Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A perfect day in Byron bay....

We spent a perfect summers day swimming in the crystal clear waters of Byron bay and sunbathing just a wee bit too long . 
After lunch at one of the many local Cafes we drove up to the lighthouse to take in the breathtaking views of beautiful blue ocean and coastline.
From this vantage point we watching whales and dolphins playing in the water.

You wouldn't guess by looking at the photos but at about lunchtime a thunderstorm came across with thankfully no rain just loud thunder.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sculpture by the sea..

Yesterday in the early evening we went to a very cool sculptural exhibition held every year at Currumbin beach. The weather was coolish with brief showers and just a little windy which all added drama to the photos taken of some of my favourite exhibits. I love this one of the word 'Mum' with all the people running around in the wind trying to get a photo quickly and the dramatic sky and breaking waves in the background.
This was one that first caught my eye as the wind made these 'jellyfish' sway as they hung in the tree which is how they would look in their natural setting under the sea.

An exhibit that needed to be viewed from front to get the full effect of what it was. It was interesting to see how each feature placed in exactly the right position made up this comical elephant.
This dragon was very cool and quite cleverly made from what seems like chains joined together.
A very simple idea but definitely not what you expect to see on the beach. Once again the wind blowing the washing around and the dark clouds hovering over the cityscape on the horizon gives this whole scene a little drama.

This beautiful lion was my favourite exhibit and was very cleverly made from chicken wire. The details were amazing and I can only imagine the number of hours put in to create this exhibit. He was very tactile as there seemed to be a constant flow of children around him making it difficult to take a photo of him on his own.
And I couldn't help but take another couple of shots of the sea and the darkening sky.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Taking a break....

Caitlin and I have just arrived in this beautiful piece of Australian paradise for a bit of quality mother/daughter bonding for the next few days... We are very grateful to have been invited over to stay with some friends who are house sitting here on the Gold Coast.
Even though we live in a beautiful beach town, it is nice to have a complete break away and enjoy being in holiday mode.

Loving this photo of the 'cityscape' on the horizon....such a contrast to the expanse of ocean

This photo is taken by my budding photographer daughter as are the next couple of photos.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A coastal walk....

On clear sunny days it seems like you can see for miles from this lookout overlooking our town of Whangamata. These photos are taken on another walk I did a couple of weeks ago with my daughter Amelia and her boyfriend. I felt grateful to have had the afternoon off on such a stunningly beautiful day...

Clark island on the left can be accessed by foot at low tides..
A couple of paddle-boarders taking advantage of the waves coming in on the 'bar'. I tried paddle-boarding for the first time last summer and I am addicted and looking forward to doing more this summer...

A little known, secluded beach in between Onemana and Whangamata..

 Feeling blessed to have been able to spend some quality time with these two...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Little bliss balls....

 I've been making these little balls of sweet goodness for a few weeks now. They are the perfect sweet treat for those moments when you crave something sweet but know you shouldn't. They look and taste like they are too good to be healthy but contain no sugar or fat.

They are naturally sweetened with a mixture of dried fruit such as dates, sultanas, prunes and figs or whatever you have on hand along with cocoa, nuts and peanut butter. This latest batch contains dried cranberries rather than sultanas and figs because I like the crunchy texture of the fig seeds. You could coat them in coconut, cocoa, finely chopped nuts or toasted sesame seeds too or make them even healthier by adding chai seeds or flaxseeds. 
Here's the basic recipe which I always double as 10 balls is not enough ;-) ....
  1. 1 tablespoon peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  2. 1/2 cup dates, soaked in boiling water then chopped finely
  3. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 cup dried sultanas
  5. 1/3 cup dried prunes, soaked in boiling water then chopped finely
  6. 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts finely chopped
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix well to form a tight mixture.
  2. Use wet hands to mould 10 balls, squeezing mixture tightly so it sticks together.
  3. Place in refrigerator to chill for 2 hours or overnight. Store chilled in a sealed container for up to 10 days, if they last that long....

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Untouched and peaceful....

For the past couple of weeks I have had my eldest daughter Amelia, home from university for the mid semester break along with her boyfriend, Bayley. Its been really lovely to have a full house again and to hear her and her sister Caitlin, have there normal sister banter going on and to also have a male voice added to the mix as well. Their visit home also coincided with Caitlin's 16th birthday and Caitlin's first school ball which was nice for them both. 
 Unfortunately I was working most of the time they were here but I did manage to get a couple of afternoons off to spend some time with them and show Bayley around our part of the country. These photos are taken at Opoutere beach, an untouched and often deserted beach north of Whangamata. Its easy to take the scenery around where you live for granted so when you show visitors around its like seeing those places with new eyes. Plus it's also a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful part of New Zealand. 
 The afternoon we did this beach walk was quite windy and it had showered intermittently all day hence the dark clouds in the photos which I think adds a little moodiness to them. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hand stitched....

 Freshly added to my Etsy shop Inez&James is this hand-quilted baby quilt that has been given the royal seal of approval from my daughters cat who just had to get in on the shot.

Made from a modern selection of predominately blue and green prints with a theme of pretty butterflies and blossoms just in time for the southern hemisphere spring season. These butterflies have been patiently waiting in my fabric collection for that perfect project  ;-)

 Converging circles have been hand-quilted to give a subtle texture and to break up the straight lines of the simple piecing.

A hand-stamped label attached to the back with a blanket stitch adds the finishing touch...
Available for purchase here..
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