Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 overview

With only hours until the clock ticks over past midnight and the new year begins, I thought it a good time to reflect on 10 things that happened in 2010.

1. During 2010 I challenged myself to record the year through a photo a day. I'm pleased to say apart from a handful of missed (life got in the way) days I managed to do it. I did get behind on the editing and have a few months worth to complete, and then I will turn them into a book. Its a wonderful snap shot of our everyday lives. I did consider doing it again this year, but I was a bit over all the editing. I'm going to do a weekly wrap up instead. Photos and journalling from each week.

2. Once I settled into the routines of having one at high school, one at primary school, one at kindy and one at home we cruised through the year pretty smoothly. I managed to keep on to of all the accounts and paper work associated with each of the kids schools/kindys/sports/music etc

3.Caleb - turned 13 - did really well at his first year of high school. His grades were good, he is never going to be an A student, but if he keeps his grades at this level though high school I will be happy - is captain of his cricket team - played under 14 football - played association cricket and they won the grand final - was confirmed - went on camp to - needed stitches in his lip - got a new surf board -

4. Nathan - turned 12 - had another good solid year at school - played cricket - played football - received his green belt in Karate - completed another year of guitar lessons, with a new teacher - went on camp - needed stitches in his hand -

5. Isaac - turned 5 - learned to ride his bike with out training wheels - went to the Dora concert - spent two days each week at kindy - started swimming lessons - worked out how to swing himself - spent his first night ever without Teddy (who accidentally spent the night in the cubby house!)

6. Jacinta - turned 2 - toilet trained herself - learned to pedal a bike - went to the Dora concert - moved into a single bed - loved visiting Isaac's kindy - enjoyed our girly days together - showed no signs of wanting to give up her dummy - proved you can still talk while doing just about anything! -

7. Me - turned 40 - saw Newton Faulkner - got a speeding ticket - went to the Powderfinger concert - learned how to make soap, pocket dolls, crochet & knit - baked - sewed - crafted - planted a kitchen garden - discovered I had extremely low vit D & iron levels - handmade lots of gifts - made my own diary - made fresh pasta - won tickets to the Dora concert - broke both my cameras with in a week - saw Australia get its first female prime minister - took lots of photos - helped out at kindy - was vice chairperson of the kindy governing council - went to a few 40th & 50ths - helped design and publish a cookbook for kindy -

8. Craig - turned 45 - coached junior colts football - on the junior and senior football committee - has taken on junior director of football next season - went surfing - worked - dreamed of owning his own beach house - sold our rental property - went to the Powderfinger concert - had lots of football meetings -

9. As a family we holidayed at Pt Elliot x 3 & Horsham - visited the beach, whispering wall, the barossa - went for local drives - found the older boys wanting to stay home a lot more often, so taking the little ones out for the occasional Sunday lunch - spent LOTS of time watching the boys various sports -

10.I tried to improve my homemaking skills and do our bit for the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling...despite the lack of understanding/support from others in the household!

So there it is. A quick overview of our year. Here is to 2011 being just as uneventful!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

on the twelfth crafty day of Christmas...

...Christmas 2010 - Merry Christmas

So I'm a few days late with my final 12 crafty days post and with wishing you all very Merry Christmas! Although its not really crafty, I thought I would share a few more memories of our 2010 Christmas.

1. Pretty much our whole town puts up Christmas lights, and during the festival there are street stalls, craft markets and the living Nativity.

Each of my children have played the part of baby Jesus in the Nativity, and we have all taken various roles in it in the years since.

This year Nathan was the only one who participated. He was a Shepard with his good mate Edward.

2. Christmas Eve we attend our church, the service is put on by the children. Nathan & Isaac took part this year.

It was Isaac's first year, and thankfully I sat down near the front as near to the end of the service I had a little Shepard, eyes welling with tears on my lap telling me he didn't want to be a Shepard any more!

3. After Church we go back to Craig's parents house for a few drinks and presents.

4. Christmas day is spent with family and friends. This year Sabine, Shane & Monice visited Christmas morning. After they left, we popped next door for a drink before heading to my sisters for a lovely casual outdoor lunch.

Dinner was then a 10 min drive away at Craig's sisters. The evening was filled with seafood, swimming & backyard cricket.

5. The days since Christmas have been spent enjoying many of the Christmas gifts that were received.

6. This year my side of the family decided to include the kids in our 'secret Santa' draw. It worked really well and the kids were more than happy to only receive one fact I dint think they really even noticed, as that was what everyone had.

7. We were lucky enough that both my Nanna's could join us for Christmas lunch.
Nanna P (Dads mum) is nearing 95

and Nanna G (Mum's Mum) will be 90 next year.

8. Here is my little Christmas gift stash. An external hard drive and some make up from Craig & the kids, a gorgeous ruffly scarf and soy candle from Sabine, crafty books from my family, some scented sticks and potpourri from MIL, hand cream and a day spa voucher from SIL, and a yummy plate of home baked Christmas biscuits from a friend.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

on the eleventh crafty day of Christmas...

...gingerbread house decorating

1 pre-baked ikea gingerbread house kit + sugar + icing + lots of lollies = a bucketload of fun!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the tenth crafty day of Christmas...

...all wrapped up

This year Ive gone with kraft paper, string (yep, brown paper packages, tied up with string! {heart}) and a ball of thrifted silver thread.

I REALLY wanted some over sized gift tags to tie on the presents. I found some freebie downloadable ones that I loved, but when I printed a sheet they really weren't very big at all :( As they were a PDF I was unable to resize them.

I decided to make my own. Ive tried a couple of different ideas, but nothing was really coming together like I had imagined. In the end I used a free digital holiday magic kit from shabby princess that I have had for ages. I used the text on this years Christmas cards, so it all goes together - and we know how I like to have things matching LOL

I printed them on some white A4 cardstock and love the slightly faded effect it gives, I think it compliments the muted tones of the wrapped gifts beautifully.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

on the ninth day of crafty Christmas...

...the 2010 Santa photo

I was starting to doubt that I would manage to get the kids to see Father Christmas this year, so I was secretly thrilled to spot him in Harvey Norman when we popped in today. They were both happy to sit up and chat and have a photo with him.

We had the freebie HN photo taken, and then they were happy for me to take one with my camera. Well, talk about the worst and most out of focus snap ever!!!! I'm now very glad I decided to order the free photo!

I decided to jump in on the action as well, and of course we couldn't let Daddy miss out ;)

He definitely gets brownie points for agreeing to that request, and for the quick but stress free trip to ikea.

Maybe his Christmas Grinch tendencies were on hold for the day!

on the eigth crafty day of Christmas...

...rainbow rocks

We made these beautiful rainbow rocks yesterday.

Remember the 'soap jumpers' we made a while back, well this was the same process except we used rocks instead of soap. I know its not really Christmasy as such, but I am in the process of finishing off a felted 'pet rock' for the little ones to go in their Christmas stockings, so it sort of counts! I will share a pic once I get them finished.

Originally this was going to be an outside activity. Warm summer morning, big bowls of water under a shady tree - well someone has forgotten to remind mother nature it is in fact summer. We awoke to heavy rain and wind - again!!!! We set ourselves up a cosy spot inside and got felting!

Its quite relaxing sitting there playing in warm soapy water. I'm big on focusing on the process rather than the result, but it was also wonderful to have a craft activity that yielded the same results for a two year old as it does for an adult, in fact, I think that a few of Jacinta's rocks were the most beautiful of all.
There has been counting, stacking, pictures, story telling, sorting, and even fights over who's room they will go in over night.

I can see we will have to add to this little collection over the holidays. I need to get hold of some more coloured wool - the local market where I got the last bag recently closed down unexpectedly :(

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

on the seventh Crafty day of Christmas...

...something quick and easy and a great crafty Christmas idea to share

Rather than just a card for Isaac's swimming instructor we tied a bunch of candy canes with a pretty ribbon and added a gift tag.

Quick, easy and a lovely little something for him to take along and give to her to say Thank You and Merry Christmas.

Here is a Crafty Christmas link I have saved for making one day...

Nativity Blocks

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the sixth Crafty day of Christmas...

...a crafty secret Santa

I joined in our quilting/crafting group Secret Santa again this year.

I received my parcel from Little White Dove.

She send along some gorgeous handmade goodies -

A large pin cushion (which Jazz thinks is a pillow for her dolls!) a wrist pin cushion, a camera strap ( I {heart} this), a coaster (which fits just nicely over someones pocket doll **rolls eyes** ) and some thread and bobbins. Thank You so much R, I love it all, and feel very spoilt! A camera strap and wrist pin cushion have been on my one day list for a long time, so it was all just perfect!

I had the pleasure of sending out a gift to Jots Mum.

This is what I made & purchased for her. It all looked a bit messy, so I whipped up the co-ordinating draw string bag to pop all the little bits and pieces in.
I also made a little pocket doll for her daughter and even knitted a tiny bag for her to be carried around in.

I was lucky enough to find some brand new bias makers at the op shop the other week and snapped them up to include.

My favourite thing is this fabric case for holding needles and hand sewing supplies.

I have one that I use all the time so I drafted a pattern from it. I have to say this one is much prettier than the original. Ive changed the way it does up, and added the slip in needle case as I am always leaving needles poking everywhere in mine.

Have you checked out some of the other crafty goodness that is being posted for the 12 days of crafty Christmas challenge?
12 Crafty days of Christmas...
My Space
Little White Dove - Feathering my nest
Carrose Creations
Nellie Bligh
Banana Runkin
Kylies crafts

Thanks for joining in ladies!

Friday, December 10, 2010

On the fifth crafty day of Christmas...

...the Christmas Cards

For the past 13 years I have sent out handmade Christmas cards to our family and friends. At first they involved cutting and pasting, but these days they are totally digital. I print copies for those that I know like to keep them, and send lots out as e-cards. You can see a post i did last year showing all the cards here

I finally got photos of the kids over the past few days, and this morning made up this quick card for 2010.

There is no group shot....even trying to get the single shots of the boys was like pulling teeth. It took lots of time, lolly pops and making popcorn. At least they were still happy to wear the Santa hat!

Ive printed them, and they are ready to deliver. Tick, another thing off the list!

Oh and here are some that didn't make it to the card...
Jacinta was quite happy to have her photo take, so here are a few faves

The boys however think that even though they pull faces, whinge and whine, close their eyes and wriggle around and don't look at the camera, I should be able to get the Christmas card shot in one photo...NOT

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

on the fourth crafty day of Christmas...

...handmade gifts for Nathan's teachers and friends

With the end of the school year looming for Nathan, we finished off his handmade gifts tonight.

For his teacher a fabric covered journal and some rocky road.
He made two more batches tonight, white chocolate and milk chocolate...oh and steered clear of the big sharp knife!

Just as well I decided to piece the inside of this one to pretty it up a bit, the journal we chose has a clear front cover and you can see the lining as soon as you open it.

For his group of close friends, a little bag of Christmas M&Ms. He deisgned to bag toppers in publisher and we printed them onto a piece of light card, folded them and used a stapler to secure them to the bags.

His class also does a secret Santa. There is a $5 limit, and technically we probably went over - I choose not to count the cost of the journal cover (I already had the fabric, and it was given to me - so that doesn't need to be counted right!) Its all wrapped and ready to go under the class tree tomorrow. Hope she likes it.

Tomorrow is also the class party. His class has to take a sweet plate. We made these after school. Cadbury snowballs drizzled with melted white chocolate and topped with chopped snake holly.

Monday, December 06, 2010

10 random things about today

1. I had a quite a few visits generated from this blog in the last few days. I went to check it out and discovered that my boys apron tutorial has found its way to the other side of the world. In the process I discovered another gorgeous blog to peruse (in my spare time!) AND a link to the perfect printable gift tags. Ive been searching online for some for weeks. How bazaar that I find the perfect ones on this same blog!

2. Here is the (blurry) photo of my kids Christmas space.

3. today was busy, busy, busy. In a good way. We walked Isaac to school transition then visited my mum and Dad on the way home. they had returned from 10 days at a friends - they came home with lots of stuff that was being thrown out of the peoples mothers house. I returned home with a big tin full of lots of crafty bits
- vintage ricrac, buttons and snaps, pinking shears, etc etc etc. AND a vintage Kenwood chef mixer - I always borrow Mums when I need one, so she thought of me straight away. It was going to the op shop, and they were more than happy for it to come live with me instead. Dad has cleaned it all up for me ( don't I have the best Mum & Dad! actually I'm sure I used to tell them that all the time as a teenager - not ! LOL ) I cant wait to get it home. It was a bit heavy to walk back with!

4. Got a measure and quote for some drawers in one of the cupboards in the kids bathroom. Hoping they don't take to long to be made. Four drawers, one each to keep there own stuff - neat and tidy - well realistically probably not, but at least it will be out of my sight!

5. Spent most of the rest of the day crafting with a friend. We made a batch of goats milk and honey soap, I completed two more Christmas gifts - journal covers (and they both fit!!!!), Nell did some hems on her DHs work pants, added the sashing to a quilt top and got it sandwiched and ready to quilt. It was a productive day. The girls were great. We really must do it more often. Sorry, no pics to share, they are all on Nells camera.

6. Walked to pick up Isaac from school and got absolutely saturated on the way home.

So much so, that we all had to change every piece of clothing we were wearing when we got home.
It was still warm, and the kids thought it was so much fun - it made me smile.

7. I hung a load of washing out before I went to pick up Isaac - of course, it rained. a lot.

8. Nathan decided to make some more rocky road for his teacher. He even designed some bag toppers to wrap it with. As he went to open the packet of red and green snakes, with the biggest knife we own, he managed to cut himself instead. A quick call to our after hours GP service, 30 minutes in the car each way, he has 2 stitches across the base of his finger, and a great story to tell at school tomorrow. You could tell it was really hurting him, he kept the pressure on it all the way to the hospital (probably aided by the vision of blood dripping all over the kitchen tiles) and he was super brave. He even let me take a quick pic on the phone (reluctantly) once it was all done.

9. Rang my friend before. It was good to just chat about stuff. I miss her living around the corner.

10. I love this time of night. Everyone else in the house is sleeping. Its just me, and the only quiet uninterrupted time in my whole day. I will probably sit here until midnight or so. Yes its will be hard to open my eyes at 7am tomorrow, but that's a small price to pay for this bit of sanity saving me time!