Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Dinner

Even before Tanya gave me the lovely flowers I had decided that this year we would have a soft pinky-bluey-silvery theme for our Christmas Eve dinner.

Traditionally we have our own delicious roast turkey dinner for the four of us, on Christmas Eve. (Vegetarian Daughter eats "chicken" nuggets instead of turkey.
Carnivorous Daughter eats turkey instead of vegetables LOL).

But back to the decorating ...

I layered some tablecloths, damask then lace.

Beautiful bouquet at one end ...

Hydrangeas at the other end ...

and our Advent candles in between.

Pretty serviettes with a decorated chocolate coin by each place, and our heirloom silver.

Simple but pretty and still Christmassy.
A lovely dinner.

Flowers for Christmas!

My good friend Tanya dropped in with a beautiful bouquet ...

.. what a lovely Christmas present!

In it are some interesting flowers I've never seen before.

Will these green balls grow up to be furry pink flowers too, I wonder?

Thankyou, Tanya!

Christmas Goodness

Cookies have been baked

More hydrangeas for our table

lovely by candlelight ...

The Christmas tree brings me joy ...

.... especially at night ....

(although I see that it's not dark outside at 8pm!)

Presents have been wrapped ....

- this one is Family Tree Maker software for Dad, so I decorated it with old family photos.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Corner

Some cheery red & white ornaments ...

on our pink shelves in the corner, near our dining table.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


It has been a cold December day in Sydney.

A storm is about to hit here ...

... and we are going to sit with a cup of tea and eat our freshly baked stollen

... while the Christmas tree lights shine in the dark afternoon
... and we listen to Handel's Messiah.

(except that we will probably have to turn off the lovely music while the girls watch an old TV show like Hogan's Heroes or Green Acres instead)

Christmas Birdie Cards

Still working on my Christmas cards,
although most have been sent out earlier, including these ones.

Such a cute stamp set from Stampin' Up! with the birds and cages ...

Gingerbread Ornament

Baked a few weeks ago and popped in the freezer until the other day when Mum was here helping me clean the house before the party, when we iced them in a hurry!

I think I'll ice the next batch with a smooth icing.

Today I have baked stollen for the first time, and am looking forward to trying some soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brady Bunch Cake

As I type this Emily and 5 friends are screaming in the backyard, in the almost-dark night.
This is our first sleepover ever!

The theme is the Brady Bunch so I made a Brady Bunch cake! Not my best birthday cake, I must say. It didn't quite go to plan, the wafers I used wouldn't stick together as I envisaged, despite my best bricklaying attempts!

I also took photos of the girls and made this which the girls stuck on a TV shape for a craft activity.

Old-fashioned Christmas goodness

This was one of my favourite cards I made this Christmas.

I used stamps from a variety of companies,

but the main image is by Stampin' Up! from the Welcome Christmas set.

A little Christmas cheer

This is one of my favourite Christmas decorations.

So simple, yet so effective.

Since Steve is kindly drinking Moccona Coffee these days I have been able to make a couple more to put around the house :-)

Together these ornaments make me smile

... every time I go to the bathroom!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The un-dear deer

Since we have no pine trees or deer nearby I must make do.

This thrifted deer was just $1.00 I think, after last Christmas.

He is enjoying his new home in the forest.

(aka our music shelves in the study).

Hydrangeas at Christmastime

This summer our hydrangeas are thriving.

The heads are large and the colours beautiful.

I bought one inside and popped it in this old vase which suits hydrangeas so perfectly.

I made this candle a couple of years ago, and just love it, I must make some more ...

You can see our origami flowers are still going strong since making them two years ago (which turned out to be my most popular post once the images got onto Google images!)

Then today Jacqui dropped in with the perfect gifts
- a calico bag (with hydrangeas printed on it, as you can see!) and a
Keep Calm and Carry On book full of quotes.
I love them!

And look how well it looks by the real hydrangeas!
(the bloom still looks good a week after I cut it!)

And in case that wasn't enough hydrangeas for me, every time I walk past those little shelves
I see my as-yet unmounted Stampin' Up! stamps with a hydrangea!

Here you can see where the hydrangeas are growing in our yard,

the light is a bit strange,

because when I turned around I could see this:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Simple Advent

On Sunday we began our readings for Advent. I've never had a proper Advent wreath and this year I wanted something simple but elegant for the dining table, as we leave it there all December.

Four little galvanized buckets and four cream candles ...

Four pieces of string and four sprigs of rosemary.

I found some Advent readings here and simplified it for us into just 2-3 readings for each Sunday, and printed them out in a little booklet to keep on the table.

After dinner we lit the first candle and read from Isaiah 9 and 11, and Luke 1.

I love reading the prophecies of Isaiah, written some 700 years before Christ, that point to the Messiah, Jesus, and are so exact in their descriptions of what Christ has done:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
Isaiah 9: 6-7

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
Isaiah 11: 1-3
The more I learn about the Bible, the more this blows me away.

And then to read in Luke the prophecies to Zechariah about the birth of his son, John the Baptist, the fulfilment of which were seen just a short time later ... an amazing time in history.

The girls enjoyed reading their bibles by candlelight and we are looking forward to next Sunday night.

If you would like to have a copy of our Advent readings please email me and I'll send it to you.

Welcoming Christmas

The first spot in our home to receive a little Christmas cheer is the verandah.

I bought this cage a couple of months ago and keep it filled with fresh foliage and flowers.

The other day I added a holly sprig and a ribbon.

Instant Christmas!

I've never really liked the fabric under the glass on this cane table of my Nanna's, but maybe I can add a Christmas tablecloth when we are expecting visitors.

We won't put our Christmas tree up till next weekend but in the meantime I'm slowly making the house a little Christmassy.