Thursday, 31 December 2015

A New Beginning.

A Happy New Year!

It is always a special way to start the New Year.  Many doing it in style, having a party and letting their hair down and have fun.

It is also a chance to start everyday new and fresh again.

Then there is the best way to start the year with weddings!
This was my big secret Santa project which I worked on.  It was started almost ten years ago, it is a nickel quilt, made with the leftovers from my charm quilt (which is still not done yet)!  The happy couple has known each other for 18 years and decided to tie the knot recently.
With all the kids grown up, the invitations for weddings is growing.  Then there is the milestones, eighty year old  Birthday Party for one very special family member.  Getting everyone in one place when they are as wide spread across the globe is an interesting venture.

May 2016 bring health, happiness and all the joys for each and everyone!

Friday, 25 December 2015

A Special Day!

Merry Christmas to everyone, wishing each and every person Peace, Love, Health and Happiness in the world we live!

                                The reason we celebrate Christmas the world over.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

24th of December

Christmas Eve!

A new tradition we started,  no matter the weather, even if it is -35C?   Is to cook boerewors, traditional sausage from South Africa, on Christmas Eve.  We bake the rolls fresh and then create "hot dogs" with them.  The grill is fired up, the cooking happens in the back garden, sometimes in knee deep snow.
Our neighbours in the past,  has been known to shake their heads at us.  Who cooks a barbeque in winter? Usually the smell gets to them and they pop their heads over the fence, asking us what it is. So over time we have shared boerewors and many has had a taste of it over the years.  It is made with roasted corriander seeds as part of the seasoning inside.
This North American tradition was tried out by the kids, they had great fun creating this masterpiece, the best part?  They got to snack on it. A bite was taken out the side of the chimney.  Never found out who took a nibble on it.  Every time we walk by the Gingerbread house, it would be missing a piece of candy here and there!

Adult candy, chocolate.  Amazing how the kids get into it, before you know it, it is all gone.  At Christmas time there is no calories.....

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

23rd of December

Dressing the Tree!
This job is just perfect for the children.  When they were little, we helped.  Now they do it all.  Many of the decorations was crafted at school and still grace the tree to this day.  Our Angel is a paper plate, painted blue with gold sticker stars, others are made from felt, glitter glue (Christmas is the perfect time to add sparkle).  The silky balls, in all the colours of the rainbow.  Last but not least the shop bought ones. We add one a year, unless we find something truely unique.  

This is the one from last Christmas,  ours we only put up on the 24th of December.

Currently the sewing room is a beehive of activity.  Busy with a few last  minute requests that
needs to be done.  Then it is relax and spend time with all our loved ones.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

22nd of December

The Joy of the Season.

The gifts we make to give, is often inspired by the interests of the one's we give to. They can be the start of great and very interesting conversations.  Think outside the box!

A friend asked me to make a Kitty in my pocket for a loved one, whose pet, with no pedigree was voted the winner at a cat show.
 The test sample, to try and get the cats colour's just right.
 The second attempt, it might not come out right, the first time.
 Then playing a bit more....
 Here it is.
A kitty in my pocket.
Today is another Birthday and until the 28th of December there is one or two every day.  Until the first week of January.  Our families got the celebrations all timed perfectly.

Monday, 21 December 2015

21st December

Christmas is coming!

All the children and the "big little kids" are  buzzing with excitement.  Counting the days, until Christmas day.

Every year around this time, life speeds up and it seems as if we just don't have enough hours in a day.  With so much to do.
                                                               We create many things.
We all like to get into the kitchen and bake, cook and play with new combinations, for cookies and new dishes. Everyone gets a chance to taste,  to vote,  for what they enjoyed, which bits should be improved, sometimes with very unexpected surprises.  We gift a lot of the baked goods, sharing and caring for those near and dear. All part of getting ready.

 Writing letters to Santa Claus, going to Grandma's house for Christmas Eve, putting two wooden bowls out.  One with freshly gathered green grass, all the kids had to collect, the other with water.  These were left at the top of the garden for the reindeer.  All of us kids would rush up to the top of the stairs, close to the garden gate, to check the next day if the reindeer had had, any of the gifts we left for them.  We always found the two bowls empty, on Christmas morning!

 This is all part of the traditions, we grew up with.  As we lived in the southern hemisphere, snow was not happening, it was full blown summer.  Christmas lunch was a meal with the whole family, twenty one in total.
Everyone helped with the meal, it was like a big Christmas Potluck, everyone was drafted and included, children and adults alike.  Grandma made trifle, it was a decadent  affair and after this treat we all just wanted to relax.  Years later we found out why, grandma, put a lot of sherry in this dish!

On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, we would go to the beach.  We would swim, catch fish, cook a barbeque,  later we would relax around the campfire on the beach, catch up on all the news.
 We would even dance and have a lot of fun.   We would spend time with all the family that live near and far away, keeping the bonds of family connected, in a very precious way.

This was the start to our summer holidays for years, then we would spend the next two weeks together, before we all left,  until we meet again, either at Easter or another time of the year.
Time spent together, is a gift of priceless wealth.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

20th of December

Make a Wish!

Everyone has the ability to believe that miracles can happen.  It is up to us to take the first step, it is amazing how simple it can be.  All the best gifts in life are free.  The best one of them all, Love.

Magical places exist as well, have you ever experienced foam snow from the ocean?
This is not snow, it is a special beach where the houses look like castles, there is only six in total in this secluded spot, yet when the waves come in to play, they create:  Sea foam.

This is what it looks like before it reach the beach, then it turns into huge waves of sea foam.  The itchy part of all of this?  One gets sticky, then wet and the salt will make it scratchy after a while.  We only live once. The best part is when the foam hugs you......

Saturday, 19 December 2015

19th of December


New beginings, when one move, each place is different.  Creating new experiences. The one thing which is a constant, is that people make the place.  Embracing life, with the good and the bad.  Making new friends and starting  new traditions.  The fusion of who we are now, with all of the future which will add another dimension,  to who we will become.  Moving continents and countries, which is 360 degrees the polar opposite of what one is used to, is quite an adjustment.  This is where one has to have a sense of adventure!

Meet Oscar, our first ever family snowman.
 No snow from where we came from, as for cold weather? -1C with frost in winter, was what we were use to, with blue skies and sunshine.  By midday it would be a lot warmer too.  The new winter, with snow 4m+ and -30C was not easy, if one were use to +30C for almost nine months of the year.  Did the cold deter us? No!  We decided to see what all the fuss was about, no matter the weather. This snowman was tall, over six feet, he reminded us of the little golden statues, hence the name.
Nothing like one would expect.  These happy white balls of fluff, made out of snow, has inspired many stitching patterns, not to mention all the hours of fun it provide for families to build them.
At retreat these beauties was being sewn up.
All by the same person.
The next block caught all of our attention.
In winter this definitely happens!

Anita with her finished table runner.  All of these was hand embroidered.  Just a couple of minutes stitching a day, before you know it, they are all done. WOW!

Friday, 18 December 2015

18th of December

In December we have many birthdays, today belong to Craig. He is the youngest of all the cousins. He has the distinction of being the baby in the family.  He has a love of wildlife, we all do.  Nature is a calm and restful place.
 This is a Baby Block quilt, it is something which has never been sewn up.
 Playing with the different combinations.  It has triangles and diamond shapes.
 Trying one accent colour.  The fabrics is mainly a Jelly roll, Safari?.
A baby hippo in the wildlife nursery, this one was a year old.
Lions relaxing in the middle of the day. It gets pretty hot in summer....
This tiger just had the right idea, lets go for a swim!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

17th of December

Now for some eye candy!

This sampler is in the Voortrekker Museum, it had so many elements.  The cat and the ship was two surprising bits, on the sampler.
A Hand quilted Bonnet. Just one of many examples on display.  History can give us hints of why we enjoy the needle arts and crafts we enjoy, today.
Bonnets, for everyday and those special occasions.
 A shawl to keep the chill away.
An embroidered waistcoat.
A Christening robe, all the embroidery was stitched by hand, just below the waist one can still see gathering bands.
Some of the tools, which was used to transfer designs.  Many which have been passed down from Mother to daughter.