Sunday, December 4, 2011

Glimpses of my kitchen

The kitchen cabinets are in and the bench-tops are 5 days off. It's getting exciting! I'm moving stuff in!!

The bathroom wall being repointed by Ali. Not finished yet, but the 90 year old back wall of the original house hasn't looked so good in a very long time. It would have been a beautiful lounge room wall (my original want) but what a stunning rustic wall to stare at from the shower.

safety first!

A lovely day with Sophie, Phil, Mos and Grif. Good food, good company, a second ride for the boys on their very own new motor bike and other Flaxley farm fun. xxx

Friday, November 18, 2011

A huge few weeks

Our jarrah timber (not wood) floor takes shape after our back-braking sanding and a totally exhausting weekend. Glad 'Biscuit' dog was so helpful!

This followed our week of painting every night. So glad I like the 'stone' wall colour. One day I will have time to see my friends again!

Mondrian? No Gyprock & Flushing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our August House

Well it has been a long time between blogs but not drinks - one to celebrate every recent milestone - a chimney, a roof, wiring, more plumbing, more walls, more windows, more decisions, more stress, more to confuse Biscuit the dog.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Potato Potato

Potatoes being inspected and weighed in Tasmania, 1912.

Winter is potato time! I have just dug some up and it seems that August is the best time to plant but why not now!

Plant only certified seed potatoes, bred to be disease free.

Spuds grow well near peas, beans, cabbage and sweet corn. SPUDS DON'T GROW WELL NEAR apples, cherries, cucumbers, pumpkin and raspberries, all of which makes them susceptible to Blight. AND KEEP THEM AWAY FROM TOMATOES as exudation from their roots will stop the tomatoes growing well.

Place each piece or whole potato in a 15cm trench with the 'eye' upwards so that new shoots will grow and cover with soil and compost. Alternatively you can just place them at ground level and mound compost over them.

When the plants are about 10cm high you can add more compost and straw then continue to build up around the plants periodically as they grow for a huge crop of tasty, no-dig spuds. (But don't cover all of the foliage.) Material can be held in place with big bottomless pots, chicken wire, old car tyres.

But which spud do I choose?

The who’s who of Australian potatoes:


Creamy fleshed, firm textured and ideal for frying or use in salads. In season all year round and has a long shelf life.
Floury flesh ideal for mashing and bakes well. Very common in our supermarkets.
Waxy flesh that is good for boiling, mashing, salads or roasting, but not frying.
Golden Delight.
A great all-rounder good for mashing, baking or frying.
King Edward.
Good for baking or mashing, but not frying or salads. Another very common variety.
Use this buttery-flavoured variety is ideal for salads, steaming, boiling or roasting, but not frying.
A waxy variety that’s increasingly on the shelves. Good for microwaving or boiling, not for frying.
Pink Eye (also known as Southern Gold).
Waxy, nutty flavoured flesh that’s good for salads, boiling, steaming or baking.
Red Rascal.
Crisp, flavoursome flesh that’s good for boiling, mashing, roasting or frying.
Royal Blue.
Distinctive purple potato with white flesh that’s a great all-rounder.
Another very common variety that’s a real all-rounder.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The art of Matthew Heller

Homage to Music #18, Dream On, 2009. Acrylic on canvas, 48”(H) x 60”(W).

Homage to Music #6, You’re the Inspiration, 2007. Acrylic on canvas, 48”(H) x 80”(W).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Where's Wally

Jemma, Wally, Biscuit and Ashling

Emily, Wally and Eyreland

I am a bit sad but also very pleased - Wally our orphan calf who is just over a month old has rejected my cuddles and warm milk (from a packet) for the real thing! Our beautiful 10 year old cow 'Patch' has taken Wally under her wing (actually under her udder!) and is letting him drink her milk along with her own calf. This is not usual cow-calf practice so we are very pleased that Wally now has a four legged Mum.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our new chimney

Our new chimney and French fire box. A double sided masterpiece. It can be used as a combustion heater or the glass disappears behing the bricks for a double sided open fire. Thanks boys for carrying all 250kgs.

We flew out a French designer/installer from Chiminees Philippe in France for a week to make sure it was perfect.
(no just kidding! I struggled through being fire box project manager/ installer.)

Very happy with the brickwork thanks boys and I found some nice cast iron side air vents in Melbourne (still in Melbourne if anyone wants to pick them up for me).

Heavenly Heat

credit - Fire Cage by Elena Colombo

credit - Chiminees Philippe

credit - Metalfire

credit - Mati Karmin for Marinemine

credit - Eamonn Hughes

Well I may not be having a fireplace built just like any of these, but aren't they great.
Check out the amazing work by
Elena Colombo -


Don't try this at home! Well I won't be anyway! Maybe I am just boring.

Go outside and play!

This is what riding arenas are really built for – drawing!
A 4'x4' sandpit just doesn't cut it. Hey Mr Darcy and friends.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bricks and mortar - April 2011

It has been way too long between blogs - too much else to do! The house is looking very big and solid thanks to Antonio (pictured with Paul the Pirate) and his very talented team of brickies. Biscuit the dog is working hard and very helpful at lunch break! And Wally the new orphan calf is supervising well!

On Monday our French fire box will be bricked in if we can get our heads around the instructions. It should be fabulous as it can be an open fire or glass fronted combustion fire. I towed it home from Mt Barker at about 20kph with complete paranoia!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The heat is on

Decisions decisions! Is this the right choice of freestanding oven? Smeg are a level above a lot without costing the absolute earth. But how good is it when on their website they can't spell 'professional'! They seem to get it right on their other pages!

A gas cooktop and electric oven - beautiful. An oven - wow! I guess I will then have to start baking cakes. Baking is currently a bit hard on the camp stove or bbq on the verandah (not that I have the time).

Thanks for the cake Robyn!! xxxx

I grew up on a farm with an amazing 4 door AGA. I would love an AGA again but I would need to win x lotto and that won't happen as I never buy a ticket!
You could park you bum on the warm plate on a frosty morning. Herbs dried perfectly in the slowest oven (as well as rescued wet baby lambs!).

Some other beautiful ovens/kitchens...