Monday, December 18, 2006

Following Through...

has always been hard for me. I'm a notorious non-finisher, particularly where sport/health related activities are concerned. I have all the good intentions in the world at the get-go, but for one reason or another I lose interest and drift away.

Which is why I'm feeling particularly chuffed today after receiving my Level 2 Certificate for Tai Chi. It means I have stuck with it for the whole semester, and achieved competence in the first two levels. I have a long way to go, as there are six levels of regular Tai Chi, then the Sword levels (which my instructor demonstrated for us today, awesome!).

So I'm proud of myself for staying with it for this long, and feeling enthusiastic enough to want to continue on this path in the new year. Yay me!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Christmas Meme

You know I love a good meme, and I picked up this fun Christmas one from DebR. I’m getting into the festive spirit in a big way, particularly since I finished the majority of my Christmas shopping yesterday (so virtuous!!!) so I thought I’d share it with you all. BTW the picture is my gorgeous Emma with Cooper (also gorgeous) in front of our Christmas tree.

1. Apple cider, Eggnog, or Hot Chocolate? Hmmm, I suspect that the apple cider referred to is not quite what we have here in Australia (I don’t mind the odd Strongbow Original on a hot evening, though). I’ve never tried eggnog, again not an Aussie thing, so I’ll have to go for the hot chocolate!

2. Turkey or Ham? It’s just not Christmas without the baked ham, glazed and studded with cloves – yum! This year I will also be serving roast turkey breast - just couldn’t be bothered with the whole bird when I only like the breast meat. Besides, I don’t think my oven is large enough to cook one successfully.

3. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Wrapped! Absolutely!!!

4. Colored lights or white on the tree? I’ve just replaced my 20yo gold tree lights with multi-coloured. I loved the gold ones, but they were old and worn out so it was time to update.

5. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree? I love the smell of a real Christmas tree, but have to admit that it just seems too wasteful – they last such a short time here in Australia’s hot summer weather. With the drought this year, decent looking trees were too hard to come by (besides being a shameful waste of resources). So the old faithful fake tree has come out for duty once again.

6. Favorite Christmas song? This year I’m loving Kylie Minogue’s “Santa Baby” – it’s fun!!

7. How do you feel about Christmas movies? I love some, hate others. Ones I love include: Christmas Vacation; The Santa Claus; Bad Santa; A Wonderful Life; Life of Brian (OK that’s not strictly a Christmas movie, but still a fave). As for all those gooshy, sickly sweet ones – I’ll pass.

8. What is your favorite holiday dish? I love it all – you can tell from the size of my backside that I have toooo many favourite foods!!!

9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music? Anything prior to mid-December just sends me into terrible anxiety attacks.

10. What is your favorite holiday smell? Cinnamon.

11. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was brought up without the whole Santa mythology – I always knew. I have, however, made a big effort to give my kids the fun and wonder of the whole fantastic Santa belief – it’s been fun for me as well as them!

12. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? We have a rather motley, mismatched collection of Christmas ornaments, but I love them all. At present we have a mostly purple and gold colour scheme (tinselwise), and I just bought a new lime green and orange star for the top of the tree (which has knocked “Garfield in a Santa hat” down from his top position).

13. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas Day? Christmas morning, always.

14. Go to someone else’s house or they come to you? When my kids were little, all my family came over here to watch them open their pressies. Now that they are bigger, we go over to my sister’s house to watch my 2yo nephew Cooper enjoy the present frenzy. It’s all about the kids.

15. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both. Everyone loves to receive gifts, but it’s the shopping and gift-wrapping that really put me in the festive frame of mind. And it is a great feeling when someone really adores the gift I gave them.

If any of you feel like picking up this meme for your own blog, please let me know so I can read your answers. Merry Christmas!!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Handmade Gifts

My brother and I made a deal this year that we would exchange handmade gifts. We were sick of the commercialism of the Christmas spending frenzy, so handmade gifts seemed like a good idea. I don't know how successful this pact has been for my brother, but I've gotten at least one gift made.
Pictured is the covered journal I made for him. I used a blue batik fabric as a base, and quilted it heavily with wavy vertical lines and an interesting embroidery stitch on my Pfaff. I then appliqued a piece of handmade felt I had leftover from another project and stitched some heavy circular patterns (I added a couple to the back of the journal as well).
I used the last scrap of felt to make a coordinating bookmark. My brother is a talented writer when he puts his mind to it - I hope this might encourage him to keep at it. I hope he likes it anyway. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Today's Adventures

So today we hopped in the car & drove up to Mittagong in the Southern Highlands to visit the Bousaada Winery, who have been hosting a textile exhibition called "Days of Wine & Roses" (I think that was it). There were a nice selection of quilts, all relating to the theme of Roses. My friend J9 had a piece in this exhibition (that's it in the top right corner of the first photo) called "I never promised you a rose garden".

The work was lovely and the venue gorgeous - such a peaceful and picturesque spot. Alistair (who owns the winery) was a most gracious host, chatting with us about quilts and vineyards, geese and vegies, and even gifting us with fresh lettuce out of his abundant garden (which included the biggest pumpkin patch you've ever seen).
It was a fun day, but I wish it had happened at a different time of year. I've also been to a doctor's appointment, plus a wool sale this afternoon, and my ride will be here any minute to take me to a Christmas party with my 'stitch and bitch' girlfriends. I'm worn out!!!

I've posted only a few photos, there were lots more quilts but I'm not the best photographer. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Festival of Em is over for another year!

Firstly friends, I apologise most sincerely for my infrequent blogging over recent weeks. Things have been rather frantic in my little corner of the world, what with one thing and another, and I'm just coming up for air.

Last week/weekend we celebrated the annual Festival of Em (also know as my darling daughter Emma's 11th Birthday). We had lots of good times, including a lovely family BBQ with my parents, brother & sister and their families; a sleepover with her friend Katie, making and decorating cupcakes; and culminating in a trip to Jamberoo Action Park with her girlfriends (and us) for a day of swimming, watersliding fun.

Our family has a tradition of not beginning Christmas until after the completion of the Festival of Em - certain traditions must be strictly upheld when birthdays fall in December, so that she doesn't feel that the two occasions are blended & she's missing out.

So we have now put the Christmas tree up and decorated the house, and we are officially getting into the festive spirit. There are 12 days until Christmas, so I thought I'd make a special effort to blog every day and share some of the fun things that will be happening from now until the big day. Stay tuned!!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 02, 2006


This is my sample for today's contemporary techniques class. The class is entitled Glitz, and demonstrates several ways to add shimmer and glitz to your quilts. I provided kits which included fun stuff like foil, angelina, organza and lame.

We had a fun day, the last for the year with this group. I have really enjoyed working with these girls and watching their confidence grow with their skills.

Look at what Cheryl did! She thought her chosen fabrics were more watery than leafy, so she went ahead and changed the images to suit, adding seaweed and bubbles.

I can't tell you what a thrill it was for me to see her run with her own creativity. This is what these classes are all about! WOOOHHOOOOOO!! Posted by Picasa