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!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Nadia crochets a skirt

Wow Nadia, cute skirt!

 Nadia whips up crocheted items like you wouldn't believe. I wonder if she ever pokes her husband with the crochet hook when they are alsleep. I mean, really, she must crochet in her sleep! However else does she get the time to achieve so much?

Here she is working on her next project, a crochet top. I'll feature that finished project soon!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday Song. "Grace" by David Aldo

I have a song to share with you.

First... the dictionary meaning of "Grace"

- favor or goodwill. kindness, kindliness, love
- a manifestation of favor, forgiveness, charity, mercifulness.
- mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of gracefrom the governor. lenity, leniency, reprieve.

We all need God's grace.
Have a restful Sunday!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cross Stitch by Jennifer

Cross Stitches are not something you do overnight.
They are always started with genuine enthusiasm and a real love for the colours and design.
Only the serious cross stitchers complete their projects.
They see and love the colours...

...they keep the goal in sight and steadily work away, 
seeing it as a form of relaxation rather than a chore.

They take pleasure and delight in each section completed 
and are motivated to continue on.

Sometimes, like with Jennifer, they move to a new town 
and join a new craft group 
and then pick it up again to complete.

Congratulations on finishing your cross stitch Jennifer!
It's a great and beautiful achievement!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Elly's special card for Kitty

It's nice to experiment on your friends!
Elly is our card making guru. She thought she'd try her hand at some delicate cutting and make a pop up card for her friend and fellow card maker, Kitty.

I'll show you a larger version so you can appreciate the detail.
Elly should have been a surgeon... she's pretty skilled with a knife!

Happy birthday again Kitty!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Paper Tole card by Cheryl

There are so many nice things being made at The Craft Group and so many nice women making them!
You get to know the style of a quilter because you see them working on big projects all the time. The card makers however have tables full of cards happening each week. It is only through doing this blog that I have started to photograph and see people's different styles.
Cheryl likes soft pretty colours. Lilac on white is on the top of the list of favourites I'd guess.
Here is another beauty. Her cutting isn't crooked. It's the camera doing funny things with closeups!


She used our new "Cuttlebug" machine for the embossed background then placed her hand made paper tole in the centre.
Nice card Cheryl.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Make an Aussie Platypus

After my holiday in Holland, I thought I should show my loyalty to Australia.  
I'd like to share with you a link to a free pattern to make
your own Aussie Platypus.

You could make it in all sorts of funky fabrics. 
Using a soft suede or fur would be nice too.
She has a great website and we have used some of her patterns before.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Your identity. What you 'do', or who you 'are'?

I love it at our Craft Group how different people come along to share a little 4 minute 'Thoughts from the Bible' each week. Yesterday Judy came along. Our theme recently has been talking about "JOY". Joy is a great word. It doesn't mean laughing all the time and feeling happy. It is deeper than that. It doesn't come from our daily circumstances but from our understanding of life and why we are here and what our purpose is. Judy didn't actually talk about joy but about something that comes way before that. Our identity. Who are we and do we really matter?  It's really good. I asked her to send it to me so I can share it with you. I hope you read it! (Click on 'read more' to see the whole article if it doesn't all show up)  :)

"Our Identity"

Can you describe yourself in 20 words or less? I’m married with 3 children ages 16, 13 and 11 , I belong to the Christian Reformed Church and I work as a casual teacher. ( just over 20 words I think).
I wonder what you would say if you were asked to describe yourself in 20 words.  I think most of you would agree that if we had to give a brief description of ourselves it would involve stating our family situation and our work, whether it is paid or unpaid.  So how we see ourselves, which we can call our identity, is very much linked to what we do. This not only affects how we see ourselves but also how we think others see us too.

But how often are we not really satisfied with our identity? How often do we find ourselves wishing we could be different in some way? Maybe our family situation is not as we would

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Handmade quilts by Carolyn

Are you a "Last minute" sort of person?
I must admit that I am. I have done some of my best work under the pressure of a deadline!
I can't say I enjoy operating in that way but that seems to be the way I am wired.
Carolyn, on the other hand, is wired very differently. She loves her quilting and loves to be organised. When we made Christmas Tree Skirts one year, I never finished mine. It does get used each year but is still a single layer of fabric. (No one can tell when there are presents on it!). Carolyn on the other hand finished hers and made 3 more! Well, now she is making some quilts as birthday presents. She has a few to make and the birthdays are in 2013!!! So she thought she'd get started. Here is the first one she has finished. She used black and white fabric to ensure the quilts won't clash with future colour schemes of the recipients homes.

Here is the second one. Done. 
They are huge! To take the photo's, I needed 2 ladies to stretch up to keep it off the ground.

I thought she must be like a formula one race car driver on her sewing machine but she told me she has done them all completely by hand. Hand pieced and hand quilted. What!!!
Her trick is that every evening she gets housework out of the way and ironing up to date, then aims to sit by 8:30 or 9pm in front of the TV to hand sew for at least 2 hours.
Wow. That is a disciplined woman who has an aim then goes for it!

I am trying to be coy about who the quilts are for, so if you know someone with a special birthday in 2013, don't tell them to look at this blog! Suddenly this morning at "The Craft Group" there was an amazing amount of women claiming to have special birthdays coming up in 2013. 
(Don't hold your breath ladies.)

Hey, I found this one in my photo stash too. Another Carolyn creation...
I see a theme happening.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Christmas Wall Hanging

The Craft Group has had a bit of a break over the holidays but we are soon on board again!
Elaine made this lovely patchwork and embroidered wall hanging and is happy to show you how it's done. The pattern is from the Country Crafts Magazine a few years ago.

I like to make one special new Christmas decoration each year. This is a great project that is not going to take a whole year to make!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Pop Up Christmas Card

Here's another card by Cheryl. Thought I'd share it now because it is 4th term and only 8 weeks til Christmas. A great time to get all your cards started!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Baby Swaddling Blankets

If you know someone having a baby, here's a lovely idea for a personally made gift.
I loved the cotton muslin sheets I used to wrap my 4 little babies in.
 :)  :)  :)  :)
Here is a "How To" to make some very pretty ones.
You can get all the details at The Purl Bee.

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Home again!

When life gets unbelievably busy, unfortunately my blog stands still.
But I have not stood still, that's for sure!
I have just had the most amazing 3 weeks.
As I explained before I left, my father's side of the the family are all in the Netherlands. There are 8 Aunts and Uncles, 12 dutch cousins and their spouses and many cousin's children and grandchildren. My 2 sisters and I decided to go all the way to the other side of the world to join in a "Cousins Reunion".

I honestly thought I would be able to blog while I was away, to keep you up to date with what I was doing.  After all, I thought, I am just going to visit people and drink coffee and eat cake. I'll have plenty of time to sneak in some blogging time!

Well, I have had a whirlwind of a 3 weeks! I did snatch some computer time but first, I always checked emails from home and answered them. Then I'd go onto an online journal where I would write what I was doing each day for my family back in Australia to read.

There were times when I'd be missing out on everyone chatting and laughing and making memories because I was busy at the computer! So I kept my screen time to a minimum.

I hope you enjoyed the things I posted before I went away and scheduled to show up throughout the 3 weeks. Be patient with me and I will be on track again soon.

Here are a few photos of some of the things I did...

Saw the sight with my 2 sisters

Spent time with my cousin and friend Gina
Sat 24th September was THE day for the "Cousins Reunion". It was glorious weather and it was SO nice to meet up with everyone again. The day had plenty of opportunity to chat and catch up with each cousin.

Started our "Reunion day" with mingling (and eating) outside

All the cousins then walked around Haarlem for a bit.

We did a sight seeing tour by boat through the canals of Haarlem.

We ate dinner at an Australian Restaurant at Zantvoort!

It was a great day, surrounded by other days of travelling around and seeing loved ones. We pretty much laughed our way through Holland!

We ate LOTS of dutch food :)
I checked out the latest trend in the shops.
Admired people's homes and how they decorate.
Ate...and ate.... and ate!
We explored Amsterdam with my backpack on my front.
(Check out the bike!)
We laughed at the most ridiculous things!
(My sister should keep her scarf shorter!)
And I thoroughly loved living in the dutch world for 3 weeks.
We said lots of sad goodbyes  :(

But last night it was mighty nice to come home
again to loved ones down under :)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Pretty Christmas Stockings

Elaine made these exquisite Christmas stockings.

The beauty is in the detail.
The embellishments are so sweet.
Crazy patchwork, embroidery, beads and embellishments.

A Lovely heirloom Elaine!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Mini Quilted Sewing Kit

I love little sewing kits and thought you might be inspired to design and make your own if you see the pretty ones shown  on Lot's of Pink Here Blogspot.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Crochet top by Nadia

Woo Hoo, warmer weather is coming our way (in Sydney that is). Nadia doesn't stop crocheting, she just adjusts her yarn type and style.

Here is a top she made for her friend Jessie.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Happy Birthday 'Lee

Hey, Happy Birthday Missy! Here is your cake...

Sorry about the name (you just can't steal good photos of the web can you?)
This pretty cake with Henna inspired design is copy and pasted just for you. How personal!
(I found it here.)


This is the first time ever that I have not been with one of my kids on their birthday.  :(
But hey, I still managed a card and a cake!

Have a great day and have a great weekend everyone.
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