Thursday, December 29, 2011

A great holiday read!

With bags packed, food and drink and of course the dog, a few days at the beach cottage began on boxing day.
A pact was made that no work other than household chores would take  our holiday time.
In between long walks on the beach and making coffee in our new machine, I've simply relaxed and read.
My first book is this lively tale by Susan Duncan. It's her fist novel( her other books are autobiographical) and it's a beauty!
A tale of fiction but I suspect could only be written by someone who lives in this quirky area of Pittwater. I recommend the Briny cafe to all who dream of taking on a new project.
Hope your having fun!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry christmas everyone

Merry Christmas everyone.
Christmas day for us will be a lovely family day with a meal in the garden later in the day. What are your plans?
Whatever you do, may it be with those you love and have a great day.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Rescued roses

Here is another of my rescued roses. I don't recognize this rose, do you? I'm wondering if it's a climber? Any help would be appreciated. I love it's open petals. It's such a thrill when you think it would have been dumped and now gets a chance to make garden beauty!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fabulous soap from Tanya

Thought I'd share my purchase of wonderful and beautifully packaged soaps from Tanya (Suburban Jubilee). If only you could smell them. My office smells so lush!
Tanya thankyou. These are meant to be gifts but I know il keep some. The Brown Windsor is a perfume I adore. What is it?? I've smelt this before in French soap.
I will give the soap a try and let you know how I find it, but I'm thinking this is the best idea for Christmas gifts.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rose petal vinegar

Rose petal vinegar
Here is the vinegar after a few days in rose petals.
Ready for Christmas trimming.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rose petal vinegar

Hello everyone.  Have you ever made rose petal vinegar?  My lovely friend Margaret and I have been making both Rose petal and lavender vinegar for many years.  As time goes by we seem to come up with so many uses. For dressings, cleaning, rinsing etc.  Today I have filled my bowl with petals and soaked in vinegar.  Sometimes I use exotic vinegar but today just natural white vinegar.
The vinegar will turn a beautiful blush pink.  I've just discovered my husband has thrown out my little bottle collection.  Drat!! I had saved cute cordial bottles for this purpose.
   What have you been up to, I wonder? 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Prints in Canvas

This is my contribution to our work Xmas auction for charity. Both of Venice.
Very different aspects of Venice but both beautiful. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winner of my giveaway and roses in the garden

Beautiful colours in the garden at the moment.
Announcing the winner of my give away.  Nettie is the winner, I love her story of Christmas gatherings.
Nettie please send me your address and il post the prize.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pillow cases

Have you ever wondered what to do with odd pillowcases? Mix them up in singles. I think they look great. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Christmas Giveaway

As a way of saying thankyou for your friendship this year, I am giving away this beautiful guest towel and special Christmas soap.
This little excersize is a fun "girl" thing!
I want you to tell us of a Christmas ritual or idea for a Christmas get together with your special friend or friends.  It can be an actual event or a plan, I don't mind. Just a bit of pre Christmas fun!
All you have to do to enter is follow my blog and share your thoughts.  New followers welcome. Good luck. Closes Sunday 27th November

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I've been enjoying baking lately, have you?

I've been enjoying baking lately. Have you?
Perhaps you have a great new recipe you would like to share. I'm looking for Christmas ideas for cookie jars.
Think my gifts will be home made this year.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Dublin Bay rose

This gorgeous rose was my Dads favourite. It's blooming at the moment and I think of him every time I water or admire them. I think it's wonderful that flowers connect with memories.  Do you have special roses at your place.? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Studio garden

The garden at my studio
I love these little Iris's and these gorgeous  roses.
I enjoy watering at the end of the day and just soaking up the colour and perfume. How is your garden ?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cradle Mt beauty

We have enjoyed two days of walking at Cradle Mountain. The weather was perfect for walking.
I love to get out into the bush. Only one leech and no sore limbs, we have a day to recover before work tomorrow. Hope you have had a nice weekend. 

(Our cabin at the Highlander was so comfy and very warm.  Plenty of wildlife and bush around us.) 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A day in the garden

Our house is 90 years old, yet when we moved in there was not one tree and no garden at all.
Because the house was a wreck, we spent a long time working on the house and front (which actually is the back).
We are now up to the rear garden and Im quite pleased with the progress.
Hopefully we will build a deck within the next few months to link the house to the garden, but for now we enjoy carrying our tray into the garden to admire our handy work. 
Still far from finished, the old house is such a happy friendly place.. It was once a Church Manse and Sunday school was held in our lounge room.
This is something that thrills me as i have such fond memories of Sunday School..
Do You?  I think the whole "Jesus love you" thing has stuck with me, even though Im not particularly religious these days!
But thats another topic isnt it...
This Christmas we will enjoy a meal in this garden, so thats real progress i think!!
Hope you all had a great weekend.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beautiful Venice

Hi everyone, sorry its taken me so long to blog but to be honest ive been
quite tired since arriving home!
We were away a month and enjoyed two weeks in beautiful Wales, 6 days in
Cornwall then four days in Venice before spending two fun days in London on
our way home.
Im now into the swing of things and ready to start enjoying blogging again.
I must say I missed you all and thought how much Id like to share our
wonderful holiday.
Here I am in Venice. A most beautiful city with her fading grandeur, crowds
and  magical colours, it is impossible to think you will never see her
On this visit we just wandered and discovered. We bought tickets to the
Opera and drank coffee in famous coffee houses.
I think the magic of Venice is that there are no cars, all transport is by
boat. Whether its transporting goods, a funeral, a wedding, or bus, its all
on water.
The cost of everything would have to be the most expensive in Italy but I
guess its so unique those who provide service take their opportunity.
We found a very reasonable hotel and wandered off the beaten track a little
to eat, so I think we did ok.
Its an exciting place to buy trinkets and glass and quite a few presents.
We had a lovely side trip on the train to Verona which is such a beautiful
town with a really well preseved Coluseum and of course Juliets balcony.
Watching the tourists pose on the balcony was fun and I was imagining how
exciting this would be for young lovers.
We enjoyed a beautiful meal in a street café in Verona. One crazy mistake
was accidently jumping on the Euro Star first class train instead of the
Regional train.
The result was an extra 50Eu!!
I still haven't down loaded my pics but my husband took this one. So here I am
in beautiful Venice.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Op shop treasure

Working in George Town Friday pm and noticed these little babies in the Vinnies window.  A dear soul has knitted layettes for them. I had to bring them home! Only $6 each.
I love them and think they may have to stay here.
The wool is so beautiful.
Please don't think I'm greedy. I work hard to raise money for Christmas charities  so I know lots of children are in need.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A royal visit

A royal visit
I think I'm a Republican!
But I couldn't resist this postcard in England and have to say how much I like the Queen and hope her Aussie trip isn't too tiring for her.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our cottage at Low Head is ready

Elonera - The Fishermans Cottage - Tamar Valley - Northern Tasmania, TAS

I'm sorry the link doesn't seem to be working but if you would like to take a look - go to

Northern Tasmania

Low Head

(you will find us there)

cheers Chris

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Great to be home

Great to be home
To see the garden spring into life is the best welcome ever!
Our holiday was wonderful with so many great photographs to share. I'm thinking of things to blog and will probably share a few of my favourite moments.
Back into work and relaxing at the beach cottage this weekend.  I've enjoyed catching up on your blogs. I had a month without a phone, I pad or watch!! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Farewell until October

This week will be the start of our overseas holiday.
I've been quite sick with bronchitis and started to wonder if I'd be able to go!!  My work is all in hand and today we packed our cases.  The house will be looked after. A little worried we won't be warm enough but we can buy a few things if we have it wrong.
We travel to London via a stopover in Singapore. Then a night in Windsor before driving to wales.  Two weeks in Wales with a couple of side trips across to England.  After Wales we have a few days in Cornwall then fly from Bristol to Venice.  A couple of nights in London before we fly home.  I think this will be a wonderful holiday with family and friends. I will of course miss my family and friends and look forward to catching up with you all on my return.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A busy office

I read with amazement in a national newspaper yesterday, that one of Australia's leading corporations is enforcing a clear desk policy. The list of demands was quite long.   To me it seems this corporation is taking away the individuality of their employees.  Today I looked at my desk, my noticeboard and really appreciated the way our company values the individual.  I love my office and take pride in it but don't feel compelled to clear the desk every night.
I'm so glad I don't work for the giant company.  I imagine the only people who can speak up are those like me.    

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cards by Kids

Punchbowl primary produce these lovely cards as a fundraiser.  I sends lots of cards to my Real estate clients and think these are perfect for the job.  All about houses!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My favourite car in our city

I was sitting next to a couple in a cafe on Friday and the man wore a beret.  I thought to myself"bet he drives a French car"!! This little beauty was sitting outside. I smiled as I strolled to my Citroën c3 a modern version.  I'm mad about French cars.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tasmanias old growth forests

Our state is torn over the proposed pulp mill which I hope and pray never gets off the ground. For me it has always been about both the saving of Tasmanias old growth forests and the effluent which will be dumped on our pristine beaches at Low Head.  

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hobart weekend

A night in beautiful Hobart. Even a cloudy day is spectacular. This was the view from our hotel. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New deck and toilet reno

This area was a total disaster and we have given it a makeover.  New loo and installed a handbasin.  I think it's come up really well. 

Our little beach cottage now has a deck at the front.
I was in the area working yesterday and can't tell how good it was to sleep over. Off to Hobart today to see our eldest son and his family.  Have a nice weekend! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Farewell Margaret Olley

Farewell Margaret Olley
Dear Margaret Olley passed away aged 88 this week. An amazing Australian artist. Last year my husband and I flew to Sydney to an exhibition of her early works which depict her travels to Europe. It was wonderful and I have the coffee table book to enjoy. I love Margarets still life paintings and rather hope I end my days painting away at home like her.
This picture with Ben Quilty the winner of the Archibald prize.


This huge rug hanging in spotlight reminded me of a story my parents told.
When they first married they made large rag rugs for their home. I'm not sure if theirs were looped.
I love this idea. Does anyone know how to make one?  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tasmanian walnuts in Tasmanian honey

I've had fun making up these jars.  Il make some for Christmas gifts but in smaller jars to be cost effective. Il be interested in your suggestion for serving.  My ideas are, on pancakes, cheese platters, through yoghurt,
What do you think? 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Artworks by Bella

My little grand daughter Bella has been painting with me since she was first able to hold a brush.
Bella is now 4 and soaks up my art instruction like a sponge. This week she was painting wet on wet watercolor, and immediately understood what I was on about. 
Recently when Bella was sick, all she wanted to do was paint.  I'm always happy to let her use my paints and high quality paper. I'd like nothing better than to spend more time encouraging children to paint. 
In a perfect world, I think children should paint and sing everyday. I feel we suddenly stop most of the fun things in favor of other school subjects.  Learning through play can be a life long pastime if we participate!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I missed the exhibition opening

I missed the exhibition opening, due to some awful bug.
I'm home sleeping it off, but my husband and our friends went along.  Our friend Vince sang at the opening.  They are all at the shack working on the deck but I just can't pull it off. I'm missing a great dinner tonight too!!
Don't you just hate winter colds and flu. Hope your all ok out there. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Acrylics are so easy to use! They wash out in water, have a nice thick texture and can be mixed with a medium to build up heavier texture.
I recently bought some acrylics that can be used with water like watercolours. I use a cross over of brushes with acrylics. I rarely paint on board, preferring canvas.
 This painting is done in acrylics with a varnish over the top.
I really enjoy painting with my grandchildren using acrylics.
                                                     Come into the studio for tea.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oil paints

My husband gave me these Italian oils for a Christmas gift.  When my children were small I avoided oils, as I was constantly getting paint all over the house. Oils are messy but the effect is great.  I was chatting to an artist friend last weekend and both agreed that if acrylics had been around in the days of the masters we are both sure they would had been used. Would the paintings have survived for hundreds of years?  Not sure.  Time will tell.
The mixing of paint is a skill that takes a long time to master , hence the apprentices the great masters employed.
We are so lucky to have so many great products on our doorstep. All artists have their favourites and their favourite suppliers. It's a bit like cooking and craft where the tools and product make a very big difference to the outcome.
I always use the best quality just in case I produce a masterpiece!!
Have you ever painted in oils?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The water colour road

Thought you may be interested to see some of my tools and hear a little about what each medium involves.  This is my water colour table.  My little dishes for mixing paint. My beautiful brushes(. I refuse to use sable as I won't be involved in the cruel practices involved).
My travel set and a picture I'm working on.  I use high quality cold pressed paper. Will talk about paper another time.
Paper is usually taped down but this painting is dry. Thanks for dropping by. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Letters from a friend

When I first left school I became a hairdresser.  A profession I remained in until was around thirty.
During this time I was befriended by one of the kindest  ladies I've ever known.  Much like a mother figure, Bev was such a great support to our family.  Over the years Bev has sent so many cards and letters.  Through all our family illness and loss.
Yesterdays letter was such a shock, as Bev wrote about a terrible car accident she and her beloved husband had suffered. My legs could hardly hold me up as I read the letter.  To think of my dear friend in this situation was unbelievable.
The letter made me stop and think that over the years people everywhere have received letters containing pain and bad news.  This was my first.
I've only ever associated letters with good news. 

Bi carb uses

I'm very interested in this
Book and the uses for bi carb.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Walnuts in honey

On a recent trip to Hobart, I bought a jar of walnuts in honey.  So yummy on pancakes!
I'm now about to try my hand at making some.
I have some jars ready and plan to heat the honey. Any further suggestions?  Il keep you posted.