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Our craft group went out for our annual Christmas Dinner a while back, which also includes a decoration swap.  This time, though, one of the girls also brought along a surprise gift for each of us.  She had commissioned one of these gorgeous artworks – for each of us!

It’s a collage Babushka by Kate Mason of Something for Kate. You have just got to check out her out. Her work is fantastic!  The texture and colours are just perfect.

So thanks Lyn for the wonderful surprise and thanks Kate for the beautiful work.

Our family enjoyed a very simple and really fun Christmas day – I think our best one yet!

Our daughter putting the Angel on the tree.

We tried not to overindulge (too much) on the traditional Christmas fare.

We had the carols playing most of the day.

We played games on the Wii.

We played Uno.

We talked.

We laughed.

We were together.

Really, it doesn’t get much better than that for me.

This year, we baked our ham with the maple glaze from Donna Hay’s magazine (issue 48) and it was a huge hit. The vegies roasted beautifully with the glaze, too. The trifle was full of berries and other fruits and really tasty. There were sweets and gingerbread. And leftovers for dinner.

How is it that Christmas seems to come around quicker every year? And how is it that once it’s here it’s gone in the blink of an eye?

And with Christmas behind us, I’m looking forward to the new year. 2009 was filled with change, loss, and health worries. But good things too – new home, newly engaged daughter, new outlook.

I’m hoping for a 2010 that is SIMPLE.

Simple – as in having what we need and being joyous with that.

Simple – as in uncluttered thoughts and actions.


Wishing you and yours a safe and happy new year. May 2010 be good to you and those in your world!

It’s funny how you create traditions without even realising it.

When our kids were little we would let them take turns putting the angel on the top of the Christmas tree. One year (1997) we couldn’t remember whose turn it was. So we sorted that out and I decided to make a note so we wouldn’t have the same dilemma the following year. I tucked the note in with the angel and it worked really well.

I wasn’t really a documenter back then.

I wasn’t thinking about how in a few years time I’d want to scrapbook about the things we do and that the bit of paper I tucked in with the angel would become so important to me. So I just grabbed a bit of notepaper. It’s a scratchy old bit of probably not very archivally safe paper. But boy does it hold some history!

It is so much more than just a list now. The kids each wrote their names and the year it was their turn. It’s great looking back and seeing how their writing has changed. And remembering how they each in turn were happy to let the other one have their turn without argument.

This year both our children left home. But we still had to get together to decorate the tree (even though they both had trees of their own). This year they thought it should be our turn to put the angel on the tree. But it just wouldn’t be the same if one of them didn’t do it. So the list came out again this year. And the paper’s just about filled up.  So next year when we need a new bit of paper to continue our tradition, it will be archivally safe – for me and for them. Because this is one tradition I don’t want to lose.

What traditions have you created in your world?

This is a pattern from Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched, called “It’s Christmas Time”, which I made quite a few years ago now.

My daughter inherited it when she moved out of home last year. I got it back from her to “fill it up” again for this Christmas. Each little pocket has a couple of sweets and a paper scroll with a joke on it – just a bit of fun leading up to Christmas. My son hasn’t fared quite as well. His advent calendar is a bit makeshift. (Sorry Zack – you know I love you – you’re still my favourite first-born child!) He moved out of home this year and I didn’t really give too much thought to advent calendars – for him or for us – until the other day. So next year I’ll have to make something for him (and myself, too).

How do you count down to Christmas in your world?

I am so glad I signed up for this swap! My new friend Natima has been very generous in welcoming me to blog land, so thank you Natima. I really appreciate it. I’m also very grateful to Clare and Robyn for putting this whole ornament swap together. Thanks for being so generous with your time.

Yesreday I got my parcel of Christmas cheer in the mail from Natima!!!

Inside was a gorgeous collage card. And a card of Christmas buttons. And a beautiful heart to hang on my tree. I love the simplicity of it. And the accent of the yellow French knots. And the button with the beads hanging. I couldn’t be more pleased to receive this beautiful gift from my new “stitching sister” – Natima. Thank you so much!!! Go on over to Natima’s blog to find out more about her inspiration for her swap ornament . . .

After exchanging emails with Natima, it seems that we have similar tastes in how we decorate our trees. It’s a bit of an eclectic style, so there was a lot of scope for this project. I decided to go with a bit of Christmas bling and crafted a sequined plum pudding for Natima.

I really enjoyed making this for her and felt a connection, a feeling of kinship – knowing that all around the globe, at the same time as me, other crafty folk were creating their ornaments to swap too.

The little card is from an online Christmas class I did a few years back with Kim Archer. I really liked making them then and enjoyed it just as much this time around. There’s something that really appeals to me about mini things, and this little card is only a couple of inches in size. It’s a felt cover with cardstock pages. And the box to hold the plum pudding is a variation on one I made a year or so ago, which I really enjoyed doing. I like the quirkiness of the spots and stripes together. Quirky, I must say, appeals to me quite a bit at the moment. What does that say about me???

Are you getting ready for Christmas in your world?

It’s been a week of holding our breath – or at least it seems that way. Last Wednesday Gary went to the skin clinic for a check up for a mole that had grown a bit. We weren’t really prepared for the news that it was a Melanoma. You don’t really want to hear the word cancer associated with anyone you know, so it was quite a shock. He’s fit and healthy. He runs for enjoyment. He loves being outdoors. And it seems that has been a bit of a problem!

When we went for the check up, his doctor fitted him in right away to do the surgery to remove the mole . . . and then the waiting game began.  We got the pathology results on Tuesday confirming that it was indeed a melanoma and a second round of surgery was required. Thankfully, it seems to be an “in-situ melanoma”, which is early stage, so hopefully yesterday’s surgery is all that is required to be clear of the cancer. Another few days of waiting to be sure, but the doctor is pretty confident.

So today as I tend to my very sore and sorry husband, I am so far beyond grateful that he’s going to be here with me for a long time to come . . . and we can both breath again.

Now, onto matters crafty . . .

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to go to a Christmas Craft Market with my mum and her friend. It was a very small local affair, for a day care centre. There were ready-made crafts to purchase, but also some stalls selling craft supplies. Well, I don’t really need too many supplies (but that’s a story for another day), but I did manage to pick up some fat quarters for one of my long-term projects.

A year or so ago I came across this book by Blackbird Designs

and instantly fell in love with the “Field of Blooms” quilt, inspired by an antique quilt they had used – originally for props and then they decided to include the pattern in the book. And that is how my “circles” began!

I use a 4-inch circle template, which gives me about a 1 3/4-inch finished yo-yo. I have cut circles from fabrics I had sitting around for a while, as well as some new fabrics that I just loved. I have decided to stick with a bright-pastel-ish palette, although since beginning I have thought of other colour ways that would be lovely, too. Projects for another day, I guess. I looked upon this as a project that would be completed in its own good time. A project to enjoy the process. No pressure. No deadlines. Just fun. So I started stitching circles. And in a Forrest Gump kind of way – I just kept stitching. I have stitched on road trips, hospital visits, social visits with friends and family, on the lounge in front of the TV. The list goes on.

My husband likes to break the numbers down in things, so he figured out that to make the size quilt I’d like to go on our bed I’d need . . . 2688 circles! Now, sometimes you don’t really need to know the numbers up front. It can be a bit overwhelming. But no matter, I started tracing, cutting and stitching circles. Early on I decided that I wouldn’t start stitching the circles together until I had enough, because I wanted to make sure that all the different fabrics were randomly spread, not clumped together. So I have bagged them by colour. When it comes time to join them I can just grab from the different bags.

I’ve got 641 circles stitched (I jot the number down on a piece of paper so I don’t have to re-count to know how I’m going). I had kind of stalled on this project a bit in the last few months, but I saw the fat quarters at the craft market and thought they would make a nice addition to the quilt. So these lovely bits of fabric will soon be traced and cut – and hopefully stitched in the not too distant future.

What are you stitching in your world?

PS Christmas Decoration Swap completed and posted. Pictures to follow once Natima has received it. Don’t want to give away the surprise.

I’ve been contacted by my Christmas Ornament Swap partner – hi Natima!!!

Natima mentioned that she was working on her christmas quilt on the weekend. Click over to her blog and check out what she’s been up to.

It got me thinking about my Christmas quilt.

A Christmas Story Quilt

This is it and it will be hanging on our wall again come the first of December. This is the ‘A Christmas Story’ quilt from Anni Downs at Hatched and Patched. I bought the book and the fabric, but at the time I didn’t really “do” applique. So it took me a while to get started with this quilt, but once I got going I just fell in love with needle turn applique. I really love Anni’s whimsical style. So I had the quilt finished in time for last Christmas. I didn’t do the little stitcheries for each of the ‘tongues’ around the border, but I just might get them done for next year!

What are you working on for christmas?

I’ve signed up for a bit of craft Christmas fun – it’s the Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap 2009. Check out the details here.

About Me

Welcome to Sue's World. I'm a wife and a mother to 2 great grown-ups, living in Canberra, Australia.

My craft interests include patchwork, stitching, scrapbooking and photography.

Please feel free to stop by from time to time, and I'd love it if you'd leave me a message to let me know you've been.

Thanks for stopping in on my world.

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August 2020