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Hello From The Hug!
(February 2008)

G’day all! Well, the year’s well and truly under way and I’m finished my ‘break’ and back at the drawing board! (still the ironing board! Tee! Hee! Hee!) I really enjoyed my little break with no deadlines and no feelings of guilt for not getting patterns ready for the web site. Plus, I’ve so far stuck to my New Year’s non-resolution to work on a UFO one day each week. My green and red quilt has progressed in the last month and now all 9 blocks have their patchwork strip edges, have been joined, a small red border has been added and another patchwork border attached. Once I’ve hand stitched the join strips at the back of the patchwork border, I just need to add a final green border and then bind it. For all of you who don’t quilt – sorry about losing you there! Tee! Hee! Hee! Suffice to say, the quilt is progressing!

And if you want to see some of that progress, you can check out my latest venture – I’ve joined ‘blogland’! After several people had asked me about blogs and a few had suggested they were more effective than web sites, I asked my trusty side-kick ‘Geek Boy’ for his thoughts. Apparently he’s a man of few words but deep thoughts, because the next thing he tells me is that he’s created a blog for me to ‘experiment’ with!! Hmmm… must be a little more careful about what I ask!!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Now, I thought this might be a challenge that is beyond me, given that I’ve never been able to keep a diary for more than two or three days in a row, but I’ve actually found I enjoy it and it’s made me stretch the ol’ grey matter a little as I negotiate my way around ‘blogging’, as even the wonderful Geek Boy doesn’t know much about blogs. If you want to take a peek at what I’ve been up to the address for my blog is: www.tagalongteddies.blogspot.com The other cool thing about the blog is that I can include photos, so you can “SEE” what I’m talking about!!

Some of you will remember the competition I ran just before Christmas where I asked you to send a photo of your favourite craft project and a little blurb about why it was your fave. Regular Hello From The Hug readers will also remember that Leanne from Toowoomba won. Well, after all the comings and goings and co-ordinating two busy schedules, we caught up for a cuppa during the break and she collected her prize pattern, “Elegant Ella”. Leanne also got to meet all my ‘bearbies’ and was a little dazed at the volume of furry bodies residing in our lounge room! She said the displays that I have down low on coffee tables, in ports (suitcases for non-Queenslanders!) and on the rocking chair wouldn’t be possible in her house, as her dog would decide they were on her territory and claim them! I think I saw my bears shudder! I’m looking forward to seeing Leanne’s version of “Ella” when she’s finished.

I know we’re just over Christmas and the whole gift-giving bit, but lots of you are probably like me and the birthday rounds have already begun for the year. So … if you’re looking for a great gift for a stitcher, you should check out the latest pattern to join the Tag Along Teddies catalogue – a Card Kit for a cute Christmas stocking! I came up with this design when I signed up for a handmade Christmas ornament exchange (hello Joy!) and was so pleased with how it came up that I just had to make it into a new pattern. The finished stocking is just 6 inches long and can be made up as a pocket stocking to pop small gifts into (good things come in small packages!!) or as a backed Christmas Tree ornament. But wait, there’s more!!! This pattern is the first of a planned line of Card Kits. This means you receive a gift card featuring a photo of the finished project, (in this case the stocking) then inside you get a piece of homespun ready for you to trace the design onto and start stitching, as well as the design printed on paper and full instructions to make the stocking both ways I’ve just mentioned. Sometimes the thing that stops us from crafting is having to choose a project from the hundreds of fantastic designs out there (there are soooo many to choose from and they’re all yummy!!!), so to have everything ready for you to get started could just be the way to get more projects finished for the year or encourage a friend to get started! Not to mention getting in really early with your new Christmas ornaments! Check the “What’s New” page on the web site for this new project.

During my Christmas ‘break’, I met a new crafting friend via web sites and emails, which were quickly followed by a good long phone chat! Her name is Lisa Young and her business is buttons – Button Bliss, to be precise! Lisa makes laser-cut timber buttons in every shape and size you can imagine and some of the already-in-the-planning-stage Card Kits on my drawing board feature some of Lisa’s wonderful, blissful buttons. I’m anxiously waiting at the moment for some buttons to arrive that she has made from my signature bear sketches – come on Australia Post!!! If you’d like a sneak peek at some more of Lisa’s creations, though, check out her web site: www.buttonbliss.com I guarantee her groovy buttons will have you drooling!

I’ve also been chatting with Joan from the Gayndah Cottage Craft group who are organising their bi-annual craft retreat weekend for June. (Hmmm, I seem to have spent a great deal of my break chatting!! How unlike me! Tee! Hee! Hee!) While things are still in the planning stages, it looks like I’ll be joining the ladies in Gayndah to ‘play’ for the weekend, teaching people how to make “Taylah Bear” or “Morgan the Pirate Bear”. I’m looking forward to it, especially as some of the ladies from this creative collective were planning to attend the workshop in Mundubbera that was cancelled. Sewing in a group is always fun and instructional, as everyone brings different experience to share, but a class situation where everyone starts with the same pattern is even more interesting, as you see the characters of each bear develop – no two bears are ever alike, it’s great!! I’ll keep you informed as this event comes together – and I get more info!!

And speaking of chatting … my good mate Lynda popped in the other day for a cuppa and a catch up (our usual weekly ‘play date’ had been on hold through the school holidays!) and she asked if I could take some photos off her camera for her, as her computer died over the Christmas break. As we flicked through them to decide what was copied to a memory stick and what was deleted, she pointed out several projects that she’d made as gifts and suddenly said, “I’ve finished a lot more projects than I realized!” Sometimes, we get so busy, particularly around Christmas, that we just keep reaching for the next project with a deadline attached and don’t realize how much we’re achieving. If you’re like that, I have two suggestions for you. The first, start a blog! Tee! Hee! Hee! Actually that’s one thing I can see I will find handy about the blog, keeping a record of my works in progress as well as the ones I actually finish. If you want to be a little less technological about it, buy yourself a notebook and as you finish projects, list them along with the date you finished them and perhaps a photo. And if you’re REALLY organized, add some fabric swatches in case you want to make one similar at a later date. It might seem a bit time consuming, but it really is satisfying to look back over the list from time to time to see that you HAVE got something to show for your efforts. Another thing you can do is email some photos of your finished projects to me so I can add them to the ‘Brag Book’ page – like I have with Lynda’s latest projects! The more the merrier and it always helps to have some inspiring photos to spur us on.

Anyways, I think that’s about it from the Tag Along Teddies Hug for now. If you want to know what I’m up to in between newsletters, check out my blog and as always, if you’ve got questions, comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you, so drop me an email.

Til next “Hello From The Hug”,

CHEERS!
KRIS

TIP

  • Do you have a child’s birthday approaching and stuck for gift ideas? Why not buy a bright coloured pillowcase and add a stitchery or appliqué to personalize it. If you find a picture with nice, dark outlines, slip it inside the pillow case to trace. If it’s a little hard to see through coloured cloth, pin the paper design to the fabric, then tape the whole pillowcase to a window and use sunlight to as a lightbox 0 or you could just use a lightbox!! Find a font on the computer you like and print out the child’s name in about 60 point size letters, add it to the design and ‘hey presto’ you have a designer gift item!