Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Fin-al Count-down...

It's almost here and everything is in readiness around our place. The baking is done... The house has been decorated to within an inch of it's life - the earlier tour is here... (This is what happened to the rest of the boa, by the way. What - you don't have a feather boa wreath on your pantry?!) Even the 'cupboard under the stairs' is feeling Christmas-y... The annual Christmas carnival has been attended and enjoyed... The local street of Christmas lights has been visited... The stockings are hung (inclding the new one I made with fabic from Retro Mummy and doilies from Sweet Vintage and the op shop)... Many gifts have been given and gratefully received... And we are all set for the big day!

From my house to yours this festive season -

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,

The gladness of Christmas give you hope,

The warmth of Christmas grant you love.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Trash to Flash for little Cash...

I have been after one of these tiered cake plates for-ev-er.

The cheapest new ones run to $15-$20 and are not all that attractive. Who wants to pay that and still have to work on it? Yesterday, thrifting at Lifeline, score! While not the ugliest I have seen (and I have seen some ug-ly) it was not really my style, so apart it came.

I had some paint left from another project (White Knight Hammered Finish in Pacific Blue, in case you're interested), so used that to give it a couple of even coats on either side of the plates. This paint is a 'one-step, no primer' number - my favourite kind as I am very impatient once a project is started.

This morning I put it back together. Not bad for $4.00 and a few passses with the paint can! Can't wait to see it full of Christmas goodies when friends drop in next week.

PS. At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.

Thomas Tusser

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shriek! Gasp!

Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god!
Picture, if you will, a dorky (but secretly stylish) teenage girl who has just been noticed by THE coolest boy in the school. Are you getting it? The increased heart rate...the goofy smile...the butterflies in the tummy...there yet?
Now transpose those feelings into me as I do the happy dance around the craft room...  

 Photo from

Wanna know why??
The fabulous Eddie Ross of the wreath fame decided (in his wisdom) to run a little competition to see how many crafters out there were following his instructions and making a bauble wreath.
And guess what?? Eddie and the charming Jaithan chose my little feathery attempt in the final eight!! Oh. My. God!!
So please, could you go and vote for me here? Number 5, pretty please?
While I am very proud of my effort
and I think it's cute, some of the other entries are stunning. I am so pleased to be counted amongst them. (I don't think I'll win, but would at least like to get some votes so I'm not embarrassed in front of the seriously stylish folk!)
Thanks friends.
The voting is open until Thursday. Mwaah!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Tour...

Hi all! Tomorrow (assuming I can work out the international time zones) I am joining in my first linky party over at Nesting Place. If you want to check out the tour, click on the button on the right.

So here is a little tour of my house as I get ready to host the 'big family Christmas'. Come on in! I decided to start the new colour scheme right at the front door. The famous Eddie Ross wreath has pride of place in the lounge, along with some simple bursts of colour in the new theme.

Bowls full of baubles add lots of punch for little dollars. (These are all plastic!) The tree - also themed for the very first time! Luckily my multi-coloured ornament collection of many years included plenty of red, aqua and silver, so I only had to buy a few new pieces.
Couldn't resist this little guy. He's new. (How could I go past the aqua feathers, I ask you?!)
I shopped the house for accessories the right colour, so that I could have a little bit of Christmas everywhere...
and even the smallest room in the house deserves some festive cheer.
I added some sweets in my colour for the season (these are sugared almonds) as they are a fun and cheap way tie in any little area.
And finally, as this is Queensland, I have added a wreath and fairy lights to our outdoor entertaining area. This space will get plenty of use on the big day, so why not?
Hope you enjoyed the tour. Come back soon!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do you Renovate?

No, not of houses...of decorations! I do, in a big way. This is my latest 'reno'.
Our house has a double front door - looks really great, but is hard to decorate at Christmas. One wreath just doesn't work (which side would you put it on?) and two looks odd to me. (No offence if you have two on double doors - just doesn't do it for me.) Instead, I have been using two of these swags... They were still looking OK after about 10 years of use in various places, but this year did not match my new red/aqua/silver theme AT ALL. So off came all the gold and anything that wasn't attached firmly.
That left me with greenery and red berries - a great base. I started the reno with a present topper (2 for $1 at the cheap shop) in red and silver. Hot glue is your friend. Perfect for this job.
Then I added 2 poinsettia flowers from my decoration stash, and a few baubles left over from the wreath. (Either wire them on to switch out each time your colour theme changes or hot glue for a more permanent change.) Looking good!
A couple of aqua leaf picks, (also from the cheap shop ages ago - I didn't know what I was going to use them for, but knew that I would. You know how it is) one either side of the present topper.
Some more feathers from the boa I bought for the wreath (still mostly intact, by the way. A few dollars really well spent) tucked in with a dab of glue and a piece of ribbon tied in a bow around the topper...
Ta -da! A tiny piece snipped off the end of a piece of aqua tinsel and hot glued on finshes each end of the swags and adds a little sparkle. They are held on with 3M 'Command' hooks, clearly one of the best inventions ever.
I'm pretty happy with the new look. Will post some more renovations soon.

Till then, remember the old adage
"Make new, make do or do without."
Hope everyone is keeping those Christmas budgets in check!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

It's finally here! Today marks the start of the official 'festive season' at our house. The Advent calendar is up, the countdown tree calendar is out, the decorations are appearing and the tree will go up tonight, with the kids' help. Yay!

Back in October, I came across a post from Eddie Ross from last Christmas, showing a gorgeous bauble wreath. It was love at first sight. :sigh: I knew I had to make one. It seems that half the blogosphere has had the same idea this year - they are popping up everywhere.

Here is my version: Gather your supplies - a wire coathanger, something to unwind the hanger and shape it with, some craft glue and baubles in co-ordinating colours (allow more than you think you'll need - trust me on this).

The fabulous Eddie used 80 vintage glass balls. My version is a tad more thrifty. I used about 50 balls of various sizes - plastic ones from Coles, Crazy Clarks, Spotlight and my decoration box! Before you start the assembly, take the time to pull off the caps and glue them back on. (I neglected this step and was very sorry and frustrated - no room for 'she'll be right' here.) Hot glue is the quickest.
Once you have unwound the coathanger and shaped it into a circle, start threading the balls on. Make sure to vary the size, so that the smaller ones fill the gaps and you can't see too much wire.
Leave a small amount of wire at the end. Once all the balls are threaded, push them together tightly and bend the last bit around the base of the hook. (This is the point where your baubles will start shooting off if you have neglected to do the GLUE step! It would have made a great 'funny home video', but not from where I was standing. You have been warned.)
As every man and his dog is making one of the wreaths this year, I though I would personalize mine a little. Enter a feather boa from the $2 shop.
I pulled off individual feathers and dipped the end into some glue. Then I just poked them randomly in between the balls, as close as possible to the wire.

Ta-Da! With the addition of a matching piece of ribbon (purely for looks), I hung the wreath from a mirror using the hook of the coathanger, just bent around to face the back.
Pretty huh?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mailbox Love...

How I love internet shopping! Working full time means that I don't get to see the inside of a shopping centre from one month to the next, so the world wide web is my friend. These things arrived this week... A really fabulous book on interior design, by a very approachable southern belle called Elaine Griffin . Sugar, the way she writes has had me giggling on every page so far! Can't wait till after Christmas to start some interior changes at my house. Thanks again to the Book Depository.
Check out the little cuties from Kyoto General Store, mostly for the kids Christmas stockings. (But not entirely - the stripey thumb tacks and lady bug pegs were just too cute! ::must. resist. japanese. stationery::)
Can't wait to try out this make-your-own decal paper from Tillymin. I have a couple of monogram projects in store for it - will post if they work out. (If not, I'll pretend I haven't got around to it yet...)
At last, my back-ordered M-Cups have arrived. Just in time for the Christmas baking, and from one of my favourite online stores - Hart & Heim. Don't usually buy because the prices are a bit spendy for my budget, but lovely to look at and get ideas from. Love love love...
Last, but not least, some fab cookie cutters from Avon (not quite online, but they still come to my door so I'm happy). I am making those stacked star gingerbread Christmas trees that have appeared everywhere this year as teacher gifts. (Will post them separately soon.)
So even though I was at work all week, the Christmas shopping and preparation was still being done. Three cheers for the www!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Decorating...

No, not the house yet. Just the blog. What do you think?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The first hint...

As a rule, I don't do any Christmas decorating around the house until the tree goes up on December 1st. This year however, a little tiny hint has appeared early. Can you spot him?

Isn't he the cutest little thing?! As we are hosting the family for Christmas this year, I was hoping to make some place card holders like Tara Dennis made on BH&G a few weeks ago (on p64 of the magazine) from resin birds. I couldn't find any like hers, but did find this little guy. He was a bit garish, so needed a touch up with some craft acrylic (sorry, didn't think to take a 'before'). Then he looked so sweet I couldn't bear to put him in the decoration box, so here he sits. I am resisiting adding anything else until December...::struggle::..a month is not enough! The actual Christmas shopping is done, just waiting for a few things to arrive in the post, but the Christmas crafting is another matter. Drat this 'going to work' business. Can't I just sit and craft until everything is made?? Better get a wriggle on... P.S. "Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect."

Oren Arnold

Monday, November 16, 2009


Wow! Work was a bit mad last week and I haven't had a chance to mention what an excellent weekend I had at 'Twilight to Twilight' (no, not that Twilight, calm down, no vampires here) scrapbooking retreat. A great bunch of girls, no cooking, cleaning or child care, a space of our own to work and a beautiful rural setting outside Esk - what's not to love?!
This was the view from my workspace...
Mmmmmm. I could have stayed for a week!
I picked up this lovely decanter at the local flea market on the Saturday morning for a grand total of $2.00Score! (I will show off the collection I'm working on soon - this fits in beautifully.) We had a good giggle at the eccentricities of small town living - like the horse blankets for sale in the town's only dress shop and the grumpy proprieter of the antiques place in the main street (where the mounted animal heads freaked us right out). We found an excellent 'cheap shop' called Wayne's World where the aisles were so narrow you had to breathe in to pass someone, but with an amzing array of stuff.
The creativity was quite inspiring, lots of good ideas to borrow, but the relaxation and communication was just as important.
As Colleen Wainwright says, "Sometimes the cure for restlessness is rest. "
Thanks ladies, and roll on next retreat.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Books, books, books...

If you are a book lover and haven't found this site yet, prepare to be amazed! Based in the UK, The Book Depository has a fantatic range, great prices and FREE delivery (yes, even to Australia). You heard correctly - FREE DELIVERY. If there are two words that get my interest, it's those two! While the Dollar is so good against the Pound, go and have a look. My latest acquisition is above, and I also have a new novel put away for myself for Christmas (kinda sad buying your own gift, but that's how we roll around here!). Enjoy!


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