22 August 2016


It's still August, so we have more cold weather to experience before we can safely say that winter is over. The past few sunny days we've had in Sydney have been replaced today by cold winds and rain. 

But the plants in my garden are starting to wake up. I'm always excited by the sight of buds because that means flowers will follow and, in some cases, fruit! The miracle of plant life continually amazes and impresses me.


I planted this nemesia last summer, to fill a gap in a garden bed. I was hoping for deep green foliage and a few pretty flowers but it suprised me with masses of blooms. I love the way it has spread and made its home among the other plants - it is so pretty.

Finger lime

You may remember when I planted my finger lime last year after a quest to find one in a local nursery. Well, look at it now! It's covered with tiny buds, some of which have opened this week to display the prettiest flowers. I know a lot will drop without fully developing into fruit but wow - what an impressive result! I feed it regularly with pellets of Gyganic for Fruit and Citrus, a fertiliser it obviously loves. Such a satisfying response.


My first poppy flower opened in the sunshine last week and I was there to photograph it after I had given the plant a drink. I adore poppies and a single punnet always gives me weeks and weeks of pleasure as I watch the buds break through their protective covering and unfurl to flaunt their petals and sexual parts. I always marvel that something so gorgeous can be such a complex organism.

So that's today in my garden. I eagerly await tomorrow, to discover what's developed overnight. What's happening in your garden right now?

15 August 2016

My book of the month: August

I do enjoy a story that has a happy ending and one that involves a bookshop is even better!

How to find love in a bookshop by Veronica Henry is about Emilia, whose father left her his bookshop when he died. It's in a valuable location for developers so she has to fight to keep her struggling business alive and out of their hands.

The power of stories in people's lives cannot be underestimated. In this book, several plot strands intertwine to show how books can change lives and help romances develop. A very satisfying novel.

Read more about How to find love in a bookshop on Goodreads.

08 August 2016


Sometimes pulling together all the threads of our lives seems totally overwhelming. I know I often have so many decisions to make - some large but mostly small - that I become paralysed with indecision. That's not how I want to live my life.

So I'm simplifying, paring back.

Over the past few years, I've been consciously considering what adds value to my life and what drags me down. People, objects or activities - if they don't enhance my life, I'm moving away from them. My clothes are due for another huge clear out, as are my craft materials. If I haven't worn or used them, they will go. I know that will free physical space but it will also give me the mental space to enjoy my life more.

Avoiding stories of the horrific events that occur in our world is another way I am clearing space. Such events have always happened but today's social media spreads the news so much more than traditional media of the past ever could. I don't need constant streams of this sort of news. 

I like a simple life. My favourite place in the world is my home. I don't need the constant stimulation of travelling or groups of people; that exhausts my sociability limits. At home, by myself or with my partner - that's what I cherish.

Life is good.  

18 July 2016

Three things

I have plenty of things to like this week but here are three of them.

1. Mandarins

How delicious are these? They are bountiful in the fruit stores but there isn't a single one on my tree this year. My tree seems to fruit every second year so I'm looking forward to the next winter season!

2. Camellias

I cut some beautiful camellia blooms from my Dad's garden on the weekend and floated them in the only large bowl I have, a pasta bowl (perhaps not exactly the style I was looking for!). Three different types, all gorgeous.

3.  Playschool's 50th anniversary

To celebrate this anniversary, guest presenters have been involved in episodes. Here you can see Adam Goodes read Counting Aussie Animals in my Backyard. It's so darn cute!

What do you like this week? 

11 July 2016

My book of the month: July

I do enjoy a good romance novel. This genre usually has some kind of challenge in the story line but they always have positive endings, and I'm all for adding more positivity to the world.

This is one of the most engrossing romance novels I've read recently. It doesn't have a traditional happy ending but that's okay; real life doesn't always give us happy endings, either. Yet, I still felt satisfied after reading the story of Scott and Frankie, who met by chance and fell in love. The fact that they lived thousands of miles apart didn't stop them choosing each other.

Read more about The Turning Point on Goodreads.

04 July 2016

Hello July

I've freshened the look of my blog in honour of the new month. There's been a lot of happy changes in my life in the first half of this year so I wanted Creative Dabbling to reflect those changes. Let's focus on the positive parts of our lives!

You'll see that I have added a new Gardening link at the top of the blog. For a while, I toyed with a separate gardening blog but it felt odd to me; as if I had a split personality! I've added my gardening posts to Creative Dabbling so, if you are interested in my garden musings, this is the first place for you to visit. I may add links on other specific subjects soon.

I'm interested to know what type of posts you would like to read here. Please leave a comment if you have a suggestion; I always like to hear what you think. Thanks to everyone who does leave comments - they are greatly appreciated! 

Enjoy this month and, if it's winter where you are (like it is here in Sydney), stay warm!

06 June 2016

It was wild!

The weather was wild along our east coast this weekend, with torrential rain, strong winds and huge waves. It seemed as if it would go on forever but it never does. 

Today is windy, helping to dry the ground. To prove the low front has moved away, the clouds broke up and there were patches of blue sky. All things pass.