Tuesday, December 28, 2010

grade three spelling

Every year at around this time, as we return home from Christmas celebrations with more gifts and gadgets in toe, I begin to feel cluttered and overwhelmed. And hence, a mass clean-out takes place in the Smith-Cottrell house. I've always felt that I want a simple life, free from clutter, although this doesn't always seem possible. So I've settled for manageable clutter, only keeping things that actually get used. Really pretty things can sometimes be excused from this rule.

The end result is clean/empty cupboards (in our spare rooms) and pile and piles of things on the floor, all with specific destinations. There was a massive piles for the rubbish dump, a large pile for the Op Shop, and multiple piles of things that I need to return to friends and church.

I'm amazed at the things I collect, and they are mostly junk. Pieces of cardboard, and pretty beer bottles and shopping bags, and paints that have set in their tubes.

I also came across all my old books and assignments from school. Most of them have a new home at the rubbish dump, except for this one. A school journal from when I was in grade 3. My spelling is terrible, always has been, but the stories are very cute, and lovely to read. Jamie got great joy out of reading them aloud to me in a silly voice.

Most of my stories involve my big sister Sharolyn, who also features in my secret list of friends who were in "the club." She was in. Definitely in.
I'm glad that finding two crabs at the beach was a highlight for me back then. Still is.


About half way through this month it was recorded as the wettest December Brisbane has had in 10 years. Although wet seems like an understatement. Flooding, damp, moldy, muggy, frustrating...these are just some words that I feel better suit December 2010. But it's not all bad. While the unexpected wet weather has caused the cancellation of christmas events across the city, not allowed our clothes to dry properly for weeks, and meant that we spent most of the month indoors (it does help justify watching midday movies though) when we would usually be enjoying the sun at the beach, it does mean that everything is GREEN and beautiful. Everywhere you go the grass is overgrowing and new shoots are coming up. It's lovely. Our back stairs down to the clothes line are even sporting some trendy green moss, thanks to the December rains.

Friday, December 24, 2010

jamie gives the best gifts

My darling Jamie husband is the best gift giver I know. At least to me anyway. He always spoils me (I've had to start setting some boundaries even), and it's lovely! He got so excited about gifts this year that he gave all my presents to me for my birthday (0nly 9 days before christmas) and then realised he had no ideas left for christmas. Silly lovely thing. Fortunately he stumbled across this wonderful book (among many other things). I'm looking forward to spending some time over the holidays working on some new little projects.
Sew La Tea Do Pip Lincolne

christmas steve celebrations


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kite flying with the Smith-Cottrell's

Omar (uncle) Jamie, Boo (grandma), Amelie (niece) & Franklin (nephew) and some afternoon kite flying at our annual Mooloolaba beach holiday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My 2D Christmas tree

As a young married couple, we always seem to struggle to know what to do with christmas trees. Honestly I think they are a little bit weird. We don't like fake plastic ones, real pine trees are too big for our house, we tried a live lemon tree one year - but then I planted it in the garden. I even tried to get away without one and decorated our fireplace chimney instead. It was hideous.

They are the kind of thing that I think brings more joy to children, or families with children, and for now, that isn't us.

So this year we again arrived at the "what do we do about a Christmas tree" decision, for our few humble gifts. I'm always inclined to make something rather than but something, so thats what we did. And trying to steer away from the traditional pine tree, I came up with this. Its 2D (so it takes up far less space), and we can still hang all our cute decorations (which my mum has loyally given to me each christmas of my life since I was born), and at Jamie's request I drilled little holes to poke christmas lights through. I painted it olive green to keep it festive, but also a little funky. I think this christmas tree will make us proud for a few years to come.


Duke dog was inside today, seeking refuge in the air conditioning, so I thought I would include him in this photo to. It has been such a hot and muggy day, as I speak there is a massive storm brewing, and I think its about to break loose.

O Holy Night - Christmas Bunting

I've been dreaming of making Christmas bunting out of Christmas carols lyrics for years, and this year I finally decided to stop thinking about it, and do it. O Holy Night is my husbands favourite Christmas carol, and he insisted that I incorporate his favourite line "fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices." The whole carol is quite long, especially when you consider cutting each letter out by hand, so I just stuck with four lines. Four beautiful lines.

Each letter was cut out by hand, and then using a sewing machine and white cotton (to match our wall colour) I joined them all together. I left a lot of extra cotton hanging at each end so that we can move them around the house, and even outside for parties and the like. I cant quite work out the best way to attach them to the walls without sticking a nail in, so for now there is some daggy blue tac holding them in place.
Christmas Bunting 640_3
Christmas Bunting 640_1
Christmas Bunting 640_2

my three dollar ruffle dress

Black Dress 640
Black Dress 640_2
A few weeks ago I felt the need to have more ruffles in my life. I bid on a few dresses on Ebay, but didn't win any, and I looked in a few shops but couldn't find what I was after (and I wasn't willing to spend what they were asking). So I set out to make the dress I was looking for - I used some old black cotton fabric I had at home. Its probably not the most ideal fabric, but its simple and quite cool. I made the pattern up using some of my old dresses and some good old gestimation. And all it cost me was a few hours out of a lazy weekend, and $3 for a piece of elastic for around the waist.
I'm really happy with the outcome, perfect for summer night outings!

Celebrating two thousand and ten with the Fusion Youth Leaders

These are some of my favourite people. Each encouraging and inspiring in their own way. We decided to finish the year off with a BBQ feast on our deck. We dined on ribs, steak, delicious fresh salads, roast veggies, and a crockenbush, and topped the night of with a energetic game of apples to apples.
Fusion Christmas 640x72pixels_2

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wooli Beach Holiday

two dollars

On Saturday we went to a massive garage sale in Samford, and I picked up this great chair for our sewing/study/arty room. It is just what I needed.

jamie husband

Sunday, July 18, 2010

things i like

So far my Monday morning has consisted of walking the dog, watering the garden, doing some washing, and visiting the tax man. Now I'm enjoying fresh pikelets and a cup of tea on the back deck, Duke dog at my side, and Jamie husband content on his X-Box inside, whilst I look, and quite possibly covet, lovely things online.

The first two are from the Curiosity Shoppe - one of my favourite places to visit online.
I wandered into a store on the weekend called Typo. It was a bit of an accident that I was there, but a lovely accident. I have seen bits and pieces from there store here and there, but had never been to the store. I like to refer to it as stationary heaven. Here are a couple of pieces that I like...they dont have many advertised on their website.
The rest of my plan for today is to find a holiday house for later in the year. We would like to take a couple of weeks off from the world in October, and go somewhere down the coast between Byron Bay and Minnie Waters. Ideally a house with a yard so that we can take our dog - he needs to experience the freedom of long open beaches & swimming in the ocean!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

saturday sewing

I have been meaning to make this neck warmer for my sister Sharolyn for ages, and I finally got around to it today. Plus I made a simple necklace for myself with the leftover fabric.
I also made another cooking apron as a gift for my friend Sally, this time with little frills. Looks really cute on. I'm looking forward to giving it to her tomorrow.

these boots were made for walking...

I finally found a pair of boots that I like! It's always hard to find what you want when you have a really specific picture in your head. They were all to shiny, or to tall, or to short, or a weird colour...so I am happy with my buy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

t-shirt design for SMASH camp...ideas ideas

For the last couple of years I have worked on the t-shirts for a Scripture Union youth camp called SMASH. We sell them on camp to the leaders & students - which creates culture (there is nothing like being 13 and seeing 150 of your new best friends wearing the same shirt!) and it makes us a little bit money to support other aspects of the camp.

This was my original idea for the shirts - however it was quickly pointed out by one of our high school chaplains, that she could see the posters of this being quite rudely vandalized by some cheeky teenager...which now its been pointed out to me - I can also see happening. So the brain storming began...

I really love the below style - found on iStock. But screen printing it would be disastrous!
I like the below image also - found on iStock as well...but I'm thinking something a little more retro is in need...

This is what I have come up with (below). From the start I wanted Navy Blue t-shirts, so using white ink, plus the navy fabric to create the design will also make printing cheaper...I'm still not sure if it needs another colour...maybe light blue? Does anyone else have any ideas???

Oh, and I should mention that the switch to the 'camera' theme is because we have an fantastic camp activity on the Monday night - which is based around the use of cameras. I can't say much more - as I dont want to give anything away!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my new cooking apron

I spent my day off this week making a cooking apron. I always seem to get messy when I cook...but not for much longer. I used one of my mums aprons as a basic pattern, but adjusted it so that the waist is a bit higher, with a thicker waist band.

I was so excited to finish it, but I forgot to wear it that night when I cooked. Whoops! I need to get into the habit of wearing it now.

There is something lovely about cooking aprons. They remind me of my mum - and all the amazing baking she has always done.

dinner this week

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

charlie is a hen.

Charlie is a hen. Probably one of my favourite hens. We had a party to celebrate her and her upcoming wedding.

It was a very relaxed night, lots of lovely ladies, cheese and olives, nice wine, delicious food, pinatas, undies, and bon fires.

Charlie wasn't to keen on playing the usual hens night games (thank goodness!), so instead we played an underwear/pinata game. Who doesn't LOVE fresh undies - especially cute frilly ones? The answer is no-one. Each guest was asked to bring a pair of undies which reflected their personality, and Charlie then had to guess which pair was from who. It was hilarious fun, and she played along with it very cooperatively. A wrong guess meant a spin and blind hit at the pinata. Unfortunately I made it to thick, and she couldn't break the shell (which I was actually a little happy about because it still looks intact and beautiful). We ended up tipping it upside down to get the treats out...yum!

Only eight more days until the wedding!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

mustache monday

My darling friends, Christopher and Charlie are getting married in exactly 28 days. I have been put on mustache duties. Making mustaches for the wedding and reception photos. Just something a bit fun for everyone to play with. I'm really happy with how they have turned out. I'm thinking of making a pair of handle bar style ones tomorrow. Friends Aron Leong and my sister Sharolyn Joy are photographing the wedding, so I will post some pics afterwards. Its going to be a fun day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

when jamie plays gun games, kirsty plays on ebay

It was recently ANZAC day (public holiday) here, so to celebrate, jamie decided to have an xbox marathon afternoon with some of his guy friends. i hid in our bedroom most of the day, trying to escape the gun noises. I napped, read, watched oprah and dr phil (which i haven't done in years), and spent hours on ebay. It really was a very lazy day. I find ebay so intense. One minute you think you have found the perfect item and are totally going to win it, and the next minute you've been outbid. I bid on a couple of items, this is the only thing i won. i thought $8 was a bargain. hopefully it will look this nice in real life.