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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Getting back into the swing of things

I realise I have neglected my little blog of late. Things have been getting on top of me for the past year or so and keeping up with everything was just too much so things had to give until I sorted myself out again.

I have been doing much better recently and I am feeling like it is time to start blogging again. A lot has happened since I last posted so I will catch you up and let you know where I am going with my life in the future (I'm quite excited and scared about the upcoming changes!)

Firstly a few holiday snaps from my 3 week holiday in Australia at the beginning of the year. I went to Perth for 2 weeks to stay with family and then onto Sydney for a week to do touristy things.

Sorry this post is very picture heavy but it was 3 weeks!!

This is the view from my Uncle's flat in South Perth. The Australian's don't actually consider this to be in Perth but with these views I would prefer to live this side of the Swan river!

Obligatory shot of a kangaroo- they were all a bit hot to be hopping around, it was over 40 degrees centigrade out there.

Not particularly Australian but I just really like this shot of the peacock!

Back to the Australian animals with this Koala who seems to be doing some kind of yoga- how can this be comfortable?!

Obviously went to the beach a lot- swam in 3 oceans by the time I was finished. Although I didn't swim here as the rip tide was quite strong even to paddle your feet it was trying to drag you in. There was a natural reef a bit further out which keeps the sharks out.

Watched the sunset over the ocean and these massive container ships totally got in the way but it does actually give a nice contrast to the orange sky so I'll let them off this time.

I was in Perth for Australia Day which seems to be bigger than Christmas out there. This massive Australian flag was flown around a few times during the day by the tiny helicopter.

The fireworks were amazing. The people who organise the Sydney New Year fireworks do Perth for Australia Day. It was really quite strange watching fireworks not all wrapped up with coats, scarves, hats and gloves like we would be here in the UK to watch fireworks as bonfire night and New Years are in winter.

Onto Sydney and even they have bad days in summer. This is Bondi Beach completely deserted except for some hardcore surfers and us Brits who won't let a bit of rain interfere with our beach day!

I think because there are so many beaches and they have a lot more beach good days the Australian beaches are never really packed out. This is Palm Beach otherwise known as Summer Bay in Home and Away completely deserted!

Mandatory picture of the Sydney Opera House and below is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney's most recognisable landmarks and I have loads of pictures of them from all angles and modes of transport so be grateful I am just showing you one of each!

I actually climbed the bridge one evening. It was really fun, you climb up the top of the arch cross at the flags at the top and the down again, getting amazing views of the city.
Now for my exciting news!! I will be returning to Australia at the end of this year, in time for Christmas for a whole year this time. I decided a few months after I returned from my trip that I was not done with Australia, there was still way to much to see and do that I had to go back. So I applied for a working visa which allows me to work and stay in Australia for a whole year. I'm really excited about going but obviously scared about leaving the security of a full time and permanent job, leaving my family and friends behind for a year but I felt it was too good of an opportunity to miss out on and if I didn't take it I would regret it forever. Hey I can always come back of I really hate it!
So I now have that to focus on and have so much I need to do before I leave including moving out of my house and packing up all my stuff for a year, organising seeing everyone before I go, working out travel plans and money and how to pack for a year in a suitcase!!
I will fill you in on some of my crafty makes in my next post. I'm sure there are lots to show you!

Monday, 6 January 2014

A Handmade Christmas

This year I actually managed to make all my Christmas presents. I of course (as is the true style of crafters!) left it all to the last minute even though I had said to myself I would be more organised about it this time! So after several late nights and early mornings crafting away I produced these presents for my family and friends.

This is a decoration for my friends daughter. I have made her a decoration every year for Christmas and will also make one for her son now as it was his first Christmas (I rushed and ruined my first attempt at his decoration so he hasn't got one yet)

These were some marzipan sweets. I made the marzipan (which is surprisingly easy) and just piped some melted chocolate over the top of them. I made these for my Dad, Grandma and Godmother. I also made Turkish Delight.

I was actually quite organised with the present for my mum and finished it on the 1st December! She decorated her bedroom and it is now plum and Paris themed so when I saw a Paris postcard chart in CrossStitcher I knew I had to stitch it up for her. I changed the colours of the threads to match in with the rooms colour scheme.

This was a top for my cousin. I find males very hard to craft for so decided to just decorate tops for them as it was easy and quick to do! He loves Starbucks and has a collection of mugs from when he goes on his travels around the world.

And this is the one I did for my brother. He is a Philosophy teacher and his favourite 3person is Richard Dawkins, a well know atheist, so when I saw this phrase when searching for sayings to do with him it was perfect!

I stitched this for my Auntie. My Grandma found the material in her house a while ago and it is something that my Great-Grandma has crochet around the edge of but had never got round to putting a design in the middle. I did one for my Grandma a few years ago and have enough to do one for me, Mum and my cousin when I get time so we can all have one. I just need to decide on what to put in the middle for everyone else. My Auntie was easy as she loves poppies!

Staying with the theme for boys of decorating a top. I did one for my friends 5 year old who is obsessed with Doctor Who. I knitted him a tardis for his birthday which I shall show you soon so continued with the theme for Christmas. He recognised what it was when he opened it which was a relief!!

And finally a present to the whole family really- a Christmas Cake!! I have never made one before so I used a recipe from Delia and it turned out alright! I don't really like fruit cake anyway but even I could eat this one! I also made a Christmas pudding for my Dad using another Delia recipe- this is yet to be tasted though!


I just went for simple icing as I have never iced a cake in royal icing before so didn't really know what I was doing but I think it turned out alright! We had a fancy candle to put on it before we cut into it!

I had a good Christmas and hope you all did too? I'm really pleased I managed to make all of my presents this year and am going to say again (as I do every year) that I will start earlier next year with making them!