My Pins

Friday, November 9, 2018

An Artist In The Garden

A few weeks ago

visited our garden a couple of times to paint en plein air.

Interestingly, he chose to set up for this cross view which fascinated me and gave me a whole new take on the garden.

When we view the garden ourselves, we tend to always take a linear view running north south which is how over the last three years I have been setting the structure and lines.

This is the central axis of the yard and typically our most common view but having Luke come into the garden taught me something very important.

And that was to stand at the corners and look back across the layers those design lines create. Enjoy the depth that each section makes as the sight looks obliquely across the garden.

THIS is how I should be looking for seating placement in the garden; providing back, middle and foreground into the view.

Luke's View has taught me to pull my focus from the straight lines of axis and also plan how the beds and paths layer across each other.

Three years ago it was a paddock. Now we are happily producing and raising lots of livestock (hard to see in the photo but the painting does have chickens and sheep in the outer paddock) and the garden has had some major structural work put in place with the crazy paving sandstone path.
Over the next 12 months we hope to have a shed built which will allow us to finally work on the side  entrance to the garden and provide us a designated BBQ and entertaining area.

Thanks to Luke for our painting but thank you also 
for helping me to see

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Spring At Garfield House

October has had a special springtime feel this year with the addition of more tulips planted last autumn. This is the yellow and pink bed and while perennials are still abed, I have coloured chard and strappy iris leaves filling in.

Spring is just not spring without the lambs! We are bottle feeding seven little maids much to the delight of little boys on holidays. Add to that the 50 chicks in the brooding pens and we are full to the brim with babies!

The boys always enjoy pasta making
and lots of crafts too....

Collages with a definite springtime theme...

Colour and science play with bi-carb and coloured vinegar from pipettes.

More colour play with food dye in milk and watching the reaction to soap.
Check out the video to see how the colours swirl like magic....

Some lovely, squishy, swirly sensory play in coloured water beads.

Lots of games, cards, "jobs", a water fights and good appetites.
And when the sun went down....

The fairy garden under the white peach tree lit up with little lights as the fairies played and magic misted among the sleepy calendula buds.

Then off to bed for sleepy heads and goodnight fairy stories to send them off to lands far away in dreams.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Humble FV Clip

The trees are blossoming and everyone is talking about tomato seedling varieties in great anticipation with this warm humid weather that has sprung upon us in Tasmania.
As everyone starts looking at their preserving supplies one of the most overlooked items would have to be the clips.

These clamp the lid into a correctly seated position. As the contents expand in the heating process, air is expelled, then, as the contents cool and retract, the lid is seated onto the rubber band and a suction and seal is created.

Though they are a simple item used over and over, they do become stressed over the years and lose their spring and flexibility. I'm betting many of us have inherited or acquired these second hand and they could probably use a critical eye.

 It is important that the clips remain on for 12-18 hours after processing. So you need to have at least a couple of dozen of each size because when you are in the thick of the season and preserving every day, you'll find that yesterdays tomatoes will still be clamped and you are hanging to do another batch. 

They are handy in the gift giving too!

So before you begin another season, run an eye over ALL your supplies, don't get caught short and may you have a blissful and abundant preserving season.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Blue Haze

Here's a bit of a retro cocktail recipe created by Nick Zongas (I'm guessing prior to 1972?)

Blue Haze

30ml Bicardi
15ml Martini Vermouth
15ml Rossi Vermouth
15ml Parfait Amour
15ml Cointreau
Blue Curacao

Stir everything except the Blue Curacao over ice then strain into cocktail glass.
Add 4 dashes of Blue Curacao and serve. Makes 1

The Parfait Amour creates a blue tinted haze and the Blue Curacao being heavier should sit neatly on the bottom.

An appropriate drink for our house guest to sip while she perused the catalogue of cruising....till everything became a bit of a blue haze....

Thursday, October 4, 2018

White Primula

This is a bit of a "note to self" and blogs are good for that. I create myself a visual diary for the years to come and the failing memory, so I'll understand if you look away now in boredom...

OK, Self...
plant white primula again in the autumn because they were great this spring!
Soft lacy caps of white filling the gaps nicely between the beautiful fleshy tulip leaves.

Cheap as chips and brilliant as a cut flower for posies, outlasting any other bloom currently in the vases.

Brilliant by day and glowing in the night, such a boon before the days lengthen.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Milk Bottle Makeover With Decals

Take an ordinary bottle and add a fun decal to totally transform and re-purpose it.
This is an easy up-cycle project if you have an ink-jet printer.

These images were sourced for free from The Graphics Fairy and there is an abundance to choose from and I give you fair warning, you could get lost down a rabbit hole and lose an hour of your day as you discover one vintage image after another.

The other thing you will need is some clear decal paper suitable for an ink-jet printer. I got mine from here.
Do a test of your chosen design on a sheet of ordinary paper first to make sure it's the size and style you want. Then simply lay the decal sheet in the printer and away you go.
To make the ink water resistant you will need to coat it and I used Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear spray. Spray lightly, giving the decal at least four coats allowing it to dry between coats.

Once dry cut the design out close to the edge of the printing. Make sure your bottle surface is clean. Using a shallow dish, place your decal in water for about 30 seconds. You'll know it's ready because the backing will start to slip from the decal. Ease your design onto the bottle making sure it's straight and smooth.

Now you've turned an old bottle into a new vase, water bottle or milk jug!
Your items will not be dishwasher safe and require gentle hand washing and to get the longest life from your design, do not soak. 

Give it a try. They make great gifts too.
If you can't be bothered with the faffing about, these bottles will be 
 in the shop.
( Link at the top of the page too)
I've used genuine vintage 1 pint milk bottles and they make a lovely nostalgic addition.

If you have had a go at decal work, post your pics or links in the comments section.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Up The Garden Path

I've got another before and after story for you.
It's the story of some random stone and a path.
We bought some crazy sandstone paving and it's been accumulating beneath the peach tree.

This photo was taken back in September 2015 when the yard was just a paddock and we were marking out the first beds.

By the end of that summer it was thriving and productive and we had a rough path mapped out.

The following spring of 2016 it flooded....


This winter we finally made a start on formalising the main path.
The two large sandstone pieces were a happy find amongst our stone we had delivered for the dry stone wall. The shearer did an amazing job. I was just the TA on this one.

And voila!

From this to ....


I am enchanted with it.

Besotted I tell you!
It might even be better than diamonds and pearls.

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