Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ruby doll in action!

Charlie found herself the proud owner of a polka dot tea set this morning... 
It was outta control cuteness all round. Gosh I'm glad I had a little girl. I think I enjoy these things more than she does!! Te he he.

I love seeing my dolls in action, it makes all that hard work worthwhile :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My NEW Wedding blog...

For those of you who are interested in following my progress with the Challenge and the planning and creating of this handmade wedding...
Please do join me over at:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Challenger of the utmost kind...

Sometimes out there in blogland you stumble across something that really speaks to you. It's timely and moving, beautiful and thought provoking- it might be just what you need in that moment.

 This is what happened when I came across the beautiful blog of Dottie Angel.
Apart from being gorgeous and full of wonderful things (including the photos above) Dottie Angel has started a movement of sorts, a challenge of the utmost kind.

I love a challenge. I thrive on challenge! I thought to myself... I'm in! So for 365 days starting today I swear I will only buy secondhand or handmade for my wardrobe and for my home. Sounds fairly easy right? I mean most of the stuff I purchase already fits into those categories. Well we better step it up a notch...

Included in my personal challenge will be my wedding!
Well our wedding... we vow that everything from this moment on for our wedding will be either second-hand or handmade. EVERYTHING. Invites, decor, dress, flowers, cups, plates, saucers... everything.
It's going to be a super challenge of the utmost kind and I'm going to blog about the adventure right here.

Isn't he a wonderful man he is to agree to this challenge.. thank you Adam.

Why would I want to do this?
Well firstly, weddings are an environmental disaster. Check it..
 -The average wedding produces 63 tons of CO2 and 400-600 pounds of trash. With 2.5 million weddings a year in the United States alone, the impact is huge. I want no part in that!

Secondly, cost:
-The average wedding costs almost $40,000 and weddings are a $60+ billion industry. 
Apart from that seeming to me like a hideous waste..
Adam and I are saving to buy a small acreage here in the pretty country town of Daylesford. On that land we will build the dream house we are designing (made from strawbale) and we will grow veges and milk goats be sustainable and self sufficient. (sigh...) 

$40,000 would buy a lot of strawbales! 

But most of all, I want to get creative. I love that instead of popping out to buy something instantly, every detail will require thought, creativity, inspiration and effort. The outcome has to be something amazing. It will also require us to involve our wonderful friends and family, use their skills and have them feel part of the process and share in the joy of what we create.

So I do hope you will join me on this adventure!

(This post has been repeated on the my new blog, which is devoted to the challenge!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Autumn Love

I have recently been starting my mornings with a brisk stroll around the lake in Daylesford. I started doing it for fitness, but the peace & incredible beauty of it has had a wonderfully joyous effect on me too! It really is stunningly gorgeous, especially with all those glowing autumn tones and fairy tale mushrooms.
It reminds me every morning what a beautiful world we live in and how lucky I am to reside within such a stunning landscape. I really LOVE living here!!

What do you love about where you live?

Make your own... Yoghurt.

Did you know you can make yoghurt in a thermos or a polystyrene container or a small esky?
You don't actually need a fancy yoghurt maker, and it's so easy! Plus it's cheaper and way better for our environment. This is how I do it, though there are may different recipes / methods.

You will need:
Milk- 1litre. Can be cow, sheep or goat.
Easyo yoghurt starter culture from the supermarket (I use the greek yoghurt one).
A thermos, small esky or polystyrene box with lid. If using an esky or box you will need a 1 litre glass jar with a lid.

If using a thermos heat the milk to 48 degrees using a thermometer. Mix in the 2 dessert spoons of the yoghurt starter making sure all the lumps are gone. Pour into a thermos which has been well cleaned & pre-heated with boiling water. Wrap in a towel and leave over night- in the morning fresh yummy yoghurt!

If using an esky or similar half fill your glass jar with milk, add 2 dessert spoons of the yoghurt starter (not the whole sachet as the packet says!) and mix well. Top up with the rest of the milk. Place jar with lid on in the esky. Almost fill with hot water from the tap and top up with boiling water to bring teh temperature up to 50 degrees. Place lid on and n 1 hours time top up again with boiling water to bring it up to 50 again. Leave over night. Easy.

If you want your yoghurt thicker you can also add a couple of spoons of milk powder. You could also use 2 spoons of fresh yoghurt as a starter- just be sure it's a good one with the right cultures. I find this much easier though and when you only use 2 spoons instead a whole packet it's quite cost effective and basically fool proof.

Yummy, easy & good for both you & the environment!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weekend collage...

Photos are from the Glenlyon Market and the Guildford Vintage Engine Rally.
We had gorgeous weather for the market on Saturday and a really great turnout. It really is the most fun I've ever had at a market!  I came home with just picked veges, amazing goats cheese and some really nice organic wine from the good folk at Red Centre Wines in Hepburn.

The Vintage Engine Rally was interesting- watching a 2 year old drive a tractor was kinda scary and I felt really sorry for the wife of the man who was completely obsessed with his antique axe collection, if indeed he had a wife. My favourite thing was the lovely man who was singing with Wacca the drumming koala. He had a bunch of instruments for the kids to play and he kindly played Johnny Cash so I could rock out with the ukelele. Great times!

Flea Market Finds

I found this little beauty this morning at the Dayleford Sunday Market.
A sweet 1960's folding dolls highchair, in near perfect condition. I've not seen one of these before, and it was a mere $10-! It will make a great display for my dolls at the market and I'm sure Charlie will enjoy it in the interim.

I also found a few tins and doilies to add to the wedding collection. I'm going to use the tins as flower receptacles on the tables. The outback tin was free and the other two were $2-. I then walked on and saw the bird tin in a different colour at another stall for $35-! I love it when that happens!

You check out more flea market finds here :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wedding inspiration..

It's a year away I know, but things are all about wedding planning around here!
I've cleared most of my usual commitments (except the children, the garden, the animals and personal craft projects!) to make way for a year of planning and crafting for the big day.


So just a warning, my blog is likely to include lots of wedding stuff from now on. My visual diary of ideas and inspirations. as you can see i finally found a use for one of those patterns I blogged about here.

Please don't be put off if you don't like weddings, it's not going to be traditional, soppy, cheesy or frou-frou.

Everything, hopefully down to the marquee (which we are planning to make from recycled truck tarpaulins), will be handmade, vintage or recycled. It's going to be a hands on, team effort and it will include lots of amazing local Daylesford produce and crafts people.

Our mission is to create a wildly fun and beautiful wedding, that is as environmentally gentle as possible, all within a very modest budget.  So stay tuned!


Included in this post are just a few of the gorgeous images I have been inspired by so far, there are so many more to come!

The Glenlyon Village Market

It's that time of the month...yes the Glenlyon Market is on tomorrow! 
The weather today is absolutely glorious and we will hopefully have more of the same for tomorrow.
If you would like to have a stall, it's not too late. Just turn up, and ask around for me, Tania or Dan.
It's just $5- and is such a gorgeous and fun community market.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Hope you all had a lovely Easter! We spent most of ours scrumping for apples and making cider. Inspired by the adventures of the lovely Hugh from River Cottage we took to the highway and collected apples from roadside fruit trees.
Apple trees were everywhere once we started looking, it was amazing. Here's a pic of Adam doing some particularly risky foraging, but mostly they were just all over the ground, waiting to be collected. There were so many scrumptious apples to be had!
Charlie enjoyed tasting all the different varieties we came across! We ended up picking so many apples that we just filled up the back of the van! We got more than enough for the cider so we also gave apples to our friends, made stewed apples, apple juice to drink and sliced a whole heap to be dried.
Then Adam, chief executive cider maker got into pressing the apples.
And now the cider is bubbling away in our little cellar. Hopefully in about eight months time, just in time for Christmas, we will have wonderful tasting summer cider to enjoy!

We are just so excited by the concept of foraging for wild food. There are so many possibilities of wonderful things to make and share. Next weekend, it's chestnuts! And after that, maybe mushrooms?
Is there a wild food that you enjoy?