22 May 2017

For the love of a house and garden...

Guess Who?

You know how I said I do not like having my photo taken? Well, on special occasions, I will attempt the odd selfie, especially as it makes my daughters laugh..when mom does her mom smile. ;) I had a good reason for this one...I wanted to show you my latest purchase, the 'Glenmore' hat. The story follows...

In Australia...
Winter may be on the horizon in Sydney but does that stop me from thinking about the garden and adding to my hat collection for Tahilla Farm. In fact, Sydney is the perfect place to think about hats. When it comes to the sun, they have protection covered... Slip Slop Slap (sunscreen) and a Hat...you never leave home without either one.

The story behind the hat...
On my last visit to Sydney (2016), I discovered a fabulous book, Glenmore House by Mickey Robertson. I loved everything about it, the house, the gardens, the story behind both and the woman behind it all, Mickey Robertson

Thank you Miss Christine!

My darling daughter, Miss Christine, picked up on my heavy hints for it making a wonderful Christmas gift for mom (me). Clever girl that she is, she carried it in her hand luggage from Sydney to Boston and presented it to me on Christmas Day. I love when my heavy hinting works!

It wasn't long before I had Mr. H reading along with me and before we knew it our architect and builder were looking at the book with us. There are few ideas that might work well with our carriage house renovation at Tahilla Farm. I love when the creative thought process takes twists and turns..all the way to Australia. 

Mickey Robertson in the kitchen garden at Glenmore House/
Image here

Back to the hat...
Mickey also inspired me with her 'essentials' for the garden. And you guessed it....I am now the very happy owner of the wonderful 'Glenmore' gardening hat (above) and Mickey's Essential Dress (here). The hat is a design collaboration between the Australian hat designer, Axel Mano and Mickey Robertson. The dress, 100% (linen/cotton/hemp) was designed by Mickey and made in her Sydney based workroom. 

Mickey in the garden
Image here

You would think that after all this I would have met Mickey by now but alas, timing has not worked in my favor. We have messaged back and forth and I am guessing she is as delightful in person as she is in the written word. My goal is to attend one of her gardening/cooking sessions at Glenmore House by the end of the year. Fingers crossed! 

You can contact Mickey about her book, Essential Dress or the Glenmore hat here
The book is available on Amazon USA in both hardcover and Kindle here

Moving on to Tahilla Farm...
It won't be long before I am in New Hampshire wandering the gardens of Tahilla Farm. Before I return I am hoping to place an order for this Kingsley Bate Chippendale Bench to sit at at the end of a crushed stone path. Made from either Javanese or Burmese teak (depending on availability), we designed the garden with this bench in mind. The Chinese latticework will remind of our days in Hong Kong. It's all about the experience...in the garden.

Kingsley Bate Chippendale Teak Bench
Purchase from Austen Teak

Tahilla Farm...waiting for a bench

Time honored traditions from India...
I have been coveting the Original Kadai firebowl (below) ever since I spotted it at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show a few years ago. Each one is up to 100 years old, often used as cooking bowls at weddings and festivals across India. Hand picked in Rajasthan..I can't help but wish for one at Tahilla Farm. I am hoping, one day, to see a family reunion around an Original Kadai bowl, with fires blazing and sticks of marshmallows toasting...or maybe a gathering for a wedding. ;)

Original Kadai Firebowl spotted at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Made in the USA...for those messy days in the garden.
Tried and true, I love my Rosie's! I purchased them last summer to wear around the garden. You will not win a beauty contest in this pair of overalls but you and your friends will most certainly marvel at all the features they come equipped with. Made of 100% cotton twill fabric...they are durable and most important of all on a hot summer day, they breathe! They are generous in size and easy to slip on and off. There are 11 pockets including a hidden pocket. You will be amazed at what you can slip into this overall. It comes with knee pads which are easily removable. The pant legs zip off at the knee for comfort in the summer. They wash well too..mine went into the dryer without a problem.

I have them in Tan but if color is your thing you
you can purchase RaspberrySmokeSea Green

'Lightweight Denim' by Rosie

You can find them at Rosies workwear  and on Amazon.

The Glenmore hat from Australia to protect you from the sun,
Rosie's workwear from the USA when you need to dig deep,
Mickey's essential linen dress from Australia because..I love linen.

An English bench to sit and read a book,
an Original Kadai firebowl to bring family and friends together
and lastly your comments on my last post,
A Creative Sabbatical..

We have travelled and created well thus far,
from an around the world sailing trip 
to life drawing classes at the Cecil School in Florence.
Loving the chat, keep it coming!

Happy Gardening!
Happy Creating!

Jeanne xx

15 May 2017

A Creative Sabbatical...

Hanging out in Sydney

Greetings from Sydney!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and Mother's Day! I spent the day in Sydney with two of my four children, daughter #1, Miss Christine and son #2, Connor. On Mother's Day I caught up via Facetime with son #1, Patrick and daughter #2, Miss Claire, who jumped in with a photo from Botswana to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Mr. H checked in from Hong Kong making my day complete. It was a cool..ish, rainy autumn day...we cooked, talked, read and relaxed together. I knew my day was on the right track when Connor suggested we watch a 'mom' movie together, Under the Tuscan SunI have trained him well!  I love hanging out, something I rarely get to do these days...it is the perfect time for letting your thoughts run away from you.

Miss Claire jumping in Botswana

And my thoughts did run away with me and this is what I thought.... ;)

Imagine...you have six months or a year to yourself and you can go anywhere in the world (expenses paid) on your own to pursue whatever creative endeavour you fancy.  It's your time to do as you please...either on your own or with others. What would you do?

17 April 2017

Expat Diary: Hong Kong

Thinking about life at No. 43 with my velvet slippers
 from Shanghai Tang here

Greetings from No. 43 in Hong Kong!
I am in Hong Kong for two weeks continuing my efforts to set up a life in our apartment at No. 43. Shortly after my departure in March I made an executive decision, or rather, an executive demand to hire an interior decorator. Given that my time in Hong Kong will be limited in 2017, it is near impossible for me to complete all the tasks before me in two weeks.  Fortunately, we found someone to help us. Curtains, light fixtures, carpets, re-upholstery, art...it's all on the list. With decorating underway it allows me to focus on spending quality time with family...and carry on with my travel notes.

04 April 2017

The One Thing....


Sometimes I look at my 'to do' list and it gives me the shakes.

But then again...my outlook on 'to do' lists is probably not your average outlook.

25 March 2017

Going with the flow...around the world

Indeed it is!
(in Sydney)

Before musing on the flow of life...I want to thank you all for the creative and clever names you suggested for our 'perch' in Hong Kong. We loved them all!  They continue to come in and as soon as I am back in Hong Kong I am going to sit and contemplate each and every one!

02 March 2017

First Impressions and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Hong Kong

The day begins at #43... sun rising to the east, behind the mountain ridge 

Good Morning, Good Evening and Hello!
Well, here we are again, on the Expat Express to Hong Kong! Many of you have been with me for the long expat haul, from our first days in Australia (pre-blog) to last days in New Zealand ( started blog) to life in England, Vietnam, Tahilla Farm and now Hong Kong. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you..from the bottom of my heart and up, it is full of appreciation!

13 February 2017

The Productive and Happy Woman- Podcasts

Did you make any New Year resolutions this year?
How is that going for you?
Still on course or are you feeling adrift?

I thought about my New Year resolutions for about a day
and that was it. I wasn't interested in focusing 
on a long list of goals...again.

I just wanted answers to a lot of questions.
Life changing kind of questions, the kind
that make you want to pull your hair out
 in search of answers.

23 January 2017

Puppy Love...True Love..Farewell Tika

Tika in Australia, 2003

Dear Friends,

I have stopped and started this post so many times in the past weeks... a loss for words, until now. Many of you would have seen on my Instagram post that our dear Tika passed away peacefully. Her 14.7 adventurous years had come to an end at Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire…a long way from her birthplace in Melbourne, Australia. We all take comfort that she is resting with us and is now part of the Tahilla Farm story.
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