Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A little peace...

I am so thankful for the kindness offered to me to enjoy a lovely 24 hours in this beautiful setting.

At a time in my life when everything is upside down and so very frightening.

To escape to the peace and quiet of this lovely setting where the night is dark except for the stars was just the few moments I needed.

I sat and pondered the future with this as my view.

So lovely to have a moment to just be.  Read.  Eat. 

No phone.  No internet.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

A sweet little stool...

I've had this sweet little stool stored in the shed for awhile now, just calling out for a little makeover.

Such a fun project.  Quick and easy.  Just a quick wash and sand and a few coats of paint!!

I've been able to put it to very good use as a little side table on my front veranda.  Perfect!

Another little completed project for Lorea House.  It's always lovely to create another little area to enjoy.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Happiness is my Garden

My first published piece.....

QCWA Ruth Magazine Autumn Issue

An absolute joy for me has been to create a garden to share with those I love. 

Gardening is many things to many people, but for most it is time we can spend enjoying our homes and gardens.  Hard work at times, but when the hard work is done how wonderful to have time to spend a moment or an afternoon enjoying what we have created.

In creating a garden to enjoy with our family and friends it is important to plan and create special areas.   These areas can come in many forms.  Some simple, while others can be more complex in design.  Ideas can come from so many places.  Visiting beautiful open gardens, reading blogs and searching places like Pinterest and Instagram and of course reading inspiring magazines.

Take a simple idea, and begin with a small space or if you have a blank canvas to work with then you will be able to dream big and enjoy creating your beautiful garden.

A quiet area hidden from view of the house is a great place to start.  If starting from the beginning, plant some areas with screening plants to eventually give you the space you have envisaged. I have found Murraya Mock Orange and Photinia to be great plants for this.

A garden bench or a pair or Adirondack chairs to share the time with someone will be a lovely way to spend an afternoon or evening enjoying the garden.  Read a book, listen to some music, chat with someone or just sit and enjoy the peace and happiness that can come from spending time in your garden.  Make your space comfortable.  Cushions are an easy project for the garden.  Cheap and cheerful fabric or even pretty linen tea towels can be made up into great cushions.

An outdoor eating area can also be another way to share the garden with family and friends.  Many happy hours can be spent creating special memories of friendship shared and wonderful family times in an area created within the garden.

This can be as simple as a table and chairs with an umbrella for shelter from the sun.  A barbeque or a pizza oven can be incorporated into the garden.  Remember to plant beautiful perfumed herbs and plants in these areas to enjoy their fragrance. 

Herbs could include Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Oregano, Mint, Chives, Basil and Thyme – these are then also handy to snip and use in the meal being shared. Recycle old containers such as olive oil tins to make a quirky display of herbs in your garden.

Star Jasmine, Wisteria, Lemon Scented Pelargonium, Gardenia, Lavender and Murraya Mock Orange just to name a few favourites will make your outdoor space a delight to enjoy.  Spring flowering bulbs can be planted during autumn – favourites include Freesia, Jonquil and Daffodil. Citrus trees are another wonderful addition to the garden.  The perfume is amazing in Spring then harvesting and using your own beautiful produce creates another sense of happiness and satisfaction of having a garden to enjoy.

A chair or a bench in the vegetable garden or Potager is also a delightful place to spend some time planning and dreaming of your next project in the garden.

Even those who live in units or have small gardens can make a beautiful space to be enjoyed.  Pots of all descriptions are available and can be planted with herbs and perfumed annuals, bulbs and shrubs to be enjoyed.  Remember to keep the furniture smaller and enjoy creating a space to spend time enjoying your garden.

To plant a garden and create special areas to share with those we love is truly a gift we can give and enjoy.   Those moments of complete happiness are created in enjoying and sharing our creation.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Victoria Sponge


Sunday morning after spending some time picking berries I was inspired to bake a cake.
I have enjoyed A Table in the Orchard by Michelle Crawford very much. Hugo and Elsa is Michelle's blog.  So lovely to enjoy her beautiful home and garden.

I had a beautiful bottle of lemon butter in the fridge made by my Mum. Always delicious!
I hardly every make a cake.  But cake it just had to be. 
The recipe for Vicotria Sponge was lovely. Easy to follow and worked out perfectly. 

As I prepared the ingredients and the tins, I caught myself thinking about my Nana and her beautiful sponge cakes she would make. I'm not even brave enough to try her recipe! But as I buttered the tins and dusted them with flour I thought about her and wondered how many sponge tins she had prepared during her many years of baking. 

Now this cake is not a light and airy sponge like my Nana used to make but it is so very delicious.  I filled mine with a layer of lemon butter and freshly whipped cream, topped it with more cream and some beautiful berries.

Mum, Dad and I sat outside under the tree on Sunday afternoon, cups of tea in hand and enjoyed the Victoria Sponge together.

What a lovely end to the weekend.

Thursday, 12 November 2015


My new garden at Lorea House has provided a few lovely little surprises.  Berries being an especially delicious one!

One of the first jobs I completed when I started tidying the garden was to remove an awful weed mat type product from around the strawberry patch. Underneath I found hundreds of snails. Oh yuk!!
A big tidy up and a big dose of sugar cane mulch and a drink of liquid thrive and my strawberries took off. Big lush healthy plants.  Flowers followed and then of course the best part. Strawberries!  So many strawberries. At the moment there's a big bag full waiting in the freezer that I will make jam with soon.

The other berries have been a little bit of a mystery to me. I really haven't had a clue!  But I'm told they are Boysonberries. Whatever they are, they are certainly delicious. 

How delicious they have been.  On pancakes with the strawberries with maple syrup. With yoghurt and a little granola sprinkled on top but my favourite, on a little pavlova nest with some beautiful fresh cream!  Heaven!

Berries are something I've never experimented with before in the garden but I must say it's been worth dealing the the spiky canes to enjoy the delicious fruit. 

What a lovely thing it is to enjoy fresh berries right from my own sweet garden.  

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Trestle Table Love....

I have had the most beautiful couple of weeks. Not all wonderful. But lots of beautiful moments to make up for some really awful ones. 

I've had an idea in my mind for a little while now. 
I didn't end up with an outdoor table when I moved to my new life. I managed to save my lovely chairs that I painted quite awhile ago now.  

Bringing an idea to life is such an exciting thing to do.  

Planning, shopping, working it all out.

A trip to the Toowoomba recycling centre is always a fun thing to do.  

So many beautiful old doors to choose from. I found this one. Perfect for what I had in mind.  Strong, heavy, chippy and oh so wonderful.

A lovely friend made the trip to Bunnings with me. We had found a great set of instructions on the net and had our list ready.  How good is a trip to Bunnings!   One of my favourite places to go. Dangerous even!!

Home with our bits and pieces the fun began.  

My friend owns all the gear necessary. What a beautiful afternoon of building fun we had. 

Perfectly worn and chipped from years in another life. 

Right at home under the tree at Lorea House. 

Such perfect little details a reminder of its previous life. 

Ready for a perfectly beautiful summer of memories. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Oranges in Springtime ..... And a little Marmalade

I finally picked the oranges!  What a harvest it was.

Beautiful sweet, juicy oranges.  Right at my back door.

I doubled the recipe which called for 1kg of oranges.  Hmmm, that took care of three of these large beauties!

The need for four cups of orange juice took care of a lot as well.

Sixteen beautiful bottles of orange marmalade.

I also boiled some of the oranges and pureed them ready for the freezer for future use to make Orange and Almond Cakes.  Five of them!  

What a wonderful morning of finally enjoying my little home.  I just love to create and I think that making jam can safely come into the category of creating. 

To grow produce and use it is a most satisfying feeling.  I just love it.

Not only to be able to use my own produce in my own home, but to be able to share it with family and friends is truly something that I enjoy.

This part of my life is certainly nothing new to me.  I have lived my whole life watching the women of my family make and bake not only for our immediate family but to share with the community in which we live.  Whether it was our immediate family, our neighbours or our extended community in which we lived.

I feel truly blessed to have been part of this wonderful experience of learning from my Mother and my Grandmothers. The gift of giving of ourselves however large or small the gift, whether it is a physical gift or just a thought, to be able to be a blessing to others is truly something wonderful we can share.

I will hopefully continue to share myself with others through my creating. 

With Spring finally here comes the promise of a new crop of beautiful oranges.

My garden smells delightful!