Friday, January 18, 2019

love, indi x

Hello to all you wonderful readers sitting behind your screens ready to read my mum's blog.

I hope you slept well, are happy and healthy and have something exciting to do with your day!

My day consists of making mum and the rest of the fam shlep into town in the hope of crossing as much of my shopping list off as we can before I head overseas for the year. In ten days! Aaaaaahhh!!

I know from experience that when you travel your eyes see many beautiful new sights, views and monuments, but it's always a funny feeling to leave home. Because through all my mum and dad's constant hard work and joy for what they do, our home is also one of the most tremendously beautiful places I've ever been! Especially as the flower season begins.

Looking at the photo above makes me know that as I watch through my screen from across the world each new exciting flower variety bloom, just how much I'm going to miss always being surrounded by flowers, walking through the garden to pick them, bunching them and filling my room with colour.

But somehow I think that I'll miss the flower farmer herself much much more!

Sorry to take my mum away from you for the day!
I promise I'll make mum sit down and write another blog soon!

Wish me luck with my shopping list and taming the butterflies for the next ten days!

Lots of love, flowers and foxslane appreciation!

Love, Indi x

Friday, January 11, 2019

2018 HOT HITS!

Hello friends,

I have to start this week by thanking those of you who have written to me from near and so very far to tell me what my blog means to you. Honestly when I sat down to write my blog last week I quickly typed out a list of about 16 things that I wanted to write about - my blog break was number one.

But then somehow item number one went for so long and took up so much space that I decided to leave it at that. I'd included that bit about feeling sad that nobody even noticed my blog posts had disappeared even though it made me feel terribly uncomfortable, I'm all about  messy reality after all.

If I ever doubted that my blog was read and received and appreciated, I certainly don't anymore. Thank you for writing to me, thank you for being so understanding, thank you for not being demanding of me, thank you for reading along, thank you for telling me about all the things you love about my blog and what it means to you, and seriously thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking my family into your hearts and being so kind to us, it means the world.

So before I use up all my blog time and space again this week I'd better move along to my 2018 highlights reel. I've never actually done this before, I don't think, but late last year and early this, as my social media feed got filled up with other people's highlights I decided that it would be fun to do the same. 

As an added  bonus, scrolling through last year's 51 posts has convinced me further that I have to stick around. What a great record of a moment in time. Even the posts that I remember struggling with, feeling like I had nothing to say, are interesting to me now from a distance.

So without further ado, here it is, my 2018 hot hits!


2018 went off with a bang when we celebrated our farmer Bren's birthday with a big beautiful party. The night started with fancy cocktails and a communal feast in the garden and ended up many hours later with a bit of table top dancing. Quite a contrast to his birthday celebrations this year, a few days ago, which were much more low key, but still just as special.

Happy birthday my love!

January was also filled with a lot of talk about becoming a flower farmer. It's interesting to read my confident words of a year ago and to think of how much more I know now, yet how aware I am of how much learning I still have ahead of me. The more you know - the less you know. Feels like a bit of an ongoing theme with me.


The girls went back to school and started year 5, year 9 and year 12.

I wrote a blog post that included this chunk of text - '"I think I'm happier now than I've ever been in my whole life" I blurted out as we drove past the newly planted sunflower patch. "I feel like I'm more authentically, honestly me than I can ever remember being. Like my skin fits and I feel comfortable wearing it.

And I didn't mean that kind of happiness that is short lived, giggly joy. I could have called it satisfied or honest, but it felt bigger and more worthy than that. It was more of an underlying positive feeling about where we live and the way we've chosen to live. It was about nature and love and creativity and time.'

The days were warm, the garden was full of flowers and our baskets were full of produce.


March saw us harvesting baskets and bowls and picking bags full.

We started farmers marketing again. We opened the farm gate stall. And the Fowlers machine, the freezer and the dehydrator started humming away, preserving the bounty.


Reading through April's posts I remember struggling at the time to write them. I remember questioning myself about how interesting they were. Feeling certain that I was just repeating the same seasonal stories from the past nine Aprils, and running away from the computer as soon as I'd pressed 'post'. But this morning I loved reading back on what I was preserving, learning, picking, pickling, listening to and feeling. I'm positive there's a lot of repetition from year to year on this blog, but that's living with the seasons for ya.


The temperatures plummeted and the season started to change in earnest. We pulled the tomatoes out, we picked the last of the apples and we started seriously stacking wood.

In May my insomnia peaked and I wrote that it was - frustrating exasperating and scary

And very excitingly, my studio build began.


In June my studio build continued.

The mornings were frosty and the days were cold.

We pulled nets off the trees, pulled out the annual flowers, dug up the dahlia tubers, planted spring bulbs and loads of flower seeds.

AND I conquered my monster fears and gave a 45 minute presentation about my crafty life and taught a bunch of awesome crafty women how to knit socks from the toe up at Soul Craft festival.


In July I wrote my first blog from inside my studio. A room of my very own. I can still remember the feeling of walking in and closing the door behind me for the first time. The only thing I can compare it to is driving down a highway alone after I first got my driver's license.Freedom, independence, space and opportunity.

Farmer Bren started turning the most beautiful bowls.

And we spent quite a bit of time staying in the mountains close to the girls' school so they could go to their early and late classes, musical rehearsals and be part of the social scene.


In August I started painting from nature as a way to reclaim my creativity and give myself permission to continue with something even though I wasn't great at it.

We took Pepper and some friends on a Goldrush adventure through the forest.

And then finally my insomnia defeated me - I cried all the tears. I scraped the bottom. It terrified me.


In September, the spring equinox, the daffodils and wattle came out and coloured our world golden.

And then my all time knitting hero/guru Mary Jane Mucklestone came to Australia and Felicia brought her to our farm for lunch!! How cool!!

A few days later I attended my first ever craft retreat - The Craft Sessions where I met loads of wonderful women, learnt heaps of new skills and shared a room with Mary Jane. I still can't stop smiling when I think of those few days and nights, the late night conversations, the giggling and the story telling. Definitely a 2018 highlight for me.


In October our Jazzy went overseas with school for six weeks and turned 15. Our Pepper turned 11 and had a treasure hunt party. I stressed about the jungle-y state of our farm and my farmer boy calmed me down by talking about living with nature rather than trying to tame her.

I planted and planted and planted seeds in the greenhouse.

I started spinning lessons with Rebecca from Needle and Spindle who I met at The Craft Sessions and I fell in love. The apple orchards tried to blossom in a week of rain and wind. And farmer Bren made a bowl from a eucalyptus burl.


In November Indi started and finished her final school exams and then turned 18. Our Jazzy came home from her overseas adventure with so many stories to tell and songs to sing.

The giant foxgloves flowered, my spinning obsession continued, we harvested the garlic, divided the dahlia tubers and Bren and I spent three glorious days alone at the beach celebrating my birthday.


There's only one post in December. It was a month of finishing school and the commutes there and back, planting out the gardens, picking flowers, starting to pick veggies, time alone on the farm with Bren while the girls spent time with their grandparents at the beach, getting used to a slower pace, working til 9.30 at night, and the mad scramble to find new podcasts while all of my usuals take summer breaks.

In 2018 I knitted - five beanies,  one sweater, one shawl, two pairs of slippers, two cardigans, two pairs of socks, countless blanket squares, some swatches and I'm currently half way down the body of another cardigan knitted using my very own hand-spun. If you're the knitty-type, you can find all the details on my Ravelry page.

According to my Goodreads tally in 2018 I read 52 books comprising of 16,448 pages (insomnia will do that to you).

We survived our first final year of school and were thrilled to learn that Indi was the dux of her graduating class. I didn't eat processed sugar for 365 days. We grew food and flowers, Farmer Bren renovated his workshop (that post is still in my drafts), we drove 1,000's of kilometers, we cleared a track around our property to start fencing it for sheep, we watched a few series, I learnt stuff and taught stuff, there were boys, lots of written and played songs, lots of trips to the gym, some new friends, lots of emotions, tears from laughing and crying, some wonderful celebrations, some great memories.

I can't wait to see where 2019 takes us!

What are your stand-out highlights of 2018?
How have the first eleven days of the new year been for you?

See you soon!

Love, Kate x

Friday, January 4, 2019

the missing month

Hello friends,

How are you? How have the first few days of your new year been treating you?

I'm good. It's ridiculously hot and scarily windy outside, so after a morning of farm work I'm now sheltering in my dark bedroom, in a tee-shirt and undies, with my laptop on my lap, thinking about my blog.

It's been a month since I last posted here.

In the beginning I just ran out of time. It was a Friday early in December. I had taken, edited and loaded a whole bunch of photos documenting the transformation of the old farm shed into farmer Bren's new wood-workshop, and all that was left was to write the words. The words would be straight forward and easy. It's all very beautiful and exciting.

But then somehow the hours disappeared and it was time to go and visit a local ceramicist friend, then we came home and I had washing to hang out, a greenhouse to water and girls to feed. And then it was time to get ourselves dressed and ready for our beautiful friends' wedding. And then we had so much fun that we stayed all afternoon and evening and by the time we got home, after all those champagnes, I was in no state to write the words.

The next morning I woke up with all the best intentions but then my computer died. I knew it had been coming - it had been acting up for a while - so I closed it down and walked away. Unlike other computer malfunctions, this time there was no tantrum, there were no tears and there would be no blog post that week.

I felt a little bit disappointed, a little bit relieved and a little part of me wondered if it was a sign. If my time as a blogger was over and done with.

Blogging does take up a huge chunk of my life each Friday and as the growing season progresses and my time gets more valuable, it's hard to justify the whole process.

I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit that over the next few days I waited for the messages to start arriving. I thought that some people would notice my absence and write to ask why. And although I never wanted this to be about ego, I did feel a bit disappointed when nobody did. Not my family, not my friends, nobody. (Poor me - I'm so embarrassed to write this but it's true).

I think it was then that I stopped being a blogger. 

I stopped taking photos, I stopped writing posts in my head, I stopped thinking about it and I worked right on through my Fridays without another thought.

After a little while a few messages did trickle in, and then a few more. Mostly I replied that I was having computer problems, which was officially true considering I still hadn't turned my computer back on since that first Friday.

When I eventually did try to turn it on and it still wasn't working my farmer boy took all the photos off, wiped it and then reinstalled everything. 

Then he wrapped it up with a bow and left it on my bed.

Over those few weeks I thought a lot about who I was without my blog. I thought about what it gave me and what it took away. It challenged me when one of Indi's friends told her he just could not understand why I did it. And then I considered signing out of all social media altogether. I wondered if six months short of my 10 year blog anniversary, it had all just run its natural course, petered out.

As the weeks went by I received some beautiful messages from people telling me how much my blog has meant to them over the years. Lots of memories and stories and thoughts. So much kindness. Those messages meant the world to me.

And then this past week as the flowers started blossoming and the girls picked a bouquet a day, as the late afternoon golden summer sunshine intensified the beauty of where we live, and as the vegetable harvests began in earnest, I discovered that I missed the whole blogging process and was ready to have another go.

I took these photos last night, I edited them and loaded them into my blog early this afternoon when it was too hot to work outside anymore, and then, just as I was getting ready to write the words, my computer crashed. Again! Apparently the operating system I'm using is so ancient it's stopped being able to talk to Safari. Or whatever that means.

So while my computer is updating itself in the other room, I'm back on blogger on Jazzy's computer. Fingers crossed I can make it to the finish line this time.

I quite like the thought of writing a post summing up 2018, but for now I think I'll count my blessings and stop before something else goes wrong. Maybe in the next few days.

Until then I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for hanging out with me at Foxs Lane. I hope your 2019 is full of all the best, most beautiful and love filled stuff. Hopefully I'll see you here really soon for more flowers and farming, family and knitting.

Big love,

Kate xx

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