"Whatever your hands find to do, verily do it with all your might" Ecclesiastes 9-10

Monday, December 31, 2007

BYE BYE 2007 ! ...



My dear friends,


I wish for you...


Confort on difficult days,

Smiles when sadness intrudes,

Rainbows to follow the clouds,

Laughters to kiss your lips,

Sunsets to warm your heart,

Gentle hugs when spirits sag,

Friendships to brighten your being,

Beauty for your eyes to see,

Confidence for when you doubt,

Faith, so that you can believe,

Courage to know yourself,

Patience to accept the truth,

And LOVE to complete your life.


And if you can't have all that...

Then I wish you enough chocolate,

To make it through the tough times !


(Unknown)



THANK YOU,


for your true friendship,

your encouragements,

your generosity,

and the constant inspiration

you are to me !


And here are, especially for you,

my last biiiig (((HUGS))) and smiles for 2007...


Stay tuned, don't forget to come back next year !
My very first 2008 post will be my new projects list..

Saturday, December 22, 2007

IT' S ALMOST HERE....

Time flies, enjoying the Season,
preparing everything,
playing with the kids,
writing to friends and family,
wrapping some presents,
baking, cooking,
and choose the best tree...
To celebrate
love, sharing, generosity,
forgiveness, understanding,
and peace....
I'm wishing all of you
a very


God bless you...

Monday, December 17, 2007

HEARTFULLY...

Another beautiful Rebecca Barker Winter Quilt notecard...
Your birthday wishes were a blessing and filled my heart with joy...


And here is my last Xmas gift, finished
and ready to be sent out to....







TODAY' S QUOTE :

To hide the key to your heart, is to risk forgetting where you placed it...
(Timothy Childers)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A WINTER GIRL...


Rebecca Barker "Winter" quilt notecard


I'm a Winter girl...

14th December...

Happy Birthday to me !



56 candles on the cake...
56 reasons to be happy...
56 thanks to my destiny...

QUOTE OF THE DAY :

There is a fountain of youth, it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.

When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age...

Sophia Loren




Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ITALIAN ANGELS...

Today my mailbox was filled with Italian angels. Happy Dance !



You may remember I had signed in a X-stitch swap with a fantastic group of Italian ladies, some time ago. Well , I've got my secret partner's present from Romina.

Romina is an extraordinary, funny woman: a busy wife and mother, a very talented, helpful X-stitcher, with a huge sense of humor, and a biiiiig heart. Go and visit her Blog (you can leave a comment she speaks Italian, English and French), you won't waste your time.... As the organizer of the swap, Romina thought she would be my secret partner, as I was the only Belgian participant. Now, isn't that sweet ? And look what she sent to me ! Two cute X-stitched pincushions on a memo frame with pins, a bunch of homemade buttons (made out of "Fimo" material), ribbons, lace, embroidery DMC cotons, and a Xmas note book.... My, oh My !

THANKS, ROMINA !

GRAZIE MILLE, NEL FONDO DEL MIO CUORE !









The second envelope was from TEODO, ("Appunti Patch") one of our talented quilter friends from Italy. Teodo has golden hands : she can transform almost anything into a small treasure, and she's doing so much for the Italian quilting association ! (but she will tell you the contrary, because she's very modest !). Some time ago, she showed some cuuuute "Biedermeier" on her Blog, and I complimented her with much enthusiasm (me??? enthusiast ?????) . Well, Teodo didn't forget that, and she sent one to me, + a very delicate Xmas ornament...

THANKS, TEODO !

CHE BELLA SORPRESA DA TE !

(Mi sento veramente speziale, grazie a te)

By the way, Teodo also helped me to install the music your listening to, right now on my Blog. (Like it ???)...







I thought I could also show you my own participation to the Italin X-stitch swap. It took me some time and efforts (I'm not used to X-stitch), but I like it, and I sincerely hope the (still secret) recipient will love it too...




I won't finish this post without telling you that I'm so sorry for not leaving many comments on your Blogs, for the moment : school is "pumping" me a lot with the winter exams, deliberations, etc.... but I'll catch up when on holidays, promised !



TODAY ' S QUOTE


a beautiful song written by Johnny Richards in 1953, and sung by Frank Sinatra(Wanna listen to it ? click on the title on my sidebar player)-

YOUNG AT HEART

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you,

If you're young at heart,

For it's hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind,

If you're young at heart.

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes,

You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams,

And life gets more exciting with each passing day,

And love is either in your heart, or on its way.

Don't you know that it's worth every treasure on earth,

To be young at heart,

For as rich as you are, it's much better by far,

To be young at heart.

And if you should survive to 105,

Look at all you'll derive out of being alive !

Then here is the best part : you have a head start,

If you are among the very young at heart...


Friday, December 7, 2007

W O W ! ! !

I was out all day with DH, and it was already dark when we came back home... but I could see a biiig envelope pointing out of my mailbox ! Quick, quick, find the key and rrrrun to open it !...... Who had sent this big package of happiness ? Was it my Secret Santa Partner ???? Noooooooo : it was from May Britt !

Quick, quick : take off my coat, make a cup of coffee, sit down and..... enjoy !


My dear friend really spoiled me, look at that :

- the hanging parcels are 4 Advent surprises (my first ever !). I was only allowed to open Nr.1, which I did, of course : mmmmmm ! Yummy Norwegian milk chocolate (my favorite)
- the green package is my birthday present. Actually I'll celebrate it next week, but I couldn't help opening it : woooohoooo ! A super lovely Bareroots booklet with all instructions and patterns to stitch splendid borders . Happy dance !
- the red parcel is my X-mas present and I may not open it before Christmas Eve...
- there are also wonderful postcards of Norwegian quilts,
- plus........ "May Britt specials" if you see what I mean. LOL LOL

THANK YOU
my dear, special friend,from the bottom of my heart !
TODAY ' S QUOTE
A true friend is one of the best presents of life...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

JUST FOR FUN ....

I found this on Finn's Blog, and was curious about me, me,me..........LOL

You Are Easter
You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.
What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.
At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.
On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone
What Holiday Are You?

ARE YOU CURIOUS, TOO ?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

BLESSED MOMENTS + SOME WORKS....

THANKS, my friends, for you sweet comments about my grandson. I was thrilled !... So we baked, until the whole kitchen was "flour white" - if you see what I mean - and we had sooo much fun together ! Herunder is (part of) the result of our efforts. These are not exactly cookies, rather "galettes".

The basis is the same as a "4/4 cake" : 1/4 flour, 1/4 eggs, 1/4 sugar, and 1/4 butter. You mix well, let it rest a little, then make small "balls" out of it, and cook in a special appliance, that gives the grid shape....Hmmmmm, You should smell it !
Each Belgian housewife prepares those galettes for the New Year, adding her own "secret ingredient" for a special flavour (mine being some xxxxxxx and a little xxxxxxx).
December is devoted to their baking, then we stock them (tin boxes are the best), and hide them until January 1st (I'll always remember the day I wanted to present my galettes to our friends, and found my boxes.... almost empty !). We share them with our family, friends and neighbours + a nice cup of coffee and a glass of homemade liqueur (I often make lemoncello)...... Then after getting some visits, YOU have to pay your visits, AND eat galettes with liqueur... By the 15th of January, NO ONE want to see a galette until next year ! LOL



Meet our Chef, who was not exhausted at all, and wanted to wash some potatoes for our dinner ...




A labour of love and patience...

I already told you about an embroidery workshop I signed in ... Well here is a tablerunner, made by one of the participants (not me ! If only...). Made with Japanese fabrics, displayed as a crazy quilt and all hand embroidered, with the help of our fantastic teacher. I've finished the central wheel now, and I plan to keep learning. My project is a throw with the same fabrics. The setting will look like a big nine-patch, with the wheel in the center...
A loooooong way to go, but I'm not in a hurry and I'll enjoy every stitch of it.....




The "Placard Belle"

I'm very good at sorting out, filing, labelling, and putting aside ! LOL Like everyone, I've got some nice big boxes, labelled :

"Old Projects"

"New Projects"

"Started"

"Abandonned"

"Almost finished"

"Forget it !"

Well, I opened the "Almost Finished" box and saw this poor Autumn Lady, only begging for a binder.... So, I devoted some time to her at last ..... she seems smiling at me now ! I think the pattern was in a Art to Heart fall book.



GRATITUDES

The best "Chef" in the world !

New Year "Galettes"

Love and Patience

"Almost Finished" boxes

The magic of December starting...

TODAY' S QUOTE

Perhaps the best yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles !

(unknown)


Sunday, November 25, 2007

COOKIES, BUTTERFLIES AND X-MAS GIFTIES...

This little gentleman is spending 2 days with me. We're planning to bake cookies, taste them and have a good time, "Just the two of us"...


As you may know, I'm planning to stitch Leanne's "Butterfly Garden" (see Oct.12th post)
I spent some time, looking for the main fabric, that would help me choose the complementary ones, out of my stash, and finally found this treasure at my local quilt shop. The shop owner says it's so different from the bright tones I'm using, but it was love at first sight. It's a Japanese fabric, so sweet, elegant and delicate... (I guess this made her think it's not quite "me" LOL LOL), and will be perfect with bright pastels + some reds......


I'm also in a very lucky period for the moment, as I was the lucky winner of Gwen 's giveaway for her 50th Blog post . (As a funny coincidence Gwen had recently been the winner of my own 150th post giveaway !). And look at these treasures : a gorgeous piece of French fabric (2 yards !) from Provence, a bunch of homespuns, and lovely, lovely ribbons.... THANKS GWEN, I'm thrilled ! The fabric will make beautiful placemats + a table topper for our new kitchen-to-be ( as a matter of fact, we ordered new kitchen furnitures from a "Provence" collection, for next spring). As to the ribbons : I'm starting a collection, now !



Now I'd better go back, working at my Christmas gifts. Look at Santa : he seems to be in a hurry !


Thursday, November 22, 2007

BEING GRATEFUL...


To all of you, celebrating today, I wish
a warm & cheerful family reunion,
and many reasons to be thankful !
Heartfully,
Nadine

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

PAY IT FORWARD

I saw this sign on Hanne 's blog, and wanted to play along.

This is how it goes : it's the Pay It Forward exchange, based on the concept of the movie "Pay It Forward", where acts of kindness are done without expecting anything in return, just passing it on, hoping that the recipients will do the same and pay it forward, like a never ending chain of kindness...

How to proceed ?

I will make and send a handmade gift for the first 3 friends who post a comment to this post, requesting to join this exchange, and promising to pay it forward to 3 other persons, etc....

I don't know what my 3 gifts will be, and I can't make them in the next few weeks, but I can promise I will send them within the next 6 months .

What YOU have to do in return then, is pay it forward by making the same announcement and promise on YOUR blog.

Come and join the fun to make the world a happier place !

I wonder WHO will be the first 3 comments to this post ??

Edit : Welcome to Tracey, Katherine, Cdnj...and Güdrun (who came about the same time) in this Pay It Forward !

Monday, November 19, 2007

CHRISTMAS


Dear Secret Santa,

I know how busy you are at the moment, but I'd like to ask you a favour : please, Santa, don't show my present on your Blog : I wish to keep it a surprise until Christmas morning. You know how difficult this is going to be, but I promise to be a good and patient girl ! Besides, the waiting is part of the pleasure !

THANKS, dear Santa !

Saturday, November 17, 2007

INSPIRATION & PENNIES FROM HEAVEN

First of all, please excuse the poor quality of my pictures : I should have changed batteries.

We'll start with a short story...

Last Thursday, while visiting a haberdashery, I heard a lady talking about quilting lessons she was giving. She proposed her services to the shop, and said she could leave her "blocks book", for people to look at... Aha, aha ! You guess we started a nice conversation. What intrigued me was her "blocks book". Have you ever tried filing your WIP's blocks properly, when going to a workshop ? It's always funny : I tried different kind of boxes - plastic, carton ( and even pizza ones !), or plastic folders... For some reason these are never the right size. The lady kindly let me examine her solution, and I was totally convinced with it. So I took some measures, tried to fix the look in my memory, and went back to school thinking "I WANT one like this"... Well, here's my attempt. It can certainly be improved (and personnalized), but it was quite easy and believe me : if I can do it, you can do it...




It measures about 15 inches / 12 inches, and is built like a photo album, the "pages" being in thick flannel ( I used natural thin coton batting), so that your blocks don't move. You can store big blocks - like the one you see hereunder (my next 4 Seasons winter swap)...





or smaller ones , like the latest "Little Sweethearts" I stitched this week.




FUN MAIL
************

This funny small book came into my mailbox on Friday, and I was absolutely right to order it. It's not a secret, you know I LOVE one-patch quilts, charm quilts, that I can handpiece to my heart's content... Well, this cutie contains not less than 31 patterns ! It's a must-have with endless possibilities for charm quilts lovers. You must know, however, that there's no "how-to", only the pattern + photos, assuming you will imagine the rest - which is easy.




PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
*********************************
I was having a walk in the village, and met one of my "old ladies" friend. Kisses, hugs, latest news, then she asked me to go home with her : "I've got some pretty nice quilt books, but they're in Japanese and I don't understand Japanese. You're good at languages, so I give them to you !" WOW ! LOOK !...


These books are treasures, and I'll bring a big box chocolates to my generous friend.







TODAY' S QUOTE :

Never hesitate having a nice walk,

you could get pennies from heaven...

(a happy quilter)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A NICE WEEKEND





It started with a very nice email from Heather, proposing to buy the APQ2008 calendar in the US, and then send it to me. I was thrilled ! After some research, Heather realized that the calendar was only available for the magazine subscribers, which explains why we can't find a Web link where to get it. So Heather has now ordered the calendar for me, and I'll soon get it in my mailbox. Thanks, Heather, I'll have a thought for you the whole year through , thanks also to the numerous friends who tried to help me...



Then came May Britt, talking about msn, and I finally decided to jump into it as well. Ooooh, what fun ! It was like being together in a sewing room. We talked about our Christmas home made gifts, and she showed me a very nice pattern of a small tea bags purse. I wanted to have a try and, of course she challenged me : not only did she give an msn appointment at 6pm, but she added she wanted a picture. That's the May Britt's method to boost you : no excuse ! LOL


And it works ! Hereunder is a picture of my first - still incomplete - tea bags purse. I still have to make the lining, and a cute tea-bag tag, to be attached to the zipper.

Isn't it cute to place in your bag, filled with your favourite tea-bags, when going to a quilt meeting ? It still needs some improvements, but practice will help my progress (I intend to make a bunch of them ! HeeHee....)


November Challenge with Hanne : (Little Sweethearts stitchery quilt)
I stitched 4 additional ones, this week. I'm planning to finish the last ones this coming week, so that I can work on the sashings and cornerstones by next weekend.



TODAY' S QUOTE


Feeling angry for one minute
makes you loose sixty seconds happiness.


(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

CHRISTMAS (WEB) SHOPPING


Visiting Lucy 's Blog today, I noticed the Better Homes & Gardens APQ 2008 Calendar, and thought it would be nice under my Xmas tree... So I decided to allow me this treat and to order it through the Web. I tried several requests through Google, but was unsuccesful...

Could anyone guide me to the right link ?
THANK YOU !

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I CAN DO IT !



I 've been boosted by MayBritt to exercise on Blog linking, thanks to her clever explanations... and it works ! I'll always astonish myself, actually I'm in love with myself... LOL



I also wish to thank Hanne, Juliann, and Gail, for their helpful comments and mails. Quilting friends are really the best !



I do hope that Elaine and Jeanette will do their "homework", as well .




Now, sing along with me girls :

"If she can do it,

I can do it,

We can do it !"



PS : do I deserve a fat quarter ?



Sunday, November 4, 2007

NADINE' S NOVEMBER CHALLENGE



Inspired by Hanne (http://hannequilt.blogspot.com/), I'm joining the fun in a challenge for November. As I told her, I'm good at working under "pressure", and I do hope this will give me the little "push" I need to finish something this month.

Among the many projects waiting on my working table, here's the winner:



"Little Sweethearts"

I still have 8 blocks to stitch (out of 24), then piece all blocks together, + basting. So this is my November challenge... + an "extra" : if possible, I'll do my best to handquilt it - which would be the "icing on the cake". We'll see...

In the meantime, I won't miss working on the "Secret Santa Christmas Swap" that I signed in by Dona ("Chookyblue"),

as well as on a "Lizzie Kate X-Stitch Winter Swap" (Yes, you read well : Xstitch !), that I signed in on a crazy evening - LOL - by a very nice Italian Blogger ("Il Calderone")

OK, there's some bread in the oven, as we say here !

* * * * * * * * *

"With a little help from my friends"

I see that many among us are using a special "trick" to mention a friend, re-directing automatically to the concerned Blog. Could anyone write a short "how-to" about that ? I'm lost..... THANKS !



GRATITUDES :

- A nice, quiet weekend

- "Bread in the oven"

- Andrea, my grandson, said to me "you're beautiful !" (he needed a second cookie)

- A nice haircut

- Watching my garden at dawn, with fresh hot coffee, house still asleep....



TODAY'S QUOTE :

You can't have everything...

Where would you put it ?

(Steven Wright)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A CELEBRATION DAY...



Halloween is not much celebrated here in Belgium. However, today is a very important day to us, as we celebrate our beloved deceased ones, and it's a legal holiday.



It has also a religious meaning : All Saint's Day >>> "tous les Saints", therefore the name "TOUSSAINT" in French.



Most families go to the cemetery in the morning, bringing chrysanthemums (long lasting flower, even with frost)...




Then we generally organize a family reunion, having lunch all together. This gives us the opportunity to remember the good moments we shared with our beloved ones, and many memories are told - including funny ones -


When I was a child, my grandmother was in charge of organizing that special lunch.


I can still recall that loooong table, with about 30 cousins, old uncles and aunts, with "pricking" kisses on my cheeks, and always the same question : "well, how's it going at school ?", and same comment : "OMG, how tall she is !".


My grandmother was giving "orders" in the kitchen, checking everything on the menu, which was traditionally always the same : pumkin soup, roasted turkey, winter salad, apple mousse, and home made pie, not to forget good red wine from the cellar (of which I got a drop in my glass of water)....


There were laughters, some tears also, everyone happy to give some news, and to remember "the good times".... In a way, this reminds me of Thanksgiving....


Today, we went to the cemetery and flourished my grandmother's, and my mother's graves. Most cousins, aunts and uncles deceased a long time ago. So, I decided to organize THE lunch myself, kind of taking my turn in the family tradition....



The menu was exactly he same, and we had a good time together. The table was not so long : we were 9 only. However, I guess we will be more each year, as the family grows, and it was as if my grandmother was smiling to me, from Heaven above...






TODAY' S QUOTE :

Most traditions are transmitted by women, who act like guardians in the family...


(African proverb)


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

AWARDS AND FUN MAIL

Yesterday I was blessed and honoured to get the
by BREN (http://piecesfromme.blogspot.com/) . I was quite amazed, as I think so many among us are thoughtful persons. But I'll take Linda's words to say that I gladly and graciously accept this award, as it was offered to me. THANKS, Bren!

The "game" is now to attribute 5 awards (and unfortunately, 5 only), but the fun is that I've got the choice between different ones. Please go to this reference site and read the rules



Also, please remember to remind this ref.link, when attributing your own chosen awards.



So, here we go with my choices now :




when seeing this one, I immediately thought about :



and


These two special friends have beautiful, generous, caring souls. I won't list here the many times I was their lucky recipient (and not only with fun envelopes, or packages). They know what I mean, and I take this opportunity to show them how much I appreciate their friendship...



For this award, I could not dissociate 3 names :



This lady has a real talent for writing and as an accomplished quilter, and she also brings me to the essential. To me, Finn is a great source of inspiration and simplicity.



I don't know her blog for quite a long time, but I visit her every day since, and I always find quilty treasures in there. Here again, simple blocks and scrap quilts seem to be the key words.





Lucy ("Quilting with the Past") (http://lucyquilting.blogspot.com/)


Lucy has this precious talent to create "new vintage quilts", as I'm calling them.

Each of her quilts is a heirloom, with an actual look but a traditional feeling.

I would dream of living a full week workshop with her....




You will understand, my friends, that I could have given many, many, more awards as all of you have that "little something" that makes you so special to me, but the rule is the rule : 5 awards only !


Note : I deliberately avoided the Courageous Blogger Award, as well as the Charity Blogger one, as the friends I had chosen had already been awarded.




****************


And, yess, the dream goes on : Henri the Postman rang my bell again ! Let me show you my treasures for today :




A few weeks ago, Sandy (Gipsy Quilter) had posted a funny game, about lovely chicky pincushions she had made : she was asking about names for these "ladies"... and I won ! And "Aunt Bertha" didn't travel alone : Sandy generously filled her package with numerous, vintage 2 inches 1/2 squares, plus a beautiful piece of Americana fabric... How sweet ! THANKS, Sandy ! Aunt Bertha is now proudly running my pincushions poultry, and she seems quite happy about it....


Genie (http://luv2stitch.blogspot.com/) also emailed me about "a little something" she had sent out to me "just because"... Actually, Genie knows about my coming back to some (only some !) cross stitching, and said "I saw this one in my quiltshop,. When taking one for me, I immediately thought about you, so here it is!" Can you believe that ?... THANKS, Genie ! I cannot promise an immediate accomplishment, but how about a little challenge for next Easter ?



TODAY' S QUOTE :