Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some stitching

It is hard to believe that Christmas is over but it is nice to have a few quiet days at home to get onto some stitching. I am busy at the moment preparing some projects for my classes in February. Not much to show yet but there will be soon. I am finding it hard to get motivated as I would rather be stitching on my other Vignette block. Here is the shorter one and I am about a third through the longer one. You will be pleased with me as I have almost made the 7 patchwork blocks (I am up to number 6).
I also finished stitching the 6th block in the My Garden BOM. Just needs its patchwork done and I will be up to date. Today is going to be hot so might be a good stitching day inside in the cool. It finally feels like summer here is Australia.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We have had a very lovely Christmas which seems to have gone on for days! We celebrated with our kids on the night before Christmas eve and then enjoyed leftovers with Lyndal and Nick and some of us enjoyed watching "Love Actually" again. It is a wonderful movie. We went to church on Christmas day and then headed to Sydney for a yummy lunch at Ma and Pa's place with just some of the family. In the afternoon it was lovely to catch up with my brother and his wife and family for afternoon tea. We haven't had Christmas together since 2008 so it was very special. My photos weren't great but here are a few of the tree and this gorgeous gingerbread house.

It was especially great to see and get to know their grandchildren as we don't see them very often. Thankfully hubby took some better shots.

There is a third little one but she was asleep for most of the time as she is only 3 weeks old. In the evening we went to Deirdre and Paul's house and had another wonderful meal with some of the Frazer clan.
Here is Pa checking out this hamper.
Here are the kids with Ma and Pa.
And here are the oldies as well. It was just a little family this time with a few members elsewhere.
It was a wonderful evening for dining outside.
Bruce and I stayed in Sydney on Sunday and had a relaxing time with Ma and Pa. On Monday we headed to Camden for another extended family "do". We have always had this special gathering on Boxing day and it was sad this year as Auntie Dorothy wasn't with us. Here are Uncle Allen and Auntie Shirley, the oldest members of the family. Ma is the youngest sister. It was fun to catch up with the cousins that could make it this year.
What a busy time and what a lot of eating!!!! It is so special to spend these times with the family.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vignette blog for those stitching along

Just noticed Fiona's post about the new blog for those stitching the Vignette Mystery BOM. I have stitched some of the first block and hope to keep up with this BOM and being part of a group really helps. Check out Vignette in stitches and you could win a copy of Leanne's magazine.
Here is one part that I have stitched. My colours are a little softer.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, Eve

We had a lovely night last night celebrating our family Christmas. We are heading to Sydney as usual to celebrate with Ma and Pa and the family that are able to get there this year. Thus we had our gifts and meal together last night. We ate far too much as I always have too much food! Couldn't even fit in any Peppermint meringues or truffles! I'll be taking them to Sydney so we can enjoy them there. Before dessert, pavlova and berries, we gave out our presents and they were lovely. We thought the wrapping was a bit over the top on this gift. Lyndal assured me that the shop had wrapped it and not her!
It contained this delightful necklace. Can't wait to wear it.
I was also surprised by this beautiful diamond necklace. Isn't it gorgeous! I feel very spoilt.
I also received this cute book of spaghetti recipes in the shape of a spaghetti packet.
We were so full of food that we didn't even cut this wonderful rocky road pudding from Fancy That. Oh well, it will last till later!
Just a last few decorations and then it is Christmas. I walked past my favourite shop again and bought this big wire tree for outside at half price. I couldn't resist.
Lastly, this is one of Anni Downs' designs and it is a favourite. I do love working with felt.
I wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and enjoy this special time with your families and friends.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Baking, wrapping and some lovely gifts

Rushed these photos yesterday so they aren't great. Had a massive afternoon of baking yesterday (not my favourite thing to do!). I made these fiddly truffles which taste lovely and appear easy but aren't! I also baked/ prepared another batch of shortbread, chocolate balls, pavlova....
and peppermint meringues. I was so tired after all that work. The kitchen is still grubby and needs a major clean today. We are having our family Christmas tonight and so all needs to be ready.
The gifts are wrapped. I had forgotten how long it all takes.
I also received some lovely gifts this week. How lucky am I? See the gorgeous little Christmas house behind the bears.
This is the loveliest tea caddy with a very special glass bee hanger.
I also received this crocheted decoration.
Another special gift was this little blue and white ceramic machine. It will go so well with my blue and white crockery. I feel very blessed to have such lovely friends.
A friend sent me a link to this amazing video on YouTube. Worth watching to see a digital version of the Nativity. Check it out at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Favourite decorations

Here are a few more favourite decorations. Today, I am heading to stitching at Hobbysew for a while and then need to get started on some baking for Christmas. We are having our family Christmas on Thursday night as we are heading to Sydney to see Ma and Pa and the family on Christmas Day. I have cooked 2 batches of shortbread and it is all gone!
Here are 2 little cross stitched stockings that I stitched years ago.

This precious decoration was a gift from a dear friend and the lace was made in Croatia (I think!).
Just a little nativity to remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last block completed for the Stitch-a-long!

I was lucky enough to have a lovely day at home on Saturday. I probably should have been wrapping gifts or baking but decided to start December's block and kept going! Here is the last block.
I also got excited and ended up piecing the blocks together. I am pleased with it even if quite a few of the little squares are a little wonky. Thanks so much to Chooky and to all the Stitch-a-long girls for encouraging me to keep going.
I have already bought the lovely book, Tis the Season by Natalie Bird,  for next year's Stitch-a-long and just had to do one of the stitcheries. Here it is made into a little cushion. I also had time to stitch up this bonbon pattern by Anni Downs. The stitchery was done last year for last Christmas.
 I have also been having fun stitching and making some more of these delightful bag decorations by Anni Downs. Here are two more and one ready to sew up.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A package, a gift and some hardanger

I received the loveliest package yesterday from my dear friend  Fiona. She sent me this wonderful cross stitch decoration she had stitched and I had admired it on her blog. It is so beautiful and is hanging in my entry.
The package also had this wonderful magazine in it which includes the pattern for this decoration but lots more as well. I used to cross stitch a lot and may need to make some of these patterns for next Christmas. Thanks so much, Fiona. I have used Fiona's photo of the magazine as well.
Fiona is a marvel at Hardanger. I find it HARD as it requires very careful counting (only to 5, but it still is a problem of me). Luckily she has given me these wonderful hardanger decorations over the years, knowing that I will love them as I find it all so hard. They are some of my favourites.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tuesday's show and tell and some celebrations

The Tuesday stitching ladies had a celebration for Christmas this week and brought along yummy morning tea. What a good day to be working. Thanks, ladies. Josie brought along this lovely tea towel she has been stitching. Too beautiful to use!
Sheila brought her beautiful Catherine Wheels quilt in to show. Well done, Sheila.
In the afternoon, it was lovely to see Jill back and here are her gorgeous little stockings she has made. She made them for all her cards. Each person received a stocking with their name on it! Wonderful idea, Jill, though a lot of work!
Yesterday, I went to a lovely lunch with my Thursday Bible study group and we had a wonderful time. We all brought some food to share and it was delicious. We had secret Santa too and I received some Christmas glass baubles to put on wine glasses and I was able to use them in the evening.
Last night, my Wednesday night class girls came here for supper. It was a lovely night of laughter, chat and delicious food. I forgot to take any photos but can share the little gift I made for my Secret Santa. I have so loved making these little bags using the  pattern by Anni Downs. You use rusty wire to make the handle and we just happened to have starry wire at the shop which worked beautifully. I felt very "handy" cutting the wire and using pliers to bend it!!!!
This was my delightful Secret Santa gift (thanks Carol), lovely fabric and a gorgeous star. The other gifts were gorgeous too and now I wish I had thought to take some photos.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some decorations and the Arboretum

Here are another couple of corners of decorations. I love Christmas trees and here is a little collection of them.
I have an old Singer machine in the entry and some of these angels and bears sit here all year round. I just add the little tree quilt at Christmas time for these little ones to sit on.
On Sunday, the Arboretum was open to visitors and we were able to drive in and see how well the trees are growing. There are so many planted there and it will look fabulous as they all grow over the years. At the top of one of the hills there was this sculpture of "wide brown land". Can you see the words?

Here is the view overlooking the lake.