A Rainy Day, Some White Paint And A Jute Garland.

Greetings all :)
 It's been a rainy few days in this neck of the woods, muddy shoes, stir crazy picket fence children and never ending piles of wet washing have nearly done my head in, but, I did achieve some much needed jobs around the house, reshuffled some paperwork and caught up on some day-time television.....fun times ;)

On the upside, I finally painted an Edwardian dresser in my bedroom. It's had flaking varnish for what seems like forever and deserves to be stripped and oiled...that  WILL happen one day...but for now, I suddenly realised the "I must do that one day" moment, was here.
Here's the rather ugly before picture. See how shabby it looks ! ( I admit ,I may have just lifted the whole darn lot of letters, flyer's, children's artwork and hairbrushes sitting on top and shoved into one of the little cupboards below.... hey presto ; it's still shabby but at least it's tidy ;) well kind of , anyway ... )
 I started with the paint, again Dulux Antique White USA.... I'm a big believer in painting insitu.... Mr Picket Fence is so used to this he didn't even notice the work in progress !
 Let me digress :) See these little sweeties.....aren't they lovely? Crocheted out of jute, a garland of twine they are just my kind of thing and part of the reason why I painted the dresser white....sigh...
 More string porn ;) forgive me.
 And here is the finished product :) So much nicer than flaky old varnish , and not a bad effort for a rainy day on the South Coast.
 Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you drop me a line as I love your comments ....let me know what you think, and....welcome to my new followers :) My followers really are the nicest bunch of people in blog land, of that I'm sure. Catch up with you soon, ( hopefully in sunshine!)

Linking up with Sarah's Good-Life-Wednesday

Getting Our Green On !

 Being part of a family of 6  is a number of things.  It is special, it is great fun and full of love , it can be chaotic, it can be loud, it can messy and it can also be expensive. And if one is honest ...one must consider the effect a family of 6 have on the environment as compared to a family of say 3. It's a sobering thought . Mr Picket Fence and I have been talking to the Picket Fence kids about our beautiful world and about lessening our environmental footprint or more exactly ..our 6 sets of footprints. Lots of ideas have been tossed about. This week we've made some serious progress.
This truck brought 12 cubic metres of soil destined for our newly built vegetable patch.

 See the driver smiling...maybe that's because he knew we had to move all that soil about 50 metres down to the backyard. The lane-way entrance was not truck friendly and the garden awkward for a bobcat. So it all had to be moved by wheelbarrow.
 Mr Picket Fence by the end of the day was calling me his "wife-cat"
 Back and forth we went...
 Baby Picket Fence helped with the final barrows.
 And, eventually, we got there.
 See the above accidental drain at the bottom left hand corner of the photo.....that's us,breaking pipes and  keeping the local plumbers in a job ;)
 Above is our strawberry bath. We planted forty strawberry plants in the soil and I'll be planting mint under its sides
Everybody helped.
 Miss Picket Fence refining her watering skills :)
 The other "bigger than big" thing that happened was the installation of our solar panels. This was something we have talked for years about doing, we had secured a very favourable deal on same and after 12 months of delays, today they landed on our roof :)

 All good things come to those who wait.
Speaking of waiting, the vege patch and solar panels had put the chook house caravan on the back burner.. BUT today the posts went in for the hens on holiday awning ( that's the posts in the picture , prior to being straightened  and cemented ) Next the fence , some more decorating ( which I will reveal quite soon I promise) and in less than 4 weeks we will welcome 6 chooks into the Picket Fence family.
 So there you have it ! This is our beginning very humble attempt at greening up our lifestyle...I'm proud .  I have water tanks etc planned , but again these will happen when the budget see's fit. In the mean time we are going to enjoy our lovely new garden and chook pen building ...Please comment away , I'd value your input Was it worth our while ?  More updates to come shortly  :) I promise !

Linking up with Sarah's Good-Life-Wednesday
                                      Five minutes just for me !                                                    

How To Make Enough Cinnamon Rolls To Bribe Your Entire Neighbourhood :)

 Greetings all :)
  I hope you've had a fabulous week?  Here, the weather's been brilliant, life's been kind, and all's well around here, in a Picket Fence kind of way ;)
I Thought I'd share my latest kitchen adventure, Cinnamon Rolls. I used Ree's Recipe from   A Pioneer Woman Cooks Be warned ; this is divine, more-ish , and sinfully fattening. I'm not even going to pretend it's good for you, I am though admitting it supplies a mega quantity... plenty enough to supply ( bribe) every neighbour you may need to soften up because of your say ? barking dog, noisy children, ahem, spotty caravan soon to be chook house. It is also fairly idiot proof. I can do it. Enough said ;)

So here's what you'll need if you want to give it a go .
Around a litre of milk (a quart if you're in the US)
1 cup of oil
1 cup of sugar
2 packets of active dry yeast ( 7g packets)
8 cups + 1 cup separated plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of bi carb soda
1 tablespoon of salt
plenty of melted butter ( around 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups sugar
A generous amount of powdered cinnamon
8 disposable foil pie dishes

For the Maple Frosting
1 bag of Icing sugar
2 teaspoons of Maple Flavouring
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of melted butter
1/4 cup of brewed coffee
a dash of salt

See my not so sparkling copper scan-pan (hygienic but not so gorgeous anymore... I don't want to know you if your copper pans are still gleaming, you clearly haven't lived hard and fast)) Well the said saucepan contains the milk, oil and sugar which I've stirred and heated to that point just before boiling ( scalded ) Check out the steam... I can't tell you how many photo's I took to capture that steam . Am I proud ? Well Yes Indeed I am :) I digress.
 Feeling like a domestic Goddess, this is the first time I've used yeast ( always been a pre mixed dough kind of girl )

Let this saucepan mixture cool for around an hour ( you're aiming for luke-warm) and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit there all lovely for around a minute and then add  it to 8 cups of plain flour in a huge bowl , stir this, it will look kind of like the above.

Cover it up and plonk it somewhere warm to rise for at least an hour. Now is a good time to grease your pie dishes. I poured a tablespoon of melted butter in each and swished it around. I'm only using half the mix today  and so greased 4 pie dishes.
Check it out ! I used yeast ;) This is what ours looked like after an hour.
Now mix in the remaining, flour, the baking powder, bicarb and salt. Stirred together. It will look like this. At this point I halved my mixture, Ree says it will keep covered  in the fridge for a couple of days.  I think I will make some cheese and bacon rolls for the girls lunch boxes, this dough will do nicely for same,
OK , now for some mess.... flour your surface with gusto :) Spoon out your mixture onto the flour and shape out your mixture into a rectangle ( remember I only used half my mixture, If you are using all of yours then do this in two batches )
Roll it out thin, keeping that rectangle thing happening.
Run a hot bath for your enthusiastic assistant xx Drizzle about a cup of melted butter over the dough, sprinkle with sugar and then the cinnamon.
Roll the mixture towards you ,trying to keep things tight....tricky ;)
Then slice your roll into pieces around 3/4 inch wide and place them into your pie dishes. Let them rise for another 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to around 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit) Stand there and think about how clever you are :)
Bake for around 15 to 18 minutes until light golden brown. Inhale that bakery smell, and again set aside a few more minutes to continue thinking about your brilliance, tell who ever will listen... even if it's only that two year old in the hot bath ;)
See :) You are clever !
Mix together all of your frosting ingredients and ladle it over your work.... don't skimp here... more is more !
Serve some to your family and run around to your neighbours with the warm fragrant rolls and they will surely forgive all your sins on the first mouthful ! Shocking mother but Oh can she bake !!! Clever huh ;)
 OK Picket Fence Followers ... Go forth and Bake ! Catch you soon, and let me know if you have a go at this, I'd love to hear how you went.

Linking up with Sarah's Good-Life-Wednesday

Holiday Haul Picket Fence Style

 Hello there Picket Fence Followers :) After a topsy turvy week blog wise, ( it looked rubbish for 48 hrs ) I'm back with my polka dots on and a fresh post to show you my treasure. For those of you who missed my last post, the Picket Fence Family took some time out, we went on a road trip to Dubbo.It was mainly a trip to catch up with family but of course the lure of those country second hand shops proved too much and I managed to squeeze in some bounty for the Picket Fence home. Remembering that I love a little rust, a little clutter , join me as I confess ;)
The big brown mirrored cupboard door brought eyebrows from Mr Picket Fence. This was our first stop and I think he wished we'd hired a truck :) I made it fit in the car xx
 The sign although not vintage screamed at me from a shop window in Canowindra. Pretty much sums up the Picket Fence ethos and it looks mighty fine here , don't you think ?
Another clock, Click here to understand this must have. I love clocks xx
The Kingswood hardware, I found in a shed full of vintage bits and bots in Molong I thought this might look nice on a piece of furniture, and it reminds me of my Dad.
Mr Picket Fence bought the spinning top.
And I bought the tins. I've been after the clematis tin for ages now, a girl can never have enough tins !
I bought these from an antique shop in Cowra. The larger book is for baby Picket Fence, the smaller books to add to my collection.  
O.K , two shots of the mirror, because I'm hopeless at photographing mirrors :) We bought this in Boorowa, from a shop based in the old town theatre, a lofty elegant old building, faded and grand ,typical of old country towns . I love mirrors, they almost act like a window in an older darker house. This was a win win ( Thank you Mr Picket Fence for seeing the logic xx)

Bath feet.... I am so excited about these, I'm unsure as to how I will use them, but to get a full set is a happy win.
A Fowlers Vacola sterilising unit.... I am going to use this as a planter... needs a delicate flowered plant to highlight the industrial green... Watch this space ;)
O.K now,  I'm acutely aware that some viewers will not "get" my fascination with this old camp stove.... but ....sigh ....that blue...and sigh .... the Bake Queen script. I will use this beauty somewhere.
Oh I love hollow bodied cutlery xx
For the boy.
These kitschy enamel trays are perfect to brighten up a meal. I grab them when ever I find them.
So. There you have it, I've got plenty to play with this week. The Picket Fence children also did quite well. New clothes and toys were bought as we don't often get to see the variety of shops they have in Dubbo. Shopper satisfaction at an all time high we're looking forward to a bright sunny week. Although it's the last month of winter, the weather has been kind. Hoping you're week is wonderful also.  Thanks for reading , I'd love your feedback and as always welcome new followers , so don't be shy, join in :)
 See you soon !

Linking up with Sarah's Good-Life-Wednesday