Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday part 2… and meeting friends!

Life has been a whirlwind of unwell children and tissues these past two weeks!!  But at last I’ve found a niche of time to sit down with an afternoon brew so that I can share some more of my holiday memories with you, my lovely blogging buddies!  Okay… I promise not to sneeze, I could still be contagious!

Well, some very special memories were made during a day trip to Brisbane.  It had been a long time coming… but at last I got to meet up with two of my most favourite people! 

Cheryl and Joy cuddle 2

From left to right, Let me introduce you to the gob-smackingly-gawjus Joy of Joypatch, and the equally-as-splendiferously gawjus Cheryl of Willowberry Designs!  We met virtually, in 2009, when we were designing and collaborating together as part of a larger group of lovely women known as Among the Gum Trees.  Do you remember those days?!!  We formed special bonds during that time and our friendships have continued to blossom.

Cheryl and Joy cuddle 1

 I was absolutely elated to meet these girls and to give them a real hug – like in REAL life!  Our meeting was exactly how I’d imagined it would be… we teased each other like only close friends dare to do, we lunched together, we stroked fabric together, we shared anecdotes of family life, and we laughed together.  We certainly did plenty of the latter!  Thank you darling girls for both taking the time out of your week, and for travelling to meet me.  I was even blessed to meet one of Cheryl’s daughter’s who is a real sweetheart with a cheeky little glint in her eye just like her lovely mum!  And next time Joy has promised to bring her Grandbaby so I can have some cuddles… haven’t you Joy?  {hint hint}!

Later that night we went to support our soccer team, Melbourne Victory, at Suncorp Stadium.

Suncorp stadium small

It was great to go to a different stadium… and although our boys didn’t play at their best that night, it was still a great experience.

After seven glorious days we left the Gold Coast behind us and headed south. 

Goodbye Queensland…

Good bye Gold Coast 2 small

And hello country roads!

country road small I love this pic, Aaron gets the thumbs up from Mr SUDs while waiting to cross the road after I stopped to get coffee!

Aaron gets thumbs up small

Catching up with close friends is absolutely wonderful… and especially so when you don’t get to do it as often as you’d like.  Our friends moved interstate a year ago, and now reside in a sweet country town in NSW known as Bellingen.  We were fortunate enough to go to the infamous Bellingen market when we visited.  After being advised by Caz that: “we never get really hot days” (famous last words, Caz!!), Mother Nature put the thermostat up to 43 degrees for us!!!  Phew!  Rosie still got a pony ride… but instead of a trip around the paddock, it was just up and down a short track so that the wee pony could soon rest up in the shade!

Bellingen market Rosie pony ride small

Fruit is plentiful in this part of the world… and the market was abundant with local produce!  On such a hot day, the freshly squeezed lemonade was lapped up!

Bellingen market overview small

Even this big fella was enjoying the live music and chilling out in the shade of a tree…  we didn’t make conversation though… he was a bit tied up!

Snake small

Bellingen market ASh and babe small

Dad and babe have a cuddle (after Dad catches babe running across the Oval!)… do you remember this sweet little dot?! (See this post)  She has grown so very much, and she is so very cute!

Eloisa in park 1 small

Peekaboo, gorgeous girl!!

There were too many precious memories to recall here (it would be a very long post!), but two of favourites are captured beautifully in these next photos.  Caroline’s (Caz) parents live on a farm way up in the hills.  I’ve met her beautiful mum in the past and was absolutely delighted to meet her dad as well and to visit their farm.  Gosh, I just can’t tell you how beautiful it is!  The scenery was spectacular… and their property reminded me of a film set, it was just so picture perfect… and so utterly quaint!  I was away with the fairies for a while as I took it all in… I mean, Imagine growing up and living here?

Caz family farm small 2

Caz family farm small 1

Caz family home small 1

Wowsers!!!  Isn’t it just the cutest place ever? 

Caroline’s parents are so warm and welcoming, and we shared a lovely afternoon together.  I loved listening to stories about Caz growing up here!  I had to giggle because Caz and I share many of the same traits, and being sleepy heads in the morning is top of the list!  Her mum was telling me that the school bus driver would always park up at the top of the drive and wait… because her daughter was notoriously late!  I remembered back to when I was a teenager, on the other side of the globe, still frantically brushing my teeth, putting on the blue eye-liner and spraying my fringe until it resembled the texture of candy floss (it was the Eighties!!!)… while my ever-punctual best friend would be waiting in the hall for me so that we could ride to school together.  We always made it to school on time, but bless her heart, I sure cut it fine for her!

Caz family and all of us small 1

Here is the lovely family I speak of!   We put the camera on timer and stood in the front yard while the hills just kept on rolling behind us!

Another of my favourite memories was of our last night spent with together.  We took a late drive down to Sawtell beach.  It had been a hot day so we didn’t get to the surf until tea time.  Completely unprepared, our mad mate Ash stripped down to his shorts and went running in to the sea!  It didn’t take long before Aaron joined him and they caught the waves for a good hour!  Never mind that we didn’t have any towels – who needs to dry off anyway?!!!!!  He he… they had a Ball!  

Sawtell beach Ash and Az small

It was about 7pm when these photos was taken!  It had been such a hazy day and the beach was spectacular…

Sawtell beach 1 small

Sawtell beach 2 small

Sawtell beach 3 small

Sawtell beach Vik and Caz small

Me and Caz, the sleepy-head twins!

Scott and Vik Sawtell beach small

A rare photo of hubby and I…

Sawtell beach scene  small

Our trip to Sawtell, followed by the best fish and chips meal I’ve ever eaten, was the perfect end to the best holiday!

I’ll leave you with two of my favourite photos… and next time we chat I’ll show you some of what I’ve been up to lately!

Hugs! Vikki xo

Lookout point 1 small

Surfers paradise beach Rosie 3 small

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sharing my holiday snaps!

Hello lovely people… wow it’s been two weeks since my family and I have returned from our holiday on the Gold Coast and I don’t know where the time has gone!  We had an absolutely amazing time and I’d love to share some of my memories with you…

… care to join me???

Having lived in Australia for the best part of nine years, I’ve only ever left the state of Victoria for a drive to Canberra for the sole purpose of collecting a passport, so I was exceptionally excited to be going to stay in Surfers Paradise for the first week of our trip!  Our plane journey was the smoothest ever, and as soon as we arrived at our destination – The Morrocan – we changed straight in to our swimmers and headed down to the pool!!  It was cool and refreshing… but an hour later we were seeking out the beach.  All I can say is WOW! 

Surfers paradise beach 1 small

The sand was so soft and clean and it squeaks between your toes!

Surfers paradise beach Rosie 2 small

It was fantastic seeing my kids enjoy themselves.. with the eight year age gap they still get on so well, and it felt sacred to be sharing this special family time together.

SurfersParadise beach Aaron in surf 1

Aaron loves nothing more than to catch the waves…

Sufers paradise beach Rosie 1 small

Have you ever seen sand captured in mid-air?!!!  YOINK!  This photo really tickles me!!!!!

Holiday day one beach aaron

I love this one too, capturing the energy of Aaron running down the beach!

Sea World dolphin show small

We visited three theme parks – Movieworld, Wet n Wild and SeaWorld.  The latter was our favourite and we especially enjoyed the dolphin show.  Ambient music played while the dolphins displayed their incredible strength and agility.  I fell in love with their grace and beauty.

Seaworld dolphin show 1 small

Seaworld sealiion Claude 1

And isn’t this guy the cutest?  This is Claude.  The Sea lion show is a must!  It’s so funny, and to see the relationship between the handlers (and fantastic actors) and Claude is precious!!

Seaworld sealion 1 small

Of course – Spongebob Squarepants was a big hit too!!!  Here he is cuddling up to young Rosie while her big brother stands guard!!

Seaworld pic with Spongebob small

Seaworld rollercoaster 2 small

Mr SUDs and Aaron loved all the rollercoasters… but they didn’t stop to say ‘cheese’ when riding the last car on The Sea Viper… how rude!!!!

Surfers paradise ferris wheel

One evening we took a ride on the Ferris Wheel overlooking Surfers Paradise… that was fun.  Although, being scared of heights I didn’t care to move around too much in my seat, just in case it rocked too much!!!

Honestly, I’m such a scraredy-cat!  All four of us went on the Looney Tunes rollercoaster at Movieworld.  Aaron had to talk me in to going on it because I was so reluctant; but then Rosie jumped up and down with excitement when she realised that she was tall enough to take her first rollercoaster ride so I really couldn’t duck out… I mean, surely it can’t be that bad if a seven year old can do it?!!!  Rose was an absolute star but I can’t say the same for myself.  I lost my voice after screaming all the way around!!  We all rode on it a second time  because my family sought great entertainment in seeing my face still-framed on the ‘snapshot’ screen (you know – the pics that are taken of you, ahem,,, screaming… while you’re on the ride?)  My face wasn’t a pretty sight… a bulldog chewing a wasp… you get the picture?  Ah well, A family who laughs at their mum together, stays together!!!!  Smile

Morrocan views at night small

We were so very blessed to be put in to a room that had the most amazing views of both the buildings and the beach.  A friend of my husband’s set up a travel agency business with his wife and they organised the holiday for us just a matter of weeks after dad passed away.  So we had no idea where we’d be staying.  We weren’t expecting such wonderful views and the apartment was amazing.  I felt like I was living a life of the rich and famous!!  I couldn’t sleep because at night I wanted to see all the lights and listen to the waves crashing on the shore.  Then I’d be there for sunrise as well, sipping tea outside on the balcony while watching the red rays bounce off the ocean.  Some early-birds would be surfing in the waves while others jogged down the promenade.  The beach was combed, the pools were cleaned and even the sound of the garbage trucks was sweet music to my ears.  In this kind of environment – everything is glorious!!   It’s a wonder I had any energy left for the day-time.  I just couldn’t sleep through and miss all that beauty.

Morrocan views sunset small

Here’s the first sunrise I shared a cup of tea with…

Morrocan sunrise  small

The view from our balcony… and here’s a panoramic that Mr SUDs sewed together using images from his IPhone… imagine it convex instead of concave!

Morrocan panoramamic view

I’ll be back soon with some more photos from our holiday – whereby I met two of my most favourite blogging buddies and then stayed with precious friends living in a sweet country town in NSW!

Till then – have a wonderful weekend!

Vikki xo Smile

If you were wondering… and would welcome the ease of having a holiday organised for you… I highly recommend Brand Travel!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Snuggle up to a cushion made with love…

Do you tend to buy fabrics that you fall in love with – without a clue what you plan to do with them?  Or are you more organised and buy the fabrics for a project in mind?  I tend to do a bit of both.  In fact, sometimes I border along the ridiculous and love a fabric  so much that I just don’t want to cut in to it!!

Love vines cushion close up

Well, the fabric I used in my latest published project was an impulse buy that I fell in love with and have had in my stash for a few years.  When I was asked to design a cushion for the Creating Country Threads stitchery special, the teal green directional print was perfect for my needs!

CT love vines cushion 3


There are lots of lovely projects in this issue (Vol 13 No 5) and it’s in the newsagents’ now!

CT Love vines cushion

I’m joining in with Kerryanne’s Shabbilicious Friday link party today!  Head on over for some delectable shabby, vintage and French eye candy!


This time next week my family and I will be enjoying our first holiday in more than 10 years!  We’re off to the Gold Coast in Queensland – and can’t wait!  I look forward to telling you all about it on my return!

Till then – wishing you lots of stitchy goodness!

Vikki xo Smile


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Making shoes!

Have you ever wanted to make your own shoes?  I always have, and the thought of it used to be quite daunting.  But then, some months ago I was browsing my favourite blogs and the lovely Lisa and Sarah over at A Spoonful of Sugar were hosting a unique giveaway -  generously donated by a talented shoe designer by the name of Cheri Paxton.  Cheri sells her sweet designs in her Etsy store, Shoeology.

My interest was piqued and I entered the giveaway and was so delighted when I received Lisa’s email to say that I had won it!  I was the very happy recipient of a $50 voucher to purchase patterns and materials from Cheri’s Etsy store.  And I didn’t know where to start!!  So many wonderful patterns to choose from! 

Shoeology everyday loafers


My first choice were these women’s Everyday Loafers.  Don’t you just love Cheri’s fabric combination?  Next up were these ladies slouch boots – they look so comfortable and toasty!

Shoelogy slouch boots


These winter warmers are actually sewn on a sewing machine – you wouldn’t think so with those thick soles would you?  Cheri sells the exterior soling in her Etsy shop – and I received some of that, too! 

The third pattern I chose is the one that I have made first – and it is these children’s Mary Jane shoes:

Shoelogy kids mary janes


The fantastic thing about Cheri’s patterns is that you are provided with a comprehensive tutorial for each shoe design.  There is advice and diagrams on how to custom-fit your shoes, there are notes on fabrics and soling, and how to sew through the thicker fabrics without breaking your sewing machine needles!  Lots of photographs guide you clearly through each step along the way.  There is also instructions for making your own co-coordinating innersoles!

I took Cheri’s advice and made a test shoe first, to get the fit right for my daughter’s slim foot, and to practice sewing through multiple layers, easing in curves around the toe shape etc.  It really paid off.  It’s like anything, once you’ve done it once, the second time is much easier.

Rosie chose her own fabrics and buttons.  She decided upon a red fleece for the lining, and although I wasn’t sure at first, I think she did a pretty good job with her combinations!!  Here is the finished result:

Rosie shoes 1

I used some exterior rubber soling so that Rosie can wear them outside.  She tells me they’re her ‘best shoes ever’!!

Rosie shoes 2

Because I love to coordinate... I also made Rosie a belt out of the same pink corduroy fabric, it looks really cute on her denim skirt… but she wouldn’t let me photograph it because she was wearing it on her head whilst pretending to be a Ninja!

I am absolutely delighted with the results and can’t wait to start making some shoes for myself!  But I am so taken with Cheri’s kids shoe designs… I mean, who can go past these cute slippers??

Shoelogy kids slippers


I’d like this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Cheri for her generosity – but also for her patience.  I won the giveaway just days after Dad passed away and it has taken me quite some time to blog about it… I wanted to make some shoes so I could endorse Cheri’s patterns – which I do WHOLEHEARTEDLY!!!  Cheri was so gracious and accommodating, and her service is fantastic.  I received my patterns within hours of placing the order.  I’d also like to say a big thank you to the gorgeous duo, Sarah and Lisa over at A Spoonful of Sugar… for always treating us to such eye candy and introducing us to new and exciting designers and crafty online stores!

If you would like to make some shoes for yourself or a loved one… Cheri’s patterns can be found at SHOEOLOGY  and SWEET PEA KIDS

Till next time!

Vikki xo


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