Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cards & slowly but steadily more cards....

It has happened very slowly but I have been getting some Christmas cards finally made....a few each night. I started out with a colour theme of Stampin' Up's Razzleberry / Soft Suede / Peach Parfait, but threw that out the window the last few nights, and introduced blue to the Soft Suede and a touch of Razzleberry. I love the die cut I have used which I got some time ago from PaperArtsy, the Leafy Flourish, I use it all the time....a great size for card work. So here are a couple of samples from my work last night. I hope you enjoy non-traditional cards, for that is what these are!

Some Challenges I have entered this card in are:

This card I used a Stampin' Up Stamp, & die cut, (my Stampin' Up demonstrator is Ann Craig) the Leafy Flourish and a Layers of Color flower. The distributor for Layers of Color here in Australia is my friend Lovely Linda.

Once again I have used a Stamp from Stampin' Up, the Layer of Color flower and the Leafy Flourish. I have dry embossed patterned paper as the back ground and in this card I have hand drawn on stitching.

I have entered this in the following challenges:

Friday, December 16, 2011

If you haven't made your Chrissy Pudding Yet.....

This came in the newsletter from our real estate agent Dan Cooper & so I thought I would try it this year. Last weekend I bought a basin (usually do the calico thing, but rather a basin for this one!!) Serves so plenty for everyone. Begin this recipe at least 3 days ahead.

Christmas Pudding with Cranberry Toffee Sauce

100g each of dried mango, prunes, dried apricots, dried cranberries & Sultanas (I'm actually replacing the dried mango with figs)
100g Panettone crumbs or fresh bread crumbs
1/4 C Rum
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1/2 C Plain flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 C blanched almonds
200g light brown muscovado sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
Method: Chop the dried fruit into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add rum, orange zest & juice. Cover and leave at room temp overnight. The next day, grease & line a 1.2 litre pudding basin. Cut a 30cm square of baking paper and a 30cm of foil. Place the paper on the foil and fold to make a pleat in the centre. Cover over the basin, foil side up. then tie with kitchen strin gto secure. Place the pudding basin in a large saucepan & pour in enough boilinb water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Cover and simmer over low heat for 5 hours, topping up water as necessary. Transfer the pudding basin to the fridge & chill for at least 2 days or up to 1 month to allow the flavours to develop.

300ml cream
1/3 C rum
1/2 C good quality custard
1/4 C Golden Syrup
grated zest of one orange
Method: Using electric beaters beat the cream to stiff peaks. Fold in the rest of the ingred. Place in a plastic container and freeze for at least 4 hours, up to a week.

Cranberry Toffee Sauce:
125g caster sugar
300ml cream
2/3 C frozen Cranberries
2 Tbsp Brandy
Method: Place sugar and 2 Tbsp water in a pan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to med - low and cook, swirling pan without stirring  for 3 - 4 minutes until a golden caramel. Remove from heat. Slowly add cream taking care as the sauce may splatter. Return to low heat and stir until smooth. Add Cranberries and brandy cook, stirring until berries have softened. This can be made up to 3 days ahead.

On Christmas Day bring pudding back to room temp then reheat in a large pot of water with enough in it to come 1/2 way. Simmer for 1 hour. Remove Iced rum sauce from freezer 15 min prior to serving so slightly softened. Gently reheat toffee sauce. Serve.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


The Christmas Tree was put up on Dec 1 this year. The colour theme again was Purple / White / Silver, with a bit of pink and blue thrown in. All our presents this year are wrapped in purple, silver or white paper and I got to make some tags for my gifts last night at the final scrapbooking night for the year. Here is what I made and a picture of our Christmas tree before the presents went under it....took some pics with pressies but can't load them!!

Some challenges I have entered these into are:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shaun's birthday present.....that I got to enjoy too!!

After cleaning for 5 hours on Friday (at my job) I headed home quickly to get the car loaded up, showered, lunched and then in the car with the husband & off to Sydney. For his birthday, 23/11 I got him tickets to 'Jersey Boys' the musical which traces the history of The Four Seasons. We have always loved their music but especially the album 'Oh, What A Night'.

It is a 3 hour drive to get to my dear friend Pam's place and we left an hour & a half later than what we had hoped to, so it was about 7.45pm when we got to Pam's place. Bob her dad had dinner all ready for us (he is there while his new house is being built) which was so yummy. The 5 of us enjoyed a meal and a devotional time to open Sabbath.

The next day we headed off to Redfern for the first time without Pam who had a family thing at another church as her father was taking the service in memory of Pam's mother who passed away about 6 months ago. At Redfern we serve a lunch for the mostly Aboriginal community there. Usually about 100 people come through & so Shaun & I had made over 300 sausage rolls & 6 cheesecakes to take up with us from Canberra. However, it was very quiet on Saturday. Nannette and Peter were there to help us and another couple came in and took the kids program. Johnny the pastor there came in for the service & of course, our friend Judy, a local lady & a regular helper was there to guide us. We were able to serve, clean up and be out of there much earlier than usual. Our dear friend Ronnie popped in too and was able to catch up which was great as I hadn't seen him since the Deadly Awards at the Opera House.

That night we headed out to drop Pam's son Robbie home (checked out his fantastic penthouse apartment which overlooks the gorgeous Sydney Harbour) then off to visit Paul's family and then out to dinner for a lovely Thai meal. I find it totally amazing that people can be so self centred. We had parked up on a block of land as the car park was full. When we had finished dinner we got back out to the car to find it totally parked in!! Paul managed to get the car out after about 1/2 hr of attempting to do so.....unbelievable!! Pam & Paul then took us to this amazing place (can't remember the name of it) but it just specializes in Baklava and other Middle Eastern sweets.....so much of it.....bit of a line up so didn't get to try any as it was sooooo late for Shaun,  but next time....will try and find some time to get there with mum....get some for Christmas!!

Sunday was a sleep in a bit and then packing up, loading up the car and giving ourselves what we thought was heaps of time to get into the city, find the theatre and parking. It was a matinee & started at 1pm, we got in there about 12.45pm. Hate driving in the Sydney CBD!! We had GREAT seats in the middle, 4th row from the front. Its a very small much more intimate theatre (Theatre Royal). The ticket also included a program. It was such a fabulous production and Shaun said the best birthday present he had enjoyed in years. It was nearly 4pm by the time we got out and 8pm before we got back to Canberra. Really great weekend!!