Saturday, December 31, 2011

Endings and beginnings

Image from here

'another year over... a new one just begun' - John Lennon
So ends my first year of blogging.. I wonder what's ahead in 2012?
Best wishes to followers and readers.. see you next year!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 24

One more sleep!
This post is to wish all my followers and readers all the joys of the season. Take care everyone, especially if you are travelling to be with loved ones. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 22

Yesterday I made another of my 'traditional' contributions to Sunday's feast, peppermint log. This recipe was given to me by my late mother-in-law, and was one her offerings at Christmas along with rum balls and apricot balls. She kept containers of each in the frig to be brought out with coffee all through the Christmas season.
I have made the log for years now (so long in fact that my grown-up nieces and nephews refer to it as "Auntie Carolyn's peppermint log") and recently added the apricot balls. I had never had the recipe until I found out that MIL had given it to one of my sisters.
Both recipes are the kind where all ingredients are combined with condensed milk. I now use the 'low-fat' milk; yes, I know it still has all that sugar!!!... please leave me to my delusion that I'm providing a 'healthier' treat.
Only three more sleeps! I suppose I'd better get on with finishing the gift buying. I'm such a procrastinator.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 20

Well, today was pudding day. I had intended to do it last weekend but was overcome by lethargy and a general out-of-sorts feeling. All better now.
Last night the fruit was set to soak in rum.

 This morning all the other ingredients were combined...

...and into the boiler it went for three hours. Ahh, the smell!

Here it is just out of the boiler, before being turned onto a plate. I haven't taken a photo of that because somehow it doesn't look as attractive as the ones you see in recipe books. I had a tiny taste (cook's privilege) and it's not too bad.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 15

I have been putting together a 'white' Christmas corner, just with stuff I had on hand. What do you think? I think it needs something more, just not sure what. Candles? Pine cones? Fairy lights?
(I know lavender isn't white but it needed something in the pot and I didn't have anything with white flowers).

This is a close up of the heart wreath I made using calico, tulle and organza ribbon tied to a heart shaped ring I got from Spotlight a couple of years ago. I pretty happy with it.
I am pleased to announce that my give-away winner is Sheila across the world in Nova Scotia. I'm afraid my  gift won't arrive until after Christmas but it can go into the stash for next year. Congratulations Sheila, just e-mail me your address and I'll get it into the post as soon as possible, with a few extra goodies from Oz as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 14

A little peek at some bits of my 'white' project. Still working on it.
My give-away closes tonight. It's not to late to join in.All comments from recent posts will be included in the draw.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

My treasure today is my mother's Christmas pudding recipe.
She almost always waited until Christmas Day to make it and the smell of it cooking while we put together lunch for the hordes (I have a large family) is something that is with me still. It took a lot of coaxing to get the recipe as Mum had made it so often she didn't need to consult a recipe book. At one stage I even sat down while she was making it and wrote the recipe down. She did eventually write it herself and the picture shows a copy in her handwriting.
After she died I took on the mantle of pudding maker for the family, and have made one most years since. I have to halve the recipe because not so many gather together these days. It took a bit of trial and error at first, because it is cooked in a cloth, but I have made progress.
I will be making this year's later in the week... no way am I confident enough of success to leave it until Christmas morning!!!
Why not visit with Melody to see who else is sharing today.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 11

What with Christmas parties, birthday lunches and drinks with friends, I haven't been home much in the last three days. However, the decorations are almost done, so I thought I'd share a bit of a peek.

My collection of angels

My bit of bling

No presents yet!

Still working on some 'white stuff'. Remember all comments over the next few days will put you in the draw for my Christmas give-away.
Blogging along with Car and others until Christmas... join us!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 10

Yay!!! my 100th post!!!
To celebrate the occasion I am having a give-away... just a few Christmas goodies. If you would like to be in it, just leave a comment over the next few posts. I will close entries next Wednesday (December 14) so that the winner has a chance to receive it before Christmas.. provided they live in Australia of course.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 9

It's started... the cards are arriving... Christmas must be just around the corner! Eek! I had better get writing.
My cute little folk art letter box was a gift from my grand- daughter many years ago. I think she bought it from a school Christmas stall.
Ooh... just noticed this is my 99th post. I promised a give-away for my 100th. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 8

O dear... missed another day. Yesterday was a rather dreary day, so naturally I spent it curled up with a book. My camera is doing weird things at the moment (maybe time to consider a new one), so I decided to play with the scanner instead. This is another vintage card.. I added the text at the top. Christmas card? gift tag?
If you would like to blog-a-long 'til Christmas, you can join in here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 6 - Tuesday Treasures

Another Queensland summer favourite for my treasure today. I am lucky enough to have this lovely tree in my garden and look forward to the first blooms. They have the most wonderful fragrance and also remind me of my mother. These were one of her favourite flowers.

As we usually had a frangipani tree where we lived, or at least nearby, Mum always used the flowers for decoration, particularly at Christmas. I can remember threading them into garlands to put on the table for Christmas dinner.
Don't forget to visit Melody to see who else is sharing treasures today.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 5

How cute is this? I bought it here. There is a red one with white lettering too.
Dont' forget to pop over here to see who else is blogging along. You can join in too!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 4

Whoops... missed a day!
For many years I saved Christmas cards from one Christmas to the next ( I know... I'm such a hoarder) until it finally dawned on me that I could recycle them. No, not through Planet Ark, but by re-using them as gift tags. A hole punch and a pair of fancy scissors and... Voila!

Does this mean I'm thrifty? or just a cheapskate???

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - Day 2

For some reason I am being drawn to the idea of a rustic decorating theme this year, although none of my current decorations lend themselves to the idea. These images from the Christmas issue of Family Circle magazine are partly to blame and I have been looking at the twigs which regularly fall from my camphor laurel tree and thinking about white paint.

The longing for the 'white stuff' has also been fueled by visiting this blog. Still... twigs and white paint... a bit of wire and paper...wouldn't break the bank, would it???

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent blog-a-long - day 1

It seems that Christmas is coming whether we are ready or not. I usually try to begin my decorating on the first of December, but probably won't get to it until the weekend. To put me in the mood I am joining in with Car and others, blogging along until the big day. I probably won't be as diligent as I was with Blogtoberfest, but who knows?
My picture was scanned from a book I have of delightful vintage images, published originally for decoupage I guess, but who could bear to cut them up?