Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Books

december

A bit if a mixed bunch this month.

I started out with ‘Having the Decorators In,’ the sequel to ‘Having the Builders In,’ that I read last month. I really enjoyed it, it was great picking up with the same characters down the track a bit. It’s a very light-hearted tale with everyday problems of medieval times.

Who Killed Camilla? was a bit too trite & predictable for me.

The Love Knot was another great Charlotte Bingham book. The characters are well rounded & believable. There are three main characters & their stories are all very interesting.

Bridget Jones Diary, what a hoot, just as funny as the film I really enjoyed it. I’ll keep an eye out in the op shops for the sequel.

Ok now Watermelon is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read!! It’s my first Marion Keyes & I’ll definitely be tracking down more. Now the plot really isn’t comedic, the main character Claire has her first baby & the same day her husband leaves her for another woman. Now what is funny, is Claire’s family when she moves back to Ireland to get herself back together. I read in bed last thing at night while dh happily snores away beside me, the problem was I kept exploding with laughter & waking him up lol. Mind you when I read him the funny bits he laughed too. I especially loved that Claire’s mum is a soapy addict & especially loves Aussie soaps. One was referred to as ‘Down Drongo Way’ which sounded remarkably like ‘Home & Away’ to me, lol. 

I’m not a fan of Aussie soaps & I remember many years ago when mum used to watch Sons & Daughters, my dad referred to it as Sons & Dickheads, which seemed a much better name to me. I am however totally addicted to Coronation Street.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yule Pressies–Given & Received

Pressies I Gave-

emma's photos

I love these multi frames & decided to choose some of my fave Emma photos. They range from 1 month to 18yo, Emma’s Year 12 formal. Now she makes dodging the camera an art form so I rarely get a pic of her, lol. I think she really liked this gift.

Last year, before we moved, I took all our photos out of those awful ‘magnetic’ picture albums. You know the ones where you peel back the plastic & stick the photos to the backing page then lay the plastic back over. Some came out easily, some grrrrrrrrrrrrr, & most still have a sticky residue on the back. So choosing photos meant trawling through 100’s of loose photos, which resulted in a New Year’s Resolution – sort all the photos & get them in new albums.

sewing box for emma

I spotted this in one of the vintage shops I love & thought that Emma might just like it.

sewing box for emma 2

It was a little rickety & the timber brackets just weren’t in the right places for it to open properly. Dh took them all off & replaced them, so now it works quite well. I dragged out my old folk art paints & managed to mix up some paint to match the colour of the box.

I made all the pressies I gave for birthdays this year & had decided not to try & do the same for Christmas but at the last minute I decided to make some mug rugs to pop in with the gifts. They are so quick & easy to make & useful. First up I bought mugs to suit each person, then I made the rugs to match.

mug rug helen 1

For my friend Helen dogs, dogs & dogs.

mug rug helen 2mug rug helen 3mug rug lynne 1

For Lynne, I always think black & white looks pretty spiffy & Lynne’s pretty spiffy so……..

mug rug lynne 2mug rug nana 3

Now Mum is really a pretty, pastel person but Paul spotted this mug & it’s just perfect. ‘Time for Tea’ with a cup of tea on it, ah made for Mum, the original tea addict. I used to tease her about it but now I can’t live without my tea, so I get it!!!!

mug rug nanamug rug nana 2mug rug yun mi 1

For Yun Mi, my nephew’s lovely wife & a total cat lover. Unfortunately her mug was smashed in the post. I wrapped it in the mug rug, bubble wrapped it, tissue wrapped it, xmas paper wrapped it & packed it in a box with all their other gifts & still it arrived in pieces. Fortunately I was able to get another mug the same which I will post this week & keep my fingers crossed!!

mug rug yun mi 2mug rug yun mi 3

Pressies I Received-

pressies from emma

Pressies from Emma. A bit of a laugh giving me a cookbook as I don’t cook, but it is absolutely gorgeous with great vintage pics & all the recipes I remember from the 60’s & 70’s & I ‘may’ just be tempted to do some cooking. :-)

The quilting book is magic & I’ve already started one of the projects which will hopefully be finished to be a gift for my friend’s birthday in less than 2 weeks!

Love the Union Jack cat doorstop & the polka dot plates will be great in Lucy our vintage caravan.

pressies from rowan

Books from Rowan, cool.

pressies from friends

Love the felt book from my nephew & his lovely wife & twin pack of novels from my df (dear friend) Lynne.

pressies from paul

Pressies from dh. Ah a boxed set of my fave comedy ‘Jam & Jerusalem.’

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yule Greetings! 2011

front door

Our lovely front doors look so pretty at Christmas.

The Foyer

foyer

My more traditional area.

foyer 3santaswreath

One of my fave things is the 12 days of Christmas folk art wreath that I painted back in the early 90’s.

xmas people

The Loungeroom

mantle a

Our Christmas mantle.

mantle 2mantle 3tree lights

The Dining Room

bunting

I even made some bunting in our chosen Christmas colours.

village

Our Lemax village. This year I thought the dumb waiter would make a good spot for the village & it works well.

village 3village 2village 5village 4

It’s Christmas Eve & we’re almost ready. Just a few more pressies to wrap, our turkey is in the oven. We have a big baked dinner Christmas Eve & cold turkey, ham & salads for Christmas Day. We’re expecting a nice warm day tomorrow.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas spent with the people you love to be with. Now we’re in Melbourne our lovely dd Emma spends the day with us. Our day would be perfect if our ds Simon could be here too, but as he lives in Ottawa it’s a bit far to pop over for the day.  Maybe next year. :-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just in Time!

My Tis the Season is on the wall!!! I whizzed through the stitcheries in plenty of time but as always I got bogged down with the finishing. My hand quilting is sooooo slow, I’m trying to perfect my big stitch quilting but I feel it’s too small, whereas my normal quilting is too big, lol, & my machine quilting is awful!!!!! But it’s up, & it looks good, so I’m happy with it.

finished!finished with tree

It’s hanging beside the Christmas tree so I couldn’t get a better shot & once it was up I just couldn’t be arsed taking it down again for a photo. Smile finished close

Now you can see why I had the silver ribbon above & below each block, they’re presents & I’ve now added the bows!

I’m hoping the sun will come out tomorrow so I can takes pics of all the decorating I’ve been doing the past 4 days? 5 days, I’ve lost count. I usually knock it over in a day or 2 but I’m just not in the zone so it’s been a bit of a struggle.

I know others are struggling with all the demands of Xmas, it’s just a huge amount of work every year & if you’re not geared it can be a bit of a nightmare.

Well at least the house is done. I’ve written my Xmas letter, I just need to write the cards to put it in. I asked ds Rowan to read it for me to see if it sounded ok. He said, ‘Mum it’s crap, we’re the most boring people, we don’t do anything.’ I said, ‘Yes but everyone who reads it will feel better about their exciting lives & that’s the gift, lol!!!!!’

Friday, December 2, 2011

November Books

novemberA mix this month.

I have some stuff going on in my life at present that makes it very important that I have time to escape into my books! That’s why I’ve read a few more than usual this month.

The Ruth Rendell, Babes in the Woods, was as good as always. I love the way there is so much going on, including lot’s of Wexford’s home life.

The Ex-Wives was an interesting story as a girl meets an older man & decides to investigate all the women who’ve been in his life before her.

A Change in the Lighting tells of how a woman adapts her life after her husband of over 30 years suddenly leaves her for another woman. It’s interesting to see how she deals with the situation & how the family reacts to the change in circumstances. I like it when books are set in areas I know, & this one is set in Sydney.

Jumping the Queue is a sometimes humerous book that I really enjoyed but I have to admit I didn’t like how it ended.

Having the Builders In is a fun book set in Medieval times & just shows that things haven’t changed when it comes to the reliability of builders, lol. I’m currently reading the sequel, Having the Decorator’s In, & it’s just as good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I finished something. :-)

shelf 1

I bought these pine shelves last year so it was time I did something with them.

shelf 2

I pushed the back off, it was stapled with just a dab of glue so that was easy. I marked the back before I pushed it off but I needn’t have bothered as it has discoloured, so it was easy to see the sections.

shelf 3

A couple of coats of white paint.

shelf 4

I’m not a scrapbooker but I bought a pad of scrapbook paper thinking it might come in handy for something. I cut the paper to size & glued it to the backing with a Blustick.

shelf 7

I’d left the staples in place & the back just pushed straight back onto the shelves.

shelf 5

This cute bunting comes from a blog I follow, lucky I remembered it.  I resized it as I wanted it smaller & printed it out.

Here’s the link if you’d like some cute bunting too:

http://allsorts.typepad.com/allsorts/2011/03/download-a-free-printable-to-make-some-weefolk-bunting.html

shelf 6

I glued it to some candlewicking cotton.

shelf 8

I used double sided tape to attach the bunting to the shelves.

I’m not sure what I’ll put in them yet, I’ve hung them on the dining room wall. I’ll be Xmas decorating next week, NEXT WEEK, bloody hell who stole 2011, lol. Yes well I’ll put some Xmassy things in the shelves when I decorate & worry about something more permanent next year.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lucky Me

I was chosen by Simone as a winner of some lovely fabrics from:

http://www.fabrictraders.com.au/shop/

fabric

I especially like the print on the left, it looks very grown up & sophisticated to me, a style I admire but I always feel more comfortable with the pretty, cute stuff like the strawberries on the right.

They also sent me a $5 coupon so I’ll be back choosing something yummy from their lovely range.

I thought I’d throw in a couple of pics of the furry, hairy kids.

lazy

Here’s Molly licking an ice cream bowl, I love that she’s too lazy to actually get off the lounge first, lol.

hiding

& here’s Zaphod playing hide & seek with Molly. He reminds me of ds #1 when he was little, if he covered his eyes he thought we couldn’t see him.