Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.
~Richard Crashaw

Once long ago against her breast,
A mother hushed a babe to rest
Who was the Prince of Heav'n above,
The Lord of gentleness and love
O, sleep, my little one, sleep.
An Australian Christmas Carol

Wishing you gentleness and peace this Christmas time.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ess is Six on the Fleurieu

This pixie's from the Land of Hearts.
She's perching on a blossom,
which grows within a forest glade
that's magical and awesome.
She and all her fairy friends
have flown on shimmering wings
to wish you all the happy fun
that a birthday brings!

Have a magical 6th birthday!
- on cards received from Granny and Mum, Dad and little Eee

Our trips to the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide never fail to delight us.

When I asked Ess during the week whether she'd like to pick blueberries on her birthday, her eyes lit up and her ensuing excitement was unsurpassed.

Little Eee picks...

and explores.

This was our first visit to The Blueberry Patch, Mt Compass.

My precious Ess fairy with beloved dandelion found in the patch,
about to be blown away on the wind.

With fresh blueberry ice creams available after the hard labour of fighting off earwigs, millipedes and tiny spiders, to achieve buckets of delicious blueberries...

we'll definitely be back.

In Goolwa, these treats awaited us after lunch,

along with an afternoon swim at the beach.

It was so refreshing to be out catching a few waves in the southern ocean. This is my style of wave-catching anyway! Beloved little treasures nearby.

Six feathered birthday candles on a beachy sandcastle cake for our delightful six year old.

Then after our late arrival home in the evening...

it was never going to be too late to enjoy the birthday cake lovingly decorated by Ess and I.

Happy Birthday my sweet Ess.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pretty List Cover - Christmas Giveaway

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens

Phew! Australia Post has been visited. My Christmas cards are on their way, along with a couple of little packages for various loved ones. A Lemon Cake for a certain 6 year old's birthday on the weekend has been baked and is awaiting decoration. I have even managed to squeeze in something else on the baking scene but that is a gift, so I can't show you that yet! There are still things waiting to be done - just as well I have a list!

It is busy times isn't it! I have not forgotten you however. On my working table has been sitting a special little something, a pair of them actually. One of them I have prepared just for you. For one of you who will win this giveaway.

Do you remember reading my story of how I made a cover for my shopping list which lifted my spirits in unexpected ways through its prettiness? Now I have made a couple more. One is for you and one will be for my Mum who also saw the beauty of my first one. I have decided that this really shouldn't be called a Shopping List Cover, as lists need to be made without requiring us to go shopping. I often write ideas for things I need to do in the garden, ideas for gifts for various people throughout the year (but especially at this time of the year), ideas for things I want to make. In the end there are often one or two things which need to be purchased in order to achieve my goal. However I am trying to steer away from the notion that in order to give we need to buy. So many of the gifts I love to give and to receive have been handmade and come from what we already have in our home. Are you feeling pressure to buy just because someone else might purchase a gift for you? You know that first gift (the one we are celebrating this season) was given out of grace, the only requirement being to receive. That's the hard part isn't it - receiving!

I hope you'll have no trouble receiving this little gift from me. It comes complete with a pocket for your stamps. A pretty purple pen which just happens to be a Kindermusik one - the colour matches well!...

and a recycled paper list bound with my own hand in stitches of soft satin cotton.

In order to win this giveaway you simply need to leave a comment here. Please tell me something about your own lists. Do you write them in a special place? Have you ever lost your list like I did recently? Do you enjoy list making? Whatever you'd like to share.

I am planning to leave this open until Christmas Day but we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Colouring

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

We've been enjoying some Christmas colouring. Colouring together as a family is one of my favourite activities. It suits my need to be creative, decorative and productive and brings everyone together to enjoy themselves as they explore various combinations of colour and design.

Ess named this stocking 'Stars Galore' and enjoyed creating a star with her textas, seen here in the background.

Here's our row of stockings so far. We have some smaller ones to add also.

Little Eee is enjoying colouring more and more as she grows. She now sits with us longer and is quite focused on making symbols with the textas. Curiously most of her lovely round symbols were drawn around the stocking. So when we cut it out, yes my two year old insists she helps cut with scissors (she is not too bad at it either), I made little baubles with her circular symbols which she duly stuck onto her stocking with glue.

How are you enjoying time together as a family during Advent?

My Christmas Giveaway is on its way (as alluded to in my last post), I'll see you again soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy Christmasy Days Here

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ~Mary Ellen Chase

We have had some busy days here lately, which is to be expected with Christmas approaching and the completion of our school year. Also my Mum has been staying with us the last fortnight and I have been spending time with her rather than you, my dear readers. I am sure you will forgive me.

We enjoyed a little early Christmas present opening with her before she left to fly home. After all, Christmas is all about giving and I wanted to give her the opportunity to see the smiles on faces of little ones as they discovered the beautiful things she had given them.

There's a big smile on my face also after all the lovely comments you gave me in response to viewing My Shopping List Cover. They were entirely unexpected. Thankyou!

Now my work table is busier than it was as I have been inspired by one of your ideas. Come back here in a day or two and I'll have something special just for you. It has been a while since I have had a giveaway and what better time than now - the season of Advent.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Pretty Shopping List

A little while ago I lost my shopping list while in Spotlight. My dear two year old Eee loves being there - so many buttons, ribbons, balls of wool etc. etc. However it is a little challenge for Mum to manage shopping for what I need with an excited toddler amongst the many textures and sights of a large craft shop. I did manage to leave the shop with all I needed, including my toddler. However my list remained somewhere within.

Have you ever lost your shopping list? I was surprised at how lost I felt without it. I survived my grocery shop at the markets and then the week at home remembering all the things which we had run out of and were written down in my list. The greatest loss for me was the list of ideas I had made over a period of time for Christmas gifts (sigh). Never mind, fortunately I do have a good brain and I have recalled many things. Who knows what I have forgotten however.

So to cheer myself up I made a special cover for my shopping list. Mette at Erleperle inspired me with her Christmas List Taker, yet I want mine to be used all year round.

I do love it! I was surprised how it heartened me to glance at my list on my stroller-top seeing such prettyness. Rather than simply seeing the things I needed I saw something crafted with my own hands, for my own heart.

It was lovely to gift myself a little this Christmas, in amidst preparing gifts for family and friends.

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas preparations.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An Advent Tree of crochet, ribbon and lego

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

Last night, on the eve of December, I was busily making final preparations to our first homemade Advent Calendar.

A couple of weeks ago I became 'hooked' into a November Mystery Crochet Project. Not knowing what the result would be, yet having much green yarn on my hands, I commenced crocheting Granny Squares... and this is the result.

What do you think?

I am not sure I would have chosen this project knowing the result, however once hooked I always complete a project.

Our finishing touches last night were to add some messages of Christmas and of love, as well as little note deliverers to each of the 24 pouches. Now the girls will enjoy reading a note each day from this advent calendar. We also use another card advent calendar which contains the story of Christmas read day by day as we open a window on each day leading up to Christmas.

See the tiny little Lego men in each pocket handing out notes. These are the deliverers of much excitement and anticipation. It was Sponge Bob who delivered our note this morning - who will it be tomorrow we wonder?

Ah anticipation! Children bring such a sense of anticipation in all they do and this is particularly evident at Christmas time. They anticipate receiving of course but also decorating our home, making rooms more beautiful, making and giving cards to friends, visits with family and friends. These are the things which make Christmas special and tender.

I hope you are finding space to enjoy this special time of year.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Postcards from the Limestone Coast: Tintinara

I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world. ~George Washington

"We are staying on a real farm, aren't we Mummy!" Ess commented excitedly as we wandered about our new surroundings at O'Dea's Cottage, near Tintinara.

To say we enjoyed our time in Tintinara would be an understatement. I must tell you about it, as Tintinara is an unlikely place along the highway to enjoy yourself - some would say. It is only a couple of hours to Adelaide, and perhaps many drivers would be keen to continue towards home with so few kilometres to drive. Yet we stayed...and extended our stay.

Upon our arrival we were greeted by the cows in the front paddocks.

We wandered down the back...

to feed the chooks, collect their eggs...

and have a swing.

By evening, we settled in, by a warm fire, to watch the sun set.

The next morning our host took us on the back of the ute (which was such an exciting novelty for Ess) to see the cows and search for elusive kangaroos. I think it was too near the middle of the day for the dawn and dusk loving creatures.

Ess had the chance to stroke, pat and feed the old mare who has been put to pasture here.

After having spent the morning viewing the historic Tintinara woolshed, we were delighted to have the opportunity to participate in a working woolshed.

How serendipitous that our hosts were shearing on the weekend of our visit.

Ess even had the opportunity to be a 'wool press' for a while, tramping down the shorn scraps of wool. Lots of fun!

For me this was a trip down memory lane. While I had never visited this particular shed, I often spent time at our farm while our shearing shed was in action. I remember the sights and smells well. The busyness of numerous workers, shearing and sorting, herding and directing. The sense of open space in contrast to the pens and runs where the sheep were held for shearing and for dipping. I remember climbing up on fences, finding wildflowers such as yellow billy buttons, which I never imagined could look so beautiful, and running free. I remember my Granny's lamingtons, consumed ravenously on picnics up the paddock with family and friends.

I am so grateful to have been able to share some of my memories with my family as a result of this experience.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adorable Fabric Giveaway

12 fat quarters for you?

Take a peak at this adorable fabric...

then if you'd like to add some to your stash, join in with this giveaway. I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pretty Christmas Garland

There they stand, the innumerable stars, shining in order like a living hymn, written in light. ~N.P. Willis

A couple of weeks ago Juliane inspired me to make some Fröbelstern. She used such pretty paper yet I decided to explore the technique with some simple red, green and white copy paper. I was quite pleased with the result and for some time there was folding and folding, this way and that way, to make a collection of these German stars, closely guarded by the sweet Amigurumi Pears.

Last weekend they came together as a pretty Christmas Garland to hang in little Eee's doorway as we approach Christmas.

Using bead thread as a base I threaded some beads onto the bottom ensuring that the first bead was threaded twice so it didn't move.

With a hole in the top and bottom of each star, I proceeded to thread them, wrapping twice also to ensure they kept their place.

More beads were placed between each star, wrapping thread through the bottom bead of each section to secure it.

While it was essential to lay the garland flat while threading, to prevent it from tangling, it was a very easy, quick and simple project.

Hung in the right place, the interplay of light creating shadows dancing on the walls is a sight to behold and delights young and old.

Hope you can make one too to delight your days as we approach Christmas. Here's a star tutorial to get you started.

Our New Treasure

Lilypie Maternity tickers


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