Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas

Greetings on Christmas Day - We've unwrapped the presents and everyone is having quiet time so I thought I'd post some of our Christmas pics...

I picked up this old dolls' house at an op shop, and Roisin and I are fixing up the broken furniture, mending the roof and front verandahs which have come unstuck, making bedding etc for it, and putting the furniture in. It even has atiny Christmas tree with lights - but we need to work on the lighting as it's a mess. Sorry it's a poor pic- it was taken with my tablet on a rainy day and I lightened it.

an old clock became a mat for a Christmas decoration display...

Red roses and white gardenias from my garden, with a snowy Christmas scene - we've never seen a white Christmas. It must be beautiful!

Our over-laden Christmas tree. Everyone wants to put their favourite decorations on it.

I couldn't resist playing in Photoshop with this vintage santa Christmas card.... It's terry and our two cats, Willow and Gypsy!

The Xmas Eve Santa Run when the fire brigade volunteers throw lollies to the kids and collect donations... I'm in the back. Santa rides in the front as we are not allowed to ride on the outside any more, more's the pity! The siren whoops all around every street in our area. We take two or three trucks and divide up the area and it takes about 2 hours from about 3:00pm.

A couple of years ago I got to be Santa. To their credit, the guys weren't sexist about it! I was a very short Santa, and had to be padded up to fit into the costume (wow, it's so hot in a hat and beard!!!) I practiced my deepest voice for "Ho ho ho Merry Christmas!' and would you believe, my own children didn't recognize me, even my voice, when the truck came to them. They were aged 8 and 11, and had gone to a nearby street in their eagerness to meet the truck. I tossed the lollies and called in my Santa voice, "Does your mother know you're not on your street?' and they looked guilty and ran home. When the truck got to our place, they still didn't recognize me until I burst out laughing!!!

This Aussie Christmas must really contrast with all you folk having a white Christmas!

Have a great day with your family. I'll get back to mine, too!
Love and hugs,


Monday, 30 November 2015

Simply Neutrals # Lucky 13 - My Braidwood Story

Hello my Blogland friends,

Here is a digital card I've made for you using some of the textures I found on this trip...

digital collage
Just in case the message was too small to read, here it is again...

I've had such an unexpected adventure! Our car was starting to become unreliable, so we decided it was time to trade it in on a newer model. I researched and organised a trade-in at Canberra, our nearest major city. Half-way there, it broke down - a trail of radiator water followed behind me as I stopped to get a coffee. (Lucky that's my half-way watering hole!) The poor car needed a part and couldn't be repaired until the next day...

Luckily for me it was at Braidwood, an historical town full of charm, rusty ironwork and dilapidated stone and wooden buildings... How lucky was I to be forced to spend a whole day looking around and a night alone in an old hotel with a great book and  my tablet with free wifi! And I'd brought a camera (not my best one) too!

So I set off wandering around the backstreets looking for interesting textures and charm. Lots of peeling paint....perfect to show for Simply Neutrals #13!







Lovely old houses...please excuse the colour in this pic, but the blue sky was perfect!




Below is the 'Braidwood Times' building, now unused, I think. Or at least very unloved, sadly.

paint texture

paint texture

Lovely stonework on top of a pub...


And I came upon a lovely French antique shop called 'String', which had some old lace bits found at French markets... most beyond my price.

crochet lace edge





Outside was a rusty gate garden of wire and metal treasures...

rust gate

This rusty old 'thing' caught my fancy. I decided to play in Photoshop a bit.

I overlaid the lace as a texture, and added this angel image to it, manipulated the tone a little and used some brushes from Mouritsada Stock to add decoration...

digital collage

What a lovely day I had, and a few things came home with me..!

What an unexpected bonus to come out of a break-down situation. Serendipity! And I came home with a new (second-hand) car too, which we love.

Now, I'd like to send a special hug to Wen for hosting this Simply Neutrals party. You have helped me grow in my blogging and introduced me to some of your marvellous blogging friends, too. Thank you for being such a positive and friendly hostess.

And another special hug for Suzy of, for her support, encouragement and inspiration.

Now you might like to go and have a look at other Simply Neutral beauty over at Wen's blog, Appleapricot.

I hope you have a great few weeks of creating and noticing beauty all around....until our next Simply Neutrals party!



Thursday, 19 November 2015

A Birthday Wall Hanging and Other Neutrals

It's Simply Neutrals Tuesday # 11. It's about time I created something! Here is a wall hanging I made for my mum's birthday last week. You can see Suzy's influence here, but I have always loved these muted colours and 'beautiful ladies'.

I had to get some images printed at a printer as mine had died. I am waiting for my new printer to come by mail soon. I much prefer having control over the images. This one was printed on a canvas, which is a lovely texture, but a little shiny up close. I found the fringe on a roll at Vinnies last week, too. It's always fun going in to see what treasure may be discarded by someone else!

vintage lace collage

Here's a closeup. The berries at the top were a Vinnies find, too - an old Christmas wreath decoration which I spray-painted white. There's a tiny scrap of wedding dress pearls in the corner. 

vintage lace collage

Here is a bear I made from an old fur coat from an op shop. It was a leather base, so sadly it must have been a young goat or something similar. The hair is so soft. It was very fine and brittle and hard to sew without tearing.

vintage-style bear

A closeup of Henrietta with one of my quilts behind.
 teddy bear

Here's a couple of quilt blocks from that quilt -not really neutral, but all together the quilt reads as neutral on the wall :)


Here's the quilt on the wall:

I took this photo years ago with my Olympus OM2-N SLR (not a digital camera).

Gypsy our cheeky cat loves sleeping in cosy places... the doll pram.

A bunch of my Spring roses for you all.

Have a lovely week, and check out all the wonderful Simply Neutrals blogposts at Wen's blog at  Thank you Wen for hosting this party.

Oh, and some lovely news - our band Ballyhooley has been selected to take part in the 50th Anniversary national Folk Music Festival in Canberra at Easter. I posted some old photos on my facebook page if you are interested:


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Simply Neutrals #10 Hats and Fairies

This week I'm joining Wen's Simply Neutrals party after a couple of weeks off on 'busy-ness'.

I've chosen a hat theme. Part of my time has been spent at our local museum photographing their old hats for a hat exhibition. I prepared a few of the best photos for a poster... Sorry if some are not quite neutrals, but I thought the muted old shades would fit the theme.

hat display

Vintage hat display

Vintage hat display

vintage hat display

There were a few volunteers helping to set them up -none of us are professionals, so we tried out various ideas and had some fun. It's like playing 'house' as kids! Here are the final posters:

hat poster

hat poster

Hat poster

Here's a photo I took of my daughter Roisin (which is Irish for 'little rose') years ago wearing my favourite of her hats. Sadly, she threw it out of the pram and I didn't notice.

baby in hat textured
Next, a cabinet card draped in lace...

Vintage photo and lace
Lastly, a little Christmas fairy I made from a tutorial from Dawn Edmonson of The Feathered Nest.

fairy in a lamp

You can see more beautiful neutrals at Wen's blog, Appleapricot

Thanks for stopping by. Happy creating!