Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good three weeks...

Just in case I don't have time or internet to get back have a wonderful Christmas.

In case I have never actually said it you people lift my spirits every single day. There are blogs I visit and I feel right at home, I feel relaxed as I read them and this people is a gift. Your gift to the world, your insight, wisdom, recipes, tips hints, politics, and pure unadulterated love of your life helps everyone else love theirs a little less critically.

Keep up the chatter while I am off with my family for the next few weeks. Take loads of photos I love old Dairy's idea of the Christmas Table photo. Take good care of your gardens and your selves. Stay safe - particularly you Stewart being a cabbie at this time of year must be challenging at times.

Now all the rest of the Christmas Trivia I found just for you read it slowly over the next five days or so.


Friday : The Poinsettia

A native Mexican plant, poinsettias were named after Joel R. Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant to America in 1828. Poinsettias were likely used by Mexican Franciscans in their 17th century Christmas celebrations. One legend has it that a young Mexican boy, on his way to visit the village Nativity scene, realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green branches from along the road and brought them to the church. Though the other children mocked him, when the leaves were laid at the manger, a beautiful star-shaped flower appeared on each branch. The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant.

Saturday: Misteltoe:

Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter.The ancient Celtics believed mistletoe to have magical healing powers and used it as an antidote for poison, infertility, and to ward of evil spirits. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace, and it is said that among Romans, enemies who met under mistletoe would lay down their weapons and embrace.Scandanavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of love, and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the mistletoe. Those who kissed under the mistletoe had the promise of happiness and good luck in the following year.

Sunday: Boxing Day

In English-speaking countries, the day following Christmas Day is called 'Boxing Day'. This word comes from the custom which started in the Middle Ages around 800 years ago: churches would open their 'alms boxe' (boxes in which people had placed gifts of money) and distribute the contents to poor people in the neighbourhood on the day after Christmas. The tradition continues today - small gifts are often given to delivery workers such as postal staff and children who deliver newspapers.

Monday: December in Japan:

Shimai Tenjin - 25 December Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, KyotoThe last festive market of the year at this large shrine in north-west Kyoto.

Kotohira-gu Shukiku - Late DecemberKotohira-gu Shrine, Kagawa PrefectureShinto shrine festival featuring kemari, a ceremonial game of kick-ups said to be a forerunner of soccer.
Namahage - 31 DecemberOga Peninsula, Akita Prefecture An ancient folk tradition still observed in villages all over the peninsula in which young men dressed in frightening namahage costumes visit the homes of children to warn them not to be lazy in the coming year.

Tuesday: Kwanzaa

Doctor Maulana Karenga, a Professor at California State University in Long Beach, California, created Kwanzaa in 1966. It is a holiday celebrated by millions of African-Americans around the world, encouraging them to remember their African heritage and consider their current place in America today. Kwanzaa is celebrated fom December 26 to January 1 and involves seven principles called Nguzo Saba: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). In the Kwanzaa ritual, seven candles called Mishumaa Saba are placed in a Kinara, or candleholder, which is then set upon the Mikeka, a mat usually made of straw.
Three green candles are placed on the left, three red candles on the right and a black candle in the center, each candle representing one of the seven principles of the celebration. One candle is lit each day of the Kwanzaa celebration, beginning from left to right The colors of Kwanzaa ~ black, red and green ~ also have a special significance. Black symbolizes the faces of the African people, Red symbolizes the blood they have shed, and Green represents hope and the color of the motherland. The name itself - Kwanzaa - is a Swahili word meaning "fruits of the harvest."

Wednesday : Christmas Eve:

These are the lyrics to one of my all time favourite songs. "I Believe in Santa Claus" If the spirit of Christmas leaves you for a moment and you temporarily forget what this celebration is meant to be about just hum this to yourself and think of the words.

Merry Christmas Friends

I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe there's always hope when all seems lost
And I believe in Santa Claus

I believe in Santa Claus,
I'll tell you why I do
'Cause I believe that dreams and plans and wishes can come true
I believe in miracles,
I believe in magic too
Oh I believe in Santa Claus
and I believe in you

I believe in family, in country and in smiles
I believe in turnin' negatives to positives in life
I believe in lookin' farther up the farther down we get
I believe when someone hurts us we should forgive and forget
And I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe love should prevail at any cost
And I believe in Santa Claus

I believe in saying what you mean and meaning what you say
I believe a better attitude can make a better way
And I believe in viewing life as a journey that we're on
And lookin' at our troubles as another stepping stone
And I believe that everything in life is what it's meant to be
I believe there is a God somewhere although he's hard to see
I believe I am so therefore I should do all that I can
To be a better piece in the puzzle of God's plan

And I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe there's always hope when all seems lost
And I believe in Santa Claus

Let the little children sing it
I believe in Santa Claus,
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus,

I believe in Santa Claus
Let the whole world sing it with us
I believe in Santa Claus,
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus,
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe theres always hope when all seems lost
And I believe in Santa Claus

Merry Christmas, hugs and blessings to you all

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Books, paper, rules and silly moods

There are times when you are a mother when your children do something seemingly insignifcant that makes your heart burst with pride and a little voice in your heads says "wow you must have done something right".

The other day I asked daisyson 12 what he wanted from us for Christmas and his answer was books, daisygirl also requested books and daisyson7 was very impressed half way through the year when we gave a little friend of his a book voucher for his birthday - and this is what he has been asking us for for Christmas. On our last minute shopping day I was in the book store picking up a few things for the kids and something for daisydad and the lovely woman serving me was so surprised that our children had asked for books. I guess in this technological age it must seem a bit anachronistic. Anyway after spending up big on daisydad, daisyson12 and daisygirl she gave me a gift voucher for $25 which will go inside the book we bought for daisyboy7 and make his Christmas!!! ( I also got a $25 voucher which needs to be used this week so I am giving that to daisyson21 for a collection of essays compiled by Daivd Marr they were talking about it on Radio National yesterday)

I usually try to buy books second hand, and we LOVE the library but there is something very special about reciveing a brand new book for Christmas.

When I was about 4 or 5 I used to be in charge of changing my fathers library books, my mother would walk to the library with me and I would tell her which ones he had already read(apparently I remembered the pictures on the cover) I never got one wrong, and I knew where the crime, adventure travel section and biogrpahy sections were eventually the libray ladies gave me my own stepping stool to use to reach the ones high up. So by the time I was 6 would walk to the library by myself and change his books and get some for me - usually one of the shopkeepers along the way would come out and help me home with my haul - we lived on top of the bank in the Main Street - mum always said I knew more people in town than she did!

Dad would also let me choose the books from the book club and the first adult book I read I ordered from the club because it had a gorgeous cover it was called "Smiths Gazelle" something about a game lodge in Africa and probably highly inappropriate for an 8 year old but from then on I never read another childrens book (unitl I had my own kids of course) and I was hooked.

Now here are my children with the same passion and love of the printed word - absolutely one of those "you have done something right" moments.

Today is gift wrapping day - and as I warned you there are rules!

I have a basket with all the paper, ribbon and cards, scissors, and tape. there is always a sample gift wrapped with it. All gifts must be wrapped with this paper and ribbon and this year because there is a choice of two papers the right ribbon must be put on the right paper. The gift tags are all uniform as well. The only exception to the wrapping rule is jewellery purchased for me in an expensive jeweller and wrapped by them (although dasiydad has be known to ask them for specific paper so it matches!!! bless him). It all sounds quite annal when you write it down but I love the tree to look special and in theme I will show you a photo of the gifts under the tree when we get one on Saturday and put it up.

Speaking of Saturday I am not sure when or if I will get back here while we are away we are taking the laptop but I am not sure where we will find a wireless connection.

CHRISTMAS TRIVIA: The Tradition of the "gift"

The story of the wise men

After Jesus was born, wise men came to look for Him, from an area which is now in either Iran or Saudi Arabia. Although they are often called the "Three Kings", the Bible does not say how many there were, or that they were kings. Three is only a guess because they brought with them three gifts.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

They were certainly men of learning - probably today we would call them philosophers or scientists. They had seen an unusual new star in the sky, and knew that it told of the birth of a special king. (The star they saw was probably a exploding "supernova" and is known from astronomical records.) They followed the direction of the star and eventually found the place where Mary, Joseph and Jesus were staying.

To bring honour to the child, they brought rich gifts: gold, frankincense (a resin which burns with a beautiful smell), and myrrh (plant oil with a very strong sweet smell). These gifts tell us in pictures three key things about Jesus:

Gold: a gift fit for a King

Frankincense: burnt in worship of God

Myrrh: a sign of mortal human-ness - it was used to bury the dead

Have a fabulous day


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.................

A few days ago I went to the decorating cupboard searching for something Christmassy to put on the cabinet outside the front door. While I was looking I found these - two packets of them. They are rattan lights(never been used one is still in plastic!).....they are perfect for a Christmas at the I pulled them out of the cupboard and went upstairs and checked on the table runner fabric I had had pink in it yesterday we didn't go to Main Street shopping we went back to Chermside - becasue I realised I had to go to an ABC shop to get yet another obscure "new found artist" cd that daisydad wanted. We got there early and finished the last minute shopping in 15 minutes then we spent the next four hours wandering through the shops and picking up a pair of new shoes here, a beach towel there, things we did need but hadn't been a priority this close to Christmas. I am so please we got them though because now all the back to school shopping is done as well except for a few bits of stationery for daisyson12(and the shoes!)
In keeping with the pink theme we found this paper we will put the pink ribbon on the white background paper and the silver ribbon on the pink paper.
Then we found these........................................

I will add some of that pink ribbon to them and hey presto a pink white and silver Christmas at the beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Christmas Trivia: Now that the present shopping is done and everything is in order it is time to talk about the big guy.....................yup Santa Claus............

The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. After his death around 340 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas' popularity throughout Europe.

His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre.
In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors, in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travellers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity. After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children by placing treats in their shoes. Dutch colonists brought brought this tradition with them to America in the 17th century and here the Anglican name of Santa Claus emerged.In 1822 Clement C. Moore composed the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas, published as The Night Before Christmas as a gift for his children. In it, he portrays Santa Claus:
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly,
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
Other countries feature different gift-bearers for the Christmas or Advent season: La Befana in Italy ~ The Three Kings in Spain, Puerto Rico, and Mexico ~ Christkindl or the Christ Child in Switzerland and Austria ~ Father Christmas in England ~ and Pere Noël, Father Christmas or the Christ Child in France. Still, the figure of Santa Claus as a jolly, benevolent, plump man in a red suit described in Moore's poem remains with us today and is recognized by children and adults alike around the world.
So is the jolly old elf inside us all out and about and spreading good cheer this week....? I hope so this is such a lovely time of year if you can forget the stress and just live in the moment - take the time to enjoy the little things and let go of stuff that takes your time away from those you love.
For example: When my niece had her son three weeks after our daisyboy4 was born I made the two boys a Santa sack, not wanting to seem like I was playing favourites I have done the same for daisydads nieces and nephews. I rather like the idea of all the great nieces and nephews having a santa sack made by me. Well daisydad is one of 7, so last year I made nine of them, this year I kind of lost count and when I checked the other day (2 days ago) I realised I had 6 to make for this yesterdaay as we wandered around the shops with the kids looking at things and laughing and having a great time...I thought if I don't get them made for Christmas will the world fall in half??? No - so they will get them - just not before this Christmas and that is okay. That is a choice I made for my family - otherwise I would have rushed the kids home and locked myself in the sewing room for the afternoon.... what a shame it would have been to have missed out on our day.
Have a wonderful day
A quick PS: Take a trip over to Simply Joolz to hear "I'll be home with bells on" guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Last minute shopping day

BEing the organised soul I am today is set down for last minute shopping we all have to get done.

A day of wandering Main Street and picking up those little bits and pieces (and searching for new white bon bons) a play in the park, coffee for mum and a trip to the local take away for 60c worth of lollies for the daisies. Home birthday party, grandma and grandads, then Christmas lights on the way home.................


Commencing on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Syrians. In 168 BC, members of the Jewish family Maccabee led a revolt against the Greek Syrians due to the policies of Syrian King Antiochus IV which were aimed at nullifying the Jewish faith. Part of this strategem included changing the Beit HaMikdash - the Holy Temple in Jerusalem - to a Greek temple complete with idolatry. Led by Judah Maccabee, the Jews won victory over the Syrians in 165 BC and reclaimed their temple.After cleansing the temple and preparing for its rededication, it was found there was not enough oil to light the N'er Tamid, an oil lamp present in Jewish houses of worship which represents eternal light. Once lit, the lamp should never be extinguished.
A search of the temple produced a small vial of undefiled oil -- enough for only one day. Miraculously, the Temple lights burned for eight days until a new supply of oil was brought. In remembrance of this miracle, one candle of the Menorah - an eight branched candelabra - is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah. Hanukkah, which means dedication, is a Hebrew word when translated is commonly spelled Hanukah, Chanukah, and Hannukah due to different translations and customs.The tradition of receiving gifts on each of the eight days of Hanukkah is relatively new and due in part to the celebration's proximity to the Christmas season.

Enjoy you day and remember the word of the season is GRADUAL ( or if things get really bad DENIAL!!!!!!)lol



Monday, December 15, 2008

I told you I would get it all done................

Yesterday I sewed from 5am until 4.30pm. I finally got some of the projects out of the fabric in box and into cupboards and wrapped as presents

This little simple dress is for daisygirl to wear at the beach the fabric is a voile so it is so fine I ahd to use two layers so it wasn't see through but it looks cute on her.

Sorry you will have to turn you laptop or your head to see these properly. They are the pants I made to wear to daisydads Christmas drinks on Friday night. They look much better with the black silk top I am wearing them with and some gorgeous platforms with black straps. they are kind of 60s evening pants very full leg and easy to wear and cool. It is hard to see but there is a tie belt attached so they tie in the front. I am really happy with them

A pair of white shorts for holidays, a pair of white pants and a pair of taupy coloured fishermans pants.

This is a Christmas Table runner I made not sure who is getting it yet maybe the driver of the mini bus who brings daisyboy12 home from school - we are using her shuttle bus service on Friday night to get home !!! After we have had numinous drinks (see the simple things for an explanation)

This is the table runner I showed you as fabric a few days ago it is for the table when we are at the beach. Me being "clever" decided I didn't want the novelty print in the centre of the blocks I wanted the plain trouble is when I had already started cutting I realised I didn't have enough of the novelty print to go around the outside of the block so it isn't quite how it was supposed to look but I am happy with it anyway and it is the right colours for Christmas at the beach.
Although having made this has caused an upset in the carefully laid Christmas plans, I have to buy different bon bons as we have decided to wrap the presents in white paper (the back of old christmas paper) with pink ribbons so I am now hunting for white bon bons or perhpas hot pink as I also found some gorgeous pink rattan light strings in the decorating cupboard that I am taking with us. (they have never been used I think I bought them for a party once and it rained so there they sit all ready for Christmas in pink at the beach!!!) - I did warn you all I was quite dotty about such things....
CHRISTMAS TRIVIA: The Christmas Tree

16th-century Germany fir trees were decorated, both indoors and out, with apples, roses, gilded candies, and colored paper. In the Middle Ages, a popular religous play depicted the story of Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
A fir tree hung with apples was used to symbolize the Garden of Eden -- the Paradise Tree. The play ended with the prophecy of a saviour coming, and so was often performed during the Advent season.
It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home
The Christmas Tree was brought to England by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert from his native Germany. The famous Illustrated News etching in 1848, featuring the Royal Family of Victoria, Albert and their children gathered around a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle, popularized the tree throughout Victorian England. Brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans, the Christmas tree became by the late 19th century.
Have a wonderous day

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas time out......................

Calling a time out to sit relax and enjoy your Sunday afternoon evening.

Forget what you think you have to do this week, and think about making each day a special celebration.

Take some time to get all you clothes organised for all the things you have to go , make a shopping list - and stick to it. Look around as you shop and enjoy the sights. Sing Christmas carols in the car really really loud.

And most importantly remember if you do none of these things..someone somewhere loves you anyway.

Hugs and giggles

PS: In my CD player in the car the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers Christmas CD !! - my family
hate it!!! it is my revenge for months of taxiing with duff duff music playing or some sickly icky girl band (or worse boy band) AC/DC, Ramstein, Michael Jackson (not sure whose that is) or one of daisydad's completely obscure "just found them" artists. Christmas revenge it ain't pretty but it is SO GOOD!!!!!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

A quick visit...........

CRISTMAS TRIVIA: The Christmas Card.........................

A form of Christmas card began in England first when young boys practiced their writing skills by creating Christmas greetings for their parents, but it is Sir Henry Cole who is credited with creating the first real Christmas card. The first director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir Henry found himself too busy in the Christmas season of 1843 to compose individual Christmas greetings for his friends.

He commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley for the illustration. The card featured three panels, with the center panel depicting a family enjoying Christmas festivities and the card was inscribed with the message "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You"

Guess what i am doing tonight??? YUP writing Christmas cards.....................


Friday, December 12, 2008

Glorious, Gloria and Glory Me!!!!

Yesterday didn't quite go to plan. Instead of baking and sewing I cleaned up the shame of my life the Office. Daisydad is a hoarder, the desk, a big partners desk was piled high (about 60cm high ) in "stuff" I went through it all - four things (A4 sheets of paper were mine). So after a few hours the office is one computer desk, the dead computer, and two bookcases lighter we added a bigger bookcase for all the law books and moved the desk. It is an oddly shaped room because our house has a "kink" in it. So now it is clean and tidy and a great place to work.

I went out to the garden later in the afternoon to cut some flowers to put on the office desk and found my hydrangea bush has gone MAD. All these blooms and another lot the same size still on the bush all from one little shrub. I have tried to grow Hydrangeas for years this one was a gift to me and I just put it in and forgot it, last year after being in the ground for three years (all of them drought years) it bloomed in what I thought was a spectacular manner but this year with all the extra rain it is simply glorious. I know they are supposed to be blue but I am a pink girl and this is my favourite shade of summer pink.

In the middle of the cleaning the gas man arrived to connect up Gloria my new stove.............
Here she is all ready to go............ I cleaned the top and the oven but I am not sure what to use to get the scorch marks off the front of her around the dials I don't want to lose the writing around them...any suggestions gratefully accepted I will try just some white vinegar later, not sure I want to hit it with ajax but maybe some bicarb or toothpaste??? Over to you clever people.....................

CHRISTMAS TRIVIA: This fairly new "tradition" comes from Catalonia...............................Glory me ...what next?

This tradition is a much-loved element of the Christmas celebration in Catalonia, despite its somewhat obscure beginnings.
A caganer -- or "pooper" -- is a small figurine of a person squatting down with lowered pants (or raised skirt) to answer nature's call. They have been around since the 17th century and can often be found hiding in an obscure corner of a Nativity scene.
Some say that the figurines originally became popular among farmers who believed -- quite practically -- that the caganer's "offerings" would make the soil rich and productive for the coming year. In somewhat vaguer terms, the Web site for the Association of Friends of the Caganer -- an organization founded in 1990 to celebrate the caganer tradition and which boasts 60 members spread across the world -- states that the figures were meant to add "a human side to the representation of the mystery of Christmas."
The Wikipedia entry mentions how the caganer might represent "the equality of all people" because "everyone defecates" or it may be meant to reinforce that "the infant Jesus is God in human form."
Young children in Catalonia still play a Where's-Waldo-like game that involves searching for the caganer in the Nativity scene arrangement. According to the Friends Web site, the caganer is "placed under a bridge, behind a haystack or otherwise discretely hidden" as it "would show a lack of respect" to have him near the arrangement's manger scene.
The original el caganer is a wooden or clay figure of a peasant wearing the traditional floppy red Catalan cap with a black band (barretina) and smoking a cigarette or a pipe. But the figure's popularity has led to a massive expansion in the range of defecating figurines.

Relaxative Holiday Mirth
The other scatological element of the traditional Catalan Christmas is the Tió de Nadal, which roughly translates as "Christmas log." Also known as the Caga Tió, or "pooping log," this character is a 30-centimeter (one-foot) log hallowed out on one end. In recent times, the other end of the log has been given a smiling face, topped with a miniature version of the barretina and propped up on two stick legs.
Starting on Dec. 8, which marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception holiday in the Catholic tradition, the log is "fed" small amounts of candies, nuts, figs or torrons -- a local type of nougat -- every night and sleeps under a little blanket. On Christmas Eve or Christmas day, depending on the household, one end of the log is put in the fireplace and ordered to "poop."
To hasten and encourage the log's symbolic bowel movement, children sing special songs and beat it with sticks, yelling "caga tió!" Someone then reaches around the log and under the blanket to bring forth a gift that is then shared by the group.
Of course, if the revelers are still hungry, then can always go to their local pastry shops, which have sweets shaped like feces on offer during the holiday season.

And you thought Uncle Bert was embarassing at Christmas - imagine what he would say and o with this tradition in the offing???????????? So on this rather strange (and funny ) note I am off for a day of sewing and teaching Gloria how to cook my Christmas biscuits.

have a fabulous day


Thursday, December 11, 2008

And now for something completely different........

This gorgeous little thing is the handmade handbag that I received as my secret santa gift at out patchworkers Christmas party yesterday.

It was made just for me by a lovely lady in our group who makes the most extraordinary handbags in fabric and leather. I am so thrilled with this it is just the same colour as four tops that I live in over summer so it will be well used.


The Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company, department store operators, had been purchasing and distributing children's coloring books as Christmas gifts for their customers for several years. In 1939, Montgomery Ward tapped one of their own employees to create a book for them, thus saving money. 34-year old copywriter Robert L. May wrote the story of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer in 1939, and 2.4 million copies were handed out that year. Despite the wartime paper shortage, over 6 million copies had been distributed by 1946.May drew in part on the story "The Ugly Duckling" and in part from his own experiences as an often taunted, small, frail youth to create the story of the misfit reindeer. Though Rollo and Reginald were considered, May settled on Rudolph as his reindeer's name.
Writing in verse as a series of rhyming couplets, May tested the story as he went along on his 4-year old daughter Barbara, who loved the storySadly, Robert Mays wife died around the time he was creating Rudolph, leaving Mays deeply in debt due to medical bills. However, he was able to persuade Sewell Avery, Montgomery Ward's corporate president, to turn the copyright over to him in January 1947, thus ensuring May's financial security.May's story "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was printed commercially in 1947 and in 1948 a nine-minute cartoon of the story was shown in theaters. When May's brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, wrote the lyrics and melody for the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", the Rudolph phenomenon was born. Turned down by many musical artists afraid to contend with the legend of Santa Claus, the song was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949 at the urging of Autry's wife. The song sold two million copies that year, going on to become one of the best-selling songs of all time, second only to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas". The 1964 television special about Rudolph, narrated by Burl Ives, remains a holiday favorite to this day and Rudolph himself has become a much-loved Christmas icon.
THE GARDEN: My yellow squash has taken over the vegetbale garden it is growing like the plant in the Doctor Who Episode "the Day of the Triffids" I am continuing to harvest tiny little yellow zucchinis and cut them up for salads, or as "sticks for dips". That crazy bonus eggplant plant is producing one or two for kitchen per day, the tomatoes I have harvested and am waiting for them to ripen there are heaps out there and with the sun today more will be ready to come off the plants this afternoon.
And growing over all of this is the yellow squash with tiny wee little squash on it - I love yellow squash they are my favourite vegetable.
The lettuce is going great guns and tipping them out and harvesting from the sides seems to be stopping them going to seed at this stage.
I accidentally pulled up an onion yesterday it was really little but there was one there!!!
The potatoes well they are huge the ones in the tyres just keep growing I have added a third tyre to the stack (and am thinking of a fourth as the plant is almost a metre out of the top), no sign of yellowing off yet and the new ones are going great guns so hopefully we will have potatoes for most of the next few months.
My pan for today is to clean, get some baking done, weed when it is cooler, iron while we watch some silly Christmas movies,and mainly to relax into my Christmas holidays with the daisies.
Have a fantastic day - I have something really interesting for the Trivia post tomorrow. Hope you are enjoying it. Welcome to the new commenters and some new visitors who have shown up on the feedjit thingy, please feel free to leave a comment or just introduce yourself.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've been tagged by Tracey..

The gorgeous Tracey from over at Frugal Luxuries has tagged me to write about six things - things about me....

Well here goes

ONE: I have worked in a lot of jobs over the years but the one job I own up to and do really well is being a mum. When my first son was born I can remember thinking that nobody else in the world had ever felt like I felt - nobody knew what a joy it was to be me at that moment...not all motherhood moments are like that but I can honestly say most of them for me are. My children are the greatest thing I have ever or will ever accomplish.

TWO: most of the things I do I do because I feel I should - I have this charmed existence where I am married to the most gorgeous man in the world, a man who I have loved since I was 15 years old. We have all our children here with us and they are all functioning happy people in their own unique ways. So when someone asks me to do something I feel I have to because I have this great life and I need to pay the universe back for allowing me to live like this. Some would call it guilt but it is more than that it is simply thankfulness.

THREE: When I grow up I still want to be a nurse and a writer. There are so many things I want to do in my life and sometimes I crowd it with loads of stuff just so I can get through my very very long list of I want tos...everyday when I look in the mirror I am shocked to see how old I am - I still think and feel like I am in my 20s and I still have so many things to do.

FOUR: I love being able to work and raise money for charity but I hate it when people thank me for it or try to make a big deal of it - it is simply one of the things I do I am thrilled when they come off well and we raise loads of money but other than me being thrilled in myself I don't want photos or plaques or thank yous I just want to move on to the next thing.

FIVE : I am a SNOB - it isn't a pretty trait but it is who I am I would never be rude to anyone but I detest flip flops/thongs being worn as anything other than beach wear, I hate to see jeans hems dragging on the ground, and people gum chewing. It amazes me that people don't dress properly for anything anymore, that they have no manners whatesoever in the most basic of situations and don't get me started on a 20 year old girl who can't set the table (yes a GF of one of the daisyboys - thankfully she didn't last long) But my pet peeve this year is how people behave in church they wander in and out of the church all through the mass nobody ever tells their children to just be quiet so you have this cacophany of noise all the way through the consecration it is appalling. I tell people it is the only hour a week where our lot all shut up and listen at the same.

SIX: I am really looking forward to being out and about in the world next year without a toddler in tow. After 22 years I will be able to sit and have a cappucino without having to scoop off the foam for the little one, or leave it to go cold while I take them to the toilet, I will be able to shower and go to the bathroom all by myself, I won't have to stop to clip someone into a car seat , or push them in trolley, I can go to the library and actually get a book out for me! I can eat lunch at 2pm if I want to. A quick trip to the shop will be a quick trip. I will be able to try on clothes instead of bringing them home in two sizes, I will have time to go to the dentist, have a pap smear, get a haircut without having to employ McCarthur-like qualities in organisation and troop movement. But even as good as all that will be I will be after 22 years i will be on my own really irrevocably on my own for 6 hours five days a week..............................


A Different Tradition..............

This time of year seems to be rife with ceremonies and festivals from all religions and ways of life.

One of the ceremonies being celebrated right now by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims is The Hajj. This occurs in the Holy City of Mecca on the 7th - 12th day of the 12th month of Islamic calendar year Dhu al-Hajja - (which coincides with our 6th - 11th of December). It concludes with the Eid ul Adha when those not travelling to Mecca take part.

Once a year, Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Kaaba praising Allah together.

The Hajj makes Muslims feel real importance of life here on earth, and the afterlife, by stripping away all markers of social status, wealth, and pride. In the Hajj all are truly equal.

History of the Hajj

Four thousand years ago the valley of Mecca was a dry and uninhabited place.
Muslims believe the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was instructed to bring his wife, Hajira (Hagar) and their child Is'mail to Arabia from Palestine to protect them from the jealousy of Ibrahim's first wife Sarah.
Allah told the Prophet Ibrahim to leave them on their own, and he did so, with some supplies of food and water. However the supplies quickly ran out and within a few days Hajira and Is'mail were suffering from hunger and dehydration.
In her desperation Hajira ran up and down two hills called Safa and Marwa trying to see if she could spot any help in the distance. Finally she collapsed beside Is'mail and prayed to Allah for deliverance.
Is'mail struck his foot on the ground and this caused a spring of water to gush forth from the earth. Hajira and Is'mail were saved. Now they had a secure water supply they were able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.
After a while the Prophet Ibrahim returned from Palestine to check on his family and was amazed to see them running a profitable well.

The Prophet Ibrahim was told by Allah to build a shrine dedicated to him. Ibrahim and Is'mail constructed a small stone structure – the Kaaba or Cube - which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in Allah.
As the years passed Is'mail was blessed with Prophethood and he gave the nomads of the desert the message of surrender to Allah.
After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving city thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zam Zam.
Gradually, the people began to adopt polytheistic ideas, and worship spirits and many different gods. The shrine of the Prophet Ibrahim was used to store idols.
After many years, Allah told the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) that he should restore the Kaaba to the worship of Allah only.
In the year 628 the Prophet Muhammed set out on a journey with 1400 of his followers. This was the first pilgrimage in Islam, and would re-establish the religious traditions of the Prophet Ibrahim.

Guide to going to Mecca (this is largely taken from the BBC website where I found the rest of the article)

It's best to travel light, so only take essentials.

Many pilgrims fly to Jeddah, and then travel to Mecca by bus.

Once you get to Mecca, there are two rituals which you can perform; the lesser pilgrimage or Umra, and the main pilgrimage or Hajj.

The Umra is an extra, optional pilgrimage and does not count as the once-in-a-lifetime Hajj. Although it includes some of the rituals of the Hajj, they are shortened and there are fewer of them.

Most pilgrims who come for the Hajj arrive a few days before it actually starts and perform Umra first. Combining the Hajj with the Umrah is called a Hajji-Tamattu.
Being pure

To carry out the pilgrimage rituals you need to be in a state of Ihram, which is a special state of ritual purity.

You do this by making a statement of intention, wearing special white clothes (which are also called ihram) and obeying the regulations below.

The person on the Hajj may not:

Engage in marital relations
Shave or cut their nails
Use cologne or scented oils
Kill or hunt anything
Fight or argue.
Women must not cover their faces, even if they would do so in their home country.
Men may not wear clothes with stitching.
Bathing is allowed but scented soaps are frowned upon.


The Hajj is a real pilgrimage - a journey, with rites and rituals to be done along the way.
You begin at a place just outside Mecca called the Miqat, or entry station to the Hajj.
There you bathe, put on the Ihram (the special white clothes), make the intention for Umra and begin reciting the Talbiya Du'a (prayer).

Here I am at Your service, O Allah, here I am at your service! You have no partner. Here I am at your service. All praise and blessings belong to you. All dominion is yours and You have no partner.Talbiya Du'a

Then you go to the Masjid al Haram and walk around the Ka'ba seven times repeating du'as and prayers. This is called the Tawaf. Afterwards you should sip some Zam Zam water.
Zam Zam water is water from the Zam Zam well, the sacred well which opened in the desert to save Hajira and Is'mail from dying of thirst.

Next you go to the walkway between the hills of Safa and Marwa and walk back and forth between them seven times.

This completes the Umra portion of the Hajj rituals and some of the Ihram restrictions are relaxed.


Now make your intention for the Hajj and put on the Ihram garments again.

Travel to Mina on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah (a date in the Islamic calendar ) and remain there until Fajr (dawn) next morning.

Then you travel to the valley of Arafat and stand in the open praising Allah. The heat of Arabia at midday provides a hint as to what the Day of Judgement will be like.

At the end of the day, travel to Muzdalifa for the night. Gather together 49 or 70 small stones together to use the next day.

In the morning you return to Mina and throw the stones at pillars called Jamraat. These represent the devil. Then a sacrifice called a Qurbani should be made in which a lamb or sheep is slaughtered and the meat distributed among the poor. After this, men's heads are shaved and women cut a lock of their hair.

Then return to Mecca and make a Tawaf (this is the ritual of walking around the Ka'aba seven times). Then it's back to Mina for 3 or 4 days, stoning the pillars each day.

Finally do a farewell Tawaf in Masjid-al Haram on the twelfth day of the month of Dhul Hijjah, ask Allah's forgiveness, make du'a and the Hajj is finished.

Many people then go to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, but this is optional.

A man who has completed the Hajj is called a Hajji, a woman who has completed it is called a Hajjah.

At the end of the Hajj, Muslims from all over the world celebrate the holiday known as the Eid ul Adha or Festival of the sacrifice.

This festival commemorates the obedience of the Prophet Ibrahim when he was ordered to sacrifice his son Is'mail. Ibrahim proved his love and devotion to Allah by showing his willingness to kill his beloved son if Allah wished it. In the end Ibrahim did not have to kill his son as Allah gave him a ram to sacrifice instead.

Before I did the reading for this post I knew about the walking seven times aorund the Ka'aba and the fact that The Hajj was a once in alifetime event and of great significance. But I found it truly interesting to read of all the parts of the Hajj and the rules of clothing, and preparation. I have mentioned a friend of mine who follows this path and her husband is a Hajji she hopes to complete her Hajj next year. They don't speak of it, except in general terms, but I can see that for them it is a deeply spiritual, necessary part of their faith. I always wonder what things are revealed to you as you walk with thousands of others, in the heat, chanting prayers that have been chanted for centuries.

yes I know another religious post but tomorrow I promise something secular !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile I am off to our Patchworkers Christmas party oh and as for the shopping trip done and dusted. We had a fun day although it was a tad stressful at times. But I came home smiling and so did the kids so I call it a success.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday is SHOPPING DAY!!!!

Today we are off for our once a year shopping day. We get photos taken with Santa, the kids buy their gifts for each other. We get the all important Christmas Chocolate stash.
And generally have a whole day at the shopping centre. I do not as a rule enjoy shopping centres I hate them in fact and buy from our local Main Street retailers as much as possible. But this one day is the exception.
This year as an added bonues we have daisyboy20 with us again as he is still off work recovering from his surgery. The little ones are so excited their big brother is coming with us.
These covered coathangers are what I ahve made for my Secret Santa gift for patchworkers. the party is tomorrow....
Someone asked me how I went yesterday well I had a great day and I am indeed organised.
I made three of these hangers, further down you will see a book and a pile of bags they don't look much but the background squares for my BOM applique are now done. Tonight I will trace out the designs on Velisofix and if I have time I might attach them to the material and cut them out. So that project is well under way now to be ready for handsewing while we are away.

The other photo is a Strip Club pack I bought from our local Patchwork Shop it is (or will be...) a Christmas Table Runner. It is so bright and funky just perfect for Christmas at the beach, this was how it looked yesterday at 5pm, and now it is cut out and laid out ready to sew together so i will post more of that tomorrow.

CHRISTMAS TRIVIA: THE CANDY CANE (those of you with children finishing school this week will no doubt have a houseful of his rubbish I wanted to know where they came from....)

It was not long after Europeans began using Christmas trees that special decorations were used to adorn them. Food items, such as candies and cookies, were used predominately and straight white candy sticks were one of the confections used as ornamentation. Legend has it that during the 17th century, craftsmen created the white sticks of candy in the shape of shephreds' crooks at the suggestion of the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
The candy treats were given to children to keep them quiet during ceremonies at the living creche, or Nativity scene, and the custom of passing out the candy crooks at such ceremonies soon spread throughout Europe.
According to the National Confectioner's Association, in 1847 German immigrant August Imgard used the candy cane to decorate a Christmas tree in Wooster, Ohio. More than 50 years later, Bob McCormack of Albany, Georgia supposedly made candy canes as treats for family, friends and local shopkeepers. McCormack's brother-in-law, Catholic priest Gregory Keller, invented a machine in the 1950s that automated the production of candy canes, thus eliminating the usual laborious process of creating the treats and the popularity of the candy cane grew.More recent explanations of the candy cane's symbolism hold that the color white represents Christ's purity, the red the blood he shed, and the presence of three red stripes the Holy Trinity. While factual evidence for these notions does not exist, they have become increasingly common and at times are even represented as fact. Regardless, the candy cane remains a favorite holiday treat and decoration.
A Note about CHRISTMAS TRIVIA: Yesterday I had an email from a reader who was most upset that my Christmas Trivia was "all centred on religion" - I would like to explain that although I am a Catholic and my faith is very important to me I also have dear friends who are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and even Ba'Hai I have other friends who do not discuss their spirituality - after receiving your email I dicussed it with them and we all agreed that religion is inevitable in any discussion about Christmas as it is a RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL.
I have done some research and I will be including some trivia from other spiritual paths and the traditions that they also follow at this time of year.
I honestly thought this was a bit of fun and interesting - I sincerely hope that it has not offened or alientated anyone who visits Daisy Mountain. My personal view is that faith is a personal thing and whether it is tied up with ceremony, meditation, or pomp and circumstance is not an issue with me I am who I am and I embrace and accept who you are.
Mind you this has all lead me into some very interesting trivia territory so stand by to have your collective end of year season trivia knowledge expanded beyond the "traditional".
Wish me luck six kids, santa, shopping and crowds.....................

Monday, December 8, 2008

By todays end I will be organised!!!!!!!!

A quick one today I am spending he hwole day in he sewing room getting on top of my gift sewing. No lunches to make ,no trips in the car, hopefully no arguing children!!LOL

Wish me luck.


From the early days of the Church, believers painted scenes of the birth of Christ beginning in the catecombs. These scenes became a staple of Christian life and carried on through the years. In the time of St. Francis of Assisi, the images had taken a new form: faithful Catholics would set out mangers in front of their local church, but these mangers were often jeweled and made of gold to represent who they held. St. Francis marvelled at this and felt that the people were forgetting the humble, poor birth of our Lord Jesus.

So in 1223, St. Francis created the first living Creche in a small cave in Italy. On Christmas eve he gathered with others to act out the Nativity scene in all it's impoverished glory. This re-enactment is credited as the first Creche (which is French for "manger") and from that point forward the creche was designed in a more realistic way by depicting a stable scene.

A creche traditionally includes two animals: an ox and a donkey. These were the two animals participating in St. Francis' creche because he wanted to allude to Isaiah 1:3 which states "The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master's crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand."

Another important consideration is that the shepherds and the wise men shouldn't be at the creche together. These days, we tend to simply sit all the players out and leave them there for the season. However in many countries they add and remove characters based on the day. So for example, the manger should be empty until Christmas day. The next day shepherds show up. But not until early January do the wise men show up (by which time the shepherds have returned to their duties). And the nativity should stay up until February 2nd, which is the feast day of the Presentation of the Lord.

And your thought whacking out the nativity scene was the easy part of Christmas decorating!!!~


Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Sunday Market surprise

Today I attended the Designers Emporium Markets as well as selling a hobby horse and most of my remaining teatowels. ....I got to meet a fellow blogger Caroline from the Simple Things.

Despite her daughter worrying that I might have been an axe murderer....we had a lovely chat and got to know each other a little better. It was strange but very comfortable nonetheless and we had a great laugh. Thank you Caroline for taking the time to come and see me I really appreciate being able to put a face to the name.

So to todays Christmas trivia: Christmas Holly

In Northern Europe Christmas occurred during the middle of winter, when ghosts and demons could be heard howling in the winter winds. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed over the doors of homes to drive evil away. Greenery was also brought indoors to freshen the air and brighten the mood during the long, dreary winter.Legend also has it that holly sprang from the footsteps of Christ as he walked the earth. The pointed leaves were said to represent the crown of thorns Christ wore while on the cross and the red berries symbolized the blood he shed.

Enjoy this wonderful day.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Trivia continues.......

Ever wondered why you hang a Stocking for Christmas??

According to legend, a kindly nobleman grew despondent over the death of his beloved wife and foolishly squandered his fortune. This left his three young daughters without dowries and thus facing a life of spinsterhood.The generous St. Nicholas, hearing of the girls' plight, set forth to help. Wishing to remain anonymous, he rode his white horse by the nobleman's house and threw three small pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they were fortuitously captured by the stockings the young women had hung by the fireplace to dry.


Friday, December 5, 2008

The Last last day

Finally Daisyboy7 finishes today. I know it will seem very early for some but I have had one home for two weeks one home for one week and one home since Tuesday, plus daisyboy20 is out of hospital and here being looked after by his mum. All they did yesterday was fight and argue , I was ready to leave home, but then last night all was well - they had sorted out their pecking order and things are calm again - another round tomorrow when daisyboy7 is home all day that should have them sorted for the whole holidays. Yes they are like chooks when you add a newcomer.

Christmas Triva: The Christmas Cake

Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon dried fruit, spices and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and eventually it turned into Christmas pudding.
In the 16th century, oatmeal was removed from the original recipe, and butter, wheat flour and eggs were added. These ingredients helped hold the mixture together and in what resulted in a boiled plum cake. Richer families that had ovens began making fruit cakes with marzipan, an almond sugar paste, for Easter. For Christmas, they made a similar cake using seasonal dried fruit and spices. The spices represented the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men. This cake became known as "Christmas cake."
Christmas cakes are made many different ways, but generally they are variations on classic fruitcake. They can be light, dark, moist, dry, heavy, spongy, leavened, unleavened, etc. They are made in many different shapes, with frosting, glazing, a dusting of confectioner's sugar or plain.
The traditional Scottish Christmas cake, also known as the Whisky Dundee, is very popular. It is a light crumbly cake with currants, raisins, cherries and Scotch whisky. Other types of Christmas cakes include an apple crème cake and a mincemeat cake. The apple crème cake is made with apples, other fruit, raisins, eggs, cream cheese and whipping cream. The mincemeat cake is made with traditional mincemeat or vegetarian mincemeat, flour, eggs, etc. It can also be steamed as a Christmas pudding.
All Christmas cakes are made in advance. Many make them in November, keeping the cake upside down in an airtight container. A small amount of brandy, sherry or whisky is poured into holes in the cake every week until Christmas. This process is called “feeding” the cake.
In Japan Christmas cake is a frosted sponge cake with strawberries, chocolates or seasonal fruit. It was an expression that to call women over the age of 25 "Christmas cake," meaning that they are out of season, as the cake is after December 25th. Now the age is raised to 31, linked to toshikoshi-soba, a noodle dish eaten on December 31st.
In the Philippines Christmas cake is a yellow pound cake with nuts or the traditional British fruitcake. Both cakes are soaked in brandy or rum, a palm sugar syrup and water. Rosewater or orange flower water is usually added. The cakes have a long shelf life, usually lasting many months. Sometimes they are eaten the following Easter or Christmas.

Have a fabulous day

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bon bons, birds and Christmas bling!!!!!!!!!

I can be quite weird about some things and one of those things is Christmas Crackers or Bon Bons. Nobody else in the family is allowed to buy them, they must match the plan I have for the colour theme for the year and the little trinkets MUST be worthwhile. I am sure nobody else gives a toss and daisydad doesn't care as long as they have those awful paper hats in them which we all must wear (his weird Christmas thing).

It takes a long time to buy the right Bon Bons first I start with how I want the table to look for the main Christmas meal and what colours I will use (This then becomes the colour scheme all the presents are wrapped in - but more on that annally retentive feature of my nature later in the month - there are rules) and then I choose ones to match. I used to buy really expensive ones (I have been known to spend over $100 on Crackers - yes I know DUMB but it is only once a year and they are lovely).

One year I went all brown paper and string and gum leaves and I made the crackers myself complete with good cigars for the guys and lovely lipstick for the girls (pre kids days).

Last year I bought CHEAP bon bons - why? because I couldn't find the right colour green and silver anywhere (Bon Bon shopping involves many trips and much looking before finally deciding - I have even been known to buy four or five lots and return the ones I don't use).

As we sat down to Christmas Lunch I was apologising profusley for the cheap bon bons (again noone cared) but they gifts were fabulous and in fact I am still wearing a pair of BLING earrings that came out of them. (they do hurt my ears after a few hours but they they are CUTE)

This year we go to the beach and have to have Christmas away from many of our traditions. So we are making our own decorations for the LIVE Christmas tree we will get when we get there and wrapping the presents in newspaper with red ribbon. So these are my Bon bons for this year as you can see they were cheap as well ( I have to buy two packets though).


This very Christmassy fellow arrived on our verandah this morning and continued to sit there while we went about our morning routine. How couldn't you be in the Christmas Spirit when there are these reminders around you from Mother Nature herself.

The story of the Christmas cracker is really a testament to one man's ingenuity and determination. Tom Smith was a confectioner's apprentice in London in the early 19th century. On a trip to Paris in 1840, he admired the French sugared almond bon-bons, wrapped in coloured tissue paper, and decided to introduce them in London. These bon-bons were popular, but not quite as Smith had hoped.
For seven years he worked to develop the bon-bon into something more exciting, but it was not until he sat one evening in front of his fireplace that his great idea came to him. Watching the logs crackle, he imagined a bon-bon with a pop. He made a coloured paper wrapper and put in it another strip of paper impregnated with chemicals which, when rubbed, created enough friction to produce a noise. He knew that bangs excited children (and were said to frighten evil spirits) - and the mottoes and poems he inserted inside the crackers amused adults.
The new product was initially marketed as the Cosaque, but “cracker" soon became the commonly used name, as rival varieties were introduced to the market. The other elements of the modern cracker, the gifts, paper hats and varied designs, were all introduced by Tom Smith's son, Walter Smith, as ways of distinguishing the company from the many copycat cracker manufacturers which had suddenly sprung up.
One of the nicest stories told by the staff of Tom Smith is that of the gentleman who sent a diamond ring and a ten-shilling note, with a letter requesting that a special cracker be made with the ring inside, as a proposal to his ladylove. Sadly, the gentleman did not remember to include his address! Maybe the engagement never happened, because he did not get back in touch with Smiths, and the ring, together with the money and the letter are still kept by Smiths in their archives.

Today is Library Day - afternoon tea in the park near library, sign up for the summer reading club, and get out a load of books to take on holidays including Christmas Stories. We will also hunt out all the Christmas books we have on the bookshelf for bedtime/quiet time reading.
Yesterdays Clothes day was fun (but I am still doing the washing generated by it) we culled a bit but I think the 3 little boys (who all share one room) have way too many clothes so I am going to be ruthless we have been gifted a lot of hand me downs lately and I cannot keep them all, things just get too messy.
Before we head off to the library this afternoon I am going to spend a chunk of the day getting some sewing done. First and foremost that secret santa gift for out Patchworkers Christmas Party next week. Then a pair of pants for me and then maybe a few more stock items for the Designers Emporium Markets - I used to attend this all the time but with working on Saturdays I let it go as I didn't want to be away two days on the weekend even if it was only once a month. They are having a fundraiser for the Royal Childrens Hospital this weekend so I am trying to get a last minute spot and get rid of some of the stock I still have on hand. If anyone close by wants to go have a look at their website for details If you come along I am Daisy Mountain Designs.(if I get a spot)
Have a great day

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 3 on the Christmas Countdown

Here is my Advent calendar - I realised about ten minutes after I posted I was off to make one that even I couldn't get a fabric one made on Monday so I improvised.

I had been saving toilet roll cardboard to plant seeds into - so I wrapped them in some old Christmas paper, put a strip of paper with the dates on them around them and poked another peice of paper with the "thing" for the day inside. Threw them all into a big glass bowl and VOILA people Advent calendar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The best bit is when Christmas is over I can still use them to plant seeds in!!!

Todays "thing" is CLOTHES - sort through all the kids clothes and hunt out Christmas outfits for santa photos, outings, parties etc. get them celaned and pressed and ready to roll.


All this talk of Advent needs some explanantion so...

The word Advent is from the latin word Adventus which means "coming".

Advent with a capital A usually refers to the "coming of Christ into the world" or to the liturgical period preceding Christmas.

In the 8th century Advent was observed not as a liturgical celebration but as a time of fast and abstinence.

In the 9th Century the Catholic Church designated the first Sudnay of Advent the beginning of the Church year.

Update on daisyboy20:

He looked great yesterday although his blood pressure is a bit low he may even be home this afternoon we shall see what the doctor has to say today. Thank you all for your good wishes, positive vibes and prayers for us all.

Have a gradual day..................


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas biscuits..........

Yesterday was another busy out all day day for me. I left daisygirl and daisyboy4 home alone and this is what they got up to.....

Christmas biscuits...

Not sure how hygenic it is to have daisyboy4 on the bench with the dough but they had so much fun. The recipe came from the Advent sheet that was in the newsletter at church.

Jesse Tree Biscuits:

1 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oats

Blend butter, sugar,extract, salt. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Stir in Oats. Chill dough. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness cut and bake at 180C for 8 - 10 minutes. Ice if you like.

And here is what is left after we took some for afternoon tea, lunches today and packed some up for Daisyboy7's class party this morning.

They even cleaned up the kitchen so by the time I got home last night from the hospital all was as it should be.

Quick note daisyboy20 came through the op with only a minor hiccup and is safely in bed and feeling sore and sorry this morning.

Christmas Trivia: The Jesse Tree

This is a popular Advent tradition ( well if you are catholic/christian although I believe in some Jewish sects there is also a similar thing for hannukah). A jesse tree named after the father of David is a tree that is decorated gradually throughout Advent with symbols or pictures of biblical persons associated with the coming of Jesus. This includes among others Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph and Mary. The creation of a Jesse Tree serves as a reminder of the preparatory nature of the Advent season.

I think the key word in that explanation is "gradually" our lead up to Christmas should be gradual a small piece every day.

December 2 on our Advent calendar is "decorate" today I will dig out the baubles and candle holders and put them around the house we aren't here for Christmas itself we will be at my brothers beach house so the tree up there will be a live one which we must make decorations for shells, driftwood, paper stars etc. But we will still have some decorations around the house to remind us of the gradual lead up to Christmas.

And finally............

I have always been a little scared of growing orchids they seem like they need a lot of fuss, but no not really they can be ignored just like all my other garden plants and in return they give you this......................

Have a wonderful - gradual - day


Monday, December 1, 2008

Countdown to Christmas...........

Despite the spanners that the universe is throwing at me at them moment or perhaps because of them I am Counting down to Christmas. Not in a panicked way or a hassled way but in a how can I plan and make this next threeish weeks joyful, stressless and memorable.

So over on Jacqui's blog "I too am addicted to scrap"she has the best Advent Calendar idea I have ever seen - check it out.

As today is December 1st and I have not even made an advent calendar my December 1st is:

to make an advent Calendar and the little instruction for the day will be PLAN.

PLAN - what I still have to make - easy refer to last weeks list and then some

- what I have to buy - a turkey, maybe a ham, some champers.

- what I plan to give - pressies for the kids only limited shopping done so far but I need a list

- what I have already got - hunt out the pressie hiding places and clear them so that book I have had for five years now finally gets in someones stocking!!

- what we will do - invite for neighbour dirnks in paddock

- Christmas Cleaning not as boring as it sounds

- Christmas shopping trips for just dad and I (like the booze shopping with careful planning we could do that and have a quick dinner out without the daisies!!

- an outing to town to see the Christmas windows - remind self to ask The Old Dairy if Tba has some good ones could combine that with a visit to my sister

- an outing to see the Christmas lights - put that on the day we have a birthday party at fast food restaurant on December 16th - birthday party, visit to grandma and grandad and Christmas lights on the way home.

I love Christmas all the traditions , and the time we spend together this last week I lost sight of that but thanks to Jacqui, Mandy's up beat holiday post ( I feel the same way) and a post from the Vision Splendid that I read this morning on the seven steps to a simple Christmas I am back in the mood - be prepared for Christmas trivia folks

Todays Christmas trivia: The twelve days of Christmas refers to the period from Christmas Eve until the feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. Traditionally from the first Sunday in Advent (yesterday for those whose spirituality doesn't include church or mass) you decorate your home with candles, decorations and prepare food so that on Christmas Eve the culimination is a feast and the putting up of the Christmas Tree the crowning glory of the four weeks preparation. The tree then stays up until the feast of the Epiphany January 6th - 12 days.

Christmas Fun: I have a friend who keeps her Christmas Tree decorated all year round no fabric just plastic decorations and outdoor fairy lights. Each year she puts it in the roof space for storage - all set up - and then on December first they take it out and HOSE it clean - dry it and then put it back in the lounge wonders.......

Okay off to make that Advent Calendar before I go off to work, I will visit daisyson20 this afternoon after his operation and so I will have some time to get some sewing done then.
Welcome to all the new readers hope you enjoy you r time herre at Daisy Mountain.

Friday, November 28, 2008

State of things here .............

Daisyson20 - is in hospital, he had a cat scan last night and may need an operation to clear his very infected sinuses - he went in yesterday - truly the day from hell........had to leave the lunch I organised for the new prep parents for next year early, got him to hospital, arranged for someone to collect daisyboy7 from bus, take him home and then take him to school concert, where daisydad met him with orange shirt that I had to buy yesterday (Year 2 had to wear orange - tried to buy an orange shirt this summer??????????????) Daisyson21 came home early to be here for daisygirl and dasiyson12 to get off bus, left them and went and did stuff he had to do because he picks up his new car today. Called and organised for someone to collect daisyson12 and take him to the year 7 mass and farewell supper. met with doctor at 6.35pm did I mention daisyboy4 is with me ? we arrived at the hospital at 2.30 and he was PERFECT not good, not quiet just absolutely PERFECT!! talked to doctor got daisyboy20 settled put daisyboy4 in car drove to college - rang daisyboy20s father and tell him what is going on on the way - met daisyson21 who took daisyboy4 and car seat on the rest of his errands with him - where is daisygirl????? - she is home on her own apparently washing up - arrive at mass only 5 minutes late get to stand outside - yay at least it is cool, do the supper thing remember I haven't phoned daisyson17 to tell him his brother is in hospital do that he has enough of schoolies and is ready to come home oh and he is out of money - note to self put money in his account tommorow on the way to dropping off patterns, before I pick up daisygirl and her friends oh wait can't do that going straight to hospital, note to self message daisygirls friends and make sure they have an alternative way of getting home, remember client who didn't show up this morning is coming tomorrow at 8am note to self get friend to collect daisyboy7 for school in the morning - oh pack patterns to deliver to quilt shop! On the way home stop and get groceries daisyboy12 is off to Wetn Wild tomorrow buy ham etc for good lunch, finally get home daisyboy4 passed out on the couch, daisyboy7 wants to show me the orange shirt fits and the flashing hats I ordered three weeks ago have arrived for the concert so everyone has a flashing santa hat on - make sandwich pour wine, daisydad in bad mood loads of work coming in (boo bloody hoo)


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Stitching Cow has a Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!

Click here to discover more details about this beautiful quilt

Lenna from over at The Stitching Cow has a giveaway happening. You may have seen this quilt advertised in the latest quilting magazines. It is called "Cottages in Common".

This quilt has loads of hand stitching on it and is going to be my 2009 project (once all the ones I talked about in my last post are done or well on their way to being done). She runs it as a Block of the Month and has a tutorial that she sends via email with tips and tricks and demonstrations for those tricky bits.

So she is giving away one of those tutorials (which includes the pattern) emailed to you once a month - and all you have to do is post the picture of the quilt and the embedded link to your blog to get the word out and about.

I am so looking forward to doing this one but I put off buying it until some of the my other projects were looking closer to being finished and I could save for it. Now I have the chance to win the BOM how cool would that be???? I had to share this chance with all of you - good luck!!


Progress Report....

I was finishing these off yesterday afternoon at my machine and I realised that things were getting way out of control I needed to I is still a bit untidy but at least I have all the fabric that needs to be folded and put back in one place, all the pieces for the quilts I have to quilt and bind in one place, all the BOMs in one place and all my business paperwork in one place. So another hour or so and it will be done.

Cleaning gives you the chance to sort and throw and collect your thoughts I always find so I have finally started my secret santa gift for the my patchworking group.....well it is cut out and I found the coat hangers so I am way ahead of where I was yesterday morning (still deciding what to do!!!)

I also came across the list for this year the things I had decided to make -

-a quillow for each child (daisyboy4 has one, daisygirl's needs to be quilted and bound)

- Be Attitudes BOM (only 3 done so far out of 10 - and I still have hand stitching to do on them)

- Journey of a Quilter (block one finished nothing else)
- Angels Story (three blocks finished, two with appliques fused ready to hand sew, and four together with no applique on them yet - I did much better with this one)

- Carolina Crossroads (from Quiltville) the top is finished just needs quilting and binding

- Orange Crush (from quiltville) same top done quilt and bind

- Old Tobacco Roads (from Quiltville) first units together just need to make the blocks.

Other things that got added along the way:

A strip twist quilt for daisyson21 top together just needs borders and quilt and bind.

Shabby Blooms - top together needs borders and quilt and bind


A tablecloth I made ages ago quilted and bound

A baby quilt for a friend

Another baby quilt (the pink heart one) for sons friend

Gardeners Journal quilted and bound

and countless tea cosies, lunch packs, tea towels, hand bags, shopping bags for my market stall

Christmas decorations for the kids and one for the family (minus the hand sewing to put the eyes and features on!)

Two table runners for the stall at the quilt show

A quilt for my friends new home (I won first prize at our local show with that one)

Pj pants for the kids (10)

pj pants for me (1)

pants for me (1)

Still to do:
evening pants for me for daisydads christmas party

2 more pairs of pants for me

a dress for daisygirl

and everything unfinished from above..............................


All I want for Christmas is a week in my sewing room uninterrupted!!!!

Listing it out helps put into perspective what I have finished this year and just how productive I have been in this area of my life whilst not ignoring the other parts. Having a tidy sewing room will help me get all this done faster - but I can't guarantee that it won't be just as messy by the end of it!!!LOL

Off to finish the tidy up I have four clients coming this morning to drop off alterations so I need to look like I am organised!!!!!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A new addition to the family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my stove - a bit sad I broke the glass in the door sometime ago and when I got the quote to fix it it was almost the cost of a new stove. So we have lived with it and cooked in the BBQ. Now the piezo ignition has died in three of the burners at the top and the bottom of the oven has a big rust hole in it. (well that was there when we moved here five years ago - the stove hadn't been treated well - or cleaned for that matter)

The other week a friend of mine was saying she was getting a new stove - and she offered me hers - but - I had to get the hinges on the door fixed as the door didn't close properly and there were scorch marks on and around the knobs.

So amidst another horrible storm last week my wonderful daisyson21 went to their place on the way home and pulled out their old stove helped put the new one back in place loaded her up and bought her home.

I couldn't resist playing with it and I flicked a little taggy thing on the hinge and the whole door came off in my hand!!!!!!!!!!!!! So after a big lecture from daisyson21 about leaving things alone until it is daylight and not flicking things until I know what they do...he got the door back on, then we realised the door was bent not the hinges so with a few strategically placed taps with a hammer the door is fixed!!

Here is my new stove all ready for someone to come and connect why isn't it?? well the oven is electric I have never used an electric oven before - I might have to actually pre heat! So anyway now we wait until pay day next week and get the men (one electrician, one gas guy) to hook her up.

How much did I pay for this miracle??? Well nothing really I have to do some ironing at my friends house for a few months and that is it. I love bartering for things it makes so much sense - this stove would have ended up on landfill somewhere I am sure instead of in my kitchen looking fabulous and cooking something for my family every day. I will post a photo when it is installed and clean and with the glass lid on it etc.

I know posting about a stove is strange but it is an integral part of the tools that I need everyday to do the things I do - don't get me started on the washing mahcine - I almost had a nervous breakdown when our last one died - seriously as long as my laundry is clear I can function but two days without a machine around here is like being buried alive.....but I digress.

Gavin from the Greening of Gavin is talking about greening the home today in his Zero Footrpint series - this is an example of how by just paying attention to what people tell you - things can come your way without costing money, just some time and ingenuity and maybe a bit of ironing!!

happy day