Thursday, 1 August 2013

Take Heart

Heartfelt cushion by Morgan Wills
I'm happy to say that tonight is the grand opening of the exhibition "Take Heart" at Gleaners Inc.

Featuring the work of  twenty designers and crafts people (inc. yours truly) - all works include or reference the heart in it's many forms.

Everyone is invited to the official opening tonight at 6pm for drinks and discount shopping. The show runs until the end of August, so plenty of time for a visit. 

This event is part of Craft Victoria's Craft Cubed festival. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Hottie Challenge 2013

Confetti Hottie by Morgan Wills
I got wind of the first ever Hottie Challenge last year after the event....I remember thinking how fabulous all the different hot water bottle covers looked lined up on exhibition and I made a note to self that I must make one this year! we's been deadline week and of course I have been totally distracted with the myriad of other things that vie for my attention on a daily basis and only just managed to get my piece finished and express posted to Camille of Curlypops fame who has coordinated a group entry via her blog.

The aim of the challenge was to make a hottie cover, which will be exhibited in the gallery space at Open Drawer ArtTextiles and Learning Centre from Friday 5 July, with a grand opening on Sunday 7 July from 2 - 4pm.

The finished hotties will all be donated to the Margaret Pratt Foundation, so that they may be sold to raise funds and I know from Camilles group alone there will be 96 covers plus all the other entries submitted directly to Open Drawer. A pretty amazing sight to behold I can imagine - once they are all on show. 

The great thing too about the challenge was that there were no restrictions on how you created your cover you could use any art or textile technique that takes your fancy.

You may remember last year I made a confetti inspired scarf for the 2012 Scarf Festival in Geelong - this was my inspiration for my hottie cover - simply because when I am cold I definitely celebrate being warm! The whole cover was made from reclaimed and upcycled woollen felted jumpers and vintage buttons - and the grey base was actually reclaimed from an old lumberjack jumper my father-in-law gave me. You know what they say....waste not want not! Stay wonderfully warm and woolly! x
Confetti Scarf by Morgan Wills

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Scarf Festival 2013

Amongst the leafy green - Scarf entry for 2013 Scarf Festival by Morgan Wills
Now in its fifth year in Geelong at the National Wool Museum (formerly held at Craft Victoria, Melbourne) – the Scarf Festival once again celebrates all manner of scarves, with hundreds of entries in this year’s competition.

Each year there is a new theme to interpret and this year the theme was ‘Home’.

What does home mean to you? How would you say it in a scarf?
Whatever it means to you, however you define it, shape it and live it, this was an opportunity to create a scarf that explains, explores and explodes the myths and realities of what it means to belong.

The theme traveled around with me in my head for quite a long time before I settled on how to best manifest my thoughts. In the end I decided to talk about our ‘tree change’ a couple of years ago from inner city Melbourne to the regional city of Ballarat. The change has been fully embraced not only by me but my whole family.

Recently an old school friend visited for a lovely Sunday lunch and she remarked as I showed her around my new home and shop – ‘You know you’re living the dream – don’t you?’ This comment really struck a chord with me. Life is good – made all the better by our sense of belonging within our new community and our new home.

Here is my artistic statement that accompanied my scarf entry:

Amongst the leafy green

From the heart of inner city,
to amongst the leafy green.
A spark from the metropolis,
a new life can be seen.

A settling of roots,
in home’s fertile ground.
A tree change sought,
a forest of love’s been found.

The Scarf Festival is on exhibition at the National Wool Museum, Geelong. Open daily from 7 June to 25 August 2013. More than 300 scarves will be on display submitted by individual craft-makers from around Australia and overseas. Most of the scarves will be available for purchase, although all will remain on display until the end of the exhibition. 

There’s also an exciting program of craft demonstrations running throughout the Festival, daily from 10am to 4pm. Well worth a visit!

Friday, 12 April 2013


Lovely trees at Victoria Park, Ballarat

    My love of trees began as a girl. Climbing them of course – as all children love to do! This pastime along with one of my all-time favourite stories – The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton set me off on a tree loving adventure.

One of the first chapter books I ever read - The Magic Faraway Tree is set in a wood where the Faraway Tree is inhabited by fairy-folk and laden with fruit of all kinds from acorns to lemons. Its topmost branches lead to ever-changing magical lands above the swirling clouds. You can imagine can’t you that as a kid I fantasized about climbing up giant trees as far as I could, to see if there really was another land up there!

I had favourite trees as a kid too. Particular ones that I visited often and hung out at. Some were at parks and places that we went to regularly and I always felt happy hanging out up in their branches or nesting underneath their boughs and branches in a makeshift cubby.

Visits to my father’s native land of New Zealand meant lovely cuddles of the giant Kauri trees and then in my teenage years a trip to California meant a visit with the Redwoods. These giant trees are really unbelievable - even when you are standing right in front of them you can’t quite believe they are as big as they are.

Of course my children have claimed one of the trees in our yard as ‘theirs’ and if you can’t find them – you always know where they’ll be. Its innate isn't it and I know from their response when we read the Magic Faraway tree together that the enchantment of a land called ‘Do-as-you-please’ is pretty enticing! Go forth and climb up a tree to - Do as you please….who wouldn't want to go there!

We are fortunate enough to live in the hustle and bustle of Ballarat’s centre and yet a stone’s throw from gorgeous Victoria Park and the Botanical Gardens which are filled with lovely old specimens. Lots of opportunities to have impromptu picnics and the odd tree hug here and there – how lucky we are.

Friday, 1 March 2013

A Piece of Cloth

A few months ago the lovely Liz Jones (Betty Jo) from Gleaners Inc. invited me to be a part of their first exhibition for 2013 entitled "A Piece of Cloth”.

I always love the opportunity to create something different to my ‘everyday’ work. Something unique, something that is only one of and not the multiples that I usually make. So I jumped at the opportunity and said ‘yes please!’

I was given a square of vintage fabric and as part of the brief I was asked to respond to the fabric, ie; the pattern, the texture or the colour palette, by creating a finished piece incorporating or referencing the scrap.

I had so many ideas and I thought so much time…but life and small business can get in the way! the end my appliqued interpretation of the main flower was incorporated into an embroidery hoop for a wall hanging…and not a scarf as was the plan. Still it was lovely to get involved and I am just amazed at the creativity of the other designers, artists and crafters who have offered up their work. Just gorgeous!

The show is a part of the L’Oreal MelbourneFashion Festival’s Cultural Program and opens on Friday 8 March at 6pm at Gleaners Inc. – 2 Ballarat Street, Brunswick. More information here!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Toad in the hole

I had never heard of 'Toad in a hole' until I met my husband. Frog in a pond - yes...but Toad in a hole? What on earth is that?

Well...toad in a hole is one of those extra yummy - pretty naughty kind of breakfasts. One that is awesomely good if you've had a late night and an extra glass of wine. But equally good on a cold winters morning to get your inner fire started to fuel you through the day.

I am particularly fond of this breakfast delight when I have yummy fresh sourdough bread and organic eggs from my in-laws farm. But of course you can make it with any bread and eggs that you have on hand.
Here's how you do it....

Heat frying pan over medium heat.
Butter both sides of your bread and pop into pan.
Using a round glass or biscuit cutter - cut a hole in the centre of the bread and take out the circular piece of bread and crack in the egg! Its pretty well as simple as that really! Cook one side and then the other and if you like you can add a sprinkle of herb goodness from your garden.

A little crack of pepper and a sprinkle of Maldon Sea Salt and voila! Now its time to tuck in! Yum!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Welcoming the new year

I seem to have blinked and I'm here - sailing into the new year without what seems much time to pause and draw breath. My last entry back in October saw me heading off to present my wares at the fabulous Finders Keepers market and from then on it was a constant spate of events, markets or something or other that totally preoccupied me for the rest of the year 2012.

I feel as though the year was successful and fulfilling in terms of my making and running the shop and business. I also feel as though sometimes I got so caught up being the chief cook and bottle washer of my little enterprise that I didn't get to stop and smell the roses as much as I would like or spend as much time as I wanted to with my offspring.

Kitty who turned 8 in December tells me that my shop is her favourite shop in all the world and that her goal in life is to own and run The Crafty Squirrel one day. Bless. I tell her that as soon as she is old enough to count the money she can be my Saturday morning shop girl. I know this day will come before I know it and I would love to have her as my little helper.

Milo who is now 4 starts kinder this year - which we are all very excited about. Today he and I spent time decorating a treasure box for him to take on his first day tomorrow. In lots of ways I feel as though he is still my baby - but really he is so ready for Kinder and school. Part of me wants him to stay with me as my little buddy at home and another part of me knows how much easier my working life will be when he goes to school. I suppose that is probably pretty normal.

We have had a wonderful summer break this year - a beach holiday, catching up with lots of lovely friends and family, day trips, a spot of treasure hunting here and there (of course!) and as tradition would have it - our last hurrah of the school holidays is a trip down to my in-laws organic farm in the Strzelecki Ranges in Gippsland (half an hour from Warrigal).

We usually only get down there once a year - and as with any time I spend getting back to basics, I was totally refreshed by the country air, long walks, fresh produce and beauty of my surroundings.

A great way to get back into things - remembering to breathe and taking the time to stop and appreciate the everyday.

Bring on 2013! I have lots of exciting things in the pipelines!

Clearview Farm Apple orchard and yummy vegie garden

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Visit me at Finders Keepers!

New Cute as a Button Vintage Button cushions

I've been super busy of late working on a whole brand new range of button inspired products and a few Sundays ago I launched the whole range at a fabulous market up here in Ballarat called The Design Exchange

It has also been an exciting time as recently my work was featured on the cover of a book - Crafty Girls Talk and Jennifer Forest the author interviewed me about what I do and what inspires me. This joins the stories of a number of other crafty girls from around the world who craft for fun, for profit and for others. Each story is an exploration of that crafty girl's world, what they make and where they have taken their passion for creating.

Today I have packed the car to the brim and am heading down to Melbourne to have a stall at the Spring/Summer Finders Keepers.

This is truly one amazing market - held in the beautiful Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton - the line up of stallholders is awesome and if I get the chance I will attempt to do a spot of early Christmas shopping whilst I am there.

I will be showcasing my new Cute as a Button range of products and also selling Crafty Girls Talk plus heaps of other handmade crafty goodness. The market starts runs from 6pm to 10pm tonight and tomorrow from 10am to 5pm so if you are in the neighbourhood - do pop in and say Hi!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Good old fashioned fun

During the week we took the kids to the Royal Melbourne Show. I think I've been pretty much every year since I was a kid myself and you know if you turn a blind eye to the cheap and nasty stuff that is for sale and try not to get too overwhelmed by the crowds of people and the queues for rides - it is actually quite fun!

Of course - I love going because I get to have the best scones ever at the Country Womens Association (CWA) cafe, coo over baby animals, relish the amazing crafty talents of the work in the Arts & Crafts pavilion, ride the giant Ferris wheel and generally enjoy the delight of my children who love a good show bag (didn't we all when we were kids).

This year my highlight was meeting Norm from Norm & Elsie's Art Safari. They have a gorgeous vintage caravan that has been converted into a mobile art gallery filled with art and artifacts from South West Victoria. Truly amazing! It was love at first sight and Elsie's cabinet of curiosities in the caravan was filled with all sorts of treasures and a number of cute ceramic   squirrels - I was totally won over!

There is nothing quite like a good dose of old fashioned fun and in the name of making the most of it we spent about 9 hours there!
I can highly recommend a visit! Just make sure you take your inner Nanna with you....oh and your inner child!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

It's Sale time!

This is the 5th year in a row now that I've had my annual Spring Sale at the Maribyrnong Makers Market.

And guess what?! It's on tomorrow! I have been cleaning out the studio and have packed it all into the car ready to drive to Melbourne first thing in the morning.

The best thing about having a sale is that you get a bargain and I get some more room! So come along and visit me!

Bargains to be had include Mumma & Baby Bushkas for $50 (normally $100), Scarves for $25 (normally $96), Rainbow ceramic necklaces for $40 (normally $76) and the list goes on....lot's of stocking fillers, Kris Kringle type gifts, cheap cards and lots more.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

An outing for Fathers Day

We started a new family tradition yesterday in honour of Fathers Day. Kitty and I decided that we would cook Sam and Milo breakfast in bed and they in turn have to cook us breakky in bed when it’s Mother’s Day. Pretty good deal I reckon…but when you are 4 like Milo – it’s pretty hard really to balance the tray and everything on your lap and try not to spill it all in your parent’s bed (and stress out your Dad) and so I think a small stable table might be in order!

Whilst they gobbled up their cooked breakfast I suggested we go on a Sunday drive. It was just what we all needed – a beautiful sunny spring day and a family outing. My husband Sam – loves baking bread and I had heard lots of good things about a bakery located in the picturesque goldrush town of Trentham in Central Victoria. Apparently RedBeard Historic Bakery is famous for its 140 year old woodfired Scotch oven and of course it’s delicious bread and so off we went on a mini road trip with this as our lunch destination.

To get to Trentham we had to pass thorough Daylesford and so we broke up our journey by having a quick squiz around the trash ‘n’ treasure market….not much gold to be found by the time we got there – but always fun to look nevertheless.

Rumbling stomachs got the better of us though and off to Trentham we went in search of good things to eat. It was pretty busy when we got there but a table became available soon enough and after much deliberation and a bit of a wait – we finally got down to business – the eating good food kind of business. All I can say is YUM! We sat out in the courtyard in the sunshine and read the papers and enjoyed. My idea of bliss on a sunny Sunday.

Exploring Trenthams main street and beautiful waterfall after lunch was a lovely way to walk off our tucker and as we strolled I was struck by the quaint and very typically Australian architecture of the little township and the gorgeous greenery of the surrounding bush – well worth a visit I must say and at only 70mins from Melbourne it is easily doable.

Happy Father’s Day Sam – you are loved.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Tiny drawers

I originally started this blog because I wanted to share with you 100 things I loved and why. It’s taken me a while but I’m now up to post 87 in things that make my heart sing and this one is definitely a favourite. Tiny drawers…yep…you heard right…I LOVE tiny drawers.

Over the years I have gathered quite the collection (funny that) of all sorts of tiny drawers. My favourites amongst them are various fabric covered ones I got in Japan. Also too the little sets of plywood drawers from Ikea have always been a favourite and also some I have made out of matchboxes stuck together – so cute.

However it was a recent gift of the 1950’s (made in japan) beauties above that really got me going. Originally doll house furniture – the tiny dresser with the movable mirrors and polka dot decoration on the drawer is just my idea of true gorgeousness!
Small drawers are for small things and one of my favourite sayings (seeing I am only 5ft2) is good things come in small packages or in this instance small drawers!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The sound of my children laughing

I have to admit…there are a lot of silly shenanigans that go on in our house. We are generally a pretty silly lot and there is often something that happens that will set one of us off on a bit of a giggle.

I particularly love the sound of the kids laughing in delight. It is such a priceless noise and so hard to capture a recording of (believe me I have tried). I think the tricky thing is – once you have heard that sound and the kids have cottoned on to the fact that you are trying to record it – the sound of the laugh changes and becomes more put on. They do love a bit of a performance and really with parents like us it is no wonder!

There have been moments when I have witnessed a bit of rolling around on the ground in laughter and I remember this feeling when I was little – it doesn’t happen a lot in life that something takes your fancy so much it makes you cry – but when it does it feels really good and some of our day to day stresses and concerns are momentarily put into perspective somehow.

The sound is like pure delight. I think that’s why I love it so much.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The number 22

Do you have a favourite number? Most people do. Mine is 22. I love things in pairs, doubles, even numbers. Two peas in a pod so to speak.

It just so happens that I am born on the 22nd day of the month. Often when I look at the clock it is 11.11. Eleven plus eleven is 22 – go figure. My daughter was also born on the 22nd.

I have over the years been interested in numerology and tarot and these give certain meanings to numbers that I have found to be fairly true for me.

Apparently the number 22 symbolizes the principle of precision and balance. When it senses its full capacity it can achieve what is hardly imaginable. The 22 can turn the most ambitious of dreams into a reality. It is potentially the most successful of all numbers (yeah baby!).

It is unlimited, yet disciplined. It sees the archetype, and brings it down to earth in some material form. It has big ideas, great plans, idealism, leadership and enormous self-confidence (don’t know about that one!).

Very family-oriented, the number 22 person will often stay in situations rather than move on. They dislike confrontation, but with the right support, can become one of life's great success stories and accumulate a lot of wealth (Yes please!!). Many inventors are a 22 Day Number.

People born on the 22nd love to work with their hands. As children they love building blocks, LEGO, and any mechanical gadget keeps them occupied for hours. As adults they enjoy creative endeavors. 

Sounds like my number and I are a pretty good match. Just the 2 of us!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Confetti Scarf

Every year for the last 6 years or so - I have made a special scarf for the Scarf Festival run by the National Wool Museum in Geelong in partnership with Craft Victoria.

I always look forward to the opportunity to create something that is one of a kind, as mostly my day to day is about replicating products in my ranges.

This year's theme is - The Journey and the idea for the scarf maker is to create a textile exploration of what it means for each of us to travel. Inspired by daily trips, happy holidays and special sojourns, the theme examines the paths we choose and the extraordinary discoveries we make along the way.

Of course - the theme has been swirling around in my mind for months now - with all sorts of concepts and techniques I could use to express my thoughts. I knew I had to be true to my love of felted woollen jumpers and recycled materials and knew that the best way for me to conceptulise my thoughts was to go in to my studio with a dedicated time slot and play. 

My offering to the theme is called Confetti Scarf and here my artist statement reflects my thoughts;

Confetti Scarf
Confetti, confetti  - up in the air
Confetti, confetti – everywhere
My journey, my life - filled with memories of moments and passages of joy.
Colours, imprints and formations of impressions left on the subconscious by experience.
My marriage, the birth of my children, everyday laughter...shared minutes with those I love.
These are my confetti moments.

You can visit my scarf and hundreds more at The National Wool Museum, Geelong from 16 June to 2 September.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Beatles

Over the years – I’ve heard the theory that you’re either a Stones fan or a Beatles fan. I would have to say – the Beatles won my heart at a tender age.

One of my earliest childhood memories are of my Dad strumming the guitar and serenading me with ‘Eight days a week’. As I grew older and worked out how to use the record player – all the records my parents had collected in the years prior to children were tested out. 

Lucky for me there were a number of Beatles greats like Abbey Road and the White Album. In my early teens I took the limited edition A4 posters of the boys out of the White Album and blue tacked them to my bedroom wall (along with tear outs from Dolly magazine) – now all these years later, I have inherited the album but where o where are those posters! Deary me!

As an older teenager – a boyfriend I had, had perfected the art of singing and playing ‘Blackbird’ on his guitar and my love for those Beatle boys grew. It was only in later life that I learnt the true meaning of the lyrics to that song and that 'bird' is British slang for girl, making 'blackbird' a synonym for 'black girl’. Apparently McCartney was inspired to write it as a reaction to racial tensions escalating in the United States in the spring of 1968. There you go!

Over the years I have got to see lots of great musicians in concert – I only wish I could transport back in time to go to a Beatles concert (can you imagine all the screaming though!)….oh well, I’ll just have to console myself with singing along in the car and rocking out with the kids!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Tea Towels

I've been collecting souvenir tea towels for about 10 years now. I'm not sure what got me started...probably just the beautiful colours and images and the fact that there are just so many different ones out there!

I could always tell when an op shop had received somebodies collection as there would be a big stack all folded in the same way - straight out of the linen press. A collection gathered from here, there and everywhere on the holiday makers travels.

When I moved up to Ballarat just over a year a go now and I had to pack up my stash - the tea towel count was up around 400 - amazing really how it came to be that many...anyway as I packed them up and started to go through them I noticed that a part from my criteria of them being new and unused - there was a real assortment of designs - from stunning floral ones to kitsch animal ones and everything in between.

I'd had some ideas kicking around about some products I wanted to make with them under my Cast offs range but I new that I had collected more than I would ever use - so in the name of sharing the love I went through one by one and sorted out which ones I wanted to use for my new products, which ones I wanted to sell in the shop and which ones I would just hang on to and keep collecting for the moment (like calendar ones) when I had really decided what they were going to become (I think a quilt).

Today is a gloriously sunny day in downtown Ballarat and just the perfect day to haul out the next lot of gorgeous tea towels that are destined to become cushions. In order to get those super linen cupboard creases out I take them outside and swish them around in a big bucket of water - hang them on the giant clotheshorse I have and then whilst they are still damp, I iron them with the setting on linen. It seems to do the job pretty well and I don't  lose that stiff starchy quality that I like.

Stay tuned for the next batch of cushions - I know it's going to be hard to part with some of the tea towels especially the Australian native flora & fauna ones - they are my favourites. x

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Grand Easter Garage Sale

Finally - I have a chance to let you know about this fantastic sale that is happening on Easter Saturday - yep you heard right! This Saturday in the picturesque town of Daylesford...I am packing up shop and joining my friend Allison in having the biggest garage sale you have ever seen!

I have gone through the Crafty Squirrel shop, the shop store room, my office and sewing room, my studio and various other places I have stashed crafty bits and bobs away and have come up with the most amazing pile of vintage tea towels, aprons, table cloths, fabrics, sewing notions and of course lots of my very own Cast offs winter woollies like scarves, kilt pins, head bands and hats - samples and seconds. Plus lots of treasures from the shop at 50% off and lots of other cute stuff at great prices.

It feels so good to have such a big clean out and now I need your help to come and make it your own!
So...make a day of it and see me there! You won't be sorry - this is one sale you don't want to miss!!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Tea cups and Trade fairs

Some of my crazy tea set
Petits Fours at Craigs Royal Hotel

Well it’s that time of year again – when my focus and time has been completely gobbled up by my stand at the impending trade show Life in Style. This will be my second time showing in Sydney and I am excited (and somewhat tired) having been planning and making stock for what seems like months now.

As a treat I decided that it would be nice to indulge myself with an afternoon tea with various lovely ladies I have met since I moved to Ballarat. We gathered on Sunday afternoon in the grand dining room at Craigs Royal Hotel and whilst chatting and catching up we dined on lovely finger sandwiches’, scones with jam & cream and delicious little petits fours. Yum yum!

Gatherings of women combined with delicious things to eat – seems to be something that I enjoy (although I must admit I do not do often enough). It reminds me of the kitchen tea we held in honour of my impending marriage. The guests all brought along a tea cup and saucer as a gift for me and the story of where it came from (the op shop, their own collection, new or antique) and why they had chosen to give it to me was written in a special book to commemorate the occasion and the beginnings of my crazy tea set were born.

I love my crazy tea set with all the different cups and saucers, cake plates, tea pots, sugar bowls and milk jugs. Of course I do not use it often – but when I do, I remember that afternoon when all those women most dear to me gathered to celebrate my special day. It was fun, it was loud and there was lots of laughter.

Perhaps when I get back from Life in Style I will get out a gorgeous tea pot and tea cup and make myself a lovely cup of tea. Now there’s an idea!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Down on the Farm

Clearview Farm

Kitty collecting eggs

I think one of the best parts of the summer holidays when you are a kid is that they seem to go on forever and by the time it is all over – you are well and truly ready to go back to school and see all your friends. At least that’s how I remember it.

In the lead up to Christmas it was all go, go, go here with birthdays, end of year performances, picnics and get togethers for everything, not to mention managing the shop, wholesale orders, online orders and markets. Phew……I am exhausted just thinking about it!

By the time it got to Christmas day – I was glad I had, had the foresight to celebrate Christmas at home – in a small way – our first Christmas in our new house. The children enjoyed lazing about all day playing with new toys and we had a lovely lunch just the four of us.
Milo collecting eggs and Kitty with a baby chick
Having been all systems go all year I really (in fact all of us) needed some time out and a good holiday was required. So I shut the shop for the whole month of January and we settled in for a well deserved rest.

First cab off the rank was a week at the beach in Warrnambool – were we lazed about building sandcastles, eating yummy café lunches and ice creams, going to the movies and of course spent lots of time exploring all the op shops and vintage/antique shops looking for treasures. And I must say – I was pretty chuffed with my haul!

Back home again and the realities of being self employed mean’t that really even though the shop was closed there was work to be done (what’s new!). So in between days at holiday care – the kids and I tried to do lots of fun things together. Catching up with friends, going to the movies, outings to Melbourne, picnics, craft activities and of course visits to Sovereign Hill.
Going for a family walk in the third Gully

And then over the Australia Day long week-end we headed off down to Clearview Farm which Sam’s parents own in the Strzelecki Ranges down near Warragul.

We hadn’t visited for a while and I knew the kids were old enough to really enjoy it. An organic farm – with extensive apple orchards and lots of chooks – the gardens are rambling and filled with gorgeous flowers, trees and ferns.

My in-law’s Jim and Carole always cook amazing food – so a lot of eating was done, mixed in with some egg collecting, picking fruit and flowers and exploring various ‘secret’ gardens (much to Kitty’s delight). A big family walk down the third gully – walked off a little of the decadent morning tea and a few hours where Sam & I took off on our own for a lovely lunch and spot of treasure hunting whilst the kids hung out with Grandma Eggs and Poppy Apples was great.

So all in all – the summer holidays have been fun. Kitty is back to school on Thursday and The Crafty Squirrel re-opens on Friday. Preparations are well underway for my tradeshow stand in Sydney in Feb and the year is well underway!