Friday, 17 December 2010

the quilt and the christmas story

i have a very strict policy of not posting about gifts here until they have been opened by the receiver. however, given this quilt is going to my not-yet-born nephew, so he won't be the one to unwrap it, let alone be able to notice its existence for quite some time. and given this is my last post of the year, i thought i might apply that policy a bit loosely in this case.

so here it is, my nephew's finished quilt:

and that's it from me for the year! it's been great fun, let's do it some more in the new year!

and finally, merry christmas to you all!

 Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there, she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.
That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord's glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, "Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David's hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay."Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:
    "Praise God in heaven!
   Peace on earth to everyone
   who pleases God."
After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about." They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay.
When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. Everyone listened and was surprised. But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant.

 Luke chapter 2 verses 6-19

Monday, 13 December 2010

doin' some decorating

 ahh, don't you love decorating. we've put up and decorated the christmas tree

i've set up my crocheted nativity scene (yeah, i know it's missing a lot of the people and animals involved. it's an ongoing project -i have also made joseph's head, but i thought i shouldn't just have his head rolling around. so mary and Jesus it is, until i get a chance to finish joseph) 

and i've even been doin' some decorating 'round marjoryjane. i've added a "stuff i want to make when i get time" list - down under the follower's box. check it out! i always have a great big list of things i am keen to make. and now whenever i come across something fun, i have a place to put it - so it won't get lost, or forgotten. what do you do when you come across those great ideas you'd like to make one day? where do you put them so they don't get lost?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

crafternoon show and tell

our crafternoon last saturday was so much fun - full of old friends and new, old crafts and new and, well, old and new cocktails! it was very christmassy. 

inspired by the gift cards i was sent, i decided to try out some potato printing! not something i have done since primary school, i think. but i am really happy with how they turned out. (the cow design is based from here). 

a friend was making christmas decorations out of "claydough" a kind of flour/water mix that she baked (last time she made this stuff, she was 13). 
and finally, more on the sculpture from last crafternoon-it's really starting to take shape!

we also had crochet, crochet, more crochet, wedding invitation making and a fabulous range of food. and my new favourite cocktail, which i have renamed sundowners (i think it is actually called "african breeze"):
1 part crushed ice
1 part cointreau
2 parts amarula

mmm, so so good (the crafternoon that is, not just the cocktails)... 

Saturday, 4 December 2010

a random christmas assortment

ooh, there is so much to say! whenever i have been too busy to blog, i always have so much i want to blog about!
like this:
how cute are these! i visited chantal's blog a few my creative space's ago, and left her a suggestion for her christmas tag prints. low and behold she not only made some tree ones, but she generously sent some to me! these look so cute in red and green. they will go so well with my wrapped up pressies!

and there are also these - boozy mini pudding truffles (i know the recipe isn't boozy - i added brandy). i've made a stack of them for the useful gift christmas bbq that my lovely friend's 7 year old decided to hold last night. (you should check out tear's useful gift catalogue - they are a fabulous way to give really useful gifts) 

good thing that there are some left over to take to crafternoon today! yay! christmas crafternoon!

and finally this: 
 our not-yet-put-up christmas tree. i brought it down, got it out of its bag, but haven't yet had the time (or found the phillip's head screwdriver) to put it up. here's hoping we get time to put it up this weekend!

how are your christmas assortments of things going?   

Saturday, 27 November 2010

the napkin dress

it started a few months ago. i was busy, really busy, with a list a mile long of things that must be done. it was the weekend before i was heading off on our 5 week overseas holiday. and i found myself in a fabric shop, (legitimately, i had to buy wool to take with me) and, well looking at some clearance fabric (much less legitimately). 

see i had been inspired by the textured leaf's creative space dress. i too have a summer dress i am very fond of, that i had always thought would be really simple to make. and i had some fabulous napkins left that i won in clutterpunk's giveaway some time ago. all of which resulted in me standing and contemplating clearance fabric. i had the beginnings of a plan. and such a good plan at that. take some clearance fabric, some napkins, a bit of fabric stash lace, a bit of ribbon, and afternoon, and...well... after a few hours, things fell apart a little.

the problem was that, as always, i had a higher view of my sewing ability than actual ability. and by the end of the afternoon, i had a frustratingly almost-but-not-quite finished dress and still a long list of things to organise before i went away. 

fast forward to the past few weeks, and i have given the dress a second chance. unpicked and re-sewn a seam or two, tweaked a bit here and there and now am happy to say, the dress is finished!

and i already have plans (and i'll admit it, the fabric) for the next one!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

two quick things

neither of which i made, but i just wanted to share: 

firstly, this knitted bike lock cosy, on the bike i was parking my bike next to this week. isn't it cute!
and secondly, this baby cauliflower, growing in our garden! i'm not the gardener around here, so i can't take any credit, but still, its so cute, and soon to be so yummy!
hope you are having a great saturday!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

ok, ok...

...i admit it. i really do have to stop going into op-shops. i know. i do.

but if i did that, well, i wouldn't have found this:

a round table cloth - how cute!
or this:
fitted sheet - what fun!
or this!
square tablecloth - isn't it fabulous!
the best part is that i bought them for a specific project, which means they won't just get added to my stash. *coughs* except for the bit where i actually bought all of them for the same project. and i only need one. so i am pretty sure the square tablecloth is the winner- oh well. they really are lovely though, aren't they...

Monday, 15 November 2010

opshops and buttons

this weekend has involved a nice bit of opshopping. love it. i found lots of fun things, and was proud of my restraint a couple of times. but mainly i wanted to talk to you about this...
see i bought these great pants that someone had thrown out, just because they were missing a button. so this afternoon, out came one of the jars from my button collection. spilled all over the bed and poured though, until i found the perfect one. 
love it!

Saturday, 13 November 2010


this quilting thing really seems to be taking hold. after the success i have been having with the quilt i am making for my new nephew-on-the-way, i thought i'd have another go at a simpler quilt.

basically the idea stems comes from the fact that my friend has wooden floors and wanted something a bit soft to be able put her bub down on. a floor quilt. i whipped this one up in an less than two hours. using two pillowcases and some of an old quilted dressing gown as the wadding. i am pretty happy with the outcome:

i learnt a lot about machine quilting in this (given i had no idea before i started, it was easy to learn a lot) and in retrospect i think doing the quilting in a mix of brown thread / yellow bobbin would have added to the finished look. (truth be told, i did think of it at the time, but was too lazy to run upstairs to get the brown thread and don't actually own any yellow). the next one i make however, will have feature colour machine quilting. and i am thinking i will possibly make it a little bigger (this one was limited by the scrap of dressing gown i had).

oh dear, see i used the term "the next one"... it seems like i'm planning it already. i tell you what if i get addicted to quilting i'm going to blame gina (check out her fabulous green quilt, and this one here the one that started me on this whole quilting venture). i really don't know if my life can fit in another addiction or another obsession...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

my creative space

i'm tired tonight. work has been really crazy recently, i'm only two days into my working week, and i have already done an extra half a day, and i can't see it calming down anytime soon. so i really don't have much in the way of words, but i still did want to share a few pics of what's been going on in my creative space over the last week. lots of creating...

 sewing the binding on this project
 making some mini grannies for this project

and a brand new project! i got a jug cover pattern book for my birthday, and so i popped out to spotlight to get some proper crochet cotton and a mini crochet hook. and it's good fun, but the only problem is that i can't talk and follow patterns, so this is a no-one else around kinda project. 

how are your creative space projects going?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

the (late) last owl

i somehow forgot to post this poor little guy. so it's a bit late, but here 'tis, all done!.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

and while we are on my brithday..

i thought i'd show you this. it's what my mum posted down to me for my birthday:

ok, it's not that she got confused between celebrating my birthday and celebrating Jesus' birthday. she just gave me some of the christmas decorations that i made as a kid. and that is pretty precious. the fact mum has kept them all these years is pretty amazing. and its pretty special that after keeping them for so long she has shared these ones with me. 

they evoke so many memories - not so much of the making them, but of christmas and of the decorating the tree every year. and they also remind me that i have been into this making stuff pretty much all my life. and there's something kinda nice in that.

have you always been making stuff too?

more excitment!

i won a giveaway! from the very lovely catherine over at pencils and pins. they arrived in the post this week, on my birthday would you believe! i find it pretty amazing to get such a fabulous birthday present from someone i've never actually met. i'm not going to gush about blogging and friendship and stuff (i'm not really the gushing kind), but i will say it's really quite amazing to be connected with such a great group of women, who make stuff, all over the world. 

and quite exciting to win a giveaway!

these little guys were the original giveaway prize

and because it was my birthday, she also stuck in some fabulous vintage sheeting,which will go great in my collection, and a cute little hanky. such fun prints. 

thanks catherine!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

gluten free excitment

eeek! i'm so excited! check this out:
it's pizza dough. and look at this:

see it's not just any pizza dough, but this baby is gluten free! i've been making gluten free pizza dough for awhile now, and each time it has turned out somewhere in between cake batter and a very wet scone dough. sticky, impossible to roll. i had to coat my hands in flour and press it out into shape. but last night - it made a ball. and rolled out beautifully and even draped properly. 

all thanks to my new find. i heard about this ages ago, but had no idea where to get it. after talking with sandrine, i actually decided to see if i could find some, and in the end found it at the supermarket!

after demanding admiration for my dough far and wide, i did eventually make the dough into pizza. mmm gluten free pizza goodness...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

crafternoon goodness!

ahh, what a saturday we had. unexpected sunshine. good food and a crafternoon.


there was great food (easy peasy chocolate cake, fabulous and melt in your mouth macaroons and blue cheese scones) 



i was working on making a quilted sandwich for my next quilt project

there was drawing and painting going on, but mostly i wanted to show you this: sculpture by my lovely friend. (sorry some of the pics are blue-ish - i forgot to turn the filter off)

 she was sculpting it out of this weird aerated concrete stuff, and it was so much fun!


i couldn't believe how great it looked by the end of the crafternoon. the finished product is going to be fabulous!

Friday, 15 October 2010

an october challenge

so, i'm not actually doing blogtoberfest. (despite the fact that i have posted pretty much every day this week). 

no, i've signed up for the salvo's nothing new challenge. it means that i am going to not buy anything new for the whole of october. given my everpresent love of op-shops, i didn't think it would actually be too hard for me to do (is that dodgy, signing up for a challenge cos you think it will be easy?), and it's been a good reminder of the fact that really, i already have a lot of stuff, and actually i don't need to buy anything new. 

my only problems so far have been presents for others. the first one was easy, my friend who recently got married wasn't keen on getting "stuff" that they wouldn't be able to fit into their place, so a bottle of my burnt fig jam was very well received. but i've got a someone else's birthday coming up, and the best plan for a present - you know, when you come up with the PERFECT present idea and can't wait to get it and give it to them cos you know they will love it... the problem is that i have to buy it new. its not something you find in op-shops. and there aren't any second hand ones available.

i have a dilemma. do i buy it new and break my pledge? or do i hold off and wait until november and thus give them the present late (which kinda feels like poor taste, given i am holding off for my benefit and they lose out a little)? and given that i am going to buy it in november, does it matter if i buy it in october, despite my buy nothing new pledge?

what would you do?    

Thursday, 14 October 2010

my creative space

is still full of owls...
i thought i'd be done by now. i really should have been done by now. but due to badly thought out cutting out. (read as forgot to add decent amount of seam allowance) i've had to hand stich these buddies up. 

i've come to the conclusion i HATE hand sewing. well, HATE is a bit strong. but i certainly don't love it, and i've come to the realisation that an embroidery hoop would make a big difference (of course, i don't actually have one), so the slow slow slow hand sewing does continue. hopefully, this last owl will be finished soon. 

at least they will be finished by the time the show "owl in spotlight" goes up at la mama theatre in carlton next week. its going to be a great show and is for all ages - if you are in melbourne, you should check it out. 

and check out all the creative spaces this week...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

its all about the food this week...

and after my gluten free cooking boasting last night, tonight its all about the gluten.

orrechiette with multicoloured broccolini. 

good pasta, with home grown* broccolini, a bit of chilli and a handful of parmesan. easy and so so good... and so full of gluten. good thing that in our house its only about having less gluten, rather than having to be totally gluten free!

*i must confess, not grown by me but in someone else's garden

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

mmm gluten free goodness

so, with the encouragement of sandrine, i have been experimenting with gluten free. and its actually turned out easier (and tastier) than i imagined. so here you go:

gluten free potato and sour cream muffins (adapted from this book)

2 medium sized potatoes, mashed
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup of sour cream
60g melted butter
315g gf self raising flour
1/4 teasp paprika
salt and pepper

mix mashed potato, eggs, milk, sour cream and butter in bowl. add flour and spices.mix until combined. 

place into greased trays (i use the paper muffin cases as otherwise my muffins always stick), and bake for 25 min at 180 degrees C. 

they are great with soup - as in "who needs bread!" great.

Monday, 11 October 2010

an (early) birthday present

for me!

how lovely is this scarf! a good friend of mine bought it in Columbia for me earlier this year. she couldn't wait any longer, so she gave it to me early for my birthday (although my actual birthday is still a few weeks off). such a lovely lovely present, from such a lovely friend!  

Thursday, 7 October 2010

this is what keeps me up at night...

so, at least this time the possum is on the outside of the windowsill. last time we had this noctural visitor, the window was open and in he came. 
let me tell you, trying to chase a baby possum out of your bedroom at 2 in the morning is not my kind of fun!
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