Easy to make pallet Christmas tree…New Zealand

This easy to make pallet Christmas tree took me around 2 hours to make. It is a simple project that you can get the children to help you with and it is fun!

I found this on Pinterest here. And immediate decided it would be perfect hanging on our wall this Christmas.

Supplies needed:


Hack saw

Paint (60ml)


Nails (tacks)


Christmas Lights (I used battery operated 24 LED string lights)

Christmas decorations

Tree log

If you read my previous post on pallet coffee tables, here, you will know I have pallets stacked in the yard just waiting to be used.

The pallet I picked was easy to dismantle.



First, I used a hack saw to saw through the nails on the back of the pallet. Removing the two sections of wood. The nails that were sticking out I just sawed them off to tidy them up.

Hack saw

Hack saw



Next, I washed down the pallet with a hose, and started painting the front only. I used Resene paints, test pot colour Bianca (only because I already had this colour at home). I watered it down in the paint tray. Only a light cover was needed as I wanted the wood showing through to give it a rustic look.

Painted pallet front

Painted pallet front

Once it was dry I placed the nails (tacks) in the wood. I made a zig zag pattern. Placing the nails out more each time to widen the tree.

Christmas decorations

There were some great decorations at Kmart, very cheap and cheerful! Some gold beading at a Thrift store and gold balls I already at home, which I brought at Kmart last year, but they are still available.

Kmart Christmas decorations

Kmart Christmas decorations

Attaching the gold beads I strung them around the nails. Doing this gives you a good idea how your tree design looks and whether you need to make any alterations. I attached the lights in the same pattern. The cookie cutter copper lights are so cute!

Beads put on in zig zag pattern

Beads put on in zig zag pattern

Check out the star and hearts I made of burlap, see my post on how to make these here. And, then all the decorations I wanted.

Christmas decorations on pallet

Christmas decorations on pallet

Pallet Christmas tree decorations

Finally, I attached with twine a piece of a tree log I grabbed from a wood pile.

Tree log

Tree log

We hung this on a wall for the holiday season…the family love it!

Pallet Christmas Tree

Pallet Christmas Tree

Pallet Christmas Tree

Thanks for reading my post! Hope you get to make a pallet Christmas tree!




Simple, but cute burlap Christmas ornaments to make these holidays…

These simple, but cute burlap Christmas ornaments don’t take long to make at all. I saw them in a store for $9.00 and thought “hey I can make that for a lot less”, so here is my take on them, for a lot less!!

Supplies needed:

Burlap fabric


Tracing paper or baking paper






Needle and thread


First make a star and heart pattern. To do this trace using tracing paper or as I did use baking a star and heart. If you have a stencil use this.


I trace the patterns on to cardboard just to make it easier.



Next, trace the pattern onto your burlap fabric, you will need 2, for front and back.


Then, use the pattern to trace and cut out the stuffing. I just used polyester filling as I already had some at home. I found it easier to have a flat piece of stuffing and cut it to a little bit smaller that the pattern. It then fits in nicely inside.


I then sewed with needle and thread the about 1 cm in around the star and heart, finishing at the top. You could use a sewing machine or even use fabric glue, the choice is yours. At the top at attached a small loop of twine for hanging up the ornament.

At this stage I gently fray the edges to get a frayed look.


Finally, paint the top left or right side of the ornament. I used Resene paints (a test pot) colour Copper Fire, because I already had this at home. It is copper colour with glitter. You can use any colour!


I made various sizes for my Christmas tree. I imagine there a lot of other shapes you could use to make these ornaments.

Hearts and Stars Ornaments

Hearts and Stars Ornaments


Burlap Christmas Ornaments


Thanks for reading my post! I hope you get to make these simple, but cute ornaments!



Time’s a ticking to Christmas – shopping at Kmart.

It was such a windy day here in Havelock North yesterday it looked like snow was falling. But really it was beautiful flower petals.

It looks like snow, but it is petals

I did a quick trip to our local Kmart in Hastings, only 10 minutes away and was excited to see such an amazing remodelling of their store.

The store was buzzing and usually I don’t want to think about Christmas this early, but I found 3 things I had to buy. And of course when I got home I had to try them out as you do.

The first thing was 3 Metal planters for only $17. One of these I was definitely using for my Rosemary topiary I am growing. See my post – growing rosemary topiaries in time for Christmas

3 Metal Planters

3 Metal Planters

Rosemary topiary in metal planter

My rosemary topiary I am growing in the metal planter

Next I purchased this adorable Ombre Rocking Reindeer for $7. I love this and it fits in perfectly with the colour scheme in my living room.

Rocky Reindeer

Rocky Reindeer

The last thing I got was a cute Reindeer bath mat for $12. I can see a Reindeer and duck egg blue theme in my home this Christmas.

Reindeer bath mat

Reindeer bath mat

Ok, so I didn’t buy much, but I was selective and I have got to say I was so impressed with wonderful array of items and very reasonable prices at Kmart.

Vintage silver trophy

One of the things I love using is the lovely silver trophy we got when I was a child. Our Siamese cat won this cup! I filled it with my lovely white bramble roses.

White bramble roses in vintage silver trophy cup

White bramble roses in vintage silver trophy cup

Old Mason jars

Another thing I love to use is old Mason Jars of my mums, here I painted the old ring with some Duck Egg Blue to add my theme colour.

Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint

Then I filled it with bay leaves from my garden and Bay blueberries grown locally in Hawke’s Bay. Filled it with water and a little tea-lite candle.

It makes the decorations special to use things from the house and garden. It also saves on the budget at Christmas!

Thanks for reading my post. More Christmas posts to come…


3 simple tips to make perfect chocolate chip cookies

The ultimate chocolate chip cookies

The ultimate chocolate chip cookies

3 simple tips to make perfect chocolate chip cookies….

My son told me tonight he had three shared lunches at school next week.  I thought about all I could bake, but I decided to make a large batch of chocolate chip cookies. 

Cookies are very easy to bake and everyone has their favourite recipe. Our family’s favourite recipe comes from:  Betty Crocker – Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies 


¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I never add nuts just due to so many people having allergies)

12 ounces/340 grams (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Start by pre-heating  the oven to 375 Degree F./190 Degree C.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches/ 5 cm apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centres will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

My simple tips to make your perfect cookies are:

Refrigerate your cookie dough for a short time before scooping (if you have the time)

Use a cookie scoop to make the cookies perfectly round

Only bake for 8 to 10 minutes this keeps the cookies from going flat


Using a cookie scoop makes perfectly round cookies

Beautifully scooped cookie dough

Beautifully scooped cookie dough

I use a potato masher to flatten my dough

I use a potato masher to flatten my dough, its a lot quicker

Perfectly round cookies

Finally perfectly round cookies

Cookies on a vintage embroidery tray cloth

The cookies on a vintage embroidery tray cloth

Vintage Embroidery Tray Cloth

I love vintage things in my home. This beautiful vintage tray cloth was made by my grandmother’s friend in 1937.

Vintage Embroidery Tray Cloth

Vintage Embroidery Tray Cloth



Vintage cloth made in 1937

Vintage cloth made in 1937

Thanks for reading my post!












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.




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!



Just wanted to say Happy Fall to my dear friends in America!

I lived in America for over 16 happy years but have been back in New Zealand for just over 4 years.

One on the things I loved the most about America was the way each season is celebrated. I have wonderful memories of Fall, probably my favourite is pumpkin spiced coffee. Another is houses with front porches decorated with pumpkins, mums, pansies, just beautifully celebrating the season.

In New Zealand we don’t decorate our front porches, but I had to simply to celebrate Fall with you.

So enjoy the season!




With love Andi  xx



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