Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! This beautiful little film is a Russian production, however no language or subtitles are used so don't let that stop you enjoying it. The detail is simply lovely, it's a pleasure to watch and is suitable for children.

I am not usually keen on animation, but this one is so charming. Each part is 7 minutes long.
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011


The tree is up, the tablecloth is ironed


and I am getting ready for Christmas. It's going to be a hot one this year,
with 32c today and 30c for Christmas Day.

Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas, wherever you are,

Love,
Esther

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WOW: Christmas Baking

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

You'll forgive me for being late in posting the WIP today. Usually I like to put up my post early in the morning. But this morning today I have been much too preoccupied with...

Christmas Baking!

My DDs and I have been hard at work because we are about to experience a few days of 30c over here and that's simply too hot to bake. So we have been baking ourselves busy to get everything done so it can be packed away and kept cool until Christmas Eve.

Here's the effort so far:

It's not a celebration without Peaches on a plate

And it's not Christmas without Potica either...

Actually this my DDs first potica made without my guidance so we had it cut it to inspect it and assess it over coffee ( verdict? a good first effort). Usually you would let your Potica rest at least a day - but we're on a schedule here!


This mint slice is so easy, it doesn't even have a recipe.
You simply wizz up biscuit into crumbs in a food processor and add half a block of chocolate so they crumb together. Then press this mixture into the base of a spring tin lined with grease paper. Bake in a 180-c oven for 15 minutes or until golden. The chocolate melts and sets the biscuit.

Then mix 5 cups of icing sugar with 2 tablespoons boiling water and peppermint essence to taste. The sugar should be smooth and thick - almost too thick to stir - custard like. Pour this over the biscuit base. Put in the fridge to set. Melt the rest of the chocolate and spread over the cold set icing sugar.
Release from from tin and slice thinly (or not so thinly as we opted for below).


These apricots balls don't have a recipe either. Using your food processor, you simply throw in 1 cup almonds, 1 cup dried apricots, zest of 1 lemon, juice of that lemon, and 1 tin of condensed milk (375mls). You know it's done when the blades of the processor stop turning! Then you roll teaspoon amounts into round balls and roll in shredded coconut. Really you could use any dried fruit and nut combo and we might even make it with cranberries as we have a lot of those.


What do you think these are?


they're walls to a gingerbread house my DDs are making

and these are the 'stained glass' windows !

I will post more pics as they progress with their little house.

And now, on the wednesday before Christmas, it really is my last opportunity to tidy up my sewing room (I've been doing this in segments all week). So with my DDs in the kitchen, I had better get on with it!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Peaceful Pathways Part 5 is Launched

Part 5: Heart Blocks


This month you are making 8 x Heart Blocks

Simple.

It's nearly Christmas and of course we are all busy at this time of year, so you will be pleasantly suprised this month to find this block is simple and charming - just the kind of sewing for December. Next month is the last installment and the end of our BOM...it's been great fun and we are nearly at our final stitch. How rewarding!

Happy Sewing! 


My BOMs are available via my website and Yahoo Bom Group

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WOW: Christmas Stenciling, Sorting and Winding Down

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...and whilst many of you will be too busy to WIP over the festive weeks, I have decided to keep on with WOW because I love catching up with you all each week - even for just a few moments away from my To-Do List!





I've finally stencilled our Christmas Table Cloth in red, using the Red December pattern (I used the side border and centre blocks to create my table design.) It's classically Christmas and I love it already. I finished it yesterday and I am now winding down my sewing. It's time to relax, tidy up my studio and get into some Festive Baking with my DD'S.

This morning I started early on an important chore - refolding all my quilts. How exhausting! I'd forgotten how many there were, and had to stop to enjoy and fall in love with them all over again (well, quilts are beautiful!).





They have been around and about a fair bit this year at Guest Speaking occassions and it was time to give them a good shake out and re-fold. Actually I think that in the New Year I will start rolling them all up (to store them) around a cylinder as I want to avoid creases. The quilt cupboard is now neat again so I can think about the best way to store them in the meantime.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Holiday Drive


DH hired a car so we could go around at our leisure. And I loved being the carefree passenger with a camera! From Slovenia we drove to Croatia.

It was a ride with breathtaking scenery. The advantage of traveling like this is stopping whenever something grabs your eye. Every time you head out somewhere it’s a potential find. 



Like this old flour mill. Isn’t it something? I couldn’t wait to get out and have a look


Here’s the old building made of stone. And farm workers represented in carved wood.

The best thing about being away is realizing how wonderful the ordinary is. With the sun setting over the hill, we could have been anywhere. But we were right there. And I’m so glad too.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Pleasure of Detail

Here I am in Maribor Town, Slovenia, enjoying a harvest installment
What really took my eye though, was the skilled craftsmanship on the buildings

 These detail on these doors is superb. Unfortunately Google won't allow me to flip the pictures the right way around, but it's too nice not to show...even sideways.


google wont flip these pics, they are doors!
  
Look at these motifs….wonderful…



I can feel some designs coming on…

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yuletide Mysteries

Over the years I’ve noticed that some household happenings only ever seem to take place during Christmas.
Take these tree lights below as an example. I remember winding them perfectly around a cardboard roll so I could easily unwind and use them this year- without any tangles or fuss.

However
This morning I opened the box to find this wiry tumbleweed waiting for me, knots, twists and all. It’s even collected some baubles along the way. Where has it been these last 365 days? What has it been doing? And where have the extra bulbs gone?
The other expected but nonetheless unpredictable happening…is the breaking of something. This is a biscuit gun. It’s brand new. I’ve had it a year but as it’s only used at Easter and Christmas, it still feels brand new.

It’s also newly broken. The top screw down cap simply split for no reason. My last biscuit gun (you can read about it here) also broke last Christmas, but I wasn’t’ so annoyed that time as it had lasted 30 productive years. I won't be buying another as this is the only brand I have seen around and I am not impressed with it's performance. I think it will be old fashioned biscuits this year!

I can't be the only one...

What's Your Festive Mystery?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WOW: Making Room


WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

Today I am making room for Christmas. I still have our Christmas Table Cloth to make…so to create that I will need desk space. It's so disheartening to have to stop work...to make room. It signals that a major clear out is due. Or overdue.
This is what my table looks like most of the time. By lunchtime I expect to have it spic and span. *Wish me luck*

For those of you making Red December, this is the fabric I recommend. It's Robert Kaufman and the range is 'Marbleous'. Red is difficult to photograph but I hope this pic gives you a good idea of the print. The intensity is consistent whilst still having enough change through it to look lively. Just what you want from red fabric!

For my borders in the Red December pics in the post below, I used a local Quilter's Muslin from Emma Louise (Victorian Textiles) from her range called Holiday Red. Also excellent.


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