Saturday, December 26, 2009

SSCS gift

My SSCS presents came from Marica in Sweden. I must say, I have been very spoilt! Marica made 2 beautiful Christmas stockings and also sent a Tilda stitchery and threads and a bundle of Christmas fabric too.
Aren't these stockings gorgeous? They match so many of my other handmade decorations too.
The stockings are wonderfully made. And Marica's hand stitching is beautiful - so tiny and perfect!
And the Tilda stitchery - I squeeled with delight when I opened the package because you can't find these in Australia (at least, not that I know of). The design and threads are very much in the style I love - absolutely perfect!

Here's a (bad!) picture of the back of the pack showing the stitchery design. It is so pretty...

Thankyou so so much Marica! I feel so lucky that you have made these for me, and all the extras - the stitchery, threads and the fabrics - were so very generous of you. I can't thank you enough for your generosity and the happiness these presents have brought me.
I think I will be smiling for days!

Friday, December 25, 2009

From my little family to yours...

These photos are from the amazing SSCS presents that I received from Marica - I am overwhelmed by her generosity and am so grateful for all the work she has put into these presents - more photos to come soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

last minute rush...

There's been some furious last minute sewing here the past two nights...

I made this skirt last weekend (a Make it Perfect pattern) and have just finished adjusting the ties so I can wear it to the cricket on boxing day (I remembered to shorten the skirt length but not the ties - doh!). And I finally figured out what to make for my little cousins - little appliqued t-shirts! I just bought some plain coloured t-shirts and then free motion appliqued some little pics on the front of them - so simple.

A sunbonnet sue for Bonnie...

A butterfly for Yasmeen...

A bee for Belle...

Ladybirds for Lily...

And a sad kitten who went off to the cattery today for his Christmas holiday.

Tomorrow we are up early for a ROAD TRIP (!) to Melbourne for Christmas with family and friends.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The joy of giving...

Giving. With no expectation of anything in return. Not even a thankyou.

This year we decided that we had to re-evaluate our reasons for giving Christmas presents. Last year I was very disheartened when one of the presents I had spent some time putting together was barely even unwrapped before being placed aside. I had to prompt the recipient to continue opening the packaging because there was more in there that they hadn't even gotten to.

Afterwards, I started to think about why I had given this person a present in the first place.
Was it because I felt I had to?
Or because I wanted a thankyou and a present in return?
Or because I wanted to give them something nice that they would enjoy?

I realised it was a bit of all three. I felt I had to buy them a present, and I expected at least a thankyou in return, but the effort I went to putting the present together was because I wanted to ensure it was something they would enjoy.

So this year I have decided that the frustration and even resentment that I felt after observing their response to my present was not worth it. And so this Christmas we are giving presents simply because we want to. For the simple pleasure of giving. In the knowledge that we have spent time thinking about what each person would like and enjoy. And I'm not going to give the presents that I have felt that I have to give. This year, the only presents I will be giving are the ones I want to give. And I don't expect anything in return.

I don't for one second think that it will be as easy as that. If I am faced with a situation similar to last years, I'm sure I will get frustrated. But I hope to be able to quickly remind myself of my motives, and then move on.

And so today I began my giving. Another pointy kitty went looking for a home today in Inner West Sydney as part of the Toy Society Worldwide Christmas drop. I was drop #36 and the last time I checked there was over 50 drops reported. All those toys being dropped in the hope that someone will rescue them, and knowing that you may never know what happened to them or even hear from the recipient. But I did it because I wanted to. And I hope someone gets as much joy from Miss pointy kitty as I have.

Friday, December 18, 2009

hot + not


Heather Bailey's new fabric range - Nicey Jane. I would love to find a fat quarter bundle of this under my Christmas tree. I think it would make a great quilt for my bed.

Christmas parties, picnic lunches and cricket in the park.

Mini Christmas puddings - I've made two batches so far and plan to make at least another one this weekend.

Finiding lots of inspiration for a mad hatters tea party themed baby shower on Etsy

This stop sign near my home, I almost wet myself laughing the first time I saw it. It still makes me smile every time I stop at it.


2 mores days of work before we head down to Melbourne for Christmas

Blisters from my shiny new red shoes

Lack of time - I have so many things to do before we leave for Melbourne. 4 Christmas presents to finish, 1 toy to stuff for the Toy Society worldwide Christmas drop this weekend, bags to pack, presents to wrap, December journal to finish... But I will have a lot of fun this weekend doing it all!

More hot and nots over here...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last minute Christmas pressies - Cookies for Santa

I prepared some Kris Kringle presents last night for todays work Christmas picnic. I saw the idea first on Bakerella and then a Christmas version on Make it Do. I think it's a great idea and much nicer than a box of chocolates. The first time I did it, I put the sugar on top of the M&Ms like the others have, but it fell through, so this time I played it safe and put the sugar nearer the bottom. Unfortunately I couldn't find only red and green M&Ms, even the Christmas packs were filled with all colours, but I put in regular size and minis. These only took me 15 mins to put together which was a bonus. I hope the recipient likes them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December daily update

I've been trying hard to stay up to date with my December daily album and I am really enjoying it! My scrapbooking isn't too elaborate, but I am happy with the way it is turning out.

I do wish I had my own printer though - it would make things so much easier!

The tree on Dec 4 is made from a brown satin ribon, some olive green ribbon and felt. I really like the different textures and want to try to incorporate more ribbons, trims and fabric into my pages.

Dec 10 is still waiting on a photo of my new red shoes that I bought to wear with my new dress on Christmas day.
Dec 12, which I put together this morning is definitely my favourite page so far. I'm not sure if you can tell in these photos, but Sampson has been sleeping with his head on my SSCS presents!

As you can see, I finally found some rings to bind my album. I had been searching for "binder rings", but I found out they are actually called "book rings". As soon as I changed my google search I was able to find loads of them.
This week I really have to start putting some Christmas presents together. I haven't even worked out what to make for three of my four little cousins, let alone started on anything. Although I am leaning towards making them each a kidlet, as I know from last time I made one, it was simple and quick to put together.

This week I have a couple of Christmas parties to go to, including a lunch for our research group at Aria. I am seriously excited - I have been wanting to eat there for a while, so it will be nice to do so when someone else is picking up the bill!

And tonight we are off to the local Carols by Candlelight. The Salvation army band played some carols in our street on Wednesday night which was a lovely warm-up for tonight.

It is definitely starting to feel like Christmas...!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gifts (of the non-Christmas variety)

I am 2 months late with the quilt for my baby cousin Lily...better late than never hey?

I used a honey bun of "Swanky" fabric (which I got for $13 on sale!) and a pattern from Moda bakeshop. Can you spot the pea?

I'm pretty happy with my quilting on this one (although this photo is pretty shitty). When I compare it to my first attempt at free motion quilting - it is a lot better. Just got to do some practice.

I also finished off another pointy kitty - this one is for my cousin Belle for her 1st birthday.

Tomorrow night I am off to the craft room... with a stack of fabric, a rotary cutter, some tea and Christmas pudding!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday stash & December daily

The range "Feedsack Melody" is the new fabric in my stash. One of my close friends is pregnant with her first child and knowing that we have quite different tastes, I asked her to choose the fabrics for a quilt.

Not my usual style or colours, but I do love these sweet birdsI've also made a start on my December daily album. However I still can't find any rings to bind my album. I've tried Officeworks plus K-mart and Target and also Lincraft... Does anyone know where I can find them?I'm not limiting my entries to Christmas, but documenting the 25 days... although I suspect the vast majority will be about Christmas!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

SSCS handmade ornaments

I woke this morning to hear that the parcel I sent to the US for Chookyblue's SSCS had been recieved!

I made presents for Emily, including these 2 ornaments which she has already put on her Christmas tree! If you head to he blog, she has lots of gorgeous handmade goodies on her tree, so I hope these fit right in.

I have had to borrow these photos from Emily's blog (sorry!) because I didn't take any photos of the ornaments I sent without the other presents in the background - oops!

I hope you like them Emily!

PS - the pattern for the gingerbread man can be found here - they are super quick to make, and would be a great last minute present.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

15 minutes of fame...

Another cheeky picture in the Homespun mailbag pages -can you tell I love this magazine?

Here's a closer picture of my version of Dear Fii's Pepper doll.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SSCS presents received!

Look what arrived on my doorstep yesterday - all the way from Sweden! My presents from Chookyblue's Christmas swap!

Marica is my secret santa (got to love return addresses!) and she made me this lovely ornament with a beaded tassle on the end! Thanks Marica! I've put it up with the first of our Christmas cards that also arrived yesterday.

I can't wait to open the others on Christmas morning!

Monday, November 30, 2009

what are husbands good for?

They help you remove the cover plate on your sewing machine when you don't have the strength to turn the screws yourself.

Which helps turn this disgusting mess...

into this

They cook a beautiful dinner so that you can keep sewing and bring you a gin and tonic while dinner is being cooked...

AND they watch you quietly while you stamp your feet and swear like a sailor when your quilting won't work and THEN figure out what you have been doing wrong that has been frustrating you for months...

What on earth would I do without him?

Friday, November 27, 2009

wrapped and sent

My pressies for Chookyblue's SSCS have been sent... I wonder where they are headed?!!

Now it's time to get onto my December Daily journal. I've set up my stuff on the kitchen table which I plan to take over for the next month. My poor husband, he thinks it is just for tonight...!

And make sure you pop on over to the gorgeous Retromummy blog - where Corrie is having a giveaway!