Monday, September 1, 2014

now it’s my turn to ‘Blog Hop with a Difference’

You’ve probably noticed a few bloggers  participating in the Blog Hop With A Difference lately.

It's almost like a relay, passing the baton from one creative blogger to another three creative bloggers, and the plan is that it continues on and on.

The purpose of this blog hop is for each blogger to tell their readers a little about their life as a creative person and what makes them tick, so today it’s my turn.  You’ll find out a little more about me because I got tagged by my nearest and dearest, Jenny from Jenny of Elefantz

So….here’s me……I’m Wendy Bertello of Sugarlane Designs (who’da thunk!)

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I’m going with the questions Jen asked of me …. here goes…..

What am I working on right now?

hmmmmmm….I have a number of irons in the fire……I’m not one to just be doing one thing and finishing it totally before I start another…..that’s my worst trait I think….or perhaps it’s just a quilter’s trait?  At the moment I’ve started the Let’s Start Christmas Stitch-a-long with 6 stitcheries that I’ve designed, stitched up and made into a table runner for Christmas.  So at the moment, I’m finishing the runner and writing the patterns hurriedly, for the release of the next stitchery block on Thursday over in my Craftsy shop.

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I’m  drawing up some extra stitcheries to add to the table runner and I’ll be stitching them up this week too.  When I’m not working on my own designs, I’ve been working on the gorgeous Plates Stitchery BOM by Nikki Tervo of Brandy Gully Patchwork

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How long does it take to create a project?

It really depends on what it is…..some are quite quick and some seem to take forever.  Mostly though, I can create something in a week or so, if I’m designing from beginning to end…..something like my Christmas Stitcheries only took a couple of days each but my “I’ll be Gnome for Christmas” Lap quilt took a couple of weeks.


It really depends as I have to fit it into my schedule of volunteer, Association President, mother, wife and crafter…….I’m sure you understand what I mean!?

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What are my favourite things to create with at the moment?

I’ve had a real hankering for working with paper pieced hexies…you can see these in my Love Life bag….

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…and on another upcoming design…..

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I am also always strongly drawn to stitcheries…..I think a project feels a bit ‘naked’ without even a little bit, and I’m quite fond of applique too.  I’m a true Gemini…..always drawn to the next style, never wanting to settle for just one!

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How does my creative process work?

Generally, I’ll come up with a design idea, and jot it down quickly in my drawing folio….I roughly sketch the idea out….and when I say roughly, I mean ROUGHLY!  (I really am not talented in the drawing aspect….I’m comfortable with a needle and thread but pencil and paper threaten me no end!)  I’ll then jot down any requirements I think of that I might need, work out sizes and grab them out of my stash (or organise to buy some more….that’s ALWAYS an option, right?), along with fabric choices and thread choices and bundle them all up in a plastic container so I can find them again.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have a bit of a cluttered brain (and work area) so keeping it altogether is definitely a good start!

I’ll draw out a couple of ‘takes’ in pencil lightly, using Google images as a reference point (like I said, I’m not an arty person….I’m crafty *wink* but not arty) then finalise it in a Sharpie or black Artline fine point marker.  When I’m creating it, I have a notepad by the cutting table/sewing machine so that I can jot down notes, such as measurements or steps in the process as I go along…..I did say I have a cluttered brain?  It’s far easier for me to refer back to notes than to try and remember what I did at step 47 out of 101 steps.

Lots of the processes are trial and error too….if I try something new, I will visualise it in my head, step by step, but as I’m more of a tactile learner, I tend to like making that section up in paper first, if I can (I don’t like wasting my fabric stash!).

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How do I become inspired and stay inspired?

I know it sounds a bit cliche, but I get inspiration from everywhere!  I’m a words-type person…..I absolutely LOVE words and inspirational quotes, so often a stitchery design will come from that.  Being a ‘glass half full’ gal, I believe that you should never leave feelings for someone unspoken…and as not all people wear their hearts on their sleeves, a stitchery design can often convey how much someone means to you.

Sometimes it’s something I’ve seen in the garden, or a colour palette that twigs an idea in my head.  Even just thoughts of a season or event bring ideas flooding to mind.  Situations, such as the illness of my father in law earlier this year, inspire me ….and which gave birth to the ‘Love Life’ bag.

I stay inspired by being aware of being open to new designs……having that ‘sense’ of designing switched on at all times……(you really NEVER know when it’s going to strike)….I visit sites like Pinterest (but you knew that already) and that’s always a great inspirational minefield…..I get lost in there for hours… hubby’s even banned me and limited my Pin-time!  Also by visiting other designers and bloggers and looking on websites selling quilting fabrics, because often a fabric line will bring ideas spilling out of my head.

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What is my signature style?

yep….that one I’m not sure of yet.  I think I’m still evolving.  Jen and I have discussed this one in depth and she thinks I may have an eclectic style….perhaps it IS the Gemini in me, I don’t know.  I guess mine is a positive, inspirational, words-based style that’s sometimes modern, sometimes not, sometimes shabby, sometimes not, sometimes girly, sometimes not, sometimes traditional, sometimes not.  Maybe you’ve spotted a ‘style’ that I’ve missed?  I’d love to hear your thoughts?!

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So now it’s time to pass on the baton…….these three ladies are ones I admire greatly and I know their stories will inspire you too…..

Vicki of The Pickledish Patch

Allie of allie-oops sweet happy life

Marilyn of Mardi Meanderings

Pop on over to their blogs next Monday 8th September, to see what makes them tick!

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Just a reminder……pinch and a punch for the first day of the month!….and the first of spring here in the southern hemisphere! 

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Sugary hugs xox  :o)

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

OPAM finishes for August

Is it REALLY the end of the month already????

Where does the time go?  This year just seems to have raced past…….how on earth does that happen!

Oh well, so much to be grateful for….some don’t have the luxury of becoming older so I’m really not complaining.

Anyway….I have some finishes to share (believe it or not…..I surprised myself!)

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Quilty Stitches….all framed and hanging in my ‘cave’.  I love this one.  Blocks are still available to download over on Little Miss Shabby’s blog…..the link is in my sidebar.

Last night I finished this …….It’s a gift so I can’t show you much more….yet!  Needless to say it’s done and ready to post.

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Dont you just love the Riley Blake fabric?  So bright and cheery!

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I also finished these 4 cuties….

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and a stitchery/applique design that’s coming up in a future Patchwork & Stitching magazine.

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that’s all I can show you but trust me, it’s done and dusted and in the hands of the editor!

Happy days!

Sugary hugs xox  :o)

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Almost Finishes

Wow…..thank you to everyone for such a wonderful response to my new Christmas Stitch-a-long yesterday……I’m overwhelmed and, dare I say, relieved!? 

You never know when you ‘put something out there’ how it will be received….sometimes, when you love something you’ve created, that you’ve put your heart and soul into, you find no-one really has the same ‘love’ as you do…it’s a bit shattering…..but, I’m learning, that’s all part of designing, and I’m grateful for what I’m able to do, that’s for sure.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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However, the response to the first block, “Noel”, has blown me out of the water….I’m so happy as I really like this one…and the rest are pretty good too (if I do say so myself *insert cheeky grin*).  We made it to number one on the Craftsy Top 20 list so you should see my puffed up chest now!  I’m really honoured and proud!

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So it’s a hearty, THANK YOU to you all for supporting me in my quest to spread some Christmas cheer!  And if you haven’t got your block yet, you can do so HERE….and don’t forget to join our Facebook group to share your progress and share the button on your sidebar.

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Now, apart from that…..I have been finishing some other stitcheries……

The final block……

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my Quilty Stitches sampler is done (but not framed!)  I bought a frame yesterday that I thought would be ‘perfect’ but I didn’t realise the size meant from edge to edge, not the inside frame size so it was too small….off to look for another today! Sad smile

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Another finish (almost)….well, the stitching part….

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terrible….not even pressed!  You can still see the hoop marks! *eek*  This is a Natalie Bird from The Birdhouse design.  An oldie, called “Old Friends”…..see?  I am getting through some of my K.A.R.T.S. and UFO’s, at last!

Off to visit the surgeon today….hubby has to have 7 teeth removed next Friday….they’re trying to discount abcesses causing a blood disorder he has developed!  Prayers and/or positive thoughts appreciated at all times gratefully. We’re really over doctors and hospitals this year!

Sugary hugs xox :o)

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Release - Block 1: “Noel” Let’s Start Christmas SAL

Well it’s finally here, the start of our Stitch-a-long and the release of the first block.  Did you guess it would be the Noel block?  I think you would have!  

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The series of six 4-inch Christmas stitchery blocks will be available one a week, starting Thursday 28th August 2014 and each following Thursday through to 1st October.  On the 8th October, a pattern for a Christmas table runner featuring all 6 stitcheries (and a little extra) will be available. 

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Pop on over to my Craftsy store to buy the first pattern….at only $2, it’s a steal!  Don’t forget to add the Let’s Start Christmas SAL button to your sidebar, linking back here and then join in the fun on our facebook group page

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Can’t wait to see what everyone makes with their blocks!

Sugary hugs xox :o)

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Let’s start Christmas, shall we?

I do hate to scare you, but did you know it’s only 18 Thursdays til Christmas?  Well, 17 really because the 18th one is Christmas Day…..well, here in Australia it is, anyway!

I know…..I got quite a shock too when I worked it out but never you mind….you still have plenty of time to get started on your Christmas gift planning, and have I got something in mind for you!

Remember I showed you these just the other day?  …..

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well, they’re my new Christmas stitchery designs.  I’ve deliberately hid most of them from you on purpose…sneaky huh?

There are six 4 inch stitchery blocks, simple enough for even the novice stitcher to do  (I’ll be giving instructions ranging from easy-peasy to those for the more experienced stitcher). 

Each Thursday for the next six weeks, I’ll release one of them…..(I bet you can guess which the first one is)….as a PDF pattern you can purchase in my Craftsy shop….don’t worry, I’ll remind you here.  And the wonderful thing is, you can use them in any way you want… a pocket on a bag,  a framed stitchery or two, or three, a wall hanging, a mug rug, a Christmas gift giving book cover….the ideas are endless.   Even better, each pattern will be at the bargain price of $2USD.

  IN week seven, I’ll release the pattern I created for a table runner using all six of the stitcheries.  Here’s a peek of it’s progress…..

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Can’t show you too much more….that would spoil the surprise now wouldn’t it?

  • So, make sure you stop by my Craftsy shop on Thursday and pick up the first pattern.  The rest will be released -
  • September 4
  • September 11
  • September 18
  • September 25
  • October 1
  • with the table runner released on October 8
  • and on October 23, there will be a prize draw for those that have been stitching along…..but more on that later! (I’m full of surprises today, aren’t I?)

Don’t forget to jot those dates down in your diary, and grab the button below for your sidebar

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If you haven’t already done so, why not follow me by email…that way, I’ll come straight to you and remind you at your house!  Just fill in your email address on my sidebar and I’ll come and visit you often!

Don’t forget to share the Christmas love and….

Have a great Monday and

Sugary sweet hugs xox  :o)

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Incriminating evidence

Yes, we did have a ball last night and YES, I did get incriminating photos but before I reveal….here is where we went…..

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our local golf club was the setting and we were greeted with a forest of Christmas trees, Santa’s mailbox and a line up of reindeer.  A peek inside revealed a wonderful setting…

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so much effort was put in by the organisers……and you knew we were still in North Queensland with the gecko climbing the wall (even though it wasn’t real….they’re everywhere!)

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the table settings were wonderful….

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as was the view out onto the golf course at sunset…..don’t you love the perfect purple sky that matches the Christmas decorations?  See….the organisers thought of everything!

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And then …….Santa arrived…..(aka Mr Sugarlane)….

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He divvied out presents and brought smiles to young and old….

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Jolly ol’ St. Sugar……he was in his element, pillow, fake beard and all! (Don’t you just love those googly glasses gifted to one of our attendees?  If you look closely, they have 3D eyes on them…..hilarious when he looked straight on!)


I received a funky little feather pen….isn’t it gorgeous?

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and before we knew it, Santa had gone………..and Mr S returned……in cognito, of course!

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I must say we enjoyed the night immensely…with all the trouble and strife in the world at the moment, it was a pleasant ‘escape’ and brought our thoughts back to helping others through our fundraiser and turning our thoughts to the true meaning of Christmas all year through.

Sugary mid-year Christmassy hugs xox  :o)

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Christmas in August?

Tonight we are going to a Christmas in August fundraiser……I know, I know…..the tradition is either Christmas in December or Christmas in July, but the local Rotary group were so busy with community fundraising last month, they had to postpone till now…..and guess who they called up for Santa duty?

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Mr Sugarlane got the duties….here he is practicing his ‘ho ho ho-ing’ this morning! Should be loads of fun…..Christmas dinner with all the spoils, and ‘Santa’ giving out presents.  I’m really looking forward to getting some more ‘incriminating’ photos tonight! LOL 


And whilst we’re on the topic of Christmas, I’ve mentioned I’ve been busy designing six new stitcheries…..Christmas ones…..I’ll be sharing them with you very soon…..but here’s a quick look….

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I was working on them last night.  I’ll be making mine into a table runner but they can be stitched individually into bag panels, gift items etc…….but more about that later.

Lots more has been happening here at Sugarlane……

some hexi making

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and now it’s beginning to warm up a bit and spring is certainly here in the north, I’ve been gardening and our crops are ready to be picked sooooo….

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this beautiful bounty of rosellas, aka wild hibiscus flowers, (not the bird kind!) was harvested ready for jam-making tomorrow….it’s my favourite kind of jam!

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Not many left now!

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….well, not at dad’s place anyway……I’m off to pick more from my garden because my plants are full to the brim too!

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Sugary hugs xox  :o)

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