Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Baking.....

Christmas Eve is almost over here in Australia. Everything is ready to celebrate Christmas with our family.

I have enjoyed some time in the afternoons doing some special baking. I made the fruit cake a few weeks ago now and have been enjoying it this week.

These are some delicious Almond Butter Balls - they just melt in your mouth - YUM!

I have never had much success with roll out biscuits, but was determined to have another go at making some. I found yet another recipe on a blog somewhere ?! . It worked out really well.

The biscuit mixture rolled out beautifully and cooked to perfection.

The fun part was of course the decorating.

The gifts are under the tree and the desserts that I was asked to provide have been made.
I am off to bed for a blissful sleep.
Christmas Blessings to all.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Vintage Christmas Greetings......

I thought I would like to just share these images from some beautiful Vintage Christmas Cards.

I have a beautiful old box full of precious memories, that my dear Nana, Eleanor had saved throughout many, many years.

These are the beautiful old Christmas cards that she had saved for so long. They are just wonderful and I am so glad that I have been able to have them here this Christmas. Some of the names I recognise. I am sure that the senders and their greetings were very precious to my Nana.

I know these must have been very special to her, as I would imagine she would have received many hundreds of Christmas cards during her lifetime.

So to you my friends - Vintage Christmas Greeting to you.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Christmas.. at Eleanor and Ruby

The days are just flying by here at our house. We continue to churn out the Christmas fare at the bakery, which at times seems too huge to cope with.

I think it's almost two weeks since I had a moment to post, so it's lovely to be at home this morning to enjoy a moment by myself.

I took the children to Brisbane last week and had a lovely day in one of the major shopping centres there. We really enjoyed ourselves and I made a great start to my shopping and almost finished it. Just a little to go and I will be organised in that department anyway!

Yesterday afternoon, after work at the shop, I was able to get all of the wrapping done of the gifts so far. This year is a red and white Christmas here at Eleanor and Ruby!!

The Christmas tree is mostly red, white and glittery decorations. So of course the wrapping had to match!!

I am quite pleased with how the decorations on the sideboard turned out this year. I just love this felt angel that I made quite a few years ago. I have placed all the lovely glass containers and cake domes amongst the berry garland. The glass jars have been full of red, white and green sweets but it seems that the family "mice" have had a lovely nibble on those - so had better replace them soon!!

Can you see the lovely polk-a-dot paper lantern reflected in the mirror? I was instantly drawn to these when I saw them. I have them hanging from the lights and from the doorways and one as the centre of a swag of greenery above one door opening.

I love the lights on top of the hutch. I think they may just live there all year round.

So as Christmas Day approaches at top speed, I am looking forward to hopefully some Christmas baking and maybe even a little stitching this weekend. Or, then again, I maybe just dreaming! I hope the last of the gift shopping is done today and then we can gently slide down into the celebrations next week.

Wherever you are this Christmas, I pray that you will enjoy the company of lovely friends and family and that the true Peace of Christmas will live in your heart, not just for one day but during the year to come.

So, if I don't get to post here again in the next week, I just send my love and Christmas wishes to each and everyone who visits here.

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Christmas at the Bakery.......

Christmas is coming just too quickly. This is just a glimpse of our Christmas goodies that we make and sell at our bakery.

Fruit cakes, small and large, Fruit Mince Tarts, White Christmas, Rum Balls, Apricot Balls, Shortbread Drops. YUM! We purchase the Gingerbread readymade - but SHHHH don't tell anyone!!
We're off to a very hot start to summer here with quite a bit of very welcome rain as well. The grass and weeds are certainly enjoying the season!
With school finished for another year the past week has been much more manageable with only work to worry about. We are counting down to a very much needed holiday at the end of the month, so I am starting to feel excited in anticipation, despite the work that will have to be done between now and then.
Alexandra and I had a wonderful afternoon yesterday. We put on some lovely Christmas music and decorated the house. It was the first time she has stuck with me through the whole process - I didn't know whether to be happy or sad since it must mean she is growing up. I won't try to include photos today as my internet is on the very go slow at the moment, next week brings fast access again!
I have started some gift shopping but dreading having to really get organised! I find boys and brothers so hard to buy for. Any ideas?
Another storm on the way this afternoon, time for a cup of tea and a bit of a rest for awhile! Hopefully, to listen to some more beautiful rain on the roof.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

End of Year Happenings.......

The garden has continued to flourish this week. The rain we have had certainly worked its wonders on the vege patch. The squash have continued to fruit with plenty more flowers on the plant. The corn is just beautiful and so juicy, we will have to sample it tomorrow night. Look at our first tomato. It was delicious on hamburgers tonight!!

I took a little pic through the fence of this beautiful inner city home in the city where we live. This building was the original Court House in Toowoomba and was sold to private owners a few years ago. I have been amazed at the garden they have made and just so wish to see inside. I wasn't brave enough to take any more pics in case I got chased!! Around the other side is a lovely glass conservatory and from memory you can see at least one chandelier!

We have had a huge week with end of school and also the annual ballet production - this year The Little Mermaid. Look at my baby with full makeup!! This was taken at home, I hope she was able to get photographs backstage in her costumes. This year she was a ballet dancing Angel Fish and a Tap Dancing Lifeguard!

We have had a full week of Carols Evening, Primary school graduation, Speech Days for both schools plus rehearsals and production! Plus of course work never goes away! We are exhausted!!!

A cup of tea for me now and off to bed! The next round of rum balls and White Christmas await me at the shop in the morning!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

A busy time.....

I think it is almost two weeks since I have written here! The end of the year is disappearing. The children only have one week of school left and then two months of summer holidays. I am so looking forward to the break in routine.

We have been busy at the bakery getting some Christmas stock prepared for sale. I will do a display in the next few days and get into the swing of the Season!

I have just baked two Christmas cakes today. They smell just wonderful. I think we will be cutting one of them quite soon. I just love fruit cake. I wasn't sure about putting two cakes in the oven at once, but because it is quite wide they can fit on the same shelf it worked out just fine.

We have had the most wonderful rain here in the last two weeks. This week being huge falls. Thankfully we haven't had the wild storms that have wreaked havoc in parts of Queensland, just wonderful rain. The best part being our tanks are full.

The vege patch is looking beautiful and lush. The tomatoes have grown so much in the last week and are covered in lovely little fruit. I can't wait for that first ripe tomato. Nothing beats homegrown tomato.

You can see our strawberries are flowering too. We are getting just a few at a time - definately gone before I make it up the back steps!!

The squash has also taken off - they are really delicious. They grow so quickly, one day you think they are still too small and by the next they are huge. Love that!!

So this coming week brings the usual rush of school concerts, carols and speech days and to top it off Alexandra's performance in the end of year ballet.
Alexandra and I are off to another ballet performance tonight of one of her friends, so it should be a lovely girls night out!
The end of November already! Christmas will be here before I know it. So much for all the shopping done before the end of school!!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

A Gift of Flowers......

My Father-In-Law brought these beautiful Gladioli to us on Friday.
He apparently has 400 plants flowering at the moment. All colours of the rainbow.

They remind me so much of my dear Grandad, who also loved to grow Gladioli and also Dahlias.

They are huge, so I had to find the biggest container to stand them in.
It's been lovely having them in the house over the weekend.

We have also been blessed with some beautiful rain this week. Around 50mm in all during the last week. Everything is looking so much happier as a result.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Pincushion of the Month...

I have finished the first two Pincushions as part of the Pincusion of the Month by
Quilt Fabric Delights.

I must admit I wasn't too keen on the first installment of the little owl or hedgehog. But since it is a monthly thing that I had paid for I soldiered on!! The strawberry pin is cute though.

The second pincushion is much more my taste and style. I just love Crabapple Hill Studio, so I have enjoyed very much making this one.

I really love covered buttons, especially when they have embroidery on them. Part of the flower is a tiny bead. The ribbon flower was fun, particularly all the beads that make the centre. The rosebud pin is adorable. Very sweet indeed.

Just in time for the next one to arrive in the next week or so.

I was able to stay home all day yesterday and today, so it has been wonderful to have a slower weekend and get many things done at home. I busied myself both mornings and got housework finished and then yesterday afternoon I was able to cut out some pattern pieces, make two curtain valances for the bathrooms and then finished the pincushion - pure bliss.

Just a little gardening now and then some more stitching I think.

This will probably be the last weekend like this until Christmas so I will savour every moment.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Lemonade Anyone......

I love it when I feel as though I am having a productive week.

I think it is mostly due to my being quite organised this week. I really want to get some projects that have been in my mind for ages done and finished. So far this week I have achieved another of those. I think it may be time for some lists. That seems to work for me.

This is one project that has been in my cupboard for quite some time now. Well, at least the pattern has been. This is an edge on a set of sheets for our bed. I am so pleased with how it has turned out. Not so sure how it will go down with the other person who shares my bed though!!! All that frill!! It is a Crabapple Hill Studio pattern called Forget-Me-Not Bedding set.

I have had the "Hannah Bella" fabric in my cupboard leftover from the quilt "Angel Story". When I purchased this fabric I bought the full fat quarter set - all 50 or so pieces of it. I have made the full applique quilt, a baby size quilt and thought that this may use is up - well I think I could still made another dozen sheet edges or even another applique quilt with what I still have left.

There are 32 petals across the sheet and you only require a 3" square for each!!

I really love this range of fabrics, so it isn't so bad still having some leftover still.

One of my favourite places to visit is the Tender Centre. People take their unwanted bits there and it is open to a tendering process. Some people pay way too much for somethings - which I guess if you are a seller is great.

Just look at the great things I scored this weekend.

A great old suitcase for $12.

This lovely stool for $13.

I am not sure what I will do with the stool. I will paint the legs, but not sure what with the top - paint or fabric or oilcloth?

And, finally the best find ever!! Well, maybe not quite, but I am pretty excited.

I am fairly sure that these very cute decanters were around the $100 mark in the shops and I get this one for $24!!! It is in perfect condition and looks great in the kitchen!

Now I just need to find a great Lemonade recipe. Any out there among my blogging friends?

So far an enjoyable week! Best get onto some work in the office now and then hopefully something else fun to do!!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

From the Vege Patch......

Some of the first summer harvest was picked this morning.
- Beetroot
- Beans
- Lettuce
- Squash
- Parsley

A typical busy weekend happening here - work, ballet lesson, school function. Joy oh Joy!
So had better get going and ready for the next thing!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Finished Needlecase.......

I have just finished my little Rosalie Quinlan project from the Glen Harrow Stitch-In. It's a sweet little needlecase. I actually finished the stitchery on the day but haven't had time to finish it off since. I have had a little time while waiting for children to start working on the project Leanne provided for us too!

The inside has some wool felt to keep the needles and a little stripey pocket on the other side. The little button strip is just decorative. I found the little red button in my Nana's button tin. Quite a good match I think!

It's so nice to have another productive day. I am so pleased that yesterday, I got Alexandra's ballet costume made for the end of year concert. I just have to get all the sequins glued to it yet. I usually enlist Mum to help with those as the glue just gets everywhere. We have quite a good system now using tweezers of all things!
This year they are doing The Little Mermaid. For ballet she is an Anglefish and for tap dancing a lifeguard. The anglefish costume was really easy and the tap one is to be hired from the studio - an easy year! Thank goodness.
Well, off now I still have a little time before the schoolbus comes!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Foxgloves, Delphiniums & Roses......

Oh My! Look what I found. I just happened to be passing my favourite thrift shop yesterday and just had to pop in. I am so glad I did!!

I had purchased some lovely vintage crochet hankies and a beautiful damask table cloth and was about to leave when my eye caught this vision of lovliness!!

Sometimes in this particular shop some things are not for sale - display only!! I can never work it out. This little beauty was hanging behind the counter, so I asked if it was for sale and of course how much!

Much to my delight and surprise - $12. Well I couldn't leave this confection of satin and tulle there when my beautiful mannequin needed a new summer outfit.

So home the lovliness came with me. I keep fluffing and fiddling - adding the corsage and the "diamond" necklet!

Perfectly delicious!!!

I just love my foxgloves. They are flowering beautifully. Such amazing flowers.

Delphiniums reach for the sky.

Roses of all colours bursting into flower - how wonderful is the season of Spring.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Glen Harrow Stitch-In

What a lovely weekend I have had at the Glen Harrow Spring Stitch-In. My dear friends and I flew to Melbourne on Friday morning. Hiring a car for the weekend we ventured into the inner city of Melbourne for the day. Bronny navigated and Gina drove - what a wonderful job they did between them. We wandered a little and then caught the inner city tram and did the loop around the city. What a beautiful place to visit, I hope I can go back soon and explore some more.

In the afternoon we drove out to the Dandenong Ranges to Glen Harrow. What a beautiful place it is. Something to look at and admire on every turn.

The vegetable/herb patch with the delightful dovecote was beautiful.

On Saturday morning we woke to the most lovely day and I was excited at the anticipation of our day to come - Stitching with Rosie and Leanne. Beautiful breakfast ingredients had been provided in our room. Oranges to squeeze, bacon, eggs, lovely coffee, sourdough bread. What a wonderful breakfast.

We slowly wandered over to the room where our day of stitching was to be held. Stopping along the way to admire unusual plants and flowers, taking pictures at every twist and turn.

So much thought and preparation had been put into our day. I felt so spoilt by the attention to detail by these two clever girls. It was almost surreal being there and seeing the samples of the patterns that we all love creating.

In each place a lovely little bag holding our two projects and patterns for the day. A sweet little bedside project from Leanne, a doiley, a stitchery to frame and a cover for a journal.

From Rosie a delightful little needlecase with a sweet stitchery on the front.

The food set before us all day was just wonderful. All manner of cakes, sweets, fruit and cheese for morning and afternoon tea and the most beautiful luncheon of cold meats, small quiche and the most devine salds were served.

We stitched and ate and stitched in the garden some more until late in the afternoon.

My dear friend Bronny and I stayed in the Gardeners Cottage. Even when arriving the dark and making my way through the gorgeous gate with the wisteria tumbling over it I sensed the attention to detail in this lovely place and was certainly not disappointed on arriving in the cottage.

The mountain air was cool and the fire was lit for our arrival. The cottage was decked out in the most wonderful antiques and old treasures. I was in heaven! The bedroom was in the attic and was just beautiful. Wonderful white embroidered sheets and pillowcases - fit for a princess - I certainly felt like one.

Morning certainly did not disappoint when peeking through the curtains for the first time - everything just as I thought it would be. Beautiful.

I so enjoyed wandering in the gardens - the gates were just beautiful - paths leading here and there - blossom trees in full bloom - roses with big fat buds - chickens, peacocks and peahens wandering and trees that would have stories of the last 100 years or more to tell.

Birdhouses, beautiful old fences, dovecotes, gates and places to sit at every turn. I am truly blessed to have been able to go for the weekend and have such a lovely time.

On Sunday we wandered through the mountains to such lovely little towns. We had the most delicious lunch at Miss Marples Tearoom. What a sweet little place, with wonderful food and a great atmosphere. Then it was time to find our way back to the airport.

Thank you to my friends for sharing such an adventure with me and to Barb for having a dream to share and making it happen.

I had a little stitching time last night and am so looking forward to finishing my projects.

It certainly was a most wonderful time at Glen Harrow.

Thursday, 9 October 2008


- New Hair Do
- Stitching Gear
- Suitcase Packed
- Camera Charged
- Plane Ticket
All Done
Well, that must be about it. I am off to Melbourne bright and early tomorrow and can't wait.
I will let you know how the wonderful "Stitch-In" at Glen Harrow with the lovely Leanne and Rosie went when I am home next week.
A Happy Weekend to everyone!
P.S. If Angela (anonomous comment) pops in to visit, please send me an email because you won the magazine!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Too Long.....

Oh my, the weeks are just slipping by.
Our monthly internet allowance has been used up until this weekend, so I will not even attempt to post any pictures here tonight.
The children are back at school this week after their Spring holidays. It is just so scary to say, school finishes for the year next month!!
I am very excited about my weekend trip this week. It will be lovely to be with my friends in Melbourne for the weekend. I wonder what Rosie and Leanne have planned for us at the "Stitch-In".
I just wanted to pop into the land of Blog just for a minute tonight to announce
of the Victoria Magazine!
It is Angela (anonymous comment) on the 25th September.
Congratulations Angela - could you please send me a quick email with your
postal address and I will get it away to you.
Angela told me she loves Roses and Lilac - beautiful!
I am looking forward to sharing some bits and pieces with my blog friends next week - when I have fast internet again. The joy of teenagers in the house!!
A Happy Week to Everyone!

Friday, 19 September 2008

My Carnival Garden & A Giveaway........

What a lovely busy week I have had. We are thrilled to have gained a second place for our garden.

Our afternoon at the announcement of the winners in the park was so enjoyable. The gardens were just coming into full flower. The city council does a wonderful job. We also enjoyed our afternoon at the Council reception too!

We have been getting our garden tidied again, just in case we get any visitors. I am so pleased how it has all come together, certainly worth the time we have put in. I hope I get some time to enjoy it this week.

Two of my lovely friends came and had lunch with me yesterday and then we enjoyed a wander around the garden.

The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Garden Competition is in its 59th year and is the longest running garden competition in Australia. This Saturday is the Carnival Parade and there are many wonderful activities on in the city this week.

So now for a little GIVEAWAY to Celebrate.
I was as excited as anyone else when the lovely Victoria magazine came back into print. So I subscribed. I waited and waited and then thought I had dreamed my subscription and of course didn't get around to checking it out. I have purchased the first four new issues as they came out at the newsagent AND THEN this week the July/August issue arrived in the mailbox! Can't work it out and still haven't tried to!
SO - if you would love a copy of Victoria and haven't been fortunate enough to be able to get it where you live you are more than welcome to enter into the giveaway. Tell me your favourite springtime flowers - I would love to hear. I think I have two - Sweet Peas and Ranunculi - did you see some of mine in the pics above?
Wishing you a lovely weekend wherever you may be. I know I am looking forward to my Springtime weekend in my garden and home.