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


  1. What a great recap...even if no one reads your blog documenting your family stories and pictures for you to refer back to a season or a recipe or the garden is so important. Glad you are feeling motivated to keep going with it. Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Absolutely! The making of this post has convinced me of how important my blog is as a record for my family if nothing else. xx

  2. Oh, I loved reading this! What a year! And those photos...swoon!

    1. thank you so much, it was such fun going back through the year, I can't believe I've never done it before. xx

  3. Kate what a wonderful blog you have and this weeks is another beauty. Your photos are glorious and tell a beautiful story which I'm privileged to read each week. I appreciate that behind those photos are endless hours of blood, sweat and tears as your family toil away working the land, relishing and loving what you do but at times being so exhausted by it all. Keep on doing what you're doing, you're great at it and I admire you. I'm a retired dairyfarmer (38 years dairying) and now how I wished I had the opportunity to blog it all.....blogging a wonderful way for you to record the best years of your life.......and your farm ☺

    1. Thank you so much! It's interesting, we live so much in the present and in the weather forecast future when we're farming that it's hard to remember that this time will soon be the past. Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder of how important it is to record this time no matter how busy it seems in the moment. x

  4. Hola! Un año muy productivo de creaciones,las flores maravillosas, son un regalo de nuestra Madre naturaleza, tienes muy buenas manos para cultivarlas y cuidarlas, se ven tan bellas!!!
    Los boles de madera son únicos y muy bonitos, me encantan!!!
    Has tejido muchas prendas hermosas y que ilusión saber hilar y crear ovillos de lana.
    Espero que ya no tengas problemas para dormir.
    Aquí estamos con un día soleado pero con un viento fuerte y helado, estoy cerca de la chimenea y ahora mismo empezare a tejer un jersey. Estoy muy contenta de que publiques , aunque vives muy lejos de aquí te siento cercana y me encanta leer cada viernes lo que escribes....
    Feliz semana!!!

    1. Traducido por Google:
      Hello! A very productive year of creations, wonderful flowers, are a gift from our Mother Nature, you have very good hands to cultivate and care for them, they look so beautiful!
      The wooden bowls are unique and very beautiful, I love them!
      You have woven many beautiful garments and that illusion know how to spin and create wool balls.
      I hope you no longer have problems sleeping.
      Here we are with a sunny day but with a strong and icy wind, I am near the fireplace and right now I will begin to knit a sweater. I am very happy that you publish, although you live far away from here I feel you close and I love reading every Friday what you write ....
      Happy week!!!

    2. Thank you so much dear Karmen, I am so glad to hear that you have sunshine in your wintry days. Enjoy your cozy times by the fire knitting. Love, Kate x

  5. I love the idea of, rather than new year resolutions a look back at all that has been, and noticing all the great things.
    Your year looks wonderful and how lovely to have that documentation to remind you. Even through the tough you still found something joyful to notice.
    Cheers Kate

    1. Thank you so much Kate, wishing you and yours a wonderful and creative 2019 xx

  6. What a great blog. Looking at the photos it feels that I was there, I remember them all. We’ve had a good year in 2018 could have been a little better health wise for some elderly relatives but all in all pretty good. We visited friends and family and been made to feel welcome everywhere. A good start to 2019 just got the big living room decorated and it was relatively painless as we had someone come and do it for us. Onwards and upwards looking at the staircase next.

    1. Thank you so much Jackie, I love that you remember all of my photos and feel like you were there. Something about the passing on of my stories and pictures and making them personal and part of your story really appeals to me. I hope 2019 is a wonderful year for you and yours. xx

  7. Dear Kate
    its friday and i am sitting here with a cup
    of coffee and read your wonderful blog
    What a great year was 2018 for you and your family!
    And i love your honesty in the last post..and all blog posts
    you inspire me to be honest with my own emotions
    My 2018:super garden year....we enjoy swimming with our children in our beautiful
    sees we have a lot of here ...a great hot summer
    knitting ..spinning..playing with our dog...a wonderful autumn
    with many many apples this year...but also a bit a sad year because
    i lost a friend...
    The New Year 2019:its very cold outside... we have snow over the knees
    everything is covered with snow...very romantic and cosy
    I have light the fire and its warm and cosy in my Kitchen
    I am knitting the red LANDLUST pullover...its a bit
    oversize beautiful pullover.. knitted with a red Irish wool..with ..a hood...good for coold days!!!!
    I look forward for the new year....i will enjoy this beautyful
    winter wonderland outside....and hope spring will come soon

    i wish you and your family great and sunny days
    and now i hope so much you can understand my englisch

    warm warm wishes from the alps of germany

    1. Hello Andrea, thank you so much for your beautiful comment from the other side of the world. I love the picture of your winter, it sounds cozy and beautiful.
      I'm so sorry that you lost a friend last year, I hope 2019 is much kinder to you and your family. xx

  8. I know it is an oft repeated phrase in the world of social media comments but I truly mean it when I say: I love this! I love your blog. I love the kindness you show to everyone and everything you meet in life. You're bloody ace Kate xx

    1. Ahhhhhhh thank you so much honey!!! This means so much to me. xxx

  9. This is a beautiful recollection of your year, Kate. I'm glad you rose out of the darkness to be re-energised by spring sunshine.

    My highlights of 2018 have been better health and mobility allowing me to get out and about to lots of events including Tour Down Under (just blogged last year's photos this year!) and the Beanies To Berets Exhibition workshops where I started as a visitor and ended up demonstrating crochet techniques. I learned to make a crocheted bikini (complete with lining) and it is currently on display in a Surf Art Exhibition. Exciting.

    The first 11 days of 2019? It began on New Year's Eve/Morning when the car came home with smoke coming out from under the bonnet and I had a rondezvous with the fire brigade at 2 a.m.! That should say it all but there have been bright moments such as a picnic dinner while viewing a play in the park.

    I hope you are up to some fun things, Kate.

    1. I'm so happy to hear that you've been enjoying better health and moibilty lately Jodie. I LOVE that you went from visiting that exhibition to being a demonstrator. How wonderful!! Thank you so much for visiting and all your wonderful insights, I hope your health continues to improve and that 2019 is a fabulous year for you and your family. x

  10. Hi Kate,

    So happy to read your recap of 2018. Your blog is so refreshing, compared to the airbrushed and heavily edited blogs.

    It was your blog that inspired me to visit rural Victoria.

    Since completing my lap of Australia and returning to my home town, I am struggling to readjust. I am lost and struggling to find traction. I know its the season, of topsy turvey and the normal rhythm of life will soon return.

    Wishing you all the best in 2019.


    1. Oh thank you so much Rochelle, coming home after incredible adventures can be so rough, I hope you feel grounded again soon. And perhaps take on a new and exciting project to keep you moving. I hope that 2019 is a wonderful year for you and your family. xx

  11. Love your photos and the stories of your life.

  12. Its so great to read back on your year that way. It seems so full looking at it as a whole rather than while you are in it. 2018 was a super hard year for me, becoming a single parents and working full time are two things i hoped never to do at the same time. Im hoping this year will see me work out a new direction and track to walk to get to my goals and dreams. Hope you and your family have a great 2019 too!

  13. Ooooh I love this post. Absolutely stunning pics and all those memories of the year. I hope Indi has fun on her big adventure. Xxoo

  14. Ваш блог читают в далекой России уже больше 2 лет. Вы очень интересно пишите о вашей жизни на ферме, о семье, о детях. Так интересно читать о том как живут в люди в далеких странах. У вас лето и все цветет, а у нас в России лежит снег глубиной 0,5 метра. Ваш блог делает нас ближе друг другу. Любви, счастья и удачи Вам и Вашей семье.

  15. Your glimpses of your world make me wish I could live on a flower farm too instead of working at a hospital doing crazy hours with little sleep. It brings me great joy to read your posts - thanks for sharing your little spot of paradise with us.

  16. Thank you Kate for your beautiful blog, I have been dipping in and out for the last 5 years. I found your writing and your photos so inspiring. with a passion for knitting and growing there is no surprise that you have caught my attention. Absolutely stunning. I do hope my own family will own a little slice of heaving in a clearing somewhere in the near future... My warmest thank you for stoking the fire. xx

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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 I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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