We have a so many native Tui in the garden this spring Sunday in Havelock North, New Zealand.

They love the nectar on our flax at this time of the year. Tui are very noisy birds, with loud flapping wings, but we hear them singing really lovely melodies in the trees around our place all day and unto the night on days like this.

Tui in Hawke's Bay

Tui in Havelock North




Tui feeding on nectar

Native bird feeding on nectar

Flowers in the garden

I love spring Sundays in Havelock North they are so beautiful. Our garden is an old established garden with a combination of native trees and bushes. But it also has many old rose bushes and plants that just flower beautifully in spring. Really enjoy our rather overgrown garden.



Thanks for reading my post. Have a blessed Sunday!



Growing a Rosemary topiary in time for Christmas in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand …

October is not too late start growing a rosemary topiary in time for Christmas! But if you read this post and it is after Christmas start a topiary anyway, because you will love it.


I love rosemary, I use it a lot in cooking, so I like to keep it inside in a jug of water. Something about the smell of it is really wonderful and fills the whole room.

Rosemary in a ironstone jug

Rosemary in an ironstone jug


In my garden I have lots of rosemary bushes growing, one of them is incredibly old with really gnarly roots.

Gnarly roots on rosemary

Gnarly roots on rosemary


Since I have never grown a topiary before, I decided I would start one with the idea it should be looking good enough to bring into the house to decorate in time for Christmas. They look great with even a simple bow around as a decoration. Or they can make a great gift!

So I decided to try growing and pruning a couple of rosemary. One had been growing in a pot for some time and I just had to cut it back to the main vertical shoot. Then trimming off all the shoots and cutting the top off.


The second one I brought from a nursery and transplanted it to a terracotta pot.



Then I proceeded to trim the shoots of the main shoot and cut back the top.


Keep them watered, but not sitting in water. Turn them around to make sure they get plenty of sunlight.

White lavender

Today I  found in a friends garden white lavender with flecks of purple. I managed to get a cutting, so that went in a terracotta pot as well. I trimmed off the flowers and the stem and now we will see if it grows. I will let you know how I get on!

White Lavender

White Lavender


White Lavender

White Lavender

Growing a rosemary topary

Growing toparies

Growing toparies

Thanks for reading about Rosemary. Please come back and find out how my toparies are getting on!






Little sad old cabinet – needed chalk paint makeover

Little Sad Old Cabinet – Needed Chalk Paint Makeover

I loved this little old cabinet as soon as I saw it at a Thrift Store, but it needed a chalk paint makeover. The great thing about it was it was only $20.00, but unfortunately the top half of the back was broken and there was borer in the back. It was probably why it was so cheap!


The first thing I did was remove the broken top part of the back.


I washed it all down with water and dish detergent. Some of the old hardware was broken, so I removed it and brought some cooper knobs at a local building recycling shop. My husband Tom replaced the back with a piece of wood he cut down to size and nailed on.


I treated the whole cabinet with a borer spray to be on the safe side. I don’t get put off by furniture with borer, because some old pieces do have borer. It is easy to treat with a spray and or a borer bomb, just follow the instructions carefully.

When I removed the hardware there were two holes and I filled in one of the holes with wood filler, as I only needed one hole for the replacement hardware.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre on the outside of the cabinet. I ended up giving it two coats of paint, then gently sanded it in some areas to show the wood underneath. It had a lovely texture and dark colour I wanted to show through.

I painted the inside of the cabinet with Duck Egg Blue.

Then I put Clear Wax on all the surfaces, inside the cabinet and outside and rubbed it in as I went along. Finally, I rubbed Dark Wax on some areas of the outside, highlighting rougher areas of the paint and wood.


Cooper Hardware

Copper Hardware





Winter Roses from my gardent

Winter Roses from my garden



This is my favourite chair, picked up from a Thrift store for only $35

This is my favourite chair, picked up from a Thrift store for only $35

This Maiden Hair Fern is really old, it was my grandmothers. I have only just been given it, but quickly managed to nearly kill it!

This Maiden Hair Fern is really old, it was my grandmothers. I have only just been given it, but quickly managed to nearly kill it!

I love the colour and the crackle aged lines on the pot.

I love the colour and the crackle aged lines on the pot.

Thanks so much for reading my blog!






I want to show you some of my favourite things in my kitchen…

Some of them have come from my Grandmother and Mother, so they are quite old. I love the colours and how they work so well together – my kitchen decor.



Herbs are something I use a lot of,  but I especially enjoy having living plants which are functional in the kitchen.


The old vintage jar of my Grandmothers is filled with cupcake wrappers, which are so pretty in colour. This is actually really functional as well, because we use them a lot for baking.


The vintage grocers cast iron scales and weight



This bowl was my mothers, it was made in Germany and has really beautiful colours, which I love.



The last thing is my picture of quirky bottles. This picture I painted back in 2013 with acrylic paints. We live in wine country here in Hawke’s Bay, with over 70 wineries. I especially love springtime and summer here when the wineries open their cellar doors and we can enjoy many a beautiful afternoon sipping a glass of wine.





FAWC – Food And Wine Classic Black Barn Vineyard


Church Road Winery – Winemaker

Thanks for reading about my kitchen decor. If you enjoyed it please come back and learn more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.



Succulents in teacups, little pots, concrete pots….

Succulents in teacups, little pots….

When asked to have a table at a Christmas craft fundraiser for an Alzheimer’s Day Care I immediately said yes. I had a few months to get prepared so I started collecting succulents of all species. Asking friends and families for cuttings, raiding gardens whenever I saw a succulent. Then I hit the Thrift stores collecting teacups, little pots and any pot that looked pretty and was a reasonable price.

I even experimented making some concrete pots painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Duck Egg. My son Elisha helped me making them, we certainly had fun, but that is for another post!

Then I collected tin cans of various sizes and brought some burlap and twine to decorate them. Using a hot glue gun I stuck the burlap on the tins. I even made my own little tags.

This was a really fun project as I love succulents. They have become so popular, probably because they live inside and outside and are very hard to kill.

It took some time, doing all the preparation. But I finally got all the succulents into the right teacup or pot and left them outside to grow for a few weeks. I had to kept them watered regularly as it was hot outside, fortunately they all survived and made it to the Fair.


Don’t they look beautiful?


This is my favourite succulent, called Jelly Bean or Pork and Beans.

Jelly Bean Succulent in a teacup

Check out some of these cute teacups




Some pretty pots



The tin cans with tags



And of course my concrete pots painted with chalk paint.


The day was an incredible success and a lot of fun. Fortunately I only had to bring one home!

Thanks for reading my post. Please come back to find out more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.





Remembering the past using beautiful lace and ribbons to make a garland curtain for my 13 year old daughter.

In my last post I mentioned we moved house and I am in the process of decorating my teenager daughter’s bedroom.  I wanted to show how a easy it is to make a beautiful garland curtain.

Vintage Lace and Ribbons

It was so exciting recently to find boxes and tins at my mother’s house of beautiful old lace and ribbons. She had been collecting them for many years and it was special to see how old some of it was. We decided a wonderful way to use the it was to make a curtain for Serah’s room. Some of the lace was leftover from my mum’s wedding dress, how special is that.



Serah has two pale brown roman blinds in her room, we used the smaller of the two to hang the lace curtain over. First we put nails in the wall on either side at the top of the blind then hooked up a long piece of twine. We then attached the lace and ribbons one by one, tying or looping over the twine. Some of the them shorter so we just tied and knotted others together with them to make them longer length.







It was amazing to see how beautiful they looked hanging together. It feels so special that it was no longer in boxes and tins, hidden away, where it had been for many years. It really brought much joy to my mum to see them being used and loved after all this time. Look at this one chocolate box with had lace  stored in with a picture of Queen Elizabeth at her coronation in 1953.



My daughter can now enjoy her grandmother’s old lace and ribbons every day and celebrate the past.

Thanks for reading! Come back and see more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.




Inexpensive And Easy Daughter’s Bedroom Makeover With Chalk Paint

A very inexpensive and easy way to do my daughter’s bedroom makeover was using chalk paint.

Pre-teens Makeover Bedroom update with One Room Challenge @house beautiful

My daughter Serah has turned 13 and as a teenager wants something different. She is very keen to pick out and help paint some furniture for her new room. We brought new colourful bedding, curtains and a rug for the floor.  Next came some furniture…

Little Pine Wooden Shelving Unit

I brought a little pine wooden shelving unit, to use as a bedside table, for only $5.00 at a Thrift Store which I decided to paint in a combination of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints, Old Ochre and Coco. These are very neutral colours which look great in any room.

The shelving was in good condition and just needed a wipe down before painting. No sanding was needed, as the chalk paint sticks really well to any surface. One of the reasons why I love painting with it!


After Serah and I gave it a couple of coats, I let it dry for a day before putting on the Annie Sloan Clear Wax and Dark Wax. I rubbed the dark wax lightly on top of the clear wax. Then gave it a good buffing with a soft cloth. I buy old flannelette sheets for about a $1.00 from Thrift stores and cut them up for this purpose.


Cane Headboard

My other great find at a local Thrift Store up this lovely cane headboard for only $15.00img_1249-2

I painted the cane headboard  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Emperor’s Silk, which is a really beautiful red. I used a smaller paint brush  on this as it was important to get in all the little areas. Only one good coat was needed and no wax is required on cane surfaces.


We brought some handy baskets for storage on the shelves and a new bright red lamp.


It was great to see how well the room came together and Serah was very happy.

Thanks for reading my post!


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