Friday, April 26


"A portrait of my littlest, once a week, every week in 2013" 

joining in with jodi and all the others at che and fidel

jessica: holding on tight. this is not an easy swing to master but she seems to have finally got it. oh how this girl loves to swing.

Thursday, April 25

baking today

today jessica and i baked some ANZAC biscuits.

one can only imagine how those young men in a far off country felt when they received a package from home with these delicious biscuits inside, re veered for their keeping qualities.

i always use my nanna's recipe, i am a sentimental soul, although i change the quantities of the sugar and butter. less sugar, more butter to make them spread thin while they cook. my nanna taught me to bake with this recipe, i taught my older girls with it and now i teach my youngest.

Wednesday, April 24

in the garden

mid autumn...

 a busy time. while others may start winding down their gardens for the cooler months, now is the prefect time for growing in our area. the days are still warm enough to promote fast and healthy growth and often with night there comes a dew that helps to keep up the moisture content of the soil. calm soft breezes and sunny days provide great growing conditions. another bonus during the autumn months is the lack of hungry bugs and birds around although i am always on the look out for the snails.

it has still been quite dry here and we are so fortunate to have plenty of water. our garden is lovely and green and the lack of shady trees not so missed at the moment.

i have grown plenty of seedlings from seed this season and with a top up of seedlings from the nursery the vegetable beds are full. we have all sorts of asian greens, broccoli, rocket, lettuces, carrots, leeks, coriander, beetroot, kale, spinach and silver beet, radishes, dill (to be used in wonderful fish soups this winter, yum!) dandelion greens, parsley, chives and celery. the only plants not doing too well are the peas, they all sprouted so well but have since gone yellow and some have even died. maybe the salt air is not agreeing with them.

plenty of garlic has been planted and is just poking their sweet little green spears through the soil. last year we had a wonderful harvest of around sixty heads of garlic. i have used some of that harvest and planted out over 140 cloves this year. as we still have quite a bit left i am hoping it will see us through and we won't have to buy any. after this year's harvest we will surely have enough for our family for an entire year.

thinking of my daughter's love of picking flowers (oh and mine too!) i have planted many seedlings of flowers. i have no idea when these will actually be flowering. it will look wonderful if they all flower at once however that is unlikely, i think. i am never that clever. larkspurs, ranaculas, poppies, sweet william, pansies (which the snails ate for dinner one night), stocks, sweet peas, marigolds, cornflowers and nasturtium. seeds of hollyhock, tobacco plant and cosmos tossed to the wind, i care not where they choose to grow, just hoping they fill the garden. 

it has been such a happy time for me in the garden of late, i am much more grounded with my hands in the soil. slowly, slowly it is improving, the soil holding more water, full of worms, the grass cover helping to create a small cooling micro climate keeping the dust down, the weeds becoming fewer with each passing season.

i am trying hard to make my peace with this little plot we have right now and not expect so much from it, to work with it and to simply enjoy it.

Monday, April 22

the knitting continues...

i finished this knit over a week ago but today was the first time jessica allowed me to photograph her with it on...

a little over a year ago, i knitted up this same pattern and my goodness, the colour is nearly the same. that wasn't intentional, its just that i bought this yarn online and it looked a little more violet in the photo sample. i have even knitted the same size. i could have (probably should have) knitted the next size up. jess is at a funny stage with sizes, every thing new swims on her while every thing old in her wardrobe is getting too small even though they are only a size smaller. as i like to get quite a bit of wear out of her clothes, it is making choosing sizes quite difficult.

the pattern for this sweet little knit came from pickles and i did find it easier the second time round. i am pleased to say my knitting skills must be improving as i only made two mistakes (both on the two buttonholes). buttonholes? i can hear you say. yes they are hardly there as a result of my mistake so i decided to go with some ties and pom poms instead. i like the result much better.

the yarn, cascade yarns 100% superwash merino wool, was so beautiful and soft to knit with. i am hopeful that this little vest will get some wear over the coming cooler months. jess has had it on for short amounts of time but then discards it saying 'its for winter mum!' maybe it is super warm... 

the vest from last year was barely worn. mainly as a result of one of my (many) mistakes. it kept falling from her shoulders and would annoy her. jessica doesn't 'do' annoying clothes. 

i am wondering what to do with the old vest and one idea i had was to unravel it and knit myself a scarf from the yarn... what does one do with one's failures?

can someone out there please explain to me what 'blocking' is? is it necessary? what does it do?

Sunday, April 21

these days

this week... ups and downs... one of those weeks...

1. beeswax modelling. oh i am so impressed by this. jessica's loves it and it can keep her absorbed for up to an hour at a time. we sometimes get it out after lunch and with a sparkle story playing in the background, the house is peaceful for a while. i join in for a while too, then she is quite happy to go it alone while i read or knit nearby... brilliant stuff.
2. tiny delicate treasures found in the garden... the pods of the cape gooseberry plant.
3. my golden elm tree thinks it is spring and has been putting on some new growth after spending the summer with bare branches. bit mixed up i think!
4. there is just something about these lyra super ferby pencils that i find so photo worthy.
5. reading at the moment... find and keep by beci orpin. so many inspiring projects that i may try someday. okay... i have had this on loan for quite a while now and keep re-borrowing it... it is likely someone else may like to borrow it by now if only i would take it back! simply baking is so beautifully photographed and from flicking through, it seems to have some great information and recipes. the garden at forrest hall by rose expert susan irvine. i just love reading a book written about the process of creating a garden and to be honest i have read this one before. i gets me dreaming of all the gardens i would like to create myself.
6. one beautiful pure white cyclamen blooming on the kitchen table.

joining in with the lovely Em over at The Beetle Shack


Saturday, April 20


"A portrait of my littlest, once a week, every week in 2013" 

joining in with jodi and all the others at che and fidel

jessica: immersed in a world of imagination... with a small doll in hand, you gathered sticks, flowers, stones and weeds, this play went on for well over an hour and travelled all over the garden before coming to rest on the driveway... eventually the game ended when i reluctantly called you in for tea.

my favourite last week would have to be of the beautiful newborn zoe

Sunday, April 14

these days

this week...

just a few snaps from a very ordinary week...

1. jessica has taken it upon herself of late to take care of the dog... insisting to put the lead on herself, leading tilly alone on our walks to the beach, helping to prepare tilly's daily heart medication. in fact jess is becoming more and more helpful all round, offering her services many times a day.

2. a small pile of sewing... waiting... (the big pile is out of sight in a basket) and my attempt at knitting socks... it's not going too well...

3. messy beach, huge piles of seaweed washed up with the last big swell.

4. sunday morning muffins... quince and cinnamon... and my new butter dish found at a local market recently for a few dollars... it (sort of) replaces my grandmother's which i broke... 

5. love jamie oliver's books and i have quite a collection of them. i made the prawn linguine a couple of nights ago, delicious! if you have this book, you have to try this recipe! 

6. jessica is becoming quite the pro at puzzles. these are only small but there are 6 in one box so they have to be sorted first, previously i have had to do it for her but alas, no longer.

7 & 8. stick seaweed and a feather on the messy beach.

9. cast off... cast on...  

joining in with lovely Em again this week

Saturday, April 13


"A portrait of my littlest, once a week, every week in 2013" 

joining in with jodi over at che and fidel

jessica: not a day goes by when i am not captivated by those eyes... sandy face and all!

i was so taken with the backgrounds in the photos i have chosen as my favourites this week... the 'englishness' of the backgrounds... so very different from our own...
the gorgeous little Amelie out for a walk (oh that coat!), all the green of the hedges and pink Issey running, and Poppy swinging high in the trees.


Saturday, April 6

these days

this week... 
although we are still having some warm days, there is a softness to the air, the sun isn't so harsh, the mornings and nights are cooler, socks and jumpers cast off mid morning and put back on in the evenings, calm almost windless days, perfect weather, autumn is truly here!

how fast this week has flown by but somehow time seems to have stood still as well... how can that be?
i have hardly held the camera in my hands this week so only few snaps.

1. a scene that will happen an hour earlier now that daylight savings has ended. the sun will shine in the window at 7.30 instead of 8.30 in the morning.
2. golden morning light shining on my new sewing/crafting room wall.
3. milk mustache before bedtime.
4. it has been years since i have had any plants in the house but now that i have a few i am really enjoying the freshness they bring (i just have to remember to water them!)
5. still loving the colour of my kitchen tiles. i especially like them at night in the glow of a dim light. they have certainly changed the mood of this room.
6. oh tilly dog! she gave us such a fright this week that saw us rush her to the vet 170 kilometres away at five in the afternoon. we didn't think we would be bringing her home again. when we got to the vet she was fine, we shook our heads in disbelief. it was not a fun afternoon! the next day at home she was back to her usual self, chasing chickens and digging up seedlings...
7. flower at sunset.

joining in with lovely Em.


"A portrait of my littlest, once a week, every week in 2013" 

joining in with jodi over at che and fidel

jessica: tucked up in bed with a favourite book. when jess 'reads' this book herself she can remember all the words and it sounds as though she is actually reading it, it is so so cute.

i didn't have much time for checking out everyones photos last week so didn't get far down the list. i did however love the photo of zeph in the afternoon light and aila during her easter egg hunt.