Hello, and a warm welcome back to my Blog Journal.

We are all going well, thank you for your lovely messages. I did mention in my November Postcard (monthly newsletter) that there maybe some Blog Journal posts before Christmas and here we are.

Some happenings at Fairy Wren Cottage:

Social media has become a big factor in business advertising and it was time to highlight more of Michael’s bespoke carpentry skills and business. You’ll notice a new tab at the top of the page at the far right: BESPOKE CARPENTRY.  It is Michael’s business webpage. Along with this, Liliana and I have been creating a Linkedin account for him and updating the @allhomerenosandmaintenance Instagram account. Here are the links and some photos of Michael’s work:

All Home Renovations and Maintenance BESPOKE CARPENTRY webpage.

Instagram @allhomerenosandmaintenance

Michael Van Heel Linkedin 


Full kitchen renovation. Tas Oak Cabinetry, Red Ironbark Kitchen Island Bench Top. Tas Oak Floorboards.

Tas. Oak Free Standing Kitchen Dresser with Glazing.

Tas Oak Library Shelving & Table Top.

In the garden.

How is your growing season so far? Everything seems so early here. We have small zuchini’s on some plants, I sowed the seed early and crossed my fingers. Corn is in the ground and about 20cm high, an absolute miracle, each year I sow corn and it has never reached full maturity. Each day we are harvesting a colander of lettuce. Snap peas I sowed late are prolific and  are in every meal. Two full colanders of chives have been snipped into 2cm lengths and frozen to put into meals. The Ida Rose potatoes have been lifted and we have almost finished eating them all. To give you an indication, when Michael and I planted the Ida Rose we talked about how lovely they will be as a first baby potato crop just in time for Christmas, well that ship has definetly sailed!


Liliana has started harvesting herbs for our herbal teas. Clever Lil, last year she harvested enough herbal tea for our yearly supply. I’ve started emptying the freezers to make room for new harvests and made tomato sauce from last seasons tomatoes. We harvest, wash, dry and blitz the tomatoes in the blender, put in zip lock bags (double bag them if your bags are thin) and freeze flat on a baking tray in 1 kilo batches. Remove that baking tray once the tomatoes are frozen otherwise a) you will have a shortage of baking trays and b) the baking tray limits the air flow moving around your freezer.

If you are new to preserving, feeling overwhelmed with what to do or where to start, I have created a small ebook called Preserving the Harvest. It focuses on small batches, nothing fussy, simple, straightforward, what I would teach you if you were standing in my kitchen and we were preserving together. This ebook is free and along with my other ebooks can also be read on Trove, The National Libraries of Australia website. Read Preserving the Harvest here.


Fairy Wren Cottage Postcards, my monthly vintage inspired flowery newsletter will be back in 2024.

Please show your support by subscribing to the accounts you love, click the like buttons and leave a comment when you can. This truely means the world to the person who is creating the content you enjoy so much. You showing an interest really does matter.

Thanks for checking in, it is lovely to be here and lovely that you are here.

Honeybee sends her love.

Until next time,

Jude x

*Michael’s working on some lovely bespoke carpentry projects before Christmas but his 2024 work diary is now open.

Last days of Spring.

November 28, 2023



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