I love to decorate.... whether it be one style at a time or all at once...

Friday, December 17, 2010

getting there.. finished quilts and bring on Christmas!

Hi girls, it's been VERY hectic here lately.. but I thought I'd show you some pics of the quilts I finished..
THis is the ballerina quilt.. I love making these.. shame about the fabric being discontinued though. I made this as a gift for my niece.

The other quilt was a customer order and she wanted roses.. so roses she got!!

I also had an order for a cushion but ended up making 3.,, well I was on a roll! They all look like this.(only 1 left)

Yesterday I got the blinds put in my bedroom and lounge ..They are just holland blinds but I am very happy, and even happier that they will only take me a minute to clean when need be.

Ofcourse I still need to put curtains up and am putting just one curtain on each on the sides closest to the walls. Not sure what kind yet as this room will be getting a makeover once I decide exactly what I want.

Finally our Christmas decorations went up to. We are sticking to red, gold and green.. the kids would have my head if I changed it to pink and white, so this is for them..

I even found some mini chandelier ornaments.. how exciting!

and some sparkly snowflakes..

and we couldn't leave santa hanging so we hung him on my archway.. you press his leg and he starts swaying and singing.. he's pretty cool..and always makes me smile..

and what is Christmas without our nativity set.. .

and just to keep me happy a little pink and silver in the dining room....(little do they know I am gradually taking over...he he!)

I WAS hoping to have my dining table painted white by christmas but I don't think that's gonna happen, it's still the same as I left it in my last post.. in undercoat. With all the rain we've had, my garden and the weeds have gone wild so I have spent so much time sprucing the garden up and pulling out weeds and getting rid of snails!  I'll be mainly cleaning my house inside and out in the next few days and believe me it needs it! We are having a family get together on boxing day at my place... about 57 people..(15 people on my side and 42 on Fred's!)  Every family is bringing something which works out really well so I don't have to spend xmas day pulling my hair out all day.
I'm a little sad that my flooring didn't get done and my new lounge room is no where near finished... as I would have liked the house to be totally finished... .but I suppose it's something to look forward to next year.
Not sure if I'll be posting again before Christmas so if I don't I truly wish you all out there a wonderful and safe Christmas! Love always, Maryann

Monday, December 13, 2010

front garden rockery..

Today I thought I'd show you what we are up to in the front garden. If you've been following you'd know that due to our extension we've had to dig into the land, leaving us with one big muddy mess at the front.

I had taken inspiration from these photos for a retaining wall with sandstone done in tiers. We have so much sandstone on our property it was the obvious way to go.

and since then it has gone from this, in my last post..

to this......this is the front corner..

We used block pavers for stepping stones and a crushed concrete/brick mix for the base. We had intended to pave that entire section around the house but after we did the stairs we decided bugger that to scrap that idea!! Besides I love the look and the sound the gravel makes when you walk on it. Reminds me of a show I love to watch called 'escape to the country' which is an english show where they view country cottages and they ALL have crushed gravel or pebbles.

this is from the back looking to front..

Lisa suggested we add more stepping stones on the grass from our round about where we drive in to encourage people to use the front door.. we are so used to using the back door!

We also made some stairs using the pavers we already have and also made a row of them right across the front and down the sides. These were all cemented in and act as a border between the grass and garden and most importantly will catch the water when it rains to take it away from the house and down the sides..

but as you can see we have only finished half the project..bugger.. the rest will have to wait until after Christmas now..

but hey, I'm not complaining.. I need a rest from all the back breaking, heart aching, finger nail scraping, sun scorching, mud squishing, digging, shoveling and cementing. I had to wash every paver and rock as since they are just lying down the back of our property they were full of mud so that had to come off first if they are to stick to the cement properly.  

I have to say though I'm very happy with it and wish I had a better camera and a degree in photography to show you how pretty it's looking.  Ofcourse you can hardly see the plants  as they are only little, but on the top level, which is what will show from the road, I went for alternating yellow and white carpet ground cover roses with a munstead lavender in blue in between.

For the lower tier a mixure of cottagy plants in all different colours. I can't wait till they grow and start to flower. Here's a couple of pics of my garden at the moment. Wish they were better quality as every time I try to take pics of my garden they always come out wishy washy. I can't tell you how many photos I've taken over time that I never end up using.  Any tips would be appreciated!

Ok, I'm off to give one more coat of paint to the trim around my lounge room windows. I am getting some blinds installed tomorrow morning to the windows in the front, which is my new lounge and bedroom. Even though my whole house has venetians I have opted for simple roller blinds as in all honesty I am over cleaning venetians, no matter how much I like the look of them!  Eventually I will change the whole house to roller blinds as they give such a light and airy feel to a room and bring the outside in.
Will show more pics soon.. take care, Maryann

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To paint or to sew???

This seems to be the question I ask myself every morning lately.. will I paint or will I sew?

Last week I finally made a start on my dining room table, actually the chairs...

This is going to be a bigger job than I anticipated. The table itself has sort of split and lifted slightly in the middle so hubby needs to attach some wood underneath so he can hammer it down and he also needs to cut out some seat for the chairs. It did originally have springed seats but they were all out of wack (which was not mentioned when I bought them from ebay) so all that needs to be done.
I have been painting them by hand and it takes me about an hour to give a chair 1 coat. It is so fiddley and it was just last Friday I was saying to hubby I need to buy an electric spray gun so I can just spray them. I would ask hubby to spray them but he has so much on his plate right now I thought I'd just do them myself.

Anyhow you wouldn't believe what I found at a garage sale I went to on Saturday...

Now is that freaky or what..! and only 5 bucks.. bargain!
 I haven't tried it out yet as this week I decided I really need to get some sewing out of the way..

These fabric squares will be a ballerina quilt soon.. I am making it as a gift for my neice's little girl.
She is just adorable and reminds me soo much of Lisa when she was a baby! She melts my heart! The squares in the background are for a quilt for a customer. All floral, it's going to be so pretty.
I'll show pics when it's done.  Ok better go as I have lots more cutting to do.. hope you have all been well..
take care, Maryann

Monday, November 15, 2010

When life throws you lemons?

What do you do when life throws you lemons.... and lemons.. and lemons..? Well you cook them ofcourse!
I have had so many lemons from my tree this year I could not stand seeing them literally fall from my tree to rot. After giving some away to family I decided to have a go at making a few different lemon recipes. With the chopped up peel you see above I made candied peel... great to use in cakes or sweets..

With the juice I made home-made lemonade...

and heck I even had a go at preveserving some too!

But I think my favorite thing to make for summer from now on is GRANITA!
This is my first go at it and it was so yummy. Granita is very popular in Italy and Malta.. sort of a cross between an iceblock and a slushy... so from this...

to this!

It was delish! and if any of you would like the recipe
for the Granita click here  My kids loved this so I think I'll be trying a few different flavours this summer.. take care, Maryann

Monday, October 25, 2010

week end finds..

Hi ladies, went to a couple of garage sales over the week end and this is what I found ... a great wicker basket for my laundry, which I want to paint white so it matches my clothes basket , some pretty floral fabric, a small square tablecloth and some great cook books. I love buying cook books and for a dollar each who could resist! Not that I need anymore,  I've way too many already..

and I was so pleased to have found something I have been on the look out for a while..

it will either be a desk for James or maybe a computer table for me. It all depends how it turns out and if Sir James approves with the final result or not.. kids.. they get so picky after a certain age!

Anyhow, I'll be pretty busy for the rest of this week preparing for my son's 21st birthday party as I will be making alot of the food. In all honesty I am looking forward to it but will be glad when it's all over. Then it's a race till the end of December to get ALL my projects done before Xmas! I am having all our family (and it's a big one) over to my place this year and would like to get as much done as possible. So hopefully, you will get to see quite a few 'afters"  (finally, you saY!).. and somehow I still need to do a bit of sewing in between. Ok, talk soon.... take care girls.. Maryann

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lisa's yr 12 formal..

Lisa had her Yr 12 graduation and formal just a couple of weeks ago.. My how time has flown. She has grown up so much..
She was so excited preparing for her formal.. what dress to pick, jewellery and shoes.. especially shoes, she definately has a thing for them!  I have to say, she looked beautiful, not that I'm biased or anything ya know.
These pics were taken at a local park..
She wanted a picture of the back of her dress so I made them do a 'pose'

and here's Ryan and James. Ryan will be turning 21 on the 20th, just a few more days. He'll be having some mates and cousins over so I will be a little busy with that too!

She's just applied to TAFE to do a Children's Services course, that is she wants work in a preschool or daycare centre. She tried it for work placement at school once and she loved it. I can really see her in that line of work. She has such a lovely temperament with little children. She hopes to then, later on, go to uni and become a primary school teacher. Looking at my children now, I think where have the years gone? They grow up so quickly these days. They really are my pride and joy.. take care, Maryann


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