Farewell to 2012

2012 Wrap Up

It’s been a busy year this year, filled with new adventures and more than a few rediscovered pleasures. We’ve travelled overseas and within Australia. We’ve acquired a range of exciting new toys. And, as always, we’ve had a lot of fun together. These are just some of the things that stand out when I look back at 2012.

Farewell to 2012

January – we started the year part way through our most recent eastern states road trip. I love our Australian driving holidays, and have been recently singing their praises to a good friend in an attempt to convince her to drive rather than fly when she moves interstate.

February – we made our first ever pet purchase together, six tiny fish. I’ve learnt many of the lessons that small children are supposed to learn from pets – they’re a surprising amount of work, they don’t always want to play when you do, and tragically they die. They’ve certainly tempered my desire for owning anything larger.

March – I had to have some minor surgery. The lead up to and recovery from it pretty much dominated this part of the year.

April – I got a shiny new camera. New toys are always good, and this one was, and still is, especially good.

May – seeing the great artwork at the Sculptors Queensland Annual Exhibition at Mt Cootha prompted me to purchase a piece of work from one of the artists that I’d been admiring for ages.

June – we discovered a whole host of new places on our latest trip to Japan. One of the most strangest things about this trip was discovering the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama through the art gallery in her home town of Matsumoto, only to find it featuring in the window displays of the Louis Vuitton store in Brisbane in the coming months. We felt very on trend.

July – we rediscovered the the beach. Having access to such amazing beaches is a highlight of living where we do, even in winter.

August – I competed in the 10km race at the Brisbane Running Festival, finishing with a time I was really happy with. Now I’ve got a time to beat in 2013’s race.

September – Riverfire 2012 stands out to me not just because I love fireworks, but because we managed to lock ourselves out and ended up having to break into our own apartment by smashing a window (we’ve now addressed the security issues that process identified ;-)). It was certainly one of the year’s more interesting evenings.

October – I decided that my workspace needed a dramatic revamp. I’ve now got a desk that Barbie would be proud of.

November – Brisbane experienced some of the most amazing summer storms I’ve seen in years. The first set we watched from the balconies of the Griffith Uni Art College in Southbank. The second set we watched from the much safer space of our front room.

December – This year saw me discover and embrace of the wonders of felt as a craft medium (you can see examples, here, here, here, and here. This resulted in our first crafty Christmas, the pinnacle of which was our homemade Christmas Tree. I’m pretty sure we’ve started a theme which we’ll continue in future years.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I know that there will be lots of opportunities for new adventures in 2013. Stay tuned for the highlights via a soon to be revamped website – after all the start of a new year is the perfect opportunity for a new look.

Pav

Holiday Fun

Holiday fun
Holiday Fun
It’s been far too long since we’ve been to the beach, so today we remedied that. It was a gorgeous day, with the kind of weather that makes South-East Queensland such a lovely place to live.  We folded down the roof on our little Fiat and soaked up the sunshine as we drove north to the appropriately named Sunshine Coast for the day.

We didn’t have a clear destination in mind when we set off, but during the drive we decided that a visit to Underwater World was well overdue. We’ve visited aquariums in various parts of the world, but somehow never got around to visiting the one nearest us. So Mooloolaba became our destination of choice. We had as much fun as we usually do at aquariums – admiring both the cute fuzzy creatures and the weird and wonderful ones.

Then we went and behaved like proper Queenslanders and spent some time on the beach. It was as lovely as we’d hoped. And for a change we even managed to sunscreen Geoff enough to avoid sunburn!

Pav

New Toy

New Toys
After the usual amount of research and careful weighing up of all the options, Geoff has a shiny new toy. It’s our most exciting post-Christmas sales purchase.
Pav

I’ve been baking a lot lately

I've been baking a lot lately

When we moved into our tiny New Farm apartment I got rid of a lot of my baking stuff, assuming (rightly) that I would be buying fabulous locally produced things rather than making them myself. But recently I’ve started to get back into it, making biscuits and slices for Geoff to snack on. Today I made my favourite cupcakes – lemon and poppy seed – yum!

Pav

Just 4 sleeps until Christmas

Just 4 sleeps until Christmas

I’ve embraced the Christmas spirit this year, and am still adding to the Christmas sparkle around our place. A few days ago I happily discovered that decorations get heavily discounted this close to Christmas, so I stocked up on a few shiny baubles to go with all of our felty creations.

It’s funny, despite the fact that for many people Monday is still a work day, today feels as though it’s the start of the Christmas holidays. Maybe it’s that people are more than ready to be on holidays, or maybe it’s that some people were expecting the world to end today.

Pav

More Christmas Craft

Christmas Craft

I did tell you that I was likely to share more of my Christmas craft adventures. Here are my felty Christmas pudding and holly. Aren’t they cute!

Christmas is one of the few times of year I get quite nostalgic about living in England. There’s something so lovely about a cold Christmas, with real holly and the chance of snow.

Pav

Homemade Felty Christmas Tree

Homemade felty Christmas Tree

What do you do when you want a Christmas Tree that will fit in a small apartment and you can’t find one you like in the shops? You make one, of course.

Homemade felty Christmas Tree - The Process

We started with a trip to Lincraft to purchase a polystyrene core, several sheets of felt in slightly different shades of green, flat sequins in three different colours (dark pink, light pink and silver), and a lot of pearl-headed pins.

We decided to go with stars rather than leaf shapes for something a bit different. So we made cardboard templates of stars in three different sizes and then started tracing and cutting.

The next step was to wrap a piece of red ribbon that we already had around the base of the core and pin it in place. Then we pinned the stars and sequins to the core, starting with the big stars and dark pink sequins, and working our way up to the small stars with silver sequins. I can be a bit of a danger to myself with small sharp pointy things, so Geoff did all of the pinning.

To top it all off I made a pink star with felt that I already had. Geoff pinned it in place and our homemade felty Christmas Tree was complete.

I’m having fun with felty decorations this Christmas, so I’m sure you’ll see a lot more of them in coming days.

And in case you’re wondering, yes it is snowing on my website. Just because I live in tropical Queensland doesn’t mean I don’t dream of white Christmases.

Pav

Fallen

Fallen

At times the lead up to Christmas can seem a little frenzied. There’s the rush to get things done before the end of the year, the pressure of finding perfect presents for the special people in your life, and the flurry of end-of-year gatherings. In amongst all this, it can be nice to take a step back, slow down and notice the tiny details that surround you. Sometimes the things that happen quietly in the background can be amazingly beautiful.

Pav

Highlights of the weekend

Highlights of the weekend

Highlights of our weekend:

* Coffee and croissants at Reverends on Brunswick Street.

* New shoes. I’m rediscovering Nike in my quest to find shoes that I can spend all day in.

* A visit to The Tea Centre resulting in the purchase of a new teapot from The London Pottery Company.

* Shopping in the Valley.

* Fox! He’s by Scoops Design, and is part of a set of three which are now dotted around the apartment.

* Skyfall at the Palace Centro Cinema. What a great tribute for the 50th Anniversary of Bond.

* Getting into the Christmas spirit, aided by a divinely scented candle from Ecoya’s seasonal range, it’s called “Holiday in London”.

I hope your weekends were as lovely as ours!

Pav