Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Golden Goodness

Mmmm ... don't you wish you were at our house for afternoon tea and a slice of delicious warm

Made with tinned pineapples instead of fresh, and sherry instead of rum.  But still completely scrumptious!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sharing a bedroom - Part two

I never finished showing you Emily's side of the bedroom.  Laura's side is shown here.  We have made some more progress since these photos, with some new drawers.  This is Emily's side of the room (with her old drawers).  Emily and I sewed a few things for her side of the room, and I recovered the old noticeboard.

This is the oh-so-cute pattern on her quilt and matching cushion, I love the applique.

This is the birdy cushion Emily made, it is as big as the above cushion.
She did a great job sewing and filling it!

We also made bunting in coordinating fabrics.

The little felt birdies that Emily and I made on holidays a few years ago look great near the door.

The bookcases hold lots of books ... and cute animals, like this little rat.

Now I'll have to photograph the new drawers one day ...

Another vegetable garden

We have dug another garden bed for more vegetables this summer.  Well ... Steve dug most of it this time ...

Yesterday we divided it into four half-metre squares,

and sowed carrots and radishes in one quarter.

Sunny Saturday

Saturday began with another dust storm, but it cleared early.  I took the opportunity of the sun streaming through the windows to photograph Laura in a cute hand-me-down "new for her" top, which she loves.

But I think this is my favourite photo of the lot:

I know what mischief is hiding in those eyes!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weird Weather

We have been having unusual weather here.  Very hot days sometimes, and now this week some other extremes.  On Sunday we had a short hailstorm.

(the tarpaulin was being left out to dry - oops!)
The hail was a relief, as for the previous 24hours we had our lungs filled with bushfire smoke from the local hazard reduction burning.  On Saturday as we drove home from the train party the sun was a huge pink-red ball in the sky.

And this morning I woke at 5.45 to hear strong gusts of wind and to see a strange glow through the curtains.

Turns out we are experiencing a blanket of red dust over the city.  Unheard of.  Although occasionally in the last few years we have woken to find a layer of red dust fallen onto the car overnight.  Noone knows how long it will last, because it hasn't really happened before. The sun through the red dust is strangely white.

I took this photo in my half-asleep state, through the window, but it didn't really capture the bright orange surrounding us.  Click here to see photos of Sydney coated red.

What next?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Toot Toot!

Yesterday we had great fun at a nephew's birthday party, visiting a miniature train park

This train had 4 engines, all steam-powered.

These men have way too much fun each month running these trains.

A good afternoon

... with family and friends

... and cake

... for a boy who is three.

But it turned out to be fun for big girls, too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Snowpeas for dinner!

We've been enjoying tatsoy for dinner every night, and patiently waiting for another crop ... this morning Steve discovered some snow peas growing!

Tonight - a feast fit for a king!

... hmmm ... maybe there will be more tomorrow ...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jane Austen Dress

At last I am getting round to posting more about my Jane Austen Party. Here I am in my dress!
I bought the dress at an upmarket sort of thrift store (op shop) for $15.00. I was so excited because it fit me and was almost full-length crushed silky looking fabric, with a sheer layer above. With a few alterations it would be perfect! With inspiration from here I began my transformation.

I wish I took a "before" photo, but I forgot until I was part way through cutting! This is what it looked like at that point:

You can see that the neckline was very high and plain. I cut a square neckline with my rotary cutter, and sewed over it to finish the edges. Then I sewed on top some lovely braid (given to me in a bundle of goodies by Linda). The moment I saw this braid I was hoping to use it for this purpose. It was perfect, because it meant that the dress and my bonnet from last year could coordinate - the colours of the braid matched the bonnet perfectly!

I stitched some strips of matching ribbon at the sides just under the bust and threaded through more braid, which I tied at the back to create an Empire line. I also gathered in the sleeves a little to look more "puffed". My dress was complete!

Here I am on the night of the party:

I bought a peacock feather and stitched it onto side of my bonnet, but it doesn't show in the photo. The colours of the feather matched the dress perfectly, so I ended up with coordinating bonnet and dress. I found some jewellery I already had, and my fan and shawl I used last year, plus some flat pink ballet-style shoes to complete my outfit. I actually find an Empire line dress very comfortable, and would love to wear it all the time (except I would look continually pregnant LOL!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lucky Me!

Lovely jewellery I was given for my 40th birthday:

Pink shell earrings from my scrapbooking buddies,

also a lovely bracelet to match ...

... and some amazing dragonfly earrings (they know I love dragonflies!)

A lovely dark blue-purple bracelet from Steve, with earrings to match from Mum and Dad,

... and a silver Celtic pendant with chain bought with money from my sister and parents.

Lovely turquoise earrings from Denise ...

and these amazing square earrings from Ros.

These pearl earrings from Marianne were inside the handkerchief:

My ears have no excuses for being under-dressed now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sweet thanks

Two little bags of chocolate coins for two little helpers who were the sweetest maids at my Jane Austen Party last weekend.
These tags were so fun to make! Stamps by Hero Arts, except for the greeting by Stampin' Up! I'll be using this design again!

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake for Thursday afternoon tea. My first ever.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Grindley Dish

I haven't participated in Vintage Thingie Thursday for so long, and I've really missed it. I've just been absolutely flat out every Wednesday and Thursday, which are usually my free days. My Jane Austen Party was just one of the things that's been going on, and I'm still blogging that bit by bit.

So today just a quick post. I picked up this little Grindley dish at an op shop for just $1.00. I love Grindley and Meakin and always look out for them, so I was happy when I found this hiding with the bric a brac, rather than in the good china section.

It's not in the greatest condition, but I love the curly green edge. It reminds me of a lettuce!

You can see from the back what a hard life it's had. Also I love when you see the paint colour on the back.

Edited to add: Disaster last night as one of my favourite Grindley dishes, a pink sandwich plate, was broken! Maybe I will find another one, one day. I went back to the op shop today (Saturday) and there was a set of this green and cream china - not a complete set, but about 8 dinner plates, a gorgeous jug, a vegetable dish with lid, all for $60.00! But I had to leave them there, as we just don't have the budget or the space at the moment - sigh. Instead I was content with 3 Meakin dessert bowls which coordinate with our dinner set that belonged to my Gran, for just $3.00.

Jane Austen Party gifts.

I was completely spoilt at my Jane Austen 40th birthday party with the most beautiful gifts. Earrings were a favourite choice (which I am very happy about!) and I hope to photograph them soon. Some gifts were particularly appropriate to the theme of the party and these are the ones I am sharing in this post.

My good friend Marianne embroidered my "name" on a handkerchief. This in itself was a beautiful idea, then I looked inside.

Around the edge of the handkerchief she had embroidered "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." - the opening sentence, of course, of Pride & Prejudice. Inside this precious parcel was a pair of beautiful pearl and silver earrings.

Some of the girls in my bible study grouped together and gave me this gorgeous tea cup and saucer, handmade and handpainted, from T2. I feel completely elegant drinking from it, it is such fine bone china. They also gave me a selection of T2 teas, a lovely gardenia candle in a jar and the DVD of Bride & Prejudice- lots of Bollywood fun! Lovely gifts from them all.

Jacqui gave me a most beautifully wrapped gift. Because their was no wrapping paper in the Regency period, she wrapped my gift in fabric and lavender.

Inside was a most unique gift which also seems to fit the theme very well, in a rustic old-fashioned kind of way, a lovely garden stake.

We used it today to mark out our new vegetable plot, and it was perfect for the job.
(I did the fun marking out with the stake and Steve did the actual digging!)

This lovely little mirror case from Anne looks like something Jane Austen would have loved:

I think without a doubt the cutest gift I received was from Amy, who sewed me this gorgeous Jane Austen doll.

How cute is she? Amy told me she was very fiddly to make, as I can imagine. I appreciate so much her hard work and creativity - it's not often I am given handmade gifts (except from my girls, of course!)

So you can see that I was very spoilt and how much I love these gorgeous gifts.
My friends are good to me.