Thursday, December 31, 2009


Wow! What a strange and eventful decade it has been! Did anyone else in Australia watch the channel 9 (win or prime) television program which looked back on the past 10 years? I cried when I realized what a dramatic time it's been (Sep 11, Bali and Britain's bombings, the Boxing Day tsunami, the Chinese earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina, a black USA president, flooding, cyclones, Steve Irwin's death and our terrible Black Saturday bush fires).
We never would have guessed in celebrating the year 2000 all those years ago that so many bad, mad and wonderful things were going to happen.Here's to a safer, brighter and hopefully not nearly as quick twentyten!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all a blessed and happy Christmas, safe and healthy holidays, and a bright and prosperous New Years!Love and hugs, Manda.

Last Minute Christmas Crafting

Where on earth has the past week gone?! I've only just finished my Christmas shopping, not to mention my Christmas crafting.
Here's a little something I made to sit along the bench next to my stick tree. Sweet huh? So easy too! All you need is buttons, calico, a picture frame, an embroidery hoop and thread.
Then there's these little wooden ornaments I made for my friend, Helen.They only cost me $1.00 to make, yet they're so effective and beautiful!

I made a few more felt ornaments, cause I just can't resist them-As presents for our friends, I made these little surprise cans!They're so easy to make and very affordable! You get a can with a ring pull top, cut open the bottom of the can leaving the lid on a touch, pour out the contents of said can, wash out can, put lollies or chocolates in can, hot glue bottom of can closed, cover can with Xmas paper, and attach some ribbon and a tag! Too easy!

I also made this little poinsettia brooch.It's so sweet and looks great on my Xmas shirts!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mary, did you know?

I'd finished this pillow the night before our church Christmas Carols, where they played this song, and how perfectly they fit together! I hope to never forget why we celebrate Christmas, with this cushion on the couch every year from now on.Mary did you know, that your baby boy
will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know, that your baby boy
will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know, that your baby boy, has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know, that your baby boy
will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know, that your baby boy
will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know, that your baby boy, has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear
and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak,
the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know, that your baby boy
is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know, that your baby boy
will one day rule the nations?
Did you know, that your baby boy, is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I AM.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Wishing Tree Tutorial

So it is Christmas, or basically Christmas anyway, and what better way to share the joy (and let your non-Santa family members know what you are hanging out for) than showing you how to make your very own wishing tree!First, start off with your general supplies-
3 different green felts (or any colours!)
Styrofoam coneNow, cut your felt into these general shapes, making sure that your felt does go all the way around your cone before trimming excess fabric.Start to sew your pieces that they fit snugly around your Styrofoam.Once you're happy with the felt placings, cut a circle to fit the bottom of your cone and blanket stitch the bottom shut.Congratulations! You now have your general tree!Now grab your next lot of supplies -
Jewels or buttons or some other type of accessory
Blue tack or glueNow put your tree ornaments together by sticking/dabbing some blue tack or glue in between your chosen jewel and thumbtack and letting it dry (if using glue).This is effective using plain gold thumbtacks too. ^
Find those catalogs that have been chucked into the recycle and go back through all those things you wanted, cutting them out as you go. Thumb tack them with your ornaments to your new tree and leave in plain sight of all family members.The other great thing about this project is that if you use blue tack, your whole tree is able to be pulled apart again, so you can always use that cone in another project once the felt wears out!

If you make one of your own, don't forget to let me know so that I can visit your blog and see it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's beginning to look like Christmas...

I've not put up the big tree this year as it's simply too hot, not just to put up and take down, but to look at too, makes you feel just that bit more stuffy. So I gathered some sticks from outside and voila - instant tree.But even though the heat is incredible, I couldn't resist adding a little bit of a snow scene somewhere.Pepsi joined in, and became an ornament herself.Isn't she gorgeous?!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Giant Amazing Cactus Flower

Last night I had an asthma attack brought on by allergies, and had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance. It's only ever happened once before, about two years ago, but golly, the stuff they put into my oxygen mask was the weirdest thing ever! It was only Ventolin, but I went all Puff the Magic Manda from it and had to have 5 doses of the stuff before they'd let me leave the hospital. I sat there blowing smoke and giggling every time a huge dose of the stuff would rise from the mask.... once I'd already had 3 doses and could breathe again that is. We really don't take the ability to breathe seriously enough until something like that happens.

Look what opened its petals today. One of my giant cactus flowers.Isn't he a beaut? It's bigger than my hand, and yet the cactus itself is quite a small plant. Want a closer look?It has little hairs all over it that are silky smooth, and little ripples all the way through it. The bud is at first fully enclosed, and then bursts open into this amazing star shape. I don't know the name of it though, so if anyone does, please let me know, that would be wonderful!
Oh, did I mention, I can breathe again!!

Edited on 19 Feb 2010 -
I've finally discovered the name of this plant! It's commonly called Starfish Flower or Starfish Cactus. And it's scientific name is Stapelia grandiflora. It's actually a carnivorous plant!
If anyone is reading this, and they have the same plant, but a different coloured/patterned flower, then contact me, as I would love a cutting of it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Robyn's Owl Challenge

I decided yesterday that I would participate in Robyn's Otto the Owl challenge over at Daisy Quilts. So last night I stitched up this little sweetie, Angel Owl.I'm very happy with how she's turned out. Her tummy spots are embroidered around, her halo is wonky (nobody's perfect!) and her wings have jewels on them.Her beak is three dimensional and her little songbook has writing in it and on it. Can you see the title?If you'd like to participate and make your own owl, the challenge goes until the 20th.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

leaping lizards

I'm lizard crazy. You all knew that right? But I'm not nearly as mad as my friend Debbie! She owns so many lizards that I can't remember all their names, and they just keep coming!I love going over to Debbie's house every week to see all her new babies that have hatched, see how much they've all grown, and to give cuddles to all her adult lizards!
So for Christmas I decided to make her the lizard from the softies book, the one by Abigail Patner Glassenburg of While She Naps.I think he turned out a treat, and I just know Debbie is going to love him! What do you think?

Monday, November 30, 2009

lookie what I found!

Now don't get me wrong, feathers are everywhere. I mean, you go outside right now and I'm sure you'll find one sitting on the grass or the street or something. But when it's a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo tail feather, it's very different! I've been keeping my eyes open for years for one of these feathers!The cockatoos are everywhere up here at the moment, all the babies are developing their flight feathers, and the adults are maulting because it's so hot!

Friday, November 27, 2009

mushroom ornament

I love making Christmas ornaments out of felt, don't you? It's so versatile and easily accessible, and you can make so many different objects!This little guy now has some thread tied through him, ready to hang on the tree. If I have some spare time, I might even make a few more of them...if I can remember how to do it again.
I've been working on another Christmas decoration too, but you'll have to wait until it's finished!

Note to self: find Xmas tree soon...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

new family members and xmas crafting

So much has been happening! I mentioned in my last post I have a new pet! lol, No, she's not an owl! She's my Eastern Bearded Dragon! Her name is Pepsi, and she's just so sweet!Pepsi has had a hard start to life, coming through quite a bit before she found her way to me. She was scared and reluctant to be held when I first got her, sitting still and closing her eyes and puffing herself up to look bigger. Sometimes she'd puff her beard out and it would go black and she'd hiss. She was so skinny I could feel her backbone through her stomach! But now she's moving around her cage and enjoys sitting on your shoulder and I can even hand feed her! She's got the most beautiful markings on her belly and around her mouth, and when she colours up, her legs go a beautiful caramel colour. Her true nature is starting to show through and she's such a gorgeous girl!
I also have another two kittens I'm fostering for a few weeks. One of our other carers asked me to take them and tame them as she couldn't get them to stop hissing and running away. They're perfect now!Jaffa (tabby) and Humphrey (gray) are the cutest little things! They come when called and love to be patted and cuddled. They purr their little heads off before they go to sleep, on my bed mind you, and love to play with each other and our other cats, getting into all kinds of mischief! So that's four lizards and seven cats in the house now! lol
And the only crafting I've been able to accomplish is my first Christmas project for the year, a little green and red teddy with a little gold bow.I'm perfecting their bodies now but am still having some trouble with the heads! Oh well!

I have a heap more things to show you, but they'll have to wait until they're finished, or I take photos! Until then, have a good one!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

to brooch the subject

I love my button brooches, don't you? I've recently been getting into my button stash and putting some unusual designs together. Have any of you guys made one yet? I'd love to see what you can come up with!
I've also finished kitten block number seven! It took ages because of all the lines of wool, but it's finally done and I just love it! You can't see it properly but his eyes are actually green, he's got the most adorable pink nose and white whiskers!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Felting better!

Well I've been away for a little while, thanks mainly to a cold that wouldn't go away! Sore throat, runny eyes and nose, bad cough. You know, the usual aches and pains. But I'm feeling heaps better now, and thought it was about time I wrote another post.
I've been loving the xmas stuff coming out in the shops, and have been crafting some ornaments myself, but I'll keep them a secret until I've fniished a proper set, and it's a bit closer to Christmas.
But I did happen to make this little felt owl the other week -Isn't he the cutest? I'm really happy with how he turned out!
Oh, and I have a new pet! But that's another post... can anyone guess what she is?

Friday, October 23, 2009


So the fires are back under control and except for the hills being black in colour and the still constant smell of smoke in the air, everything is back to normal! Boy that was scary! Thank you all so much for your prayers! They worked! But the fireies say the threat will still be there until we get a good dumping of rain. Oh well...maybe next week (fingers crossed)!

I love pumpkins, don't you? With so many pictures of them floating around the Internet for halloween, I've been thinking of them constantly! I love them roasted, mashed, baked in a campfire, and made into scones! Yummy!
But for now, I've made one that I can love and admire without the calories!My little felt pumpkin, which turned out perfectly for not following any pattern or instructions!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fires 2

If you live in Australia, I guess you've seen the news. Our suburb was called to evacuate once on Saturday and again on Sunday. We know they were talking to those whose houses line up next to the mountain and surrounding bushland, so the whole street simply watered down their roofs and gardens and lawns. The smoke was simply dreadful! We got all the animals inside and sat around listening to the radio.
The fire is now heading toward Norman Gardens and Frenchville areas and away from us, but the smoke is still everywhere and with the weather being so dry and the wind changes, you never know what could happen. Luckily, only one house has been destroyed so far. Our firefighters have now been given a reprieve (about time!) from those flown in to help. It was simply terrifying to see the fires of a night! Here's some photos I took -

The smoke.One of the many crop dusters and helicopters dropping water.The sun turned red!The view of the fire coming toward us from up the street.The fires on Saturday night.The orange glow.The smoke again on Sunday.Be assured that we are ok, but please keep praying for the firemen and all the people whose houses are in the fire front!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


This is quite scary! I've lived here for almost 13 years and we've never had a fire this bad before, or so close! It's not nearly as terrible or as tragic as Victoria's fire storm, but it's the closest I've ever been to a bush fire.

This is the view of our looming mountain, usually as clear and as beautiful as anything, today you can hardly see it!This is one of our nearby hills and it's almost totally gone.There's ash falling from the sky.And the sun has gone orange. It's getting worse too. It's really quiet, except for the sirens and bird calls, the whole atmosphere is changing yellow, and just from taking the above photos, I smell like smoke.

Please pray for all those with homes and families near to the fires, all the animals that are going to lose their habitat, and all the firefighters who are out there trying to take back control! Also that if anything has to die, it happens quickly and without pain!