Friday, November 6, 2015

warm days

There is so much goodness to be found in my garden this time of year, the warm days of our mottled Spring/Summer have truly settled in and my garden is overflowing with fragrant blossoms and delicious fresh produce....

Onions..... This week has seen me pulling up onions, sweet white onions, hundreds of them! I'm drying them out, hoping that once dry they'll store for (at least) 3 months in my pantry - by then it will be time to plant, and enjoy, my next years crop....
I'm excited to have finally planted just the right amount of onions in my garden this year - just enough to have my family and I eating them fresh from the ground months before our 'final' harvest and just enough (I hope) to have us eating them, dried, for months to come.

Tomatoes.... I can never plant enough tomatoes!!! Can you??

This year, so far, I have 24 tomato plants growing - all at different stages and many different varieties. For my bigger, taller growing varieties I'm having a go at 'stringing' and so far it's working a real treat!

Have you ever tried 'stringing' before? Here's the video I watched to learn how....

Cucumbers.... I love fresh cucumber, sliced thick and smeared with Danish feta, especially on a hot Summer day... This year I'm growing my vines overhead (instead of overflowing onto the ground), as a way of providing shade in Summer to a bed that will be filled with delicate leafy greens.

How do you like to grow your vines?
Bread.... It's something that I seem to be writing about in every post lately! I truly have fallen in love with the Sourdough baking process and was so excited last week when my Farmer baked a loaf for me in my absence.

It was perfect, this guy of mine is a natural!
Having been baking Sourdough EVERYDAY, for about 5 weeks now, I'm itching to start trying something new and when I saw this post by the gorgeous Glenda I knew that 'Sourdough Baguettes' were the next thing that I MUST try!!!!!

Crochet.... It's something that I love to do everyday too. It winds me down and lifts my mood after what can sometimes be a 'crazy' day in the schoolroom with my 3 kids.

Mandala's are my latest favourite thing to create and this sweet one has been made as a special gift for a dear friend. The pattern was from this issue of Mollie Makes Magazine - so simple and so pretty and so much fun to make. 
Mandala to gift a friend - pattern from Mollie Makes magazine #54.... ♥
Happy Friday Friends!

Jodie xxx

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

pre-loved chairs

I'm not an overly wealthy person and must admit, most of my home has been furnished with 2nd hand and preloved furniture over the years... In the beginning it was pure necessity as I purchased furniture from op-shops and clearing sales to fill my home as my budget couldn't afford new shiny pieces... But now, some 16 years down the tract (since I left home that is), my needs have changed and my family has grown. I am still a very budget conscious person and my love of recycled tressures has grown more than words could purely explain. I love the eclectic collection of furniture that I am able to give a new lease of life to and the warm home-y feel that it gives my rustic county home.... I am proud to know that most of the pieces in my home had another story to tell before they came to tell a story in mine. I celebrate these stories and share them with family and friends as often as I can.
The latest pieces to bring a new chapter to the story in my home are 5 pre-loved chairs. I was lucky enough to purchase these chairs from a clearing sale for $5 just over 2 weeks ago - yes that's right, $5 for the lot!!! 2 older style high-chairs and 3 turned timber stools.
Each chair has been tested by each of my little people...
But, it's my littlest person of all who has claimed this vintage high-chair, and it fits him just right - don't you think?
Now, onto the bread - it truly is a wonderful thing, is it not?

My love of its delicious, chewy, home baked, goodness has grown even stronger this past 5 weeks as I dive deeper and deeper into the world of Sourdough Baking.

Thanks to a cast iron pot, a super hot over, and a thriving starter I am producing artisan bread    E V E R Y D A Y!
And everyday it's new and different and exciting....
But the most exciting thing of all is the crumb - it's airy and chewy and tangy and simply delicious.
A 'crumb' shot of todays Sourdough.... #sourdoughbread #cantstopbaking
So, are you buying pre-loved furniture out of necessity for your family or you do it for the passion?

Or, have you started a Sourdough journey, like me? For so many years I was too scared to start and then one day (5 weeks ago to be exact) I simply dove in, gave it all I had, and haven't looked back!!!

Happy Tuesday Friends...... xxx

Thursday, October 22, 2015


It feels so great to be back in the 'blogging world' again and all of your gorgeous comments on my last post really concreted that for me, thank you!
Since I last posted life has been slow, steady, and simple for us here on the farm - as it always is...
Spring is in full swing and I love that we are picking wild flowers from our paddocks EVERYDAY... These paper daisies are my all-time favourite and always remind me of my gorgeous friend Suzy's birthday.
We were lucky enough to squeeze a trip down south to Melbourne, to visit dear friends, last weekend. The long car trip saw me knitting on a sweet little project for my kids, tube socks. These were such a great knit and I love that they fit my littlest guy just right, even though they were meant to be for my littlest girl. I used Jane Richmond's fantastic 'Tube Sock' pattern, 2.75mm circular needles, and malabrigo sock yarn - not the best yarn for socks as it wears fairly quickly but gorgeous all the same...
This past 4 weeks has seen me dive into the art of Sourdough Bread Making. After growing my starter, Stan, for 10 days back on the 20th of September, I haven't looked back, I'm baking Sourdough bread EVERYDAY and loving that with every loaf I am learning something new. I'm definitely no expert and have a lot to learn and a long journey ahead of me but, at the moment, it's exciting and invigorating and so VERY rewarding....
For instance, this mini loaf sat on the top shelf of my fridge 'proving' for 2 days because I simply 'forgot' about baking it - 2 days is WAY TOO LONG - normally (or so I've read anyway). And when I did finally bake it - for 15mins longer than I should have,
it still turned out incredibly delicious!!! I love that I am yet to have a flop with Sourdough baking regardless of the mistakes that I make. Although the process of making this type of bread is much longer than with the dried yeast that I used to use I must admit, it is so much more satisfying and EVERYBODY loves it, even the kids... It's chewy and crunchy and earthy and DELICIOUS!
This time of year brings with it a 'glut' of fresh produce, something that I truly love, and this week I'm picking more fresh radish then my family can eat so I'm trying something new and exciting and preserving them - pickled radishes, who would have thought!
They're crispy and crunchy and spicy and sweet and tangy and salty and simply delicious - all at once!!!
And to make them, I simply sliced my freshly picked(pulled) radishes and popped them in a sterilised jar with a few cloves of garlic, some peppercorns, a teaspoon of salt, and some chopped parsley. I then boiled 1 cup of white vinegar with 3/4 cups of white sugar, poured it over the top of my radishes, screwed on the lid and left it to cool.
The next day for lunch, I cracked the jar and spooned some onto my salad - they are AMAZING!!!! My new favourite summer pickle, hands down....
My lettuce is currently in the category of 'out-of-control'. I have about 100 plants at the moment and we are loving eating this delicious leafy green EVERYDAY, but... I'm wondering, 'what else can I possibly make with it' - any suggestions?
In another garden bed, not too far away, I'm eagerly watching as our pumpkins are finally getting some legs. These pumpkins are very special as they are seeds from a dear friends delicious harvest from last year.
And, after many weeks of watching we finally have zucchini, lots of zucchini in fact, and before we know it there's sure to be a glut of these also. Zucchini relish is a favourite in my home and I'm really looking forward to filling up our stores for another year, very soon... 
After the flowers, knitting, bread baking, pickles, and vegetable growing there's always a little time for kittens, right? We have the cutest new additions this Spring, 'little-one'
and 'sooty'.....
Are you knitting, baking, preserving, gardening, or simply enjoying the company of new little additions this week where you are?

Jodie xoxo

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Almost 2 Years.....

When I look at the date of my last post I almost can't believe that it's been over 18months since I was in this 'space'. An accumulation of things stopped me blogging back then, but mostly a follower who continually knocked me down with private messages full of detrimental content. As much as I tried ignoring and deleting the messages it still hurt, a lot! I had other things going on in my life at the time and after 6 months of being 'knocked down' I lost sight of what was important to me and why I actually 'blogged'. There are so many amazingly inspiring and supportive bloggers out there and I loved being part of this community. That is why after almost 2 years, I'm putting it aside and starting fresh. I'm excited and nervous and overwhelmed all at once. After such a long absence from blogging it's harder to put the words to the pictures like I did before so today I'm keeping it simple and sharing what I'm doing now, right now..... 
So.......Right now.......
I'm loving the parsley as it overflows from garden beds around my yard...
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I'm searching for passionfruit flowers, and finding them, dreaming of vine ripened deliciously sweet fruit come Xmas to top a Pavlova....
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I'm feeding my lettuce - they are EVERYWHERE!!! I'm growing more lettuce than I ever have before! - my young family is slowly growing {up}, enjoying this leafy green as much as I do. (Companion planting radish and onion with my greens this year has kept all bugs and pests at bay, so far...)
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I'm potting silvery gems as my love of succulents grows stronger and stronger... These hardy plants have been my companions through horribly dry and hot Summers when NOTHING else would grow and for that I am extremely grateful.
And amongst all of the gardening
I'm simply enjoying how beautiful Spring really is, with lots of barefooted bike riding, and running through sprinklers, and late afternoon card games on the front veranda - enjoying the warmth and stillness that October always brings...
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I'm driving not too far down the road, to a clearing sale and I'm kicking myself that I never 'put my hand up' and purchased this rustic industrial sewing machine...
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I'm loving that although there are flies and hot sun and way too many scatter-burs about my kids are having fun (with their friends) and simply being kids. 
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I'm watching the end of a day surrounded by rusty treasures as people proudly load their newly acquired possessions a top of trailers... I was lucky to buy some old timber chairs, a cupboard, a pile of glass louvers for our cottage, a new garden trailer, and a vintage 'homemade' cot...  
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And lastly....
I'm finishing a blanket, a special blanket, that deserves its own {detailed} post!!!
I did it!!!! My #rainbowCAL is complete..... {and I'm already dreaming about what I'll make next}
Bye.... For now, friends.... xxx

Saturday, March 1, 2014


There has been a 'stickiness' in the air this past week, teasing us really...... We so desperately need rain and on Thursday afternoon as we sat on the front porch, under a grey cloud, I couldn't help but prey for just a little rain.... My smallest girl stitched.....

Working on some 'hand crafts' with my Millie this eerie Thursday afternoon.... 
And while she did, I rolled lace, hand dyed lace, onto little pegs to place on a little shelf that my biggest girl Connie made me....
Playing around with dye and lace this morning - so much FUN!!!!!!
50 metres of white lace is now a gorgeous violet colour - what will I dye next?
 My biggest girl who is 7 is obsessed with all things timber at the moment and had been sawing and hammering and making me all kinds of things but my most favourite by far would be 2 little shelves (like the ones pictured below) - I can't wait to see what she makes next!
My biggest girl Connie(7) has been playing with wood and making me things! ~ this is shelf #2, isn't it just perfect?
And then just like that, last night, it finally rained for us here on 'Darling Downs'.... And now for a couple of months, at least, we will no longer have to cart water to wash our clothes or clean our family and our pastures just might start to turn the slightest shade of green after God only knows how long of being a deep shade of red....

 So, this morning when I woke to puddles in the paddocks I sat, for a very long while, with my little-ones by my side and I hooked and it felt sooooo good!
Crochet, oh how I love you on cold and wet days!! #crochet
And then I unpacked a huge box of 'happy-mail' that was delivered to the farm yesterday afternoon and updated my Website because after a very long wait it is finally back on-line!!!!! YAY!!!!
I so love me some 'happy mail' - don't you!?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Slowing Down....

As the pace of 'life' round my home starts to slow in the lead up to Autumn I'm glad to be finding little snippets of time in my day for blogging again...
This week in the home schoolroom we have been embracing the joy that Autumn brings to our family - a crispness in the air that lightens our daily load and entices us to dig the earth again in preparation for our cool season vegetable growing. 
Can you believe it's only 4 days til Autumn? - this week in our  homeschooling we're focusing on the shift in Seasons and it's really nice. Autumn truly is my favorite Season of the year, how about you?
Autumn would have to be my most favourite Season of all!! I have trees that surround my farm house and come the end of March (start of April) their leaves turn a heavenly shade of gold that over the weeks progresses through the shades of reds and purples, til finally turning brown, symbolising the start of Spring - I love this process and long for it to begin as soon as the days become that little bit shorter, towards the end of February, a true sign of the changing of the Season!
I'm working on something super secret for my Autumn Yarn Club this arvo - how about you?
above : : some secret Autumn 'leaf-y' knitting 
The start of something Autumn-y.....
above : : collection of Autumn-y shades
And although it's still WAY too hot to be wearing layers of hand-knits, just yet, I'm finding that I'm still able to sneak little snippets of hand-knitted goodness into my everyday!!! 
Loving this little mini leaf 'cuff' too!! #knitting
With the slight change in weather the hours we are able to spend in the morning light, busying about our daily chores, is slowly extending and the littlest members of our family couldn't be happier - Summer, you have been hot and dry and cruel this year and we are well and truly ready to embrace Autumn!!!  
My littlest guys favorite part of the morning - feeding his girls!
And what better way to celebrate than with an evening revisiting a favourite book (Amanda Soule you are a constant inspiration to me as a mother - thank you!), sipping sweet tea and planning some new Autumn/Easter outfits for a freshly washed and very well loved dolly, right?!
Tonight I'm revisiting a favourite book, sipping sweet tea and planning a new outfit for a freshly washed dolly..... How about you?
And tonight I'm doing some essential March garden-bed planning and seed ordering! - I'm thinking out side the square this year and am planting a few varieties of vegetables that would normally be grown in other Seasons (I'm such a rebel)!
Tonight I'm planning my Autumn 'patch' - trying a few things outside my normal growing season for a change, wish me luck!
And lastly - I couldn't help but share a picture of this super sweet little Valentine of mine...
A sweet little necklace from the man that I love - Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!!!!!
Isn't it just the most perfect little necklace, ever?!