Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy new year to my bloggy friends

This will be my last post for 2010, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to wish all my bloggy friends a very happy and safe new year. Thanks for inspiring me with all your beautiful projects, and for your kind and thoughtful comments on mine.

I've spent most of my spare time this week gardening, so I haven't achieved much craft-wise. The only thing I've made are these doggy placemats from some sweet puppy fabrics I bought on sale a month or two ago.

This one is for Sugar and Spice's indoor water bowl. (They have a bigger one outside, but if they're indoors, like to drink inside and tell me off if it is empty).

And these are for two little doggy friends of mine, Benny and Banjo, for their food bowls. They're little boys, so I hope they don't mind the girly pinks.

I spent Christmas Day with my parents, sister, brother in law and niece, who all gave me lots of lovely presents. 2 year old Olivia unfortunately stole Sugar and Spice's presents, unwrapped them, and gave them to her toy dog, but I managed to get them back and bring them home for the puppies.

I also brought home turkey and ham for their dinner, and this huge ham bone which the pups spent a happy hour or so demolishing:

Spice even managed to chew it in half so Sug could share it.

I've spent yesterday and today mowing, weeding, expanding the vegie garden and moving compost. That scruffy grassy mess behind Spice in the photo above no longer exists, and I'm ready to plant more vegies. I've picked the worst days to be in the gardening mood though, with the weather suddenly heating up.

I've also somehow managed to get an eye infection. I thought I got some dirt in it yesterday, but last night their was an infectious looking yellow lump under my eyelid. This morning my eye was swimming in infectious fluid, and almost swollen shut. I look like I've been punched in the face. I went to the local doctors but they were closed, and couldn't face spending half the day in the waiting room of the big medical centre, so went to the chemist who kindly examined me instead and gave me some antibiotic eye drops. So I don't know if it was something in the garden that infected it, a stye, or what. As half my family have come down with conjunctivitis too.

Luckily, I hate going out on new year's eve and have stayed home the last few years. I hate the crowds, I hate not being able to get a taxi to come home when I want to, I hate being hungover on new year's day, and I find it a very depressing event too. Plus there are always lots of fireworks around my area, so I like to stay home with the pups who find it a bit scary. So anyway, it is lucky I have no plans, as I look quite leprous with my swollen eye at the moment so would have had to cancel them anyway.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bags and bags of bags

I've been pretty lax with my Christmas shopping this year, so am trying to make up for that by whipping up some quick handmade gifts to bulk out the parcels! I've got today off work to prepare for Christmas, and this morning I made these two little cosmetic purses for my Mum and sister.

They are mirror images of each other, so the blue one is lined with the pink fabric and vice versa.

Last weekend I had a test run with cosmetic purses and made these two for myself.

And a couple of weeks ago I made these festive bottle bags for some alcoholic gifts, from the wonderful fabric given to me by my secret Santa Anne Heidi.

I've also whipped up a couple of summery tote bags from charm square packs. This one was from a Bliss charm pack given to me by another secret Santa!

And this one from some charm squares I have been saving for a special occasion, as I love this bright funky range!

Sugar decided to help herself to her Christmas presents last night. I don't know how, but she can smell a squeaky toy a mile away! Lucky I have some bones and treats for them, and also bought them a roast chicken this morning, so I can debone it and make them a special chicken breakfast of the meat and skin.

I keep a box in the kitchen which I put my recyclables in, so I'm not constantly going out to the recycle bin. When Sug was a pup, she used to love to grab the plastic PET bottles and chew the lids off them. In fact, whenever I went to the fridge for a drink, she would wait expectantly for the bottle, and I'd have to explain to the disappointed pup that it wasn't empty yet. And on one memorable occasion she stole a full water bottle I had carelessly placed next to me on the floor, and chewed the lid off that, spilling water everywhere! Every so often she lapses into puppy behaviour, as you can see above, when she stole an empty bottle and spent a happy few minutes chewing the lid off the other day.

Spice is a bit of a puppy too sometimes. This morning she climbed up beside me on the edge of the bed to try to convince me it was time to get up, and suddenly lost her footing and fell off backwards. The bed is quite high, and she is quite heavy, so I thought she was going to break her back so I lurched out of bed to try to catch her ....... with the end result, that we both fell out of bed and landed heavily on the floor, a bit stunned, but thankfully neither of us are hurt. And we were in a good position to have a good cuddle to settle our nerves and check each other for bruises.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa's been again

 Santa has been to my house again, this time my Secret Santa from my patchwork group Patch n Chat. And yet again I have been thoroughly spoiled!

I just adore this beautiful stitchery needlebook, and the little scissors with strawberry keeper are so cute!

And I was really spoiled with another perfect stitchery, this gorgeous Christmas angel ornament.

On top of that, a lovely Raslie Quinlan pattern, the cutest wooden buttons and a beautifully made cupcake pin cushion in lovely wool felt. And that soap just smells divine!

And yes, there was more! A charm pack of the sweetest fabrics, and three little Christmas ornaments. Thanks "Secret" Santa!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Something from the past

A while ago I bought some second hand books from a market, and from one of them fell this old postcard which someone must have been using as a bookmark, dated 1908:

Although I found it fascinating, I put it aside and promptly forgot about it. I came across it again the other day while cleaning and wondered what to do with it.

I thought perhaps I could find the descendants of the recipient or sender, and send it to them. But a quick Google, a brief look at the Births Marriages and Deaths registry, and even a white pages search, failed to turn up anything. So then I Googled Tumut history and came across a historic society, and a family history group.

I emailed the latter to see if they would like it and a very nice lady replied and said they would. She didn't know of any Bryans, but knew of Springfield, which had been a large property out of town. She said she'd try to find records of the sender to add to their family history information, or if they couldn't, they'd pass it on to the historic society.

So as I'm about to post the little card off, I thought I'd take a couple of photos of it and share it.

For those with poor eyesight, it is dated 17-4-1908 and is addressed to a Miss M Bryan of Springfield, Tumut. The text says, "Well I hope you are all well. How is Chas getting on at the store? Father and I had a bad time on board although the sea was very calm. We had to wait until Tuesday eve on account of the strike. Landed at Ballina ..... Thursday morning then 21 miles of coach to Lismore. Everyone on board were sick. Well I will conclude with kindest regards to all, Percy”. What a fascinating snippet of history!
It's amazing what you find in books. I often buy second hand books from fairs and markets and often come across letters, appointment cards, children's drawings etc being used as bookmarks.
Also, I forgot to post a pic of the gorgeous ornament Noela sent me with my Christmas swap parcel. It is so gorgeous! And did I mention how perfect Noela's stitching is? I'm a bit jealous! She has kindly sent me a link to the pattern for this one which I haven't had a chance to look at yet, but will soon. It really is exquisite.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thanks Noela!

I received a wonderful collection of presents from Noela of Quilty Bits from the Blue Room, my swap partner in On My Verandah's Christmas swap.

Firstly, this gorgeous little bag, so beautifully sewn and in such lovely fabrics:

And it came with an equally delightful matching notebook wallet:

Then, lots of lovely sewing goodies. Scissors, fat quarters, embroidery floss, buttons, and a lovely Hugs n Kisses stitchery:

A great magazine to read, while enjoying the tea and coffe and chocolates also included:

And some lovely lotion and exfoliating gloves:

My camera battery was running slow, so I haven't even pictured the gorgeous ceramic Christmas plate Noela also gave me. Thanks Noela, you have really, truly spoiled me!

Aren't quilters some of the most thoughtful and generous people in the world? I joined three swaps this year and so far have received two parcels full of the most beuatiful and thoughtful gifts.