Monday, December 05, 2011

Christmas sewing.

Christmas is coming so this year I was on the ball early in November. I decided I'd strike while the something is hot. (Anyone know that saying?) I made a stocking to go on my front door frin Amy Butler's pattern . The directions were a little tricky to follow but in the end it's quite a cute stocking.

Because I was on a roll I made Christmas bunting to hang around my house. I used charm squares which made it quite easy and there are double sided. Next Christmas party I have these will be hung outside!

I made this quilt a few years ago and it hangs proudly on the wall in the living room. I rather like these decorations that I can bring out for a few months and enjoy every so often!

One of these years my goal is to make a skirt for my Christmas tree. I think I should just stick to simple and get it done rather than my elaborate idea that I keep putting off because it's so extravagant! One day . . .!

I must say that getting into the Christmas spirit in the middle of November has been liberating. By the time Dec 1 rolled around all my decorations were up and my shopping finished. Online shopping is rather fun! We've had 3 Christmas parties already and I'm about to start on my Christmas mail. A little less than 3 weeks and I'm feeling good. I wanted to do an Advent calendar with activities but I got a little overwhelmed so I'm doing the activities and I'll make the calendar next year!

So many projects and so little time! Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A bit of sewing.

I've had a few sewing projects on the go for a little while and have finished one of great importance. I wanted to have Benny's quilt finished when he moved into his big bed and now it's done and he's in it! He rather loves his big bed and when Colin told him that the bed used to be his when he was little Benny replied "No, it's Benny's bed". And that's his smile these days!

I also used this Chevron Wrist Tutorial to make this cute little bag. It didn't take too long and I got to practice putting in zippers which I'm just dreadful at! It was good doing a quick little project. I've got a few more projects I want to finish and then I'm going to try my hand at something new to me - crocheting. But I'm being disciplined and finishing up what I've got going. Shouldn't be too long now!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hung Parliament.

It seems, come Monday morning, that the government who will sit in Parliament House (shown in the photo to the ride) is still undecided. 'They' were correct in saying that this election was the closest in 50 years.

ABC news has the latest updates about the election. The independents have a ton of power here in deciding who rule Australia over the next few years. It won't surprise me if we are headed back to the election booths in the next year or so.

So that's that. Australia has decided, in my opinion, that we aren't impressed with any particular leader or party. The media is talking about having a re-vote but I don't believe this will change anything.

I understand that the federal government in Canada is a minority government (also known as a hung parliament) and Stephen Harper, the PM of Canada, has had the job since 2006 (source at So it can work.

That's enough of politics for me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Election day 2010.

Today is election day here in Australia. They (the ominous 'they') say that it will be the closest election in 50 years. The sitting government sits for 3 years and the election date can be called whenever the Prime Minister decides to call it (unlike in America when it is the set day in November every time).

This is a very interesting election because 4 months ago the then sitting Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (from the Kevin '07 era) was replaced by his sitting deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. She was the first female deputy and now she is the first Prime Minister to run for election.

I thought the replacement was an example of unfair dismissal at the highest level. It was ludicrous. Kevin Rudd was in his first time as PM and the labour had only been in the federal government less than 3 years after 11 years of the Liberal party government. That put a rather sour taste in my mouth about the labour party. I do think that the saying " those that live by the sword will die by the sword" may apply to Julia Gillard. If you can't support your PM who will you support?

But those issues are beyond me. I feel that the two main parties are so similar it's really electing the lesser of the two evils. We've got the fire stoked up and the tv on to watch the wrap up. I am grateful that the campaign only goes for five weeks because then the media can move on to something else.

Come Monday life will resume as usual. In the past elections I have felt a rather anxious view of election day. I wanted to make sure the "right" party got into power. But now, as I get older and wiser, I realize that politics is cyclical and life goes on!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Early morning.

I love (most days) being the first in our house to wake in the morning.

To come out to the living room in the quietness and stillness of the day. Most likely the kookaburras have begun their morning call around 6am and that gently stirs me awake. Lately my bedroom has felt like 13 C so I've had to pull on a sweater and socks to keep my tootsies warm. I grab the bin by the fire for collecting firewood and head out to the woodpile. The dogs get let out and tear up the hill to investigate who has infiltrated their domain during the night. Then of course, tell the whole neighbourhood that they are now awake and everyone else should be too. Some mornings they'll keep it down and my boys can continue sleeping for a little while.

I love making the fire. Collecting the little sticks, then medium, then the larger logs to add just at the right time. If you had the big ones too big - well the fire takes a lot longer to get going. I enjoy sitting right in front and watching as the flames expand and take over the space of the fireplace. The crackle, pop and ooze of sap from the wood add to the delicate morning sounds.

I boil the kettle and proceed to make a cup of tea just in time to hear my little man wake from the night sleep. Not to worry. . . it can be warmed again.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


One of my delights is visiting markets. Art, craft, farmers - love them all. My favourite are when they are held outdoors like up on the Gold Coast. But being winter sometimes they are held indoors. Today I went to Matildas Markets in Sydney with a few friends. Lovely drive early on a Sunday morning with good company makes the trip so quick. It was held at a private school so that included free parking and free admission. Bonus! (Although we needed a little help from some very helpful gentlemen to reverse out from soggy wet grass up a hill to get out!)

I love seeing the designs people come up with and the way their display their passions. I see a lot projects that I could easily do and sometimes I do complete them. Other times I say I can make such things but in reality I don't.

As I wander through stall after stall of creativity and booming business I sometimes think that it was I'd like to do. Make something that other people would love to buy off me. I think that I could something like this. But then I pause and remember that I like to dabble in many different craft projects. So just enjoy what they have to offer - encourage the owners for doing something really cool and move on. I have a chosen career that is fulfilling and provides for my family. I am doing something worthwhile. Remember that I love my hobbies and that is enough.

But it's still fun to explore, talk with owners and be inspired. Love it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A reptile birthday party.

Benzen got invited to a 4 year old's birthday with a reptile theme! The parents had organized for a company to bring Australian reptiles to show the kids. The girl did an excellent job of educating the kids about wildlife that is not normally seen. There was a green tree frog, lizard, frog mouthed owl, the above baby crocodile, ring tailed possum and black head python. We were all allowed to touch most of the animals and have a close up look.

I am not a big fan of Australian reptiles. Where else can you find 9/10 most deadly snakes in the world? The deadliest snake is called a Brown Snake. Such a deadly name eh? We have found about 3-4 red belly black snakes around our property and of course numerous types of spiders.

I must confess that I don't garden with as much enthusiasm as others due to the presence of spiders. I believe I have a mild form of arachnophobia and really have no interest in dealing with my phobia. Usually there is a hunstman spider that resides in our mailbox and I freak out everytime I see it. But I am told time and time again how safe huntsman spiders are. However, they are hairy, big and with name like "hunstman" what am I suppose to think??!!

I don't know where my phobia has come from. The scariest spider we have in Canada is the black widow and (to my knowledge) if you get bitten you just get sick. It doesn't kill you. So I'm not particularly sure why. As I observed the kids at the party most were quite keen to learn about these animals and were most intrigued. They wanted to touch and cuddle and have the python wrap itself around their bodies!

I decided that my fears shouldn't limit my son in his exploration of his world. We're trying to teach him to have a healthy respect for animals and that he isn't to touch any spider or snakes he sees. But fear of such animals can stop him learning. What if he really enjoys such things and my fears have prevented him from his full potential? That's probably a bit unfair. So I intend to step up and provide my son with as my experience as possible even if I do feel a bit out of my comfort zone. I guess that's what parenting is all about.