Image from Rue as seen at The Design Files

So thanks to Lucy Feagins at The Design Files I have heard about another online magazine called RUE coming out of the US, and yes it is beautiful. I found my chairs on page 73 and quite a bit of mid century design for inspiration. And apparently peach, yes I mean the colour is in. Who would have thought! If you were wondering what Rue is all about, this is what the editors Crystal and Anne say :


  • That every color can be your favorite colour.
  • That great taste comes in many forms: the fringe of a carpet, the pull of a drawer, the lines of a sofa, the curve of a smile.
  • That a good can of paint atones for a multitude of sins.
  • That friendship can be forged across continents by only a kind word and a shared lust for leopard print pillows.
  • That a glass of pink champagne really does a party make.
  • That everyone has the talent and drive to design their most beautiful life–we all just need a little nudge in the right direction.
  • That inspiration is everywhere.
Enjoy this one – add a bookmark. Your bookshelf must be getting full by now!


I enjoy writing, journaling and describing my life, our world, my family, friends, inspirations and faith. And I do some of that here on this blog. But honestly I have days that I wonder why. Have you ever stared at your blank Facebook status update box and felt inept…nothing witty, engaging or thrilling was coming to mind. You write nothing – fail. You write something little- boring. You make it up – brilliant. But it is not you. It is not honest. I guess writing a blog can be a similar process. I have days when I wonder what to post, I rarely plan ahead. I wonder who reads it, after all there is little dialogue, comment and feedback. And yet I yearn to know you read it, that it matters, that you like it. For many writers the process is solitary, the criticism is public and the outcomes unknown.
So today when I heard someone had read my blog and learnt more about me I was excited. But not in the way you might think. I was excited because the reader was pointed to my faith. My faith in Jesus. I hope that in all of my reflections, excitement and discussions here I can glorify Him. God is a creator and he loves beauty, design, he delights in good family life, loving marriages, bountiful banquets, healing hands and communities that love and support each other. He loves us in the pain, the hardship and even in our failures, our sin.
 John Piper says:
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him.

 If you want to know what motivates me more read the whole article hereAnd I am hoping that the things that I take pleasure in and celebrate here will point to him. Honestly.

The Hour

Dominic West plays Hector Madden

Did you watch the BBC The Hour when it aired in Australia recently? It is described as:

A behind-the-scenes drama and espionage thriller in Cold War-era England that centers on a journalist, a producer, and an anchorman for an investigative news programme.
It has seriously hooked us in, as we watch the Mad-Menesque show set in the bowels of the BBC film studios in the 50s. There are a few recognisable actors such as Anna Chancellor, Dominic West , Romola Garai and a new one for me, Ben Wishaw. If you want to read a critical review you can see what The New York times said here. I still have the last episode to see….cannot wait. 

Burnt Popcorn

So….I attempted some healthy offerings for the hungry mouths this afternoon. I popped a salt reduced ‘light” packet of popcorn in the microwave just minutes before the kids were due home from school.  But I think I pushed all the wrong buttons and I got distracted by an unexpected visitor. Beeping, clouds of smoke and smell! Have you ever burnt popcorn? I don’t think my microwave will ever be the same. So here is my question to you. How do I remove the smoke smell from the microwave? All ideas welcome.

The Park Lane Dress

Jackie @ Hazel Green in action
The Park Lane Dress – beautiful soft drapes

I am excited to say that in just over two hours Jackie made a gorgeous dress, the Park Lane from Merchant and Mills. There were six eager girls watching her every move, learning as she sewed, talked and encouraged us, that yes we could complete this dress, just like her. You know, I think I could.


What would I do without my iPhone….it is so very useful. But the little people in our house know how to use it and manage to engage functions I know nothing about. Here is my youngest with one of maybe half a dozen images she has taken randomly. It is sometimes a surprise to view the images on my phone and discover action shots of family life. Like this one…breakfast, scootering, getting ready for work and school. Such is home life with 7mouths2feed.

Pancakes – Shrove Tuesday

So it is that time again. Shrove Tuesday. Lent is approaching and we are encouraged to make pancakes to rid our pantry of flour, sugar and all a those good ingredients so we can fast as we prepare for Easter.

Apparently crepes are super easy, but they are not something I make at all. In fact my man is the breakfast pancake expert. But Nigella has a super easy recipe here, which I am sure will be brilliant. Enjoy!

Hazel Green

I have had the pleasure of knowing Jackie from hazel green for sometime now and am always inspired by her new projects, great style and designs. Jackie exudes an understated elegance in the way she wears a frock she has just sewn up, the way she displays her beautiful products in her studio or how she marries colour and texture in her woollen hand knitted garments. Jackie is very excited about a new line of sewing patterns from the UK, Merchant and Mills, that she is using to create gorgeous garments. These dresses and tops are forming the focus of some intimate sewing classes where you can interact with Jackie as she ‘talks and sews’ you through one of the designs from beginning to end. Contact Jackie for more information about these classes or any of the beautiful hazel green products.

I wrote about Jackie here a few years ago. Recently she chatted with me about her ideas for hazel green.
Jackie from Hazel Green, wearing a Merchant and Mills Dress

Beautiful Packaging

Beautiful Patterns

Samples of the Merchant and Mills garments

what is hazel green? hazel green is my very own retail/studio space. Born from a desire to create, and pass this skill on to others and hopefully inspire people to make things.

how long have you been designing and creating? my creative skills were developed at a very young age – my mum kept me busy with knitting,
crochet and sewing from the age of 5. I can remember making dresses without patterns for myself and my sisters when I was about 12 and constantly renovating things from the op
shop. In my early teens I had a strong desire to work in fashion, although later I was more interested in architecture.

where do you find inspiration? magazines, magazines and more magazines! I try to abstain, but it’s impossible…..

what is the best thing about having your own studio and retail space?
the freedom to do whatever I want, although that means I’m often not very productive as I’m easily distracted!

what is your next big dream? I’d really like to be involved in the promoting of wool as an everyday product. I think that in our current and future environment the production of a sustainable, quality material like wool is going to become very important.

Why are you excited about your new stock of Merchant and Mills patterns?
I have just begun stocking Merchant and Mills dress patterns from England. They are very simple, well constructed patterns that are well suited to beginners and established sewers. The philosophy behind these patterns is the simplicity of them, and a way of dressing that suits today’s busy lifestyle – if you find a dress that you love, why not have one for each day of the week! They are printed on proper dressmaking card which has a certain appeal…none of the designs will date and they can be easily adapted. At the moment hazel green is the only Australian stockist of Merchant and Mills!   


For some reason I have a history of always missing the new thing…the first episode of a groundbreaking television series, the first issue of a great new magazine (Frankie?), the opening of a gallery or store. You name it and it always seems to happen to me. So I don’t mind being the last to know? Well, things sure are a changing. Let me introduce you to Fete. A fabulous brand new online magazine – this is the first issue. The lovely girls at Fete believe that their magazine will enhance your life as you gather in your community of treasured friends and family and celebrate.

We believe in making time for family and friends, making it just a little bit special and celebrating.
We are the real deal – it’s got to be easy, accessible and authentic. We hope you’ll enjoy entertaining as much as we do! Every idea in fête has to pass our time-poor test.

There are new ideas for table decoration, menus, playlists, drinks, frocks and fashion…and more. Be inspired to entertain with style. It did help that my all time favourite flower, the peony rose is featured. Add it to your bookshelf, you won’t want to miss this one, again.