Friday, December 6, 2013


It has been very quiet on the blogging front for me as there has been so much going on here...and still is! We sold our beautiful farm at auction about three weeks ago and were given five weeks until settlement and the big move. We could have asked for more time but we were lucky to sell and when there was pressure on us to move before Christmas we decided it was best to go. As I have said, when a bandaid is pulled off it hurts whether it is pulled off quickly or slowly and this is the case here. So we move in eleven days! Tomorrow we have a clearing equipment, fence posts, in fact lots of leftover bits from general farming pursuits. Then there are household goods, all the detritus one saves because it might come in handy one day. I cannot believe how much we have laid out in the front paddock and on our verandah hoping that someone might think they can do something with it.

We hoped, hoped, hoped to have bought somewhere in the local town where we have decided to settle but it wasn't to be and so we have two moves ahead. Things to be packed to store and things we will use in the next few months and things I no longer have any use for. So the brain is working over time and I'm writing this for some light relief! Even finding a suitable rental was very difficult but much to the family's and my delight oit has a POOL! Not such delight from the husband who will be the one in charge of the cleaning....and who doesn't swim! The summers here are usually long and hot so having a pool sounds delicious!

I think I am saddest about leaving my garden and all the beautiful birds we have here, the thrushes that have been surrounding us with their lovely clear notes, the tiny pardalottes that have nested where the roof connects with the bricks outside my bedroom window...I see then darting in and out as I sip my morning cups of tea, the babies chirping with their need to be fed. The kookaburras and the cockatoos with their raucous cacophony night and morning. And in the garden all the 'bits' that have come from family and friends, all the memories that are signified with special plants. A beautiful Angel Face rose my brother gave me years ago before he died and has always been a special favourite. The Paul Cezanne rose and the Remember Me rose given when our beautiful son-in-law died. Then the new favourite, Double Delight which delights me every time I catch the perfume drifting past me.

And then there are the trees we have planted and nurtured, watching them grow and create the shade we need. The persimmon tree with its glorious fruit followed by the Autumn colours and the crepe myrtle beyond, one of the biggest I know, always a delight.

The persimmon is two or three times the size shown here and it was such a baby when planted....
I could keep meandering through my garden with you , showing you more and sharing more memories, because after all it is the memories that count, that warm the heart always.
I'm not complaining about our move, we have been incredibly blessed to live here, to have been the custodians of Winterfold. We know it is the right time for us to go and that we are to have a new and hopefully exciting road to take, a different direction. And we have each other, how lucky is that?
Actually I feel as though I am never going to whinge of my oldest and dearest friends has breast cancer and another emailed me to say she had a nasty fall and broke her neck in two places, not  paraplegia thank goodness but still very serious, she also has a heart problem and was to have  an operation with the neck brace in place a few days ago. 

And a happy photo to leave you with, grandchildren and uncles/dads leaping from one of the rock walls!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


We had to put down our old lab, Orak, on Friday. He was 14 and two weeks old, a very calm and dignified old trouper, he had been a guide dog until nearly 3 years ago when we were lucky enough to have him come to live with us. He went from being very much a city dog, flying from Melbourne to Queensland when his blind owner travelled for holidays, to a life on a farm, a life with all the smells and sounds of the countryside. He ran beside the quad bike with our young retriever, until running became an effort, then he walked, then he walked slowly until the time came when he didn't want to walk much at all, certainly not when we wanted him to go for a walk, only when he felt he had to check on what was going on in the garden. His arthritis made his life very difficult, but there was never a whimper as he lay down or got up, just the picture without words. The only way I knew how painful it was was when I gently touched his poor old back leg, he would flinch. 
We made this tough decision having watched him growing weaker, life more tricky.  But it is such a difficult thing to do, to take one's trusting animal on that last journey. Much as I believed it was the kindest thing to do the tears came as we opened the door into the vet's surgery. The vet, a lovely girl, with her equally lovely offsider, were loving and caring as they helped Orak to leave his body. We had to have a little chuckle though as he went....the girls gave him treats to eat as they prepared everything....and being a lab, having a lab's appetite, he ate until this last second. What better way for a lab to go. 
He has been such a wonderful part of our family including our grandchildren. Here are Sophie's pictures which I love, the first, happy, shows us with our other dog, Bear and their little Minnie. The second drawing says it all....

I'm glad she placed flowers there for him!
And one last photo, our two dogs together. They always lay close to each other so you can imagine Bear is very quiet at the moment. We will have family with us for the next ten days or so and this will be good for him.
Orak, we miss you but know you have gone from dog heaven here with us to the real dog heaven in the sky. Run free!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


One rose I absolutely need to have in my new garden is the MUTABILIS rose. It has had flowers all through the winter and is now covered with little dainty flowers, delicate reddish stems and tiny buds. The flowers change from the apricotty, orangey colours to the almost alizarin dark red. One of the roses I would have even without the 'must have' scent. 

Two different approaches to capturing their magic, the second not finished, more of a pen and wash.
I haven't had much brain space for painting and these have been squeezed into a tiny corner. It isn't that I've been so busy, just needing the brain space. We are sitting back with a 'decluttered' house waiting for the right buyer to pop out of the woodwork, people who fall in love with our house and our farm, people who love it like we do. I did say to a friend the other day that I feel that if I lie on the couch during the day I make the place look untidy! Not conducive to feeling relaxed when I need to chill!
Take care all you out there in the blogging world and beyond. I do read so many blogs but haven't been commenting, you are all amazing to read and some really touch my heart.
Love Mrs A

Friday, October 11, 2013


We are gearing up for our auction on November eighth, the house is spotless...most of the time anyway...the garden is lovely. Only a few roses out but lots of buds promising lovely flowers. We have had two inspections this week and the nicest thing about all this buildup is to see flowers throughout the house.

The lilac is divine, the scent wafts around everywhere. And the others...well, I read that you need yellow flowers to entice the right buyer so of course I had to buy yellow lillies, two bunches to get the right effect!
It will be sad to leave...but we are looking forward to our next life, one that will be creative and fun and easier. we have seen somewhere we like but it isn't straight forward, and we have to sell here first. Patience isn't my strongest attribute when it comes to my nest! So, keep your fingers crossed for the best possible outcome for all concerned!
Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Life as been very busy since we made the BIG decision, seeing prospective real estate agents, preparing the house for photos to be used in the advertisements, catching up in the garden and so on. We have had lots of help and wouldn't be where we are if not for that help..which continues on. we even have had second daughter acting as a stylist in the house, rearranging and hiding unnecessary 'stuff'. Do look at 'stonefruitseason' on my sidebar to see my beautiful colour-coordinated book shelves! Do these shelves belong to me...hard to imagine!
One of the bonuses has been to see the lovely display of bluebells at the moment. They must have been so overgrown before this season that I have failed to see them flowering. Of course I can be kind to myself as well and understand that the bulbs have been quietly multiplying AND we have had rain at the right time!
There have been some happy, unplanned 'accidents' in my garden planning...

A pretty red pelagonium nestled into the bluebells and not a very good picture. My second 'accident' is even better....

A late afternoon shot of californian poppies with purple daisies ans purple iris in the back of the bed.
hopefully i will remember to take another photo when the sun is shining onto them in the morning.
And now the reason I actually thought I would write a post...

My chattering chooks, again a poor photo because of the light. Kate from greedyforcolour sent me the photo of her chooks. The colours are much brighter in the painting.

This as you can see, !!???, is sideways. Don't ask me why! It is the computer going mad as it is the right way on the photo site. I will try and take another tomorrow and see if the computer has come to it's senses!
Maybe I shouldn't have begun to post today.....
See you soon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Again a long time between postings but we have had a major decision clogging up any extra mind space! And now THE DECISION has been made and things are beginning, I did say beginning, to fall into place and there is a wee bit more brain space with which to write a blog...and why this photo is there!
We have decided to sell our beautiful and much loved farm and move, much headache in the decision but it seems as though the time is right, ripe for us to move into a different phase in our lives. We will probably move to the edge of a local town nearby, where we have family. It is a pretty spot, everything handy and is on the railway to Melbourne. We aren't as young as we once were!! Surprise! Surprise! We have a big garden, too much for me now, the farm also being too much and we would rather move  when it is easy for us to do so. So, a new start, more time to create and build and make and do!! For the big fellow, a shed is the top requirement! He already has a project in mind, to make us a new dining table, one to go,with some chairs we bought at auction a few months ago, I can't think of the name of the design, red leather back and seat with chrome supports, a sort of s shape! I have to have my studio, room to paint and of course store all my materials...more of that another time!
So....the photo! Sophie, nearly seven arrived a couple of weeks ago with a book about how to make miniature gardens. She said, I want to make a miniature garden for the new people when they come! She had some ideas and I was able to find a couple of things, including some coral! Doesn't every-one have pieces of coral tucked away!? .....more of that later, refer to more of that later above! We chose the spot, she collected all those stones for paving. She wanted a pool so I cut down an icecream container, she placed a stone in the pool for the frogs to rest on, decorated it with wallflowers, refreshed by me for the photos today. There is also a hollow log where lizards can shelter, we thought they might like a safe spot. She again worked on it on Sunday, very happy to be leaving something for the new owners. 
My materials!! They have been breeding in my cupboards for ages, even with the moves I have had, all that I have tossed out in the past, still the materials grow and grow! There have been some real bonuses such as discovering I have lots of Arches  watercolour paper. When in Melbourne I have thought that I had better get some more paper, forgetting what I have in the cupboard! What a find!

Now we are decluttering the house, hoping to make it even more appealing to the new owners. Family have been wonderful, we feel as though we have a professional stylist to present the house at it's best! 
Apart from lawns being mowed, fences being built and, and, and! 
More another day! With love to all my blogging friends, Mrs A

Saturday, August 17, 2013


When I wrote the last post I did think I would be a more regular blogger but the days have slipped past too quickly with no posting. No photos, not much painting and just a bit of
 crochet. And no writing! So, this morning in an idle moment I am posting a mishmash, including the wool I received in the mail yesterday from 'little woollie' at 
Little woollie has her online wool shop with beautiful wool, worth looking at! I have begun a cot blanket for a new and precious grand-daughter in waiting and my local woolshop  had run out of the pink I needed, didn't know when she would get is just a small country town shop and can't place big orders. So...when I remembered little woollie it was wonderful. Little woollie even sent a crocheted motif with her handwritten note in the parcel, a lovely thought.
We still have our visitor, little Gus who has become very settled here. The big one took him for a ride on the 'quad', a 4 wheeled motor farm bike. Gus was very settled, curled up in the very safe arms of his host!

Some giant snowdrops and a giant cotyledon as well for you to enjoy! So interesting to see things from a different point of view! Life is full of these little challenges! 
Have a lovely weekend and hopefully I see you all soon! 

Monday, July 29, 2013


I can't believe how long it has been since I joined in the blogging world. I can't even say I've been very busy but things just have a way of getting in the way of writing. I haven't been painting very much, no creative spark tickling at me to pick up a brush or a hook. And it is winter...the days have been pretty ordinary including the very welcome wet days. I often think of Billy Connelly who said once we don't have bad weather, we  just have bad clothes, in other words whatever the weather we do have is fine so long as we are wearing appropriate clothing. I think he is right.... but grey skies don't seem to motivate me, I would prefer just to hunker down in front of the fire with a good book, get lost in book world.

Some days have been pure the last of the summer roses.

And some days there have been shadows, lurking away and keeping me in my burrow!

I never think of winter gardens as being dull. the various wattles begin early, barely at the end of summer but when the Cootamundra wattle flowers I can feel my spirits lift!
There are so many delicious scents at this time of the year...daphne, my delicious wintersweet, daffodils and jonquils, sages, the winter buddleia and on and on. Winter scents to also inspire and warm the heart.

Snow flakes and violets, hellebores .

We have visitor staying with us...Gustav the daschund. He is quite elderly and very set in his ways but we are all getting used to each others' foibles! Our two big ones just seem to ignore him even though Im suspicious that he is sleeping on the old lab's bed rather than his own . By the way, these dogs are not in prison, just waiting at the fly-wire door to come in!

A painting may appear on my next's hoping! I have begun another chook one so will get back to it towards the end of the week.
I hope you all have a happy week, a contented week best of all!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


It is nearly three weeks since I left the land of the long white cloud, one of the big one's sayings....his father was born in NZ! The here photos have been on our main computer and I have had to wait for the right time to show you.

From Kate's studio/my bedroom....upstairs.


A line of gingko trees in town, past their best but the show of leaves under the trees was beautiful, golden butterflies' They are very slow growing trees but worthwhile when  you see them in their full autumn glory!

Another rooster!

About to dive off the upstairs balcony!  Such a good game!

A beautiful sunset.

My wintersweet, chimonanthus praecox. I love it!
Hopefully the next post might show some creativity here!

Sunday, June 30, 2013


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This might all be double Dutch as we used to say so hope it is clear. Thankyou to Kate for steering me through! Good luck to the rest of the blogging world!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I had a wonderful holiday with the NZ lot, was taken care of beautifully and had a productive time you have seen. I do hate saying goodbye but it is also lovely coming home. I did find the day I came home very long, NZ is two hours ahead of Australia so that makes the day two hours longer for a start. Then two stops on the way home including a supermarket shop! Practical I know as we live nearly half an hour out of our shopping centre and I would have had to go back into town the next day. I was SO ready for sleep that night but it was quite elusive for some time!!
The weather is beautiful here at the moment...cold crisp nights with some frost, followed by the most beautiful days, bright sunshine, lovely. As we have just passed the shortest day I'm sure we are in for some cold and not so nice days ahead so...I'm enjoying what we have now.
I'm leaving you with the glorious last yellow roses for the season, only two flowers on the bush. Also a beanie I knitted for a dear friend and a mini hot water bottle cover, crocheted, for the same friend. And a couple of snaps I took on the way up to Auckland on my way home. Oh, and some Kate's chooks, about to fly off the balcony. Kate said I took heaps,of photos of her chooks...and roosters, and none of the boys! Sadly it was true! My only excuse is that,while the boys were near I just didn't think of cameras! Also, some wintersweet, chimonanthus praecox, for Kate! Lucy and Joe gave us the shrub some time ago and it has really taken off. If you don't know wintersweet it has the most beautiful scent, lovely waxy flowers. Quite delicious! Kate had some next to my bed when I arrived, Hiding in behind the books waiting for me.