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A Fresh New Year

A new year! Don't you love it? It feels like a clean slate, a beginning - I always feel motivated to make big plans and get things done. Yes, lots of things. I also feel compelled to begin an Art Journal every year, but that only lasts about 2 days. LOL.

This year I want to focus on:

  • My Cutting Garden (which is looking fabulous, I must say, but I want to expand it so, so much!)
  • Creating a large Bee/Herb garden near the house (this was going to be the dedicated potager, but I've revised my plans - this will be a very long term project).
  • We've also got lots of fencing/shedding/home improvement plans on the go this year and just got our solar hot water installed a few weeks ago. Love it!
  • Getting my Diploma of Permaculture sorted (I completed the certificate, but ran out of time/motivation to get the Diploma done last year).
  • Do a photography course (I can muddle through o.k. with my camera and take a lot of good photos, but I'd like to understand more of the how and why).
  • Take a calligraphy course (I've just always wanted to.....maybe this will be the year!)
  • Get a regular blogging schedule worked out (this is probably more of a fantasy than a reality - I'm too fickle to work to a set posting format, but, it's now officially on the list I'm going to give it a go!).
  • Hoddles Creek Farm blog - this is a work in progress - I have lots of stuff to flesh out, but I definitely want to spend more time developing it this year. This blog focusses on our farm: life/philosophy/projects and will be pretty image heavy. Check it out if you're interested.
  • A Little Lime - I want to provide lots of fun, inspiring content for you this year - I've got lots of sticky note ideas all over my blog Idea Board just waiting to happen. I've spent today streamlining the Home page - there is now a Search feature, the blog archives can be reached via a drop down button, and I have pared my unwieldy label list down to 17 Categories (still too many, really) - this involved going through almost every post over the past 3 years, but it is done! I might even manage to get an updated photo of me up this week :)
O.k., enough of the (un)realistic goal setting, I'm already feeling tired and in need of a holiday!

I did actually do some drawing over the holidays - I've had a renewed interest in working in my Moleskine and Pattern Journals, here's one of the new pages from the Pattern Journal.
My holidays were also filled with cutting lots of flowers, new calves and harvesting so, so much garlic - I now have enough for everyone.........seriously!

Cut Flower Garden

New Calf

Garlic Harvest




  1. Replies
    1. Helen~ Happy New Year! You're off to a wonderful, creative start! Looking forward to more of your beautiful photos and art!

  2. Am so excited that you are back!!!! Looking forward to more posts this year :) any possibility of showing us how you colour?

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Thank you! I will put a "colouring" sticky note onto my ideas board. I do have one video that shows one of my colouring techniques (morning glories) under the videos tab, just in case you haven't seen it :) h

  3. i like the streamlining, i need to do some of that myself. i love that little calf - so sweet! going to go check out your farm blog now :) have a great week, helen!

    1. I'm a design minimalist - I can't help myself - I have to keep paring back :) It's probably to balance the contrast of my disorganised home. hahaha. You have a wonderful week, too :)

  4. So nice to see you posting again. Your gardens are beautiful, and oh my - so much wonderful garlic. I use it in so many recipes all year, but especially in the summer in homemade pesto. Thanks for sharing the photos - a nice visual treat compared to the gray and frigid cold we are experiencing here in the northeast U.S. Looking forward to your future creative posts.

    Barbara (aka Babzy the Elder. :-)

  5. What a beautiful post. I am turning 65 this year and have decided to begin the "second half" of my life and it is so exciting to have fresh goals, new heights to reach for and a whole lot of LIVING! Looking forward to watching you achieve your goals.

    1. Helen, I've just turned 63 and made the same decision! I feel very joyful and hopeful! Sending you my best wishes for a LOT of living!

    2. Jakki and Helen - fantastic!

      I think you always have to set yourself new goals and challenges - it's what keeps us interested and interesting. I've done lots of short (and long) courses throughout my life, tried different types of jobs, taken on some scary challenges and I've never regretted any of it - I've learnt something from it all. So, go for it!! I know it's going to be a fabulous "second half" for you both!

      I forgot to add to my list that this year we're planning a trip to Cairns and I want to get my basic diving certificate whilst we're visiting the Barrier Reef - I can't wait! hx

  6. Helen, you amaze me with your energy & total love of life. You are so busy & you have such a full plate. My mom always said if you want to get something done ask a busy person to do it. That would be you, my dear. I believe you will acheive all the things you have set forth. You go, girl!

    1. As long as it's not housework, Lindy Lu :) That would never get done! I just channel my energy into the things I want to do and ignore the ones I don't :) Thank you! hx

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  7. Helen I love the energy you put into your life. I feel fortunate that you share it with us through your art, photos and blog.
    I can hardly wait to see the upcoming years activities.

    1. What a lovely compliment! Thank you, Bonnie :) I can't wait to see what the year brings, too! hx

  8. Helen, I came to Zentangle through calligraphy via Maria's lettering! I hope you get to take a class someday, you would be a natural I'm sure! Gemma Black is one of my favorite calligraphers AND an Aussie and she teaches but I have no idea how far she is from you. If you're unable to find a teacher close by, there are some good online courses and DVDs available now. If you need some suggestions drop me a note. I'd be glad to help. My first recommendation for all beginning students is to take a class from a real, in the room, teacher though. Gemma would also help I bet. She has a very nice website you could connect with her through. Best of luck with all your dreams and as always, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Cindy. I have checked out Gemma' Blacks website - beautiful work - I love the illuminated lettering. I've had a few suggestions for classes at the Calligraphy Society in Victoria, which runs classes and is only about an hour away so I will try them out. h

  9. Happy New Year to you Helen.
    I'm sooo jealous of your weather. Here in Denmak it's stormy, gray, dark, cold and very wet. Can't almost not remeber the sun. I long for SUMMER and our boat out on the blue sea. Thanks for the year that has gone and I know many of us "followers" are so happy for your blog and all the wonderful drawings and fotos.
    I have one question - when you draw, you draw in your big A4 drawingbook, right?
    If you then want to put the drawing up on your blog, how do you do that? do you scan your drawing? I ask because the drawings that we see on your blog are so clean in the colours - do you really flip your drawing book around and scan? Hope you understand my english ;o).
    Best regards
    Tine from Denmark

    1. Hi Tine, Thank you :) We have actually been experiencing a bit of a wet week here, but the warm, sunny weather is going to kick in again tomorrow - the break from the heat was very nice.

      Yes, I do work in journals - I have to take the lid off my scanner and weigh down the journal in order to scan it flat and avoid shadows. I adjust the curves setting on my scanner as it tends to scan a bit "grey" and I like my backgrounds to be clean white. I hope that makes sense.

      This year I'm actually trying something different and using paper board instead of a journal - I'll be posting about it in a few days as I'm really loving how it is working for me. h

    2. You are quick ;-)
      Your answer make a lot of sense - thanks.
      Looking forward to your post (and of course all your other stuff).


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