy and joyous Christmas.
Happy New Year!
Liz

Thursday, December 18, 2008

First Christmas for Sean

I have finished Sean's Christmas stocking - delivered to him this morning so that he could have it ready for Santa on Christmas Eve. It is probably big enough for him to sleep in! And not a teddy bear in sight ............until you look at the back!!!
How exciting!

My neighbour, Barbara, came in today with a little surprise, but it's a secret. I'll post a photo on my blog on Tuesday, so you'll just have to wait!
Merry Christmas!
Liz

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Heather's Quilt

A lady I know, Heather, showed me her beautiful quilt, made from several Teddlywinks stitchery patterns. I had her send me the photo so that I could blog it - I think it's gorgeous, and I simply love the colours - such a beautiful combination. It goes to show what an imagination can do!
Thank you Heather!
Liz

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Current Family Favourite

Our current family favourite! Isn't he gorgeous! Very impressed with our Christmas tree!
Did I tell you that he's already writing his name and doing sums? Very advanced for his age!!!!
Ooops! Thump! The possums have landed on the roof - that tells me it's time for bed!
Good night!
Liz

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Mystery Night

Christmas Mystery Night - or "Secret Santa" as most call it - at The Patchwork Tea House, was a fun-filled night out for 30 plus ladies. Marilyn asked me to design a project specifically for this night - what fun I had creating something festive, yet simple to make, that would appeal to everyone!
I decided to make a little "Christmas Treasures" bag - the wording could be changed to "Grandma's Christmas Treasures", or a name could be stitched instead.
This was kept a secret until the night - hence "Secret Santa" - but I must confess that I showed it to some friends a couple of days before. It passed the test with flying colours, so I could rest easy that it would be received favourably on the night!
I also added a cat design to the pattern for those who (heaven forbid!) do not like teddy bears (as you know, cats are not my favourite animal - causing destruction to our native wildlife). Two ladies made the cat (instantly wiped from my Chrissy card list!!!) and another left a space so that she could decide at a later date - she was thinking of appliqueing bells and holly instead. What a good idea!
The design will be released as a pattern next year, with extra applique drawings added.

Above - Anne-Marie helping hand out raffle prizes, and below - Marilyn drawing winning tickets.
More photos of the evening - everyone enjoying the company, stitching, fun and lovely supper!

















Only down side of the evening was the drive home - dark, wet and dreary!!!!
Liz

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Decoration Ideas

Goodness - the time has slipped away from me!!! How many days until Christmas? I have done nothing except put up the decorations! We always have a real tree - love the smell - and this was bought yesterday from a Christmas tree farm not far from us. Sean visited yesterday and he was fascinated by the lights and pretty colours.
I went silly outside as well - baubles from the trees and under the pergola! The birds are rather confused!!!!
I have more news about "Secret Santa" - will tell you soon! With photos!!!!

Bye for now!
Liz

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Creative Use of Unused Spaces

Meet James. Yes, James Dyson. No - he's not having a shower - electrical appliances and water do not mix! I have found a creative way to store the vacuum cleaner! A small space with a door? We have a new cupboard! Yes - the shower!!!! Now that the boys are no longer living here, their old bathroom has become very handy for all sorts of uses, the latest being vacuum cleaner storage! No - it will not be a permanent arrangement - we do aim to have a workroom built, hopefully by Christmas next year. Then I'll have my house back again! Can't wait!
Meanwhile, the dust balls are still lurking beneath the clutter - despite the regular cleaning!
Bye for now,
Liz

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dazed and Confused

It's been a funny sort of week! Orders to fill after last weekend. Ran out of patterns - had to rush off to print more photos (love my local chemist and their natty little photo booth!). Bit tired and hazy - I think I got through the week on auto pilot! There are only three more things on my list (I love lists - they let me sleep at night!), hope to get them done before Monday morning!
This is the other new design - "Let's Play Ladies". Blanketstitch applique and embroidery, also a touch of lace - gorgeous! Details on the website www.teddlywinks.com.au
Hopefully an afternoon in the garden tomorrow - if the weather is kind, although I'm loving the rain we are having - it's a blessing.
Liz
P.S. If you love snowflakes, then here is a link that was sent to me by my friend Sue, with the comment "Something to do in your spare time"!!! It's rather cute.
http://www.popularfront.com/snowdays/

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Queen of the Freebies

Because we are "tied to our stand" at the AQM, it is difficult to have a really good look around at the beautiful fabrics, notions, gadgets and gizmos that are new on the market. This time I rushed around during quiet spells, sniffing out the "freebies" - with great success, I might add!
A few of the things I snaffled:
A sample of a new stiff bag wadding from Victorian Textiles.
From SSS a clock and a "goodies" bag with interesting bits & pieces.
Some magazines from Universal Publications (bless their little cotton socks!).
From Freudenberg some samples of Lutradur, Sol-U-Web,Quiltlite, Lamifix and RainbowSPUN.

All these are great for kindling the creative urge, which means new designs!!!
And a lovely lady from Creative Abundance gave us a festive pack of Christmas cards showing photos of the girls' designs on the front!
A is for apple, b is for boat!
"Alphabears" is a new design for the littlies. It is a standard cot quilt, and also a swag. There are templates for every letter of the alphabet, so any child's name can be made up. Of course, I made mine for Sean!
Go to www.teddlywinks.com.au for ordering details.
Bye for now!
Liz

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just Jenny

Yes Jenny - I'll blog again soon!
Liz

Hotel Mayhem


Are we the only ones who have "unfortunate occurrences" when staying in hotels? On the weekend we attended the Australian Quilt Market, a trade show. Photo above shows David taking a breather when we'd finished putting our stand together.
Set-up was on Friday, so we decided to stay in the city, to save all that travelling back and forth each day. Booked a hotel room months ago because of the Andre Rieu concert - we wanted to make sure we had accommodation!
First incident - couldn't make the elevator stop at our floor. Up and down we went, but to no avail! Tried the other elevator (no stairs, only the fire escape) but the same thing happened. Met an elderly couple who demonstrated how to insert your room card into a slot, and, hey presto! Yes - success! We're just simple country folk!!!!
Second incident - tried to get a meal on Saturday night (room service pizzas on Friday night - too tired to tart ourselves up and go out!). Hotel restaurant booked out. Couldn't get a meal until 8.30pm. Walked around the block - next hotel - same story. Nothing else open in that area. Went back to our hotel and had a drink at the bar. Meanwhile, hotel restaurant still empty - those with bookings not eating yet. We could have ordered, eaten and gone by the time anyone else arrived! Ordered room service - it arrived over an hour later! (Andre Rieu concert the cause!)
Third incident - sound of running water that night. Coming from either the room next door or upstairs. Rang reception - they had someone investigate - next door's toilet had been flushing for over 45 minutes!
Fourth incident - 7am the next morning our smoke alarm went off! (No smoke, and no steam in the room.) It stopped but still sort of "glitched". Rang reception - they said it was a "false alarm" - duh!!!!
Things I don't like about hotels - floppy shower heads, hard pillows, pillows that are too big, no surfaces in bathrooms for "cosmeticky" bits and pieces, windows that won't open, air conditioning that is too hot, doors slamming in the night, not enough towels ( I like an extra one for my hair), not enough coat hangers, nowhere for shoes or suitcases..........
Things I like about hotels - room service, mini bar, the morning papers, no housework, the little sign you hang on the door knob ("Do not disturb" or "Please make up my room"), and the way (usually) the staff make you feel special.
This is how I like my coffee - black and strong. We enjoyed a cup just before the show opened each morning.
More about the AQM soon.
Liz

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quilt-In

It was a glorious day on Sunday, and what better way to spend it than with 150 ladies with similar "stitching" interests! The annual Quilt-In is presented each year by Marilyn and her trusty helpers from The Patchwork Tea House in Warburton (or "Warby" as we locals call it!). Beautiful surroundings, with a lovely outlook over putting greens of the golf course. I caught up with my friend Lynn, who teaches at the school I worked at "Before Retirement". It's Lynn's turn now - she is leaving at the end of this year, to enjoy a life of patchwork and stitching! It also means more coffee mornings together!The lovely Lynette Anderson was guest designer - I was very lucky to be able to have a chat to her, she is indeed a beautiful person. She bought lots of made up samples of her patterns - much too tempting!! Here is Lynette being introduced by Marilyn.
Lynette's new B.O.M. - pussy cats - just gorgeous!Lynette's hubby Vince had to come in handy for something!
Denise and Joy enjoying the day.
A very big thank you to Marilyn and her team of organisers, and also to Lynette for making the day such a memorable one!
Bye for now,
Liz

Footnote: Much hilarity in the Stanway home that evening. Me, David, our son Mark and daughter-in-law Rachael playing "Stitchopoly" (I won it in a raffle at the Quilt-In).
There's something quite funny about a grown man being dealt a card that reads, "You won Stitcher of the Year Award. Collect $75". Or, "Your neighbour's cat found its way into your needlework basket. Pay $25 to replace the tangled thread."



Spoil your Grandchildren

It's lovely to receive photographs of completed projects! This one was sent to me by Jo, who lives in Queensland - she made "Picnic Time for Teddy Bears" for her new grandson. She is relatively new to quilting and has even made the "Tired Little Teddy Bear" pillowslip. Jo - you have made a beautiful quilt that your grandson will treasure!
If anyone else would like to send photos of finished Teddlywinks projects, I would love to see them!
I had a lovely day last Sunday, at the Warburton Golf Club. No, not a round of golf - I have trouble telling one end of a golf club from another! I remember once attempting to hit the ball and it finished up on the green behind us!! I'm much better at walking with the golfers and enjoying the scenery!! I will tell you all about Sunday next time. Meanwhile, here is a clue! (You can tell from our faces that it was quite warm!)
Take care,
Liz

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cover Girl

I've done it again!!! Front cover of Australian Bear Creations Magazine!!! (Himself is threatening to widen all the doorways so that my ego/big head will fit through!) Ho hum ....... off to the newsagent for multiple copies to leave lying around!! (Everyone has their 15 minutes of fame - I'm making the most of mine!)
The project is a little wall hanging - quick and simple to put together, could easily be made before Christmas. It's very similar to the one featured in Patchwork & Stitching, see last month's blog "Teddy in a Tangle". It would make a lovely gift.
A couple of new patterns coming soon.
Cheerio!
Liz

Monday, October 27, 2008

Woodend Teddies

It was a superb weekend at Woodend - the show was a resounding success - the only disappointment was that I simply forgot to take photos! All I have are these couple of our stand - very dull when what we all want to see is bears, bears and more bears, oh, and people! Sandra Wigzell from Bear Creations Magazine was there to open the show, and Cuddles the Bear wandered around giving out free hugs. Kerri Botwood from Kerri's Bundle of Bears (a must-visit shop in Woodend) and her trusty band of helpers did a fantastic job of organising and running the show. Thank you Kerri!
Our friends Pam and Alan came down from Echuca for the day - they brought lunch with them.
Pam, you're a star! Your sandwiches were delicious, and the cake was heavenly. But I'm not coming to your place until you get rid of the snake! (Just joking!)
I did get some shots of the Doll and Teddy Decor stand. You really need to have a look at their website. www.dollandteddydecor.com They make the most beautiful furniture for dolls and teddies and their prices are very reasonable! (Himself did a lot of muttering about someone spending the profits of the day's trade, and something about having no room in the car for the trip home - I really couldn't see the problem - I only bought a little cradle and bench seat for some of my bears!) Here are some photos and you'll see what I mean.Look carefull at the photo above - the doll is sitting on a little see-saw. Behind is a little swing.
In the photo below - at the top you can see a little bench seat, and under it is a cradle - they now have teddies sitting in them, in our home! I was right to make this small purchase, wasn't I?!!In the last photo is a lovely Amish cradle and a little pusher. I was very tempted - maybe next time? Then, of course, there was the rocking horse, and the little bridge, and............I promise I'll take more photos next year!
Liz

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Glorious Colour

A quick blog today - the clematis is in flower - gorgeous blooms the size of bread and butter plates!
Pumpkin is looking a bit sad - he's not going to Woodend, but I wouldn't put it past him to hide in one of the bags!
See you at the show on Sunday!
Liz

Three days until the Woodend Teddy Bear Show

Sad news - yesterday we had a cockatoo feeding from the bird feeder. He had a very deformed beak and not much left of his crest. Although he seemed to be coping with eating through the side of his beak (not much use for breaking open husks), he was in a very sad state. David found him dead this afternoon in our garden.
Good news - grandson Sean is thriving - eight weeks old and a happy little chappy! See photo with doting Grandpa!More good news - Woodend Teddy Bear Show is only three days away.
For all the information visit www.woodendteddybearshow.com
Isn't nature wonderful? Our bird of paradise has its very first flower. Gorgeous! And the bees are loving the lavender - it's a bit like "Where's Wally"! There are two bees in the photo that I can see - maybe you can find more?See you at Woodend!
Liz

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Woodend Teddy Bear Show

Sorry, sorry, sorry - I haven't blogged for a while - things here have been hectic, preparing for the Woodend Teddy Bear Show next weekend (more about that in a minute), and getting two new designs ready for the AQM (trade show) in November. This means deadlines to meet! I have been sewing up samples and taking photographs. The photos and blurb are then sent to the lovely lady who looks after our website. She is also the designer of our brochure which needs updating to a larger format. Pattern lists need to be altered, newsletters need to be sent out to shops and our online subscribers, and, of course, there's proof reading (several times), preparing and putting together of patterns! All of this on top of filling and sending out orders! Who said a designer's life was a bed of roses!!? But I still love it!
"Honey Bear Hollow" was inspired by the little town of Woodend near the Macedon Ranges in country Victoria. Next weekend, on Sunday 26th. October, The Woodend Teddy Bear Show will be taking place at St. Ambrose Hall, Templeton Street, from 10am - 4pm. Funds raised from this premier Victorian event will go to Free the Bears Fund Inc. The show is in it's third year and is growing rapidly in popularity, with stallholders on a waiting list for a space! It is a lovely day out, we will be there, so make a day of it!
That's all for now!
Liz

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Creative Urge

As promised, a sneak preview of my new design, as yet un-named! Gorgeous Poinsettia range of fabrics, mixed with Sympatico and Shadow Play. Don't stop me now - kitchen is festooned with fabrics - I'm on a roll!!!!