Strawberry picking and a walk in the rainforest

I wish I could say we grew these ourselves but alas no, we picked these at the strawberry farm down the road. The kids had the best fun trying to find the weirdest, freakiest strawberries to pick, and there were plenty.


Next weekend marks the end of the strawberry season were we are, and next friday its strawbfest. Strawbfest is a fundraiser for the local school, which is next to the strawberry farm.

strawberry picking

The farm donates a couple of truckloads of strawberries to the school. Parents and kids all muck in to pack and sell them during strawbfest, which goes on into the evening. How nice is that!

pick your own strawberry bucket

Its funny, but I was here visiting last year when strawbfest was on and I viewed the house that became our new home on that day. I can’t believe it was a year ago. It also means its one year since I finished work in Sydney and started preparing for our tree change. Time flies when you’re having fun!

view kondalilla

On friday Hubby and I had a rare day off and decided to do the Kondalilla Falls walk, as we’d had heaps of rain, we thought the falls would be positively gushing. Sadly part of the track was closed due to fallen rocks so we couldn’t see the falls. We could do part of the walk though, which was wonderful. We walked through the rainforest which was cool and lush and full of bird life.

kondalilla track

Along the way we came across little waterfalls tumbling down the rocks.



The forest was so green and fresh after the rain that had fallen the previous night. We spotted this little wallaby quietly nibbling near the track. Can you see him amongst the bushes?


Afterwards we were famished and headed over to Montville for a pub lunch and a spot of shopping. Unusually just window shopping for me while Hubby went and bought two shirts and a pair of shoes! I made up for it on saturday though and had a fabric splurge. B wanted me to make her a dress, falsely thinking my new found sewing skills displayed in the making of my halterneck top now meant I was some kind of expert. We bought a dress pattern, which on first inspection looked simple.

simplocity sewing pattern

Once I pulled it out of the packet though there was an alarming amount of bits to sew together and lots of curves. Also an alarming amount of fabric required too. Something to do with the flared skirt apparently. We ended up spending 70 bucks on fabric!!! I wouldn’t buy a dress for that much! The fabric is gorgeous, but I did start panicking a bit.

chevron pink fabric

After sleeping on it I decided to make a much easier dress for B, an adaptation of a simple pillowcase dress with a waistband to give it some shape. Luckily she approves of this idea, which means there will be enough material left for a dress for me too! I can justify the splurge if I can get two garments out of it. Phew!

I hope your weekend was a good one 🙂


A handmade halterneck top

I decided on the spur of the moment to make a dress! Then I thought it might be a little ambitious for me, as I am not a sewer and barely know how to work a sewing machine. It could also be disastrous if I bought material for said dress and then stuffed it up, so thought a top would be a safer and cheaper option. I ventured off to the local fabric shop and found this cute cotton print.

cotton fabric tiny red print

Cotton is great for this climate and I loved the tiny print. The ladies in the shop were really helpful as I had no idea how much fabric to buy (note to self, measure oneself first before going shopping). They did a quick measure, and suggested 70cm would be plenty for me as the width was ample to work with. It cost me 16 dollars and I was a happy bunny.

baking paper pattern

I got home and had to make a pattern for a halterneck top with a simple drawstring tie fastening. I used the basic principles found here on bored and crafty, showing how to make a halterneck dress. I would just make the top half. I measured myself and traced out a pattern onto baking paper then stuck it onto my fabric with sticky tape ready to cut. I found this way easier than pinning.

cut out halter neck top pattern

I cut, pinned and sewed, really just making it up as I went along. I even sewed darts for the boob allowance! I don’t think I got them in the right place in the end but the finished top fits me nicely.

drawstring halterneck top

Photos taken by my littlest one who had to stand on a chair to get the tie fastening on my shoulder in shot.

cotton drawstring halterneck top

Now, I have a question for you sewers out there. How do you deal with darts when you have to sew the front darted piece onto the back piece? I cut both front and back fabric pieces symmetrically so they were the same size and shape but when I came to sew them together the back was longer than the front and the shapes wouldn’t match up. I had to add darts to the back peice too so it would fit. Any explanations very welcome for future projects 🙂

I am very happy with my top. It only took me half a day to make from start to finish! I might just make another trip to the fabric shop. Hubby is away again next week so while the cat’s away…

knitting, baking and cultivating

Strictly speaking this post should be titled crochet, baking and cultivating, but it just didn’t sound right. We had a lovely weekend pottering about in the garden and the kitchen. Its amazing what you can get done once the soccer season is finished! Here’s a quick round up.

crochet hearts and frilly bunting

I made this sweet crochet heart bunting using my three favourite colours that work so well together. I love this light turquoise cotton yarn. Once finished, I put my feet up on the deck with a cuppa, feeling quite pleased with myself.

crochet heart bunting

I decided to hang it on the wall in the family room off the kitchen. Hubby just rolled his eyes when he saw it saying ‘oh you put it there did you’.

coloured accessories in lounge room

dusk photo showing view from the kitchen

We spent time outdoors working on the veggie patch and using the compost from the bin. It turned out pretty good, I don’t have a great track record with compost making. Supposedly a simple thing to create, but I usually end up with a stinking slimey mess. This time is was crumbly and rich. We planted cauliflowers, broccoli, snow peas, lettuce, sugar snap peas, zucchini and a giant pumpkin seed, just for fun.

homemade compost

One of the chooks enjoying a peck about in the grass.

free range brown chook

We made lemonade using the last of the citrus.

homemade lemonade

A colourful tray of fresh veggies ready to go in the oven with butterfly lamb for dinner.

fresh roast veggies

I made some vanilla bean ice cream as we had an egg surplus due to hubby being away these past 2 weeks. My son helped make chocolate lava pudding to have with it. Not the prettiest dessert but so yum!

chocolate lava pudding with homemade vanilla bean ice cream
Thats my weekend round up. What did you get up to?
T x

Dishcloth swap package

I am way overdue with this post. Things have been hectic again with birthday parties, a performance night, a school carnival, soccer games, sleepovers and a house full of animals with various ailments. A sick guinea pig in the hallway, a broody hen in the garage (more about her in another post soon), and a boisterous puppy on the veranda. Of course all this happens when Hubby is away for a 2 week work trip to India! Needless to say I haven’t been near the computer for weeks! During my absence from blogging I received a parcel from the lovely Kimberley from Creative Chaos who hosted a dishcloth swap recently.

dishcloth swap package

Excuse the photo quality, it was a gloomy day

I was so excited with my parcel I launched into the contents rather too hastily and forgot to get the camera first! I had to try the lovely New Zealand Breakfast tea (divine) and the yummy chocolate treats, which melted in the letterbox on an unseasonably hot day! Unperturbed by this I munched happily away on the contents regardless! The whittakers chic peanut bar is long gone.

tea towel

Isn’t the tea towel fab! I’m thinking about framing it and putting it on my kitchen wall. The pretty coasters depict native New Zealand birds and flowers. The gorgeous dishcloth is made with the loveliest chunky speckled cotton yarn.

hand knitted dishcloth

Thanks so much to Kimberley for hosting the swap and for the lovely package. I have been spoiled! You can see what I sent Kimberley here. If you haven’t visited kimberley’s blog have a look. She is hosting another swap with a seasons theme, its not too late to join in, entries close August 25 and swaps to be posted by the end of September. Hope you can join in – open worldwide.