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Posts tagged ‘tree’

Don’t read if you can’t sustain your Christmas sparkle…

Turkey’s in the oven, duly stuffed, buttered, seasoned and streaky-baconed. On to boiling the spuds to pre-cook before roasting and to use the water as a base for the gravy.

I have now forgiven the turkey people for whipping out the giblets thus depriving us of the chance to make a good stock because I know there’ll be lots of delicious juices that can go in to give it va-va-voom!

If you think I’ve lost the plot and think today’s Christmas I haven’t. (Although it is Christmas Eve afternoon in Australia as I write). Nor am I from a European country that celebrates Christmas on the 24th. I just decided to cook a turkey this year – first time in over a decade. I began by ordering my usual ham and cold meats to have with salads tomorrow, thought I’d have cold turkey too. Then my mind went back to the days of hot roast turkey at cold wintery Christmas lunchtimes and I got all reminiscent.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking with my sister twice a day in the UK since our mum died a couple of weeks ago.  Whatever the reason, I’m feeling homely and seasonal.

So now I’m cooking a turkey to have cold tomorrow with the rest of the cold buffet that is now our traditional Christmas lunch in Australia.  Not only is it more suited to hot, humid summer (yes, it’s summer here) days, but it also means any photos taken around the table mean I am less likely to have a greasy downward slick of makeup that just can’t hold up to the heat of the oven being on 180 degrees C when it is 30 degrees C outside!

As well as preparing cold turkey meat to accompany the roast pork, ham off the bone and various continental salamis and salads – eating this evening will allow our taste buds to enjoy the traditional roast turkey hot with all the trimmings.  I’m just hoping the ambient temperature drops from near 30 degrees C by the time we eat!

So, after ensuring the turkey gets the best start to being a champion roast, I came back to my computer to wait the hour or so before the potatoes to in to roast – with a cocktail while I checked my emails and Facebook.

While I slurped my Caipirinha cocktail  I had some sobering thoughts, which I’m going to share below.

Caipirinha cocktail

First, here’s the recipe for the Caipirinha:

1 lime cut into 8 pieces

1 tbsp brown sugar

60 ml dark rum

Crushed ice cubes

Crush the lime, sugar and ice in a sturdy tall glass.  Add the rum, and crush some more.  Drink. Yum.

 

Some sobering thoughts that came to me while drinking a cocktail

(Don’t read if you can’t sustain your Christmas sparkle in the face of reality)…

We in the free world are so very fortunate that we are able to indulge ourselves senseless with food, alcohol, gifts, and also take time to be with friends, family and other loved ones.

Maybe this year, instead of spending a brief moment at lunch time to think of those less fortunate than ourselves, we could take those thoughts a bit deeper and really identify with the lonely, sick, poor, homeless, maimed, war-ravaged, scared and starving who also live on our earth in their millions.

Could we do that? Despite the fact that doing so may take the edge of our Christmas high?

But then what is Christmas really about? Is it about shopping, stuffing, partying? Yes it is these days. And it is also as much about allowing the birth of enlightened consciousness WITHIN this earthly realm – grounded and potent in our bodies – and able to bring real change to where there is needless suffering.

Would our empathic feelings then generate enough will or intention to make our New Years resolution less of a personal detox intention – to become more aligned with a larger perspective? It’s not like there isn’t a large variety to choose from.

I don’t even think it has to be about joining a fervent band-wagon-tree-hugging-banner-flying cause. It might be something simple like deciding to spend an hour a week with the lonely lady down the road, or intentionally asking a pointed question instead of staying compliantly silent, or maybe even voting with our feet and choosing to spend a few more dollars on a tee-shirt for instance, than simply buying one at $6 knowing full well it must have been made in a sweat shop in Bangladesh.

I haven’t even thought this through for myself beyond what I’m writing now. I just wanted to share these thoughts because my heart feels the suffering of our silent millions even while my taste buds relish the relish. I don’t have any answers to the big problems that we are facing on this planet now – from dying bees to toxic oceans. All I know is that while we – the conscious, conscientious, averagely affluent majority – stay silent, those that stand to benefit from our apathy will continue unabated and other women’s children will continue to suffer needlessly.

I want to celebrate Christmas, and I intend to. I’ve made a bloomin’ good start. Yet I will not allow myself to shut out the rest of the world mentally or emotionally just because it p*ss*s on my party.

So come New Year next week, I’m going to spend a bit more effort thinking about what I can genuinely, actually and practically do to support the world I want to live in – and want to leave to my son and his children. Even if it is a small step. Because it is the small steps that are sustainable. But small steps taken by all of us towards the world we’d like to live in are the ones that will generate momentum and achieve something of true value.

Merry Christmas to my friends, family and loved ones near and far. And to my extended human family most of whom I haven’t met, my heart is with you and I pray I have the commitment to follow through with some meaningful and purposeful action on your behalf in 2014.

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Beach Wall hanging is finished!

At last, after showing you the felted first stage of my latest wall hanging, I’ve worked on it and now (apart from putting a backing onto it), it is finished and I thought I’d share a bit of the process for anyone interested.

First of all, here’s the finished wall hanging:

Moffat Beach wall hanging finished

The colours are actually brighter in real life than in this photo, and I’m very pleased how it has turned out.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a “Can I do this?” moment, but after feeling very pleased with how my Mt. Coonowrin wall hanging turned out, I began this project with more than a little trepidation. Madame Doubt kept whispering “was the first wall hanging a one-off?”, “will I stuff up this next one?” in my ear and it took several weeks before I got up courage to begin, and lay the first tufts of blue sky.

Once it had been wet-felted though, I was happy that I have got a bit of a knack to doing this, and despite having to shave the bottom half of the project, could see in my mind’s eye how I would complete this work.

How I added detail

I needle felted a lot of detail, including fixing up shadows, adding silk noil to the sandy walkway, and grass details.  Toe make the She Oak trees look more realistic, I embroidered leaves on top of the felted leaf colour, which I think adds depth.

I didn’t like how the yarn had felted into the sea.  It had started off with a lot of blue in the variegated colours, but after wet felting, all I could see was maroon.  I spent time needle felting over these threads with various shades of blue wool and also turquoise silk tops.  Much better.

The waves were added by needle felting thin pieces of selvedge edges from tissue silk that I cut off before making scarves. By cutting off these denser edges, it ensures the wool rovings migrate right through the edge of the scarves.  Plus I get to use the selvedge edges for other projects, like the waves in this picture.  It is delicate enough to give that bubbly frothy white caps that form on the tops of waves as they approach the beach.

To finish, here’s a collage of pics, working up to the finished piece.

My next two are going to be smaller, longer thinner wall hangings – abstract in design but reflecting beach colours, and perhaps shells.

Anyway, here’s the gallery:

I would like to acknowledge Gusha Visual Media who have inspired my latest work with some of their photos of the Sunshine Coast. In particular, Moffat Beach, which is so beautiful, I wanted to try and capture the scene in felt.

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