Thursday 26 January 2012

A little boat called 'Hope'

I found myself at a bit of a loose end this evening, with hubby being at work, the kidlets tucked up in bed super early, and no desire to sit in front of the old soap box. So, I made a boat. A little one. I thought I'd show you...

This was sooooo much fun to make! A few bits of scrap wood, a lick of paint, some gluing and sticking, and of course a bit of sewing, and Ta-da! I have a feeling I'll be making a whole fleet! Anyway, just a short post this evening as I now have to tidy the kitchen table which looks as if the first floor of Hobbycraft has moved in! Night-night!

Monday 23 January 2012

Captain America and the pretty red dress

I have never been a die hard fan of comic super heroes, and just can't get myself excited about the likes of Spiderman or Superman. I do appreciate all the artistry, imagination and vision that goes into creating these characters, and the illustrations are amazing. I can definitely see the appeal, but it has never got me excited. That was until this weekend! The boys in my life had a movie night on Friday as both myself and my daughter were out, and they indulged in the 2011 release of Captain America, the First Avenger. Needless to say, they loved it, and egged on by my seven year old, I finally succumbed on Sunday afternoon to watch the film he claimed 'even mummy would enjoy'! And guess what...I loved it! Perhaps not just for obvious reasons, such as the fine physique of Captain America, played by the handsomely chissled Chris Evans, but for more frivolous reasons such as the 1940's styling!

The story takes us back to the beginnings of Captain America himself, how he ended up being turned from a scrawny little lad deemed unfit for military service (with the heart of a lion), into a bulked-up soldier ready to take on the Nazi's with his powers of strength and agility, and the very important indestructable shield that he carries. Even typing that last sentence, I think, what? Did I really watch and enjoy a film where he battles the villain Hydro who wants to take over the world? Hand on heart...yes. It was decently acted, contained just the right amount of action, and with the very beautiful Peggy (played by Hayley Atwell) there was even a little romance. As hubby put it, a little something for everyone.

Peggy, played by Hayley Atwell

Now, I NEVER watch a movie and just pay attention to the plot. Oh no! I scrutinize the setting, the wardrobe and styling, and often this can make or break a film for me. I loved the styling in this film, especially that of the very feisty Peggy. I loved her hair...

...and the shade of her red lipstick...

...but most of all, THAT red dress!

This dress was especially made for the very gorgeous ms Atwell, and when asked whether she kept it, she admitted that she hadn't, and that it's probably been put in storage somewhere. Nooooo! It fitted her like a glove, and if I looked that good in a dress, I would definitely not part with it!
I wish I could say that I take away some profound truth, a lesson learnt, or a gem of wisdom from this film, but, I take away just one thing. A mission to find a red dress like that! I know, it's fickle, but true. And that is that!

Sunday 22 January 2012

Delight in the little things!

With the new year well and truly on it's way, and each month beckoning with new birthdays to be celebrated, I have decided to be more organised, to plan ahead and get the gift list sorted before the claws of last minute panic buying grab me at the ankles! If there is one thing in life that excites me, it's handing over a gift to a friend or loved one, in the hope to see a smile of genuine satisfaction spread across their face. I think it is true that one tends to give gifts that appeal to one's own personal taste, and I suppose that's why I love giving gifts that I've created myself. I find the idea of someone taking the time to lovingly craft something personal for me, utterly heart-warming! That's why I love giving hand-made gifts myself, and with that in mind, forward-planning is of the utmost importance! That being said, I must remind myself to keep the individual in mind, as I'm sure not everyone likes 'homemade'?

Now, as I love sewing, I tend to sew gifts, but I have also made other items that require no sewing, and thought that I'd share my latest project with you. If there is one thing that has endless possibilities, it's the very humble jar, or more to the point, the mason jar. One can fill it up with just about anything, decorate and it looks lovely. I made this for a very special lady's birthday, using nothing but the jar, tea lights and embellishments, card, ribbon and a bit of imagination! I found a page of words in my scrapbooking ephemera stash, and the word 'delight' jumped out at me. The saying 'delight in the little things' came to mind, and that was it! I decided to fill a mason jar with tea lights, and to decorate it with a play on words...'de-light in the little things'! Get it? Tea Okay, it's just me...

Well, this is was the process...

...and the finished jar...

Now, I was 'delighted' with how it turned out! The lovely recipient loves candles, so it made a simple and practical gift. I would love it if you would share some of your ideas, so please leave a comment and share away!

Thursday 19 January 2012

Just Because...

Sometimes I get the urge to sew, but just can't face templates, patterns or instructions! Yesterday was one of those days. It was cold and wet outside, and I often feel more creative when the view outside calls for wrapping up and staying in. But, I just didn't feel like tackling a mammoth sewing project that would take up hours before I could enjoy the fruits of my labour. I wanted to indulge in some silly, uncomplicated playtime! So, I reached for the fabric scraps box, and decided to make a little garland to grace our photo wall, which I'd love to share with you once it's finished! Inspired by the very lovely Tif over at  I set to work and this is what I made.
Teeny-tiny garland

Now, what I loved about this little project was the freedom in creating it. There are no rules. You can use small bits of left-over fabric, lace, ribbon, buttons or any other embellishments you like. I simply cut little rectangles with pinking shears, sewed a little decorative seam around the edges, added lace and decorative accents, and then attached them to some string. You can add as much or as little as you like, and you can make it as big or as small as you like. And voila! A little bit of fun to brighten up a dreary spot! I think this is the first of many I'll be making. Just think, you could use the kiddies' old clothes to sew into a little keepsakes. Or, I think  mini-garlands would look lovely hanging on the back of chairs at parties, maybe a wedding or my favourite reason of all: JUST BECAUSE....

I hope you'll have a go at creating some of your own, and if you do, I would love to hear from you. Happy sewing!

Monday 16 January 2012

The last couple of months have been such a whirl of activity, that I haven't had a chance to share some of the projects I've completed with you. So, I thought I'd kick this week off with a little stroll through the archive of handmade and hand sewn thing-a-me-bobs that have occupied me for some time now!
As most of you know, I absolutely adore the designs of  Norwegian born Tone Finnanger, and have made many of her inspired handsewn projects. These have a special place in my heart...

Hand sewn strawberries and apples for the fruit bowl...I have quite a few of these that I use as pincushions!

Tilda angels...can one ever tire of these? I made a few before Christmas, and I'm planning to make some more!

Tilda's Goodnight Angels...Loved making these!
Floral shopper bag...or, I might just decide to take up knitting and use it for that!

Flirty bird
Well, as you can see I did do quite a bit of sewing over the last couple of months, and these are just a few of the projects I completed. I am planning to let this year be a very productive one, and I'm hoping to get a few new creations under the belt. And...thanks to my dear friends, I won't get stuck as they have been very generous in their giving, and I have been blessed with a few new titles to delve into! we go! Happy Monday!

Sunday 8 January 2012

Lazy weekends...

This weekend was supposed to be a very productive one, with countless jobs needing to be done. But...instead, I opted for procrastination, shoved the old 'To-do-list' aside, and enjoyed some playtime with the kidlets. They were given a gingerbread house kit for Christmas (thank you Sue!), and as we hadn't got round to assembling it yet, we spent Saturday decorating our Hansel and Gretel cottage with sweet delights. Needless to say, it took quite a while as there was a lot of slacking (or should I say snacking?) going on! Hee-hee.... I supervised and was chief glue-er, whilst the kidlets did the decorating. This is what it looked like doesn't look like that anymore...little fingers has picked away at it!

On Sunday we had a Pyjama day...I know, L-A-Z-Y! In an effort to completely ignore the mountain of laundry that was staring me in the face, I took to blogging a bit, whilst the kidlets created Fuzzy Felt pictures.

And this is my nemesis of sorting, ironing and packing away...The worst thing is that there is an equally big load spilling over in the laundry basket waiting to be washed...Eugh...

New year's resolution no. 1: STAY ON TOP OF THE LAUNDRY! Enough said.

Have a fabulous Monday, and an even better rest of the week!

Saturday 7 January 2012

New Year: A time to say farewell...

As we're already well into the new year with the first week of 2012 nearing an end, I gather my thoughts to contemplate what lies in store for us over the next twelve months. The year kicked off with us hosting a little soiree with friends...yummy food...a splash of bubbly (although for some it was more a soaking!)...and a boogie round the living room! A few pictures of our frivolities....

The customary Charlie's Angels pose
(Pictured: Me, and my fellow wonky haloed accomplices, Fiona and Dawn)
More silly poses...some of us working harder at it than others!
My lovely friend Heather and I
Lots of laughter round the kitchen table
(Pictured: Friends Dianne and Dawn, with their lovely daughters)
It was a wonderful way to spend the last few hours of 2011, and we entered 2012 on a high note.

On the 2nd January, however, we received news that my hubby's dearest grandad Poppy had passed away at the age of 90, just a few weeks short of his 91st birthday. Although we were all expecting it as he was slowly slipping away from us, it didn't numb the loss of a truly wonderful man. But, I can honestly say that wrapped up in the sadness, was the deep sense of rejoicing of a life that was dedicated to the Lord. He had longed for so long to go home to his Maker, and finally he has made that journey. On Monday his friends and family will gather to pay tribute to a devoted dad, grandad and great-grandad...he raised a beautiful family, lived his life to overflowing, saw so much, survived the war and served Jesus with every breath. The hardest part for us will be that we are so far away from our South African home, and that we won't be able to be there. However, we will pay tribute in our own small way as we gather with family over here in the UK.

As we enter this new year with a sad farewell, I'm also aware of the opportunity for new beginnings that awaits us. In reflecting on Poppy's life, I can't help but feel inspired by his enthusiasm for life, his love and devotion to his family, his generosity of spirit and his fun-loving nature. One thing I take from the way he lived his life, is to spend time wisely, on the really important things that really matter, to be an investor in the goodness and wholesomeness of family. To quote Maya Angelou: 'People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' Poppy welcomed me into his family as if I was his own grand-daughter, his flesh and blood, and made me feel like I belonged. I will always remember that. I will remember how he rushed over as Graham and I stepped outside the church on our wedding day, and gave me the warmest hug before the confetti could even make it into the air. And of course that he spun me round the dance floor like a seasoned Fred Astaire as we did the Charleston at Mark and Bronnie's wedding! Boy, did I have to work hard to keep up!

To Poppy: 'Enjoy walking the golden streets of heaven! No doubt there'll be some dancing too! We will miss you, but you have left behind legendary memories for us to remember you by!'

And to all of you...happy new year! May your year be filled with love, peace, goodness and happy memories! Cheers!

Tuesday 3 January 2012

A Belated Merry Christmas to you!

Oh my...I have well and truly fallen off the blogging wagon this time, haven't I? Perhaps now that the new year has arrived, I can make a resolution to be more prompt with posting? I will try my darndest! November and December has been a whirlwind of hard work, preparations and festivities, and at times I found myself completely consumed by all the almighty 'To-do-list', so much so that I think I may have forgotten to eat some days, and managed to shed about 6 kg in the process! Fear not though...the Christmas pudding, cheeseboard and gallons of port have surely tossed it all back onto my thighs!

Now, before Christmas is completely forgotten, I thought I'd share a few snaps of our holiday with you. It was a very memorable and special occasion for our family this year, as my parents came to visit us all the way from Namibia on the African continent. We hadn't seen them in over four years, so to introduce two new grandchildren to them (mine and my sister's!) was truly wonderful! Here is our Noel in pictures!

Cooking Christmas Day Lunch

Me, my Mum and Sister

Lunch is served!


I hope you've enjoyed taking a peek at our Christmas snaps, and that you've had a blessed one too. I'd like to wish you all the very best for 2012! May this year be the best yet!