Sunday, 30 December 2012

Holiday Making

Now the Christmas rush has passed we have had more time for leisurely crafting.  On boxing day we took off for some summer camping.  In the mornings we explored the surrounding area on our bikes, poked around in the dirt and swam in the VERY cold creek:







The afternoon heat was too fierce to venture out in so we hung out in the shade reading books and doing some holiday craft kits.

Before school ended I bought the book :Show me a Story by Emily Neuburger - craft projects and activities to spark Children's Storytelling.  Georgie spied it when it arrived in the post and has been pestering me ever since to make something so today at home we  used the river stones idea.





We painted them , then modgepodged pictures cut from fabric and magazines on to them ( fabric works best because it is flexible).  You'd be amazed at how much fun this proved ( and very amusing), Georgie delighted in us all making up stories based on the pictures.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Last Minute


I had a few quick items on my making list that I wanted to do.  Over the past weekend I managed to do just enough sewing , in between swimming and biking trips, to make these 3 items.

 
New Pj's for Georgie - I had intended to make these for the solstice but was a bit late , so she got to  open a present this evening and has worn them to bed tonight.
( Sew liberated blossom blouse and a pair of shorts to match cut off some old pj's).
 

 
 
A hat for my niece - she missed out last year so I made one for her this Christmas.  The bucket hat from oliver and S.  Always surprises me how easy it is to make.
 
 
 
Lastly an upcycled blanket into a cushion for a friend who is about to move to her new house.  This really was last minute - I was sewing it up at 2.30 this afternoon before she arrived for a Christmas eve meal with us.
 
I hadn't intended it to be so "Christmasy" but that's what I put together with limited time.
 
That's it - no more gifts to make, a salad to make in the morning for a lunch and then a day with family.  Forecast is for a hot sunny xmas day. One year I'd like to have a white xmas but Summer christmas is good too.
 
Merry Christmas

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Crafting

Last year I purchased a polystyrene wreath and this year I got around to covering it.

 



Basically a no sew project that took about 2 hours in total. ( I sewed a few scraps together when my scraps were too small).  I cut strips about 5cm wide and 1 m long then folded them in half lengthwise.  Then with a gluegun I stuck to the ring hiding the joins at the back.  Fabric roses were made with the glue gun also.  I just tied a knot in one end of the strip then wound the fabric around and around using the glue gun to secure as I went and another big blob of glue on the back of each fixed them to the wreath - easy.

The advent calender ( here), this wreath and the felt decorations for teachers were the 3 Christmas crafts for the year I wanted to do , anything else is a bonus. Four more days to go and as many social functions so maybe one or two gifts if I get time?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Last Week


Last week, this week - all turning into a blurr.

We have been doing a little making, a little biking and time is flying by.

Making:
 
 
Snow flakes and snow ballerina's. 
Georgie's skilll with the scissors has improved since last year and she really enjoyed this.  The large snowflake and the small one under the ballerina are hers with no help from me - pretty good huh.
 

 
 
Felt xmas decorations for another  teacher.
 
 
Biking:
 
 

A new  Birthday cruiser bike for me, with basket - not so sure the bike park is a great place for it but the basket totally rocks for local errands.
 
Hanging out:
 
 
Finally warm enough for a paddle in the lake.
 
 
 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Xmas decorations and Cameras

I have a new camera , ok confession I have two new cameras!

A panasonic DMC FZ200 which has a mega amazing zoom 25-600mm., f2.8 and looks like this:

 
The zoom is truely awesome - I was standing 3 m from the mirror when a took this shot . I had to clean the mirror as the camera kept focusing on the dust - how cool is that ( not the dust on my mirror, that is why it's a slighty fuzzy shot)


I'm excited and am just coming to grips with the basics of this camera.  We made xmas pine cone decorations.

 

 
These are the first play with the camera - in poor light - I think there is hope.
 
This is what the zoom can do
 
 
View from the couch
 
 
And zooming in  from the same spot on the couch  ( I know crappy photo composition but you get the idea).  Yep really excited about this zoom - can you tell?  I am hoping it is going to allow me to get much more natural shots of people without having to get right up close and stuff like that.
 
Now the second camera is a smaller panasonic DMC- LX7 which looks like this
 

 
 It's handbag size - I know a bit hard to tell in this pic, actually it's quite big handbag size but the FZ200 is a big camera , too big to put down inside my jacket front when I ski and to take biking etc .  So thats my justification for 2 cameras. This is small and takes fast shots but not much zoom. 
 
I decided to buy the same brand as only 1 system to learn .  The price of these 2 was pretty much the same as a digital SLR with interchangable lenses - which to be honest I didn't think I was quite up to photography wise.
 
Both of these are point and shoot or manual adjustment - so far so good.
I know excessive buying 2 new cameras - but hey I have a Birthday and xmas coming up.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Xmas gifts -Felt decorations

Sitting down to make these decorations was a good contrast to my hectic weekend.

 
 
 
The pattern for these decorations is from this book
 
 
I chose to hand stitch mine rather than machine the felt figures on -I like the unplugged chill out time making these gives me.
 
I'm thinking these will be a present for Georgie's teacher
 
 


Monday, 3 December 2012

Cranky

At some point in December I always end up feeling really cranky
 
On top of the whole xmas thing we have 2 birthdays in our house and I always feel as if I have some impending deadline. ( self imposed "to do" list before Dec 31st).
 
This year I have cut myself some slack - I'm not going to try to do the whole handmade gift thing this year  and my siblings and I are opting for a relaxed family BBQ for xmas day.
 
This last weekend was pretty busy:
 
Friday night - fun girls night out starting with tapas in a local bar ( 2am bedtime!)
Sat - early start to a Christmas Fete with girl friends a 2 hour drive each way - good fun despite pouring rain. I got home in time to go to pick up Georgie from a Birthday party at 5pm - as I walked in the door the father of the birthday girl greeted me with a glass of champagne and a cheese platter - oooh like their style!
Sunday morning I woke at 7am to a friends text - I had forgotten I had offered to help with a fund raiser Garage sale - so I leapt out of bed and went around to her house.  11 am I got home in time to take Georgie to a family fun day with crafts and luge rides etc.
 
Now for some silly reason I decided this was a good time to buy new shoes for Georgie since we were in town. We were both seriously cranky( she was on a post cookie decorating sugar high and I was just plain in need of caffeine) - she spent most of the shoe shopping experience either lying on the floor or leaping around the shop.  Eventually we walked out with a pair of shoes that were even in a half price sale = slightly less cranky mummy.  But really what was I thinking going shoe shopping with tired child.
 
You'd think I learn but after all this I had promised Georgie we would do todays activity from the activity "make xmas biscuits" when we got home. Actually this was a pretty good wind down for the day and we made these cute biscuits (cookies).
 

Ginger bread recipe with icing snowflakes made using a snowflake cutter - super easy and looks effective.
 
Yes  I did finish the advent calender:


Each day has a card in the pocket:

 
In the laundry cupboard was a new xmas DVD.
 
I have tried to mix up the days with making and giving things and a few pockets have little gifts, things like stickers and a treasure hunt to find a  xmas book .
 
Some advent ideas from ours are:
Go gold panning (easy local activity)
Go to the Museum
Take a day trip ( am planning something like a trip on a local steamship or similar)
Make paper snowflakes
Make xmas cards
Go on a bike trip
Wrap xmas presents
Write a letter to Santa
Watch a xmas DVD
Read a xmas book
Do something nice for someone ( am planning on cooking something and giving to neighbours)
Take a present for your teacher ( this is for last day of school)
 
Georgie loves getting up and reading the card each day, it is also helping speed up the getting ready for school process as she needs to be dressed and ready before she checks the card.  Don't you love 5 year olds - so honest - even though the cards are all there she never looks before the correct day.