Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finally - some creativity!!

With Christmas fast approaching, and a new house and trip to Europe next year impacting our budget, we have been making Christmas presents for our family. When I say "we", I'm using the term loosely. My husband thought it would be a great idea to make Christmas hampers filled with goodies, and last night he finally made some of the chocolates to go into the hampers. Otherwise its been just me making all of this stuff!

But more about the Christmas hampers later. Today I wanted to show ou what I have made for my two team members at work (both young women in their early twenties).

Both of them are getting a set of Luggage Tags:

I made these luggage tags using a pattern that I bought on Etsy from StudioCherie - you can click here to purchase this pattern yourself.

Then for Glentin I made a slipper heat pad - basically a little thing, lined with crushed velvet and filled with rice, that she can pop in the microwave to heat up and then put her feet in it to keep them warm.

I saw this on Pinterest, but didn't actually use a pattern. It's pretty easy to make without one.
Using a magazine as a guide for size, I cut out the fabric for your feet to go on (I used crushed velvet so it would be soft), and fabric for the base (I used denim, hoping that it will be durable). I also cut out the same size interfacing and fused this to the base.
Then I cut out the top fabric and another piece of the velvet to roughly half the size of the base - so that there is a cover for you to slip your feet into. Again I put interfacing on the top fabric to make it a little sturdier.
I sewed the two small pieces together (wrong sides together), making the top pretty and neat since you'll be putting your feet in there. Then I sewed the top pocket to the large velvet piece (velvet pieces together).
Once this was done, I put the right sides together and sewed the whole lot, leaving an opening for turning it in the right way. Then you put in the rice, and sew it all up.

And a last present for Ellen, bath salts. I actually gave her some Sugar Scrub as well - but she needed that early due to an issue with fake tan around the ankles! The bath salt recipe I got from Madame Clochette (who happens to be my sister) - you can find it on her blog here.

It's not much, but I hope the girls enjoy what I have made for them, or at least appreciate the thought that went into these gifts - since it is the thought that counts after all!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A year without blogging!

I can't believe, looking at my blog today, that my last post was on the 27th of January!! It has been 11 months since my last post!
Yes, I should be slapped and monkeyd with!

So what has happened in this past year? Well - the 12 Week Body Transformation didn't happen, I can tell you that. While I did pay for the program, and followed it for maybe a week, I gave up very quickly.
That being said, since the wedding last year, I have dropped 5kg which is quite nice.

You can see in this photo (where I'm dressed as Maverick, with my husband Goose from Top Gun) that I have lost weight since my post in January this year. 

I bought a house with my husband, and we have been busy setting up our home. Lots of shopping and gardening, but thankfully very little renovating.

My craft has been very light on this year, unfortunately, with nothing much to show. I have contributed to a couple of quilts for new babies, cross stitched a couple of things, and started many projects. But my list of unfinished projects is very long!

Hopefully the next 12 months will see an increase in my blogging - it really is a great way to keep track of what is happening in your life.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Commitment to the 12 Week Body Transformation

I have committed to participate in the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation, kicking off on 11 February. The goal that I'm working towards is increased fitness, but more importantly a smaller waist. You'll be able to look back at past posts and see that my measurements are not my best point, not in regards to being too big or too small, but just not in proportion (according to sewing patterns!).
It is currently "Pre-Season" for the 12WBT, and we have to go through a number of tasks, the current one being 'Say it out loud' - so I've posted in the 12WBT forum, on FaceBook and Twitter my commitment to the challenge. Hopefully this will help me stay on task and actually complete the challenge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mary. Queen of Scots

(1542 - 1587)
Queen of Scots
  • Mary was the only surviving heir to King James V of Scotland. She was only 6 days old when her father died and was crowned when she was 9 months old. 
  • A marriage was arranged for Mary to the Dauphin of France and she was sent to live in France when she was just 5 years old, living Scotland to the rule of competing regents. 
  • The reign of King Francis II and Queen Mary in France was short lived, with Francis surviving for only 1 year after his coronation, after which Mary returned to Scotland. 
  • During this time England had gone through the children of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I was on the throne. Many Catholics saw Elizabeth as being illegitimate (as her mother’s marriage to Henry VIII had been declared invalid) and considered Mary to be the Queen of England as well as Scotland. 
  • Queen Mary married her cousin Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, however their marriage was short lived, as Lord Darnley died in mysterious circumstances just 2 years after their marriage. 
  • Some historians point to Mary as a key figure in the plot to kill her husband, after Darnley had her private secretary, David Rizzio, killed in front of her under suspicion of being her lover and father of her child. 
  • This marriage did, however, result in the birth of a son, James, who would later become King James VI (Scotland) and I (England). 
  • The Earl of Bothwell, who was charged (and later acquitted) of Lord Darnley’s murder, kidnapped Mary and later married her. 
  • This marriage was also short lived as the couple were driven apart through war, with Bothwell going into exile, being imprisoned in Denmark becoming insane and dying just 10 years after kidnapping and marrying Mary. 
  • Mary was forced to abdicate from the Scottish throne in favour of her son James and ended up in protective custody in England where she expected assistance from her cousin Elizabeth I to regain her throne. 
  • When assistance from Elizabeth failed to come Mary participated in many plots to free herself, regain her Scottish throne and take Elizabeth’s throne. 
  • These plots led to her trial and execution by beheading.

This post is part of my "Well behaved women rarely make history" series.

Elizabeth Woodville

(1437 - 1492)
The White Queen
  • Was married to Sir John Grey who fought on the side of the Lancaster’s in the Cousins War (the War of the Roses)
  • After her Lancaster husband was killed in a battle against the York family, she proceeded to marry the York King Edward IV
  • Edward IV and Elizabeth married in secret, and there were continuous rumours throughout her life saying that she had bewitched the King into marrying her, a commoner
  • Her marriage to Edward IV produced a total of 10 children, which were added to the two sons she bore to her first husband
  • She claimed Sanctuary at Westminster Abbey twice – once when the previous King, Henry VI, was reinstated and Edward IV was in exile. And once after the death of her husband Edward IV.
  • Her two royal sons, Prince Edward and Prince Richard, were imprisoned in the Tower of London after the death of their father
  • Prince Edward was ostensibly there to await his coronation, however his Uncle (and ‘Protector’) changed his mind and claimed the throne for himself, becoming Richard III
  • The two Princes then disappeared – they are now known as the “Princes in the Tower” and it is unknown whether they died or natural causes, survived or were murdered.
  • Elizabeth’s daughter, Elizabeth of York, married Henry Tudor (after he defeated her Uncle Richard III) and gave birth to Henry VIII – making Elizabeth Woodville the paternal Grandmother of Henry VIII.
This post is part of my "Well behaved women rarely make history" series.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, New Me!

I'm not usually one for new years resolutions, in fact my resolution for the past couple of years has been "take more photos". And while I've put my camera in my handbag, and have a camera on my phone, I never really succeed in taking more photos.
But this year I have been encouraged by some friends to join them in a bit of a fitness push for 12 weeks, specifically the 12 Week Body Transformation which is run by Michelle Bridges - check out www.12wbt.com.

My goal isn't really to lose 'weight', but to lose some fat. My measurements are currently:
Bust - 33"
Under Bust - 30" (this is where I found I put on a heap of weight in the last 12 months)
Waist - 29"
Hips - 39"

From my post in January last year, "Baby Got Back" you'll see that really I'd just like to be in proportion. In order to do this I need to lose some waist, really about 4 inches. So that is my goal: get my waist measurement to 25" - hopefully while keeping my boobs at 33"!

A photo from January 2013 - unfortunately showing my belly and under-bust fat! Let's hope there is an obvious difference at the end of this program.