Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another handmade ornament..

As mentioned before, I was in an ornament swap with some friends and so I received my other ornament yesterday. It's this really cute Christmas tree, which my baby has taken quite a shine too - I keep finding his Thomas the Tank Engine using it as a roundabout! I must put it up higher so he can't touch! :-)

I also had a late night up making this cushion as a part of a Secret Santa gift. I hope the recipient likes it!

I can't believe that Christmas is 3 days away. The lead up to Christmas this year has been so hectic and chaotic that I really haven't got into the Christmas spirit. It's a shame as I usually love Christmas. Next year hubby and I have already decided that we are staying 8 hours drive with 4 kids, no trying to figure out how to get certain gifts 800kms away, no trying to fit in with other family member's traditions. Just us, our kids, our space....sounds like heaven!!

We will see if it actually manages to happen! *smile*

Anyway I hope you all have a great Christmas and start to 2011. See you in the new year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

That Cute Owl

Here's the link for the tutorial for the owl ornament in the last blog entry.
Find it here.So have fun!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Ornament Swaps

I'm sorry I've been missing in action lately. The lead up to this Christmas has been very busy and the to-do list is still a mile long...sigh...
But enough of my whinging, I just wanted to drop in and show you some lovely ornaments I received in the mail. Firstly this gorgeous little owl from my friend Kay (who unfortunately is still waiting for one to arrive from me. Promise it will go in the mail Monday!)
And this lovely little stocking from Sue..

And my friend Vanessa sent me this great link for a pattern for this ornament, so I thought I would give it a go.It's super easy and could be embellished in so many different ways.
Well, I hope you're having a good week. I better get off this 'puter and go and clean up from a 40th birthday party that we had here today. It's days like this I could do with two dishwashers!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My favourite Christmas decoration..

We have started to get organised and have put up the Christmas tree and spread a few Christmas Decorations around. I love nativity sets and here is my favourite..

It's a Little People set and I love that I can set it up on the TV cabinet and the kids can play with it to their heart's content. None of this "don't touch" business!

And I also love the giggles it gives me when I go past and find Baby Jesus on the roof, riding the camel or going past in the back of a Tonka Truck. In the busyness of Christmas a bit of a laugh goes a long way! Hope you're preparations are going well and that you're getting the chance to stop and remember the importance of that first Christmas!
The day before swimming lessons began Sunshine Boy reminded me that he needed a swimming bag (and went on to remind me that his sister had a proper one and that a Coles Green Bag wasn't going to cut it..) so off I went to find some fabric suitable for a 7 year old boy for a bag..I dislike skulls and crossbones and he dislikes "baby stuff" , so it was going to be a tough compromise. So when I found this fabric, I thought it must have been my lucky day..

Cute fishy type fabric..but luckily they are sufficiently unbabyish for the boy... And so we ended up with this...

Now, I'm not a woman to curse much (except for at people who don't know round-a-bout rules!) but sewing with this clear vinyl plastic stuff made me say a few choice words. Such a simple pattern for a bag, but do you think I could get it to sew?? So off I went to the local sewing shop and the lovely lady there sold me a Teflon foot, which made a world of difference (and thus increased the price of making this bag by about $30..LOL!)

So now I'm off to make myself a beach bag in time for the Christmas Holiday. Do you know how impossible it is to find a bag that fits six beach towels?? My bag is going to have mermaids..... :-)
Have a great week!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..shame it's only November!!

First things first. Looks like the Christmas kits excited everyone else as much as they excited me... *smile*, so I will send of the Elf Bag to Melinda and the Wallhanging to Jewells!

Here's a couple of photos of Christmassy things happening around here.

Our church had a gingerbread house night, so Gorgeous Girl and I went along. Here's my house..

..with a cute little "wood pile" out the back (and in case you're wondering those are "mushrooms" that have fallen over..probably helped by little boy fingers)

And some stitching...

And I whipped up a quick project with this fabric last week..I'll show a photo next time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Giveaway..Part 2

Yep, here's another one. It's a kit for a wallhanging by Country Cupboard Designs. It includes all fabric needed plus rusty bells.

So if you would like know the drill.. leave a comment,etc etc

Have a great week!

Christmas Giveaway ..part 1

Hi all!
Just cleaning out the cupboards and found a couple of kits that I have had stashed in there since I participated in a Christmas Kit-of-the-Month a couple of years ago.

Thought it might be nice for these to go to a home where they might actually be made! LOL!

So the first giveaway is for a Christmas Bag Kit. It has all the fabric needed, plus threads and rusty bells.

Please leave a comment and I'll put the names in the hat and I will do the draw in a week or so.

(PS. I might have a few more of these kits to giveaway, so might be worth checking in later!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A mystery...

Mess on the kitchen benches, smell of banana cake in the oven, wonder what's been happening in my kitchen....
Umm...spilt flour on the floor (*sigh*), with a little clue left behind of the culprit...

Don't think we'll have to call in Scotland Yard for this one.. :-)Now where's that vacuum cleaner..

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The story of a quilt...

When my gorgeous girl was little I participated in a "Brown Paper Bag Quilt Swap". For those not in the know, this is where you get a paper bag, put in some instructions and it is passed around the group of quilters and one by one they make you a block and put it in the bag. Of course, meanwhile you are making a block for all of them!

For my quilt I asked the group to make a any 12" block, using some of the fabric I supplied. I chose something with pretty blues and pinks as I wanted to end up with something "pretty" for my Gorgeous Girl's room.

And this is the quilt I ended up with...

It went nicely with her pale blue room and her butterfly wall stickers.

Then, four years laters my girl turned 8 and I was 8 months pregnant with no.4. I was huge and my favourite position was on the couch and definitely not out in the 40 degree heat. Because we are in the midst of renovations that have never got any further in 6 years, I asked my hubby to go and buy our girl a new rug (as she has no carpet in our's on the "to-do" list). My only requirement was that "it should fit in with the colours of her room". So off they set....and this is what they returned with...
Hmmm..not quite the "pretty" rug in pale blues and pinks I had envisioned. And so my first thought was 'we'll take it back". (Actually my first thought was, 'why did I trust my husband who has no interior decorating skills'....but it was closely followed by thoughts of returning it.)

And then I looked at my girl. Boy, did she love this rug..and was so proud that she had picked it out herself... And I realised that she wasn't four anymore and probably should get some say in what her room looked like.

So what's a mother to do??

I gathered up some fabrics..and then I had the baby!

Thankfully, my nice parents-in-law took our oldest three to their place when the baby came home so that we could settle in and get into some routine. But because I had this wonderful little bub, who was a reasonable sleeper, I spent the time sewing (probably should have been sorting out the cupboards, but hey!?)and made this quilt for my Gorgeous Girl...

It's a free pattern from Crazy Mom quilts blog and I think it turned out Ok..especially since I did all that stippling myself!

And it all still goes with her butterfly wall stickers so I feel like somewhere in there is my little girl still...

..for a while longer, anyway...sigh...

Anyway, have a great week!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A weekend away..

This weekend I went with a good friend on our annual pilgrammage to Armidale for a quilting retreat. It is such a great time - we do a lot of sewing (of course!) and a lot of eating, talking and laughing. (who would believe that Quilt Charades could be such an amusing game??!!) One of my favourite parts of the weekend is to see what everyone else is working on - to be inspired by the ladies who have been quilting "forever' and who are doing quilts I wouldn't dare start. ie Celtic Knots, all hand quilted, medallion quilts where the precision needed for each new border to fit just gives me the shakes and beautiful dolls with the quaintest of faces.

Of course I forgot the camera, so you will just have to insert your own mental images here!! LOL

I made a bag from Janelle Winds "Pieces of Me". It's one I have been meaning to make for ages.

For my version I used Momo's Wonderland and some linen and came up with this...

And dug through the stash and found this for the lining.. losing the keys in the dark interior, hey?! :-)
I also started another quilt that I will have to show you another day as I'm about to be late to see my boy dance at school- will be interesting to see if he's inherited his father's sense of rhythm...cough..cough...
Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A moment of whimsy??

Do you think God was having a moment of whimsy when he designed these flowers.......?

I think they are absolutely amazing with those tendrils at the edges, the middle with it's purple spots and it's little propeller on the front...

I don't have much exciting news, although I am off on a quilting weekend in 10 days or yearly get-away with a great friend, on which we sew, eat and laugh. I'm looking forward to it immensely but am spending at lot of time wondering what I should take. So much stuff in my sewing cupboard!!
Anyway, hope you're having a good week!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tomato Relish Recipe

Sorry, there's not been a lot of spare time around here lately to blog! But just in case you have spare time..and some rapidly squishying (is that a word??) tomatoes, here's my Mum's famous Tomato Relish Recipe.

Tomato Relish Recipe

1.5 kgs (peeled and sliced)
500g onion- chopped
1/4 cup of salt
300 ml white vinegar
500g white sugar (or bit less is probably better)
2 tabs cornflour
1 tabs curry powder
1/2 teas ground pepper
1/2 teas ground cinnamon
1/2 teas ground ginger

Add tomatoes and onions together in big boiler. Sprinkle salt on top, so that it leaves a salt layer. Leave overnight. In the morning drain off all liquid and add sugar and 250ml of the vinegar (leaving 50ml until later). Boil until tender, usually 20-30min. Using the remaining vinegar, mix together with cornflour, curry powder and spices, until you have a smooth paste.
Add to the mixture and boil for another 15min.
Bottle and enjoy!

(contributed to the Caroona Cook Book (circa 1960?)by Mrs A Aitchison, Lismore)

In our family it's traditional to throw a tablespoon of this stuff in with the good old Dolmio jar to make a quick Spaghetti Bolognaise. (but we've been known to be a little strange...... hmmm......)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I love spring....

I love garden, which unfortunately lives it's life very neglected, in spring looks half-decent, just through the magic of self-renewing bulbs and my three climbing roses over the front fence. My favourite is my Banksia Rose - it is a wild, Day of the Triffids kind of thing, but it blooms for my girl's and my birthdays each year. She loves it as the blossoms are like miniature bouquets in each blossom

And so often I have a little 'bouquet' of flowers that someone has presented me... usually the vase is whatever someone has laid their hands on...empty jam jar, egg cup,empty yoghurt container. Better than a dozen cut red roses any day!
Have a great week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

One lucky duck...

Recently I had a birthday. I am now on the downhill track to 40 - I am often tempted to tell people I am in my late 40's, as then I would look good for my age! :-)
I belong to a lovely group of online quilters, who, amongst other things, have a secret sister birthday swap. Well, I received a wonderful package in the mail, which contained...
These wonderful fat quarters, two pincushions and a Singer tin (I've always wanted one of those!)
A lovely bag, with a cute stitchery on the front! This is going to get an outing to my sewing class soon..
AND this gorgeous funky is this??
AND this gorgeous bracelet. I am so in love with those red polka-dots!

I feel so lucky to be a part of this great group. Thanks secret sister!! (I actually know who it is, as I do the draw, but will keep it a secret to keep others in the dark! LOL)

So, I'm feeling very blessed. Hope you're also having a good week!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Didn't anyone ask for more frogs??

Are you over the frogs??? Frog PJ's, frog cupcakes and now a frog cake for Gorgeous Girl's birthday party tomorrow. I must confess I bought the frogs and all I had to do was stick them on the cake (and make a few reeds)

And we have lots of froggie things for the party bags. (and for my daily rant - when did party bags become a "must have" at birthday parties?? I have had kids , two minutes after getting in the door, ask, "When do I get my party bag?"!! And also, when did pass-the-parcels have to have a "surprise" for every child at the party? - in my day, there was one surprise in the middle...anyway enough of that..just thought I'd share my deep thoughts for the day! :-))
And, assuming you are sick of frogs, here is a local native who has returned now the weather is starting to warm up. Nice to have him keeping down the insects in our garden but must say, he does give me a little scare every time I see just his head dart thru the grass! (this is a blue tongue lizard, for the non- Aussies - so called, obviously, for his bright blue tongue. Sorry, no picture of said tongue, as he wouldn't poke it out on demand!) Hope you're having a good day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More frogs...

So you spot one frog...

..and before you know it, you turn around and they're everywhere!! LOL..

(cupcakes for Gorgeous Girl to take into her class tomorrow..oh, and some extras for friends who aren't in her class..and an extra for the teacher and the teachers aide...oh, and can there be one for the school librarian??... it was at this point that her mother said enough, as there are over 500 kids at her school and I had visions of cooking all night!)

Friday, September 10, 2010

10 years??

My baby girl turns 10 next week! (Wow, ten years of parenting...does that mean I'm due for long service leave?)
My girl loves frogs, so when I saw some cute frog fabric on sale, I decided to make her some Pyjama Pants for her birthday. Sadly, even though I like to sew, I rarely actually do any of it for my the point Gorgeous Girl has been walking around with a hole in her school sports pants for 6 months. When she was little I didn't have time to sew for her (3 kids under 4!)and now she is 'too old' for cute little dresses apparently!..*sigh*
Anyway, back to the PJ' are the pants...

For a top I grabbed a $5 T-shirt from K-Mart. I did debate making a shirt out of the same fabric, but I thought that might be a bit of frog overload...or maybe, frog plague?
I then chose a favourite frog...... Using Heat and Bond I then added it to an oval background, and then ironed it onto the shirt, sewing it on using clear monofilament thread. (using stabiliser on the back)
And this is the finished product. I cut them out the night before and they took less than 2 hours to sew up.... so it would have been a quick project if I hadn't taken 3 hours to choose the fabric for the cuff on the bottom (tough decision, fabric all over the floor, unhelpful suggestions from non-sewing know what I mean...)

It was nice to do a "quick' project. I seem to be in the midst of several big quilts at the moment, and the end is a long way off, so it's very nice to have a finish.

Just hope my girl likes them!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In a rash moment...

In a rash moment I signed up to do a one day workshop with Sue Daley, queen of Paper-pieicing, at my local quilt shop. I'd love to show you the finished version of the quilt we started, but not sure on the ethics of stealing photos from someone else's blog so if you're interested head here (it's the Faith, Hope and Love one)

A bit of an ambitious start to my life as a hand piecer, I guess, but heck, who can go past a day out with quilters and fabric...

Here are my nearly finished blocks..

A paper-pieced flower..\

And an appliqued hearts block..

Sue did a mini-trunk show of some of her quilts which were divine and inspiring. Not sure I'm about to set out on a 1000 hexagon quilt, but definitely glad that I've now learnt a new skill! Wish I had taken a camera, but that would have required a level of organisation that I just didn't have that morning!

And here's Sunshine Boy's new cast. Now, isn't that a nice shade of blue?

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What a week..

What a week! It has included:-
* A fall off a bunkbed..2 days of wondering..a trip to Accident and Emergency..conclusion - two broken bones in Sunshine Boy's wrist and now one plaster cast.
* Review of my baby's heart condition - one ECG (which needs to be done whilst they are perfectly still..eekk), made possible by a new Thomas the Tank Engine book and then one chest x-ray, made possible by the traditional pin-em-down method.
* a leaking dishwasher - puddles on the floor - now waiting for the repairman so I now have three days OF ACTUALLY HAVING TO HANDWASH MY DISHES....
* and then the usual, rain, piles of washing, fighting children, workaholic husband, and the start of terrible twos for my littlie...*sigh*

But before you start to feel sorry for me, look where I went for the weekend...
"The tanks" Forster

My family have had 48 hours at Forster, staying at my Parents- in-law's unit, across from 'The Tanks". It's such a terrific spot - a little sheltered , near waveless area, courtesy of a big line of rocks. Lots of rockpools to investigate, sandcastles to be made...and if you are lucky you can see whales making their way down the coast. (and if it's cold or rainy there is an indoor heated pool nearby!)

It's a gorgeous spot for young kids..we decided we really must come back for longer next time.
Anyway must get those plates in the sink. Have a great week!
PS. My Parent's-in-law rent out their three bedroom unit, so if you are ever interested, just drop me a line!