Friday, December 31, 2010

Seeing in the New Year with Max...

Sooo...I am currently sitting up babysitting our big tough cattle dog through the New Years Eve fireworks.  He was just about knocking the door down trying to get in the house he was so scared as the fireworks have been going off since about 8pm, I have let him in and he is happily asleep beside me in the dining room.  I'm really tired and want to go to bed, but I know I will be woken up in a little while when the midnight ones go off with him trying to get back in....yawn.....not long to go now and then you're outside Mister!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Putting the chickens to work today...

I have put the chickens out to work today....they are all in the vege garden for the day, weeding and eating the bugs and slugs, and contributing some fertiliser to the soil! They will be in there for a week or so, cleaning it all up for me, I will put them back in their pen at night and they can go back in to the garden each morning.  They love to do it...I don' everyone is happy :)  The plan is to build a moveable chicken run so they can concentrate on 1 area at a time in the future, and turn it over and weed it for me in preparation for new plantings.  Everything here is sooo wet and is very overcast today but no rain so far...hopefully things can dry out a  little before the next lot of rain comes our way...I am going to tidy up a little today and put the Christmas tree away and re-organise the sewing table a bit. I have managed to get through most of the leftovers from Xmas day, just a little bit of chicken to use up, which I will make in to a creamy thai curry for dinner tonight.  I had better do the floors this morning as well.... now I just need the energy to do it all..

The girls hard at work

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Xmas 2010

We had a lovely Xmas Day.  Kasey was awake a little after 5am....Mum was awake with Kasey at this point, I went in to wake up Toni at about 6am...I thought I would jump on her bed to wake her up....but tripped over her shoes on the way to her bed, landed on the corner of the bed and then bounced and landed on the floor on my arm and shoulder...very funny at the time, I did end up with a heat pack on my arm and shoulder all day on Boxing Day though.... we then spent the morning opening gifts and we had home made waffles and icecream and maple syrup for was the first time I had used the waffle maker so the first couple were a failure, but once I worked it out, it made some yummy fluffy waffles which were very well received.  After this we headed down to Damian's family for lunch, and came home about 6pm.  All of my hand made gifts were very well received, especially the chilli jam...We were all pretty worn out and spent Boxing Day just relaxing at home and having fun with our new gifts. We have spent the last few days just relaxing....watching a few movies and just being very lazy.  The weather has been pretty wet and horrible, so a good time to spend time inside and catching up on some rest. I have been making notes on the gifts I made this year, so I can organise next year as the year progresses....Xmas Day at home might be on the cards for next year I think....we'll see what pans out....Damian heads back to work tomorrow, so I will have to start making some plans for the rest of the school holidays....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Home made Christmas Gifts from the heart

I have finished all the wrapping and prepping, and now just waiting for Santa to come...
I have made up a few little gifts for a few people that I just wanted to give something small to..

Jams and Christmas cake in a gift box

Jam and soap gift box
A Secret Santa gift including a gift voucher, soaps, jams etc

Another secret santa gift including a cd, giftcard, wine, soaps and chilli jam

Boxed chiili jams

Boxed chilli jam and Onion Jam

A soap and chilli jam gift box

So, some nice gifts given from the heart, which won't cause clutter, and all handmade, other than the couple of gift cards and wine and cd in the secret santa gifts. The chilli jam was made from home grown chillies I have been growing and freezing throughout the year in preparation for making up a large batch for Christmas gifts. The christmas cakes I made in tuna cans to make up single serve cakes, and they are beautiful and moist this year, as I taste tested one today...yummy!!

So...Merry Christmas everyone...hope the day is a beautiful one....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A few more Christmas decorations

I had some Christmas baubles left over after decorating the Christmas tree, so used these in a big glass vase as a decoration.
This is a table centrepiece I picked up at Lifeline for $2.50.  I have added a couple more decorations to it, and the candle, but mostly it is as I purchased it.  I will add some more to it for next year.

I also thought it was time I brightened up the front door wreath.  I didn't originally make this one too fancy, as it actually has fairy lights entwined around it, but I don't plug them in very often, so thought I would brighten it up so it looks nice when the lights aren't turned on. 

 I had a few xmas picks, and I sprayed the flowers red, and sprayed the apples green, and then sprayed the whole wreath in glitter spray for some added sparkle.  It looks much nicer now.

At the moment I am making onion jam, and then I will put together the last minute hampers for the last couple of gifts to go under the tree.  I was in and out of the shops nice and early this morning, and I was home before 9.30, just as the shops looked like they were really starting to busy up...I'm so glad I was out of there nice and early, the traffic was getting quite congested even at that time of the day.  I got quite a few nice little last minute gifts from Aldi as stocking fillers...anyway, better go and check on the eyes are feeling a bit better now, I was crying profusely after slicing 1 1/2 kilos up!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas arrangement for the coffee table

Today I made up a Christmas centrepiece for the coffee table in the lounge room.  I collected some pine cones and spray painted them gold, I then arranged some artificial ivy leaves in a rustic timber box, arranged the pine cones evenly around the box, along with some vine, green silk orchids, gold and red baubles, and a Christmas tea light holder in the centre. Only took about 20 minutes from start to finish, and adds a Christmas touch to the loungeroom.

I have been busy with some other Christmas projects today as well, and will post about these tomorrow. I also made up some rocky road, caramel fudge and more chilli jam for Xmas gifts, and will finish the packaging of the last few gifts tomorrow after I have made the onion jam.  Went out tonight for dinner for our BIL's 50th birthday. Bought him a nice (and very expensive...thought it should be special being such a milestone) bottle of Penfolds port. Had a nice relaxing night. Have a few last minute things to do nice and early tomorrow morning, and then I won't need to hit the shops again until after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A simple home made gift for a friend....

I'm having a cuppa with Tammy this morning....we don't do a big gift exchange at Xmas...just something small..I have made her a gift basket of my home made soaps as she is always asking me for more...and I have included a jar of chilli jam, strawberry jam and a mini christmas cake, and a few chocolates. I had the basket here in my stash as well as the cellophane etc, so not a big $ cost to put this together, just my time to make the goodies. I also included a home made card, I made this at the last card class earlier this month.
We had a family pre-Christmas get together here on Sunday, as we don't all get a chance to be at the same place on Xmas day. It was nice to have most of the family together.  The weather wasn't the best, but as we have a large undercover entertainment area, it didn't make any difference to our plans. Not too stressful this week, everything is pretty well organised for Christmas, just a few little things to finish off, and my diary is fairly sparse, so I have lots of time to just potter around at home and fnish things off at my leisure. A little bit of running around this morning, but nothing too much. Anyway, I'm off to put on a load of washing and do the floors before I head off for my Tuesday cuppa...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Making the Gingerbread House

We have had storms through here this afternoon, so Kasey thought it would be ideal weather for making the Gingerbread house. So we started by icing the sides together:
Then comes the fun part, decorating with icing and lollies..

Tadah!! One groovy gingerbread house!

When can we eat it Mum!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bon Jovi concert...

What a GREAT night, concert was really good, I would go again...JBJ is a gorgeous man....sigh....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bon I come......

Yeehaaaa.....Ticketek just released some more tickets for Bon Jovi tonight....and...I'm going!!!!!!   I'm soooo excited......

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas scented soaps

I made up another batch of soap on Wednesday, I wanted a Christmassy one, with the smells of Christmas and the colours of Christmas.  I was hoping the soap would be a bit richer in the red colour, but never mind.  I used a red oxide instead of clay, but found the colour wasn't really that different to when I use just the clay.  I used patchouli, peppermint and cinnamon leaf essential oils in the soap. The peppermint is quite strong, but blends in well with the other scents. I am going to gift wrap some for gifts for Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

This is on my mind....

I deperately needed to clean the fridge.....we were flat out fitting anything in there amongst all of the half used jars of this and that, and left over containers of took me about an hour of cleaning, but it looks so much better now...
I have about 4 containers of margarine to get through, I usually use butter, but Damian and Toni keep bringing margarine home from camping trips and working away, so I have to get through all of this first. So now I have visual proof that the fridge was actually clean and it wasn't a figment of my imagination :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Bloody Men!!!!!
Vent over......

Happenings around the place...

My oldest "brown" chicken died overnight, I said to Damian last night that I didn't think she would last much longer, her comb was pink instead of red and floppy instead of upright, and she didn't want to go in to the pen last night, and let me just walk up and pick her up, which is very unusual for her. I found her dead in the pen this morning...I was very hesitant walking up there this morning, fully expecting to find her dead...just old was just her picked up the shovel and dug her a big hole, lucky we have had all of this rain and the ground was nice and soft. 

On a brighter note...Kasey has her class breakup party today, so we made star and Xmas tree shaped cookies last night, and iced them in red and green icing and hundreds and thousands.  I also made up some rocky road and wrapped these up with a christmas card and a thank you note for her teacher. We got her class lists for next year yesterday, and she is in the same class as 2 of her best friends, so she is happy.

I organised Damian's xmas present this morning, will pick that up either tomorrow or Monday when it comes in. I finished most of the wrapping yesterday, so everything is looking pretty organised. Toni's xmas present is just about here, I have been tracking it online, and it is very close by this morning, so I am expecting it this afternoon or tomorrow morning, Hopefully it comes before Toni finishes work, so I can take it out and make sure it is all as it should be...fingers crossed.  The bricks for the pool pump house arrived on Monday, and Toni has moved all of those to where they need to be for the bricklayer, not sure when he will be able to come, we were hoping this weekend, but we're not liking our chances for before Christmas.  We also had the termite protection done on Monday, and they also re-did the pest control as we had started to see a few little nasties again, so they did that under warranty as it had only been 6 months since they came. I also had some straw delivered yesterday, so that I can thickly mulch the vege garden ready for a new planting. 

Being home a lot more at the moment is seeing things get more organised much more quickly, which is great.  With Kasey being on school holidays from this afternoon, I am looking forward to the morning schedule being much more relaxed for a few weeks...even though I do get much more done when I get up earlier! to clean the shower....(sarcastic yay)

Monday, December 6, 2010

A bit more Christmas preparation....

I have been busy continuing on with Xmas preparations etc over the last few days. I have organised Toni's present and it is being delivered over the next few days sometime.  I will be picking up Michael's present tomorrow.  I should be finishing the last of the present shopping tomorrow hopefully.  I spent some time on Saturday setting up my sewing machine in the spare room so I can get some serious sewing done.  I have finished the Xmas stockings, so they are ready for filling up.  I also finished the Xmas tree skirt yesterday, and I was up until midnight last night finishing off another Xmas gift.  I was a bit tired this morning, so I will have to try and get to bed a little earlier from now on! At the moment I have 6 mini xmas cakes cooking away in the oven, I am trying a new recipe this year, as the ones from last year seemed a bit dry. This one seems to be a nice rich cake, so I am hoping it will be nice and moist.  I will keep topping them up with brandy in the leadup to xmas day. We have had so much rain here lately, the vegie garden has been taken over by weeds....I spent an hour up there this afternoon pulling weeds, I ended up covered in dirt and mud but it looks a lot better, still a lot of the smaller weeds to pull, and then will have to do the other side. I need to get in some mulch to cover it over, and then do some replanting.  So, lots of things to do....Kasey finishes school this week, and has her end of year dance concert as well, so I need to get all of the shopping and wrapping out of the way before school finishes....but I am definitely feeling more organised than I was a couple of weeks ago.....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My scrapbooking weekend

I did lots and lots of pages at last week's scrapbooking retreat.  It seems to be the only time at the moment that I get to sit down and concentrate on scrapping....sigh.... anyway....I find scrapbooking, sewing, painting (not house painting...blah) or any form of craft that I can immerse myself into very therapuetic, and it takes away any other worries of the are the pages from the weekend: