Saturday, December 27, 2014

SSCS 2014

So there has been lots of eating and drinking and phone calls to faraway relatives and generally feeling in a holiday mood. Ah, Christmas - so nice.

And Chookyblue's ( annual SSCS swap was, as usual,  part of all the feel-good stuff. My gifts went to Anne Heidi (lappemor. in Norway. I made her some gifts with an Aussie touch and she loves them. I used Ballarat girl Emma Jean Jansen's Terra Australis fabrics for the pouch and the little drawstring bag. Patterns for both were by Aussie designers, as was the pattern for the stocking. The kangaroo buttons in the parcel are by Barb Smith in Bendigo ( and so is the button on the Christmas decoration I made, which was designed by Marg Low ( another Australian.

My swap parcel for this year was from Clare in NZ, who blogs at As well as the lovely cross-stitched ornament shown in a previous post, and a yummy marshmallow star, Clare sent this lovely wall hanging which looks right at home with all my other handmade Christmas things. The holly branch she added makes it extra-special. It's not a great photo -sorry.

Thanks so much, Anne Heidi and Clare, for being part of my Christmas and special thanks to Chooky for making it happen again.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fun with fabric and felt

Me again. Just after deciding yesterday that I was over all this handmade-for-Christmas malarkey, along came Amy from Nana Company with a delightful tutorial she wrote for EHow. Are these  Christmas stockings cute or what (Amy's are gorgeous but I'm pretty happy with mine.) The very very pink one is for my daughter, the blue one for her boyfriend and I'm keeping the one with the star button.
I'm off to raid my big bag of felt - I feel another stocking waiting to be made. And you're heading over to Amy's blog to admire hers and find out how she made them, aren't you? Run, don't walk. Have fun.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lucky me

The postie delivered a huge box of goodies today from Emma, my secret partner in the Instagram swap I mentioned in yesterday's post. I opened it straight away ( and yes, I was allowed to, so there!) and was amazed by Emma's generosity.  How could I not be - just look at what she sent.

I am looking forward to a cup of that fancy tea later and am dreaming of a fish pie made in my new Jamie Oliver pie dish. There's a needlebook and pincushion, chocolates, pins and two tissue holders.  That was all in one package, wrapped in a tea towel. The other parcel contained this wonderful cushion and I love everything about it - those happy scraps (especially the owl and typewriter key prints) the grey background the border and backing prints and the artfully concealed zip.   I'm feeling very lucky - and very thankful.  I  shared some chocolate with Mr LRH because I'm nice like that and because the poor bloke is a bit limpy after straining a calf muscle this morning while collecting food hampers for his church group to deliver tomorrow. I'm not nice enough to share that cushion though! Like Chooky's, this was a happy swap to be involved in - fun to give and receive, and that's what these swaps are all about.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hello again

I'm way behind on the blogging front. Since my last post, there's been some good stuff and a little not-so-good stuff. C'est la vie.  Anyway, here I am again, enjoying life and making stuff.

I'm in two Christmas swaps this year; one on Instagram and Chooky's Secret Santa Christmas Swap, which I am doing for the 5th? year. The sewing mojo disappeared for a while - coincidentally with the appearance of a bad cold and hay fever for me and a bad cold and hay fever AND shingles for Mr LRH following a few days in Canberra - but luckily came back in plenty of time for crafting for Christmas.

Santa delivered my SSCS parcel nice and early - it was from Clare, who blogs at craftladyinkiwiland and contains this gorgeous ornament which will be displayed in my sewing room all year round. It's meticulously (and patiently) stitched on fine linen. And look at the instruction on the parcel's label  "Do not open until 25th December" - do you think she really means it? (I can almost hear Clare and Chooky in chorus : "Yes, she does!" Thank you so much, Clare, I can't wait to open the parcel - but I will, I promise! It's nice to have stitching connections across the ditch; as I've mentioned in a previous post, I was brought up in NZ after moving from Scotland with my mum and dad when I was two years old.

And I enjoyed making for my SSCS partner, who lives somewhere overseas. The parcel I sent was really light but was pretty pricy to send nevertheless; postal charges just seem to go up and up constantly. No doubt I'll be moaning to myself about this again in the next few days when I post parcels to my two brothers in NZ and cards to family and friends overseas.

The Instagram swap was also fun; I made gifts from brightly coloured fabrics (which took me out of my colour comfort zone - not  a bad thing at all) as these seemed to be my secret partner's preference.

Now I'm off to the sewing room to make a drawstring bag for brother number 3 - my brothers are all getting drawstring bags (it's okay, they don't read my blog) and a special coaster each. Choosing the fabrics has been fun - my youngest brother in Auckland enjoys painting, so his bag features paintbrushes; I'm using Melody Miller's wonderful arrow fabric from her Cotton and Steel range for  brother number 3 in Wellington (which doesn't mean he likes archery; I just loved the fabric and I hope he does too) and my brother in Townsville enjoys fishing, so his bag is patterned with - guess what?

But before I go, here's a little stitching-related extra. I live in Ballarat and today is the 160th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade Rebellion. The battle lasted 15 minutes, many of the rebels and several soldiers and police were killed and while the battle didn't go the miners' way, it's regarded as the foundation of Australia's democracy. Representatives of several stitching groups plus community members including little old me painstakingly handstitched a replica of the original flag with its stars of the Southern Cross. It was a very proud moment when I saw  'my' flag flying from a rustic flagpole early this morning at a ceremony at the site of the battle. It was a wonderful thing to be involved in.