Sunday, December 31, 2023

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig♡

HomeHome again, home again, jiggity jig♡ Hello, lovely lovelies Yes, after all the travel these last few months Pete and I are home again. Ahh...home  I had the very best time travelling all over the place. But now I have kicked off my well-worn travel shoes and replaced them with something a little more comfy. A very comfy pair of  stay-at-home-for-a-very-long-while, summery loafers.  It is always wonderful to arrive home and have the summery hydrangeas welcome me as I walk through the rickety front gate.

A wonderful Christmas spent with sweet Riley was a delight. Lots of cuddles. Lots of smiles. Lots of giggles. And I must say, Riley and her Granny enjoyed lots of conversations. It's amazing the wisdom of a wee, five months old's chatter.

I must show you my gift from my sweet Riley. A flower pot in which I pop freshly picked flowers in each hole. Truly, I couldn't think of a more perfect gift for this flower-loving Granny. =) 'Flowers for Granny'♡ So, so fabulous ♡ So, so treasured ♡

For Riley's first Christmas I wanted to fashion a visually stimulating floor quilt for her when she lays, rolls or sits on the floor. A bright and colourful quilt with a few fun active elements. So, I hunted and gathered some cute kiddies' fabrics and colourful felt from my stash, and began to play.

For the central panel I cut 4" squares from the fabrics and stitched these into rows of five. Around the border there are bigger rectangles with fun elements to keep a baby's attention.

There's a sweet puppy with fluffy, furry ears. Peek-a-boo......I see you! He has a drooling tongue......but watch out for those teeth!

There's a pussycat with an I've-just-slurped-up-a-bowl-of-cream, expression. Why look, she's hanging out with a pounce of cats. I must say I do fancy some of those glasses the felines are wearing. The heart sunglasses are my favourite, I think. What about you?? Chic hats, too. I must say, I'm rather partial to the little turquoise number. Oh so chic! She's a friendly cat. I wonder if she's friendly with the woolly sheep?? There's a happy elephant too, with the funnest trunk. Let's see how far you can pull it, Riley. Watch out though......don't tug it too hard.

Oh, there's the cutest car. That blue with the pink bumper bar is adorable. Oh look Riley, there are buses, pickup trucks, motor cycles, buses, vespers.........even bicycles, all passing by in the opposite direction. Oh my, is that a blue and white polka dot car travelling behind a rather posh limousine?? How fun! Why, I think I would like to park that spotty coupe in my garage. Putt, Putt, putt........the traffic travelling in the other direction is going a bit slow. A snail's pace if you were to ask me. Gosh.....the traffic is busy, isn't it?? Looks like we are the only car journeying in our direction, though. Oh, I do like being the only car in the lane. 

Look up high in the blue, blue sky, zoom.....zoom....zoom, zoom, zoom. There's a helicopter, a blimp, a hot air balloon. Even party balloons. I wonder whose party they've escaped from??  Oh look, there's a blue aeroplane with a propeller spinning around and around and around. Look Riley, it's darting like an acrobat in and out of the clouds. Weeeee.....I hope the pilot doesn't get dizzy. I wonder if it will fly up to the stars?? Wouldn't it be fun to fly up to the twinkling, shimmering stars, and the moon, in the inky darkness of the night sky?? I wonder if there's a man in the moon?? What do you think, sweet Riley??

There's a little cottage where, if you were to open the shutters and peek in, I wonder what you would see?? Let's open the shutters, shall we??

Why, there are sweet little girls just like you, Riley. The girl whose hair is tied with a pretty ribbon looks deep in thought, doesn't she?? Or, perhaps she is day dreaming?? Oh, look, there's a little girl whistling a tune to her sweet birdie. There's a sweet pussy cat, too. 'Tis a good thing little birdie is safe within the confines of her cage. Though, that sweet pussy cat looks as if she wouldn't hurt a fly. A bird...mmm...maybe..........but a =) There's a little girl up in the attic reading a book. Wouldn't it be fun to climb the stairs, snuggle down on a comfy, pink sofa and join the exciting adventures in faraway lands within the pages of a storybook, or two?? Oh, look there's tea to enjoy as well. I cannot wait, Riley, until you and I can delight in a tea party together. Such fun.

Lets knock on the door, Riley. Knock, knock, knock.......who's there?? Oh, how delightful. There's a girl and she looks all dressed up. She looks as if she is going out.  I wonder who she's going to gift those pretty flowers to?? Why, there's a prettily wrapped gift, too. Perhaps to her Granny' place?? What do you think, Riley?? I must say I love that little confection of a hat sitting atop her head....very pretty. One day Granny will buy you a pretty hat. But not yet, as I know you're not a fan of wearing hats. You know what, Riley, your mummy had the same misapprehensions about hat-wearing when she was your age. She didn't like them at all. =)

I wonder what's hiding in the blossom trees?? Shall we lift the flaps. I spy with my little owl, a frog, a ladybird and a butterfly hiding behind all those blossomy blossoms. Doesn't the sun have a smiley face?? I suppose he's happy it is a blue-sky, sunny day. It must be fun floating across the sky on a warm and summery day.

I machine stitched most of the elements though the trees, bushes, the girls in the windows and door of the house were machine sketched onto the quilt. These were cut from an old doona I scored from a thrift shop many, many years ago. I backed these with Vliesofix then sketched around each one several times with the machine. I knew that the pre-loved children's bed doona would come in handy one day. The backing is one I had in my stash. A lovely print with butterflies fluttering allover. There were a few elements where I used felt.....some of the animals....the flowers.  I quickly machine quilted in a meandering fashion. The quilting, I'm not totally happy with as my machine decided to not cooperate in places. So, so temperamental! Not to worry, there is so much visual interest in this sweet quilt I am quite certain my sweet Riley will forgive her Granny. =) Besides, there was a pressing deadline to reach. I had two weeks in which to design and stitch the quilt. I stitched the label on the back; machine sketching the sentiment. The next quilt for Riley?? I want to fashion a nursery rhyme bed quilt totally hand appliqued. But not yet as there are a few other quilts I need to finish. The hand quilting of Flower Meadow, for one. 

I had so much fun designing, drawing the different patterns and making this quilt. There were a few more elements I would've liked to have added but time was of the essence. I wanted to gift the quilt for Riley's first Christmas and while she was still a wee baby. A cute quilt for my sweet Riley. A quilt where oodles of observations, delightful  conversations and wild and playful imaginations are to be enjoyed. So, so many delightful stories♡ Seeing the world from the eyes of a wee child is truly one of life's greatest gifts

Goodness me, the last Sunday......the last day of this year. Tomorrow is the start of a brand new and fresh year. I wonder what this year will unfold?? I wonder what stories we will pen on those those chapters?? For me, may I be grateful and thankful each day and in those days where perhaps life is a little tough may 'God grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference'. I know one thing for certain whatever may come my way it will always be blooming wildly here at my little place. May you bloom wildly throughout this new year, too♡ May your new year be a blessedly wonderful one♡ Let me help you, lovely lovelies begin the new year to bloom wildly. A profusion of flowers, freshly picked this morning from my garden......from me to you♡

Until the next time.............

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Granny Squares For A Granny

Well........hello lovely lovelies♡ A beautiful welcome to you♡ Tis been a while. Gosh, a very, very long while, since I chatted here. So long that the months of dreary winter have blustered and whooshed away, vacating the place so Lady Spring could gently waltz in and touch the landscape with sprinkles of her floralicious beauty. Now spring has sashayed away and summer has set in for a while. immerse myself in all it's warmth and flowery I love thee♡

I must say Lady Spring danced a dreamy and intoxicating waltz. She cast springtime smiles everywhere. Gorgeous yellows, blues, reds and whites, with heady perfumes filling the air. Daffodils, bluebells,, forget-me-nots, irises, wallflowers.........waterfalls of blossoms cascading down to the earth. Just divine. 

But enough talk of the seasons........I have some news. The most wonderful news. I'm a Granny. My sweet, little poppet, the sweetest little girl, whose name is Riley, made a grand entrance into our little world. A most grand and dramatic entrance. Eleven weeks earlier than was expected. It was thought her birth would be early, but not quite this premature. The gamut of emotions were felt those first three months. Riley was so, so tiny. She weighed 1.2 kilos at birth and was hooked up to all manner of tubes while in the humidicrib. So very confronting, but of course, essential. After stays in three different hospitals, time in the NICU ward following the staff of one hospital not adhering to proper protocols resulting in Riley becoming extremely sick; and oft times which seemed a neverending journey for my daughter and son-in-law, (and I might add, Riley's Pop and Granny) our sweet Riley is now home with her mummy and daddy.  Riley was named after my mum's maiden name. My mum and my daughter were very close; thick as thieves, actually.  From day one my daughter and mum hit it off famously. Funnily enough, Riley has strawberry blonde/ginger hair, just like my darling mum. So precious. The name Riley means courageous. Fitting really, as the first months of her life Riley has needed a good dose of courage. And........after all the drama and worries these last months, and with little milestones celebrated, sweet Riley who is now nearly five months old thus far, is doing well. Riley, is our tiny, little miracle♡

Besides making several trips from Tasmania up to Queensland to meet and spend precious time with sweet Riley and indulge in oodles of squishy, squashy cuddles I have been slowly working away on some pretties in I knitted a few woolly pretties for sweet Riley. Of course they are a little big for her but she will grow into them. I've been crocheting as well. Now that I'm a Granny I thought I might teach myself how to crochet a granny square. Granny squares for a Granny. =) I've always wanted to crochet but for some reason or another I've never been able to grasp the fundamentals.

I found a wonderful YouTube channel, Hooked By Robin and learnt how to crochet a granny square. It took a week though, to 'get' it! Gosh, I wondered if I would ever master crocheting a granny square but after some determination it all came together. All the tangled, messy, woolly crochet somehow weaved together and even if I do say so myself quite a few acceptable granny squares eventuated.

From the granny squares I fashioned a cardie for me. The front and back in granny squares, and the sleeves in rows of different coloured double crochet. I must say I am amazed that my crochet pretty turned out.....and I must say, I love it. I love how the all the colours dance together. It seems making-it-up-as-I-go, worked again. Although I'm a knitter and have been knitting since a wee girl, I must say I love this crocheting caper. I cannot wait to try out new granny squares......I rather love the variety of flowers that can be crocheted within the confines of a granny square. I'm already dreaming up a crochet jumper for me, and, of course, all the wee pretties I can fashion for sweet, sweet Riley.

Pete and I, a few weeks ago, returned from a trip to San Francisco where we stayed with our other daughter and son-in-law. A most delightful holiday where I grabbed each precious moment with both hands as one never really knows when one will hug loved ones in far away countries, again. So much fun was had but perhaps photos of San Fransisco for another time.

I will say though, while in San Fran the lovely Karrin drove hours and hours to meet me and enjoy some lunch. A delightful couple of hours were enjoyed catching up and nattering about all things life. Meeting Karrin just reaffirmed what I've always known that she and me are kindred spirits. Loved, loved, loved spending those few hours with Karrin. Of course, we could've chatted for many more hours, but Karrin had a very long drive ........four hours!! It was such a delight to meet Karrin; she truly is a treasure♡ Karrin gifted me a most exquisite little wall hanging. A Judith Baker Montana-esque pretty♡ All the details....they are amazing! Karrin's exquisite pretty hangs pride of place in my sewing room where I continually gaze upon it and think upon dear Karrin and the sweet friendship that has developed between us over these last few years. Never in a million years did I think I would meet in person a fellow blogger from the other end of the world, but there you go; life always throws in the most delightful of surprises.

Oh my, 'tis Christmas here tomorrow. Christmas always stealthily sneaks up on one, doesn't it?? This Granny (and Pop) are celebrating Riley's first Christmas with her and my daughter and SIL, so I will be absent from blogland again, for a little while. Thank you, for visiting my little corner of the world throughout this year♡ Thank you for the gift of your visits; your uplifting words♡ Oh dear, I've been a very bad Sunday Slow Stitcher these last months. =) Let us hope I will do better in 2024! There is an abundance of kindness and generosity of spirit which swirls around and around in blogland♡ It was an 'interesting' year for my family, filled with many ups and downs but I must say my heart overflows with thankfulness and gratitude for the gift of sweet, sweet Riley, who fills my/our days with overflowing joy♡

From my little place to yours may your Christmastime be a blessed one filled with many moments where thankfulness, kindness and love permeate your celebrations. For those of you who will find Christmas sad and difficult, whose hearts are broken, may you find a glimmer of hope in the grace and peace that is the Christmas story. As for me, I am ever thankful for the love and grace of Jesus; in the good times, the bad times, those impossibly difficult times. This Granny is so very thankful; and continually amazed at God's love and grace for her♡

God bless, dear lovely lovelies♡

Until next year..........