Christmas 2012

In previous years - especially since having kids we have found Christmas to be pretty stressy, especially since my husband has had major deadlines at work around the same time. So this last festive season in 2012 consisted of us trying to keep it simple whilst trying to stick with the things we love to do.

We like to get a real tree, shop for the kids gifts together, attend carols for children on Christmas Eve, make a few decorations, bake ginger bread with friends and eat some cherries and other summer fruit (we are in Sydney after all). With kids you tend to do lots of fun things, for example we do Christmas craft at a friends house and playgroup Christmas party complete with farm animals!

It was fun to visit the Christmas windows in the city and visit the Swarovski Crystal tree at the Queen Victoria Building. It is totally magical!

We ended up with 17 people in the house on Christmas night and yep, I was cooking. I tried to keep it simple and prepare ahead of time so I could enjoy the day as well.

News from Spring

I thought I would swing by to update you on few things I have been up to lately. After a holiday visiting family in the country, Camping at Wombeyan caves followed by a relaxing few days at the beach, we returned refreshed and ready for the lead up to Christmas... maybe.

I recently joined Illustrators Australia, I'm very excited to be part of this great resource for Illustrators. You can see my little page over here.

I painted a piece of timber for the "9x5 show" for the Illustrators Australia CARNIVALE exhibition. I was inspired by a past trip to Venice and Padua. If you happen to be in Melbourne you can visit the 9X5 Exhibition at SPACE 39, Lvl 2, 39 Little Collins St, Melbourne. Opening night is this Friday the 9th November 6pm-9pm.

Last Saturday I made the long trek into the Blue Mountains to "Pinerolo" Margaret Hamilton's children's book cottage in Blackheath. She runs courses on children's book publishing among other things. It was so lovely to be swept up in her enthusiasm for the books she has created over the years and all the amazing writers and illustrators she has worked with. She was also joined by renowned illustrator Wayne Harris who showed us many of his award winning books and and the original illustrations he created for them.

I enjoyed Margaret's extensive Owl collection, original collections of artwork from many amazing artists including one of my former tutors Tony Oliver. I didn't get a chance to have a good peek at her book collection.

Beach Holiday

Just spent 10 days on a traditional Lloyd summer holiday with extended in-law family; around 30 of us in total this year. By traditional, see patched up beach umbrella which has seen its fair share of beach holidays. The break was much needed after December craziness... Bah humbug (Honestly dislike pre-Christmas more and more each year). Came back home a few days ago feeling refreshed and invigorated, ready to start 2012 with renewed enthuisiasm. Again vowing to think of ways to create a stress free Christmas this year.

Kangaroo Valley

A few photos from a trip to the country in Spring. The echidna was crossing the road as we drove along and I stopped to take this photo. He/she ambled down a driveway after letting me take some pictures. It was the first echidna I have ever seen in the wild!

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I am busy working on a very exciting project!

Gingerbread House

The Mister bought this kit Gingerbread from Ikea for me to put together with E. Several hours later it had collapsed in on itself.

This year has been crazy. The Christmas cards are going to be late, and I'm not making them this year. We do have a real Christmas tree though, so our Christmas traditions aren't completely broken.

Someone throw me a life jacket!

This year is speeding by I tell you. Before I know it I'll have my second baby in my arms. I can't believe I am over 20 weeks pregnant now! These photos are from a few weeks ago when we went to visit family... Anyone would think looking at this blog that we were always at the beach or lake. But thats not really the case, we are mostly painting and renovating the house at snails pace. I should be posting pictures of paint tins and holes in walls.

The scones were made by my neice Gabby. I seem to be eating a lot of scones lately, are they in vogue at the moment and no-one told me?

Paris 2007

I want to live here!

The final photo I posted because it is a little joke. Hubby took the photo because he thinks "Baby on Board" signs are hilarious, particularly in French... but the funny thing for me, is that I am in the background and little did we know that I had a baby on board...

Visiting friends

On the way to and from Queensland we stopped in on our friends in Coffs Harbour. Going by what fun two days we had, I think we should have stayed there the whole time we were on holidays!!

My friend Fi created all these fun things for us to do. Steve and her husband went fishing whilst we took the two boys to look for soldier crabs. We didn't find any crabs, but the kids and us mum's loved splashing in the water! Then we had a little picnic and played on the play equipment. When we got home we filled up their canoe for the boys to splosh around in. We threw in some beach toys and empty squirty bottles for them to play with. Then I decided we should do some painting so the boys did some painting and then hopped back in the canoe pool to clean off. Now that's what I call toddler fun! Fi's husband makes homebrew beer, very good ( a bit like bees knees) so Steve had a couple. Fi made 100% fruit sorbet with mango, banana and peach, it was so yummy and healthy. The boys loved it too.

Fi sent me home with some vegies and some orchids she grows in her garden. While we were there she was sundrying tomatoes on the washing line. I admire Fi's energy and resourcefulness in everything she does.