Friday, August 31, 2012

The Retro Beach Shack 'The perfect Happy Holiday House'

Last weekend the sailor and I planted the front garden, first of all we prepared the garden beds, mixing the existing sandy soil with a ton of organic goodness, man that was hard work.  I used plants that were commonly planted in beach houses in the fifties, gardenia's, hibiscus, kangaroo paws and a selection of grasses, I could have let myself get very carried here as I love gardening, I love plants with gorgeous blooms, I love colour, but keeping in mind that I needed to choose plants that could tolerate being dry this limited my selection. I am so thrilled with the result, I love the looping pathway and the use of the river stones, the camellia tree is popping with the most delicious lolly pink blooms.  The only thing missing from this retro beach garden is a bird bath, the bird life here is amazing, and I can't wait to see them them splish, splashing around in the front garden.
Did I mention a picket fence?  What retro beach shack would be without a picket fence with brightly coloured beach towels carelessly thrown over it!  
Yesterday, in the glorious sunshine, I planted my lovely three olive threes on the nature strip, surrounded by a variety of coastal daisies.  I am hoping that the local dogs don't pee on them and kill them before I get back up there to water them.

This is my happy house, each time I arrive and drive into the driveway, she winks at me, a nod of approval for the sparkling, citrus yellow colour I painted her, I get out of the car and as I stand admiring her, I hear the waves rolling onto the beach, I let out a sigh, I feel relaxed.


My lovely collection of retro pots, how handsome they look.
A sunny spot to enjoy a cuppa and watch the birds splish, splashing around in the bird bath.

I can't help admiring my vintage Fix Masseau poster, and especially the striped wall behind it, very proud of my painting skills

I don't know which is my favourite bedroom..... bedroom one, it's bright, colourful and cheery.   One of my latest DIY pieces of wall art, the clay beads hang above my cheery DIY lampshade.

Bedroom two, also bright and airy with a strong navy palette for a nautical touch, this is where I drop my bag.......and there is a Rowan Romper for Rowan to wear to the beach.

walk through to the living room

Open the blinds.......

pour myself a glass of wine and head out here to the deck.......

later, I throw my towel over my shoulder and stroll down to the beach......

How very beautiful............

I am almost there, I just have a few little surprises left to complete my happy holiday house.  Over the past couple of weeks whilst working on the garden I have had many people stop in their cars or walk on by to tell me how much they love the house.  These comments have made me feel so happy!!

The Retro Beach Shack is available for holiday rentals.   Contact me for details.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Party's Over

It's always the last race that every skipper laments the old phrase "It's not over until the fat lady sings" You just never know, gear failure, a lack of wind, too much wind, miss a mark, anything can happen and often, than not, it does........I have enjoyed a great week of sailing, and socialising, the conditions were absolutely perfect and sadly the fat has sung and the last thing to do is pack my bag and head home, I can't wait to see Rowan, I am wondering how much he has grown over the past couple of weeks and I can't wait to hear all his new words.
I did manage to get a few non sailing shots on the beach party day and when I looked at them, they reminded me of the type of pictures I used to take years ago with my Polaroid Instamatic, sadly over the years all my sailing albums have become just fading memories, the images barely visible.   I hope you don't mind me sharing them with you, they are just random pics and with the help of Pic Monkey I have made them look just like they used to look all those times ago.

I am so happy to be writing this post, I have missed reading your posts and getting your heartfelt comments.  I'm taking a few days to get my land legs back and then it's off to the beach shack to finish the front garden, it looked like this.  Wait until you see the finished result, I 'm so excited.
Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Target's Children's Clothes, Designed Without A Child in Mind.

I have always been passionate about children's clothing, the style, fabric and construction  – Rowantree's entire foundation is about offering a collection of children's pieces that are simple and comfortable, highly durable, and fun to wear. My styles are simple and designed to capture the essence and beauty of childhood.

I have received many calls today from journalists and online magazine editors asking my opinion of this article in the Sydney Morning Herald.   My answer.  It has always been of my opinion that Big Brand, children's fashion labels, design children's fashion without a child in mind or in sight.  I don't agree with dressing toddlers and young children in cutting edge fashion, I don't like grunge, silly sayings on tee's and I'm not a big fan of surf and street wear.   I like to see children's wearing clothing that reflect elegance, innocence, fun and play.  When I buy clothing for Rowan I am happy to take the time to search out particular brands that I know I can trust for style, value and durability and I am very happy to pay the extra cost for quality and point of difference.  

I would love to hear your comments on this article.  

A Sailing Surprise

This week in Airlie Beach one thousand sailors spread over one hundred and twenty boats are here to sail fast and party hard.  The weather Gods are smiling and we have been sailing in steady trade wind breezes from the south east, these sailing conditions could not be better, top that off with sunshine, warm weather, a magnificent blue sky, this is the perfect playground for a sailing regatta. 

I am one of twelve crew, and together we have years of knowledge and thousands of nautical miles of hands on experience, together we pull some pretty fancy sailing maneuvers.  Being part of a team is what I love most about sailing, the personal commitment of knowing that each time I step onto a race boat I will push the limits of my physical and emotional strength.   There are only two things I think about before the race, the safety of the crew and of course, the podium!

Firstly, I have loads of weather information, I take note of the tides, and calculate how fast the boat can sail in the breeze against or with tide. I read the course maybe five or six times and then plot the coordinates into the navigation.   This is my gig in Airlie Beach, I am the navigator, I have to tell the helmsman where to steer to boat.  

Racecam!  It's serious...........

I poke my head out and take a photograph of the magnificent blue water, I look around for  boats in our  division and take note of where they are in relation to us.....then I start thinking about tactical differences we can make to sail faster.

I pop my head out to say hi, and take photographs of the mainsail trim.  When we finish the race I can show the mainsail trimmer how his sail looked during the race.

Down wind sailing, sailing flat and time to smash a ham roll.

Meet Miss Minx, it's not hard to be recognised with a spinnaker like this.

This is what we like, crossing the finishing line and leaving the fleet behind.


My daughter Lauren!!!! Lauren lives in Brisbane and I been missing her smiling face. 
Thank you Sailor, what a lovely surprise!!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012


I am waiting for the sailor to arrive.  Looking out across the channel, across the turquoise blue waters of the Whitsunday Islands in hope that soon I will see the familiar sight of the mast of our boat gliding through the blue sky.  I see him standing, big, strong hands on the helm,  a smile on his face, his cap slightly crooked covering his dark piercing eyes, watching, looking, steering his course........

I arrived two days ago to relax and clear my mind, put my head into race mode.  I have been watching the weather, watching the big southerly working it's way up the coast. I am anxious for the boat to arrive, to strip her down, tighten every shackle and pin, polish her hull and make her proud.

The sailor and I are very passionate about our sailing and this race regatta is very special to us, we met here, in 2004.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tim Coulson At' The Nursery'

Hello Tim and Kesh, thank you for the best day! Thank you for sending me away with a new found confidence, the confidence I needed to move from the Auto setting (without flash) to the Manual setting, although, it may take some time, I feel that together you have empowered me with the inspiration and knowledge to take hundreds and thousands of pictures and enjoy an emotional journey with my camera and the people I shoot.

Last Saturday I attended 'The Nursery', a photographic workshop for amateur photographers, hosted by Tim Coulson, his inspiring wife Kesh and a beautiful new baby boy, named Roo.  A group of ten people with a passion for taking meaningful photographs sat poised, listening intently to Tim speaking from his heart, narrating his photographic journey.


 Greer, gentle heart, knitter, home baker and mother to three gorgeous girls.

Talented Annette

Colin adoring father of one soon to be two.

I like this picture, Colin was so proud of the photograph he just took.

A  boy, always seeking an adventure.  His mum the beautiful and capturing, Jody

A baby girl, full of wonder.  Who is she watching?

Her beautiful Mum of course!

The morning session, camera's in hand Tim spoke about emotion and how being emotive and connecting with your subject is what will give you the picture you will love.  Tim talked about the touch, waiting for the moment when you capture the human touch, a hand held, a head on a shoulder, the breezy stroke of the head, or a look that says it all, I love you, you are my strength, my fire you make me who I am.  A photograph can say it all.
After lunch we met by the river, Jody was our model, Tim took turns with each of us showing us how he worked his magic, Jody patiently posed while we practised our new found skills.  We photographed each other, we photographed Jody's children, we practised until the the light was almost gone.  The happiness was evident in our smiles and strides as we walked over the bridge and had our photograph taken by Tim.
Back at the Black Shack, we settled down for the last session.  The house keeping of being a photographer, the downloading, the culling, (yes in 5 seconds you can hit that delete button) the filing and the small adjustments that can make your picture, perfect.  The sun went down, baby Roo came to say goodbye and our day was over.

I left with a skip to my step and a song in my heart.  I enjoyed meeting like minded people, I loved the energy that surrounded Tim and Kesh.  I met Jody, whose blog I love and have been following for some time and I met Annette, whose blog I have been addicted to since.........If there is one very important, beautiful thing that I learnt and want to pass on to you, it is 'Love is everything' love is who you are and what you see and how you feel,  if you can see the love in your lense you will have an amazing journey with your camera.  Pop on over and see 'The Nursery' for yourself.

If you want to ask any questions, I'm very happy to answer them in my comments.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Alexandra Leaving........

She's leaving home today, she is quietly packing up forty five pair of shoes, her thirty something handbags, her collection of skulls, her great, great Grand Mere's collection of fox furs, three cartons of denims, countless blouses, dresses, and everything else a twenty four year old, fashion savy PR girl moves around with........My heart is sad.

I will miss her beautiful face, always smiling.  I will miss her up beat happy moods..

 I will miss having a cheeky wine with her in the afternoons.....and listening to her notions of the world.

I will miss walking past her bedroom, smelling the lingering scent of her favourite perfume, sighing and closing the door........

I will miss tidying up her bed, gathering her clothes to be washed, and putting her things away....

I will miss looking at all her pretty bits and pieces....

I will miss admiring all her quirky possessions.......

and her racksssss of eclectic fashion and remember when I was once like her..... 

 I will miss seeing her shoes kicked off here and there around the house. 

I know you will laugh at this,  my gorgeous Alexandra has only been home for three months but it always feels like she's never left.  Each time she comes home, I enjoy getting to know more about her.   I see her, creative and talented,  I see this soft and beautiful person.  I feel her warmth and generousity.  

Tomorrow when I wake, I won't hear her alarm, I won't hear her tinkering around in the kitchen, or slamming the big front door as she dashes out yelling, "Bye Mum, I'm late".
Her room will be empty.
I loved her like there was no tomorrow when she was born.  I could not believe in the wonder of this new life and the humble sense of being, this unexpected miracle God has bestowed upon me.....

Good Luck Lady Pants.....................

Friday, August 3, 2012

New York City 'A Giraffe In The Bar'

See what I bought Rowan when I was in New York.  That's him, the handsome big giraffe head, and a bag of plastic cowboys and indians, I know, I know,  I'm not supposed to buy toys that endorse war and violence, but I couldn't resist these guys knowing I had the perfect vintage jar to display them in, back home in Rowan's room......
Anyway back to Mr Giraffe head in New York City.  One day the sailor and I decided to go our own shopping way,  he wanted to buy some sailor type things and I wanted to snoop around and pick up a few interesting props to use for styling.  I had the most awesome day, finding bits and pieces here, there and everywhere.  Loaded up with bags, boxes and parcels, making my way down town I spotted the giraffe head, I just had to have him.  The guy in the shop was so helpful, he could see how loaded up I was and offered to drop Mr Giraffe head back to the hotel on his way home.  Thank you, nice guy in shop, have a nice day, bye, bye......As I walked down the street I knew at this time of the evening the sailor would be enjoying a cold beer in the bar at the hotel, no need to rush.  I made a little detour and popped into my friends shop for a chat.
We closed the shop and headed off for a cocktail and then another one.....
Mean while back at the hotel, Mr Giraffe gets dropped off by nice shop guy and the sailor is happily enjoying his beers at the bar.
"Mr Easton, there is a giraffe waiting for you at reception"  says concierge.
"I don't remember ordering a carafe'"  says sailor (thinking this guy was nuts, why would they serve wine at reception)
"Seriously Mr. Easton, a man just dropped off a giraffe for you" says concierge.
"Better show him to the bar"

Some time later......

I arrived back to the hotel, dropped off my bags, boxes and parcels to the room and headed down to the bar.  How cute to find the sailor and Mr Giraffe, having a beer and shooting the breeze.

Next morning, in the lobby, two men talking.

"Did you see that Aussie guy talking to that giraffe head last night in the bar?"............

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