Friday 28 December 2012

2012 in review

Thank you all so much for your comments to Charlie's post.  It was a lovely surprise for me to read her special words, definitely something to treasure!
2012 has been a good year and I have lots to be thankful for.  As I look behind at the year almost gone and ahead to the year about to start, I want to make sure I am always thankful and content with my lot: for my family and home; for my faith; for health; for children who are active and bright; for pets we love; for the peaceful country we live in; for the greenery and birds I see and hear around me each day; for the ability to make and create; I really do have so much to be thankful for.  I am also grateful for blogging and blogging friends.  As I don't have many friends who enjoy crafting in the way I do, I really appreciate all of you, my lovely blogging friends, for your inspiration, your encouragement and your kindness.  I look at the mosaic of things I made this year and lots of it is because of the inspiration I receive from the beautiful blogs I read.  Thank you! 
Another reason 2012 has been a good year is shown in the photos above.  One of the best things I have accomplished this year is to lose 16 kilos.  The first two photos are me on holiday in January 2012 and the last photo is me in November at my niece's wedding.  I feel so much better and healthier, more confident in how I look, and more at peace with myself.
For those interested, here are some of the things I learnt along the way:
  • It is more about what I eat rather than the exercise
  • Don't worry about the big picture, keep my eye on the next kilo to lose
  • Love fruit, a favourite lunch is a big bowl of fruit salad
  • Find snacks and treats I like, eg. popcorn, to replace the less healthy choices. 
  • Keep my eye on portion size, I really only need 1/2 cup of rice!
  • Don't be afraid to buy portion controlled food, e.g. snack pack sized bags of popcorn, mini chocolate bars
  • Weigh myself regularly, and keep weighing regularly to stay on top of small weight gains
Definitely another thing to be thankful for.  It really has been a great year :)
I'm enjoying playing with some little projects at the moment so I will be back soon to show you.  And I am planning my first giveaway so I will let you know about that soon too!  Wendy xx

Saturday 22 December 2012

Holiday crafts and Christmas thanksgivings :)

Hae everyone!!!
It's Charlie!!! I am now 16, and I have finished yr 11 in school this year, which is like old form 5...I think!!! It was a lot of work, but now its finished and I'm just awaiting the results for my exams. There's not a lot to do on holiday except read, watch movie's and help around the house. I'm not very good at the latter, something I need to work on!! But to fill in the time when I am not do any of those three things I have been crafting! Well, a little bit anyway :)
My best friends are both real crafty and they usually make me my Christmas presents. This year I thought I'd give it a go too. In one of mum's cool magazine's she buys there was a DIY friendship bracelet! I thought they were just so pretty and easy enough for even me that I'd try it! I think they actually turned out pretty cool, and I'm planning on making some more between now and Christmas!!!
I'm gonna give these to my friends on Christmas! Shhh, don't tell!
I've also done a bit of gardening to pass the time, something I almost never do! Since I was a little girl I have had a little garden of my own to look after. Sadly, for the past few years it has been shamefully neglected! But with all this time on my hands I decided to fix it up! It actually didn't take as long as I thought it would. I even managed to weed the corn bed in the vege garden! I'm very proud of it now, and I water it whenever I can be bothered. I already have some flowers!!!!

Purple is one of my favourite colours!
Three flowers on one plant!!!
The corn forest...

The other craft I invested my time in to was little button tree decorations. I'm not really sure where I got the idea, but me and my brother, Josh, tried our hand at Christmas ornaments! They are really very cute and mum even bought a little mini sparkley tree for them to hang on. I made a tree, a snowman, an angel, an elf and, of course, a Santa! All very Christmasssy! Josh made...a button Hulk...hmmmmm.
My little snowman and Christmas tree
Spot the button men!!!
Do you see the resemblance???
These holidays we all have gotten sick at one stage or another. None of us got sick in winter, but now that's it a bright warm summer, we all got something!!! Typical! However, even though mum has been sick too, she has worked soooooo hard with her part time job and house maintenance: something I think you are all familiar with!! Somehow though, she always finds time to help us out with our crafts, go shopping with us for the supplies we need and even bake us awesome things to eat! Last night, she made us these MASSIVE meringues, topped with whipped cream! Delicious! I don't see how she finds the time, but somehow she does!!!And I am soo thankful for it. I guess that's what mothering is really about!! This Christmas, I really wanna thank mum for all the time, tears and teaching (cheesy but true!) she has put into my childhood and for the support I know I will have as I go into my last years of high school and then in to the big-bad-world beyond. Thanks mum!!!

Merry Christmas everyone...and happy stitching :)
Charlie xx

Sunday 16 December 2012

A finish

Tis the Season quilt - designed by Natalie Bird
I have had a lovely weekend and am feeling really blessed:  a dear brother-in-law required surgery on Friday morning to remove a kidney after a tumour was found on it, and everything has gone so extremely well and he is recovering amazingly already; we had our Sunday School anniversary service this morning and it had such a lovely family feeling and went really well; I had a really nice end of year work outing on Friday and was even given a pedicure which is a first for me; and now I have finished a quilt which is pretty exciting for me as most of my finishes are smaller projects.  I do love this quilt and am happy to have it for this Christmas.  It was professionally quilted, mostly quilting in the ditch, but in the borders she quilted circles to copy the circle print of the border fabric.  All the fabrics I used are from Lynette Anderson's Christmas Fun fabrics.  And another thing to be happy about is that summer is definitely here, it is 25 degrees today.  Barney was on the deck while I photographed the quilt, I think he's looking a bit hot!  Wendy xx

Thursday 13 December 2012

Christmas Angel swap

Christmas postcard
Christmas decoration
Candle mat and framed stitchery
Applique wall hanging
Sewing supplies, Christmas tag, starter kit, something to nibble
Christmas sack
Oh wow, I have been so spoilt!  These are all the gorgeous gifts given to my by Lynne for the Christmas Angel swap.  I love them all and they are exactly to my taste.  She even gave me a Marg Low kit which I can't wait to make.  Thank you Lynne for your generous and wonderful gifts and thank you Karen from Mrs Martin's Quilt shop for organising such a wonderful swap.  Can you tell I am excited about my gifts? 
Below is what I made for Lynne:
Christmas postcard, tag and decoration
Framed stitchery
Applique wall hanging
Candle mat
Sewing supplies
Starter kit and something to nibble
Christmas stocking
Although at times it has been somewhat daunting sewing for someone else, it has also been lots of fun and Lynne and I had a giggle that we were on the same wave length for some of the gifts.  Whew, sorry for the picture heavy post but I thought such lovely makings deserved their own photos.  Right, I'm off to enjoy some of those chocolates with a cup of tea and then find homes for my beautiful new goodies, Wendy xx

Sunday 9 December 2012

Christmas crafting

Another fab weekend is drawing to a close.  I really appreciate a sunny weekend after a week of rain!  We have been enjoying some crafting here:  Charlie and I helped my Sunday School kids make these cute snowmen baubles with their own hand prints, the idea came from the Handmade Christmas magazine; Charlie has been making sweet button decorations so I bought a little tree to hang them on; I have started making Christmas Bon Bon's for gifts; and I made this yummy jelly slice which has been very popular and quite Christmasy looking.  The recipe was told to me last week and I will try to pass it on to you:

Jelly Slice:

  1. Mix a jelly packet with 1 Tbspn of gelatin and 1 cup hot water. Mix well and pour into container to set.
  2. Mix one can sweetened condensed milk with 2 Tbspns of gelatin, 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup boiling water. Mix well and pour half of mixture over the set jelly layer and set in fridge.  Reserve other half of mixture.
  3. Make another packet of jelly as in step 1 and pour over set condensed milk layer. Let jelly set in fridge.
  4. Once the jelly is set, pour the remaining condensed milk mixture over it and put in fridge to set.
  5. Make another packet of jelly as in step 1 and pour over and set.

You could make this slice in different colours to suit the occasion, perhaps your team colours, etc.  I hope my instructions are clear enough!

I got a lovely parcel on Saturday too, a wonderful gift from Donna for being part of her Farmer's Wife Quiltalong.  Thank you for your generosity Donna, I look forward to using the product you have given me.  Wendy xx

Thursday 6 December 2012


The past weeks have flown by and Christmas seems to be just around the corner.  I do love December and I love that little corners of our home are looking Christmasy.  Hopefully we will get our tree on Saturday, I love the pine scent it brings into the home.  The end of year happenings have started already, I do enjoy them but they certainly add to the feeling of business. I have also been busy working on Charlie's quilt and I am so happy that it is now complete, if only a flimsy.  I will get this professionally quilted so it will probably have to wait until the new year.  Charlie has also requested a cat-themed topper to go in her room so I have adapted a Annie Downs pattern and am using left over fabrics from Charlie's quilt.  And since I would still love to make some little Christmas gifts, I had better get started on them!  Wendy xx

Sunday 25 November 2012

A busy weekend

It has been such a lovely, sunny, busy weekend.  The perfect weather for a family wedding, the first of my nieces to marry and she was a beautiful bride.  Also the perfect opportunity for a family photo while we were all dressed up.  Saturday we were out for most of the day and then today also, with church and lunch at friends. It was so nice spending time with family and friends, I have such a lot to be thankful for.  And I have completed my Christmas Angel Swap gifts, yay! They are wrapped and ready for postage tomorrow.  By the way, I'm loving the sunshine and the roses in the garden at the moment too, Wendy xx 

Saturday 17 November 2012

Enjoying spring

You've got to love spring ... plenty of sunshine, catching up with the gardening, and enough rain too.  My father in law gave me a gift voucher in August and I finally spent it on the big polka dot teacup and planted it up with strawberries.  Yum, I can just imagine sitting on the deck and picking strawberries straight from the cup!  I have also been working hard  on the items for the Christmas Angel swap and am up to the wall hanging, the last thing to make.  I had made one but was unhappy with my finishing (sigh) so I unpicked it and added new borders and backing. But once again I was unhappy with my quilting and finishing (bigger sigh).  So, I scrapped that one and started a new wall hanging.  This pattern had appliqué,  paper-piecing and embroidery and I decided to make two; one for me to keep and to practice each step on, and one for the gift. I am loving how this one looks and I am getting close to finishing, in fact, I hope to get some more done on it tonight.  Then I just have the food gift to buy, which I am sensibly waiting until the last minute to get so it will make it to the postbox!  Wendy xx

Saturday 3 November 2012

A fab day and a finish

Washi dress - designed by Made by Rae
We have two teenagers in the house, Josh is 13 today!  As it is such a milestone, on Thursday we took Josh, Charlie and Josh's best friend and cousin, Sam, to Rainbow's End in Auckland.  It really was a fabulous day, perfect weather and so much fun.  I love days out together as a family; storing up memories of new experiences, laughing with each other, just enjoying the day with none of the usual rush, no rush at all.  I love recording it all with photos too and later putting them into albums.
As for my finish, I completed the Washi dress.  I added two little tucks in the neckline, which you can't really see in the photo, and this made it sit snugly against me instead of gaping.  Of course, if I had made a muslin first as the pattern suggested, I would have made this adjustment on the paper pattern instead of on the final dress!  I guess I could see this as my 'wearable muslin' and make another one sometime with better quality fabric.  This is a funny cotton, not as crisp as quilting cotton, and it sort of sticks so I prefer to wear it with a slip underneath. And I am quite tall so it is only just long enough so next time I would add a little more length.  However, it will be lovely and cool to wear in summer.  I have also dusted off Charlie's quilt and finished three more appliqué flowers, only two more to do!  Wendy xx