31 Dec 2008

Christmas loot

I recieved some lovely presents this year, including an embroidered cushion from my Mum, new Pandora beads for my bracelet, and some new and exciting books and dvds.

29 Dec 2008

Christmas rundown...

Christmas eve we had a BBQ dinner with DH's family, and then went to outdoor mass together. It was very relaxed, with the congregation sitting on picnic rugs and very nice. I prefer indoors though, simply to get the full effect of masses of voices singing together.

Christmas morning we spent discovering the contents of the Santa bags. The kids were delighted. (I've since discovered 5 things so far that didn't make it into the santa sacks....)

Around 11 we went over to DHs sister's place for lunch under the pergola. It was a fairly relaxing day, and the kids enjoyed a swim in the pool. Despite emerging after about 20 minutes with absolutely purple lips - it really wasn't hot. The kids were given far too many cheap plastic toys as usual, but received a few nice things as well.

Returned home around 4, to relax properly.

Photos of fabulous gifts tomorrow... along with thoughts towards new year resolutions.

24 Dec 2008

More swapping fun

In the leadup to Christmas, I participated in another 'cloth and soap' swap on Ravelry.

I received this wonderful pack from blogless Celeste;

and sent this washcloth and some other goodies to blogless Maree.

Crafty Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here. The Santa key has been hung on the front door - we have no chimney, so this will let Santa open the door...

The Santa sacks are hanging on the hat rack...

And the Christmas quilt I started last year is complete and ready to hang.

It's a very effective design by Runaway Quilts which I bought as a kit (all fabrics supplied - no creativity required) back in 2002. (I can't find any web address for them anymore.) I'm really pleased with this, although the metallic thread was a pain to use - should have just used gold colour embroidery thread. The quilting's not great (specifically the words in metallic thread have bunched up the fabric despite basting well), but I'm so glad it's done.

I think we're all prepared for Christmas now - not difficult in the kitchen department, since we all we have to supply for the festive family meal is fruit.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

11 Dec 2008

Meme time...

It's been a while, but this sounds like fun... found by Quilting Mick

(bold means I've been there, done that - italics are just comments)

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.

4. Visited The Great Barrier Reef.
5. Stood under the stars in the outback, the real outback – think Uluru.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to the Gold Coast’s theme parks – anyone, you take your pick.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sung a solo.
11. Bungee jumped, jumped out of plane, been paragliding or hang-gliding, hot air ballooning – you get the idea, you’ve been hundreds of metres about earth in a seemingly flimsy contraption. (Heavens no!)
12. Visited Melbourne.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Had a child. Raised a child. Worked with children.

16. Had food poisoning.
17. Been to the Snowy Mountains.
18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Visited the Brett Whitely studio in Surry Hills, Sydney.
20. Slept on an overnight train or bus.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Been backpacking.
23. Taken a mental health day.

24. Been buried in sand with just your head and toes sticking out.
25. Held a possum, kangaroo or koala – or any other native Australian animal.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Been in a fun run.
28. Been on the Blue Mountain cableway. on my hens weekend
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Played, or watched, summer cricket.
32. Sailed, kayaked or canoed our beautiful waterways.

33. Seen the Daintree.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Visited an Aboriginal settlement or mission.

36. Learned a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Toured the Sydney Opera House.
39. Tried rock climbing (indoor or outdoor), abseiling or just simple bushwalking.

40. Visit Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art.
41. Been to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
42. Sunbaked at Bondi. I'm pale and interesting - and don't sunbake.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Broome.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone fishing.
49. Seen Tasmania’s old growth forests.

50. Been to the top of Q1, on the Gold Coast.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Driven the Great Ocean Road.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Norfolk Island.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Guide biscuits.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone jet boating.
66. Visited Port Arthur.
67. Bounced a cheque.
68. Flown in a helicopter. on our wedding day, as a surprise for DH
69. Saved a favourite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Australian War Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Federation Square.
74. Been on the Murray River.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Travelled, or climbed, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Three Sisters at Echo Point, Katoomba.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited St Mary’s Cathedral, in Sydney.
82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Been to Hermannsburg.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited Parliament House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.

94. Saved a pet.
95. Been to the site of the Eureka Stockade.
96. Swum in The Whitsundays.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a mobile phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

10 Dec 2008

Toot toot, chugga chugga...

Well actually, they sang 'beep, beep, chugga chugga' which was a little disconcerting.

We took the kids to see The Wiggles concert in Canberra on Tuesday morning, and had a fabulous time. Through some miracle of the internet, the tickets I bought online were in the very front row. Amazing.

They are such entertainers, we all enjoyed it. Most photos of Lucas show a slack jawed look of amazement, and Annabelle's waving in all of her photos (and got waved back to, so was VERY excited.)

This was our third Wiggles concert, and probably our last, given the children's ages. Sad, really, when I've finally just about mastered the art of Wiggles photography.

9 Dec 2008


A great big box arrived at my door today, all the way from Jennifer.

She's included some lovely things, including this lovely mirror.

And sock wool, wrapped in a woollen zip bag

And a mug, in a cute little wool tote-style bag (which Annabelle tells me is surely meant for her...)

And assorted candy canes, and a pack of jasmine petal tea, with tasting notes - can't wait to taste it.

Thank you so much Jennifer - I'm feeling very spoilt.

I hope your parcel arrives soon, and that it's exciting for you.

7 Dec 2008

Secretive Santa

Today, I went shopping for a Secret Santa gift. I've only met the recipient once, and I know little about her tastes. In the end, I decided on an Oxfam chook. Being a quilting friend, I thought I'd better sew something to go with it, so found Tracey's instructions for a chook pincushion, and got to work. I may add a little chocolate to it, but basically, I'm done.

Edited to add; she was polite about receiving the gift, but later I found out a couple of year she made chooks for everyone. Oh well.

I've also been knitting this week, after I suddenly realised (on Sunday) that a jumper was the perfect gift for one of my English nephews.

Thursday night I sewed all the ends in, and posted it off yesterday. Amazing.

4 Dec 2008

Quilt swap

There are still places left in the Four Seasons Quilt Swap - for a swap that's a little different, and may teach you more about colour and value, sign up today!

Another sassy apron

Just look at the box full of lovelies that arrived for me!

A festive apron;

Some cookie cutters;

And an assortment of Christmassy craft magazines.

Thanks so much, Kathrine - it's a great apron, and a wonderful swap package! I hope your makes you equally as happy, and welcome to the world of swaps :)

1 Dec 2008

Smiling with the sky

Tonight, our Moon, Jupiter and Venus are smiling down on Australia. I'm not a very good stargazer, so this is the first time I am confident I have seen a planet. Lovely to see, even if my photo's not much good.

After being so thoughtful about swaps yesterday, today the new Four Season Quilt Swap opened up, and I signed up straightaway. The rules have changed this time, and I'm keen to be challenged.

Along with the Christmas tree, we put up some outside lights on Saturday. Here's a dreadful photo of our solar powered 'icicle' fairy lights. I love fairy lights, and these are pretty much guilt free!