Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Christmas Day is here!!!

For this special day, I wanted to leave you with a picture I took of a scene that was created by a very clever five year old... Amy.  She worked very hard to set up her mum and aunty's old Barbie dolls complete with the dolls house furniture so that there would be a magical setting underneath the Christmas tree.

In my opinion, she was totally and utterly successful.

Merry Christmas all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12 - Cruise to Fiji

Decoration 12 - my cruise to Fiji

This was my most recent holiday - Sept/Oct 2014.  After a very busy and quite stressful year this was my treat to myself.  I should do a post about this holiday and put up some pics because it was a great time.

It was only mum and I and lots of rest and no pressure to do anything, but we met lots of great people, and already by chance knew some people from a previous holiday - honestly, Australia is just one big community of friends!!!

Only one sleep to go!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

11 - I've always found Harrods quite wonderful

Decoration 11 - Harrods 2013

I apologise for the blurry photo.  I don't know that I could ever go to London without a visit to Harrods.  The last time I went, I had a little adventure to get there, but it was definitely worth it.

If it's not wonderful enough by itself, Harrods goes and has a special Christmas section which I believe is all year round (although I have only ever been in Sept/Oct funny enough). I'm so pleased that I have this decoration along with other Harrods decorations I have from previous years.

Two sleeps to go!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

10 - If I went to Hogwarts I know I'd be in Gryffindor

Decoration 10 - Harry Potter Studios London

I'm sure I've already previously said this on here - if you like the HP books and films, and even if by some freakish chance you have never even heard of Harry, Ron, Hermione or JK Rowling... you could still have loads of fun and get tons of enjoyment out of going to the studios just outside of London.

Just like everything to do with the books, it is so very British, very well set out, quite educational and gives you a real insight into the making of the films in which the cast literally grew up in front of our eyes.

Three more sleeps!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

9 - Nadolig Llawen

Decoration 9 - Welsh Red Dragon

I didn't get to spend too much time in Wales when I was in the UK, but what I saw of it was stunning. I absolutely love that they have their own language.

Nadolig Llawen! (Merry Christmas!)

Four sleeps to go!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

8 - Irish Love

Decoration 8 - Irish love angel

My absolute favourite part of Ireland was Belfast, Northern Ireland and seeing my cousin and his wife.  It was definitely one of the top highlights of my last trip.

Five sleeps till Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

7 - Irish Hope

Decoration 7 - Irish hope angel

I will always remember visiting Blarney Castle and kissing the stone, yes, a pretty cool highlight, but probably my favourite part of that experience was exploring the gardens - because I somehow felt a connection to my family back home. 

Six more sleeps until the big day!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

6 - Irish Peace

Decoration 6 - Irish peace angel

Another fun memory of Ireland was our medieval dinner at Bunratty Castle.  What a hoot, and I've probably mentioned this, but for a girl who has become somewhat obsessed with medieval times, it was like being part of a pretty awesome storybook.

Seven sleeps until Santa comes!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5 - Irish Joy

Decoration 5 - Irish joy angel

I have four angels from Ireland, so I thought I'd share four memories.  First one is The Giant's Causeway which was unique to anywhere I've ever been before.  Quite possibly one of the windiest places I've been - although another beautiful but equally windy place was also in Ireland - The Cliffs of Moher!!

Eight sleeps until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

4 - Bonnie Scotland

Decoration 4 - Scotty Dogs

I was so excited to find this decoration. So Scottish and soooo cute.  I did very much like Glasgow, but I was entranced with Edinburgh.  What an incredibly historical and immensely interesting city.  It's on a long list of places I would love to go back to if I can!!

Nine sleeps till Chrissy!

Monday, December 15, 2014

3 - Birthplace of a poet

Decoration 3 - Stratford upon Avon Christmas shop 2013

This was one of the first stops I had after leaving my friend in London to tour around her beautiful country.  The decoration is literally a replica of the shop it was bought in.  I had to get it because it had the year on it - and that is always helpful when you are reminiscing years later.

There are ten sleeps until Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

2 - Kiwi Kristmas

Decoration 2 - New Zealand Kiwi

This decoration is from my trip to New Zealand in October 2012. I was doing the 365 photo project that year so I didn't do much blogging.  I should do a post about that trip too because it really was a great holiday - and NZ is an amazingly beautiful country.

There are eleven sleeps until the jolly man in red comes to visit!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

1 - Christmas countdown 2014

Decoration 1 - The BIG pineapple, Queensland Australia

I know the 12 days of Christmas are actually meant to be the 12 days starting from Christmas Day until 5th January.  However I thought it might be a bit of fun to do a Christmas countdown with 12 decorations I have picked up in my travels in the last few years.  (I don't think I have featured them on here before).

You might have already seen, that one of my favourite things to do when I travel is look out for Christmas decorations - they truly are the best souvenirs as they only come out once a year and at the time of year when I tend to get all soppy and sentimental.  I've always found it a nice time of year to remember some of the great holidays and experiences I've had.

So my plan is to post a decoration a day until Christmas with a memory or highlight from each place. The first one is the memory of visiting the Big Pineapple up on the Sunshine Coast.  It was fun, but the best part about it is thinking of the special people we went there with.  xoxox

You know, there are now only twelve sleeps until Christmas Day.  It will be here before we know it!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fairy garden

My gorgeous niece Amy is quite a fan of fairies.  For her birthday I was going to buy some little fairy garden accessories from a website in America.

I spent an hour looking through the site and selecting very cute little items which were all very reasonably priced.  I went to the online checkout, only to find the postage was two times more expensive than the items I had chosen!!

Needless to say, I couldn't justify such extravagant postage, so I backed out of the sale and decided to give fairy garden accessories a go from scratch.

I went to Bunnings and bought air drying clay, a couple of paints and some wire.  Then I got to work making little mushrooms, houses and accessories like pots, a bridge and bird houses.  It was harder than I thought, but at the same time, playing with clay is quite therapeutic.

Once it had all dried, I painted them, added glitter (as you do), and then found some little places to scatter them in the garden.

Amy has eagle eyes, so she spotted them straight away.

Not as cute as some of the fairy gardens you can find out there, but they do bring a little bit of charm and magic to the garden. :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mosaic heart photo canvas

When I did the house renovations last year, there was one thing in the kitchen that caused me a bit of a dilemma.

Mum had this photo board that was literally just a cork board with a stack of photos pinned to it.  Although it was messy and the photos were all bent on the edges, it was a board that everyone was drawn to.  Some were photos that people had sent us in Christmas cards, when their babies were born or when they'd gotten married.  Some were pics of when we were kids and a couple of pics from when we met famous people.

I tried to find a photo of the board from front on, but unfortunately it wasn't something that we took any photos of.  You can see it from the side in one of the 'before' pics from the renovations.

As you can see, the pictures didn't exactly sit flat.  I really didn't think it was going to look any good to stick the daggy old board back up after all the improvements.

Anyway, I was reluctant to completely get rid of it because it had been such a talking point.  People gravitated to it and loved picking out people, reminiscing about old times and just generally having a look.

Funny enough, many years ago we actually had a guy visit the house for the first time.  He looked at the photo board and spotted himself in the background of a photo!!  He'd been at the same camp years before, but we didn't meet him until years later.  Talk about small world!!

So in my ample spare time, I decided to scan all the photos and put them together somehow into a mosaic.  Then as I was playing around with the scanned images, I noticed that it has sort of started taking the shape of a heart.  Once I saw that heart shape in my mind, it was locked in.

Then when I was nearing completion and wondering how I was going to print out this heart shaped mosaic, an email popped into my inbox about a half priced canvas for Christmas.  I didn't hesitate and uploaded the mosaic to be printed on the canvas.

Personally, I think it looks pretty good.  It's still a talking point, but unfortunately it can't be added to or amended.  But it looks great in the new kitchen and mum absolutely loved her Christmas gift too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

13 happy things

The other day I was out shopping and I came across the cutest cards that were apparently designed by Taylor Swift.  I loved all the cards, but I couldn't put down this one and had to get it.

It is so sweet and lists 13 very happy things.  I decided to buy a frame and put it in my place to make me smile.

If you want a closer look, go to the link above, otherwise I'll list the 13 things that make me and Ms Swift happy:
  1. fireflies - I am a little obsessed with fireflies, especially since as far as I am aware, I don't think they have them in Australia.
  2. music - one of life's necessities, need I say more?
  3. sparkly glitter - glitter makes anything look better.
  4. home - it's where the heart is!
  5. surprises - not always, but most of the time surprises are good.
  6. worn in boots - worn in shoes in general are good, but worn in boots are that little step better.
  7. sundresses - if only they could be worn all year round.
  8. friends - I probably would have put this higher on the list, but I'm not sure that they are in a particular order.
  9. cheesecake - one I possibly could leave off... that is until I think about The Cheesecake Factory and then realise it is definitely a happy thing.
  10. kittens - I think I'd prefer puppies, but kittens are damn cute too!
  11. walks in the park - agreed. But then walks anywhere are true too.
  12. daisies - yes, yes yes!
  13. your birthday - well it is a birthday card after all. But again, I would say I do like celebrating birthdays with people, so it again is true for me!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Always time for tea

It seems like absolutely ages since I did a cross stitch post.  To be honest, I haven't really done too many since Mia's birth sampler well over a year ago.  But I have still bought cross stitch magazines and many of them have little projects on them, so I decided to do a few.

I absolutely loved this little teacup cross stitch - that came in a kit with issue 202 of "The World of Cross Stitching" magazine.   Not only was there the chart and threads, but also the cute little hanger and even the ribbon.

It was the perfect little project for me because as you know, I love cross stitching and I also love tea and tea parties!!!  Funny thing is, while I was stitching it, I thought of a friend at work who is way more tea obsessed than I am.  So once I was done, I gave it to her.

I also thought of taking a photo of the back - which I sewed (not well), a little bit of calico to so that you can't see the messy back.

The Commonwealth Games are on at the moment.  It is making me think about my trip to Scotland last year as I remember being in Glasgow and seeing all the signs for the games and thinking, when they finally happen, this trip will feel like a lifetime ago... sure enough, I was right!!!

Hope you're having a fab weekend!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mothers Day High Tea

I know it has been over a month since Mothers Day. I am very slack with uploading stuff these days.  But I did make a bit of an attempt to do a nice morning tea for mum and my sister who are both pretty darn good mothers.

I made some delicious lemonade scones with jam and cream, had yummy brewed tea and some yummy chocolates.

If you look hard enough in the top left corner of the above photo, you can see a photo taken at a mothers day... possibly about 10 years earlier in which my sister and I did a similar tea party with all the best china for mum.  We had to take that photo with a tripod!

I did use my good tea cups for this one, they are all different.  But I also have some very cute melamine plates which I got out for the kids to use.  They also had cute little expresso cups and I made them some warm frothy milk.

The melamine plates were from two different places, but they strangely go really well together.  I got the two floral ones from one of my favourite places on earth, Cath Kidston when I was in the UK.  And the others are blue plaid melamine with a very cute edge - Australian House and Garden from Myer.

The kids were just on their best behaviour, so not only was it yummy, but it was also enjoyable as they were sitting up and being so good... it's almost like they knew it was a bit special.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A special place

I love walking around my neighbourhood, however there is a park that I always try to avoid.  I avoid it for no other reason than I once received some bad news (on my mobile) as I was walking through it.  Since then the memory of that news comes back to me every time I walk through/past/near the park.

Last weekend I went for a walk and almost without thinking I found myself on the edge of the park. I hesitated at the edge and then decided I would walk through as it was 1. A very hot day and the park is nice and shady and 2. Silly of me to continue avoiding a park because of an unhappy memory.

To make a long story short I am so glad I did.  I spotted a sign I had never seen before, so I headed over to have a read.  It might seem pretty simple, however while reading it, I felt a range of emotions - it made me smile, laugh, sad and proud.

The sign notes that although today the park is a place for play, for many years it was a place for learning and it was the location of the first school in the area.

The school opened on 27 April 1875 (blow me away!).  It was made out of blue gum and stringy-bark timber and of the 27 children who were the first students in the school - several were from the families of Shumack, Smith and Southwell - all well known streets in the area.

A closer look at the photo on the sign - the first students along with their teacher Mr Ewan Cameron.  Their gorgeous school house behind.

The part that gave me goosebumps was where it mentioned the beautiful tall pine trees that are still scattered among the park today.  The first 11 it says were planted to commemorate 11 former students who enlisted in WW1.  As I read this, I looked back up at the trees and saw 11 tall and proud pines - which reminded me of tall, proud soldiers.

What a lovely and meaningful thing to put in a park.  I loved reading about the history of my area - realising the street names that I have taken for granted for many, many years have a greater significance to the area.

This park now has a new memory attached to it.  Thank you so much to who ever organised it to come about.  (ACT Government / Weetangera School / Canberra Tracks / Belconnen Heritage).  Good work!