...Homemade Rainbows...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

::: Starry Starry Nature Craft :::

For some reason this little project has had both my favourite Van Gogh painting whirling through my mind, together with the matching and touching melody by Mr Don McLean....take the time to have a look and listen and tell me it doesn't bring a tear to your eye...

So...after a wander down the road in the freshly charged air after a quick afternoon storm and returning with a bag of sticks...
Mia and I set about making our very own natural stars for our garden....

and as it turned out for several places here and there around the whole yard.

I'm in love with these at the moment and the sunset captures the ones hanging from our tree in golden amber light every afternoon. I cannot help but linger wherever I am to watch it just for a while.

You must forgive me however as I saw these created in blogland quite some time ago and then again very recently in one of my favourite blogs which escapes me now, and I have failed in tracking it down...so credit must go to their careful and clever designer...I'm sorry...whoever you are in my sidebar....I am most grateful for your sharing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mint Syrup

The lovely Sabrina from Mama Craft (who by the way has a very gorgeous new puppy....have a look) gave me the idea a while back to make mint syrup with my "wild mint" when she was doing the same. I have finally made some, worrying that my mint may diminish as the weather really heats around here.
I also wanted to experiment with it a little as my thoughts were of it making a good addition to the homemade festive gifts this year.
Of course the experimenting extended to trying it on ice cream to share on a warm afternoon recently.....

It's really quite delicious. It is destined to be tested again on some homemade watermelon sorbet soon!

Monday, October 27, 2008

::: Reflections :::

wash day...

Friday, October 24, 2008


Seeds.... a termination and culmination of all that was and all that will be.....of imminent change and rebirth....a tiny inert pod indeed filled with life and hope.

We've been doing a little bit of seed gathering....
(nasturtium, lettuce, shallots, continental parsley, rocket)

and more sowing for the gaps in our summer garden.
(more cerise tomato, lemon cucumber, globe beetroot, shallots, french radish, purplette onion)
There is change looming in the distance around here....preparations for school next year for the Girl as well as some personal changes for the Mama.
It all sits dormant in it's "seed" at present but with some anxiety and some excitement I can feel it's sleepy pulse stirring. Lets hope we bloom and grow within our next chapter with the beauty, grace and easy acceptance as the seeds already sprouting in our garden.
Happy weekend all.....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

There are no losers.....

Do you remember my little unfortunate war on the poor cute 28 spot lady bugs? Well they "won" the battle and that potato plant went to the big garden of the universe.
We dug up the cage this week and found a tiny stash of baby spuds. They are the Kipfler one's I think....this gardener didn't label which cages hold which variety so it's lucky dip.
While we were brushing them off and giving them a wash for our dinner I realised that there were no losers here. I happily concede that I shared my plant with those cute bugs and we only lost that one....the others still stand untouched. And best of all we managed enough creamy little potatoes to bake up our fresh and organic side dish that night.
Only winners here...of the most delicious prizes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

::: Rewards of the Simple Life :::

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life." ::: John Burrows :::

Both of these nests have come from our own garden, the larger one just last week after we were certain it was long abandoned by our dove friends.

Their intricate, skillful design and construction has held me spellbound as has their delicate nature.

Yes they have bewitched me.... all of us.... and they do give me simple reward by allowing us to admire natures artwork and the knowledge that our garden is a chosen sanctuary to our feathered friends.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Purple Haze

I wonder, if you are in my part of the world, whether you are loving the many many stunning pockets of soft mauve that seem to have appeared out of nowhere, as much as I am?

It's Jacaranda season.

It always amazes me every year how such beautiful trees can quietly sit for the longest time. In virtual anonymity they grow until they bust forth in complete lilac flower and show us just how many there are hiding camouflaged amongst the mass of green.
It is a true sign of Spring and has also become a sign of exam season for our school leavers.
We have also been blessed with the arrival of our storm bird (aren't they handsome)....visiting from very far away. So named because their visits were once a true sign of our summer and our summer storms...now an indicator I feel of how our weather patterns have changed over the years.
I say "our" storm bird because, although we rarely sight him, I'm pretty sure I recognise him every year, a lone wolf, who seems to enjoy a regular early arrival and a late departure.....well who doesn't really when you're on holiday?
Maybe he enjoys relishing in our purple haze too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

::: Into the Fold :::

A tiny little girl joined the family peacefully last Thursday morning.

Two cousins were most excited to meet her on Friday.....

and I just tried to inhale her....needless to say it didn't work but it was still the most delicious inhalation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Tuta

I posted a little while ago here about some little hairy babes that were appearing all over our young white mulberry tree growing down on our back fence.

I gave this tree a big prune right at the end of winter and it seems it hasn't caused any delay in its re shooting and flowering. Some of the leaves are bigger than a dinner plate! I now need to tie all the new canes to the fence in training....my aim being to keep it compact (space saving) and accessible.

In the meantime we have been enjoying a few early ripe fruit that we have been hunting for amongst its lush leafiness...and there are plenty more to come.
It's description however is true.....their flavour is distinctly "mulberry" but without the depth and strong sweetness of those dark purple beauties.

Hmmm I guess that's a price this Mama is paying for her hesitancy in planting the black or red varieties but when it comes to young children's clothes, flying foxes and the washing I think I did the right thing.....I say with some pause.

Are those mulberry pies of my childhood going to taste as good?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Because there's apples....somewhere

With all these enticing posts here, here, here and here about apples and baking (which I cannot match here), and because there's something so wholesome and just a big bit delicious about baking and eating apples....and cinnamon, don't forget their perfect partnership with cinnamon.....I needed to try out a new recipe, any new apple recipe!

This is what I came up with. A rustic creation, and not too unhealthy.

Just perfect for an indulgent bite while seed collecting in the garden.

Apple Cake

2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup low fat milk, (60ml)
60 g butter or low fat spread
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising white flour, sifted
1 1/2 tbs cornflour
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, sliced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp raw sugar
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease or line a 20cm cake tin. Set aside.
Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters, until light and fluffy. Add milk, butter and vanilla and beat well to combine.
Sift flours together in a bowl. Carefully fold flour mixture through egg and butter mixture. Pour into prepared tin.
Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Arrange apple slices on top of cake and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out on a cake rack to cool completely. Then head outside with a slice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The light of night....

It struck me last night while outside emptying my kitchen scraps into the compost that all my garden was glowing in silver light.

It was not quite full moon, in actual fact it was more full moon eve, but so beautiful and strikingly bright. I could see all my botanical loves so clearly cloaked in beautiful shining gossamer.

I had spent an unplanned afternoon yesterday lost in the garden transplanting basil and beetroot, watering, tidying unruly passionfruit vines and somewhat sadly removing my beans, finally.
I was eventually and somewhat reluctantly beckoned indoors by my hungry, tired and grubby little ones.
So in that moment later in the night when my attention was momentarily stolen by that luminescent body in the sky...I was entranced and then enticed to stray in and out of my vegetable beds resuming my green picking, moving and touching with plenty of pause to just gaze at that moon.

I figure I have about 3 more truly bright nights to steal away and do the same....some silent extra alone-time, gardening by the light of the night.

Have you ever gardened under moonbeams?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

::: Six Things :::

I have been tagged by Amber from the charming Nutrients of Life to play along and share six ordinary things about myself and six blogs I love to read. I am cheating a little on this one, sorry Amber, and invite anyone who feels like it to play along...... for full details on how to play have a look here at Amber's blog.
All my favourite blogs are listed in my sidebar....have a look!

Six Things::::

* I wear thongs 365 days of the year
* I have a fear of Dentists (lucky I have great teeth, Thanks Mum) Bee's and Hairdressers (which is why my hair is verging on ridiculously long....for the moment)
* I sing loudly when driving in the car.....my poor little ones ;)
* I am a homebody....at the risk sometimes of seeming antisocial. I love home, I love my space, I love to potter, I love to entertain at home...I love my house full of people.
* I get itchy feet at each change of season....to pack up and find my other slice of paradise....an old house in the country or by the beach with rolling acres, a hobby farm and sprawling kitchen garden.
* I have a dream to visit Italy....and maybe have a three month artist retreat in Tuscany...you know, writing, painting, thinking, walking, eating, drinking wine.....not very original I know but wouldn't it be divine?

Friday, October 10, 2008

:::A Full House:::

It's been a busy week.
We've had a house full of bodies....girls humorously outnumbering the boys....
It was a delight to have my two nieces, Eden and Luca, come and stay with us this week while on school holidays and an extra treat for Mia who enjoyed her first and predictably sleepless sleepovers. We busied ourselves with several park explorations; tree climbing and picnics by the river....
Countless games of hide and seek.....

Cooling off in the paddle pool with juicy watermelon on a hot 33C day....
It was also a great opportunity to spend much time in the kitchen making quiches with homegrown eggs and veges; pizza and matchsticks.....and trying out this new cinnamon cookie recipe I found recently over here......
Three sets of hands rolling dough balls in cinnamon sugar and three sets of hands enjoying warm biscuits while finishing some calligraphy and multiple crafts.
It's been a fun filled week. And now that the girls have returned home the house seems eerily quiet...until next time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

::: Sweet Intermission :::

Here's some honey for your ears from one of my favourite duo's.
Gorgeous photograph courtesy of here.....
I'll be back soon..... enjoy and indulge.

Friday, October 3, 2008

That top....

I've been lucky to allow myself several pockets of time to sit and sew at my machine lately. And among my creations is yes, that top. You know the one I'm sure.
I've been wearing tops like this for the longest time and to have my hands on a pattern as easy as this is a true gem. Though I must admit I botched my first attempt..... Sizing....what is it with pattern sizing I ask? Is it just me or do they add about 2 sizes more than what you should make?

Despite this, take two was whipped up last week and turned out perfectly and at a price of $1 for the linen blend fabric that's doubly perfect.
I'm thinking of a mishmash blend of this pattern for a dress next..... after a couple of other little projects I have on the go of course......