Friday, November 28, 2008

oh christmas tree...

Its that time of the year. The tradition that we started six years ago ..choosing our Christmas tree. We always take video camera and camera and head off on what has always been a stinkin" hot day, and today was no exception! I tried to get some good photos of the girls and the tree but failed miserably. Oh well. Here they are getting their annual christmas tree lollipop.
Ive been really feeling the excess of the season this year and have been browsing through many frugal type blogs. I find these really inspiring for the pocket and just sum up for me how I want to simplify my life. Ive been putting things on trade me in an effort to pare down stuff. Also this year I dont want to give stuff to those I love for the hell of giving a present. Even if I do have to exceed some sort of budget buying stuff that is just put away or ends up in the landfill is a waste of my money, my time and a burdon on the environment. I just know that that will happen to me though. This year as always we will give to some charity. I LOVE this side of Christmas and its just choosing which gifting to give to. One year we gave a care box full of canned food and a few small presents. There are drop off branches at libraries etc. And the girls really love this. Plus we can give my own preserves etc. I also like the idea of the buy a goat etc scheme through Oxfam.
Knowing that the Tree choosing day was fast approaching Ive been thinking of CHristmases past especially those when I was a child. SO special. Not so much glitz or glammer, but lots of people, lots of food, goodwill and sun and games outside in the afternoon for the children. I think tradition like those I had as children are so important because when You grow up and face hard times or lonely times away from family travelling or whatever, those memories just sustain you. Well thats what i found anyway. Now that my Dad has passed and favourite Uncles etc gone I get quite sad and tearful but in a happy nostalgic kind of way if that makes sense during Christmas. I also love making Christmas ornaments from natural elements at Christmas. Im sure that i get this from Mum! She was always collecting pinecones, twigs, shribbery etc and spraying them or doing things with them. I find it quite sad that she has lost that enthusiasm for Christmas now although she does enjoy the gift giving.
I have been busy scrapbooking again. Well I say busy but I only did two pages from Alex ballet recital. Ill have to post some pics. Cost me TOOO much in embellishments but... (ive no excuses)I want to do some more now and Ive certainly got enough photos to work from. SOmetimes I just get taken over by the urge to scrap!
Have a great day

Monday, November 24, 2008

Too Hot

As the title suggests it is too hot. I mean it is impossibly hot!! So whats a mum to do but invite the girls best friends around for a swim(only til 4.30 then its swimming lessons down at the pool for Alex). Four girls. Ages 6, 8, 8 and 8. A LOT of noise. Why do girls shout? They shout at each other

even when they are only a couple of feet from each other. :)

I almost died from heat exhaustion from my walk today , I wonder if it is worth it when i am too drained to do anything else all day? Seriously I was so tired with a weariness that wouldnt go away that all I thought I could do was sew. But even that was too much. Summer! Gotta love it! At least tomorrow the school starts swimming, so the kids will love that.Here is our new school web site. My kids are third generation there by the way.

I found a bundle of year old American mags in a going cheap basket at the quilters a while ago. Every one of them was full of at least one future project for me. The one above is the one Ive ear marked for my reproduction fabrics quilt. Ill just have to keep growing my windham stash and find some pinks similar to the above. Im looking forward to seeing it come together in 2009!!

Sunny skies from Cherry

Those simple things again..

Im trying not to get caught up in the Christmas pressie rush thing, but everywhere you look the heat is on. Not that I dislike Christmas infact I love it but the stress is so unneeded.
Yesterday i lost a lot of time watching Georgia and her cat, Sarah play..A simple thing that made me giggle. Sarah the terror of the local pigeons and one of the best hunters we know can still spend a lot of time playing whats under the duvet..

At this crazy time of year its been really good to set the sewing machine aside and do some gentle handsewing. I am still quietly and in my own time piecing together these flyboy pieces. I am also making a Christmas tree from scraps that will hang as a small wallhanging, from scraps of Christmas fabric. Unfortunately I dont have enough green Christmas off cuts to use so I will wait til the just before Christmas sales and buy the Christmas material then.

My Christmas presents are coming along. I made about nine or ten tissue cases, three pot holders made from teatowells and then I found three Christmas aprons Id made following the sales last year tucked away that Id completely forgotten about!! In amongst the slight panic of the layby I have yet to pay off and the big car bill that is waiting Im sure when our car gets back from the Auto electrician, it was a pleasant surprise. (again just a simple thing!)

We dont have a vege garden here, so we plant bits and bobs through out the garden. Our peas are loving the weather obviously and have taken off. Gorgeous hubby said that the peas he planted directly are doing better than the seedlings. Well let me tell you they have certainly had the hot weather. It has been hot and humid and very very windy. But no matter how the wind blows the heat stays. We are all looking bleary eyed from humid nights trying to sleep in the heat.
I try and do a couple of miles walk with my dog each day and yesterday I was so hot and so dry that I felt sick after drinking and then slept for three hours!!!! Gorgeous hubby said I must have been dehydrated. Im going to carry a water bottle today tho I hate to carry stuff. Otherwise I quite enjoy my walks with my I pod blasting something exciting in my ears.
Im off now to walk,
Happy exercising

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ssshhhhh..dont tell my friends

But these are some of what they are getting for Christmas. Tute found here or there are some on sew mama sew here under tissue holders.
Im busy making a few extra ornies (love that American abbreviation!) and looking at sew mams site every day trying to find some more quick to sew from my scraps presents for Christmas. If your a crafter and your not switched on to sewe Mama, then you should go there NOW!! Every day they post three or so tutes from people with ideas for presents, ornies (there I go again) which you can make in time for Christmas!
happy Crafting.
Kyah: sleep well angel

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A delicious hot Sunday

Aaah the hot weather continues. Lots of washing hanging on the line. White shirts bleaching out the stains of the schooldays, the towells airing and a soft breeze as well. Just.Gorgeous!

I have included another picture of my outside Christmas decorations. This tree is out the front was in the front garden until hubby mentioned cynically that it would be gone by morning(!). So now it on the porch. I tired to make seashell decorations, but unfortuanately the ree fell over and most of the wee kina shells broke (we Dont poach , these shells were found on the beach). I also made some rustic stars from twigs and plan to make more outdoor decs for this tree. Watch this space.. Im going to have to go to the library and get some books on the subject.
Last night I looked and looked at the internet trying to find some simple prim type ornies patterns to make but had no success. If you know of any let me know.
its soooo hot and what better way than to jump in the pool. My two little part maoris go golden brown they dont burn and so they can spend hours in the pool or at the beach. lucky things.
These photos of them were taken this morning. The water temperature was 20 degrees already!
Love and summer hugs

Friday, November 14, 2008

HOt hot hot!

It is broiling here as I write. The day has been spent out with the children in the pool. Well, theywere in the pool I was not game enough yet and sat on the side handquilting my Americana quilt(of course). Sore sore fingers but i am getting there.. I did buy thimbles but am having a lot of trouble manouvering them. i think i will buy some others and just try them all out. I think my stitches are better but the underneath of the quilt looks a million miles better than previous quilts where I "stabbed". While I was at the Quilt shop I was invited on Monday, Fridays and Thursday nights to join in with others who congregrate and quilt. Yum! The quilt shop I go to is out in the country and is owned by wife who runs it and the husband who runs the winery which is also there. Its so great out in the country , no need to take keys out of ignition etc. Just love it. Town quilting shops (not that there is one in hastings) dont have that same ambiance in my opinion. I am looking forward to meeting and chatting with other quilters all the time while quilting myself, browsing through patterns and fabrics and having the odd coffee and cake..bliss! The quilt shop is here.
The photo above is my latest effort in bringing Christmas to the outside this year. I love the idea of outside Christmas decorations but other than the front door I havent really gone forward with this, of course we have had lights up outside before. So I sat down and tied plaids around this old wreath of mine and it is on the back gate. I have things out the front too but as it is not finished I will post pics when i have completed the look. I wish I could find my rusty bells I bought at a closing down sale for that wreath but ALAS! I cant find them, they will be under the boxes and crates of material and notions that weighs a ton and I cant bear lifting it all and destroying what is quite an orderly (but heavy tower to locate it!)
I am soaking some fruit mince overnight in brandy and orange juice ready for a Christmas cake tomorrow. It is an easy recipe and one that I have not tried before and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. YES! My Christmas spirit is arriving at last!
Your Cherrily

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This rather blurry and awful photo is infact a closeup of myhandquilting. To those of you that didnt realise I am a s

tab stitcher but with this quilt and my subsequent others i am determied to handquilt ! When I was at the Quilt Show and was wtching keenly as a quilter was handquilting the raffle prize, her advice was to "perserve" So i am. I couldnt tell you how many stitches there are to the inch (maybe two!!!) But underneath the bottom looks lovely! I stayed up quilting this while watching Breaking Bad a black hunour tragic tale, then the Daily SHow from America which always has me in fits of laughter.

NOw on a much more sombre note. I have been following the blog here of wee Kyah who will be three at the end of this month. SHe was diagnosed from the age of 18 months with a virulent neuroblastoma cancer and the journal has been following her progress, the dreams of success from the parents and finally tragically the return of the cancer and the last few months, weeks, days and now it seems hours of her life. It is one blog I read with a certain amount of trepidation wondering what will be the update each day. Yesterday there was a comment to say that her Mum and Dad will be with her permanantly as the life is leaving her for its next journey, so the next post will be then one that I have dreaded. I cant tell you the sadness I feel when I read this blog even though I know Kyah is on her way to a place we cant even imagine the joy of, but as humans you can not help but be extremely moved.

Love from Cherry

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Its called Flyboy...

Georgia took to handsewing a orphaned piece of patchwork into a skirt. She is so proud of it!
The election was last night. All we heard from the (unbiased??) panel of commentators on tv1 and tv3 was that labour would show its strength in the later stages when the Auckland electorates came in..well whatdoya know practically a landslide to national..Yah!! Finally after nine long years..
Hope I havent offended anyone here but we should be please we live a democratic society that allows us all to vote. Doesnt take much to see hoe some other countries operate. Imagine if we were there?

This piece is from one of the books I picked up at the fair with templates. There are four templates which do a myriad of blocks. I am making a quilt from my scraps with this pattern. Its called flyboy and used 16 dark and 16 light squares, so obviously it will be for the scraps that are decent in size! I really like it and having seen a picture of a scrap quilt done in different colours of flyboys it looks spectactualr, but I am the teeniest bit disturbed that it looks like a swastika..
Have a happy day quilting

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ive finished TWO things...

Wow it must be the festive time of year but Ive finished two projects and all with the help of my new machine which I think Im in love with (once I realised that to get a quarter inch seam you had to change to a special quarter inch foot!) First I got sick of the Christmas tree skirt staring at me from its almost but not quite finished position. So that had to be finished- and was! The result you can see. Its a bit bulkier than I wanted but still its finished and once under the tree I will feel a huge relief. The next quilt was a single quilt made up from disappearing nine patch pattern, and did I have some problems with this scrap quilt. All was going well I was enjoying cutting 4inch blocks and seeing my scrap bag go down a bit. Then I sewed them all together. Still good. Then I cut them in half and in half again and then I realised that some of the patch werent even. Like some had a bigger width than others. So then I figured that once I sewed them together they would magically come right. But No! So by the end I was sewing them together and just thinking this will be a good cat quilt. Im really not happpy but I will add large borders to it and fold it nicely with the Americana quilt and the friendship star scrap quilt to await quilting.
I went to a book fair today and grabbed some very old (70s) quilting american magazines and even a book complete with plastic templates! I love these old magazines as once you get past the garish yellow and brown colours of the seventies the patterns are as good as any recent ones. Plus old magazines seem to have really good articles..go figure. I havent been able to get into the quilted dreses yet though, but who knows perhaps the fashion industry needs someone like me to reinvent this particular theme?
So from my books I have some ideas for my next two scrap quilts. The one with the Ohio stars pictured is all in scraps and then I found another one Im really impressed with (the one with the templates) that has a whirly gig type of pattern again all done in scraps and these look so impressive. I also have ecided (mostly) to do my reproduction fabrics in a double irish pattern wih tthe greys a sbackground fabric.
My Christmas photo for today is a snowman filled with blackmetal sand to make him stand that I made last year. yes I found my lost bag of decorations, but is it me, the heat, the tiredness or too early with decorations or not enough new or new handmade decorations but I feel particularly jaded with this years Christmas. My festive spirit is not with me at all and normally it is THE thing I love when it comes to seasons. I will have to get together with my girls and watch lots of snowy Christmasy Santa Claus DVDs. That is sure to get me in the mood (i Hope)
So enjoy your day wherever this bloggy message hits
love from crafty but not yet Christmasy Cherry

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Christmas decorations

I know its early but November is the month I l;ike to decorate the house and garden with Christmas cheer. Yes thats right, as the sun scorches pale skin and dries out flower beds, as the strawberries ripen and long days in the cool pool are spent, I put up images of snowmen and winter jacketed St Nics!

So with November upon us we pulled out these decorations and I thought I woul dlike a over the top super inviting Christmasy front entrance. My husband is least impressed he loves Christmas (written with sarcasm..) but as I really had dreams of what the front porch would look like of the cottage I dreamed I would be in by Christmas have all but evaporated he knew better than to comment and left me to decorate unhindered. I can not find a few boxes of ornament s and mostly they are filled with homemade decorations, so I am a bit perplexed. We have had a lot of stuff put into our shed thruout the year and so im hoping they are under something, behind something? Ill have to investigate further. Id hate to have lost all the homemade things I always make in the month leading up to Christmas when for some reason crafting becomes more obssessive than usual (and usually its pretty obssessive..)
My daughters ate the first strawberries from our garden the other day, its sooooo exciting seeing all the delicious produce growing up around here. hawkes bay is known as the fruit bowl of Nz and there is no end of gorgeous tree grown treats come summer til Autumn. I just love to preserve and am eagerly awaiting the berries so I can freeze/jam/dry them. The its nectarines, peaches, pears, apples.. not to mention free blackberries from the roadside, tomatoes (very cheap once they get going to buy make sauces, pasta sauces, dry etc. Now just to get some land and do much of the above for ourselves...hmmm.
Take care and have a christmasy day where every you are,
Love Cherry

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Im back from ballet chaos..

Its been a very busy few days and very late nights working behind the scenes of Alexandras ballet recital. This year I spent the time looking after Alexs pre primary grade class and the pre school class (which are two three and four year olds) It was a mission there were thirty children to prepare and get on a stage successfully. After some very terse days of this I swore Id never do it again (tho of course I will as I always volunteer for all my kids activities!) but next year Alex goes up a grade to Primary grade ballet and their will be only be seven or eight in her group. Plus they will be six and seven and I wont be faced with hysterical three year olds refusing to take off their tights etc! Alex is proving she is older now refusing to pose properly for photos , turning to face the wall etc while all her friends faced up to the camera (i got lovely shots of them!!) We were also at the theatre til very late because i volunteered to do door duty in the evening run thru of the show and had to wait til the seniors were finished. Lucky for me I have night owls for children.!
I arrived back exhausted and after a bit of a sleep in I realised that i had finished my top for the tree skirt and now could begin to piece it all together (backing scallops etc.) Very exciting until I realised that I have to add more backing onto the cut out peice as I must have underestimated the measurements, and right now I just cant be bothered. I did however finish the Christmas panel that i bought to do during recital practises before the recital practises began!! Typical.
I am going to be starting to decorate the house any dy now for Chritmas as I find the month goes so quickly that I need two months to fully appreciate the seasons decs!

Have a happy early November day
love Cherry