Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The 2009 Reading List

I had wanted to read 100 books in 2009.  I would have been very happy to have reached 75.  I am content with the final figure of 57 (mostly) good books read for the year.

No big surprise that July and August were light months with Baby Blue arriving then.  December has let the team down too, not sure why but I have only read one book, and even then I had to renew it twice from the library to get through it.  That is no reflection on the book either, I enjoyed it.

Next year I am going to aim for 50 books.

So here it is, my 2009 book list in full!


1. The wooden horse ~ Eric Williams
2. The comfort of Saturdays ~ Alexander McCall Smith
3. The tales of Beedle the Bard ~ J.K.Rowling
4. The Turning ~ Tim Winton
5. La's orchestra saves the world ~ Alexander McCall Smith
6. The Hobbit ~ J.R.R Tolkien
7. Whitethorn ~ Bryce Courtenay
8. Sharpe's Tiger ~ Bernard Cornwell
9. Salvation in Death ~ J.D. Robb
10. Danny the Champion of the World ~ Roald Dahl
11. Rebel ~ Bernard Cornwall
12. Copperhead ~ Bernard Cornwall
13. Battle flag ~ Bernard Cornwall
14. The Bloody Ground ~ Bernard Cornwall

15. Hamish meets Bumpy McKenzie ~
16. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ~ Lewis Caroll
17. The Choice ~ Nicholas Sparks
18. The first Casualty ~ Ben Elton
19. Promises in Death ~ J.D.Robb
20. East of the Mountains ~ David Guterson
21. The Red Pony ~ John Steinbeck
22. Maps for Lost Lovers ~ Nadeem Aslam
23. Testimony ~ Anita Shreve
24. Twilight ~ Stephanie Meyer

25. New Moon ~ Stephanie Meyer
26. Eclipse ~ Stephanie Meyer
27. Sewing Projects in an afternoon ~ Susan Mickey
28. Breaking Dawn ~ Stephanie Meyer
29. The Mighty Toddler ~ Robin Barker
30. Toddler Taming ~ Dr Christopher Green
31. Let me sing you gentle songs ~ Linda Olsen
32. The Persimmon Tree ~ Bryce Courtenay
33. Fishing for Stars ~ Bryce Courtenay
34. Truckers ~ Terry Pratchett
35. Meet me at Mike's ~ Pip Lincolne
36. Sewing in no time ~ Emma Hardy
37. House at Slavation Creek ~ Susan Duncan
38. The Boy in Striped Pyjamas ~ John Boyne
39. The Quilter's Apprentice ~ Jennifer Chiaverini
40. The last Continent ~ Terry Pratchett

1. The bonesetter's Daughter ~ Amy Tan
42. Baby-Led Weaning ~ Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett

43.On, Off ~ Colleen McCullough
44.The Unknown Terrorist ~ Richard Flanagan
45.Lord john and the Private Matter ~ Diana Gabaldon
46.Choo Woo ~ Lloyd Jones
47.The Guernsey Literacy & Potato Peel Pie Society ~ Mary Ann Shaffer
48.The girl with the dragon tattoo ~ Stieg Larsson
49.The Undomestic Goddess ~ Sopie Kinsella
50.As Darkness Falls ~ Bronwyn Parry

51.206 Bones ~ Kathy Reichs
52.The Thirteenth Tale ~ Diane Setterfield
53.The girl who played with fire ~ Steig Larsson
54.A Question of Death (Phryne Fisher Treasury) ~ Kerry Greenwood
55.Le Bal & Snow in Autumn ~ Irene Nemirovsky
56. The Lieutenant ~ Kate Grenville

57. Jasper Jones ~ Craig Silvey

The books I have listed in italics I highly recommend and I will read them again one day.

I should also mention that while there are two craft books listed I really did read them cover to cover so put them in.  The tons of other craft books that I have and flip through I would not list.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Sewing, Cooking, and Cheer!


I made the worlds best Trifle this year based on a recipe in Family Circle.
Cake, custard, mixed berries, cream, strawberries and white chocolate curls.

I sent my Sister her Kris Kringle gift which was an Emmeline Apron and Australian Womans Weekly cookbook Cook.  I loved this apron and have put it on my 'to do' list for me in 2010.

I made the children a Melly and Me  Pippi Pony each.  I can see a new softie become a tradition in the Christmas Stocking each year!  This pattern was very quick, and very easy so big thumbs up!

I was adding the finishing touches to these yesterday afternoon and I decided in the spirit of Christmas Cheer to have a couple (or three) of Pimms.  I had not factored in the effect it would have on me given I have not had a drink in a few years having been either pregnant or feeding. 

I got a little 'Merry' and didn't get around to adding the ears (in case you noticed!).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The before Christmas day holiday...

We have been away for a few days camping before Christmas. I took the camera (no surprise there) so please forgive me for a very photo heavy post.

Flowers for Mum from Possum!

The outlook from the hut.

Swimming with Dad

Sam the dog joined in the fun.

Big smiles when the shock of the cold wore off.

Camp Cooking

Love this view!

Playing Soccer, and loving it!

The small one keeping an eye on things.

The hut.

Can you see the Platypus?

Black Cockatoos in the morning.

Don't be fooled by the hut, it has all the mod cons including a dvd player if you can be bothered to run the gen set to power it up.  It has a solar power battery bank to run led lights if you don't bother with the generator.  There is a pump for the shower too so you can heat water on the fire in a drum and pump it. 
There is a pit toilet too so you can set up camp for as long as you like without worry.

How lovely to see the platypus playing in the river where we swim.  They were not at all shy! 
The Black Cockatoos kept an eye on us too.

The Mr and I even found time to saddle up our horses and go for a ride.  Given how long it has been since I have ridden I am pretty sore in best unmentioned places but it was a great ride and my horse did not put a foot wrong.  Good Boy to him I say :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Secret Santa

I am a day late in posting these pictures.  Given the advanced hour of the day you might as well say I am two days late.  Yesterday morning was the opening day for the Secret Santa I signed up for, had I not have been camping I would have rushed straight to a computer to show off the wonderful surprise I received!

How lucky do I feel? Very!

I was sent a hand made T-shirt for Possum with applique detail featuring cupcakes. She loves it, and so do I. I have not tried sewing stretch fabric so this is perfect.

I was also sent a summer sleeping bag for Baby Blue.  This is in use as I type and is another very welcome addition to the ranks.  This sleeping bag features a large zip down one side and snap closures on the shoulders.  It is really well done!

I am not sure who sent me this package, as soon as I work it out I will add the link.

edit: It was from Ednaboo on the Essential Baby forum.  She does not have a blog but is super clever!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Turning 2

My little girl is 2...

You are beautiful and good.
You are stubborn.

You are a strange mix between tom boy and girly girl. 
You want to wear the pretty 'dess' that Mum made so you can go outside and sit on a chicken or play in the grease or mud.

You love reading. 
You love shoes, blocks and crayons.
You love playing in the pantry.

You chat away and are building a good vocabulary.  You can't say your name properly, or your brother's.
You call yourself 'Boff' or 'Boffer' and the small boy is 'Ee Ah'.

Where has the time gone?

Happy Birthday Possum, we love you more than I would have thought possible.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I made a double batch of this recipe and they were great!  The double batch made about 30 cookies which kept us all going for a few days.

Possum kept chewing the points of the star off them asking for another one.  I had to sing 'twinkle twinkle' with the sad leftover body to convince her it was still a star and that she should eat it, which she then did.

I decided decorating with cachous was easier than icing in full.  I might save that for next years Christmas advent adventure.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Road Trip

From the first time I saw this quilt on Rachel's blog I knew I wanted it... On a recent road trip to Nundle I found the pattern and bought it home with me :)  Add this to my work in progress pile, maybe I will do it in 2010, and maybe not, but I am happy I have it!

 Kerry has a wonderful store a couple of km's out of town and I had fun talking about different quilts and patterns.  I will have to go back next time I am out that way!

The same trip had us visit the Nundle Woollen Mill where we were lucky enough to a demonstration of the beautiful old machines at work and a bit of a history lesson too.

I couldn't resist this little chap who came home to reside on my Christmas tree.

We then stopped in at a beautiful shop that sold the most amazing kitchenwares.  I bought a  pink ceramic jug and spoon set and for some reason also bought home a pale green cockatoo pie steamer...  I have never made a pie, and don't own a pie dish so I guess that is now on the shopping list too! 

The parents enjoyed the outing, as did the two small people.  The Mr enjoyed having us all out of his hair for the day so it was a winner all round.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Photo

From a distance Possum likes Santa, up close, not so much....

It is still an improvement on last years photo!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hot and Not

HOT ~ Christmas!  The small person helped decorate the tree this year.  This is a quick snap of her giving 'Ho ho, red hat' a bit of a jiggle. The even smaller person watched happily from the sidelines.  So far there have been no casualties in the decoration department with Possum being very good about keeping fingers to herself. 

NOT ~ Christmas!  Why do I leave the Christmas gift making to the last minute?  I only need to make an apron, I have the pattern traced off and still I can't make myself start...  The crowded streets in town also peeve me so I am glad I don't have to go in there.

NOT ~ Bushfires, there are so many burning that you can't read the names of many towns on the RFS website.  There is smoke nearly everyday making it hard to know when to do your laundry.  There were some storms about yesterday afternoon in the New England, I hope they fell where needed...

HOT ~ Everyone who helps fight fires any way they can.  The fire fighters themselves, the sandwich makers, the switchboard folk and many others who give their time freely.  Those that make, donate or pray for those affected by fires are top folk too.  There are too many to think of and list, but all of them are HOT.

HOT ~ I just realised that this is my 200th post!!

For more hot and not folk visit Loobylu :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I took last year's Christmas cards and chopped off the front.
A hole punch and some string turned them into a little Christmas booklet.

Possum loves to look at each colourful page pointing out various features from each.
I may even let her colour and draw on the backs of each page for even more fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vintage Goodness!

My package from Selina's vintage sheet swap arrived!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Stash

The kit that started it all!
Dick and Jane ~ Sally Look Quilt

I bought this kit before I had any plans of learning to quilt.  I didn't know who Michael Miller was, or what a walking foot did.  I didn't own a rotary cutter or ruler. 
I just really liked it, and the lunch box it came in!

Of course I now own it, and all the other bits and bobs needed to put this quilt kit together but for some strange reason I still have not started on it.

Sally look panel
1/2 yard Game board in yellow
Fat 1/4 red gingham
Fat 1/4 Cha Cha stripes in yellow
Fat 1/4 Black Play dots
Fat 1/4 Black Pom Pom dots
Fat 1/4 retro word search
Fat 1/4 White Sentance
Fat 1/4 Cherry Garden Pindot
Fat 1/4 Tangerine Garden Pindot

Sunday Stash bought to you by 1/4 of an inch

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Better late than never...

Or so they say...

I hope it is true as these blocks are Lynn's November Around the Block blocks and I have only just got them in todays post!
I think they are worth the wait ;)

Lynn sent out some Wonderland by Momo fabric and asked for Zig Zag blocks to be 15" finished size.
I was very thankful for EQ6 with these as I didn't have to do any math to get the size right. I drew what I wanted and hit print, so very easy. I did base my zig zag pattern on square blocks to help keep constuction easy (and neat!).

Overall I am happy with both of these blocks and hope they have a safe, and speedy journey overseas back to Lynn.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

THE dress

I have already shown off the Christmas shorts so thought it was time to show off the Christmas dress too.

I used the Make it Perfect Pinny #1 pattern.  I prefer this over the Pinny #2 pattern, but only just.
As usual I found this pattern quick and easy to follow and I will be making many more of these sweet dresses.

I put buttons on the straps intead of a tie.  Easier for the Mr to navigate and a touch neater in finish (I think).

While this is a Chritmas dress, I stayed away from trees and stars so we could use it all Summer.  All these cottons are from the Spotlight Christmas coordinates range which still makes it festive enough.

I did make a slight cutting error making tier one and inch short which was easily fixed by making tier two an inch longer.  Silly mistake which matters not a jot in the finished result.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Super exciting Secret Santa

I got to open a Secret Santa gift today, and I am Very, Absolutely and Completely EXCITED!

Dani, thank you so much for such a wonderful, thoughtful and well made gift :)

Beautiful packaging!

A WONDERFUL knitting bag!  I love the bright colours and can't wait for the first knitting meeting next year!  Maybe if I am lucky the girls from Ravelry will organise a catch up soon so I can show it off!

There were goodies inside too. 
A have two little knit toys from this designers range already so this pattern book will be a welcome addition.

By the time I took these photos the chocolate, and the vanilla coffee was gone!

Hand spun and hand dyed alpaca.  I love these colours!

And a shot of the inside of the bag.  Love the dots!

Thanks again Dani, this is perfect and I love it all :) In fact, I am not sure how you managed to give it away!

The Winner! (insert drumroll please)

I usually use the Random Number picker....

I considered using paper and a small helper to draw a name from a hat....

I ended up asking the Mr to pick a number between 1 and 29.

He said 8 making the winner:

Cascade Lily said...

Happy blogiversary :) That tablecloth would be perfect for a skirt :)
December 1, 2009 1:32 PM

Please email me your details and I will get the prize in the mail straight away. Just in time for Christmas!!

Christmas Shorts

Baby Bug is ready for Christmas with his new Christmas shorts.

These are Make it Perfect Little Explorer shorts sporting a reindeer fabric trim. 

Did anyone notice that I have not yet found time to draw a winner for my giveaway?  Don't worry, I have not forgotten!  Yesterday was just so busy that I ran out of time, today will be the day!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I seem to be in a clothes sewing frenzy!  I am not satisfied without a new creation for the day and I have to make one, or three, of everthing.  I am going through a lot of needles on my sewing maching but Possum is happy to have so many new outfits.

This time it is the Oliver + S Popover Sundress.  So quick, easy, and FREE.
Go and download it right now if you don't already have it!

I didn't bother with the adding a matching fabric for the yoke and straps. I didn't have anything suitable at home so just used the one fabric. I also made it in a size 3 when Possum is only just a size 2 but with the straps done up tighter it still looks good so she will get more use out of it.

We went to a small craft expo on the weekend and I had three ladies comment on this dress and compliment me so that makes me very happy!  We even had our photo taken for the local paper :)

The fabric is more Spotlight cotton (West 22nd CX3860 FLORAL DELIGHT) I bought on sale, I still have enough left for another 2 dresses.