Saturday, 12 December 2015

Feels a lot like Christmas...

I do love Christmas and now that I've put up my tree I feel I'm finally getting into the mood. Every year I tell the story of my vintage Christmas Tree - how my grandmother Mitzi brought it to Australia in 1931 when she, my grandfather Rudolf, and my mother Lina left Vienna to make a new life on the other side of the world. I'm pretty sure Nana didn't really want to leave her sister and friends behind in Vienna but Grandpa was offered an excellent job opportunity, and it was too good to pass up. I think bringing the tree and decorations was one of her links to her past, and I know she treasured it as much as I do now.
Some of the glass decorations from 1931 have survived to this day, added to in 1947 when Nana made her first trip back to Vienna, and Nana, Lina and I have continued to add over the years. These pictured below are from the original group with some of the 1947 decorations.
Back in spring I spent a few days with my dear friends Jenny and Adrian at their property Eumalga in Tibbuc, NSW. Going there is such a joy - I even enjoy the train trip. The country looked superb because they'd had some welcome rain, the orchard was full of citrus blossom and mandarins, and J&A were busy making new gardens. The perfume of the citrus was almost overpowering - fabulous.
My garden has its ups and downs. It recovered from The Storm, it recovered from The Hail, it is trying to recover from the days of scorching heat that burn leaves, fronds and flowers, and this week there has been another setback. Some large trees that were dropping limbs have been removed - sad but necessary  - and although the workmen did their best to be careful, my garden seems to have borne the brunt of the damage. Agapanthus, hydrangeas, echiums, and worst of all, my crab apple is badly smashed. However, pretty well everything will be okay by next spring and I'll perform some surgery on the crab apple and cross my fingers. Here I am apparently levitating in my garden. Followed by what was flowering in the garden before The Workmen.

Thank goodness most of the lilies and hippeastrums had just finished flowering before they got dumped on by big branches, and they'll be fine next year. I picked all the broken agapanthus and they look fabulous in the house. The white hydrangeas are badly broken but a good prune and they'll be fine too. I did have plans for huge bunches in the house for Christmas but que sera...

Today I took the children to their swimming lessons and lunch at our local club and was so pleased to see that the Magnolia Grandiflora avenues are flowering. Here's a sample. What a flower!
On the crafty front I'm still collecting metal, rust and silver plate. Definitely turning into a crazy old lady. This is my latest stash.
Next year in July 2016 Art is You will be back in Australia. Three venues, Sydney, Perth and Noosa... and this week I went with Sallianne (the amazing Art is You doyenne) and our friend Barbara from Qld, to check out the Sydney venue. This is the fabulous Crystal Palace at Luna Park, a wonderful space in a really cool location. Check this out and believe me, you'll have an incredible time. Just a couple of photos...
Less than two weeks to Christmas! No cards made but I'm thinking about it, no cards last year but I don't want a repeat of that. At least the tree is up and I've made a Christmas cake, posted a few parcels, bought a few gifts so maybe I'll get it all together in time. Everyone, have a wonderful Christmas, and I'll be back in the New Year.