Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Our Fox Lane family spent most of the fifth day of the new year in Ballarat shopping for jeans, and boots, and archery supplies, and art supplies and undies. It's wasn't a day that I had particularly been looking forward to but I have to say it went pretty smoothly and we actually even enjoyed ourselves. 

On the way home in the car my farmer boy asked me what I planned to blog about this evening and it occurred to me that I still had no idea. He suggested, jokingly, that I tell you all about our shopping trip. Lucky for you guys I didn't take a single photo and have no inclination to do so whatsoever. It did make me realise two things though; The first being that I am not the type of blogger to plan out or schedule posts but rather make them up as I go along. And the second being that my blog posts are still not speaking to me during the day and letting me know what to write about. I know that when I am deep in the blogging routine I often hear whispers of suggestions, themes, words and story ideas as I go about my day. I'll get there I'm sure but at the moment it gets to about six in the evening and you'll find me racing about taking a few snaps and then tapping out the words. Maybe I should write myself a little list.

So this after shopping post is a discussion of eight photos that I just snapped. Here we go.

The first is a photo of a quince, still a while off but beautifully fuzzy and photogenic. There aren't all that many on the trees this year but looking at them I can almost smell that sweet aromatic haze that hangs over the kitchen when I'm chopping them, cooking them, leaving them to drip through muslin and then cooking the rosey red liquid and ladling it into jars. It won't be long and we'll be back there again.

The second photo is of an article I wrote and a photo I took in the latest issue of Slow Living magazine. I wrote about how we use craft to help us through challenging times and I included a simple pattern for a crochet washcloth.

That photo makes me want to print it out and get Pepper to hold it, and then take another photo and print it out and get Pepper to hold it, and then take another photo and print it out and get Pepper to hold it....

The third photo is of a project I have planned. I really, really, really want to get back into sewing clothes. Especially after a big shopping day out.

Somehow I bought two copies of the Dottie Angel pattern, so keep your eyes on this space for a giveaway I'm putting together very soon.

The fourth photo is of a present that instagram sent me in the mail today to celebrate the new year. Crazy!! Inside that cute bag is a sweet animal calendar.

Maybe I should write out the story of some of my big instagram stories from last year and pop them on the blog. Maybe that's number one on the what to blog about list!

Sorry about the fifth photo I know it's a bit scary. Jarrah and Pepper were so inspired by the tree change dolls and their story that they wanted to make their own. First we took a trip up to the Daylesford Sunday market where they bought a few scary looking specimens, now they're stripping the paint off them and later they'll repaint them, do their hair and dress them like normal kids. Hopefully I'll show you the after shot in the next few days.

The sixth photo is for Reannon who asked how we trellis our tomatoes. But now that I'm looking at it I can see that my photo doesn't explain the process at all because I've cut out the important bits, and now it's getting too dark to take another. Oops!

Basically we bang in wooden stakes as we plant the tomatoes out into the ground. Then we use bits of old tee-shirts to loosely tie the middle, thickest, straightest stem up and that becomes the trunk. As the plant grows we tie the trunk up further up the stake. Does that make sense?

We're still waiting patiently for our first red tomatoes here. We were late planting because of our trip but still.....

The seventh is a plan I am desperate to put into action.

Oh and there's movement on the Daylesford Organics wool project. I'll let you know as soon as it's definite but it's all getting very exciting. Farmer Bren even sent me a text message today filled with tiny sheep. Eeeeeeep!! Or rather shEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!

And the eighth and last is of a granny smith apple. So close but yet so far.

And that's my eight on the fifth!

I hope you've had a gorgeous day. Or are about to.

Big love,

Kate xoxo


  1. I'm SO excited to see what you can do with natural dyeing! And where having your own flock will take you. I've been teaching my daughter to crochet and it reminds me that I found your blog while looking for crochet motifs to make.

  2. I've never tasted or seen a quince in real life so I have no idea what they are like.
    I'd love to get into natural dying. Is that book good for a beginner like me without a clue what to do? :-D
    And yay for sheep! I'm so excited for you. We've had ours a little over a year and they are truly the best. After you get them you'll wonder how you're without. What breed will you be getting? Oh and just wait for your first lambing season - bliss!!

  3. Congratulations on being featured in the mag. I am interested to see how the dolls turn out. A friend of mine paints her dolls in Aboriginal designs and sells them.

  4. You should so do the Pepper photo thing and include it every day for the month!

  5. First, thank you for explaining the staking. I screen shot your photo on the last blog post so I could make it bigger & show Tim & try to figure out what you'd done. He thought you might of had wire between the stakes for the branches to rest on. I then sat down & cut an old double bed sheet into ties, went out into the garden & started banging in the thickest stakes I could find into all the plants that I'd ( lazily) not staked yet. They are quite unruly but I sorta managed to get them into some sort of order. Next season I'll be more prepared & stake right at the start of

    Do you know I still haven't made my Dotti dress? I think I've talked myself into thinking it's too hard & now I'm too scared to start it! I can't wait to see how yours turn out x

  6. Oh wow! So much goodness here Kate. Natural dyeing is on my to do list this year too. And that Dottie dress....I love it soooo much. I hope I win the pattern, otherwise I'm going to buy it anyway. Thanks for your inspiration Kate and I loved your craft story in Slow. I'm so happy you're back! I love these Jan posts when you're here each day. xo

  7. I'm loving reading your blog everyday....You've always got so much going on Kate. Quince Jelly is one of my favourite things. Look forward to tomorrow's post.

  8. Gorgeous Kate, thank you so much.

  9. I'm glad you don't have a plan for what to blog about, because life happens and I enjoy reading about the everyday life, its comforting, does that make sense? Anyway loved your stories and so happy about someone changing those horrid looking dolls. I have a quince tree as well, the first year the possum took a bit of all 5 quinces, the second year no fruit, so Ill just enjoy watching yours grow. Take care. Guida

  10. My quinces are at the same stage Kate...but I am not expecting a huge crop this year either, I had a bumper crop last year. Life looks happy, colourful and real at your place as always x

  11. So much loveliness! And that dress pattern, oh that dress pattern is calling me to really put all my fears about sewing clothes aside and give it a red hot go. I think I would wear that dress every single day. Love love love that you're blogging goodness everyday. It inspires me to do the same.
    Much love & light, Sophie x

  12. Got intrigued, followed your link to the Tree Change Dolls, my girls and I watched the youtube, fascinating! Girls are thinking they might have a go at rescuing some dolls too

  13. You turn up in my inbox as a genuine person, living not far from me, who gives her time generously to communicate a real life. Your girls look amazing, the farm is based on great principles and productive, you share ideas I love. Many thanks.

  14. I need to get my hands on that copy of Slow Living and I love the Tree Change Dolls, I'm so looking forward to seeing Jarrah and Pepper's finished dolls x

  15. I need to get my hands on that copy of Slow Living and I love the Tree Change Dolls, I'm so looking forward to seeing Jarrah and Pepper's finished dolls x

  16. I ordered (and paid for!) the Dottie Angel pattern too! - ONLY MINE NEVER CAME!!! D:
    Cant wait to hear about your wool project! I'm a budding spinner/knitter/crocheter myself!


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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