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(This will just be a quick post because I have a doctor’s appointment soon)

I was talking to my sister this morning and she mentioned that she’d read my last blog post and she commented on the fact that most of my recent posts have all been about gardening and I completely agree with her! I’m reminded of it every time I choose my tags for the posts and am confronted with a tag cloud that shows me how often I use each tag and ‘garden’ screams at me very loudly! It’s not that gardening is all I do – the truth is far from that! The fact of the matter is that the garden produces the most beautiful photos and I am loathe to post anything without pictures. I am too visually and aesthetically minded to omit a visual aid  in most of my posts!

I am going to try and get a greater variety back into my posts but today I have yet another gardening related post that I have to share with you.

Yesterday I had a small revelation. It began when my aunt told me about a family friend who is going through some unexpected financial problems and is having trouble getting food on the table for her family of three. My aunt is planning to visit her and give her a supermarket voucher and it was without hesitation that I said I would get a box of veges from the garden to give her family too. This is the reason everyone should grow their own veges and fruit – so we can share! God makes an abundance of goodness grow from tiny little seeds and it only makes sense to share what we can’t use.

And so yesterday and today I have been gathering vegetables and packing them into a box to be given to this family who we love. It was pretty amazing to see how much the garden has given us. My dad works the hardest in the garden and it’s to his credit that it’s so productive. I think we have a responsibility to share all our blessings whether they be food or time or the ability to listen.

Anyway, the vegetables looked so beautiful on the table so I had to take a photo to share with you.

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It’s not a great photo but you get the point. Everything on that table was from my parents’ garden. Just for interest and so you can see what we harvest in late spring in a subtropical climate I will list what’s there. Sweet potato, pumpkin, leek, brown onions, cucumber, squash, cherry tomatoes, pepinos, carrots (in the paper bag), green and brown mignonette lettuces, tatsoi (an asian green that’s great in stir fries and salads), beetroot, lebanese eggplants, celery, bean yam, choko, a lemon and a jar of freshly made strawberry jam my mum made from home grown strawberries. The best thing about this food is that it all came from the garden and it’s just the extras.

So it was with lots of love and a little pride that I packed it all up into a box to be given to some people that my family and I love.

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If you’re wanting more motivation to start growing your own veges you’ve got it. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to grow a big lemon tree that produces so much fruit you have to give it away. The same could be done with tomatoes or chokos or whatever else your individual green thumb can nurture. It also fits into my ideal world where community and family means everything. But I can tell you more about that idea later.

I love you all.

ps. Did you see my new bunch of zinnias? This time I picked all the little flowers. Some of them are amazingly detailed!

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I can wear tights. I am developing quite a collection at the moment, despite my tendency to put holes in them at inopportune times. These ones are actually ones I bought last year and they may possibly be my oldest pair.

I also like sleeping and lounging in the sun.

xo

This is one of the things that have kept me busy in the last month – my beautiful sister’s 21st birthday party. It was a beautiful, beautiful morning enjoyed by all, even my parents who were very busy! It was a breakfast party, we had croissants with jam or ham and cheese, fruit, scones, birthday cake, lollies, tea and sparkling apple and grape juice. No one was hungry after that!

Oh and the music! A few weeks earlier my sis, myself and a friend were enjoying our coffees at the West End markets and a lovely singer came and performed right there for us! Well, it felt like that anyway. We got her business card and thus discovered Luna Junction. My sister organised for her to come and play for the party and she brought a few friends along too. They were absolutely perfect. A mix of folk/gypsy/jazz/world music and they stuck around for a chat and a little extra jamming. I would seriously recommend Luna Junction to anyone looking for some music to give a gathering some extra life. Well worth the money!

So on to the photos! Enjoy the pure, unedited goodness. I had plans of making them even prettier in photoshop but I couldn’t bring myself to change them in any way – they illustrate the morning just the way it was! I am glad we brought the camera along.

These are just a few of many many beautiful photos. The theme of red really shone through!

To my sister and best friend, you are so beautiful and you have the world at your feet. I can’t wait for next year! I love you so much. xo

I have been meaning to post for quite some time to catch you up on all the happenings of my life (and there are many!). More posts will come but in the meantime I have a few photos that I have been dying to share. They’re from a wonderful morning in the gardens of a beautiful and significant house in my local area. The house is called Baddow House, one of the earliest houses in Maryborough. It has only in the last few years been beautifully renovated. The house is beautiful, but it’s the gardens that made my heart sing. Take a look for yourself…

I don’t know if you can see it that clearly, but there is this beautiful garden gate under the tree in the photo above. That corner of the garden was my favourite part. The gate just led to a lovely green hill, but there was just something about it that just made me imagine a rambling cottage garden spilling colours onto the grass, a little piece of random colour in the formal gardens. My future garden will have a gate. Just so you know.

The house and garden is only open once a year, so you’ve all missed your chance this year, but if you get a chance to have a look next year you won’t be disappointed (unless gardens aren’t really your thing, in which case you can have a pumpkin scone with jam and cream while some other awesome people explore the house and garden). I really needed this garden visit, I had been feeling a little disconnected and it helped to ground me.

xo

I have always been a believer that it’s the little things in life that can make you happy. Long long ago I started a blog-ish type thing with my best bud where we would talk about all the things we were grateful for. It never went very far, but the concept has always stuck with me. I think it’s important to find enjoyment and appreciation in everything in your life, especially the little things that make up the bulk of the day.  As cheesy and hippy-ish it sounds, it’s almost as though you need to open your mind to being aware of the small things. Sometimes the things that have really turned my day around have been tiny.

Once after uni a few years back, in the early evening, I was feeling particularly grumpy and I decided to go for a walk. I wandered around thinking that I was so sick of seeing the same things everyday, hearing the same sounds, learning the same stuff. I was probably a teeny bit homesick too. Anyway, after wandering for a while, I heard these strange birdcalls that I’d been hearing at night. I never knew what they were. It sounded like there were heaps of them and the sound kept getting closer…I ended up walking through an entire flock of them. It was amazing. It turns out they were Bush stone-curlews. Maybe it wasn’t such a little thing, but it was amazing all the same. I recorded them on my phone and I used to use it as an alarm tone for a while so I could wake up to the sound of birds while I lived in the city. That moment woke me up and made me feel as though the world was there for me discover, wherever I was at the time.

My inspiration for this post came from picking tomatoes. I could pick them in a boring bowl and be done with it but there is a nostalgic joy from putting them in a basket. Everything is more fun when you use a basket! Well, maybe not everything, but picking tomatoes, collecting eggs and picking flowers is always better in a basket. 

See what I mean? If I was being cynical and boring, I could say that it doesn’t matter what the heck I put my tomatoes in, they’re still the same tomatoes and I would be right but there’s no fun in thinking that way!

So today, I hope you can find enjoyment in something…whether it be picking tomatoes, seeing a particularly amazing sunset, having an unexpected conversation with a friend or stranger, watching the stars, eating your lunch, discovering a flock of birds or smiling at a stranger and getting a smile in return…the possibilities are endless! You can make life much richer without having to spend a cent. 

I will continue to use my basket. Just because.

It’s the music that when you listen to it  your heart stirs to life and comes out from it’s hiding place and makes you actually want to live, to dance, to cry, to feel. If you have that kind of music in your life savour it and explore it. Appreciate it. 

At the moment the music that does it for me is definitely the Polyphonic Spree. Oh goodness me, the song that really cinched it was called ‘We Crawl’ but there are lots more that just make my heart sing. And look at what comes up if you do a Google Image search for the band right here. They practically wear costumes. I love costumes. 

If you want to hear some of the Polyphonic Spree for free, try finding the NPR podcast ‘All Songs Considered’. There are some great recordings of live concerts there, I highly recommend them. 

I hope you find your music.

She’s a bundle of joy. An occasionally badly behaved bundle of joy. Georgie is currently obsessed with fetching, or at least her version of fetching. All you have to do is go outside and she looks at you with that look and and she’s off to find anything that you can throw or kick for her to fetch…balls, sticks, plastic containers, you name it, she will chase it.

I love this dog.

At the moment the West End Market in Brisbane is my absolute favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning. Everything about them is just lovely. I like getting up early and then trundling off to the markets. It doesn’t really matter if I need to buy fruit and veg or not, I still like to go. Just to wander along in the morning crowd looking at fruit and veges or talking to the lady who makes the coolest crocheted hats or buying a lovely floppy hat made of vintage fabric or buying flowers is marvelously therapeutic. Or if I feel like treating myself that week, I might buy some fresh goats cheese and some crusty bread. And then I always top it off with a coffee from the cute gypsy style caravan (cardamom coffee is my current favourite) and sit on a hessian covered plastic milk crate under a massive fig tree by the river. Oh, I could gush about these markets for such a long time. I have enjoyed them with family and friends alike. I’d like to show you. 

Looking back up towards the markets from my coffee spot.

 

Did I mention that there are some awesome buskers there? This one was awesome, she set up right in front of us and just started playing. This is her myspace. Folk/gypsy/jazz with voice, guitar, trumpet and tin whistle. You might be hearing more about her here soon.

And the final piece of awesome – the markets are right beside some beautiful community gardens. I highly recommend the West End Markets to any one, local Brisbanite or visitor. I hope these markets stay like this for a long time to come!

Does anyone have any cool markets or Saturday morning happenings they would like to share?

Martin here is my first foray into the world of amigurumi (crocheted toys originated from Japan). I love him very much and I am very much proud of him.

I learnt to crochet from the internet and various very old crochet/needle crafts books I bought from second hand book stores. Since then I have made scarves, berets and have started more than one blanket (but as yet have finished none…). I love the meditative repetition that crochet requires…and then the end result is so so satisfying.  I will share some of my earlier crochet projects with you another time. For now you can appreciate little Martin here.

I made him for my sister’s 20th birthday in June this year. I mostly made up the pattern myself. I attempted to write the pattern out to publish on here and share with my ravelry friends but sort of failed at that. I lost my notes…woopsy daisies! I was inspired to actually try amigurumi after reading so many patterns on ravelry.com. I really really recommend that site if you are a crocheter or knitter. There are so many free patterns and advice on yarn and needles and hooks…and it’s pretty much just an awesome community.

Seeing that photo of Martin just made me remember how much I love having fresh flowers at home. I get these gerberas from the West End Markets at a flower stall there…they are 30 cents per stem and it is so fun to pick out whatever colours your heart desires early on a Saturday morning. Maybe next time I will take a camera with me…I love those markets. There is this cute gypsy styled caravan that sells organic fair trade coffee and my favourite is the cardamom latte. Oh, and there are these curry puffs there that are amazing. I have never loved a curry puff like that. $2 each and love at first scalding hot bite. That is a fantastic breakfast…cardamom coffee and curry puffs. Just thinking about the markets is making me drooooool. Yummmy! Now I know what I will be doing next Saturday morning!

I was browsing through my earlier blog posts and I remembered my pledge to hand make all my Christmas gifts this year. I’m not sure how that is going to go. I might try and have a handmade element to each present and aim that anything I do actually purchase is handmade. I don’t really like massive commercialism and consumerism. I would really love to make my own Christmas ornaments this year too. I have this idea for a Christmas tree that I am itching to try out. I really do love Christmas! The idea of giving and eating and sharing is extremely heartwarming. I am thinking of having an Australian thanksgiving dinner this year for a few of my close friends. That is one American tradition that I have always admired because I feel like it would be a great way of showing gratitude to my friends and family for loving and just being them. I’m not sure how traditional I would have the dinner…this is going to give me something new to plan! Recently I have just loved cooking and baking and sharing delicious food with my friends. I normally have some sort of dinner party at least once a year but I haven’t had one this year yet. Oooh, the ideas are swirling around in my head now!

Hehe, I was just looking back at where my tangential mind has taken me this blog entry and it is ridiculous! …amigurumi – crochet – ravelry – flowers – markets – breakfast – gifts – Christmas – thanksgiving – dinner parties. You’ve gotta love tangents!

I haven’t got a lot more to say today…uni has been getting more and more hectic and all my assignments are catching up on me. I’m not stressing out as such, I am more just finding less time to spend on here. But never fear, I will not abandon you, my readers!

xo