Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Productive Day

Yesterday the girls went back to school and I shopped for music for my students.

Today I joined a craft group :-)

We are meeting each Thursday morning and even with arriving late after teaching piano I will still get in 2 hours of solid craft each week! So I am getting carried away thinking of all the things I could make this year! Which I will maybe make one quarter of.

I originally thought of doing some card-making or scrapbooking today, but just couldn't be bothered to sort and lug all the stuff - maybe next week. Besides, the embroidery bug has bitten. So above is a sneak peek at what I am working on.
Then I came home and did some scrapbooking after all

and baked a plum cake. I never cooked with plums before but this cake is sooo delicious and impressive-looking! I will definitely be making it again!

Australia Day

On the 26th we ventured into the city and enjoyed a Celtic Festival in Bradfield Park and all the traditional Australia Day events around the harbour.

The annual ferry race....

the flag flown around the harbour

some Irish dancing

and some very patient soldiers waiting to re-enact the Rum Rebellion. (more patient than us, we gave up and went to McDonalds in the end!)

We bumped into Dad and Dave and all enjoyed the day and the perfect weather.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Second-hand goodness

As promised here are my finds from our little break at the beach. Although the photo is not so great, it's a bit grey here.

On top, from an op shop a sweet pink embroidered tablecloth, (plus 3 napkins to match), then below that a (new) remnant of pink-spotted calico which will hopefully line a bag, make an apron and cover a director chair (it always pays to check down arcades and alleys for hidden fabric shops!). Below the calico is some linen printed ready to embroider with large roses. Since large roses are not really my thing and there are plenty of empty rose-less squares I will cut it up to embroider smaller items. Lovely to have some linen so cheap!
Then finally in the linen section I found this little lyellow inen placemat which I brought home and embroidered this cupcake in one corner, while the girls made 3D felt cupcakes. It was so quick and fun to do, so I am inspired to do more :-)

As well as the above we came out of that one great opshop with good-quality embroidered jeans for Em ($6), DVDs (Little Lord Fauntleroy and Around the world in 80 days) 50c each! and books for me:

The Grasmere Journals (Dorothy Wordsworth) - am reading now, a very interesting look at real life in 1800 for a woman (although she did have servant/s and a poet for a brother!

Chocolat - which I wanted to own

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Bronte which I read years ago

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Ibsen's The Dolls House and other plays

The Simple Life - Lauren Wells

The Snow Pony - Alison Lester

plus (sorry to say) a Princess Diaries book I was missing from my last bookfair collection!

all $2 each or less

So lots of varied reading for me!

It was so exciting to find all that great stuff in the one and only op shop around near our B&B!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Getting in early this time

Ok I know Christmas is a long way off, but if you had these cute birdy stamps wouldn't you want to make a Christmas card in January too? Wouldn't you?

3 Days in Paradise

Last week we had a child-free 2 nights near the beach in an amazing B&B. Of course having this pool and spa to ourselves was pretty hard to take, as was sitting on the outdoor lounge chairs reading countless copies of Life etc. that were provided, while eating the cheese, fruit and crackers we found in our fridge on returning from a stroll through Avalon shops. Yes, it was all pretty hard to take ;-)
We were just a few minutes walk away from Careel Bay...
... where we met some geese
We visited the beach, although it was not beach weather...

... and found some great items in an op shop (for another post). Breakfasts were amazing, whatever we wanted from a long list, we had about 4 courses each and spent the rest of the day recovering. Upon waking we swam and then had our breakfast table laid by the pool, and delicious food served to us as we sat in bathrobes - luxury!

This was another treat provided by our hostess, completely unexpected and delicious for our afternoon tea:

Yes it was all pretty hard to take ...

On another note, today I went to my first ever Stampin' Up party and am looking forward to using the products I have ordered.

And I actually got out my tin whistle and played it at last. We have been playing a bit of recorder and piano the last few days, it is nice to feel musical again. Even though it feels like in the holidays we should had "so much time" to do things like make music (or tidy the house LOL) in actual fact we have been quite busy the last two weeks - after our initial post-Christmas vegetative phase. Well, I guess it would be true to say that we were flat out for 3 days last week at the beach ...
Just one full week left of the summer holidays now, a bit quieter but then mid-next week back into it all ... sigh.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Now I'm Really a Blogger

How do you know when you're really a blogger? When you start photographing everything, even your washing! Actually the truth is that I am finally catching up on my handwashing (I am not going to tell you how long some of these items were waiting to be washed) and found some beautiful old cloths in the pile! I think this one belonged to a grandmother, and is my favourite to use for afternoon tea when the whole family comes over.

A nice surprise was finding this red and white checked chicken scratch cloth, which I bought ages ago in an op-shop and forgot about. A shame I hadn't washed it before Christmas, but I will get plenty of use out of it through the year. It is a rectangular so the whole cloth is rectangular rather than square, which makes it a bit unusual.
And I couldn't resist taking a photo of these dresses of the girls' - they wore them on Christmas Day and we forgot to take photos - who knows if they will wear them again. So at least I have the photo of the dresses. sigh.

Friday, January 11, 2008

16 years!

Sixteen years ago we were about to leave on our honeymoon.
This is the card I made for our anniversary, using my new Hero Arts birdie stamps.
It is pretty much a copy of a card by the talented lisa spangler, I love her style. And am loving my birdies! I've even got a start on my Christmas cards with them! Check out these also by lisa.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Free Time, Me Time!

The girls are at having a sleepover with their cousins, so I get to play! yey!! It so happened that after dropping them off I had to drive right past Ikea, it seemed a shame not to visit. So I enjoyed
- lunch of Swedish meatballs and berry/muesli yoghurt and Ikea chocolate
- poking around looking at things that interested me without anyone saying "Mum you don't need that"
- buying:
fabric storage boxes in green and calico which coordinate with the greens in our house (not sure what to put in them yet!) and a coordinating laundry bag

  • Cute star-shaped lights to use for Christmas and parties reduced from $25 to $10

  • a new shower curtain which is very modern but will look great with the border tiles, we have had the other curtain for 10 years now.

  • a black alarm clock for my computer desk, I have wanted it for a few years now and finally it is ticking away next to me - you have to wind it!!! It looks great with the vintage phone collected at council clean-up,

  • some "beige" cotton fabric to use with patterned fabric - hoping to make another bag soon

  • an artists' dummy - not necessary at all, but fun and adds to the artistic look ;-)

  • tealights - essential!
Then, although somewhat exhausted in the shoulders from carrying all that around Ikea for a few hours, I couldn't resist visiting a stamp shop, since I was almost driving right past that, so I dropped in for "a few minutes". $70+ later I came out very happily with lots of Hero Arts stamps, all cheap and I know I will use them all!

Here they are:

The little birds are some I have been admiring at the Hero Arts website, they are from 2 different sets. So cute! And some more to get ready for next Christmas:

Boy am I one happy camper! So of course I have begun to use the new stamps already, and will post the cards during the week (especially an anniversary card which my dear husband may not see in advance). But here is one quick card so as not to keep you in suspense!

Two days ago Emily turned 10, which was a huge milestone for us. Remembering the events as they happened 10 years ago was fun but also scary that time could fly so fast since then. We gave Emily a camera of her own, she is already turning into quite the photographer, wanting to experiment with the different modes. Lots of fun.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Princess Slippers

Hmmm ... December got away from me so all those Christmas shots I took didn't quite make it to the blog. A new year and a new direction for the blog now.

Now all the craziness is over (although a lot of it I loved) we are relaxing completely which means lots of TV, chocolate and craft. Well that's we girls. Steve is back at work, but when he was home he did his fair share of relaxing too, minus the craft!

For the last two days the girls have been making these teensy princess slippers out of this book. Emily in particular felt inspired to make enough for a garland of them. In between TV and candy canes and jumping on the trampoline she has sat at their little craft table and traced, cut, scored, adhered and decorated to her heart's content. Last count = 18 slippers. Apparently they want a princess bedroom now. Which is sweet.

I have been stamping and cuttlebugging, making some birthday cards, which makes a nice change after all the Christmas crafts. But am having some technical difficulties getting the photos uploaded, so maybe another time!