Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Cheer!

Another Christmas over! It is now time to look forward to the New Year. 2008 was a good year for me! We got though it without any major problems, can we ask for anything more? If 2009 is like 2008 I will be very happy!
There have been a few tings I can cross off my list of things I've never done before!
1. Starting a blog! This is something I really enjoy doing. I love sharing my ideas and accomplishments with friends all over the world.
2. Driving through the City (Melbourne) I've only gotten my Drivers Licence 2 years ago (I know rather late in life!) and was just too chicken to drive in the city. Now I know it was very late at night and there wasn't much traffic, but I still did it! (just don't tell the mother in law! my excuse for not being able to come to the family Christmas was that Hubby had to work and I can't drive in the City!)

We also spend a lovely evening with Miss Muggins and her husband. I was forced to try out Singstar (another thing to cross of the done list), and my hubby had trouble letting go of the microphone! It seems we're getting Singstar at home too ( thanks very much Miss Muggins!!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Tomorrow is Christmas! Can you believe it is already here??
2008 has certainly flown! It seems like it was only last week that we were getting ready for Christmas 2007!
I've made so many new friends and re-connected with old ones through starting my blog and I've also gotten a whole lot of new ideas from my friends blogs.
I'm looking forward to sharing my little blog with everyone in the next year!
So from me and my family a wonderful Christmas and an fantastic New Year!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus!

This to me says Christmas

Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old."Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus."Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.'"Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Coolidge

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Found this Tag on Jenn's blog and thought it be fun to join in!

These are the rules

Rule #1 ~ Link to the person that tagged you.

Rule #2 ~ Post the rules on your Blog.

Rule #3 ~ Write 6 random things about yourself.

Rule #4 ~ Tag 6 people at the end of your post.

Rule #5 ~ Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their Blog.

Rule #6 ~ Let the tagger know your entry is up

1. I absolutely HATE doing dishes

2. I can't sleep if I don't read at least 30 min first

3. My eldest was a no pain no contracion home birth! ( Oh don't hate me! I made up for it with 3 painful c-sections!)

4. I want to get my nose pierced

5. I didn't get my drivers licence until I was 42

6. I wanted to become Mrs Donny Osmond when I was younger, and used to practice my signature for ages just in case! (mind you I spoke no English at the time and I'm sure Donny's Dutch wasn't too good)

Rather than tag, Ill just leave this here and if anyone wants to join in go ahead:)

Recipe Tuesday


Growing up in Holland near the German border I grew up on having this at Christmas time. Stollen were made by most of the women on my dad's side of the family, and I remember eating it after Midnight Mass with hot cocoa and with lots of butter on it!

3 3/4 cups flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
3 teaspoons yeast
8 Tbsp. softened sweet butter
1 Tbsp. lard (or butter)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. rum
pinch of ground cinnamon
grated peel of 1/2 lemon
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup candied lemon peel
1/4 cup candied orange peel
1 1/4 cup raisins
For basting:
6 Tbsp. milk (room temperature)
8 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup powered sugar


Sift the flour into a bowl and make a crater in the center. Into the crater, add 1/4 c. of the confectioners' sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and dust the yeast with a little flour. Let the yeast develop for 15-20 minutes.

Add the butter, lard, egg, salt, remaining sugar, vanilla extract, rum, cinnamon, grated lemon peel, slivered almonds, candied lemon and orange peels, and raisins. Add only enough of the remaining milk to make dough pliable. Knead thoroughly and cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rise overnight.

Knead again for 1 minute then shape the dough into a loaf and put it on a large buttered baking sheet. Use your fingertips to push back into the dough any raisins that may have popped up to prevent scorching. Baste the loaf with tablespoons of milk and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes. Stollen must turn golden brown. Test to make sure it is done with a toothpick.

Baste the stollen generously wih butter while it is still hot, then sprinkle with powered sugar. Repeat this process in order to attain a nice white surface and to help keep the stollen fresh and moist for several weeks. It's best to store for at least a week before serving.

P.S.: This is not a photo of mine!! I found this one somewhere online. Haven't made my stollen yet! will wait til closer to xmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Second try

I felt like I just had to make another version of yesterday's Santa and this time not over cook him!
So without further ado: Meet Santa and Santa!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

OH NO SANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I decided to make a small 8 inch Santa from a Bird in the Hand Primitives pattern!
all went well until I had to bake the little fella! Silly me forgot to se the timer and let poor Santa cook a little longer (ok so it was a lot longer) then planned.
Of course I will never admit this to hubby or the kids!! I meant to make a black Santa!!!! I really did! LoL
I still think Santa looks cute, even with his massive sun tan!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I was told off!

D: Mum why are there only photo's of L on your Blog???
Me: Well My dear, he's the only one sitting still long enough for me to get a nice photo of, but I'll see if I can't find one of you!
D: Good!!
So with no further ado, here is my sweety D! Unfortunatly most photo's of her are side shots!!


Proud Mama

I thought I'd show off a wallhanging made by my youngest L! He designed and embroidered it himself about 2 years ago! He even told me how to machine quilt it! LoL Goodness he was a bossy boots about it too! it had to be perfect!

And while I'm bragging, my second youngest D came home from school and told us she made Vice-Captain at school!! I would never in my life have had the nerve to go for that! She was slightly dissapointed as she was hoping for Captain. Mummy doesn't care though! I'm still as proud as punch of my Curly-Gurly

Olde St. Nick

What is a girl to do when the budget doesn't stretch to buying a Santa (you try staying on budget with Christmas AND 2 birthdays in the 1 month!!) She makes herself one!!
So please meet Olde St. Nick, from a Chestnut Junction pattern. I just love their patterns. it took me 1 afternoon to make him. And I love a nice quick pattern!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Back from the trip to Bendigo!
I did the test, and managed to pass! Only 1 question wrong!!! Man what a relieve to have that over and done with!! And as if doing a test wasn't stressfull enough (for some reason the word test makes me nervous LoL) I decided to be a sucker for punishment and go Christmas shopping with Hubby! Talk about torture!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Recipe Tuesday- Rum-Raisin Icecream

This is my all-time Fav icecream and we'll be having this for dessert (well if it makes it to the table that is! I may eat it before then!! LoL)

Serves 10

1 cup (packed) raisins
2/3 cup dark rum

8 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Combine raisins and rum in small bowl. Cover; let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Drain raisins, reserving 6 tablespoons rum. Combine in same bowl.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in large bowl until blended. Bring milk and whipping cream to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan; stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens, about 15 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard into bowl. Cool. Add raisin mixture to custard. Refrigerate until cold.

Transfer custard to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Freeze ice cream in covered container until firm, about 4 hours. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead.)

Pay it Forward

I am going to copy Robin's wording so I don't muck this here goes..

So do you want to play with me? The first 3 visitors to my blog and leave a comment saying that they would like to be involved will receive a handmade gift from me within 365 days. You must email me to confirm your details.

These 3 visitors must have their own blog, place the PIF logo on your blog and link it back to me. Then you must offer the same to the first 3 visitors to visit your blog and follow the above steps that I have done. Remember their is no have one year to PIF.

So....does anyone want to join us?

Study Study Study!

After living in Australia for 20 years, I've decided I should become an Aussie! So for the last few days I've been busy studying for the Citizenship Test tomorrow!
Did we know the 1st of Sept was national Wattle day??? Hubby was most surprised to hear that! LoL
So everyone keep fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gevulde Speculaas

This is a recipe which made around the 6th of December when the dutch exchange their presents! My Oma used to make huge amounts of this! the recipe I'm going to give here is for a 9inch square cake tin

almond spice (see recipe for amandelspijs, 2 batches)
200 g flour
150 g butter
100 g caster sugar or brown sugar

How to:
Line the square cake tin[9 inch].
Mix all the ingredients except for the almond spice together.

Divide the speculaas mix into two and press the first amount into the bottom of the tin.

Add the almond spice on top and then cover this with a layer of speculaas from the second amount of speculaas.

Decorate with almonds.

Bake for 30 minutes in a moderate oven[350F/180C].

Amandelspijs (almond filling)
This recipe makes 1.5 cups, you'll need 3 cups

150 g almond meal
125 g sugar
vanilla essence
almond essence

how to:

Mix together well and put in a sterilised jar.
Allow to stand for at least a fortnight if not longer.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Quilt.

As I was saying the other day, I made a Christmas Bowtie quilt, I used some of my Christmas fabrics collection for this.

The Quilt is handpieced and hand quilted,I might sew the binding on with the machine though!

Of course there is no use doing all this hard work without Quality Control:

Cosmo checking if Mum does a good job basting the quilt ready for hand quilting.

I'm quilting a 1/4" outside the Bow Tie and crosshatching in the setting squares, I have a Holly leaf template for the borders.

My Santa Collection

For as long as I've been in Australia (20y next Aug)I've been collecting Santas.

Here is a pic of them! For most years I bought just any old Santa, but for the last 3 years I've been buying the Heartwood Creek Santas.

What I've been doing!

My Tree
Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer aka L

The kids Tree

After a week of either me or someone else in the house hving a nasty cold (thank you for sharing tha one with Mummy, I hope to return the favour one day by moving in with you when I'm old and grey L!!) We had a rather busy weekend! D went to a cherry farm with a friend, now I've been eating cherries since sunday! I even swallowed a few pips, does that mean will a Cherry tree grow out of my nose?? (I'll keep you posted!! LoL)

Seeing hubby went away with some mates and eldest dd K went to Melb for the weekend and M had to work, it was just L and me, so we planned it to the max! Saturday we set up the Christmas Trees and decorations, made Chocolate Crackles, then went off to see a movie ( Beverley Hills Chihauhau), then on Sunday we made paper mache snowballs (free pattern from Sassafras Hill Primitives) and today we're going to finish painting them!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm back!

I've survived the cold I had last week, even survived hubby getting it too!
Will be back later on with pics of Xmas decorations that went up on the weekend!