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Hello From The Hug!
(May 2008)

G’day all! Well, it’s newsletter time again and life has become so hectic in the last week that it kind of snuck up on me – again!! The first thing to side-track me was a visit to Brisbane to hook up with my mad mate, Lynette, before hitting the annual Stitches and Craft Show. Ooooooohhhhhh!!! We had a LOVELY time!! It was a little depressing to find that after I’d spent all of my play money, all of my purchases fitted into one medium sized brown paper bag! However, most of it was fabric that doesn’t take up much room – another great way to justify the collection thereof – like I need another excuse!! Tee! Hee! Hee! The fabrics I collected at the Show are all going into the basket ready for when I get around to making up the prototype of a quilt design that I’ve been playing with – just as soon as I cross a few earlier projects off my “To Do” list! So, keep an eye out for that!

And speaking of my “To Do” list … I’ve managed to cross a couple of things off it in the last month. Drum roll please … There are TWO new patterns on the Tag Along Teddies web site! YAY!!! All of you wonderfully patient stitchers who have been waiting for the third Tea Party Pals doll can breathe a sigh of relief! Berry Basket Bonnie is now available, as I finally got myself organized and finished the instructions for her. These three dollies live in my lounge room and, although it may sound a little biased, I LOVE them! I love the concept that I started with here, of friends getting together for a cuppa and a chat, plus the fact that there are three friends, as most of my significant friendships seem to have been in groups of three! Whether you make one or all three of these dollies, you’re guaranteed a new friend or three who will just LOOOOOVE to have a cuppa with you. Check Bonnie out on the “What’s New” page of the web site.

Another drum roll please … There is ANOTHER new pattern to be seen on the “What’s New” page of the Tag Along Teddies site!! I worked VERY hard this month and have also finished the instructions and design work for the new Cart Kit. The third of these cute, easily-achieved projects-in-a-card features a stitchery wall hanging. A Tag Along bear is watering a pot of pretty timber button daisies from Button Bliss and the saying is: “All things grow … with love!” The kit includes a blank gift card featuring a photo of the finished wall hanging, an envelope, paper copy of the stitchery design, homespun to trace it on to, three timber daisy buttons and full instructions to make up the wall hanging, so you’ll have everything you need to get started. With the bright yellow daisy buttons by Lisa Young at Button Bliss and the red spotty border, this is a lovely, cheerful wall hanging that will make a great gift, either as the kit or the finished hanging, so make sure you take a peek at the web site and add it to your project list.

Other news to come into the Tag Along Teddies newsroom this month includes dates for the Gayndah Cottage Craft weekend retreat that I’m teaching at, as well as the dates for the 2008 Creative Craft Retreat here in Toowoomba. The Gayndah workshop weekend will be held (strangely!!) in Gayndah on Saturday and Sunday June 14 and 15. There will be all sorts of crafts being taught including fabric painting, quilting, bag making and of course, bear making! I’m not quite sure when the cutoff date is for bookings, but give Eleanor (a regular “Hello From The Hug” reader!) a call on (07) 4161 1720 for more information. Apart from how cold I remember Gayndah being when I attended Senior there, I’m very much looking forward to the weekend of sharing my bears with people.

Then, on the weekend of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 12, 13 and 14, I’ll be teaching again at the Creative Craft Retreat at Lake Perseverance just north of Toowoomba. Last year was the inaugural event and everyone had a fantastic weekend! It’s a very peaceful, pretty camp site (not a ‘roughing it’ camp site!!) and with someone else to do the cooking (last year’s meals were superb!) all you have to do is chat and create! This year, I’ll be teaching my latest doll pattern, Berry Basket Bonnie, so if you’d like to be involved, stay tuned!!! As I get more information, I’ll pass it along, but if you have any questions in the meantime, just drop me an email. I’m really looking forward to being part of the Creative Craft Retreat again. I enjoy teaching classes and workshops VERY MUCH!! It’s so much fun to share my little shortcuts and tips to help people, but also fascinating to see how everyone makes such different bears/dolls from the same pattern!

The Tag Along Teddies Adoption Agency has proven popular, with several little bears finding new homes and several more volunteering for adoption to spread their cheer around. Click on the Adoptions button on the web page to visit these little bears.

Oh! And that reminds me! Regular visitors to the Tag Along Teddies web site may have been noticing a few little changes recently. Like the furniture in the lounge room, we like to shuffle everything around from time to time to keep it up to date and interesting, as well as making the site as easy to navigate as possible, so my beloved Geek Boy has been playing behind the scenes to keep it all fresh and working efficiently – hope you enjoy the changes! Let me know what you think.

Well, I think that’s about it from the home of Tag Along Teddies for this month – told you it had been busy and that’s just SOME of what’s been happening here, as I would be here all day trying to update you any more news! If you’d like to catch up with the goings on around the Meares’ Madhouse and Tag Along Teddies Hug more often, pop into my blog for a visit. There’s always lots of photos and funny stories about our daily adventures being added to the blog, so make yourself a cuppa and get comfy before visiting – it’s just like popping into a friend’s kitchen for a cuppa and a catch up! And as always, I love to hear from other crafters, so if you’ve got questions, comments or suggestions, drop me an email and don’t forget to email photos of your completed craft projects so I can add them to the Brag Book page. Til next “Hello From The Hug”, Bear Hugs!
CHEERS!
KRIS

PS You'll notice this Hello From The Hug looks a little different - it's one of those changes I was telling you GB was playing with - next one will be different again, just to keep you on your toes, but the same chatty, crazy content! Bear Hugs! KRIS

TIP
• Digital cameras are very handy – not only are they easy to use, they give you immediate results, which can be VERY handy for crafters!! If you’re like me and buy fabrics towards a project over a longish period of time, it can be easy to forget WHICH fabric prints you already have and the exact shades of colours. It’s REALLY annoying to buy fabric that you’re sure will match, only to find it’s completely different! So … gather all of the fabrics you have together on a flat surface and take a few photos with your digital camera, using different lighting to make sure at least one comes out true-to-colour. Print off a copy of the photo (many newer computers have a slot where the camera memory card slips straight in or a lead from camera to computer for an immediate result!), making sure it’s clear and true-to-colour. Pop the photo in your bag so you have it whenever you visit a patchwork shop. Be sure to take updated photos as you add to your collection. And don’t throw the photos out – pop them in a notebook that you can use as a quilt journal – you’ll enjoy looking back at the journey once your quilt is finished! Happy Snapping!