Twas the night before Christmas

Well, it’s nearly the end of the year and I have so enjoyed writing this blog, reading your lovely comments and sharing bits of my life with you. One of the things I have most enjoyed, is getting to know so many people. Sometimes I wish you all lived a little closer, so that I could get to meet you in person. But then, it wouldn’t be as much fun complaining of boiling hot weather to people covered in snow and vice versa.

It has been very interesting popping in to visit other blogs too and seeing what you are up to. One blog I love to visit is Gentle Stitches. She makes lovely little amigurumi crochet creatures and patterns and I love the way she photographs them too. She also has a Ravelry store you can visit. The lovely Gentle Stitches made a beautiful Christmas mouse for me and I have done a photo shoot with him to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. Thank you all for coming to visit me here,

see you next year,

Jen x

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With thanks to gentlestiches.com for supplying the model

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A festive feel in the garden

In my garden, I don’t have red holly berries and snow in December, but I don’t miss out on a festive feel. Kangaroo paws as tall as me, are a blaze of red above strappy green leaves. The shy Little Wattlebird comes to visit too, dipping his beak into the flowers. As quick as a flash, he flies away.

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Peace and good wishes to all

Wishing for you all safe and happy holidays

Jen x

Bauble peace

Happy Holidays from WinterOwls.com

A hot holiday season

Today in Melbourne it’s hot, hot, hot. I’ve been hiding inside and enjoying visiting lovely blogs featuring snow, grey skies and holly. Well, we don’t have snow for the holiday season in Melbourne (but with Melbourne weather you can never be 100% certain), and there isn’t much real holly around either. Although I have spotted the odd bush in old gardens.

We’re not missing out on the traditional red and green colors though. I just love these Kangaroo paws in my garden, such festive colours. I don’t know who came up with the name Kangaroo paws, but it’s very clever. Can you see the little paws?

Speaking of things with paws, poor Ruby has found this hot weather very uncomfortable. It’s been too hot to take her for long walks, so at times she gets very restless. My younger son thought he’d dress her in reindeer ears last night which she very much enjoyed. She shook them off, grabbed them in her mouth, soared over the sofa back and raced around the house with them. Finally when she tired out, I managed to take some photographs, which she found a bit of a yawn really.

Kangaroo paws


Festive native flowers

Festive native flowers

Paws, paws and more paws

Very hot Ruby

Very hot Ruby

Ruby the black nosed reindeer

yawning reindeer watermarked

I’m not in pain, I just find modeling so tiring…..

Christmas lemons

My Dad says he has everything he needs so he likes to receive edible gifts. For his birthday I made him some lemon butter. My elder son watched longingly as the mixture filled the jar perfectly. So sad, nothing left for him to eat. I promised I would make more soon, so today I fulfilled my promise.

Christmas Day will consist of a large lunch with family, so it will be nice to start the day with a light breakfast of crunchy toast spread with lemon butter and a cup of tea. My lemons have been unusually large this year, I don’t know why, it’s a mystery. A friend described them as radioactive lemons. I hope not!

One of these lemons provided 100 ml of juice, just enough to make a large jar of lemon butter. If you would like to make some you will need:

1 large or 2 small sterilised jars ( I used a recycled jam jar with a pretty lid)

100 ml of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup castor sugar

60 gm butter

Combine the egg yolks and sugar with a whisk and pour into a non-reactive saucepan. Add the lemon zest, juice and butter. Over a medium heat, bring the mixture just to a simmer whilst stirring constantly and then remove from heat. Let cool and spoon into one large or two small sterilised jars. Keep in the fridge for up to one month.

Tip: make sure you don’t  add any of the egg white to the mixture or your lemon butter will have white streaks like mine did the first time I made it (a bit like scrambled eggs)!

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When life gives you lemons

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Radioactive lemons?

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Keep stirring!

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Use a jar with a pretty lid

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Mmmmm

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Or make a pretty cover ( I cheated, I found a pretty vintage piece of linen)

Lemon tea

Tea with lemon

Gran's cup

Gran’s cup

Christmas garland

Yesterday in Melbourne it was hot and sticky.  A perfect day for staying inside and making a quick Christmas garland. We certainly won’t be having real snowflakes here for Christmas so I thought the doily shapes I cut out were a good alternative. I love red and white for Christmas, it’s just so festive. Here’s how I made it if you want to make one too!

You will need:

Old buttons (with reasonably large holes)

An old doily or scraps from one

A few old book or music pages

Embroidery thread, wool or string

A large needle with a big eye

Scissors

First of all cut star shapes from an old book or music pages (mine came from a Mills and Boon book “Outlaw Heart”), not Christmassy but something I didn’t mind chopping up!

Next gather buttons of different sizes but make sure they have big holes so you can thread them easily.

Cut up an old doily (this is a good way to use up a stained one).

Choose your thread for stringing (initially I was going to use Jute or kitchen twine, but my needle eye was too small so I chose red embroidery thread).

Cut your thread longer than you want your finished garland to be so you can tie a knot at one end and/or make loops to hang it by.

Lay out your buttons, paper stars and doily snowflakes in a row until you are pleased with your design and then tie a knot or loop at one end.

Simply thread through buttons, and stitch through doily and star pieces with a little space in between each one. Tie a knot at the end and make a loop if you want one.

Hang up and enjoy your up cycled Christmas Garland!

red plate

Vintage buttons and doily pieces

Christmas doily

Christmas doily

stars watermarked

Don’t look too closely at the text!!!

red buttons watermarked

Red vintage buttons

close up

Threaded up

close up star

Detail

christmas garland

Completed Garland

light

Light up your Christmas