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

Wednesday 31 December 2008

Happy New Year

Well, 2008 is almost over. It has been a good year, but I am more than ready for it to finish. I guess I am looking forward to the next thing in my life. I made a bunch of goals for 2008, none of which I completely achieved, but I am very happy with the progress I made. I think setting goals is a very worthwhile activity, because even if you don't achieve the goal, getting part way there is usually better than you would have done without the goal! So, here's the goal review.
  • 52 articles of clothing in 2008. Didn't get there, despite the birth of the grandson (small clothes!). I ended up with a tally somewhere between 35 and 40. Not bad.
  • 6 knitted articles in 2008. Got there with this one, thanks to the grandson!
  • 6 quilts finished. Okay, this is one of the saddest ones because I only finished 3 quilts this year. I'm keen to improve in this area next year.
  • Set up an etsy shop. No, didn't get anywhere with this one! Maybe next year.
  • Participate in a swap. Did this one. 2008 saw me complete three swaps and I am already signed up for my first in 2009. I loved the swaps. I made some excellent friends I wouldn't have otherwise met and I got brave enough to do some sewing I never would have done for myself. Swaps are brilliant!

I am still pondering my goals for 2009. I see now how goal setting can help change your life so I am thinking seriously about where I would like to be this time next year. Hmm..... stay tuned!

Monday 29 December 2008

Secret Santa Christmas Swap (sent)

This is the bag I sent to Jeanne as part of the SSCS. I fell in love with this bag once I had made it. I really loved the fabrics (I got them from the quilt shop I discovered near the Fullarton Plant and Craft Market. Stitch in Time? Not sure of the name.) when I bought them, but I loved them more once they were together.

I made a makeup bag to go with it too. These fabrics just seemed to love each other. It was very hard not to show you these photos before Jeanne opened her gift! I didn't even do any sneak peeks because I was sure I wouldn't be able to control myself!

I even had some fabric left over to make a glasses case and drawstring bag (which to me is a pencil case, but you could put anything in it!). And the photo below shows the SSCS gift after it arrived at Jeanne's house. A little crumpled, but looking very delicious along with the quilter's staple - chocolate! You can read about Jeanne's reaction here. A big thank you to Donna (Chookyblue) for all her hard work in organising the SSCS. It was a truely wonderful experience for me. I really enjoyed getting to know Jeanne and reading her blog. (She has a lovely blog and is a very talented quilter. It was a little scary making something for her because her work is just so wonderful!) I also enjoyed getting to know Pat who was my secret santa. Her work is just lovely too! (I feel very lucky!) If you want to get a look at all the secret santa gifts pop over to Chookyblue over the next few days because she has started uploading all the photos of the gifts. Lovely, lovely, inspiring gifts to look at!

Sunday 28 December 2008

Adelaide Zoo

We got zoo membership! We haven't had zoo membership for a while. I really love having zoo membership. It means we get free entry to the zoo every day for a year. We can go every day if we desire. Of course, we don't go every day! We only have to go four times for it to be worth it, but we go many more times than that. We can also use our membership at Monarto Zoo and a range of zoos throughout Australia. Adelaide Zoo is a very pretty place to go and sometimes we will go there for a picnic because the grounds are just so beautiful. Lots of shady trees and seats and tables. It has changed a lot over the years and is undergoing big changes at the moment as a new exhibit is being prepared for the giant pandas which are coming at the end of 2009 from China.
Yesterday we used our zoo membership for the first time. Miss 16, Mr 8 and I went to the zoo. I think the giraffes are my favourites. Mr 8 likes everything. I'm not sure which animals Miss 16 is partial to. Mr 8 was most excited by a skink (lizard) he saw on the wall of the new lemur exhibit! I forgot to take my camera with me so I have used some photos from the Adelaide Zoo website. Hopefully I will remember my camera next time!

Thursday 25 December 2008

Secret Sewing

All of my sewing over the last couple of weeks has been secret sewing. I have made some bags as gifts. They are all pretty similar. I had a wonderful time choosing the fabrics and making them! Such fun!

I really love making bags. I have some more to make. Some quilts to finish. Some clothes to make for Miss 11. Some clothes to make for me. So, it looks like I will be spending a lot more time in my sewing room. (Ahhh, as it should be!) Life is good, isn't it?

Merry Christmas! (And my SSCS)

Luke 2 : 8-14

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas everyone! I particularly enjoy Luke's account of the birth of Jesus Christ and have shared a little bit of it with you above. Our Christmas is centered around the birth of the Saviour. Of course, we do give presents as a part of our celebration and I think all our kids all ended up pretty happy with their gifts. We had 18 people at lunch and 12 for dinner, both of which were very enjoyable. It has been a lovely day, made even lovelier by my Secret Santa Christmas Swap partner Pat. I kept the package Pat sent intact until today because I thought the temptation to open them might be too strong if I saw the packages inside. I was so right! Look at those gorgeous packages! The wrapping paper was just so beautiful. It was double sided paper and looked and felt lovely.

This is what was inside the packages! As you can see, I was really spoilt by Pat! The snowman wallhanging is beautiful. I love it and will be hanging it in my sewing room so I can see it everyday. There is also a Moda charm square pack (Pat did her homework well!), Lindt chocolates, a bookmark, post-it notes, a magnetic shopping list, and a brooch. After I had taken all of the photos and started packing up I found another package that I hadn't opened! (I was already so happy and hadn't realised there was more!) A gorgeous wooden sign saying "Merry Quilting" and some lavender spray starch. Thank you Pat! I am going to have a little look around at everyone's SSCS now. Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday 21 December 2008

Christmas Stockings!

Are these not the most beautiful stockings you have ever seen? A lovely sister in our ward made them for us. (ward=congregation in LDS speak. LDS=Mormon in LDS speak. This is not confusing at all, is it?) One for each of us. They are small, but contain enough chocolate to make you smile. We had an interesting week last week. We had five "knock and runs". You know, where you leave a gift on the doorstep then knock and run. Or in our case they would be "ding dong dashes", because we have a doorbell! We were thrilled with the first one. Happy, but puzzled with the second. And when the third arrived Miss 22 laughed and said "Well, that's it! Three officially makes us a charity case!" I guess if three groups of people think you are worthy of an anonymous gift at Christmas time, then there must be something wrong with you! Well, we were flabbergasted when the tally reached five. And then Esther arrived on our doorstep. No ding dong dashing. (She is pregnant) Just Esther smiling and telling us that she loves us and was thinking of us and made us some Christmas stockings. We were so thrilled and touched. She said she had fun making them. (Oh boy! Do we "get" that!) She must be a kindred spirit. They are beautiful and we are going to eat the chocolate after Family Home Evening tomorrow night for "treats". We celebrated Christmas tonight with my family, so it feels like it has begun. We have a busy week ahead of us. Friends for dinner twice, Christmas with Bradley's family, Christmas at home with 18 people for lunch and we have to send 3 kids off to a YSA (young single adult) convention 2 days after Christmas. A busy time. I am almost looking forward to Christmas being over. Almost.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Cupcake Coasters

Okay, so I was really busy sewing Christmas presents when it all got a bit boring. You know, a bit wearing. I was done, but the presents weren't! So my brain started wandering and I started to contemplate cupcakes. Not something I've ever really done before. You know the whole cupcake train that has been running for quite some time in the quilting world? Well, I've never caught it. Never even bought a ticket for it! I suddenly thought of the Patchwork Apple's Gathering in the Hills I went to in October, which had a cupcake theme. Jane had given us all sorts of goodies which had included cupcake fabric and all sorts of cupcake ideas. One of which was cupcake coasters. I started drawing some cupcakes in order to make coasters. I thought,

"How long could cupcake coasters take to make? I could quickly make some and then return to the Christmas presents refreshed and revitalised. I could probably finish the Christmas sewing quicker after making the coasters!"

I am nothing if not a master at justification. This was Friday. Saturday saw me still working on them. Sunday the same thing. Monday too. Okay, so now you're wondering just how many coasters I was making, right? Four. Just four coasters. In my defence, there was a lot of other life-type things going on at the time. (Yeah, right!) And technically speaking, now that it's Wednesday they're still not finished! Just gotta sew on the buttons! But they are pretty, aren't they? And so worth all the time it took to make them! I love them! (Well, I have to say that, don't I? They represent an investment of four days!) Not sure I'll be making any more. Perhaps I should give them another go. Afterall, I've got all the bugs ironed out now!

Monday 15 December 2008

A free elf pattern at picklesticks!

How cute is this little guy? I went and visited Mrs 24's blog today and she has a free pattern for this guy there. Rush over and download it if you want to make a quick christmas elf!

Saturday 13 December 2008

Sewing and my desk

There is fabric everywhere on my desk! I am having a lovely time and I'm really loving having my studio. I can't show you any photos of my beautifully finished studio because I haven't finished it yet! Any minute now (Lol)! Have to sew Christmas gifts! (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

As you can see there's stuff everywhere. I just rung Mrs 24 (Picklesticks) and she said she was having a lovely time with fabric etc spread all over her loungeroom. She said she is having such a wonderful time preparing for Christmas. Normally she gets quite stressed, but this year it all just feels good. She thinks it is because she was so ill last year that she couldn't do anything and now she appreciates the fact that she can do things and it feels so good. Wouldn't it be good if we could all appreciate our lives, without having to undergo hardships? If only we could all realise just how great our lives are - without relation to anyone else's lives. If we could just be in the moment and enjoy it!

I am almost finished making this bag. (One of the things I have been working on this week.) I really enjoyed putting this together. It's made from one of those charm(?) square packs from Moda. I am crazy for all those packs. Jelly rolls, sweet rolls, layer cakes . . . . . wonder why those squares don't have an equally delicious name?

I loved organising the squares. I could imagine it all in my head and then I started cutting, then sewing, and then this cute bag began to appear. I have been making lots of other things too, but they're a secret! You'll have to wait to see!

Miss 16's award day

Well, it has been a busy week. We have had doctors visits (Yes, the tonsils are coming out, but not until February. Miss 18 is really sick of them and is a little disheartened that she has to wait two months to get rid of them. She has almost lost her voice at the moment and is feeling very "over" those tonsils.) We have had Miss 16's award day at school and all sorts of Christmas creating inbetween. The photos in this post are just to make you appreciate all the great photography on other blogs! I'm just not good at big event photography at all!!!
Anyway, Miss 16 won two awards at school. An academic excellence award, and a school service award. Regular readers of this blog will know that up until recently Miss 16 was home schooled, but felt the desire this year to complete her high school certificate at school. She has had a very enjoyable year at school and quite often freaks out her friends by continually being excited about the fact that she is at school. (After 11 years they are all over school.)

This is her peaking into the auditorium from the foyer. I think this photo sums up her year at school. She has been so happy and confident since starting school. She was about to come back in after receiving her two awards when a teacher grabbed her and told her she wasn't finished yet. Later she won a scholarship, which was a surprise to all of us.

Miss 16 has done such a great job of talking to her brothers and sisters about school that Mr 14 and Miss 11 will be joining her at high school next year. Miss 22 recently sat the STAT test and received great results, so she will be off to University next year. She doesn't know which course she has qualified for yet. She has her fingers crossed for one course in particular and I hope she gets in because it would suit her down to the ground. She is now gainfully employed as well and starts her new job today. Miss 18 is still waiting on her uni results. She thinks she has done well though and she will be doing her 2nd year at uni next year. So that's five kids who will be off at "school" next year. Very strange. Mr 20 will be at work, which will just leave Mr 8 and I at home. Very strange for us! (Of course, Bradley will still be working from home so we won't be completely alone.) As Christmas approaches I am contemplating the year past and planning for next year. I love this time of year!

Monday 8 December 2008

Wellington boots

Some people can keep you amused no matter where you are! Last week we were shopping for clothes with Miss 16. (She is soooooooooooo picky!) We waited and waited while she was in the fitting rooms. Of course, we waited in the shoe department because they have seats in there! This is Miss 18 wearing a pair of men's wellington boots. It's summer! And we live in Adelaide! (no rain, drought) Why does Kmart have wellington boots? Just thought I'd throw that question out into the void.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Look! It's a frog!

One of the best things about this time of year is all the creativity that goes on! Allsorts of gifts are being crafted here. This frog is one Miss 16 made today. He is just so happy! And she designed him herself! (She is so clever. Of course, I am biased, but look at that cute frog and tell me I'm wrong!)

I spent yesterday and today sewing too. They are kind of secret presents, and nothing much is actually finished yet. Maybe there will be some photos later in the week. (Pretty sure there will be! I can't resist showing you my latest!)

Spread the Christmas Cheer

This weekend last year Mrs 24 and I had a stall at the art market "Art at the Hart" beside the Port River. It was a lovely day. The market is held in conjunction with the "Celtica" music festival. There is a great atmosphere and we loved it there. This year we decided not to have a stall, but thought we would go have a look. One of the stalls opposite us last year was a couple who had some really beautiful things. She had quilts and he had natural/rustic wooden items. I loved a nativity that he had made, but before I could actually decide to buy it someone else did. So this year I went to see if they were there. Obviously, from the photos here, they were! And I bought a nativity from them.

I just love this nativity. It is so sweet! This year she didn't have quilts, but some rustically framed textile pictures. They were beautiful, and I wish I had more money so I could have bought one. Maybe next year! He makes all kinds of things that would look perfect in the garden too. I've included a photo of his card incase you want to get something of his for your very own.

I have been reading Chookyblue's Christmas posts (checking to see if my SSCS has arrived in the USA! It has!) and was really impressed with this post. She says we should all spread the spirit of Christmas, because we just don't know how many people we may help. So, my next thing is to make a Christmas banner!

Friday 5 December 2008

I signed up!

I was visiting Gina's blog last night and read that she had signed up to do the Four Seasons Quilt Swap number 5. I have watched these swaps previously and have loved them, and wished to be a part of them . . . . . . . and now I am! I am very excited! (Thank you Gina for talking about the swap on your blog!) So, if you want to join me go here for information. This round is a monochromatic challenge which sounds really interesting! Can't wait!

Thursday 4 December 2008

Glasses case.

There hasn't been a lot of sewing done this week, but I did manage to get this glasses case sewn for my Bradley. He has been asking for one for a couple of weeks now and I finally did it. He liked it so much he has requested a couple more!

See! He's really happy about his new glasses case! Normally I would never show you the appalling curtains we have in our bedroom (They're just temporary! And have been for the last two years!) because they give me nightmares! I guess I'm not a teddy bear fan. I like them, but not that many watching me all night! Any minute now I will sew new curtains. Perhaps I should make that my goal for 2009. New curtains!

Wednesday 3 December 2008


This is what happened to Miss 18 after she had tonsilitis. Her tonsils swelled and stayed that way. She is finding it hard to eat and breathe and... well, you get it I'm sure. One more week to wait to see the specialist. She is counting down the days! Are you squeamish? Some of my children think this view is disgusting! (They should see it from Miss 18's eyes!)

Monday 1 December 2008

Mother and Child (Mrs 24 and Grandson)

In just three weeks this little boy will be six months old. He is busy talking to his Auntie (Miss 11) in this photo. Gosh time is going by so fast! He can sit up by himself now and all manner of clever things. We (Miss 11, Mr 8 and me) visited him at his house today. He is so much fun!

It's December! (Happy Birthday Mr 20!)

Twenty years ago we welcomed this little boy into our lives. He came with lots of firsts. He wasn't our first child, he is number three, but he was the first boy we had ever had. The first fairhaired child and the biggest baby we had ever had at 4.76kg. He was also the longest baby we had had. He liked to sleep a lot. (Another first!) He slept all night every night from the day this photo was taken (the day we brought him home from hospital.)

He is still the longest in our family at 6'4". He doesn't like to sleep much anymore. If you get up in the middle of the night you are likely to bump into him. Or him and his sisters who frequently sit around the kitchen table midnight feasting and talking. So, Mr 19, happy birthday. Welcome Mr 20. Oh! By the way, it's December! Roll on Christmas!