Thursday, December 31, 2009

Masterpieces from Paris

We went with Ma and Pa on Monday to see the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition at the National Gallery. Luckily we had bought our tickets on the internet and had lined up early and so we had a wonderful time seeing these very special paintings from the Musee D'Orsay. The lines as we left the gallery were very long. Last year we went to the Musee in Paris on a Monday! Bad idea as it is closed.
Ma loved this amazing painting by Albert Besnard. Her lovely white dress sparkled. Ma paints and she really appreciated this one. We all loved seeing the Starry Night by Van Gogh. The colours were so brilliant it could have been painted yesterday.
This is Van Gogh's bedroom at Arles.
It was lovely to see Monet's Waterlily pond, green harmony.
You can see all the paintings and read about them at

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A few Quilts

I was glancing at my photos and thought I would share a few quilts I have seen recently. This one is Sue's from the Tuesday stitching group and it really bright and cheerful.
This is a favourite of mine that is on display at Hobbysew. I was at work on Tuesday and I think this is a simple quilt but so effective. I do love stars.
This is also a favourite quilt. It is one of Cathy's and it looks so wonderful on the wall in the classroom. I'd love to make this one too. The flowers are Cathy's catherine wheels. What a shame I have so many projects half done! I hope to do a bit of quilting and finishing in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Linda's dolls

Linda sent me some pictures of her lovely Christmas dolls she made for gifts recently. Don't they look great. They have the brightest hair and lovely painted feet. They were made with a pattern from Laraine from Up in Annies room. We have the patterns at Hobbysew.

Well done, Linda.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas is over

It is hard to believe how quiet it is here today without all the Christmas visitors. It was so lovely to have everyone here for our first ever Christmas at home. It did seem a little strange having it here but we all had a good time and there was plenty of food (thank goodness...actually too much!). Here are a few more family pictures. Gavin and Pa having a chat.
Ma and Deirdre skyping the girls in the US. Deirdre and Paul's girls were all away for Christmas visiting Avril, their youngest, in the US. Avril has been nannying over there this year.
Here are Ma and Pa opening their presents. The received the cutest little "kissing" couple (really salt and pepper shakers) that just looked like them.
Here we all are in the obligatory family shot!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A few Christmas scenes

The table at Lyndal and Nick's place ready for dinner on Christmas eve...eve.
Lunch on Christmas day with an extra table to fit everyone.
A lovely lace decoration at Lyndal's place.
It was a very good joke! The Secret Santa gifts were very well received and we had a lovely time.
I managed to feed 15 on Christmas eve and 16 on Christmas day and it all went well! The food worked out very well and was yummy. There are lots of leftovers still to feed those who are still here tonight. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas

One last post before I head back to the baked veg etc to check everything. Half the visitors are here and all is well!!! I managed to finish all my chores. Whew!
Here were out presents before heading out last night for our little family's Christmas.
Here are all the gifts under Lyndal's lovely tree.
Isn't this the loveliest decoration?
Some lovely stockings ready for special gifts!
Happy Christmas to everyone who visits this blog. Thanks for visiting and hope to share lots of stitching after Christmas.

A few more Christmas scenes

Just had to have a sit down and a coffee (and one of Cathy's absolutely delicious melting moments...just to give me strength) after a very busy morning of preparations in the kitchen. I am almost finished and then MUST clean the kitchen as it is like a bomb has struck. Then set the table and......lots of other little things.
Here are the Friday night stitching girls after a yummy dinner at The Green Herring.
We had a Secret Santa swap and I received this delightful Santa. Thanks Audrey.
Some of the girls cooked us delicious things too! Note the melting moments are there but not anymore as 2 have been eaten!
Yummy Rocky road from Fancy That to have soon.
And my favourite basket of Christmas dolls.
Best get back to it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas cooking and a little stitching

After making the complicated truffles, I made the trusty chocolate and coffee truffles I usually make and they were so easy!
I stitched this little angel the other night. She is a stamped image and was fun to stitch.
I also finished off 2 more of these decorations using Theodora Cleave buttons and Marg Low's patterns.

I had a busy day today shopping for the final bits of fruit and salad for the Christmas meals and then did a bit more cooking. We are heading to my daughter and son-in-law's place tonight to celebrate Christmas eve...eve and have our presents for our immediate family. Tomorrow the rest of the family comes. Hope all your preparations are going well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


On Saturday, I also attempted to make these lovely chocolate truffles. The recipe was in the Good Taste magazine.
They CAN look like this.
They were quite difficult to manage and ended up looking like this, though they taste quite yummy!
Yesterday I baked again. Those who know me well, know that I don't enjoy the mess and effort of cooking (I would much rather be stitching) but I always make special treats at Christmas so it is necessary and with lots of people coming, I need lots of treats. Here are some of my florentines.
Please note that everything so far has a chocolate component! Oh dear.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Giveaway drawn

Thank you to those who commented on my Giveaway post. I am so glad you liked the decoration and the pattern. I have drawn the winners and they are catita and Heidi. Congratulations. I will get the pattern to you as soon as possible.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some little gifts and baking...

I had a very successful shopping trip yesterday with my girls and managed to get the last of the gifts. They are under the tree, wrapped and ready. I have just wrapped some decorations for my girls and have made these appliqued hand towels for them and one for me. They are designs out of some of Nancy Halverson's Christmas books.

I also had a baking afternoon yesterday and had a go at this Panforte from the latest Donna Hay magazine. Looks OK in this picture from the magazine, so hope it tastes yummy.
Don't forget to comment by tonight on the December 16 post to be in the giveaway for the Nativity pattern. I'll draw it tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Only a week to go......

I was planning to do some Christmas cooking today but I HAVEN'T! I am trying to do many little chores, like cleaning and shopping and today ended up being a bit of cleaning and another large shop and a little wrapping of gifts. Oh well, thankfully there are more days before Christmas. This is our first ever Christmas where we are staying at home and the family are coming to us. This is very exciting but means I have to think about FOOD! I usually do lots of sweet things and others do the meat and veg and salad etc! There are lots of things to think about and some very long lists.
Thought I would share this special decoration that Anita was showing me the other day. It is a bought shape and it is filled with lots of scraps of thread.... Anita calls them orts (I think) and we save them for her. Looks pretty good!
I have just finished stitching this little nativity, stamped using one of my favourite stamps, for a gift. It is a lot of work but worth it.
Here are a few more fused felt decorations. They have been fun to make.
Here is my almost empty shortbread tin. It was full to the brim recently! Should have made some more today!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New pattern, new decoration and a giveaway

So exciting to get the new wooden nativity decorations last week. Laraine has cut the wooden decorations and they look lovely. Thank you Laraine. I have prepared a pattern which includes a stitchery of the design, the instructions for painting the decoration and the background mini quilt. The patterns and extra decorations are at Hobbysew now.
This is the decoration which is hanging on my tree just as it is!
And here is the stitchery version.
I am having a giveaway of two patterns including the decoration for two lucky bloggers. Just leave a comment on this post before Monday and I will draw it then and post as soon as possible after that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The last of the show and tell!

Check out this wonderful Catherine wheels quilt! Doesn't it look fabulous?
Janet taught a bargello class and here are 2 of the finished quilts. They look great.

Margaret came and showed us her finished bag! Such lovely colours.
Margaret has also finished this wonderful quilt.
Thought I had best finish up the showing and telling but the quilts were very inspiring!