Thursday, December 24, 2009

One more sleep!

The elves have been busy in our house this Christmas. We have made some lovely handmade decorations from a couple of great tutorials I've found around blog land recently.

This wreath was really simple to make. All you need is a wire coat hanger and quite a few baubles plus I added a bit of tinsel and to finish a gold ribbon bow. It is now hanging in our front bay window looking very festive. Here's the tutorial that I followed here.

Next the girls and I made these easy paper globes with some inexpensive scrapbook paper and some brads. The tutorial for these is here.

There were a few other tutorials I wanted to try but they will have to wait till next year. Time just seems to run out at this time of the year for some reason?!?

Last year we made these angels from a "Klutz" kit set. There is 8 included in the box to make up and they were a really fun Christmas craft to do with the girls. Check them out here.

Christmas Angels on our tree.

It wouldn't be a kiwi Christmas without one of these iconic ornaments.

A few years ago now my Mother passed on some of her old ornaments for our tree.
They are quite delicate now but very special to me as they bring back childhood memories.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Black and white Monday on Tuesday.

Yes I'm a little late with this Black and White Monday post but we spent the day in Auckland Christmas shopping while the girls spent the day with friends. Then after we got back and had a quick dinner we went for a drive around town to look at the Christmas lights.
I'm afraid I had a hard time looking for black and white items then I realized what I was wearing!

A black t-shirt with white writing.
Introducing "Boots", Amelia's black and white cat who is now 1 year old. She has really beautiful soft fur, likes her food a lot and loves to snuggle close in bed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday is brought to you by the colour red...

I had to include this vibrant red rose in today's colour post. It is called "Dublin Bay" and flowers in my garden for over 9 months.

A red handle on a vintage toy iron.

Red "Doctor Seuss" books. Well read in our house.

This very mini set of drawers was a gift from a Japanese student we had staying with us once. We used to have an English language school in our town and we would have students staying with us from mainly Asia and a few from Europe. The Japanese always gave us beautifully wrapped presents when they arrived. These drawers sit on my sewing table and contain little things like spare sewing machine needles and thimbles.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Orange Saturday!

Had to have a bit more of a hunt for orange items in my house today but with my daughters help I did manage to find some things.
A miniature bag made up from a scrapbooking kit.
Amelia's bag that she made a couple of years ago now.
Some flowering succulents in a pot of my deck.
Sunscreen! ( A daily ritual now)
This is an incense stick holder bought in India and made from paper mache.
I acquired this some years ago when a great Uncle died. It is a perfume dispenser. You lift the little green stopper and it has a little spear shaped stick that you use to apply the perfume. Not quite sure what it is made of but the lid is green stone. I think the unusualness of it appeals to me.
See more colour week posts here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sew 'n' tell Friday

Finished this swing top just in time for Caitlin to wear to our Christmas street party last night.

She chose the fabric and pattern from Spotlight a few weeks ago and I made some bias binding from some pink polka dot fabric I had originally bought for binding a quilt. I used some pretty pink velvet ribbon that I had already to go around the bodice where it is joined to the skirt piece.

It has a side zipper and I used this great tutorial to get some tips on sewing in a invisible zipper.

Caitlin is really pleased with it so much so that she wanted to wear it again today but I persuaded her to save it for Christmas day.

Now the cute little puppy belongs to a friend of ours. He turned up with it just as I had started to take photos of Caitlin. He turned out to be the perfect prop for our little photo shoot!
You can check out all the other Sew 'n' tell's this week over here on Amy's blog.

Brown Friday

Well the colour brown has proved pretty easy for me too. Who would've thought as it's not really my favourite colour but I do like things made of different woods.

First up are two antique wooden trays that were hand carved by my Grandmother's brother or maybe her Uncle (I should've really checked with my parents first). The one above is carved in a traditional Maori pattern with inlaid 'paua' shell in the handles. There is a lot of intricate carving all over it and it is quite beautiful.

This tray is also beautifully carved with flower motifs and I love the handles on it. I had wanted a tray for quite some time before I rescued these trays from under my parents house. I use them quite a bit for taking meals to my girls and their friends when they are playing outside or serving them meals when they are sick.

Now I had to include my 'box brownie camera' in this post just because of its name! I have used it and it still takes good black and white photos. I just love the 'face' on it and its lovely brown leather case.

And of course chocolate is brown! Now this was my contribution to the supper we had after the prize giving on Monday night at the girls school. From the left we have some rocky road slice, Christmas truffles and some fudge slice. I'm happy to share the recipes of any of these if you are interested. The Christmas truffles are particularly easy!
Check out the other "Brown Friday's" over here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blue Thursday

Blue is my all time favourite colour in all of its many shades so finding blue items was pretty easy for me today.

This is a hand blown glass 'obelisk' by New Zealand artist "Gary Nash". I bought it a few years ago before I was married.

A small collection of little blue glass bottles and a mini lamp.

And this is a recycled tin can that I covered with some pretty scrapbook paper for holding pens on my computer desk.
Don't forget to go over to Kendalls blog to look at all the other 'Blue collections'.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa......

Thought I'd give you some help this year and send you a short but sweet Christmas wish list of what I would love to find under my tree. I'm not asking for much and nothing to heavy that will weigh your sleigh down. You know just a little fabric can keep a girl happy for a long time.

First up on the list is a fun little jolly pack of Heather Bailey's latest collection "Nicey Jane" I'm loving that retro style and I know this selection is going to whet my appetite for more.

Next is this pretty collection from Tanya Whelan "Calm Dolce". Such a pretty collection!

And last but not least a Simple Abundance jelly roll and if you have the time Santa could you pick me out some yardage of ric rac to adorn these fabrics that would be just the cherry on top.

And what would I make with all these fabrics I hear you ask Santa? Well a quilt of course but definitely something for my girls. Maybe a new little handbag each. You see I share my presents around.

Oh and just in case your not to sure where to get all this sweet fabric from, they have it all here at The Fat Quarter shop.

Pink Wednesday

As we have two girls in our family we have the colour pink in our house in abundance, so it was easy to find pink things to photograph today.

Miniature pink roses flowering in our garden.
My daughter Caitlin wore a pink dress today (with pink leggings but you can't see those).

This is a fairy on our tree with a pink paper dress. She has been around since I was a child and my Mother used to put her on my birthday cakes, so she holds special memories for me.

And lastly some pink polka dot bias binding that I made to trim a dress that I'm making Caitlin. Oh and the fabric underneath is one of Caitlin's other pink dress's that used to be her older sisters.
Check out all the other pink posts over here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Green Inspiration for Tuesday

I do like the colour green but I had to have a good look around for some green items for todays post.

I found this lovely old salad bowl that we got when my husband's father passed away a few years ago. It looks like it was well used in its past but I think we have only used it a couple of times probably because it looks a little fragile now. It is a lovely shade of green and quite beautiful. When I first got it out today I just noticed the radishes, carrots and turnips but now I can see pods of peas as well amongst all the green.

I also found this little green glass dish which I filled with some pretty green buttons. This dish also comes from my father in law . I think maybe it was originally used as some sort of condiment dish.

And last but not least is this lovely bright green reindeer ornament on our tree. It is a fairly new addition to our house so has no story behind it yet.
Go check out all the other 'Green Tuesday's' links over here at Kendalls blog.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yellow Monday...

Welcome to Colour week! For yellow Monday I've decided to show you my yellow coffee set which I think was given to my parents either as an engagement or wedding present. My parents were never great coffee drinkers so it is still in pristine condition. My Mother decided to give it to me a few years ago and although we also do not drink coffee I love it. The only link we have to coffee is that we used to own a cafe and took great pride in serving the best coffee in town. The cups are "demitasse" size so would be perfect for what you would call a "short black".

We did use them a couple of years ago for one of my daughters birthday parties. I had decided on a "tea party" theme and we served mini hot chocolates in them. I washed it especially for its photo shoot today and was surprised to notice it was made in 'France'. Most good china back when this would have been purchased was made in England. I guess coffee was more popular in the European countries like France more so than England. I can't help but think the pattern on it would look great in fabric.
Be sure to have a look at all the other Yellow posts for colour week linked on Kendall's blog.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Colour Week!

I have just signed up on Kendalls blog to join in with colour/color week. This is going to start on Monday with a different colour featured each day. I'm already having fun deciding what I'm going to photograph for each colour. Some colours are definitely going to me more challenging than others! My favourite colours are blue and green which is plainly obvious as soon as you walk into our lounge with our vibrant blue walls (as you can see behind the vase above) and fresh green couches. The poppies in the vase are from my parents garden and they have got to be one of my top 10 favourite flowers. I love their vibrant hot colours and the way they come out all wrinkled from their buds.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fabric Mosiac Cushion

I have been slowly beavering away on this fabric mosaic for a few days now just doing a little bit when I had time. This is a great way to use up those tiny craps that I can't quite throw away but seem too small to do much with. I think I started collecting small scraps after I tried my hand at paper piecing and realized you only needed small scraps for some of the intricate patterns. I was inspired to do this fabric mosaic when I saw a quilt here on
Crazy Mom Quilts blog. I've just given it another name. I like trying out new to me patterns or techniques on the smaller scale of a cushion.

This is the cushion back with a button enclosure and using up more scraps. It really does give me a good feeling using up my scraps although my pile never seems to diminish much! This pillow is going to live with these pillows I did a while back.

And before you say "is that all she's accomplished this week?" I have been working on this quilt most evenings. I have quilted some nice swirls and girly hearts along the first border. You can visit all the other finishes for " Sew 'n' tell friday" by clicking the button on the right.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We have a winner!

Wow!! 200 comments! Thank you everybody who entered my giveaway and shared some of your Christmas traditions. I really enjoyed reading them all and tried to reply to as many of you as I could. Welcome to all my new followers out there too. I hope you stick around for a while so I can get to know you better.

With so many comments I had to go with The Random Number Generator.

So the Winner is No. 14 Nutsy Coco who said
What a generous giveaway! My favorite Christmas tradition is baking goodies and spending time with family and friends.
Please get in touch with me so I can send out the prizes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Corner of the World

A good blogging friend Marguerite is having an awesome giveaway on her blog in celebration of 100 posts. Instead of the usual do a post about my giveaway and get another entry she has asked us to give a photographic tour of where we live. She has done a post of her town of Ramsgate and you can find other tours here. So I would like to welcome you all to my town of Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. The whole of the Coromandel Peninsula is a stunning place to live and has numerous picturesque beaches that are popular holiday destinations especially over the summer months. Whangamata has a permanent population of approximately 4000 which more than doubles over Christmas/New year holidays.

This is our main street looking northwards. It had a face lift about 3 years ago where they put in all new gardens and lights. You can see a Pohutakawa tree to the left of this photo with the red flowers. These native trees are known as the "New Zealand Christmas tree" because of when they come into flower. There are beautiful old Pohutakawa trees lining all the beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula Coast line and they are all starting to flower now.

These "Surfing Santas" are our very unique Christmas decorations on the street lights.

And this is our main street on the Saturday of Beach Hop! This is an annual festival that celebrates the 50's and 60's era with hot rods, classic cars, music etc... You can read more about this festival here.

The main beach in front of the surf club. Our beach is 4 kms long and during summer months is patrolled at various points not just outside the clubhouse. We usually visit the beach much further along. You can just see in the photo that the beach curves around to the left and continues on.

There are many small islands off the eastern side of the Coromandel. The larger one in the above photo is called Clark Island and at low tide you can walk out to it and spend a couple of hours exploring it and the rock pools on this side of it. You have to be careful not to be caught out there at high tide though!

This is the northern end of the beach and at the far end of this photo is the well known (among surfers) Whangamata Bar where the best surf breaks can be caught.

This is our wharf where fishing boats can off load the days catch and is a popular fishing spot for children too. You can just see my youngest daughter Caitlin to the right of the photo.

Looking up the harbour northwards where a few boats are moored.

And looking south-east towards the Whangamata Bar and Clark Island.

The southern end of the beach with the estuary ( a popular place to take younger children swimming) and in the distance is Mayor Island.

This morning I rode my mountain bike up one of the many forestry roads. This is looking down and out to our new marina and the causeway bridge that takes you north out of town. Our marina is brand spanking new and was officially opened last weekend by our Prime Minister John Key. We weren't there for the opening as I was participating in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge of 160 kms ( an easy challenge after doing 200kms a month ago).

Looking south toward Waihi where my parents live. Waihi is an old gold mining town about 30 kms drive on a very windy road. We are lucky to have so many forestry roads and single tracks for mountain biking right on our doorstep. Plus there are many great tracks through native bush that lead up to waterfalls or old mining relics.

A couple of panoramic photos taken from the hills behind the town. Its hard to believe that there was just sand where all those houses are today. The forestry was closer to the beach than it is today too.

One last photo just to show you our home. It is the A-framed house with a white house to the right of it. The sub-division where our house was built was named after the developers daughter, Beverly Williamson and was known as "Beverly Hills". Hope you enjoyed my home town tour ! Thanks Marguerite for this great idea. It is easy to take for granted what is on our own doorsteps.
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