Flat Pack Christmas Tree at Ally’s Castle

No I haven’t been to IKEA 😂

Several years ago I bought a flat pack Christmas Tree. It’s been packed and unpacked several times. I finally got the motivation to do something with it.

Getting it’s first paint

All painted but needs a some decorations

Still needs more enhancement

Now I think it’s ready for the shelf, a tad rustic and that’s how I like it.

It kinda looks like Christmas at my place 🎄🍒.

Christmas Cake at Ally’s Castle

Here’s the recipe from the Edmonds Sure To Rise Cookery Book New Zealand. I shared this recipe last year, it’s tried and tested and really works, I ❤ love it.

I grew up using this wonderful cook book. I made the Ginger Ale Fruit Cake last year, gluten and preservative free, it was a real hit.

Fruit was soaked in ginger ale overnight. I compromised and put less dates in and topped it up with apricots.

I lined the tin using baking paper, was restricted on height because I used my bench top breville oven.

I mixed all the ingredients according to the recipe, real easy to do. I then carefully spooned the mixture into the tin. I placed a few walnuts on top.

Placed in a preheated oven 140 degrees for 3 hours.

When it had for cooked 2 hours 40 minutes I tested it with a skewer, it came out clean so I turned off the oven and left it there.

This morning I removed it from the tin and wrapped it tightly in cling film and tin foil. Because of heat wave temps here the cake is stored in the fridge. I have done this for years and it’s fine.

Sorry I can’t show you the inside of the cake, it is a gift to my darling son and family. I normally cut about 1/4 of it for me but this year I have enough dried fruit left over to make a smaller one for me.

Wild Tomato Plant Attacked

Shock horror today to find worm bugs had attacked my tomatoes .

The plant had been given a real bashing from the hail a few weeks ago but was managing to survive in parts.

Because part of the plant was dying I decided to rescue tomatoes that the worm bug hadn’t got to and then put the plant out and start again.

I managed to save few, washed them, dried in a tea towel.

I will put them in a paper bag and place in a warm spot to ripen up. If not successful it’s no big deal because I can buy punnets of cherry tomatoes for under $4.00.

Christmas Cake Prep

I usually have the cake made by late October. This morning I finally got around to the first step. Soak the mixed fruit in ginger ale overnight in a warm place. No problem finding a warm place because it is 30 degrees Celsius plus here in Brisbane.

I could eat it just as it is.

Water Droplets

My first attempt at drawing water droplets. I think they resemble little stones. It’s after 11pm so I had better try and get some sleep. Tomorrow I will try again….I will get this right 🤣

The Wild Tomato Plant

While in hospital for a few days my tomato plant went absolutely wild. It might have been the chicken poo or maybe it rained. Parts of the plant are dying, while other parts of quite healthy. There are a few tomatoes developing quite nicely.It was originally meant to be yellow cherry tomatoes, might have been wrongfully labelled.It’s almost summer here in Brisbane, getting hot days, 29 degrees Celsius today. I must make sure the plants get enough water.Some of the plants are quite colourful, good for the soul .The lavender plant is coming along nicely.I recently moved my peace lily outside, it seems to prefer that environment. It is sitting on a table in a sheltered area.

Practice Sketching

Part of my Art Lessons Online is to learn to draw shapes. It is all about curves and perspective. I didn’t bother with shading with this exercise.

I need to remind myself PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.