Friday, December 19, 2014

Like a busy little elf . . .

Christmas Greetings dear friends & readers - and a Happy Friday to you all 
(or Happy Thursday in some countries)

Source : Pinterest

I have been a busy little elf these past few days but just today have finally wrapped the last of my families gifts 
At 85 years old my Mum no longer wants or needs any more "stuff" so I find her incredibly difficult to buy for ... 
I try to make handmade gifts for her that are special

Over 5 years Quite some time ago now I bought this kit while on holiday in Australia
It is a Lynette Anderson design - Mum was with me & she loved it so I planned to stitch it for her
I finally finished it this week (good things take time you know) so I used Jennys' wonderful tutorial to frame it myself
Whenever I read Jenny's tutorials on her blog elephantz I often tuck them away in the corners of my mind to refer back to "one day"
Jenny's tutorials (& her blog itself) are just wonderful & so easy to follow ... I have never had the confidence to actually frame a stitchery myself & would often pay large amounts of money for the framer to do it for me

I just used a simple wooden frame bought on special at The Warehouse ... 
I was really pleased with how it turned out

Once I had gift wrapped the parcel I sat that evening & stitched one of the "wish tags" designed by Tracey North from I LUV COUNTRY
(just thin cardboard sandwiched between 2 layers of felt)

which just seemed to set Mums parcel off beautifully I thought
-  Merry Christmas to my dear Mum  -

My friends & I don't really exchange gifts as such at Christmas time, we all have quite large families to give to  ... 
but instead I like to do little baking gifts for my local friends

Every year I make my gingernut bites & package up ... you can read the recipe at the bottom of this old post

Also this year I made some apricot fudge fingers ... really simple to make ... I have popped the recipe at the end of this post today
I find the decorative paper cups available from the $2 shop are a perfect size to present my baking in

Also I have been dehydrating some apple slices ... I got this vague idea in my head to make a dried apple wreath
You have to soak them well in citric acid before drying them to prevent them from turning brown

Now that I am halfway through this process, I must confess I am not sure about the apple wreath ... ???
I shall keep you posted on that one !!!

Every year I like to buy a new decoration, not necessarily for the tree ... just to dot about somewhere & enjoy
This year I came across this felted reindeer & just loved her so much
(yes she is a HER, she is wearing a dress!!!)
Her little satchel was empty but I popped some berries & greenery in it to make her more christmassy

\She looks most at home sitting on my egg container along with last years christmas purchase

Sometimes the busy-ness of the season can be quite overwhelming & you find yourself thinking "I can't wait til it's all over"
Yesterday I read a blog that said at this time of year "queues are long, wallets are empty & tempers are frayed"!!!
How true I thought . . .

Even Little Miss Jinxy was feeling it this past week, bless her !!!

My Mum arrives by bus this weekend so I may not have time to pop back again before Christmas
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you that stop by to read my ramblings
I very much appreciate that you take the time in your busy days to do this
May I wish you all a bright & happy festive season & hope that it brings good things to all of you & to your families 

Don't forget to be a bit kinder to yourself  & take some time to just rest a little along the way
I am unable to spread the presents right around the tree as I need to allow a space for Missy to rest her weary self!!!
with much love & friendship & blessings to you all
Julie & little Miss Jinxy & Blackie

Apricot Fudge Fingers:

125gm (4 ozs) butter
90 gm (3 ozs) brown sugar
1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 pkt crushed wine biscuits
1 cup chopped up dried apricots

Melt butter, brown sugar & condensed milk in pot.
Add apricots & crushed biscuits, stir well,  Press into a greased tin & sprinkle top with coconut.  
Set in fridge & cut into fingers.


  1. Merry Christmas to you too Julie............another beautiful post. We just got those wee Lynette Anderson Kits in at the shop the other day and I thought they were lovely also, you did a fab job of the framing, sometimes the Warehouse has some really nice goodies. I will be making your Gingernut balls again this year as they were popular last year. Love your little 'Miss Reindeer'.......very cute. Poor Miss Jinxy it must be tiring watching you run around like a mad women! At least you have allocated her a festive resting place. P.S is that some Megan tags I see??

  2. Merry Christmas Julie, I hope you gave a lovely and relaxing time xx

  3. Ah! Such lovely things and lovely sayings.
    And, yep, not long to go now. I'm off up to
    my daughters for a week. So! l shall have
    two dogs and three pussy~cats to share a
    bed with...HeHe! Great fun! All that snoring!

    And, dear little Jinxy...Bless!x I bet she's
    really enjoying it...Tree, tinsel, lights, balls,
    (Oh! Am l allowed to say that). :).
    Big hugs for them both...And, a little kiss to!

    Merry Christmas to one and all....Hope every
    one has a great time with family and friends...
    God Bless!x

  4. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones Julie. Thanks so much for your lovely blog. One of my fave places to drop in for a visit. All blessings for 2015 xx

  5. Happy Christmas, Julie...your blog is always worth the trip across the planet! xx

  6. And a very,very Happy Christmas to you too Julie. Hope to 'see' more of you next year - literally - I may even be forced to get on a NZ bound plane since there's a wedding in preparation that apparently, I NEED to go to!!! All the best for 2015. xxx (Beautiful makes by the way, I'm sure your Mum will love her present).

  7. Gorgeous all round Julie - and a Merry Christmas to you and your family too! I'm sure your Mum will love her special gift and can see why you found the Reindeer Lady irresistable :-)

  8. Merry Christmas Julie
    This gift is so wonderful. How I envy your stitching abilities.
    I think of you often and what you must be up to making.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday and New year!!

  9. Hello Julie,

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, have a special time with your Mum. Have you put a present under the tree for the furry ones?

    Happy days.

  10. Poor Miss Jinxy, such a tiring time of the year even for the pets. Merry Christmas to you and yours Julie, and I will catch up with you in the new year.

  11. The gift you made your mum is lovely and all the baking looks so yummy. Hope you have a wonderful week and Christmas day. Hugs Wendy xx

  12. Hello clever, crafty friend. What a charming & lovely gift for your Mum....goodness, even stitching the tag too! I like your little tradition of buying a Christmas decoration each year. This year's reindeer is very cute. Yes, I was wondering about the apple wreath....sounds like a good idea, of course! I imagine you have Christmas lilies growing in your garden too, do you? Golly, Jinxy wouldn't have been hiding under the duvet here yesterday, that's for sure. Even a sheet was too much in the night. Your balls look lovely in the cups...doesn't take much to make things look festive. I've enjoyed using the doilies from My Style....the red spotty jobs. Have a wonderful week & a very friendly, happy Christmas. I hope you get lots of useful help in the kitchen! Much love Catherine x0x0x

  13. Hello Dear Julie, love the stitchery you did for your Mum and I'm sure she will love it as well. The framing is wonderful. Merry Christmas to you all and dear Jinxy and Blackie. Hugs Shirley


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