Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

wishing you all a...

blessed & merry


whether you pop in occasionally or often...

thank you!
i haven't got my own computer back yet,
won't have it replaced or fixed until the end of january
after i get back from no. 1 son's wedding in taiwan,
i wish you all a very merry christmas
from the bottom of my heart!

i will pop in and cruise around the blogosphere when i can this week
and may comment at random...
but am signing out here for a month...
i love your friendship
so i'll be around 
and see you back here
in the new year!

happy new year...

naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Borrowed Time!

good morning!

it feels so good to be able to say that
to know that at least in this session
the computer won't crash
'cos i'm on my daughter in law's one as a guest..hehe

well guess where i've popped up this morning...

here i am on kamana's blog'
answering a few questions.
it's the first time i've done an interview for someone else
so now i've done it for kamana
i think i may approach a few of you
in the new year...

if you wouldn't mind!

kamana is an inspirational poet and photographer
these often feature the tropical paradise
she lives in...
so do pop in and get to know her
and be inspired by her art!

{the photo above is of noosa, qld..taken on a weekend away a few months ago..'cos none of my photos are available to  me on this computer and i can't download any either.}

afternoon edit:

i've just enjoyed lunch out with mr m,
we don't get to lunch together very often,
especially to lunch out
and munch on open grilled turkish sandwiches
and the best cappucinos in town!

i hope you've enjoyed a meal lately with someone special too...

naturally Carol xox

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chilli for Dinner...

good evening!

due to my computer growing a mind of it's own
being extremely non-conformist
i've been relegated to noncomputerlike tasks
for the last few days...

one of those glitches
includes not being able to upload many photos
so dinner was the picture of the moment tonight.

i'm thinking,
at least it was a delicious
chilli con carne
with a few bits of salad,
put together by mr m
i got to enjoy a night off!

cucumber is actually delicious with chilli..who knew?

the chilli was left over from last night...
but i don't mind having it twice
'cos it's always even better the second day
...don't you find?

we have a fair bit on our plates at the moment...
we're trying to get things together for our trip to taiwan
in only two and a bit weeks,
there are some family matters to sort throught as well...
having kids, there is never a dull moment.

well, i'm back again
after another 'crash dump' and restart...

i wanted to take a couple of pics
of some little bits of sewing
but ran out of daylight
so withstanding...
i'll get it together tomorrow.

have a lovely day or evening!

naturally Carol xox

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hot Fresh Scones!

good evening!

today was fun.
i got an order for a cushion
so packaged it up prettily and included a little extra heart
'cos it's Christmas.

then a friend called
and i went out to chatz cafe for a
'see you later' send off as another friend is leaving here
to go to bundaberg...a couple of hours up the road.
she wants to swim in the sea
and be reunited with her eldest daughter.
good on her!

so after having a delicious salmon portion
baked in pastry with a creamy dreamy dill sauce
accompanied by
roast veges
with dessert being a muggacino
with extra froth...

i decided that a simple dinner
of a couple of freshly baked scones
would do the job.

these quick scones
are made from a recipe off a flour packet
i make them much more than the traditional recipe now.

all you need is
3 cups of self raising flour
2/3 cup of icing sugar
to which you add
300 mls of pouring cream
100 mls of water.

stir quickly until in a lump,
put on a floured surface,
knead a couple of times to bring the mixture together.

pat out into a flattened lump..about 2 cms high,
carve up into even pieces
and put into an oven, 180 degrees centigrade.

{scone recipes always say a hot oven..220 degrees..i never do}

bake for exactly 12 minutes...

{this recipe said 15 mins or more..i always cook scones for exactly 12 mins and they turn out perfectly every time}

this is how they turned out...

and this is how they looked
on the plate...

they were nice and light

more rustic than fancy!

what wonders do you intend to bake over the weekend?
or not?

naturally Carol xox


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Hearts!

it's nearly bed time here...

i had a slow start to the day,
you know how it is
when it's a little cold
and sleep is interrupted,
then in the morning
it's just hard to get started.

then this afternoon
i went out for coffee with a friend, crystal,
it was a bit warmer
and the coffee perked me up.

then in the early evening mr m and i did a bit of grocery shopping.
of course it is getting late now,
but after my slow start
i'm fully awake now and don't need to sleep!

in a few minutes
i will drag this body to bed
so that tomorrow
i am not even more perversely affected
and end up staying up all night????

i recently thought
that instead of sending my local friends cards,
i would make hearts for them...
christmassy ones
that they could hang on their trees
or their door handles
or on their walls...
what ever.

these are quick and easy to make...
several can be made in a couple of hours
and are lots of fun too.

fussy cut the fronts...
you don't have to be as precise with the backs...
add a couple of vintage buttons to the centre,
they will disguise where the ribbon goes into the heart
where sometimes there will be
a little pucker
where the ribbon doesn't sit quite straight.

using zig zag stitching
around the outside of the heart
just gives it a bit of a tweaky look
finishes the edges nicely.

i've attempted a couple of mug rugs too
but i'm a bit of a novice
when it comes to the borders
i'm not entirely happy with the ones i've completed so far.

practice makes perfect
so they say...

if kootoyoo will have me
i'm joining in,
so come 'n see
what others are doing

and have a lovely day!

naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Fern Grows!

hi there...

i've turned the christmas tree lights on this morning
for a bit of sparkle arkle
'cos it's kinda dark inside
with all the rain and gloomy weather outside.

i took this pic
to show you how much those little ferny fronds
have grown in a couple of weeks...

this fern is amazing.
it grows on the stump of an old mango tree
that we had to cut down to make way for a driveway
just after we moved into this house.

on one side of the stump is the fern
and on the other side is a flourishing staghorn..
they both just live off the decaying stump
which is sitting underneath the poinciana tree in the front yard.

this is what the fern looked like
just a few weeks prior to these new photos...

with the winter
and probably a lack of water
they had died right down
and in the pic above had just begun to sprout new growth.
those young fronds are just unfurling.

you can even see a little of the staghorn in amongst them.

i was only thinking this morning
that nature is just full of the miraculous...
and i think seeds are one of them.

what do you consider
as a miracle of nature?

mr t is off to get mr m from brisbane,
he's coming home for a while...
kara is outside at the moment,
unaware of the surprise that awaits her doggy psyche.
she'll be wagging her tail with delight
later today.

by the way...
now we are having problems
with the internet connection
and can't seem to access certain blogsites...

maybe it's the weather???

hopefully it will right itself.

i've got a little christmas crafting to share tomorrow,
nothing very earth shaking
but hopefully i can access my editing stuff
and trim a few dead corners off the photos!

another cosy day...
perfect for a bit of sewing!
i hope your day is perfect for doing what you want to too.

naturally Carol xox

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Finding My Feet...

good morning!

last week's postings
came to an abrupt end
with the arrival of a box of computer parts from my son in taiwan.

mr s sent a whole heap of computer bits
which were intended for this computer and others in the household.
of course,
as soon as possible this computer was dismantled,
new hard drives and programmes were installed
and a whole host of other features were put in and taken out.

i feel i am no longer in familiar territory
and will have to relearn my way around here!

i can't find my photo editor...
so this pic of a poinciana that lives just across from me,
is totally unedited...

isn't this tree spectacular?

all over the city there are splashes of bright red
from these gorgeous poincianas,
most of them planted years and years ago.
some, like this one, take up the whole front or back yard.

as you can see
a misty rain has settled here
and temperatures are cool and wonderful,
very refreshing.

when i wrote last,
i had just applied for my passport
and mr p had just applied for his.

all of them have come back, mr w's, mine and mr p's...
i just have to find out how to retrieve my emails
and print out the e-tickets now!

i have no idea where they've got to...
so please excuse me while i go and look.

have a wonderful tuesday,
it's just the type of day here to visit blogs,
find my emails and go and get a dvd on dollar tuesday!

naturally Carol xox

ps..i've missed you all and can't wait to poke my nose in and find out what you've all been up to!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tree Candles...

good evening!

before i pop into bed
just thought i'd write this.
today has been a busy day
getting all mr p's stuff together for his passport application
i spent way to much time in waiting for him
in a hot car with the sun streaming in
my patience being sorely tested.

the first application was rejected
as i hadn't realised my printer had shaved a tiny bit off the bottom of every page
of the application...
so after going to mr p's workplace to get the boss to sign and verify the photo
we had to revisit him to get the page filled in and signed all over again.

then the post office rang to say mr p's boss hadn't filled in the back of the photo correctly,
so we had to pay him a third visit,
then go back to the post office another time as well
to drop it in.

finally at about 4.30 pm
the application was ready and accepted.

thank God we live in a small town
and our house is only just up the road from the main street
so our running around was not much in kilometres
only in the time it still took
to get things right.

continuing the theme of garden treasures...
these plants kind of tumbled out of a tree last year
so i just put bits of them back in other places
and this year they've bloomed spectacularly.

i call them tree candles
but i'm sure they have a real name!

this plant flourishes just like spanish moss
on fresh air and sunshine...
no soil, no food.

very easy to grow!

bright pink...vibrant purple...
this girl is out there
wanting to be seen...
she' s no shrinking violet!

tomorrow is another day...
lunch out with the girls,
good fun.

i hope you've got something fun to look forward to as well.

cheers, big ears!

naturally Carol xox

Monday, November 28, 2011

Grand Designs In Miniature...

good afternoon!

there is a promise of a storm
bearing down from the north...
i hope it's not wishful thinking.

i'm not going to check the bom website..
i know that is the first thing mr w would say to do,
but if i'm mistaken
at least i'll have had a few hours of anticipation..haha!

i've had my passport photos taken today
contacted a nz friend to get a reference,
she's known me over two years as per requirements..poor girl.

tomorrow i'll post off my application for renewal
by express post
i may even have to pay them extra to get it done pronto.

well that's my own silly fault
for leaving it all to the last month...
it was a month yesterday 'til we fly out to taipei
for mr s and miss amy's wedding..woohoo!

that's my news for today,
now i'll show you a few little garden treasures
that are tiny and perfect....

these orchids are tiny,
only about as big as a thumbnail!

if any of you know what they are called,
i'd love to know.

we found them growing here on our jacaranda
when we bought the house.
they've always lived right next to the rusting 'welcome'
that is stuck for good in the fork of the tree.
the tree as grown around it!

the form, the colour distribution...

this shows the orchids at about three times their natural size!

i found these little moss gardens
on the paling fence...

this part of the fence gets barely a ray of sunshine...

i love looking at these micro environments
wonder at the number of little plants
which make up these tiny gardens!

i will have to leave them there until the fence rots
'cos i can't bring myself to scrape them off .

isn't it amazing how perfect tiny can be!

perfect can come in small packages...
good to remember at Christmas time..

is the Christmas spirit starting to stir you?

i'm storing away a few nuts...
bit by bit.

naturally Carol xox

p.s..the reason why we were able to take pictures of the bird's nest so easily is that it is only a couple of metres off the ground right on the outer limb of the pecan tree!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Nest...

good afternoon
on a roasting hot sunday afternoon
in queensland...

i have been awol all week,
a bit of social butterflying with end of year get togethers,
a bit of Christmas sewing,
a bit of wilting under the heat of the day
there you have it..
not a word printed for a week!

here i am
having found a sweet surprise
in my back garden...
in the pecan tree to be precise.

there she is..mrs leatherhead,
getting very worried that we are a bit too close for comfort.

just after this photo was taken
she flipped out completely and took flight,
leaving her little eggs to our mercy.

here's a peek at her neatly constructed nest
two brown eggs.

she often leaves them in the middle of the day
when the air temperature is warm and the breeze gently stirring the leaves around her.

i guess she knows what she is doing
i won't have to dob her in to birdie welfare for neglecting her unborn!

this is the bottomside of her nest...
there are even a few little clumps of max's doggy fur
helping to make it warm and cosy.

our nest is very warm today,
if we could think of somewhere cool to fly to
we would!

how is your nest today?

this week i'm going to show you
a few more late spring wonders
that have appeared in our yard this week...
i am in awe of nature at the moment.

naturally Carol xox

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Worth a Thousand Words...

doggy grins!

mr m is home for the weekend
we're all happy!

naturally Carol xox

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bunting Swap...Shabby Gorgeous!

good afternoon...

at long last
i'm going to show you the delightfully gorgeous
bunting pieces i got from rach at 'squiggley rainbow'
for the bunting swap.

thanks so much rach..i love them!

i do realise this is everybody else's
'old news'
but they're too sweet to not show you..late or not!

i still haven't decided where they're going to hang

but i went out to lincraft this morning

to get a couple of possible contenders

for the 'stringing up part'...

...large navy ric rac?


...white rope?

what do you think?

i have thought about adding a few extras too,
maybe some selvedge inspired flags?

anyway i'm in no hurry...
i think they'll be hung up after xmas sometime
when i get back from taiwan.

what have you been up to today?

have a good one....

naturally Carol xox

Monday, November 14, 2011

Three Boxes...

of quilts!


i've had a bloggy break forced upon me in the last week and a bit
by my computer.
it decided to go slow..
then slower
until on tuesday morning,
just when three big boxes arrived
that i desperately wanted to tell you about;
it wouldn't even switch on.

no fan
just the sound of silence!

then last night
it switched on
but the internet kept returning to the home page!

this morning
mr t did his thing
and got it working for me again...
{he said one of the reasons for a 'go slow'
was that mr m had recorded a whole nights worth of moto gp..motorbike racing
at philip island!...40 gb worth!}

here are the boxes that arrived last tuesday...

i stacked them up in the front room to photograph
poor kara freaked out...

at first she wouldn't go past them
then with some encouragement
she raced past them and leapt on my lap...eeek!
she's not a small dog!

after the photoshoot
i took one box off and she was fine..haha

what was in the boxes?

quilts for queensland
from the delightful corrie...'retromummy'
from sydney
who has been working all year
...since the january floods...
to coordinate a quilt drive
for the flood affected people of queensland.

these quilts
will actually travel back down to brisbane
in a week and a half
to be taken further to ipswich,
where there are 1700 people
still living in conditions which were flood affected!

the organisation 'habitat for humanity'
will distribute these quilts to people who
could do with cheering up
and who need them...

there are all kinds..
for babies,
boys and  girls,

a big thank you
on behalf of queenslanders
for all the creative effort
that has gone into making these special quilts
by people all around australia!

i know they will be admired and treasured...
and used.

all being well
with the computer,
see ya later...

naturally Carol xox

ps...sorry to read that elodie is sick, corrie..i hope she is recovering fast. it is so worrying when babies are ill, especially for their parents.

Friday, November 4, 2011

On Friday, With Love...


i'm sending a bunch of friday love your way today...

just in case
you need some loving
to get you through today...

love and hugs
to all of you...

take as much as you need!

smiles are free
and laughter too
to get you through
the last day of the week.

whether your day is sunny

with joy, peace and love...

or rainy

with tears
or pain
or fear...

i just want to extend a bit of loving
and a special big hug..

to you

from me : )


naturally Carol xox

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday's Creative Love...


it's late afternoon and i've just turned the computer on.

today has been a day of unexpected events...
but theres a whole serving of love in this thursday as well.

mr t woke up this morning with an enormously severe back pain
that occurrs sporadically and without warning...
he was suffering yesterday
but it was unbearable this morning.

this called for a trip to emergency at the local hospital
so off we went.
safely delivered there with his wife to take care of him
i was able to respond to an invitation for lunch at chatz
which was a lot of fun...
lots of chatting and laughter.

when i got home mr t needed a 'script filled
so off we went again.

mr m also needed a little of his mum's support today...
but isn't that all in a day's duty for a mum?

it's all good now.

i thought we needed an double portion of love
in the family today...
so two hearts are better than one!

despite all of this,
this morning there was a couple of hours of time
for creativity...

i've never tried a 'disappearing nine patch' before..
but had a bit of a go with
a 'hullabaloo' charm pack by urban chiks at moda
and a few kona solid squares as well.

i don't know what else i'll add
but for the moment
these will do...

for more creative spaces...
join kootoyoo here!

there is still more to look forward to...
i think thursday is my favourite tv night at the moment.

7two has 'two thousand acres of sky'
which i'm revisiting 'cos i enjoyed the mini series so much
first time around...

and 'distant shores' which is another 'tree change' type adventure.
i'm really enjoying this too.

i'm off to jog around the blogs
so i may see you somewhere near!

stay happy this thursday...

naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big Wednesday Love!


what's wednesday's big love?

i'm thinking nautical...

blue skies shining on me
blue skies do i see...

blue oceans..i'm yearning.

{a set of five fifties inspired postcards came in the mail this morning...
i'm lovin' them too..lots of blue skies on this one!}

definitely a bit of summer love going on here this wednesday!

are you embracing the nautical this summer?

do you boat, fish, swim or just love that sparkling sea from the safety and comfort of the sand?

it's all good.

have a great sparkling sunshiney wednesday...

naturally Carol xox

wishing this post was written on a beach somewhere!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's Not to Love on a Tuesday?


this week i am right into sewing a few little selvedge inspired hearts,
so i'm doing a bit of loving this week as well...

tuesday love looks like this....

...there are always double point cappucinos at gj's and new movie releases at blockbuster!
{just in case i'm short on other stuff to do}

...better late than never this morning, prayer started at the same time as i got out of bed this morning,
but got there at 7.30 and still had a great time

...8.00 am cappucino with friends at chatz cafe woke me up properly

...another cuppa, bacon, eggs and tomato at chatz for brekky with a chapter of the book
i'm currently reading at around 10.00 am

...get home and change and go out with a broom to work up a sweat sweeping away the floral carpet
that the jacarandas have left on my front paths and driveway
{they turn into slime if the rain comes}

...peace & quiet for a couple of hours now, so i can blog etc while the rest have gone shopping, yay!

...tuesday night bible college, loving it, only 2 more weeks to go though and then have finished my
two year course

i wonder which horse 'll win the melbourne cup today...must watch

are you in melbourne cup mode today?
hope you win the sweepstakes...

naturally Carol xox

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Loving Monday 'Cos....


....the new blade on my rotary cutter is gliding through the fabric as though it were butter

...i'm hearing the hum of my sewing machine again

...i'm looking at the bountiful boughs of jacaranda blooms outside the window

...twentysomething mr p did the vacuuming voluntarily this morning with not even
a whisper from me!

...the breeze is cool and the smell of rain is fresh and invigorating

...the dogs are settled, the humans too, it's a peaceful monday.

some days it just feels good to be alive!

naturally Carol xox thoughts go out to our aussie soldiers and their families today....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Early Bird!

good morning!

this morning
i'm grateful that
'kara' woke me up with her barking...

{people were parking in her street}

so i had to get up early
they are having their spring fair
at the church across the road...

so i had to get dressed and go
to the fair
and as they say
'the early bird catches the worm'!

well today
i was that early bird....

here are my worms..hehe!

4 x 'johnson of australia' pale green luncheon plates @ 50c ea
{they only wanted $1 for the 4, but that was too cheap}

2 x lemons @ 20c ea
1 x brand new, in the packet still, ham bag @ 50c
4 x butterfly cakes for morning tea  @ $1.50
1 x sausage from the sausage sizzle (brekky) @ $2.00
{eaten already!}

then i remembered that lincraft has a 30% off sale for three days
beginning today.
well this early bird scored again...

more worms...

2 reels of thread 250m..a good brand
2 blades for my rotary cutter
1 new rotary cutting board

paid the princely sum of $22.00
for the lot
{30% off + a $10 discount voucher i had waiting for such an occasion!}

and i was home before 10.00 am

hows that?

hoping you find great bargains yourself this weekend...
check out 'maxabella's' place for more grateful ppls!

naturally Carol xox

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where Do You Get It?

hello, this showery friday evening!

it's lovely to be warm and cosy,
huddled over my computer,
tucked away
in a quiet corner
of my old queensland house.

these were some of the first cushions i ever made.

they were made from a pack of charm squares
'fandango' by kate spain for moda.

a few of you commented and asked me
where i get my fabrics from,
as you have said you like them.
{thanks for the compliment!}

i buy from 'hawthorne threads'....

my second choice is
the fat quarter shop....

i buy from these shops online
'cos the price is right
they have great fabrics...
a myriad of choices
if you buy 5 yards at a time
the postage is $12.50...american dollars...
which only adds on a couple of dollars a yard to each fabric.

not all online shops post overseas
but these two do...
and their service is excellent.

when i first bought fabric online
there was a company that i first bought from
whose prices were very low...
every now and then
they would short cut the fabric
send me pieces that were
several inches short of a yard!

{even after drawing their attention to this fact
they didn't admit to doing it either!}

i hope you have time to spend a few hours this weekend
just browsing and dreaming....

have a great weekend!

naturally Carol xox

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cherry Cherry!

hi to you, this cool queensland afternoon...
with stormy clouds hovering and the ground wet still from the night rain!

after making jeni's little drawstring bag last week,
i really wanted to make another one
'cos they're just so cute,
easy to make

i have made a layered frilly apron out of this fabric
and found some leftovers
so thought a bag would be just the thing...

this time i made the drawstrings out of fabric
as per the pattern
thought a lining of red and white polka dots
would look the bees knees...

thanks jeni!

the link above will take you to jeni's lined drawstring bag tutorial...
while you're there check out her other makes,
she is phenomenal.

i'm joining up with 'ourcreativespaces' today too...
thanks kootoyoo.

see you ' a red rubber ball..hehe!

naturally Carol xox

p.s...did you know that the 2012 colour of the year is about this colour?