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28 November, 2011

A Christmas Stocking Stuffed with Goodies Awaits You

Giveaway now closed - winner to be announced soon

2011 Christmas Stocking Giveaway

                                                                     Source: Debbie Probst via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

Today launches my 2011 stocking giveaway.  I’ll be holding a giveaway for the Christmas stocking pictured below as part of the 2011 Stocking Giveaway  being hosted by Robin at RSIslandscrafts.
The winner will be drawn on December 5th
One Christmas Stocking
Cuff to heel is 33.5cm (13") 

But wait, there's more than just a stocking.  Inside the stocking you will find SIX other gifts.  

#1.   A handmade felt Kangaroo.  You can hang Redmond in a cupboard as he's filled with homemade scented pot pourri or on the Christmas tree.

Redmond The Kangaroo

#2.  A Tea Towel, celebrating beautiful Australian flora.

Tea Towel

#3.  A handmade Woven Felt Heart decoration for the Christmas tree.

Woven Felt Heart

#4. A packet of Christmas paper serviettes.

20 Paper Serviettes

#5.  A Japanese Temari thread decoration for the Christmas tree.

Japanese Thread Temari

#6.  Christmas bunting - eight little Christmas stockings all in a row.

Christmas Stockings Bunting

This give away is open to everyone, doesn't matter where you live. It will run from November 28th through to December 4th. On December 5th the lucky winner will be announced. 

As my son said, "That's a tidy prize mum, seven gifts all up.  Cool".  Therefore you need to do a couple of things to participate in the Christmas Stocking Giveaway.
1 entry into the draw = A comment will do nicely - that way if you're the lucky winner I have your email contact whereby I can get your address. 
2 entries into the draw = If you want to become a follower that would be cool too.
All entries will go into a bowl and my dear son will draw the lucky winner on 4th December.  I will post the details of the draw on the 5th December and pop the prize in the post as soon as I have an address from the winner. 
I'd love you to share where you plan to eat on Christmas day.  Are you entertaining family and friends at home, going to the beach or sitting by a nice warm fire?  If so, how many at your gathering?  If not, what will you be doing on Christmas day?  As for me, I'm hoping 15 family and friends can make it to my place for Christmas lunch and I'm so looking forward to it. 

Merry Christmas to my visitors and thanks for visiting.

I look forward to your comments and hearing about your plans for the big day.
Other blogs participating in their own Christmas Stocking Giveaway can be found here

                                                                 Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

23 November, 2011

Angel Tree Topper That Kids Can Make - A Tutorial

There's Plenty Of Time
When you're asked to look after a friends children for a few hours what's the best thing to do? Keep them busy of course.  So rather than panic, I went to my trusty little craft room for inspiration and did some picking and plucking from my stash.

                                                                   Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

As long as I had glue, ribbon, foam shapes and all sorts of other goodies I had a good chance of keeping the kids happy while mum was away.

She Doesn't Have To Be Perfect
Keep it simple and use whatever you can find in the cupboards.  Kids have wonderful imaginations so you'll get quite a surprise with the end result.

Angel Tree Topper

Things To Collect
Material off-cuts or coloured paper for the gown; cardboard; pipe cleaners or fine wires; foil paper; ribbon; lace; sequins; beads; curling ribbon; foam ball; dressmaker pins; craft  glue; scissors; cardboard; glitter; sticky tape.

Gather The Kids and Get Started

Material to make the body shape
1.  Use a piece of cardboard to make a cone shape and hold in place with sticky tape.  Check that the cone is the right size for the head, then trim the bottom of the cone if the form is a bit wonky. If you want the angel to be able to standalone, add some cardboard to the base of the cone.  Just like this, alternatively, skip this step if you want your angel to sit on top of your tree without falling off.

Check the head fits the shape
Add a base to the cone

Cover the cone with material or paper of choice, gluing the paper to the cone or you can sew a seam on the material so it fits the cone snugly.  Tuck the material into the top of the cone.  Glue the ball to the top of the robe set aside to dry.  

Material to make the wings and halo


2.  Next make the wings and halo using the pipe cleaners.  Twist two pipe cleaners together and join to make a circle.  Make two of these for the wings.  Make a smaller circle for the halo and leave a small length for the stem of the halo.  Wrap foil tightly around the pipe cleaners and I found that I had to cover the foil with sticky tape for added firmness.  Then shape the wings. Decorate the halo with sequins or beads, ribbon or foil.  Set aside to dry if using glue.

She's starting to take shape

3.  Glue facial features onto head and glue or use pins to attach curling ribbon to head.  We used a dressmakers pin for the nose, sequins for the cheeks and attached them with pins and then glued a red sequin for the mouth.

4.  Pin the halo stem to the back of the head.  Attaching the wings is the hardest but we found pinning the wings to the material worked best.  You might have to readjust the shape of the wings to suit the angel.  Same with the halo, adjust it to suit.  Tie bows using ribbon or lace around the neck.

Angel Tree Topper

Angel Tree Topper is completed.  The time went so fast making her and we had heaps of fun.  Think I might make a gold Angel next time.  Thanks for visiting.

20 November, 2011

Lost My Senses

Are We Happy Yet?
I've exhausted my sense and sensibilities this weekend reading an enormous number of blogs and basically whittling away hours of precious weekend time looking for an answer.  There are heaps of messages out there, good advice on how to be a better and happier person.  Heaps of advice on how to stop focussing on the negative and go with positive.  Great advice on getting an education.  Heaps of advice about heaps of things.  I think I'm following roughly 200,000 blogs after this weekend's little foray.  Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but close to the mark.

                                                                              Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

 My spiritual sidekick sent me on this blog reading journey, to try and find some answers, I'm sure of this.  Sidekick said "Do you really have any clue what you are doing?  Build a bridge girlfriend and get over it."

                                                         Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

Well, that was a bit nasty, but I kindly replied "What is it that I have to get over?  It's not that I'm feeling sorry for myself.  I don't think it's that!  It's more that I am getting old (and very old in the eyes of some) and I just don't know what to do with the rest of my life.  You do understand Sidekick that I am likely to live another forty years.  Don't you think it's worth a bit of thought."  "Um", said Sidekick,  "I think you've got something there.  Still, I stand by my advice.  Once you've worked it out, build that damn bridge and get over it."

Like I said, Sidekick sent me on this journey, but has been no help at all.

Can We Just Chat About This?
"There is nothing wrong with getting old dearie." said my sweet friend when we were chatting at the local Sunday market.  "Hard work never hurt anyone. What doesn't break you will make you.  All that sort of nonsense.  Look at me, I'm starting to get a bit old, but I'm still working away.  Happy as a lark.  Trust me, tomorrow will be a better day."

                                                                Source: Uploaded by user via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

Never Trust Anyone Who Says - "Trust Me"
This little parrot looks terrified in a blissful kinda way.  Oops, I transgress!   But what to do?                    

                                                                      Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

Six Goals
The practical me is going to set six goals, just for moir.  There's no other way around it.

Goal One - Get re-educated and discover a new and exciting career
Goal Two - Take acrylic/oil/watercolour painting classes
Goal Three - Not worry about what others think
Goal Four - Learn to love my wrinkles and liver spots
Goal Five - Stop worrying about all the things I can do nothing about
Goal Six - Do everything I can to ignore the negative and enjoy the positive

Be Happy - It's Not Difficult

                                                                           Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

Anyone care to give me some advice, all comments will be given due consideration.  I might even consult with Sidekick on your recommendations.  Thanks for visiting.

18 November, 2011

Pinning and Singing on the Weekend

Pinning & Singing on the Weekend Pinterest Party ~ Relaxation

Link back to Natasha to join in the party

                                                              Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

                                                               Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

Hope you are able to take 5 minutes to relax and enjoy some relaxing music and pics.  Have a wonderful weekend.

16 November, 2011

Tasmania - A window to my soul

A recent trip to Tasmania to visit my parents in-law gave me the opportunity to take a few shots of the local countryside.

Full of old world rustic charm, you get a sense of  days gone by, where London once sent it's convicts to this small island 'Down Under'.

Evandale is a National Trust classified Georgian village know for it's artists, period cottages and famously the home of Penny Farthing Cycle Championship.

Whether you enjoy photography, painting, writing, crafts, riding a bicycle or just day dreaming, inspiration is everywhere.

Noble homes abound, filled with mystery and wonder, memories and maybe a ghost or two.

An old gate opens up to expose a magical garden filled with roses, oak trees, granny bonnets, vines and the clucking and haggling of ducks and chickens.

A wondering traveller at some point will happen upon a crystal clear ocean, the calming water lapping lazily on the sandy beach.

This post sounds like an advertisement for Tasmania but in actual fact a dear friend Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes asked me to tell her about my trip to Tasmania, it's best described with photos. 

A couple of Tasmanian web friends that I'd like to share with you is Deb, she has a beautiful photography blog Ramblings of a Square Peg and Susie who is an artist and musician from Susie McMahon Dolls. A real live Tasmanian friend is Di from  Di Arnold Dolls.  My friend Di has a beautiful country property in a tiny village called Westbury where she looks after sheep and chickens that will never end up on the dinner table.

Hope you've had a moment or two to enjoy the tranquil scenes captured here with my humble digital camera.  Thanks for visiting.

10 November, 2011

Nature's Fury

Mother Nature was a fearful sight last night.  The radio and television stations had been warning Melbourne citizens in Australia that a wild storm,  flash flooding and possible disruption to public transport was on it's way.

 "Take care" the radio announcers yelled at me all day.  "Stay in town and see the storm out before travelling home" cried the television news updates.  The tempest display was expected to hit between 4pm and 7pm.  Early morning discharged huge amounts of rain, then at lunch time sun poured down in hot and over-bearing glory.  My garden revelled in the attention. 

 Basically it was a beautiful day.

By 4pm I was outside picking my precious roses to save them from damage.  I put everything away that  might get hurled around in the storm.

By 5pm the wind was gathering momentum and the birds were no longer singing in the trees, they were starting to panic.

By 6pm my son was home from work and calling out " Mum, get out here". 

"They sky is amazing.  It's the end of the world", he yelled over the howling wind.

 With trusty digital camera in hand I stood and stared at the sky in awe.  There was no fear, the 'fight or flight' response didn't kick in, this display of nature was beautiful.  

When I finally took control of my senses, I started snapping. 

 This was amazing, rarely do we get storms like this.

This magnificent display was followed by heaving rain and flash flooding just as they had predicted.  

Mother Nature was actually teasing us, by 7pm she had all but blown away over our home and taken her anger further across the land.  

It was a mighty display and today everything is back to normal.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the wind is blowing.  My garden survived and is loving the abundance of rain and sun that nature bestowed upon it these last 24 hours.
 I wonder what she has in store for us next?

07 November, 2011

Fabulous Sunsets in Vietnam

During a holiday in Vietnam earlier this year I came upon heavenly sunsets which I found myself luxuriating in  each evening.

This is an every day experience for the local residents of Whale Island which is about 3 hours drive from the famous Nha Tran seaside resort in central Vietnam.

Whale Island is a bit of a secret and has the most fabulous views.  We walked the perimeter of the island each morning and enjoyed 360 degree views of the island.

But let's return to the sunsets, minute by minute the scenery changed from one glorious colour to the next and I captured all this with my little Olympus T-110 digital camera.

I have not tampered with these photos other than to compress them for the web.  These views are exactly the same in real life, honest to goodness.

Another beautiful place to be in was Phu Quoc which became our final resting place before heading home.  Here's what we were fortunate to see.

  I just can't get enough of these photos, they are some of my favourites.  If you scrolled down this far, I hope you enjoyed my amateur photos.  Thanks for visiting.