Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year Ago...

hello again!
christmas has come and gone for another year...
it's that wonderful inbetween week.
it's a relief that christmas was peaceful
that we were able to take the time and enjoy each other's company
enjoy the preparations this year...
even though the day itself was stinking hot
by afternoon, after lunch we were all having nana naps...
totally zoned out.
i was brought back to reality by a phone call from family in nz...
it was nine at night there,
three hours ahead of us
and i had forgotten to ring them...and i think they were ready for bed!
i have been quietly reading about all your fantastic celebrations
and enjoying them all.
well, a year ago...
mr w and i and our son {no 3 son, below in the photo} phil were in taiwan.
steve {no 1 son } & amy were getting married...
 happy first anniversary to you both!
interestingly this celebration was just for the 'westerners'...
they had been officially married in a celebrant's office beforehand.
that morning there was a formal ceremony at the bride's house
where her parents 'gave' her to steve
and he had successfully answered the questions asked of him
by amy's family and friends.
at this ceremony
when they both vowed before God to take care of each other
then celebrated with us all at the reception.
that night,
on new year's eve
we were able to view the new year's arrival..of 2012,
from amy's work's roof
which had a fabulous view of the taipei 101's fireworks...
the start of a new year brings hope...
what are you believing for in the new year?
naturally Carol xox
p.s..amy & steve are expecting a baby boy at the end of may!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

About Christmas...

a big fat christmas hug to you all!
i've been waiting to find an excuse for a bit of nigella lighting...
and christmas is that opportunity!
{i've been admiring her lit up pantry shelves for months.}
i love having the excuse to buy gifts...
to eat the sweet delights i've fasted from over the last three months...
to have my mr w home for two weeks
as much of the family around as is possible these days.
as has already been said 'presence is much more important than presents'.
but there is a Presence
that puts purpose and perspective into the celebration of christmas
for me.

but have


...this says it all for me.

wishing you and your family

a thoroughly blessed and abundant


with heaps of fun, friendship and family


a peaceful, prosperous and joy filled

year to come!

xx  xx

i'll be back in the new year,
but will probably visit you between now and then
if you're around.

naturally Carol xox


Friday, December 21, 2012

Little Things Count...

good morning!
the christmas masterplan is all sorted...
the menu is planned and the short ribs ordered,
the turkey and ham are sourced.
the salads are decided,
the cooks have been put on contract...
the desert queen has relented to make trifle, choc marshmallow pud and tiramisu!
{rose & i made pompoms the other for the cat & one for the tree}
the tree is up and trimmed,
the prezzies bought and wrapped,
we're down to the details...
and little things count.
p.s this is the sideboard i want to paint..but haven't got 'round to it yet
like dusting off the sideboard,
making room for our daughter's card from canada...
{and yay! it's got lights!}
a couple of sweet deer
some washi taped jars...
to be filled with christmas treats.
simple & effective,
just a few little things.
what are you working on now?
have an especially nice day today!
naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Comfortable Place...

good afternoon!
it's so good to be sitting here again.
i've really missed you...
i know it's really only been a few days
but i love to get on here daily or at least every couple of days
and visit you all,
scattering comments like confetti,
laughing with you,
concerned for you and your families...maybe even shooting up a prayer...
or just quietly smiling as i read about your day.
this afternoon
i've realised that i feel relaxed here.
i can chat to you
and know that i've got a friend in you...
it is a comfortable place.
i've tried to be here this week
but i melted.
that day it was thirty nine degrees celsius here
and i could barely read my emails before finding a fan
in a cooler room!
i've still got a tiny bit of gift shopping to do
then i've really got to make out the lengthiest grocery list i'll have all year.
i think i'll take some strong men with me to help!
these delightfully wrapped gifts from giveaways at chantille-fleur
and bron@ taylor made arrived this week...
{thank you so much!}
and i know just what i'm going to do with them.
sarah jane's sweet presents are off to a three year old in cairns...far north queensland
bron's hand dyed pretty pink doilies are going to be attached to some more tiny totes
... all in good time.
wishing you all the cheeriest pre christmas week!
naturally Carol xox

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tree Trimming & Wrapping!

good afternoon!
the tree is trimmed
presents wrapped...
well, mostly anyway.
i got up early this morning
while it was still cool
most were sleeping
i assembled a cupcake wrapper garland for the tree.
then trotting back and forth
to the christmas boxes
slowly the tree looked sparkley and pretty.
i can see a bit of a green gap in the middle there,
though the tree looks better from the front but the light wasn't as good from there.
i may add a few more decorations
in the next few days,
i've still got some fimo to play with.
after breakfast
i started wrapping...
and wrapped...
went out for coffee with a friend...
came home and wrapped again.
i've still a few more to buy...
then i'll wrap again!
how about you?
naturally Carol xox

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Real Christmas Tree!

are you diving into your christmas 'to do' list?

two days ago
i would have said
i was dipping my toes into it...
messing around at the edge of my christmas preparations.
i launched into my christmas shopping with gusto!
three fifths done..yay!
now the tree,
that was a different matter...
in fact it's two trees..hehe!
the tree that was supposed to be full and seven feet high ...
was promised for yesterday.
three times
we went to the shop
and were met with reasons why the tree hadn't travelled up the highway yet.
at 6.30 pm last night
after being reassured that it indeed was on it's way
we asked them to put it in a tub of water
and keep it 'til morning.
this morning
it was there.
i think the lady must have seen my face drop with disappointment
at seeing the trees.
they were lean and lanky.
she sold me an extra one for five dollars
so i could tie them together to look fuller.
when max {our wildly furry friend in the photo}
saw them he was so excited that i decided to make the most of them
love them too.
they will scent the house with pine
...and give us real pine needles to sweep up each day..{hehe!}
..and i will decorate them with homemade cupcake bunting
and other delights.

even though decorating the trees
will wait another day,
the washing up will not.

i can still plan and dream though
even when my hands are wrist deep in suds!

i hope your christmas plans
are coming on a treat...


naturally Carol xox

Monday, December 10, 2012

Summer Apron...

isn't it lovely
when you get to the end of a little list
the last item
gets a big tick.
this summer apron
has got the tick of approval from it's new owner
so i'm happy too.
blue skies and sunshine
are the essence of summer
don't you think?
...not to mention
sprigs of fresh green with tiny red buds...
how could i not be energised
sewing this sweet combination of fabrics?
the details make sewing fun...
cute buttons & a bit of selvedge
ric rac trim
'if' embroidery tag
all wrapped up in a bow!
tailored to fit
a standard sized dining room chair..hehe!
i'm hoping this sweet monday
is the start of a sunny week for you all...
naturally Carol xox

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Zig Zag Bag!

do you remember what my goals were for last saturday?
well i really didn't expect that you would
after all i can hardly remember that far back myself!
i wanted to sew the 2 cushions for miss a's 'being renovated' room...tick!
i also wanted to finish the last of 3 bags for ms it's a tick for that as well...
{...and the apron..well i cut that out just this morning!}
my list is nearly done.
this is my 'zig zag bag'
the last of three bags for ms d...
i love the way the zig zags make other geometric forms
when two bits of zig zag meet.
last year was so busy and emotionally fraught
as we tried to get ready for the wedding in taiwan
that i can't really even remember enjoying the lead up to christmas.
this year i am having a good time.
i am enjoying all of the end of year parties...
i've loved picking out funny presents for my daughter & partner in canada
and wrapping and sending off their parcel...
i'm loving sewing a few presents for other people to give at christmas...
i'm going to enjoy decorating a real christmas tree this year.
this morning i found a sign outside a local fruit & veg shop...
christmas trees
i was beginning to think it wasn't going to happen.
well maybe this wednesday there will be a delivery
and i will have an 8 foot high
real christmas tree in my lounge room...
i will try not to 'count my chickens'
just in case.
i can't wait for that piney christmas tree scent to bring pure joy to my nostrils!
are you enjoying the christmas season
this year?
naturally Carol xox
p.s...the little red card at the top was in my kikki.k box of goodies delivered this morning.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Something Borrowed...

though nothing blue!
just the sweet old-fashioned
bloom of frangipani...
i gave mr m a mission a few days ago.
as we don't have any blooming frangipani's in our yard,
i said
'if you find a branch hanging over the footpath on your daily walk
please pick a sprig for me?'
he declared
all the branches on neighbouring trees
were too high
or not growing over the path.
then last night
as i sat in the cool of the evening
watching tv,
he came in to the lounge room...
'here' he said, ' i found one'.
i put it tenderly in a jar of water, hoping it would still be beautiful this morning.
it was...
and the scent is heavenly!
whoever you are
that owns this tree...
please forgive
naturally Carol xox

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Making Christmas Meringues...

hi there!
today we celebrated the year of 'mainly music'
with many mums & bubs & toddlers...
it was a happy and excited bunch
who came to sing and munch!
yesterday in preparation
my brainwave was to make some christmassy meringues...
i thought they may just pass for summery snowballs.
wanting to jazz them up a little
i wanted to top them with some colour...
but not 100's & 1000's
or those silver balls..they can be a bit hard to bite into.
vaguely remembering someone's hint somewhere
i thought i'd make my own coloured sugar to sprinkle on them...
it's easy peasy...
take 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar..ordinary white stuff.
place in a largish container with a lid that is sealable.
place one or two drops...max. three or four...of food colouring onto the sugar.
there you have it ...coloured sugar.
sprinkle on whatever you like...just like you would sugar.
it just adds pizazz!
now for the meringues...
i'm recommending you just find your own basic meringue mixture
'cos i thought i'd be smart and use
one and a half times the mixture...
which was basically
4 egg whites & 3/4 cup sugar & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.
instead i used 6 eggs.
i found out later why the mixture isn't that big originally...
'cos you have to fit all your meringues in the oven in one go
'cos they take 1 and a 1/2 hours {on 120 celsius} to cook.
by then ..if you had mixture left to cook...
it would be flat..
meringues are mainly air, lots and lots of air.

{christmas trees???}
 meringues are fun food.
fun to make.
fun to cook
most of all
fun to eat!
there were a few leftover.
i may try making eton mess for desert...
if they last 'til nightfall.
a meringue marengo...that would be fun too...haha!
naturally Carol xox

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


good afternoon!
i really was teasing you yesterday,
wasn't i?
christina's gorgeous parcel
was worth waiting for though.
wasn't that a clever idea to make those little cuts
in the card to hold them on
keep them safe while in the mail.
if you can't quite read christina's details
want to visit her lovely blog...
here is a link to 'christina's blog'.
how did christina know
that i am very keen on a red/white combination
of colours this year?
i wrote that i didn't have a colour preference
to make it easier for someone to create something for me...
now i'm over the moon!
thank you christina!
today i've been making meringues
for the mainly music christmas party tomorrow.
i've sprinkled them with homemade coloured sugar
and put them in christmassy paper cases...
i'll show you tomorrow.
'til then
naturally Carol xox

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Look What Arrived!

this arrived by post today...
so exciting!
is this gorgeousness or what?
it's from christina...
she made it for me for the ornament swap.
i'll show you what's inside tomorrow..he he!
{actually my photos of the contents ended up rubbish..
so i'll have to take another lot..sorry}
it's a happy, hot tuesday here,
hope yours is good too!
naturally Carol xox

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew Stitchy Bird Cushion...

good afternoon!
sweltering hot
i'm here at my computer
with the fan blowing on my back
wishing a breeze
would sweep through the window
and cool my reddening face.
speaking of red...
the second cushion is finished.
this will go on miss a's bed
at the completion of her bedroom makeover..
{which her mum is doing while she's in thailand...see previous posts}
this one was smooth sailing.
i cut it out in the cool of the evening on sunday
while the church across the road
serenaded carols from their front lawn
during their annual christmas celebration.
living across the road from a church
certainly has benefits!
{i have found the secret of getting an even row of studs.
 i did the ones that show on the outside first
then if the bottom halves are slightly crooked it doesn't matter...
'cos they're not showing.
i did it the other way around last time
and they looked slightly skewiff on the back of the aqua cushion.}
early on sunday morning...
well, not that early, 6 am,
i woke up the household for a few minutes
while i hammered the studs in
and finished off a few seams.
the red cushion was finished before i went to church just after 8.
{..and i got the washing up done before church as well!}
i will hand them over to go to their new home
'cos miss a arrives home at the end of this week.
this morning i started on the final bag for miss d...
it is wonderful looking at all your beautiful winter pictures
as i swelter here..
i find them so refreshing,
even though i love summer flowers and ocean pics too.
have a marvellous monday...whatever the temperature!
naturally Carol xox