28 December 2007


I know I'm shouting in the title but Christmas is the BEST time of the year.

Our family had 4 days of Christmas this year:

Day 1 - lunch with our son's girlfriend's family and friends.

Day 2 - Christmas Eve. This was the day when all our family could be together and one of the best times of Christmas is when we're all sitting around in the loungeroom tearing into the presents. Doesn't matter how old are children are, this is such a fun time.

On Christmas Eve, I have to watch the Melbourne Carols. After dinner John took Michael back to Sydney, Jenni was out at her boyfriend's family and Matt was asleep. Elizabeth made cocktails for the two us and we had such a lovely time watching the Carols and discussing the frocks. After John came home we decided we needed to have sweets (we were all too full after dinner to eat any sweets), so here we are at 1.00 am on Christmas morning.

Day 3 - Christmas Day - Elizabeth and Matt left after breakfast to spend the day with Matt's family; Mum and Josh (Jenni's boyfriend) came over for lunch and more presents. In the afternoon we picked up Michael from his girlfriend's parents and then everyone spent Christmas night playing Guitar Hero - good fun. Michael stayed over.

Day 4 - Boxing Day - we drove Michael back to Sydney and visited Elizabeth and Matt quickly. We generally have a bbq on Boxing Day to catch up with our friends. Was a lovely time this year.

20 December 2007

What a busy few weeks. The last of the Christmas sewing was finished tonight - a Christmas stocking for Jenni's boyfriend. As this is Josh's second Christmas with us, I think it's time for him to have his own stocking.

Natalie Lymer's "Three Sisters":

Monica Poole's "Safi" bags:

Christine Book's aprons:

Was a bit late making the Christmas cakes this year - just hope they taste ok.

Have also been making presents for a Secret Santa swap - will post those photos after Christmas.
Today was my last day at work until 7 January 2008. Love being on holidays and am looking forward to all the family being here and then a couple of days at home on my own after John goes back to work, so that I can spend some uninterrupted time practising on the quilting frame ("the Doover").
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

08 December 2007

First Saturday in December is the day John traditionally goes to the Christmas Tree Farm to chop down a tree. This year my brother and his family were staying at our place while they were here to celebrate Mum's birthday, so John, Philip and Ziggy (our dog) drove off to the tree farm and came home with a beautiful tree.

I'd spent Saturday afternoon packing away all my bits and pieces from around the house to make room for all the Christmas goodies. Sunday Mum came over to have breakfast with us before Philip, Tracey and the boys left to drive back to Lake Cathie, so I talked Mum in to staying for a while to help me decorate the house and tree. She left after 3.00 pm. I love Christmas. By Monday night I was reasonably happy with how everything looks - a bit of tweaking here and there and I'll be thrilled to bits.

06 December 2007

What a Woman!

Last Tuesday was my Mum's 80th birthday. We are all so fortunate to have Mum in our lives. Mum is the truest friend anyone could have, she is unbelievably brave, she is honest and upfront and she loves each one of us unconditionally.

The previous Saturday we went to Ruby's Country Cuisine for dinner. It was wonderful to have so many of our family there plus Mum's closest friends.

I took Tuesday off work to spend the day with Mum - went to housie (Mum's usual Tuesday outing) - didn't even come close to winning a game; did a bit of shopping and had afternoon tea with a friend.

Below are pictures of what I made Mum for her birthday -

"For a Special Mum", (c) Bareroots from Homespun Magazine No 35.

This started out as "Love a Mum" Quilt in a Card, (c) Wildcraft Farm and ended up a lap quilt. The star in the top right-hand corner is Jackson Star - my maiden name. Mum loves all these pretty colours.

19 November 2007

First Day Back at Work ...

We had such a wonderful holiday. Tasmania is so lovely and we we saw so many places at their best. The roses and rhododendron trees are to die for. In all we travelled 2,500+ kms, ate some wonderful seafood and had a ball. It was a holiday of many highlights:

Meeting Sarah and Dennis in Launceston on our first night. Sarah and I have been internet buddies for quite a few years now. We also met up with Sarah, Kristy and Rosanne for breakfast on our first Saturday - so lovely to be able to chat to and laugh with these girls in person. None of us thought to take a photo.

On the Sunday we drove to Burnie - Vix kindly invited the 4 of us plus a bunch of patchwork friends to her house for a bbq. Was fabulous - we stayed way too late.

We visited (amongst other places) Deloraine Craft Fair, Cradle Mountain:

Strahan (harbour cruise), Cygnet (bought a Saltbox Mercantile Christmas Tree):

Hobart (Salamanca Markets), Bicheno (penguin tour), St Helens, Bridport plus wineries, cheese/berry farms and every patchwork shop we could find along the way. This picture shows some of my fabric loot purchased in Tassie (I like collecting background fabrics).

What a fabulous holiday. We all loved Tasmania and are planning our next trip down south. Great food, weather, wine, shopping and lots of friends (old and new) to meet.

30 October 2007

Almost on Holidays!

2 more sleeps then Sharon, Gary, John and I will be on our way to Tasmania - can't wait to be on holidays. We are arriving in time to attend Deloraine Craft Fair. John's calling this trip the "Patchwork and Quilting Tour of Tasmania" because I'm taking along the "Homespun" shopping guide - he's not mentioning the brewery/winery/cheesery tours etc that I'm sure he'll enjoy. And, I'm positive he won't walk past a motorbike shop without going in and drooling.

We'll be meeting up with some patchwork friends on Thursday night in Launceston and another group of friends have invited us all over for a bbq on Sunday night in Burnie before heading off to Cradle Mt, Strahan then Hobart (and meeting up with some dear friends of ours who moved there from Sydney) and the East Coast - 15 days in all.

Catch you all later.

24 October 2007

365 Challenge

I have been making my own version of Leanne Beasley's "365 Challenge" http://leanneshouse.typepad.com/ - I didn't think I would keep up with one block per day - one block per month is more achievable for me and I've been wanting to make red star blocks for ages (no special reason, just because). I've been using a different designer's stitchery patterns each month and they are all stitched with DMC 115 (variable garnet). Received some of this thread in a kit last year and have used it so much since (eg Helen Stubbings' Santa Sack). The other blocks can be seen at http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/557730759QLHiMB.

Aside from doing this, I've been tracing, vliesofixing etc so that I have some stitching to take on our holiday. Next week John and I with our dear friends are going to Tasmania for 15 days. We are so looking forward to our trip and meeting up with some other friends during our travels.

Three quilts are almost finished - just little bits of handquilting here and there - don't think I'll get around to that until after Christmas (but then it'll be a bit hot here to be handquilting). They are the last 3 on this page http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/249716811VNCEyA?start=12 (have been having a little trouble uploading pictures today).

And, just to top off today, found out early this morning that another dear friend's daughter had a baby boy last night - what wonderful news. Welcome to the world Johannes!

02 October 2007

Another Long Weekend is Over

Last Tuesday night our dear old Tarago stopped dead in the middle of the road outside the back of our house, just as I was about to back into the driveway. Luckily, after a little rest, it started again but was making some dreadful noises. John parked it and the next day drove it to Tom's garage (our wonderful mechanic). A new radiator, 20 hoses, 40 clamps and umpteem other bits and pieces later, the car will be ready for me to pick up at lunchtime today. The dear car is 17 years old, has 394,000 kms on the clock and this is its first major breakdown. It is a phenomenal car considering the lack of tlc it has received but the time is coming to buy a new car, mainly because there's usually 1 or 2 of us using it these days - will be very sad when the time comes. Comes in very handy when we are all in Sydney and the family is going out together somewhere.

Had a lovely long weekend - Saturday we all went to Sydney to have lunch with Elizabeth for her birthday (couldn't do it on the day because of everyone's work commitments). We had lunch at Coogee Palace Hotel overlooking the ocean - lovely spot. Had to rush home (while listening to Roy & HG's Festival of the Boot Part 1) so that Jenni and Josh could go to work. Just got home in time to see the last 15 minutes of the AFL grand final.

Sunday spent a fair bit of time ironing then sewing, tracing, vliesofixing various items that need to be made before our holiday to Tasmania. Finished off a wallhaning for Prim Treasures Secret Santa. Had dinner at Sharon & Gary's and watched some of the NRL grand final, but Sharon and I preferred to sit and chat sewing, markets, our upcoming holiday etc.

Monday - more ironing and sewing then John, Jenni and I went to see "Hairspray"- FANTASTIC! John Travolta as an extremely large lady in a very tight dress is not a pretty sight but I was hanging out for him/her to start dancing and was not disappointed.

21 September 2007

Happy Birthday Princess

Our gorgeous baby girl is 28 today. What absolute joy she has brought to our lives. Here are some photos of our Princess from 15 hours till her 2nd birthday.

11 September 2007

I'm in finishing off mode at the moment - I have a collection of quilt tops and, after buying myself a roll of batting, am making an effort to finish off some of these quilts. Don't get much chance to sew over the weekends lately because the eisteddfod is running until the end of September. Most of last week's free time was spent machine quilting "Mary's Floral Medallion" until I ran out of the thread I was using in the bobbin - couldn't believe I didn't have another spool in the drawer!

Last night and early this morning I quilted "Christmas Belles", a quilt I've been making as a BOM with some stitchy friends. Will sew on the binding tonight and then there'll be a little hand-quilting to do around the "Belles" before it's finished. Which quilt top to layer and baste next? "Everyday Angels", "Sharon's Roses", 2006 Friendship Quilt, Row-by-Row Quilt; the list goes on ...

The days are beautiful - I love spring. Looking forward to Friday - going shopping at Peter's of Kensington and to Bondi with my first baby to buy her birthday presents (she will be 28) and I'll take Mum with us - should be a lovely day out.

03 September 2007

Big Weekend

It certainly was - Friday night and Saturday were spent preparing for Sunday - cooking, cleaning etc. I did manage to fit in half hour sewing to finish off machine quilting "Polka Dot Girls" and sew on the binding. Now have a bit of hand-quilting to do before sewing down the binding. Saturday evening John, Jenni and I went to see "Men in Tutus" - it was a very funny show. A couple of the dancers were outstanding. Elizabeth was down for the weekend with Jared, so she met us after the show and we had dinner in a Vietnamese restaurant - lovely food. Jenni had gone to meet a bunch of her friends to have "birthday dinner" with them. Sunday was a busy day - everyone came for lunch and it was lovely sitting out on the verandah. Weather was beautiful, food was good and the best part was having all the family there.

Shame to have to come to work today - could have easily spent the day at home sewing.

31 August 2007

Wow! I've arrived in blogland. After much "gentle encouragement" from a couple of dear nameless friends, I've decided jump in - not like me to be stuck for words.

Am looking forward to this weekend very much - tomorrow will be cooking for Jenni's 20th birthday on Sunday, plus Fathers' Day. All the family will be here on Sunday - Elizabeth & Matt, Michael & Peta, Jenni & Josh, Jared (our "fourth child") who's back in Australia after dancing in USA for the last few years, Mum, Oma, John and I. Saturday evening John, Jenni and I are going to see "Men in Tutus" - John is being dragged along really, but we're hoping it will be very funny.

I'm qulting "Polka Dot Girls" at the moment, so will get back to it for a little while before bed.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


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