Enchanted Garden

This is the fourth year in a row that I have been asked to teach at the Creative Craft Retreat to be held 5-7 November at the beautiful Lake Perseverance Recreation Centre, near Crow’s Nest in Queensland.  It is a fabulous, well-organised, fun weekend of indulging in all things creative.  Hop over to the website to see all the classes being offered by very accomplished teachers.

This year I am focussing on embroidery and will be teaching the
Enchanted Garden Pincushion and Needlecase.


I had such fun working this design.  Here is some of the detail on the pincushion:


I've used nine different embroidery stitches and some lovely variegated threads.


And here's the needlecase.  I've always been enchanted by toadstools, hence the name I have called the pattern.


I'd love to have you in my class if you live within distance in Queensland!

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My week has been taken up with more sorting, throwing out and packing.  I'm actually quite enjoying the process of packing up our whole household again.  It is quite refreshing to be able to throw so much out!!!  I'm not a hoarder, but I can't believe how much I have that I don't need!  Next weekend we are having a Garage Giveaway when people will be invited to come and take what they want of our discards, and we will have a donation box if people want to give to the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund that our Church is operating.  Should be fun! 

I have already given quite a few of my 40 odd pot plants away. My orchids have been looking lovely. 



Some of my plants have seen up to four moves over the last 30 years, but this time I am only taking two with me.  I've become too lazy (and too focussed on sewing!) to give them all the care they need with water, fertilizer and repotting.  No doubt I will buy four or five when we settle in our new home, but I am going to try to keep the total number down to half a dozen!

My husband and I try to go for a 3 km walk each morning and I took my camera with me one day.  There are quite a number of swan and duck families on the river at the moment.  These six cygnets are growing very fast:


Just 18 days more and we will be heading towards some warmer weather and different scenery!

Regards
Val

Free Pattern - Gifts of Grace Block 8

Well, here we are with the second last block in our Gifts of Grace series.  It has been so encouraging to hear from lots of you lovely stitchers out there and to know that you like the blocks and are enjoying stitching them.

This month we are focussing on Gentleness, not needing to force our way in life.  This is what is looks like:


I couldn't let a whole series of blocks go without some grub roses, could I???!!! 
To help you with them, there's some helpful hints and photos in the tutorial on my website. 
And you can download the new block in the usual place on my website.

There's not much stitching happening in our household at the moment, but I have become expert at taping cartons!  Our boxes arrived on Monday and we packed 85 in the first four days, with some help from a friend, who took pity on us having to tackle packing my husband's three or four thousand books - yes, that's thousands, not hundreds!  I've finished packing all my precious fragile treasures and the house already looks bare - I think it has lost its soul.  Guess what room I am leaving till last to pack - just in case I have some spare time .....

I do have a couple of piccies for you though, as my project, the Herb Garden, has now been published in the lovely Australian Homespun magazine.


I was quite excited to have it gracing the front cover of such a prestigious magazine.

Here it is on the inside:


Until next time, happy stitching.

Regards
Val

We came home to this ....


We arrived home from our short-lived holiday to find that there had been lots of lovely rain, so the back garden looked like this:


The apricot tree in flower, jasmine in all its perfumed glory and the wisteria just starting to open.

The vege garden looked like this:


Lots of ripe passionfruit, and mountains of silverbeet and lettuce.

And we came home to this in the front yard:


Can you smell the freesias?

... and this:


and daisies and diosma:


And in case you think I have a wonderful garden, I don't. 
I have just been selective in showing you the little pockets of prettiness!

Now to the inside, we came home to this:


and this:


and this:


- a fridge and two freezers full of rottenness!!! That's mould and green meat you can see.

Our electricity safety switch had tripped off, presumably in the big storm all our neighbours have told us about.  This meant there was no power to our appliances for about 5 days.  We are SO thankful that we came home early because of our house sale.  We weren't due home for another four weeks - can you imagine what the place would be like after that length of time?????  Needless to say, it took us hours to clean everything out and we're still trying to get rid of the odour in some areas. 
We're thankful for lovely perfumed freesias!!!

Now, so you don't remember all that ugliness,
here are a couple of lovely Gifts of Grace blocks that Linda has completed:




Aren't they gorgeous and don't you love that sweet background fabric?

This post is way too long already, so I'll tell you about my latest published projects next time!

Happy stitching,
Val

Our Big News!

Well, this has been the most exciting holiday we have ever had ... and it has all ended very abruptly!

We have had our house on the market in our little country town for nearly 2 years hoping to move back to Queensland, our home State, where the weather is much warmer and kinder on the body, and where more than half our family resides.  It's been a L - O - N - G wait for a buyer.

We started out on our holiday, a couple of thousand kilometres from home, and spent our first night at this gorgeous campsite in Jimna State Forest:


... did some fabulous bush walking and saw beautiful birds like this butcherbird who came to visit us in our campervan:


and this brown cuckoo dove:


Next day we were briefly back in civilization passing through the next town when our mobile phones began to come into range and there was the news:  There was a buyer for our house!!!!! Suddenly our 6 week holiday plans were about to change dramatically, seeing the proposed settlement date on the house was just 6 weeks away!  We changed direction and headed for the nearest area where we could arrange to sign the contract, which also happened to be the area to which we hoped to move.  As Christians, we know that nothing happens by chance, and that our wonderful God had in a most amazing way organised all our circumstances so that we were just in the right place at the right time.

Papers were duly signed and because we were in the area we wanted to live in, we were able to look for a house, something we hadn't thought would be possible. The next day we found this gorgeous house:


made an offer, signed a contract and paid the deposit. 
So after 2 years of waiting, we sold and bought in just 3 days!
We will be living in Sandstone Point, a lovely coastal area close to the Bribie Island National Park with beautiful beaches, wonderful bushland and abundant wildlife, like these Herons we saw:


I could write page after page of all the intricate details of God's perfect timing and organisation.  We have just stood back and been amazed. We are leaving our campervan in Queensland, another wonderful blessing in that we don't have to drive the 4000 kilometre round trip.  We will fly home Wednesday and will spend the next few weeks PACKING.   It's 11 years since our last move, so there'll be plenty to get rid of, even after the decluttering we've already done.  So don't expect too much stiching to be done! 

Meanwhile, Australian Country Craft & Decorating magazine have a profile article on my designs in their latest issue.  I feel so honoured to be featured in these wonderful publications.




I have been blessed beyond imagination.

Happy stitching!
Regards
Val