Previous month:
November 2010
Next month:
January 2011

December 2010

Nearly the end of the year.

I had a bad fall today when I stood up too quickly, had a head spin and ended up in the fireplace.  I am such a Klutz!!  So I'm back on the walking stick for a few days.  I had a feeling when I was walking this morning, the first time after a bad back, that perhaps that was too good to be true.

But my woes pale into insignificance beside those of the 200,000 people who have been flooded out of their home.  This photo of a stranded wallaby brings it home to you.


 And those poor people in Emerald, just thinking of the clean up is mind boggling.


(photos from the ABC)

Walking along the river this morning I kept my eyes open for snakes.  It seems strange to see so much water rushing through when only a few months ago the dams were down to 17% capacity.  The kids had taken up vantage points and told me they had seen snakes and big rats riding the rubbish coming down the river.  The river sweeps into the bank near where I walk, so the eyes are open for snakes.


I finished my sample for the "Children's Embroidery Classes" which will be in January 2011.  I found the advanced pattern easier than the beginners, work that one out.

DSCF0001 DSCF0002

advanced                                          beginners

And I'm not sure that some of the little ones will be able to handle the assembly.  I found it hard on the fingers.


I have just stitched this when I had a spare moment so I think I will stitch a second one and see how long it takes.  Well, I'm going to be sitting resting this knee for the next few days.  Gee I hope I haven't broken anything.

Ready for the post

I have finally got the quilt I made for baby Leon, my great nephew, ready to post off.  What with Xmas and the new baby I just didn't get the binding finished but it is all done now.  I took this photo before I put it into the washing machine, just in case.


I used all types of star fabrics from my stash for the backing so that the quilt can be used back or front.


It is the first time I have quilted with perle cotton and it certainly took a toll on the needle, which I think is for the bin.


The quilt washed like a dream.  A white quilt is no good if it can't be put into the washing machine.  I have made it's bag so that it can be hung in the cupboard during the warm months using left over fabric from the binding.


When I made the quilt label I took a photo from my one of my folders and put the text into a text box and then printed this onto the fabric. There was a space at the bottom of the page so I inserted the label that I put on the front of the bag.


This is the illustration from a box of Indian matches and comes from a French blog called "Agence Eureka".  This blog is mainly old French publications of journals, children's books, toys and other odds and ends.  It has archives back to 2005 and is a wealth of inspiration.  I have bookmarked this entry which is all the fancy dress costumes, with patterns, for children. With a new grand daughter I am sure to be sewing costumes for her in the future.




Who's in charge here?

It's that 1 day old baby who is in charge we are all wound around her little finger already. It is a bit cool in the air conditioning in the hospital and my son said she needed a beany.  So I rushed home and got knitting.  I found the pattern at Ravery, which took me to a free pattern at "Knitty Gritty Thoughts".    I changed the i cord to a brownie pink fuzzie wool  so I could get a gum nut baby effect.

Maygibbs gumnut babies

I only had 3ply baby wool on hand that was suitable so I had to change the needles.  I used 12 (Imperial) or 2.50mm needles.  I knit with a loose tension so always have to use a size down in needles.  I think I could have use a smaller gauge because baby is so tiny, but Mum and Dad are pleased. 


I got to have a cuddle tonight, she is so small.  He father was even smaller.  It is amazing how soon you forget.  So now we have our own Gum Nut Baby.



A Change of Plans

Well I never did get to the beach.  I got bitten by something I am allergic to and have spent the last 3 days confined to bed.  The best made plans of mice and men....

Then this morning I get a text from my son 

"Inge is in labour on way to the hospital" 

The baby isn't due for another two weeks,  I don't think  babies listen to due dates.  At 1.26pm I got this feeling that the baby had arrived so I sent off a text asking for an update. 


It's a girl, born 13:25, weight 2960kg, length 50cm

My daughter-in-law took a photo as soon as they wiped the baby's face and sent it to me as a text message.


So this is Miss Monique

Christmas day 2010

Well it is finally here.  A bit quiet around here, everyone has gone to the beach, in the rain.  We will be following this afternoon after we clean up a bit. So it is off to the beach for a while and no internet.  (Will I survive?)

I choose an Australian Bush Foods theme this year and there are so many great bush foods I'm surprised we don't use them more.  Wattle seed, Quondong, Davison Plumb, Lilly Pilli, the list goes on.  My daughter made the most delicious Lilly Pilli ice-cream, too bad the owners of the trees are in New York, they missed out.  I managed to get bunches of Xmas bush and Kangaroo Paw flowers to decorate at the last minute on Xmas Eve.



The party was a great success.  (Photos to start and then I was just too busy.)  The guests all took their places and the children lite the Xmas candles. 


The only photo of the food.


One little guest, Oscar, was fascinated with the Xmas Tree. 


Good to have my godson back from London for the party.


At the end we had to push people out the door as no one wanted to leave and my husband and I were left with the kitchen gecko's and the mess.


So that is Christmas for another year.   My last carol for this year is "The Shepherds Farewell." God Bless.



The day before Xmas

I stayed up till 2.30am cooking last night.  All the desserts are ready to assemble and I have pre cooked the turkey for the Wellington parcels.  I have started the cooking early again this morning with eight Potato Galettes in the oven now.  I trialed this the other night and found it better if I cooked it in advance and then reheated it.


The boys have collected an industrial warmer for me this year so I should be able to get everything done and I might even get to sit with my guests, but I wouldn't count on it.

I thought I would take this break to eat breakfast and write today's blog before I start on the rest of the prep.  I may not get another break until Xmas Day.

Another of my blog finds has been "The cat that laughed".  I know it is a bit late for Advent Calenders but this site has some great ones going back a number of years.  This year's is a different limerick each day.


For Techno addicts there is this amusing entry on You Tube.  It's had a lot of hits.


So my carol for Xmas Eve is a benediction.  Have a happy and holy Xmas.


A Compromise

The big tarp is down but I have agreed to leaving the small one at the end of the verandah.


The main lights haven't gone up this year because of the predicted rain.  But I got my flowers, I have finished  all the presents and checked them again and I have all the supplies in.  Tonight, while it is still cool I am going to start the cooking.

Surfing today I found some new blogs I haven't seen before.  The first is Toast Travels. Some interesting articles and a series of features. For this month they have put up four pod-castes of Christmas readings of two Russian Folk Tales, magic.


The other I found whilst looking for knitting projects, Muir and Osbourne.   On their web page they have these adorable knitted dogs.  These are from their book "Best in Show".


They have some great individual photos on their blog.  Like this whippet,


and this Afghan hound.


I like this set of antlers.


My neice has a whippet called Murrey he would look great in these, the kids would love it.


To nights carol is another scandinavian one "Heaven in my arms".  I am writting out the melody as I haven't seen it published anywhere in Australia before.



The engineers solution!

We are going to have a very wet Xmas holiday, it is all very drippy here.

Today I saw a young father with his kids at the coffee shop he was under the awning and it was raining all around but he managed just fine(Better than being stuck inside with four kids).  I think we will manage alright for the party on the verandah.


I have spent the day getting ready for the party.  All the glasses are polished.


The plates and crockery all sorted and labelled.


Because it is so wet I asked if my dear husband could hang some plastic sheeting over the  verandah that we could let down if it was a bad storm.  I was thinking something minimal and unobtrusive.  What I came home to find what looks like a crime scene!


When I complained I was told the plastic wasn't as good as this tarp, "It keeps everything out".  I replied "it looks like a crime scene AND it will keep all the heat and mozzies in!!!"  I had to admit he had done a stunning job.  All the ropes were evenly spaced and wound around the railing so neatly. IT IS OVER ENGINEERED AND IT HAS TO GO.


This is the view I want to receive my guest with not this temporary morgue!


I had been shopping for food and we had another fridge delivered today, so, I thought I would put all the things I didn't need straight away into it.  WRONG  "You can't put anything into the fridge until 2pm tomorrow, it needs to stand".  Things are getting a bit fraught here.

There are only 3 more days till Xmas and I have a whole list of carols I would like to put up. Decisions, decisions. 

"While shepherds watched their flocks by night"  sung by the boy's choir Libera.  There is a nice piece introducing the choir here.


Total eclipse of the moon

The sun took forever to set and then it seemed as though the moon would never rise.  I had to look hard and at first I thought it was cloud.  But no a total eclipse of the moon.


We were told that it could be red in colour but it was golden.


The shadow of the sun and earth started to move and more of the moon was revealed.


But it was still that golden colour even as a cloud came across it. But then as it rose it put on it's silver clothes.


Until it was all dressed in silver with just the tail-end of the shadow visible.


Now that was something to see and I am so please I was able to photograph it.

I have agonised over which version I would select for today's carol, "Oh Holy Night".  So I have decided to put a link to the version by Aled Jones.  A bit weird seeing him sing it as a boy soprano and as a man on the same film but he has such a beautiful voice.   Then there is a version by 7 year old Rhema Marvanne who is a gospel singerBut I decided to use a version by Norwegian singer Asne Valland Nordli.  She has a wonderful web site where you can listen to a lot of her work.  She is a bit like Enya but more a folk singer with a snowflake kind of voice.  The accompaniment is simple yet compliments the vocals.


Report of trial

Well the only thing I will change with the recipes from yesterday is the size of the serve and I will have to substitute another cheese for the goats cheese as I discovered that I have some guests who are allergic to that.

You can find the recipes below.

Download Chicken  Download Char grilled prawns & Goat's cheese tarts

I have now finished all my Xmas cards, letters and gifts and need to now concentrate on cleaning the house and getting ready for the party.  I will have to spend some time tomorrow collecting gum nuts from the bush as this looks like the last dry day before Xmas.  The weather is just weird here.  Down south in Victoria it is snowing.


All I can see in the forecast for Queensland is flood warnings.  We hold are party on the front verandah so I have sent my husband out to buy extra tarps to put up in case we get heavy rain.  It was these kinds of conditions that saw the big floods in 1974.  Weeks of heavy rain, dams full and king Xmas tides.  Then the flooding came up to the back fence.


My carol for today is "In the bleak mid winter", I don't think there is one about in the pouring rain.