Sunday, December 29, 2013

December in Mount Victoria

The weather has been so warm here in Mt Victoria and we have been enjoying the summer. Despite the threat of bushfires, and with our cul de sac burnt out (but the houses all safe),  I still watch with trepidation about fires in the area. And honestly, I do love winter so look forward to the cold again...

We went out to see the Tyrannasaurus Rex exhibition at the Museum in Sydney. It was such a fun day out for the little girls. They do love the train ride to the city but not sure if I can do the 2.5 hours calmly with them jumping about non-stop!

Our chooks are doing so well. Check out the double-yoker as well as the TRIPLE yoker from our girls!!!

Sadly our little grey girl Betty didn't make it after getting so sick after the heat wave. She is buried down at Bundeena under the trees at Nana's place.

On a happier note, meet Chester - our first ever rooster! We picked this lovely little boy up today at Woodford. He's around 10-11 weeks old now and is crossed with silky (see his feathered feet) so won't be too big a rooster. He's trying to get the girls to be friendly with him but today didn't really happen for him. I went and checked on him tonight and he's snuggled up against Rita or Lana - one of our blue laced gold wyandotte girls who are only around 15 weeks old. Chester has been lovingly raised (he's previous name was Fred) and really friendly.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


We now have two girls laying! Daisy and Dottie (the bantam egg) are giving us eggs each day. This is so exciting and my kids love going out to collect the eggs. Chooks just seem to be the ultimate pet for little ones and our silky bantams which we recently bought, and now bringing the flock up to 7 chooks, are the favourites. Docile and easy to handle...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mount Victoria is burning?

Halloween here in Mount Victoria. My little girls LOVE dressing up but we don't go trick or treating. Instead there is a fabulous get together in our park with all the local children. The kids do a lolly hunt under the trees and we have a bbq dinner. So much fun and so easy for all!

Our mulberry tree is going ballistic. I really cut it back last year as it was overgrown - after that the mulberries were thin on the ground but this year it is crazy. We have tried so many mulberry recipes. Even the chooks love them!

The bushfires in Mount Victoria seem like a distant memory yet were only 3 weeks ago. We only have to drive around some of the streets here to see the devastation. It's so terribly sad and you don't understand til you have been through it. We had flames across the road from us (see above) and were lucky that none of the houses in our street were burnt. The bush is so scarred in our gully though and I haven't seen the little fairy wrens fluttering around outside. I do hope they come back.

View from Bellevue Hill, Bathurst

 We were evacuated twice during the week the fires raged around us. The Blue Mountains has not seen such a series of fires before and it was terrifying. Having such young children I found sitting around day after day wondering if our house would catch alight or if we'd be evacuated in the middle of the night too much. I packed up the kids and left for Bathurst. We stayed in a glorious old house outside of Bathurst called Bellevue Hill. Other friends joined us, all tired and exhausted by the fires. We ended up with 4 dogs, 2 cats, 4 adults, 5 kids! And still the house had room!

Bellevue Hill, Bathurst

I am still tired by it all. It's hard to just 'get on with things' after being through it. Our gorgeous village has been devastated by it - accommodation venues, cafes (the two that we have), Mount Vic Flicks, the pub and all the small businesses. The media left us burning - telling the world of it all then disappearing rather than sharing that Mount Victoria is 'open for business'. 

We want people to come back to the mountains - support this beautiful part of the world. x

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

MV&M goes to Leura Village Fair

This weekend is the Leura Village Fair - a fabulous not-to-be-missed event! It will go over two days in beautiful Leura and I hope you can come down and say hi!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Feeling frazzled? Just go out and hang with chickens and do some gardening...

 Daisy scratching around a newly planted hydrangea near the new 'Taj Mahal' chook coop.

What a beautiful day it is today! I think it's probably a hot further down towards the city but 25 degrees C here with a fresh breeze. Perfect... I have been wondering how our mountains girls would be going in the heat, but going to check on them today, they seem fine.

Daisy bumbles off while tiny Dottie keeps scratching amongst the hydrangea.

We now have 5 chickens but I fear my fetish of unusual breeds grows. I have been eyeing off Anconas, Aracaunas and Plymouth Rocks. I'm too frightened to buy anything unvaccinated though via backyard breeders... especially as our young chookies grow. We have 11 week olds and 15-16 week olds now - so I gather we'll be getting eggs before Christmas!

Our 2 year old is 'gardening' here - ie. ripping off the flowers from each plant as she walks by. This lower section will become a bit of a cottage garden. Still got a long way to go with new plantings and my hubby's newly constructed pathway through the garden but it will eventually be fabulous!

The garden has taken on a new life now... I can't wait to see as it grows and grows. I must say gardening is definitely the best therapy going around - as well as good exercise.

Lately I've been feeling so peeved about big tourism bodies up here not responding to me about Mount Vic and Me art cards. Nothing. Zilch. And how wonderful small businesses have been in supporting me. Thank you lovely businesses! But I must say, when I get discouraged, I just head out the backyard and feel so much happier!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Taj Mahal of Mount Victoria

'Banksias' - Mount Vic and Me, 2013 - one of my recent designs in cards and gift tags - and is available now! 
I just love these beauties!

Spring is here! It's looking so beautiful again outside with blossoms everywhere (I should really take some photos), our new chickens are now here and it's warm enough to be outside again. Of course, this was a mild winter really and seems incredibly dry so far. I guess it will make for good bushfire weather again?

'Cuppa Tea' - Mount Vic and Me, 2013

Now to show off our new girls...

These are my 5 chickens. We have 'Hattie' the blue leghorn, 'Daisy' the wyandotte/brahma, 'Dottie' the gold laced wyandotte (though her colouring is pale?), 'Lolita' the New Hampshire and the friendliest pullet and 'Buffy' the Buff Sussex.

I wanted to get old heritage breeds, not pump-em-out chooks. These girls are from a breeder down near Windsor/Richmond and she really got that I wanted lovely chooks.

My hubby built this 'Taj Mahal' to house them and they want for nothing. They are 7 weeks and 2 others are around 12 weeks so we have a wait yet til they lay but they are worth the wait. Great fun and highly recommend for small kids!

 'Daisy' and 'Buffy' following behind...

'Hattie' checking the place out with 'Daisy' and 'Lolita' in the background.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Harmony Markets and Devonshire Tea!

Until Petalura opens in Mount Victoria (anyone know when it's happening?) I have to chat about Blackheath, our closest town. Little Mount Victoria is dying to get something happening though with the new Harmony Markets starting again 24th November 2013, I think we will see a change around here.

 Devonshire tea!

I'm very excited that Sangha Café in Blackheath has introduced Devonshire Tea! And reasonably priced too. A great little café hidden in the arcade. Top little secret and worth the visit...

I had the chocolate mousse cake... $7 for delicious homemade cake. Mmmmmm! Had to go back and get hubby a takeaway slice.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Little weekend special...

Hello everyone! This weekend only, via my facebook page, I have a great little deal... contact me for purchase. x

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Card display

I need some way to display my cards at markets. All I can see is perspex/acrylic solutions which is a bit dull. Got any ideas?

Love the card display at the bottom. The metal background with the perspex looks really striking. Not sure how moveable this would be.

Love this... but for my studio space instead! Love the dark timber.

LOVE! Just need someone to build this for me... hmmmm...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Winter Magic 2013

 Mount Vic and Me and Pickle Me Fancy joint stall at Winter Magic

Winter Magic last weekend was set to be a beauty. Perfect weather though terribly cold when I got up and outdoors by 5:30am but it did pose to be a good one. Set up and waited... and waited... and waited... no people. What was going on?

 Rachael behind my new cushion range - they were a great price too!

Rachael and I walked around the corner to see the festival TEEMING with people. It was crazy. Us 'duds' on Parke St had no chance of drawing crowds. No signage, no motivation for people to look around the corner.

 Kara at Winter Magic

Parke St was meant to have 61 stalls and only 30 showed up. And now I know why... No one knows to visit Parke St!

Our joint stall looked amazing - pickles, relishes, cards, postcards and cushions - all Blue Mountains here!

I made up a little sign for the roundabout at Parke St but it wasn't enough. I even burst into tears when I came home, smashed the bottle of red I had planned to drown my sorrows in and hurt my foot! Bloody hell!

But it seems that the organisers are coming to the party. Next year we will get an excellent position and they have offered to refund our stall space $$. Bring on 2014 and hopefully we'll see you there at the next Winter Magic?

Thursday, May 16, 2013


 I had found it difficult to decide which way I would go it colour with this card designed this week... to make it stark red or the teal. I kept putting it down then coming back to it. I asked a lot of fans on facebook too with teal being the more popular choice.

Having lunch today in a beautiful thai restaurant in Blackheath with a friend, she suggested a warmer colour - like yellow. I played around with it and decided a more natural earthy tone was right. So the one at right is the final design.

And I must say I'm really happy with it!

Friday, May 10, 2013

See you tomorrow at the Blackheath Growers Market

Tomorrow I am at the Blackheath Growers Market from early early early til midday. I do hope you can stop by and say hi and check out some gorgeous bits I have right now... just created are some gift packs of all sizes for the budding pen friend enthusiast!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gift packs

I've been having fun putting together gift packs of cards. There are five in this one - 4 greeting cards and 1 gift card... perfect for someone who loves writing or likes a supply of gorgeous cards ready for birthdays and other events.

These come with an additional gift card so you can write your own special message to the one you love then attach it to the front of the brown paper wrapping.

I can put together any combination of gift pack - the perfect personalised present - especially with Mothers Day around the corner! Have you found me on facebook? It's a great way to keep in touch and see what's up and coming.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


'Flora' - Mount Vic and Me - 2013

'Flora' is my latest design and is available as a card or gift card (smaller size with hole and threaded with twine to attach to presents or flowers). I love this print - it was inspired by flowers collected from my Mountains garden in a vase at the window. An overcast day and I wanted to share the dark colours we sometimes have up here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bathurst show and all that...

I'm so excited to show my new card design... coming soon!  Also will be doing little gift cards too. I'm thinking these would work well for gift stores as well as florists.

Today we went to the Bathurst Show. I was delighted to see kewpie dolls are still around and got the girls one each. So probably I bought them more for me than them? Especially as they wanted the horrible fake Barbies you see at the front of the pic!

The Royal Bathurst Show has so much more nostalgia than the Royal Easter Show. There is still old pavillions, smells and sounds. Somehow the new setting doesn't offer any of that in Sydney. I loved Moore Park though.

This handsome gentleman came rushing up to me when I pulled my camera out! He won best merino stud at the Royal Easter Show. He was so friendly and had a lovely soft nose. I thought the Bathurst Show was SOOO much better than the Easter Show. People stopped and talked about their produce. The kids will be going there every year from now on!

I just love this picture my 4 year old did. It's called 'It's a bird not a chicken' and she's written her name inside the bird. The smile is so sweet.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Studio 52

Today I stopped in at Studio 52 in Blackheath here in the Blue Mountains. This exciting retail store showcases work by Mountains designers and is still a bit of a hidden gem. I had to take in some more of my cards and wanted to see what's new.

I have my range of cards and postcards there as well as my kara smith stuff - handbags and dresses out of vintage fabric. The store is really something special and needs to be part of your Mountains itinerary.

Photo by

Studio 52 is home to a contemporary retail store that showcases the unique work of local designer/makers and host to a collection of hands-on creative workshops for children.
Studio 52 is an initiative of Hannah Surtees and Emma Kelly, both Blackheath mums who are impassioned about contemporary design and the importance of learning through the creative process. British-born and trained, Hannah brings seventeen years industry experience as a graphic designer whilst Emma has been channeling her creativity into teaching primary children for over ten years. 

"We are passionate about design and devoted to the local community, our retail store presents local Blue Mountains design and provides the opportunity for the designer/makers to share their knowledge and skills."

"Our online store covers a few items that we stock instore but there will always be new and bespoke things that we can't put up, so its always worth a visit up to Blackheath now and again and besides, there's some great places for coffee and there's that quite nice view at the end of the street!"

Fabulous finds right here in the Mountains...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Art cards have arrived!

Art cards have arrived! All 14 of my designs are now available as a card (blank inside) depicting my nostalgic memories of the Blue Mountains. I'm so happy to have them and have a range of growing stockists within the Mountains (check out my site).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My daughter's postcard

My 4 year old wanted to design her own postcards as she was inspired by the Mount Vic and Me range. She watches everything I do, giving ideas and advice and loves to see the finished product.

Theo's postcard (her first published work) was a run of 50 postcards. We layered up two pieces of her artwork, added colour (as art directed by her) and her signature which I find quite 'Miro'-like. She certainly has an eye.

Wonder if I could sell these and give her a cut? Bit cheeky?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pistachio tiles

So excited! We finally have our bathroom done... and done beautifully by my hubby at Mountain Top Tiling here in Mount Victoria. We had an old ebay cast iron bath and pedestal sink re-enamelled, gorgeous pistachio tile combo with art deco features everywhere done from my designs and just lurrrrrve it!

On another note, my card range has grown to 14 designs. With the new art cards arriving next week, I'm excited to say I will be stocking Megalong Books in Leura with another stockist hard on the heels behind them.