DIY Fountain

I think every backyard should have one… a water feature… homage to our most precious resource… a gorgeous, bubbling focal point…. yes, well that’s my excuse anyway. Who would have thought that a mains water line (in a very flimsy plastic tube) would run VERY shallowly right beside the two main pylons for the tree house???!!! Certainly not me as Josh and I found out whilst trying to plant a camellia ground cover to elegantly sweep around the base of the tulip tree tree house. The plant is still in it’s bucket, all that elegantly swept was the giant arc of water as my spade hit dirt.   What immediately followed was a Cathy Freeman inspired sprint to the front of the property (to turn off the mains water), which had poor little Josh following in a mad panic believing his mummy was just running for her life! Yes, “every gardener for themselves”… !!

So turns out reversing water features isn’t cheap. DIY repairs only resulted in the pipe holding long enough for Josh to manage to tie himself to the tree house base. Turns out knots are hard to untie when you are being blasted by a huge jet of water and giggling hysterically!!!  Cue plumber. At $180 that camellia better look pretty darn good once I eventually pluck up the courage to dig again and actually plant it!

An interesting observation from the saga was how much we use water.  We had to wait almost the entire day for the plumber to arrive… so that’s an entire day without water.  I, as you do, had decided to do the planting after my morning run and prior to my shower… so there I was sweaty and now muddy for the day! But what a day without water really showed me was just how many times a day I use water and how such a precious resource it is. Whether it be to drink, cook, wash, feed the chooks, clean my hands after wrangling children, chooks or chives… it really was a great lesson on just how much I consume per day… even per minute!



Recycling / Upcycling Styling

The brief – “Create an inviting space for brides, grooms and families to meet, discuss wedding plans and to have their portraits taken. It must also reflect the photographer’s (my lovely husband Darryn) relaxed and down to earth style”.

The outcome – For furnishings I re-used the couch and timber slatted room divider from the previous studio and teamed them with some secondhand treasures! A rustic, paint splattered trestle table, rusty metal and timber stools, white stand (that was looking very sorry for itself after suffering at the hands of a very bad restoration job. We stripped it back at the top to uncover a gorgeously weathered patina and then painted the base!), coffee table (rescued from a scratched french polish disaster) and as for the main timber desk and chairs… these funky retro secondhand finds were absolutely fine as found.

The accessories were also up-cycled! Many of the small frames around the studio I  picked up for $1 or 50c at various secondhand haunts. I then gave them a spruce up and they look fabulous. In the process of restoring one we managed to smash the glass… no matter, now a perfect frame for one of my homemade ceramic chalkboard hearts (Go to to order your own!).  The vintage cameras are gifts to my hubby from myself and his dad over the years. The tea-light holders I rustled up quickly by raiding my preserving jar stash and tied a strip of twine around each one. In some I placed a cylinder of paper taken from a French novel in which I’d cut out two heart shapes. GORGEOUS! Darryn had lots of interest in those  from brides at a recent bridal expo, might have to add those to!

And… voi la. A welcoming, creative and recycled space for the new home of McKay Photography.

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Shopping for the pocket and the planet.

Check out my little shopping haul from today.  One gorgeous grey knitted dress, two woolen jumpers, a pashmina, two cotton t-shirts, 10 stunning mugs, two big handy bowls, six small, delicate serving bowls and a number of gorgeous doilies for either decorating the house or turning into fun craft projects. All this for $45!!!! Gotta love charity shops. The money I paid will go to a good cause, I haven’t spent lots of money on new clothes (actually half the clothes are new… still had their original shop tags on!) AND I’m helping to reduce the mass production of goods across the planet. Win Win Win really!





I can’t believe I haven’t ranted about this earlier…. but whilst I’ve been sowing lots of seeds of late… I’ve also been sewing LOTS of curtains!!!

Arriving in an old timber home that no longer has anything straight or sealed just in time for winter is …. chilly to say the least. To top it off, the curtains that were meant to come with the sale, didn’t. So… so… SEW!!!  Admittedly I did purchase a few ready made block out curtains… four to be precise… but the other four (I’m technically claiming 8 as I made block out curtains to hang behind the curtains during winter)… I managed to bumble through. Thankfully my wonderfully talented mother-in-law was on hand for curtain number one and passed on much of her curtain making knowledge.   The end result, I LOVE.  The weighty block-out curtain can be removed easily so in summer the light will filter beautifully through the white linen. Linen by the way is not only a beautiful material to work with and live with… but nice to know it is rather eco friendly too.   Linen is made from flax and is highly sustainable as the whole plant can be used in various ways and it is easily washed at low temperatures (thankfully as my washing machine has no hot water connected to it!).

Might be a while before you see any other sewing projects…. only so many curtains one person can face in such a short amount of time!!!



Soon after arriving in Bowral I wanted to rip out the flannelette sheets to combat the cooler nights, but could not find them in all our boxes, so got out our beloved HEMP sheets that have been amazing in summer, so cool, let you breath, hubby no longer sweating, just love them… but was worried they wouldn’t be any good for the cold – HOW WRONG I WAS!! I LOVE them even more!! Soooo toasty and warm. I wish I’d listened harder in physics (did I even study that??), to know how this amazing product manages to keep us cool in summer and warm in winter… but I didn’t. So as far as I’m concerned, they’re MAGIC!!