Friday, December 30, 2011

what's next?

Hello friends

Just a short note today to say hi and hope you have enjoyed some days off over the Christmas period.  I have finished reading one whole book, amazing, and have started another. I have resisted going to the post-christmas sales....... so far.

I took this photo recently because i liked the angle.  Here's to you today, hope it's a happy one.  Jane x

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Joy Merry Be

It's Christmas morning and I've jumped on to say Merry Christmas to you.  A day of mixed emotions as my cherished ones, who have to be shared, are not with me today.  The joy that came when they called me a little while ago and I heard their voices, so simple, so much for me. 

Always at Christmas I go into deep thought about who is missing this year, who will be alone, who will be lonely.  My heart leaps out to them. The elderly people I care for, the families whose loved ones are in a war zone today, the separated families. 

Then I think of the utter joy that comes too.  The babies having their first christmas, families re-united from all over the place.  The love of this husband of mine who only has to look sideways at me for me to know how loved I am.  My amazing family most of whom I will spend today with. 

A very special feeling of joy for our family in the Lockyer Valley, who miraculously survived the horrific torrent of water in January of this year.  As they remember those friends and neighbours lost that day, we are so grateful that we still have each and every one of them, including the Pug dog!

Call me a crazy woman (as my sister-in-law actually did!), but I baubled the front garden.  More joy, as I look out the windows and see these little rays of Christmas bobbing around in the trees!

I'm sending love to you and as far and wide as it will reach today.  Merry Christmas!

Jane x

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday night at home...

Hello lovely friends
It's been a busy week here with school finishing, already, was that a whole year that we've just had?  I managed to fit in a little Ikea fix yesterday.  It was the first time in my life that I have gone by myself, that is, without anyone asking 'when are we leaving?'  Is that all too familiar?  I saw so much good 'stuff' and found a 'task' lamp which now allows me to keep on creating into the night!

I hope you are soaking up the weekend for all it's worth.  I've got some time to myself this weekend, so what's a girl with creative urges to do?  Create of course.  Here's what i've been up to.

I've dug out another of the ever beautiful cards from Barking Mad, artist Crispin Korschen.  This one is titled 'listening to the quiet'.  I had to have this card when I saw it because we have two red chairs in our sitting room, where I like to go for some 'quiet'.  It's also where my husband and I like to drink tea.  This finished little masterpiece will grace one of the walls in our sitting room. 

Did you see the video I managed to upload a few months ago by Katherine Center?  I love it to pieces and have been meaning to read one of Katherine's novels.  I'll try and be tricky and include the video again in case you haven't seen it. Get a tissue!

Finally got her first one 'The Bright Side of Disaster' at the library the other night. 

Nothing beats a beautiful leaf for a bookmark!
I'm catching up with some 'old' school friends tomorrow, most of whom I haven't seen since I was 15!  Do you think they will still like me?  I'm not the skinny sporty one anymore!   So much life has been experienced in the 27 years inbetween.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I had intended to do a Wordless Wednesday, but that was yesterday and it didn't happen.  So now I'm thankful that it's Thursday, I've finished work for the week and I can focus on some other exciting creative things!! 

Today we've had some much needed rain, for which I'm thankful.  So is my garden.  As I looked out the window before I noticed there is a lot of pink flowers in bloom.  How delightful!  You deserve to share in this.

This stunning pic of my Buddha holding the pink rose quartz
is to get you to take a deep breath and relax.
My Fragrant Plum rose, smiling through the raindrops
Minature roses bustling to be in the front
A self-seeded Zinnia putting it out there with help
from the little yellow flowers in its centre!
The Butterfly bush looking a bit wild and free.
species unknown, possibly from the sage family.
nevertheless, very sweet.
Thanks for all of the lovely comments about my last post.  In case you are wondering, i didn't have the baby!  Been there and done that, twice in fact!  I'm definitely done.

I hope your day has been a happy one.
Jane x

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

jane creative

There is a precious new bundle of love in our family.  To celebrate her, I made her something pretty for her room.  What do you think?

Hope your week is off to a great start!
Jane x

Friday, November 25, 2011

As Australian as vegemite toast...

The girls at 'chook headquarters' are often on the receiving end of our leftovers.  Here's Louise enjoying some leftoever vegemite toast for her breakfast this morning.  Does is get any more Australian than that?

Add caption
Happy thoughts to you for a great day!

Jane x

Thursday, November 24, 2011

was she dreaming...

or could she really hear the hooves of the wild horse approaching...

Yes, I have been playing in the garden with the fairies again!  It's good for the soul.

Jane x

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Dreaming Under the Kale
My first Wordless Wednesday post!  That wasn't difficult at all.
Warm wishes to you.
Jane x

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Simply beauty

A random eucalypt leaf and my cute new crochet brochet!

Hello dear friends.  I've been a bit slack haven't I?  Lots of goings on at our house (including the passing of the hermit crab (RIP Trixie), which have left my blogging energy somewhat depleted.  But, I'm feeling much better now.  This was helped along by a lovely (Jane on her own) visit to the cottage garden nursery, come cafe, come antique/secondhand shop at East Brisbane.  What a delightful way to spend some time.  I even went so far as to sit in the cafe with my journal and do some writing while I enjoyed a cuppa and a piece of orange and almond cake.  There was the most precious canary whistling his little heart out which added to the lovely atmosphere.

A batch of pikelets were in order this afternoon.  These leftovers will be toasted for breakfast tomorrow.

I even made the most of an opportunity for a quiet sit down and a little pot of my 'flavour of the month' tea, French Earl Grey.   MMmmmm, soothing and nurturing.  I began a liver detox yesterday, so today my tastebuds had new ideas about what to eat, and I had that detox headache.  Craving protein, so a steak on the BBQ for dinner tonight and back to eggs for breaky again.  I just hope my chookies (sofia and louise) can keep me in good supply of eggs.  It's times like now I wish I had six chooks for lots of eggs, but for our little 'city farm', two is enough.

On the creative side of things, I've been making these sweet garlands.

I hope you've discovered some simple beauty this week and had some 'you' time.  It's nearly the weekend, have a good one!
Jane x

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Weekend

Do you have any special plans for the weekend?   Have you even had a chance to think about what you might LIKE to do on the weekend?  I hope you can factor in some time just for you.  This weekend I'm planning on doing another canvas extraordinaire!  I think it will be a really good one too, since I am going to gather lots of great and inspiring ideas the Quilt and Craft Show tomorrow.

I recently finished reading My Heart Wanders, by Pia Jane Bijkerk.  Have you read it?  10/10 for me.

I borrowed a few movies from the library the other day too.  Not sure what to expect.  Have you heard of...  Another Year.  The reviews on the cover say "Brilliant, heart-breaking, life-affirming and ceaselessly engrossing". and.. "intelligently uplifting".  Sounds a bit like a review of me!
What about  Big Fish with Ewan McGreor and Jessica Lange.  Or, Silk, with Keira Knightly.  If you've seen any of these movies, let me know if they are worth putting my feet up for!

Here's a few happy snaps of things around the house.  The heartshapes I spotted in the carport.  The orangey one is red dirt from my husbands recent trip to Birdsville and beyond.  The other one is bits of squashed up lichen, dirt, leaves and a pigeon-pea seed.

A meaningful quote from someone very smart.... 
In a world where you can be anything, be yourself.

Hope your weekend turns out just how you want it to.

Jane x

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From my window...


I've been sitting here for the last half an hour checking out some of my favourite blogs, admiring their creativity, having a laugh at the funny things, their commitment or ability to post so regularly.  Then, all of a sudden, I thought... "Right, stop looking at what everyone else is doing, and do something for yourself Jane!"

I turned my eye to the window for inspiration.  There is a fabulous blue sky, clouds blowing by and I can see the beginning of the magnificent bloom of the Jacaranda tree next door.   For my friends in far away places, when the Jacarandas bloom about this time each year, it's a traditional reminder to students to start studying for end of year exams.

Can you see the little purple angel at the top of the tree? Magical isn't it. Not sure if it is my guardian angel or some amazing reflection of the lavender coloured flowers on the tree. I think I like the idea of guardian angel. Don't you love having the ability to imagine.

I had a great weekend decorating and moving things around the house.  With help from my biggest fan (my husband) I've actually put some of my canvases on the walls around the house.  I think it is that, combined with more clutter clearing, that has given the house a fresh new feeling of peace and calm. 

I treated myself to a few new things on the weekend too.  I got to spend time with one of my 'besties' and we did a little spot of shopping.  Loving my purchases....

Angus & Julia Stone, Down the Way.
Fav track is number 3, called For You.  how's this for lyrics...
'if you love me with all of your heart, i'll make you a star in my universe'
I feel so lucky to have found blogging and to have met the nicest of people.  You are all 'stars in my universe'.  Thank you.  On that beautiful note, have a lovely rest of the week.

Jane x

PS.  Note to self... 'Well Jane, your blogging friends and family love your creative side, so it's time you did too!'
PPS.  A quote to back me up, from "When I loved myself enough" by Kim McMillen.  

When I loved myself enough, I stopped trying to banish the critical voices from my head.  Now I say, 'thank you for your views' and they feel heard.  End of discussion.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jane creative...

Hello friends.  Thanks for all the lovely emails and commets you have left me recently, and welcome to my new following friends.  A few busy weeks have passed since my last blog.  There have been a few lovely highlights which I though I'd share with you.

I've been creating again,  Here is my latest little piece of art.  Another fabulous Barking Mad card (titled Love Nest) in the centre of the canvas which I have added to with mixed media.  What do you think? 

With a little help from the LOML we've done some tidying in the room we call 'the love room'.  It's a very multi-purpose room which contains the desk where we google and blog from, our library, ironing room, my craft cupboard (whose name is Joy), my sewing cabinet, dumping ground for lost and bewildered items.  You get the general idea.  While I was sorting and chucking, I came across this very old looking little crochet booklet.  I would dearly love to learn how to crochet, some of my dear blogging friends do such amazing work.  Maybe if I can find a crochet hook and some cotton, I could try this little guide to get me started!

A few weeks ago marked one year since the passing of my beautiful Gran.  After her passing, we planted a rose (Peace) in our garden.  I don't think it was any co-incidence that on this first anniversary of her passing, the rose gave us this...

On that special note, I wish you a wonderful week ahead.
Jane x

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Russian Twin

Hello dear friends

In my little part of the world today, we have magnificent blue skies, a slight breeze (a great improvement to last nights gale force winds) and the birds are singing. 

I guess you might be thinking, 'is Jane Russian', 'is she a twin'?  I'm none of the above.  This is my Russian Twin, my most magnificent Hippiastrum in bloom.  Stunning isn't it.  A gift to our garden from a special Aunt, in rememberance of a special Uncle.

One bloom inside the other, isn't that so clever!

Lots of lovely things have happened since I last blogged which seems like ages ago. 

We've enjoyed a little refresher at the Gold Coast.  Whales!  I have never seen so many whales in my entire life.  We could look out to sea at any daylight hour and in less than a minute (i kid you not), we would spot at least one, either a huge splash out to sea or the fine spray, or the slow rise and fall of them through the sea.  What a treat.  We felt so lucky, and my favourite word... grateful. 

The first morning when I awoke for the sunrise, this is what I saw... At first I thought there must have been some kind of eclipse happening, but due to all the smoke haze around the previous day or two, this is the sun rise.  Have you ever seen anything like it?

It's a bit blury because I zoomed my little camera in as far as I could!
On the way home from the coast, I took a short detour, via Ikea.  I've been looking forward to a visit there since their 2012 catalogue landed in our letterbox recently.  I had spotted a side table which we just had to have, the identical side table to one we found at the Woolloongabba Antique Centre sometime last year.  $10 cheaper than we paid at the WAC too!  Not to worry.

Whenever I go to Ikea, I always stock up on tealight candles.  This time I found some jumbo tealights which are perfect for our outdoor lanterns.  So, with a flatpack sidetable and a bundle of candles we make our way to the checkout.  ahh, but wait there's more....  Very strategically placed, not far from the checkout I spot the forever useful, have always wanted one, stepladder.  For $14.95, I stop and pick one up.  I'm excited, I got to go to Ikea, got my candles and two flatpacks!  The day ended on such a good note, as my wonderful husband happily constructed by purchases for me.

Hairy and Whiskas are the
guardians of the new table!

You know this Ikea stool.  I'm thinking,
I might do some crazy collage on it.

Mega tealight, standard tealight

I have included a video which I saw on another beautiful Janes' blog, Life on Planet Baby, and asked her if she would mind if I could 'pay it forward'.  Of course she agreed, I think we all need to see this, it will offer you something, whether you are a mother, daughter, wife, sister, friend or all of these.  Full credit and applause to Kelly Corrigan for finding the words. 

On the reading pile...

Dropped into the library and got these. 
I had been waiting for My Heart Wanders
to come in.  Do you have this, or have you read it?
Pia Jane has a beautiful blog.

I have just finished reading "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein.  There were tears (i'm deeply emotional) in the final chapters.  A wonderful read, the story told by Enzo the dog.

And I've just started reading "Hearts on a String" by Kris Radish.  The prologue got me in immediately, where the Great-Grandmother teaches her grandaughter of "the precious, beautiful, sweet string that connects all women". "The string is a powerful force, my sweet girl.  It allows women to lean into one another and find a sister when they need one.  The string can never be broken.  You can use it to pull yourself up, to pull yourself forward, or to steady the place where you must remain."  I'm feeling it, are you?  And just by co-incidence it ties in really well with Kelly's video above too.

oh, oh!  In the time since I started writing this post, that 'breeze' I spoke of at the start, has decided to get windy agian.  Hold onto your hats!  I hope you find beauty in your surrounds today. 
Jane x

Monday, September 12, 2011

Being a family

Just a little bit of 'Jane creative' to share with you today....
I did this canvas yesterday afternoon and am happy with the outcome.  what do you think?

I've seen this quote in a few places recently, unsure of it's origins but i love it and this will now grace one of the walls in our home.

Hope your week is off to a great start.

Jane x

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Good Luck Sam!

I've just read online that Sam Stosur has made it through to the US Open tennis final.  What a wonderful achievement.  Everyone in this house is cheering you on Sam.

Well, the wind has picked up again here this afternoon, but I have managed to get everything planted, watered in and nourished.  Just the mulching left to go, later.  I feel so enriched from being outside today, the warm sun beating down on me, the smell of the freshly dug earth, the huge native bees buzzing around my pigeon-pea bushes.  It really is good for the soul.  My neighbour gave me some bamboo to make stakes and tripods for the sweet peas and beans to latch onto.  They look great if i do say so myself.

My best ever bee photo.  Look at those little wings going.!
I hope the week ahead is happy for you. 
Jane x

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's a beautiful day!

"We are all travellers in life, and the best we can find on our journey is an honest friend."
by Robert Louis Stevenson

We have extreme westerly winds blowing crazily all over the place today, which I am using as my excuse not to be out in the garden planting my new seedlings and pots of herbs.  Yes, I know I could put some cotton wool in my ears to protect me from an earache or borrow someones beanie.  I would love to have a special groovy beanie.

However, it is still a beautiful day.  The sun is shining at its best and I am so grateful for the strong metal roof over our heads.  I hope your day is being filled with sunshine in some form.

My best thing I've done today is... go out to the airport and welcome home a very close friend (and her husband) who have been on the most amazing travel and work adventures for what seems like yonks, but it's not quite that long!  While she was away, we chatted on the phone, emailed, followed each others blogs, and facebooked to keep in touch.  So I am also very grateful for the wonderful advancements in technology to allow two special friends to not feel so far away from each other for all that time.  But today at the airport, when the magic customs doors opened and there she was, it was the best moment!  To see her real face and give her the biggest hug, to see with my own eyes that she is 'safely home' meant the world to me.  This is the friend (among others) who was there for me in my most difficult days of my life.  This is the friend who I have laughed and cried with, all in the same minute at times.  This is also the friend who will transform into a 'rock chick' with me in December when we go to see Cold Chisel!  I love you dear friend.  Welcome home.

 Other wonderful things have been happening too... I have some favourite websites, and I think it's only fair that I share them with you.  Etsy! Say no more.  I think you would have heard of them, bought from them, been inspired by them, perhaps you even sell with them.  I love their daily email of fresh ideas and brilliance.  The world is so blessed with amazing and talented people.  I sometimes feel that as a member of blogland, through the new 'friends' I have made in different parts of the world, that the good people in the world, really, must surely, outweigh the bad (misguided).   The give love, get love concept!

If you've ever been to Bangalow in Nthn NSW you might have walked around the corner from the main street and come across Lazybones.  They have beautiful dresses, PJs, cushions, bedlinen and other yummy stuff.  I love to shop in their online store where I often find little treasures (usually in the shape of PJs) in their sale section.  So comfortable and easy to wear, and the service from placing my order to quick delivery is really great.  They deserve this little bit of free advertising!  So, check out

Books, I love them and my current favourite place to buy books is from  Have you tried them?  I have found their prices and free delivery really really good.  I spotted a book I "just had to have" recently when I was out shopping with a girlfriend.  It was $22.50.  On that day, I had already spent some "just for me" money and didn't want to stretch to buying the book.  Long story short... I checked on Fishpond when I got home, same book, $13.30, free postage.  Is it any wonder that we are losing some lovely bookshops around the place.  That is pretty strong competition. 

Do you read books?  Novels?  What kind do you like?  I enjoy a bit of a mix up of mystery, personal discovery, friendship.  A few authors I've enjoyed... Jodi Picoult (i read My Sisters Keeper before it was ever a movie and couldn't put it down), Liz Byrski (especially Belly Dancing for Beginners), Jane Green (Dune Road, The Beach House), Monica McInerney, Rachel Treasure (aussie author), Elizabeth Berg (especially The Pull of the Moon).  I've just started The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  So far so good, I love a good story told through the eyes and ears of a dog! 

I have come across some lovely quotes recently, which is stirring me to paint some more canvases.  I'll show you soon.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend friends.

Jane x

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The invitation...

This 'invitation' can be interpreted in a few different ways, depending on 'what page you are on'.  It was given to me at a tough time in my life.  From time to time, memories flood back, and we're forced to 'adjust our stance' and find firm new ground.  I've always referred  back to it when the need arises.  Hope you find something in it too. 

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.  I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.  I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.  I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.  I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it of fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.  I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;  if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul;  if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the moon, "yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.  I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.  I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.  I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
I hope you have a happy day.
Jane x

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Home

We have a bit of a mixed bag of weather this week, from cool bleak mornings to incredible sunshine, then overshadowed by clouds and the possibility of rain.  Right now, the sun is shining and I can see the 2/3 moon from my window.  Here are some pics from a recent 'cup of tea in the back garden'.

some freestyle art on a little corner of the back fence. 
this was a group effort soon after we moved to this home
seven years ago.  I like the faded look, at the same time as thinking
it's time to add to it.

Sofia, on border patrol!

oh, you magnificent magnolia
Wishing you sunshine today.  Have a great weekend.
Jane x