Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Christmas Day Mayhem

The heat, the noise, the mess, the absolute mayhem that is Christmas Day when you are from a large family ... I love it!!!

The joy of finding the things you love....




Being with the ones you love....

including Busy sisters....


and as has been customary in our family for over 20 years...

Lighting a candle for those of us not there to celebrate with us.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Nintendo's and Playstations and sparkly new bikes aside, I would just like to wish you all, blessings, peace and love this Christmas. I hope it is filled with the contentment of being with your loved ones, and that your New Year is one of health and happiness.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Better than bought ones...


I always think buying flowers for me is such a waste. Because,
A. I am the worst flower arranger in the world
and
B. They don't last very long even with the little sachets they give you and using all the tricks like sugar and bleach. (Maybe you are supposed to add water to that?!!)
Well even I am able to make a decent looking arrangement, with these gorgeous hydrangea's. They are from our garden and are looking pretty darn pretty right now. Ours are shades of purple, but Annie (my niece and dear friend) has ones that are the most vibrant pink and pure white. Its something to do with the alkaline levels or something.
Really with a blog name like Busy Lizzie, you would think I should know!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Tis the Season and all that...


So I finally got the Christmas Tree and decorations up. I more or less let the kids go for it this year with the tree (I'm usually a colour co-ordinated control freak), because the old eye was giving me jip, and the thought of sticking my eye with an artificial pine tree branch made my toes curl. (I know it should be real, but a couple of years ago, I got this poor looking thing from the warehouse, and its sort of stuck around). Anyway I just handed it over to the Busy kids and told them to knock themselves out. I picked up these fairy baubles from Spotlight last year. Three boxes of 24 knocked down from $25.00 to just $1.00 a box. Totally doesn't go with the colour scheme, but this year it just didn't seem to matter. Christmas carols belting out, and the kids doing the tree without me taking over the whole show looks like it might be the way to go!








Pauline bought me this decoration. I just wish I looked as good!!

And this fairy at the top of the tree is something my Mum bought me about 20 years ago. I have tried to give her a bit of a makeover over the years but she still doesn't manage that sophisticated look a lot of fairies have. Trouble is Mum passed away 5 years ago, and I cannot bear to part with the little bedraggled fairy now. I know what my Mum would say.

She would say, "Oh Elizabeth chuck her out and just go and get a new one."

But I can't. So she stays.

Then I had these sticks in a vase. (My sister Pauline sticks sticks in a vase and they look amazing. You should see her Christmas deco's. They are out of this world!)

Anyway I let the kids loose on those and then chucked the rest of the baubles in a glass jar and bowl, and they look quite nice when the sun shines on them...

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

In the interest of Happy Blogging


I think I may be coming out of the dark dingy hole of a painful eyeball. I can even manage to enjoy a cup of tea, and a cheese toasted vogels. And aint that what life's all about?


Happy Days people. Happy Days!

Monday, 7 December 2009

The way Eye see it...

I don't like to wallow in misery normally, and hope that soon it will be mince pies and the Christmas spirit that I'm wallowing in. I'm having a crumby week, and I'm sure everyone thinks I'm some Mafia boss's sidekick, because I have to wear these everywhere.



Maybe Santa might find me a decent pair of sunnies in his sleigh...?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The eyes have it...


or in my case one eye does not have it.
I had the cataract surgery on Tuesday, and although it was a slim chance I thought perhaps I might get something back in my right eye. Unfortunately the retina is in a very bad way, but you know... I am grateful God gave me two eyes....

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Tulle flower tutorial...

Due to popular demand here is the tute for the tulle flower brooch...
Get all your bits together...
You will need:


Tulle - I used black and a sort of beige colour. (its what I had in the stash!)
Needle and thread.
Templates, one slightly bigger than the other - mine are very high tech, jam jar lids!
Scissors - stating the obvious here.
Brooch Back or safety pin.


Cut out 8 of each colour, or if you are doing one colour 16 in the larger circle. Mine were as rough as guts, but tulle is very forgiving.
Cut out 8 of the smaller size.








For each petal use 2 large circles together and fold in half. Mine were one black circle and one beige one. Now layer them like this and starting at the back make a stitch through all layers to secure.



Keep doing this until you have 4 sides secured. (If you can have four sides to a circle?)



Now take your next 8 double layers circles. (We are still on the big circles here folks). Fold in half and in half again, so you have a quarter.
Do the same as before so that you are securing each quarter...

See?




Take your smaller circles and fold into quarters, and secure on top of the others. For the top I did a double layer of the lighter colour, not with the black in it at all.



Sew on your brooch back, or safety pin. I sort of separate the layers so it looks a bit more "fluffed up". You could also sew in a cute button or diamante in the centre, but I wanted mine quite plain.



...and there you have a tulle flower brooch!

I really hope this helps, and would love to see how much better you can do than my slightly sad attempt!!

Monday, 23 November 2009

A rose by any other name might be a giveaway...






I whipped this little tulle flower up to go on my black dress, which has a bit of a plunging neckline, and being on the wrong side of 40 I reckon I just cannot go around flashing my very sensible bra to Mr Busy's work colleagues, so decided I need a bit of something to cover myself up with. I saw a really cute floppy tulle flower the other day stuck on a dress. It was bigger than the one I have made, so I might give that a bit of a go as well.
I am very proud of myself. Not for my sewing prowess or anything, but the fact that I made do, and didn't go out and buy something to wear tonight. Its Mr Busy's Christmas do, dinner thing. I know! Don't even talk to me about having a work do on a school night, and a Monday at that! It's at Villa Maria, which I am interested to see, as I haven't been there before, which is shameful because it's hardly at the other end of the country!
Mental Note to Self: GET OUT MORE!

I am thinking I might put up a wee tutorial for this, because I just sort of made it up as I went along. What do you reckon? Although you lot are all so crafty and clever that you probably don't need a run down on how to make it. Let me know, and I might even put you all in the draw and do a wee giveaway. Don't know what yet! I tell ya, I'm livin on the edge. Doing giveaway's willy nilly and not even planing for it!
(Small disclaimer - I am going in for eye surgery to remove a cataract from my blind eye next week so you will have to forgive me if I am not on to it immediately. Not sure of the outcome yet, as the cataract is just part of another problem with this pesky eye of mine, but will try and get on to it as soon as. Assuming I get some comments that is!!!)
Anyhoo must go and put on the war paint for Mr Busy's do.
Eye
will See you later!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Almost Human

Its been a pretty revolting week I have to say. Monday late in the afternoon started with a niggly pain in my tooth. I tried to ignore it.
Darn. Woke on Tuesday in a lot of pain, but the thing was I had been waiting on a hospital appointment at the Eye Clinic for about 23 years, so could not miss my 10am pre-op appointment. 'Bring someone who can drive you' the letter says, and 'the appointment will take approximately 3 hours'.
Great. I'm in agony and my long suffering sister Pauline (she always gets the driving job) has to sit in the waiting room, and try to find a vending machine that doesn't dispense muddy water and pretend its coffee.
Lucky for her (and me) she brought a really good book. I will get to this in a bit.
I suffer the appointment in agony, with my jaw swelling by the minute and pupils so dilated I was almost walking into walls. But thankfully the dentist could get me in later that afternoon.

You know its bad when the dentist's receptionist looks at you, sucks air through her teeth, pulls a face and says "oooh you poor thing..." So ... 'its an abscess', and "you need antibiotics", and "we might just max your credit card to pay for the Root Canal that you so desperately need".

By Thursday or is it Friday ( I don't know now its all a bit of a haze) I can't take much more of the pain, and in the end it's another trip to the dentist, a wee jaunt to A & E, a hop skip and a jump to the pharmacy, and I'm loaded with drugs, new antibiotics, and another 2 days in bed, and a face that only Weta Worshop could love.
I took another little trip, but that was purely down to the Codeine which I very obviously do not have the constitution for.
But I can report that I will now not being auditioning for the new Elephant Man movie, and my face is almost symmetrical again. (Mind you I'm not sure it ever was to be honest!)

As I started recouping I was able to read a book, and I knew it would not disappoint. Mitch Albom just never has disappointed me. Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People you Meet in Heaven and For One More Day, they all left a lasting impression on me.
Have a little Faith is a fantastic read, and I won't insult you by trying to review it but take a look at this. Mitch reads his first few pages. I bawled just watching that!

I was lucky enough to go see Mitch Albom when he was in Auckland a couple of years back. He is such a lovely guy, and a brilliant writer. I'm totally in love!

Anyway, I'm off on Friday for the last bit of my Root Canal. I hope it all goes well. I guess I'll just need to Have a Little Faith...

Saturday, 7 November 2009

I apologise if I appear rude...


Remember when this went pear shaped a good few months back? Well I have only just got it back a few weeks ago. I don't like it when things go pear shaped because they never really come back quite the same. And my whizz bang computer hasn't. I usually do all my emaily stuff through Outlook, but for some reason it now won't accept emails from my ISP. Which also means that when I try to send someone an email to thank them for commenting on my, what are becoming really boring posts, I can't. In fact now I can't do lots of things on my flash not very old computer, who's warranty had expired which made Dell not want to help me at all. (But that's a whole new post, and not the right forum for venting my immense frustration at off shore call centre's)
So dear readers, and you're a loyal bunch for hanging in there and reading my blog and leaving really nice comments, I apologise if you feel neglected for not getting a wee follow up email. I'm not ignoring you honestly. I am usually sitting in front of this computer muttering bad words under my breath, about how much you pay for these things, and then they just ... break.

Which leads me nicely to this...


My shiny new friend in the sewing room, who looks remarkably like the last one, who (insert a slightly demented laugh) also went pear shaped. (Can you see a theme occurring here, or is it just me?)
And because I'm a glutton for punishment, let me introduce you to a couple more additions to the creative space.
Dymo the labeller, which I spent my birthday money on, because I have been wanting one of these babies forever.



And Victoria Lynn, the Crystal Crafter. Its a thingy that you can attach Swarovski Crystals to almost anything. My sister Lee bought it for me for my birthday in October. I can't wait to be let loose with that either.

I've already registered the warranty's on them, so ... fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

An update on the drama...

Remember this. Things have been a bit tense around here the last couple of days. Billy went in for "therapy", and I haven't heard a peep since around the middle of October. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and yes it does, but also a little stir crazy as well. Anyway I phoned up the "fix it place", and there was a lot of dithering about and general "not being able to find the folder" carry on. The folder is an important part of our reconciliation here, because it held all our details, like where to contact me when Billy was ready to come home. I also handed over some very important documentation, like the receipt and warranty, of which I had no copy. You can see the panic that was starting to rise when in fact they could find no evidence of Billy's lengthy stay. Oh yeah there were promises that they would call me back in the morning, and all that, but I knew. I knew in my heart that things were not right. That perhaps Billy might not be coming home after all. After a rather terse message left on the "Head Honcho's" voice mail. I got a call back a few hours later.
Billy has decided not to return to our relationship. But they have another Billy all jacked up, apparently this one doesn't have any hangups with his motor, and is ready to be picked up and taken home, and this time very much appreciated.

TRANSLATION:
Phoned Spotlight yesterday.
Spotlight could not find paper work regarding my faulty sewing machine which went in for repair mid October.
Said shop did not ring back.
I rang Head Office and a nice girl called Angela sorted it all out. (Note: always go to the top)
Billy (sewing machine) had been lost.
They were replacing my Brother 4200 with a brand new one.
Ready to be picked up tomorrow.

RESULT!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Summer has to be on its way! Yeah Right!

If you are a Kiwi, and partial to a cold beer the title of this post might mean something to you, because it poured down this morning, but then I could have predicted that, because:
A: We live in Auckland
and
B: I watered my little vege/herb patch last night.

Besides that, the distinctive sound of Tui's are in the air. They are my favourite bird. Well apart from the Kiwi of course. And I simply love the sound of their call. I could sit and listen to them for ages. Jr Busy daughter pointed out a couple in a tree a over the back. This tree is quite a distance, so they looked huge.

See that tree the skinny sort of one in the middle. They are at the top of there...


See?



Anyway, I just thought I would share this little moment with you... Um I apologise for the sideways picture. I keep forgetting that you can't rotate video... um and the batteries were going on the camera again (I'm almost to embarrassed to mention it) hence the very short film. But you can catch their lovely sound at the end.
video

Have a chirpy day....

Friday, 30 October 2009

Scrap that...

I have discovered a fabulous new blog, so do go have a gander. Fi and Steph from She's clean, I'm simple, have posted about their first attempt at scrapbooking, so I thought I might share mine with you, although to be honest I'm really embarrassed because if that was their first attempts then I'm afraid I might be a pretty rubbish scrapbooker. I have really neglected it over the last couple of years as well, so its been on my mind to get back into it and start getting some of those precious memories recorded. I only have about 83 boxes of photos to sort through, which are now in no particular order, because if you know me you will know that whenever there is a party or special occassion I like to put up a bit of a photo board. I'm a bit wonton to parties, and cranking up the Abba cd's, so you can imagine the mess I'm in. Anyway cue sentimental music, and here goes....



My very first attempt at one of those scrapbooking parties.

Keeping it simple


and then getting all flash with punches and flowers made out of torn rounds...
This is still my favourite of Senior Busy and Junior busy Daughters. Junior Busy had a bit of a thing for taking her clothes off. I like that effect of continuing the horizon, and beach...


Aw... look how young the Junior Busy's look...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Stocking fillers

I got on a bit of roll with these. It was really about time I started using some of the stash of my buttons and ribbons, and I think these will make nice little gifts or stocking fillers. I was thinking of perhaps doing some that were a bit more boyish, sort of like medals, but not sure how they would be received. These sorts of things are great for whipping up whilst you are watching tele. I don't feel quite so lazy if I'm doing something.
Apologies for the bad quality. Light is shocking due to it being a revolting day, and the batteries were going flat in the camera again (no change there then) so I was in a hurry.













I actually only started out to do hair clips, but ran out of clips, but went a bit mad, as you can see!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A good day indeed


Mr Busy and I have been together for quite some time, however it was all made official 3 years ago.
I do like being Mrs Busy....


Happy Anniversary Mr Busy. With love from Mrs Busy.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Nothing to see here folks.. keep moving please...

Remember Billy?
Billy and I have been getting on famously over the last week or so. I've been sewing like mad, and I just didn't notice him getting grumpier and grumpier. I suppose I was off in that euphoric sewing space. Too selfish to even realise that perhaps I was taking my faithful sewing companion for granted.
Then on Friday night - and its not like he had been to the pub and was picking for a fight or anything - he just suddenly made this awful growling noise and then stopped. Stating on his LED screen that he had had enough he couldn't go on any longer like this. (Actually his precise words were, "The Safety Device has been Activated")
In other words his motor had locked up!!!
I consulted our relationship manual immediately. But all the coercing in the sewing room just did not work. We had a really tense 24 hours where I would keep coming back just begging for a second chance, repeatedly consulting our relationship manual, furiously chewing my nails for a positive outcome.
In the end we both decided that it might be a good idea just to have a break from each other for a while. I have heard of these "breaks" where they come back, but never quite the same. And it worries me.
I'm dropping him off at the analysts for verification that we are doing the right thing tomorrow. My stomach is just a knot of nerves at the thought of it. But if we are to go forward in this sewing relationship I know that it's a lonely agony that I will have to bear.
I'm hoping that the "Spotlight" on this problem will bring him back a better Billy, and me a more appreciative sewer....

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Nothing and then crazy sewing


Yep that's me. I think I have some sort of crafting bi-polarness
Here is what I have been up to...


Spike

The girls...
< A Fluffy

Little Pig



And the Rebels.

(Well the chap with the eye patch is a bit cranky, because his Mum wouldn't let him have a Mohawk like his mate, and made him go out as a Pirate. Which is like, really babyish)