Saturday, 28 December 2013

Relaxing with Girl 11

Hi everyone,
I hope you enjoyed the holidays with your family and friends.  I am not usually all that much into Christmas, but ever since I joined in "Christmas in July", I have felt differently this year.

On Christmas Eve, we had a visitor.  This is the same dear friend who took me flying a few months back.  This time, he brought me this beautiful bouquet of roses, a huge chocolate bar, Coke Zero, some bananas and potatoes, and a bag of sour cream and onion chips.  YUM! I really appreciate that
he brings me practical gifts every time he visits.  He helps me to get by just that little bit easier.

After he left, the postie brought a parcel from Texas, USA.  Every year, my dear sister-in-law sends me much loved foods that I miss from back there.  This box only weighed 5pounds (about 2kg) and it cost her $77.95 to mail to me.  Sheez!!! This is the very first time that AU customs has NOT opened my parcel before it came to me.  It also looks the past, the boxes have been quite dented!

Inside I found 3 boxes of Triscuits, 2 bags of Fritos, a bag of peanut M&Ms, and a tote bag.  OH, how I LOVE Triscuits!! They are a shredded wheat cracker seasoned with sea salt.  They taste great plain or topped with a bit of melted cheese mmm...Fritos are made by same company as Doritos. Doritos are readily available in Australia, but Fritos are not.  Fritos don't have the cheese powder coating and they have a stronger corn flavour.....A bag of Fritos or a box of Triscuits along with a block of cream cheese will cure PMS/PMT or any other ailment you me, I've been testing this theory for many years!

My dear friend De invited Girl 11 and I to her house for Christmas lunch.  Here is Girl 11 just before we left for De's home. I knew I should ask permission if she could go along, and I was so happy when the lady who decides these things said yes!

Here is Girl 11 on the deck at De's home.  She was so polite while we were eating lunch and did not beg at all.  She met Teabag the cat and Harley the galah and she went for a walk around the pretty back yard.  De's daughter loved her so much she said they need to get a dog too HAHA.  That silly old guy Teabag was hissing at her but she didn't pay any attention to him at all. Harley the bird was excited too and he said "hello" and "come on" about 500 times that day :))

She didn't seem to mind her Christmas bow at all. It looked so pretty in the afternoon sunlight.

We had a very busy day. Here is a picture of De and Girl 11 just before we left to go back home.  We really enjoyed our day out but we were all tired by the time this picture was taken.
Thank you De and family for a very nice Christmas lunch and a nice day out. 

De and I have had a tradition for years that we make each other bags for birthdays and dollies for Christmas.  I will show what we made each other in my next post.  In the meantime, I have been tracing applique shapes for future swaps.

At our stitcher's Christmas party last month, my friend Maree gave me a special gift. She had 16 leftover hexie flowers from a previous project. There were also quite a few hexies in the bag too.
Yesterday while I was visiting with another friend who came by, I stitched together two more flowers. Not all, but most of the fabrics in the flowers are from "Beach House" by Moda and this is my all time favourite fabric collection.  My friend also brought me chocolates..."Favourites" and it was the BIG box....oh yummm...One of my two fruit and veg drawers in my fridge is actually a chocolate drawer instead :)
xx debbie
ps...more letters have come from Girl 11's Dad too and I will tell you about them next time.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

2 Swaps to join

Hi everyone,

I haven't done a swap in awhile, so I have recently signed up for two upcoming ones.

If you are interested, you are welcome to join in too.

First, I signed up for this one celebrating Australia Day.  It is hosted by Julie and you can
find the link here .  It is a challenge to send things starting with each letter in "Australia".

Second, dear Cheryll  is again hosting the Initial Heart Swap for Valentines Day.  I did this last year
and it was fun to play along.  Visit her blog to sign up if you are interested.

Girl 11 is a pleasure to have around. She is so mellow and sweet.  Her "Dad" is missing her like crazy though.  I can't imagine how hard it must be for him. He depends on her so much to guide him through his days because he cannot see.  I found out though that he has a program that translates emails to talking somehow, so that gave me an idea...she has written two letters to him so far and sent them by email.  She even got a reply and that made her day!! He was so grateful to hear from her.

This picture came in my email, sorry don't know who to give credit to.

This also came in my email. It is a one minute is an ad, but oh so sweet.

Hope your weekend is nice. xx debbie

Thursday, 19 December 2013

A little tour...

Hi everyone,

I can't show you my secret sewing until after Christmas. I can show you the huge mess I made in my sewing room though LOL.  You know how some people only show magazine worthy photos of perfectly placed everything?  It's not like that here, so for your amusement, I present:

Wall # 1.  This sewing cabinet was made for me by a friend's hubby in 1980. It has lived in Oklahoma, California, Texas, and now Australia.  The reason for all the stuff on it is because...
Wall #2.  I cleared off this bookshelf so I could give it a good clean.
More of the stuff landed here.  Back in my younger days, I was a Registered Massage Therapist in Texas and this is the table I used.  The table has a solid piece of  shelving on it and the ugly bits are mostly covered with lace curtain fabric. I store batting under there.  When it is cleared off, it is a nice place for cutting things out and ironing things too large for the ironing board.
Turn again to the right, and there is wall #3. This chest of drawers holds ribbons, lace, boxes of DMC, sewing supplies, etc. One whole drawer is devoted to small scraps.  The dollhouse belongs to De and she has had it since she was a little girl. Most of my FQ's are there.
Beside that is this doll bed.  Clearly, more stuff has landed here that needs attention...
One more turn to the right, and this is my fabric stash. I always keep my fabric neat, no matter how messy the rest of the room gets.  The fabric is all sorted by colours and categories. Larger yardage is at the bottom.  There are more FQ's there that need to be put back in the doll house though.
There is still plenty to do, but I did make some progress.
Two of my fave dolls have fresh dresses and a safe place to sit.
This doll is very old. My mother kept her wrapped in tissue paper and hidden away in a cedar  chest. I have no daughters to pass her on to, and I want to enjoy her myself. She will be safe here too.  That's all for now.  I won't be sitting by the phone waiting for a call from House Beautiful :)  I have more sewing and more sorting to do.  xx debbie

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Foster doggy update

Hi everyone,
It's been a hard week with too many tears to count.  I've known for about two weeks that she would be picked up on Tuesday to go live with her new adoptive family.  Knowing she was going did not make the day any easier.  This is my all time fave picture of her.

Or maybe it was this one....

I can't resist a smiling dog picture.

Girl 8 originally came to me the first time quite overweight and I had strict instructions not to give her very many treats.  Our last weekend together, I treated her with rawhide and told her how much I would miss her and how much I enjoyed our time together.  When she left on Tuesday, I had no idea when the next dog would come. I was only hoping I would have another one before Christmas.

Wednesday morning, I was looking forward to a visit from my dear friend De.  I knew it would be a good day.  Early in the morning, I saw this pretty sight...the sun shining through these simple plant cuttings.

This pretty pair have been visiting for weeks, but they take flight at the slightest sound.  I was finally able to get a picture of them. If you know what they are called, please tell me because I want to email this picture to my family in Texas.

Not long after De arrived, the phone rang. I wasn't going to answer, but I heard a familiar voice on the machine so I picked up..."Deb, this is an emergency, are you able to take a dog in a couple of
hours"?  :))))))

Meet Girl 11:

She is 6 years old and she is a working dog for a blind person.

This is the first day she came to me. She was exhausted. She was flown in from a rural part of QLD and then she spent a fair bit of time at the Vet having tests done.

Poor girl had a very busy day. She tucked herself in early with Bunny and then all I heard was snoring after that!!

On the second day, she was more alert. She is very calm and has not barked at all. She just loves to stay close to me.  She is the most affectionate of all the dogs so far.

I expect to have her for around a month while her health issues are being sorted out.  Her person
has had to leave her behind and fly home. 
She is doing a great job of mending my broken heart. Welcome, Girl 11! xx Debbie

note: I've always called Girl 8 by that name. She was Girl 8 AND Girl 10. Girl 9 was a Black Lab and her photos are posted too.  So, this really is Girl 11.

Saturday, 7 December 2013


Hi everyone,

I enjoyed a productive night of stitching and a couple of other things with you.

I sewed the last four rows of squares on to complete this baby quilt flimsy. It is made of 4" squares, all scraps, and the rows are 9x9.

I hope you enjoyed the BEEGEES concert.  This is my fave Friday night sewing music :)

I spent some time cutting out lots of little pieces for a Christmas dolly which I cannot show yet because the person it is for is very observant :) This is why the fabric is wrong side up too.

I  put some fabric in some tea to dye it.

Then I remembered I had this snow white piece of flannel and I wanted to tea dye it too.

Girl 8 likes to cuddle the foot pedal of my sewing machine. When she moves, I move it back where it goes.   Thank you Cheryll for hosting this lovely evening. xx debbie

Friday, 6 December 2013

Travelling Treasures Entry and FNWF

Hi everyone,

The lovely Marti has received her Travelling Treasures parcel in Colorado, USA, all the way from Queensland.  She has done her post announcing she is ready to send the parcel on again.

Marti is offering an easy chance to enter.  All you need to do is leave a comment HERE and tell her where you live.  She has shown a picture of a world map in her sewing room and she is placing a pin to show where all her blogging friends live.   I think this is a great idea and I will look into doing this too.  It would be so interesting to actually see all the pins!

Marti is accepting entries until Midnight Friday night (Colorado time).    We are around half a day ahead of the USA here in Australia, so you still have plenty of time.  Good luck to everyone.
Here is a translation:  9am Friday in QLD = 4pm Thursday in Colorado. 

I am also joining in for FNWF.  I have some Christmas sewing to do, so I can't show you anything.

This is being hosted by dear Cheryll and you still have time to sign up at her blog too.

Girl 8 is doing well.  We have 4 days left together.  She will be picked up early Tuesday morning to go to her new adoptive family.   xxx debbie

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Comforting Things

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your comments and emails about Girl 8 being adopted.  I also received a poem in the was so very touching.  Virtual hugs really do matter!
One way to heal a broken heart is to keep busy, so that's what I have been doing.

This old pattern has been in my stash for many years.  It is dated 1972 and the price on it is $1.   Awhile back, I found two pale pink gauze baby wraps at the op shop and I wanted to use this pattern to make them into a  summer nightie.  Do you think of weird ideas like that too?

I only cut the neckline and sleeve shapes, leaving the full size of the wraps for the rest so it would be very loose.  I hemmed some leftover binding for the ties, and it is finished.  Nice for around the house on a hot summer night.  My first finish for December = comfort.

I have a friend who brings me's a mystery why, but, it's all good.  I found a new to me recipe for a banana cake made with Greek yoghurt.  It was delicious, but it is a large recipe and I find muffins easier to freeze than a cake.  This morning, I made the muffins.  I did not eat a single one.  They will go straight in the freezer and I will show you why next.      *innocently looks around*          Muffins  + licking the spoon and scoop = comfort food.

Another comfort food I adore and have not had in years is "Impossible Buttermilk Pie".  This recipe was on the box of  a brand of baking mix in USA that I have not ever seen here in Australia.  I looked online and found a recipe to make the baking mix myself and then found the recipe for the pie.

By the time I made 2 dozen cupcakes and the baking mix and the buttermilk pie, I was so hungry!
It smelled so good in here.  Poor dog kept checking to see if I dropped anything ; )
It is comforting to sit down with a fork and just eat can do that when you live alone :)
It was nice warm, but I like it cold on a hot summer day.  I don't know why it looks burnt, it isn't at all.   Finding an old recipe  again after many years = comfort.

I have an ever growing collection of loose papers,  applique designs, patterns shared by friends, etc.  This is only a small fraction of them. They get wrinkled and I can't find the one I'm looking for, so

I bought a supply of these.  When I get tired and just need to sit down,  I sort a few things at a time.

I have about 25 sleeves sorted so far. Now when I want to find  seashells, or a dinosaur or a teddy, I know right where to look.   Finding things more easily = comfort.

 I've already sewn this charm pack into pairs with the intention of making a curtain to cover a cupboard where I wanted the door removed.  I changed my mind and will use a different fabric, so I started sewing the squares from the second charm pack of this to start a quilt instead.
Pretty fabrics made into patchwork  = comfort.

 I also have a party invite tomorrow. The place that trains the dogs is having a Christmas party luncheon  for the foster care givers.  I think it will be great fun and I might even see one of my previous foster "children" there!  xx debbie

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Girl 8 Update

Hi everyone,

I've been a bit quiet, but I am better now.  I just needed some time...

If you follow my blog, you know how much I love each of these foster dogs.  Girl 8 was with me once before, then Girl 9 came and left, and Girl 8 came back.  When she returned, they told me I might have her for a long time because she would be hard to adopt out due to her age and multiple health problems.  Silly me, I was hoping she would live out her days with me because I just adore her!

I think she is happy here with me too.   Don't you just love a smiling dog picture? :)

When I was tearful those first few days, she seemed to be sad too. 

When she left me the first time, she lived with another dog. She came back with a bad habit of barking at every  bit of movement she could see. Due to her cataracts, she can't see very well.

Once I knew she wasn't staying, I gave up on teaching her not to bark. I had an idea that if she couldn't see out, maybe that would help.

Like a cheeky toddler, she is still testing to see if I am watching.  She has improved very much though and only really goes nuts if she hears a dog very close or hears a car horn.

Yesterday morning she gave me such a scare!! I saw her like this.... Before I grabbed the camera, I checked that she was breathing....

She didn't move after I took the first photo, so I checked her again...Breathing seems fine...but my heart is pounding I was thinking the worst.

I made plenty of noise and woke her up and then we had a good tugging game with the rope.  Then I reminded myself that it is probably better that she won't live out her days with me...I think that might even by harder than her being adopted now.   So, she is still mine until early next week and I am just going to love every minute with her and accept that what is meant to be will happen.  No more tears, at least until she goes.  I also have some sewing to do.   Have a good weekend and hug your furry friends! xx debbie