About Me

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With the help of my friends, I co-ordinate "The Craft Group" which is a place for women to gather and do craft! We share a whole range of things, from craft to the small things that matter to us right up to understanding the whole meaning of life! I learn so much from everyone, I thought a blog would be the perfect way to record the memories! The "Plus..." is all about extra bits 'n pieces that I have found and would love to show you. Welcome to our Craft Group. Please feel free to say hi, leave a comment or become a follower! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Bougatsa by Elaine

Elaine made this amazing treat to bring along to our Cancer Council fundraiser morning tea. It is a 'melt in your mouth' delight. 
It is a filo parcel filled with a light, sweet custard. 
It is called Bougatsa which is a Greek name for a pastry with custard. 

They can be made in a variety of ways but these little parcels are just the right size. Easy to eat.

See? There are my teeth marks to prove it.

You can find the recipe on the Masterchef website by clicking here.
A few of Elaine's tips...
* Use bought filo pastry, you still have to butter the individual sheets but don't bother starting from scratch!
* Work quickly when you are up to the filo stage.
*Make the custard the night before and do the filo and baking in the morning.
*Don't worry about the figs as a side. That was Georges idea.
* Keep away from Diana (well, Elaine didn't actually say that, I did. I can't resist)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Bev's 3D scrapbooking inspiration

I love this page by Bev, the concertina 3D flowers, the colours which compliment the photo, her balanced placement of everything on the page and the mixture of die cut lettering and her own handwriting.... 

and of course the beautiful grandchildren!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Elephant in the Room - Suffering

The saying "an elephant in the room" is a good one for our Cancer Council morning teas. Every year in May we do craft, we share a BIG morning tea and we listen to someone share their story of how Cancer has effected their life. We have heard many women & men share how God has been their strength. Their Hope and giver of Peace. How God has healed and how God has given patience and comfort. But there is always that 'elephant' in the room. The big unspoken topic. The questions on some people's minds. If God is real and all powerful, why doesn't He just get rid of all cancer?
The Bible has shown me time and again why this is so, but it is not a very easy topic to explain. So I asked Gerald, our minister, to tackle this hard question. Click on 'read more' to see how he explains the different ways of viewing suffering, depending on how you view God.
Thanks Gerald!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Card Inspirations from Gloria

Gloria had a stack of cards which I snatched off her to take a few photos. Here are 2 which I really liked for their simple designs and serene balance of colour, lines and texture. 
Gloria and her husband are going through a year of new challenges with the roller coaster ride of leukaemia treatment. We are all thinking of you and praying for you both and the family (Hi Jodie!)

Friday, 27 May 2011

Practically FREE candlesticks!

I received a pile of free offcuts from our 19 year old's new profession as an apprentice carpenter. He works at the moment in a stair manufacturing workshop. 
What a good boy, bringing plenty of firewood home from the throw-out bin for his Mum who is always cold in winter!

Hang on. I do love firewood for the winter but maybe I can make something. 

'Free' is always fun!

I drew a few pencil lines to show him where to trim them for me. I cut right through the middle of the balustrade balls to make a flat surface to hold a candle. I staggered the heights. Then I pulled out some old house paint that was in the garage. I sanded them roughly to make them slightly distressed looking.

New candlesticks!


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

This morning our Craft Group were a part of the Cancer Council's fundraiser Morning Tea. Guess what? We raised a total of $515. That is our best total ever! Thanks everyone for a lovely and worthwhile morning.
Ladies were very generous and then reopened their wallets to bid for the lovely bags handmade by Anne. ($220 was raised by the sale of the bags made from Annes Fabric stash!!!)
There was an amazing morning tea and a very interesting talk by Gerald, our Minister, on why God allows suffering. So, watch the blog this week for details of today - recipes, 'Show 'n Tell' and the talk that Gerald gave.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Basket lining by Julie

Check out this beautiful lining Julie made for a craft basket. It was another of Jenni's class projects and I'm sure I can get the link to the pattern from her. 
Julie brings the basket along to carry her new project in...

Her "Quilt as you go" quilt. More photos of this to come I'm sure!
(Nice touch Julie, colour coordinating your craft project with the basket you carry it in!)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Self Interview by Bronwyn

At The Craft Group we stop half way through the morning and have a "Thought for the day" or  a "Thought from the Bible". The topics are many and varied. One ideas is that we give a person a list of questions and they have to interview themselves! Sounds strange but it's a really nice way to get to know someone better and find out about a few of the things that make them tick. The challenge is that they have to try and answer them all in a total of 4 minutes!

These are the questions we give people in their "Self Interview".
1) What is your full name?
2) What house have you lived in for the longest?
3) Is there anything you are scared of?
4) If you had to sit alone, waiting in an airport for 5 hours, what would you like to have with you?
5) What unfinished craft projects do you have at home at the moment?
6) What do you think is the best thing about being a Christian?
7) Could you share a favourite Bible verse you may have?

Today Bronwyn interviewed herself. If you click here on "Read More", you can see her answers.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Maori Cake Recipe from Jen

The other day Jenni brought along a really nice cake for morning tea. Here is the recipe.  

 For the recipe, click below on 'read more'.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sunday Song - Amazing Grace

Here is a lovely version of the song Amazing Grace, arranged and sung by Chris Tomlin.

I found out some really cool things about this song. 
Click on 'read more' below to see my discoveries.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Bag Ladies, Jenni & Pam

These are just 2 of the bags I spotted ladies taking their craft home in.
The purple one is Jenni's. The photo doesn't do justice to the beautifully embroidered garden on the patchwork pocket. The patchwork bag is by Pam. That is such a pretty design. Both bags were made at The Craft Group over the past few years.
Next week I have another amazing bag to show you. A Japanese lunch bag. I will try and find some links to the patterns too.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Pretty Cards

At The Craft Group we have a group of ladies who make beautiful cards. 
This one is by Rita who does lovely things 
with variegated threads and paper tole.

As I was looking for cards to 'snap' on the camera, Valda had this one finished. You can't see the 3D effect as well on my camera. Valda does amazing paper tole on her cards.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Jodi's Jewellery

Jodi makes amazing jewellery.
This was her project last week.
 Here is her stunning bracelet this week. 
It is not yet finished I might add. I know that because I tried to pick it up and it all came to pieces. Oops.
Here it is finished! Stunning Jodi.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Nadia's crochet

It was so nice to be back at "The Craft Group" for term 2. 
I was tired.... from chatting, not from crafting! 
There were plenty of projects to be seen.
The most impressive "Show 'n Tell" was more of Nadia's amazing crochet.
Look at what she made for Anita's little girl.
A cute hat and hand warmers.

And a super cute dress.
She had a few bags too that she was making.

I'll post more nice things to see throughout the week.

Monday, 16 May 2011

"Thought for the Day" 12/5/11

Sometimes you read about very interesting people in the obituary section in the newspaper. A while ago there was a lovely piece about a couple who passed away in their late 80s. They were described as 'hunters and gatherers of the first order'. The article said they had at least 2 of everything: one that was really required, one in case the other one broke and occasionally another because it was on special and would be wrong not to buy it! When the wife died she had about 100kg of wool and 50,000 buttons all neatly put away in old toffee, chocolate and biscuit tins. It's better if a hoarder marries a non-hoarder, but in this case they were two peas in a pod. The husband had a shed full of neatly categorised bolts, screws, nuts, nails, washers, wires, rivets, cables, glue and string. He was from a generation of men who fixed things.
Now as a self professing "keeper" of useful things (I am not a hoarder. . .  really) I can understand this couple's fetish for keeping 'useful' things. I couldn't help but think though about how useless most of these things were for this couple in the end. It made me think of the verse in Matthew 6:19-20.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
So what is going to last? Well in the end, the only thing that will mean anything to us beyond our last earthly breath is our relationship with God. There is no point ignoring God and treasuring the things this world has to offer. Those things won't last. I am so thankful for God's Grace to me. That He loves me and forgives me, calls me His child and will care for me for Eternity. Ahhh...  the greatest treasure I can ever imagine.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Scrapbooking fun

Our scrapbooking ladies produce some of the most gorgeous pages for their albums. Here is a work in progress by Julie-anne. I love those buttons!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Knitting for beginners or advanced

Jackie is just learning to knit, mastering how to hold those needles right. (Next learning curve is how to change colour!) Wendy has it down pat and is knitting beanies for the troops in Afghanistan where it is so cold the soldiers like to wear something warm under their helmets. Go girls!
 Sorry about the quality of the photos. I need would like a new camera. I am saving up. I'd love a DSLR camera. Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Sunday Song - How Deep the Father's Love

Click on the triangle to play. Close the silly ad if it appears across the bottom. Now Enjoy :) 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Bach by feet!

Here is a lovely musical piece for you to enjoy. 
A bit of Bach... played by feet? 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Cafe+Craft shop+chatting=a lovely morning!

Easter holidays are over and term 2 is about to begin, so a group of us met at the perfect sort of cafe... one right next door to a craft shop!

What a lovely combination!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Great Slice & Cookie Exchange

Just before Easter, we held our first  "Great Slice & Cookie Exchange".

The rules were simple.
Ladies could buy as many trays as they liked for cost price (3 for $1).
They lined each tray with foil and filled it with their home made cookies or slices. 
They received a ticket for each tray they brought along and could then 'buy' with their tickets that amount of trays made by other people.

There were 45 trays of goodies all swapped and shared.
It was so nice to just make one big batch of one recipe and then receive a variety of goodies that family and friends could enjoy over Easter. Well I know my family thought it was a good idea!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Here we go!

Well, today I started a blog. This is a learning curve for me but I am so excited! I hope everyone enjoys the things I have to share.  (There is SO much I want to share!) I hope it will be a mixture of things I have made and things I have discovered, but mostly I hope it is a nice way to showcase some of the lovely things made by the ladies of The Craft Group which I run at our church.
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