Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas to all!

Happy Christmas to you and yours!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmas Spirit Award for 5 Reasons why I like Christmas

I like Christmas because Jesus was born.
I like Christmas because it is a time of Joy, no matter what is happening in life.
I like Christmas because we get to catch up with friends and family.
I like Christmas because people are loving and giving.
I like Christmas because its holidays too!
So keep calm and carry on!

This came from Mandy at The Old Dairy

So I'd like to award this to:
Melanie at New Creation Cottage
Melody at Tea Time with Melody
Caroline at The Simple Things
Joelene at Handcrafted Cards & Gifts
and Hill upon Hill for all her days of December!!
I will try and add the links to people's names tomorrow if I get a chance,I'm a bit tired right now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Choccies for prezzies

Well the prizes are on their way, hopefully they will arrive by Christmas for Caroline and Melody. Tonight I have been busy making choccies for presents (still haven't finished the cards though), but I did fall asleep on the lounge for a little while.

Snack set to Caroline @ The Simple Things
This gorgeous Tea Tin on its way to Tea Time With Melody
Handmade Chocolates into a pretty box
Dipping with that swirly thing!
A selection of Dark Choc Ginger, Fruit & Nuts and Snowballs


1 x 250g Copha (solid vegetable shortening -coconut oil), melted
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup milk powder
1-1+1/2 cup shredded coconut

Mix first 3 ingredients until smooth, then add coconut a little at a time stirring all the time
Place teaspoonful into tiny foil cups

Extra things can be added like chopped glace cherries, dried apricots, mimi marshmallows, mimi M&Ms

Monday, December 15, 2008

Community Carols

Introducing "Fleur" the flower princess clown, who joined in playing community games with the children, encouraging them to 'just have fun', of course I get to have fun too, as clowning is all about getting in touch with your 'inner child' and allowing others to do the same.

was concentrating so hard on taking photo of self, forgot to smile!
Snuck a photo of the other half, when he wasn't looking
playing limbo, I was holding the rope, so got to take a photo. Mostly so involved, I don't get to take photos. Have to try and get photos from others. Maybe I could get someone to email me some. It was a good night, however we did not stay for all of the carols part as it wasn't just singing, but a whole stage production, starting at 8 after the games & sausage sizzle from 6pm, so we left about 9pm.

Last night, Sunday evening, We ended up with carols indoors as the weather turned very cold and showery. The choir was beautiful. The community got to sing 2 carols with choir, then listen to one by choir, then 2 carols, etc plus there were 2 other items during the evening. Again the evening started with a sausage sizzle and ended with a cuppa. I think I enjoyed the carols part of this event better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Traditions Quiz

Beyond The Picket did this on her blog and she got it from Felicity and I thought I'd have a go. So, here it goes....

Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Paper. I’m still using up rolls I have

Recycled gift bags

Reused boxes

Material or upcycled Doilies from opshops to wrap small things

Real tree or artificial? An interesting end of branch that fell on the lawn off the gum trees, tied to the fireplace [not needed in the summer]

When do you put up the tree? Whenever

Do you like eggnog? Not sure what version others have, but Mum used to make egg flips for us when we were poorly as a ‘pick me up’ I like this vanila flavoured, raw egg and milk shake with nutmeg on top. I imagine it is something like this with alcohol to keep warm in the Northern Hemisphere winter. I did try a commercial one from fridge section of supermarket and it tasted similar to ‘egg flip’.

Favourite gift received as a child? I really liked my “Annette” doll received when I was about 5 down at my Uncles farm. I still have her. I also liked the copy of ‘The Magic Pudding” I received one Christmas from our Legatee (Legacy Rep)

Hardest person to buy for? Pass on this one

Easiest person to buy for? My Mother in law always appreciates moisturizer or lipstick from a certain ‘brand’.

Do you have a nativity scene? I have three wise men, a shepherd holding a lamb, Joseph, Mary holding the baby Jesus, a sheep or two and a donkey. I had a camel from op shop, but he fell over and broke his leg. We have yet to make or acquire ‘the stable’. I came up with the idea of hanging gold tinsel and angel figurines from the upstairs floor joists [we have no ceiling] to represent the heavenly choir, but my DH has only put up one row so far.

Mail or email Christmas cards? Some cards, mainly to interstate rellies (relatives) Would like to do some email ones. Would also like to do the newsletter thing, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Can’t really remember

Favourite Christmas movie?
Authentic Nativity type and a few others that may come on telly this time of year.

When do you start shopping? I try to keep a look out all year, doesn’t always work. I’d like to do the “TEAR Australia", "World Vision" type gifts and maybe ‘draw one person out of the hat’ to buy for, so that we all get one gift. Doesn’t seem to have caught on with others yet..

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes I’m into recycling, if you can’t use it or it’s not really your thing, keep the love and give ‘the thing’ away.

Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Mum’s fruit salad and fruit punch, Homemade cake or pudding, homemade lebkuchen, turkey and roast veggies or turkey and salad

Lights on the tree? Not lately, but I do think they’re pretty. I have twinkling stars in the two dormer windows upstairs. (A friend once found my house by these) and a glowing twinkling Nativity Scene in one of the side windows upstairs. Can be seen driving up the road.

Favourite Christmas songs? “O Come Let us Adore Him”, “the First Noel”, “What child is this?” and a few other.

Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. We try to have Christmas Eve at home together, just the 4 of us, have friends for lunch on Christmas Day, and Visit the clan on Boxing Day. Occasionally we go interstate to visit my side of the family.

Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Possibly from reading it at school, but not really into santa. Rather keep Christmas Christ –centered. (even if Dec 25th probably came from pagan winter solstice origins) It is celebrated mostly in the western world as a religious festival of Christ’s birth.

Angel on the tree top, or a star? Angel, although it doesn’t really work with the twig thing. I’d rather the nativity be the focus.

Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve for our gifts to each other – we usually did in my family growing up. then Christmas morning was about getting ready for church and celebrating Christ.

Favourite ornament theme or colour? Varies from year to year I like gold and red, silver and blue, hand made calico and gingham, ANGELS ANGELS ANGELS.

What do you want for Christmas this year? To see my family, to enjoy each others company, to all be healthy

Person most likely to respond to this? Surprise me. I have no idea! But if you do, then leave me a comment so I can enjoy the fun with you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

We have a winner! Yeh! yeh! yeh!

Saturday the 13th December [drum roll please...] 2pm... Time to draw the winner of the Vintage Australian Westminster China Snack Set

All the names are typed, cut up and placed in the box
High up on a bookcase ... No peeking

In goes a hand... [what, you are scrolling to the end already!]

And the winner is Caroline from The Simple Things

AND because I was having so much fun... I did a runner-up prize
A box of Australian Madura Tea
for Tea Time With Melody

Ladies, Please email me your addresses ASAP so I can pop your prize in the post

Awh all the excitement is over now, I will have to think of some interesting things to photograph and post about. Well... I am going to Community Carols about 1/2 hour away tonight and then our local one down in the village on the old golf green, tomorrow night. [PS my husband is in the choir tomorrow night and I'm clowning tonight for a bit of 'Birthday Party for Jesus' atmosphere for kids - they'll start with some community games before they get into the singing of carols]

FINALLY... .... I have added some stock to my ebay store... .... for sale with BUY IT NOW option!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here is my first Christmas card (green one below) - it arrived on Monday and reminded me, that it really is not that early and maybe I should get around to doing some myself. I was reading a Christmas planner that said to start writing them out a few each night about 6 weeks before Christmas, sending off any overseas ones, and then begin posting in December.

However I've been so enjoying blogland, that comments and posts are they only kind of writing I've done at home lately. SO I wrote on one I had made previously and sent it to my creative Aunt the next day. I'm not sure if she made this herself as there was nothing on the back and I forgot to write handmade on mine too. My creation is on the right, made from bits and pieces I picked up from the' stitches and craft show' one year.

So if I'm missing from here for a few days, OR DON'T GET TO VISIT YOU I mlght just be writing out those Christmas cards for family and friends.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

I've learned How to Pass on Awards!

Karen from Homespun Simplicity has shown me how do the link thing so now I can pass on those fabulous awards that Caroline from The Simple Things has given me and publish and forward on the tag from Karen too.

This bookworm award, I'd like to pass along to

1. Randi at I have to say
2. Marge at Living Little Simple Woman's Daybook
3. Joelene at Handcrafted Cards and Gifts
4. My daughter who reads prolifically [a slide show only of pics from her travels] at Del's Travels
5. Cabbage Heart at Green Lettuce Soup
6. SherryRoseBella at Sherry's Rose Cottage

These ladies are also "tagged" to tell us 6 things they value most in life. This is the way I am passing on Karen's tagging of me.

1. My relationship with My Heavenly Father
2. My relationship with My husband and children
3. My friends and family
4. My country and my home
5. The ability to read
6. Creativity

Lastly this award is for anyone I've forgotten, or who is a new visitor, or new blogger!

I was given an award!


Melanie from New Creation Cottage just gave me a 'fabulous award'! What fun! Melanie has a lovely chatty, uplifting blog. She's also crafty and creative. Please visit her and see her talent!

The 'Fabulous' Award Rules:

1. You have to pass it on to 5 fabulous blogs.
2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions.
3. Make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

My 5 'fabulous addictions':
1. working on my blog and ebay shop
2. shopping at opportunity shops and garage sales
3. Using pretty china
4. listening to soaking, relaxing music
5. Watching classic dramas, like Sense & Sensibility, North & South

I'm passing this award on to:
1. Caroline from The Simple Things
2.Mandy at The old Dairy
3.Daisymum7 at notes from Daisy mountain
4.Linda from Remote Treechanger
5. Karen at Homespun Simplicity

Please don't feel obliged if this is not your idea of "fun". I just want to tag these wonderful women who have helped me as a beginner blogger. Darling Caroline had to explain how to pick up an award from her blog the first time. Karen has shown me how to link peoples URL to their blog name you can click on the name and visit and everyone has left encouraging comments and made my day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cherry choc balls & CHINA GIVE-AWAY

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVE-AWAY = Aussie Westminster China Snack Set - You can leave a comment on any post this week to be entered in the draw next Saturday 13th December - Aussie time.

Pictured Left the beautifully presented box of chocs, I won at my husbands work social club Christmas Dinner, last night. Below a recipe to make your own family choc treats. This is a recipe that you may have to adjust as you go along.

Soak 125g glace cherries, chopped + use any other dried fruit eg sultanas to make 1/2 cup
in 30ml of port overnight (or cherry brandy or whatever you have on hand to compliment)

Add 1 x 400g (?12oz) can of Condensed Milk and stir (or process in food processor)

Add 1+1/2 cups bisuit (cookie) crumbs, or 1 cup biscuit crumbs + 1/2 cup chopped or ground almonds or hazelnuts
1/2 -I cup dessicated coconut

Add enough dry ingredints to have a firmish mix. Refrigerate.
Scoop a teaspoonful at a time and roll into a ball.
Place on foil lined tray and refrigerate. (The melted choc will set quicker if balls are cold)

Melt 250g (8oz) dark cooking chocolate in basin over near boiling water. Dip each cold ball into melted choc, preferably with a spirally choc dipper, and place back on foil lined tray. Keep in fridge.
May be drizzled with white choc to decorate, or press a piece of chopped nut into choc after placing ball back on tray.

These can be stored in containers in fridge or packaged in mini noodle boxes or pretty tins, homemade boxes, recycled chinese takeaway boxes etc

PS I think last years version had 2 pkts of cherries, less bisuit and more coconut.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Favourites - Baking Recipes

2 blurry 'in a rush' images of the recipes I started with and then adapted over the years to suit our taste and budget.
ON THE LEFT we have the recipe from the back of the can/tin of Nestles ccondensed milk 400g - this is not the original recipe which went missing over the years. I found this similar last year and kept it, but not before having to make them 'out of my head' and they were voted by many as the best yet - but I don't think I got around to writing it down. They turned out to be a little like 'Cadbury Cherry Ripe" but moister and laced with a little raspberry port. .......ON THE RIGHT we have the page from the Australian Women's Weekly Beautiful Biscuit Book - Lebkuchen. We always leave the peel out as I am not fond of its bitter taste - I can remember picking it out of Christmas Cake as a child. I was so excited to discover last year that my local village supermarket sells Angus Park Premium Mixed fruit - perfect for puddings (no cherries, no peel). I can easily add my own cherries if I want to. ..... WOW, so far I sound like an advertisement for Nestle, Cadbury, Angus Park and The Australian Women's Weekley - really not intended as I actually choose to eat "Fair Trade chocolate". ANYWAY enough rambling girl .... give us the recipes. PLEASE

OUR LEBKUCHEN - we always make a double mix and often make a gluten-free version also
60g (2oz) Real Butter
2/3 cup golden syrup
1+3/4 cup plain (all purpose) flour
1 teasp bicarbonate soda
1 teasp mixed spice
1 teasp cinnamon
1 teasp dark cocoa
1 tablesp (20ml, not 15ml) milk
2 tablesp plain flour extra*
raspberry (any red jam) jam
125g (4oz) dark chocolate (ccoking variety or use a smidge of copha) YOU MAY NEED MORE

1 Melt butter over low heat inmedium sized saucepan
2 Add golden Syrup, bring to boil, remove from heat
3 STAND 10 minutes to cool a little
4 Add sifted dry ingredients & milk and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth
5 COVER, stand at room temperature for 1+1/2 hours. Mixture will thicken.
6Turn mixture onto surface which has been dusted with the extra flour*
7 Knead lightly, working in only enough of this flour until mixture loses its stickiness
8 Roll out to about 8mm (about 1/2 inch) thickness.
9 Cut out with heart or star shaped cutter, about 5cm (2inches) diameter
10 Place on foil/baking paper lined trays, leaving gaps between
11 Using the end of a round handled wooden spoon, gently push an indentation into the centre of each unbaked biscuit; don't push right through.
12 Fill each dent with 1/4 teasp jam.
13 Bake in a moderate oven [180degC 0r375degF] for 8-12 minutes or until golden tan.
14 Leave on trays until completely cold.
15 Melt chocolate in heatproof glass bowl over pot of near boiling water. Bowl should not touch water.
16 Spread back of each biscuit with melted choc, smoothing off with a knife.
17 Place jam-side down onto your lined trays (I use the ones I've baked on) and refrigerate until choc is firm
MAKES ABOUT 20 - WHICH IS WHY WE ALWAYS MAKE DOUBLE. THEY ARE GREAT TO SHARE. STORE IN AN AIRTIGHT CAKE TIN/TUPPERWARE WITH LAYERS OF FOIL/BAKEPAPER IN BETWEEN. .....You could make without spices if you have someone who doesn't like them. They could be iced instead of choc like Honey Jumbles ........
GOLDEN SYRUP - not sure if this is an Aussie invention - it is made from Cane sugar and water and is a dark caramel colour - you may be able to substitute honey or cornsyrup. if it is not available where you live. OTHER RECIPE TO COME... gotta go!

Vintage Westminster Australian China Give-away

Well here is a snap shot of the Westminster Australian China snack set I am giving away. I tried to do a close up so you can see it. It has a squarish plate with a little ring to stand the cup in. I have seen them called "tea & toast set", "Hostess Set", "Tennis Set" and "Snack Set". The handy thing about them is you dont need a second hand to hold your tea while you put something to eat on your plate when afternoon tea is served buffet style.

Why a give-away? Just because I can! and... because I've been blessed to win 2 give-aways recently... and to promote my blog and ebay shop "Teapartyland" (which I need to restock today). As I don't know how to do links in my post yet you can click on the photo in my sidebar to visit "teapartyland" as I know how to link with a gadget/widget thingo.

Just leave a comment under this post or any I may do in the following week and I will do a draw next Saturday, 13th December - Australian Time. It may still be Friday in your part of the world - so don't leave it to the last minute.