Friday, October 31, 2008

Mother and Daughter Tea Party

With one daughter very happily off on an overnight school excursion (gold-panning, hayrides, bushwalking, barn dance, milking cows and more)

... it was up to Laura and I to amuse ourselves the best we could. Her requested activity? Baking. Chosen over an offer of going to a coffee shop for afternoon tea. Ah ... a girl after my own heart.

We decided to make cupcakes and decorate them with fondant flowers and hearts.

Laura finally got to use her mini rolling pin from the Strawberry Shortcake magazine,

and some fun mess was involved, naturally.

We enjoyed our own little tea party for two with the finished cakes. Yum!

(No we didn't really eat 7 cakes between us - we were too full after 2 each!)

Emily is due to return in about two hours, in time for the weekend and some much-needed sleep, I imagine. In the meantime Laura has been taking great care of Emily's toy dog Rana, and doing

On a completely different note ... check out this cool video. What a talent!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Complete Household Guide part 2

Well ... as promised .... here are some more pictures from the Australian Complete Household Guide, (date unknown) ...

Today - fashion, crafts and sewing.

Fashion sense to fit your shape:

(Tall women should wear "wide-brimmed, shallow hats worn low on the head, or small head-hugging ones", and "large, important pieces of jewellery")

Colours to suit your complexion: (I never heard of a Brownette before!)

All perfect to keep in mind for special occasions, such as when ...

Mrs Jones nonchalantly sets the table for dinner with Mr Jones, his boss Mr Smithersby-Brown and Mrs Smithersby-Brown. She hopes Mrs Smithersby-Brown will appreciate the Salmon Mousse Tomato Boats (topped with olives imported specially) and that Mr Smithersby-Brown doesn't get tipsy this time and knock over the glass deer. She thinks the arrangement of celery on the table is a perfect mix of economy and artistic licence.

Peggy whips up some placemats on her trusty loom as an anniversary present for her husband. She knows they will look sweet with her new dress at their celebration dinner at home tonight. She is so glad she took that Weaving Class at night school before they got married.

She secretly hopes that one day she will need to do these exercises for expectant mothers:

(hmmm .... something wrong with these illustrations somehow ...)

At least in the meantime Peggy can keep herself busy with the raffia that Uncle Frank brought back the last time he went to Africa. This darling purse matches nicely with the cane lamp she made last year.

And her nephew and niece Stevie and Susy will love these dalmatians and rooster she made them for Christmas this year:
I hope you've enjoyed this vintage show and tell as much as I have.
For more fun things check out Vintage Thingie Thursdays

Monday, October 27, 2008

Organised ... sort of

This week I have so many little things on that I need to be super-organised. The usual load of piano students, leading bible study, housework, dinners, laundry and so on plus appointments, visitors, birthdays to plan, baking to do ...

I have pulled out my day planner, which I haven't used for months, and plotted my next 5 days in detail. So far so good, one day went to plan. And I even got up at 6.30am for a quiet time!

I am also reading this book. Months ago I wanted to buy it from Borders, then when I finally had a discount voucher and planned to get it, it was out of stock. So I was very happy to find it at the library the other day. It is making me rethink all our paperwork, especially having just done my tax return recently. If your family or office paperwork needs to flow a bit better I can definitely recommend it.

It's probably not such a good thing to be feeling busy and simultaneously thinking about long-term organising projects, but that's the way it seems to go with me. hmmm ... except when the girls are on holidays and we are doing nothing and I am thinking about organising then too ...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Candles + Brayer = Fun

After searching fruitlessly for a white crayon to try this technique, today we pulled out some candles. First we tried the rubbing-on-ink method, but we weren't so happy with the results.

So out came the brayer and the Kaleidacolor ink pad.

That's more like it.

So we made lots of them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


This callistemon in our front garden finally has one good bloom on it, after 2 years. Earlier attempts have been blown away in the first wind, or so straggly as not to be noticed. Callistemons are commonly called Bottle Brushes, with good reason. This one is soaking up our evening sun, enjoying daylight savings, after a few cold miserable days.

Today we tidied, had flute lessons, then after lunch visited a flea market and the library. That outing resulted in 3 bags of books, but at least 2 of them will return to the library in 4 weeks!
Tonight I'm out to a coffee evening with women from church, a talk on motherhood (I think), and dessert. I'm contributing a Tangy Lemon Slice, which I think I have only made once before. I'm hoping it will come out of the baking tin okay, or I'm in trouble!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mass Production Pt 2

I was going to leave the rest of the card sets for another day, but those stamps and cardstock and that pretty paper left on the dining table called to me ... so I finished them before dinner, with 2 variations on the theme. Hopefully they won't sit on my desk unwrapped now till December!

Mass Production

Since I have an unexpected free afternoon I thought I would get on with some projects for Christmas. One plan is to give handmade gifts this year where possible to the many people in our lives who help, particularly at school, but also at church. So I made a start with 3 sets of 3 cards, 9 identical cards and envelopes in total.

The Baroque Motifs stamps, and Ruby Red and Sage Shadow card are by Stampin' Up, patterned paper by Kaisercraft (a perfect match with the stamps, inks and cardstock!) and ribbon from the $2 shop. I'm not really fond of ruby red, so this project also helps to using up my stash of ruby red I bought once accidentally! I don't own the Ruby Red inkpad, but the Perfect Pumpkin did the job just fine!

I will package these in cellophane and ribbon, I think.

Three sets down and three to go for the particular helpers I have in mind. And it's still only October. Woohoo!

Stampin' Up Children's Card Kit

Emily asked me to buy a small gift for a friend at school when I went to the shops today. Then Laura ended up being unwell, so I couldn't go out. The friend's birthday is today so I decided to make her a gift - a card kit!

These are the "finished" cards (pieces are not stuck together except for the stamped shapes to their matching scallops) ....

And this is the kit ready to give:

Each piece has double-sided or foam tape on the back already, so all the recipient needs to do is peel and stick! I also included the above photo to give her some ideas.

I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vintage 'Complete Household Guide'

Today for Vintage Thingie Thursday I provide for your viewing pleasure the Australian Women's Complete Household Guide. This treasure is unfortunately undated, but fortunately found its way into my home for just $1.00 at a book fair!

Just love the endpapers:

At the front of the book are some colour plates showing the reader what is covered in the book. Some of them are priceless.

This has to be one of my favourite illustrations. Oh how I would love a red polkadot outdoor lounge!

Another of my favourites is the cheery laundry scene:

(I must remember to wear a frilly apron next time I do the ironing!)

This book covers everything from home maintenance and decoration,to sewing, childcare, careers for adolescents, letter-writing and fashion.

Here we see the ideal living room plus examples of suitable ornaments for the home (love the deer!)
This title page photo from the pet section is so reminiscent of Dorothy and Toto in the field of poppies!

And here is the ideal suburb - so pretty, and so different from the actual photographs of real suburbs on the following pages!

There are too many goodies in this book for one week. Next Thursday I'll share some more!

Christmas Cards

Just trying out some designs for a couple of Christmas card classes I will teach to friends in November. Going for simple, but effective. The Stampin' Up colours take care of that.

Forgotten Love

This last week most other things in my life have fallen by the wayside as I have become enamored again with the violin ... although now I should call it the fiddle.

I played the violin in high school as a second instrument, and although I loved playing in orchestras and chamber groups I was never a brilliant violinist (unlike my husband!) and haven't played it much in the last 20 years.

Last week at the Irish session I decided to be a closet violinist no longer. (well that's where my violin has been all this time - in the closet!) For a week now I have been practising jigs , reels and hornpipes whenever I get a chance, and my long-suffering husband has been giving me some help. My plan is to play fiddle and whistle at the session next week. (But not simultaneously) In the meantime I have a lot to learn and now a sore tight shoulder that needs relaxing, but am loving every minute.

I think it is the beauty of a violin's scroll that made me want to first learn it as a child.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Birthday and a Banana Cake

Yesterday I gave my niece the quilt I made her back in May, and she seemed to like it - although she was somewhat distracted while I took the photo! She wasn't feeling entirely well though, unfortunately. I however, was feeling quite unreasonably proud at making a handmade present 5 months ago just as I sometimes dream of! (I will conveniently forget that minutes before the party I was rushing around to find a big gift bag, pulling things out of the craft cupboard .... oh well!)

She had 2 beautiful birthday cakes to share among the crowd - one a heart with an amazing candle which "exploded" and then opened out into a lily shape, and the other a butterfly, both covered with colouful lollies.

This morning I minded Little A, and afterwards enjoyed a piece of delicious banana (baked by Jacqui) with a cup of chai tea.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A good day

Today was a good day.

Saturday. No school.
A sleep-in for Mum and Dad.
A quick trip to a local Fun Day (fair) to hand in a late colouring competition entry.
Some tidying of a messy bedroom
A slice baked (Oat and Choc Chip)
Flute lessons and a nearby fete
A new collection of second-hand books
A Polly Pocket car, very cute dolls clothes Mummy couldn't resist
Lunch of English muffin pizzas
A music theory lesson
A visit to the church Fun Day
A black sheep being shorn (with clippers!)
Lambs and a sheepdog to pat
A balloon poodle for a girl
More second-hand goodies
Bracelets threaded
Popcorn munched
Friendly people met
1st prize won in the colouring competition!
A spin art set won and enjoyed at home
Two then three fiddles played
Slice and a cup of tea
Some tin whistle
A bike ride
A stack and a brave face
A husband off to play at a bush dance
Sausages and criss-cross potatoes for dinner
Girls to bed

And not a single photo to show!

Snowman Card

It's going to be warm today, so we won't be seeing anyone like this around here:

This is one of my favourite Christmas cards I've made so far this year, I love the swiss dots (cuttlebug) and the scalloped circle around the snowman!

Get Well Card

Another card I made in the holidays. Now that the term has begun I have had no time for stamping :-( But since I have done a little sewing I'm not complaining!
Today - a little tidying (well OK a LOT of tidying), a flute lesson/sit in the park, maybe a local fun day/fair and maybe later a little stamping?