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1. “Glad you’re here” by Making Lemonade. Image theirs.

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I am very sad that we don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Australia. This however gives me the opportunity to think thankfully at Christmas time.

Here are some simple ideas from around the blog world, that can be incorporated in your Christmas celebrations particularly in regards to the table.

Some are beautifully quirky, some ingenious, some worthy of a yearly repeat, some child friendly and some all of the above. Let me know if you get inspired and use some, it’s great to hear from you.

"The Giving Plate" by Adventures of an Orthodox  Mom. Image from there. .

“The Giving Plate” by Adventures of an Orthodox Mom. Image from there.

"Conversation Plates" by Together Counts Blog. Idea and image sourced there.

“Conversation Plates” by Together Counts Blog. Idea and image sourced there.

DIY minimalistic cultery holder. Image and instructions from A Birds Leap.

DIY minimalistic cultery holder. Image and instructions from A Birds Leap.

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A sock for your cutlery. Image from Pinterest.

Single place cards. Image from Pinterest.

Single place cards. Image from Pinterest.

Gold Spray painted animals (or possibly nativity characters) with paper luggage tags attached. Image from Style Me Pretty.

Gold Spray painted animals (or possibly nativity characters) with paper luggage tags attached. Image from Style Me Pretty.

Another beautifully simple idea from Style Me Pretty. Image theirs.

Another beautifully simple idea from Style Me Pretty. Image theirs.

Carnival Straws on Bottled drinks with tags. Source: Ruffled.

Carnival Straws on Bottled drinks with tags. Source: Ruffled.

Would work just as well on green leaves. Image from Once wed.

Would work just as well on green leaves. Image from Once wed.

Gratitude Rolls by Beauty and Bedlam. Image theirs.

Gratitude Rolls by Beauty and Bedlam. Image theirs.

SImple sensorial details. Image from Vintage House.

SImple sensorial details. Image from Vintage House.

What I want for Christmas is thanksfulness! Source: The cottage at 341 south.

What I want for Christmas is thanksfulness! Source: The cottage at 341 south.

Kraft Paper table of thanks. Image from Art Bar Blog

Kraft Paper table of thanks. Image from Art Bar Blog

Fruity Place markers. Image from Style Me Pretty.

Fruity Place markers. Image from Style Me Pretty.

THe Thankful Tree. Idea and image from Kids Activities Blog.

THe Thankful Tree. Idea and image from Kids Activities Blog.

Or if you prefer pears..... This idea and image from The Knot.

Or if you prefer pears….. This idea and image from The Knot.

Fairy Lights in jars. Image from Making Lemonade.

Fairy Lights in jars. Image from Making Lemonade.

.... and if you just don't know where to start because Finishing School wasn't part of yours (or my) education.... Layouts. Source: daniellemj-workspace

…. and if you just don’t know where to start because Finishing School wasn’t part of yours (or my) education…. Layouts. Source: daniellemj-workspace

Alternatively..... Image from Antiquaria Vintage.

Alternatively….. Image from Antiquaria Vintage.

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DIY Advent Calendar by Design Sponge. Image sourced from there.

Meredith’s got a fabulous idea for fantasticly simple bible content here. Love it especially this close to Dec 1.

Cathy gives insightful day by day content here. 

Nicole….shares some great ideas here.

If you know what you want each day to hold, but need a little visual inspiration, have a look at my pinterest board here. 

This year I have an unusual plan which focus’s on letters….. we will see how that goes.

To see what we have done in previous years look here and here and here.

I just realised that our advent events for 2012 are not collated….. so I will get onto that.

Enjoy, and let me know if you come across anything inspiring.

Fabulous!

November 26, 2013

Hello hello hello….. yes I am still alive and I am slowly coming up for air. Crazy busy last couple of months. I will share with you over the next few weeks some of the highlights and a few other things I have been slowly saving for you over those months.

But for now….. something fabulous. Poppytalk calls it ‘What happen’s when you give kids thousands of stickers. Take it as a pre-Christmas warning….. or Encouragement …. if you like.

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Beginning with an all white room …..

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…. in the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane …….

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Yayoi Kusama…..

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….. gave children stickers ……

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…… and over two weeks……

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….collaborated with the artist …….

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….. by placing stickers anywhere they wanted.

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Two weeks later…..

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…..The Obliteration Room ….. was complete. 

Hat-tip  Poppytalk,  stuart addelseesccart, and heybubbles and colossal).  Via The New Domestic. …. so apologies if you have seen it before. 
I think it appeals to me because it’s how the last half of the year has felt like, but makes it look so much more joyful than it was some days.
Though out it all Tim was fabulous and the kids were great. I am hoping and praying that in the next month leading up to Christmas I can embrace the joy in the chaos….. and get to take the opportunity to serve them, and others, like they have been serving me. 

 

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Belinda giving an artists talk in Tamworth.

One a  week for the past two years I have had the delightful pleasure of working for the lovely  Belinda Von Mengersen….. she is also my lovely friend. Lucky me!

Well, now it’s lucky you too because Belinda’s work is part of the collection of textile art currently showing at Manly Art Gallery and Museum until the 21st of July.

Every three years the Tamworth Textile Triennale collects together textile artists under a simgle theme. This time it is Sensorial Loop. The shows aim is to  showcase to a public the changing ideas and professional craftsmanship associated with contemporary textile practice in Australia.

The Dusting Cloth by Bel Von Mengersen. Image from abc local.

The Dusting Cloth by Bel Von Mengersen. Image from abc local.

Belinda’s work as you can see is beautiful….. and according to her ‘photographs badly’, so I can’t wait to see it for real….finished.

'Scale' a collaboration with my class mate Anne May.

‘Scale’ a collaboration with my class mate Anne May.

One of the classes I am studying this year is ‘Studio Concepts’.

For the last 6 weeks we have been looking at how scale, materials and surface effect how we see artworks…. and actually everything.

Here are my funny little finished works from the ceramics studio.

'Surface'

‘Surface’

Next 6 weeks ….  I will be in the jewellery studio.

'Materiality' .... you may recognise these.

‘Materiality’ …. you may recognise these.

 

Easter hats

March 28, 2013

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6 and 9 year old with their easter hats.

Well….I showed them the inspiration, took them to the $2 shop and this is what we ended up with.

Due to time being minimal, I made them under instructions.

Easter hats have been a much more joyful project since I did some research and found out they were really about spring…..yes, even in Autumn…. and nothing to do with Jesus.

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The traditional take by 6 year old.

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…..and a much more musical take by 9 year old.

 

 

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5 organic pinch pots.

As I mentioned a few months ago here, this year I am embarking on a new and fearsome adventure.

University.

After a week of inductions…. mostly concerning safe practise and the wearing of steel cap boots… I have officially made something. While it is not an amazing something, it is something and significant, because now I feel like it is really happening.

If you want to see more you can see them at the other blog….. Art is cheaper than Therapy.

.....week 3 Advent 2012

…..week 3 Advent 2012

16: Sunday

Activity: Serve lunch to NTE mission team and church. 14year old, 9 year old, Tim and I did this one. 6 year old did her best to not need much supervision. A few other families from church helped as well. All in all pretty successful. (12 year old had a birthday party so was unable to participate.)

Had a bible verse planned but didn’t read it.

Extra Joy: Tim and the girls went to the local coffee shops Christmas party. I was all talked out and couldn’t face another conversation so stayed at home.

17: Monday

Activity: Dinner with Cousins. Really, really fun. With almost 3 teens (taking up much space) we are moving into a new phase of fun. Great fun joking about which mediocre superpower we would want…… which super power we think would be not very useful to us.

…..and how much enjoying movies can cost us.

I am loving this new phase of life with no bottoms to wipe or children to hand feed. Wasn’t sure I’d make it…. but we have. Hang in there if you’re not there yet. Older kids can be very funny and helpful and entertaining.

18: Tuesday too pooped for anything. Didn’t do the things planned.

…. a great post by Jodi of  ‘Sewfearless’ came into my inbox today, and it really rang true this year. Have a read if you feel like you are failing Christmas. We don’t even have a family photo all together that would have made a great Christmas card.

19: Wednesday Last day of school YAAAAAY

Activity:

Dinner with family friends (planned). Great to get to know friends better and better.

Had a reading but didn’t read it.

20: Thursday

Had things planned but ended up at the pool with school friends and families… Great time. Had other activities planned and readings to read, but didn’t do them.

21: Friday

Didn’t do our reading for advent, although we had planned to, just enjoyed each others company….. over the activity.

Activity: Watch a christmas DVD We all enjoyed Arthur Christmas.

Pleasantly surprised by the number of nativities! The Salvo's playing carols in a front yard, kids busking for charity.....even an ice-cream van!

Pleasantly surprised by the number of nativities! The Salvo’s playing carols in a front yard, kids busking for charity…..even an ice-cream van!

22: Saturday

Last minute christmas shopping and packing for holidays.

Extra Joy: We did surprise the girls today, giving them a set amount of money to spend at our favourite book shop in the city. What a great treat it is to have kids who love reading. Tim and I even indulged in some holiday reading.

Did our activity though…..

Activity: Go and see the Local Christmas Lights.

Red tail-lights in the local Christmas Light traffic jam.

Red tail-lights in the local Christmas Light traffic jam.

Not really being very faithful with our advent this year. I am thinking a ‘non-christmas’ month of readings and activities may be a good idea. We have loved being together though and spending time with friends. I guess it’s good to embrace the moment and not be a control freak!

Some people take their Christmas lights very seriously.

Some people take their Christmas lights very seriously.

Advent 2012……. part b

December 9, 2012

Activity for Day 1 Decorate the house for Christmas....

Activity for Day 1
Decorate the house for Christmas…. Put up the tree.

1: Saturday Reading: Luke 1: 1-4

Activity: Put up the Christmas tree. Fun, fun, fun….we excused Dad and the girls and I had a great time.

Extra Joy: Bought ‘Christmas Lights’ by Coldplay on itunes.

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…. set up the “Little People” nativity.

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….angel ornaments from past years.

2: Sunday Reading: Luke 1: 5-16

Activity: Gave the girls their angels. Not the planned activity…but the activity really was a personal one, so I reshuffled so we could continue even with a lunch guest.

Extra Joy: Had lunch with one of the Sunday School teachers (Stef) and played some games and chatted.

 

Activity: Give girls their angels for this year.

Activity: Give girls their angels for this year. Loved these Oxfam recycled paper angels.

3: Sunday (same day) Reading: Luke 1:17-25

Activity: Tell the girls what a joy and delight to us they are.

Extra Joy: We then encouraged the girls to tell each other the same thing. Risky…..yes…. but went amazingly well. Lots of laughs and smiles.

4. Monday: School Presentation day and family dinner out ….no advent tonight

5: Tuesday: Had a friend Brian from Church for dinner. 12 year old was rushing out soon after 14 year old arrived home ……so no advent today….. but had a lovely time.

6: Wednesday: Reading: Luke 1:26-28

Activity : Make ‘rememberalls’ of the girls great grandparents. That means an ornament for our tree to remind us of family members who have gone before us. We talked this through and will make them later once I get all the supplies.

(This was the missed activity from day 2.  In past years we have all written a letter to the oldest member of the family. This year the oldest family member is my grandma at 94, but as she suffers from dementia we are going to make her a decoration for her tree instead.)

…. will show the photos as they come.

8: Thursday: …. no advent planned

9: Friday No activity planned. ….. but did buy ‘The first Noel’  by TobyMac (featuring Owl City). The girls have been singing it almost continually since.

10: Saturday: A funny all over the place day (again). No advent….. but saw some lovely friends.

More next week…..

How is your advent going?

Advent 2012……. part a

December 1, 2012

Advent 2012

Advent 2012.

Well…. it’s here. The first of December and the kids are super excited about the calendar this year.

Since last advent we have moved house…. so no fireplace to form the backdrop to our countdown. We even had to rearrange the lounge room last weekend to make space for the Christmas tree!

As I was preparing this past week, Tim said he had just this year realised, that I was going to do ‘this advent thing’ every year. He then said he was glad. We don’t have that many traditions that are just for our little family.

So….. bring on the manic month of December….. and we will keep reminding ourselves that Christmas is all about Jesus! We will be using the Luke readings we used a couple of years ago…. and some of the activities that really worked. I have included some new activities as well this year. The contents of the glass balls give a hint to what we might be doing. Can you guess any?

Are you adventing this year? I would love to hear your plans.

A string of advent balls.

A string of advent balls.