Before Christmas I had a weekly catchup with a very good friend and talented, self taught artist Ella.
We had gifts to exchange, which actually hadn't been planned but turned out to be a nice surprise.
My gift to Ella was one of my book covers for her new visual diary, so it wasn't a surprise as such, although she did give me free reign with the design.
I forgot to take a photo, doh.
Ella's gift to me was a beautiful painting of some Red Robins, as she knows how much I love them.
Ella has a very individual style, she said she didn't even know what the Robins looked like, she just did 'her version' of them, which makes the painting all the more special.
She had just returned from taking her mother on a trip to Italy to visit family. When she got back to Australia, she was so worn out after suffering terrible air sickness and with one thing and another, she had lost her painting mojo.
My picture was the first thing she had attempted in a number of weeks.
Thanks Ella, I love it and will treasure it. X
A little wander round the garden yesterday proved to be very worthwhile. I discovered my Lillium, Stargazer had bloomed and as it was threatening to rain, I had to bring it inside to enjoy.
These flowers have the most beautiful perfume, but it can be a bit overpowering for some.
There are 3 blooms open with another 6 buds. It's absolutely stunning and I am thrilled with it. I planted the bulb about 3 years ago and it struggled in the drought and the heat of previous Summers, but kept growing each year. Obviously, it was happy in it's little spot in the shrubbery.
This year I watched it send up a single stem, it kept growing and I kept watering it.
The buds appeared and I held my breath (not literally..) waiting for them to open, wondering what sort of display they would make.
Voila... perfect, well, maybe not florist perfect, but not too far off it.
Did you spy the little ornament in the previous photo?
Good, cos you were meant to be captivated by the stunning bloom.....
This little chooky was a gift from a dear friend from Church.
Auntie Mabs is in her 80's and is as sprightly and with it as you could imagine.
She has known me since I was knee high to the proverbial and was a dear friend to my mum.
Anyway, she gave me a carry bag recently and inside was a box and inside the box were 2 cheeky chooks and a rooster about to devour some beautiful cauliflowers.
She said she saw this in the shop and thought of me and had to buy it.
The funny thing was, a couple of my Isa Browns (breed of chicken) had been escaping from their run that week and getting into the vegie garden, so it was quite a timely gift.
Unfortunately, we have never been able to grow such beautiful big ,white cauliflowers .
Still haven't discovered how the Misses Houdini are escaping, but I think a trim of a wing might be in order.......
Sunday night bought some rather dark ominous clouds on the horizon. I watched them build, enjoying the inky blue colour.
I love the contrast of the sky with the dry grass.
It started to rain and was quite steady, heavy at times. I was worried we were going to get another tropical downpour, but all was well.
We did get 28.4mls (just over an inch in the old scale) which was much appreciated as I had started watering in the evenings.
So everything has had a lovely drink and I won't have to water again this week.
It's quite a chore at times.
Lastly, a bowl of Peacherines. We picked them whilst they are still a little firm as the damp weather has caused an outbreak of Brown Rot. One side of the fruit will look perfect and the other side has turned brown and mushy, yuk.
But these, whilst they have a few marks and a split or two are sweet and juicy and sooooo yummy.
Why a peacherine?
When hubby was planning his stone fruit orchard he was very keen to have , lots of different varieties.
So there are peaches, nectarines and peacharines.......
Now a couple of things I would like to tell you about.
Firstly, the lovely Jenevieve all the way over in Scotland at
is having a giveaway.
She has made a beautiful and unique necklace using seaglass she has found.
If you would like to be part of the giveaway click on the link or her button on my side bar, (had to email her to find out how to do that. Thanks Jen it obviously worked, there's no stopping me now!!) The giveaway is open till the 28th of January.
Secondly, no doubt you are all aware of the devastating floods up in Qld.
Well, from Monday Jan 17th. you can head over to Make It Perfect where you will find a master list of bloggers who are running auctions from their blogs or shops.
The auction will run for a week, with proceeds going to the flood appeal.
A great idea, so join in and help out.
Whilst not having an auction, I will be doing the rounds of the blogs, hoping to be the winning bidder.
Thoughts go out to those folk in Qld who have lost everything, may you find a dry bed and a roof over your head.
Someone to give you a hug, wipe away the tears and put back the hope in your heart that has been washed away.
Till next time, take care and reach out to someone in need.