Wednesday, 31 December 2008

To all of my friends, family and visitors to my blog, I wish you all a safe & happy new year.

If you are out and about tonight, please take care and I look forward to your visits and comments in 2009.

Glitter Graphics

  1. Baby New Year Tradition - The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who, at the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
  2. Hogmanay - The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. The people in Scotland follow a ritual that appears nutty but actually has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set afire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and New Year is going to begin.
  3. Burning "Mr. Old Year" - In Columbia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll with things and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member. At the stroke of midnight, this 'Mr. Old Year' is set on fire. This is done with the simple belief that a doll thus stuffed have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and that the burning of these will help one to do away with all past grief's and usher in happiness in life with the coming year.
  4. Eating Noodles - Late on the evening of December 31, people of Japan would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" ("year-crossing noodles") and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.
  5. Eating 12 Grapes - In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year's Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.
  6. Gifts in Shoes - In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
  7. Carrying a Suitcase - In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.
  8. Burning Crackers - The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in China can be seen sealed with paper. This is to keep the evil demons out.
  9. Times Square Celebrations - The first Ball Lowering celebration atop One Times Square was held on December 31, 1907 and is now a worldwide symbol of the turn of the New Year, seen via satellite by more than one billion people each year. The original New Year's Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in diameter. It was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs.
  10. Foods - It was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. It is still held in some regions that special New Year foods are the harbingers of luck. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune. The hog, and its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. The ancient Persians gave New Year's gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.
  11. Black-eyed peas - Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures.
  12. Rings - Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle.
  13. Wearing new slippers - In China, many people wear in the new year a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you.
  14. Sealed doors & windows - During new year , the doors and windows of every home in China can be seen sealed with paper. The Chinese think that this will succeed in keeping the evil demons out.
  15. Jewish New Year - The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. It is a holy time when Jews recall the things they have done wrong in the past, and then promise to do better in the future. Special services are held in the synagogues, children are given new clothes and New Year loaves are baked to remind people of harvest time.
  16. Japanese New Year - On New Year's Day in Japan, everyone gets dressed in their new clothes. Homes are decorated with pine branches and bamboo, both of which are considered to be the symbols of long life.
  17. American resolutions - 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more New Year's resolutions each year. And these range from debt reduction to giving up bad habits to what not? But the ones that are the most common deal with weight loss to exercise to giving up smoking.

I hope you have enjoyed these pretty little New Year trivia's. New year is simply the perfect time to make resolutions and make for a fun-filled day. Take in the coming year with open arms. Have a blast!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Not long to go now.

Keep your eye's & ears open for Santa Claus now!!!

Milestone reached...

Tonight I have reached a milestone in the world of blogging. Well it is for me anyway. My counter indicates that I have had over 2000 visitors from over 50 countries worldwide. WOOO HOO!!!
Now if only everybody had left a brief comment I would be an extremely happy person. Never the less, I am happy about this, and I am feeling a possible giveaway coming on to celebrate. I will have to do some brain storming and see if I can come up with something appropriate during the holidays. Keep tuned in for further developments in the coming weeks.

Merry Christmas to One and All

I would like to send best wishes to you & yours for a safe & joyous Christmas season.

Also a big thank you to all those out there in Blogland for visiting & for all of the lovely comments throughout 2008 - it's great to have friends living in my computer.

I look forward to making lots of new friends in 2009.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Smith Family's Toy & Book Appeal

The company that I am currently on assignment at are supporting the Smith Family's Toy & Book Appeal by helping to organise the collections of gifts and books from staff members. The Smith Family rely on the generosity of Australians so that children can be included in the spirit of the season. In 2007 they delivered more than 17,000 Toy & Book Christmas packs to children around Australia. This year they are aiming to deliver 20,000 Christmas packs to disadvantaged Aussie kids.

We have a christmas tree in the foyer and as you can see there are already many pressies under the tree. I decided this year to contribute as it is a wonderful cause and every child deserves to receive a present at Christmas time, no matter how big or small. I purchased two books. One for a girl & another for a boy.
I would encourage all Australians to donate a gift to one of the many organisations who have a gift tree in their local shopping centre. The Kmart Wishing Tree supports The Smith Family in NSW, VIC & QLD.

Monday, 15 December 2008

2008 Christmas Stocking Swap

I am a very lucky girl. Last week, I know I'm a bit late in posting, I received my parcel from Aunt Pitty Pat for the Christmas Stocking swap. Here are the gifts received still all wrapped up. Now I'm not known for my patience, so of course I had to open them. I just couldn't wait until Christmas day.

I received some lovely items. The stocking is so cute. The chocolates didn't last long. And one can never have enough fabric, thread & other notions. A practical red & white tea towel, which will be great as my existing ones are looking a bit worse for wear. Thank you Marcel, I love everything that you sent, but where did you hide the buttons!! LOL. You should be receiving my parcel very soon, that is if it hasn't already arrived. Can you do me a favour and take a pic of the parcel when it arrives, before you open it. I forgot to take one before I posted it & I did something special with it.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

The Winner is......

Last night at the weekly stitch'n'bitch night we checked the naughty comments made for the plum pudding ornament. I had chosen the one I thought was the best and as one of the other ladies in the trio had made a comment, I asked the third member which comment she thought was the naughtiest. She chose the same one which I had chosen.

So.......drum rollllll...............

The winner is Lindi. So Lindi if you could please contact me with your postal address I'll arrange to forward a plum pudding ornament, so that you can put on your tree for this year.

Thankyou to everybody who visited my blog and left a comment.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

This is for all my blogging buddies.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Cuckoo

On Sunday my Friday night stitch'n'bitch friends (Nita & Pamela) and our DH's got together for a Christmas celebration luncheon at The Cuckoo Restaurant which is located at Olinda in The Dandenong Ranges just outside of Melbourne.
It has a wonderful atmosphere so if you are ever driving around in The Dandenongs be sure to pop in for a smorgasbord luncheon, afternoon tea or dinner. The building itself is done up to look like a Bavarian Chalet.However, I would caution the driver not to order the 1 litre tankard of beer. One of the DH's ordered one & it was massive. Now I would've taken a photo of this, however I forgot to take my camera didn't I. But the other girls did & if you go to Pamela's blog she may have put up some of the pics from the luncheon.
They would also have to have the biggest cuckoo clock ever hanging in the restaurant. But, I don't remember hearing any cuckoo's going off on the hour. I don't think I had that much to drink that I didn't hear them. Perhaps they had over indulged on beer and were sleeping it off.

But as you can see from the pics, there is heaps of scrumptious food, which I did happen to over indulge on. I didn't like everything, but there was enough variety that one could still have a good chow down. We all had a very enjoyable afternoon.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

What Christmas Carol are You?

Your Christmas Carol Is

Gee, if I could only
Have my two front teeth,
Then I could wish you
"Merry Christmas."

At Christmas, you are a happy soul who's easy to please.
You're biggest concern is making those around you smile.

Santa's Younger Brother!

It's almost that time of the year again girls, don't ya just love Christmas.

Meet Jared - Santa's younger brother...he takes care of the naughty girls.

Hmmmmm....So, I wonder who is going to be the first crafter to be naughty????

Leave me a comment of how naughty you would be prepared to be to be disciplined by Jared (within reason of XXX please) & I'll send one of my plum pudding ornaments to the person I vote the naughtiest. (I will pick the winner on Friday 12 Nov 08 after 7pm)

Happy for you to put a link on your blog if you wish.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Deadline for swap this week!

I'm due to post my Bee Sew Whimsical Secret Honeypot Swap this week. I have finished making by Christmas card and ornaments. I know it is only supposed to be one, but it is the season for giving so I made two. Here is a bit of a teaser pic of my creations.

I cannot divulge who the recipient is, not yet anyway, but I will say that it will be going across the seas to it's new home. After all it is a secret swap! Thanks to Darlene for organising.

Now I just have one more Christmas swap to organise this week & I also need to drag out the Christmas decorations & put up the tree. rest for the wicked.

Update 15/12: Swap has now been received by Deb, so I can now reveal the items. I also included a pattern for a Christamas wall hanging, but forgot to include it in the pic. If you go to to Debs blog you will see the pattern in her pic. I also had some fun teasing Deb by sending her a Christmas ecard everyday for 7 days beginning from when I posted her parcel. She is somewhat of a sleuth as she managed to guess who her secret swap partner was.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Santa Must be a Woman

The Truth, as We All Know . . . . . . .

I think Santa Claus is a woman....I hate to be the one to defy a sacred myth, but I believe he's a she. Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!

For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. Once at the shops, they always seem surprised to find only socket wrench sets and mood rings left on the shelves. On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman.
Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.

Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.

Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he'd still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.

Other reasons why Santa can't possibly be a man:
  • Men can't pack a bag.
  • Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.
  • Men would feel their masculinity is threatened...having to be seen with all those elves.
  • Men don't answer their mail.
  • Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a "bowlful of jelly."
  • Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them.
  • Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.
  • Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men.........

  • Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous - definite guy.
  • Cupid flies around carrying weapons.
  • Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers.

Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test.

But not St. Nick. Not a chance.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Simply Quilts in the Garden

I have just finished watching a couple of episodes of Simply Quilts which I had recorded. I love this program and record them whenever they are on.
The first episode was about Quilting in the Garden. It was an exhibition of over 70 quilts made by two quilters (Diana McClun & Laura Nownes) at a garden nursery in southern California. They had been pegged on clothes lines hung between enormous old oak trees. They looked absolutely fabulous. What a wonderful way to view quilts, in nature. The second episode was about setting up a quilting studio. Myrna Giesbrecht presented some useful ideas which I'm sure we could all adapt to suit our needs. I am now inspired to try and organise my quilting mess, which is spread throughout the house. Maybe I might find some time before Christmas & maybe not.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

It's time to decorate our blogs for Christmas

It's time again to have fun and decorate your blog for Christmas. Sooziii will put up a Voting Poll closer to Christmas and there will be prizes to win. Click here for all of the details.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

I've been tagged!!!!

I've been tagged by Lindi of Quilty Threads. This is a first for me, so I'll give it a go.

These are the tag rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. List 7 things about yourself. Some random, some weird.
3. Tag 3 more players and let them know.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
OK here goes.....
7 random &/or weird things about me:
1. My husband says that I snore very loudly. Not sure that I believe him, but it's not the first time I've been told this, so there maybe some truth in it.
2. I like things that I do and make to be perfect. They do not always turn out perfect though. My friends have told me on more than one occassion that I have a problem.
3. I'm a hoarder. A bit like a magpie I guess.
4. I wrote a book on my family history and organised a family reunion.
5. I'm also a scapper. No this doesn't been I collect scrap fabrics (well I do, but that isn't what I mean). I enjoy scrapbooking & I love the Creative Memories albums. So much that I am a consultant (hobbyist).
6. I gave up fulltime work in Aug 2007 to work less and do temporary work through an agency. I have been working ever since, except for approx. 10 weeks.
7. I meet 3 Friday nights in a month with 2 friends and quilt. We call it our 'Stitch 'n' Bitch' night.
OK, now who am I going to tag?? I don't know to many bloggers, so if you want to join in, just leave a comment and I'll add you to the links - this is a good way to get visitors to your blog, too ;)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I've created a countdown 'widget'...

I just had to add this post to let you all know that after a lot of trial and error I've managed to create my very own Christmas Countdown Widget using one of my plum pudding pics. I'm so chuffed. It only took me most of last night. Check it out in the right sidebar. I did get carried away and added a couple of other Christmas countdowns as I just liked them. Not long to go now.

Monday, 3 November 2008

First day back at work.....

Today was my first day back at work after four weeks off. Even though it is only a temporary position (I've been there now since March 2008), it was good to be back. It was difficult getting out of bed this morning and getting ready for work as I have gotten used to sleeping in a bit. But thankfully it only takes me five minutes to drive to work, so I do not have to arise to early.

It is a short post tonight as I have been busy searching the WWW for Christmas stuff to decorate my blog with. It is very time consuming and I haven't come across much that I like. Besides I received the December issue of AP&Q in the post today, so I think I'll go and tuck myself up in bed were it is nice and warm and have a bit of read. It is quite cool here in Melbourne tonight.

Good luck to all of those people in sweeps for 'Melbourne Cup' or who will be braving the TAB's and placing a bet tomorrow. I hope your horse comes home strong.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Camera battery found

Yippeee!! I finally found the battery charger for the camera and the batteries are now charged and pictures taken. Moral of this is to unpack all items from bag after a trip away before putting bag away.
Below are some of the sewing related items which I have been working on the last few months and have actually completed.

Left: disappearing 9 patch with vintage chenille borders

Below: Maria quilt challenge finally completed. Read more about this subject in previous here

Left: first batch of mini plum puddings

Left: they look good enough to eat don't you think!!

Above, left & below: Puzzle balls. They also rattle...great for babies. These were actually quite fun to make.

Above, left & below: Now I don't particularly like mice, but I do luv these cute little fabric mice. Fun to make and I luv these Moda fabrics. I've got some more in the making but this time with more bright retro fabrics.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Wedding Anniversary Holiday

It was DH and mine 8th wedding anniversary on Sunday, so we went away for three nights to the country and stayed at Mira Mira which is located in Gippsland. It took us just under an hour to get there and it is a lovely peaceful and tranquil location. I just love the country side in this area of Victoria. Having grown up in the Wimmera district of Victoria which is very flat and in summer is very hot & dry, Gippsland is the opposite with lovely lush green rolling hills.

They have three self contained fantasy retreats, we stayed in the Japanese Zen Retreat, which was lovely. It is extremely peaceful and tranquil with nature surrounding you. It was lovely to awake of a morning with the sounds of birds chirping and flitting through the trees, instead of the roar of traffic. We didn't see much wildlife unfortunately except for a family of seven ducks on the pond which the retreat has been built on. The Zen Retreat is set in a gully so we could only drive the car so far. The rest of the way, which wasn't far going down, but it seemed to go on forever going back up to the car. Mind you I'm not terribly fit and don't like hills, so for someone fit it would be a walk in the park, or in this instance bush.

The other two retreats looked interesting and I wouldn't mind going back and stay in them. Maybe next anniversary. The are The Cave House and Tanglewood.