life on the farm… may 2016















My perfect Sunday morning is sitting on the back deck in my pj’s, sunnies on and coffee in hand, watching cows, spotting roos, looking for foxes and talking to the birds. The best afternoon is weaving hills and watching cows whilst listening to the birds. A lovely evening is a big deep hot bath with the bathroom window open enough to hear the frogs in the top dam. A chorus of frogs can be really loud – and cheery! A favourite thing to do is take eleventy billion photos of the sunrise and sunset. Wandering the paddocks picking mushrooms for dinner feels almost like cheating as we didn’t do anything to receive this delicious bounty of goodness. Gardening on windy days is a bit like riding a motorbike without putting your long hair in a ponytail – I found out the hard way. Chopping firewood with an axe is harder than it looks, I’m still a bit scared of the axe despite chopping some kindling for the first time in my life and surviving it with all fingers and toes. The lushness of the green grass has to be seen to be believed. The grass in our paddocks is getting really long and we need to get some grass chomping animals roaming it soon before it becomes unmanageable. The wind has to be felt to be believed – all washing on the line must include peg reinforcement. We’ve discovered where a little family of roos live, and love watching them soak up the morning sun. We spotted a beautiful owl on our property for the first time today. Watching a calf run will make you smile every time. The weeks are long and the weekends fly by. It’s a battle to get everything done on the weekends, let alone schedule some down time. We leave for work in the dark and return in the dark, so live for the weekends when we can see our beautiful rolling green hills. But I sense big changes are ahead, so I’m sitting tight and rewriting my lists again and again, and thinking about garden designs. I’m a big list writer and if I happen to do something not on the list, I’ll write in on just so I can cross it off. Cheap thrills.

May your washing never be blown off the line and your list be full of ticks. x

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mushrooms, weaving and tasty failures


















We enjoyed our first flourish of mushrooms, they inundated us for a week or so then vanished! Charlie says they’ll pop up again as it’s only early in their season. Hopefully they do as wandering around our very own paddocks (and yes I still pinch myself when I say that!) collecting a basket full of fresh field mushrooms for breakfast with my hubby and my son was one the best Sunday mornings here so far.

What beautiful days Autumn gifts us with, foggy crisp mornings and warm golden afternoons. I just can’t tell you how beautiful the hills look now, my photos really don’t do it justice. They are blanketed in a gorgeous shade of lime green as the fresh new grass grows thanks to the sun-rain-sun autumn weather. If you pick out the bright mid blue in a pack of coloured pencils, you could draw the sky, it’s been picture perfect. The morning sky has been peachy oranges and as the sun drops in the late afternoon it usually turns a soft pastel dusky pink.

The fire has been roaring through the chilly evenings and keeping us toasty warm. The weekends are full but we are making sure to squeeze in our craft/sanity time. This lovely long weekend just gone I finally took my weaving off the loom. It’s been finished and waiting for its freedom hanging, for over a year – maybe even a year and half. So slack! Of course I couldn’t string up (or warp for you weavers) the loom quick enough to have another go. I’ve had this idea floating around my head since we’ve been here, of trying to capture the vibe of our rolling green hills into a weaving. I’ll let you know how I go, could be a year or two! Some craft happens quickly, other craft takes forever.

Just like sometimes things work out perfect, yet other times there’s epic fails. I had a big fail on my first attempt at Crabapple Jelly recently. Admittedly I didn’t use crabapples so there be my first error I suppose. And I’m a bit loose on following recipes to say the least. I won’t bore you with the other stuff ups I made like not measuring how much water I used to cover the apples, therefore ending up with twice as much as liquid as I should have for the weight of apples etc etc. I did enjoy a glorious afternoon of ignorance as I photographed my pretty little jars of blush coloured jelly before I realised they were still very liquidy after many hours and not jelly like at all. They were a little cloudy despite me being super careful not to squash the pulp and allowing it to drain overnight, but I was ok with that as it was my first time making it after all. I lived in hope overnight, thinking maybe by morning they’ll be set. Um no, this soft pink apple syrup would not become jelly no matter how long I waited and how hard I wished. So, with my make lemon curd when life gives you lemons attitude, I dug out the ice-cream maker and turned my flop into a delicious sweet and tart apple sorbet. I even popped some stewed rhubarb in a batch and made an apple and rhubarb sorbet. Quite the tasty failure. Not what I had planned, but then life’s like that isn’t it?

May your kitchen flops reincarnate as something tasty too x

icelandic wool, peruvian alpaca and love











Sheesh, October came and went in a blaze of glory didn’t it? Lots of hazy days, stressy days, sick days, detailed days, planning days, crafty days, gardening days and emotional days all steamrolled me through to here, and today I can finally draw a breath and share some happenings and makings.

I finished my “Craft for the Soul” blankie. I kinda followed the pattern in the book (thanks Pip!) with a big stash of the soft baby alpaca yarn I brought back from Peru last year. It has the most delicious drape being all made with alpaca and is surprisingly light considering its decent size. One day I will actually get around to updating my shop with some new makes, its been terribly neglected for quite some time now, but hopefully you’ll see it in the shop before too long… unless I decide to keep it… I mean it is pink and aqua alpaca!

The wilds of spring brought with it fruit feasts and cakes and birthdays and parties and peonies too. I find those delicate petal pom poms are such a delightful greeting after a stressy day in the office and can be found burying my head in one upon arriving home from work. That and a little watering of the veggie patch is my detox from the computer screen filled days at work, it’s grounding and I feel like a new person when I walk back into the house.

The gorgeous textural grey wool came all the way from Iceland, my newlywed daughter and son-in-law brought it back for me during their elopement trip there in July. A bit like the Icelandic sheep, this is a rough and rugged wool and I thought a cushion would make the perfect gift for them, you know a little bit of their Icelandic trip on the couch with them every night. Last night they hosted a lovely party for friends and family to celebrate their marriage. I hope to share with you some of the gorgeous photos of their wedding ceremony soon, but in the meantime I thought I’d share a picture from last night. It’s almost a bit ridiculous how cute they are isn’t it? They are pretty darn perfect together, and it’s really nice to be able to just take a moment to exhale and think about how lucky I am. Ahhh life is sweet.

May you bury your face in a peony one day too x

craft, cuties and a refreshed vibe










It’s been a while since I’ve shown you any of my crocheted or knitted goodies but I am still crafting almost every day, even if it’s just a few stitches or darning in a few ends. I have made lots of things… scarfs, beanies, blankies… some are for pressies that I can’t show you as the recipient may be a reader (hello!)… some are half finished, just ends to darn and motivation to track down… Some are finished and gifted without photos taken prior. So I thought I’d share a couple of crafty projects anyway. Disclaimer: they may or may not be pressies.

The last few weeks has seen kittycat visits, cute godson visits, and experimental learning with my new camera (reads: press this button and see what happens). After a little 45 minute run through with an Olympus professional on what some of the buttons do, I feel like pandoras box opened and I saw the bottomless depth and breadth of her beauty… so so much to learn! I’ve also been blogging over at Stockman Leathercraft and taking photos of the Quiver and key rings and belts that Charlie has made.

We are in the process of getting new wardrobes built at the moment so the place looks like a cyclone’s been through… there’s basically shit everywhere. It’s a mess and there’s no way around it and no amount of tidying will help. Well… actually maybe a bit would. But it’s all so overwhelming when there’s no where to put anything and nothing is in its right home or place. Vaguely organized chaos, emphasis on vague and chaos.

There’s also been some tweaking going on with the website (looks like nothing but takes ages!). Bigger photos, less fluffy stuff down the side, new menus and a new version of the logo. It’s a nice little refreshed vibe which I’m loving… so far… today… every time I look at it I see something else that I’d like to tweak. But for now that’s it… I think. I’ve started a new page called listen where I’m going to share some of my favourite things to listen to… new songs, old songs, fave albums, fave artists and interviews. I’ve only popped a couple of interviews in there for now, but there’ll be more to come I promise.

Wishing you restful Sundays and may your favourite songs be playing on the radio today.

ruby cherry-berry

Ruby with her friends
” Hi, my name is Ruby Cherry-Berry and I love growing veggies and baking cakes. My favourite things are flowers, strawberries, cherries and bees. Especially bees, because without them I wouldn’t have my other favourite things.

Ruby is the outdoor type
I love to play in the garden and do a little weeding, but the best part of gardening for me is the picking bit. Picking flowers and picking veggies. The pretty and the yummy.

Ruby
I always wear an apron when I bake as I’m quite a messy baker. I usually leave the kitchen looking like I’m the one that’s been tossed in the beaten eggs and rolled in the flour.

Ruby and her Bee Skirt with RIc Rac
I’ll often hum a song as I wander about twirling in my favourite bee skirt.

Ruby and her heart shaped pocket
I love to collect little treasures from the garden like pebbles and feathers, so a woollen cardy with a heart shaped pocket is the perfect cardy for me.

Ruby and her wooden buttons on her cardy
And because I love flowers so much I like to wear them whenever I can, these wooden flower buttons are my favourites.

Ruby and her apron
My friends are Rufus Rad Rabbit and Heartface Bunnykins and my dream is to make a little girl very happy and be her bestest friend. “

Ruby was made with love, during a crafternoon with friends where cute monsters and other softies may were started with caring and generous hearts. (Some speedsters even finished the same day – I’m looking at you Sandra!)

Ruby and some of the other crafternoon creations will be gifted with love to the ‘Softies for Mirabel‘ for this year’s softie toy drive. I just love the fact that I can contribute to the community in a crafty and meaningful way. I hope that a little Mirabel kiddie will feel all the love and friendship Ruby Cherry-Berry has to give when they hug her.

Wishing you all the sweet stuff… love and friendship and cherries and cake.

my smile inducers… may 2015

It’s smile time! I want to stop and think about the things that make me smile… smile… and maybe… hopefully… make you smile… and get you thinking about the things that bring a happy smile to your face… or heart… or both. #smilefest

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Another beanie finished and another kid obliged with photos. On a roll. Although the best photo from this lot turned out to be the one where I said ‘You can’t roll your eyes in the photo!’. You know how your kids (adult really – he’s nearly 24!) can get all eyeball rolling when you want to take 20 photos of them in your knitted goods, in the cold, outside? Geez, I can’t understand it! This beanie is a roll up or down cuff variety and is thick and cozy and warm with its beautiful New Zealand wool and a mix of a bamboo/alpaca/merino blend. Chunky and solid and quite ‘blokey’ I reckon.  
Bonus smile: He told me that ‘I turned out pretty good’ [as a parent], it came out in conversation quite innocently even though it sounds a bit weird, the kid telling the parent they turned out ok. We had a good laugh about it and I told him I think he turned out pretty good too… and I have this other beanie I need to photograph…

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This beautiful card brought a heartfelt smile to my face. The stunning image was created from a stamp that my clever daughter drew and then carved out. The movement in the petals, the design in the leaves… Oh how her creative talents blow me away!

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It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Pip Lincoln from Meet me at Mikes, and her latest book ‘Craft for the Soul’ is a smile inducer of the most sincerest kind. There’s so many great ideas in this book to bring some ‘nice times’ into your life, that you’d be hard pressed to feel anything but happy when reading it. Terrific practical ideas to encourage out the creative, spark ideas, and move in the direction you really want to go in. I found myself smirking and giggling quite a bit throughout this book, Pip’s sense of humour is pretty cute! I can see it’s going to be one of those books that I’ll come back to time and time again, and tap into its motivation and positive can do attitude. I don’t even think you need to be crafty to enjoy this book. If you’re on the hunt for a smile then I highly recommend picking yourself up a copy. You’ll be smiling before you know it and maybe even making a pom pom, or crocheting a blanket, or going for a walk everyday, or writing 3 pages every morning.

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We have an arch in the backyard and nearly everyday the same two doves come and sit on top of the arch and snuggle and cuddle and fluff up their feathers and look all cute. My little Dove Cottage has its own little resident love doves. Awww.

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Magical walks under pretty Autumn trees as the leaves gently rain down. Impossible to not smile.

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Walking on fallen crunchy Autumns leaves puts a spring in my step and makes me feel like a kid. If you always stay on the path, then veer off under the tree and take yourself on a crunchy walk and feel the corners of your mouth creep up towards your cheeks!

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The other day I was down and out with one of those dreaded winterish lurgies. My throat was the worst hit, so I took to my trusty old medicine that I purchased in Paris a couple of years ago. Because when I went to live the Paris dream holiday, my tonsils decided it was party time. I fixed them good and proper with a natural medicine bought from the ‘Herboristerie’ down the ‘rue’ (herbalist’s shop). This medicine has a distinct smell and taste (don’t all herbal remedies?) and every time I have it, I am immediately transported back to Paris, wandering the boulevards with my sister, chirping bonjour in a bad accent, and smiling at anybody who looked at me. So, being hit with a sore throat these days has a sweet memory filled smiley french side effect. Nice.

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Toast and Peach Jam made my with homegrown clingstone peaches. Exactly! This is probably just a delicious moment for most people, but for someone deprived of bready goodness for the best part of a decade, it is indescribable joy. I am making my special potato bread on a regular basis and enjoying a bready type breakfast e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.!.!.!.! It’s such a thrill! Tho’ I might cry when I run out of my Peach Jam.

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I finished this lovely lacey Cashmere blankie. It’s so light and has the softest drape and it made me so very happy to gift it to my mum for Mother’s Day.

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So that’s my little walk down smiley lane. How about you? What’s been making you smile? What’s made your heart happy lately? Has something put the spring in your step? Share a smiley moment in the comments if you’d like… I love to hear some… smiles are contagious you know…

Sending a happy smile your way, hope you catch it!