Inside My Studio

It’s so nice to have everything organized in my studio now, so much easier to have everything in one place instead of scattered around the house. With the birds singing outside and sunshine flooding the room, it really is a pleasant place to work and play.

The Holly Hobbie quilt hangs over the front of the cabinet, hiding the boxes of craft supplies.

This chest of drawers, already full of crafting paraphernalia, was shifted from the house out to the studio.

The shelves that Nick built hold my books, journals and magazines, art projects, seeds, jars of buttons and beads, scrapbook papers, and knick knacks.

A small seating area for relaxing and for writing. The seat lifts up to provide handy storage underneath. The country style cabinets at either side came from Storage Box. They fit in the space perfectly. The baskets are made from water hyacinth and are great for keeping fabrics in.


This is my latest work in progress, a new quilt I am making for our bed. It is a simple design of patchwork squares in colours of greens and browns. I just have to finish quilting the top and then sew on the binding.

The quilt draped over the back of the chair was the first one I ever made, at a beginner’s class I went to about ten years ago.

I like to listen to the radio while I am crafting. Magic FM is my favourite radio station, which plays songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

When it gets too hot outside, Finn comes in and lies under the table.

The view from the French doors on this sunny spring morning.

Garden Journal

September has been a very wet month here in Hawke’s Bay, but the beginning of spring has brought plenty of growth in the garden. Daffodils and tulips have been blooming, pretty blue forget-me-nots have sprung up all over the garden, the lavender and rosemary have been abuzz with bees, and the orange and grapefruit trees are laden with fruit, although not quite ready for picking yet. I planted trays of vegetable and flower seeds in the greenhouse, and we dug compost through the garden beds, ready for planting in a few weeks’ time after danger of late frosts has passed.

garden journal

garden journal

Keepsakes Box

I often keep cardboard boxes that things have come in, thinking that they might be useful for storage. This one was a particularly nice, sturdy box.

After having it sit around for quite some time, I decided to embellish it and use it as a keepsakes box.
I decorated it with scrapbook papers, die cuts, fabric trims, buttons, and inspirational phrases.

Now I have a lovely box for my keepsakes.

keepsakes box

Book Update

Christmas in Wattle Lane, the third novel in my Wattle Lane series, is now finished and has been passed on to my lovely editor and proof reader.

In this third instalment, Neave and Lily prepare to celebrate their first Christmas in the Wattle Lane Guest House. As they make vintage-themed decorations and bake Christmas goodies, a guest arrives with a strange aversion to Christmas, while next door, at Wattle Lane Keepsakes, Angeline relives some emotional memories from her past as she makes a very special scrapbook album for her daughter.

Now it’s on to the all-important book cover. Christmas evokes so many wonderful images that it will be hard to choose one to best represent the Christmas spirit of Wattle Lane – handmade paper snowflakes, vintage ornaments, or maybe some yummy Christmas fare…

My Craft and Writing Studio

I have always dreamed of having my own little creative space, a place where I can keep all my art and craft supplies, where I can spread out and work on a project and leave it out at the end of the day, instead of having to tidy it away. A place where I can be messy, a place that is inspiring to write in, a place where I can shut myself away and write and create and forget about everything else for a while.

Now, my dream has come true! Nick and I bought a kitset garden room and together we built it in the garden. Well, Nick was the one who made sense of all the instructions, and did all the heavy lifting and construction, and knew just what to do. I just helped where I could. It was hard work, but well worth the effort. My little studio is just 10 square meters in size, it is made from Scandinavian redwood, and I love it!

The inside is a work in progress as I organize all my art and craft paraphernalia into boxes and drawers. I’ve got fabric to make curtains, and Nick is going to build me a wall of shelves.

Craft and Writing Studio

The planter is covered in netting to stop Finn from jumping in and digging out all the pansy seedlings we planted.

It even has a little verandah and decking out the front where Finn can lie in the sun.


Garden Journal

Our garden has been fairly dormant over the winter months. A few annuals add colour – pansies, snapdragons, primulas – and lavender and feverfew flower continuously. We have a Wintersweet shrub in the garden beside our front porch, which in the winter has tiny, pale yellow flowers with the most divine scent. I love to breathe in their aroma whenever I walk past them.



These are the last few pages from my garden journal. I used some pressed leaves for the autumn page, and I pressed some pansies, lavender and feverfew from our garden to use on the July page.

The Gypsy-rose Tea Museum

In the weekend we visited the Gypsy-rose Tea Museum in Taradale. As a tea lover, I was enthralled by the huge range of tea memorabilia, from antique Victorian hot water urns, to models of tea clippers, vintage tea mugs, and knitted tea cosies. There was such a lot to look at and the curator provided interesting snippets of information about many of the items as we looked around. If you live in the area, or are planning a trip to Hawke’s Bay, I definitely recommend a visit to the tea museum.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Victorian teapots 1880-1900

Miniature teapot

English pewter samovar 1875

English hot water urn 1810

Victorian tea caddy 1890

Vintage tea caddies

Later, at home, I got out my vintage copy of Foulsham’s Tea-cup Fortune Telling, made a pot of tea, enjoyed a cuppa, then read my fortune. My tea leaves formed a whimsical little cat in the bottom of the cup. The book states that the cat usually shows treachery or deception, but if the cat is distinguished in a resting position, near the handle and at the top of the cup, it shows domestic comfort. I think I will go for the last one, as my cat looked very joyful and content, and I definitely feel in a state of domestic comfort.