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!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Christmas and a Blessed 2017!

Wishing you a very happy Christmas 
and a terrific, crafty and blessed new year!

From me and my friends at The Craft Group!

This nativity scene has a story. It has 2 stories actually.
The first story is the real story it depicts. That one of God becoming man. The story of Jesus being born in a humble stable to live a perfect life only to be killed by those who hated Him. But His death was a payment for the things we do wrong and He came alive again to show that He is strong enough to do anything. He is God so if He can overcome death, He can surely forgive our sins and make us right with God. We just need to accept Him. Now THAT is a gift!

The second story is about the making of this nativity scene. At The Craft Group we have a "Swap Shop" where people donate things from their craft cupboard at home that they know they will never make. Any optimistic crafter from the group can take items for free if it they think they will make it. I took a felt nativity scene kit from the Swap Shop. It had everything in it and had quite an expensive price tag on it from its original purchase! 

My daughter has moved to the Himalayas to a place where no one celebrates Christmas. When Mark and I visited her in October this year I took the kit with me. We opened it and there were numbers and codes and keys and graphs and coloured threads and printed felt all over the place. I persevered during our visit to make the stable. I would have quit many times had I been at home but with the promise that she would make all the characters, I pressed on. Well, the stable was finished just in time and bit by bit the little characters have come alive in the hands of my once not-so-crafty daughter. 

The really lovely part is that, while she was making each piece during her breaks at school, everyone wanted to see what she made next and wanted to know the story behind the characters.  What a great story to share! (The first story that is :)

Have a lovely Christmas celebrating The Story! It's more than just a story and it's truth really is something to celebrate!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Child directed rug!

When a friend of mine makes a quilt for one of her grandchildren, she takes them along to pick out the fabrics they would like. Even if she is not keen on their choices, she works with it and the results are gorgeous and personal.

Today at The Craft Group, Bev I had a knitted rug for "Show and Tell".

Her 6 year old grandson was quite specific about what he wanted...

It had to have some white patches in it.

And because he sometimes gets hot feet, it has to have openings for his feet!

How crazy cute is that!

A Grandchild creating something innovative together with his grandma.
I love it!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Christmas Table Runner

Ida is inspiring us with the table runners she made.
Christmas is just over 5 weeks away!
A good time to start making some decorations that are good enough to keep for years.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Where have I been?

In the past...
I have been to Europe.
I have been to Canada.
I have seen some of Australia.
I have never really had the desire to go to any Asian destination for more than a stop over.
Then, our daughter decided she wanted to live and teach in Southern Asia.
So... after 9 months of her moving there, my husband and I went for 3 weeks to visit her in the Himalayas.
What a fascinating experience!
We are back.
She is still there.  
I am very thankful for modern forms of communication.

There are so many stories to tell but seeing as you are all my craft friends, I will share some crafty photos...

There was folk art on every single building. A newly built apartment block was being built near our daughters place. We loved watching the men perched on the bamboo scaffolding painting all the amazing designs for weeks on end.

 We went to a paper making factory. 

We watched women weaving scarves.

We saw hand woven yak wool textiles.

And of course we made things too. Here are the first of her Christmas decorations. 
(More details about the crocheted stars soon!)

I have also been quilting like a mad woman over the last 10 weeks to make a quilt for our daughter's birthday. It was finished, admittedly, at the very last minute. It was packed up and came in our hand luggage!
I will tell you all about it soon, I promise!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Blue loveliness in a quilt by Ida

Ida made this quilt for her son and daughter-in-law.

I loooove blue and white. It makes me feel calm.

The quilting was done by her friend who was practising on a big quilting machine. 

I really love the binding which has a little extra layer/flange.
It's the sort of thing that would really stand out (in a bad way) if it was crooked but it has been done just beautifully.
Ida shared her secret...

Thanks Ida. We hope your son loves the quilt and can see the love that has gone into it.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Trinity Crochet

Nadia is at it again.
Crocheted characters are her specialty and now she is going online to sell them.
You can see her facebook page HERE.
We found these at The Craft Group and we didn't even need a mobile phone to see them! ;)

Sunday, 12 June 2016

a special birthday card

It was my birthday!
I had lunch with my childhood family. It was funny driving in the car with my Mother, Father and 2 sisters. We had a nice lunch near the beach. Then I had a lovely dinner  (Thai take-away) at home with my 'now' family. I so enjoyed torturing them with half an hour of watching home videos from the past. I only get to do that on Mothers' Day and on my birthday. This year even my daughter living overseas watched with us on Skype. They complain about home movie nights but I know they secretly love it ;)

The next day I went, as usual, to The Craft Group and let me show you the card my gorgeous craft friends gave me!!!

Looks like a box you might be thinking.

A very pretty box...

With a very pretty ribbon.

One ribbon was easily removed on the back as it was stuck with double sided tape. I could remove it one handed like a movie star instead of like a crazy craft lady trying to undo it to keep every inch of ribbon for... well, you know, we just keep everything just in case!

And inside was a card!

A very pretty card.

A very very pretty card (made by Elly).

So Special!

There were even dew drops on the flower :)

And inside, it was jam packed with love.
Thank you to all my lovely Craft Group friends!

Monday, 30 May 2016

Wall hanging by Sharyn

Sharyn made a wall hanging.
A beautiful wallhanging featuring Australian native flowers decorating a monogrammed alphabet.

(My terrible photography does not do it justice.)

I thought at first that she had machine embroidered the letters, but...

The letters are painted!

Sharyn has combined her love of quilting and folk art.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Easy gift wrapping bow.

I struggle with gift wrapping sometimes.
I've learnt different ribbon making techniques but this simple one is my favourite.
Too easy! And quite pretty, I think.

The 2 main white ribbons are cut to size around the gift and simply joined with sticky tape on the top
(which will be covered by the ribbon anyway).

Then fold the top ribbon so it looks like the above. Put a staple in it to stop it moving. Now cut a small piece of ribbon and strap it over the middle of the bow. Sticky tape it closed. I used double sided tape to then attach it to the parcel/ribbon. (Or you could glue it or roll a piece of tape backwards around itself.)

Ta da!

(I know it's not rocket science but it's certainly quick and easy!)

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Frames of JOY- Elaine

We have a challenge this year.
We are talking a lot about JOY.
Joy is different than "happy".
It's deeper.
We have been talking about what it means to have "JOY in JESUS".  Lots to discover there!

There are many things that bring us JOY and so a JOY CHALLENGE seems like a good idea for 2016.

The challenge is to start with a similar IKEA  frame (Ribba) and put absolutely anything in it that you have made yourself which expresses the theme of JOY.
Here is a contribution from Elaine. 

You know what I really love? 
Elaine was one of the first to fill a JOY frame. She has had a year of health struggles yet she still was one of the first to invest time in expressing her JOY!
I love it and look forward to seeing more JOY frames from friends at The Craft Group!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Crochet Bag by Beverly S

Beverley S doesn't just crochet, she creates!
Making-it-up-as-you-go is sometimes the most fun way to do craft.
Here is the bag Bev created.
So fun!

You are a clever lady! Thanks for sharing your project and your skills with others!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Paper card holding purse by Georgina

Everyone needs cards to give to someone for a special occasion.
Not everyone makes cards.
YOU make cards.
And you give gifts.
Why not give a gift of beautiful, handmade blank cards?
Why not house those cards in a gorgeous hand made box looking like a mini handbag?
A gift that keeps on giving!

There are so many things I love about The Craft Group.
One of those things is how ladies see a good idea and then share it with each other.
Georgina ran a little workshop on making these cute bags.

They have no shortage of lovely cards to fill them with.

Thanks for sharing Georgina!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Wendy's circles of Joy!

I love love love whites and brights in crochet. 
Wendy started and finished this gorgeous crocheted rug a while ago but we just haven't shown it off here yet!
It's modern and it's oozing quality in both skill and in materials.  Wendy made it using quality 100% cotton. She thinks the end result is a bit heavy but I love the weight of it - very comforting.
Look and be inspired...

Feel inspired? Find this book and make it yourself!

Thanks Wendy. Always love your work!

Monday, 29 February 2016

A New Year - 2016

It's nearly March! It's about time I said "Happy New Year"!

There have been mixed emotions around here since 2016 started.
My daughter is following her dream at last and has started as a teacher in the Himalayas. Yes, that is far, far away from Australia. We are proud of her and happy for her but of course we all miss her. This is her on the day that our family changed forever...
(I'm not complaining. It's just a Mum thing.)

My colourful adventurer. 
There was another time of sadness. One of our faithful, much loved members of The Craft Group passed away. Valda has been coming for many years. She passed away sooner than expected after a recent cancer diagnosis.  
As a group, we gave a card and flowers to her Craft Group friends who usually sit with her and will no doubt miss her greatly.
Valda had a beautiful faith in Jesus. It was so evident, like a light shining in a dark room. 
She is with Him now. 

My life has changed in a few other different ways. No more children at school! After 22 years of formal schooling, we are done! (Except that I still work part time at the school!)
So... more time for craft?
I wish.
I have a serious obsession with spring cleaning at the moment. I know it's Summer but that is a minor detail. I am sorting cupboards and areas I have not touched for years. It feels good and the purging is proving to be therapeutic.
But I have seen some lovely crafty things being created by ladies at The Craft Group and I will share them soon!

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