Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jigs and Jumping Castles


Today was a full day. First an Irish Dancing Mini Feis (competition) and Concert to finish off our first year in the world of Irish Dancing. The girls danced well, but other girls danced better. However we still came away with a generous supply of trophies and medals!
We dashed out of there as lunch was beginning to go to Steve's company Christmas party, in the grounds of a beautiful private school by the river. A delicious lunch, followed by a very tedious wait for presents for Santa (the girls sat patiently for almost an hour!!!) Emily received a gemstone-decorated diary, and Laura a fluffy pink radio! Then they ran off to jumping castles and we all enjoyed fairy floss, popcorn and snow cones. In the humidity the fairy floss dripped sugar icicles onto my skirt. A good afternoon, but a tiring day.
When we arrived home I worked to get the house back to some semblance of tidiness, in the hope that in the morning I might feel a bit more relaxed about all that needs to be done in the next weeks! I cleared off my craft desk, so hopefully I might get to break out that star-shaped cuttlebug die tomorrow. Maybe?
Speaking of the Cuttlebug, the card above uses the beautiful swirls embossing folder.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December busyness

During December I always feel like I'm running round like the proverbial "chook with her head cut off" because there are just so many little jobs to do - shopping, wrapping, writing cards, baking extra things for bring a plate events, finishing off admin for my students, etc etc. It never seems to end. And that's the things that have to be done, not the things I want to do, such as even open my new Cuttlebug dies I bought on special yesterday, or make those Christmas decorations I was planning to do this week ...

Yesterday Emily cracked me up. My head was spinning, as usual with all the things I had to do, all the things the girls were asking me to do and all the non-related comments that children make. Laura asked me to buy a gift for a teacher, and I knew I would forget it, so I sent her to write it on the fridge whiteboard. A few seconds later she asked me what to write, and I had completely forgotten what we had been talking about. Emily said "oh Mummy, you have the three second memory of a goldfish!"

The sad thing is that at that moment she was right! But laughing about it sure helped.

So I wrote a list of all those little things and managed to get quite a few crossed off yesterday, and a few more today. All simple little things but the sheer volume of them is overwhelming.

The little snowman above is from a cute little wooden tree with decorations I found at an opshop the other day - still in the packet! It will be perfect for Emily's snow and ice party theme cake. So cute. Here's another angle:



There are 15 little circles with a little figure for each. The tree sits on our dining table on top of the quilted runner I actually made a few weeks ago (after planning to make one for years!). But the effect is ruined by the constant piles of girls' craft things/Christmas cards/homework books etc that seem to pile up each day. :-(
Two more pics - a beautiful Christmas card from my clever friend Romaine, using Stampin' Up stamps, (also you can just see a little of my quilted runner below the card).

- love the glitter!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Tree

On Saturday we got the Christmas tree out and put it up. It's my parents' old tree and each branch has to be stuck onto the trunk, which was always so exciting to do as a child! Each year more of the little green sprigs have fallen off and we have to push them back on but this tree is perfect for us so we persist. Some of it is held together by wire but I love my childhood memories of this tree.


Our tree is decorated in the very un-trendy colours of red, white and gold. A lot of the decorations are handmade or gifts over the years. The girls and I had a great time digging the decorations out of the box and hanging them, now that the girls are older I don't have to move quite so many decorations from the lower branches where they have hung too many!


This year we had to reorganise the furniture to fit the tree in to the living room, so for a change we have the tree right in the centre of the window, which is lovely. The best time is when the room lights are off and the lights on the tree give off a golden glow. Carols are playing .... ahh!

Over the next days I'll post some more photos of our tree and my handmade Christmas cards.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Cupcakes



Not made today, alas, but recently. The plate was my mother-in-law's, or perhaps her mother's, and the sweet placemat from a op-shopping expedition on holidays.
And now I can see why Steve insisted we need a new camera...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Busy Busy ....

Home grown snow peas :-)
and dirty fingernails :-(

Today:

A recorder concert by my Junior Recorder group - at 8.30am - what was I thinking? My eyes were barely open!

A piano lesson to teach

A cup of tea and a magazine

Sorting out my (large) collection of Christmas magazines - trying to reduce/amalgamate them somehow...

5 more piano students

School pick-up

Another cup of tea and a book about Susanna Wesley

Plaster all over the kitchen bench making Christmas moulds with Laura
Clear the dining table of half-demolished Christmas magazines and plaster moulds
Cook dinner and iron
Eat dinner and get the girls to bed, waiting now for them to sleep ...

Complete exhaustion.

Emily's latest creation - sorry it's blurry - how I am feeling, really.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Stamping and a Starry Cake

Welcome to my blog. No I'm not going to give an "all about me" essay, but get straight into it.

Lately I've been occupied making Christmas crafts for giving (and a few for our home!). These are the ornaments I made for the women in my bible study group - I handed them out yesterday and they loved them. I made a few different versions ... all with the same basic design:




Originally I had planned to make them on chipboard, with the paper glued on top, but that didn't go to plan, so I used thick dark green cardstock on the back and sewed around the edges. On the back a bible verse printed on a (punched) circle hides the loose threads. I loved layering the stamps



and adding embellishments





and they didn't cost me a cent - trying to use what I have this Christmas rather than buying more craft stuff (hmmm I have bought a few Christmassy things ... now I think of it!)


And this is the Swedish Chocolate Cake I took to our Christmas lunch, complete with stars stencilled using star punch cutouts, carefully removed with tweezers after dusting the icing sugar!


I also made Pistachio Cranberry Flakes - yum!
from here - easy peasy, the girls helped, and everyone at the lunch asked for the recipe!