Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Has Passed

for another year at least :)

We spent a lovely time with our families. Lots of fun was had, including....

Fishing with Poppy, and catching 4 fish (especially boast-worthy as Poppy is a fisherman and caught none!)

Lots of swimming as it was nice and hot.

Collecting the eggs for one of their great Grandmas.

Growing magic trees (a present from Santa).

Giving Poppy a haircut.

Tree climbing and piano playing.

And going out for yummy coffees!

And that was just a few of the things we got up to!


p.s. A huge thank you to my husband for the photo's as I didn't seem to take very many at all.....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Only 3 More Sleeps

Christmas is nearly upon us.

The presents are all finished and wrapped. I can't share any photos as my family read my blog, so I will share them after they have all been received.

I must say though, the older I get, the more joy I get in the giving. I love making or even buying, a present that you can't wait to give to the recipient.

So all stay sane, and be merry and enjoy Christmas - I am looking forward to spending it with my family.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Eva's Shawl

After seeing the gorgeous shawl that Tracy made here, I was inspired to make one too. Despite the fact that I haven't managed to crochet much beyond a granny square and a few misshapen motifs.

The pattern is from here. It is just lovely.

I used 4 balls of 50g Moda Vera Faith from Spotlight as it was only $2 a ball, and I didn't want to use expensive stuff in case I got bored or really struggled with the pattern. I can't remember the composition of the wool, and I have put the tag in a safe spot. They only had 2 balls at my local store in the cream colour, so when I realised I was going to need more, I rang around to find some more. The only store that did was on the other side of the city, about a 40min drive one way..... Luckily for me, DH was headed up that way for work and was able to pick 2 more balls up - though I wish I had asked for 3, as I didn't have quite enough to finish the 2nd row of edging. It was also a different dye lot, but it isn't too different (one benefit of being new at something - you don't mind quite so much!) But it still looks pretty, and was quite warm.
I used a 4mm hook, as this was the biggest I had in my stash - I have since acquired some larger ones to make another shawl at some point.

I wanted it to wear for the wedding last month, and I got it finished the night before - so it hasn't been blocked, though I have no idea how to do that yet either :)

I used a big pin to hold it together (please excuse the very tired face - it had been a long day).


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

We gave the teachers gifts early this week, as DD's main teacher will be away for the last week of school.

I am really into trying to give useful and consumable gifts at the moment, mainly fueled by the feeling that my house/life is too cluttered. I really don't want to give a gift that either, won't get used or is just going to take up space and the recipient finds annoying.

So this year I made some lanyards for DS's teachers, as they carry their keys on them for easy access.

DD's teachers I made key fobs for, as they don't use lanyards.

Not content to leave it just as that, I made some biscuits and some truffles. Biscuits I have done many times, but it was my first time making truffles and I read so much that I was totally confused. Some places said you could keep them for up to a month, others said no more than 3 days. In the fridge/definitely not in the fridge - argh! So I did my usual take on things and went my own way.

I followed the advice of some, slightly boiling the cream, and coating them in chocolate (apparently this is NOT how real truffles should be, but tough, I needed them to last and be a little more foolproof).

Lets just say - they worked! And were totally scrumptious! They passed my 3 taste testers with flying colours and requests for more lol

I think the teachers appreciated the gifts, and I hope they found them useful.

All recipes are from here. I used Baileys Truffles, Dark Chocolate & Rum Truffles, Lemon Poppyseed Swirls and Cranberry & Pistachio Biscuits - though I swapped the pistachios for walnuts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wedding Outfits

Last weekend, my husbands sister and her fiancé got married. They had asked for us all to be in the bridal party, so I set to work planning to make the kids outfits. The first place I looked for patterns was Ottobre (of course!).

I wanted to match DD's dress colours as close as possible to ours, but man, that was hard work! The choice of colours just didn't seem enough. But I managed to get them pretty close, and the end result was just gorgeous! Both fabrics were a taffeta - but it wasn't a heavy taffeta - quite light actually. The underskirt was just bridal tulle. Pretty much the only changes I did was to leave off the bow on the dress, and the ribbon on the underskirt (oh, and forgetting to read the instructions and mucking up how to attach the bodice lining to the skirt - woops!)

DS's outfit was a little more complex; jacket, pants, shirt, vest and tie! I used black linen/cotton for the suit - it was a dream to sew. Stretch cotton poplin for the shirt, again, a dream to sew. The vest and tie were from DD's fabrics to match. Changes to DS's outfit were to lengthen the pants from 3/4 to full length. I also lengthened the sleeves on the jacket as he has monkey arms lol. The one problem I did run into, was that I made the patterns in a size 128, then remeasured DS, I really should've gone up a I told he wasn't allowed to grow until after the wedding....thankfully he didn't - but it won't be an outfit he wears again, except for maybe the pants because I left them a bit long and they can always be converted to shorts later.

They were both so excited to be part of such a special day and were so well behaved. DD loved getting ready with us, and being able to wear a little bit of makeup for the day. And doesn't she look gorgeous with her hair curled! And DS spent the day doing 'boy' things and getting ready with the big boys.

Patterns used were:
Dress - #19 3/2008
Underskirt - #20 3/2008
Jacket - #27 3/2006
Pants - #29 2/2004
Shirt - #21 3/2009
Vest - #20 3/2009
Tie - #22 3/2009

Don't we look all spiffy dressed up! :)