Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Ahead with Hope

Some of my favourites 2015 Instagram posts

Every blade of grass, 
each leaf, 
each seperate petal, 
  is an inscription speaking of hope.           
                                                     Richard Jefferies

Some of 2015's Quilting Highlights

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tunes without the words -
And never stops - at all.

                                                       Emily Dickinson

As 2015 draws to a close, with all its highlights and challenges, I want to face each new day with Hope as my companion and to be brave enough to dream new dreams. Are you still brave enough to dream too?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas is (still being) Served

Early Christmas morning

Every day feels like Christmas at the moment with all the family home together, a sense of God's love and peace upon us and festive food continuing to appear from freezer, cupboard, fridge or oven each day. There is so much to be grateful for.

I have not baked, prepared or requested any of our Christmas foods, instead I have been an enabler - buying lots of special ingredients as needed, cleaning, organising, cleaning, managing our small kitchen and temperamental old fridge - and cleaning. It's not that many years ago that everything relied on me in every regard. This is generally a very satisfying stage of motherhood with our children aged 7, almost 12, 14, 16, 18, 18, 20 and 23.

Miss E's older siblings helped her create a Raspberry Ripple Ice-cream Log from Christmas Cooking for Kids by Fiona Hammond. We have also had traditional homemade Christmas goodies - fruitcakes, boiled pudding, fruit mince pies, gingerbread, snow/rum balls etc.

Miss O orchestrated the baking and construction of a beautiful A-Frame gingerbread house, assisted by her older twin sisters. She used a proven a gingerbread recipe from the book mentioned above with house templates from Tikkido (Large A Frame templates). Spread over a couple of days it was a delight to observe.

I busied myself making a collection of simple tie-close gift bags and filling them with a variety of fun and useful mini gifts. With only myself knowing the contents of each, I placed them on the appropriate plates at Christmas lunch instead of traditional Christmas bonbons/crackers. They were well received as a no-waste alternative. The empty bags are now tucked away ready to be refilled next Christmas.

One of my favourite memories of Christmas Day is watching my 82 year old Mother in law savouring the photo gifts I had made for her (via Vistaprint). Each Christmas I gift her (and several others) a collection of ten blank cards and a calendar, all made using photos I have taken. She carefully looked at each card, one by one, enjoying all the details. She then did the same with her calendar, on which I had written each of our birthdays, for her memory is failing. Precious moments.

The last deliciousness shared above is a Christmas Celebration Chocolate Ice-cream Cake made entirely by Miss O. I snapped these quickly, surrounded by family waiting to eat it, urging me to hurry before it melted! The joys of a summer Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

First and Last

Christmas tree in silver and gold

An arm-span from the Christmas tree (through the window) nature's silver and gold

Flame Tree in bloom, an Australian native, nature's Christmas tree

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Australian native), in macadamia nut tree, overhanging our yard

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo in a nearby pecan nut tree

Agapanthus in bloom in our garden

Florist Gerbera, one of three I bought at yesterday's Christmas Market

Black-eyed Susan (rudbeckia) also bought at yesterday's market

Favourite (glittering) Christmas card, brightening my days - thank you Sue!

May grace and peace be yours as we walk through this beautiful and glorious week ahead. 
Let us have eyes to see this Christmas as if it was our first and last, 
And a heart to know the depths of His love, poured out for us.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sewing Together

Inspired by some beautiful florals from Spotlight, Miss O (14) has decided she would like to make her first quilt. We have had a wonderful time browsing Pinterest for design inspiration and hunting through my stash, which I have gradually accumulated over the last six years since I began quilting, reacquainting myself with many favourite fabrics. Miss O knows how I treasure my fabrics so she had to be encouraged to use anything at all which she liked, for I love even more to see these fabrics being thoughtfully used.

As Miss O carefully selected, washed and ironed this beautiful medley of fabrics, I could see how wonderful they would look as a hand pieced hexagon project. Instead of the 1" hexies from which I am making my Fresh Fields EPP quilt (English Paper Piecing), these larger prints are better suited to 1 1/2" hexies. I will share more details of each project as they grow.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Photo Story - Gold Coast Mini Holiday

There is much I could write about our three days away together, many of these photos capture something of significance for our family but I'll just let you enjoy the story they tell in silence. (There are a few details on Instagram.)
Miss E (23) is this minute still on a long train journey to return to Sydney and Mr J (20) is at a conference in Canberra. Both will return home again for Christmas. I love my family!

Sharing at Our World Tuesday, SkyWatch Friday.

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