Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I have been looking back through some photos today and decided to share my year in pictures with you!     I hope your year was enjoyable and fun and that you managed to fit in all the stitching time you wished for!    I hope 2011 brings you great joy in whatever you do - have a very Happy New Year!!   

In January I stitched another canvas scissor case and scissor fob!
In February we travelled to the Solomon Islands and put a water tank into a needy village!
In March I made a useful sewing bag!
In April I started work on the "Gardeners Journal" quilt with the Stich A Long Group!
In May I celebrated Mothers Day with my Mum and family!
In June I stitch this great sewing pocket with a verse from the "Gardeners Journal"!
In July I stitched a canvas scissor humbug (and had a knee operation!)
In August I stitched a Christmas decoration of peace and joy!
In September we celebrated Mum's 80th birthday walking the Cinque Terre in Italy!
In October I stitched a stocking for our Stitching on the Lake Days!
In November I made some little Christmas decorated boxes!
And in December we celebrated Christmas Day with our children!

In 2011, I'm looking forward to stitching more, eating less, exercising more, working less, and celebrating and appreciating each and every day!  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Secret Santa Gifts Sent Away

I have now heard from Tami in the USA that she has received my Secret Santa gifts in the swap organised by Chookyblue.    I can now reveal the gifts I sent to her - this felt embroidered journal!

And a handy sewing tidy for hanging over the lounge chair when you are stitching!

Alternatively this can be used for remote control pockets for the tv remotes or whatever!   I'm glad you liked your Secret Santa gifts Tami!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Secret Santa Gifts

I was so fortunate to participate in Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap (SSCS) this year and my lovely exchange partner, Paula from the USA gifted me some lovely lovely gifts.  I did show the crocheted mitten decoration a few blogs back but I was instructed to put the main gift under the Christmas Tree and open on Christmas morning!    And when I did ..... I received the most gorgeous bag in lovely shades of green and mauves!

And inside the bag was another little carry all which contained some special things too!

A glimpse inside revealed more treasures .... a gorgeous Bareroots pattern for a Stitchery Basket and Accessories, a set of pens, some gorgeous floss including some lovely variegated threads, a paisley shopping list notepad and last but not least some yummy Lindt chocolate!   I was very spoilt - thanks so much Paula!  

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vignette in Stitches Giveaway

Perri from the Vignette in Stitches blog is having a wonderful giveaway of 10 copies  of Issue 1 of the "Vignette" magazine by Leanne Beasley.    If you haven't seen Perri's new blog, have a look - it is a place for stitchers to share their stitching story and passion for Leanne's wonderful new magazine "Vignette".   For those who haven't seen the magazine, it has stitching, cooking, gardening - a little bit of everything!    Who knows - you may even decide to embark on the beautiful quilt in the magazine as I have decided to do in 2011 - I am just playing around with colours and fabrics at the moment!    It's raining here at home today after two beautiful sunny days, so I have decided it's going to be a "stitching day" for me!   Enjoy your day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Christmas Day 2010 dawned sunny and bright so after breakfast we headed off to the beach so David could try out the new surfboard the children and I bought him for Christmas.  Here he is with our two boys, Sam and Elliott, heading down to the water!

The girls and I enjoyed a champagne cocktail or two!

Christmas is all about family and friends and it is really special to all be together on Christmas Day!

And we have celebrated Christmas for the last few years at our house with the family of Sam's girlfriend which is always lovely!    Corrinne made this beautiful gingerbread star Christmas Tree - yum!    I hope your Christmas Day was special too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them , and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.   But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.   I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord".    Luke 2:8-11   


Let us all remember the true reason for this season and celebrate with family and friends!   Have a wonderful Christmas!  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Holy Night

This is a very special time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Saviour .... this is one of my most favourite carols ..... just for you!   Thanks so much to Sue from The House that Love Built  for sharing this clip with me!   It sends tingles down my spine each time I hear it!  I hope it does for you too!   Turn up the volume and close your eyes!!  Wishing you all a blessed and holy Christmas and a wonderful celebration season with family and friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Blessings

I have been blessed beyond belief lately - this gorgeous little bear decoration became mine at a recent Kris Kringle swap!

Another friend stitched this cute little heart decoration for me!

Yet another sent me a lovely decoration, a copy of one which we stitched a year or so ago at Needlework!

And I have been wrapped with love by the ladies of my Wednesday Needlework group who made me this beautiful quilt!    Don't you just love Christmas??    And only one more day of work to go before I have a couple of weeks holidays!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Decorations

I received two beautiful decorations to add to my Christmas tree yesterday from my stitching friend of many years, Sylvia!   One is a beautiful little embroidered bag (big enough to fit a tiny gift in) and I believe it is from an Anni Downs pattern.   It looks terribly cute on my Christmas tree already!

And Sylvia knows how much I appreciate hardanger embroidery and she sent this simply delightful hardanger decoration which I have also added to my tree!    Thankyou Sylvia for such lovely decorations!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Flowers in Sydney

I have just returned from a lovely few days in Sydney!   This gorgeous red orchid was in the hotel bathroom!

This was the spectacular arrangement on the table beside us at the "Aria" restaurant where we ate!

A view of the Opera House where we saw the Australian Ballet perform "The Nutcracker" which was absolutely beautiful!

And these divine hydrangeas were on my sister's patio where we celebrated a family pre Christmas get together yesterday!   Whew!   Lots of fun was had by all!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Christmas Decorations

Here are a couple of very favourite decorations - the Peace decoration I just simply love because it says it all!  In the background is a red boot my sister bought me back from Montana!

And this embroidered Angel decoration worked on dupion silk and using a variety of threads including metallic threads - this has been a long time favourite!   I'm off to see the ballet "The Nutcracker" in Sydney at the Opera House ("Oprah" House) tonight!   Hopefully I will have some photos to share with you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Secret Santa Christmas Swap

What a lovely surprise today to receive my Secret Santa Christmas Swap which Chookyblue organised!   My gifts came from Paula who lives in Dover USA and they came beautifully wrapped!  The catch is that I am only allowed to open the Christmas Decoration parcel now and the others have to go under my Christmas Tree!!     See the "Do Not Open Until December 25" note on the top of the parcel?

When I opened my Christmas decoration gift I found this really cute little crocheted mitten with a fabulous flower motif on it!  As you can see I have already hung it on my Christmas tree!!   Thanks so much Paula!   I will patiently wait until December 25 to open the others!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Decorations

Here are some more of my favourite decorations from our Christmas Tree!   This white hardanger decoration I made a year or two back but I love the simplicity and perfect lines of hardanger!  Not for those who don't like to count and make things meet up perfectly!    I have woven the bars with gold metallic thread.

This cute cross stitch on natural linen was stitched in Christmas colours - another favourite!

And one of my own designs - canvas work Christmas Trees bringing Joy to all!    I hope your Christmas planning is coming together nicely - your shopping nearly done - and you get to have some wonderful stitching time between now and Christmas Day!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Tree & Decorations

Finally yesterday we managed to find some time to head north and buy our beautiful Christmas Tree for this year!  The house smells delicious now - just like a pine forest!     We decorated (in the absence of our children) before we headed out to organise our office Christmas Party last night!  I had to wait until today to take a photo!   If only you could smell photos!

I love decorating the tree and bringing out favourite decorations - new and old.    This is a counted cross stitch decoration "Hope" which I made a couple of years ago!

I was lucky to be invited as an after dinner speaker to a patchwork group last week and fortunately received this lovely decoration in the Kris Kringle swap!   

And this is a favourite from a long long time ago - can you see the date is 1993??   Just below this decoration is another favourite which my sister bought in Montana USA a few years back with all our family names on each Christmas moose.   I love it!    How are you all going with decorating your houses?

Christmas Celebrations

Last night we celebrated with all our staff the end of another hard year of work (even though we have another 2 weeks of work to go before Christmas!)    We enjoyed a lovely al fresco meal right by the water - here are David and I after setting up for the evening!

The tables looked great and the backdrop was spectacular (until a little wind came through!)

This is all our staff and each of them bought their partners, so we had 30 enjoying a beautiful meal by the water!

And the sunset was spectacular, the night was long, and this morning was hard to wake up and be at church by 8am!  But we did it!!    Just in time to farewell our Solomon Islands friends!  What a huge day of celebration we have had!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Solomons Visit

What a busy week we have had with working, a quick trip to Sydney and our Solomons visitors enjoying our beautiful country!   Here is the group in the All Saints Church at Bodalla.   It is a beautiful old church and they really enjoyed their visit there.

And Patrick was absolutely overwhelmed with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House!  For someone who comes from a small village in the Solomons - this was a huge adventure!

David and his Dad went up to Sydney for a special army  lunch and took three of the men with them to show them the sites - here is David, Patrick and Frank (David's dad)  at the Opera House (which this week will be turned into the "Oprah" House when Oprah  does her two Australian shows from there!   Unfortunately there has been no time for stitching this week!!  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Solomons Celebration!

What a fantastic celebratory service we held at Church this morning at both 8am and 10am services where we celebrated the arrival of our brothers and sisters from the Solomon Islands from our sister parish there.      Here is Patrick leading the team in a song of worship - amazing voices of angels!  A team of 26 has arrived in the Bay for 12 days and we are enjoying fellowship and friendship with each and every one of them!

We were blessed to have Patrick join us for lunch with our family - you will see that he is feeling the cold weather here,  so borrowed  one of David's fur lined jackets!   It should be hot and sunny as it is now officially summer .....but it's not!

Lucky for us our two girls were home from Sydney this weekend and Patrick snapped this photo of Ashleigh, David, Chelsea and I after lunch!

Then, as the surf was up, we went down to the point at the end of our street to watch the boys surf - this is Ash's boyfriend, Tim!    What a glorious day we have had - now heading into the Service of 9 Lessons and Carols at the Church!   More voices of angels to come!  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Raffle Quilt Winner

The lucky winner of our "Floral Abundance" Raffle Quilt was one of our own members - Yvonne!   We surprised her at the Christmas Party with the good news that she had won the quilt which was drawn at the Craft Fair on Saturday!   Thank you to everyone who bought tickets - we raised much needed funds for charity which is always fantastic!  Congratulations Yvonne - you are looking very happy with your win!    The basket of sewing goodies which was second prize was won by one of the teachers at Sunshine Bay - Di!   Congratulations Di!

A group of happy ladies at the Wednesday Christmas Party!    You can see why I have so much fun at Needlework !   Here is Jo, Shirley, Jennifer, Frances, Dot, Dzintra, Elaine, Norma and Sandra!

More of my stitching friends - Osla, Sue, Lyn, Stella and Pat!

And yet more!!   Robyn, Claire, Frances and Val !   We had a lovely lovely Christmas lunch and celebration for our end of the stitching year!   And thank you again to all my beautiful stitching ladies who contributed to my beautiful quilt! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Parties

What a lovely couple of days I have had - celebrating the end of our Needlework year with all my ladies!    This is always a fun time of year for all of us as we celebrate our year of stitching and friendships!   And my Wednesday ladies totally knocked my socks off this morning when they presented me with a beautiful quilt to say thank you for the year!  I was overwhelmed and moved to tears and it is just so gorgeous!  I really appreciate the work that has gone into the quilt and I love the colour (I'm a bit of an orange person!)   So to those of you who are reading .... many thanks again for your kindness and generosity - I am overwhelmed by such a beautiful gift and will treasure it always!    The colours haven't really come out as well as they should but on a sunny day I will take another photo to share!

Here are the Tuesday night ladies all enjoying our celebration dinner last night!    We had lots of laughs, a beautiful meal and some lovely gifts were shared!   Here is everyone holding up their gifts they received on the night!

This was a really cut little gift made by Cheryl and lucky Maree picked this one out of "Santa's" stocking!

And this was my little decoration I made for today's party - adapted from a pattern in the 2010 Cross Stitch Ornaments magazine!   It has found a lovely home at Sandra's house!