My place & yours:: blog HQ

Yikes! What a mess! Two macs, one vintage singer, and a load of papers:: children's drawings, photos, bills, seeds, books, magazines and notepads. Wallpaper, that I've tried to tear off to see what's underneath. Oh dear. It will go one day. We bought the trestle table at a junk shop and painted it. It runs the width of the room and makes a great work space when it's a bit more organised.The best thing about hq is the view from the window of our garden. Apple blossoms, garlic, strawberries and poppies. Very nice.

Thanks to Ninon for this week's theme and Miss Pip for hosting.

From Martha with love

When Martha (well, Martha Inc) emailed a recipe for these delicious cookies, well, I had to give them go. Who can refuse Martha? And Dulce de leche bat cookies sound so seductive. Plus having a truck load of the lush caramel languishing in the fridge, I felt a moral obligation to make them. I can't waste it now can I?
Despite not having a set of aspic cutters (do you?) handy to make the bat silhouette, nonetheless they were so gorgeous. It's a lovely chocolatey biscuit, so even without the ddl filling, you should give them a go. They're from Martha with love you know.

Into the wild

Overgrown grass, wild flowers, neglected old fruit trees. This was the type of garden I loved as child. Magic, secret gardens that you could play games in for hours at time. So I wonder why now, I feel so different about how a garden should look. Tidy edges, neat borders perfectly pruned roses. Maybe a topiary or two? Not quite. But my idea of a good looking garden lies somewhere in the middle. Although at the moment, I can't imagine ever taming my overgrown jungle into state that I'm completely happy with. Let alone have time for a bit of hedge clipping.
But today, when I was working in the garden, feeling somewhat overwhelmed at the enormity of it all, I watched the little ones playing. There were trees to climb, long grass to run through, flowers to pick. In summer there are strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and wild blackberries and hopefully this autumn, there'll be apples and cherries.
Hugo has plenty of sawdust pile to drive trucks through, flowers to pick and eggs to collect.

Elsa found a dinosaur bone (okay it was a rat skull but to her, it was prehistoric), built a home for a squirrel, helped plant some flowers and counted the garlic (74!).

Watching them play outside today, I realised, my wild and woolly garden is just how I like it.

Work to date

Here's one part of the kitchen after our mini makeover. We painted our floorboards the palest of greys and I am amazed at how much brighter everything looks. I feel like I'm living in Scandinavia!
I had to close the new door into the hallway though to hide all the boxes of stuff yet to find a new home. To explain, we knocked out a wall in the kitchen, and attached to that wall was about two thirds of the cupboards and bench space. But we didn't like it so it had go. All of it. Even though we don't have the budget to replace it. Better a third of a kitchen than whole ugly one, um right?

Yours and mine :: bedside

I'm playing along with Pip's Yours and Mine meme, and this week's theme of Bedside is by Pottymouthmama.

So here is mine, a rustic bedside table made from an old kerosene crate and tin, one of a pair picked up from an antique store in Robe, where we had a beautiful holiday years ago before children.

There's a stack of books, currently The 100-Mile Diet and the gorgeous Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater, which I bought brand new off ebay for $US 3.00! There's some treasures left by little people, stones, a piece of shell and most importantly, lego instructions, a special treasure, which I must not lose!

Stop by Pip's place if you'd like to see more.

The end of the road

I was feeling slightly anxious as I crammed the little ones into the car and the three of us took off on our great southern camping adventure, leaving their dad behind to work on the house. Not the most experienced of camper, with just me, the children and one rather large tent, my mind was reeling with worst case scenarios. Although, I was meeting up with a group of friends, and I did take comfort from the fact that one of them is affectionately known as "Alby"

On arrival at Cockle Creek, my first thought was what took me so long to get here, (it's been on my "one day" list for years) and any thoughts of imminent catastrophe quickly evaporated as we took in the breathtaking scenery. A typical camping adventure, the highlight was a tinnie ride alongside dolphins and sea lions. Along with collecting driftwood and maireener shells on the beach, toasting marshmallows and sleepy babes drinking early morning hot chocolate. All over too quickly, but creating happy memories for the little ones. Can't wait to go back to the "end of the road."



See you soon...

I just love those old movies when the charachters arrived at some big old house with the furniture covered in dust sheets. This scene in the lounge room reminds me those old flicks.

Well, I've blown out my blogtoberfest a post a day challenge, but we're going to split town and will be back soon when the dust settles.

New stove!

Gas, induction, ceramic, electric, wood fired. There's an overwhelming number of options to consider when buying a new stove. And boy, have I researched, vox popped and tested a plethora of choices so I can make an informed decision before taking the big financial plunge.

I'm pretty happy with the model we have chosen. It's fairly compact, extremely energy efficient, has some well thought out features and I think its style sits well with the rest of the house. And this particular model comes with a stack of bonus accessories. I'm really looking forward to cooking up delicious treats with the smalls for years to come on this baby.














This post is dedicated to to Lexi, who gets me every time.

Tasmania's table



Super fun day yesterday. Cooking and styling for a photo shoot for a book cover. The book,Tasmania's Table highlights the amazing producers, chefs and providores around the state. It was a long day but so much fun. But of course, the best part was eating all the delicious food at the end!

Eye Spy - bed

Bed from junk shop, doona cover from Ikea, pillow case from the oppie.
Much loved Charlotte is from Santa and is dressed by little seedlings.

Thanks to Cindy for posting and Miss Muggins for this week's theme.

Day eighteen :: My place and yours



Still eating our way through the jam supply, that's moved to a new old cupboard. Mostly damson jam and tomato relish left now, and a new batch of marmalade.
There's also a few bottled peaches and cherries left.

Looking at this photo I suppose I should recover those old contact shelves. They look a bit shabby really. One day...

Playing a new photo game at Pips :: This week's theme is On the Shelf.
Are you playing?


Day sixteen :: the team

The dulcet tone of a chainsaw echoes across the valley, as Rodney works his magic on a massive tree stump that's been an eyesore on my rural idyll since we moved here. Earlier today, I was so grateful that Mal and Damien could get here so pronto to fix the septic. It was then that Tony arrived unexpectedly, with the spare part for the fridge. Five days early, you've got to love that.

What with Arne and Phil spending three days here earlier in the week with the interior makeover, Rob and Dean taking care of the rewiring, and Neil coming to take away everything they pulled out, it's been a bit like the agfest carpark here. Next week, Stevo will be here to do the plastering, and hopefully Pete can make it to finish some painting. Then we just need to wait for Wocko, Rick and Matt for some final touches and we'll just about have a new kitchen (oh, but we do need to save money to pay them, sadly this job will stretch over several weeks).

The cheque book's taken a beating. But we have a deadline to get the place shipshape before Christmas. You see, we're hosting the family this year, twenty six for Christmas lunch, and, as they're all coming from the mainland, well, they'll stick around for a few days. And that's when we can all relax and enjoy the efforts of our above mentioned renovation team.

Day fifteen :: from the garden


These daisies grow so well in our garden.
Their happy colours are so uplifting.
Which I could use today.
Broken fridge :: still.
No kitchen :: adapting.
Blocked septic :: bad timing.
And it's still raining!

Sneak peak

From the kitchen, looking through the new door. There's dust and crap everywhere. But already it looks so much better. More light, better flow. Tomorrow the builders will be finished. Did I mention they're also ripping out half the kitchen? Yes indeed. Hence the chaos. But it's looking amazing. Not good. Not great. Amazing.

Lath & plaster

I heart this.
Someone's handiwork from 100 years ago, revealed again today.
Beautiful. I love old houses.

Tomorrow :: open heart surgery

See the end of our hallway? Notice something missing? A door perhaps. Well, there was a door there, but it was sealed up probably years ago. It's always bugged me this sealed door. Because behind that wall is our kitchen. Having it sealed up like this feels like a blocked artery to the heart of our home. Bad feng shui.
Tomorrow. Seven thirty am. This faux wall has a date with a builder. With a big saw. And a soft touch. For our old girl. Wish her luck.

Eye Spy - a favourite corner in my house...

This isn't a corner so much as my hallway. I love the space here. From the filtered light of the front door windows to the clean white walls, it's a calming space to walk through. I've had the sideboard for years, a gift from a friend who no longer wanted it. The little Thonet chair I bought at auction when we lived up the road from here. When Elsa was a wee baby I'd walk her in the pram to auction day for a little bidding.

There are pussy willows in a vase from a neighbour's paddock and our spring display. One day, I'll find the just the right piece to hang on the wall above. No hurry. All in good time.

We're doing a little renovation in here. Well, more of an un-renovation really. Replacing an original feature that was removed who knows how long ago. I've been waiting for the builder since March, and he said he's coming this week. Fingers crossed! Stay tuned for some before and afters.

Thanks to Cindy for hosting and see some more favourite corners right here.

Day ten::from the garden

Today finally felt like spring had arrived. At last. Time to celebrate sunny blue skies with our first outdoor lunch for the season. First job is to sweep away the remains of winter cobwebs and wash down the table. Lot's of helpers for that job.
The smalls then made lemonade while lunch was cooking.


Another use for the spurtle :: stirring lemonade.
Elsa picked flowers from the garden to decorate the table.
Simple pasta with tomato sauce and greens from the garden.
Made all the more delicious when served in the sunshine.
Did you catch some sun today?

Day nine::from the kitchen


From the kitchen, this is the view to the living room.
Good bye cedar French doors...


Day seven::from the garden

When the sun made an all too short appearance this afternoon, Hugo and I made a dash for the garden. Him for some digging and general chook chasing, me for my daily workout of pulling out cocks-foot and cape weed.
Midwinter, I planted some broad beans and peas in the hope that the smalls would munch them straight off the plant come spring. Ever so slowly they've grown through the cold months and are now in flower, but not yet ready to pick. Or so I thought. It was a lovely surprise to see peas dripping from the underside of the plant when I pulled it back today.
Even more lovely was when Hugo pronounced the peas as "sweet and juicy" as he munched down several pods. Yes!! I thought as I did an imaginary victory punch in the air. Surprise peas. Surprised that they were even there, delighted that he ate them.



from the kitchen::from the garden::from the valley
My theme for Blogtoberfest::a post every day in October

Day six:: from the kitchen

It's bitterly cold here today. The smalls are tired, adjusting to daylight savings and both suffering colds. Time for a cozy inside pajama day in front of the fire. The perfect opportunity to try one of Amanda's projects from her new book :: Calvin's papier-mâché bowls. Easily made with stuff we already have, they are just the ticket to store all the treasures the children collect, leaves, rocks, shells, pine cones etc.


This activity kept them amused for some time, from tearing the newspaper while I cooked up the glue, to smoothing the final layer was almost an hour!
Now we just have to be patient and wait for them to dry so we can paint them. But I fear this will take some time in this weather.

Note to self: please remember not to leave these outside overnight. My last papier-mache attempt, a pinata, was left outside and entirely eaten by hungry possums. Oops! Fresh from the city, I had to chalk that one up to a foolish, city-slicker mistake at Elsa's third birthday party.

from the kitchen :: from the garden :: from the valley.
My theme for this month's Blogtoberfest :: a post a day in October.


Eye Spy - my front door...

I'm playing along with Cindy's weekly Eye Spy game and this week's great theme is by Karin.

We don't use the front door much, even guests tend to come to the back door, shooing chickens out of the way as they approach. But I do have a thing for front doors. I love brightly painted old, four panel doors. Saying that, ours looks a bit dull and boring. I'm not overly fond of the colour scheme of our exterior and look forward to painting it one day. That's when we can paint our door something bright, like red, or green or blue. Actually, looking at this photo maybe I'll just do it soon anyway, it's screaming out to be painted, even if it will clash with our putty coloured house. Head over to Cindy's to see some more front doors.

Day four :: from the valley


We escaped to the beach today....for some collecting...
...some digging...
...and some daisy chains...

from the kitchen :: from the garden :: from the valley.
My theme for this month's Blogtoberfest :: a post a day in October.


Day three :: from the garden


French breakfast radishes. These are really fast and easy to grow and you can plant them anytime of year. I bought the seeds from here. I grow mine by the back door, ready for snacking at a moments notice. They are really mild, not at all like the red radishes and delicious sliced thinly and served with plenty of butter and salt on bread.
Yum!

from the kitchen :: from the garden :: from the valley.
My theme for this month's Blogtoberfest :: a post a day in October.