Friday, August 28, 2009


Life has been way too busy lately - what with painting and organising and decorating the girls' room, work, teaching stamping and scrapbooking classes and preparing for my Jane Austen party. I am looking forward to a much calmer life after my party next Saturday.

In the meantime I enjoy any calm moments I can grab, no matter how short.
Lavender in a French jam jar helps.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jane Austen Party - let the fun begin!

In about 10 days I will have a "significant" birthday, and to celebrate I'm holding a Jane Austen party! Last year I had a Pride & Prejudice Party with some friends just for the sake of it, and it was so much fun I'm going to do it again, bigger this time, for my birthday. Over the next 2 weeks I'll be showing you what I'm doing to plan and prepare.

These are my invitations, stamped with the gorgeous Stampin' Up! Brocade Basics set (retired). I love how they turned out. Especially when I see them en masse like this!

An Irish Feis

Today we left home at 8.15am, drove south for over an hour, the girls danced in an Irish Feis (and won trophies! Emily got a 3rd place this time!) then drove half an hour north east and had lunch with my sister, then drove another half an hour north and the girls played in a band competition (where their band was awarded gold!), then finally we drove another hour north and arrived home around 6.00pm.

Not our favourite way to spend a Sunday, but a lovely warm day, wonderful performances from our talented girls, a safe trip and a quick catch-up with my sister's family, and a yummy lunch. An early night tonight will prepare us for the more normal week ahead. Life has been much too busy lately!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tatsoi for Dinner

Tonight will see our first harvest from our food plot - some tatsoi leaves to make a salad. We have picked coriander in the past, but this is our first vegetable - very exciting. I'm thinking of trying a variation of this recipe. This looks yummy too, maybe another night? Tatsoi (or Tatsoy) is a Chinese vegetable similar to Bok choy. I'll let you know how it tastes!

Edited to add: the Tatsoy was delicious! Quite similar to bok choy in taste. I made a dressing of olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar. Yum! Looking forward to more in a few days.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Freesias, the fragrance of Spring

Excuse me while I get carried away with the beauty of freesias

in an old yellow jug

on the windowsill

on an afternoon that feels like Spring.

White and Bright

The last week has passed in a blur of plaster dust, dropcloths, primers, paintbrushes, rollers and visits to hardware stores. This old ladder has been our faithful friend.

We are giving the girls' room a makeover, and painting was the first step. We painted over the pale blue (with blue and white checker stencilled border) that I put there way back in 1995. The blue served us well, even though we ended up having two girls we had a nice blue and yellow colour scheme happening.

But lately the blue and yellow scheme turned to multicoloured as millions of soft toys arrived on the scene over the years, and the walls turned to not-so-blue and the ceiling to not-so-white. A paint job was well overdue. With Steve recently out of work the time had come.

For a week the girls slept in our room, we slept in the living room among the piles of paint equipment and soft toys, but today we moved our bed back into our own room, and tonight the
girls will sleep in a bright, white, clean, lovely room.

Over the next weeks we'll have new beds and bookcases delivered, and I'll be able to show you their finished room!

But I can show you one thing I've done - how cute is this lightshade? And only a few dollars at Hot Dollar! We are loving it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Through the Garden Gate

The last 5 weeks there has been a change in my life. Every weekday I wake up at 5.45am, creep around the dark house getting dressed and bumping into things, then I quietly open the back door and shut it behind me. With the click of the door shutting I find myself in the cold dark morning. I walk through the backyard and out this gate, then through another gate and I am on the street. A few blocks later I meet up with my two friends and we walk to a local park and do 4 laps and head back home, a total of 5km. As we walk around the park the sun rises, sometimes spectacularly. This morning, after rain last night, the mist lifted softly from the valleys and then disappeared altogether.

I am still in disbelief that I would be getting up so early, and doing so much exercise, but I know it when during the day I feel more energetic and capable. Most of all I am grateful to my friend Catherine who encouraged me to join in the "fun" of early morning walking. So I guess I'll need to change my "About Me" description from "wannabe early morning walker" to "early morning walker"!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The First Posy of Spring

As much as I love the cool of winter, I can't help but feel a thrill when the flowers start to bloom in the front garden. Late winter is more spectacular in our garden than spring, and it seems that more plants decide each day that spring is on its way, and bloom overnight while we sleep, still shivering a little under our warm quilts.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Make do and mend

Yes I'm still alive, just busy!

Amongst other things I'm getting ready for another Jane Austen themed party in September, and while looking at resources on the internet for costumes I found this great video from 1921. With a husband recently retrenched this may come in handy some day ... LOL I hope not!