Friday, 28 December 2007

Christmas And Boxing Day

I love looking at other people's blogs around Christmas time. It's interesting to read about the way people celebrate the holiday season all over the world. (It's also inspiring ~ after reading Northern American blogs I've taken to Christmas baking.) Carola, has written a lovely post about Swedish traditions.

Christmas celebrations are always a team effort for my family. My mother readies the house for overnight guests, we all cook and my baby sister puts up the decorations. Last year we ate Christmas dinner under the stars, with lots of twinkling lights:

This year, my sister decorated with Chinese lanterns:

I made a pavlova, the national dessert of Australia and New Zealand ~ my first:

As you can see, I topped it with strawberries, milk chocolate and passionfruit. It was (she says immodestly) delicious. Nigella has a similar recipe to the one I used (if you take out the chocolate in the meringue) here.

We celebrated Christmas in the evening because it was so hot, scorchingly so ~ Christmas Day was 40.1 degrees celcius. The following day was even hotter, a sizzling 44.2 degrees celcius ~ Perth was the hottest city on the planet on Boxing Day. I stayed inside, underneath the ceiling fans, eating left~overs (Dad's roast chicken, beef and potatoes with red~wine gravy, my sister's pumpkin and pine nut salad, lots and lots of chocolate...mmmmmmmm), watching old movies and , finally, finding the time for some more crocheting (hooray!). I made a Pink Shells dishcloth out of some gorgeous Peaches n Creme cotton that I bought from The Wool Shack.

Christmas was a simple but lovely time for me.
I'm not planning on taking down the decorations any time soon, I'd like to savour the season's memories instead.
I hope that you also had a wonderful holiday, wherever in the world you were.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Beaded Snowflakes

Yesterday, in between cleaning up my dusty home before a friend came over for drinks and busily making cards so that I could post them out in time for Christmas, I took a little break and beaded some snowflakes:

I was only going to make one, seeing as I had so much else to do, but they were so much fun, and so quick, to assemble I ended up making three:

... and I'm going to make some more today so that I can give them away as little gifts.

There is an excellent tutorial for constructing these over at Beading Daily. (These snowflakes would be great to make with children too.)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Love On A String

I'm finally on holidays! Yay!
I spent all of Saturday crafting, which was heavenly,
and a lot of crocheting was done.
Unfortunately I can't post any of it here yet because it's for a swap
but I can show you some of the jewellery that I made.

Here's a close up of a necklace that I put together:

I made the necklace out of glass beads and semi~precious stones, stringing them on to tiger tail. The beautiful marled green stone you can see in the foreground is called prehnite. I also used rose quartz and aventurine. I love the properties that these stones are supposed to have ~ both the aventurine and the quartz are said to provide comfort and heart healing; the rose quartz is meant to engender feelings of unconditional love.

I made a memory wire bracelet to match:

This was made out of rose quartz, glass and bugle beads.
Actually, I'm going to reassemble this. I've decided that I'd like to include some of the aventurine chips that are in the necklace. I also want to add some blown glass focal beads that have been lying, forgotten, in my stash. These focal beads are made out of clear glass with little pink rosebuds encased inside, and I think they would look really sweet.

Lastly, here's the necklace and the memory bracelet, along with a carved jade bangle that I always wear.

I wanted all of these pieces to work together and I'm happy with the match.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

A Small White Rose and the Chooky Dancers

My garden continues to delight. Here is a bloom that's been picked from the little rose bush that sits by my back door:

and, speaking of delights, have you seen this
~ a fabulous YouTube DVD?
It's a record of an indigenous dance troupe called the Chooky Dancers, from the top end of Australia, who are dancing to Zorba the Greek.

Watching this made me feel glad to be alive...and sentimental.
I used to be a music teacher, working in a very multicultural school (thirty different cultures were represented in our student body) and this troupe reminds me of some of my indigenous students, who used to dance an incredibly beautiful, unmistakably Aboriginal, very ancient stomp.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


I am rising early these mornings.
I'm usually awake by 6:00 a.m. and the first thing I do is go out into the garden. I like the soft light, the stillness, the cool air and, most of all, I love the perfume. The honeysuckle is flooding my courtyard with sweet scent.
It smells so delicious!

I also have a small, fragrant gardenia:

These quiet beginnings offer a peaceful respite in otherwise busy and pressured (but rewarding) work days.

...and, whilst on the topic of gorgeous perfumes, I've been using two incredibly refreshing aromatherapy sprays from Verissima House. One is called Peace of Mind Mist
and the other Pillow Spray for Sweet Dreams.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Simple Christmas Ornaments

I'm planning on putting up my decorations this weekend so I've been digging around in my stash of tinselly things. I came across some little tree ornaments I've made and I photographed some of them this afternoon.
Here is a small glass bauble that's been drizzled with glitter glue:

This is super simple and good to make with little children (...and isn't that blue sky in the background beautiful?)

Here's another ornament that I've made with youngsters ~ an ever so slightly skew whiff wooden star:

This was made with clothes pegs that were stuck together with PVA (white) glue and sprayed with gold paint.

Here is a little beaded star that I've constructed with wire and beads:

...and here's one of my favourites:

It isn't really simple, I know.
It hasn't been made by me either, but I think it's lovely.
I bought it last year from a beautiful gift store called Lotus and was really excited to find a tutorial to make ornaments just like it, with cookie cutters, over at Sunshine's Creations.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


I'm managing to get around to a little bit of Christmas creativity ~ in between paperwork I'm doing a few rounds of crochet or buying beading supplies...
Happily, I'm going to have time this weekend to get down to some serious crafting. I don't have any recent creations to show on this blog though because I've been so busy with my job, so here's a small pastel and pencil sketch of poinsettias that I drew, very quickly, a few years ago. I used it for some of my Christmas cards:

I usually make my own Christmas cards. This festive season, I'm thinking about using the photos I took of an Australian Painted Lady butterfly as a subject. Then again, I might use a photo I shot of a little, delicate, lemon coloured Cabbage White butterfly. Maybe I'll use watercolour paper and soft graphite pencils and oil crayons...or maybe I'll run out of time and end up photoshopping a butterfly drawing I've already done...Whatever I end up doing, I know I'll have fun playing with images.

Saturday, 1 December 2007


I had a fabulous time at Fremantle Art Centre's Bazaar last night. I hung out with my baby sister, caught up with friends, drank champagne and shopped shopped shopped.
What more could a girl want?

Here are some beautiful handmade goodies that I purchased, some from last night and some from last year.

These are made by a ceramicist called Amanda Harris:

(I bought these at last year's Bazaar, but Amanda has a stall this year too.)

This is a candle made by Golden Hill Candles:

It looks even prettier in real life.

I bought this necklace last night. This is by a jeweller, artist and film maker called Risa Herman (who I had a really interesting chat with) :

(I'm wearing this necklace as I type this blog entry, and I'm loving it!)

...and my favourite buy,
a vintage button bracelet, also by Risa Herman:

There were lots of other fabulous tables. I was really inspired by the FeltWEST stall. I'd love to participate in some of their workshops next year. The good news for Perth peeps is that Bazaar is on again tomorrow.

...and on an equally bright note ~ I have just finished most of my paperwork (that I've been grizzling about for the past five posts or so) and I've managed to meet the deadline
which means Sunday is all mine! Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!!!!