Posts categorized "flowers & gardening"

free double passes to the Better Homes and Gardens Live Sydney show

Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is coming to Sydney!

Sydney Showground

Friday 20 September – Sunday 22 September 2013

A Great Day Out For The Entire Family.

Australia’s favourite home magazine and television show is coming to life at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from 20 – 22 September 2013 for Better Homes and Gardens LIVE.

Whether you are a renovator, foodie, DIY or craft lover, gardening or interiors addict, Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is the only place to go for all the latest products, advice and tips for your home.  Get inspired with live demonstrations and workshops from your favourite Better Homes and Gardens experts and shop for the latest gadgets and technology from more than 350 exhibitors at our one-stop home and garden product showcase.

Better Cooking

Fast Ed and Karen Martini will demonstrate their favourite recipes as well as some exciting new creations at the Better Cooking stage.

Fast Ed 1

Better Decorating and DIY

Rob Palmer will power up his toolkit at the Better Decorating and DIY stage and will inspire men and women to create great projects from the TV show at home whilst Tara Dennis will work her design magic on projects that tap into the latest trends in colour and interior design.

Tara Dennis 2

Better Craft & Skills Workshop & Make and Take Workshop

The Better Homes and Gardens magazine editors will be showcasing how to create amazing craft projects at the interactive Make and Take Workshop. And at the Better Craft & Skills workshop, discover the overwhelming satisfaction of creating something with your hands. 

Better Gardening and Pets

Dr Harry will share his incredible knowledge to help all pet owners and pet lovers to look after the furry, feathered or scaly member of the family at the Better Gardening and Pets stage.

Whether you are already a green thumb or a gardening novice, Australia’s eminent garden and landscaping gurus Graham Ross and Jason Hodges will be creating Australia’s most sought after gardens, whilst offering ample practical advice.

Jason Hodges 1

Plenty of Activities for the Kids!  Looking for things to do with the kids during the school holidays? Crafty kids will feel right at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE!  They’ll be spoilt for choice with face painting, balloon sculpting and sand art on offer.  And the little ones will love the petting zoo, getting hands-on with their favourite farmyard animals.

Make yourself at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE this September.

Visitor and Ticket Information

Venue:  Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park                       

When:  9am – 5pm, Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September, 2013

Who:  Johanna Griggs and the Better Homes and Gardens team: Tara Dennis, Fast Ed Halmagyi, Karen Martini, Dr Harry Cooper, Jason Hodges, Rob Palmer and Graham Ross.

Ticket Prices:

Buy Earlybird Tickets Online and Save at

Full priced tickets can be bought at the door of the event every day.

Standard Early Bird Ticket:  $15 (save $5 off the door price)

Standard Ticket on the Door:  $20

Concession Early Bird Ticket:  $10 (save $5 off the door price)        

Concession Ticket on the Door:  $15


Now, here's some exciting news..... 

I have 20 FREE double pass tickets to give away to the Sydney Better Homes and Gardens LIVE show. If you would like a double pass (that's two tickets) to this event, please send me an email (you can find the "email me" link in the top right column right here on this page). EDITED: ALL THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN GIVEN AWAY. THANKS FOR VISITING MY BLOG, AND I HOPE EVERYONE WHO RECEIVED TICKETS ENJOYS THE SHOW.

I look forward to hearing from you.



free tickets to better homes and gardens live in sydney


 Discover all you need for your ideal home

at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE

14th to 16th September 2012 at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park 

Here are the top ten reasons why you can’t afford to miss Better Homes and Gardens LIVE:

  1. Shop gadgets, accessories, tools, gifts and home wares from 350+ hot brands.
  2. Watch the experts in action with some essential DIY and renovation projects.
  3. Supercharge your imagination with inspiration and new ideas from celebrity experts.
  4. Don’t miss the very latest releases from leading brands and specialist retailers.
  5. Join all your favourite Better Homes and Gardens experts for a packed schedule of live workshops and demonstrations.
  6. Explore a whole new way to decorate for style and comfort in the Home Zone.
  7. Give your taste buds a treat with delicious free samples and recipe ideas in the Food Zone.
  8. Discover green fingers you never knew you had in the Gardening & Pet Zone.
  9. Enjoy colourful displays and stock up on fabric, wool, paper and essential accessories in the Craft Zone.
  10.  Make it a day to remember with a celebrity encounter – Tara Dennis, Rob Palmer, Fast Ed, Dr Harry, Jason Hodges, Graham Ross and Johanna Griggs will all be there.          

 With 100s of products & 1000s of ideas for renovators, foodies, DIY and craft lovers, gardening and interiors addicts, Better Homes and Gardens  LIVE is the ultimate home & garden destination.

Tickets on sale now!  Visit to buy tickets now & save.

BUT... I have 20 FREE double pass tickets to give away to the Better Homes and Gardens LIVE show. If you would like a double pass (that's two tickets) to this event, please send me an email.

ETA: All tickets have now been given away. Thank you to everyone who emailed me and left a comment here on the blog for tickets. I hope you all have a wonderful time at the show.



when life gives you basil.... make pesto


I returned home from my parent's house recently with a huge bag of basil... beautiful fragrant lush green basil. When I'm in possession of such a large quantity of fresh basil (whether I've grown it myself or raided my parent's herb garden), there is only one thing I can think of to preserve it, MAKE PESTO!

Pesto... It is a delicious combination of basil, garlic, toasted pinenuts, parmesan and olive oil, and it is VERY VERY VERY EASY to make.


Basically this is how it's made. Wash the basil and carefully inspect for any freeloaders looking for a free meal (those little green caterpillars can be tricky to find on the basil). Toast the pine nuts. Grate the parmesan cheese. Peel the garlic.


Throw it all in the bowl of a food processor and blitz. Drizzle in the olive oil.

Many recipes will say to pick the leaves from the stalk and only use these in the pesto but I use the whole thing, leaves AND stalks. The stalks have the same lovely basil flavour as the leaves, and you will dramatically increase the amount of pesto you will make using the stalks.


Pack the pesto into little containers and drizzle some extra olive oil over the top (this stops the pesto from turning brown).


And this is the preserving part, the pesto freezes really well, so all that lovely summery basil goodness is now in my freezer ready to use when we need a quick tasty meal. If you've packed it into smaller containers, such as half a cup, you can defrost just enough for dinner.

I have to say, I love having my iPhone in the kitchen to be able to take quick photos on the go :)

Thanks for dropping by.



Better Homes and Gardens LIVE Melbourne ticket giveaway

The BHG LIVE show is coming to Melbourne! It's on 24-26 February 2012 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.

The three day event will host four stages, with live demonstrations from the Better Homes and Gardens TV experts, plus there'll be over 300 companies exhibiting at the event. You can read all about the show on the Better Homes and Gardens LIVE website.

To my Melbourne readers, start planning your day, cause I have 10 double passes (a total of 20 complimentary tickets) each valued at $40.00 to give away.

If you live in Melbourne or will be in Melbourne town on the weekend of the show and would like a couple of tickets, please send me an email.

Enjoy the show :)





easter school holidays round-up

.... in photos.

I'll start with our own little cute Easter bunnies, here's Butterscotch:


and Bubbles:


I bought the girls these groovy "new polaroid-style" cameras for the holidays, they've had a great time taking lots of photos:


These cameras take business card sided polaroid photos. In a world of digital photography, I'd forgotten the joy of seeing your little photos come to life in a couple of minutes:


We love going away to Hawks Nest with these girls, and their mum :-) We've been friends since the older girls were in pre-school, and still love to get together for a few days away:


One night the girls wanted to create some sparkler art. Best $2.00 entertainment of the holidays. They created a few words, then made some shapes (next time I'll take my tripod away, would have made this activity a lot easier):


 And there were a few blooms left on my old frangipani tree up at Hawks Nest:


We went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, ate lots of chocolate easter eggs, caught up with family and friends... all the usual stuff that happens over Easter.

Now we're back into the maddess of school term time, not to wish time away, but bring on next holidays!

That's about all, thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

Homegrown, cooking and crafting

Yesterday we picked some of Phoebe's produce from her veggie patch. It's only a small space (we converted the old sand pit in the back yard to a veggie patch a few years ago), but she grows some fabulous veggies and herbs.


This year she's grown three different varieties of tomatoes... and basil (summer would be the same without fresh basil in our garden), as well as some other herbs.


This is our second "harvest" from the garden recently.

So dinner last night was fresh tomato and basil pasta. Very quick easy and delicious. Here's how...

  • Roughly chop the tomatoes, no need to peel the tomatoes and keep all the juices and seeds.

  • Heat some olive oil in a fry pan, add a little garlic (1-2 cloves, chopped) and cook. Add the tomatoes and gently cook for about half and hour, stirring occasionally.

  • Towards the end add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of mirin (if you don't have mirin, add a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar).

  • Cook your pasta, drain, etc.

  • While cooking the pasta pick the basil leaves from the stems, don't bother cutting them up, they are yummier left whole.

  • When all is ready, toss the pasta into the sauce and stir around to cover the pasta.

  • Toss the basil into the pasta/tomato sauce combo and let them wilt slightly. Plate up and enjoy with Parmesan cheese.

We were talking last night after our dinner saying how some of our favourite meals are often the most simple to cook.

And now for some crafting....

Here is another Maya Road project created for their CHA booth.


The chipboard book used as the base is the Car Key Chipboard Coaster Book. There are quite a few new products used through this album. Some new trinkets flowers mixed with old.


New little sheer birdies...


I've used some older tags from a coaster book as the mounts for the quotes. The little birdies rub-ons are very cute and match the sheer birdies perfectly.



We, the design team, were asked to create a Valentines tag for the Maya Road booth as well.


I used pieces from the Maya Road Love Key chain Set which I then covered in Stampendous Fun Flock, which gives a fabulous fuzzy-flock finish to the chipboard.


I've also added a couple of the new trims from Maya Road. The Pink Vintage Sequins Edging and a new large pom pom trim.


That's about all for now. My girls are now back at school, settled in nicely, new teachers, new classrooms and new schedules to learn.

Don't forget there is still a day or two left to enter the RAK. Leave a comment on this post, you might win a set of Maya Road Cupcakes stamps.

Thanks for visiting, hope you have a great weekend.


Fiona x


Robot love and other things

I recently bought a set of Darkroom Door's Robot stamps. When I first saw them I thought they were some of the cutest robots I'd seen. And they didn't disappoint when they arrived.

The girls and I had a quick stamping session last weekend and made some cards. The quality of these red rubber stamps is fantastic, the detail in the design is so clear when stamped. We loved the images and colouring them with the bruch pens. Here's one of Phoebe's cards...



I made some quick gift cards...

Pink-robot-card  Blue-robot-card 

I'm loving the idea of using embroidery hoops as frames. There are many, manygreat examples on flikr, here are just a few - here, here, here and here. I bought these little hoops a while back, and the little robot stamped image was a perfect size for these. I've stamped the image onto Japanese linen with a permanent fabric/card ink (I think it was VersaCraft ?) and then embroidered and beaded around the image.



Love these little robots. My girls then pointed out that the other robot set from Darkroom Door has a little drummer robot. With a drummer in our family, I guess we'll be off for some more shopping!

In other news...

This project has been keeping me busy for the last few weeks (one day it will be our new bathroom)...


And this has cost us more money than expected (gotta love old houses)...


And this is the first glimpse of Phoebe's summer tomato crop...


Phoebe and I are working on a Christmas sewing project. We're not quite finished, and will post our finished project very soon. Here's Phoebe sewing away at the machine yesterday.


There are a couple of new pencil cases for sale over at Ribbons Galore... these pencil cases feature the gorgeous Goldilocks ribbon.

Goldilocks-dot-pouch  Goldilocks-stripe-pouch 

Make sure you visit Mel's blog for a wonderful series of Christmas craft ideas. She's written a fantastic blog post about the Christmas baubles I was selling at Ribbons Galore (which are now sold out).

Also, for everyone who was interested in the cupcake pincushion Kylie made for me. She's now popped a tutorial on how to create these little pincushions. 

Finally, two lovely ladies have mentioned me on their blogs, and I'm very late is responding to these. Ruth Clarke and Lee Mills have both sent me blog awards. Thank you ladies, very, very kind of you both.

Well that's about all for now. My blog has been slightly neglected lately, with Ribbons Galore being so busy and end of school activities starting for my gorgeous girls, my time at the computer has been limited. I will be back with some Christmas projects very soon.

Thanks for visiting. Have a great week.


Fiona x

fuzzy flowers


I made some fuzzy flowers for a tag project over on the Pursuit of CraftYness blog. The theme of our blog projects for this week was "something old, something new". If you visit the blog, you'll see all the projects the lovely ladies have been making over there.

I thought I'd share my "how to" make my flowers. I've called them fuzzy flowers after the funny fuzzy effect you get when you felt the centre of these woolly daisies.

Step 1: I've used an old daisy maker to create my wool flowers. This old daisy maker was my nana's. She used to use it to make daisy decorations on knitted booties and knitted coat hangers that she used to make. You can still buy these daisy makers in haberdashery stores.


Step 2: Remove the daisy from the daisy maker. I actually really like the daisies like this, and have used them quite often in this form.


Step 3: I've used my new favourite gaget to "felt" the centre of the daisy. This needle felting tool is by Clover (once you click to the Clover website, you will have to click the link to felting needle in the left side bar to see the details), and I've had so much fun felting little bits and pieces. By felting the centre of these daisies, they become quite secure and will not unravel.


This is the interesting effect. I did not expect this. When I felted the centre of the flower, the wool loops "pulled" slightly creating a fuzzy look....


The fuzzy flowers:


And the tag that I created with them which is over on the Pursuit of CraftYness blog this week:


I now have several of the Clover crafty gadgets. I own several Yo-Yo makers (these use up all those fabric scraps), their Pom-Pom makers and now the Needle Felting tools. They are lots of fun to make little embellishments and they are a great activity for the kids too (great for their fine motor skills!).

I'm wondering what your favourite flower is to create? Let me know, leave a link in the comments field so we can see your creations.

Thanks for visiting...


Fiona x

National Trust, Science week and daffodils

While I was away recently, Phoebe and friends went to the National Trust office here in Sydney for the presentation morning for the National Trust Schools Competition.


They were thrilled to be placed second (and received a highly commended award) in the competition. This is what the judges said about their project: "A beautifully presented description of the Suspension Bridge. The three students have clearly and simply described the history, heritage and significance of the bridge in an engaging way."


The original post about the scrapbook can be found HERE. And the competition press release from the National Trust can be found HERE. I was so proud of them.


This week is Science week at the girls school. The senior kids were given a project to create a mobile from objects found around the home. Emily worked with two friends to create this:


Yep, the classic combination of coat hangers, vegetables and ribbon, all strung together to balance perfectly.

Vegemobilecarrot Vegemobilesquash Vegemobileyellow

Then it started raining here this morning, and the mobile was meant to be water proof. Sooo, Emily decided to make the mobile an umbrella. (I'm not sure how much glad wrap we have left in the cupboard... note... add glad wrap to shopping list)


And while I was out this morning with the camera I took some photos of our daffodils. Three months back the girls and I planted our bulbs into some pots.


Well, here's what we've been enjoying over the last couple of weeks. They are so bright and happy.


Daffodil1 Daffodil2

That's about all for now! Thanks for visiting. Hope you're having a great day :-)


Fiona x

a couple of scrapbooking projects

Thought I'd share a little project which will be making it's way to the Maya Road stand at CHA Summer very soon.

This is a Maya Road Secret Box and matching Secret Box Chipboard Book. The little book is very cute, only 3"x3" in size. I've used lots of Urban Lily products to decorate. The word "celebrate" on the outside of the box has Derivan KindyGlitz added for a bit of girly shimmer. This little book lists just a few of the many, many things I love about my gorgeous Emily.


Inside I've writting the "I love..." in journaling shapes stamped from the Maya Road Foundations Jouraling Clear Stamps.


The little book can then be stored inside the box.


I was also thrilled to have a couple of my layouts using Fontwerks Write Line papers appear over on the Aussie Scrap Source blog last week. I've shared my 'The Euphonium' layout previously, but here's a new one I completed using some Fontwerks papers.


The letters in the large title {WAIT} are covered Maya Road Philadelphia chipboard letters. And I'm pleased to report our bulbs which we planted in the above layout are now sprouting little green stalks. Bring on Spring!

Thanks for the well wishes for my mum who is in hospital, she is doing OK.

Hope you have a great week. Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x