Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rain at last, and plans for 2010...

Hello dear friends!
How was your Christmas? Are you finally winding down again after all the excitement?

We had a very quiet, but lovely day, just the four of us and Bob-the-dog. After all these months of intense daily heat Christmas morn heralded *rain* at last!! The day was the coolest I can remember since we arrived in July, and it was followed on Saturday by similar weather - I think it got down to 30C (86F), which felt like autumn!!
The rain continues to come in sporadic showers, but the heat is up again and we're feeling the high humidity. Still, we need the rain and it will be blessing a lot of the farmers. Father Bill's prayer for our town at Christmas Mass was for rain, and everyone cheered. Then we got home and the heavens opened! Thank you Lord! \o/

Guess what?
I spent all day Christmas Eve working on Blossom's quilt. I still can't believe I basted, machine-quilted, and bound it all by 10pm, but I did. My arms were aching like you wouldn't believe, but as I wrapped it...

...I felt incredibly satisfied that my goal had been achieved and my girl would have her new quilt for Christmas. I'll take a photo of it on her bed tomorrow - as I said before it's quite large and drops almost to the floor, and most importantly she *loves* it!

Deb in NZ challenged Blossom to decorate Christmas Puddings using Chocolate Royal biscuits. Well, Deb, here are Blossom's (we're watching your blog to see yours, Deb!), she made them Christmas Day...

...and the lovely Blossom in her new Christmas dress!


What plans do you have for 2010?
Do you make resolutions?

Normally I don't, but last year I made a decision to work hard on our budget in 2009, especially in the area of debt reduction and saving. I began a blog about it (Dollars to Sense), but this blog (Elefantz) got enough for me to handle after March so my savings blog was ignored after that.
However, I'm thrilled to say that I did achieve some of my goals! I saved $1000 for Christmas, and I did save $1000 for the holidays (although we spent it on air conditioning a couple of months ago - well worth it, too!). It has been amazing not to have to use the credit card for Christmas, and now that the habit is instilled I shall continue with this savings plan through 2010.

Next year, however, I am going to add a new savings plan to my agenda. I want to save in practical ways with what we already have. For example, yesterday I bought some new bath towels at the Target Boxing Day sale. We have been in need of new ones for a while and these were good Egyptian cotton and 40% off. I was tempted to buy some bath mats (also needed), but then I had an idea on how to save that money instead.

I made 4 bath mats from two old brown towels. One half yard of fabric (from my stash) was all that was needed to bind the ends of the 4 bath mats.

Tomorrow I'll make another 4 from the red towels, and use these for laying in front of the bathroom handbasin.
I used another 2 towels to make 2 dog beds for Bob-the-dog. Poor thing never got a Christmas gift from us but he's very happy now with his new beds! His beds are two old pillows of ours that used to be covered in old pillowcases, but I made new pillowcase covers from the towels (the cotton towelling is much cooler for him to lay on), and added a cotton fabric covering over the top side. The fabric is an IKEA piece I've had for years and never found a use for. They are so lovely and bright, and he has one in my sewing room and one in the living room.

Whilst in my sewing frenzy I also prettied up two hand towels with cotton lace, and I used some more of the Moda cotton tape for the hanging tabs on the back.

The last *new* thing I made today was a new quilted cover for my sewing cushion (do you remember that I rest my hands on a sewing cushion when I embroider instead of using a hoop for stability?), and it's made from leftover fabric I used in my Shabby Roses quilt.

Tomorrow Mr Elefantz is putting some shelving up in my sewing room, so I'll potter around and find more things to do with those towels. Do you have any ideas?



ozjane said...

Isn't rain the greatest gift.....we got it Christmas Eve although by the state of my bird baths when I went out tonight you would never have known.

Amanda said...

Haven't you been busy. I've done some knitting, but no stitching since Wednesday, and I'm missing it. So today I'll tidy up my sewing room and then make plans. Here in the UK, if the temperature reaches as high as 30 degrees F it's cause for newspaper headlines like "Phew! What a scorcher!"

Vickie said...

congrats on getting the quilt finished can't wait too see it on Blossom's you have been a busy beaver..just remember girlie that hand/arm has to last you a lifetime--let it rest some---very thrifty ideas indeed...I used to make washers out of the old towels when they got a bit worn - I'd crochet a pwetty edge (them days are gone now) an old towel gets used for doggie baths or it's turned into hand towels for outside laundry/wash basin... the edges are ran around with the over locker,anyways well done girl on your budgeting...cheers Vickie
who is up way way past her bedtime-playing with her Christmas gift-will blog tomorrow..
Oh yeah Blossom looks gorgeous in her dress

Vickie said...

oh and we had 12 mls from 7am christmas day till 7am boxing day and not a drop since arghhhhh

Shari said...

I'm so pleased you finished Blossom's quilt. She just looks so lovely and cool in her Christmas dress.

My old towels often end up in the workshop, or the back of the car for 'just in case'. You have some great ideas for them. My mother-in-law uses them to stuff potholders - she says you need 3 layers to not burn yourself.

Take care and may 2010 bring many blessings for you!

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Hi Jennie! I like to use towel pieces to make hand mitts for dusting and polishing. The mitts just seem to make the odious task faster especially if you put one on each hand! vbg

Country Nanny said...

Sometimes rain is a gift and sometimes is a curse. Here in Pisa we had a rainy Christmas too but unfortunately, it rained too much and some rivers overflew causing a lot of damage. Al this happend only a few miles far from the village were I live, so I have a lot to be grateful!
We had a quiet and lovely Christmas too with too much food!!! 2010 resolutions? Diet!

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

We had Christmas rain here too. It's been pretty dry for awhile and the rain was nice.

It must have felt wonderful to get Blossom's quilt done even if it was at the last moment.

We made a decision a long time ago not to have any credit cards. It makes things tougher some times but also allows us to look at things differently. Sometimes we need to get creative.

I've seen a few people using their older towels for bath mats and I love the idea. I haven't incorporated it yet but plan to.

I also love the idea of using our older pillows and towels for a dog's bed. I buy new pillows and towels each Christmas for our family (5) so I have older pillows and towels from previous years. I have been looking for a new pillow for our dog Suzi but didn't find anything I liked (or for a price I liked). I think I will make my own similar to yours. Thanks for a great idea!

Hope you have a Happy New Year!!

Colleen said...

This year I am making a resolve to spend less money and not buy things that I want but do not "need". Love you idea for the bath mats. Never thought of doing that with old towels.

KaHolly said...

Well, now, I GUESS you were in a sewing frenzy. What great ideas for old towels! And yes, indeed, Blossom is a lovely girl. Don't blink! She'll grow up so fast. Mine is already 32, oh my. Congrats on completing her beautiful quilt. Don't overdo it, now! I'm taking advantage of being around some fine fabric stores and making aprons for my daughter before I leave to return to the Northeast. She's picked out some fun material for me to work with. Being in a big city has a few advantages. -karen

Jocelyn said...

What a blessing rain is. And I live in a tropical state so I understand the heat at Christmas. But for the last two days it has been in the 50's- and 60's (F)which is pretty cool to me :-) Hope you all enjoyed your Christmas together. Ours was relaxed and low key. Wishing you a blessed New Year.

Potpourri said...

I serge the edges of old towels and use them for floor rags or whatever else needs to be washed and wiped in home or car. have a frugal New Year Good Luck from Nova Scotia where we are anticipating rain rather than snow.

Orcsmom said...

We have a tradition in our, we do not buy gifts, but make them, or recycle them. My husband comes from a large family, and this has really helped us a lot, but even more so this year with the economy the way it is. I never thought about making my old towels into bath mats. Hubby takes them for washing the cars, so thanks for the great idea. Blossom is looking more lovely as she grows up! I love her dress, it is gorgeous! Take care of your hands!!

Dawn said...

Congrats on getting the quilt finished for your daughter. I love the fabrics and can't wait to see it all opened and on her bed.

Sharon-NZ said...

Thats what I do cut up the old towels for bathmats they are great and dry quicker than the bathmats you buy at a huge price in the shops...never thought to bind them though - great idea

Janice said...

Blossom must have been thrilled that you had finished her quilt in time for Christmas. She looks lovely in her new dress. I love the way you have recycled your old towels. Ours seem to get used for dog washing and other jobs where I won't let Mick touch the good towels. I hope you are going to rest your hands a bit over the next few days. We had good gentle rain on Christmas day, the last couple of days have had next to nothing, but good set in rain started again last night and it's still raining. Glorious.

Marlene said...

Glad you finished Blossoms quilt and look forward to seeing it on her bed.
She looks lovely in her dress.
The rain is still falling here in Brisbane and has been on and off since Christmas day. The colour green has returned to the lawns!
The bathmats look great with the binding on them. If anyone does not want to go to this effort then animal shelters are always grateful of your old towels,pillows etc.

Karmen said...

Smart, smart, smart. These are really great ideas. Karmen

bubbachenille said...

Isn't the rain winderful? It has rained here in Laidley, QLD, every day for a week. Like it used to do 20 or 25 years ago at this time of the yaer!
I loved your post too, my mum has been doing all sorts of things with old towels for years, including some of the things that you did. Looks like it might be my turn now too. Happy New Year.

Sharon (Stitches on Mars) said...

Congratulations on finishing Blossom's quilt. I hope your arms are OK. Fantastic job recycling :)
Happy 2010.

Debbie said...

Hi Jenny, Merry Christmas.
I went to a class a while ago and we made bath bat out of toweling using a crazy patch type of thing. cut any shape you like from the pieces lay them on top of each other and zigzag together then lay a decorative piece of lace on top of the zigzag, you can even use the edges of facewashers for decoration. I think they were all sewn onto interfacing first then had a backing with corron fabric then bound. Do you kind of get the idea? I will try to find the instructions.

Lise said...

Love your ideas,,I'll have to copy these lol... wow.. recycle, reuse and re-create... love them all... and wow, you made a quilt in time for xmas for Blossom .. she is lucky girl..... I'm not good for new years resolutions,,,I usually don't keep them or start but don't so, happy stitching and happy new year...

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, you are very inspiring. I too like you decided that Christmas was not to get into further debt, so everything purchased was done with what I had budgeted for the holiday.


Teresa said...

So glad you got the rain too Jenny. It's humid here today, but at least the tanks and dam are full. Loved your ideas with the old towels.. Think I will do the same for some floor mats here too. Thank you!! Loved that Ikea fabric also!!

Teresa said...

Forgot to say congratulations on finishing Blossoms quilt. Well Done!!! Nothing like a little pressure put on you to get something finished in record time xx

Deb said...

Jenny, Blossoms quilt is gorgeous, I know she would have been thrilled with it. How are your arms and hands feeling though chook? Yah Blossom, I have blogged my christmas pudding photos. Aren't we just to clever!! I love, love , love your new dress Blossom, its gorgeous but when you sick of that stunning figure could you possibly send it across the ditch, I lost mine many years ago!!
Gosh Jenny, you have been a busy beaver, well done you. Your post about your resolutions is so positive, I know that I am going to have to focus on budget this year, times can be a bit money orientated can't they. I would love to look at the other side of life. Fingers crossed.
I'm loving your bathmat idea, I have just put some old towels out so might have to reuse them. They would be great to make bathmats especially for Jack too as he is thinking about going flatting this year.mmmmmm. thinking hard now.
big hugs Deb

mbroider said...

Blossom looks lovely!! I would love to see the quilt on her bed.

I am glad for you as the rains showered. See Nature got you Christmas in her own way!!

Maria said...

So pleased you finished Blossom's quilt and that she loves it.You look lovely in your new dress Blossom and your xmas food looks yummy!!
My you have been very good girl sewing up a storm.Great bath mats, hand towels and I am sure Bob-the Dog is very comfy on his gorgeous new bed pillows.

Betsy said...

great money saving ideas. Thanks Jenny.