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Christmas Countdown

max christmas

The Christmas Countdown has begun in my home.

I haven’t put my Christmas tree up yet or succumbed to my obsessive desire to play my Christmisification list off spotify, but I did smile as I walked through woolworths this morning and a carol was heard by my wandering heart.

I spent the morning with my Mum and a few friends learning some new ideas for gifts this Christmas. My mum inspired a great love of the beauty of Christmas and all things homemade from a very early age.

She is a firecracker, always learning and so generous with everything she gathers. Just one year ago today I launched a little online ebook all about Christmas ’30 merry days.’ I dedicated it to my Mum and her amazing creative legacy.

It has 30 different Christmas homemade gift ideas and many links to Christmas creative websites.

With 44 days till go to Christmas, it is now time for this house to get making.

I am not that interested in the overwhelmingly gross commercialisation of this special holiday but I love people and generosity.

So you will find me crafting, giving, sharing and loving.

We have launched a new subscription option here on Capture on the front page. I’d love you to join the creative conversation.

Happy Days.

Let’s get creative this Christmas and share the beauty of the season.


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A defining day; my creative gang

maxi gang

maxi gang one

maxi gang two


My little man Maximus has a little gang.

Sierra, Harrison, Chloe and Maximus.

They climb forts, they dine together on pikelets, carrot sticks and drumsticks, they discuss pertinent topics like helicopters, fire engines and Lightning Mc queen.

Together they are a force to be reckoned with, fighting the badies and finding new adventures to explore.

We all need a gang.

Who is in yours?

Creativity done in collaboration is one of the finest pursuits of life.

Today I walked a foyer full of homemade goods, that women had spent hours, painstakingly creating, hoping someone would catch their eye and buy their wares.

A room full of creative conspirators, wanting to inspire and make goods that can help their family thrive.

I was proud of my creative collaborators today.

They were amazing.

Today marks a very special day for me.

I officially sold my very last paper back copy of my first book Capture 30 days. It is still available in an updated e-book format, but the very last copy is a milestone that cannot go past without celebration.

I remember the very day that those 3,000 copies arrived on a very single, very green young woman’s doorstep. The courier didn’t understand my fear as he dropped them on my doorstep. I wasn’t excited, I sat on my porch with my creative co- conspirators and I flipped out.

What was I going to do with that many books?

I had made an expensive and big mistake.

I had no idea that the day would come, when I would sell my last copy and silently remember.

I remembered my fear, I remembered my excitement, I remembered the 15 year old that wrote a list and on top of that list;

To write and publish a book.

3,000 sales may not ever make the best sellers list but today I’m proud. In 3,000 homes, in bookcases, at the back of cupboards, on bedside tables, sit my thoughts on creativity and inspiration.

I just had a go.

What do you need to just have a go at doing?

Jump in.

Be bold.

Gather your gang.

You never know the day might come when you sell your last copy and that sense of satisfaction that you did what you set out to do, will arrive.

All my love






My creative capture gang: (who without them this project would have never happened.)

Steve and Elaine Fraser

Kym Basoka: Graphic designer and all round best friend.

Bonnie Machell: Photographer and dearest discusser of all things life.

Penny Webb: Head cheerleader

Sue Gifford: reformatted e-copy.

Sarah Churchill: editor extraordinaire!

Thanks for being my co-conspirators in creative crime.

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new traditions

Stollen 2

Every year I try to find a new tradition at Christmas. Its something I have done for a long time. This year I came acrross a recipe in a magazine for a Christmas Bread called Stollen. I have researched it a little and found the most delightful story and today I have tried to make my first batch of Stollen. If it works out well, I will do some more and give to my neighbours as a little thank you/ hello/ i like you present this year. It is a surprisingly easy recipe and aside from the dried fruit quite low in sugar but rich in Christmassy vibes.

Long before the Romans occupied parts of Germany, special breads were prepared for the winter solstice that were rich in dried or preserved fruit. Historians have traced Christollen, Christ’s stollen, back to about the year 1400 in Dresden, Germany.

The first stollen consisted of only flour, oats and water, as required by church doctrine, but without butter and milk, it was quite tasteless. Ernst of Saxony and his brother Albrecht requested of the Pope that the ban on butter and milk during the Advent season be lifted. His Eminence replied in what is known as the famous “butter letter,” that milk and butter could be used to bake stollen with a clear conscience and God’s blessing for a small fee.

Originally stollen was called Striezel or Struzel, which referred to a braided shape (a large oval folded in half with tapered ends) representing Baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothing.

Around 1560 it became custom that the bakers of Dresden give their king, Stollen a Christmas gift.


In 1730 Augustus the Strong, the electoral prince of Saxony and the King of Poland, asked the Baker’s Guild of Dresden to bake a giant stollen for the farewell dinner of the Zeithain “campement.” The 1.8-ton stollen was a true showpiece and fed over 24,000 guests. To commemorate this event, a Stollenfest is held each December in Dresden.

The bread for the present-day Stollenfest weighs 2 tons and measures approximately 4 yards long. Each year the stollen is paraded through the market square, then sliced and sold to the public, with the proceeds supporting local charities. Although there is a basic recipe for making the original Dresden Christollen, each master baker, each village and each home has its own secret recipe passed down from one generation to the next. There are probably as many recipes for stollen as there are home bakers.

New Traditions

Here is the one I have tried out this year; Available to download for free stollen recipe

I hope you have enjoyed reading and researching my new Christmas Tradition as much as I have.

To celebrate 48 hours till Christmas Eve a little special on my Christmas book ‘Capture: 30 merry days’

Happy Days.


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30 days till christmas


It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. In Australia the sun starts setting later, the birds squark a little louder, the smell of barbecues and bush fires hint the atmosphere, children look a little sunkissed, our hair becomes a little curly from time soaking in the sea. Christmas is summer here in Australia. Christmas is a time of holidaying, kissing, snoozing, long walks, flies, friends staying a little longer and the promise of better days.

The reason I love Christmas is because it makes me think a little more about what I am doing.

I know our lists are longer, but it takes us to a place of retrospection and remembrance of days gone by.

I like to think of why I am celebrating.

I try to think of the reason for my excitement.

I long to experience a Christmas where I am fully grounded in the story from 2,000 years ago.

A story of a child.

A story full of lack (no bed, little money, no hospital, no fancy angel monitors, gro-eggs, or gro-bags)

A simple story of a birth, but magnificently extravagant with Angels swooning, rich old wise men rushing, shepherds hiding in paddocks stilled and noticing.

This moment as simple as it was, changed our history.

It’s only the truly aware who notice it’s importance however.

I am sure the other inhabitants of the inn had no idea that the bed they laid their heads on that night, stole a pillow from a King.

A Man-child.

A Saviour.

Don’t be like the people in the inn, the keeper and the people walking and hurrying past that barn that night.

So obsessed with their tasks, that they have no time to reflect on the happenings around them.

I’d love you to join me in this 30 day journey towards Christmas through my latest ebook Capture 30 merry days

Take time to peg back the crazy’s and still yourself in the midst of the madness and prepare yourself for the special moments that need to be captured this Christmas.

Join me

30 days to go!

All my Christmas love






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capture: 30 merry days e-book


Downloadable E-book available here for purchase: Capture: 30 merry days

logo 30 merry days

Ever since I started to walk, I have been a Christmas junkie. Each year, begging my nearest and dearest to put up the tree just a little earlier, so ‘that most wonderful time of the year’ can linger longer. I am addicted to collecting Christmas traditions. Like ornaments from every part of the world and also adding constantly to my Christmas Golden Book collection. Also finding Christmas records from op shops, so throughout December I can dig out my record player and reminisce.

When I was ten years old I hid behind the curtain in our living room on Christmas Eve, longing to discover Father Christmas. I found something that I wasn’t expecting; my Mum and Dad laughing and presenting, I snuck back to my room deciding I really didn’t want to know truth anyway!

Each year as I grow older, I try to pretend that Father Christmas still hides. The reality is though, my list and stresses grow just a little longer and the gloss of Christmas fades. I love this season but have a growing hatred of its consumerism. That is where the idea for this little e-book began. ‘Capture: 30 merry days’. It is a creative guide to Christmas kindness, encouraging home made- ness instead of crazy consumption.

Want to join the journey? All you need is some courage and a huge amount of crazy joy. If your projects fail, don’t worry it’s all a part of the fun. You can see my projects aren’t perfect but my family and friends adored them last year. I think a little bit of effort goes a huge way.

It is available on the 14th of December for 24 hours at a special price of $4.95 and then it goes to $9.95 from now till Christmas.

Here is a teaser of the book:

capture 30 days teaser

The best way to enjoy this publication is on an Ipad or tablet. What you need to do, is add this item to your shopping cart when it is available. Then you will receive an email and a receipt from me. On that email is a link that enables you to download this e-book. Once downloaded here is the best way to enjoy it.

1) Open the publication on your iPad in Ibooks. Or on your android in your ebook reader.

2) Watch out for all the underlined yellow sections. Every section that is underlined is a hyperlink to another website or recipe.

3) The menu page has an easy bookmark function, every recipe/ instruction can go straight from the menu page through to that page. Click on the day number and it will flick you straight through to the page/ recipe you are looking for.

Lastly, do this Christmas junkie one favour.

Post a photo on Facebook or Instagram of what you have made from the book and tag me or email me a photo.

This would make me so happy.

Enjoy and Merry 30 days of creating

All my Christmas love