Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Have You Seen?

good evening!
i usually don't write a post this late
as already my eyes are prickling and ready for sleep...
if there are a few zzzzzz's flowing from the script
just tuck me into bed for the night!
do you ever press the 'next blog' link at the top of your blog?
i do occasionally
mostly they lead to dead ends with subject matter that is not really up my alley
but the other day
i found a whole string of people who make miniature things like doll's houses.
these pics were absolutely wonderful
and captured my imagination...
it is a miniature house built into a guitar case...how special is it?
check out the amazing furniture and fittings...the lights, the bath and shower!
from a little person's perspective.
as far as i could tell the artist was paris reefroe
and can be found at http://www.prdminiatures.com
isn't his work amazing?
when i was a child i desperately wanted a doll's house...
i never had one
but from time to time would make bits of tiny furniture,
beds and chairs out of matchboxes mostly.
did you own a doll's house when you were young?
do you have one now?
have a wonderful day tomorrow
sleep well tonight....good night all...
naturally Carol xox

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Monday Finish...

hi, good afternoon!
yesterday morning i cut out another tote before church.
after church i settled down to sew again
ran out of light blue cotton.
i dashed over to lyncraft..but wouldn't you know it,
i was ten minutes too late...so had to go back again today before any progress could be made.
this one's for my friend to give to her mum for christmas.
i'm trading this for a beautiful soy candle in a lovely glass for ms s's birthday in november...
i don't think she reads this a lot so i'm pretty safe telling you!
i've just finished it.
i'm pleased with how it turned out..the colours are fresh and lively
and the fabric is silky soft.
i'm not sure whether that's good or not for a bag...
well, feels nice anyway.
it's made with 'nicey jane' that was on special at hawthorne threads last month...
it was a great sale.
now i'm sitting down with a coffee,
christening my new coffee mugs that i won from em at "teacups too"...
and procrastinating really,
'cos i've got a document i have to type out
and i'm talking to you instead!
i must admit i'm enjoying the cool respite we're having here from the heat.
work is not as much effort and i like the moody clouds hanging overhead
and the fresh wind...i know that the heat will be back again very soon.
i hope you're enjoying your monday too...
naturally Carol xox

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wrapping Up Saturday Morning!

a big hello to you this gorgeous saturday!
earlier in the week
mr p asked me if i could make something for a four year old's birthday.
it is for his friend's niece.
so on wednesday i cut out a cushion cover...
this morning there it was looking at me..still unsewn.
an hour later
after discovering that my buttonholer won't work ...at all...
just keeps sewing on the same spot...what the???
i made a simple envelope opening/closing cover
then of course i wrapped it up without thinking of taking a photo!
here are the elements...
add some of your wild imaginationings...
and this..that i made a couple of weeks ago...
bright yellow tissue paper
hot pink wrapping paper
loud lime ribbon
black/pink polka dotted tape
...and it was a wrap!
and then there was this most delicious chocolatey scent
wafting over from the kitchen...
mr m {just back home to stay for a while}
had made these...
chocolate date scones {biscuits in american speak}
topped liberally with coconut
no...i've never eaten these before either!
i was assured that there was only 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in the whole mix,
so i had a couple for brunch..yum!
knowing him,
he would have just made up the recipe as he went along.
it was well worth filling up the pantry for last night...
doing that big grocery shop i've been putting off a while..hehe!
enjoy your weekend...
naturally Carol xox

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Meaning of Life...

good afternoon!
i've had a quiet week really.
apart from a couple of social excursions...one this morning...
i've pretty much stayed at home
yesterday, even had some time to clean out my pantry.
when mr t moved back home from brisbane and his cheffing job
he contributed to our herb and spice cabinet with bulk supplies...
i found three different containers holding ground ginger
the black cardamom had been destroyed by embedded moths.

i found a few aussie staples..vegemite..two jars???
cockies joy, aussie slang for golden syrup...used by bushmen to sweeten up their campfire baked damper...
a few baking supplies...

...and an impressive lineup of brekky cereals..this is only half of them!
there isn't much else though.
i've been deliberately running down the supplies,
knowing this was a task that just needed to be done
but now need to get out and do a big, big shop.
from the mundane to the philisophical...
i was listening to the radio this morning and ravi zacharias was speaking.
he said something i just had to write down to remember.
it made a lot of sense to me...
the meaning of life.
to feel as though our lives have meaning we need
 {being inspired, finding new insights, being wowed ...being bored kills us}
what do you think?
i was inspired by naomi@sevencherubs earlier this week
when she talked about having a store of food supplies
which she uses to not only feed her own family well with but to bless the lives of others.
thanks naomi for adding some 'wonder' to my life this week...
inspiring me to take stock of my own food store!
where have you found some 'wonder' this week?
naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sun Moon Lake...

we arrived at sun moon lake at dusk
after winding our way through layers of tree covered mountains
and the winter mist was curling in around us.

we found the 'rich forest hotel'
and settled in for the night.
our rooms overlooked the lake...literally.
we fed the fish below from our tiny balconies
and fell asleep listening to the  gentle lap lap lapping of the lake.

there are seven mountain ranges to count
all in different shades of blue
the colour of the water is ever changing
depending on the season, the weather and the time of day.
that is why the taiwanese love this lake mrs t told me...
she is taiwanese.
sun moon lake's name comes from
the shape.
the eastern part is round like the sun
and the western part is a crescent, like a crescent moon.
the 'thao' aborigines are the local indigenous people.
these are my sons..mr p and mr s with ms a...new daughter in law.
we had a boat ticket that dropped us off at whatever destination round the lake that we wanted,
then every fifteen minutes another boat would come along
so we could leave whenever we wanted to.
here we bought 100 day old eggs for morning tea.
the woman who makes them is famous..she has made them for the last fifty years.
mr p looked a bit unsure here,
but they were delicious and we ate a couple each.

...sailing past the fishing pontoons

 ...manmade 'islands'.
these little grassy islands have been made to be shelters for the fish on the lake
which makes the fish easier to catch!

... a pagoda on the skyline

after circumnavigating the lake twice
we were more than ready for a hot lunch
as the winter clouds swept in and mist descended again.
it was one of those days
where the moodiness of the weather
was part of the drama
and the sheer beauty engulfed your senses...
invigorating & awesome.

naturally Carol xox

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Special Post...

good afternoon!
yesterday i got a really special visit from our local postie.
she delivered a parcel from em @ teacupstoo!
i was looking forward to this parcel
'cos i'd won a set of four beautiful unique mugs from her just over a week ago
couldn't wait for them to arrive.
it was better than christmas!
em wrote me a lovely note
and enclosed a small tissue wrapped present with a tiny bunch of pressed flowers...sweet.
the parcel had heaps of amazing stamps all over it
which i've carefully cut off to keep.
by the time i'd finished unpacking,
the table was heaped with boxes and tissue paper...i was in child mode!
now, you can just admire them with me.
look at those peachy colours
gorgeous shapes
soft woolly goodness of the coasters that em made for me...
that's what was in the little present!
they go perfectly with my brekky mats
and have pride of place now on my mug shelf in the kitchen
so i can reach up anytime
just above the kettle
and choose a colour to match my mood...
or share the prettiness with my friends!
thanks em!
thanks also to 'the source' who gave em the mugs to giveaway.
i hope your week brings wonderful surprises your way...
naturally Carol xox


Monday, October 22, 2012

The Cure...

for a dose of mondayitus...
...is a cup of jacaranda tea preferably made in your grandmother's teacup,
don't you think?
a funny thing happened yesterday.
i had a strong urge to ring my brother.
{that is not really funny in itself!}
i hadn't spoken to him for probably four months
and just wanted to catch up and see how he was.
it just so happened
that he was only half an hour away
heading in my direction
from out of town.
i quickly vacuumed up the dog hair off the floor
and was on the phone to my sister in nz
and he walked in the door...
and there were the three of us, having a conversation together..kind of.
how good was that?
but that's not all...
due to my brother shifting house a lot with work
sometimes we still get some of his mail.
inside one of the letters
was a renewal of his teacher's license
{he isn't able to enter a classroom to teach without a current license!}
...due this week
a fact that he wasn't aware of 'til yesterday.
a fortuitous phone call!
how good was that.

p.s...look what just came in the mail!

it will be the mugs i won from em @ teacups too! yay!
i'll unpack these now and show you tomorrow!!

i think the jacaranda tea in granny's teacup definitely cures mondayitus..
naturally Carol xox

Friday, October 19, 2012

Velvet Dress...

this small velvet dress...
size 1
just never left miss b's wardrobe.
i bought it when she was 9 months old.
she wore it on her first aeroplane trip to new zealand
to meet her nz grandparents for the first time.
she wore clarke's black patent shoes in a size 3,
'bubbles' was the name of the design...
with cream woollen ribbed tights.

when she grew
other new dresses crowded around the small velvet dress
but i couldn't pass it on.
it didn't even get packed away in a suitcase or box
it just stayed.
eventually miss b packed up and left home
with her small velvet dress.
when she went to canada to live with mr g
she gave me the small velvet dress to hang up in my wardrobe...
and there it stays.
the small velvet dress is thirty years old.
naturally Carol xox


Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Thursday...

hi guys!
this is where i was this morning...
this is 'my kindy'
we have 'mainly music' here on thursday mornings.
{up close and personal with the 'illawarra flame tree'..isn't it gorgeous?}
mainly music is for babies to four year olds with their mummas.
there is a musical programme where everybody gets to sing and make music and dance
then there is morning tea for the kids and then morning tea for the mummas and papas...
yes, we often get papas!
i sit at the front table, meeting and greeting and collecting the three dollars it costs for a session.
i talk to the mummas as though i'm talking to you...
a friendly hello and a big smile
then some happy talk and sometimes some commiserations,
mostly encouragement..'cos they really are a fantastic bunch of mummas,
occasionally a little tiny word of advice...'cos i've been there and my own have grown.
i love it 'cos seeing those little faces
lights up my own...
it only takes a small red star stamp on a pudgy fist
to make a smile appear
then off they go skipping to find their best friends.
what do you do on thursday mornings?
naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Pink Pompom Tree!

{wordless wednesday}
the pink pompom tree & the bee.

let's sit under the pompom tree...
me, you & she
that makes three.
naturally Carol xox

p.s...linking in with {wordless wednesday}australia at 'my little drummer boys' with trish!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wandering Taiwan...

good afternoon!
how has your day been so far?
mine's been good...i've just got home from a whole morning of coffeeing with friends
and then lunching with friends too.
isn't it amazing that good company just fills up those empty corners of your soul
and life feels full of goodness again!
i've been wandering amongst my holiday snaps again too
this week we're off to the 'national palace museum' in taipei.
i couldn't take photos inside the museum...
probably not even inside the cafe there, but i did.
the main exhibition there at the time was made up of chinese artifacts
that had been taken out of china during a revolution and stored in taiwan.
it was fascinating as some of these items were three thousand years old and more.

to me there was a distinct likeness to artifacts i've seen in books from the incas of south america,
other pieces looked as though they had influences from the south pacific...
well probably it was the other way around,
the south pacific islanders were influenced by the chinese!

have a look at the designs under the eaves on this building,
think they look very similar to a south pacific style...
other exhibits, including the totem pole on the front lawn seemed to have an american indian feel in the design.
i was surprised at the amount of space and bush around taipei...
in my ignorance i had thought it was a vast concrete jungle,
but there was pristine bush clad hills all over the country
and beautiful gardens everywhere around taipei.

 on a different day we took a gondola ride up and down some of the hills around taipei,
it ended up in a tea growing area where we had something to eat and a drink
before coming back again...
if it was earlier and warmer it would have been wonderful to stop off at the zoo there as well,
but it was winter and the day was closing in on us.

mid way through looking at the exhibits
we stopped for lunch...

in the background you can see the neatly wrapped sandwiches.
the cakes were beautifully presented and delicious.
for the two of us...and including an extra set of sandwiches each,
it worked out at about $15..very inexpensive by australian standards.

by the time we left at about 5pm, most of the crowd was leaving too.
the huge front foyer was crowded and tour buses, brightly painted in lime, purple, red and blue, with lacy curtains and fanciful stickers on the windows...even 'hello kitty' themed,
 lined up along the kerb outside.
the buses only stopped for a few minutes while japanese, chinese and taiwanese tourists got on
and then left.
more than a hundred would have pulled up one by one as we waited for my son to pick us up.

next time
i think we'll visit sun moon lake!

naturally Carol xox

p.s...don't forget to visit 'christina lowry designs'  to sign up this week for the christmas ornament swap.


Monday, October 15, 2012

A Little Bird Told Me...

...that there will be an
'ornament swap'
this year!
are you interested?
i am
i've signed up at christina's blog to enter!
isn't it a great idea?
thanks christina.
go over here and sign up now
'cos entries close on october 21...so we only have a week,
but we have until the end of november to make and post it.

these pics are off our 2010 black and white tree;
we normally have another pine with coloured ornaments too.
this year i would love to have a real tree though...
what are you planning?
or is it too far ahead yet to have thought anything?
last year we were preparing for our son's wedding in taipei
and didn't really celebrate much at all..it was too close and too stressful.
i'm looking forward to a christmas at home this year
with a few handmade goodies to boot.
i can't wait to see what everybody makes...
i can't wait to see what i come up with, come to think of it,
hopefully inspiration will hit.
all the best
naturally Carol xox

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Mac Cheese!

good afternoon!
good ol' comfort food...
mac cheese on a sunday for a late lunch
so noone has to cook when the afternoon heat hits the kitchen
we can nibble on bits 'n pieces for dinner..hehe!

you can't beat it for tastiness.
our stove top isn't working,
one element has a faulty connection where it won't turn off
so we just turned it all off at the wall to be safe.
this was made by cooking the macaroni in the microwave...
the largest pyrex bowl we have
a packet of macaroni covered and with an extra knuckle's depth of water, for 20 mins.
the cheese sauce was made in the electric wok!
then everything assembled and into the oven for 25 mins to brown the top.
mr t just puts cheese on top when he makes it...
i thought a few panko breadcrumbs would make the top extra crunchy.
it worked, a great texture contrast.

we've made this three times in the last fortnight.
funnily enough, mr t couldn't remember ever having it in his life before then.
i'm sure i have made it once or twice before in the twenty four years he's existed on this planet!
we go through food fads in this household...
currently as you may have noticed
it's pancakes with maple syrup & mac cheese!
does your household have a current favourite?
naturally Carol xox


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gathering In!

good morning!
i have read
that there is a time for everything under heaven.
well thank goodness for that,
'cos i have had nearly a full year of using up my fabric stash
to the point of not really being able to make much
as the fabrics there are a bit disjointed...not much of the 'this goes with that' going on.
i've made cushions and pillowcases,
totes and tiny totes,
stuffed hearts and even a little dog
even a few curtains!
a girl has to build again
gather in more fabric loveliness to create again...
 from top to bottom...right to left these are:

backyard baby -  ant maze, windy days & lotsa dots

sew stitchy - redwork stitched bird & glass hexagons

children at play - balloon & school gingham

nicey jane - picnic bouquet & pocketbook

gypsy caravan - turkish paisley & deco dots

i tend to buy 'from the heart'
so i can see quite a few 'little girl' & 'baby' fabrics..
maybe a couple of totes...who knows?

these are from 'the fat quarter shop' & 'hawthorne threads',
my two favourite online shops.

i'm sure i'll be needing more very soon,
more grown up designs and basics,
as i still haven't filled the gaps...
do you ever?

thankfully life is looking sunnier this morning;
it's amazing what a good night's sleep can do... & prayer.
we ended up having pancakes for dinner last night...
you are going to laugh, all those of you who only eat them for dessert!
i had to test the new queen no sugar maple flavoured syrup...
sorry 'queen'.
a little lacking in flavour.
next time i think a little of the real maple syrup..no sugar included...
would be a better option.
it was worth a try and is better than dry pancakes
so i give them that.
the pancake mix by the pancake parlour didn't let me down though!

have a marvellous saturday...

naturally Carol xox

Friday, October 12, 2012

Heartbreak Hotel

sometimes this is where we live.
my kids have grown up
but just like when they're little
it's heartbreaking when they make the wrong choices
and the consequences are hard to live through...
for them and for us.
believing for a miracle or two here!
on a lighter note...
i found these yummy low or no sugar treats
at the supermarket to make saturday morning brekky more delicious.
have you seen these before?
buttermilk pancake mix from the pancake parlour....just add milk for really high fluffy pancakes,
these have 5g sugar per 100g..pretty good
queen maple syrup...the new no sugar variety..yes it is artificially sweetened,
i haven't tried this yet but if it tastes good it's worth a go
otherwise i'll head back to the pure maple syrup.
{you do have to be careful though 'cos one variety i picked up had sugar as a main ingredient
even though it said 'maple syrup' on the label!}
i love these coffees...
absolutely no sugar, the flavouring is in little beads and permeates the whole cup.
my favourite is actually caramel...
a surprise to me as i thought that would be my least favourite before i tasted them.
a warning though
...once you get one variety you find you're collecting the whole bunch!
by the way i didn't get paid or prompted to show you these.
every now and then a few things come onto the market that are a bit special,
don't you find that?
have a wicked good weekend!
naturally Carol xox

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This Thursday...

it's just started to rain.
i love...
the sight of flowing rainwater...
haha! that downpipes a joke,
around here it flows through the holes in the guttering,
probably inside the pipe it's bone dry!
i love...
the sound of rain on the tin roof
of the trickling water as it runs in rivulets from that holey guttering
plops onto the ground below.
i love...
the cooling touch of the fine rainspray
swept in by the wind
across from the jacaranda trees
and in through the kitchen window.
i'm anticipating...
the garden filled with raindiamonds
dripping from the trees
shining in the rainclear air!
i can almost hear
the earth whispering 'thank you'
as it sponges up every last drop.
rain or shine
i hope your day is fine...
naturally Carol xox