Month: December 2017

Handmade this Christmas

It’s a joy to receive a handmade gift – something that someone has made with their hands. A part of themselves. A token of love and thought. A creative idea. A cooking challenge. Something stitched or painted.

This Christmas I have noticed hand made tree decorations that look lovely not just the shiny baubles bought in the shops. Crafted with time and patience, these ornaments can add uniqueness to the festive tree. Wouldn’t you agree?

Then there’s the cooking. Well I haven’t done much in my kitchen this year, except make a date and walnut loaf to share, but recently I was invited to a ladies lunch where the dishes were delicious.


Handmade stocking, toy or star biscuit is special.

My sister recently received the most amazing present for her small courtyard garden. I had to take a closer look to work out what her friend did to make this plant sculpture/ decoration. She’s used a recycled wire mannequin, brass mugs and plants that weave through the creation. It sits in the corner of a brick wall and begs to be investigated and adored. What fun her friend had in designing and making this gift. You cannot buy this in a shop.

A little bit of nature always looks good so when I had the opportunity with my grand daughter to make sand castles at the beach, I loved it. Matilda and I sat in the surf watching the waves “eat” up the moat and walls of our castle. So I asked her to find lots of shells. Together we made a big circle of shells and jumped inside it. This is part of our circle in the sand. And it costs nothing.

I love that children can make mosaics out of scraps of torn paper or owls from crayons and paint. There are so many possibilities to create with our hands.

So this Christmas, dear readers and friends, I hope that part of you is generously given to others. It makes me think that God’s gift to us, with no strings attached, is Jesus. His love is perfect for you. In His everlasting arms, he carries us through to all sorts of adventures and dreams. And with the hurried pace of Christmas upon us all, may we remember that there’s strength and beauty in the handmade.


The Wonder of Words

Words have a way of touching your heart. Moving you to tears or laughter. We speak them, hear them, struggle with them, write them, use them and choose them. Recently I attended the retirement farewell of two of my teaching colleagues including my own. There were speeches that celebrated the achievements and passions of these people; words that were uplifting and kind.

As I thought about words, I realised the power and beauty of them to heal, console and affirm. My colleague Jeannine Beaufoy delivered her heartfelt, farewell, thank you speech to a clapping audience. Her commitment and dedication to teaching is awesome and so with humility and pride she offered a beautiful speech to the staff. Several hugs, gifts and smiles later, it was my turn to stand up and be farewelled.

Jeannine’s speech

My friend and teaching partner spoke beautiful words to me – about my connectedness to others, my enthusiasm for my students, my passions and interests. It was a touching moment for me.

Words written on cards are special. Enjoy the time with family. Wishing you every happiness. Many thanks for your care and support. Your grace and kindness will be missed. All the very best for 2018 and beyond.

What words describe you? What are your 5 favourite words? Because I love children’s books, I wonder if you have read any of Glenda Millard’s most magical books like ‘Plum Puddings and Paper Moons’? The title of the book is a good example of alliteration; she uses words with punch and vigour. ‘tiger’s teeth and tails and toes’. Playful made up language like ‘ finny, scaly, gilly, salty sea sardines’. And her metaphor, ‘The sun was a hot yellow peach in a sea of strawberry sauce and the moon was a paper doily tossed up high.”

I have seen words on walls in rooms that stop you and make you wonder. Like these.









Words on tea towels that amuse and delight.

Surprising words that reflect mood and emotion. Words in magazines like ‘ GET GRAPHIC’

‘Make your beauty kit a little edgier with geometric razzmatazz and bold shades.’

There are scribbled words and autographs on uniforms.

Christmas messages.

And then images of natural beauty that words are sometimes unable to describe. Take a closer look at this plant and tell me what words you would use to describe it.

I love that words can make you sing, cry and remember. My grand children play with words like favourite toys. They are word weavers, word changers, word architects.¬†Even sharp quick words like ‘ No! Why?¬†‘Where’s lamby? roll off their tongues.

Did you know that emoji keyboard is on more mobile phones then any language keyboard worldwide? Future emoji candidates include a Hindu temple, oil lamp and snorkel mask. What does it take to get your attention folks? ‘The giraffe is the one people request the most,’ Jeremy Burge, world authority on the popular characters, said. ‘For some reason, people are wild about the giraffe.’

This Christmas, I hope that we can forget the words that hurt, disappoint and are cruel in favour of the words that bring love, peace and hope. Words that bless, empower and reach others. God’s words that say, rest in Me. Be still so that you can hear My voice.

Words to read in books, words in coffee shops and words that you hold dear to your heart like a cuddly teddy bear. Until next time, make a list of your favourite words and share them with me.

Little Fig cafe in Buderim
Aleesah Darlinson reading from Fox and Moonbeam