Monday, December 29, 2008

Thank You Anne Marie

Christmas was even more exciting this year as it was the first time I've participated in a Swap. Now, I have to admit, I'm not normally patient enough to leave a present for about four weeks without unwrapping it - but I did it!
Look what I got - aren't they just beautiful. I can't believe how beautifully meticulous it all is. I have moments of being pretty impressed with my quilting, but when I see work like this I know I'm a long way off - such skill! Fortunately I'm aware that Anne Marie has been quilting longer than I have so I have something to aspire too.

A macro shot of the stitching and hand quilting.

She also sent some chocolates which I can tell you now are very yummy. On Christmas day it was quite warm here and when it's hot I don't feel like eating chocolate - but lucky for me it's cooled down and I have been eating chocolates to my hearts content over the last couple of days. Apparently Anne Marie sent the chocolates for the boys, but being the good mother that I am I am sparing them all that sugar and fat and eating them myself (only joking, I am sharing them).

This is a mini quilt which I will hang in my hallway.

And this is the end of a table runner which looks just beautiful on my kitchen table.

So thank you Anne Marie - I love my present.
And thank you Donna for being an absolute champion and organising it all.

Happy New Year Everyone

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Time!

Yesterday I baked gingerbread to make this Christmas tree and today we decorated it. I'm happy to say that most of the lollies went on the tree, with only a few ending up in the kids mouths and a few too many ending up in David's mouth.....hmmm!

This is the first year we have made this tree and it was lots of fun. I borrowed the idea from a friend of mine whose mother makes them every year. I hear that this year they are making a gingerbread castle!

Emily's Oma (grandmother) gives her an IKEA gingerbread house which she decorates herself (note that hers is much neater than ours!!!).

This month has been busy and the last few days have been ridiculous and I still haven't finished - I'm not sure why I leave it to the last minute to get so much done. Much as I love Christmas, I'm looking forward to Boxing Day which I've re-named Pyjama Day as it's the day when we all stay in our pyjamas and do very little. Here's hoping Santa brings me a good book and a big box of chocolates.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and look forward to catching up in the new year.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

She made it herself!

Emily is getting into the Christmas spirit. She is at her most productive when she is up to her ears in assignments and swatting for end of year tests. This is the snowman that she made one night - isn't he gorgeous!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gratitude 15 and probably the most important one

When I started these posts, I knew that I would have to post about my mum and dad because I am ever so grateful for them. It's hard to put it down into words though and I guess I've left it for last as I find it hard to express how much I am grateful to them.

My mum is a wonderful woman. She has touched so many people's hearts - she has had six children of her own, taken in foster children, single pregnant girls who were waiting to give birth and had nowhere to go, she has feed the homeless and opened her house up to those who don't really have anywhere to go. I had moments of resenting this when I was young, but I'm now happy she did this, as it has made me more tolerant today and a little bit grateful for all that I have too. My mother has worked tirelessly for all of us, making sure we are happy and I guess trying to make our lives a little better than hers was. So thank you mum - I for one, really appreciate all you have done.
My father is also special - he has made me 'think' about life. He has helped me challenge ideas and understand the world. When I was little, he was the one who explained thunderstorms, told me about the stars, told me about the great philosophers, made me appreciate classical music and history. I vividly remember big, strong, warm hands that made me feel very safe.

My mum and dad make a wonderful team - my dad is the thinker or dreamer and my mum is the doer.
We never had much in a material sense when were growing up, but we had much in the way of family, experiences and now memories. Thank you so much mum and dad - my life has been great!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I made it myself

Not to be outdone by his older brother, Louis decided he wanted to make something - so he made a t-shirt for himself.

He drew a design on a piece of fabric using fabric marking pens and we bonded it on and blanket stitched around it. It's a van with roof racks on top (that's his latest fascination). With a bit of encouragement he drew on a tree (far left), a stream, some flowers and a sun. He's pretty chuffed with it!

I haven't blogged much lately. I'm in a panic about Christmas and find I don't have time to blog cause I'm concentrating all my energy into faffing about. I need to get inspired, and quickly cause Christmas is almost here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you are all happy and well.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gratitude 14

This post is more from Julian than from me, although I'm grateful too. Today we are grateful to Mixtape Magazine! Julian has been asking, for some time now, to do some sewing and I was always quick to put him off. It's not that I didn't think he should learn, but I just didn't think it was important for him to learn. I think somewhere in my subconscience I fell for that stereotype that only girls sew. Which is really not me!!! Honest :)

Anyway, I got my Mixtape Zine the other day and it had an article about a guy who loved to sew and he wanted mothers to teach their sons to sew too. When I got home from school, Julian again asked me if he could do some stitching and this time I said "Yes, absolutely you can - I'll get some stuff ready now".
He was a little shocked - his response was "really???!!!???"
He decided that it would be fun to make fruit and I decided it was probably best to use felt, embroidery floss and a nice big needle. Julian chose the fruit and the colours and did the stitching. He had so much fun and did a good job too.

His little brother, Louis, also had a bit of a go, but to be honest, I think he's a little too small for this kind of thing. So here's Julian with his bowl of fruit. Next we are making Christmas decorations and then we might just have to make a bag........well, the list is endless!

Thanks Mixtape!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

gratitude 13

we live in the driest state, on the driest continent.
i've heard this so many times growing up. now that i'm grown up i realise it's true and sometimes i find it a little scary. right now it's really dry out there and it's not even summer. our lawn is crisp and you need sunglasses on to look at it. very dire. i'm hoping for a little rain - actually i'm hoping for a lot of rain and soon.

anyway, on our camping trip we saw lots and lots of dry landscapes. it was hard to imagine, when we turned off the road at a sign that said 'Mannum Falls', that we would see any water. after a hot, dry, dusty walk we found gold!

i've always loved water. i remember i was obsessed with this book once as it had kids playing in a pond in the park. i love the beach, i love running creeks in winter, i love waterfalls. and i loved finding this at the end of our trek - bliss.

i should add though - i hate cold water. i'm a sook when it comes to swimming. it has to have been over 35C for a few days before i will get in a pool or the beach. brrr!

so today my post is in gratitude of water - it's very precious here and it's very much appreciated by me!


Saturday, October 18, 2008


if anyone is interested in the pattern for the below quilt, it can be found here:-

strip twist quilt

i've just got me another jelly roll and am going to make this quilt double the size so it fits on my bed. yipee!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gratitude 12

Today I am grateful for Jelly Rolls.
Click on a photo if you want to see a bigger picture!

They take the hard work out of chosing fabrics which is helpful for me as I'm not that colour confident still.

I have been working on the quilt at my quilting class. Nearly everyone in the class made one - and it was great to see how different fabrics work with the pattern.

I love this particular fabric range. I've forgotten what it's called but is so funky and fun. I don't think there's a material in it that I don't love.

It's not quite finished - I still have to do two borders, back it, quilt it and bind it. I was going to give it away..................but I've kind of fallen in love with it. I find it so hard to part with my quilts................ sigh

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Gratitude 11

Today I am grateful for:-
who help
and support you;
encourage you to take risks
but keep you safe;
who make life just a little more fun
and who can make you laugh out loud;
but are also there to hold your hand
when things go wrong.

and who help you pin lots of big quilts ready for quilting
(the ones you have been avoiding for some time!)

These photos were taken at a recent quilting evening I had with the girls. It was lovely to catch up, drink a little red wine, have a little giggle and do a bit of sewing.
We should do it more often.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gratitude 10

I'm grateful for long weekends and camping and for my sister and brother in law who lent us everything we needed for the trip. David had warned us that he needed a bit of time to put the tent up as he wasn't really sure if he remembered how to do it. We all had a moment (or several moments) when we thought we might not get it up and if we managed to get it standing that it may not stay up for long. But it worked! Amazing!!

This was our first camping trip as a family and it was great. Okay, it's true to say that we froze at night, and it was hard cooking, nothing was ever easy to do, and everyone kept tripping over the ropes, but it was a great experience and the boys loved it.

Early morning breakfast - eating cereal out of boxes - nothing better really - although there were charred pancakes later which we mighty good too!

We cheated a bit and cooked dinner in the camp kitchen - mind you it was still pretty rustic. Food tastes good when you camp - somehow your senses seem heightened - or is it all the exercise you have done which create a massive appetite!

Anyway, a wonderful time was had by all. There were a few fights between the boys and Emily didn't really enjoy the whole camping 'thing' - perhaps it would have been better if she had a friend with her? She thinks it would have been better if she had a cabin for herself!!

So we returned home feeling very tired, a little bit sore but with plans to set ourselves up so we can camp again in the near future!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

gratitude 9

warm saturday mornings


reading, eating icy poles, just lazing around

i'm grateful for those times when you can exist just in the moment.
no time to worry about
or the likes
just to laze
and be warmed by the sun
plenty of time to worry later.

have a great weekend

Friday, September 26, 2008

gratitude 8

today i am grateful for presents - big ones, small ones and all the ones in between.

a few weeks ago i met leanne for coffee at cibo's where she presented me with this:-

isn't it beautiful. i have to say, i am in awe of her skills - something for me to aspire to! not only is it beautifully made but she has stitched a gorgeous design on everything.

and it was filled with goodies too.

one of them i had to retrieve from emily's room as she feels i have way too many pincushions and she could do with one of her own. to be honest, i was happy to share with her (although she did get her own present!!)

but, i'm sorry to say leanne, that much as i adore your present - the best present of all is when louis snuggles up to me and tells me he has a present for me and gives me a great big kiss. that's one of the best presents of all.


Monday, September 22, 2008

gratitude 7

today i am grateful for quilting. for my wonderful teacher who taught me how to quilt, for my wonderful family for giving me time to quilt this weekend and for my friends and family who have made it possible to go to quilting lessons. i am very, very grateful as i really love doing it and i really love the satisfaction i get from it.

i spent sunday finishing off the quilt that i started ages ago.

as you can see, i decided to go with the sashing as when i had finished off all my blocks and put them together i realised that it would be really hard to match those points together. once the top was together though, i really liked the effect and i'm very happy with it. i'm sorry about the photo - i tried to rotate it, but it didn't work. hmmm

So, the next big question is, should i put a border around it or just bind it. unfortuantely i won't be able to get anymore of the blues that are used in this quilt and i thought that rather than matching another blue, i would perhaps try and pick up a soft green that's in some of the fabrics (see below - oooh and don't look too closely at the sewing as my points still don't match).

so, once again, it's over to you out there to tell me what you think - border or no border - blue border or green border???


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gratitude 6

today i grateful that the hawks won last night. my husband is a very happy man!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

gratitude 5 (oops missed a day)

Today I'm grateful for our vegetable garden. I get immense pleasure from foraging in the garden for edible things for dinner. This shot shows off our spring onions, lettuce and carrots. It also showcases 'Pierre' our wonderful french scarecrow - well, we think he looks French. He's still in his winter gear - but with the weather warming up it won't be long till he dons his summer outfit - stay tuned. We also have some potatoes and various herbs growing. In the middle of it all is a tee-pee of sweet peas.

David is a mad keen gardener. He took it up when gave up golf. He has a wonderful compost heap made from recycled pallettes and he was given a worm farm which he has established and he's been putting worm juice on our indoor plants and they are looking fantastic. It's amazing stuff really.

So, I'm off now, to pick something fresh for dinner - hmmm what can I find???


Sunday, September 14, 2008

the 4th thing i am grateful for

sorry - i'm blogging on my laptop and have hardly any photos on here and when i try and search for images i get nothing - not sure why but i can't see the images.'s another wordy post rather than a photoy post.

today i am grateful for libraries - in particular my local library. i have to confess i'm a bit of a shopaholic with a very limited income. about 10 years ago i discovered that libraries are a good way to feel like you are 'shopping' without having to fork out money. bliss - of course it helps that i love, love, love books. so, many a weekend is spent poring (is that the right spelling) over books at the library and looking for great reads, sources of inspiration as well as finding books that are just pretty to look at. and the best thing is that if you don't like the book, well you can just return it but, if you really, really like the book - well you can go right out and buy it!

my library is full of very helpful staff, including my gorgeous and talented niece, madi. if i want a book and they don't have it, they will try their hardest to get it in from some other library from within the state. amazing!!!!!we went to the library yesterday and i got 20 children's books as well as some books for david and i. so, on that note, i'm off to read!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

gratitude 3

today i'm grateful for warm spring days.
we've just come out of, what seemed to me to be, the coldest winter ever! but we've had a few beautifully warm sunny days and today was just perfect. it was a lovely warm 28C - perfect for washing the sheets and bedding. but it gets even better as i didn't wash my sheets - david did! i love that tonight i will slip between fresh, clean, sun dried sheets that will smell a little of spring.
i'm also grateful for the beautiful smell of jasmine that is carried on the warm spring breeze today - we are lucky to be inundated with jasmine at the moment. i also have a vase of sweet peas (my mum and oma's favourite flower) in the hallway - so i can smell spring everytime i walk up the hallway! isn't life great!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

gratitude 2....

today i am grateful for you. for all my bloggy friends who have inspired me so much and have become my virtual friends - there are some of you (you know who you are) who have become good friends to me. lately i've been a little remiss - i've found it hard to keep up with blog reading and commenting and i've definately been a little slack on the posting front but please know that i'm still thinking of you lots! there was a time in my life when i felt a little isolated and at times a little lonely and then i found all of you and life turned around a bit. now i'm lucky to have found a friend (that will be another gratitude post later) who lives nearby and has two boys the same age as mine and we are all good friends - but maintaining friendships takes time and that time has to come from somewhere - hence the lack blogging.

today i was lucky enough to have coffee with leanne at cibos. the weather was warm and sunny and it was so lovely to catch up. she made me the loveliest gift which i promise to photograph and post about very soon - i would have done it today but my batteries ran out and my time ran out :( - stay tuned though!

so to all of you - here in adelaide, australia or overseas - thank you.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Julian....

This time seven years ago, I was coming home from hospital knowing that if I didn't give birth today, I would be induced tomorrow.
I didn't really want to be induced, so David and I walked all over Prospect during the day, urging that little baby to come out. We ended up walking up to the school to pick up Emily and walking home. By the time I got home I was very, very tired. I remember remarking to David that I hoped I wouldn't go into labour now as I didn't think I had the energy to give birth anymore. He suggested a nap. I woke up to a contraction. I wasn't sure if it was definately one, but sure enough, six minutes later the next one came. Then I had two at five minutes apart and then they came thick and fast. Now, I was two weeks late and due to go to hospital any day, and did I have my bag packed???? Big panic - throwing things in the bag - stopping for two minutely contractions, thinking I was never going to make it to hospital - we still had to drop Em off at my mum's place and then get to the hospital. We made it though, and I made it upstairs and not long after that Julian was born. My first contraction was at 5.30pm and he was born at 8.55pm. He may have taken his time coming, but when he decided he wanted out, he didn't muck around!

Happy Birthday Julian. We've been so blessed to have you in our lives.

Which leads me on to the next thing. I read on Karen's blog that she is participating in the '30 days of gratitude' blog posting. Now I don't know where she saw this, but I think it's a great idea and I've decided to do it too - my first entry being dedicated to Julian. I am so grateful that he came into my life. He's such a wonderful boy with an amazing sense of humour, so deep at times and very sensitive. I've loved watching him grow into what he is now and I can't wait to see how he will turn out when he is older.

Hopefully I will be able to post everyday for 30 days - but given my track record I wouldn't hold your breath!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

This one's for you, Chookyblue.......

After reading Chookyblue's post about how she was given flowers I felt rather envious. I rarely get given flowers and when I questioned David about this he said he grew masses of flowers for me in the garden. And it's true - and what's more, now that the sun is coming out, they've decided to bloom. When I shared this with Chookyblue she suggested that I share my flowers - so here they are.

These lilies were originally planted by David's grandmother in her garden and we managed to get a few of the bulbs for our garden.

The anenomes are looking beautiful at the moment.

This is our big patch of ranunculi - I don't know if you can see it but they are just starting to come out but there are masses of flowers coming - I can't wait!

I think that ranunculi are my favourite flower - oh and poppies - and freesias (for their scent), and orange blossom - mmmmm I love orange blossom.

This last photo is what we have to look forward to - this was last year's crop.

These are my flowers to all of you!