Tag Archives: Garden

Easter Baking and Creating

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There is something about Easter that inspires great baking and craft creations. I have been doing some mad pinning over the last few weeks, gathering ideas for things I could do to make the Easter season special. I though I would share with you some of my favourite finds. To see my full page, click on this link.

Firstly, food….

Easter Baking and Creating

I love any recipe that is easy to incorporate little people help. Pizzazzarie

Easter Baking and Creating

I love how cute these rainbow cakes look. A lovely pastel one would be perfect for Easter. The Gunny Sack

Easter Baking and Creating

I don’t know that I would have the patience to create these gorgeous biscuits from Somewhat Simple, but I can dream.

Easter Baking and Creating

The one thing that is always a hit when it is made, is a cheeseball. I might shape my favourite cheeseball recipe into a carrot like Jo and Sue.

And for creating……

Easter Baking and Creating

Easter garden from The Frugal Homemaker. We have already started on our own Easter garden. We have used wheatgrass instead of moss and have been watching it grow.

Easter Baking and Creating

If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times – I LOVE bunting! Living Well, Spending Less

Easter Baking and Creating

We are certainly going to have a glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt. Lil Luna

Easter Baking and Creating

Creating one of these at the base of my parent’s massive tree has been a goal of just about every adult of the family at one time or another. It must be done! David Lowe Design

Easter Baking and Creating

I cannot tell you how much these little chicks are loved by my two boys. They will enjoy making this little project to hang in their rooms. Annaboo’s House

I will pop back soon and show you what we have created and baked. Have a great day!

 

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A Weekend in the Garden

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The other day I posted an update on the creation of our woodfired pizza oven and hanging herb garden.  You can read that article here.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Hanging Herb Garden

Last weekend we also completed a few other biggish jobs about the garden which I thought I would share with you.

With the arrival of a puppy to the household (and to help with his toilet training) we thought it best to forgo the ‘no mow’ stretch we had at the back of the house for some lawn. It once looked like this.

Gardening

Now it looks like this.

Gardening

 

gardening

It was a huge task.  Firstly the rhoeo border had to go as Murphy, the dog, loved pulling them out. Sections that survived his culling were flattened as he loved to run through it.  Next we had to move cubic metre after metre of stones and replace it with soil.  Once the whole thing was leveled, then we could lay the turf.  Hopefully the dog appreciates the time and effort everyone put in for him!

Instead of wasting the stones  and the pavers from this section of the yard, we decided to use them to top up the stones down one side of the house and put in a path.  Here is a picture of our finished job, still drying from the wash down.

Paving

pavers

Again this was a big and annoying job.  As the side of our house is angled every which way and there were obstacles to avoid, it was difficult to work out the line of best fit for the pavers.  We had string lines set up all over the place.

Some smaller jobs also got completed around the yard including a touch up coat of paint on the pizza oven.  I repotted and replaced a few of my herbs, including my parsley, which was gobbled up by the resident possum.  Hubby also hung a heater in the patio area so that we can sit out and enjoy the pizza oven and not freeze in the cooler weather.

It was nice to spend the weekend outdoors, even if it was dirty and back breaking work at times.  With these tasks completed, hopefully the whole family – but especially the dog – can enjoy the garden even more.

 

Pizza Oven and Hanging Herb Garden Update

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We were doing a whole heap of work about the garden on the weekend and I realised that I never posted about our finished pizza oven. You can read about the start of the project here and here.

The completed pizza oven, and accompanying hanging herb garden, brought a 3 year plan to fruition and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

Here is what the area looked like before.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Woodfired Pizza Oven

And here is the completed pizza oven and hanging herb garden (please forgive the awful shadows in the pics).

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Hanging Herb Garden

 

And some pics of it in action….

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Woodfired Pizza Oven

In  the end we bought a pizza oven kit and hubby, with the help of a bricklayer friend, assembled it over a series of weekends. It wasn’t as big a job as they anticipated.

We already had a slab down and some besser brick pylons so with a little more block work and a poured concrete top,  the base was constructed.  This left a sizable space underneath for us to store wood and other patio essentials.  The oven kit was really simple to piece together and after some curing, the whole thing was ready to paint.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

After some hit and misses with how best to fire up the beast and cook a perfect pizza, hubby now has it down pat.  In fact it has become his little ‘thing’.  When the pizza oven is being fired up, he does everything,  including making the dough. Hooray a night off for me!

The plan was to use this for all sorts of cooking, like roasts and breads, but we haven’t really got into that.  As the weather warms up here in Australia, we will have to perfect these other dishes too.

This weekend just gone we fired the oven up for pizzas.  At the moment we are loving this prawn, prosciutto and basil pesto concoction my husband put together. Yum!

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Pop by later in the week to see some other changes we have made in the garden to make it a more useable space for the whole family.

A Weekend in the Garden

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Our Sunshine State has not been looking that sunny for a while now.  The rain has been hanging around for longer than I care to remember.  I hate it, but the garden has loved it.

So for the last few weeks I have looked out over garden, happily watching my trees and plants grow visibly.  I have also, not-so-happily, watched the weeds grow.

This weekend I decided that I had to wrestle back control of my garden before it got too unruly.  Here’s a look at what I got up to on Saturday before the rain descended – AGAIN!

This is the alcove area where I love to have my coffee in the mornings.  You can read about it here and here.

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Weekend Gardening

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You can see the weeds have well and truly taken up residence in the stoned area and my poor succulents in the small pot and agave in the large pot, have not faired too well in the wet weather.

After a fair deal of weeding, sweeping and some replanting, I improved the plants and the outlook of the area.  I put freshly laundered covers on the lounge’s cushions and treated the area to some new scatter cushions and placemat.

Weekend Gardening

 

Weekend Gardening

I just hope the rain stays away long enough to enjoy this area before the weeding has to be done again.

The front yard was looking a little messy with a lot of the summer toys still strewn about the place, like the paddling pool.

Weekend Gardening

 

Taking the time to pack things away and give the outdoor furniture a wash down, improved the area a lot.

Weekend Gardening


Weekend Gardening

I cleared out the garden beds and staked all my Cordyline plants that have grown out of control.  Each plant has sprouted 2-3 shoots. Until I decide what to do with all my ‘free’ plants, I think it is best to leave them as is.

Weekend Gardening

Take a look at the lemons growing on my tiny tree.  It really is the most prolific tree for its size.  As it is only its second season, I removed most of the fruit, at least 25 lemons.  I don’t know how this pipsqueak of a tree thought it could handle that many fruit!

Weekend Gardening

Tomorrow the plan is to tackle the backyard.  There is lots of weed pulling, pruning and replanting to be done.  I’ll pop in and show you the progress.

 

 

 

Creating our Childrens’ Outdoor Play Area

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In all the hustle and bustle of the last few months I completely forgot to share the outdoor play area we created for the kids. Take a look……

When my husband and I purchased our house pre-children, we were happy with its small yard.  We were young and didn’t want the upkeep of a bigger lot.  It is perfectly located across the road from a massive park, so we knew that when kids came along, that having a small yard didn’t mean they would miss out.  But since having kids we have realised that having space for them to play in the yard is still important.  Wanting to inject some more kids space into our place, we set about utilising our almost unused side of our house.

This side of the house was only ever accessed to hang laundry.   It only housed some pots and a mostly unused water tank.   There is no lawn, just stones.  Sorry, I didn’t even think about taking a ‘before’ photo!

My husband, bless Him, started with grand plans for softfall cover and a fort but I had to reign in the enthusiasm.  The truth is we are outgrowing our house.  We have two small boys now who will soon grow into big boys.  We will need to bite the bullet soon and move, so any kid’s space additions need to be easily removed for future buyers.

After removing the water tank and rearranging the pots, the space just sort of evolved.  There were no solid plans, we just set about pulling together bits and pieces we thought would work.

Master O loves the sandpit at daycare so the first addition to the space was one of these.  We made this by bolting together some sleepers and giving it  a lick of gorgeous ‘Regatta Bay’ blue paint.

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While we were painting, Master O kept himself busy dropping stones through a piece of old plumber’s pipe.  My hubby, clever clogs, saw a toy in the making.  The boys can now shovel the sand in the top to have it shoot out the bottom.

Outdoor Play Area

When at the park, both my boys love to play with the steering wheel and  telescope.  On a visit to my local hardware I came across these playground toys – a boat’s steering wheel, a periscope and a phone.  Rather than attaching these straight to the fence, we first cut and painted a section of blueboard to hang on the fence for them to be attached to.   This panel became the activity centre.

Outdoor Play Area

With the left over blueboard we cut it into two pieces which we also attached to the fence.  Master O is learning to write, so I thought the addition of chalkboards would be a great idea.  I sourced some lovely red coloured chalkboard paint to cover them.  Outdoor Play Area

Outdoor Play Area

I had a couple of Ikea Bygel rails going unused so we attached these here and hung the matching Bygel containers to hold the chalk.

Outdoor Play Area

We were going to leave the area as is until we stumbled across this cute picnic table.  It was lovely and sturdy and had a sandpit hidden under the lid.  With its addition, the area became more multi-use and an area which we could spend more time in.  Now we can have morning or afternoon tea and a play out there, or retreat there to do our craft projects with less chance of mess.

Outdoor Play Area

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We have been using this area for some months now and the boys love it.  It was inexpensive and it came together in a flash.  I am so glad we did it!

Outdoor Wall Art – Frame Collage

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It’s no secret that I love a good collage.  They are scattered all about my house.

 

It is no surprise then,  that when I gave my alcove area a bit of a makeover (you can read about it here and here), I incorporated another collage.

After making a nice area to sit, the area was already so much nicer to look out at, not to mention, use.

But I wanted to add something more interesting to look at on the fence.

I had potted our massive agave plant into a terrazzo pot that had once had another life as a water feature in the same alcove.  I had put this up  by the fence line and loved the green leaves.

Wanting to inject some more gorgeous green into the view, I gathered a collection of old frames.  A good spray paint and a lot of nails later……

 

my outdoor collage was complete.

I’m loving my new green outlook from indoors. Much better than the plain old fence.

 

Living Centrepiece

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I love succulents.  I have wanted to create a vertical garden  for these for some time now.  I envisioned something like this…..

You can find the tutorial for these at  Sunset Magazine.

Or something like this one Luna-See made.

The only thing is, growing your own succulents for this project is slow and buying them ready to go is quite expensive.  Focused on the long-term goal, I have started to slowly gather succulents for my living art .  Until I have enough, I wanted to feature my collection in some nice way.

After a little brainstorming, I settled on creating a centrepiece for our outdoor setting.  After picking up a cheap rectangular storage box from a dollar store, I punched holes in the bottom and gave it a spray paint.

Throwing in a little cactus potting mix and a little manipulation of the succulents, I had potted up my living centrepiece.

The leftover succulents I placed in a bright green pot to put in the alcove.  You can read about the process of transforming this space here.

Now I can enjoy these lovely plants while I gather a few more of their friends to complete the vertical garden.

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,  Fireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday: A Rosie Sweet Home, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer