Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas-lag


Wow, Christmas day has passed and it was a very successful day, especially after we got the oven temp sorted. DH was almost in a fetal position in front of the oven door after it refused to move past 120 degrees. The turkeys had just been put in so it was looking like we would be having raw turkey and cold ham for the meal. The oven gods intervened and we got back on track.
Now I am suffering severe Christmas lag - similar to jet lag but brought on by Christmas festivities.
No 3 son and I had great fun setting the table for lunch. The tablecloth was bought at a 50% off Christmas fabrics special at spotlight. Bargain or what!
We made an Aussie christmas centrepiece by decorating some gum tree branches with decorations.

Here was the final jewel in our christmas crown- berries and fruit trifle!

Here are some pics of my mum's quilt 'that shall not be named'.
She changed some things on her blocks to suit her style of doing things too and put it together her own way and I think she just did a superb job. It fits on a double bed, mine will be a bit smaller. I like that we can put our own individual touches to patterns to make them a little bit our own.
(all the swirls in the border are done in satin embroidery)
(the girls dresses are made up entirely of french knots-and she calls me obsessive, I replaced this block with something a bit easier)



cheers for now!
Marina



Thursday, 24 December 2009

The postman cometh...


Well I have been stalking the postman for the whole of this week awaiting the treasures that arrived today!
Lorraine's parcel from the UK arrived this morning and what beautiful goodies she made for me!

Some lovely new additions to my home made Chrissy decorations.....

These are two brooches that Lorraine makes...



My second big surprise was Helen Stubbings Life is Beautiful pattern book that I won on her blog arrived today! It is just wonderful and I need to plan it out a little before I just jump in (as I usually do!)

Doesn't it look beautiful..
We are having a friend over for Christmas Eve meal and all is ready, hopefully all will go well tomorrow too as we will be having the family lunch at our home.
Menu will be Turkey, Ham, roast potatoes, stuffed tomatoes, red cabbage, sweet and sour vegies, peas in red sauce and a big bowl of home grown raddicchio (I wish I didn't have to share this). It will all be topped off with trifle (minus the roly poly cake). Yummmm
Enjoy your Christmas day!
cheers
Marina

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Loving the holidays!

Well I am definitely in holiday mode. I can always tell when I am in the zone as I never know what day it is. lol . Absolute bliss.
I have been busy finishing a project- My unmentionable quilt.
I started this enthusiastically when the first design came out, I couldn't resist a Leanne Beasley design, and after a few months I stopped for reasons I won't go into, I was going to leave it and put it in the back of the cupboard as a defeat and never mention it again. Just the thought of it would make me cringe.
My mum kept up with the patterns and after a few months she talked me into keeping up with it. Well we reached the end of the patterns and it still left a bitter taste for me. I couldn't be bothered putting it together and I was going to just divide and conquer the blocks into smaller projects. Mum started her own version and by the start of this week had pieced most of the top. Her finishing inspired me to pull my own blocks out to finish and after a few days of hard slog, I finished my top today! I am so glad that I did. I am very happy with it and all the bitterness has left and I can enjoy it again. I just need to do the outer borders. I have changed some things in the blocks as I always do and now I need to also collect the bits and pieces to embellish certain blocks.
I have to take some snaps of mums quilt too so you can compare!
here are some of my favourite blocks.

This block and the promise of Bronwyn Hayes designs enticed me to want to do this project also the fabric collection was just what I wanted to use.


(the car needs some wheels)

And the finished quilt.......
Hope everyone has a lovely and safe Christmas!
Thanks for dropping by and being a 'blog friend'
And in the immortal words of the Clampetts
Y'all come back now!

Christmas cheers
Marina

Friday, 18 December 2009

day one.....

day one of holidays all I can say is YAHOO!
I got all enthusiastic last night and got block 12 of tisket tasket and the latest summer nostalgia block ready to go. I got so into the basket block that I actually finished it off this morning. I finally got to make a 'blue' christmas item.

Now I can start on block 4 of Dorothy's summer nostalgia bom.
tomorrow is my craft group break up lunch. Here is what I made for my kris kindle.

I also made a pot holder and am throwing in a few tea towels. I also made a second one to give her but I love it so much I don't think I can part with it-thus the need for the tea towels.
Each apron is made from two fat quarters. As the fabric seemed a bit soft I lined the apron with some homespun. I couldn't find a pattern so just winged it. they should pass the test. I just wish they were a little more slimming! (I think it shows how much chocolate I have been eating this last week)
Does my butt look big in this?
Have a lovely weekend
Marina

Thursday, 17 December 2009

today's the day!

Well I have made it to the end of the year. Today is my last day for four weeks! I can't wait to come home tonight and crash and know I don't have to go to work tomorrow.
I have had a pretty nice lead up.
On Monday one of my favourite year 12's came in to school to visit me and she brought me a gift of a lovely pair of earrings. I was a bit gobsmacked. She is such a lovely girl and little did she know she had already given me a great gift some months ago. I was having a pretty crappy time at work and I was shopping on my day off. She walked past me and waved a big hello but then she doubled back to come into the shop to say hello and gave me a big hug. That small act of kindness meant so much to me, made me feel appreciated. I will definitely miss her.
Next great thing for the week is that I won the patterns for Helen Stubbing's Life is Beautiful bom. I had been hoping that I would win as I so want to make this quilt. I haven't been entering many competitions on blogs for a while as I don't seem to have much luck, but I had to enter Helen's.
I was so excited I nearly screamed. I don't think they would have understood at work! They think I am crazy enough as it is.
They say things come in threes so I am just hanging out for the third.
On of the girls at work gave me a new roll of sticky tape that fits my dispenser but I don't think I would like to count that as My third special gift (lol)
Hopefully the third thing will be my Christmas swap gift.
Saturday is Craft group break up and I have been busy sewing aprons for my Kris Kringle gift.
I am so happy with them I want to keep one for myself. I may just add something small and keep one! Will post pics when they are finished.
Roll on the end of the day!
cheers
Marina

(this is a pic a friend sent out for Christmas one year of her cat, looking less than impressed about Christmas. I think it reflects a little of my Scrooge look. That will change as it gets closer to the day. I just love her expression.)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Christmas conversion complete!


Well that is that! The tree is up after much nagging and pointing out what a bad mother I was and how much of a scrooge I was. Put it up yourselves I say but then the baubles aren't distributed evenly.........why are there two gold ones next to each other........, there should be a red or green in between. Put the coloured lights on, not the white lights.....on and on.
I have put my home made decorations on the tree too and I love them! I will definitely make some more next year. so without further ado......
ta da.......

Here is my christmas quilt that I made last year....I like to put it up on the wall.

So that is that...
Now to prepare for Christmas day. DH went out tonight to buy the turkey for lunch he was quite obsessed about whether we would miss out if we left it closer to the day. We are stocked up with cranberry sauce....red currant jelly (we are going to attempt baked ham) and even berries for mum's favourite trifle.


Must share a photo of Coffee the wonder dog. We went to our club fun day yesterday and both dogs had an absolute ball. Here he is diving off the pool edge to fetch a ball. He nearly jumped all the way to the other side of the pool and then he would do a 'swimmers turn' off the side and swim out to return the ball. What a crack up!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

I love youse....


Today I remembered why I love my boys so much.
No 1 son was home today and prepared everything for dinner and made an absolutely superb pavlova for desert and if you look at the pic, not a bad effort for a first try. I was so glad I didn't have to get tea ready I could just sit back and wait for the dishes to have to be done. He is so thoughtful.

No 2 son gave me a hug while I was finishing dinner, just out of the blue and then No3 son while drying the dishes said to me 'You know how much I love you mum? I love you more than anything and more '
These are the little gifts that make being a mum worthwhile. I don't care about Mother's day when there are days like this.
They made me proud yesterday at the funeral too.
In the words of the immortal Jeff Fenech
I Love youse all.......

goodbye

Yesterday was a sad day for us as it was my mother in laws funeral. She passed away suddenly last week. She was always very kind to me and spoke to me affectionately. She was a good woman who like women of her generation had suffered hardship and given up much to make a new life for her family in a new country. The family grew and flourished under her guidance. The family tree branches spread from 7 children to 23 grand children to 27 great children and the number is still growing. She adored all her grand and great grand children. She had a half nelson technique that would be envied by any champion wrestler and the kids always wore the red lipstick kiss mark with pride.
A loving woman.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Christmas swap arrived

Have had an email from Lorraine to say she has received my swap goodies so now I can post a pic. Lorraine is another blue and white fan so I also sent her some of my Blue willow fabric stash as an extra gift. I wasn't quite game enough to totally make a blue Christmas gift and took the traditional redwork option.




Have a safe weekend and don't want miss the chance to hug someone you love.

Marina

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Does my blog look Christmassy like this......

(you need to say this in the same tones as you would ask 'does my butt look big in this?')



Here is the unloved Santa that is so detested in my household. I just love him and think he has a kind warm face. He has a lovely gold gift sack on his back and I hope he brings lumps of coal to all the detractors in this house that criticise him!
As soon as I found him in the cupboard there were unanimous groans and moans.
Well Get over it and suck it up Princesses- I said. I like him and he is staying out.
As he gets put away unceremoniously at the end of the Christmas season, moths or some insects have gotten to one of his eyebrows. I must remember to pack him away with some mothballs this year.
I have redecorated my blog background to a festive theme and put my babushka santas in my header. The pointsettia plate in the background is one of mum's works of art. I just adore it and it only comes out for special occasions. I am always scared I will drop it or chip it.

While waiting for the next two bom instalments- basket and summer nostalgia, I have resolved that I must finish hand quilting my pin wheel throw. I am doing a stipple pattern in the cream parts of the pinwheel and it is taking me forever. I don't think I will try that again. In different parts the stippling is quite close and when I was a bit tired of it it is quite open. That is just the way it will have to stay! If I do a few triangles everynight I should have it finished in about a week or so.
That isn't so bad.......
cheers
Marina

Monday, 30 November 2009

I love monday,,

Well this monday at least. I had a day off work and Hubby and I went out for lunch to celebrate our 24th Wedding anniversary. I can't believe I am getting that old!
We had a beautiful lunch, I am still dreaming of the magnificent creme brulee that I had for sweets....yummmmm
In this house I am considered the grinch, scrooge, the terrible mother that doesn't like Christmas, etc etc. Well I want them all to eat their words. When we got home I got out my little Santa collection and put them out on display, I even got out my Christmas quilt that I made last year and have hung it up. Just the christmas tree to go. Maybe this weekend.
I don't enjoy Christmas very much. Too much pressure to enjoy it, to spend too much money and to spend time with people you may not like to. Gee I do sound like a grinch! Anyway I am determined to get some Christmas spirit, by hook or by crook. Keep those positive, festive thoughts going around my head and I may actually pull it off.
Here is a picture of my music box santa. I dabbled in ceramics years ago and it was finally finished around 6 years ago- when I found someone else to finish it off.
On the craft front.
My christmas swap goodies are winging their way to the UK to Lorraine . All finished in time and hopefully posted in time to miss any hold ups.
Here is my finished block 3 of the Summer nostalgia bom. I am quite happy with it. I love Dorothy's drawings. Now that it's finished I may pull out block two and trace that one up as well.

Next post I will show some more of my santas.....
I have one that has been banned from the loungeroom. There have been attempted abductions of him, My husband even offered to take him to the range for some target practice. No wonder I have such negative Christmas feelings...
I love this Santa but unfortunately I am the only one. But he will appear this Christmas!
Back to work tomorrow....
cheers
Marina

Thursday, 26 November 2009

when they were babies........



Just wanted to share some baby pics of my four legged babies. I was clearing some files on my computer and I just love these. I think baby animals (and children) are so cute so that they survive. You just couldn't not love them! This is how small maisie was when we brought her home. She was a little bit of a runt.
And just to prove that miss princess doesn't sleep all the time, and that she does leave the palace....Here is one of her in the garden, when it was green and water restrictions weren't so strict.Here is my baby coffee at around three months...
And here is Monty at around 8 weeks.....
Who could be without pets. I would be lost. That unconditional love. The way you are always the most interesting thing in their universe. Of course this doesn't apply to the cat. She is happy to accept that she is the most important thing in our universe.
That is the difference between dogs and cats!
The weekend is just around the corner and the countdown for Christmas is on....
Have a good one.
Marina

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

some craft catch up...

Here is one of the first raspberries on No 1 sons raspberry bush. He has discovered a green thumb. Last season he didn't get one fruit but this time around it has heaps. Well done.

Last night I finally started block three of Dorothy's summer nostalgia designs. I was so looking forward to starting. I took a little artistic license by adding a nest for the bird and changing him a little to resemble a cardinal bird. They look so elegant. I hope you don't mind Dorothy?

Here is my November basket block. I think this block is so cute I couldn't wait to do it. I have appliqued but am having issues with the handle. I had stitched it but it puckered too much so I had to undo it all. I was quite annoyed. I will need to redo it.

Here is last months block with the applique completed.

Have completed my Handmade Christmas swap too! I was feeling a little stressed about that I can tell you. Deadlines! Will send it off this week to Lorraine in the UK, so keep a look out for that postie Lorraine.
I will post a pic once it has reached its destination.
Have a lovely week.
Only four weeks to go till Christmas holidays!! Woo hoo.
cheers
Marina

Friday, 20 November 2009

Life is beautiful give away


Helen Stubbings is having a great giveaway for her new pattern 'Life is Beautiful'.
It looks divine and I would love a new project to work on. It includes the most beautiful stitcheries. If you click on the photo it should zip you over to the post on Helen's blog about it.
There is also a blog just to do with this bom.
All you have to do is
1.leave a comment with a quote on Helen's blog.
2.put up your own blog post with your quote, a photo of the quilt and a link to Helen's post.
3.stop for 5 minutes and think…

My quote is

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.

A good friend gave me a card with this quote on it and I really love it. I think of her when I read it. Memory failing is a sensitive issue for me.

I haven't been able to post what little I have been stitching as it is for my christmas swap gift. I have traced Dorothy's new block for Summer nostalgia and am itching to start it but I am stressing about meeting the swap deadline so that is priority project for now.
cheers for now
Marina

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I'll have a day of my own, that no one else can share.....

All our sorrows, we'll leave, far behind us there.....

Sorry just having a Seekers moment (you can click on Seekers to hear the song) . I was listening to their record the other day. If you like Judith Durham's voice you have to watch this .
It was filmed this year I think, and her voice is still just so amazing.
On Sunday I had the most laziest, non productive (as far as housework goes) day that I could ever have dreamed of! DH spent the whole day out and the children were allowed to fend for themselves.
I had a mission to tackle my Heart and Home block 1. Block 2 is due out any day and I needed all my concentrating skills to cut and piece this block. I was so careful when cutting but I still found I made mistakes. Talk about stressful. Luckily the fabric sent is generous and the errors needed trimming not recutting.
And here is the result
From this

To this......

I am so happy with it and I still managed to add a little personal touch. Instead of using the printed fabric for the flowers at the base of the house I chanelled some Leanne Beasley flowers and embroidered those instead. I love her flowers and had plenty of practice from doing Leanne's House and a Quilter's journey quilts.

I can now look forward to this weeks mail and there will also be the new Tisket Tasket block and before I know it the Summer Nostalgia block will be out too....
cheers
Marina