Friday, December 28, 2007

I hated Christmas after my father died (I was 14 at that time). In my dreams I am a part of a 'big' Christmas with lots of people around the tree. But I was not too lucky with this. I was an only child with only one living grandma, so the maximum was 4 people (mum, dad, grandma and me). After my dad's death it became 3.

Some years later I got a stepfather and some more years later when I spoke about my dream Christmas to his mum, she came to us, so we were 4 again.

When I met my B and started to live with him, we had our 'small and special Christmas'. We were only 2 but with 3 soft toy friends it can be a crowd. :D (Once we could invite a friendly family and we were 6, but I think I have to make my own family to have my huge dream Christmas)

So these day we are only 2 around the tree, but it is very good and intimate. It is very special and I like it this way, too.

But the really best part is Advent for me. I have the craziest best friend ever. (Actually I have two as they are a couple.) She has a little souvenir shop, so she is busy just like all the other shopkeepers. Plus they have big families (OK, big for me), five people on both sides. And they usually buy about 20 presents to everyone. of course it is not a rule, just an average number. You can imagine how busy they are before Christmas. And we (me and my B) are with them because we are good friends and because we love to be together and it is very entertaining to go with them. We usually make pairs and go shopping in 'these little groups' (it is not clever to go together because then you cannot make a surprise).
Pungi (the girl of the couple) is a 'carpe diem' person. She goes into shops happily, we made a marathon shopping this year (more than 11 hours). It is not only walking, but having fun and food together. It is a tradition made by her. She wants to kill me with food on this 'shopping tours'. We eat very nice things and simple ones, have coffee and ice cream sometimes, or other things we like.
And then the wrapping comes. She usually decorate presents to her customers and the huge amount of pressies for the families. And she is usually in trouble (the biggest enemy is time for her), so I am there helping. Actually it is fun to wrap together, we are chatting, laughing and wrapping, but at the end it is very tiring. (Last year we finished at 5.30 A.M. on the 24th, but this year we stopped at 3. 00 A.M. and started again on the 24th in the morning and finished everything at 6.00 P.M. - which is awfully late if you imagine that in this country we have Christmas dinner around 6 or 7 and then open the pressies with our families, so Christmas Eve is very important here...)
Their rule in wrapping is that they make a pack of each object they have, so 20 presents mean 20 wrappings. Can you imagine? Hundreds of presents to wrap!
It is fun but at the end it is usually a fight against time. I made lots of designs this year (which I really enjoyed), so I have some more pics for you, maybe tomorrow.
And these are pictures of our Christmas:

Our Christmas tree (the nicest in the world for me):

My presents (some of my presents, Orangina in cans, about 20 cans :D I love it, and it is not easy to buy them here.... luckily the angels and little Jesus thought about me and brought me some)And this is Monkey in B's new cap. Isn't he cute?

And this is a 'before Christmas' present I got from Pungi, I sometimes called her 'Sweetie' so she found this fruit and bought it for me. I hope it tastes good, I have never tried it.

Plus I had my Advent Swap before Christmas, so with all these funny and unusual things I had a beautiful Advent and Christmas again, but I was extremely tired after working, shopping, wrapping and being excited all day. But it was a really good time again!

AAS 15-25

Sorry for being late, here are the other pressies I got in the Advent Swap.

Day 15
a wall hanger, I can't find the pic, so be patient, please, I am posting it a bit later.

Day 17

Day18, wow, I always wanted something like this! It is so exciting to have a real Aussie organising bag which I can take with me when going sewing :D

Day 19
A calendar for 2008. It is sooo sweet , country style calendar with a magnet on the back.

Day 20, a pair of scissors! I have a lot of them, but I always have to look for them. Here is a new one, tiny, little and sharp!

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23, yayayay I got some mags :D I got three embroidery mags in a pack today! Hurray! I am sooo happy with them!

Day 24, a wall hanger, too, made of iron, pic coming soon.

Day 25, the huge handmade present! it is a beautiful table runner made of red fabric and flower printed organza. I even loved the black pack outside the present. This is the bag of the shop of stitch up's daughter in which she sews. Thanks for it stitch up! The runner is under my Christmas tree now, in the main place with the presents!
I enjoyed the swap so much! It was fun to open the pressies every day! I hope I can take part in it next year, too!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I wish you, dear Reader a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Time bet me before Christmas in our usual competition, time won, but now my time is coming, so be patient, I have lots of photos waiting for me to share....

Have fun with your families and friends, this is the best time for that!

(I still have 2 projects to do, but ssshhhhhh, I cannot talk about them, they are top secrets.... I am going to write about them later...)

AAS 13 - 14

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 13 was a packet of pins which is a good present as I always run out of them... They always disappear somehow....

AAS 10 - 12

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I have taken some pics lately as my batteries are working again, so here I am! (And I bought 4 more batteries today to be better with pics for the blog)

So here are some pics about the last presents.

Day 10 - a tea towel with Aussie things on it! I hope you can see them in the pic.

Day 11 - A piece of fabric. My partner, stitch up wrote a bit about it on forum (thanks for that!) These are special Australian flowers on it: red waratah, yellow wattle and white and green flannel flowers. I hope I can find more info about those tomorrow (I am extremely tired today, had a very busy day!)

Day 12 - a thread riper, very unique, the ones you can buy here are very different!

And we started the Christmas carol singing yesterday! It is so good! My kids are very excited about it and they are really good. I got lots of nice words from colleagues and other students as well. I am so proud of my little 'choir'. They are there early in the morning waiting for singing those English songs for the others. They practise the lyrics in the afternoon and try to memorize the language... They are just great! I am happy to work with them!

No photos today....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My batteries decided to have a rest and not to work today so they are in the battery charger and I can't take photos. I am really sorry about that.

Today I got a piece of flowery fabric and yesterday I found a tea towel in my huge Advent Box.

The finished sewing project today was a little bag. I found out that I had forgotten a bag of the Advent Calendar. It is the 12th one so I made that. I used a piece of the Santa fabric, a picture with Santa and a polar bear. I sewed it on the calendar so it is the bag of the penguin on the right side of the calendar.

I think I'd better go back and sew a bit more....

Advent calendar for B - (AAS Day 9)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

This is a very late Advent calendar which is made for my B.

There is a saying here, something like: I made the coat for the buttons. It means you have a small part of something and you make the whole design for that.

That happened with this calendar. Actually I had an idea in my mind. I wanted to make a Tildas calendar to my B just like to Pungi (you could see it in a previous post), of course not the same pattern and not the same fabric but a similar design. Then on a Friday afternoon my B came home with a piece of fabric. He jumped into a fabric store (with my friend of course, not alone.... come on he is a man!) and found some fabric with Santa and polar bears on it. (Polar bear is our favourite animal). I changed my mind quickly and decided to make a design based on the fabric. To tell you the truth it was a very hard work. The fabric had whole pictures on it, quite big ones. I didn't want to cut these, but they were quite big to use them only. I decided to use only one of each and make a pattern of the same design to the calendar. I think working with small patterned fabric is much easier for me...

I wanted to make a green and red calender but the fabric was blue and red and white, so I found some fabric of these colours and started the calendar. (I was thinking for about 2 or 3 weeks before starting.) Unfortunately I was extremely late because I could finish the calendar only today, but I hope my B was/is happy with it.

So I drew a big Santa and some penguins, I added some presents and a sack to the picture. I used the mountains of the fabric's pattern, too. The mountains are pockets now. You can close them with buttons.

I used 5 pictures of the fabric for huge pockets on the calendar.

I stitched a "Merry Xmas" (it in the pic above but can't be seen to well... I am sorry about that) and the red border is quilted with holly (machine quilted).

And I opened a gift today as well...
It was in the blue paper with snowman, a nice little gift:

There was a fridge magnet in the paper, a koala:

Antoher Christmas gift - the horse (and AAS 8)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

To tell you the truth I have made this horse in November in a meeting when I saw my net friends (patchwork ladies) for three days in the countryside. It was a funny meeting and we sewed a lot as well, each of us took an idea and showed it to the others. A nice lady and her daughter taught us this horse. They are real experts in making animals.

I have decided to make this as a Christmas gift for the son of my colleague who loves horses. This was my first one but I think, it is not that bad, so it can be a gift.

It is made of felt. I used white. I cut out the parts of the body and the ears and sewed everything together.

Then I put pipe cleaner inside for the legs (it is wire covered with some fabric) to make them strong so the horse can stand on them.

I used machine to make the hair. A little piece of felt and I sewed knitting thread on it and cut it later.

I filled the horse with wool and finished sewing.

Finally I made the eyes and mouth with black DMC.

And here is my Day 8 present wrapped:

Unwrapped - two beautiful blue butterfly buttons: