Monday, December 27, 2010

Phew - So that was Christmas!!!!!

And how lovely it was:)
Presents were wrapped and around the new tree...
It had all just got too exhausting for Pippa on Christmas Eve and those stockings were just so comfy!
Could be cos we had been flat out trying to finish this for a Christmas day present!!!!! I think she thought she was camouflaged!!!!!!
FInished, bound and quilted before midnight!
And the jandal buttons on top of the tree were just perfect. This present was for the Canadian mum of my brother-in-law who is over for the summer, and who I was buying for in our family Christmas present "draw". Having been to her house I know it is decorated in black and white, and prior to doing our Christmas "draw" peeps were asked to give three words that meant something to them. Carol put down New Zealand, family and 'Kiwi' (the name of her very precious dog). So.......
I made Kiwi her own snuggly polar fleece blankie complete with her appliqued name and pawprint. And if you look closely inside the pawprint I have cut out the shape of the kiwi bird. Carol thought that was kinda neat, and thinks Kiwi (the dog) is going to love her snuggly blanket.
Rugby jerseys I made for each of my nieces and nephews. Next year is the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand so the idea is that our families will be able to get together to watch some of the All Black games on TV and the kids can wear their shirts!!! The red ones are for my Canadian brother-in-laws family! I appliqued all the letters.
My ingenious presentation of a clothing voucher for Mal!!!
Sam's Christmas Eve revelry caught up with him just after lunch - these young 'uns - no stamina!!!!
Mal enjoying the fruits of his (and other peeps) Christmas cracker treats!
My clever husbands work - he made this for his brothers present. They had it hanging on the shed wall before we left - his brother said if he was a girl he would have shed a tear - how touching!!!!!!!
Boxing Day we had all the troops at our place. It was a glorious day weather wise so peeps were in and out of the pool. Food and drink flowed, great conversation and just a lovely fun time with family and friends.
SO from my family (minus my gorgeous Emma in Canada - love you EM) hope you and your family had a special Christmas with lots of love and magical moments.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas....sort of!

Oh goodness - can't believe it's Christmas Eve! I really feel that somewhere I've lost about 25 days along the line....not very organised at the moment....mmmmm
Anyway - here is my Kiwiana Christmas tree - 
We formed it from chicken wire - that took a wee bit of figuring to get a nice cone shape
Oops that photo is a little blurry - lets try this one - 
I love it when the lights go on - then it's like an underwater scene when you can imagine those really spooky fish that live waaaaaay down deep and have those neon phosphorescent bits in their bodies are swimming around. ANYWAY I'm drifting here!!! Once we had our shape I had the rather long task of "decorating" with my theme of ocean and land -
...starfish, paua shell flowers that I made...
... shells we had picked up on our family holiday in January...
and Pohutukawa flowers, woven flax flowers, little mussel shell decorations I glued onto old curtain loops. It took me a few days to get it all together but it really looks so much better in real life. Now I need to work on an angel for the top that completes it all.
Then I have a wall "tree" that actually hangs all year round and I decorate to a seasonal theme.
I love the decorations on this one - I've been adding a couple of new ones each year all on a summery, beachy, New Zealand theme...

Jandals feature quite a lot... do surfboards. There's a Pukeko - a native bird of New Zealand, and you can see our Pohutukawa - both new decorations Vince gave me earlier this year...
...check out the kiwi lying on the beach sunbathing.....
And at the top an angel made from rolled up paper. The owl - or morepork - is one I received in the NZ handmade decoration swap.
I have one other tree that is in our dining room that is s-l-o-w-l-y coming together but may not quite get together this year ... will see if I can add a photo before tomorrow. But I think it will still be a work in progress.
RIght I really need to get myself off to the supermarket and think "food".
Hope you are all way further ahead than I am in Christmas shopping!!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas handmade decorations revealed

Finally I can 'reveal' the decorations I made for my peeps cos I know they have all received them now.
For this  swap I made my group of lovely ladies one of these 
I hope they treasure their Tapa Angels and that they become a wee part of their Kiwiana Christmas tradition.
For the other swap I was in 
I had a really super swap buddy Erin, from Erin Carver Mixed Media Art. She is a very talented lady and I was wondering just how my Kiwiana themed decorations would fit with her mixed media artwork.
Wrapped goodies ...
Matching bag to tuck them in ... and what's inside?

A Tapa Angel and a Pohutukawa fairy. 
However these two had a bit of adventure. I must've had fudge brain as I wrote Erin's name on the parcel, but then proceeded to put my address so a couple of days later they arrived in my letterbox!!!! Doh!!!!!! Finally they arrived at their new home and Erin wrote the loveliest account on her blog
But I, too was spoilt by this lovely gift that Erin sent to me.
Erin has this lovely range of mixed media prints and has produced these cards - I love the one she chose for me "have courage" as that is pertinent as I wait out the job situation. Her handmade star has the loveliest button that has an almost paua look to it - she knew I was trying to start my Kiwiana Christmas decorating this year ... thanks Erin:) and the lovely Christmas card even has an old NZ stamp included in the design!!!! How clever is that!
Aren't swaps fun.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hearts a fluttering

Every so often on our NZ Kiwiquilters online group we get the call for hearts. These are for peeps who have a "need' for various reasons - illness, bereavement, trauma, you know the sort of thing.
I read the messages and always think " I must make one for ..." but then time ticks away.
Well yesterday I finally put aside the few 20 minutes or so needed and actually made heart blocks.
These are for a lady who is starting chemo, and a lady who recently lost her husband to a sudden unexpected death.
These are for two sisters. Their brother was the NZ soldier killed in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago. His mum is a KQ member and also the editor of NZ Quilter magazine. I have dealt with Anne in my role as president of two P & Q groups and she is the loveliest lady, so making these hearts for her daughters was especially meaningful.
So if you are ever in a position where you are asked to make blocks for these type of things, do take those 10 minutes or so - there is an emotional healing involved in the sewing process as well as the giving.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hugs n Kisses

Yes they can be for you guys but it's actually this oh so snuggly baby wrap
... finished on Thursday for a friend to give to a school colleague who was having a baby shower on Friday. Must say I loved it cos of its funky brightness and the fabric was just soooo snuggly. It was a remnant I picked up at good ol' Spotlight so I have no idea what it is unfortunately.
As I was making it I couldn't resist stroking it!!!! Wouldn't mind snuggling up to it myself. Hope the new mum-to-be liked it:)
Finally worked out what my Christmas card design is, and actually made four last night. Rate of production is waaaay slow so may be sending out New Years cards if I don't get a move along!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Handmade Christmas decoration swap

Finally I managed to get my decorations packed into their wee fabric bags
Complete with a matching card
Think my peeps will get the idea that I am decorating my home in a Kiwiana/Pacifica theme, seeing as how we do live in the Southern hemisphere. Hope they like the wee ornament I have made them as it is quite different from the ones I have received.
So they should be sitting in letterboxes ready to be collected
I loved being able to reuse this flax look wrapping paper - it suited the theme so well:)
I have received some lovely little decorations from some of the ladies in the group.
This lovely one from Dione who is also the swap organiser. How did she know that I am a bit of a doily collector!!!!!! I have already hung it on the inspiration noticeboard in my sewing room along with 
this one! Isn't it just the sweetest wee thing? I really love the genuine old cotton crochet and tatting, along with the old linen and cotton doilies. I imagine one day turning them into some fabulous quilt... one day! These two sweet deco's came from Miriam - and a wee friend just loved the "birdy".
Then in the post came this fun envelope made from a children's book page
And inside was this delicate vintage fabric stocking from Gabrielle which had a vintage button - yet another thing I have a collection of!!!

But still more to come! This Christmas Fairy appeared in my mail box - 
bearing a lovely Kiwi Christmas message
and when I unwrapped the lovely Christmassy fabric this chappy emerged...
Isn't he just so fabulous? I can't believe how much work Gilly put into this guy but he is going to have some buddies when he joins the pukeko and kiwi I am making from felt to hang up as Christmas decorations. We figured he will be our 'ruru' or morepork:)
SO a big thankyou to my swap peeps - one yet to come - but they are all just lovely in their individual ways.