raindrops on snowdrops










The Bees are face-down-bum-up in the Daphne, which smells simply divine. Night rain leaves the snowdrop patch sparkling like diamonds as the morning sun streams in. Camellias show off their pretty colours with their delicate petals dancing in the late afternoon light. Daffodils turn their sunshine faces towards the sun and the Hyacinths poke their pretty little heads out of the ground, reminding me spring is near. As the sunlight flickers through the trees I watch the birds gather their twigs and treasures, ever so selective in their choice. I listen to the chirpy cheery birds and soak the up the quiet peace of the garden.

Ok, I’m ready for another day.

I hope you are well and find sparkly diamonds in your garden.

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shades of winter

Brrr… the cold snap in Melbourne has made herself at home… rain is falling as I type and the heater is on high… but yesterday we managed to squeeze in a walk, in between the showers.

Winter has her own chilly beauty… bare and exposed branches… raindrops on flowers… moss and lichen… and every shade of green imaginable.

I do love that winter makes you want to hibernate indoors and slow down the pace… long slow cooked casseroles and soups… lots of hot cuppas… crocheting to the sound of rain… That’s my plan for today at least anyway.

How about you? Are you somewhere toasty hot and beachy, looking out at blue waves rolling in? Or are you close to the fire, watching the grey sky settle in for the day?

May your view be one that warms your heart.

on the last day of autumn

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on the last day of autumn the ginkgo’s golden beauty peaked…

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the smoke bush sparkled with rain drops…

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the camellia’s were already falling to the ground, dying beautifully…

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the magnolia buds readied themselves for their winter show…

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the secret seat by the ferns was lonesome for company…

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the sun tried to peek out…

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but on the last day of autumn it felt like winter…

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the hydrangeas were mostly bare of their lush green leaves…

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the flowers began fading into their decaying winter shades…

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the lake reflections were dark and chilly…

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and the last of the tulip tree leaves tumbled down in front of me…

farewell autumn, you’ve been swell…
come on winter, give me your best shot…
bring it on…

wishing you a peaceful farewell to the season, and a toasty warm embrace to the new one x

one + four = life (baking, knitting, gardening and belts)

The one + four = life series is a ‘lovely weekly visual treat’ created by the lovely Pip from Meet me at Mikes.

herby muffins
Baking
These are my ugly but delicious Herby Bready Muffiny Thingys. Quite the mouthful I know but very tasty ones at that. Adapted from my Allergy Friendly Toasty Fruit Bread recipe they are fast becoming a fave regular breakfast for me. Only a minute in the microwave and a generous lashing of butter and I have myself a filling healthy tasty warm breakfast. That’s a winter winner in my books.

beanie love
Knitting
I started another beanie as soon as I finished the Baby it’s cold outside Beanie. I’ve since finished this one and am considering which yarn to use for the next one. I’m a bit addicted to beanie knitting I think. They’re fast and satisfying, what’s not to love?

veggie patch
Gardening
I’m so thrilled with my celery babies… having only recently learned about the whole grow-a-new-veg-from-the-old-veg thing. Do you do that? Do you know about it? Chopping the bottom off your celery and planting it? “They” say to put it in water for a week or so first, to get the roots started, but the lazy option of planting said celery bottom direct into the soil works too. Yay for shortcuts and cheap veg I say.

belts belts belts
Belts
Thing number 196 about being married to a leather man: You will stumble across long strands of leather, stretching from one room to another, tied to chairs, doors, cupboards etc, tempting a midnight trip should you forget they are there.
Some of these belts are in Charlie’s Shop already but most of them are still to be photographed and listed. It’s on the list. But recently we spent a bit of time creating a new item for the shop where you can design your own plaited belt. You simply pick your plait type, leather colour and buckle type, and Charlie plaits it up. It’s been something we’ve talked about doing for ages so to finally tick that one off the list is super satisfying.

I also came across a very interesting little read on the internet this week that I wanted to share. Five things I’ve learned about the creative process by Ben Lee is inspiring and encouraging. An interesting article that helped me look at the creative process a little differently, I thought you might like it too. Let me know what you think?

May you tick something off your list and enjoy hot buttery bready breakfasts.

my smile inducers… january

In the spirit of that old thing ‘what you focus on grows’…. it’s time to look for some smile inducing moments… I’ll go first shall I?
In no particular order….
 
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one
When my boy told me about choosing to spend his precious few last backpacking dollars on a book to keep him entertained on the long trip home from Colombia to Australia, instead of buying a meal. I feel like I must have done something right there, books over food… and he loves his food!
 
two
Watching hubby chase the birds out of our apple trees… he’s pretty tall and lanky (think praymantis) and when he hears those familiar lorakeit-gorging-sounds, he flys out the door, leaps over whatever debris is in the backyard (currently a teasingly-lazy-hammock), and furiously waves a big stick at the birds, telling them in no uncertain terms to buggar off! Ahh if only he’d let me take a photo of this, I’m sure you’d be smiling!
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three
Eating my homegrown veggies… I don’t mean to bang on about it, but it seriously makes me so happy and smiley with every mouthful!
 
four
The Humans of New York website… yes I know, I’m late to the party… I usually am… some of the stories are a quite heartbreaking but the inspirational warm and fuzzies mostly outweigh the sad bits… I’d love ALL school teachers to read this one
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five
Mondays! I know, who’d have thunk it! I’m so enjoying my new dear monday series I’m actually looking forward to Mondays so I can reminisce over my holiday photos and pick just the right one for that particular Monday… that may be the ONLY thing I’m looking forward on Mondays, but hey, it’s a start.
 
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Listening to pearls of wisdom from Ralph on Landline, who is now 84 and still working in the timber mill he designed and built when he was in his 60’s. The classic understated country way he spoke, and how this rolled off the tongue, made me smile indeed:
“There are things in it [the saw mill] that I didn’t do right, because, let’s face it, a fella whose never made a mistake, he’s never made anything”… and aint that the truth!
 
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This blog… if you’re ever having a crap day just pop over here for some guaranteed authentic cheery attitude… you really can’t help but leave a Pip post without a smile. I’d just love to have more of that cheery disposition so I pop over regularly in the hope that it’ll rub off a bit.
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eight
Getting a flat tyre on a pretty road… admittedly the pretty road induced more of a smile than the flat, although it was the second flat in 2 weeks so I kinda had to smile. Smile or *swear! And really, what can you do? Change it, enjoy the scenery, move on and smile about the good fortune of breaking down in a pretty peaceful part of the country I say.
 
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Music is especially giving me plenty of heart smiles lately… Being able to escape the everyday into favourite songs whilst crocheting is one of my all time favourite things to do… I’m loving the whole Sweet Apple CD but especially this song, and this song.
 
Ok, now it’s your turn… tell me something that’s made you smile lately… big or little it doesn’t matter… a smile shared is… a smile shared!

May your smile-o-meter runneth over with happy.

 

*Of course I did plenty of that too!

 

crafting blues and eating greens

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Hello, are you well? How’s 2015 panning out so far? I hope it’s been kind to you… it’s been rather blue for me… in a crafty way… I’m so boring consistent with my colours.

Woven Ocean Blankie
100% pure baby alpaca, crochet.

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This is the finished blankie that I started back here. It’s a big feathery pile of squishy soft blue, aqua, teal and mint. My favourite wedge of the colour wheel.

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And this stitch is absolutely my favourite crochet stitch at the moment. I’ve seen it referred to as moss stitch, seed stitch, woven stitch and others, but I call it woven stitch and used this fab little tutorial here to get me started. It’s such an easy stitch to remember and I love the way it produces a look somewhere between weaving and knitting.

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This is going to be a shawl… eventually… I hope… There’s some yarn chicken going on with this project so it could be a different colour by the time I finish it too. I found this easy free pattern here and I’ve had this gorgeous yarn for ages. The pattern is a simple 3 row repeat producing a lacey type look as it’s a big fat hook (4mm) with fingerling weight yarn.

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This yarn is 50% silk 50% wool, hand painted and the colourway is called ‘North Wind’… cute huh?! It’s beautifully luxurious, I especially adore the colour variation and the gentle sheen that the silk adds. Way back I made a scarf with this yarn which I’ve since sold in my Etsy Shop. I think I’ll be keeping this shawl though… says she who has never worn a shawl in her life and happens to have to another half finished shawl stashed away waiting to be finished!

I just loved this post from the lovely Kate at Foxs Lane about exactly that – half finished crafty projects. My ‘excuse’ for the other half finished one is this… Black Knight, the black alpaca, had to grow more of his luscious black fibre, this has to be then be spun before I can purchase it, and hopefully finish the unfinished shawl.

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If you follow me on instagram you’ll know how much I’ve been spamming my feed with our Dove Cottage Harvest. Our humble little veggie patch is going great guns and we’ve been enjoying so many healthy fresh organic greens like this silver beet. And if you just went eewwwww, then please hear me out. Purchased silver beet from the shops may as well be a different vegetable altogether. Fresh picked baby silver beet is sweet, not bitter, and almost dissolves in your mouth – so not chewy like the shop stuff can be. It’s truly delish! And of course one the easiest things to grow ever!

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I just came inside from taking these two photos, and to my delight spotted the first of our butter beans. Crunchy juicy sweetness… I had to test one! We have been eating heaps of the regular green beans though, I’m thrilled with how much a couple of seeds have produced. As well as the beans and silver beet, lately we’ve been enjoying lettuce, zucchini, (monster) squash, and fresh new potatoes. Seriously my mouth is watering just typing that! I know it’s cliché and all that, but growing your own veg is so rewarding and delicious! If you’ve ever thought about doing so… but just not got there… find a teeny little corner in your garden, or get a big pot on the verandah, and plant something easy like silver beet, radish or lettuce. I swear you’ll be hooked in no time!

Wishing you blue skies and delicious greens to eat… see you soon for dear monday.