Friday, 28 September 2012

Retro Goodness

Oh my!

I think I may have squealed when I saw these beauties.

I had to have them.  I knew they would look great in our garden.  I can imagine lots of long lazy afternoon teas sitting on these lovelies all nestled under a shady tree. Warm summer evenings, drinking a glass of wine or two while we watch the children play.

I have a feeling however that Mr H is not going to like them.  I think he quietly tolerates my "grandma" finds.

Anyway................I've bought them and will be bringing them home this weekend.

Just love them. So Retro!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Orla Kiely

I am a huge fan of Orla Kiely.

You may recognise her popular pear and stem designs.

The Irish born but London based designer received a Master's degree from the Royal College of Art where Harrods purchased her exit collection. She worked with a variety of companies before setting up her own business.

Orla Kiely's collection of bags, homewares, clothing and accessories all sport her distinctive Retro prints.

I have been wanting a large tote with the Multi Stem print for years!  It's one of her earlier prints and is quite hard to come by as there are alot of variations on the Stem print now.

You can find them online on Ebay and Trademe if you are lucky. 

And I got lucky!!!

Love the lining!

It's already had a few outings and is the perfect size for me. There is a load of room inside. Along with the usual items it holds nappies, wipes, bottles, snacks and the always needed change of clothes for George. I love it!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

To chicken or Not to chicken

This is the VERY over grown chicken coop.

It needs alot of clearing and beautifying!

Yes really this was once (we hear) a chicken coop.

It is huge and has two lovely fruit trees to provide shade.  We have started clearing it.  But for what I am not too sure.

I love the idea of going out in the morning  and collecting fresh eggs for breakfast.  It is an idea that I am sure alot of people dream about.

BUT!  And it's a big one there is a reality about keeping chickens that I am not too sure about.

I'm a wee bit scared of them, the flapping wings, the sharp claws.  Nightmare stories of "egg bound" chickens.  Plus we have a Jack Russell that we would need to keep away.  And the big one for me is they attract rats which I am terrified of.  Living in the country, by a creek and vineyard we have already had our fair share of  vermin visitors.

I'm going to do my research but would love to hear from those of you who already keep chickens.

So - who out there keeps chickens?  How many do you have? Which breed is best?  Pros vs Cons?

I would love to hear your thoughts as at the moment I am still firmly on the (chicken) fence about them.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Treasure hunting

My wee Tom is now a keen op-shopper.  We call it treasure hunting.

Yesterday we spent the morning in town.  Breakfast, a birthday present to buy and library books to return and of course treasure hunting.

I was really excited to find The Folk of the Faraway Tree.  I love this book and the illustrations are just beautiful.  I'm always on the look out for Enid Blyton books especially anything to do with the Magic Faraway Tree.

Other finds were more childrens books including my favourite Little Golden Books and a Beatrix Potter book.

Some mint condition yummy brown tupperware, an old milk bottle and 4 Agee glass jars!

Have you been treasure hunting this week?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Our Garden

The weather over the weekend was beautiful.  We spent alot of time outside pottering.

We still have alot to do in the garden.  When we moved in it was so overgrown. We moved here in March - and so did the rain!  Mr H was in the middle of Vintage (wine industry busy season) so we were'nt going to see much of him till May - then we had an overseas holiday and a road trip and then Winter was well underway.  So we have really only started sorting out the garden over the last few weeks.

Our fence line borders the vineyard - I would like to plant lemon and lime trees along the vineyard fence.

Beautiful day!  The vines are just starting to bud.

Over the past few weekends we have been doing alot of weeding.

Mr H has cleared one half of our soon to be vege patch.  Weedmat and riverstones have been put  down.  We will use this half for a table and chairs or a possible playhouse that we are looking at getting for the boys.

Even just having half of the old vege patch still makes for a huge space to fill.  The weeds here were about 6 foot high when we moved in!  I can't wait to get the soil turned over and to start planting.

Along the back of the house is a long line of Rosemary.  I have been using alot of this recently when cooking lamb and adding it in with the roast potatoes.

Wine barrels for herbs - already and waiting to be filled and planted.

The large green raised boxes will be for Tom's strawberry plants - this kid lovesssss strawberries. 

There is still a huge chicken coop to clear and planting along the front of the house.  Lots to do!

This lovely big tree is at the front of our property.  I can't wait till it is green and leafy again.  It will provide some much needed shade over the hot summer months.

What's happening in your backyard at the moment?

Friday, 21 September 2012

Crown Lynn Lovelies

I love Crown Lynn.

Described as classic kiwiana, Crown Lynn pottery was a popular household feature in the 1960s. From its 1920s origins as brick and pipe manufacturers, the company expanded into the domestic market.

By 1960 it reached its peak production of about 10 million pieces, becoming the largest pottery company in the Southern Hemisphere at that time.

Although the company folded in the 1980's Crown Lynn is now more popular than ever.

It has always been around me in some shape or form.  My nana and my mum had Crown Lynn dinner sets.  I think every New Zealand household did.

My wee obsession started at my favourite Retro store in town when I came across a full 6 piece table setting in the Topaz pattern.  It had never been used - an unwanted wedding gift in the 1960's put away in a cupboard and forgotten about.

I've since added oval platters, gravy boat, milk pourer and sugar pot to go with the cup and saucers and a large jug.


Topaz jug

After spotting the Crown Lynn Nova pattern in a local op shop I have started adding this to my collection too.  I love this white and brown daisy design.


Nova saucers with the Tulip cups

I have cups and saucers with the Melody pattern too.  The colours are amazing. 


I've picked up other Crown Lynn bits and pieces at garage sales and fairs (coffee cups and saucers, salt pot), there always seems to be Crown Lynn treasures in some form around.

I am however happy with what I have now - as Mr H pointed out we have about 30 dinner plates!  I'm going to gift some to my sister in law who also shares my obsession.  I also think I could host some sort of tea and cake morning with the amount of cups and saucers I have!  Then theres the teapots but that is a whole other post...............

On my wishlist is a Crown Lynn Swan.  I remember my Aunty had one of these.  From memory she displayed silk flowers in hers.

I'm hoping Santa will bring me one for Christmas - I know for sure I've been good this year!

What do you enjoy collecting?

Joining in here

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Early mornings

Most mornings in our house are early ones.  Are they in yours?

With Bell getting ready for school and two young boys in the house we don't get the luxury of a sleep in!

Mr H often leaves before we rise.  When we do get up it's always curtains pulled back to see what sort of day we have ahead of us.

And as you can see - it's going to be a lovely day.

Pot of tea on and porridge on the stove - looking forward to a lovely day.

No playcentre, swimming or errands for us today - thinking it may be a visiting day.

What sort of day do you have planned?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Our Favourite Beach

Now the warmer weather is approaching I'm really excited about summer!

Below is a photo of our favourite beach, which is a short drive from where we live.

We spend alot of time here in the warmer weather and often pack up a picnic meal or grab fish n chips on the way and have our dinner there in the evenings.

This photo was taken in the morning and there was'nt a soul on the beach.  I love that our beaches are'nt crowded and we can often be the only ones there.

A few months ago we had some photos of the kids taken on "our" beach.  They turned out great as the kids just ran around and played so the shots are really natural.

Here are a few of my favourite pics - photos by Leigh Rutherford from Lovely Snapshot.

Do you have a favourite family spot that you like to go?

Roll on summer!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Natural Cleaning Recipes (Wendyl Nissen - A Home Companion)

These recipes are from Wendyl Nissen's - A Home Companion.

I love this book - Wendyl Nissen a journalist and former Womens Magazine Editor spent a year "living like her Grandmother" - returning to old fashioned ways of living, making her own beauty products, growing her own food and keeping chickens (more on that later!).

It is filled with beauty, household, and food recipes. Health remedies, home and garden hints and so much more.


Natural Antibacterial Spray

1 cup of water
20 drops of sweet orange essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Pour water into a spray bottle.

Blend essential oils in a glass jar.

With an eye-dropper add 8 drops of this base to the spray bottle.

Spray on surface and let set for at least 15 minutes.  No need to rinse

Keep the base oil mix in a dark coloured glass bottle in the cupboard and use to mix up more spray as you need it.

Shower Cleaner

500ml of water
500nl of white vinegar

Mix together in a one litre spray bottle.

Spray on shower doors or anywhere there is soap scum and leave for five minutes.  Then wipe off.

If you have alot of soap scum build up you can use straight vinegar combined with alot of scrubbing with a steel wool pad.


Everday Spray Cleaner

(Almost) 1 litre of water
1 teaspoon of baking soda
A few drops of liquid soap (like Dr Bronner's or Sunlight)
10 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil

Add all of the ingredients to a 1 litre spray bottle and shake - Easy!

If you have wooden benches add about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and shake the bottle everytime you use it.

If flies are a problem use citronella oil which helps deter them!

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