Wednesday, 31 December 2008

December 31

I don't usually make 'new year's resolutions' but I really feel the need to make a list of plans for 2009, I guess because the last year has been such a busy one for our family. I'm hoping that having a list on my noticeboard will help me to stay focused and make some time to do some of the extra things that I want to, before another year has gone by.

So here is the list, please don't remind me if I haven't even done half of it by next December 31, I will try my best...

1. learn new crafts (look! I have already started this one, I learned cross stitch yesterday, well it's good to start with an easy one!)
2. be more patient
3. look after myself better
4. go to Japan
5. finish a quilt
6. not let rude people upset me so much
7. find loads of new blogs to enjoy
8. update our family photo albums and get some photos framed
9. learn framing
10. learn to make scones, lamingtons and decent cookies
11. get the charity knitting project that Steph and I have been working on off the ground
12. find some new authors to read
13. learn about the medicinal properties of herbs and plants and start a new garden bed
14. have a proper family resort holiday in Queensland
15. add to my collection of old Fisher-Price toys
16. buy less fabric (yeah, right)
17. 'take in the waters' at our local mineral spa (which has just re-opened after 2 years)
18. catch up with old friends
19. be myself
20. not cry too much when my youngest child starts school in February
21. start a new business
22. continue working on our veggie garden
23. shop in small, local shops as much as possible
24. finish decorating our house
25. see if there is interest in starting a community op shop in our town

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Monday, 29 December 2008

It's a Winner!

The lucky girl who has won the Frankie 2009 Calendar and Afternoon Tea book from my Christmas giveaway is Rejenerate, whose comment no. 14 was picked out of the hat. Click here to visit her lovely Sydney-based blog!

Thanks everyone who took part, I've discovered some lovely new blogs in the process.

And if you missed out but would still like to get a copy of the gorgeous Frankie goodies, they are available here. They also have a subscriber offer to win one of these cute totes!


So I wrote about this lovely Granny Squares Headboard a few days ago - and lo and behold, look what was waiting for me today in the junk shop near our house. I don't have the right bed for it yet, but my youngest son is due to get a 'big boy bed' soon, so I might give it a go. It's a lovely example of a crochet blanket actually, very well-made from wool rather than acrylic. It's a shame it's not bigger or I would put it on our bed!

I also picked up this old sewing box that I think will look pretty with a fresh coat of paint.

And the owner had been keeping a few vintage Ladybird books under the counter for me, he knows I am an addict, hee hee!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

How good is this Granny Squares Headboard?

Monday, 22 December 2008

Happy Christmas y'all!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards
Donna has got me hooked on Elf Yourself. I have been making movies all day, here is one of my favourites featuring our cats Rita and Ingrid, and Jim the dog. Yee Ha!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

News from the back yard...

After two weeks of rain we finally have some sunshine and the veggies are coming along a treat (most of them, ahem, don't mention the basil)...

Mint is in abundance!

Rhubarb is doing well.

The courgettes are flowering and starting to grow their fruit.

Lots of carrots under there somewhere.

The thyme and coriander in the lettuce bed are good to eat.

We planted this jasmine on the ugly wall behind the veggie beds and it has come into flower.

Aah! Today we spotted this tiny bub of an eggplant. The first one we have ever managed to grow!

And the start of what will hopefully be a good tomato crop, they'll need lots more sunshine.

Spring onions.

Lots and lots of lettuces, bought as seedlings from the produce stall at the school fete.

And here is someone doing a little watering in the new sage bed!

A Daphne Padden Christmas!

A contact from Flickr kindly sent these images of a vintage Christmas card designed in the 1960s by my favourite poster artist Daphne Padden. How sweet it is!

Thank you johnnyboymm.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


We are planning to take a family holiday to Japan in 2009, to visit friends and to shop for ideas and inspiration. I am really excited, I've wanted to visit Japan for years! Most of the time we will be in Tokyo - I'd love to know if anyone has suggestions for cute shops, craft stores, family activities (with 2 young boys), and places to eat or stay.

Thanks for everyone entering the Frankie prize draw - there is still one week to go!

Monday, 15 December 2008

New Year's Giveaway!

Here in Australia we are lucky to have our beloved Frankie magazine, bi-monthly bringer of loveliness, gorgeous photos, nice things and crafty ideas.

To celebrate Christmas and start looking ahead to the new year, I am offering a special prize of the new Frankie 2009 calendar. It has pretty pictures from artists like Beci Orpin, Kat Macleod, Rob Ryan, Lilly Piri and Catherine Campbell, it is ring-bound, a lovely large size for you to write on, and printed on beautiful art paper.

And that's not all! I am also including a copy of Frankie's lovely Afternoon Tea cookbook. This is one of my most favourite ever cookbooks as it combines baking and vintage styling!

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post (or email me if you're shy) by Christmas Day, and if you are randomly selected I'll post your calendar and cookbook in time for the new year. Here are some pretty wallpapers from Frankie too, you can download them here. xx

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Hurrah for local shops!

It's been my aim this Christmas to do all of my shopping at small, independent stores, and I'm pleased to say that I am doing pretty well so far and haven't once resorted to the big stores or Amazon. I live in a region with lots of excellent food producers so we are giving lots of local foodie gifts. I also found lots of handmade gifts at Magnolia Square, and have managed to do quite a few freebie swaps with other makers.

Lark has always been a fan of local shops. I was delighted to read this article in the Daily Telegraph about how small shops are surviving in the UK despite the recession, while the big stores are floundering and resorting to heavy discounting. Thank you Miss Hope for sending me this cheery news!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Hello (Miss) Kitty!

We snuck off down to Red Hill yesterday, one of my favourite little places down on the coast, for some Chrissie shopping. My favourite stop was at Miss Kitty's Emporium.

I have known the owners Melanie and Rayke for about a year, since they first hatched their plans to open the shop. They share my love of vintage stuff and are also really supportive of local businesses.

My Lark goodies fit right in there amid the vintage tablecloths, pretty homewares and cute kid's stuff!

But wait - Miss Kitty's Emporium is also a tea room, serving delicious homemade scones with raspberry jam! On vintage crockery, of course.

Here is Miss Rayke herself.

If you're heading to the Mornington Peninsula this summer you wont want to miss out on visiting this lovely shop. It is one of those really special places where you know that the owners have poured their heart and soul into it.

Even the floral displays are perfectly vintage!

Miss Kitty's Vintage Tearoom and Emporium, 11 Centrepoint, Shoreham Rd, Red Hill Sth, Victoria

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

We have just had a new leadlight panel fitted into our formerly drab front door. It looks amazing. It was handmade for us by Alice's Glassworks. If you are in Melbourne or country Victoria and looking for a stained glass artist I can highly recommend their work.

I'm a huge fan of stained glass - I loved looking through all of Cherie's samples, noting the differences in textures, tones and colours. This pic below is from our last home, in the UK, which had original Victorian glass in all of the rooms, it was very beautiful.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Today's Harvest!

Pak choi from our veggie garden for tonight's dinner!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Harvest Swapmeet, Daylesford

Click on the poster for details - I will be the one with the zucchinis!