Monday, December 31, 2007


My favourite reading chair is now covered in a gorgeous red velvet (see the chair before here). It was my Christmas gift from Erich. The children bought me some wonderful books - my favourites are the ones written by Astrid Lindgren. Bottom right you can see the felt garlands I made and used to wrap around gifts, the christmas tree and beams in our flat. I love them and they were so very easy to make following these instructions by Liz. Christmas has passed and the days before New Year have me in a thinking, planning and mellow mood, waiting to jump into action in the New year. I have some plans and will be updating a list that has been neglected lately. I also have some divorce was settled just before Christmas and Erich proposed immediatley afterwards so we are getting married in early 2008! I wish you all a Happy New Year, I´m sure 2008 is going to be fabulous!

Monday, December 24, 2007


To all my blogging friends who have brightened this past year, I say Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt!

In Austria it´s tradition to have an Adventkranz with 4 candles which are lit, one after the other, on the last 4 Sundays before Christmas. We all went for a walk on Saturday and collected twigs, fir branches and dried leaves to make our own Kranz. With some sheets of newspaper and thin wire, it´s easy to form a ring and then you add your branches and leaves, wrapping the wire around as you go. This is our table centre-piece up to Christmas when it´s replaced with a large plate of Christmas biscuits. I always start baking at the beginning of December for our annual Christmas market. One of the favourites is Rasberry stars. Here´s the recipe.
I cut out stars and make holes in half of them with a small piece of plastic tube before baking. After the biscuits have cooled down, put a teaspoon of rasberry jam on a star and top with another star(with a hole in it). Put all the stars next to each other and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A year ago today, I wrote this post. I thought you might like to read it again...

Thursday November 23rd 2006.

What´s my creed? (Click here to find the link for the book)
Jamie got me thinking about this again after I read her recent post. There are rules we all live by...rules we were brought up with or taught along the way and rules we make for ourselves. I was born into a catholic home and I learnt about the 10 commandments at an early age. My family went to church often and I listened to what the priest had to say about loving thy neighbour and Jesus being our saviour but within my family I didn´t find the unconditional love that was preached about. I tried to be a church goer again after my children were born but I didn´t feel at home and after my marraige broke up, most sermons had me feeling like a loser.About 2 years ago I found a book called "Message from Forever" by Marla Morgan. It´s a story about finding yourself and finding your roots. At the end of this book there are 10 "you should" commandments that the Australian Aborigines live by. I do my best to remember them and live by them and although I don´t always succeed I know that they are right for me. Here they are:

1. You are to express your own creativity

2. Recognize that you carry responsibility

3. Before your birth you consented to help others

4. You are to attain emotional maturity

5. You should be entertaining

6. You should be a good manager of your energy

7. You should enjoy music

8. You should strive for wisdom

9. You are to learn self discipline

10.You are to observe without judging

There are explanations for all of these and if you want to know more, I encourage you to read the book.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Autumn Colors

Ask me quickly and I´d probably say autumn colors are red and orange but this autumn I am having a love affair with red, yellow and sky blue. Aren´t they beautiful together?

Friday, November 02, 2007

My Flickr Favourites

Click here to see who all the eye candy is from.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Autumn Crafting

I had a basket full of left-over bits of wool, not enough of any color to make something with so after seeing all the crocheting going on I decided to make a small rug. Once I started, it just kept getting bigger and ended up 50cm in diameter (20"). All you do is keep crocheting round in circles, taking care to do double stitches every now and then so the rug sits flat. Now my wool basket is empty and I can look for a new project, maybe out of this book?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Getting colder...

as winter is approaching. I love our cosy living room, it´s like a cave with attic windows to let in lots of light. In the top right photo you´ll see the wonderful wooden support beams that gave me the idea to paint a tree silhouette on the wall behind. Bottom right is the little lane that passes by our building, one of so many hidden short cuts we´ve started to explore almost daily. I lived in this town 10 years ago when my children were babies - now they walk along side me while we go exploring, almost grown up now and I remember holding their little hands and pushing them in their prams on these same makes we want to turn back the clock.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Our new home!

We´re settling in. It´s been a lot easier than I thought it would be to make a new start, especially for the children. As you can see, our home is filled with familiar treasures so it´s not difficult to feel at home. There´s a lightness to our new place - old ghosts have been left behind, unfinished business is coming to a close and we have reduced our belongings to an easy to care for minimum. I´m looking forward to blogging and crafting again...stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


We have just arrived back from a wonderful holiday in the area around Lake Garda in Italy. It was so good to get away for a while...sun, water, relaxation and exploring were so enjoyed by all of us after the troubles that have marked our lives lately. We are soon leaving this much loved house behind us and moving to a nearby town where 2 of my children go to school - Bad St. Leonhard. We have found a large appartment there to rent and I am about to get started on painting the walls as they are all white...and that doesn´t even count as a colour as far as I´m concerned. We will have moved in by the 1st of October and although I´m really looking forward to living somewhere a little more livelier and practical than here and decorating and making a new start with Erich and the children, it is breaking my heart to leave this house. I have a song on my ipod - I have no idea who the artist is - and one line is "it will be just as quiet when I leave, as it was when I first got here"...time to go and make some noise somewhere new.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Birthday give-away!

It was my birthday on Sunday and I spent a lovely day with friends - it was a beautiful day so we ate and played and chatted outside. I realise more and more that I have so much to be grateful for and I´d like to give something away...anyone who leaves a comment on this post over the next week has a chance to win my version of the bag on the cover of the Japanese book I mentioned in my last post. I´ll put all your names on bits of paper, put them in a box and draw a winner. I hope those of you who drop in without leaving comments (I have a counter so I know you´re out there!) will be motivated to do so, good luck!!!
Congratulations, send your address to me at kangoo1atgmxdotat and your little gift can be on it´s merry way!

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I´ve been tagged by the lovely Megg...
*We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
*Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
*People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
*At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and they should read your blog.
I´ve decided to write about 8 things that have made me smile over the last few weeks...

A package from Darlene, my partner in the tea-towel swap and from Mirre because she´s a lovely and generous person.

A beautiful new magazine my boss bought for me on a holiday in France.
The film "Little Miss Sunshine. (I adore Toni Colette!)

Our amazing cat Larry who thinks he´s a human.
Eating breakfast outside.

My first Japanese craft book (atlast!) which I bought here. Now I know what all the fuss is about.
My new journal.

Here are 8 blogs that I visit regularly but aren´t yet in my side bar...
Denise, Shim and Sons, KC Quilts, Heather Bailey, Darlene, Rainbow, Mollychicken,Mommycoddle, you´re all tagged if you like!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On Our Plates

Today´s lunch...
Mashed potatoes with green beans. Peel potatotoes, cut into large chunks(leave whole if the potatoes are small) and boil in a little water until soft and falling apart. Meanwhile, boil or steam green beans. Add enough milk to cover the potatoes aswell as a little butter and salt. Mash the potatoes, fold in the green beans and serve.
Carrots in spiced butter. Steam carrots and place in a serving dish. Melt butter in a small pan and add a little curry powder, koriander and a spoon full of crunchy peanut butter. Pour this over the hot carrots and serve. (This is a meal in itself with some basmati or jasmin rice).
Grilled zuchini. Heat up your outside griller. Put some olive oil in a small jug or jar and add fresh herbs( rosmary, thyme, oregano, garlic, basil, chives, whatever you like). Cut zuchini into thick slices and when the griller is hot, roast on each side for about 8 minutes. Put the zuchini in a serving dish and pour the herb oil on top. Let this sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
Dessert: semolina pudding (I use a vanilla pudding mix for this one) . Heat up milk according to the pudding instructions and add an extra cup of milk. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of semolina and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Then add sugar and pudding mix according to the instructions. Pour into a mould and leave until cold. Turn onto a serving plate and pour rasberry sauce over the top before eating.
If you want to serve this all together then make the pudding a few hours before, the zuchini about an hour before and then the potatoes and the carrots. MAHLZEIT!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harvest Time

We are enjoying a wonderful summer - long, hot days reading in the shade, swimming at the local pool, eating outside and keeping the garden watered. We have 2 large water tanks - one collects the rainwater from the greenhouse roof and the other one collects the water from the back roof of the house. This year it has rained regularly so I haven´t had to turn on the tap to water anything. I also collect the cold water from the shower (while I´m waiting for it to warm up) in a bucket and that´s enough to keep our indoor plants watered. The vegetables in the garden are maturing much earlier this year and aswell as eating them fresh, I´ve started stocking up our pantry for winter. I am so grateful for this garden and when we move house that is high on the list of must haves - I would hate to have to buy all my vegetables again and start worrying about pesticides and the long trip a head of salad has behind it before it reaches my local supermarket. For those of you who don´t have a garden, try your local farmer´s market. We have an abundance of green beans, zuchinis and spring onions this year and I spent yesterday afternoon making chutney and zuchini slices with herbs. I think you call chutney relish in the US, it´s a sweet and sour mix of vegetables that you eat with meats or bread or roasted potatoes. Basically, you just use a bit of oil to fry some spring onions and then you add diced zuchini and pieces of green beans(you can make this with almost any other veges too). Add tomato paste or pasta sauce or curry paste aswell as any other herbs and spices that you like and a little salt and pepper. The magic ingredient is cider vinegar (how much depends on how much chutney you´re making. Start with a dash, taste and go on from there)- it gives the chutney a kick. Let the whole lot cook on low for about an hour until it´s thick and saucy and spoon the mixture into clean jars while it´s still hot. It will keep up to 6 months in a cool place, about 3 days after you open the jar. For the zuchini slices, layer slices in jars, add herbs (rosmary or oregano are my favourites) and some mustard seads. Put a mix of cider vinegar and water (1:1) in a pot and boil, add some salt and spices (chilli powder, koriander, anything you have at home). Pour over the zuchinis while hot, about 3/4 of the way up is enough as the zuchinis will lose some liquid. Put the jar lids on tight and place them on the middle oven rack and sterilise at 90°C for 30 minutes. These are great with mozarella cheese and bread or mixed in a salad. I love going to the cellar during the colder months and choosing condiments that I know grew in my garden. Stay tuned for more recipes this week!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Last Day of Colour Week

Day 5 Blue and purple (sorry, not much purple around here).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Week Of Colour

I discovered "a week of colour" over here. Day one - pink and red.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A summer shower and a list...

As I started writing this post, a summer shower came down to water the garden and clean the air. My water tank is full to the brim again. I haven´t turned on the tap to water a single plant this spring as the rain has given us a steady supply.
I was honored to see that domesticali tagged me for a meme, so here it is!
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I think last week, watching “The Holiday”.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING Yes, it´s all curly and artistic.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 3 boys
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes, I´d love to hang around with me.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Yes, it´s mostly misunderstood but I get alot of laughs out of it.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS Yes, but I said goodbye to my apendix when I was 12.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No, I saw a vidoe once where a bungee jumper got the rope caught around his kneck and I´d be terrified of this happening.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Does being strong mean being able to take a lot of crap or not taking any crap? I´m better at the first and getting better at the second.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM? A Golden Gaytime – if you´re an Aussie you know what this is, to anyone else it may sound kinky.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? If they look me in the eyes. 15. RED OR PINK? Both.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST My best friend back in Australia, Lydia.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Fresh bread topped with a fried egg and cheese.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? 2WS, a Sydney radio station.
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU BE? One of those rainbow ones.
23. FAVOURITE SMELLS? Fresh cut grass (reminds me of Aussia summers), Paris perfume (reminds me of my first day at work), baby powder (reminds me of my kids when they were babies).
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes, although I don´t know her very well yet.
27. HAIR COLOUR? Between brown and red.
28. EYE COLOUR? Between green and blue.
30. FAVOURITE FOOD? A good steak or prawns.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I hate scary movies.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Children of men, it really scared me.
35. HUGS OR KISSES? I can´t choose.
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Bride Stripped bare – very sexy.
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?I don´t have one.
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Dr. House, there was nothing else on.
42. FAVOURITE SOUND? The kids running up the stairs after school.
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? I have called a lot of places home - mainly Sydney and Reichenfels and they are 15.981 kilometers or 9930 miles or 8629 nautical miles apart.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Styria, Austria.
47. WHAT SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU LIKE? I´d like to be able to beam myself, being able to make myself invisible would be great too!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it. (Anne De Lenclos)

Look at the beauty going on in our garden! I finally managed to use up most of my fabric stash by making 11 meters of bunting to hang in the garden. Check out this group for inspiration. This has been the most beautiful spring with sunshine and warm showers and the garden is growing at great speed compared to previous years. I am looking forward to a harvest of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, rasberries, zuchini, potatoes, tomatoes and runner beans, all pictured above.
I want to thank everyone for the encouraging comments on my last post. The house is definately going to be sold. Erich and I cannot afford to pay my husband his half of the house and he is at the end of the line with our bank so the house will soon be up for sale. The good news is that it may take quite a while for him to find a buyer so we have time to look for a rental home, we have managed to break the news to the children and they are ready for anything that may happen. I can then walk away finally divorced and with a little money to start new. I have overcome my first shock and now I´m looking forward to seeing what challenges the future holds.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Waiting, thinking, wondering...

...I´m having big difficulties with my almost ex-husband who is having financial problems which he is trying to drag us into. I´m trying to stay positive while the bank decides over our future in this house .
I want to reach above myself, stay calm and strong and focused so I don´t get emotional every time I am reminded of just how little the children and I mean to him.
If worse comes to worse, Erich and I will pack up the children and find a new home and start a new adventure but that would be very hard for me so keep your fingers crossed for us.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nice Things

This is one of my set of five Lotta Jansdotter inspired place mats. I made them a little smaller because they are for outdoors and picnic dishes and cutlery are a little smaller too and they should fit perfectly in my picnic bag which is also in the works. The older I get, the more I see the importance of having nice things. I don´t mean expensive things or "in" things -I mean simple, useful and when possible, hand made things. Things that make me joyful and emotional and more alive and aware of the colour and beauty around me. I am so looking forward to hearing the children run up the stairs after school to have a lunch of ham and vegetable omelettes outside in the garden on our blue table and our new place mats.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A new book!

I was really torn between buying this book and one of Amy Butler´s books - I decided on this one because of the title, Simple Sewing and because I am an admirer of Lotta Jansdotter and Scandinavian style. The book seemed a little too simple at first glance but the more I look through it, the more I realise that the simplicity of it leaves room for my own imagination. It´s a little like Ikea furniture, the structure is there but you can make so much more out of it. The book has a lot of practical hints and instructions for sewing in general aswell as lovely photos and useful patterns in their own hard pocket so they can´t be lost. I started with some things that I needed, the sun hat (I had to adapt this pattern as it was much too big so I recommend that you make a test hat with a cheap fabric first) and a pot holder and I`m working on the all-day tote which will be used as a picnic bag and filled with a napkins and place-mats with cutlery pockets. We have booked our summer holiday to Italy in August and I can´t wait to have a picnic overlooking beautiful Lake Garda, wearing my sun hat with a lovely place-mat on my lap!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

On my way to work....

I wanted to write this post days ago but spring cleaning and gardening got in the way. Megg inspired me by taking us along on her way to work...I don´t pass the amazing water views like Megg does...but after I get in my car, I drive for about 30 minutes past mountain views, castles and ruins. After I park my car I have a 10 minute walk along a river and through narrow alleys before I reach my office which has a lovely view of a church and market place. Like Megg, I often feel lonely and struggle to find friendships close-by. It took me a long time to find this creative blogging community and I want those of you who come here to know that you brighten my days and put a bounce in my step...even on my way to work.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Waiting for Spring...

Slowly, ever so slowly it´s getting warmer around here but just last week our garden was still full of snow. I´m having trouble keeping my spirits up in this gloomy weather so I´m crafting with all the spring colours I can find...Fernfern sent me some lovely paper and I used it to make a little paper quilt and I´ve started sewing a range of cheery bags. I hope it´s warm and sunny where you are!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sunday Scribblings #53 - Deepest, darkest

I have been very lucky in my life but there have been some deep, dark moments when I have felt very vulnerable and frightened. When I look back I realise that it´s precisely those moments that have formed me and made me strong. It´s the deepest, darkest moments that have helped me to recognise and appreciate the light at the end of the tunnel.
More Scribblings here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An Enjoyable Way To Get The Housework Done

I have been wanting to make my own inspiration cards for a while, a deck that´s a little more practical than the ones I´ve seen. I like housework and have learnt to keep my house in order but I leave some things too long and have to do a stressfull whirlwind clean-up when guests are coming over. I made a list of jobs and then cut out magazine and catalogue photos to suit them and glued them onto some thin cardboard. I have a part-time job for which I am quite well-paid and appreciated BUT I spend a lot more time working in my home and, as a lot of you know, this is not a well-paid and always appreciated job so it´s nice to see some rewards for the hard work. Of-course seeing the family happy and healthy is very rewarding but I often find that I´m spending my time and energy taking care of everyone else and forgetting to take care of myself. SO, on the back of my cards I have little rewards for myself. Once a job is done, I can shuffle the deck and pick a lovely treat. I am certainly going to enjoy housework a lot more in future!
To all those hardworking women out there - don´t forget to reward yourselves! You can adapt a deck like this to any chores OR make just a reward deck to shuffle whenever you need a little something to brighten your day.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sunday Scribblings #52 - In the Kitchen

The kitchen I grew up in was my mother´s and the next 5 kitchens I cooked in were in rented apartments. I learnt to cook for a really big family in my mother in law´s kitchen but I didn´t feel really grown up until I cooked for my family on my stove in my kitchen. I have lived, laughed and cried in this kitchen. I have looked out the windows and watched my children play in the garden, seen visitors come and go and seasons come and go and watched my husband leave for good. In my kitchen I have surrounded myself with things I love and when friends visit it´s their favourite place too.
More Scribblings here,
more photos of my kitchen and my home here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Scribblings #51 - Inspiration

The Crafter´s Companion projects : ALL DONE!
The prompt "Inspiration" urges me to talk about the shift in thinking that I mentioned a few weeks ago. The book The Crafter´s Companion came along at just the right time for me and I thought it would be fun to try to make all the projects in the book. I didn´t realise how moving all the stories about the bloggers in the book would be for me and while I went through making each item I thought about the experiences of the person who designed it, which role crafting, selling and creating plays in their life and also in my own life.
When I started this blog I hated my job, I thought that crafting would get me out of the rat race and enable me to earn money from home and have more time with my kids. I was unsatisfied with my appearance and with my surroundings and I felt more like I was "trying" ways to live rather than living. I used to spend a lot more time watching TV, dreaming about a life I could have, a figure I would be happier with and how I could change my job.
The steps I took - with the advice and encouragement of the people who leave comments here - were to try and make my working days more enjoyable by surrounding myself with music and things I love in my office and doing my work 100%. Now I am a lot more successful at teaching and it is such a joy to watch people understand and feel comfortable with a new language. I have made it an aim to help my students become more confident and recognise their strengths and I see that I have made a difference to many people. Now I love my job and I can finally really start to enjoy crafting as a hobby without putting pressure on myself just like many of the bloggers I read about in the book. There are many who have made their craft their occupation but there are also many who have a day job and I have come to realise that this is right for me too.
I look around me and see that the world is made up of people in all shapes and sizes. Taking care of my body, eating nourishing and delicious foods and enjoying eating without worrying about calories or my figure - that is how I have learnt to live. I don´t eat fast food and I don´t diet - over the last year I have stopped eating all those white and empty carbohydrates that had me feeling tired and heavy. I weigh myself only once a week and slowly but surely I am headed for my goal weight of 85kg (7kg to go!). I go for my walk/ride my indoor bike every day and I have found shops which sell lovely clothes in my size.
What I really want to say is that my inspiration is, your blogs, your comments, your books and projects are my inspiration and have helped me to recognise my boundaries, make changes and learn to appreciate so many things that I felt negative about.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday Scribblings #50 - Dream journey

When I was 3 my parents left Austria to start a new life in Australia and although these 2 countries share a similar spelling, they are very different from one another. I was lucky enough to come to Austria on holiday with my family when I was 12, we stayed for 3 months and I got to know my relatives and experience life here. When I was 16 I came to Austria for 5 weeks by myself and it was a real adventure, I felt very grown up checking in at airports and boarding planes alone. I always felt quite comfortable here as things seemed more small scale than in Sydney, it was cosier, people knew each other and everything was very old, there was history everywhere. When I was 22 I decided to come to Europe again on a dream journey, I planned, daydreamed and wrote about everything I wanted to do in Europe and although I travelled around a lot, Austria became the base where I sought refuge when travelling got too much or when I ran out of money. I stayed with my grandmothers who lived in the same town where I was born, I found work, met my future ex-husband and had babies, built a home and settled in. When I left Sydney and started my dream journey to Europe, I suspected that I may not be coming back but it wasn´t a strong thought in my mind. I was a drifter, a traveller, a free spirit. Now I see that I slipped easily into this life, there were obstacles but they seem small now. I live in the village where my father was born, 25 kilometers away from the town I was born, you could say I have come full circle.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Sunday Walk

We went for a walk around our neighbourhood yesterday, it was a gorgeous, almost spring day with sunshine and a blue sky. It´s starting to get more colourful around here as the greys and dull browns of winter are replaced with the fresher colours that spring brings with it. About half an hour´s walk from here through the forest there are some beautiful old ruins and after passing these you come to a lovely little road called Sommerau which leads you to the center of Reichenfels. Our little village is very small with a population of about 2000. It´s a bit of a ghost town on Sundays as everything is closed except the pubs and our only cafĂ©. It was nice to take a look at our neighbourhood through the camera lense, it seemed very enchanting and I noticed a lot of little things that I don´t often see when I´m passing through in my car each day.