Saturday 19 January 2013


our very treasured blogging friend
is throwing a 'Grow Your Blog' party
and I've joined in!
Vicki for organising and hosting
this wonderful event for us!

and lovely to meet you
especially if you are visiting my blog
for the first time and as part
of GYB party!

Where I call home!

My name is Shane and I live in
New Zealand in the
beautiful South Pacific region.

My blogging adventure started
almost three years ago with
this post here
and I was thrilled to bits when
14 lovely people left me a comment
and gave me the confidence to carry on.

(I confess my first comment came from my son)!!!
...but the second came from
Tracey of
French Larkspur
I was on the road to great adventure!!!

I've been so lucky to make some
wonderful new friends along the way
who have widened my horizons
beyond anything I could have imagined.

I love all things French!
At the top of my list are my
french granddaughters
whom I visit almost every year,
I wish I could visit more often....
And yes - I'm a Francophile!

I hope you'll have time to wander
around my blog.

Books, music and the arts 
are my passion.

Walking is another pastime and I took
this photo on an amble in the
countryside when I was in France
last year.
In the distance is the village
where my family live!

A Christmas stocking I embroidered for one of my granddaughters last year.

Rose's very yummy Carrot Cup Cakes!

I belong to a small embroidery group,
as you can see the delicious cakes we enjoy
are an added bonus!!

This year I want to learn something new
 so.... I'm about to delve into the world of
patchwork and quilting
and these are the fabrics I've collected so far!

I'm hoping via Vicki's blog party
I will meet some experienced quilters
who will join my blog and give
me advice and encouragement
along the way!!!

I really enjoy creating
collages, tags and books
out of old fabrics and lace I collect,
some at brocantes when I'm in France .

I enjoy being at home
making things for the house
pottering about in the kitchen
and developing my ever-
evolving garden.


Please enter my giveaway by leaving
me a comment on this post.
There are no fixed rules
so you don't have to be a follower to enter
(although naturally I would  love you to
become one via Google Friend Connect
so I can grow my blog)
Please make sure I can contact you
by leaving your email address below your comment!

The draw will take place on
Friday 1st February
New Zealand time!
Bonne chance mes amies!

Country Living is a beautiful
magazine put out once a year by
New Zealand House & Garden.
It's jam packed full of
inspiring country interiors
and gardens
as well as yummy recipes.
I just know you'll love it!!!

(in the parcel I will also tuck in

a few other bits of KIWIANA -
google that to see what I mean!!)

so much for popping in to see me!
I would love you to become
a part of my blog.

again dear Vicki
for so generously giving of your
precious time to organise
this wonderful party
to help us all to

Please click here to return to Vicki's
list of bloggers who have joined

Take care dear friends
and please be kind to one other


Sit down here with me for a cuppa and a lovely chat!

Wednesday 16 January 2013

General Gallieni - a very dashing Frenchman!

How nice it is to join Vee
in her first

My friend Dawn has a huge
bush of this wonderful old
tea rose - General Gallieni
in her garden.
It has blooms continuously
from Spring through to Autumn.

I love how the blooms vary
from soft pink to rose
then apricot to deep red.

A mixed bowl with Iceberg
is lovely too.
The bowl sits on the hutch
between our kitchen and
dining room.
A good place for the 'General'
with the Eiffel Tower in
the background
he should feel at home!

Thank you Vee for hosting
another Note Card Party

I'm looking forward to
visiting as many of you
as I can.

to my new followers

Thank you to all my friends
for visiting my blog
I appreciate all your comments.

Take care and
be kind to one another


Tuesday 15 January 2013

Chicken and Olives... the recipe!

Sorry girls I know I promised to post this recipe
a couple of days ago but...
I've had the dreaded flu
in the middle of Summer - how does that happen?
...and I'm feeling suitably
sorry for myself..sniff. cough!!! 

I've been dosing myself up with
all manner of weird and wonderful potions!

My advice to family and friends for sore throats
is to swallow a peeled clove of garlic
wrapped in a spoon of the best honey...
(last thing at night) 
then magically come morning
your sore throat has gone!

Did I take my own advice?
unfortunately no...
I was feeling so miserable I couldn't think
of anything, so I've let it ride it's course
in between popping panadol and 
sipping "Gee's Linctus".
An old remedy for coughs
that the pharmacist will make up!

Enough of my ailments....!!!


 click on the picture to enlarge so you can print it off!

When you do this you'll see the page is splattered
with bits of this and that,
which tells you it's a very well used recipe!

It's a one dish recipe which is what I
love about it.
I often add a lemon cut into ⅛ ths
(leave skin on).

I serve it with a simple green salad.

The recipe is from this book.
Julie is a well known New Zealand cook
with many stimulating books published.
You may be able to order it from your
local library if you're interested!

On my kitchen bench today is a new pot
of herbs, basil chives and coriander.

Behind it is a plate I bought at a market years ago
it's a copy of an Italian design I think.

Sitting in front of my recipe book holder
are two large cups
we have our first coffee of the morning
from these!!
They are from Provence and the
mark on the back is "Terre Provence"!

I haven't used one recipe from this book
but I love the beautiful images
of French life
my daily reminder of where
my family live!


I just checked Vicki's blog and 331
bloggers have joined now.
Go here
to join us and have some fun
meeting new bloggers and
learning more about the world we live in!

dear friends for popping in to see me
and leaving your lovely comments!

to me new followers - I'm so glad you're here!

be kind to one another

hugs and love


Wish I was here - would you like to join me?!

Friday 11 January 2013

Summertime in Russell

(click on photo to enlarge)

We've just returned from another
few days away.
This time up north to 
Russell in the Bay of Islands,
a beautiful part of New Zealand.
I've shown you photos before
as we always spend time up
here during summer. 

(click on photo to enlarge)

A view of the bay at low tide
from the deck with
just a few seagulls mulling about.

We enjoyed some wonderful
sunsets while sitting on the deck
each evening.

I hope you are all happily settling
into the new year
and keeping snug and warm
if it's winter where you are!

Tomorrow I will share with you
our family's favorite chicken recipe!

Linking to
James' Weekend Reflections

Oh and don't forget to join
see the button on my side bar
255 have already signed up
why don't you join us and 
have some fun!

all for popping in and
reading my posts, especially
my dear friends who leave
such encouraging comments.

to my new followers too!

Take care and
be kind to one another.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

My very talented friends...

Late last year four of us got
together for an "Angel" themed
swap for Christmas.

Above is a beautiful angel collage - many of
you will recognise it as the work
of our friend Suzy Quaife 
a very talented fibre and textile artist.
Please visit her blog to see more of her
amazing work.

Suzy used one of my favourite
 rennaisance  angel images
as the focal point of her collage.
Then she embellised around it
as only Suzy can,
with treasured pieces from her
lace doily and fabric collection.

Lilla created one of her lovely
paper dolls, embellishing her with
specially died muslin, lace, silk and
delicate golden gossamer wings
befitting a Christmas Angel!
Other special touches of a gold cross,
gold bead and a pearl and
threads of gold glitter to
hi-light her gown.

Lilla is well known to most of my followers
as I often refer to her in my posts.

She is the most generous person I've
met while blogging.
Lilla freely shares her collage,
book making and other techniques
with easy to follow videos on her blog

I've had the pleasure of meeting
Lilla in person on one of her
visits home to New Zealand.
She is a very fun person to be with,
a great shopper (bonus points) and
I learnt so much from her in
that one brief meeting - 
thank you dear Lilla!

You won't be disappointed when
you visit Lilla's blog and also her shop

My dear friend Rhonda of

was also in our swap.
She made each of us a mini lace collage with
the beautiful Guardian Angels image
a perfect addition to my tree.

Thank you to my three dear friends

for the precious gifts you sent me.

I'm sure my dear friend Dorthe of

needs no introduction either!

Before Christmas while reading her blog
I spied these sweet little angels,
hand made by Dorthe!
They were perfect to tie to the outside
of Christmas parcels going off to my
three granddaughters in France!

Dorthe sent them at supersonic speed
(thank you for your special effort dear Dorthe)
so the parcel arrived on the other side
of the world well in time to catch Santa's sleigh!
(and to the delight of the girls too)!

Also included in her parcel was a very
special present for me,
a Dorthe designed angel for my tree,
I'm so appreciative
thank you dear Dorthe - you're an angel too!!!

I just had to show you Dorthe's
beautiful Christmas wrapping tissue.
I wish our shops would source
something vintage like this!

Above is the address for Dorthe's shop,
she will be re-stocking it from time to time
but things sell very quickly so keep
going back for a look!!!!

Here's a very fun party to join!!!

If you haven't already heard about
Grow Your Blog Party
please click on the above link
(or the button on my side bar)
to read all about it.
Vicki is another of Blogland's
most generous and kind souls
who always looks after people.

Thank you
to all my followers
for visiting my blog
especially those of you who leave
me your lovely comments.
I'm looking forward to another year of blogging
and meeting and making
more like minded friends along the way!

Take care

be kind to one another
hugs and love


One of the angel collages I made for 
our swap
(I borrowed Suzy's photo!)


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