Friday, September 30, 2011

Living in the Australian Bayou's....

This little article was recently published in Melbourne's 'The Age' newspaper. It detailed 6 reasons why a person might want to visit Gunbower - a little town of aprox 200 people near where I live. One of the 6 reasons was Gunbower Island, a most stunning national and state park...the largest inland island in Australia and my childhood backyard. Grandma's Jean's beautiful dairy farm and garden of roses, orchard and deciduous trees backed onto Gunbower Island and I must say it made me nearly burst with pride to see it referred to in the paper as Australia's answer to the Bayous of America !!! As such, I thought I might as well run with the magnificent promotion of my home and share little bits a pieces about life in the Bayous of Australia every now and again......

So, on a rainy, wet footy grand final day, I took a drive to my very favourite road (after stopping at my favourite cafe) in the vicinity of 'the bayou'....Little Forrest Road, Barham. Not strictly Gunbower Island, it is still a part of the redgum lined river country that makes the region so special. There are three major townships that flank the island - Gunbower, Cohuna and Koondrook/Barham - and the regions surrounding them are filled with picturesque farmland, river country and massive strands of river red gums. So, here are some rainy day photographs of my favourite road.... a walk or bike ride down this road is such a peaceful experience with Kookaburra's, parrots, willy wagtail birds, kangaroo's and emus all making a regular appearance, and the eucalypts, orange groves and clover drench the air with a heady smells of blossom and our famous native healing oil. I wish I could impart those things to you via my blog !!! But for now, google some Cajun music in another website page and listen as you take a journey down my favourite road in the Bayou !!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chocolate Fudge Funtime

School holiday's provide the perfect opportunity to get into the kitchen and make some seriously indulgent, hip expanding goodies with the kids......and I have found nothing better to accomplish this than my girlfriend Kerry's AMAZING chocolate fudge recipe !! Try it out for yourself and be tantalized........

500g Chocolate of choice
1 tin of condensed milk
60g Butter

melt all ingredients in in a saucepan stirring continually

Spoon into a lined slice tin and put into fridge until firm and set

** You can add nuts, fruit, choc chips, mint essence...infect anything creative at all to make your own 'house speciality' !! We made rocky road fudge above with fruit, nuts and marshmallows....mmmmmm !!

Oh, and dont forget that this sort of cooking makes terrific homemade christmas gifts, all packaged up beautifully of course! (Or you could buy a plum pudding from my shop !!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ready for the prom fashion

Well, I guess school formal - or prom season in America - is almost upon us, and as I adore trawling the Internet for fashion inspiration, I thought I would share a little prom dress love here..... arnt 50's style prom dresses an adorable excuse for a grown woman to dress as if she is a childlike princess again? And hey, there's nothing wrong with that !!! More excuses to dress up are in order I say !!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Old Fashioned Flower of the Season - Spring 2011

How very tragic that one of the most elegant of flowers should be relegated to the title of "Funeral Lily" conjuring up images of death and mourning. I wish someone would name Arum Lillies "Celebratory Lily" instead - then they could be used in a funeral where one wished to celebrate a persons life, and we could still picture them as a flower perfectly suited to a wedding, christening or dinner party occasion !

Honestly, I think very few flowers come even close to the Arum Lily for elegance. Have you ever looked deep into the creamy petal of an Arum Lily? I mean really looked into that colour? It is smooth, pure perfection without fault. I very much wish I was a bee that could crawl down into it's depths and snuggle up inside it's creaminess.

In Victorian times the splendour of the arum lily was well recognised, and in the Victorian era code of flowers it was given the meaning 'magnificent beauty'. At the turn of the century a bouquet of expensive arums was the ultimate indulgence bestowed only by serious admirers. Oh for such poetic compliments in today's 'courtship rituals' !!

Arum Lillies have long been a favourite of mine, and as such I believe they are well deserving of a place in my 'Old fashioned flower of the season' catalogue. I remember as a child, my mother grew then around the base of the water tank at the hold homestead. They were so lush and shiny green all year and so charming with their flowers in the springtime just as we children were 'released' from our cooped up winter indoors come the spring. What a darling way to be greeted when winter was over, by the dear friendly faces of the arum lillies.

Growing Facts: (from Garden Express)

ARUM LILY Family: Araceae
Arum Lilies are simple to grow in any position that enjoys regular water or is naturally damp, even wet. They have thick lush dark green foliage that grows to 70cm high with large metre high pure white flowers and striking yellow spadix. A variation is the striking 'green goddess' with its unusual green and white flowers.

Flowering Season: Spring to early summer.
Plant Size: 1m H x 60cm W
Planting Density: App. 50cm apart.
Multiplication Speed: Rapid. Clumps can reach 1m wide in 3 years.
Preferred Aspect: Sun or Shade. Dappled light best. Damp or well watered area best.
Plant Uses: Use in shady wet areas, pond edges. Great cut flower.
Likes: Wet feet, being left undisturbed.
Dislikes: Hot dry conditions.
Watering - Water once per week during dry periods.
Fertilising - Mix a handful of complete fertiliser through soil when planting. Top dress in spring.
Lifting and storage - No need to lift for at least 3 years. Can be lifted and divided during the winter months and re-planted immediately.
Pests - None.
Tips- Arum lily has evergreen foliage from Autumn till mid summer. A plant for wet or boggy areas, in garden beds or around ponds as long as these are isolated and not near waterways or other damp areas where it may spread.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quote of the month - September 2011

This month I find I am hungry for inspiration where ever I can get it. I have been watching all my favourite beautiful, uplifting movies and reading my inspiring books, not to mention spending time with all my wonderfully visionary girlfriends !! So I decided to share a little selection of inspirational quotes accompanied by some darling artworks from my vintage collection of little golden books....may the words and pictures lift you to to a higher place of goodness, generosity, kindness, peace and love today !!

"To live a creative life we must first loose our fear of being wrong"

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, in order to have the life that is waiting for us."

"Make a life, not a living."

"Our environment should provide us with visible signs of tenderness."

"Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts."
Charles Dickens

"Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great."
Mark Twain

“Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.”
Henri Nouwen

"Do we simply disregard the broken people of this world as if they are not deserving of love? Do we keep looking for Mr or Mrs Right, Mr or Mrs Perfect and disregard anyone who doesnt match up to that 'ideal'? I think true love is when one realistically sees anothers 'faults' - and we all have them - and decides to love anyway."

"You know when someone loves you because they make you feel special"
Sandra George

"It's the ability to change that turns frogs into princes."

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams."
  Ashley Smith


“You don't think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.”  
Henri Nouwen
"Spring is all about renewal."

"With men, dont be swayed by 'cute'. Cute only lasts so long. Dont look at the bankbook, or the title. Look at the heart, look at the soul."
Michelle Obama

“We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.”  
Henri Nouwen

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spring Racing Fashion Inspiration

Well, spring racing season is nearly upon us in Australia, and although I dont really get into the horse racing, I do love the fashions so I thought I would post a few swanky dresses that might provide inspiration to those of you who are considering attending a few race meets this year.....may you be inspired by all this gorgeousness !!!

(Most of these dresses are ones I have either seen on ebay, etsy, modcloth or shabby apple websites)
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