One of the hobbies my mother and I shared was growing African Violets. As a teen I even belonged to an African Violet society in Melbourne. I would delight in mail ordering boxes of leaves ready for propogation, steal with permission a few samples from Mum’s perfect botanical specimens – and husband Mark (then my boyfriend/fiance) would take me on romantic drives to garden nurseries to seek out new plants.

Since living in Queensland I have had little success growing these flowering beauties, until recently, when after two years of struggling to to keep one particular plant alive in my music room, it has presented me with a flower atop lush green leaves. The secret of my success this time? As a last resort I moved the once sad and withered plant to the kitchen window. And there it has thrived to remind me of special times from the past. Once again, life finds a way.

‘Saintpaulia’ reborn……

……and a photo of myself and bridesmaid Roslyn admiring part of Mum’s African Violet collection, January 14th 1978.

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  


There are many things on our ‘to do’ list when we visit Melbourne, the place where four of our six children were born. So many people to see and outings to fit in; and it’s always fun to reminisce and try to relive special moments from the past. Before each of the last five visits, spanning a period of more than ten years, I have planned to re-enact a particular favourite outing from long ago….but never got around to it until recently. This time I was on a serious mission to take a familiar journey and adopt a Cabbage Patch Kid for myself, just as I’d done for our first two children one very special trip to the city back in the eighties. Hopeful and grasping some gift vouchers, I was determined not to board the plane without a new little friend for the music room – not such an easy task with the shop ‘vegie gardens’ quite bare right after Christmas. Finally I saw ‘Sean Sophia’ ¬†peeking through a damaged box hidden at the back of a Big W shelf. With her arms outstretched, long dark brown curls, green eyes, a crooked smile, one dimple and dressed in PJ’s and fluffy slippers, she is every bit as cute as Amy’s precious girl ‘Iris Brenda’ and Tim’s adorable boy ‘Archibald Murphy’, who are still members of our toy family today. Peace, love and CPK!

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 5:50 am  Leave a Comment  


Although I love traditional teddy bears, I also have a fascination with teddies made to look like other animals. Last year, at a doll and bear show, I discovered this rather shy sweet boy waiting very quietly and very patiently to be adopted by someone who would appreciate his unique appearance and special charm.

Meet Rupert, by Ann-Marie Cole of Goldelocs Bears.

“I have whiskers and a tail……therefore I am a mouse.”

Published in: on February 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm  Comments (2)  

Valentine’s Day

LOVE is……everything heart shaped.

Around this time of year I always look for 14th February inspiration from the Valentine’s Day edition of Martha Stewart’s ‘Living’ magazine.

Seeing this pretty display of charms, pictured above, led me straight to the old jewellry sections during some recent thrift shop expeditions.

Here is my small collection of second hand romance themed treasures so far….

Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 12:58 am  Leave a Comment