Friday, 18 December 2009

Santa has been .....

Hi everyone

Well yesterday was another 40C day.  Thank goodness a little rain followed very late last night and today.  That is no consolation for the fire-fighters battling the many blazes around the country.  My thoughts and wishes are with these wonderful people, many of who are volunteers.  Unfortunately two of these volunteers lost their homes yesterday in one of these fires.  I know there will be many people who rally around them and help them through this extremely hard time.

Hubby will be on holiday from tomorrow till just after new year.  I think this might mean that I won't get much time to blog.  So don't think I have disappeared, just hubby getting me to run round for him.  :-)

Well as second gift has been completed.
The ripple pillow has a partner.
Just to prove it, here is a photo

The last gift I have been working on is almost done.  Well enough to gift it.  I can finish it off after Sunday.  Here is a glimpse ...

Then yesterday, the postie left me this parcel...

Now for the first time I entered a swap which was run by Jellywares (you may have seen the button on the right hand side).
Many thanks Jodies for running this swap.
So as it was my first, I was excited to see what was inside.  So when I saw this, I was just a little excited, lots of oohhing and aahhing - and that was just because of the bag.  I was so thrilled with it.

I cannot believe the generosity of spirit, the time, the effort, the thought that went into this package.  Just the bag was making me smile and feel so festive and a general feeling of good-will

Almost forgot to look inside as I thought the bag was so very cute.  But I could hear a jangly noise, so curiosity got the better of me.  Oh my....... not one, not two but ........

Six!!!!! absolutely beautiful Xmas cloths.  Oh my, oh my.  They are so beautifully made.  I have a green Christmas Tree and a Christmas Ornament, a red Candy Cane and a Santa, a white Dove and Candle.
Oh me, oh my, so very pretty and the work is exquisite.
My favourite Christmas colours and she even used some of my favourite yarn - Bendigo Woollen Mills

But hang on, that did not explain the jangly noise, must look a bit further ....

and look what I found

Isn't he just the cutest!!!!!
So apt for my blog too
Now it seems I am lucky to have him as the gifter wanted him too.
I promise you he will be well taken care of.  Might even start a new Christmas collection, just around him.
I really should start a Aussie Christmas collection and I think Kenny the Koala most definitely will be the beginning.

Now doesn't he look so cute on my Christmas Tree ....

Now I know that I have not mentioned the lovely person who gifted these wonderful gifts to me
It is ......
Knitter Sue!!!!!!!
A blog I have only recently started reading and love

So Sue, I give my heartfelt thanks for such a beautiful, wonderful and exciting gift.

On that note
Bye for now
And Merry Christmas to all with wishes for happiness, peace and relaxing time with family and friends

Monday, 14 December 2009

Sunny days

Hi everyone
For those who need a little sun cause its cold and dark, here is my weekend.

Friday night, after hubby finished work, we went down to Bobbin Head, about 15 mins drive from home, and had dinner - prawns, bbq chicken, salad and a little red wine.  Bobbin Head is inside Kuringai National Park which has the Hawkesbury River running through it

I love our bush!!!
  I love the trees, I love the scents, I love the texture of it, I love the rocks, I love the birds, I love the native flora and fauna.
Not so nice are the snakes and spiders, but if your lucky you can avoid them.

Saturday morning we were off to Central Coast for hubby to play cricket.  On the way we stopped off at Brooklyn, just to sit by the water.  This is another part of the Hawkesbury River.  The outlet to the ocean is under the bridge to the left of the photo

By the way, the clouds you see were very welcomed by us!!!  It gave a bit of relief from the very hot sun  :-)

Sunday, hubby's work held there Christmas Party at Galston, where we got to see this ........

And lastly here are some Christmas Decorations that my mother made, quite a few years ago, with a local crafting group ....

Had never seen the buttons on the Snowman before till a breeze blew at just the right moment  :-)

Bye for now

Thursday, 10 December 2009

South Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Xmas

Hi everyone

I had no intention of blogging this so soon. You may know that I am trying to finish 2 blankets and another ripple pillow before my early family Xmas celebration.

So yesterday afternoon, I sat down and watched this

I love the songs, the costumes and the actors.

I then realised that I was closer than I thought to a finish ...

This is for DD2 and her partner. DD2 is a South Sydney Rabbitohs fan - colours, red, green and white or black. Souths are one of the longest members of our Rugby League comp. Her partner is a Penrith Panthers fan and at one time their colours were red, green and black (they have changed colours a few times in their short career in our Rugby League). My favourite Xmas colours too ..... so ...

Souths blanket display, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

A lapghan was created to keep them warm when they go to watch their teams play

Details - Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8ply in Holly, Mid Green, Almond and Raven approx. 300g of each.
Measures - 105cm x 105cm
Weighs - 1.2kg
Hook - 5mm (I would prefer to use a smaller hook next time with this wool)

And a quick answer for Mrs Twins (Sue) - I have spent Christmas at the beach over the years but I have never had a meal there. Most Aussies don't as the sand gets into everything. There is usally a headland with grass or a park nearby where a meal can be had. Those who don't like sand in everything usually wait here for those who don't care cause they love the beach.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

My Xmas tree

Hi everyone

Well to help me get some festive feeling back I went and bought some batteries.
Sound weird :-)

Well here is the story

When we moved to the apartment we gave a large amount of items to charity, including our 6ft Christmas Tree. It just would not fit here and we knew it. I also hoped that someone had a wonderful Christmas that year with a cheap or gifted tree and that some little children (in age or heart) made good use of it.

So when decorating we have been without a tree as I just could not find anything I liked which was small.

When bringing up a few things this year, I bumped into a box which I had forgotten about - and here it is ...




Xmas tree singing, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

I have quite a few of these animated objects which all make me smile and brighten up - but only this one is on display this year

Bye for now

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Where has it gone ....

Hi everyone
Where has it gone? 
My Christmas mojo seems to be taking a break, very sad. 
Feeling tired and lethargic, not sure if it is the weather (which has been warm and humid)
or that every weekend is booked out
or that I committed myself to finishing the blankets for Christmas (our early Christmas too)
or if I just need some iron to give me some get up and go   :-)
Oh well, it should work itself out soon

I have been enjoying looking at everyone's decorating though, so I thought I would share a couple of my items

And with my love of Penguins, I had to take this little fellow home

First off we have a couple of Lemax houses.  We have about 20 or so in total, which we used to make village scenes out of for our front window display.  My favourites are the Old English pubs, so we have a few of those.  No room here to display them and would not be seen by anyone but ourselves at 10th Level above ground.  So I grabbed a couple that were not down the bottom of boxes.  The photos were taken at night, but only one shows the lighting any good and that was using the candle-effect mode for the camera

The lighthouse light spins around and is red.  Not much lighting in the house itself.

Not too sure what the name of this house is.  I will have to check the box

And here it is with the candle-light effect which is more how we view it.

A small collection of my Santa's.  The middle one was bought back from Germany by my SIL1, the other 2 were bought at the Sydney Stitches & Craft Show in July.  I just thought they were so cute.

Hopefully I will have more energy later in the week

Bye for now

Friday, 4 December 2009

Crochet, Knitting and a bit of a Win!

Hi everyone
Bit of a mixed bag of blogging today, so I will talk about things as the photos loaded.  BTW does anyone know how to select multiple photos and get them to load all at once?  I can only load each one, one at at a time.

Well the first one is my DD3's bridal garter which she asked me to make.  It was finished a while ago, but she wanted a bit of bling on it.  That became the hardest part to find!!!!

And here it is on the lovely girl's leg

Next is some more knitted washcloth's - another Rudy!! I really love this one.  It was designed by the same person as my Frosty - Elaine from Down Cloverlaine

and a Penguin Washcloth - not as happy with the design but I can't design them and there was nothing else I liked out there - and I have to have a Penguin!!!


And then the mailman bought me an envelope! 
I have been reading Jodie from Jellywares Blog and I won this!!!!!
My very first win - I can't say I don't win anymore  :-)
How pretty is this cloth!!!!  And the beautiful tag on it

Thank you so much Jodie, I do like reading your blog and lots of luck with your sales

Bye for now everyone and have a fantastic weekend - DH is playing cricket on Saturday and a wedding dinner on Sunday night - what are you up to?

Just a quickie be back later

Hi everyone
I do have a blog planned for today, but I just had to get this out there.

There is a book I have been eyeing off lately, but it has been hard to find locally.  Not available in my local bookshops, which is where I prefer to buy books as I always have a need to see inside them, to assess their value.  I definitely don't like buying books online unless it is absolutely necessary.

Now I was reading this blog, Hook & Scrumble, who was talking about her Christmas decorating projects when right at the bottom of the blog is this .........

 a Giveaway!!!! of the book I have been eyeing off.

So although I really want the book and don't want to share about the Giveaway, I must

Good luck everyone

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Favourite Christmas symbol

Hi everyone
Well where do I start today (slight frown on face)? mmmmm..........

Well to keep me in the spirit of Xmas, I am going to start with my favourite Xmas symbols/people/ideas - anything really.  Please join in and mention yours.

While I do love Santa, and Rudolph is so cute and I love his story (as you will see from my knitting cloths) - my favourite of all has to be .....

Mrs Claus Knitted, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

Mrs Claus!!!!!!
Yeah for Mrs Claus!!!!!

She works so hard all year round to help things run smoothly at the North Pole. She very rarely gets recognition of all that she does. But does this stop her? No, she keeps going and finds more to do to ease Santa and the elves jobs.

This is because she so loves sharing, caring and spreading the joy of Xmas!!! The joy not of large, expensive gifts (although if your lucky enough to receive, make sure you say a HUGE thank you), but the joy of having family and friends around, to make contact with others. To renew friendships and keep families together

You will note that this Mrs Claus has her own family around her here! Of course, Santa, who is joined by Mrs Frosty. Just never got around to making Frosty, although I do enjoy the song

Just as an afterthought - the other Xmas blanket I am working on, which is a hexagon.  Well I decided to attempt something new - "join-as-you-go" which I first saw at Attic 24 who noticed it Moonstitches (tutorial on right hand side bar).
I wish I had of thought of attempting this from the first blanket - it is so easy, and not sure if I do it right, but it has given this new blanket a lovely pattern as well  :-)

Bye for now and hoping that the spirit of Xmas is around

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The 'C' word

Hi everyone

Well one of the 'C' words is CHANGE - yes I played with my blog title.  Another 'C' word of course is CHRISTMAS - and yes that has to do with the changes I have made.

Now I know I am a little early, but my family is celebrating Christmas in 24 days, so this is my start of advent.  I will, over the time, show you some photos of my special items (well some of them anyway).  In years past DH and I got quite into the swing of Christmas and decorated our whole front room (which had a very large window fronting the street) with Christmas goodies.  The neighbours loved and the kids faces were not to be missed.  That won't work where we are now, but a few of my favourites will come out - or those I can reach in storage.  There are literally boxes of them, and they are stacked quite high!!

If I can work this out, I will embed a YouTube video which relates to both 'C' words.  The song is sung by Rolf Harris, an Australian-born, England living entertainer.

This is my favourite Christmas song!!!  I always get a tear in my eye remembering my "littlies" when they use to sing it at Christmas.  The video has various Australian scenes - Carols in the ? in various capital cities, what we do most of Christmas Day if it is hot (especially the travellers to our country, if your Australian you would not be there in the middle of the day with the heat) and various decorated streets and houses

Hope you enjoy it

Bye for now

PS - Just checked - it worked - Wahoo!!!!!!   Another lesson learnt

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Misty Rain & Giveaway Hint

Hi everyone
Firstly a HUGE thank you to all the kind bloggers and commenters for their thoughts and wishes for cooler weather - IT WORKED!!!!!

Temperature dropped by 20C yesterday and today.  It is about 22C now, a little hazy, misty and with a hint of light rain.

I have been reading Retro Mummy's blog for a while now and she has some wonderful fabric and craft there.  And as of today a fantastic giveaway, so hop on over and you too can have a chance to win some of the most beautiful fat quarters!!!!!  Corrie also has a very cute little model, as you will see if you click on the link.

Good luck - no really!!

Bye for now

Monday, 23 November 2009

Hot, hot, hot .... need to chill

Hi everyone
Well it continued with the heat wave over the weekend.  Friday was 42.2 Celsius (108 F).  Late Friday bought a very little of this ....

5 minutes of this - and this is the total width of it - with lightening strikes in the centre of it.   It was pretty dramatic

Saturday was a little cooler.  There was a breeze, which luckily was not a burning, hot wind.  Temp's back down to the high 30's.

So thinking about Kimbles at Home's tutorial for this and The Royal Sisters tutorial for this and this - I came up with this ....... maybe for a Secret Santa Swap

Anyone else think I am trying to cool things down a bit here with all the "Winter" themed items!!!!

Now we are back to Sunday and we are back up over 41 C (106 F)
We finally got the southerly very late Sunday night which cooled things down while we were sleeping - well actually thats when we could finally fall asleep.

And as for Monday, well hopefully there will be rain today to drench all the bush fires everywhere

Bye for now

Friday, 20 November 2009

Hot days and new project

Hi everyone
Well another beautiful hot day here.  I have taken a panoramic photo of the view yesterday about 2 pm.  The temp was about 36-38C.  Washes out the colour a little bit when we have had a few hot days.

While I look over a lot of other apartments, I am lucky enough to be high enough to be able to view valleys and trees.  The purple splash you see everywhere is a tree called Jacaranda.  It is not native to Australia, but is very well loved here for the wonderful display.  The flowers are already dropping and green, ferny type leaves turn up to offer filtered shade.  Here is a view of the tree that not many would get to see.  The photo was taken about a week ago, before the heat causes the flowers to drop

Late yesterday, once the sun had truly left the balcony, a lovely breeze started, which made the temp. bareable.  So of course I took advantage of it!!

Yes and yes - that is new yarn for a new project and that is a beer bottle behind it.  But no it was filled with icy cold water.  The Grolsch bottles make excellent chilled water bottles!!!

The new project is for DD3 - her colour choice and she requested a Hexagon.  I love the combination, but I do find the dark blue and brown hard to see stitches, but that's ok as I can do it by remote.  Any chance I can get this finished for Xmas??????????   If not the wedding is only in May!!!

No, I haven't given up on the ripple, but foolishly thought I just might get this finished for Xmas - or hopefully.

I find that I can do hexagons or grannys by remote.  But I have to work a little harder with ripples.  Maybe my brain goes round and round, not up and down.  Actually sounds just about spot on - my brain does repeatedly recycle thoughts, ideas etc!!!

The only place cool enough in the morning is at the computer.  Can't wait for the shade to come to our balcony.

While I complain about the heat sometimes, I do truly love the warmth, just gets a bit much when its days on end well into the high 30's.

I would love, actually crave, to experience one winter where there is snow and log fires.  I think a week would be about as long as I can last though   :-)

Hope the heat turns down a bit before tomorrow though, sitting on the side of a cricket field when its a stinker (Aussie slang for hot) is not at all fun.  DH is finally been given the clearance to get back to his passion (cricket) after the surgery.

Have a great weekend

P.S Forgot to mention the other great thing with the weather - the washing dries SUPER FAST!!!!!  :-))

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

No crochet or knitting but Pixie's

Hi everyone
The weather has been so hot and humid over the last 5 days or so and very little crochet or knitting has been going on.  My hands are just too clammy.  So no updates on that front, cause I am not sure you would notice the difference.
South Australia is on a 'Red Warning' (or something like that) because of their heat wave. This means weather similiar to those in Victoria earlier this year where so many people, families, homes and neighbourhoods were so severely affected.  Let's hope that is not the case now.
So I will talk about an old book I have had from a young child.  Well the book was given to my sisters and me, but I am the reader, so somehow it has always been with me.
The book was given to me by "Aunt Ruby", who I believe was my grandmothers cousin.  Now I also know that someone was a house-cleaner for the author, Pixie O'Harris, not sure if it was Ruby or my Nan, Thelma.  I know that my Nan was forced very early into employment as a house-cleaner when her Dad died (her Dad died when she was 13 in 1930 and her Mum when she was 16 in 1933).  But I think in this case it is more likely to be Ruby because of the inscription in the book.
The Inscription reads
"For Ruby
a Xmas Gift in advance
with love
Pixie O'Harris
26 April 1960"

Here is the cover of the book with my shadow on the right.  I am not sure if a dustjacket was ever released with the book, but on prowling around web-sites, the few that are available are described similiarly to this.  So I believe no dustjacket.
So now you know the author - Pixie O'Harris.  A Welsh born Australian.  You can read more about her here.

One of my favourite stories is 'Rondel the Fair'.  I used to get so lost in the fantasy that I would forget everything and anything.  Love the drawings and the stories.  My escape valve!!
I believe the book was published in 1950.

My Aunt Ruby also gave this to us.  Also another Pixie O'Harris drawing, but with colour.  It is a real pity that someone bent the board.  But it has been like that for as long as I can remember it.  Used to always think it was of me.  So I am not sure when Pixie drew it.  I am guessing when she did "The Story of our Baby" which was published in 1940.

I am also lucky enough to have a copy of a photo of my Nan and Ruby taken in 1935
Thelma GAY & Ruby GAY

Bye for now

Friday, 13 November 2009

The Forgotten Garden

Hi everyone
So for the first time I am trying the new version of Blogger, lets see how it goes - it certainly uploaded the photo quickly.

I was a bit too quick to write yesterday about feeling better. 
As I mentioned yesterday was another scorcher and although some of my readers would like to join me in the warmth, I don't think they realise how very hot it was!!!!  As per normal with down-under, a few hot steamy days is only the prelude for the HUGE electrical storm that follows - very heavy rain, great electrical displays (beats a lot of fireworks) and loud thunder.  And of course the temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees today.  So in sympathy my head decided to explode - well not really, but that is only cause I was holding it together with my hands  :-)  Thank goodness that is a rare occurance for me!!!

I put a weather gadget on my site yesterday to show those from elsewhere what it is like here, but on checking what it had I will delete it today - not even close to what it really was like.

Now back to the book I promised yesterday - here it is


I have wanted to read this book for a while and kept putting it off - choice between yarn or book, and yarn had been winning until recently.  The other reason I put it off was that for the last few years I had only read history non-fiction books and did not know if I was ready to go back to fantasy.  But I so was ready!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  It reminds me of when I was a child and use to become thoroughly absorbed into the story so I would forget everything else.  A bit fantasy and a bit fact.  A very easy read, which just teases you along with interest.  The Authoress is an Australian - you can find more about her here.  I will definitely be on the look-out for her earlier book "The Shifting Fog" or for Americans "The House at Riverton".
After reading about Kate on the website, I knew she would have a love of the old children's books - that is what I kept thinking about when I wasn't reading her book.

PS - I have always kept wondering what The Garden Bell was on about with no spell-checker.  Well now I know - the new version does not have one!!!  Someone tell Blogger we need it!!!

PSS - A big thank you for everyone that left the lovely comments on AB Ripple Pillow both here and at Flickr - THANK YOU!!!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Red & Blue & Brown & ...

Hi everyone
I promised a show of the ripple pillow on Monday.
Well Mon, Tues & Wed just were off days for me, so it will just have to be today.

I actually finished the pillow on Friday. Another hand-made gift for Xmas and this will be a big test as its for DD1 and she has not seen any of the projects I have been up to.

So here it is, perched on my lounge, which luckily is in a similar colour as DD1's lounge ....

So although I was off-colour and could not concentrate on the Autumn ripple, I did manage to find my favourite reindeer - or in this case snow deer :-)))

I also made this for a gift.
Now there is a story to tell behind this yarn and I am so glad it is gone.
I bought the yarn a few years ago thinking I would make myself a simple singlet top. Cotton a great choice for summer and as it had texture I could knit it plain. Weeelllll ......... this yarn is horrible, I will never again go near textured yarn. In parts the cotton (I think it was a cotton mix) felt like string with bumps on it. It affected my tension badly, and then I noticed that my fingers were turning blue - the dye was coming out. But I kept going and finished the top - it was OK.
But then I found that it kept stretching and stretching and the dye kept coming out wash after wash. I gave it away in the end.
Now this is a washcloth. Not super soft, but ok. And at least the dye should run in the bath or shower :-)
Must warn the recipient :-)

And here is the start of the Autumn ripple - note to me I must start with looser chains when rippling!!!!!
For some reason I could not concentrate on the ripples over the last few days, so that is why I went back to knitting
I did do some reading in the off-time though, which I will save for the next post
Its another scorcher here today and there are fire-bans through most of my state. Need to keep cool
Bye for now

Friday, 6 November 2009

Look who turned up ....

Hi everyone
During a couple of hours of TV watching the Stargate series last night, look who I found ..........

Snowman washcloth, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

Frosty would be more familiar to those in the Northern Hemisphere than he is too me - but I do love him.

This was a quick knit to fill out some Xmas baskets with.

Please don't worry, the ripple pillow is progressing nicely, but has been held up waiting to get to Lincraft or Spotlight to pick up a pillow insert. Hopefully after the weekend it will make its debut

Well another overcast and slightly drizzly day - so perfect for crafting

Bye for now