Wednesday, 19 December 2007

More bling for the tree...& other decorations

Today I headed off to the shops in search of some silver bling to put some wow into my Christmas tree. In particular I was looking for silver lamata. I went to about 8 stores, big & little, and no silver lamata. In the end I managed to get a string of small silver balls, but they only had one and I really could have used 2. I also found some lamata which was holographic opaque white, so at certain angles and from a distance it could be mistaken for silver. It does look better. What do you think?

This is my homemade wreath for the front door. It is just a cheap rattan ring and I have wrapped around all of my old, yukky & thin tinsel that any normal person would have chucked out years ago. I poked some old plastic decortations in the bottom, added some red & gold ribbon, which must have come off a past gift (see I knew it would come in handy one day) and lastly some red balls & green ribbon at the top.

The wall hanging which I made is as finished as it is going to be for this year. I added a star made from small gold colored metal charms stars. I also added some pressies under the tree. What was I thinking not putting any pressies on before. And either side of the tree are the words 'happy holidays' plastic with gold sprinkles. This tree now also has some bling.

In the lounge we have Santa Ted relaxing. This was the first Christmas gift my husband gave to me after we starting seeing each other. If I remember correctly inside Santa Ted's sack there were tickets to a Neil Diamond concert. No, no, no.......I'm not going to say which one, otherwise that would be giving away my age.

The pink flying pig Santa has landed on the coffee table in his sleigh. Now I wonder where the reindeer have wondered off to?? Looks like they ate & ran.

We have some 'Noel' blocks on the bookcase and another small plain tree void of decoration on the coffee table. And the christmas cards received framing the doorway. Now if you can't spy your card hanging up, then I bloody well haven't received it yet, or you crossed me off your christmas card list and haven't sent me one.

Don't forget to check out the Christmas blog decorators listed on Soozii's blog, then vote for the one you liked best. Just CLICK HERE and it will take you to Soozii's blog. There aren't too many so join in the fun and make one of us a very happy chappy. Don't forget to leave a comment so we know that you have been.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Lovely stained glass windows

I was just looking through my picture file for a picture of one of my childhood Xmas trees with all of my siblings on Xmas morning. Alas I couldn't find it, but I did come across some pictures of some lovely old stained glass windows which I took at the 'Our Redeemer' Lutheran Church in Warracknabeal when I held a family reunion in 2005. They originally came out of two county Lutheran churches, of which one of them was built on land donated by my family and named after my great great grandfather. They are lovely.

These first three I am told are from the church my family worshipped at last century.

Hmmm....I'm feeling a quilt design could be made out of these. A project for the New Year perhaps.

It's now beginning to look a lot like Christmas........

I have been a busy girl this morning. I have now finished decorating the tree and am now sitting back with a relaxing cup of mint green tea. It is difficult though to get a good picture of the tree with the lights on and flashing, but I think it thinks good. Thanks to my friend Pam for the loan of the Xmas star on top and for the extra silver & purple balls. If not for these my tree would still be naked. It's amazing how many decorations are required to fill the tree. And I've only done 3/4 of the tree. The other 1/4 which is at the back is still naked. I figured that it won't be seen so why bother.

Now for the unveiling of the decorated tree. Drum roll please maestro........

Without and with lights on

Do you think it needs anything else, maybe some tinsel or something?
If so, leave a comment and let me know what you think about my tree.
Don't be shy now, I don't bite.

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas........

Earlier this evening my friend Pam and I went and visited our friend Lorraine at Patchwork Passion in Cranbourne as she was having a sale to make way for new stock arriving in the New Year. Well anybody who knows Pam and I will know that we just can't resist a sale...especially when it involves fabric. We spent nearly two hours there and after a chat and a cup of tea and a wonder around we were on our way. Oh, did I mention that we both bought fabric and notions for our DH to give to us for Christmas? They are good boys.

I was supposed to be out purchasing a Christmas tree and decorating this evening, however I decided that I would stop at the supermarket on the way home to pick up the tree and decorate on Tuesday. Yes I know, I can hear some people saying, it is already Tuesday. But I just had to add this post before heading off to bed. OMG it is nearly 3am. I had better finish this post and head off to bed otherwise the tree will be naked for another day.

I did buy my tree on the way home and let me just tell you that I think I got a bargain. This is probably because I have left it until the week before Christmas to buy it. Two weeks ago when I looked they were priced at Coles supermaket for $45. Which I thought was OK. Last week when I was doing my grocery shopping they were down to $35. I didn't have room in the trolley so left it. Tonight when I went in they were down to $25!! I wonder if I left it until the weekend if they would be marked down again to maybe $15.
Anyway I am now happy I have my real Christmas tree and the whole house now smells like a pine forsest. There is just something about the smell of pine trees that remind me of Christmas time. Close your eyes now if you don't want to be offended by my naked tree.

PS. If your lurking, leave me a message and say hi.

Christmas gifts from quilty friends

Last Friday evening DH and I got together with two of my quilting buddies and their DH for a Xmas BBQ. It was a stinking hot day down here in Melbourne, but I braved it, all be it after a bit of complaining about the heat.

We had lots of laughs and Christmas cheer as well as a spendiferous meal. Ate far too much, but just couldn't resist.

My quilting buddies (aka Pam and Nita) gave me some lovely gifts.

Pam said that she just had to make something as she knew that Nita and I most probably would. She made four little plum puddings with holly on top...they are just too cute. These were inside a lovely Christmas sleigh along with a hand towel with Christmas bells & a tree decoration with a request to Santa "Dear Santa more fabric please". Like I don't have enough!! Thanks Pammie.

Nita gave me a lovely rose candle in a glass container with roses imprinted. Smells gorgeous. Along with a lovely cup (actually more like a mug) & saucer in lovely soft pastels with a quilty theme and her usual handmade card, which are great. I have kept all of the past Christmas cards that I have received from this crafty lady. Thanks Nita.

Nita has also just finished hand quilting a quilt for her dad for christmas. It has an Australiana theme. It is hard to see from the pic but the large on point squares is from a fabric which has old Australiana homesteads (farm houses). The wide border is eucalyptus trees.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree.......

I am determined to get a real tree for Christmas this year. But alas, I haven't had the chance to go and pick one up. I have to get this done by the end of this coming weekend. I had better clear the space where it is to go...pronto. Otherwise we will have to put up with the fake mini tree. So until this happens the above will be my tree. I still have a few more quilty gifts to complete as well.

Yesterday DH got the results of a glucose test from the doctor and found out that he has type 2 diabetes. Hmmm...another change of diet. Looks like the shopping is going to now take me twice as long as I'll have to read all the nutritional information on the labels...low sugar, low sodium, low protein...the list goes on and on. Perhaps I should just feed him vegetables. I think I would have a mutiny on my hands if I did this. Looking on the bright side, we should both lose some weight and become a lot healthier.

I just had a Christmas treat when I checked my mail and found that I was one of the lucky winners of Lindi's fabric draw. Yippee.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

VIC SCQuilters Xmas breakup

Today I decided to venture out and attend my first VIC SCQuilters monthly get together. And what a day to pick, christmas party time...WOOHOO.
I took my plate of food along to add to the other mountains of yummy foods. Organised some show & tell (QS Sampler quilt & nearly completed Xmas Wall Hanging - refer previous posts for pics). And decided that I would join in the fun and got together a Kris Kringle gift.
For my Kris Kringle I received the most gorgeous little Xmas wall hanging (which is already hanging up in the dining room) which perfectly suits my colour scheme...greens.

Also included with this was a book (approx. 3" square) titled 'Quilting - Quotations Celebrating an American Legacy'. It is so sweet. As you can see it has a thimble on a string for a page marker. So cute. Thanks Jo for the lovely Kris Kringle.

One of the quotes which I read when I was quickly flicking through it was the following, which I thought was very appropriate for SCQuilters.

...just as the pieces of the quilt are sewn together with interlocking stitches, all people are linked together in the fabric of our world. In a way, the patchwork quilt represents all the different people of the world. We are individual in our attitudes, life-styles, and backgrounds, yet we share so much of what it means to be human. Teresa Gustafson "Love is a Blanket"
I also took along some items which my friend Janita made for the trade table, as she had to work and was unable to attend. Everybody loved her 'noodle box bags' and all three sold, along with one of her hand painted quilting rolls. Don't have any pics, forgot to take some before they sold. She was thrilled when I told her when I got home that she had some extra spending money for Christmas.

The day went so quickly. Then another small gift was given to everybody. Members received a diary and great little scissors. Visitors (me) also received a small gift. They are the smallest pair of scissors I have seen and dangle from a mobile phone. As you can see from the pic below, I have already added mine to my mobile to share with my Fuwa - Nini the Swallow (one of the five Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games).

In the ancient culture of China, there is a grand tradition of spreading good wishes through signs and symbols. Each of Fuwa symbolizes a different blessing -- and will honor this tradition by carrying their good wishes to the children of the world. Prosperity, happiness, passion, health and good luck will be spread to every continent as Fuwa carry their invitation to Beijing 2008 to every part of the globe.
At the heart of their mission -- and through all of their work -- Fuwa will seek to unite the world in peace and friendship through the Olympic spirit. Dedicated to helping Beijing 2008 spread its theme of One World, One Dream to every continent, Fuwa reflect the deep desire of the Chinese people to reach out to the world in friendship through the Games -- and to invite every man, woman and child to take part in the great celebration of human solidarity that China will host in the light of the flame in 2008.

Every spring and summer, the children of Beijing have flown beautiful kites on the currents of wind that blow through the capital. Among the kite designs, the golden-winged swallow is traditionally one of the most popular. Nini's figure is drawn from this grand tradition of flying designs. Her golden wings symbolize the infinite sky and spread good-luck as a blessing wherever she flies. Swallow is also pronounced "yan" in Chinese, and Yanjing is what Beijing was called as an ancient capital city. Among Fuwa, Nini is as innocent and joyful as a swallow. She is strong in gymnastics and represents the green Olympic ring.

Sorry got carried away with the Fuwa.

On a quilty note, I did manage to work on my quilt-as-you-go hexagon's. I am using up scraps of fabric and also incorporating some chenille from vintage bedspreads. The chenille gives the hexagons some texture.

I would like to thank all the members who attended today for making me feel welcome and I look forward to attending the next get together with this great group of like minded people in the New Year.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Over the top...and lovin' it

I think I have gone overboard with the Xmas stuff, but it is so much fun. It's like being a kid again and looking with awe at all the houses covered with Xmas lights. Even now I love going around neighbourhoods and looking at all of the lights. Driving home from my friends house last night at midnight there was a house that someone had spent a lot of time on. Lights everywhere even in the garden. It looked great.

Christmas Video Code by Christmas

Friday, 30 November 2007

Xmas Wall Hanging nearly finished

I've nearly completed my Xmas wall hanging. Just have to get a decent hanger (instead of the clothes hanger and pegs) and put some dangling bells on the bottom. I'm very pleased with the way it has turned first attempt at foundation piecing. I just love the little clapper bells that I have added, they double as Xmas lights...perfect. Oh and I need to find a suitable star or angel to pop on top of the tree.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Stitch 'n' Bitch - 9 Nov 07

We had a great night...again. Ate too much & didn't get enough stitchin' done, but we enjoyed ourselves. I finished stitching the binding on my Xmas wall hanging and that was about it. Now I just have to finish the decorations. Will put up a pic when it is all completed.
These are my friends Janita & Pam.
Jacko the monkey just wanted to see want Janita was up to.

We have all been doing patchwork for about the same length of time...2 years give or take. Janita is the most talented & does folk art painting & will soon be teaching beginners classes at her local community centre. Janita also decorates cakes, makes dolls & works with polymer clay. These are just a few of her talents.

The Japanese Geisha doll was made by Janita in a class at Cowes which we all attended. My doll has probably been shuffed in a cupboard somewhere. If I ever find it I might put up a pic.

The cage is home to two pixies which Janita made from polymer clay and dressed...they are so cute. They also have a tendancy to runaway from home, hence the cage.

Janita's current quilt project, which she has now decided to make a queen size.

Janita & I are both very impressed with Pam. She has finished several quilts and the quilt pictured below is the largest she has attempted to date. She is currently hand quilting it. Go Pammie!! It is to be a gift for her brother. Pam is the one peaking out from the side of the quilt 'cos she is too short to hold it up to its full length. That's OK us shorties have to stick together. Pam is also quite good had impersonations...see her Cousin It below.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Bitch 'n' Stitch night

Well tonight is my weekly get together with my friends 'Nita (Janita) and Pam. We catch up every Friday evening except every fourth Friday which is date night with our DH's. We rotate between each others houses, which is great.
Tonight I will be finishing off the binding on my Xmas wall hanging. With Xmas only 47 days away I thought that I should make a few decorations to make the house festive. Xmas is at our house this year and some of my family from the country will be coming down, as well as DH family, so I would also love to get a fresh Xmas tree. Should be a good day. I just have to make sure that I am prepared for it.
This is my Xmas wall hanging as it was a few days ago before the final border and binding had been sewn on. I also have to decorate the tree section so it looks Xmassy.

This pic is my first lot of healing hearts which I sent off earlier this week to fellow scquilters. I have been wanting to do these now for a couple of months. I luv the idea of letting someone you have never met know that there are others out there thinking of them in their time of need. I was pleased with my first attempt, however looking at the pic I think that the hearts are just a bit to big. Five of the hearts above also have hearts within the pattern of the fabric, which I deliberately did. I have been collecting a stash of fabric with hearts within the pattern for use in making healing heart blocks.
Anyway I must finish up now as I still have to finish off dinner (veggie lasagne) and make some banana walnut muffins for this evenings supper.

Welcoming great nephew - Jess Cooper Fischer

On the 23 October 2007 in Perth my niece Bianca had her second bubs, a little boy. They named him Jess Cooper Fischer. My sister Kay had flown over from Horsham a few weeks earlier to be on hand to help out. Proud Poppy Rob flew to Perth after his birth and took my mum, great nanny with him for a weeks holiday. I wonder if this is my mum!!
Left to right: Poppy; older sister, Imiggin; Great Nanny; Nanny
Daddy having a cuddle
1 week old and finally home. I hope he grows into these clothes soon!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

How shiny is my sink!

Well my sink is now that shiny I can see myself it. This is the first step to solving my 'living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)' problem, according to the 'FlyLady'. I like the sound of the theory and I'm hoping that it will work for me. Oh to be free of clutter and to be organised, joy of joy. DH will be so pleased if I can succeed. Even 50% success would be a step in the right direction. If you want to know more just go to the website. (refer my links of interest)
I might take some pics tomorrow and put up some before and after pics...oh I forgot, the sink is already shiny, looks like it will be only the after pics.

Armed with all of this knowledge I'll now be able to get all of my sewing gear in the one room and actually be able to find things when I want them. It's always good to have a dream and goals to strive for.

I bet this is the cleanest that any of my friends or family have seen this sink. Day 2 and it's still shining. Because the sink is now so clean and shiny it has inspired me to make more things shiny...but don't get too excited can't rush into these kinds of decisions. Babysteps first.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Sampler Quilt Completed

I should be going to bed, but I'm going to try and load up some pictures of my first major quilt project.

I started this quilt when my friend Pam asked if I wanted to go to patchwork classes. It wasn't something that I had done before so I said 'why not'. That was in May 2006. The project was a sampler quilt. We had to decide on the number of blocks we wanted to do which ultimately would determine the size of the quilt. I had to make a queen size quilt, as DH only let me go to classes on the promise that the finished quilt would be a gift for him. This meant that I had to make 20 blocks. Sounded easy enough. One block per week (hand pieced) and it would be done in 5/6 months. Huh!! I didn't know about sashings, borders, backing/wadding and quilting at this stage. Was I in for a rude shock. I should've only did 9 blocks (like Pam) and I would have finished in 5/6 months.

It is now 16/17 months later and the quilt is finally finished. Because I was determined to hand quilt it took longer as it was so large it was difficult to move around. But I am very pleased with the results.

Thought I'd add another pic of the quilt after my friend Pam said this one was on a weird angle. The pic above was taken without the flash on. The pic below was taken with the flash on. The truer colours are in the pic above.

Finally created a blog........

Well I have been thinking about creating a blog for ages and finally got around to doing it this afternoon. Now I just have to figure out how to drive it. Watch this space for exciting things to come. Well maybe not so exciting, just things I have been doing in my life.
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