Friday, December 28, 2012

Sewists' Secret Santa Reveal!

My Sewists' Secret Santa arrived before Christmas, but I've been so busy. So finally today I got some time to arrange a photo worthy of the lovely things I was sent.
Because there was no return address, and it isn't a direct swap, I have no idea at all where my parcel came from! Whoever you are, thank you SO much, you totally nailed my tastes :)
My 'brief brief' was that I love things red and gold. Even the wrapping paper was in my colours!
I got two lots of red buttons - the card ones are relief roses with a rope style border, to die for. The little ones in the bag are pearl style, just gorgeous. There was also lovely gold and pearl trim, red sequins and a pretty post card. AND, just peeking out, a phial of red and gold seed beads.
My dear Secret Santa, I thank you so much. This little parcel is so huge with creative inspiration!
I will faithfully blog all the uses I put these precious things to :)

Christmas Bounty

We don't go in for present giving much as a family - it's more of a random thing if the mood takes someone. Therefore, I don't have many presents to share, but each one is very special in its own way:
A group photo. The serviettes in the middle are from my friend Pam, who has been like an aunty to me all my life. She is a quilter also and finds such delightful gifts that are related to the things we are both interested in.
My M-I-L gave me this diary featuring artworks and designs by Erte. WOW. I don't think she even realises how brilliant that is to me!!
A CD from my brother of Australian jazz singer Michelle Nicole singing songs by Mancini. Special because he is the guitarist on this album. And he has the inside running on this cover photo - apparently the gorgeous jacket was an op shop find for only $10. We are all in awe of her!! And she sings like a dream too!
That's him top right - Geoff Hughes. It's a little blurred, sorry. 
My very own ring pin cushion made by Mum the Embroidenator. A little gold elastic band holds it on my finger. I absolutely love it and it is so useful. It looks like a little crown.
My beautiful, clever niece, Zoe, made this calendar. It says, "Live a happy life! Live a colourful life! You should love your life. Of course, as most wise people know, you only get one!" At 10, she is a very wise soul!
I feel so blessed to be from such a creative family who give of their own creativity like this. It blows my mind!
And, lastly a bit of fun from my sister who saw this and couldn't resist:
Such a piece of art! Heehee!
Update: I found this clip on YouTube of Michelle: it's so beautiful! And big bro gets a look in too :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Well, it finally came, and happened. It was 30 degrees Celcius (86 Farhenheit) today, blazing sun and generally about as unsuited to a big meal as you can imagine!

This was our table back in 2009, but the lovely cloth is in service on our Christmas table in the shop, and we wanted to get the children involved. So, this year:

My nieces making crackers in hot pink, lime and orange, and cutting snowflakes out of wrapping paper. They are all getting so grown up, I can't call them children any more (Jess who is 18 next year took exception to me saying it, but they are growing up so fast!)
Some of the output of their labours

The table coming together. White paper table cloth - what a wonderful product it is! It also covered the buffet, and we have plenty left over. The Embroidenator made the cute glittery Christmas trees.
Dinner begins. I popped out of the kitchen to take this photo - only about half way through dishing up such a big group at this stage. My littlest nephew Peter has a keen eye for a camera!
And after all the food is eaten, the crackers pulled and the eaters dispersed, all that is left is carnage. The Embroidenator contemplating it all, and probably feeling the heat!
Jess made a gingerbread house. It is so beautiful, noone could bear to eat it!
The bunting was a great hit too. And I got a couple of very special presents I will share in another post.

Merry Christmas to you all, with much love from me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Bunting Factory

Several people have come into the shop asking if we sell bunting, because we have bunting over our front door. So, I figured I'd make some to help out with the last minute panic present buying.
Then on the way to work yesterday I had a brainwave. I could make bunting for all my nieces and nephews. And if anyone wanted to buy a string of it then they could and I'd just replace it.
So that's what happened. I did sell some too!
Here they are - eight strings of bunting, each one personalised to the recipient's tastes. It was the best fun making it!
All folded up ready to wrap. I used a herring bone trim for the tops. It comes in a range of colours and I think it really adds something to the look. A brass curtain ring at each end for hanging and that's it!
All wrapped and labelled. 
Just SOME of the resulting mess...
The herringbone trim, and a few unsewn flags. I made three extras for tomorrow.
I have so much to do before Tuesday, but I really wanted to give all the children a little something and this was a nice way to do it. And what's the point of owning metric tonnes of fabric scraps if you can't make fun things out of them!
I hope your Christmas making is going well, whatever it involves :)

So, after all that,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Non-Post and Things I Have Learned About Coffee Sacks

The Non-Post

This is a non-post! It's a shameful, sorry I've not posted anything about the fantastic preparations for Christmas post. It's the hole in the dough nut post.

My camera battery is dead and we cannot find the recharger, so I have no photos. It's a no photos non-post. Instead I will put up a photo I DO have:

A close up of the "traditional colours" ribbon basket on our Christmas display. There is also a browns/olives/oranges basket, a blue/white/silver/black basket, an entirely metallic basket, and a hot pink/purple basket. So. Much. Ribbon.

So, what with our throughput at work tripling, preparing to feed 25 people on the day, and working on a new venture at work that we need to get started on now before the holidays, I've not had much time to find the camera charger, or write proper posts. Sorry! :(

Things I Have Learned About Coffee Sacks

In spite of being so busy, as a result of befriending the owner of my favourite coffee roastery in town, I got given a sack of coffee sacks. I had an idea about making things for Christmas out of them. But being so busy, this huge sack just sat in my office being tripped over. After a while, I began to wonder where the awful smell was coming from. was there some kind of plumbing malfunction under the floor? Then I remembered the Sack. Poo, they stink. Not, as it happens, of coffee, but of fermented beans. Like if you left some mung beans to sprout and forgot to change the water. For weeks.

So, I took them home, and started to feed them through my washer and drier. This resulted in our apartment smelling of damp coffee sacks instead of dry ones. Erk. And now all our laundry also smells of coffee sacks. Erk squared. To the power of ten! And the damn ink ran on most of them.

So now they are hanging on the railing outside my front door, 'airing'. It is working! They now just smell of beans, which is quite a nice smell in small doses. I am hoping noone in the building decides to take offence to this disorderly bunting. Can I convince them it is a hipster Christmas decoration? We have a lot of hipsters, they probably think it is really cool to have coffee sacks draped all over the place.

That's me, when I recover from the barrage of people wanting to make their own crackers and wrap presents and make presents and get their tents and trailer tarps sorted for the holidays and all of the crazy muddle of projects we help out with every day, and find that darned charger, I will catch you up on the doings. I've also unearthed my summer wardrobe and realised how man makes I've not blogged about. So, I will get onto that. anyone would think I live in three garments and a bunch of bought stuff, so parsimonious am I about blogging my makes!
And, I am loving every minute of all this crazy :)

Mwah Mwah, soon!! xo

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Segment 2 starring my Second Burda 7396 make!

Christmas Crackers and a quick look at napkin ring finishes. I finished this version of Burda 7396 at a quilting retreat in the first weekend of December. No time for quilting, me! :) I love it sooo much. It is a heavy cotton with 5% spandex. Normally a fan of more dramatic colour schemes, I still fell hard for this neutral water colour rose pattern. A touch of pintucked linen for collar and tabs.
Unfortunately it was the only make from that weekend to work first time. The other need fixing. I hope to post about them soon. Tooroo!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas episode 1

Helloo again! This is our second segment. the husband tells me I do too many take offs of kiwi accent in this one. Not sure why. Nerves? Anyhoo, here it is.

A word about our Samantha. She is such a honeypie! We get on like a house on fire and she is so supportive, keeping an eye on me and making sure the action keeps going. I love working with her and I so appreciate her asking me to come and do this.
Two more to go before Christmas. All to do with making a great table setting for Christmas Dinner. :)

Pattern Pyramids and TV Segments

I am sorry I keep going so quiet! I am as busy as a Busy Thing from Busyville! The shop is pumping with people wanting to make presents or decorations for Christmas, and what with teaching and telly and serving and ordering and making Christmas cakes (5) and puds (9) I just haven't had time to post.
So, also you may have read about our recent Wellington Blogmeet, which all the other attendees have posted about:
Joy at A Charm of Magpies
Kat at Modern Vintage Cupcakes
Joanna at Making it Well
Juliet at The Crazy Gypsy Chronicles
Mel at The Curious Kiwi
Nikki at Nikki Stitches
Thank you ladies for posting about our date! It was fun! :) It also resulted in a Pattern Pyramid Scheme, and everyone but me has started a pyramid. My contribution is to alert you all to the other ones that are still open. Great takings to be had, do check them out!
On another note, my footage is finally on YouTube!
Our first segment - rushed, disorganised (they were running behind) but such fun!

Beginner's luck methinks!