The crazy pace of things has continued on here…….on the down side no time for blogging – and that includes reading blogs as well as posting……….but on the up side it means there’s lots and lots to tell now that I’m back.
A belated Merry Christmas to everyone – hope it was full of joy and peace. I’ve pinched this gorgeous photo from Kellie’s blog…..but I think that’s OK because this quilt actually belongs to me now!!!! How lucky am I???
Following a lovely Christmas with family we are enjoying spending a few days at home doing some sorting out and a spot of gardening (well overdue!) (Oh, and the other 4 members of my family are spending quite a few hours each day on WII Fit Plus……and I’ll bet you can’t guess who the most competitive is????) We are off to Lancefield tomorrow for a few days of relaxing (not to mention the hours of gardening that need to be done up there as well) and who knows I might even do some crafting.
But in admidst all the busyness and excitement (and yes, there are 3 little people at our house who are VERY excited that December has rolled around) there has been some crafting going on. Some for Around the Block and also the Rainbow Swap……..I’ll show you more in the next few days.
The pudding is made and the tree is up so it’s starting to feel a bit more like Christmas. Now it’s just weaving our way through the multitude of end-of-year activities, concerts, dinners, gift shopping (hmm, not much of THAT organised around here), cooking and cleaning without losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
We’re into October so like it or not Christmas is just around the corner. Lots of bloggers have been talking about having a handmade Christmas or a non-corporate Christmas but here’s a another way to give to a worthwhile cause at Christmas time. Operation Christmas Child involves packing a shoe box full of gifts which are shipped to children in need overseas – often these are the only gifts the child will receive all year! The link gives suggestions of what to pack – simple things like pencils, paper, t-shirts, hats, tennis balls, soap or stickers. It’s amazing what you can fit into a shoe box. Our family has packed a couple of boxes each year for a few years now and the girls really enjoy doing it. Boxes need to be dropped off to collection points by the end of October. So if you are looking for another way to share the joy of Christmas to those that really need it please take the time to have a look.
We had a good Christmas – celebrated with my family for lunch and Mal’s for tea -both at Sewjourn. The studio was ideal for fitting everyone in – quite a few trips back to the cottage for ‘forgotten’ items but that was OK. My brother-in-law did try to set the place on fire while cooking the potatoes and pumpkin in the Weber but everything escaped unharmed and the spuds had a nice ‘smoked’ flavour!
Since the big day we have just been taking it easy……..have done lots of weeding and parts of the garden are looking lovely – still lots of plans and ideas (and work needed) for the rest though!
Mal’s cleaned out the workshop/storage area…….
And been for a couple of bike rides.
I’ve spent quite a few hours here reading this………….
(great book by the way – highly recommended!)
And the girls have been to the Lancefield Pool every day – sometimes there is hardly anyone else there so it’s almost like having your own pool. (Almost!)
But without a doubt LOTS of hours have been spent playing this………….
Most of all though it’s just nice to be here all together and enjoy this beautiful place without pressure of having to renovate, paint and be in a hurry to get things done! (There will always be more things to do though…………………)
Wishing everyone a lots of joy and blessings at Christmas time. Thankyou so much for all your support this year whilst we’ve been on the journey of creating Sewjourn. We look forward to lots of exciting times in the New Year…………meanwhile enjoy the break with your families and friends.
Christmas preparations continue at our house………….
Italian Panforte – a bit tricky but worth it! It’s become a bit of a tradition to give to friends and neighbours. It’s from Australian Good Taste 2003 – leave me a comment if you want the recipe and I’ll send it on.
And some last minute wrapping paper. Still lots to do before we head off to Lancefield tomorrow but looking forward to it. (Daughter No. 3 just a bit concerned that Santa will know to find us there!)
………..on a Monday morning like this lady – better late than never. We had our neighbours around for Christmas drinks last night so I was too tired to do Sunday stash by the time they left!
These are my stash of Christmas fabrics gathered over the years – and still waiting to be made up into something festive – there’s always next year!
Our end of year celebration this year was brunch. We had more people come to that than any UFO night during the year (LOL!) But it was fun.
Dale set us a challenge for this year, the rules being:
1. Everyone was given a fat quarter.
2. You need to incorporate this into a completed project by this time next year.
3. You cannot add this into an existing project.
4. You can choose to show this project as you go along or keep it a secret until the ‘unveiling’.
5. The project can be big or small, anything you want, but needs to be completed by our Christmas breakup next year.
This is my fabric…………
Lots of ideas, now just need to put one of them into practice!
It’s become a tradition now – for the last 8 years a lovely friend and I have made our Christmas Puddings together. Usually we do it sometime in November but this year today is the day! We make them using an easy, basic recipe from the Weekly Times 1964. And it’s a tradition that has stood the test of many things – babies, living overseas and chemo but so far we haven’t missed a year! So here’s to many more puddings.
The recipe is below – we think it’s really yummy (even if half of my family won’t eat it!)
CHRISTMAS PUDDING (Weekly Times 1964)
250g light brown sugar
185g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon mixed spice
60g dates (chopped)
185g soft bread crumbs
3 tablespoons brandy
Cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon (note: we use an electric hand mixer but I’m guessing they didn’t have those in 1964) Add eggs one at a time. Add 1/2 sifted flour/spice/bicarb soda, then 1/2 fruit mix, then 1/2 flour/soda/spice and then 1/2 fruit mix. Add brandy and bread crumbs. Boil cloth for 20 minutes. Use tongs to squeeze out excess water. Thinly flour cloth before adding pudding mix. Tie up leaving loop to hang later and enough room to expand. Add slowly to boiling water. Top up with water as needed (careful not to add directly onto pudding). Steadily boil for 5 hours. Hang to cool and then place in fridge. (We attach ours to a wooden spoon that sits across the saucepan so that pudding hangs in water and dosen’t touch the bottom of pan).
Boil for 1 hour to serve hot. Serve with brandy butter, cream and custard.