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Christmas Day

©Kara Rosenlund Happy New Year! Christmas came by and went just as fast as it arrived didn’t it?… I was a bit late getting the tree up this year, though she did come together rather well in mid December…eeekk, … each year I always ‘treat’ the tree and myself to a couple of new ornaments… this year it was some beautiful handmade stars by Brisbane ceramic studio paper boat press… … trimming the tree would have to be one of my most favourite Christmas time activities…I purchased these ornaments last year from Anthropologie… a pair of tin and glitter whales… … and a feathery swan… everything looks better with glitter… ….You know how some years are great Christmas’ and then other years are just not so great… well this year was the latter – a ‘not so’ Christmas, though honestly it came good in the end…. it had all the makings of being a cracker of a Christmas I adore Christmas…. First and foremost I had found a ‘Christmas Day dress’, ha  love a new frock for any occasion, I had planned a really interesting menu using local produce suppliers and was ready to jingle myself well into the mayhem of Christmas when …. Timothy O and I unexpectedly ended up spending Christmas Eve at the avian vet with one of our beloved little girls Coco… which resulted in her sadly being put down….. this broke our hearts, even more as our Gigi had come to the same fate three weeks earlier….just like that Christmas was off… … to have the love of an animal is a true gift and the purest of joys… needless to say Timothy O and I felt the aching loss of one of the brightest and most curious of characters within our home and secretly our favourite chicken …. come Christmas morning I decided to pull it together and put Christmas ‘back on’…. makeshift style….a coming together of loved ones to enjoy each other’s company and conversation….. to celebrate the good times with the not so good times… … I had planned to visit my local haberdashery on Christmas Eve to buy some grosgrain ribbon to pretty up all the plates for each place setting…. needless to say that was the last thing on my mind… instead I tore up an old skirt which I had been holding on to for far too long… I  could never part with it as I loved the fabric…. and just like that ‘hello better than grosgrain ribbon’ for the plates….. … I didn’t have any bon bons / crackers on hand either, though I did have quite the number of these delightful triple milled ‘bon bon soaps’ by Murphy and Daughters… so they were the ‘makeshift’ bon bon’s to top each place setting…. plus they made the table smell delightful… summer frangipani wafting in the air…. I will be doing this again next year… … I threw a few bottles of our most favourite rosè on ice we always have plenty of this….. Logan wine make every gathering feel that bit more special and familiar…. like seeing an old friend who still wears the same fragrance… … I also didn’t get around to doing much of a grocery shop either, as in the fridge was practically empty so Mum and I made up a few boards of what she had in her fridge and what we had in ours…. … my father had bought a kilo of prawns straight off the trawler on Christmas Eve, so my parents brought them up on Christmas Day… I made the prawns into individual ‘Potted Prawns’ and ‘potted’ them into glass clip jars to posh them up… amazing… super easy and rather effortless… … we all chopped wood and cranked up the wood fire oven and Timothy O worked his magic on a piece of Bangalow pork I had arranged at least something prior.… I threw together some potatoes from the pantry and beans from the garden, while roasting some everyday ordinary apples to make apple sauce….. … stocking filler gifts became parts of dessert….. sorry Dad, I owe you x… … and luckily Brisbane’s baked goods ‘institution’ Jocelyn’s Provisions had an extra Yule Log on hand…. practically unheard of at Christmas… […]

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Weekend in Pictures

©Kara Rosenlund What a weekend it was…. we were at the farmers market here in Brisbane and as I was setting up the stall at 4.30pm in the dark all I could see was the sky lighting up… not from the sun rising, rather strikes of lightenng and rumbles of thunder….shit not ideal conditions for an outdoor market….. eeeekkkk…. Oh, well… what can you do….. …. I decided to have a kip in Frankie the caravan until the rain passed…… … our beautiful wares on the slightly damp trestles tables… German oyster plates and English cake forks….. … after the market finished we packed up and came back home and I got stuck into this wonderful cookery collection from Penguin…. … poked my head into the hen house to see what the girls had been up to ….. they had been busy too….. paying their rent… ha … Timothy O’s elderflower is bloomin’ blooming…. we are planing to make syrup for spring time cordial ….. we then started to watch Seven Years in Tibet in the early evening one of my absolute favourite films, though we both fell asleep….. ha, market days are looong … I was up at the crack of dawn on Sunday with a plan ……Spring, bring it on…. to hit the local market and get lots and lots of seedlings and flowers for our new veggie patch…… the veggie patch was so new it wasn’t even finished when I bought these on Sunday morning…. I am a chicken before the egg kinda girl….  My family came over and we finished off the veggie patch and shovelled a few loads of dirt off the trailer to fill up the new patch…. …. I bought two bunches of these beautiful homegrown snapdragons one bunch for me and one for my mother from an older woman at the Sunday market… she grows them alongside her strawberries which she farms to encourage the bees…… Nothing beats the generous size of a homegrown bunch of flowers…. I really really really want to have a garden bed just for cut flowers…. maybe one day soon….put it on the list… The strawberry farmer lady really inspired me…. … so so pretty….. I could stare at them all day…. … I just can’t get enough of the flowers…… …. petite spinach seedlings going into the garden….. … I picked up some Cosmos for the garden too…. I just love this time of year….. …. hardy little plants for the rooftop garden on top of the hen house….. …. even more Cosmos…. um, yup, I really did go a bit overboard…. …. the Gardenias are out and are transforming the air with their heady fragrance wafting throughout the house…. …. I found this old Chinese birdcage at the market and our little possum friend is still living in the basket on the left…. under a paper bag naturally…. we have named her Priscilla. She scoots out at about 6pm each evening, up out of the basket and runs along the old tin roof line… each morning I feel the basket to make sure she is back inside it and that she has made it home safe…. That was it, that was our weekend… lots of dirt under the nails and lots of digging and sowing…and maybe a few aches come today hopefully soon there will be more to share from the veggie patch… K x

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Weekend in Pictures

©Kara Rosenlund Weekend in Pictures…. How was your weekend? Mine was crazy! I think I am better in Spring, much more motivated. There was a lot to do around the house as I haven’t been home a lot lately on weekends, so it was nice to get my hands dirty and get into it…. … I got up early to feed the chickens and let them out of their pen my daily routine.… and also to make some tea… I was surprised by how strong the light was beaming through the windows at 5.45am… magical… ….  made some toast, rather burnt some toast …. … to make soldiers for boiled eggs on toast with the girls fresh eggs for Timothy O and I Timothy O likes hard boiled, I prefer mine soft and gooey…. the chickens have just started laying again for the season, so they are really hungry all the time now they are using more energy…. still totally in love with the crocheted egg cozies of the girls…. they always make me giggle… … I decided to paint the old hutch I picked up a while back a dark grey colour it was a yellow colour previously… it lives on the back deck with crockery piled high… so I unpacked all the crockery to paint it and I think I ended up adding more when I refilled it …. plus a cake for fun…. … came across this old English soda syphon….  a past utilitarian object with so much beauty… why can’t they make everyday objects with such beauty and quality materials… … Saturday sheet washing day…. linen hanging on the hills hoist out the back…. … freshly made bed… nothing beats it…. …. Timothy O is part of an ‘heirloom seed club’, so we planted some seeds which arrived in the mail in these little old seedling pots….. hopefully chamomile will shoot up soon…. It’s so incredible that the world depends on seeds; no seeds no food….. …. I woke up early on Sunday to do the same chicken routine and to go to a local farmers market to pick up some more ‘established’ seedlings for the veggie patch…. the chickens have destroyed most of the plants we had planted… they don’t so much eat the plants, they just end up sitting on them and squashing them… ha….. … the seedlings awaiting the veggie patch…. … the passionfruit vine is growing so fast which fills me with so much joy… we are making the vines into a canopy above the oven…. I am in love with green right now…. I have always liked green in the past, though it has been no love affair between us, though right now I am finding green really soothing and inspiring… I’m going to paint this area where the oven is and the sink (two shots above) a green colour soon… am I taking green too far?? … …. and the wisteria is out again… our front garden smells like sweet sherbet has exploded in a lolly shop…. … debuted my new hat…. a cross between a sunhat and a panama, hello, best looking hat ever…. …. and one more of the finished hutch… she sure did take some paint…. K xx

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Tasmania Vignette Workshop

©Kara Rosenlund The whirlwind continues…. back at home for one day from Sydney before I head to Tasmania for my Vignette Magic Workshop next week as part of The School’s Tasmanian Roadshow….. I’ll be sharing all my tips and tricks on how you too can make a beautiful still life for home or work. If you would like to come along here is the link to Megan Morton’s The School, we will be at Battery Point Community Hall and my class is on the 15th of August from 7pm. Come along Tassie people. K x

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Weekend in Pictures

©Kara Rosenlund It was so lovely to be back at home after a few weeks away…. I spent most of Saturday unpacking ute loads full of bits… including this ‘new/old’ mirror’…. … plus this beautiful old oil painting which I found at Hen’s Teeth Trading in Tocumwal…. a great shop I can’t wait to return to again….. just realised the mannequin with my hats on it looks a bit like that scene from E.T… ha Lots of beautiful old glazed stoneware bottles which made their way here to Australia on clipper ships in the 1800’s….. It was actually a cold and drizzly day and when you live in humid hot Queensland you don’t want to miss any opportunity to light the fire and put a cardigan on…. so we did just that…. A very good friend of mine surprised me with a very generous gift of Koto Bolofo’s ‘La Maison'; a volume of 11 beautiful books. Koto Bolofo is the first and only photographer to have been granted unlimited access to the secret workshops of the luxury goods house Hermes. Hours were poured reading these detailed books…. Our floral forager friend Phil dropped in and hung out with us at home… I made a lunchtime feast of trout and vegetables… while Timothy O and Phil dug holes in the backyard for a garden project…. thanks Phil. I got out of that muddy job ….then the afternoon turned into the evening…. … then Sunday arrived and of course it was Mother’s Day… so much love for our girls…. I received this amazing set of crocheted egg cosies from Timothy O the girls…. specially made by Vanessa Ion…. I came across her just recently while in Sydney…. my friend MM took Timothy O and I to another friend Nadine’s amazing bakery / cafe Flour and Stone and insisted we have the ‘Boiled Eggs and Soldiers’…. which came out with little crochet egg cosies… Terence the Fox was keeping my eggs warm…. I lost the plot with pure excitement! Thank you Trixie, Gigi, Bettina, Coco and Nigella….. how thoughtful of you. Bettina looking at her crocheted self….. …think she was a bit disappointed to find an egg under there….. ha…. … Mum and Dad came over to celebrate Mother’s Day and we made a casual long lunch together…. I then made a Pecan, Chocolate and Bourbon tart….. the perfect dessert for a drizzly, chilly weekend. Recipe tomorrow. It is so easy. K xx

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Inside Out Magazine

©Kara Rosenlund Have you see in yet?… Have you seen our little cottage on the front cover of this month’s Inside Out Magazine? I can’t believe…. I really can’t….. there is even a really beautiful story on the inside on page 70 about our journey with our house and our general lifestyle…. the  talented Megan Morton wrote the story and I photographed it only recently…. you should check it out… even if I do say so myself…. it has been such a long journey renovating…. we feel ever so proud….. House, I love you, you did well and you shone…. Timothy O, Mum and Dad, what an amazing exhausting journey we have all been on together… When I get back from the Melbourne road trip I will share some of the ‘back catologue’ ‘before’ shots with you all…. you will shudder… I promise! She wasn’t always beautiful…. K xxxx

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Resolutions for 2013

©Kara Rosenlund Happy New Year All… I’m not one for resolutions, however after cleaning the fridge out yesterday I become quite shocked at the amount of beautiful produce Timothy O and I wasted over the festive break. Each year at about this time I make batches of pea and ham soup, I bake quiches for friends and family (secretly shipping the ham off to other people’s fridges so it doesn’t go to waste). So this year I am making even more of an effort to down size what we eat and spend more time in the garden producing it. Timothy O already has one up one me with these heirloom pumpkins he cut off yesterday…. Looks like we will be having pumpkin with ham tonight. K x

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Christmas Day in Pictures

Ah Christmas Day… you always go so fast… here is what we got up to… Timothy O and I opened presents in the morning while listening to vinyls… We made crowns for ourselves and family for the Christmas table from leather hides… I threw a few more decorations about the house… Timothy O and I made a rosemary chandelier for above the Christmas table… I love a fragrant table… **note new clean overalls! Made sure there were hundreds of cloves scattered all throughout the table… I love the heady fragrance of cloves and rosemary…. This cheeky chicken Gigi decided to come upstairs to see what was happening…. And then Coco did too… (she doesn’t like to miss out…) Our table on the deck with Timothy O working hard in the background preparing the ham… he loves doing the ham Olive branches, walnuts, webbing, linen and feathers…. The wood fire oven roaring awaiting Timothy O’s ham… Ta dah….Timothy O’s burnt honey, orange and clove glazed ham resting… Proud as Punch…. Roast chicken and puy lentils… (we make this dish often and is a firm household favourite…) We had all free range meats for Christmas and they all came from farmers at the Jan Powers Farmer Market (our market) ….. this free range chicken was from Lynsay at Viande at .. we buy it every market… … And the ham was from Tillari Trotters … again certified free range. Christmas lunch on the deck… Then the sun slowly went down and we listened to golden classics from the 60’s and 70’s… while making eggnog and eating pavlova… Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. K x

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Weekend in Pictures

Weekend in Pictures… better a couple of days late than never…. I am somewhat freaking out a little by how fast Christmas is approaching…. coming on like a freight train…. Timothy O and I frocked up , well I frocked up, not Timothy O  for Timothy O’s family Christmas on Saturday…. Timothy O’s mother decided upon an ‘Australian Christmas’ theme with lots of Australian native flowers and delicious food all day long…. it was a great Saturday… Timothy O and I rose rather late Sunday morning and I made scrambled eggs from our girls…. I rearranged some furniture to include this great find of six Spindle back chairs which I found last week…. I made this ‘Blackberry Bun'; a recipe from Kinfolk Magazine… I had never made it before, though I thought it may be a contender for Christmas… I don’t think we will have it on the day… delicious though. ….and then I sorted and washed household linens getting things ready for Christmas…. Are you ready for Christmas? K x

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Country Style

Back in September Country Style asked if I would like to come up with some Christmas decorating concepts and style a Christmas story featuring our house. They asked for lots of decorating ideas for the home and tabletop….as you can imagine the request just made my heart sing…. I have never met a table I didn’t want to decorate… I worked with my florist and friend Anneliese Gomez of Hacienda Flowers on the wreaths and floral displays…. I asked Frank Creates to make a beautiful Christmas banner…. My wonderful friend and assistant for the shoot Sally O executed lots of craft and decorating concepts…. Christmas really did come early for Sally O and I…. Pattypan garland, music sheet crackers, monkey fist rope decorations… I asked Lachlan of Flour & Chocolate to make this beautiful cake…. he really is a genius … …He also made this one too…. which Sally O and I modified to include a snowflake… These are natural beeswax name cones which I filled with muscatels … I have made them for years…. they too will be on our Christmas table this year… you should make them … they look super impressive… yet are so so super easy… The ‘How To Make’ guide…. I share all my tips and tricks on how to make the little DIY personal touches for Christmas decorating… that is what makes Christmas special for me.. all the little considered special touches… It is such a beautiful issue, you should put your skates on and buy a copy…. Many thanks to Jared Fowler who shot the beautiful feature and the team at Country Style… plus all the suppliers who loaned gorgeous pieces for the shoot…. K x P.S… and look where I popped up… on the contributors page… Christmas sure did come early…  

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Christmas Vibe

©Kara Rosenlund Are you feeling the Christmas vibe? I can’t believe Christmas is so close… This week it feels particularly close as we are having an early Christmas with Timothy O’s family over the weekend. I’m getting into the Christmas vibe… random Christmas bits scattered about… sort of… I even made gingerbread this year… they may not look that pretty though they taste rather good…. I’m no ‘Pipe Piper’ when it comes to royal icing… I had a special delivery arrive yesterday… two new ornaments from Anthropolgie… I allow myself the tradition of a couple of new ornaments each year, do you? I am such a sucker for animals ornaments…. I am truly in love with the glass Baleen… he even has a glitter blow hole… … and how sweet is the Odette Swan… Gosh, I love the name Odette. Talk soon. K x P.S Chicken Update…. we almost have names for the new little girls, however the introduction has not gone well… no, no, no…(channel Amy Winehouse’s song Rehab for the no, no, no’s…) The older girls are not at all impressed or happy about the new girls (especially Gigi, she is the Queen Bee and is the one in charge; she totally lost her cool last night and I thought she was going to die (seriously), that is how worked up she got) …. no, no, no…it’s not going well. x Click here to listen to Amy Winehouse

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Hydrangeas

©Kara Rosenlund It’s no secret I love hydrangeas… it’s also no secret that they are fickle old things…. Around this time each year I always decide to ‘have another go’ at blossoming our relationship together… I always think ‘This time will be different, it’s simple, just keep the roots moist and keep them in the shade…. no, always the same.. fried and frizzled in this Queensland weather…. anyway this is going somewhere…. Hydrangeas are known as ‘old lady flowers’ aren’t they, well my old lady neighbour Dot has a medium size shrub out the front which I lust after….. Dot lives alone and never married or had children, we say hello to each other all the time and I give her eggs from the girls. I asked her the other day if I could have a couple of stems and ofcourse she said yes. Dot has a failing memory and it seems with each month that passes so does her ability to recall things. I thanked her for the hydrangeas when I saw her yesterday … she looked at me so confused…she had no idea what I was talking about…. poor Dot… old age can be a curse. Make time to smell the roses now…. or rather hydrangeas. K x

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Kara Rosenlund is an Australian photographer, stylist, storyteller, adventurer and author.

Her love for authenticity and adventure is celebrated through her photography. She is passionate about Australia and how we all live within its vast landscape. Kara photographs and shares her visual stories from her adventures, inspired by the everyday people and landscapes she encounters.

Her first hardcover interiors book, Shelter - How Australians Live, will be published in October, 2015.

Above all else Kara is a lover of all things real. She shares her humble life through her blog, Facebook and Instagram.

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