Tuesday, September 10, 2013


For some time we have been planning the installation of a Nectre Bakers Oven. We have a ready supply of timber at my parents property which was felled years ago, and a few other sources which we feel quite happy to use from a sustainable perspective. We chose the bakers oven over a regular fire so we could utilise the heat for cooking, boiling the kettle, cooking soups, porridge etc and thus saving electricity. We also have a wet back on it that is yet to be connected but which will provide us with (technically) free hot water. We have been on a STEEP learning curve about how a wet back works  but are confident now that we have covered all our problems. The biggie being that a normal hot water service is high pressure, and a boiler needs to be low pressure which means you need height to acquire pressure... when all your pipes are under the house and you cant fir the boiler in the roof... well lets just say there were a few sleepless nights. I have conceded defeat and given up my linen cupboard which although inconvenient as I have no where else to put anything, it does solve our problem and subsequently gives me a slightly bigger laundry - confusing I know, it will all make sense once its done and I can show you some photos!

Anyway, we managed to buy our oven a little cheaper from a friend who had purchased a couple during a sale and lucky for us now had a spare.

Mr HMH used his fledgling tiling skills and whipped us up an awesome slate hearth and my cousin, The Munchkin and I raided a local beach for some rocks and I made a little detailed border along the front.

 I am really, really happy with how it has turned out and I can't wait for the wet back to be working. Mr HMH and a friend are welding a wrought iron full cage with a gate to my design and that will give us a safety barrier for little hands... and silly puppy dog tails.

Genevieve can't quite fathom the whistling kettle, although when it is on the electric hot plates it doesn't worry her at all - funny girl!

I am enjoying experimenting with the oven. The heat is a little inconsistent but when its hot it is perfect for pizzas etc. I toasted a batch of rio granola in it but forgot how hot it was and nicely blackened the top layer - oops! Luckily I was able to save most of it :)

Even though the oven sat uninstalled for most of Winter as our guy was really busy, Tassie weather is still cold enough to justify having it on most days - so Winter continues inside our house, even if Spring is smiling at us outside.

Till next time, 
Allana xxx

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Clutter busting and creating welcoming spaces...

With the imminent arrival of my sister, and a spare room we could hardly get in to let alone fit a bed it was time to get stuck in! I had already relocated my sewing machine to our bedroom and we had a massive and almost empty pine wardrobe just waiting to be filled, along with 2 cheap bookshelves that needed reorganising, so space wasn't a problem so much as finding time to get it done!

So a few days sorting, and ruthless throwing out has resulted in a nice tidy and usable space that I was happy to welcome my sister to. It will also be handy should our midwife need to rest her head during her time with us in Oct/Nov. Harriette will be sleeping with us so won't have a nursery as such. We will be using one of these gorgeous Wrapsody Bali Stretch hybrid wraps as needed through the day and I also have a sweet bassinette on loan just in case she lets me put her down to sleep (unlike her big sister!) 

I have had a great time going through The Munchkin's old clothes, and rediscovering other treasures I have found in op shops over the years. I have set up a little wardrobe in the now clean and cheerful spare room with her things and filled in the gaps of the very few items we needed. It makes me smile to go in and hold up the teensy clothes and imagine what our little one will look like. Will she have blue eyes like her Daddy and big sister, or hazel brown like me? Will she have dark or light hair, what foods will she like, what will her favourite toy be? 
One thing I know is that we already love her so much and we can't believe we are lucky enough to be on this journey again.

Till next time,
Allana xxx

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oppie find...

$4 brand new handknit King size blanket at the Op Shop? Yes please! Couldn't leave it there and surprisingly hubby likes it too - must be the darker colours. 
We have upgraded our bed since this pic to a very necessary King size. Hubby was already finding himself sleeping in the spare room as The Munchkin and I liked to spread out in the Queen. With another bed hog on the way we felt a bigger family bed was in order. Wish we had done it ages ago! 

Hmm, must go on another Oppie hunt now we know we are having a girl...

Allana xxx

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


In amongst the chaos of our home right now we have been distracting ourselves with lots of crafty, creative goodness. The weather in Tassie has been crazy this month with the rainfall records on the NW coast looking to exceed the highest fall recorded back in the 50's! One of the benefits of  homeschooling in this weather is that we can hunker down at home and only venture out when necessary - thankfully!

The Munchkin has been working on: moving on from random practice stitching to her very first delicate running stitches...

... followed by suddenly-easy-to-do knitting...

... and many, many art sessions while enjoying local cafes when we do brave the weather. She constantly amazes me with her ideas and knowledge. Like most children she is such a sponge for everything around her, and it is an honour to observe her on her path.

I decided to give the little baby shoe pattern a go in Meet Me At Mikes which I have had forever, but not had the reason to try... 

... which typically for me...

 ... resulted in a little pile, rather than one or two, cute wee babe shoes in various fabrics including the op shop found blue leather above. The pattern is really easy, if not a little fiddly. I look forward to seeing them on Harriette's tiny feet, It's strange making something and not getting to try them on straight away!

I also raided my fabric and (slowly) made up a pile of useful and cute bibs and baby wipes...

... and then started a crazy tshirt yarn floor rug which I seem to have lost my momentum on a bit... oh well, no hurry I guess. I am one 500g ball in and have another to go. I may have added a few too many stitches on the last few rows as it is bubbling a bit but the yarn is so stretchy I think I can make up for it in the next few rows by not increasing. It should stretch out  hopefully. I love how forgiving crochet is! 

That's it for now, Harriette is booting me under the ribs so I think I better get up and move!

Till next time, 
Allana xxx

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Well hi there!

 A huge thankyou to everyone who left messages or contacted me after my last post. It is so nice to know that relationships formed in blog land can be meaningful and that we really do connect with one another.

 I have been keeping up with your goings-on, trying to stay in the loop! Sadly one special lady has chosen to stop posting on her blog, and I know I'm not the only one who is sad - boo hoo Kylie, we will miss you :( All the best you gorgeous lady xx

 This year has utterly flown by, how can it possibly be nearly September!? I am 31 weeks today, due approx 28/10/2013. (the pic above is from 25 weeks)  I have felt pretty rotten for basically all the time I have been pregnant so far, with maybe a few weeks break. I hate hearing myself complain when so many wonderful women are not able to have the babies they so desire but man... not fun! I am working on the optimistic (read: possibly deluded) theory that a crap pregnancy means a great birth as opposed to The Munchkin which was a wonderful pregnancy and a crap birth! We have a home birth planned this time with a wonderful midwife who respects our choices and has delivered babies for friends of our also. I feel so empowered and ready to have the birth I know I can this time around!

  The Munchkin and I picked up our baby capsule on Friday and with it sitting in our car now things seem very real (apparently the growing belly and associated sickness isn't enough!!)

 Oh, I haven't told you all... we are having a girl!! Harriette Daphne (and a yet to be chosen second middle name) :) 
It is such a personal choice to find out if you are having a girl or boy and then if you name them pre-birth. We chose to with The Munchkin and loved the experience. We chose to again this time to help her bond and adjust to the idea of being a big sister. She has been the one and only for 6 1/2 years, so often spending time exclusively with me. We are quite conscious of making the introduction to our wee on positive. In saying that she is super, super exited and tells me it is her dream come true! She was never really happy with the idea of being an only child: lucky Mum and Dad got their acts into gear finally ;) 

Hugs to you all...
Allana xxx 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Maybe baby...

Hello again! 

Just popping in quickly to let you know why the last few months have been quiet around here. It seems the maybe baby we have been talking about for the last hmm, 6 years has decided to bless us with his/her presence! We are all very, very excited and happy but man have I been sick... bleughhhhh. 

I am now over 16 weeks pregnant and it was almost exactly 18 weeks when I remember waking up pregnant with The Munchkin and realising I was well again... so I am counting down the days and hoping it will be the same this time around. There is certainly a benefit with having a 6 year old who can get her own snacks and entertain herself fairly well while Mummy is sick/asleep on the couch! I feel for you poor ladies who have had awful pregnancy sickness, and had to look after young children and/or babies, and still had to go to work too! Wonder women all of you! 

So hopefully in the next few weeks I will be back on board 100% as I am raring to blog again (and get 1000 nesting and sorting jobs done in our home also!) 

Allana xxx

NB: Mr HMH was on some pretty serious steroids for his skin when we conceived. When i researched to make sure they are safe for baby making I discovered that they can be used as an IVF drug! 
All I can picture now is our tiny baby coming out with Popeye muscles, thus the nickname. Oh yeah, and I'm about 99% sure this liitle one is a boy, I knew with The Munchkin too but I guess we'll see! ;)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hello folks!!

Hi! hmm, so January I blogged and said I was coming back soon but it just didn't happen - oops! 
I am almost ready to get going again, hopefully you guys are still around to visit? 
Big things happening around here, lots to share and a blog refresh (nothing fancy mind) so I'll be back bigger and better than ever really, really soon - I promise! 

huge hugs, 
Allana xxx

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oppie bargains...

Well hello and welcome to High Maintenance Hippy 2013!

 I'm hoping to get it together and post lots of fabulous things this year, regularly, but we'll see shall we?

I haven't really been op shopping much over the last few months. The Munchkin usually says no these days, and I haven't had many outings by myself other than the wild OMG-I-have-1-million-jobs-to-do-and-an-hour-to-do-them pay day "outings", not quite the same.

However, I did convince her that we could have just a quick little look on Wednesday (hehe) and scored big time! All these gorgeous cottons and stands and even a metal crochet hook for $10!! Oh yes! There was no way that was staying behind. There are vintage wooden reels and some colours I didn't have, and I have been putting off going to Spottie and buying the stands. Look how pretty they all are colour sorted! Sigh...

I also found a few other great things I had been after like some vintage small wooden bowls for Waldorf inspired wee person eating, a new dog basket, some books for The Munchkin, a game, a sweet crochet Toshi hat and a replacement vintage thermos for those tea emergencies while cooling in the park with friends... all for $30. Money well spent I say. 

At the moment I am saving the tastes of Summer with some bottling and preserving.... will be back to share soon. 

I hope you are all safe and sound with the awful bushfires and heat waves raging? 

Allana xxx 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Summer holidays...

Sewing, booking, gardening, and ducklings... that's what Summer is made of...

Laying low at the mo... lots of projects and family time going on which is just what we all needed :)

I hope you are all having a wonderful Summer and that you have a safe New Year.

Back soon xxx

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A crafternoon, and a weekend outing...

What could be nicer on a freezing cold, windy Summer day than gathering with your daughter and a good friend and her children to craft up a storm! There were wreaths, and baby dolls (Waldorf style) and all kinds of natural wool fibres flying around and I managed to complete a sweet little rabbit from this book too. 
(2 more followed last night after special requests from the other children, they are surprisingly quick to make) 

On the weekend we went to the Ut Si Cafe growers market and met the gorgeous, genuine and generous Tanya -
 (Hi Tanya! It was so nice to meet you, and the chive flowers where scrummy! )

... where we stocked up on delish produce and lush seedlings and plants.

Then we popped in to the Rainbow Garden Steiner Playgroup Market in Launceston and had a gorgeous few hours chatting, and crafting, and singing and even winning one of the raffles of a $25 voucher to a great organic grocer. 

A perfect few days :)

Allana xx

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