Saturday, 29 December 2007

Christmas Gifts and Christmas Cheer

Well I hope you all had a great Christmas, because I certainly did. We started the day with helping my daughter open all her presents, although I think the actual opening was more exciting than what was in them. We then had a very yummy and filling lunch at my Mum's. We had antipasto platters, chicken soup, then turkey and pork with lots of roasted vegetables and finally for dessert we had a frozen pudding that I made, but forgot to take a photo. It had fresh mangoes, pineapple and strawberry puree with pistachio nuts, nougat and Grand Marnier, cream and sweetened condensed milk. Yum! After lunch we went to my SIL's house where we had more turkey and ham for dinner. Aurelia received more presents, but was more fascinated by the cats and everyone else's gifts.

On Thursday we went up to Dragonfly Dreams (my LNS) where I spent all of my garage sale and Christmas money on a tidy little stash. I now have all the fabric for my major projects and I have most of threads for them. I have decided to try my hand at stitching on some 36ct and 40ct fabric with one over one. Maybe a little ambitious, but I may as well while my eyesight is still good. Hahaha!

So here is what I purchased, Mill Hill beads, Kreinik blending filament, Whisper thread and beautiful Midnight Blue 32ct linen all for my Winter Angel design.

Thread Gatherer Silk'N'Colours thread and Needlepoint Silks and some 36ct and 40ct linen in antique white and cream for my Black Willow Farm and Pumpkin Farm projects.

Heaps of Gentle Art Sampler Threads, Weeks Dye Works threads and some 32ct linen for my 12 Blessings of Christmas project.

Finally, I also purchased some Q-Snaps, thread heaven and some Dinky Dye threads for my Scissor Fob Exchange and the next Fair and Square Round. Karen also very kindly threw in some complimentary patterns from Rosewood Manor and Blackbird Designs.

I can now show you the completed pendibulles I finished for my Grandmothers. I filled them each with lavender, so they can use them to scent their cupboards. I also started another little project on boxing day. This was a very lazy afternoon of eating, a little bush walking and more eating.

My little angel has been sick over the last few weeks. She had a fever and cold a week before Christmas, was well for about five days and now has another fever and cold, although today she seems much better. In addition to this, her whole routine has been thrown out as we have house guests and I think she is struggling with having strangers in the house. I am really looking forward to everything going back to normal.

Finally, I have had quite a lot of interest in the Lavender & Lace SAL. We will be starting on the weekend of the 26th and 27th of January and then be stitching one day a week from then on. If there is anyone interested in joining, please visit Lavender Angel Stitch-A-Long for more details.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Christmas Wishes!

I would like to wish all the wonderful people who visit my blog a very happy and safe Christmas and a fantastic new year. I hope the new year brings renewed enthusiasm and plenty of time to stitch.

Thank you to all the lovely people who leave comments on my blog. I appreciate every one of them and I feel ever so privileged to have made such great stitching friends from all over the world.

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves" - James Barrie

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Stitching and cleaning

Well our garage sale on the weekend was a great success. Not only did we clean out the guest room and shed of all those unwanted items, but we also made heaps of money. My husband has very kindly let me take all the profits and spend them at my LNS. What a excellent man!! I have produced my shopping list ready to go up there straight after Christmas. Yeah! By the way, Aurelia was a great assistant. She was picking up things in the garage sale and offering them to the people who visited and on a few occasions even gave people a hug. This must be why we did so well. Hah, hah!

I love this photo so much, I have named it 'Peter, Peter, onion eater'. Someone is fascinated by onions and garlic at the moment and very nicely peeled all of the onions for mummy.

Well, if you haven't noticed, I have compiled my goals for 2008. I have two year long projects with my Lavender & Lace Angel of Winter in the SAL and the 12 Blessings of Christmas by Lizzie Kate. These are part of the Flip-It range and I am going to do one each month up until Christmas next year. I am putting them together using the free border chart on the website. My other goals include Black Willow Farm and Pumpkin Farm by Carriage House Samplings and the first one I am going to do, 10 Virgins by Barrick Samplers. This by no means is all that I am planning to do, but these are the major projects I plan to get done.

I am also participating in some exchanges this coming year, the Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club, Fair & Square and Hooked on Exchanging. I think this is going to be a very busy year, but as Aurelia is becoming a little more independent I think it is important to keep myself busy as well, and what better way than to do something that I am passionate about.

I have been really busy stitching and cleaning. The house is almost perfect for our guests that arrive on Saturday and so with little cleaning to do, I have spent all my spare time stitching. I have finished Aurelia's Christmas decoration and it only needs to be stitched together now. I have also stitched the designs for two of the four pendibulles I am making as gifts. They will be filled with lavender and can then be used in draws to leave a lovely smell. Again, I am just concentrating on the stitching and then the finishing can be completed just before Christmas.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

A taste of Christmas

Yesterday was the last day of playgroup and the annual Christmas party. Aurelia was not really interested in what was going on and during the nativity play was off busy playing with the seesaw. However, when Santa arrived she showed a little interest, but mainly because all the other children where jumping up and down and screaming. As all the presents were being handed out, I think it dawned on her that maybe there might be something for her. When her named was called out she reluctantly sat on Santa's knee, accepted her gift and then gave it back to Santa saying 'ta'. She just loves giving things to other people, how sweet!

We all had to bring a plate, but I just new that it would be chocolate, lollies and chips, junk that Aurelia hates to eat. I decided to make rock cakes, the kids wouldn't touch them, but the adults and Aurelia loved them. The most exciting thing to happen, was that we discovered that she loves oranges and watermelon. Mum and Dad finally have victory over the anti-fruit campaign.

I can't say that I am looking forward to Christmas this year. I am looking forward to giving my daughter her gifts and spending time with my family, but I have guests coming this year. It's not that I mind having guests, but it can be so draining having to entertain them and cook for them, especially when they are very fussy eaters. Currently the house is a disgrace and the guest bedroom buried under a pile of junk. We have a garage sale on Saturday, so I hope that it will be clean after that. Then it's heads down, bottoms up and clean, clean, clean. Oh dear!! At least the ironing pile is completely gone!!!

Rock Cakes
2 cups
self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
90g butter
⅓ cup
caster sugar
1 cup sultanas
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried apricot
1 egg lightly beaten
½ cup milk

Sift flour and cinnamon into a large bowl, rub in the butter, stir in sugar and fruit. Stir in the egg, then enough milk to give a moist yet still firm consistency. Place one heaped tablespoon (about the size of a golf ball) of mixture onto lightly greased oven trays about 5cm apart. Sprinkle the cakes with a little extra caster sugar. Bake in a moderately hot oven, 190C, for about 15 minutes or until browned. Loosen cakes; cool on trays. Makes about 14 to 16 little cakes.

I am not sure where this recipe came from, it was hand written on a scrap of tatty paper from an old collection of recipes I was given.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Lavender & Lace Stitch-A-Long

Well, I am glad to say that I have had some interest in people joining a Lavender & Lace Angel Stitch-A-Long. I have created a new blog, Lavender Angels Stitch-A-Long. The plan is to start at the end of January and anyone who wants to stitch one or many of the Lavender & Lace Angels is welcome to join, please see the blog for more details. I have decided that I am going to stitch the Angel of Winter, so this gives me plenty of time to deal with Christmas and then decide what materials I will need.

Here are a few photos of my stitching accomplishments this week. I have finally finished the Amish Rainbow Quilt, the finishing was really quite taxing as I had to hem it using backstitch through two layers of black Aida. I am so pleased with the result and now I can concetrate on completing the Health and Happiness design and the Teresa Wentzler Whitework project. The Health and Happiness does not look too much differnt from the last time, but I can assure you plenty of time has gone into it.

Here is a great photo of an impending thunderstorm. We have been getting some impressive thunderstorms this last week, but not surprising with the warm and humid weather we have been having. Unfortunately the photo just dosn't do this thunderstorm justice.

We spent the day out at lunch and had some very yummy pizza. Aurelia was most pleased with this and managed two whole slices on her own. She had a very round fat tummy afterwards. Then we all sat down for coffee, gelato and Italian cannoli. Yum!! Oh yes, Aurelia ate most of my gelato surprisingly, as the gelato was a bitter lemon one.

I hope you all had a great weekend, because I did. I finished some stitching, finished my Christmas shopping and had a very yummy Sunday lunch with my brother and my lovely SIL.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Look What Turned Up in the Mail!

Look what turned up in the mail! I recently purchased four beautiful Lavender & Lace designs and one Told In A Garden design. They were at bargain basement prices, so I just couldn't go past them.

Angel of Light
Angel of Summer
Angel of Autumn
Angel of Winter
Piecemakers I

I was hoping to get one of the angels done next year in my stitching goals and was wondering if anyone might be interested in stitching a Lavender & Lace Angel with me in a stitch-a-long. I wouldn't be able to start the design until the end of January and I think that I really would need the friendship and encouragement to get it done. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, please let me know.

Good news, I have been able to spend the entire day stitching, so I have made great progress on all my outstanding WIPs. I will be posting a photo in a day or two.

PS. Dani at Dani... Black Belt Stitching Wizard is a new visitor to my blog and asked about the GAST threads, yes I do find that they tangle, twist and knot easily, but I have found that if I let the thread go and let it naturally unravel itself, I seem to have a lot less problems. I have had quite a few new visitors, Yuko at Be Happy!, Chiloe at Chiloe's Corner, Marita at Stuff With Thing and Nicky at The Little Needle Case. Thank you to everyone for visiting my blog, I cherish all your comments and look forward to reading them every morning.