Monday, May 24, 2010

The Hamilton Gardens

From long hedged walk ways you reach the centre and come across these 'guards' off this area is different gardens including the English garden, the Amercian garden and the Japanese garden......all spectacular.......

Below is the rose garden a beautiful open space filled with beds of all kinds of summer the aroma is the distance is the gazebo and it is under this that my daughter got married with the guests all standing on the lawn below........all her wedding photos were taken around the different areas of the gardens that they chose you can imagine the backdrops in the wedding photos are striking.

Below was where the reception was held overlooking a beautiful pond and out to trees beyond..... this is the restaurant and beside it is a cafe.......these are open to the public each day.......

The behind is the walkway and the opening where she came through to her future husband, their guests were all standing below the steps out front......a truly beautiful spot to get married.....

There are two entrances into the gardens and the feature at one is this beautiful cloth hanging......all made out of is an amazing piece and i would say very well photographed by many....

.......there is also a pond with ducks......amazing open areas of lovely and is well worth a visit to these beautiful gardens you could easily spend a day .... take a picnic to have in grounds of your choice..... and if you are wanting more information check out this website.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

when you go down to the beach .......

For some of us it is even too cold to imagine spending time on the beach but for others it is time to do just that......for all those beach loving people who like me when walking along its shores are impelled to pick up a shell or two or three.........okay maybe a wet, sandy pocket full.....and then come home and wonder what shall i do with is the answer
I came across these instructions and thought i would share them with you all so that you could bring a bit of beach life to your place.......

All these images and instructions are taken from the website of NZ House and Garden.......from the section called Home Life.....this is a gorgeous magazine that comes out each month showing some of New Zealands beautiful homes and gardens......and i will be doing a giveaway of one of these magazines next month so watch this space...

When poet John Masefield wrote, "I must go down to the seas again, the lonely sea and the sky," his wandering spirit yearned for a life on the ocean waves and completely overlooked the joy to be found on the sandy shores.
Collecting shells is one of lifes purest pleasures and going on shell hunts at the beach is a childhood pursuit that has brought happiness to generation after generation. But where once you may have washed your haul of beach bits in a bucket of sea water then transferred them to a glass container, usually destined for display in the bathroom, there are many more elegant ways to use these gifts from the sea, the decorative possibilities of the humble shell are endless, and now we are going to make sand candles...

You will need: Sand, a child sized bucketful will do, shells, 500g wax pellets (for a candle 9cm in diameter x 10cm high, available from spotlight here in nz) 20cm wick, metal wick holder, twigs.

1. Wash and dry a used tin and squeeze the top to make a spout. Fill it about three quarters full with wax pellets and put it in an old pot. Pour hot water in the pot and heat it on a very low heat. Keep an eye on the wax until it has melted. Keep it warm in the water. (shown above)

2. Make a hole in the sand (use a glass or bottle if you like) Press shells into the sides of the hole quite firmly (if you wish to see the face of the shell, push the shells into the sand face first). Tie a knot in the wick and thread it through the metal wick holder. Tie the other end around a straight twig or kebab stick. Balance the stick with the wick on two forked twigs. Centre it over the middle of the hole and make sure the wick touches the bottom.... (above)

3. Slowly pour the wax into the hole, right to the top. Adjust the wick if necessary. (Above)

4. Wait at least an hour for the wax to cool and harden. When the wax is hard, pull the candle gently from the sand, loosening the sides first. Dust off any excess sand with a soft paintbrush.
Safety note:Wax is highly flammable. If it catches alight, smother it with the lid of a pot or a wet towel - not water. Sugar, baking soda or a chemical extinguisher may also be used.

I hope you enjoy making these candles, there many more ways to use shells just by using your imagination.......Frame them, make a necklace, attach to edges of cords for curtains, jug or sugar bowl covers can have a circle of shells and they make charming votive candle holders......and if like my daughters the shells with the hollow centre became very fashionable rings!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I hope everyone had a wonderful mothers day and received a beautiful bunch of flowers from someone who lights up their life...... ( i do not know this child but love the look on her face, her joy in giving)
Being a mother myself has been one of the most amazing things i have ever done.......i loved watching my girls grow up into the wonderful young adults they are today...... because of how they were raised they are now passing those values onto their own children......
I felt honoured when the friends of my girls who have now become parents themselves have asked my husband and i how we raised our girls because they want to be able to do it the same for their own kids.....and someone who said they saw us playing with our children and heard the joy and the laughter decided that was how he was going to be with his own don't get me wrong it wasn't all perfect.....but i can honestly say with my hand on my heart it was pretty close to it!!!!

When our girls lived at home we always had their friends around and i suppose if i had to list one thing that made them who they are today i would say it is because of this......we invited their friends to our home.....often feed them, gave them a bed, often we would take large groups out and take them places and always treated them like they were important and what they had to say was important..... my husband is like a big kid himself so they always had a good time and plenty of laughs because he also helped make it fun.....
One of the boyfriends used to regularly cook us sunday night dinner he had his special dish which we loved and encouraged him.....when his parents asked him why he didn't cook for them he said you just don't praise and say how good it is the way they do........

On a recent mothers day i wrote to my daughters each a letter telling them how much it meant to me to be their mother and i gave each of them a gift voucher for beauty treatment so they could pamper themselves.....
Ever since they were born i kept a notebook of how i felt and what we did and how they did funny little things that made me smile.......they are 30 and 32 now!!! is all still on bits of paper and one day i hope to write it all out for them so they can share it with their own children...

Blogging i think has brought all us mothers together because we get each other!!! we know what its like to have our children to nurture them and teach them values and most importantly love them.....we have all come together no matter what age, where we live or what we do because when it all boils down to it it is that one word that connects us all so we understand each other like no one else can......

The hardest part for me as a mother was once they left youngest actually before my eldest.....i cried many tears that day and the phone bill was quite large but in the end i trusted her to do what was right and knew that i had to let go sometime......
I sobbed all the way to my eldest daughters new flat when she moved out and managed to wipe away the tears and put a smile on my face when we arrived.....i was lucky that they were both close so did get to visit.....i don't know how mothers cope when their children move away to somewhere , a town a city a country where they can't visit you may have guessed we are a very close family and i am proud to say my daughters are my friends as well as me being their mother......

When my daughter left with her partner on her overseas trips and to live sometime in those countries will that was when it hit home just how far away she would be......oh those times were very, very hard but they returned safe and sound.......i wrote her this poem to send her on her way....

Another trip was looming
But my heart did not understand
It wanted to keep you here
safe and sound
And not have you go off
To other lands

The places were so far away
And so different than before
Cultures, money issues and even
what was law
I know its hard, i should let you go
But a mothers bond is strong
I do want to see you learn and grow
Of the life you want to know

Your silent calls i have always heard
I know when you are about
It comes to me in a whisper
Then we both pick up the phone and shout
How did you know i was thinking of you
Me too is what we would say

There is a bond that connects us
It started long ago
When inside me i would talk to you
My face all proud and aglow
I talked of my dreams for you
And wanted you to know
That wherever life took you
With you, my love would go

I will wave you off with happy smiles
The tears inside i will hide
I will count the days for your safe return
To give me peace of mind
My thoughts will watch over you
My love will surround you tight
I will walk quietly beside you
Until you come home
and everything is alright

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Rain Has Come

It has finally rained here in my little corner of the world, good hearty rain that is gobbled up quickly by the dry earth so it doesn't have time to run to the edges, and already i can see a difference, the tired dry plants have lifted their faces high again with renewed life waiting patiently now for the new rain, sure that it will come and come it has...

Now when the sun comes it is not so harsh having finally realized the damage it is doing to nature, asking forgiveness of plant life and only shining in places where it is truly needed and only for a certain length of time now well aware that it doesn't need to be so fierce, it disappears more quickly from our view and the clouds come to give them some shade, the birds sing and the cicadas sing the loudest just to let the world know everything is alright now.....