Saturday 29 December 2007

It was a Wonderful Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas, very busy. Babes Mum flew in from Cairns Australia on Christmas Eve morning so we hosted a family dinner on Christmas Eve followed by breakfast on Christmas morning before we drove off to Hamilton, one hour south of Auckland to spend the rest of the Christmas with Babes Dad and his side of the family.

Here is our Christmas tree with an obscene amount of gifts under it. A large proportion of which were for The Princess who was beside herself with excitement!

Santa gave her a big pink BARBIE party bus!!!!! Its very cool, has a fold out hot tub that actually makes a bubbling noise!!!! You can see the bus in this photo.

Here is The Princess first thing on Christmas morning opening the stocking I had whipped up for her the day before.

This is Babes, The Princess and I playing with the Barbie bus early on Christmas morning.

Here she is dressed in a new Dora Explorer beach dress and wearing a new hat and matching bag. That's Babes Mum on the right and mine behind The Princess.

It wasn't all pink, she was given this hideous Spiderman mug. She adores it as she plans on marrying Spiderman!!

But mostly her gifts were pink. Due to splits in both our families and her birth family still having contact with her, she has 6 grandmothers, 5 grandfathers and numerous Aunts, Uncles and cousins which means she gets a ridiculous amount of gifts each year.

Santa gave her the Barbie Bus and stocking fillers, we gave her a ballerina jewellery box and the pink bag and hat, from everyone else she got a large pool, toilet bag complete with toiletries, pyjamas, 3 dresses, DVD, Barbie overnight bag, another bag, heirloom bear, books, more clothes, 3 paper doll books, crayons, Lego, hair ties and clips . . . . way too much !!!

She's a much loved and very lucky little girl.

The last few days have also been quite busy, another family dinner at our house for Babes Mum and then lunch today at my Mum's with some cousins.

We are off to Babes Dad's beach house for a break. Its at a beach called Whangamata and the house is just a 5 minute walk down to a beautiful beach where we spend most of our days.

My life has been truly enriched over the last few months by all of you wonderful caring and creative fellow bloggers. At times blogging has been a sanctuary for me and for that I thank you all.

I will have a toast to you all on New Years Eve, with .... Champagne of course!

Happy New Year

Monday 24 December 2007

On the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Day of Christmas

I wanted to visit everyone before Christmas but have run out of time, story of my life!!!!

Mum and I are just back from Christmas Carols at the local church and are having a nice night cap, a little glass of sherry.

Bought specifically for the trifle, of which I had a little whoopsy and mistakenly added red wine, large amounts instead of the sherry and then to compensate added some sherry, a potent dessert for Christmas day . . .

I am quickly going to post the rest of the 12 days swap gifts and then head off to bed as I know of one little Princess on this side of the world who is hugely excited about Santa's visit!
Here is the Tenth Day of Christmas . . .

The Eleventh Day of Christmas . . .

And the Twelfth Day of Christmas

Wishing you all the happiest, safest and best Christmas Day- Rachael xo

Sunday 23 December 2007

On the Seventh, Eighth & Ninth Day of Christmas . . .

I'm getting behind in my posts!!!

On the seventh day of Christmas Pat sent to me . . .

The multi tasking Princess, a photo shoot while keeping an eye on Sponge Bob!!

This is incredible, an accordion frame made from beautiful papers. The inside 'panels' are pockets with pull out tags decorated with vintage images. Thank you so much Pat.

On the eighth day of Christmas Vivian sent to me . . .

The Princess is now trying some different supermodel smiles!

How cute is this, a tinkly, tinsely hand painted snow man! Gorgeous!!! Thank you so much Vivian.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas Rashell gave to me . . .

My cute Princess Chief Present Opener!

Rashell made us each a gorgeous silver bracelet! Mine fastens with a T bar leaf shaped catch. Perfect, I mostly wear silver jewellery and love bracelets and bangles! Thank you Rashell!.

Wrapping Christmas presents now!!!

Wednesday 19 December 2007

On the Sixth Day of Christmas . . .

On the Sixth Day of Christmas Martha in Canada gave to me . . .

Honesty the wrapping of these swap gifts is just incredible.

This one is brown paper and crepe paper machine stitched together, this is the front

and this is the back.

And this is The Princess, chief present opener. I wonder if I will be allowed to open my very own gifts on Christmas morning . . .

Clever Martha, this is a brooch, layers of fabric, a printed image and slogan 'in her closet' which have all been stitched together, she must have a good machine! She has then cut it so the raw edge gives a slightly frayed effect. Fabulous!!!!

The day just kept getting better, the courier arrived with my Deck the Halls swap parcel from Deb in Australia. Deck the Halls was to be one handmade ornament and one store bought ornament. More than two packages here!

First of all this fabulous ceramic stocking that Deb handed painted. The Princess can't make off with that, its got MY NAME on it!

Then these cute as, hand stitched mittens hanging off a little wooden hanger. Gorgeous!!!!!

But wait there's more!!!

I love this, a 3 dimensional collage, lovely details, The Princess loves this, we are 'sharing' it!!!!! Can you see the snow man with his bucket of snow balls, cute, cute, cute.

The store bought ornaments, more gorgeous-ness. I haven't seen these in our stores which makes them even more special. I have the perfect tree to hang these on, shoosh, little secret (vintage white tinsel tree, bought on online auction!) Hope it arrives tomorrow.

And there's even more, this cute laminated card, so sweet.

Thanks Deb, for ALL the gifts, The Princess and I love each one.

In one of my wrapping, got to get to the Post Office frenzies, I forgot to take photos of all my Christmas swap efforts, apart from the crap banner for the 12 Days swap!! How's your luck???

I was really happy with what I made Deb and I found her the most fabulous thrift store bought decorations that I had to steer Mum away from. Deb doesn't have a blog, I think she is getting one though, so I can't direct you to her for a photo of what I sent.

Also liked the stocking I made for Analise and I had so much fun filling it. Analise hasn't got hers yet, yes I was late!

Liked the garland I made Penny also. Penny has hers but is the midst of ice storms and power cuts and can't post the photos.

Oh well never mind!!!

I'm off to make a new stocking for The Princess.

Till tomorrow.

Tuesday 18 December 2007

On the Fifth Day of Christmas . . .

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, Holly gave to me . . .

This delightful green bag with a Fleur de Lisle hand painted on the front.
My sweet Princess waiting to open the bag. I'm loving this daily ritual we have with opening these swap gifts. Next year I am going to do the 12 days of Christmas with her, not just the gift giving, receiving part, all of it.
Holly made this amazing pendant which is actually a fridge magnet.
I love it, it is so appropriate for this swap as it is called the Artful Christmas. You can only just see, to the side of the hand is the word 'create' and then sitting on the hand is the word 'art'. This is sealed with resin.

Thank you so much Holly.

I can't imagine what hostessing this swap must have been like for Holly. She had three groups of 12 people, 36 in all and she was a participant in each group. Not only did she have to co-ordinate the swap, she had to wrap and send 35 boxes of gifts back out into the world. On top of all of that she had to make 33 of the same gift!!! I couldn't cope with 12!!

The creations have been incredible, if you would like to have a look click here

See you tomorrow.

Monday 17 December 2007

On the Third and Fourth Day of Christmas . . .

On the Third Day of Christmas my very own Mummy gave to me . . .

My Princess/Present Opener with the wild hair!!!!

The wrapping, this is typical of Mum's gift wrapping, all our gifts from Mum are wrapped beautifully.

Surprise!!!! a beautiful hand felted Christmas bag. Mum makes her own felt, I have seen her do it and the process itself is quite simple but it is very labour intensive. This felt is made from lovely NZ merino wool. Mum spent nights and nights hand stitching these bags, her needlework as always is perfection in itself.

This is actually the first piece of my Mother's felt work I have been given!!! Inside the bag was a handmade Christmas decoration that has been misappropriated by The Princess!!!!

On the Fourth Day of Christmas I gave myself . . .

The only thing I like about what I made for the swap is the sheet music bag I made for the wrapping of it!

Even The Princess looks bored with the Fourth Day gift!

I am actually ashamed of it. Its not what I was going to make but I was going through a bad time and its all I could come up with. The good thing is there was one banner where for some weird reason the green and red circles didn't alternate so at least that one came back to me!!!!

It does look ok I suppose, its just that I know I can do much better!

To cheer me up, well not really but a good excuse, I did a little Christmas shopping today for myself. A little thrifting!!!!

I got this dear little tapestry cushion to go with my growing collection of tapestry cushions.

This tapestry for $1. My duty to save it. Out with the ugly frame and I will probably stitch it into a cushion.

A ceramic Santa boot, this is going to be a new collection, inspired from the wonderful boots I noticed in many of the homes I visited during Karla's party.

Now these are fabulous. Christmas tree decorations, an angel and a Santa in gold frames, heavily glittered and dingle dangle beads hanging off the bottom of the frames. A idea for next Christmas.

Last but not least, vintage millinery flowers. They are like gold to me, so hard to find here, I could weep sometimes when you American girls show us the huge hauls of flowers you find!!!

Until tomorrow