Heritage Scrapbooking

Originally posted on Wattle Lane:

Heritage scrapbooking is a great way to document the journey of our ancestors, to tell their stories through journaling, pictures, and memorabilia, brought together in a beautiful album for generations to treasure.

In my novel, The House in Wattle Lane, 29-year-old Neave learns about the lives of her ancestors from older family members, and the journey that took them from Ireland to England, and to the small gold mining town of Kerrigan in New Zealand. In a heritage scrapbooking class, Neave documents their lives, beginning with a family tree page like the one below. This is a fictional family tree of the family in the novel to show the sort of thing you could do with your own family tree.

There are many examples of family tree pages on Pinterest and on Google images that can give you ideas. On mine, I used scrapbooking paper, watercolour paints, and cutout…

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Garden Journal

I started a new garden journal this year that I plan to fill with collaged pages of photographs, sketches and journaling. These are the first pages. I’ve added some embellishments from Graphic 45s Time To Flourish collection, which has lots of pretty floral stickers, scrapbooking papers, chipboard tags and journaling cards. On January’s page I included a layout plan of our veggie garden to aid in planning for crop rotation next season. Garden Journal Garden Journal

Vintage Tearoom

Originally posted on Wattle Lane:

The inspiration for Chloe’s Coffee Shop in my Wattle Lane novels came from one of our local cafes, Port ‘O’ Call, situated in the picturesque village of Ahuriri. To view their website click here. Port ‘O’ Call has a wonderful vintage tearoom in one half of the shop, a place where you are transported back to the fifties, with food served on pretty vintage china.

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You can choose your own vintage teacup, for your tea or coffee, from the lovely display on the shelves behind the counter.

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It is hard to decide what to choose, from the Devonshire cream teas, to the delicious cakes and slices and freshly baked breads.

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The mouthwatering food is adorned with flowers, adding a touch of romance to the delightful setting. My pot of tea came nestled beneath a charming knitted tea cosy, like the one I use at home that my mum knitted more…

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Paperback Release – The House in Wattle Lane

Originally posted on Wattle Lane:

I am happy to announce that The House in Wattle Lane (The Wattle Lane Novels: Book 2) is now available in paperback, for those of you who, like me, enjoy reading books the good old-fashioned way.

The House in Wattle Lane

The back cover has a picture of the little dog, Mayzie, who features in the story. And, yes, she does look suspiciously like my own puppy, Finn!

The House in Wattle Lane

The House in Wattle Lane is a story about heritage, scrapbooking, and the importance of family. It also includes some yummy recipes!

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Book Release – The House in Wattle Lane

Originally posted on Wattle Lane:

The House in Wattle Lane (The Wattle Lane Novels Book 2) is now available as an ebook on Amazon. The paperback version will be available in the next couple of weeks.

The House in Wattle Lane


When 29-year-old Neave Hamlin is made redundant from her job in the city, she decides to return to the small town of Kerrigan to consider her future and to reconnect with her estranged father and half-siblings. However, she soon learns that being part of a family is not always easy as she struggles to cope with the emotional dramas of her 14-year-old, half-sister, Lily, who insists that the old family home is haunted, and a less than welcoming stepmother.

After attending a heritage scrapbooking class, Neave is inspired to learn more about the lives of her ancestors. While searching for the truth behind a dark family secret, she discovers that sometimes unearthing the past can shine a light…

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Coconut Lemon Cupcakes

Originally posted on Wattle Lane:

This is another of Jodi’s cupcake recipes, from my novel Scrappy Cupcake Angels.

 Coconut Lemon Cupcakes

150g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
150g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup desiccated coconut
zest of 1 lemon
extra coconut for decorating

Lemon Frosting

60g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line patty pans or muffin trays with paper cupcake cases.

Cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then the milk. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine, then stir in the coconut and lemon zest.

Divide the mixture between the paper cases. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool, then ice with the lemon frosting and sprinkle with coconut.

Makes 12 large or 18 small cupcakes.

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Book Preview – The House in Wattle Lane

Originally posted on Wattle Lane:

As promised, I’d like to share with you a preview of my new novel, due for release at the end of January. The House in Wattle Lane is the second book in the Wattle Lane novels. Although it includes some of the characters from the first book, Scrappy Cupcake Angels, it can be read as a stand-alone story.

So, here it is, the first chapter.


The House in Wattle Lane

Chapter One

As Neave walked for the last time from the high-rise building where she had spent her weekdays for more than a decade, she felt a surge of apprehension mixed with a strange feeling of anticipation—apprehension for what the future might hold, and anticipation of a new beginning. Still reeling from the rowdy farewell that her co-workers had thrown for her, she walked to the basement of the building, clutching her leaving gift—a fancy pedometer and an iTunes gift card—and climbed into…

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