Now that Christmas Day has been and gone, Merry Christmas everyone, I can now show some hand made Christmas gifts which I made for family members. Firstly, a set of cushions I made or my horse mad grand-daughter Emma. These were made from a set of panels donated to me. I machine quilted around the outline of the horses, and around the circle, to make them stand out a little. Emma’s life revolves around her horses, so I thought they would be right for her.
Emma’s horse cushions
Younger grand-daughter Megan is the proud owner of Gracie, her corgi. When I saw this free stitchery pattern offered after Queen Elizabeth passed away, showing a corgi and the Union Jack flag, I just had to stitch it. So a set of placemats came into being.
I have been checking my photo files for the gifts I made for my daughter Nicky and sadly they have disappeared.She is a great lover of dark chocolate and and I stitched her a tea towel showing a bar of chocolate and the message “I could give up chocolate, but I’m no quitter!” I also made her a double handed oven mitt featuring the chocolate fabric, and a big bar of choccie too, of course. Take my word for it, I thought the items turned out very well indeed!
You are probably wondering how our South Island trip is coming along. On Christmas Eve day we drove out to Mapua Wharf. Originally a fruit shipping port, the old cool store buildings are now home to shops, galleries, and cafes and restaurants. The wharf was a hive of activity, splash, splash, with locals busy jumping into the water and climbing back up the ladder. Teenagers, adults, and quite small kids were all having a great time. Perched at the end of the wharf was a life like sculpture a white heron, created by local man Arthur Hawke about 10 years ago. This is in memory of Hamish, who visited the Mapua Wharf each winter from the 1980s till 2010.
We were determined to sample again some of the world famous fish and chips from the Smokehouse. Our lunch was just as delicious as we remembered, and it certainly was very pleasant sitting there, eating our fish and chips out of the paper. It was all very casual, just as we and the steady stream of customers like it. The Smokehouse also specializes in smoked fish, and I purchased some salmon pate, smoked mackerel and a salmon and leek pie to take back to the caravan. We noticed a couple of panic buyers rushing in to purchase several packs of smoked salmon for their Christmas feasts.
Fish and chips on the wharf
While we were busy taking in the sights, Jan and a group had been out at the crack of dawn to go line fishing, and arrived back with five rather large snapper. As non fisher folk we were most impressed. We ate our meal out on the deck, delicious crumbed fish, salad and chips. What a great way to end the day. As an extra bonus, we were given a bag of vacuum packed snapper to put in our caravan freezer for a later meal.
Jan and his son filleting the fish
Christmas Day dawned beautifully sunny and warm, just the sort of weather we would expect in sunny Nelson.
Our home for Christmas
We prepared our traditional Christmas breakfast for everyone, croissants with ham and cheese, and took them into Kaye's house to heat through in her oven. They were certainly delicious and we ate them together of the lovely large deck.
Ready to be heated through
Two surprise family guests on Christmas morning, so the place was buzzing. We all sat out on the large deck with cool drinks and nibbled away on cheese, pate, smoked salmon, dip and crackers. Jan’s younger brother and his wife were traveling across on the ferry so Christmas Dinner was held back till they arrived. And what a spread it was. The stars of the show were Kaye’s glazed ham, and Robin’s BBQed stuffed lamb shoulder. And there was a great selection of salads too, plus freshly dug baby potatoes from Kaye’s garden.
Robin and Jan slicing the meat
Friends of the family arrived too, bringing extra food for the table, it was a veritable feast indeed. And the desserts were just as delicious, trifle, meringues, ice cream cake, cheesecake, something to please all tastes. The food was laid out, we served ourselves, and all ate outside on the roomy deck.
Dinner is ready
I was quite keen to watch King Charles Christmas very first Christmas speech, so Kaye turned the TV on for me at the appropriate time.
The King's speech
What a wonderful Christmas Day we had with Kaye and Jan’s family and friends.