Monday, October 25, 2010

Ripponlea Mansion

Ripponlea Mansion, courtesy of National Trust Ripponlea Estate website
Have you been to Ripponlea Mansion near Elsternwick? If you are into sustainable gardens it is one awe inspiring place. It even has it's own windmill to pump water (rebuilt two years ago)! Ripponlea was designed in 1868 and originally was the home of the Sargood family - of the department store fame.
If you are looking to while away a few hours on a sunny weekend afternoon it really is worth a trip there. You can tour the gardens only or take a guided tour through the amazing interiors of the mansion.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New necklace designs

Recycled felt and leather medallions with strands of handmade rope created from recycled wool thread - these Mushi rope necklaces are just some of my favourite colour combinations from a bunch I just created for the Artisan Cherish Christmas exhibition. Do you like? They will be selling for $64 each.....and take a whole lotta time to make! But worth it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Digit Leather Necklace

New in the Etsy shop - in a very fashionable "nude" coloured leather! $39US Pop over here to see more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


On my kitchen bench.....
.......bread! I know! I've been inspired by that clever cookie Emma. Not anywhere near as fancy as her sourdough rye, but thanks to Stephanie Alexander's "The Cooks Companion", a couple of very tasty loaves are being devoured in our house at present. I quite impressed myself. And turns out the 3 year old is quite good at kneading bread!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Snow white

I know it's taken me a time to get around to instalment two in our Tassie adventure.....just easing my way back into blog world. That and a whole load of work to make for Artisan's Christmas bonanza "Cherish", which I shall regale you with at a later date (soon, I promise!).

Our cabin accomodation in Derwent Bridge, Tasmania
Last post I mentioned our overnight stopover in Derwent Bridge, due to snowfall. Well, it fell alright. Overnight there was another 25centimetres of it added to the 10 we had on the first day! Above is a shot of our cabin (centre) with snow covered roof. Below is a shot of the road outside just after half of it was cleared by the snow plough in the morning..............

A couple of times in my life I have wished I owned a 4WD, this was one of those times.
Well on checkout lucky me drew the short straw and was behind the steering wheel (more thanks to the fact that I was the only one - out of two of us - who managed to reverse the car out of the cabin carport without getting it stuck in snow and needing two burly blokes to push it out!!). Off we set on a road half covered by snow, following two 4WD's and a crazy bloke in a small sedan.
Snow driving day two!
This was the view from the windscreen. It was a white out indeed. Driving veeerrrrryyyy slowly and cautiously with a few close calls, thanks mainly to the dimwit we were following, we finally made it the 45km to the next town of Taraleah. It took about one and three quarter hours - a trip that would normally take about one hour....And this was the vision that greeted us at Taraleah, it's a town built for the workers on the nearby Hydro Electric scheme, and the whole lot was bought by one man and restored to it's original Art Deco era beauty. The little houses are all pastel colour schemes and the neatest little cottages you have ever seen. It's like stepping into a storybook, especially when covered in loads of snow!

Houses at Taraleah, Tasmania
We continued our white adventure on and thankfully about 5minutes outside of Taraleah the snow was all but gone from the roads. Whew. Talk about white knuckled. The rest was smooth sailing. We spent a few days around the Huon valley and Hobart, and oddly enough on the beach! Where else can you go from snow to sand in a matter of hours??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I am back!

You may have been wondering why it has been so quiet here of late. We've just returned from two wonderful weeks exploring Tasmania. Thankfully I had very little mobile phone reception and access to the net - what a way to escape technology! So now you are going to hear all about it - be prepared for a word and image heavy post!

Spirit of Tasmania car ferry from Station Pier, Port Melbourne
We sailed overnight aboard the car ferry, the "Spirit of Tasmania", across Bass Strait, from Melbourne to Devonport, which was quite an adventure! Upon arrival we drove from Devonport to the beautiful Cradle Mountain. Unfortunately we weren't really prepared with gear for the very changeable weather, so any chance of trekking was soon put aside.

Tasmanian Devil - Devil's at Cradle
Instead we met some Tasmanian Devils at the Conservation Park, and a very friendly little wallaby outside our hotel balcony. The 3y.o. was in heaven with all these animals around!!

great teeth - so clean!

Our little friend outside the hotel room
After a night at Cradle Mountain we lamented that we were leaving just as it was forecast to snow that afternoon.....We moved on to Strahan, a tiny village on the water, the gateway to visiting the magnificent Gordon-Franklin Rivers (a 6 hour boat cruise can take you there). We had wanted to catch the old steam train to nearby Queenstown, but it was booked out 2 weeks in advance; so we decided to drive on after collecting a big box full of Huon Pine offcuts (destined to be made into jewellery one day!).

Dad, it is getting really cold - can we get back in the car?!
It was lucky we did make the choice to move, because on the road from Queenstown - through the stunning Heritage Listed Gordon-Franklin National Park - we stopped to have fun with a little snow. We drove on to see more snow (getting very excited by now). The temperature began dropping, sleet began falling, and then snow was falling. Aside from being stunning and beautiful to look at, we were now driving on snowy, slippery roads to what was definitely going to be our next stopover. Thank goodness we drive a European car built for these type of conditions....

View through our windscreen - yes that is snow falling
We arrived at around 2pm at Derwent Bridge - basically a town with a petrol station and a pub! Found some gorgeous cabin accomodation and settled down with the heater blasting away the less than 0degree temperature. The boy couldn't help but get out amongst what was now a 10cm deep carpet of snow outside our cabin.

Thankfully we packed gumboots.
The first time I've seen snow (since I was a baby anyway!)

Snowing - again!
There is something so amazing about seeing Australian Gum Trees covered in really is a beautiful sight to behold.

Gum trees and snow outside our cabin
Next post I shall continue with our snowy adventure - hope you enjoyed the story so far!