Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A sneak peek…and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Boy oh boy – I am loving this lead up to Christmas! I get as excited today as I did when I was five years old! I even bought myself an advent calendar this year – an ‘old fashioned’ one with pictures - as opposed to chocolates!! :-)

I have been busy designing and creating, but there’s nothing I can show on that front just yet. But here’s a sneak peek of something that I WILL be sharing with you REAL soon!

Xmas project sneak peek

All will be revealed in a couple of weeks! :-)

I am also enjoying creating projects from others’ patterns, and have just started on this gorgeous wall-hanging by one of my favourite designers, Laurraine Yuyama from Patchwork Pottery. :-)

This is the project – on the front cover of the first issue of Quilter’s Connection – the gorgeous Canadian magazine for, you guessed it, quilters!

Laurraine quilters connection

Isn’t it divine? I love the way Laurraine marries muted country colours in her stand-out signature style. What a talented artisan she is – and an absolutely beautiful person, to boot!

Here are the fabrics I have chosen:

Partidge in a pear tree fabs

Very similar to the original – but why change perfection?!!! he he…

I purchased the magazine through Laurraine’s Etsy store, together with Cotton Life – a Japanese publication featuring another of Laurraine’s patterns.

Laurraine cotton life

Laurraine’s parcel arrived a few weeks ago, wrapped beautifully and containing an extra gift for me…

Laurraine package

One of her sweet fabric birds…

Patchwork Pottery birdie

Thank you Laurraine for your sweet gift – and for your inspiration, enthusiasm - but (most of all) for your friendship! x


There’s something so special about hand-made isn’t there? Nothing tops it! Over the past few years I have been gifted handmade creations by dear friends, and they are so special to me. I think it’s the energy that is passed through the fabric from one person to another.

My family and I put up our Christmas decorations a couple of days ago and it was so sentimental to hold the handmade holiday decorations that have been hiding in boxes for the past 10 months. I had a smile on my face as I thought of each person in turn and what they mean to me. That’s one of the best things about this holiday season isn’t it? Remembering our loved ones and dearest friends. :-)


So! On a final note… are you all set to open the first door of your Advent calendar tomorrow???? How exciting!!!!

Catch you soon!!! Hugs! Vikki :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas show and tell!

Have you been following along with ‘Simply Christmas’?

Kerryanne, over at Shabby Art Boutique has been spoiling us with ideas, tutorials, guest posts and giveaways… and in addition I have welcomed the motivation and gentle prompts to get my Christmas planning organised!

My ‘wrapping station’ is set and ready to go! I have wrapping paper, tags, ribbons and bubble wrap enclosed – the baubles are just for eye-candy at this stage, reminding me of my colour palette for this year’s decorating!

Xmas wrapping station

I picked up the basket really cheaply at IKEA, and have a separate box (pictured lower left) to store cellotape, pens and bows – all the things my daughter would love to get her crafty little hands on, if they were on visual display! Ha ha! There are methods to my madness! :-)

I purchased these fabrics a few months ago – again, in the blue and red colour palette – to create some table decorations in the form of napkins, runners, bon bons etc. I should have bought some plain fabrics too – but will visit my local patchwork store to match up the hues.

Xmas 12 days of xmas fabrics

The range is called 12 Days of Christmas, by Kate Spain for Moda. But I’m sure if you are a fabric junkie like me, then you would already have recognised it!

Would you like to see a Christmas finish?!!! I’m absolutely rapt with this one!

Married snow couple by Cyndi

The stitchery on this cute little cushion was designed by the gorgeous, enthusiastic, and talented lady known as Cyndi of Stitch Stitch Stitch Bee Tree Designs. Isn’t it gorgeous? I love Cyndi’s work! Always, there is humour!

The stitchery is just one of 16 snowman-themed blocks forming a delightful quilt aptly named, Snowballs. I am a very lucky girl because Cyndi gifted me a few of her patterns after winning my giveaway back in May. She won the giveaway – and then was gifting me! But that is the type of generous gal she is – always giving. She has some delightful downloads on her blog and is always thinking up new ideas and sharing…

Thank you Cyndi! Although this year I hadn’t the time to make the full quilt – I couldn’t resist stitching this married snow couple in memory of my marriage to Mr SUDs this year – so I added the date and made it in to a little cushion to put on our bed! x

But – there is more!

I put the embroidery needle aside for a few days and took up my paint brushes.

What started as this…

Xmas planner in my creative space

(can you guess how many times I dipped the paint brush into my tea to clean its bristles?! LOL)

Evolved in to this…

Xmas penguins close up

Yep – it’s the Christmas Planner designed by the lovely, aforementioned Kerryanne English. I’m taking her online class (which you can view at the top of my right hand side bar) and it’s FANTASTIC!

This isn’t the finished piece, still lots to do, but do you notice how miffed the penguins look? Me-wonders if maybe Rudolph ate all the cookies before they found the empty plate?!! (Or maybe they would just like their beaks? – Ed) A quick email to Kerry to ask, “How do you get your penguins eyes so cute?” and a few brush strokes later (plucking the offending eyebrows!) and I am much happier with the result…

Xmas planner cute eyes

Not finished by a long shot – but getting there! Do you notice how Santa’s hat is shaded and highlighted, compared to the last photograph, for example? It all comes together.

How are you doing with your Christmas planning?

Till next time – hugs to all!

Vikki x :-)

PS: I dipped my paint brush into my tea twice.

PPS: Picked up my daughter from kinder with a big green stripe down one side of my face! Ha ha!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Matroyshka Maidens – a recent finish!

I thoroughly enjoyed my journey in creating this ‘doll’ of a project! :-)

So cute it’s almost edible (!) is this armchair caddy, needle case and scissor charm set designed by the lovely Leanne Knell of Petals & Patches.

Matroyshka 1

The pattern is from Leanne’s ‘Matroyshka Maidens’ range, and I really enjoyed stitching it with the Cottage Garden Threads embroidery floss. The colour-way used is one of my favourites, named River Gum (203), it has a lovely gradation from olive green through to a deep plum colour.

Matroyshka 2

The fabrics I used are from one of my favourite ranges – Peace on earth by 3 Sisters for Moda.

Matroyshka 3

When the large Maiden is opened out she transforms in to a useful armchair caddy complete with pockets and a central pin cushion.

Matroyshka 4

Leanne has recently released some gorgeous patterns in this range including cushions, pin cushions and decorations – you can find all the details here! :-)

I’ll be back soon to show you a recent Christmas finish!

Hugs!! Vikki :-) x

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fairy frolics, RAKs and cuteness…

Thank you so much for your kind words of understanding and support in my last post. You girls are the best! :-)

Are you enjoying the weekend? We had beautiful weather in Melbourne yesterday so my family and I sat in the back garden to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. I finished stitching my daughter’s fairy house and she thought Christmas had come early! :-)

Rosies fairy house

This is the third fairy house I’ve made – the other two were for my son and another friend’s daughter. I used this gorgeous pattern by Julie McCulloch of Magic Threads. To this house I added a love heart to the top tendrils, and decorated the outside walls with some ribbon embroidery and buttons.

Fairy house close up button

Talking of fairies… here she is! My own real life little bundle of fairy mischief!

Rosie with Debs bag

Looking a wee bit dishevelled – as some fairies do! *wink* :-)

Do you see the beautiful hand-made bag she is cherishing? It was a delightful surprise gift this week from the gorgeous Deb in New Zealand! Deb and I have been blogging buddies since I started out on my blogging journey and we have become good friends over the past year. In an email I disclosed to Deb that my DD has had some anxiety issues of late, which has caused her not to want to go out anywhere because she is afraid of noise. So Deb made this sweet bag for Rosie, to encourage her to want go out shopping with mummy. How gorgeous and thoughtful is that?

Thank you Deb – you are such a sweetheart – and I cherish our friendship! xx

Deb is a Material Chick! By that I mean she is one of the founders of an on-line pattern store named Material Chicks! They are having a sale at the moment and I was quick to snap up this gorgeous BOM by Libby Richardson.

Girls day out patterns

I have already started collecting the fabrics and over the Christmas holidays I plan to put the materials with each block – so that I create a job bag from which to work from each month. I love being organised! And one of my favourite pastimes is putting piles of fabric together! Is there a word for this kind of behaviour?!!!

On my fabric hunting-gathering expeditions I also picked up these little beauties:

Scissors - fairy

They’re called ‘Embroidery Angels’! Aren’t they sweet? I shall keep one pair and the other is destined for a gift.

I’ll leave you for today with one more photo of cuteness… my pup, outside in the garden, covered in freshly cut grass and begging her mum for a play!

Kayla cute

How could I resist?!!!

Until next time – Hugs! Vikki :-) x

Friday, November 5, 2010

Leaving the Gum Trees…

Life is a series of chapters - forever changing - but always bringing with it new experiences and opportunities.

I have had the most amazing experiences over the past 15 months thanks to belonging to the wonderful group of women that you and I both know as the Gum Tree Designers.

And what a lovely bunch of women they are too! Supportive, sharing and caring, not to mention ‘giving’ which is what the Gum Trees is all about! I’d like to take this opportunity to publically thank each and every Gum Tree Designer for their friendship, and for mentoring and supporting my creative growth. Thank you, girls!!! xxx


I have been burning the candle at both ends this past year and have needed to take some time out to re-focus on my priorities in life. Motherhood is, and always will be my main priority; and family matters of late have meant that I’ve been unable to fully commit to my role in the Gum Trees. So it is time to step aside and now be a spectator of the wonderful charitable work that these ladies perform.

A balancing act!


One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past year is that when one has too many things in life to balance, they can’t give 100 per cent to everything. And I yearn to give one hundred per cent!

So, whilst family life remains my number one priority, it is closely followed by persuing my dream of developing my business.

Creating cute and quirky creations for SEW Useful Designs fills me with inspiration and enthusiasm, served up on a lovely bright platter of fulfilment! I don’t know about you but with creativity as the main course - I’m ready for second servings!! LOL!! :-) And I’m looking forward to sharing my platter of patterns with you as we all enjoy the next chapters in our lives…

…Until next time – Hugs! Vikki x :-)


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