Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Advent Swap

So exciting!!
My Advent Swap Partner received her box of pressies today!
I have been stalking her blog to hope that she would post when it arrived and it did!!

My swap partner is Elaina from A Little Bit Country. I have been stalking her blog to try and find out what she is like since I didn't know her. You should go check her blog out! She's a really cool chick!!

This is the blog post HERE about getting her parcel.

I made a card with Stampin' Up Christmas stamps a while ago, but since I send photo cards to friends and family I hadn't had a chance to use it. This was the perfect opportunity!!

I also wrapped up a present for the 3 beautiful kiddies that needed to be opened up before December 1st.


I made Bell, Tom & George this Kaisercraft Christmas Advent Tree, and filled it with chocolates.

Before I decorated it it looked like this .....

I used some Kaisercraft Christmas paper from the Christmas Carnival Collection. The numbers on the boxes are from the Kaisercraft Twig & Berry 12x12 Sticker Sheet.
The Reindeer up the top of the tree is a felt ornament from Spotlight.

I sure hope that Elaina and her gorgeous children enjoy opening their advent gifts throughout December!!
I know I am looking forward to both opening mine and seeing how Elaina enjoys her gifts!!

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Linking Up with Leonie At Sunshine x3

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Advent Swap

Last year my beautiful friends Leonie & Cat were involved in a Christmas Advent swap. I watched with interest to see what they gave and received from each other and said to myself that I wanted to be in on that next time!!
So as soon as Cat posted up about the swap I was in!

I was so excited when I received the name and details of the wonderful lady I was going to be gifting.  She was someone completely new to me so that was pretty exciting too! I stalked her blog and put together 25 gifts for her and a combined gift for her 3 gorgeous children.
I posted her box off to her this morning.

I hope she likes her packages! I am feeling rather nervous about it!!

This morning the courier dropped off a BIG box of packages for me. I was sooo excited!!! Since we were on our way out the door for the school run I had to wait until I got home before I could open it!!

Inside were 25 gifts for me and one each or Riley & Abbey to open on Christmas day. They are going to be so excited when they get home to see they were included too!

There was a note in the box that said ...

Dear Tracy
Welcome to your "Very Orange Advent".  My goal in putting this together has been about making you smile everyday coming up to Christmas. I imagine this season must be bittersweet as you miss the presence of your 4th family member. I hope each day as you open a gift you will make the orange connection & you will feel loved and thought of. Wishing you a love-filled, peaceful advent season & a beautiful, wonder-filled Christmas
God Bless
Miriam xxx
And then there was an Advent Theme Sheet with a theme for each present. I will share these with you as I share the opening of the presents.

I don't know Miriam but I know of her. I have read her blog and seen her around quite a bit. She was also the person who I have been communicating with about my swap partner!!

Thanks soo much for your beautiful letter and I can't wait to open those gifts!!

Go check out Miriam's blog Create Hope Inspire.

Keep a watch come December for the daily posts about what Miriam has packaged up as well as what I sent to my Advent partner!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Internet Friends

So I was reading this blog post this morning, from one of my favourite bloggers (and who I have had the pleasure of meeting!) Lisa over at All In A Daze, all about how she has Internet Friends. It got me thinking.
A scary thought .. me thinking ..

In her blog post Lisa says
There’s is often talk that the internet is making us lonelier, or devaluing 'real life' friendships.
I agree with her when she says that that isn't an issue.  Personally I think if anything the internet, for me, has given me MORE 'real life' friendships.

I met Jason online. I never went into a chatroom looking for love. It was a random thing that happened. I didn't even have a computer, neither did Jason. We met and talked online and over the phone for 6 months before he came out to NZ from the USA and the rest is history, he kind of never went home.
It was about 4 years later that we finally got a computer of our own. Abbey was about 6 months old.

The first thing I got involved in was the online crafting community. I joined up with a few message boards.  I met a few online people who had lots in common with me, we shared many of the same hobbies and they were around to talk to when I was at home alone with my little kids.

Not long after I got into the world of blogging. It started out as a forum to share my crafts with like minded people and ended up being a semi life story!
My very first blog post was on May 15th 2008 - WOW!!!  I can't believe I have been doing this for 5 1/2 years!

Through blogging I have met even more people.

I can't really remember how or why or where of the most of them. But I have developed some really strong friendships with these women that I met through the internet.

I think I now have more friends that I have met through the internet than I have met in other ways.

And in no way are these people ONLY friends via the computer screen.

I have met MANY of my online mates. There are still a few I am hanging out to meet.
I have been on retreats, visited their homes, they have visited mine. We have met for lunch or dinner dates. We go camping together, our children have become friends with each other.

Then there are the exceptions. The ones that have become more than just friends. The ones I class as my family. The ones that drive 7 hours non-stop to be with me after Jason died. The ones that fly up from the South Island to surprise me on my Birthday. The ones that have accepted me into their homes and lives and taken me to family events. The ones I meet regularly to craft, drink, chat or gossip with. The ones that grace me with precious gifts that I can't even begin to repay.

I think my life has been enhanced by the internet. People who I otherwise would never have met have become my favourite people in the whole world.

To those of you who I am talking about, you know who you are, I LOVE you all. Thankyou for making my world a better place. To those of you who I met in other ways, I love you too!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Living Room Make Over

As soon as I moved into my house I was planning on what I wanted to do to it.
I promised my Mum that I wouldn't start anything until I have lived in the house for a few months so I didn't make any changes that I would eventually regret, and also so I knew exactly what I wanted and needed in the house. It was a great idea.
So 3 months after I moved in I decided it was time to do a room. I was going to start with one of my kids bedrooms but then I thought I would start something for me. So I chose to do the living room.

In my house the kitchen/dining/living room is all one big L shaped room with a different hallway on each end. Each section is defined as that area though so it was easy enough to just do the living part of the room without having to do the kitchen/dining part.

These are the pictures
of the living room that was in the house listing on the internet.

It looks lovely right!
Once all their furniture was out and my minimal furniture was in it didn't look that great! The really crappy paint job they did was much more noticeable, the curtains that dragged on the floor were plain annoying and it wasn't my space.

First thing I did was decide on wall colours. I knew the dark grey/gold/browny colour that was on the window wall had to go. I wanted to make the fireplace wall a feature and the rest of the walls a more neutral colour, but not plain ol' white!

I looked at sooooo many paint samples it wasn't even funny! I had coloured spots in front of my eyes when I shut them! I knew I wanted orange but I wanted classy orange not oompa loompa orange!

I loved the Dulux Colours of NZ range. I found an orange that went PERFECTLY with the painting I had which I wanted to put above the fire place. I also, after testing out a few different colours, found the neutral colour I liked. I chose Kauri Cliffs 1/2 and Rangataua

Next step was prepping the room.
The walls weren't too bad. A rough sand over all the walls was needed. LOTS of masking tape was needed. LOADS of hole patching was needed. After the holes were patched more sanding and cleaning up. I was very lucky to have my wonderful Mum and Aunt helping out and teaching me what and how to do it all since this was my very first reno project.

Getting rid of the dark colour on the window wall lightened the room up so much it was amazing! It was a little scary putting the colour on the feature wall. I was worried that it would look awful but I was so happy with it.

TO BE CONTINUED ............