Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas in Australia-Part 3

Is everyone sick of eating leftover turkey, chicken and ham?
Here are some examples of gift wrapping tecniques I tried this year. I used boxes with lids so the wrapping could remain intact, and so I can reuse the boxes year after year.
For my box, I made a poinsettia from felt, and used a tape measure ribbon.  I thought the ribbon was appropriate for me, seeing how I use one regularly,   The ribbon is from Typo by the way.  I found the paper at a florist shop.

I made this cute little rosette using strips of paper. For the white paper I used a decorative lacy punch. The paper is simply folded concertina style and fashioned into a circular shape.

I had alot of fun wrapping these.  Now it is time to face the big clean up, and start cooking for our New Years Eve party.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in Australia-Part 2

 We held our Christmas party in our backyard. I am very fortunate to have a lovely swimming pool.  I have tried to make my yard look like a tropical resort with various tropical plants.

 My daughter made the table cloths with fabric from Ikea.
 I forgot to take photos of what we ate for first course.  We had: ham, turkey,chicken. prawns and various salads and vegetables.  I made a variety of small desserts which were all devoured.  Above is chocolate mousse with a brownie base, garnished with raspberries and Flake chocolate.
My daughter made these Rudolph reindeers for the kids.

My dessert bar consited of: tropical trifle, choc mousse, brownies, mini chocolate Christmas puddings, apricot balls, layered jelly, fruit mince pies and sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce
I made these Christmas crackers from cardboard and a beautiful sheer white paper I found at the florist. I filled them with chocolates.
Our Japanese friends brought along their friends who were holidaying with them.  They gave me a lovely gift of Japanese biscuits.
Every Christmas on the Gold Coast coincides with storm season...and here it is, right on cue!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Australia - Part 1

Did everyone have a good Christmas? I thought I would show you how we celebrate Christmas in Australia, or more precisely, how I celebrate Christmas.
As my family and I are Christians, Christmas means we have been given the gift of eternal life when God came to earth in human form.  The great thing about this is, anyone can receive the gift- all you have to do is accept it by opening your heart to God and living the way he intended us to. You don't need to earn your way into heaven. The gift of eternal life is free to anyone who wants it.
I also enjoy the other aspects of Christmas.  Even though it is always hot where I live at Christmas, I still can't help decorating using European and wintery icons.  In fact, many Australians do, despite our climate.
I had a big party on Boxing Day, so I spent alot of time beforehand creating and cooking in preparation. These little softies were take home gifts for the children.  I hand sewed them from sweaters.

Then I packaged them up with a bar of Ikea chocolate.  The kids went nuts over them.  Even the older boys all wanted one!
I made these gift baskets for all the ladies to take home. They contained: jam, truffles, apricot balls, pudding and cake- all made by me of course.
They were decorated with a handmade fake cookie.  Actually, my daughter wrapped all these for me.

My daughter made this table tree from a fake tree, fake snow and berries. We then painted fake birds with white paint and glitter.

These were easy to make from papier mache reindeer, painted with paint and glitter again.
My 12 year old son made all these cones which we filled with chocolate.  I got the template from the Marie Claire Idees website. As you can see, my children have inherited my creative genes.
I placed the take home favours on pretty crystal platters.  This is the only time of year all the wedding presents see the light of day!  When we got married 20 years ago, it was the tradition to receive heaps of crystal as wedding gifts.  We even received three whiskey decanters.  I've never drunk whiskey in my life!
We made these as table centrepieces, once again using the crystal wedding gifts.  I collected pinecones off the street near my work and covered them in fake snow and glitter.

 We used to have a Hello Kitty and Thomas the Tank Christmas tree. Now my children are older, I have replaced all the decorations with more stylish ones.
This little bird in a cage is from "Natural Kitchen" in Shibuya, which I picked up on our last trip.

A funny little Danish Christmas Elf.
Please check back tomorrow when I will show you the rest of my Christmas celebrations.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kyoto Shopping Haul-Part 1

 Kyoto is a shoppers paradise if you love traditional crafts like me. As I mentioned previously, the best places for souvenir shopping are Kyoto Station and the areas leading to temples and shrines.
 Delicious green tea cake.  There are many green tea products on offer all over Kyoto.  They love the stuff!
I love this little tote bag from Kyoto Station.
Cute rabbit display from the Chirimen Craft Museum.

These are from a lovely little shop situated on the Path of Philosophy.

Usagi shop near Ginkaku-ji.

 From the Kyoto Handicraft Centre.

Hello Kitty at Ginkaku-ji.

Notepaper and trinkets from Kyoto Station.

Cosmetics from "Porta" at Kyoto Station.
More purchases next post......