Friday, 29 December 2017

Sublime Straddie

In a holiday tradition that began many years ago now, and that will continue for many a year to come I hope, we recently spent a couple of weeks on the beautiful island affectionately known as "Straddie". On a clear day, we can just see a tiny sliver of this island from our back deck. Many a time, I have wished for a gigantic flying fox to take me over the land and sea to Straddie's shores. Instead, we wait  for the early weeks of December to roll around and then we go, not by flying fox though!

Looking back towards a distant mainland.

Straddie is ocean and sand, wind and waves, seaweed and shells, cliffs and rockpools. For us, this beautiful island is also family and time, happiness and memories, nature and bliss. My young son would tell you that it's gelati "up the point" too!

White-crested waves rolling in to Main Beach.

Just one tiny shell upon the shore.

Tiny "caves" in wave-carved rocks.

Silvery and strappy leaves protecting the dunes.

A clinging cluster of barnacles.

Light and shadow forms a sandy crescent "moon".

Bright green "lettuce" clinging to rocks.

Blue sky beyond the Pandanus Palms.

Fading light at the end of the day.

It will be a little less than a year before we go back again... if next year goes as quickly as this year has seemed to, it won't be long to wait! 

May your new year roll on in as smoothly as the waves on Straddie!


Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Time

It seems that it is Christmas time again. In our little neighbourhood, there are beautiful festive trees gracing many homes and welcoming wreaths on many front doors. Children call to one another across the street and draw on their driveways with coloured chalks. The sound of the odd lawn mower rings out with the birdsong and the occasional waft of sweetly spiced baking carries on the breeze. In the evenings, coloured strings of lights twinkle in the darkness. Tonight, on Christmas' Eve, I'm sure there will be a few treats for Santa and one or two carrots for the reindeer left out in the homes where young children excitedly wait for morning.

Nature seems to be in a joyous mood too. We have had quite good rain since the beginning of December and all is lush and green. Just down the hill, a magnificent native flowering gum has burst into bloom. Its blossoms are truly stunning. It needs no additional decoration. No twinkle lights. It is beautiful just as it is ...

A beautiful Australian flowering gum.

A cluster of Christmasy colour!

Merry Christmas!

I feel truly blessed to live where I do. Its friendliness and its peacefulness offer a quiet haven where family and friends and nature are close.  I wish that everyone around the world knew that safety and security. I wish that everyone had a place to call home.

Thank you to everyone who visits me here, who reads my words, who offers a like-minded connection and words of encouragement. I feel very lucky to have such kind visitors to my space here.

From my little pocket of the world, I wish you a beautiful day tomorrow with those you love.

Meg Xxx

Monday, 18 December 2017

Handstiched Felt Ornaments

I adore handmade Christmas ornaments.  I treasure the ones we have for our tree. I love to see each one emerge from the tissue paper it's been gently wrapped in between Christmases and then the beauty and the warmth of them nestled in among the branches and the tinsel is such a joy. 

This year, I hand stitched some felt ornaments to give to those we love. I so enjoyed the process of quietly stitching each one. I used the simple templates, from Melissa's tiny happy makings, some soft festive felt and a few strands of embroidery thread to make doves for peace and hearts for love ... 

A felt heart for Christmas.

A little collection of peace doves.

Doves and hearts and a little handmade to tuck in to Christmas parcels. Have you been making things for Christmas too?


Yarn Star Tags

Simple stars, formed in crochet cottons, make sweet Christmas gift tags. They would also make lovely little ornaments for a  festive tree. 🎄

 A 12-point yarn star.

On a circle of recycled cardboard, with little slits cut in at regular intervals, it is quite quick to weave these stellar shapes. The number of points the resulting star has depends upon the number of slits cut into the cardboard circle. I made 12-point stars and 16-point stars. This is the tutorial I followed to make these woven stars. It was very easy to follow and they would be a lovely craft project for older children too. 

To "jazz up" the cardboard circle, you could spray paint it gold or silver. (I did but it is not showing up very well in the photos.) Another option would be to use white card as this would certainly be a crisp contrast to the colour of the cottons. Variegated yarn looks pretty too!

A more complex 16-point star.

The yarn stars we've made will adorn our gifts this year. A little extra handmade for Christmas. 


Saturday, 2 December 2017

And Away We Go ...

The Christmas tree is up and dressed in all its finery. Parcels for far-away family have all been posted. Our boy has finished school for the year. Our old ute is partially packed and the dog is out-of-sorts because he knows something's afoot. He's right too ... we are about to head off on holiday!  Straddie here we come!

A glimpse of beautiful Straddie.

We're not going far, just across the bay to the island we love and visit every year. On clear days, we can catch glimpses of this special place out on the horizon but it's raining here this morning and that view is obscured by cloud. Hopefully, it will break and be fine and clear for the trip across on the barge later today.

One of the barges that ferries folk to and from the island.

We're set to arrive late this afternoon. I can't wait! As soon as we get there, and unpack the essentials, we'll walk across to the beach. We'll dip our toes in the water, feel the afternoon sea breeze on our shoulders, write our names in the sand. Perhaps, we'll stay until the sun goes down. 

The golden light of sunset on Straddie.

Our days will be filled with the beach and ocean, with long walks on the sand, with exploring rockpools and watching for wildlife. There'll be board games and beach cricket and lazy hours spent reading books under shady trees. There might be a little knitting and stitching too:) There'll be the sound of happy laughter and those contented sighs at bedtime after our sun-drenched days. 

I'll catch up with you all again when we get back home in a few weeks time. Take Care!