Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Week

I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season. It's so hard to believe that Christmas is done and dusted, and that I'm two hours away from the last day of the year. What a lot of preparation and shopping we did, and the big day passed by in a flash! I'm not good at taking photos when I'm uber busy, but here are the few that I (+ Marty & Amy) took.

This is just not something you see every day - my dining table with her covers off. I have a tremendous fear that this table has lasted for around 120 years, and it'll be my family that destroys her. However, Marty wanted to have a little of the timber on display at Christmas, so I needed to get busy with some polish. He stated that it's just not worthwhile having a lovely table if no one gets to see it. I guess he's right :-)

Marty cleverly took a picture of the table all set for Christmas lunch. I completely forgot with all the running around, cooking and last minute preparation. He takes much better pictures than I do anyway :-) One of these days I'll have enough of the Masons Vista dinner set that we can all have matching plates, but for now I'll mix and match with my white pieces. And a fun thing that I do each year is have a decoration on everyone's plate that they can take home at the end of the day.

Another thing you can see on the table is Camo's gingerbread house. I purchased two from Ikea recently so that he can work on his own while I make up mine. So much fun. We'll make the other one up later on in the holidays.

Here's a picture Amy took on Christmas day. Once all our family had arrived, the tree was absolutely bursting from below with presents. We had a great time opening them all, and the lounge was completely trashed afterward. I STILL haven't put the room entirely back together again. You just can't rush these things, right?

Next, it was time to make jam again. Our apricot tree has borne so much fruit this year, and I've no idea what I'll do with it all. Fortunately it had the good grace to ripen the day after Christmas, rather than the day before like last year. Christmas Eve is not the ideal time to rush into jam production. I have made so much jam, and I've stewed and frozen some too. I've been giving the fruit to neighbours and friends, we're so blessed to have such a productive tree with such sweet fruit. And in a month or so our peach tree will be ripening. I really love our summer fruits.

Today I have finally gotten a little of my sewing mojo back again. I lost it for a little while there. I've finished cutting out the next row of my Mrs Billings project, and I'm almost done marking the sewing dots on the reverse side. This one is a tricky one with lots of inset seams, so I have to be super careful. I'll share a picture of where I'm up to asap! Chatter soon!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gingerbread House

Here is my Gingerbread House for Christmas this year. It's one of my favourite things to do for the holiday season. Each year I try something different - I can't imagine I'll ever get tired of it!

This year I made windows from crushed boiled lollies. After the walls are par-baked, you put the lollies in the holes and bake it again and they melt down. I'm thrilled with how they look, and the battery operated led's I found at Ikea are perfect to light up the inside.

I used a new gingerbread recipe, which I'll never use again - it baked up all lumpy and the pieces changed shape a little while they were baking - hard for construction afterward. Live and learn however - I'll go back to Martha's recipe :-)

If it weren't so hot here, I'd make some trees etc for the yard of the house, but today we've been experiencing 42c temperatures (107f) so the last thing I want to do it heat up the oven. Maybe I'll get enthusiastic tomorrow if it's not so hot. Chatter soon :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lightning speed ...

Wow! My dear friend Lizzy is amazing! I can honestly say I've never heard any urban legends recounting tales of quilts being turned around in 16 hours, but that is exactly how long it took for my quilt to be quilted and back in my hands! Amazing!!

I've taken the blurriest of pictures for your enjoyment:

And believe it or not, I actually cropped the worst of the blurriness out!

For those who enjoy their pictures a little more in focus, a close up:

I'm just thrilled with how it's come out - Lizzy is an amazing quilter, and so fast!! (I'm super lucky that she'd finished up with her Christmas deadline quilting.)

I've already applied the binding, and I'm around one quarter the way through the hand stitching on the reverse side - I used the same fabric that I used in the sashing strips for the binding and it looks really cute.

Also done today, I made up the dough and cut out the templates for this years gingerbread house. Hopefully I'll have some successes tomorrow to share. (Ohhh, and I'll just say this quietly ... It's now the 22nd of December here in Australia, which means 'apocalypse averted' ... Yay!)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A finished top ...

As promised, here is the finished top, destined to be a special person's Christmas present. This top was inspired by a quilt I saw at work last month. I think it was originally a Sudoku quilt, but it works really well with two packs of charm squares and some yardage.

I've used French General prints - Lumiere de Noel & French General Favourites. I don't recall what range the border print is from, but I jut love it.

And my dear sweet friend Lizzy has thrown me the most amazing lifeline: She is going to quilt it for me - fortunately for me she's all done with her Christmas deadlines so I could slip it in and have it done in time. Thank you Lizzy, what a treasure this will be! xox

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I may be in over my head ...

There is one individual on our Christmas list that I always struggle to find a great gift for. Today I had a bright idea. I'll make them a quilt!

Nothing like leaving things to the last minute ... what was I thinking??!!?? Save me from myself!!

PS: I'll share a picture when it's more 'together'.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I don't think I've even turned my sewing machine on this past week. It has been a flurry of getting ready for a big party on the weekend. It was Amy's 18th! Where does time go??

Just so I have a little something to share, I'll show you some of the cupcakes that I made for the occasion. Here they were during making:

I could have done a little better with the distribution of the batter ... but once iced you could never tell ...

Oops - I was a little late ... some were eaten already! Here is the original site with the recipe ... I didn't have big enough leaf piping tips to neatly do petals underneath, and was having trouble with the cream cheese frosting as it was such a hot day. But I know you'll never tell anyone :-)

And for a little fabric content, hot on the heels of me declaring that I'll never need to buy any more fabric, 9 yards arrived today. This is the backing for my Mrs Billings project. I have some of the same fabric in the red colourway on the front of the quilt. Hopefully this will be the perfect fabric.

The kids and I are on holidays now, so hopefully I'll have lots of time on my hands and many interesting things to share. Chatter soon!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Summer Fun

$59.00 worth of Summer fun. Even if it only lasts a few weeks, it'll be worth it.

Note the dangerous Lego shark lurking in the depths ...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Ugh ...

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you'll have seen this photo already ... but here goes again ...

I was cleaning out my fabric closet, and it has become clear to me. That I must NEVER buy fabric again. NEVER!!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Bernie II

This week has been so much more pleasant and shiny than last week. First up, my DH has managed to get my laptop up and running again with a new hard drive, which is great news. But on that note, laptop - be warned. Any more shenanigans, and it's trash time. No doubt.

I've installed most of my software again, and it seems I haven't lost anything, happy days.

But the happiest of news is this: Yesterday morning I purchased a new sewing machine! Oh my goodness, I'm so excited. It's going to take me a while to get used to this monster (and I say monster because it's sooooo much bigger than my old Bernie). That tape across the front of my cabinet is 19 or 20 inches wide. After I've done on the computer, I'm going to have a play so we can get acquainted.

Well, that's my news for now, I'll chatter soon!

Sunday, December 02, 2012


It's going to be tricky for me to catch up on blogs for a bit, and hard to do interesting posts. My darned laptop is on the fritz again. DH is determined to fix it - I'd rather get a new one - this is the third time and I do like my playthings reliable.

I'm working away in the sewing room. A couple more of these fusible blocks and I'll get busy with Mrs Billings again. Chatter soon xx


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