Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Best Christmas Ever!

I love Christmas, but this year it really is turning out to be the best Christmas ever.  My little brother and his partner are expecting their first baby in January.  But this morning, this little baby decided that he or she isn't waiting and it's looking like we will have a Christmas Day baby!  I am beside myself with excitement and the thought of a new niece or nephew in the family is just amazing.  My children can't wait to meet their new little cousin.  Now isn't that just the best Christmas present ever?

I have just finished this baby blanket but am only half way through the second one.  I had just said to my husband last night that I'd better get a wriggle on and get it finished.  Little did I know that it would need to be ready even sooner. 

Sarah and Scotty - all the very best to you both.  You will be the most wonderful parents and I can't wait to meet your new little bub.  Love you loads.  xx
Well if legend is correct, a Pohutukawa tree that flowers before Christmas means we are going to have a fabulous Summer.  Well this amazing specimen just down the road from my house is in full bloom but sadly the weather outside my window is not playing along.  It is pouring and it's forecast to rain for the rest of the year.  Boohoo.

Thankfully we got a wee bit of sunshine over the weekend.  A quick weekend escape to Castlepoint was a nice start to the holiday season.  It was really windy but nice and warm if you found a sheltered spot.  Perfect weather to curl up with a good book.

The bach we rented had a fabulous flax plant outside and it was frequented by loads of birds.  My favourite of all being the Tui.  What a stunning bird - with the most beautiful call.   This one was quite the poser!
Well, the pavlova is in the oven cooling, the chocolate mousse is in the fridge (and smeared over the faces of my small folk from licking the spoon) and the presents are all wrapped.   I'm feeling calm but I'm sure there will be something I've forgotten!!  I've got one more chocolate mousse to make for our annual tradition of "Christmas Pudding Dinner" in the evening.  No veges, no ham, no turkey - just desserts!!  This year it's at my dear friend Ange's house.  I will have to remember to get a photo of the dessert table - it's the naughtiest meal I'll eat all year and I can't wait.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.  Take care and I'll see you again next year.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's so nice to be back!

I have missed my blog.  I have piles and piles of photos that I have been bursting to post but time has escaped me.  Well that is going to change.  I am going to make more of an effort - I promise.  In fact just sitting here now looking at these few photos I am using, has put a smile on my face.  They are colourful and most of all they have a memory attached to them.  So, for the time being, I am back and I'm happy!! 

And what a lovely surprise it was to log on today and see that there are so many new followers! That has made my day.  I feel very privileged that people are taking the time to stop by and read my posts.  Thank you so much.

So the last time I did a post was back in July and we'd just had a fairly big earthquake.  I had initially thought we'd escaped any damage but it turned out we did get a big of cosmetic stuff.  Nothing compare to what folk in Christchurch went through so I feel almost fraudulent mentioning it.  Then in August we had another big earthquake.  That was a scary one - it felt as if the house was picked up, twisted and plonked back down again.  A bizarre sensation.  My children were at school but they had been having so many practice drills, that they took it completely in their stride.  And even after we got home with two friends in tow, the children would calmly call out 'earthquake' with each aftershock and we'd pile under the doorways again.  Little troopers!  It was me who was the anxious one.  Earthquakes freak me out completely.  We have a bus stop near my house and I find myself freezing to the spot when I hear a rumble, only for it to be a bus's engine outside on the street.  It's the same darn noise as an earthquake about to hit.

Enough of that, onto some more cheerful things.  

A few months back I bought a gorgeous little wooden 'treasure holder' from the op shop.  It was in pretty bad condition but for $4 I promised Miss 6 that we could bring it back to life and she could have it in her bedroom with all her wee treasures on it.  A few coats of paint, some pretty scrapbooking papers and a new felt back to stop it scratching the wall and voila!  It's adorable and soon to be filled with all sorts of girly bits and bobs.

It's certainly an improvement from what it was anyway.
There has been a bit of crafting with the kids too.  I was trying out a new circle hole punch and decided it might be fun to try and make some papier mache bowls with them.  So out came the glue and and some gladwrap on top of bowls and away we went. The kids loved it.  They were very specific about what patterns they wanted.  We did two layers so that one would show on the inside and one on the outside.
We left them to dry for a few days then gently peeled them away from the bowls we used to shape them.  They turned out brilliantly.  The kids were thrilled to bits with their creations.  We have made more of them since, they are addictive little things.
 My bowl made a colourful addition to one of my craft storage units.  Love it!
This is the cowl I was trying to post about last time but I couldn't get the photo added.  I love this mustard colour.  It's such a great, speedy pattern and a pleasure to make. I have sold a few of them now - yippee!
More colourful treats.... My wonderful friend Ange had a trip to the UK in August to visit another wonderful friend Tans (hi darling girl!).  I missed Ange like crazy and couldn't wait for her to get back and fill me in on all the details of her adventure.  I was sooooo jealous when she said she'd been to a Cath Kidston shop.  And then the gave me these!  Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!  How anyone could possibly want to actually use them as tea towels I don't know.  They are far too pretty.  I think I want to make something out of them instead.  I couldn't stand the thought of them getting damaged in the kitchen even if it is their prime function.  How spoilt am I?  Thank you Ange - I love them.
I seem to be on a roll with friends spoiling me (no complaints here that's for sure!).  Sue from Five Course Garden is a friend of mine who has recently become a crochet convert.  She is a very talented lady and not only is she super speedy with her crochet creations, she is a whizz on the sewing machine too.  She made me this amazing crochet hook holder out of vintage fabric and a fab woollen blanket.  I love it.  It's the perfect size to pop in my bag with a ball of wool when I fancy a spot of outdoor crochet!  I think Sue was planning on selling these on Felt sometime soon so keep an eye out for them.
The garden had been looking atrocious after the storms a few months ago.  We didn't manage to save this lovely hedge that had covered our side of the neighbours garage.  So instead, we coloured it with chalk and made our own floral wall.  Miss 6 did the low ones and I stretched as high as I could on a chair.  Next time I will get a ladder to do the rest!  I'm really tempted to do it in paint.  It would be far more cheerful than looking at a grey concrete wall wouldn't it?
I have planted these beauties in our front garden.  I adore dahlias - I love their symmetry.  These have made such a difference to the look of our home.  We've got a few little ceramic toadstools dotted about for the fairies in the garden now too.   It's gone from being a fairly contemporary garden to a very sweet, cottagey garden full of colour and I love it.
Such a simple pleasure, but one I'm really proud of because I have never ever planted a flower before and successfully grown it to a stage that it could be picked.  Woohoo!
Bella has loved the winter season and has spent most of her days parked in front of the fire.  In a dolls bed with a pillow for a mattress and a fluffy blanket no less.  I guess when you get to her age, you can do whatever you like.  Now that the weather is warming up she is having to find other places to sleep and cool off.  But no matter where she is, she always seems to know when I sit down with my crochet and she will be on my knee in a flash.  Beautiful girl.

Well I think that will do for now.  I've got lots of other photos I want to post but that will have to wait for another day.

It has been really lovely to sit down and write this.  I'm feeling motivated again!!

See you again soon.  Have a fabulous week.