Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bunnies for a Baby - Memory Box dies

I've been completely hooked on dies lately. The Memory Box dies are way too much fun and I've found myself back at the craft shop quite a few times lately, buying a few each time. Then I rush home and roll them through my Big Shot, trying them with my other dies and stamps, and dreaming up possibilities.

This is a little scene I made for a baby gift. The frame was just a few dollars, from the Reject Shop, so it's an inexpensive but unique gift (I tell myself, justifying my growing collection of dies ...)

Here it is before I put the glass in. 

I think could make bunny and bird scenes all day ..

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hikaru, we miss you

Having Hikaru stay with us for five nights in the last week was one of the best things we ever did.
She was the sweetest, most lovely and throughtful guest one could want. Sometimes communication was difficult, conversations went slowly, but we still understood each other. It was good for this quiet family to have a temporary addition to our family, and to make her stay as positive as possible. Emily slept on a stretcher bed in Laura's room, and it all worked out well. Hikaru loved being in Emily's pretty bedroom.

We played lots of games, and even got out the boomwhackers for one fun night's entertainment. Hikaru jumped into everything with enthusiasm. There were three afternoons of shopping, and Hikaru also came along to youth group, iceskating and church, as well as our picnic. There were about a million photos taken, these were all Hikaru's iphone pics, (yey for her selfie stick!). We had dinner out on Tuesday night (where Hikaru could enjoy more Aussie beef, despite the distractions of Australia vs Japan soccer in the background, how ironic) and enjoyed meals together at home the other nights - more steaks, burritos, and satay chicken, while we tried not to overload our guest with questions.

Come Wednesday afternoon, there was a school BBQ, followed by many, many hugs and tears as we said goodbye, and she boarded a bus with her friends from Okinawa. When we came home afterwards, everything reminded us of her. Will we ever play Rat-a-Tat Cat again without remembering her? We're thankful for instagram and email to keep in touch. 

Hikaru, I hope we can meet again one day.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunny Monday

It's Monday morning, and the sunshine is streaming in through the back door.
The temperature is just right.
But in the last couple of weeks, the light has changed, there is a feeling of summer.
The sun doesn't shine on to the sofa anymore, and outdoors is filled with a sort of golden glow.

This is my third week of getting up early, 
and it makes such a difference to my mornings.

The girls have gone to school 
- one early to band, one in a rush to the bus, and one in a cute Japanese school uniform.
The house is tidy enough, thanks partly to having Hikaru with us.
Hopefully we can keep it this way after she has gone!

I'm so glad to have a houseguest here at last.
Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite having this quilt on my wall,
we really have so few guests at all. I made it years ago, when the girls were small,
and we had more guests over, for playgroup and so on.

The bed is made.
I'm loving our fresh new bedspread/quilt cover.

The verandah needs a sweep after the strong winds yesterday.

There are instruments to practise,

and plenty of craft to do,
 some in preparation for the church cardmaking night I'm running.
Some tidying of my desk wouldn't go astray, either.
I'm also slowly working on Christmas cards, which I love to do.

I rearranged the books last week, and am happy
with this view (while I teach piano).

I've done the washing up and the first load of washing.
Time for some bible reading in the warm sunshine.

Oh, how I love a sunny Monday morning!
So full of promise!

Hoping yours is good, too.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Evening Picnic




The lovely Hikaru from Okinawa has joined our family for 5 nights, on a homestay organised with our school. She arrived in blazing 40deg heat on Friday, but by late Saturday afternoon, when we were free for a picnic, it was a breezy 22deg and lower, with no sunlight in sight. Nevertheless, we dragged her to a typical Aussie picnic at Brooklyn, to enjoy some cold dinner by the water, surrounded by marauding brush turkeys, play a card game and go for a walk. She seemed to survive her first picnic,  and there was plenty to see, from pelicans to rock formations to slightly inebriated fishermen. 

And it was so good to see that despite our two different cultures, we still have so much in common, things that really bind humanity, despite the language barrier or age differences. 

Things such as ...


and Apple devices.

Beach Party


Mona Vale beach.
The perfect setting for Laura's 15th birthday party.
And how times have changed since the girls were little,
and every party involved minute planning and hands-on 
kid and prize wrangling and intricately decorated cakes!

This time, I sat here with Emily:

Steve was here:

and the girls were here:

And we only had one or two near-drownings.
(in their words, Steve says it was an exaggeration.)

After the swim, Laura organised a sandcastle competition.

Birthday girl.


I was lucky to catch this photo just seconds before a wave washed it all away,
leaving the other team the clear winners.

We had cold pizzas and BBQ chicken with salad for dinner,
followed by fruit salad,

and birthday cupcakes (paleo carrot cakes with coconut cashew frosting).

After a long battle with the winds and sand (not a good combination with food)

it was time to head off home, into the sunset.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lately ...

I haven't posted lately, but I have ...

... picked flowers from our front garden for a posy

... made a belated birthday card for my sister 

photographed Emily as she headed out to a high tea

... been preparing for a Christmas Cardmaking Night at church,
this was my photo shoot for the advertising.

... had gastro that strangely hit 5 members of our bible study group simultaneously
36 hours after we met, and spread from there, but lasted longest for me :(
 (fortunately no photos of all that)

... bought a lovely old secondhand mirror
(which prompted another reorganisation of the study)

... dressed as femme fatale Fiona Volpe for a James Bond 40th birthday party

(such a fun night!)

... tried to support Steve as he helped his parents as they move in and out of
hospital, respite care, another hospital, and home again - a busy time for him

... been getting up at 6.00am, which is much earlier than I used to get up
and finding I have more time for a whole lot of things, such as walking

... been feeling very well and energetic most of the time, now that my diet is
basically Paleo - meat, fish, chicken, eggs, fruit, veges, a few nuts.

... celebrated Laura's 15th birthday yesterday
Fifteen! More in another post ...

... been influenced by Japanese sewing books and food lately:
making paleo eggrolls, and starting sewing this dress
... made plans to welcome a Japanese student into our home for 5 nights from this Friday.

... started thinking about Christmas and noticing signs of its approach

... and watched Emily dance beautifully today in her annual concert.

What have you been doing lately?