Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas roundup

There is no treasure
in this world,
As precious as
your love.

We had a lovely Christmas and I hope you did too. The most precious gifts I have are the three scallywags in the picture. The four of us had a great time opening gifts with each other and it's always a pleasure seeing all the paper scatter everywhere, all the gifts piled up and just the general happiness of it all.

Stuff everywhere! Pixie watching his little darling Cory.


Another great thing about Christmas, your teenage son comes out of his room.

The lovely thing about Brandon is, when alot of teenagers don't smile, he stills beams that gorgeous smile of his. Talking of precious things, my friend Heather made me a beautiful gift. Take a look. Such lovely stitching.

Even with Christmas keeping me very busy, I still have been thinking about that pretty material I won on Clare's blog, and saw a chook cushion in a magazine. So I shuffled some material together.....

 Started joining more bits...

Having the best time, I just kept adding as I went, no pattern.....ho-hum..then did a bit of stitching and the end result...
I was really pleased with the outcome and enjoyed making it. I had some left over wire material that I knew would come in handy at some stage.

The brown material I used on the chook and the outer of the cushion was given to me from my scrumptious sister-in-law Lee. My little petal she is. You know just having a go at designing your own stuff is fun. 

With the summer coming in hard and fast, I am glad that the little cutting of Aloe Vera, a friend gave me, has gone berserk and I can use that in case anyone gets a bit of sunburn. 

Yesterday we had a scorcher of a day reaching 48 C and with a raging bushfire in the neighbouring town of Toodyay, things were a bit rough. To top things off, we also had terrible winds that didn't help any, especially not a bushfire. Toodyay is only about a 25 minute drive away and towards the end of the day, we found black ash in our swimming pool. Sending prayers to the people in and around Toodyay.

I spent the day hosing down the chooks, birds, and Max, our dog. Max has his own little swimming pool but looked to hot to even walk over to it.  Our bird Fred loves getting squirted down.

We are the third owners of Fred and have had him for over 20 years ourselves. Apparently these birds live for years and years. He will probably end up with Cory or Brandon's grandchildren. Ha ha. He is a wonderful pet.

I'm off to the shops now to buy some brown felt, thanks Cath. Will maybe have a relaxing day today, as my last load of washing has just finished. I hope everyone has a great New Year. I will probably be checking out the back of my eye lids, asleep. zzzzzzz. Kind regards, Anita. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's good to be children sometimes,
and never better than at Christmas.
- Charles Dickens

How exciting! I have to be on guard now, one of my boys is a little snoop and will be looking around the house. I can leave gifts near Brandon, but I can't say the same for Cory, who absolutely can't help himself. Ha Ha. I can't win really because their father also happens to stumble across hidden things, it's an uphill battle. I thought I'd wiped out all my photo's from the camera the other day, but I managed to have somehow saved a few of them. So Cath you will be happy to know that I have a photo of the lovely pieces you sent me.

Aren't they lovely? While I'm all happy about these photo's being saved, I also have a shot of the gifts I had made for my great work mates. I gave Lyn her Cup Stack wall hanging and she loved it and giggled. Lovely chocolates were grouped into celo and a pretty heart decoration went with it. 

I'm really amazed that I didn't eat all the chocolates myself! The patterns to make the hearts were found at A spoonful of sugar and are very handy because they can be made in festive colours or your own favourite colour. I have made a pretty little doll brooch for a friend and I just think she's cute. The doll and the friend. I wore mine to work and my friend fell in love with my doll, so I've made her one too.

While being on holidays I've also gathered up my scraps of material and started to join them together. It is very interesting what you can make with scraps, the bits you can't possibly throw away. I will make some table runners for the coffee table. That is the plan or by the time I have completed all the joining, I may have another idea in the ready.

At night time I've been knitting away making some little jumpers for African babies. I have finished the bright yellow one, now I'm on to the pastel green jumper.

I also had to quickly collect some books I had ordered in from the local library and pleasantly surprised at the great patterns in the knitting book. they are patterns for expectant mothers, and boy the patterns are really gorgeous. I can see one or two of those cardigans being made for me, with slight adjustments to them.

Today is shopping day for food. Of course 'there's nothing to eat in the house" so sayeth two boys. Cory will come shopping with me to scam stuff for himself and Brandon. He's nice like that. Have to be back home in time for young Heather to drop by as well. Had a great visit yesterday with my niece Lisa and her sweet boys. Now Cory is itching to feed the chooks, so it's all action station and time to get going.

I hope you all have the best Christmas. I will be hanging around at home with my precious darlings, all three of them. Kind regards, Anita. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Can't wait

He is happiest, be he king or peasant,
who finds peace in his home.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I bet everyone is getting excited, Christmas is almost upon us. I am, the greatest pleasure is watching Brandon and Cory open their gifts, seeing Pixie (my husband) just as excited about gifts, and reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas itself. I have been very organized this year in the way of making gifts, sometimes I don't pull it off, but success at last. I have a yummy Christmas bag waiting for my niece Lisa and her family.

One of Lisa's boys is crazy over plastic animals. Jarrod is 2 & a half. One day I noticed all these animals lined up near the TV. Only 2 were standing upstraight, and the rest all laying down. Curiously I watched this little guy with his animals and then it struck me, the 2 animals standing upstraight were a lion and lioness, and all the other animals laying down had been eaten by the lions. it was so funny. And he talks to them too.

Years ago Brandon made a Christmas box at school. Just an old box decorated with magazine clippings and some bits collected from the school yard, sprayed in silver paint. I still have this box.

It has come in very handy for my Christmas tags, ribbon and bits. I'm sure Brandon was only in Year 1 when he made this, he is now going into Year 11.
Look what Cath has sent me. I also recieved another little gift as well, but Cath one of my friends had to have it. I didn't even get time for a photo.

You just have to love that red nose. Thank you Cath, I love her. I love the beads running down the front of her. Just beautiful. Talking about just beautiful, some time ago I made a mini quilt to symbolize my Mum and her favourite things. The lady is dressed similar to how my Mum dressed, always an apron on and when outside always a hat. And she is surrounded by her flowers, veges, buttons and rabbit.

I know where I got my button fetish from, thank you Mum. I remember my Mum having this pet rabbit, that would only come to her. Only Mum could feed it. If you came home from school or work and Mum wasn't inside, you would just have to look out the kitchen window and you would spot her in the garden. This little quilt is a reminder of Mum and her favourite things. 

Now for a look at my lovely new girls, who have settled in very well. While I was taking a photo, some of the chooks were pecking my ankle bracelet. They are a bunch of curious girls, and very friendly. When I carry in a bucket of water, some of them fly up and land on the bucket and start drinking. Don't worry there is lots of water in their bowl but they just can't wait to drink out of the green bucket.

The breed is Isa Brown. As you can see their necks are 'ring barked' as I call it, due to being in cages (ex-battery hens). Slowly they are getting feathers growing back the poor things. The first time I gave them grubs, they all looked at the grubs and then looked at each other. They all had question marks on top of their heads. They didn't know what to do with them. Things change, I don't stand near them when they get given grubs now. I also have bantams and don't you just love the size difference in eggs!

They are laying at a rate of knots now, and some of our friends are happy to see eggs. I have been able to bake as much as I like as well. The eggs are much nicer from your own yard.

I charging off now to attack some housework, do some chores and then leave the afternoon free to just hang around with Cory, oh and if Brandon comes out of the bedroom, might be able to talk with him. Brandon will be out of there oh around lunch time. Sometimes I storm troop his room anyway to see how he is. Be catching you soon. Kind regards, Anita.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A few more sleeps to go

 They who forgive most
shall be most forgiven.
- William Blake

OK. Not long to go now. I'm really excited about the coming festivities and very tired from all the end of year parties we have attended. On Friday night Pixie and I went to my work place wind up, our very first one. We had the best time. All the people I work with are usually in classrooms teaching, in administration or generally running like mad, so it was really nice to sit down for a while and talk with this lovely group of people. It was great to see everyone relaxing and having fun. We had to leave early that night as my husband had to be up at 5 am for work. 

I am very annoyed at myself as I had all these lovely photos stored on my camera and I have wiped everything accidentally. I'm a dill. Have to get cracking with the camera and collect more photos. I'm so glad that I managed to download Cory's Graduation photo's before I did something silly and wipe those ones off. My little petal Cory has the black shirt on and is with his crew of friends. The gorgeous guy next to him with the cap on is also a Corey and these two boys have been best buddies since about grade 2. This little bloke is, as far as my husband and I are concerned, one of our sons also. I consider myself to have three sons and they are all much loved.

Oh and I have pressed their noses endlessly. 
The tables were all set up so nicely and the food served was a big roast dinner, potatoes, veges, gravy and salad. Yummy dessert followed in the form of pavlova, fruit and/or ice cream. Dancing followed soon after, and lots of fun there. To top things off, at the end as the students were leaving, they were presented with a lovely decorated cup cake.


I have managed to find a few pics of the toys I made for the library and my scariest one is the space monster. The boys particularly love this one.

Mr Space monster is made out of bits of felt and the pattern was in a book I had out from the local library. The pattern is actually a hand puppet, but I made a base for him instead.

Another favourite are the dice. These get played with endlessly and carted around the library too. If I were to make these again, I would put a soft plastic or card to make the sides stay straight. When I filled the squares too much they turned into a ball shape, but I managed to get them filled enough to get them into this shape.

I adore having quilts or cushions around the place with sweet sayings on them. It is a great way to convey the feeling of love and happiness. So I made this simple heart out of calico and stitched a nice saying on it.

Now with my holidays in full swing, I will be at the sewing machine once again, hacking away merrily making lots of things. I now had better get back to all that housework that never goes away. Brandon had a friend over for a sleepover on Friday night, and today Cory is having a couple of friends over to swim, eat and do boy stuff with. Have the best day. Kind regards, Anita.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

School's out!

It is only through the eyes
of someone we love that
we see who we really are.

It's official. School's finished for the year. Brandon is OK with it and for Cory it was the end of an era. Primary school is over. What a big step to the next level, High school. In the meantime, we have the lovely school holidays in which to reflect, enjoy and relax. My hubby & I had the day together to wrap as many presents as possible to help Santa, as it would be the last opportunity to hide away wrapped gifts from Cory. Cory the snoopy boy. Ha Ha.

I will also be relaxing with my boys as I have the holiday break off as well. I might do a bit of cross stitch, gardening and sewing. There will also be board games, swimming and movies in amongst all that. Below I have a photo of the little cross stitch I did the day I got married. While the hairdresser was doing my hair and makeup, I just sat there and stitched. It helped keep my nerves well settled. Marriage was one of the best decisions I ever made. I have a special guy.

I have just finished this lovely christmas bag and it turned out lovely. Both sides have stitching on it and was real fun to make. I hope Santa brings some lovely things for us.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention I had to use some buttons as well. I have a great collection of buttons and if I keep using them up I will have to buy some more. I have some pics of the toys that I made for my library. Old Hoot the owl is there and a little blue horse joins him. 

I found a great pattern from an older edition of Handmade with the lovely Mrs Duck in there. I had to give her a try and she has been half filled with heavy beads to weigh her down. I used bits of scraps I had left over and I just love her bonnet. For some reason the bonnet gets put on all sorts of ways. The children do that. Funny little things.

While trotting around the shops I made a special stop in at the Op shop and just love at what I came home with. The total cost of these books was $5.00. Can you believe that? All in good condition, fresh looking pages and they're all mine. The candlewicking books are older publications but every now and then I crank out the material and do some candlewicking. One of the other books is about house designs and very interesting, while the other book is about local history of Western Australia.

The cupboard below has been in my family home for more years than I can remember. It moved around the house and in the later years was in the bathroom full of towels. I can remember the cupboard being several colours, but the last colour I remember was white. After my Dad died I ended up with it. A friend of ours saw the cupboard and offered to strip it back and restore it. We gave him the challenge.

Our friend Jason took the drawers apart and stripped it right back to nothing, and he said what great wood was under all that paint. Oh by the way, I was shocked at all the different colours living underneath. I don't even recall seeing some of those colours. But this wonderful piece of furniture lives in our bedroom now.I can't believe how stylish it is.

I'm off to tackle that pile of folding that just won't buzz off. I may even be able to squeeze in some ironing, so there is less tomorrow for me to do. Not many more sleeps to go until christmas, can't wait. Catch you all soon. Kind regards, Anita.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Busy girl

Happiness...consists in giving,
and in serving others.
- Henry Drummond.

Things are getting rather busy around here right now. Final touches to christmas gifts, rounding up at work, the last few windups to attend and then comes the special day. Talking about special, as we were putting up the christmas decorations, I came across a lovely decoration Cory had made at school. Every year i bring out the decorations that Brandon and Cory have both made over the years.

Isn't my boy clever. I love the colours. And below is what I have made. I was flicking through some old magazines one day and liked a picture in this magazine and a picture in the next magazine. So I drew the patterns I liked and joined them together. This is the end product and comes out every christmas time.


I do like the whimsy look, it's very laid back. While I'm talking about making things, my darling husband Pixie had some left over wood and knocked up a couple of bird houses for the lounge room. He is really clever.

I have taken photos of a doll I made for a special girl. At a concert night this special girl came and talked to me and I noticed her costume. She designed it herself and a flash came to me. I will make a doll that looks just like her. This girl is such a fun, pleasant and easy to get along with type of person. I really enjoy her company and it is never too much trouble for her to come and say hello. 

 The clothing is truly what this clever girl arranged and it looked great. The tie she was wearing had a piano keyboard on it. So I had some music style material for her tie.

On this happy and pleasant note, I have to fly and do some work. I'll catch up soon. Kind regards, Anita.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Almost there!

The only gift is a
portion of thyself.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've almost finished all my christmas gathering and gift making. I'm glad to have been able to make as much as I have and the gifts are ready to go to their homes. In our hallway lives my lovely antique sewing machine with a few of my cloth dolls, especially made for christmas.

  I am now getting my needles out to make some jumpers and vests for the African babies drive. At special times of the year I tend to think about all those families and children that have so little and giving is such a priceless gift. I have a pattern below for anyone interested in making some jumpers. Once you have finished them they can be dropped off at your local hospital and they send them on.

Knitted all in one using 8ply knitting yarn and 4.5 needles. Lots of bright colours and stripes. Any colour can be used.

Cast on 70 sts.
Work 18 rows K2, P2 rib.
Work 48 rows in stocking stitch.
Cast on 40 sts at beginning of next two rows for sleeves.
Work 30 rows. Changing to K2, P2 for the originial 70 stitches and either garter or stocking stitch for the 40 stitches for the sleeve.
Rib 55 cast off 40 stitches, rib 55.
Rib 55, cast on 40 stitches, rib 55...(This forms the neck opening).
Work 30 rows, the same as you did before.
Cast off 40 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 48 rows in stocking stitch.
Work 18 rows in K2, P2 rib.
Cast off and sew up side seams and under arms.

Some more of the hand made toys living in my library, below a family of cats. I wondered if the eyes might scare some of the children or not, but the cat family is loved by all who carry them around. In fact the eyes are what the children have fallen for. I laugh at how the toys are set up all over the library. 

I had some scrap bright material left over and made this dolls dress out of it. I got very excited about finding the bright bits of wool too. That was found at one of my favourite op shops.

The pattern for the sheep is in an older edition of Handmade, that lovely Heather let me use. There are 2 sheep floating around the library and both much loved by the kids. Oh the bright pink chair below isn't hand made, but was purchased for $1 at got it ...the op shop. A good wash and dry, came up a treat.

The knitted rabbit was fun to make and so was the cat. But you know, the cat has the kids baffled abit. They always mention, that the cat isn't finished off yet, he has no mouth. Aren't they the cutest? I found the patterns in library books I had out once.

I'm off now to do some housework, give the garden a good water, as the forecast is for 41 C today. A typical summer day where we live. Usually very high 30's are the order of the day around here. The birds don't like it much, but I always squirt them down during the day. They love that. Hoping to catch up with my much loved sister-in-law Lee, always good for a laugh. Had a great long phone call with my friend Di last night (Piepie) as she is affectionately known. Cory has had one of his friends sleepover, so the weekend has been very pleasant. Darling hubby starting work a bit later today, so I'll follow him around a bit before he goes to work. Brandon has surfaced a couple of times for eat and drink. Typical teenager.

A lovely weekend to one and all. Kind regards, Anita. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My day off

Happiness seems made 
to be shared.
- Jean Racine

Today was my day off from work and it was a wonderful day. Pixie also had a day off, so we plodded around and had a great time together. We went to the shops and did food shopping, accidentally drifted in to the craft shop, wondered around the streets for a while and went home until lunchtime. We then had lunch at the Chinese restaurant and then wondered the shops some more, and then we were ready for home.

I have finished a doll that was a spurr of the moment idea. At Cory's concert night at school, a lovely girl in his class came up and started yakking to me. She always does, always is polite and I have a real soft spot for her. She is really genuine and great value. While this lovely girl was talking to me, I noticed her costume: denim skirt, white top, black vest, 1 yellow & 1 pink earring, a tie that had a piano keyboard on it, sparkly red hat and long striped socks. When I take photo's of the finished product I will be sure to show you. She is cute.

I have hung out Brandon & Cory's christmas stockings and I always smile when I see them. I made them for the boys when they were small, and when I wasn't very wise. You see, they are huge.

Aren't they huge! I remember how many times the boys put these stockings on and ran around the house. I bet they will love me telling everyone that.

I have warned as many people as I can about how small to make christmas stockings.I have lots decorations throughout my house and the little elf was made last christmas, along with Santa.

At work yesterday I started taking down some of the toys from the shelves, and I looked at the pile of toys that were building up,and whew, I didn't realize how many toys there were. The cat, doll and rabbit were some of the later toys I made. They were fun to make.

 The mouse family depicts what mice are like. Get one in your house and you could end up with squillions of them. But these ones are OK.

This book is turning out to be a beauty. The story so far is about a young lady who gets a dose of polio. I'm into the first quarter of the book and I'm hooked.

Time to buzz off and get things ready early because tonight Brandon & I are both having a hair cut. Need to check my chooks and let Cory have a turn on the computer, he keeps coming in and checking to see if I've finished yet. My petal. See you next time. Kind regards, Anita.


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