31 December 2014

In Love with Roses...

Today's flower photograph is of a rose called 'Just Joey'.
Apricot and  peachy 
with a lovely scent = pure loveliness!
The blooms fade to a soft buff colour as they age.
One of my favourites,
it is a hybrid tea rose
with huge five inch blooms that have an unusual ruffled edge.
The bush is small to medium in size.
The bonus about this rose is that it is free-flowering!
In Mia Bella Gardens it blooms all summer long right through to early winter.




29 December 2014

Pink Geranium love...

I know I said I would not be back until next year...
BUT...
I have taken so many gorgeous photos at Mia Bella Gardens 
that I simply had to share with you all.
So here is the first one,
Pink Geranium Love...
This Geranium has an upright growth habit and is from Pac Zonal.
The blooms are semi double,
variegated white and shocking pink.
Stunning in contrast with those bright green leaves.
What's not to love about that?
And then there is the name...
Geranium Flower Fairy White Splash.
That's very lovable too!

23 December 2014

Christmas wishes...


 On the eve of Christmas,
I wish you all 
a fabulous fun holiday 
filled with happiness,
wishes, love, hugs 
and beautiful memories...

It's holiday time...
and 'Mia Bella Passions'
will be enjoying a short vacation
to return in the early New Year 
with NEW, EXCITING, FUN  
and BEAUTIFUL things 
to share with you all.
Until then,
'Merry Christmas'
and
'Happy New Year'
my fabulous friends...

21 December 2014

Pohutukawa - the New Zealand Christmas Tree...

Todays post is all about the pohutukawa.
I thought I would share these photos I took yesterday, 
then you can see what my Christmas season looks like...
My snow is red... 
from the beautiful pohutukawa needles that covers the ground under the trees.
It is summer here...
and the photos look are a bit hazy as the heat and humidity was extreme 
causing a visual haze.
The Pohutukawa is a native tree that is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree.
That's because it is flowering during the Christmas holiday season
from November to January,
Legend says if it flowers early it will be a long hot summer.
  The flowers are bright, bright red...
Very Christmasy don't you think?
 The stunning flowers cover the tree...
 The trees can grow in the most precarious positions as they have an epiphyte tendency.
You can see this here as there are many on this rocky hillside,
which are just beginning to bloom.
 Where I live on the coast of the Eastern Bay of Plenty, 
in the North Island of New Zealand,
there are thousands (or more) of these beautiful trees,
which are from the Myrtle family.
Putting on an awesome summer display,
much to the delight of the nectar eating birds.
 It is thought these trees can live up to 1000 years, 
and can grow up to 25 metres in height!
 Pohutukawa  - 
The New Zealand Christmas Tree.

Merry Christmas friends.


19 December 2014

Glitter branches for last minute Christmas decorating...

One can never have enough bling...
And the shelf in the lounge was desperately plain.
But at the last minute, and in the midst of Christmas madness
 what can one put together in the jingle of an bell...
Glitter branches of course!
Simply spray adhesive glue onto a branch 
sprinkle with glitter in the colour, or colours of your choice.
Put aside to dry.
 Once they are dry to touch place in your decor.
 I put mine in a small French Country pot
and tucked some Christmas themed fabric around the the base of the branch.
Viola!
An easy to do nature meets glitter bling masterpiece...
And I LOVE it!
So does Ella...
Who has found a comfy napping spot amongst the burlap tree skirt!

18 December 2014

Cinnamon stick & berry jar candle...

You can never have too many candles...
so lets create a cinnamon stick jar candle.
 I can hear you say - this ones been done a million times...
But I think mines just a bit special 
with a cute plaited jute bow tie,
and accent berries.
 Plus the cinnamon sticks have been spaced 
so you can see the candle in the jar
All you need to create this is a small jar,
a small candle,
Cinnamon sticks
jute string
and some artificial berries.
 I used a dab of hot glue to hold the cinnamon sticks in place,
and plaited three strands of the jute string.
Twirl the jute string around the jar twice,

 and tied a bow.
Then I added the berries,
 which were already pre-wired.
Now it is ready to light!
Let me show you the book table while we wait 
for that delicious aroma to start as the jar warms up from the candles flame...
This year I'm using a lovely French style coffee table, 
 to display some very special Christmas books.
It sits beside the red Christmas tree...
Can you smell the cinnamon now?
The cinnamon stick and berry jar candle is gorgeously Christmas...
And pretty cute to look at too.


15 December 2014

Buttery and sweet, white chocolate and lemon truffles...

Got a sweet tooth?
Then here is a sweet treat that will surely satisfy it!
Buttery...
Sweet...
White Chocolate...
AND
lemon!

All you do is pop into a double boiler and melt:
(For me that is a pot with a metal bowl sitting on the top.)
460g White chocolate melts
120g salted butter
and
6 Tablespoons thickened cream.
Once melted: stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice
 and 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind.
Cool.
 Refrigerate for 2 hours stirring often as the butter will initially separate.
Put 1/2 cup of icing sugar in a bowl.
 Drop teaspoons of mixture in it and roll into small balls.  
Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator .  
Makes approximately 30 balls.  
(depending on the size of the ball you roll.) 
Serve directly from the refrigerator.
And just in case you are wondering who this beautiful angel is...
 Meet Angelica.
She is a gorgeous Christmas Angel 
from the collectable Bear range - Bearington Bears. 
Printable recipe is here:

14 December 2014

Delish and Christmas cute - Ginger cupcakes with gingerbread holly toppers...

Have you seen these fantastic little plunger cutters from 'Sweet Creations'?
They are designed to be used to cut fondant icing,
 but I thought I'd see if they work on a shortbread type biscuit dough...
And guess what?
They did!!!

The plunger cutters come in all sorts of designs...

                 This shortbread dough is flavoured ginger...
And the plunger is in a holly design which is perfect for the cupcake toppers.
The leftover dough was make into little ginger cookies...
Baked golden and joined together with a dab of icing, 
these are a little bit of Christmas fun!
Swirl ginger butter icing on the ginger cupcake...
Top with a ginger holly topper...
Remember to join the holly toppers for a 3D effect...
The recipes for the Ginger muffins, Ginger Icing and the Gingerbread toppers are here:
All that ginger smells so Christmasy!
Perfect for Christmas visitors...
I think it's time for a coffee and a just out of the oven gingerbread cookie...