Friday, June 30, 2006


A while ago I received 2 amazing swap parcels in the mail. The first was from pyglet whispers in Australia - I love the blue fabric and her coffee cup stamps are wonderful. Check out her site, she is doing some beautiful lino cuts and she makes lovely frog softies too!

The next parcel is from an illustrator whose drawings are some of the sweetest I´ve seen. Her name is Tania - check out those buttons! She was so kind to send me a Home Companion, some emroidered fabrics and threads and the loveliest bits and pieces.

Thanks to both of you!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Call me Martha!

The kids absolutely loooove strawberry jam...they mix it in milk and joghurt,
put it on toast and ice cream and they especially like it as a swiss roll filling so I need quite a lot of it. After reading that most brands have 80% poor quality apples and pears and only 20% strawberries in them I decided to make my own. I went to Erdbeerland (these are huge fields of strawberries belonging to local farmers, you can pick them yourself and while you´re there, eat as many as you like - the ones you take home are weighed and you pay 2€ per kilo) I picked 7 kilos of strawberries, bought some sugar and 2 hours later - 22 glasses of strawberry marmelade. I might just put some little fabric tops, ribbons and labels on them so they´ll look all special in my pantry.

Swiss Roll Recipe
Preheat oven to 160°, line a shallow baking tray with baking paper.
Beat 4 eggs with 150g sugar until thick.
Sieve 150g of self-raising flour (or 150g plain flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder)
on top of the egg mixture and use a large metal spoon to mix.
Spread the cake mix onto the baking tray and bake for 15-20 mintues, if you push the cake a little with your finger and it springs back then it´s ready. Spread with your favourite marmalade and roll up while still warm. Let it cool and serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #13 - Music

She woke up and wondered what had woken her so she listened, she heard it somewhere far away in the distance, music. She couldn´t quite make out what it was or where it was coming from exactly so she got up and slipped a t-shirt over her head, put on some jeans and thick socks and went to the terrace door. When she opened it she saw that it was still early. The sky had that misty grey colour where you couldn´t be sure whether or not the sun would rise in a clear blue sky or stay hidden behind thick clouds.
She closed her eyes and concentrated on listening and yes, she could still hear it, it was light, airy music, a flute maybe. Her gardening shoes were right there outside the door so she stepped into them and walked out across the moist grass and into the forest where she thought the music was coming from. The air was clear and fresh and she let her lungs fill up and clean themselves. Her steps made a crunching noise and as she walked in rythm to the music she started to feel hypnotised, in a trance and her body began to blend with the forest and the music she was hearing. She could feel herself rising above the ground, above the trees and the music became louder and louder.
She saw the house where her children were sleeping getting smaller and smaller, her village looked so lovely from a distance and the hills and mountains, were they always so green? She watched the curves and bends of the creek as it flowed through the valley and counted the farms that were so close to home but which she´d never noticed before. She saw lovely cities in the distance and drew up plans in her head to explore them and the countries beyond.
The sun came up in the distance and she felt the warmth of the new day on her face as the music got louder and louder. She closed her eyes, oh what joy to feel so weightless, so free, so beautiful, one with her world.
When she opened her eyes again she realised that she was in her bed, the radio was on and the sun was shining in through the bedroom window. Her lover was breathing deeply as he slept beside her and when she got up to check her children´s bedrooms, all three were sleeping soundly. It was cold in the house, the terrace door was open. When she walked over to close it - she looked at the magnificent world around her and she knew, she was meant to be here.

I combined my Sunday Scribbling for this week with number 33 on my list of 101 things in 1001 days - write a short story. This story finishes with words on a piece of artwork I received from Liz-Elayne which I look at and appreciate every day.
More Sunday Scribblings here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Please check out this great swap sight organised by Dawbis...sign-ups are open for a very interesting trade but be quick!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

20 Things I don't Like

1.Excessive alcohol consumption.
2.Being late.
3.Cold coffee.
4.Long winters.
5.Strange dogs -I´m really afraid of dogs.
6.Tight clothing.
7. Smelly feet-smelly anything actually.
8.Feeling tired.
9.Not having enough money.
10. Not having enough time.
11. Injustice.
14.Bossy people.
15.Being judged.
17.Feeling guilty.
19.Worrying about my appearance.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #12 - Bed

My first bed must have been a baby cot, standing in my parent´s bedroom, here in Austria, in a little village about 45minutes drive from where I live now. I grew quickly and was always tall for my age so I guess I had a bigger bed later on while we were still living there. I was 3 when we moved to Australia and first we lived in a hostel, then with some Austrians who let us stay with them for a while and then with a German family where my mother worked as a housekepper. We had a small garden flat, I didn´t have my own room and I remember my bed being in the living room, with a curtain all around it for a little privacy. My parents soon bought their own house and I shared a room with my brother. We had new beds that were placed end to end against the wall of the bedroom that ended up becoming mine alone a few years later when we started getting on each others nerves too much. I remember the bed I had in this room, it was one of those bases that looked like a mattress with another mattress on top. It felt like a princess bed to me. When I moved out of home to Bondi I bought a similar bed second hand and later a bigger double bed when my boyfriend moved in. His parents bought him a queen sized bed when he bought his own flat at Rose Bay - I´m sure they wouldn´t have if they´d known that I would also be sleeping on it. When this relationship ended - sort of - I moved back home to my princess bed but the queen sized bed in Bondi was often revisited. I started to feel a bit like a tennis ball, moving back and forth and not really going anywhere, so I left Australia for Europe where I slept in youth hostels, at friend´s homes, in B&Bs, with relatives and sometimes on trains or in train stations. It was those nights in trains and on train stations that made me really appreciate the other beds. I also worked for a year here in Reichenfels and then for one winter season in Lech am Arlberg where I had my own small rooms with single sized beds. After returning to Reichenfels I moved in with my boyfriend and we shared a very uncomfortable bed which was really 2 singles pushed togther. Quite symbolic as that´s what we always seemed to be, 2 singles, pushed togther, always with a small gap in the middle that never allowed for 100% comfort. When we moved into our own place we had a couch which we pulled out into a double bed each evening because there was only one bedroom in this flat which we used as a children´s room so my husband and I slept in the living room. We built our own house in the years while our children were in nappies and kindergarten and I insisted on having a bedroom for each child, a bedroom for us and a guest room. My husband reluctantly agreed to the guest room - he´s happy about it now because about once a month he is the guest. When we seperated I took apart our king sized bed and put it away in the cellar. I drove to ikea, bought a nice country looking, wooden bed and painted it green. This is the bed I now share with Erich. We have one large matress and one large quilt, there are no rifts, no gaps, I feel comfortable in this bed, it´s ours.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

BLACK/GREY Wednesday

This colour week is giving me the break in writing that I need to get some other projects finished. I am putting the finishing touches on a bag for this lady, getting thankyou notes in the mail to here and here and belated Birthday wishes in the mail for these 2 lovely people, drooling over all these lovely links and getting started on gifts to take along to Australia. We fly out on the 8th of July - OH MY!!!! That´s in less than a month!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Monday, June 12, 2006

WHITE Monday

It´s colour week here and today´s colour is white. There´s not much white in this house but maybe one day I will surprise everyone and paint all the walls white again.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #11 - Mystery

This week´s Sunday Scribblings prompt inspired me to make a collage. I have 2 new books on my bedside table : Das Leben ist ein Langer Fluss (Life is a Long River) by Patricia Tudor-Sandahl and The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch. The first was given to me by a friend after we´d been discussing getting older, the catholic church and religion questions and the second book was recommended by another friend who says that she believes Mulisch´s theory that everything is pre-destined. Always curious, I want to read both books. I wonder, is it important to know what drives us? Are we the masters of our own destiny? Is it all fate or just one big coincidence? It is a mystery to me. I´m not sure if I want to know the answers...would we live differently if we knew?

Things I Love Thursday

I love glass bottles! These are ones which I have collected from flea markets and second hand stores.

I´m a bit late this week - I´ve been busy helping a friend paint her new flat in the most beautiful colours! She has chosen a lovely yellow for the hallway, kitchen and sun room, eucalyptus green for her bedroom, deep green and red for her 2 son´s rooms and a lovely grey with a dark red feature wall for the living room. All the painting should be finished today and we´ll be helping her move furniture at the end of the week.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Day Trip

Yesterday I woke up thinking"let´s go!". We packed some drinks and snacks, got in the car and headed south without really knowing where we wanted to go. I like to do round trips so that I get to see more rather than head home the way we came. We drove the 1 1/2 hours to the Slowenian border and walked around the banks of the Drau river in Dravograd before driving back into Austria and over the Soboth. We had lunch at the Soboth Dam See Café just as it started to rain and walked around Soboth which is a real little Austrian village. There was some wonderful scenery driving over the mountain and the kids loved catching glimpses of the Drau the further away we got. The quaint city of Deutschlandsberg is on the other side and there we found a lovely park and unfortunately some pretty shitty cafés. A big part of a day out for me is the food, it´s such a treat to eat out and not have to cook. The prices of cakes, strudels and coffee has become a joke here since the change from schillings to Euros...€2,30 for a coffee and €2,50 (about US$3,24) for a piece of cake that is gone in 5 bites - I can bake a whole cake for the same price. We headed home over another pass called Packsattel and got home at 7pm. The children checked where we´d been on the map and we all agreed that it had been a wonderful day trip and we should do it more often!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #10 - ... earliest memory

My earliest memory is probably so vivid because of this photo of my young parents and 3 year old me with my Oma, my father´s mother. I remember bits and pieces of this day, the day that my parents and I left our little town of Fohnsdorf to first spend a few days with relatives in Vienna and then leave the country to go and live in far away Australia. After months of planning, selling bikes, winter coats and household items and trying to learn english, my mother said goodbye to her parents and my father farewelled his mother and we drove away to a start a new life. This was back in 1969 and my mother was pregnant with my little brother who was born in Sydney about 4 months later. My parents knew that it wouldn´t be possible to just pick up the phone and call overseas, they didn´t know if they´d be able to come back for a holiday soon or ever, if they would see their relatives again or what their lives would really be like in the "new country". I can only imagine what was going through their minds as we drove away in my father´s little VW beatle, past their friend´s houses, past their schools and everything they knew so well and out of town. I remember feeling excited and I can remember looking out of the back window as we were driving away, waving and thinking "why is Oma crying?".

Thursday, June 01, 2006


(magnetic tins from ikea/ flowers in our garden/patchwork curtain in upstairs hallway/my favourite cup and saucer - a gift from my sister in law/ the family of elephants I bought back from a stay in Africa/painting by Stefan/ small mosaic I made/ candle holder and wild flowers/ one of my spontaneous, amateur paintings).