31 March 2013

Drought Blues....

Oh how I wish it would rain...
Poor old Mia Bella Gardens is looking sooooo sad!
Rain has been elusive for many months now, apart from a mere millimetre here and there. 
The heat has been unbearable, and the garden is starting to suffer.
Sadly my five finger tree is dying, and so is my beautiful 3 metre tall Brugmansia shrub.
The dahlias however are LOVING it!

 Unbelievable but true...
they have stood tall like soldiers in the heat and dryness.


Water restrictions have meant hand held hose watering 
(NO sprinklers allowed).
This takes me three hours every second or third evening!!  
(Perhaps a glass of Chardonnay in one hand would help...)

The monarch butterflies LOVE the dahlias too....
sucking the delicious nectar from deep within the flowers.
It is Autumn now, but it still feels like summer.
I'm so looking forward to those cooler days and the end of this terrible drought,
so I can start to prune, feed, and aid the recovery of Mia Bella Gardens.


27 March 2013

3D Easter Rabbit...

Print the template for the bunny 
link is via:
Cut the template out
Copy shapes on to paper covered cardboard
Make the concertina joins for the legs and ears...
And then you have a cute 3D Easter rabbit
to add a little fun to your Easter table or decor'.

For more detailed step by step instructions,
decouplage option,
 and the link to the bunny pattern visit:
http://creativetryals.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/make-your-own-decoupage-cardboard.html





















Easter Supper...

 Easter supper with friends...
what a great excuse to consume delectable goodies!
 Iced almond cookies...
 Rabbit shapes of course!
 Gooey cupcakes drizzled with icing...
 Chocolate rabbits and edible eggs...
 Gorgeous flowers...
these are mini chrysanthemums picked from Mia Bella Gardens...
 Plastic eggs and shredded paper make a great base for another glass vase that holds the flowers...
 Spotty bowls, candy stripes and chocolate bunnies!
 A beautiful candle...
 And butterfly...
A 3D rabbit in pretty paper...
 Delicious chocolate cake with icing dribbles, chocolate leaves...
And MORE eggs!
 What a feast...
 Easter wishes to all my blog followers...
Hoping you are lucky enough to celebrate with family and friends dear to you.

18 March 2013

Afternoon tea...

A friend was coming over for afternoon tea, 
so I decided to get out my Grandmothers tea set, 
and do afternoon tea 'pretty'!
Now our area is in the midst of a drought...
so flowers are not at their best in Mia Bella Gardens at the moment, 
but I found a few beautiful roses.
Then on my wanderings around the garden was one lonely sunflower 
with sprays of soft yellow flowers. 
This must of been a self-seeded one from last summer.
And thank goodness for that because it was a perfect colour match for my tea table.
 Add a French look runner, white vase, candles 
and a little dish of frangipani flowers and it was just perfect.
 I love these sunflowers...
Heart shaped buttery shortbread...
And cucumber sandwiches for a perfect afternoon tea party... 
This variety of sunflower is called 'Vanilla Ice',
 they are perfect for picking, 
and they last so well in a vase...
If you are in New Zealand, you can get these from Kings seeds...
 It only took about 15 minutes to throw this look together...
plus extra time for food preparation of course!
 Grandma's tea set - this is Colclough china, 
but has no pattern name on it.
 I'm not a huge fan of the colour yellow actually, 
but I really like this table setting.
And these candle holders are crystal sherry glasses 
that I found for a mere $2 each at the op shop.
Just pop in a tea light candle,  
and you have a gorgeous candle holder.

Why don't you invite a friend over for a 'pretty' afternoon tea?

9 March 2013

Mosaic Tray...

I saw a beautiful tray with French Country styling in the Garden centre which I adored, but at that moment had no spare dollars to purchase.  
When I went back a few weeks later, it had sold.... 
My friend has a handled tray on her dining table, with a vase of flowers, a candle, and other bits and bobs on it, and it looks very classy....so I had to come up with a plan.
How could I create a centre piece tray out of an old MDF one I already had?
Mosaic it of course!
Then there was quick visit to the Op shop to find a pile of old porcelain plates for a friendly price of $6, and a rummage around the shed to source the required white paint, tile fix, grout and tools...

Finally I was organised to restyle my old MDF tray into a stunning mosaic piece.
This old tray was painted purple so the first task was to recolour it white.

Only one of the porcelain plates had a chip, 
so it felt criminal to smash them with a hammer.  
However one has to do what one has to do!  
So I selected the striped, pattern and embossed plates...
(my daughter did receive a gift of the excess plates!)

 Those plates were so hard to break!
 The small bits were incredibly sharp!
So gloves are a must.

Use a tile glue to attach the pieces to the tray.
Leave to dry overnight.
Then Grout.
Polish off the excess.

 The finished piece looked fabulous!

 One little embossed plate lived to tell the tale, 
and these Fleur de Lis balls looked fab sitting on it...


 The jug of white Iceberg roses and bright blue hydrangeas gave it all a French Country feel....

I LOVE the contrasting patterns...


 Iceberg rose buds...

 Blue Hydrangeas...

 A touch of French with Fleur de Lis...

 A pretty white French Country jug...

 End result is stunning...

 and a perfect look for my table centre piece...