22 March 2016

In the Studio with Brenda Gael Smith

Ooh! Have you seen the current issue of Quilters Companion magazine? No? Well if you want to read my latest article (and other great quilty articles), you should get one - pronto!

What a beautiful design on the cover - it's Garden Friends, a bed runner by Marg Low.

If you turn to page 18, you'll be able to read my article about Brenda Gael Smith's fabulous studio - the one with the most stunning view over Copacabana beach. Envious much?

I love hearing about how quilters set up their sewing spaces. So many different places and so many ways! We can all pick up a tip or two for our own spaces; or we can simply dream of how our ideal studios might look one day.  

21 March 2016


This beautiful flowering orchid came to live at my home when a friend moved to Perth. She generously gave me the pick of her potted plants, since she couldn't take them to the other side of the country when her family moved.

I chose this oncidium orchid on her advice. It wasn't flowering when I took it home so I had no idea what a treat it would be in bloom. Isn't it stunning? I have since divided it into several plants and they are all flowering at present, lighting up my autumn garden. 

They are such easy care - I must look out for other ones! Read how to care for oncidiums.

15 March 2016

My book of the month: March

Grand Slam is the third in Kathryn Ledson's Erica Jewell series. You can read it as a stand-alone story but I recommend you start with the first book, Rough Diamond, so that you can understand the context of some events.

Erica Jewell is a great character. She has a full-time job in PR and, in this story, manages Dega Oil's sponsorship of the Australian Open tennis tournament. As events unfold, she also finds herself 'managing' star tennis player Emilio Méndez, the Open's biggest drawcard and quite a challenge. Oh, and did I mention she is trying to find out who is attempting to kill them both?

This story is a great romp through Melbourne and the erratic life of Erica. It's funny and fast-paced; there's adventure and romance. A great read.

Visit Goodreads to find out more about this book.

07 March 2016

Saving seeds

As much as I love gardening, I confess I often have failures. Plants that don't thrive, leaves that are distorted, or infestations of pests (and yes, I include possums in that category!). It's the small successes, though, that keep me pottering in my garden.

These are the flowers of garlic chives. I don't always eat all the garlic chives I grow because I love to see the flower heads develop. Gorgeous clusters of petals attract the bees, and that's to be encouraged in any garden.

Once the flowers are fully open and starting to show seeds, I cut them off and let them dry in a brown paper bag. Now is the time for me to do that in my garden. As the juices disappear, the petals become husks and pop open to reveal their treasure - seeds.

I shake the black seeds free of their cases and store them in paper. Next spring, I will sow the seeds in the earth and start the cycle of life again. Immensely satisfying.