A lovely Autumn weekend

'Run the Rock' at Hanging Rock - with the local Kangaroos and a
hot chocolate being the star attraction

The Teddy Bears Picnic at the Kyneton Botanic Gardens
We had a lovely weekend last weekend with such perfect weather for Autumn.  The weekend kicked off on Saturday morning with Mr B doing a 10km fun run at Hanging Rock, raising money for Cancer Council Victoria.  The star attractions (other than the super-fit runners.....of which I certainly wasn't one of them!) was one of the local kangaroos clearly wanting to take part in the event, and best of all a hot chocolate to take away the early morning chill.
Then on Sunday we had the Teddy Bears Picnic, held amongst the trees and fallen leaves in the Kyneton Botanic Gardens.  It was great fun seeing all the children running around with their favourite teddy bears, dancing to the band, throwing leaves and taking part in games.  It was a beautiful setting in the botanic gardens, surrounded by the statuesque trees with their glorious coloured Autumnal leaves.   


 'Mixies' card game from the mid 1950's

     Mixies colourful characters in thier 'correct' bodies (above) or a little mixed up (below)

I've been collecting a few second-hand and vintage children's bits and pieces recently, and one of my recent purchases is this fantastic set of 'Mixies' playing cards.  The cards are from about 1956 and is a puzzle-style card game where you can 'mix colourful heads, bodies and legs to make thousands of the zaniest, funniest circus figures!'

I'm loving the crazy circus theme, and of course the fabulous 1950's graphic-style stylised illustrations.  The cards are reminiscent of a non-digital era - pre-computer games, i-pads, Nintendo's, Wii and Angry Birds!      

Kitchen Table Memoirs

        'Kitchen Table Memoirs' book featuring my watercolour vintage-esque illustrations

I've been very excited about a project I've been working on over the last few months, and I can finally reveal what I've been working on...... my first commission for a book illustration!

The book is called 'Kitchen Table Memoirs' and features my vintage-style kitchenalia illustrations on the front and back cover. The book, published by HarperCollins, features stories and shared personal memories by various Australian writers and foodies, including Helen Garner, Valli Little, Stefano De Pieri and Denise Scott.

'Whether it is oak, pine, Laminex, varnished, recycled or modernist glass - in the domestic geography of our daily lives, the kitchen table is a constant. A silent witness to sustenance and solace, deliberation and argument, consolation and celebration. What other piece of furniture has witnessed so much and revealed so little?'

It's been a real treat for me to work on a book illustration, and of course the kitchen-themed subject matter was right up my alley! I loved creating and painting all the vintage style motifs for the book jacket, and working with HarperCollins to create the design for the final cover.

Kitchen Table Memoirs also supports a great charity, with a percentage of royalties from each book being donated to Foodbank - Australia's largest food relief agency. So, with Mother's Day coming up this book is an ideal gift, whilst also helping to put food on other people's tables.

Vintage teacup trio's


I'm loving this Autumn weather we're having, cool mornings and evenings but with beautiful warm sunny days. The tree's and shrubbery here in Kyneton is changing and every evening the garden is full of fallen crunchy leaves.  All around the town green leaves are changing daily into golden yellows and firey reds.

The change of seasons reminded me of these vintage teacup trio's I picked up a while ago from our local Salvo's.  They have an Autumnal air to them with decorative red roses, deep teal leaves, and bronzed leaf patterns.  Perfect for drinking endless cups of earl-grey tea.          

Easter weekend

Mr J enjoys a babycino at The Collingwood Children's Farm Cafe


 Architectural details of Abbotsford Convent

We've just enjoyed a lovely Easter long weekend, with one of the days spent visiting the Collingwood Children's Farm.  I've been to the farm once or twice before, but it is certainly a very different experience visiting the farm through the eyes of a toddler.

Our 20 month old beautiful boy was just so excited to see chooks running around, cows being milked, farm cats lazing about, sheep shading under tree's and happy to be stroked prodded, guinea pigs to pet, and goats to be fed.  Combine this with lots of space to run around, pigeons to chase AND a babycino and muffin at The Farm Cafe - and he was one happy little boy.

Abbotsford Convent is right next door and is always worth a visit to admire its imposing structure.  The Children's Farm and Convent are fabulous places to visit, and a perfect mini escape for a few hours.  They feel a million miles from the city, despite being just a few kms from the heart of Melbourne town.