Category Archives: Holly Hobby

The modern woman loves to art and craft, but she has to fit it in between yoga and double shot expressos.

Project: Handmade Christmas

Guess what my little elfin darlings? The ever present mass commercialism of the seasonal holidays is once again upon us. I was told today that the supermarkets are already stocking Christmas products. It’s only September.

Let me just say I love the Christmas holidays. I love the sunshine, the long days, the spending time with family and friends and that feeling that life is incredibly precious. Most of all, I love gift giving. That look on someone’s face when they open a gift and truly appreciate and delight in what you gave them, makes my little heart skip.

For the last few years I’ve been trying to add more handmade gifts to my Christmas gift giving arsenal. Sure, it takes time and organization. But I can tell you, pottering around at home getting my ‘craft on’ is a million times more pleasant than braving the hellish nightmare of a massive shopping centre.

So here’s my challenge. This year I’m going 100% handmade. I want to make and create gifts that you can eat, drink and use throughout the year. I already have some ideas but if any of you feel inspired to share your ideas, I’d love to hear them. I hope to share some of my projects without giving too much away. I still want my darlings to be surprised.

To get you in the mood, I present my Summerberry Jam pots from last year. Merry Christmas!!!


Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Don’t Fight Nature, You’ll Only Get a Black Eye.

Ding ding, round one!

A good friend send to me the other day “don’t fight nature”. She was actually referring to the plant selection for the landscaping of my front garden. You see, last year we built a new house and after all our tradies had vacated, our block roughly resembled a desolate wasteland. Besides excavating, filling, digging, destroying and an unseasonable amount of rain…our gently sloping grassy meadow was turned into a boggy, rocky outcrop. And lacking any amount of landscaping vision, it’s been a challenge to say the least.

You see, I come from a long line of very good gardeners. My Nanna definitely had an affinity with nature and grew all sorts of beautiful things from cacti to exotics to fruit trees. Her daughter (my mother) must have inherited that gene because she creates wonderful little pockets of heaven in her garden. But instead of yours truly picking up the green thumb award from the family tree, my younger brother scooped the prize. He is probably the best of them all. A Greenskeeper by trade, my mum said that anything he plants will grow like crazy. He has the goods alright.

Ding ding, round two!

So far we’ve been here a little over 8 months and in that time I’ve managed to kill a tray full of pansies, a bowl of succulents, a cactus, the rose-bush is looking woeful and one of my orchids is in serious need of therapy. We did get some turf laid but as I have mentioned, my guy spent a long time installing pop up sprinklers and its the only thing looking like its going to go the distance. So understandably, you can see my hesitation in planning an entire garden that is not only a blank canvas but that will also need continuous care from that point on.

Oh did I tell you that a friend once described me as killing a desk stapler with too much love?

Ding ding, round three!

I recently read a Better Homes & Gardens magazine. It led me astray. It consumed my mind with visions of tropical gardens filled with palms and warm climate rainforest plants. It bewitched me, it tricked me. I began to think that my front garden deserved a Tree Aloe that cost $1000, that it needed palms and ferns and birds of paradise plants. Why? I have no idea. Let’s call it zero inspiration and a great photo spread on BH&G’s behalf.

But after re-consideration and a surprise plant shopping trip from my mother who showed me the error of my ways, I’ve changed my tune. I’m going for a garden that suits my environment, that doesn’t have struggle just to put on its boxing gloves. And let’s face it, that garden has already got an uphill battle with me looking after it.

My garden is still a work in progress but I’m determined to do the right thing by it. I’m not going to fight nature.


This is roughly what I have to work with. Stay tuned to see me transform my wasteland into a garden of tranquility. Image (c)


Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Chillin’ Chillin’ Minding My Bizness….

Sorry Salt n Pepa fans…this isn’t a post about the super awesome hip hop trio from the 90’s. It is about however, arguably one of the best seasons of the year – Autumn.

Truth be told, I don’t like the extreme cold or searing heat so my favourite seasons are obviously Spring and Autumn. It’s like a little bit of electricity pulsing in the air…telling your body that a big change is on the way. Lately, the disappointing summer is fading away to crisp, sunshine filled mornings. The leaves are blushing like crazy with their deep ruby redness.

All this sweet action from Mother Nature makes for a grand old-time behind the camera. I was lucky enough to get out last weekend with a friend of mine to have a bit of a play. My good friend Jason (he told me I had to mention him in one of my posts) lent me his extension tube. It turns an ordinary lens into a macro lens. Fun for all the family. So here are a couple of my macro shots.

And I wouldn’t get away without showing you a couple of shots of my husbands much beloved lawn and sprinkler system. He busted his mutton chops digging a trench to lay the pop up sprinklers. So here are some of them in action. Sprinkle that water baby!

Doesn’t make you want to curl up in front of a fire with a big glass of red? Splendid idea me!


Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Its a pirate pants kind of day.

Ahoy there m’hearties!! What the heck are pirate pants?

Well really they’re called Thai fisherman’s pants. But someone in this house (and as there is only two of us, you can guess who that is) has nicknamed them pirate pants instead. This morning I put them on and walked out to be greeted with “how ya goin’ pirate pants?”

So why is it a pirate pants kind of day? Well, as your becoming accustomed, here is the list…

  1. They are unbelievably comfortable. And today is Saturday and I don’t have to leave the house…for anything.
  2. They allow for a lot of aeration so they’re perfect for when its warm.
  3. It is warm! Today has a tropical feel about it. The temperature is beautiful, if not a little steamy, and its threatening to storm.
  4. They are one size fits all…so no matter if I’m having a fat day or thin day, they work.
  5. They’re easy to dance in. Yep, pirate pants allow for customary “clean up the kitchen” dancing.

In case you’re still scratching your head. Here is the real 411 on them. Thanks Wikipedia…

Thai fisherman pants are lightweight unisex trousers that are made very wide in the waist, one size fits all. The additional material is wrapped around the waist and tied to form a belt. They are usually made of cotton or rayon. Although traditionally used by fishermen in Thailand, they have become popular among others for casual, beach, and exercise wear as well as for backpackers and pregnancy.

An unexpected bonus from writing this post is that I found a pattern to make my own pirate pants! Stay tuned for that friends.



Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Not by the hairs of my chinny chin chin!

My friend has the loveliest herd of goats. The littlest one is called Emily-Lucy. She’s very cute but doesn’t like posing for the camera. However, this guy couldn’t get enough. I didn’t know goats had chinny hairs.


Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Because breaking up is hard to do…

I’ve been coveting my friends camera for a long time now. When we’d go off and do fun photography things I’d

My new love

stare at it longingly and wish to hold it in my little hands. Sometimes he’d let me use it and I’d marvel at the images I could capture. Then every time I picked my camera back up, it felt like the poor cousin. Poor little baby.

So this week, my new camera arrived. It felt like Christmas when I unpacked the box. And then…waiting for the battery to charge so I could play with all the buttons seemed to take forever. I’m busting to test it out properly. It feels so much heavier in my hands than my old baby and when I click the shutter, it makes this beefy ‘ka-junk’ noise. I love it.

Its going to be sad saying goodbye to my little guy…he’s helped me do some amazing things. I’ll never forget you. And remember, it’s not you, its me. (Actually, it really is you but don’t get a complex).

Remembering the good times...


Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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My Top 6 ‘Granny Things’ You Should Try Before You Become One

I just alienated half of my readers with this blog title. All you dudes out there are saying ‘yawn, boring’. Sorry guys…I encourage you to try as many granny things as possible too. You never know, you might love it.

My beautiful Snoopy's Nanna

  1. Get up really early on the weekend, make yourself some tea and toast and watch an english murder mystery in your pyjamas.
  2. Sew your own quilt. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But cutting up material into shapes, then sewing those shapes back together to make a different one is VERY satisfying. Addictive even.
  3. Sit out the front of your house/apartment in the afternoon, when the weather starts to turn with a rug (or your homemade quilt) on your knees and watch the world go by.
  4. Make your own jam. (I’ve covered this in Its Blackberry Hunting Season).
  5. Try to crochet something. It’s a lot easier than I was ever led to believe. And if you come across an article saying this – “Be creative, become a hooker! Beginners welcome!”, you start to believe those crazy crocheters have a wicked sense of humour.
  6. Grow something. (I really haven’t mastered this one. I even kill cacti).

If you’re lucky enough to have any of your grandparents still alive, you might want to hang out with them and pick up some other awesome tips. Unfortunately I don’t have that luxury. But I do remember my grandmothers to be hell raising women with many interests and talents. They are an inspiration to me. And I think their legacy lives on through me. This one’s for you nannas! Love love.

The adorable Nikki's Nanna

Note: When my brothers and I were little, we didn’t know how to tell our grandmothers apart. The easiest way we could come up with was to name them after their dogs.  One had a dog called Nikki and the other had a dog called Snoopy. Nikki’s Nanna and Snoopy’s Nanna. I’m sorry nannas….I realise now how silly this must have sounded.


Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Just because…

…I love both of the things in this picture.

  1. My first edition of Gone With the Wind; and
  2. My glasses.

That is all. (Oh and did I mention it won first place in a recent show? Oh I did? I’m so forgetful sometimes.)



Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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Moo Cow Flash Mob!

Just recently I held my first ever summer sunset photography sessions. Since we’ve had the wettest summer in nearly 30 years, I think I was being overly optimistic to expect good weather and a perfect sunset for the day I had chosen. We did get a huge storm just before it was scheduled to begin but I was lucky enough to get pockets of sunshine and a pretty interesting sky.

Me and my little pal, Felix. (Photo courtesy of Jason Shadie Photography)

Thinking it would make a great prop (we were at a farm) I brought along a hay bale. Well…cows don’t see something like that and say “Oooh, what a totally appropriate photography prop. Well done Jen” and go on with their day. They see it and say “Shazam! Hay for me to eat! Get outta my way camera lady!”. Nothing puts you off like 20 cows staring at you with hungry eyes.


Here are some more of my favourites from the day. Thanks to all for making it a huge success…including Dee & Jamie for the beautiful location and Jason…an awesome wingman. I’m looking forward to the next one!

Felix Loves Lemonade


Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Holly Hobby


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I want to praise you, fellow bloggers – Mk II

Firstly, let me just say I’ve just gone over 1000 views on my blog. And while that is probably considered small fry, I only started it less than 2 weeks ago so I’m going crazy about it right now. Thanks to all of you who have liked my posts, commented on those posts and even signed up to follow me. I tip my hat to you.

Secondly, the Blogger Praise this week goes to two people.

  1. Lauren from Viciously Sweet. Yes yes, I’ve mentioned her before but she was the first person I didn’t know who signed up to follow me. That gave me heaps of shiny confidence to keep going. So thank you.
  2. Jen from Sips of Jen and Tonic. You were the second person to sign up to follow me that I didn’t know. Plus you have an awesome name. And you also inspired me to this week create my own cards and send them to my dearest at random. See Jen’s New Years Resolutions. It’s a perfectly lovely idea. So thank you.


Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure, Holly Hobby


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