Saturday, November 26, 2016

Decorating for Advent using what we have

This lovely Christmas wreath was made by my DD. She volunteers at an Op Shop two days a week, and this week they had pulled out all the Christmas decorations which hadn't sold last year. There was  a broken wreath on a flimsy frame, which she brought home. Some of the decorative items were broken but she pulled the rest off the frame. I had a wreath frame which was pretty undecorated, so she used that to make this lovely thing for our door. 

 I have an advent wreath base which requires dinner table style tapers. Usually I am organised enough to get the traditional purple and pink ones  from the church supply shop, but not this year. Never mind! I had this metal tray from IKEA, and my DD provided the candles from her stash from Thingz, and we had the cherries and holly from previous Christmas decor. I used sand from the sandpit, and that was it. We like the fresh look this year. 

Each year we buy something new for our Christmas decor. This year my lovely DH went all the way out to the Mr Christmas shop to buy battery operated LED lights. There are two strings of white and a cute little jewelled set. I plan to use them in other ways after Christmas! 

Normally we wouldn't be this decorated on the First Sunday in Advent, but our little Victorian family had to leave last weekend, so we sneaked in some pre-Advent decorating with our little grandson and granddaughter. It was the best idea! They loved helping us decorate our tree! We felt as though we had 'done Christmas" together, so even if we can't be with each other on Christmas Day, we have still had a chance to share our traditions with each other. Every time I look at the tree I think of them being held up to put the star on the top. 
This was the second quilt I ever made. I am glad to bring it out each Christmas, and to see that I have progressed in my skills since then. It is still a lovely quilt. I have it hanging in the entrance.

This is my advent calendar. It is a Jo Mullens design. The 'wonkiness" of the shape is due to the fact that it is being distorted by the weight of some very grown up advent calendar treats -including tiny bottles of liqueurs! My DD is a real 'partner in crime" in all things Christmas, insists that, as this calendar is for US, we should put things we like in it. I searched until I found dark chocolate Lindor balls for the smaller pockets. 

We haven't finished decorating! 
Tradition will reassert itself this afternoon, when we finish decorating for Christmas on Advent One. 

Lord Jesus, come!
As morning light awakens us to work and pray,
shine, Sun of righteousness,
bright on the path of all who seek justice.
As solid ground beneath our feet,
steady us, Rock of our salvation,
strong to sustain all who trust in you.
As green shade beckons in the heat of the day,
shelter us, Tree of life,
gently protecting all who seek wisdom.
As a deep well quenches thirst in the desert,
refresh us, Fountain of life,
cool water of peace for all who drink from you.
As the days grow longer
and the sun’s heat increases,
increase our faith,
and bring us to worship you
by your cradle,
at your cross,
in your resurrection,
and at your glorious coming again
with judgement and with mercy. Amen.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pirates! Treasure!

In order to have some real relaxation on my TOIL time, we decided to take the train down to Fremantle to see the the Shipwrecks in the museum, and in particular the Dirk Hartog Plate -a marker left by the first known European explorer to the West Australian coast in 1616.

This coast has many wrecks -partly because the maps did not include our continent at the time (!) and therefore ships which were using the Roaring Forties to slingshot themselves across the Indian Ocean had a bad habit of running into the coast. This is a picture of the locally built Duyfken replica boat in Fremantle Harbour.

We stopped at the Fishing Boat harbour for lunch, of course, and enjoyed fish and chips.
Whilst in the museum we bought replica "Pieces of 8' which were found on another wreck, the Batavia. We brought them home with some fake 'jewels" and have been having the BEST time playing pirate treasure with our grandchildren. 

Another day we went by train to Midland to do the Op Shops and Second hand shops. I was delighted to find a purple cornucopia vase to add to my collection for a tiny price of $10! It looks fantastic with pink and red roses on my mantle.

I also found these two scarf rings for $2 each! I have started collecting scarf rings -it makes sense when you have as many scarves as I do. I had been looking for something like this -and isn't it amazing that when you look for something, it often comes into your view? 

Apart from all these things, I have been walking on the beach and writing in my Nanowrimo novel -now up to 25,000 words: half way there. I have to go back to work this week, but it has been a lovely break made better by family being here with us. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Spring fun days-spiders and beaches and plants

My grand daughter posted scary spider pictures all over my kitchen -to "Scare Pa!". 
We had a lovely time with her having a sleepover at our place on Wednesday night.

By Thursday the weather had improved so much we were able to go to Mullaloo beach and enjoy our first walk along the water's edge for the spring/summer season. It was so beautiful I felt as excited as a little child. As it was going up to a whopping 37 degrees C today, we were there again this morning. WooHoo. There is something quite marvellously relaxing about walking in bare feet right on the water's edge first thing in the morning, then going home to coffee and prayers. 

I have  also inspired to think about making a beach-themed queen size bed quilt for our bed. One which would have all the beach colours -green, aqua, violet, sand, white foam, deep blue and pink. I have most of these colours already in the stash, but would need to get some acqua. Hey - a trip to the LQS is in order! I wonder what pattern I would use? I haven't done a 'trip around the world" quilt, and that might be fun to do. I might play around with the layout if I did this. On the other hand, I am inspired by granny squares too.....Hmmmm. 

I would send it out to be quilted, though. Queen size quilts are too much for my domestic sewing machine set up.

This is Mullaloo last Thursday morning, up by the reef near Ocean Reef car park

My Nanowrimo project is on track so far - I have just over 8,000 words of the total of 40,000 required.  I am enjoying the space to write whilst I am on my TOIL break from work. 

DH and I are enjoying the space this week to work around the house and garden -doing the simple things we love. This is a new vertical garden I am setting up on the back patio. DH made it with some free pallets which he got from up the road where a neighbour is building a HUGE retaining wall. They have one of those houses which is lower than the road, and I think he is planning to retain the soil and build a driveway which is level with the road. He is using limestone blocks and had lots of pallets over. DH now has a line of them down our driveway fenceline! We have discovered that not all pallets are made the same -some are easier to get apart, for one thing. DH is having fun learning how to use them. He has made 2 vertical gardens. 

I am using cut-down plastic milk cartons for most of the pots -they fit exactly in the little trays in the pallet, and hold enough soil to grow seeds. I have some herbs here which I hope will be sheltered enough to survive the summer and be close to the back door to snip something for a quick meal flavour enhancer. There is already some mint, coriander and parsley here, with radishes coming up fast. I have experimented with cress and mustard in the little recycled pots,and DGD planted an avocado seed. 

This (below) is a nifty stool/box which DH created for me because I said I wanted something to perch on out in the front garden when I am gardening, and want to stop for a drink.  It is more comfortable than the milk crate! It was made with pallet wood too. 

Thanks for stopping by!