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Friday, December 15, 2017

25 Days of Christmas...again! 

In 2013 a friend came up with the idea of posting a Christmas themed photo every day on Facebook from December 1 till Christmas Day. She invited a few of us to do the same thing and I found it lots of fun...so much so, that I'm still posting photos. The others who started with me haven't kept up for various reasons. So what photos have I found to post so far this December? Here are a few...
The Christmas window display at the city Myer store 2 years ago. I fondly remember the store window displays not only of my childhood, but also those in the 1980s when my girls were little.

Talking of Myer...the next photo is a favourite. Taken in the Myer city store  also, but way back in 1989. It's DD1 and DD2 visiting Santa there. 😊

And still on the subject of Myer...( overseas readers, Myer is a department store in Australia)
The next photo was taken in 2013 when DH and I braved the crowds to have a look at the Christmas Parade held each night for the few weeks before December 25. And it is sponsored by Myer! I took lots of photos from my vantage point standing on the ledge of a planter box in the Mall. My favourite parts of the parade were those animals...deer, camels and a donkey. 😍

The next photo is from Christmas Eve in 2011. I'd snapped some pics of DsD2's boyfriend ( now husband) checking out all the gifts under the tree...😉

Some handmade decorations I've made. The larger photo is the one I made for Anthea last year and the other two are a couple of prototypes for this year.

I do try to resist buying more Christmas decorations, but this year a new one 'came home with me' one Sunday. I had joined friends for a coffee in a shop that not only served coffee and tea but was within a local homewares store. I've named him Ronnie Reindeer.

The next one is a photo of a card I've kept for a few years. The lady who gave me the card was a knitting friend. For her 80th birthday I had made a small photo album with any photos taken at Knit and Natters, which featured Angela. She loved the gift and wrote some lovely comments on the card. Sadly Angela died this year after a cancer that had been treated successfully a number of years ago, returned. I will continue to treasure this card.

The last photo in this post is from 2013 and it was the Christmas party for the Sunday Stitchers. The beautiful tablerunner that I'm holding up, is what my Secret Santa Marilyn had made for me. I'm also holding up the needle keep that SS also made me.

So that's a few of the 16 photos I've posted so far this December. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Mainly Music Nativity

Our parish runs a program during school terms, called Mainly Music which is a music and movement based activity aimed at children under school age. And to end the year, the children and their parents take part in the Nativity...very low key due to the age of the main actors. 😉. The children are dressed as angels and shepherds and the baby Jesus is usually a doll. Last year however, the baby granddaughter of the lady who runs the programme played the part. Ivy was a bit too active to play the role this year, so the doll was expected to make a comeback. 

But a week before the Nativity, DH suggested that our Holly could play the role, so DD2 was consulted...and she said yes to the suggestion, but warned us that Holly probably wouldn't stay still. And so the day dawned when Holly would play her first starring role. 


But what does one wear for such a role...probably not the swaddling mentioned in the Christmas story when you are an active 7 month old! Lol

So DD2 went through the costumes box and chose a piece of white fabric ( which I suspect  was the headdress of a shepherd's costume! 😉) which she wrapped around Holly...


There were some shepherd's girdles left on the change table which Miss Holly thought she should perhaps wear too...😉


But DD2 wasn't so keen on that idea! 

Here's Miss Holly all ready for her debut performance...


As DD2 had been given the role of Mary and the Nativity started with no baby, Holly and I sat together for the start of the little play...

Here's Mary, the donkey and Joseph walking into Bethlehem after their tiring journey...'Joseph' also played the role last year when his little daughter had played Jesus. 


As the narrator ( Father Bruce our parish priest) told the story, I waited for Holly's cue. 

Some Angels came along...


and while the Carol, Away in a Manger was being sung, I walked up and placed her in the manger...it looked suspiciously like a cardboard box, covered with a cloth and filled with raffia...lol


My goodness! Did you notice in that former photo that the Innkeeper had whipped out a mobile phone and was taking photos in his stables???? Lol 😂 ( children's faces blurred with dispersion tool in Picsart) 

Holly was really good...even though it soon became obvious that she might have been a bit big for the manger! 


It wasn't long before some Kings came along...carrying 🎁! 


And pretty soon the little Nativity play was over...the children loved having a real baby playing Jesus! 

One of the little angels leaned in for a kiss...


Such joy! I've had to blur their faces but they were just so happy! 


Now some other photos.  These  are from the family archives. The year would probably be 1989 and it is the Sunday School Christmas concert in the old church hall in the same parish. DD2 played a galah ( in the middle of the photo) and DD1 played a wombat. The whole Sunday School performed the play, 'A Bush Christmas' and the Ladies Guild which I belonged to were the choir. Such memories. 


The junior classes played Aussie animals and the older children played drovers, cooks and stockmen. 


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wool on Sunday; one week late! 

Yes, I've managed to miss out on linking in with Rainbow Hare's final Wool on Sunday for 2017. But without further ado, I will still write my 'yarny post'. Due to computer problems Janine was not able to have a November Wool on Sunday link up so this post is actually what I would have posted then.

This project came about when I found that a former work colleague was going through a very difficult time due to mental health issues. She had even spent a few spells in a unit at one of our major hospitals, consequently missing her sons, but acknowledging that was the best place for her to be at that time 😕.
At the time, I had just made a pink throw for my hairdresser and I suddenly had this thought when I'd finished that one, that T had loved pink when we worked together in the early 2000s. I had lots of pink yarns left over and envisaged a similar throw...a chevron quick knit favourite of mine. Consulting with T I found that she liked very soft pinks but partnered with greys and white. ( I remembered that she had had a favourite checked  winter coat in those colours when we had worked together)
I'm trying to use up my stash and the desired colours were in the mohair range/oddments that I have, so I jettisoned the idea of the garter stitch chevron and went for the wavy slipstitch that works up beautifully in mohair. And is still a quick knit!
I did run out of some of the colours but substituted similar ones from the stash...and I think it still looked okay.

Because I was actually temporarily back in the workforce by early November, the throw was posted to T. And she messaged me as soon as it arrived and I could tell it had given her a tremendous 'lift', and that was what I'd hoped for. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Chookyblue's SSCS

I've heaps of catching up to do with my blog but I've just popped in to write a post about the Secret Santa Christmas Swap 2017.

I've been part of this Swap for a few years and its rules are simple; a handmade Christmas ornament and then a larger gift which must represent effort and time in making. Chooky matches swappers with bloggers from other countries. This year my Secret Santa was Denice from Michigan and a few years ago I had been Denice's SS.
This is the ornament that Denice made me; I love it and it's so cleverly made.

Denice also included another decoration which she had purchased...

The smell of the timber is beautiful!
And Denice wrote this lovely message about this...

Thank you so much Denice for the Joy that your parcel and message has given me. And thank you to Chooky for once again organising this Swap.
And the bigger parcel will go under the tree ready for Dec 25! 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Some more old photos...

DD2 decided after Holly was born, that she would like the baby to baptised at the same church where both DD1 and her had been christened, way back in the early 1980s.
1981...family and friends who attended DD1's service...



A close up of 5 week old DD1 with her godmother...

The gown was originally worn by my younger brother in law 23 years before and the bonnet had been worn by my daughter's great grandmother, 98 years before. My mother in law was thrilled that these family heirlooms were used.
Then 3 years later, it was DD2's turn to wear them! The only photos I seem to have of this, are after the service and the bonnet has been taken off...
With her godparents with my mum in the background...

And a photo with me!

Holly's baptism is the weekend after next and I had borrowed the christening gown from my sister in law, who is the 'keeper of the family heirlooms', since my mother in law passed away in 2004. A bit of work was necessary to remove some stains and there were some tiny 'wear holes' in the bodice. Eventually I was satisfied that the dress was ready...

I didn't work on the bonnet as DD2 wants Holly to wear a more up to date style floral headband. Before I return the items, I may try cleaning the bonnet...
The one on the left is the one my girls wore...

It was crocheted 134 years ago using fine cotton...

When DD1 wore it 36 years ago, my mother in law sewed on new ribbon ties; I'm pretty sure these are the same ones.
The lining is all hand sewn with tiny stitches...

DD2 thought long and hard on who she and A would ask to be godparents and when the decision was made, these lovely friends were told/asked in a very 'sweet' way 😉.

Whatever will they think of next? Lol
So there will be a future post with photos of Holly's christening. Of course it's a perfect excuse for family and friends to gather. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

An old photo...

Recently I was tagged on Facebook to join in with posting a black and white photo each day for a week. But you were not supposed to add any text to the post...so no mention of what, who, where or when? I didn't really like that condition but decided to play along. 
One day I posted a photo of me taken in 1953-4 most probably. My mother owned an old box brownie camera and she quite often took photos.

Luckily in the comments, a friend asked about the photo, otherwise no one would have had a clue about it. This is what I can remember my mum telling me. The scene is Sandgate, a beach suburb of Brisbane. ( it's in the north east part of the city) My dad worked weekends so his day off was Wednesday. On many of his days off, the three of us would travel by train to Sandgate and spend the day there. In recent years I've wondered what part of Sandgate this photo was taken in. I thought it might be Flinders Parade which runs parallel to the beach.
After I posted the photo for that B&W photo challenge, I thought that I would post it on a Facebook page called Old Brisbane Album. I wondered if other people could tell me where the old photo was taken.
Well my goodness...what a lot of excitement it promoted! Some people enthused about the advertisements on the shop; some people enthused about the 'cat hat' that my mother had knitted for me. People argued whether the shop was one between Third and Fourth Ave, which is now called 'Doug's Seafood'. Others seemed to hotly disagree, saying it was farther down Flinders Pde and was now a popular cafe, Fish on Flinders'. So it was inconclusive...about where it actually was but all agreed it was Flinders Pde.
Last Saturday, DH and I made a detour on the way home from the Sunshine Coast, to check out Flinders Pde, Sandgate.
It was a busy place last Saturday and rather difficult to get a parking space so I could wander down the street to take some photos.
So here's Doug's Seafood...

And here's Fish on Flinders...


It's probably one of these shops...but I honestly don't know which. 😕
And here's the lunch that DH and I had at Fish on Flinders...mine was the prawn and avocado sandwich...it was yummy!

Now way back when that black and white photo was taken, mum obviously took more photos...like this one with my dad...the beach is behind us and the tide is out. I wonder if he and I were checking out a shell...or maybe a little crab?

And mum and dad took other photos that day but they were not printed. It was only when I took a bundle of old negatives from the box brownie to a Kodak shop to have them scanned and put on a CD, that I discovered 2 other photos. They are very blurry...and not terribly flattering...but they are such fun!

Possibly  the house you can see in the next photo is still there on Flinders Pde. But what an exhibitionist I was! Lol

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Lead up to Christmas...

Readers who have been following the blog for a while would remember that each year about this time my thoughts turn to mini Christmas stockings. It would have been 2014 when I discovered that the founder of Knitting for Brisbane's Needy and her husband were spending hundreds of dollars of their own money on buying sweets to fill the mini stockings that the group members would make each year. Various community groups who work with the needy would distribute these little gifts; often to recipients who would get no other gifts except these humble offerings. What started out as a few hundred little stockings grew to a mind-blowing several thousand. Last year K4BN distributed 6500! 


So in 2014, I asked friends and relatives ( and other K4BN members) for help to provide the mountain of sweets needed to fill 3000 stockings. ( that number has certainly crept up over the ensuing years) The lovely Sunday Stitchers group continues to help each year without my even asking! 

These are some of the sweets donated by Sunday Stitchers this year...


Susan and Lynda also make stockings; the next photo shows the 50 felt stockings made by Susan this year. That is a lot of cutting out and stitching up there and it's really appreciated Susan.


As part of my plan for sourcing the best lollies' buys, I went to Costco that first year. My lovely sister and brother in law who are members, took me as their guest. 


The bucket on the left was a great buy that first year as it contained lollipops and wrapped sweets. 

The following year, that bucket of sweets was still available but these last 2 years it's not been at Costco. Each year, I check out and compare lolly prices at various 'bricks and mortar' shops, as well as online. Costco seems to be the best value for the lollipops. 

Last Tuesday, DsD2 who is a member of Costco took me and DsD3 there as her guests. I had been given money to help buy sweets for this year's stockings. In each stocking we place a lollipop and a few wrapped sweets. I planned to buy some of the packs of 100 chupa chups/lollipops...It would work out to be 19 cents per lolly. In shops the unit price of this popular brand is anything up to 50 per lollipop. 


But then I saw these! 


That's a tin of 1000 chupa chups...unit price 17 cents...but boy that tin was heavy!!!

DsD3 to the rescue!


So that was Tuesday night...next day there was a K4BN Knit and Natter...and knitting/crocheting was put aside as the ladies got to work packing stockings. 


We ran out of stockings before we ran out of lollies! We filled 267 stockings that morning. One member quipped that we just had another 6000+ ones to do by the beginning of December! 

Since last Wednesday I've been alternating between sewing stockings and knitting them. I had been working on stockings on and off for a few months but had only made a pitiful 12 which got filled at the Knit and Natter. 


Thankfully my output has increased! 

Another member dropped off 70 stockings last Friday...


Next Tuesday we have plans to fill more stockings...on a bit of a roll here!