Tuesday 30 December 2008


I love apples – the taste, the colour, the shape. I’m not sure exactly when I started to collect them. I think it first began when my Mother gave me a very cool set of anodised fruit napkin holders – one of which was an apple. I loved it so much that I kept it out of the box on my dining room side board and it all went from there. Now I have quite a selection, bought here and there on my travels.

In 2006 I made a quilt called - The Apple of My I. It was selected as a finalist in the National Wool Museum’s Biennial Quilt Prize. Here are the words I wrote to explain my work.

The Apple of My I

A quilt, ripe with colour;
a warm and woolly wonder.

Cast Offs – discarded treasures,
a Eureka moment, beauty rekindled.

My creative life, my green apple,
Red is love, Red is passion.

A united seasonal celebration,
many tones, shades of one.

Thursday 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you have a lovely day.

Monday 22 December 2008

Anodised Aluminium

I am a complete Bowerbird. From the moment I discovered Op Shops at about the age of 14, I discovered all sorts of shiny riches just wanting me to take them home. Anodised Aluminium had a particular allure.

It started off with things like teapots, milk jugs & sugar bowls and went on to trays, flour sifters, colanders, kitchen utensils, soda siphons (of which I have about 50), measuring cups, picnic cup sets and lunch box tins. Dare I say more?

My cupboards are overflowing with twenty years of accumulated treasures. I bet my children grow up to be minimalists. I am definitely a maximalist.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my sweet daughter Kitty. She is 4 today. Hip hip hooray!

Tuesday 16 December 2008

A-line Skirts

I am a pear. Well pear shaped that is, so A-line skirts are my number one friend.
The definition of an A-line skirt is a dress or skirt silhouette that is narrower at the top, flaring gently wider toward the bottom thereby resembling the letter A. Works well on most figure types; good for disguising bottom-heavy figures……I like the disguising bit.

I’m a huge fan of A-line denim skirts and most days you can catch me in one, however one of my most extravagant clothing purchases was the A-Line skirt above. I bought it about 8 years ago and it is one of those classic pieces, that every time I wear – someone says ‘Nice skirt’.

Monday 8 December 2008

Aga Stoves

From the moment I first saw an Aga Stove – I wanted one. A big, beautiful red one. To me there is something so appealing about them……perhaps it’s the multiple cooking spaces and hence the various doors. Maybe it’s the shiny enamel. Maybe it’s the thought of taking a step back from the rush of my day to day life to enjoy a slower pace.

Slow growing of veggies in the garden, slow gathering of wood and kindling to stoke up the Aga and slow cooking of wonderful one pot meals…..speaking of one pot meals - my husband Sam regularly makes me a one pot special that truly makes my heart sing….. it is a recipe handed down from his father George – Oven-baked Risotto. You do not need an Aga to cook it but it would be nice. Here is the recipe:

Oven-baked Risotto

50 grams Butter
1 finely sliced onion
2 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1 ½ Cups of mixed suitable vegetable (cubed)
2 ½ cup stock (boiling water w/ 2tsp miso dissolved through)
Season with salt & pepper ~ to taste
½ Cup grated parmesan
Fresh lemon juice

Fry onion in butter for 5 minutes on medium heat (add garlic near end of fry time).
Next add & fry rice for a further 5 minutes.
Then add vegetable mix and stir through for 1-2 minutes.
Add stock to dish, increase heat & bring contents to boil then season to taste.
Transfer contents to suitably sized casserole dish with lid on
& then bake in pre-heated 180ÂșC oven for 30 minutes.
Turn oven off. Remove lid. Lightly fold through parmesan.
Return to oven for 5 minutes.
Dress each dish with a squeeze of lemon.
Salt & pepper to taste.

Monday 1 December 2008

Advent Calendars

The highly anticipated ritual of opening those little doors in the Advent Calendar as a child was definitely one of my favourite things. I suppose it was because I knew that in 24 sleeps it would be that magical day when I got lots of presents (and let’s face it – who doesn’t like presents!). I had to share this ritual with my sister Kelly. I’m sure there was more than one occasion when we bickered about whose turn it was to open the door – and of course behind the door was a little Christmas picture but more importantly – a chocolate!

And so, it is apt that on the 1st of December 2008 – I begin my blog ‘100 things that make my heart sing’ with an entry about Advent Calendars.

Now that I have children of my own – I am able to re-visit the excitement of opening those little doors. Last year, we made one for us and various members of our family out of a Christmas tree shaped series of drawers. I trawled the internet for little Christmas sayings I could write out for each day and had much fun hunting for little trinkets that would fit in each drawer. The idea was that each year we could re-fill the drawers with new trinkets and so start a small family tradition.

The month of December is a very special time for me because my daughter Kitty was born on the 22 day. She will be 4 this year and so heartily embraces the opening of those little drawers, it makes my heart sing to see her little face so filled with excitement. She knows that December means her birthday and three days later Christmas….it is a wonder that she can sleep at night with the thought of the treasures to come. The Advent calendar helps us as a family bring our focus in to the joy of living day to day, in the moment so to speak. There is so much to look forward to.

This is what is written on the little piece of paper, rolled up in the first drawer…..

1 December

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?
Dr Seuss