About Me

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I am a mother of eight and grandmother of four who loves to make and create. Rosemary Hill is the name of our home where we live, work, learn and create together

Monday 31 December 2007

"Sewing Reigns Supreme During Heatwave"

OK. It's probably not a heatwave technically. I think you have to have hot for more days than we have had, but this will be our 4th day of over 40 degree heat so I'm taking a liberty. It's not quite 10am and we have just hit 39 degrees so it's a pretty safe bet that 40 looms near! (Can you tell my beloved sells weather stations? We have one set up in our backyard!) We have all decided that it's too hot to go anywhere and too hot to do anything too active here at home, so we have been sewing, playing games and watching a lot of dvds.

My Mum is busy rearranging her garden and these two statues are having a rest at the moment. They were named "Tommy" and "Angelica" by my children many years ago. (You can tell which tv show was their favourite!) I took this photo on Christmas Eve and can't believe how cool it was then!

Most of the kids are participating in a "Stargate"athon. Series after series after series! I'm not much into spaceship shows and fortunately my sewing machine is in a room where there is an old movieathon happening! "Daddylonglegs", "Calamity Jane", "Meet Me In St Louis", etc, etc. Today I am sewing pinafores for Mrs 23 and nighties for me. And this evening I will be cutting out dresses for Miss 10 so that the sewing can continue tomorrow! I actually don't mind this heat because I can stay at home and sew without getting a hard time from people who think I "should" be out doing things or who want me to take them out! Hmm.....I think I hear the pool calling my name......................

Saturday 29 December 2007

Swimming & Sewing

Today was all about swimming and sewing. Two of my favourite hot day activities. Miss 17 and I hopped in the pool shortly after 11 am because we were already hot! (38 degrees) Then I cut out a dress for Mrs 23 (Picklesticks) and started sewing. Mrs 23 is pregnant with her first child and is so very, very sick. She is usually such a productive, busy person and is very unused to being able to do nothing. So, she needs help with sewing clothes. She waited for the magical 3 month mark in the hope that her nausea would disappear, but that marker has come and gone with very little difference. For some reason it didn't occur to me to take a photo of the dress and Mrs 23 has worn it home to her house this evening! But the pattern is below. Isn't it strange how some old patterns are "vintage" and others are just old? This is an old 80's pattern. Aren't the dresses shocking? They look like they have shoulder pads in them, but they don't! (Remember power dressing?) I made the dress one size too small because it looked very baggy, and made it longer. I used a lime green/white polycotton gingham. The dress looks better than these drawings and is cool and comfortable.

Eventually our maximum hit 41 degrees. So we hit the pool a few more times! My Bradley went to the shops and whilst there bought a Pooh Bear calendar for 2008. It's very cute! It's hard to believe that in just 3 days it will be 2008. This year seems to have flown by. I am looking forward to the new year. I want to sew more clothing, more home furnishings, and more quilts. I love the calendar Bradley got because it just seems so happy! I want that to rub off onto me this year. More happiness and more fun, especially more fun with the kids. I guess those are my New Year's resolutions. More sewing and more fun. Mmm..... a little hedonistic I think, but definitely what I need at the moment.

I can't wait for January and "a happy sort of day"! Hope yours is happy too!

Thursday 27 December 2007

What day is it today?

Do you feel like that over the Christmas break? What day is it today? is the question I keep asking over and over this week. You think at some point I would "catch up", but no, that hasn't happened yet. And I don't drink so I can't even put the blame at alcohol's feet! Anyway, today is the day we waved "goodbye" to Mr 19. He is off to Geelong to a young adult convention (a large group of young people hanging out together - his version of fun!). Hmmm..... This photo was taken at the airport, and it was a Thursday, but the demands of truth constrain me to say that it wasn't taken today when we waved goodbye! This was the airport last Thursday night when I went to pick Bradley up after he spent the week in Brisbane.

We have been doing all sorts of little jobs around the house since Christmas. It's good to get those things done! I hope to spend next week sewing. Hopefully the next time that I talk to you there will be freshly made things to show you.
These grapes are from the pergola at my mother's house. Aren't they beautiful? I love gardens and gardening, but since water restrictions were introduced several years ago my garden has gone to rack and ruin! I think we are on level 3 or 4 restrictions at the moment (can't remember), but I had trouble watering with level 1 restrictions (The watering times were really difficult for me. They were at my busiest times.) and everything died. Perhaps 2008 will see me concentrate more on the garden. It must be the end of December because my head is full of New Year's resolutions. More about them soon!

Tuesday 25 December 2007

My 50th Post!!!

Can you believe that this is my 50th post? To celebrate I have brought you some flowers. Some Hollyhocks from my Mother's garden. We spent Christmas Eve at my Mum and Dad's house together with my sister's family and my brother's family. This is a tradition we keep to each year. We eat a meal together in the evening and then we share and open presents. When we go home we each have one present to take with us. Each year we draw names out of a hat, and those people are who we buy for next year. I really love this tradition because it means we don't have to take so much stuff home!

My Dad cooks chickens in the webber and roasts potatoes in the oven. My Mum makes salads and a Christmas pudding and we all bring something that our family would like to eat. Mum also provides ice-cream and jelly for the younger members of the family who don't like pudding. Some rather rude youngsters refer to the fruit in the pudding as "dead flies". ("No thank you Grandma. I don't eat dead flies. They're not good for you.") Badly brought up hooligans! Their mother ought to be ashamed!!! (And I would be, but Miss 21 first uttered this phrase at 2 tears of age and it's been a long time and this phrase is now part of our family history and we're quite fond of it now.)

These were my revellers at the party. Today we enjoyed Christmas day at home together. Both sets of my children's grandparents came for lunch. We started the day by waking our children up at 8:30am, because we didn't want to wait any longer. Our kids have never woken early for Christmas and it's generally such a quiet day that they tend to sleep in. We sung a Christmas carol and had family prayer and then opened our presents. We generally give them one gift each with possibly one or two share or family gifts thrown in. I think everyone was happy with their gift and then we all started preparing lunch together. We listened to Christmas music and had a wonderful time together. Even my married daughter and her husband were able to pop in on their way to the other side of the family's house. They needed salt to make playdough to complete a gift and like Mother Hubbard their cupboard was bare. They are both students and sometimes they come to our house to fill their cupboards. We had 12 people for lunch and whilst everyone helped, Miss 15 and Miss 17 worked really hard to help me. I just felt so blessed to have them here to help me. I don't know why, but my kids are the coolest! We have had a very laid back evening with no dinner preparation, just lots of nibbling on leftovers. ( This is all good because there was a lot leftover this year.) Of course there has been quite a bit of gingerbread house nibbling too. Misses 17 and 10 and Mr 7 made and decorated the largest gingerbread house I have ever seen sometime last week. I also made two Christmas puddings (Yes, there were some dead flies in it. Not many though. I use fruit medley, dates, and instead of sultanas I put in dried apricots.) and custard so that has been keeping us going too! I hope that you have had a wonderful Christmas day at your house too. And if you don't celebrate Christmas I hope you have had a wonderful rest day! Tomorrow we get a phonecall from our Miss 21 who is serving a mission on the other side of the world. It's just a half hour phonecall, but we are looking forward to hearing her voice. I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow too!!!

Saturday 22 December 2007

"Once there was a snowman..."

Last Saturday whilst we were at the library Miss 10 borrowed some Christmas "making/doing" books. And today she did. She used the books as inspiration and made this fellow. He is quite small and very, very cute. My children are inspirational. They just make things. Without lengthy hemming and hawing. Without hesitation. They just start. And, more often than not, shortly thereafter finish successfully. I worry too much about things. And failure. And don't get much done at all. Today I have some Christmas things to get organised and after I finish I'm going to take a leaf out of Melly's book and just sew. For no particular reason or deadline, but just because I want to. Sometimes I think we have to do what we crave in order to remain sane! Here's to sanity.

Thursday 20 December 2007

Musings in the middle of the night.

This week I have been in the car doing the taxi thing as the sun has started to set. I've tried to capture the colours I see in the sky several times, but the photos I've taken have never been quite the same colours as I remember. Yesterday was hot and muggy (well, muggy for someone who lives in Adelaide). We cooled off in the evening with a swim. Our pool was last year's Christmas present. What a great present! We still enjoy it frequently. This Christmas I seem to be all "bah humbug"! Only five days to go and I still think we should cancel Christmas this year! (We had Christmas last year! No sense in being greedy!!!) I'm not sure if it's the thought of aquiring all that stuff (where will we put it?) or whether I'm just too tired to do Christmas this year. (I know, being up in the middle of the night blogging is not a great way to catch up on sleep, but I'm having trouble with the whole sleep thing!) Hmmm..... Perhaps I'll get over the Scrooge attitude I'm bogged down in. Stay tuned. (Will our hero cancel Christmas? And if she does, how will she explain it to the 7 year old?)

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Reno work.

Yes! There's actually stuff happening at our house. This pine panelling is going to be painted Wattyl Orchid. I know! They do sell other paint colours, but I love orchid! I long to have a house entirely painted in Wattyl Orchid. Some members of my family claim this proves my insanity, but I think they'll love it when I get through with it. This photo shows the panelling in progress.
This photo shows the finished product. I'm going for a "beachy" look. A sort of casual, modern beachy look. On the way to Christmas I'm hoping to paint.
New doors. Having pretty doors can make such a difference to your home! I love these doors. I already have a few in place and hopefully these will be installed by the new year. (I know this will shock you, but I'm going to paint them with Wattyl Orchid!)

Monday 17 December 2007

I won something!

I hope you are all terribly busy at this time of year. Because if you are you'll understand why this post has taken so long! Back in November I left a comment on Kirsty's blog, Lolli b chie, and won an over the shoulder backpack. Kirsty packaged it up and sent it to me straight away and it's taken me this long to show you!!! Kirsty said that since it was going to a home with 8 children there might be some squabbling over it! Well, I don't really have squabbling children. (Hmmm..... I'm just pondering this as I write. They really are very good. This whole giving birth to, caring for, and raising small people to adulthood thing has been a wonderful experience. And the thing is, it never ends. Which is the best bit! I guess all this deep and meaningful stuff comes because Mrs 23 - Picklesticks - has announced to blogland that she's pregnant. Yes! Bradley and I are on the road to Grandparenthood. Hard to believe, huh? Anyway, back to the bag!) Everybody loved the bag. All the teenagers claimed it as their own (of course) but nobody took it to their room so it floated around in the living room for a couple of days. Then Mr 13 announced to nobody in particular that he would really like to have the monster bag and would find it very useful and did anyone really mind? Silence reigned, so he took it to his room and has been using it ever since. He is quite a tidy soul and you can see it above, hanging on his door next to his Harry Potter cloak. (Three cheers for Gryffyndor!)

Thank you Kirsty! We love it. It has already been to heaps of places with us! Most interesting is little kids' reaction when they see Mr 13 with the bag. One little guy even called out "Hey! There's a monster on your back!".

Sunday 16 December 2007

An air of creativity!

There must be an air of creativity wafting through our home at the moment. I LOVE it! It's exciting and inspiring! I can't wait for the week ahead. We are going to make ALL sorts of things.

Miss 10 made a bag. Miss 15 started the creativity today. She spent time making softies and then started a quilt. It's her first "grown up" attempt at a quilt. She has made some quilts before when younger. They were not very successful because she didn't want me to look at them in order to help her. Today, however, she asked for advice and how I would do it. Just mechanically, she made all of her colour choices herself and all her placement choices too.

I have been knitting today. I forgot to take photos of my knitting! Rest assured, there's plenty of time to see it! I am knitting a jumper. I am notoriously slow at knitting anything that requires more than one piece knitted!!! And this jumper requires 4 pieces. I am nearly finished the back.

This is what I have been doing whilst knitting. Yes! Watching "White Christmas". I am an old-movie-aholic and my favourite kind of old movie is the musical. So I was incredibly surprised to find that I hadn't seen this movie before. I watched it today with and without the commentary. I love commentaries! Do you like them? I love all the stuff you find out!

Friday 14 December 2007

Printing and lights!

Yesterday I spent ALL day at home. I love being home. I didn't actually make anything, but I did touch a lot of fabric. (Tidying up!) It was a wonderful day! I did have to go out at 7pm to pick Miss 10 up from basketball training, but that was fun too. It's so nice to spend time with the kids when I taxi them! AND, it was the"last" training till next year!!! WooHoo!!!!!

The kids have been doing some printing. Mrs 23 made some of the stamps they used in her textile course this year. These two pieces of fabric were printed by Mr 13. He made the flower stamp himself from a black custard tart tray from our local bakery. They used an acrylic paint/textile medium mixture to print on some calico. I really love the stuff that Kirsty does with her kids. You should pop over to her blog and have a look! They don't just end up with pieces of fabric, they have finished items! We have yet to get to that point. It's something we have to work on.

Another important development this week (well, according to the two youngest members of our family) was the puting up of the icicle lights. Bradley and the kids put the lights up on Monday night and then we went for a drive to look at lights in our neighbourhood. Fortunately, there are quite a few really impressive displays nearby. Ours is kind of mediocre, but the little kids are easily impressed! (young kids are such good value for money!) It was quite windy when I took this photo. Our front yard looks like we are renovating (Well!!! We are!!!) so I'm hesitant to call any attention to it, but as long as we only turn them on after twilight it's all good!

Tomorrow I'm hoping to fill, sand and paint. Well, I have to fill and sand. I'm hoping to paint! We're working on the "big couch room" at the moment. (That's REALLY how we refer to it! We so have to "name" our rooms as soon as we finish them! Do any of you name your rooms???????????)

Wednesday 12 December 2007

More on the kitchen

Hmmm...... Did you know that before things can get better, they have to get worse. This is what Bradley keeps telling me to reassure me. This beautiful, spacious room is my sewing room, now kitchen overflow storage area. No crafting happening here! We have hired a storage area, but even though it's fairly close to our house you can't really trip off there every time you need something from the freezer! So the freezer and other things have moved to the sewing room. I can still get to my sewing machine, so the excuse for the lack of crafting is just an excuse! I have been busy this week. Today was Miss 15's "moving on" ceremony (celebrating the move from year 10 to year 11). The ceremony had musical performances, awards and lunch. Then I had an appointment at the dentist. (Am I alone in my horror of dentistry?????) My face is numb and I'm comforting myself with the fact that the day is nearly over! Perhaps next time I talk to you it will be a better day, with sewing and no dentistry!

Sunday 9 December 2007

The start of something big.

Yesterday my Bradley began work on our old kitchen. Hopefully he will spend the next couple of months transforming it into our new kitchen. As you can see, we desperately need more storage in our kitchen. Brad has already built lots of storage for this house. (Lotsa people=lotsa stuff!) But all his building efforts so far have just been a preparation for him building my "ultimate" kitchen. I'll let you know it's progress.

Friday 7 December 2007

I finished something!

Just incase you thought this week was going to come to an end without any crafting happening at all, this post allays your fears. Some time ago I showed you this scarf I was knitting. Well, this week I finished it. But it is a scarf no longer!

It's still sort of a scarf. A scarf and a hood all rolled into one. I'm sure there is a name for one of these but I don't live anywhere cold enough to know the name!

This scarf/hoody thing is for Miss 21 who is overseas in the snow as we speak. But I got Miss 10 to model the scarf for you. She thought it was a huge joke. Modelling a warm hat in summer!
I also made bunting. Bunting is one of my most favourite things ever, despite the fact that I have never owned any! I don't know if you noticed or not, but our stall at Art at the Hart had bunting. That's because Mrs 23 made some for markets. I'm not sure why bunting appeals to me so much. I think it has something to do with tv. Every great tv show has bunting. Like "As Time Goes By" when they throw the Christmas party for the old folks, like "Ever Decreasing Circles" when they are setting up for the Vicars and Tarts dance, and like just about every "Darling Buds of May" episode! Maybe I just love it because it's so British and it's sooooooo happy.

I have been collecting inspirational bunting photos from all over the net. But it wasn't until I saw Tiel's bunting (OK. I think it was Tiel. It was a while ago.) that I thought I could actually make some. She made some small bunting that was "pinked" around the edges and I thought, "I could do that!". So I did. I made some for a friend, but made so many triangles I ended up making some for me too! I love it when I accidentally get something like that.
Sorry for the marathon post. I just had so many photos! My camera wasn't working for a while, and now it is so I am taking it everywhere and snap, snap, snapping! (Gosh I missed it!)

Thursday 6 December 2007

Funky Hairdo!

There was an artist at Art at the Hart who was doing funky hairdos for FREE! Miss 17 couldn't resist. Apparently this artist is a face painter too and this is a variation on the face painting theme. We saw Christmas trees on people's heads and upswept dos with cards, paintbushes, feathers, butterflies and allsorts of paraphenalia integrated into their dos.

I have "put my back out". Not really sure what that phrase means, but it's what people say. My definition involves pain. Pain and not enough sleep. Can't get comfy. So there's not a whole lot of crafting going on. Actually, if buying fabric doesn't count as crafting, there's NO crafting going on!

Tuesday 4 December 2007

Art at the Hart

This is us at "Art at the Hart" on Saturday December 1st. We discovered the details for this artist's market in the Advertiser some time ago. It is a 2 day market that runs in tandem with "Celtica", a Celtic music festival. We initially enquired whether we could just come for the Saturday because Sunday is our Sabbath and we don't engage in commercial transactions on the Sabbath. The organisers really wanted artists who could be there for the 2 days so we asked them to keep us in mind if they got anyone who wanted to be there just for the Sunday. A few weeks ago we got a call! Mrs 23 (Picklesticks) had her toys (and sold heaps), and Miss 17 had her photography (and sold none), I had some bags and postcards (and sold 1 postcard). Mrs 23 was very happy. Miss 17 and I had fun!

The day started out with quite a few of us there. We brought a tall boy to help us with our setting up, which meant we had to bring a small boy too, because you can't leave 7 year olds at home on their own!!! Miss 10 came too because she had her basketball game at 8:30am. Fortunately her game was at Port Adelaide and you can see the stadium from the Hart's Mill complex, so even Basketball SA was smiling on us that day! As the day wore on we dwindled in numbers because Bradley came to pick up any children who were bored.

This was the view from our stall. I'm refering to the water view here, not the guys!!! Hey! Miss 17 is a photographer, and we gave her the camera. She's 17, there were always going to be photos of guys! Don't you love the fly on the lens!!! There were so many flies in the morning. They thinned out as the day went on (perhaps they got bored too!)

It was an interesting day on the Port River. There were yachts racing and rescue craft and dolphins.

Now that it's Tuesday (ie a long time since Saturday) and the photos look so beautiful here on my blog I remember the day as a lovely day! On Saturday afternoon, however, it was HOT (38 degrees) and sunny and the flies were buggy and the music got louder and louder as the day went on and my head hurt! (In fact it hurt Saturday night and Sunday and Monday too!) All of us decided that we are not outdoor market kind of people. I remember a fervent discussion we had on the way to the car after packing up. We discussed the idea at length and came to the conclusion that we are etsy people. Cause you don't get sunburnt (aka skin damaged) from the light of your computer, and all the people you meet online are so nice, and we decide to open an etsy shop instead of doing another market! We just aren't outdoorsy people!

Of course, that's not to say that we didn't meet truely wonderful people at Art at the Hart, cause we did! It was a wonderful day and next year (Yes! It's on again next year!) I'm definitely going to go. As a customer only. There were so many beautiful handmade items there. It's a brilliant place to go Christmas shopping!

Saturday 1 December 2007

Ding dong merrily on high!

It's December 1st! I was going to have our Christmas lights up today so that we could start December in complete Christmas mode. Didn't get that far! Today is not only the start of December it is also one of my baby's birthday. Yes, today Mr 18 became Mr 19. He is number three in our family and the first boy. I remember 19 years ago when he was born saying to the midwife, "That's not my baby!". Not just because he was a boy (none of my babies had ever been boys before!), but because he was blonde and the other two had dark hair. This was another opportunity to learn the lesson that all children are different from each other, no matter who their parents are.

This is Mr 19 watching "Heroes" with his sister in his new room in November. We all had very busy days today, so we went out to dinner together this evening to celebrate. It was so nice to be together. Now we are going to hop in the pool for a "midnight" swim. Okay! It's not midnight, but it is dark. Splash!!!