29 December 2010

Christmas 2010

Our Christmas celebrations always start with our friend's birthday and this year Gary's birthday was a big birthday - he turned 60 on 23 December.  We had a lovely night out at a local seafood restaurant with Gary and his family - Kristy, Sharon and Shaun

Son-in-law Heath and grandson Wil.

Christmas Day this year was so relaxed and calm - just lovely. Presents followed by breakfast at home with Mum, Jenni and Ian

Then we drove to Michael's place with Mum and Jenni - present opening followed by lunch

Who doesn't use a meat cleaver to carve the ham?
Later in the afternoon we made the short drive to Elizabeth and Matt's place for more presents and sweets

Elizabeth is opening her presents from Santa - her stocking was made by Sharon (in the top picture) for her first Christmas - 1979
Boxing Day we had planned a bbq with friends and my brother and SIL (Paul and Lynette) visiting from Brisbane - even though the weather forced us to change our plans, we had a lovely evening.

We have another couple of outings planned for this week - comedy show at the Opera House tomorrow night, lunch at Mum's on New Year's Day with Paul and Lynette and dinner that night with friends.  The invitation to the dinner said to bring a Secret Santa present - I really enjoy playing the game where we can steal one another's presents.

Wednesday next week Mum, Elizabeth, Jenni and I travel to Melbourne to see "Mary Poppins" and I'm sure the girls will fit in a good deal of shopping.  I love being on holidays.

27 December 2010

Swap Presents

Our on-line stitching group has an annual Secret Santa present swap.  I received the most beautiful presents from Sue, who went to a lot of trouble choosing designers whose patterns and fabrics I love.

My other partner was Tereasa - I made Rosalie Quinlan's "Welcome Friend" sewing caddy and needle case for Teresa.

Christmas and Boxing Days were lovely with our family and friends.  I'll post some photos after John uploads the photos from his camera and phone.

26 December 2010


Have a look where my friend Karen is spending Christmas this year - she's having the time of her life.

20 December 2010

Santa Photos

After seeing the Santa photos on Retromummy's blog, I thought I'd show some of our priceless photos from a few years ago.

We don't have photos of Elizabeth or Michael when they were one year old - Elizabeth's photo was just a  blur.  This photo of our gorgeous Elizabeth as a 2 yo more than makes up for missing the previous year.  As a one year old  Michael wouldn't go near Santa.

Michael 5 months; Elizabeth 3
This is one of my favourites but it doesn't scan too well - Michael 4; Elizabeth 7
The really fun photos came after Jenni was born - well, they're hilarious now (as Jenni thought looking at them all tonight as a 23 yo).

Elizabeth 9, Jenni 15 mths, Michael 6

Michael 8, Elizabeth 11, Jenni 3
The family rule was that once the children turned 12, they could decide if they wanted to be in the photo, so we consider ourselves lucky to have the next few.  1994 Mr Bah Humbug decided to join in - 

Michael 12, Jenni 7, Elizabeth 15
 Nanna joined us in 1995 -

The latest photo I can find at the moment - there should be at least one more because Jenni didn't turn 12 until 1999.  In this photo Elizabeth had just returned from a holiday in Bali at the end of her first year at Uni.
Michael 16, Jenni 11, Elizabeth 19
Great memories - part of what our Christmases are all about:  being together, enjoying each other's company and having a good laugh.

Another big part of our family lead-up to Christmas was the annual dancing concert and tomorrow night our children's dance teacher is presenting her last concert - Diane Blaas is retiring.  Diane is one of the most generous, lovely people I've ever met and I'm forever thankful that I met her so many years ago.

14 December 2010

I Left my Camera in the Fridge

Just over a month ago Diann's daughter, Angela, got in touch with me to find out if John and I were free the second weekend in December to fly to Queensland to attend a surprise party celebrating Diann and Bill's 40th wedding anniversary.  Of course we could go.

We flew up on Friday night to stay with my brother and SIL (Paul and Lynette) in Brisbane, spent Saturday Christmas shopping and then went to the party, which was held at Diann and Bill's son's home.

Ready to leave Paul's home for the party
The party was wonderful.  The happy couple had no idea the party had been organised - there were a few tense moments during the week when Miss Diann became suspicious but luckily the contingency plans worked.
A very surprised Bill arriving at the party.

Bill and Diann about to cut their anniversary cake.
The bridesmaids and best man were able to attend as well as family and close friends - it was such a lovely party full of wonderful memories for Diann and Bill.

Our hire car for the weekend - lots of fun
We were able to stay until yesterday afternoon, so we've had a wonderful long weekend.  It was very hot yesterday and after taking photos of our hire car John put the camera on the car bonnet - the camera became very hot so John put the camera in the fridge (as you do).  We arrived at the airport when John remembered he'd forgotten the camera.  Quick phonecall to Diann to retrieve the camera.  Luckily she was about to drive one of the bridesmaids into the city, so was able to drop off the camera to us.

Flying in to Sydney.

09 December 2010

Just a bit more ...


Tree in the Loungeroom - a few of the top branches will be re-shaped over the next little while.

From Kitchen to Family Room
Retromummy's White Chocolate Rocky Road
with rosewater turkish delight, pistachios and marshmallows. 
Takes less than 10 minutes to make and was very well received at morning tea yesterday.
Machine embroidery

If I finish the present shopping this weekend, I'm hoping to have a relaxed run-up to Christmas and enjoy pre-Christmas socialising.

08 December 2010

Machine Embroidery

T-shirts for friends' grandsons and tiny dress for our brand new great-niece.

More tea towels have been embroidered; I'm very tempted to keep this white waffle tea towel.

A couple more t-shirts to stitch and then I may get back to the Christmas tablecloth (which is half done) - looks like the machine service will be put off for a little while.

Loungeroom - Vicki made me the "Jingle All the Way" wallhanging 3 Christmases ago - I love it.
Santa corner - Loungeroom


Family Room

07 December 2010

Lots Happening

Christmas cakes are baked.

As last Saturday was the first Saturday in December, it was the day for John's annual visit to the Christmas Tree Farm.

The tree is now up in the loungeroom but not decorated - maybe that will be done tomorrow night when Jenni and Ian come over for dinner.  The inside of the house is decorated; 2 more strands of lights to go up outside and we'll be done for this year.

Hanging on the tree are the Bronwyn Hayes Christmas Baskets and Christmas Hangers I've been making over the last few weeks - these will be given away with a Christmas cake and some chocolates.  The embroidery machine has worked overtime this year.  A couple of t-shirts to embroider then both machines are going in for a service.

Saturday was also Mum's 83rd birthday.  We had a bbq for dinner and Mum enjoyed herself so much with the family.

Elizabeth, Michael, Me
Jenni, Mum
Mum's birthday cake - white chocolate baked cheesecake from this month's Family Circle magazine - I only had one star cutter so used a heart-shape for the outer chocolate decorations.  Delicious cheesecake but pretty fussy to put together.  Probably would have been easier if I'd set up the cake on my rotating cutting mat.

Stitching group tonight - last get-together for this year.  Next Tuesday Karen leaves for Christmas in Maine, USA, with her son - how exciting.  Hope it's a white Christmas for her.  I have more Christmas presents to buy and hope to do that this coming weekend - would be wonderful to have the present-buying finished early (for a change).

23 November 2010

Fantastic Weekend

John was going away for a long weekend motorbike riding through the Snowy Mtns and northern Victoria, so I booked a little holiday to visit Diann.  We had the loveliest time - shopping, stitching, watching movies, etc.  This is the only photo I took during the 4 days - Diann and Bill on his new toy just before he took off for a ride on Sunday.

Chookyblue's 2nd weekend of the cross stitch tour was held last weekend.  I made this bunch of Elizabethan Kissing Balls for a swap about 5 years ago.

The last two photos are of two hardanger dolls made in 2001 and 2002.  They are both Hanky Panky designs. 

Angel of Dreams

Mother Angel

13 November 2010

Chookyblue's Cross Stitch Tour - lots of photos

Before stitcheries, patchwork, quilting, bag and doll-making took over, I spent every spare moment cross-stitching, starting in 1978 when we were living in Holland for 12 months.  Many pieces have been given away, a few are hung in our house while others only come out at Christmas.  Most of the pictures have been scanned in from not great photos.

One of my favourite designers is Shepherd's Bush:

"Heart Blooms"
"A Mother's Heart"

"Charmed Hearts"
 My other favourite designer would be Lavender and Lace.  I've only finished one design

"Heavenly Gifts"
This lives at Michael and Peta's home.  I have another two on the go - one is so close to being finished - all that needs to be done is to couch the gold rays coming from the halo around the large angel's head.  I'm ashamed to say I started this in about 1996 with plans to have it finished for Elizabeth's 18th birthday in 1997.

"Angel of Mercy"
This one was started in abou 2004 for Jenni because she had an under the sea theme for her bedroom and this angel has blonde hair and blue eyes - just like my Jenni at the time (these days her hair colour changes like the weather).

"Angel of the Sea"
I have a collection of patterns, fabrics, threads, beads all set to go for many more Lavender and Lace angels - somehow I don't think they'll ever come out of the drawer.

My other long-standing WIP is a Mirabillia design, again for Jenni - she loved Princess Aurora when she was little.

"Sleeping Beauty"
 My one and only Teresa Wentzler cross stitch lives at Michael and Peta's.  This was very time consuming to stitch - so many quarter-stitches and mixed colours.

"Legends of the Dragons"
 Some Christmas cross-stitches (I don't recall some of the designers): 

"Angel Gathering" - Mill Hill
"Charmed Christmas"

"Christmas is for Angels" and "Three Little Angels" - Blue Whale Designs
The red fabric cross stitch above is what Jenni is stitching in the photo at the top right hand corner of my blog.

My other love is hardanger and these last two are a mixture of cross-stitch and hardanger:

"Christmas Church"
Great idea Chooky for this tour - I enjoyed seeing Jean's samplers so very much.  You never know - one day  I may feel inspired to start stitching those angels again.


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