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, 24 December 2012

Blessed Christmas





Hi again!


Hi, you have probably wondered where I have been?
I know everyone says they are busy but I have had one deadline after another and my dear little blog has had to wait.

And so again today I have a long list of things to do.
My first thing is to wish you and your family a very happy Christmas by making you a picture collage! I have learnt to make these photo collages and I love them. The one I am posting up next is made from some shots from around my house this weekend. 

What a great weekend! On saturday I had the whole of my side of the family over for the day. That is 19 people which is a nice little crowd. We had SUCH a nice day. I took 940 photos. Well, I must say my camera was on rapid shoot and the kids sometimes took hold of it. I got some good ones. Including the chaos that came after people started pushing people into the pool! (Heidi!)

Then on Sunday after church we went to visit some of the family on Mark's side. There were 18 people there but that is just a small portion of his side of the family! We chilled overlooking the river and enjoyed catching up with each other. Nice! Oh I should mention that I put my camera battery on the charger at home... and left it there. So no photos  :(     I also brought the salads and left the pecans at home (which I had so lovingly roasted, candied and chopped).  So that changed my pecan, pocket and fetta salad a bit didn't it? Some quickly roasted pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes from some resourceful women saved the day. Well, it saved the salad anyway.

Do you think I have eaten enough this weekend? Hmmm.
Today I had an orange for breakfast and I think that should do me for the day!

Have a great Christmas Eve!

Diana x


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Gift in a jar.

Needing ideas for homemade Christmas gifts?
Just google "Gifts in a jar" you will be amazed at the ideas out there!


We received this jar last Christmas.
It is a dry ingredients mix for cranberry and white chocolate cookies.
Super yum.

You'll find the recipe here.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Easy Christmas treats

Do you have to bring something to a Christmas function and you want it to be a bit cute?
Butternut biscuits are placed on top of each hole in a muffin baking tray. Put in a moderate oven for a few minutes and they'll become soft. Gently press them down to form a little bowl shape.
Let them cool completely.

Next, fill with either melted chocolate or caramel pie filling from a can.
then decorate with a mint leaf and some red M&M's.



You are so clever!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Crocheted Gingerbread house!

Just when you think Nadia has crocheted every idea you could think of, she comes up with another original creation!

Can you believe it? A completely crocheted Gingerbread house!

The back door, including crocheted candy canes and lollipops!

The Gingerbread man anging out at the back door.

The side of the house including the christmas tree out the front.

The front door. Check out the little presents!

Stunning Nadia. Really stunning!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Tactile Quilts in Action!

I have mentioned the Tactile quilt project to you before. A lady from our church works as a social worker with an organisation which does, amongst other things, early intervention for babies and children with disabilities. She siad they were in need of tactile quilts for the little ones to play on. The more radical the colours and textures the better. The aim is to stimulate the senses.

Making blocks for these quilts is so much fun because there are no quilting rules and no need to buy anything! We used all those bits and pieces us crafters have in the cupboard that "might just come in handy one day".
Well that day has come! 

These quilts are great projects which have a positive impact on the little ones we gave them to.
The staff and mums invited us to a lunch to thank us for the quilts. It was rather humbling.

Let's make more!






They hang one on the wall and the older children walk by and feel all the different textures.
The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A day at The Craft Group

Hi at the beginning of a new week. Do you have anything special happening? I have a puppet show to perform at school to teach some social skills to the littlies. Then, on the home front the house is going into crazy mode as we have to empty the upstairs rooms to have carpet installed. It's going to be hectic but is a great chance for a big clean up of a sewing room and 2 of our kids rooms.

Here are a few photos from The Craft Group last week. Elzanne is making trendy coasters using some square wall tiles, lovely scrapbooking papers and Mod Podge.  Very nice!
{Tile, layer of mod podge, paper, more layers of mod podge. Allow to dry!}


Here is a typical scene from our group. People helping each other. 
Here Bev I is giving a few tips to Vicki who is determined to finish a project (a really pretty quilt) real soon. 
I love this photo and I love how flippin' nice everyone is to each other at the group. 
Warm fuzzies all around.


Friday, 2 November 2012

A flower loom rug

Shirley has a flower loom and with it she made pretty flowers galore. 
They can be tricky to sew together, so she sewed them onto fabric. She still has to line it and put a backing on it and there is a funky rug!



You can buy the flower loom from Spotlight stores.
On their website they have some project ideas sheets for using the flowers. 
I found a good tutorial of how to use the loom on the Better Homes and Gardens site.

Nice gadget and pretty project Shirley!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Where am I?

Hi for those {few?} who keep up to date with the blog.
I have been so busy catching up with normal life after the big Craft Groups 20th Anniversary that the blog just took a little holiday.

In case you are wondering, my knee is doing really well. I am going to the physio and I went back to the gym yesterday for the first time. A bit of time on the cross trainer, treadmill and a few other leg strengthening machines while I watched the telly in front of me. Not too stressful!

On the home front, we have our 3rd child doing their final HSC exams. I can't wait until they are over!

The weather is warming up and our house is about to go into chaos as we get new carpet in the lounge room and upstairs. I am looking forward to clearing, cleaning, sorting and some redecorating.

So that is my update. I should get off the computer now and go to The Craft Group! I will take my camera with me and take some new photos of things that people are making.

See you soon!

Friday, 19 October 2012

20th Anniversary 'Formalities'

This is the last day I am sharing with you photos of our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion!
(See more pictures in the earlier posts from this week).

After we all gathered in the big all and admired the lovely display, we sat ourselves at the tables of our very upper class High Tea. Gerald, one of the ministers of our church opened our formalities. He looked up 'Craft' in a Bible dictionary and apart from the references to dubious characters being 'crafty', there are quite a number of references to people being great 'craftsmen' and women no doubt, who had very important roles in decorating temples and producing fine clothing.  So, being crafty (in the more noble sense) is quite an honorable pass time!

I have had trouble putting photos onto this post. My blog is telling me I have used up my quota of photos! (Unless of course I am willing to pay....) I didn't know I had a quota! Grrr. But here are 2 that it let me add.
Marianne and Ekkie started the Craft Group 20 years ago and ran it for 7 years. They gave a little talk about how it all started and then gave everyone a cute little survival kit containing a mini sewing kit, a tea bag, a bible verse and of course, what every good survival kit needs... a bandaid!


Then here I am (below) with my Heidi (who wasn't even born when I started coming to The Craft Group) and her friend Danielle holding up the Grandmas Garden quilt which was made voluntarily by ladies (headed up by Elaine) in our group.
We auctioned it off and I became bit sweaty when the bids kept creeping up and up and the quilt fetched a lovely $250 which will go to a women's project in the third world. I will tell you more about it soon.


Dianne Riley came as our "Guest Speaker". It was lovely to hear a challenge from a fellow 'crafter' to think about the HOPE we have in life and she shared with us her hop. You can read more about her and her message here.

Well, it was a lovely day! 20 of getting together is certainly a great effort and a huge milestone to be celebrated! Thanks for celebrating with me and thanks for everyone who put all the hard work into making it such a successful day!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

20th Anniversary - High Tea

All this week I am featuring photos of our Anniversary Celebration day

Did you see some photos of everyone doing craft for the WHOLE day (big smiley face)

Did you see the photos of the craft display?

Well today you can see the photos of the super (I mean really super) lovely High Tea!


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

20th Anniversary - Craft Display!

All this week I am featuring photos of our 20th Anniversary Celebration Day.

The craft display was stunning, featuring craftworks made over the past 20 years.
There are so many photos. Click on "read more"  below to see the whole display...

Parts of the amazing Craft Display


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Our 20th Anniversary Celebrations - Craft!

All this week I am featuring photos of our 20th Anniversary Celebration Day.

At 9am many ladies made the most of the day by coming into the smaller hall in the church, sitting at our lovely big hired round tables to do craft craft craft.


What was the main activity in this room? Craft or chatting?
Either way, it was a lovely way to chill out from normal daily routine and spend the time together.
Thanks to Wil (Mum!) and Mien for providing us with a lovely morning tea!
Thanks for the ladies who came all day, you are so friendly and encouraging to each other!
Tomorrow I will show you the Craft Display... and then  the High Tea... and more!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Our 20th Anniversary success!

Well, It's come and gone already!
 "The Craft Group" celebrated 20 years this year and we had SUCH a nice day celebrating! It was a whole day on saturday. Yes a whole day of togetherness and craft (and food of course!)
Each day this week I will show you some photos of the day.

This is what you saw the moment you walked in the door.
Welcome!

australian native waratahs


Decorating: by the talented Nel and Terry. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Easy Stamped Gift wrapping

The idea of stamping letters roughly onto cards is seen a lot and so I thought I'd adapt it to wrapping paper and envelopes. No precision needed. That's my kind of gift wrapping.



PS. The Craft Group's 20th Anniversary Celebration is on this Saturday! There will be plenty of photos about it next week, I promise. If you are a local and are coming, don't forget to bring a small piece of red fabric. Just a little piece to be a part of a group art project which will only take 10 minutes of the day for you. And don't forget that you want to bid for the Charity Quilt! Let me know at my email  if you are coming for the High Tea or the Dinner. thecraftgroupplus[at]gmail[dot]com. 
I'm excited to see so many people there who I know are coming!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Quilt for Auction at our 20th Craft Group Anniversary!



This weekend is CELEBRATION TIME! We are celebrating The Craft Group's 20h Anniversary! 20 years is a long time for a community group to be operating and we have had, over the years, many lovely talented girls of all ages come through the door and be a part of our craft family! It has been (and Lord willing will continue to be) such a lovely group to be involved in.

So... this Saturday we are having a whole day of craft (BYO) and a craft display of things people have made over the past 20 years. We are having a special "High Tea" Reunion in the afternoon with some speeches and fun. Then... when we are all crafted out we are going out for Thai for dinner. I can't wait. It will be so nice and I have heard of a few ladies who are coming who I have not seen for years.

During the day we are auctioning off a quilt to raise money for a women's project overseas. At The Craft Group we have a "Swap Shop" where people put the excesses from their craft cupboards on the table and anyone can take things, bringing something from their stash the next week. There is a constant stream of freebies going in and out of craft cupboards!

This quilt was made from a half finished quilt top of squares someone had thrown together. It must have stopped inspiring the person who made it because it made its way out of the (anonymous) donors cupboard and was placed on the Swap Shop.

Elaine saw it's potential and offered to unpick the whole thing. The whole thing. Well she did it and came up with a great pattern for "Grandmothers Garden" that could be shared out amongst whoever wanted to make a section. Elaine then brought the whole project together and machine quilted it together with little machine asterisks. It is just stunning. Collect your pennies if you want it! The money is going to a good cause. If you are a past Craft Group supporter and want to come on saturday, throw me an email:  thecraftgroupplus[at]gmail[dot]com





Thursday, 4 October 2012

Nadia's crocheted long top for Vicki


Diana (in bossy voice): Vicki, come here, I just have to take a photo of your gorgeous new top Nadia made for you for the blog!!!
Vicki: No! Oh, my hair, I'm not really feeling like a photo at the moment! 
Diana: That doesn't matter, you look great!
[Vicki and Diana strike a deal]
Diana: Ladies and gentlemen. Presenting (without a head) the beautiful Victoria wearing a one off creation by the talented crocheter, Nadia...
[music]



Well done girls! Nadia can you keep up with the orders?
ps. Cute flowers, thanks Joan.

Monday, 1 October 2012

DIY wired jars

I loved some jars in a trendy little gift shop in my neighbourhood. 
The problem with me and gift shops is that I love the things I see but can't bring myself to paying the cash for anything. "I can make it" my heart tells me. "You don't have time" my head tells me.
"You just watch me" my stubborn self tells me.

And so I did.
Like this...


Materials needed: 
Clean jars with labels removed
Wire
Wire cutters
Pointy nose pliers


1. Bend one end of the uncut wire to form a little loop.


2. Bend the wire a quarter of the way around the top of the jar.


3. Make a complete loop on the wire using the pliers.


4. Bend the wire on the opposite side of the jar from the loop (three quarters of the way around from where you started.) Make another complete loop.


5.  Bend the wire back to the starting place. Extend the wire 1 cm past the starting loop (no more) and cut it with wire cutters.


6. Put the end of the wire through the starting loop.


7. Pull the wire tight and bend the end back.



8. Cut a length of wire and  make a handle, curling the ends through the side loops.


Hello little jar. You may stay in my house for a little while instead of going out in the recycling bin!


I have some of these jars in my house with some rice in the bottom with a tea light nestled in it.
I made heaps for my recent birthday party, to have on each table with a tea light. But... then I found out that no candles were allowed in the community hall, so I still put a jar on each table as part of the table decor and filled it with flowers and berries.





Saturday, 29 September 2012

Friday, 28 September 2012

more rugs for charity

I've shown off some of the knitted rugs for charity before, but I want to celebrate more achievements by showing you more!
Lots of girls got in and made 10" squares (esp Wendy and Elaine!) then Judy offered to join them together. This is always the job that is hard to get someone to do. Judy has a great way of joining them by crocheting the squares together. Good move Judy. Let me show them off...


Thanks everyone. I had them picked up by a "Wrap with Love" local volunteer. 
I'm sure they will go off an warm someones body and heart.

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