360/366: the festivities continue

As if to wish me a Merry Christmas, yesterday Zorro jumped up onto the coffee table where I had put the poinsettias temporarily and sat directly behind them. He stayed there while I raced to get my camera, seemingly knowing that I would love to have a festive shot for my blog for Christmas Day.

Zorro posed for this all by himself

Even Shadow had a go, although he wasn’t as centrally located, but cute nevertheless.

Shadow gets in on the acttable set for Christmas lunch

I love setting the table for a festive occasion.

ready for Christmas lunchSharing Christmas with family is special, and a lovely spread was enjoyed by all.

mine - yum

roast Christmas lunchMerry Christmas from Sandi Claus.

358/366: my Christmas tree 2008

In 2008 I bought a new Christmas tree, a beautiful silver one, which I lovingly decorated with silver, red and black ornaments. It was time for a revamp of the old, which meant largely getting rid of a mish-mash of tired old baubles and tree. At that time I worked at Myer department store and being surrounded by all the beautiful decorations I couldn’t help buying plenty. I will have them for years to come, although this year I have only put my small green one up. It’s good to have variety, but I was especially happy with the new look in 2008.

My new Christmas tree 2008

Merry Christmas from Sandi Claus!

looking thru the window

354/366: willy and the poinsettias

Sounds a bit like a rock group, doesn’t it? Willy and the Poinsettias. No, it’s our cute little koala surrounded by real live poinsettias, purchased especially for the festive season.

Willy and the poinsettiasEnjoy the Christmas period, and don’t get too stressed. Take time for yourself to relax and recuperate, ready for family gatherings and other social events. Love from Sandi Claus xxx

And lastly, remember the real reason for the season!

351/366: fried, eh?

At about 8 a.m. I was awoken by a crackling sound. When the noise occurred again, I was concerned, as the electricity feeds into the house just outside our bedroom window. So much for the sleep-in I needed.

I got up and went through to the kitchen where, to my dismay, there were little tendrils of smoke wafting out from the cupboards under the hotplates.

hazy smoke emanating from the cupboard smoke under the hotplatesThere was a surreal, ghostly quality to this mist.

Of course, this happened on a day when my husband was already at work, so I took the cordless phone off the wall, but it didn’t work. Thank goodness I had charged my mobile yesterday, and also that I have a battery on my laptop so that I could start typing up the experience. I’m also glad we kept the old phone that is plugged in directly to the telephone line.

Calling him, he instructed me to open the cupboard to check if the hotplates were plugged in, as there was a burnt plastic smell emanating from under there. However, although the plug was still in the socket, it was turned off, as we hadn’t been able to use the automatic pilot light for some time. The hotplates themselves are gas, so he suspects that maybe the electric oven had burnt out, though there was no smoke from the actual oven.

I made him stay on the line while I turned on the gas and lit the pilot so I could boil water for a cup of tea, just in case there was an explosion. My imagination tends to run riot.

Checking the fuse box on the front porch, nothing seemed untoward there.

On my laptop, utilising the battery, the internet logo had a big red cross on it. Interesting; must look into that. Temporary?  It said wireless networks were available, but when I clicked on connect to a network, it led to a screen that told me none were available. Make up your mind, cyberspace. The penny dropped. Oh yes, the modem has to be plugged in.

After reporting the fault once I found out that I was the only one in the street without power, the men duly arrived within the hour, to discover a fried line between the main line and our house, where the wires had rubbed against another set.

the problem

fried wires


Meanwhile, I had utilised the waiting time to do some weeding and pruning, as the rain had fortunately eased off. As it was morning at least I didn’t have to contend with lack of light.

Now I’ve just enjoyed a cappuccino, well deserved after all that excitement. The odd thing is that the oven appears to be working, so the smoke remains an unsolved mystery. Another strange thing is that it’s Sunday, not Fried-day.

349/366: beautiful birdhouses

I used to walk past an old white weatherboard house often and admire its character and charm. It was obvious that a lot of love and labour had gone into it. Then when it was up for sale I wondered why, when it was so adorable. Perhaps the family was growing up and they needed more space? Was it a marriage breakup? It sparked my imagination.

Last week as I drove towards this house, I saw a sign out the front saying Garage Sale NOW, so being the obedient gal I am, I went and had a look, and I was so glad I did. Among other items, I was fortunate enough to obtain a selection of birdhouses. How true, that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Chatting to the guy, it transpired that it was actually due to a marriage breakup that these items were being sold. How sad, but I can assure you that these birdhouses have been adopted into a good home where they will be truly appreciated.

elongated elegance

elongated elegance

metal tools

metal tools

rustic roughness

rustic roughness

the distressed look

the distressed look

At the moment they are resting on the patio, but will find a special corner in the garden after Christmas.

beautiful birdhouses

348/366: seasons greetings from shadow

It was Shadow’s turn for my attempt at a Christmas photo shoot. I saw him sitting in Zorro’s spot on the patio and quickly threw some decorations around him.

Maybe I could decorate Shadow

However, one of the first snaps I took turned out the best, except that it showed his hair, sorry fur, thinning, but at least it was in focus.

best of the bunch

He was being decidedly uncooperative, and I was having trouble focussing because he kept moving his head. The funniest shot was him looking like he was auditioning for a part in The Exorcist, or some Hallowe’en movie. Sometimes the most candid or unplanned photos can be the best.

shades of the exorcist

As Christmas draws inexorably nearer, Sandi Claus, or in this case Sandi Claws, wishes you the best of the season.

346/366: zorro and the blue chair

Another bargain from a garage sale is a cane chair, of which Zorro heartily approves. It provides a comfortable spot for him to sit elevated, good for hot days where the air can circulate around him. Imagine wearing a fur coat in summer!

Zorro and the comfy blue cane chair Zorro and the comfy blue cane chair (2) Zorro and the comfy blue cane chair (3) Zorro and the comfy blue cane chair (4) Zorro and the comfy blue cane chair (5) Zorro and the comfy blue cane chair (6)No matter what position he is in, he definitely loves it!  But watch out Zorro, change is in the air.




341/366: decorating zorro

peek-a-boo Zorro poinsettia soft-focus Christmas Zorro

Zorro looked cute sitting in his little wicker basket on the patio, but I thought of a way to make him look even cuter. Why not decorate him for Christmas?

I surrounded him with the three potted poinsettias that I bought as a little Christmas treat, added a little holly, and proceeded to take a few shots. Impressively, he just sat there letting me do this decorating around him, and purring at the same time.

Continuing the season and signing off as Sandi Claus/Sandi Claws…


340/366: Christmas cat

Willy and Bubble

Prior to our first cats, Bubble and Squeak, our first “child” had been Willy, a stuffed toy who was the mascot of the Australian 1984 Olympic Games. For many years I used to dress him up for the occasion that is Christmas.

Years ago I took photos of the cats with a Christmas flavour to use on Christmas cards. Today I am featuring Bubble, our dear departed white cat, whom we had from 1985-1999.

Bubble the Christmas cat

Another time I made some cards myself, wishing everyone a purr-fect Christmas.

Now for a variation on Sandi Claus, appropriately changing the spelling for the occasion:

Merry Christmas from Sandi Claws > ^..^<

336/366: random renovation or a speedy recovery

Noticing a chair on the patio in need of renovation, I went to my material cupboard and found I still had some of the upholstery fabric left with which I had previously re-covered it with years ago.

previously renovatedIt was a simple matter of removing the screws holding the seat on, then cutting a large piece of material out. This time I added half an old pillow underneath for extra comfort.

new fabric and extra cushioning

With my trusty staple gun, the job was finished in almost no time.

attach with a staple gunI even added a pretty edging of ribbon on the underside. Mini project completed!

edged with ribbonthe final comfy result