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
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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.
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