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9" x 12" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP


Fall begins a season of celebrations - harvests, brlliant colors, Halloween, All Saints Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary -- and today, my birthday!


To celebrate I painted some bright red rose hips - a reminder of the season and the colors I love, the hips-- the fruit of a season's work and the promise of more to come! Sort of like birthdays, I think! I kept this rather splashy simply for the joy of the season!


Thank you all for your constant support and encouragment - but more, your friendships and kind words. You cannot know how much you mean to me!


Have a slice of celebratory cake today -- on me! And please enjoy the two portraits below - gifts from my dear friends Doris and Janina!

I just want to show you part of what we are going to have for dessert,

This are some of what I made for Christmas, fruits Ladybug are Marzipan,

done with pure almond paste the only tool was a kitchen knife for the crease

my favorites are always the bananas and peach, I don't spray my fruit I like

the natural, white and dark chocolate truffles to die for:-) and the other two with the

leaf is chocolate covered cake, this are all bite size,

No need for comment but Please view this in large

I've taken this low resolution video today.


In Italy, on Christmas day we usually eat this butter made cake called "panettone". It has candied fruit and raisins in it. The one you see in the video is a small version without candied fruit and raisins. It's many calories and birds love it.


Here is wishing you all a Christmas that is


Fun-filled: with some memory created and recalled afresh.

Here is what we *plan* to do as a family:

- Plant some flower seeds which should bloom in a couple of months.

- Play Scrabble or Pictionary

- Watch a fun DVD together.


Fulfilled: If its got to be a true holiday, it needs to meaningful.

- For us Christmas is remembering the greatest gift, Jesus.


Food-filled: Yeah, what's a special day without all the goodies to tuck in.

There's all the typical Kerala stuff through the day: Appam & Stew, Fruit Cake and Wine, Biriyani, a Roast, Cutlets, fruit crumble. Hopefully, there are pics coming ;)

Fruit cakes are typically served in celebration of weddings and Christmas. Given their rich nature, fruit cake is most often consumed on its own, as opposed to with condiments (such as butter or cream).

Baking a Traditional Fruit Cake is a process. Here dried fruits & peel are soaked for the Christmas 2010.


Recipe for the cake is here. Soaking that early is not a necessary. I know of people & hotels who do it around October. But I don't trust myself to remember then ;)

in charge with the dessert for Christmas dinner at friends' :)

--> white chocolate pralines and almond layer log accompanied with fresh berries and coffee syrup.

Cupcake fruit cake com nozes decorado com rena em pasta americana

Our first cake for 2010. We made this to celebrate our parent's 45th wedding anniversary. Each bear represents a member of the family with a few absent members represented in the details.


Top and bottom teirs are dummie cakes and middle teir is moist boiled fruit cake, that has been lovingly doused in Brandy every two weeks over the last 8 or so weeks.


Congrats Mom and Dad!!!

Best viewed Large and on black

Dot and Grace


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Sam says I spoil him too much, that it's not his birthday until January and Christmas is only just round the corner. But I just can't help it, I love that little robot and if he wants his own iPad he can have one.

Zoe and Poppy celebrate the 3rd Advent. They love to eat their favourite christmas cake which is called Stollen.

Stollen is a fruit cake containing dried fruit and often marzipan and covered with sugar, powdered sugar or icing sugar. It is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season and it is also called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen.


Dear Blythe friend!

Welcome to my Blythe Doll Flickr Fotostream.

I am looking forward to get to know new friends of the Blythe doll.


My Blythe Blog:

I would like to invite you to visit my Blythe blog at my private website. At this blog I want to share my love for the Blythe doll with you. I have a lot of fun to take photos of my dolls and to show them here:


My Blythe Facebook Page:


Hugs Heike




Close-up of detail


Thinking about Christmas Cakes & Designs I made this, which is totally inspired by Lindy smith's 3 tiered Snowflake Cake!

This cake isn't fruit cake but sponge, But we will be having a very boozy, Brandy soaked fruit cake for the Christmas period.....YUM!!!!


I used patchwork cutters for the snowflakes and have got to say they are really tricky to use, I have tried several ways and had broken more snowflakes than I actually made, so there was some bad language flying around :o)

For the small beads of snow I used royal icing.

Santa and Rudolph take a well-earned day off whilst the rest of us enjoy the fruits of their night's work.


For ODC: "And then it was..." (time for a rest)


This is the last of Mrs Mac's Christmas Cake orders for 2011, her best-seller from last year, a 8" fruit cake covered in marzipan and sugar paste with hand-modelled santa and rudolph.


As it's Sunday and Christmas, there's a been a bit of magic sliding going on, but no other editing this time! Happy Christmas Sunday Sliding!!!

Festive Christmas German Stollen Bread with Powdered Sugar


Hello, to see my latest recipe join me on Facebook: or subscribe to my blog


apple tart with caramel, a piece of cake, top view on a wooden board

Rich fruit cake drenched with brandy, covered in marzipan and fondant with edible snowflakes and a generous dsusting of edible white glitter for that Christmas sparkle.

Preserved cherries - different names (candied, crystallized, glace) but all made the same by soaking them for weeks in a colourful sugary syrup. I just buy mine at the local bulk store and use them to decorate Christmas baking.


These fruits actually have an interesting history. First made in the Middle East in the early 1300s they followed the trade route through Venice and Milan. By the 1500s bakers in Milan were including these red and green fruits in their Christmas panettone. From Italy, candied cherries (and other fruit) moved westward ... including into Britain for their every-famous (or infamous) "Christmas cake" ... and then across the Atlantic to become part of Canadian and American festive baking, too.

Yule log of white chocolate mousse, stuffed with raspberry puree sponge rolls, glazed with raspberry jelly, garnished with white chocolate, fresh berries, and gold leaf (also know as Buche de Noel)


Whole set is here.


These are mini fruit cakes I made a few months back. They've been soaking gently with a drizzle of brandy put in them each month. Today I iced them. I don't profess to being that handy with the ol' icing, but they'll make nice pressies for my neighbours, some who are on their own. A perfect one person cake!

Ice Cream Cakes by Cold Rock Aspley. Custom made from a choice of 32 flavours of ice cream and a huge range from confectionary, fruit and nuts. Call us on 0417115707 or order online


...... I'd like to wish all my lovely flickr friends and contacts very Happy Holidays, whatever this time of year means to you and your families.


Thank you so much for all your visits and comments and above all for your friendship ...... it means a great deal to me.


Here is the LAST of my "Girls" ..... Rudolph-ina !


I just knew with a nose as red as that she had to be fond of the odd tipple or two ...... and this is how I found her at Santa's office party !


I think maybe next year he'll stick with the boys ...... !!! ;o)) LOL


I'll post a picture of the finished tree after Christmas as my camera battery is flat ... doh! .... and I really ought to be doing something more sensible right now anyway ! ;o))


Mini-fruitcake cupcake with marzipan and fondant icing.

Explore 24.12.2009

Today's lunch.

Salad from our garden, plus avocado.

Curry puffs made by me, with my great grandmother's anglo indian recipe, and sweet chilli sauce.

Orange juice.


My greatgrandmother, who was commonly known as "Granny" in the neighbourhood, used to make 100s of curry puffs for people when they had parties. It was a sort of small time catering business that she had. Apparently, she would line up her 7 grandchildren in an assembly line to cut and fold pastry around the minced meat. She also made fruit cakes for weddings and Christmas ... I used the same recipe for my own wedding cake.

A 9 inch fruit cake made for a charity auction for The Burnet Institute. I went a little overboard and spent way too much time on it, but I just loved making it. The design is based on a buttercream cake by Sharon Zambito, who it a cake goddess. This was entered into a Flickr Bake off throwdown with the lovely, thanks Yuliya :)

As you can see I have become rather fond of my snowflake cutter and my little snowmen.

This wee fellow is the top "cupcake" for my Christmas cupcake tree.

Amazingly we're not big cake eaters and our normal Christmas cake seemed to hang on for ever, so last year our daughter suggested I did cupcakes for Christmas and made a "Christmas Tree" out of my Wilton stand.


The cupcakes are in fact little boiled fruit cakes made in cupcake liners with Karen's (cakebaker_cakemaker) excellent recipe.


This was last year's "tree"


This year's theme will be ..... surprise, surprise ..... snowflakes topped with a snowman !!!!!


Cakes covered in marzipan and fondant and "twinkled" to within an inch of their lives! ;o)))

Made Explore 21.12.2008

Haul out the holly

Put up the tree before my spirit falls again

Fill up the stocking

I may be rushing things but deck the halls again now


For we need a little Christmas right this very minute

Candles in the window, carols at the spinet

Yes we need a little Christmas right this very minute

Hasn't snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we're in a hurry


Climb down the chimney

Turn on the brightest string of lights I've ever seen

Slice up the fruit cake

It's time we've hung some tinsel on the evergreen bough


For I've grown a little leaner, grown a little colder

Grown a little sadder, grown a little older

And I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder

Need a little Christmas now


For we need a little music, need a little laughter,

need a little singing ringing through the rafter

and we need a little snappy, happy ever after

We need a little Christmas now!


..... this is yet another of my 4'' rich fruit Christmas cakes!

With marzipan and fondant icing ...... snowmen made of fondant as well ..... and the whole cake brushed with edible pearl lustre.

I very rarely leave the edge of the board without a ribbon trim, but I felt on this occasion the silver edge was just right!


(The little chap standing has a snowflake in his hands which doesn't show very well I'm afraid)

Made Explore20.12.2008

Lovely shot of Christmas festivities at Waterford's Sailors' Rest. Particularly like the British Sailors' Society banner adorned by a dove with a twig in its mouth (as in the Noah's Ark story). And wondering if the Christmas crackers on the tables were Tom Smith's brand...


We didn't have a location for this Sailors' Rest that we first featured back on 17 July, although we knew this photo was ordered by a Mr Craig, until ofarrl commented:

"This was more than likely number 9 Henrietta Street, Waterford which was the address of the David Beatty Sailors Rest."


Date: 29 December 1931


NLI Ref.: P_WP_3883

My 365 today is a celebration of the end of the Christmas cake. It was a handmade one and had a long time to mature and was loaded with fruit and a fair amount of alcohol. Usually it's all gone by New Years but this time around the overindulgence of the season means we had some left.


This was the last section left so it was deserving of my daily shot.


S120 close up. Lit from left with Lime Cube set to 1/4 power and about 10" away. Curves and sharpening added in PS.


This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.


Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.


Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.


Opening times


Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.


Entrance charges




If you are new to birdwatching...


Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.


Information for families


Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.


Information for dog owners


Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.


Star species


Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.


Bearded tit


You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.




Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.


Little egret


These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.


Little grebe


Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.




Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.


Seasonal highlights


Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.




Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.




Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.




In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.




The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.




Information centre


Car park




Disabled toilets


Baby-changing facilities


Group bookings accepted


Guided walks available


Good for walking


Pushchair friendly


Viewing points


Viewing screens are available.


Nature trails


There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.




Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.


Refreshments available


Hot drinks


Cold drinks








A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.


The shop stocks:


Binoculars and telescopes


Bird food


Bird feeders






Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.


We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!


We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.


Opening hours


10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)


Highlights from our menu


Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent


Access to the cafe


The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.


Children welcome


There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.


We use local ingredients


We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.


Dietary requirements


We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.




8 August 2013


This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.


Before you visit


Clear print site leaflet available from reception


Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm


Entry to the reserve is free of charge


Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily


Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details


Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)


A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance


Check events and activities for accessibility,


How to get here


Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available


Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63


Car parking


Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust


Visitor centre and shop


Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).


Nature trails


Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.


Viewing facilities


Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.




Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.




Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.




Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.




Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.


Picnic area


Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.


Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.


For more information


Newport Wetlands




Telephone:01633 636363


How to get here


By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)


Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.


By train


The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit or telephone 08457 484950.


By bus


From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.


By road


Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.


Our partners


The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.


Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.


Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms


Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.


We can provide facilities for the following




Board Meetings




Training Courses




Away days


Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.


Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.


A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.




Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.


Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.


The Lakeside Suite


A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.


The Education Facilities


Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.


For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.


For more information


Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator


Telephone:01633 636355

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