Wednesday, 29 December 2010

summer holidays :: will the fish bite?

gone fishing

They have been bursting to go fishing for such a long time now, and all ideas of taking them to the pier at Mordi have come to nothing, so it was nice to see them all trundling off ready to drop a line in.

getting his line wet

waiting for a bit

I would love to say that they caught us dinner for that night {which was definitely what Angus' intention was} but alas, not a nibble. They did catch some rays, and were pretty good at standing there waiting for something to happen, but really we were just there for the experience {the serious fisher-types around here head out in the boat, or on the rocks at night when the tide is right, and they do bring in a tasty feed for dinner}

finding other distractions

While they were all busy, Mia and I found other things to entertain ourselves {clearly I was the one behind the camera}... and soon enough they'd had enough too and found their was in.

fishing done... now where's the fun?

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas 2010

christmas 2010

A late{ish} decision found us hosting Christmas this year, so it was with only a few weeks to spare that I really got into the spirit of things ~ you've seen some of the decorations that we've made, but I also made meters and meters of garland for the dining room, lounge, and A&D's room {at A's request}. The garland was made using white paper, red card, and some recycled paper, circles all cut with a 1¾"punch; they were all then sewn together on the machine with red thread on top and white in the bobbin... a very fun activity for all of us {the older kids put the circles under the foot of the machine while I manned the peddle}.

Come Christmas eve, the halls were decked {in a manner of speaking} the presents were wrapped, and we were right to go... I'd had so much fun in the lead up that I mentioned to Cam that I was a little disappointed that Christmas was here already, I could have kept this up for another week or two, I'm sure.

so many presents

When we awoke on the 'day' any melancholy was quickly forgotten as the excitement from our little ones was almost palpable. They were so good about waiting until Nanna and Grandpa arrived though, but as soon as they were given the all clear, the all encompassing unwrapping began... and it was fun! So many presents, and such happy kids, exactly what my Christmas was like as a child.

she thinks it's hers too.

After the presents were opened, things calmed down a notch, and we spent a pleasant day with family. We were able to christen our new dining table {which seated 8, and all of the Christmas food, comfortably} while the kids christened Mia's new 'kid table' with their lunch.

christmas lunch


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

little gifts

I went out to dinner with my knitting girls last night, the wrap up of another wonderful year of friendship and connection, and as such there was some thoughtful and lovely gifts exchanged.

My contribution?...

gifts

a{nother} glass bauble, this time with a crochet star and fizzy glitter.

gifts

I have really enjoyed making these baubles as gifts this year, as they are so perfect for personalising and making into something really special to treasure ...

and of course, to my lovely ladies, thank-you for your gifts but mostly thank-you for being the wonderful friends that you all are to me... looking forward to doing it all again next year {especially the weekend away!!}

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

handmade

handmade star 2010

handmade snowflake

crochet star

handmade decorations

I decided to make all of the decorations for our tree this year, partly because our cheap and tacky baubles really have had their day, and partly because I wanted something that meant a little more to us as a family, and partly {enough already} because I loved the cover of the December issue of Country Style and decided that I could do something similar myself.

inspiration

drying...

It's very easy, if you would like to try something similar yourself. A block of jovi air drying clay from spotlight {or riot} and some cookie cutters. I rolled out the clay, cut with the cutters and poked a hole through with a metal skewer... then I decorated some of them with the end of a ball point pen {minus the pen tip} and sat them flat on some baking paper to dry. I turned them every few hours, because they had a tendency to curl and after 2-3 days {it's been cold here} they were finally dry enough to sand the jaggy edges and coat one side with high gloss mod podge on some, and sparkle up some of the others with glitter. I used nylon quilting thread {or invisible thread} to hang them.

I'm very happy with my tree and hopefully all of the ornaments will store okay for future years.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

gifts for our kinder friends

oh why oh why do I always leave my teachers gifts until the last possible moment?... I've had the idea for months but when I sat down yesterday afternoon to execute the idea... disaster! I wanted to make little zippy pouches with hand-draw pictures on the lining by my kids, but it just didn't happen... my pouches were too small and didn't fit the stationary that I had bought, and the kids were tired and grumpy and were in no mood to decorate the lining, all ready for gifting this morning. sigh.

christmas gifts

packing for friendstonight's job...

Certainly not all was lost though, I did make five dozen shortbread christmas trees... and packaged them, and wrote and attached gift cards {at knitting} for the lot. These were all distributed at kinder this morning, one for each kinder friend in Angus and Daisy's groups.

and while doing all this packaging, my mind was a whirr with ideas for last minute teachers gifts... saved by this amazing girls idea...

teacher gifts

wrapped

Angus and Daisy drew a little picture for each of their teachers, then I made a couple of tiny 'pencils' for each bauble... I think that they came up beautifully, and hopefully each teacher will appreciate them too.

before :: awaiting my 'magic'after :: a little of my own 'magic'

Now I'm off to work a little more 'magic' on the rest of my house....

Saturday, 11 December 2010

shingle christmas trees

shingle christmas trees

making

Thank-you for all of your kind comments about my Advent calender... I'm still in the Christmassy making mood, and have been making these {really} easy little christmas trees today; again from things from the stash...

You can find the tutorial here.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Advent

advent :: on the wall

I could start by pointing out how my advent is a little bit late, but really, the truth is that it is a lot more late than a little... I have been meaning to put together some sort of advent calender for the last three christmases, and each year I miss my chance and vow to have it ready for Christmas next year.

Well again this year I'd not done a thing about it when December 1 rolled around, and truth be told, I wasn't all that fussed... I wasn't even ready for Christmas yet.

Then on Tuesday morning, I fronted up to the local Council clinic to have the girl immunised and while waiting in the {wrong, long story} foyer, Angus vomited. I couldn't work out who had done it right away, and was quite relieved that it was Angus, as that meant that I could still get the girls imm's done {sad, but true}... I'm not going to go into the gory details of shots and gastro, but as it turned out whatever he had was pretty mild, so we just ended up home for a couple of days while he lolled about on the couch feeling 'not quite right'.

Now it's not often that I get a couple of home days in a row, so while reading through a christmas magazine an advent caught my eye... and so it began...

advent :: 2 & tree (get it?)

2 & tree {get it?}

advent :: 4&5

advent :: 13 & 14

advent :: 18&19

advent :: 21

advent :: 24th christmas angel

I stitched, and beaded, and cut, and visualised, and rummaged, and traced, and finally... after many, many hours of creating I had my very own advent calender... to be hung proudly for every Christmas, on December 1!

advent

... and one of the most impressive things?... I made it entirely {well except for rudolph's nose} out of things from my stash.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

the complete write-up {be warned!}

secret entrance

We went to the best party today!

One of the girls in Daisy's kinder class invited all of the girls to her 4th birthday at Fairyfields, the invitation said to come dressed as a fairy {I checked, only kids need dress up *wink*} ... considering that Daisy had also attended a kids party yesterday, I decided to keep it from her until we were in the car {and her brother & sister safely in the other car, heading on a fun adventure of their own}.

When we got there, we walked in to find a little retail shop it had a table for six up the front, and was filled to the rafters with fairy paraphernalia and quite a selection of other toys {but primarily fairy stuff, costumes, books, bags, you-name-it...} up the very back was a mirror... so I'm standing there thinking, good-lord where are they going to fit a kids party in here, and all the Mum's {this could be very interesting}

After having a browse around the shop, and awaiting most of the other little fairies guests, the kids were rounded up by a big fairy who took them for a little walk around the store to the magic mirror {i'm still thinking, is this it?...} then she brought the kids over to stand near me and says "can anyone see something big and purple?" {the kids all look around blankly, and I'm looking at the lady-fairy in the purple dress behind the counter, thinking is that the big purple thing?!?} ... again she says, "can anyone see something big and purple?" {?} then she turns around and against the wall is a big purple gentlemans wardrobe {don't know how I missed that} so she's got the gaggle of fairies all waving their fingers around and saying 'magic' words and she opens the door to the wardrobe...

through the closet door

Lo-and-behold {and on the second opening, first time the magic didn't work!}{!} there is a couple of red carpeted stairs and you can walk through the wardrobe into a secret hallway behind...

in the secret hallway

So in creep all of the fairies, and sit down in the hallway for a little chat... next thing the big fairy lead them into a gorgeous 'enchanted forrest' where they all sit down on wooden logs, completely taken with all of the amazing details around them...



mesmerized

fairy chamber

I left them at this point, but I believe that there were fairy stories and games being had... meanwhile I was out the front buying a few fairy treasures of my own {they may, or may not, appear under the tree in a few weeks} and enjoying a fruit platter and a chat with the other Mum's {at that table at the front of the store}...

party food

By the time that I joined them again, they had moved on to the 'undersea garden' where they were enjoying party food and a few simple games... all of the kids were still so quiet and mesmerized {maybe the big fairy had used her magic? ~ apparently they had all waggled their fingers again to change the lemonade from clear to pink ~ ooooohhh}... they also sang the birthday song and enjoyed the cake... soon though it was time for the big fairy to move them along...

hidden door

to a secret door that lead into a secret tunnel...

what's there?

entering

and down a slide out to the {you guessed it} ... fairy garden!

fairy garden

treasure

There was a running around game where they all found the treasure that was hidden, then they all went looking and found the big treasure chest, which was filled with chocolate {gold} coins and each child was given one by the party girl... they then threw their gold wrappers into the well {genius!} and made a wish... then is was time to finish up and they were all lead back through the magic hallway and back into the shop ready for their party bags and good-byes.

Dear me! I think that I had nearly as much fun as Daisy {and I feel about four years old}, and if you are local and have kids in the right age range {they offer boy parties too} then I can highly recommend... it was 'super cool' and {when compared to the price of having a party at home, monetary, mentally and physically} it was really reasonably priced... I can see another party here sometime in my future.

If you are so inclined, there is a little video here to give you a better idea of the party room lay-out...

Saturday, 4 December 2010

some thoughts about starting school

Having my first child start school is a big thing, in fact having any child start school is a big thing, I think that having my youngest {last} child starting school is going to be, nevermind... I don't want to think about that! Anyway, for these last few months we have been entrenched in the finishing of his kinder year {putting together transition statements, talking to his teacher, etc} and getting him {and us} ready for the start of his school life.

{pre}prep

He has taken part in a {pre}prep program at the school that he will be attending, and has taken that all in his stride; his biggest complaint?... "all the other kids get to wear their uniform, why can't I?" We told him that it was because we are saving it until he starts 'real' prep next year, the 'real' reason was that we only picked it up last week, and there was no way that I was going to let it get worn and possibly wrecked before we have even started the school year... of course, I also want to see him starting his very first day of school in an immaculate uniform; it's probably the first and last time that will ever happen.

So while all of this stuff has been new and exciting for him, I have also been surprised by how much mental energy it all takes, there's the building level of excitement about him starting this new phase, then there's trying to get my head around the logistics of it, when do we need to be there, what is the starting day procedure, what uniform do we need, how do we pay for that, when do we get his school shoes, what school lunch box should we use... then I have to remember to breathe....

lotsa labels

I think that I have done as much as I can for now, we've ordered {and received} labels for his clothes and belongings, we have the school uniform hidden in our wardrobe, I've been to every seminar and information night on offer, I've spoken to other Mums, and I've maintained an upbeat demeanor when talking to Angus about school. So now, I think that it is time for me to turn to other things, making presents for much loved kinder teachers, squaring away Christmas shopping, and {soon} decorating the house in preparation for Santa's coming, and trying to get into that Summer feeling... and trust that when the time comes, we are ready. It will be okay.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

custom job

four
you can see the inside here

On Monday I found myself hovering in front of the card stand in the supermarket, contemplating which cards I would purchase for a couple of kids parties that we have been invited to this coming weekend... when I realised that what I really wanted was one of my Mum's* custom made {with love} cards.

I rang Mum with a {very} brief, and today I collected the most perfect pair of cards... the fairy above is for a fairy party and {although you can't see it in the photo} she has the most gorgeous sparkles on her wings and hair, very iridescent... and for our boy party, the most perfect boy card imaginable...

five

inside

I just know that the recipients are going to love these... thanks Mum, they are perfect!

* card maker extraordinaire