Friday, November 12, 2021

come over to my new blog

Hello old blog! Hello friends!

Long time no post. 

I hope you're doing really well.

I'm just popping in to let you know that I've started blogging again.
You can find my new blog over at

It'll be pretty much full of the same sort of things I was blogging about over here; craft, family, farming, books, podcasts, life, loves and so much more.

I really hope you come and join me over there.

Lots of love,

Kate xx

Friday, June 7, 2019


The night after I wrote my last blog post I dreamt that I died.

I was haunted by the visions of my death-bed scene all that weekend. I couldn't shake the feelings and conversations and finality.

Eventually, when I just couldn't let it go, I called my mum for an explanation and some reassurance, and hopefully no ridicule. You see I am the parent who finds the long, painfully detailed descriptions of my kids' dreams terribly tedious. More than once I have uttered the word riveting in a sarcastic tone when they have caught me somewhere and begun to share a minute by minute play-back of their last 10 hours in slumberland. Nine times out of ten it doesn't deter them and I am treated to every single gory detail and held captive until they are done; elephants and nakedness and school-yards and teeth and everything else their precious subconscious selves have thrown at them while they were slumbering.

So as you can imagine I didn't take my decision to call my mum, our family's chief dream interpreter, lightly.

But eventually I did.

Once we got over the riveting bit and I filled her in on all the death-bed details, she got down to business. 'A dream about a death is really about the end of something and the rebirth of something else' she told me. In this case she thought it was most probably my blog. And although this feels obvious now, it felt like such a relief at the time not to have to worry that it was any sort of premonition.

The end of something tho - was it really the end?

When I had sat down on that last Friday to write my blog I had had no idea that I was about to take a break from it. I knew that there were problems, I knew that it had started to feel like more of a responsibility than a joy, and I knew that that one woman's demand of my content had rattled me, but still I had expected to post some photos, write some words and press publish. I certainly had not anticipated the death.

But my blog knew what I needed better than I.

10 years had been a great run but the time had come to take a break to ask myself some questions. I felt relief as soon as I admitted it to myself.

In the past month I have not missed my blog at all. I have not missed the pressure to find things to write about, the guilt to read and respond to other people's blogs, the small but growing fear that my words could and might be judged and used against me, and I have not missed the time it takes to put it all together - the words and the photos.

Those precious blogging hours.

As a work from home/on the farm mother, there was so often a measure of guilt involved as I sat at my computer writing my blog on a Friday while the to-do list exploded around me. But it was a decision we had made, and although sometimes I did have to do battle with the lists in my head, I guarded those hours carefully and refused to allow them to be compromised.

After I published my last blog, my friend Penelope wrote to me suggesting that I spend my usual blogging hours on some other creative project. At the time I loved that idea, but I soon saw how useful those hours were at the end of the week on the farm or in the house, and then they were quickly gobbled up.

But then as my missed month of May became June I decided that I would blog again on the first Friday. Even if it was just to say goodbye. And then leading up to the Friday I began to notice all the things that I have missed: the community, the creativity, the precious few hours put aside for myself, the record, the writing itself and weirdly - the typing on the computer keys. All the nos I'd been feeling became maybes.

I had hoped to come back here today with some answers about my blogging future. I had hoped to have done some research about a new platform. I had hoped that once I sat down here this morning that the words would flow out of me and decide for me, like they did last time. But unfortunately I've had too many interruptions to give them a chance to make themselves heard.

So my plan is to keep blogging for as long as it brings me joy and as often as I feel like it. I suspect that I won't be here every single week, but I hope that I'll be here at least once a month. Ideally I'd love for it to be more often, but realistically I know that I need to give myself space to only blog when I have a story I want to share.

And I guess it needs to be said that as much as I value your thoughts and opinions, this is my personal blog and I will blog about what I want to blog about when I want to blog about it. If you have a problem with what I choose to write about please unfollow me, if you have strong opinions and thoughts about content please feel free to share them on your own blog.

And finally, I'd like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being my community. For reading along over the years, for caring about our family and our way of life, for writing comments and messages, for not scrolling past, and for reading my long posts in a world that favours the quick snippets. You guys are the best!

I don't know when I'll be back here again, but it might be sooner than later as I just bought a new camera and I suspect I'll take lots of photos as I learn to use it. And then we're going to visit Indi soon and travel blogs are always fun to write...

Big thanks also to Miss Jarrah who braved arctic conditions to model for me in my latest knit-in-progress The Sólbein cardigan , hopefully I'll have the sleeves finished and be ready to steek it (cut it down the middle) by the end of the weekend.

And with that I'm outta here! No longer dead but not quite yet reborn.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend my Foxslane friends.


Kate x

Friday, May 3, 2019

missing may

Hello friends,

How are you? How's your week been?

Late last week I got a message from a reader questioning something I'd written on my blog. Or rather questioning a world event I'd chosen not to mention. To omit.

It wasn't from anyone who regularly contributes to the comment section on my blog. And it wasn't written in an attacking manner. It was fine really. But for some reason it really stuck in my mind and I couldn't let it go.

The first part was me continuing to ask myself the same question she had asked me. Why did I decide recently to talk about the Christchurch mosque shootings while failing to make mention of other horrific world events since? How do I make the decision of what to include and what not to? What is the tone of this blog and what sort of issues do I want to make mention of or to discuss? Is it okay anymore to write a personal blog about life in my little bubble, or do I have a responsibility to the world to acknowledge events and politics and to take a stance? And what if I don't always feel comfortable with that?

And I guess the second part is that if this is my personal blog, how is it fair that other people get to question what I choose to blog about? I do know that I'm being naive and that the way the online world works these days is that everyone gets to judge and opine and question. I also know that I am sosososososososososososososososososososo lucky and unusual that a simple, polite question is as tough as it gets when there is so much hatred out there. I can list the negative comments I've received over the past 10 years on two hands (and this recent comment definitely isn't one of them). I'm sure that's virtually unheard of. But having said that I do miss the golden olden days of blogs past when we shared so much of ourselves and were constantly inundated with kindness and compassion and encouragement.

Over the past few years the number of blogs being written has diminished, blog interaction has diminished, my readership has diminished, and let's face it - being a mum of teenagers - the things I can blog about have diminished. So what do I talk about? Who is my blog?

I've had all of these questions and thoughts sloshing around my head all week only to be further confused when a brand that we believe in ethically and ideologically, a brand we buy and use regularly, contacted me to work with them. I've never written sponsored content before but it did make me wonder whether using this space to spread the word about good people and companies would help me feel more at ease with all of these issues. Not to mention allowing my words and images to pay for the time it takes to create them. I don't think so but it's been interesting to think about.

Anyway the point is I woke up this morning and didn't feel like blogging. I know how much my blog posts mean to Indi while she is so far away, and I was lucky enough to have some photos taken yesterday as a starting point, but other than that I felt stuck. I still do.

In this great big online world of experts and hash-tags and people shouting to be heard, I feel like I need some time out to think about who my blog is, what it stands for, and what it needs to look like moving into the future. It interests me that I've come to this point only weeks away from my June 23 ten years anniversary of this blog.

Gosh it feels weird and a bit cringe-worthy to look back at my first blog post now. To remember myself wanting to move away from farm blogging and to find myself a place in the online craft world. It's funny to read my definite statement that I would try any craft but NEVER ceramics. And it's amazing to have those memories of sitting by the girls' baths and in school assemblies crocheting, of those sweet little embroidered tops I used to make and they used to wear, and to remember how excited and inspired I felt at the discovery of the craft blogging world. How many craft blogs there seemed to be. And the promise of the community within them.

Things have changed. Of course they have. From the big wide real world, to the online world, to my little family world. I guess now I need to work out where my blog fits in with all of that.

So I think I'm going to go against the blog-every-day-in-May of the past few years and give May a miss this year.

Hopefully I'll see you again in June.

I hope your May is extremely lovely.

See you soon.

Love, Kate xx

PS sorry Indi (this would be a great time for a guest blog though??)
PPS for some reason blogger won't let me reply to your comments on last week's post. Weird. But maybe a push to move platforms finally.

Friday, April 26, 2019

twenty five

This past week...

I used every spare second I had to throw clay pots on my borrowed wheel. I have a whole post in my head about being a beginner that will hopefully make it onto the blog before too long. It's such an interesting and humbling process. I am completely addicted though and am wondering if I might have to buy my own wheel when the borrowed one has to go back.

Our coffee machine broke!!

A nearest and dearest had a health scare and thank goodness is now clear.

I fought long and hard with one of my kids and then we made up and now our relationship is heavenly. If only it could stay this way.

I went to gym five times! I think that must be my record.

The world got a little less colourful when we lost Cam @curlypops last Tuesday.

We thought we were definitely destined to run out of water in the next few days but this morning farmer Bren went up the hill with a ladder, climbed up and peered in the tank and discovered it is half full after all. YES!!!! Not quite enough for a bath, but possibly enough not to worry.

We rediscovered Roman Mars and the 99% Invisible podcast.

We had our first camp-fire cooked bbq dinner of the season.

We picked armfuls of flowers.

I still haven't labelled the dahlias.

We pulled more of the summer crops out of the garden and replaced them with winter ones.

We went to a few garage sales and bought a cane chair, a punching bag, some paints and brushes, a tin of buttons and a tub of wool.

I crocheted four granny squares just to see if I still could.

We started the countdown until we see Indi.

We discovered that our kitten loves eating cucumbers.

We picked and podded thousands of beans.

My niece stayed with us for a few nights.

Miss Pepper swept up three cratefuls of golden leaves that had fluttered down from the grape vine and landed on the back deck and become a sludgy, slippery mess.

Farmer Bren turned some beautiful wooden bowls.

I spent ages searching instagram for beautiful ceramic shapes.

We started watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and we're absolutely loving it!!

I started knitting a blue beanie just for something to do with my hands on a big driving day last Friday.

We're still picking and eating tomatoes and cucumbers and strawberries.

I finished reading Flames by Robbie Arnott which I absolutely loved and last night I started by Nathan Englander (my mum called it 'a romp' when she handed it over - I'm actually not quite sure what that means - but I'm intrigued).

That's all I can think of off the top of my head but I might include some more if I think of some.

How about you?
Quickly tell me a couple of things that you've been up to.
If you feel like it.
I'd love to know.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

See you in a week.

Love, Kate x

Friday, April 19, 2019

country dahlias two

It's a magical feeling to find yourself back in a place you visited exactly a year before and notice how much you've grown. Last year we visited Country Dahlias near the end of our first season as flower farmers. Jenny's two acre garden has Australia's largest collection of dahlias with 2,250 different types and over 20,000 bushes.

Last year we'd planted two rows of tubers; we'd staked them, irrigated them, made peace with their pests, picked their flowers, dead-headed them, sold them and given them away, and absolutely fallen head over heels in love with each and every plant. All in all it was a great first season and when we arrived at Country Dahlias all we knew is that we wanted more. We were completely overwhelmed. We loved the colours, we loved the shapes, we loved the pom-poms, we loved the huge ones and the mini ones, and we wrote a wish-list so long that it went over the page. This is the blog post I wrote back then.

A couple of weeks after we visited Country Dahlias last year we experienced our first frost and the end of the season. We let the plants die down, the weather closed in and we dug up their tubers in weather so cold and wet it hurt. We tried to keep the varieties named and separated but by that time the main thing was to get them out of the mud so they wouldn't rot. We brought them in and buried them deep inside boxes of saw-dust from Bren's lathe. We only had two rows but it felt like quite a big job and had us looking over lovingly at the rows of perennial flowers that were independently and quietly taking care of themselves.

By early spring we were itching to get our tubers out of the saw-dust and into the ground. We watched some YouTube and learnt how to divide them and then in November we planted them all. Five rows this time. And again they bloomed like crazy and we adored them.

This year on what feels like it'll become our annual pilgrimage to Jenny's I still had that same heart full of love feeling and I still felt so full of joy I could burst, but we also felt like more seasoned dahlia growers. We recognised so many of the varieties - some even by name, we thought a lot about practicalities - like stem length and strength, we tried to find gaps in our collection, and as always Bren was on the hunt for the perfect white. And this time we only ordered 10 tubers - I still can't believe we were so restrained.

I still can't believe we're so close to the end of this season. I'd really love to have each plant labeled with its name and colour and description before we lose them, but I've had the tags cut out stacked in a neat pile for weeks now and it still hasn't happened. There's always something more pressing to do. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friends. Whether it's filled with matza or chocolate or something completely different, I hope it's delicious.

Lots of love to you wherever this finds you. Where is that by the way? And what will you be eating?

See you next week!

Love, Kate


Friday, April 12, 2019

toast and tea

I've dead-headed the dahlias.

I've picked a little bunch for my bed-side.

And a bigger bunch for the kitchen.

Farmer Bren has cut a hole in the roof of the shed and plumbed in an old wood-heater.

He's making tea and toast on it as we speak.

And putting the finishing touches on a beautiful new wooden bowl.

While Miss Pepper sands and oils the letters she cut out on the scroll saw.

And I'm absolutely busting to get the pottery wheel my friend Petrus leant me out of the car and to give it a spin.

I hope you'll forgive my quick post today but as you can see I've got toast to eat and bowls to spin (hopefully).

How about you my friends, what are you up to this fine Friday?
Are you ticking off jobs or are you taking it easy?
What are you cooking, picking, making and thinking about?

I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

See you next Friday.

Love, Kate x

Friday, April 5, 2019

dahlias at dusk

Last night as Bren was filling and rolling the haloumi and salad roti wraps for dinner, I looked out the window and saw the golden glow on the flower garden. Jazzy had already had a shower and gotten into her pyjamas but Pepper was still dressed (and covered with texta drawings). I asked her to grab a pair of secateurs and to follow me outside.

The breeze was still warm from the day as we walked up and down the rows snipping and chatting and snapping. We were spoiled for choice and quickly picked an armful.

After almost 10 years of blogging I know that the fewer photos I take of a scene the better and the quicker when it comes to editing and choosing, but still the light was so perfect that I couldn't help myself. Between 6.50 and 7.04pm I took 34 photos. How fine it is to live in the digital age.

I am savouring these moments of floral abundance. I am trying to imprint their headiness on my soul. I walk the rows often running my fingers over their soft petals and bouncing them off my palms. I spend minutes watching the bees collecting pollen. I love seeing the flower petal confetti covering the floor. I hope that the few who still haven't flowered will put on a last minute show. I dead-head them to encourage more growth. I pick them at every opportunity. And I adore them and tell them so often.

These past few days I have noticed that some of the stems are starting to be thinner and not able to hold up their heavy headed blooms. I have seen the dahlia faces open up with their centres blown. I have been trying my hardest not to feel sad about these signs of the end of the season but instead to admire their new phase.

You know what? I wish I could give you this bunch of flowers for your weekend. I love the thought of you holding them in your arms, turning them over to look at each one, taking them home and into your kitchen, filling up your favourite vase with water and them arranging them just so. And then as they catch your eye over the weekend you'd be reminded of how grateful I am for your company. How much it means to me that you come here each week and read my words. How my stories have meant something to you. How you've seen my girls grow over the seasons. How your comments make me think and feel and wonder.  How even though we've never met you still feel like my friend.

Thank you!!

It just occurred to me that I don't think I've ever asked you what your favourite flower is. I'd love to know.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend my friends.
See you next Friday.

Love, Kate x

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