New Old Carpet

 To quote Margaret Olley "I've never liked housework. I get by doing little chores when I feel like them in between paintings. Who wants to chase dust all their life? You can spend your whole lifetime cleaning the house. I like watching the patina grow. If the house looks dirty, buy another bunch of flowers is my advice"
 I adore the sentiment.
 However, in real life, I'm not the biggest fan of dust ( Hello asthma) ... so for a few years now, until yesterday, our house was a carpet free zone. I let the patina develop on our floorboards instead.
But then, the house down the road was sold, a beautiful old brick, tile and fibro job with solid hips and dowdy knickers, and of course her new owners set about making her serviceable. 
I knew she had lovely carpet so I asked if they were going to remove it. As luck would have it they were ripping it out and it was heading to the tip (gasp) 
They were kind enough to get their tradesmen to rip it up and roll it up for me. I am so grateful. Isn't she lovely.
Now, I know that some parts of her are worn down and faded, but she whispers secrets of a by-gone era and for me that is precious. 

So now, I have Axminster runners and rugs... I shall vacuum more often (maybe not) but I will know that I am sharing my house with a gorgeous part of the old house down the road ... a little piece of history, nearly lost forever. And, because I think she fits in just fine, I'm off to find another bunch of flowers :) For the memory of Margaret Olley and for a celebration of the parts of her light and shade that I find in myself.
Above is a photograph by Ben Rushton of the celebrated Australian Artist Margaret Olley at her home in Paddington 2010.

Pumpkin Soup and Life's Journey

I grew a pumpkin vine this year....we filled an old bathtub with compost and planted some seeds. I toiled lovingly over the plot for weeks, watching an enormous vine grow and flourish, it twirled and took over a substantial part of the back yard. It was a mighty fine vine which produced....absolutely nothing. Not a single pumpkin. Disgusted I gave up, declaring myself a pumpkin growing failure. Shortly after this a small shoot sprouted in the corner of my vegie patch.... a clump of not completely composted compost produced 2 fine pumpkin vines which produced a ridiculously good crop, multiple pumpkins of two varieties ... I couldn't have failed in a more spectacular fashion.
There's a lesson here.....sometimes we get so focussed on following our journey that we forget that much of our route is pre-ordained. Sure, I spent ages tending a barren vine, but the garden had supplied its own fertile little shoot elsewhere. Even when we are flapping about thinking we are working on the essential details, life is quietly looking after the master plan. Have faith.
Here is my go to Pumpkin Soup recipe for the slow cooker ( Busy girl's best friend) 

Pumpkin peeled and cut into chunks
3 teaspoons of Massel Vegetable Stock Powder ( I choose this brand because it's gluten free)
2 Teaspoons of Curry Powder
1 litre of Hot water
Cream for serving ( Or Philadelphia light cream cheese for a low fat option )
Throw all of the above bar the cream into a slow cooker for 6 hours on low. 
Puree and serve with a dollop of cream and a sprinkle of chives.
Bam. It's that easy and so good. 
Instant domestic goddess points. My children will not eat pumpkin but they love this soup.
(N.B I used two pumpkins. This made enough soup to feed a football team and then some. Reduce the quantity of pumpkin but leave the other ingredients the same and you will get a more controlled result.)
This year, I'll plant another vine... I'm going to tend to it but not stress too much, as ultimately, I know everything will be OK. The gardens got it sorted.

Life Lessons and Pot Holes

The thing about life is that it's like the road trip you've made a hundred times before....there you are, humming along enjoying the ride, chatting away thinking of the next destination, when bam, you hit it, the pot hole.  The pot hole was always going to happen, you didn't expect it, it shook you, maybe it even dampened your drive on.....a little ruffled but more determined to watch out for that kind of road issue are on alert. You decide to stay safe.
It makes sense that when you are taking the journey we call life, that you remember that pot holes happen. No amount of planning or good management will prevent them cropping up and you probably will only avoid maybe 80 % of them. Would this keep you from driving?  Or perhaps you would only drive on the safe 50km an hour peering over the to avoid those bumps. You'd never find new places...or new parts of yourself. 
 My whole adult life I've driven the safe roads ( my parents would probably disagree but this is my perspective, not theirs)'s been lovely....there's been the very odd bump and jolt but in the scheme of things I only hit the edge...I never blew a tyre.

I watch Master Picket Fence play with his cars. He pulls the tyres off and drives on the rims. Over and over again he tries different roads. Bumpity bumpity bumpity bump. He lives life to the fullest, safe in the knowledge that there is a greater plan. His role is to explore. To take new roads. To ride over the pot holes with wonder.
This year,  I've decided to take some dirt roads....big whopping cavernous pot holes every where. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and putting my foot to the floor ( the seat belts keeping me safe are friends and beautiful family) 
Will you join me?...Imagine the places we could go? Just think how much is out there that could add to your world? How much of you is there yet to develop? Lets take the tyres off our rims and move out of our comfort zones. There are amazing roads out there waiting to be discovered. 
Pot holes and all.

I've been away

Oh My Gosh I've missed you.
I've been um....absent, AWOL, missing.....busy AND I'm sorry.
This year , in addition to the kids, work, blogging  and day to day stuff, I started a post graduate diploma. It takes hours of my time. To compound things, to sort my body out and funnily enough indirectly, my soul, I added to the chaos ; I started running. That also chips into my time. I thought I didn't have time to blog until I finished my diploma. I put down my camera and justified it as a non necessity.
The truth is I need it. I need to put stuff out there and I do have time. I miss this.
So I'm back :) And I'm excited to be here. Woo Hoo come say Hello....if you're still out there ?
Yesterday, with two girlfriends , I went North and attended a workshop with Tim Coulson. I realised that despite the fact that I thought I knew what I was doing, I've not been using my dslr very well at all. He showed me in the most clear and simple way how to work some magic. He and his wife Kesh are currently on the top of my wonderful people list.  Tim is holding workshops should contact him.
Oh yeah...and I'm back...are you pleased ??

Instagram March Photo A Day Challenge

So many photo's in this post so I'm skipping the words ! March Photo a day round up.... Picket Fence Style :) 

An Industrial Chalkboard and Some Lists

I am a list person... I write copious lists and cross stuff off. It makes me feel ordered. This week, I'm getting virtual. I'm using my iPhone "calendar" and the "notes" section to try and organise my world. This could eradicate my diary and my notebook.....maybe, if things go well I might even look at getting an iPad (I know , but a girl can dream.... )
I love diaries and notebooks , pieces of paper and journals. I especially love chalkboards. Bare with me... I'm heading somewhere.....
This mirror was an op shop bargain with issues. It was a bit too foxy but it had a lovely oak frame and I  thought I might be able to fix it. I didn't fix it. It hung around looking foxy for quite a while. A long while actually. Just being...well.... foxy.
As I said "issues"
                                In walks the hero "chalkboard paint" I seriously love this stuff
                                            One Coat
                                                    Two Coats
Bam. A lovely industrial style chalkboard for lists, family inspiration and gorgeous giddy scribble. And , just quietly .... I think it looks kind of foxy :)
Are you a list person ? Are you more ordered than me ? What do you use ? Any suggestions ? I'd love to hear xx
Oh BTW .....I got a new second hand lens this week. It's a tilt shift lens and I haves much  to learn. This is Master Picket Fence doing his own version of a tilt shift portrait....yep......we've got it sorted ;)