My friend LeAnne from Joyful Scraps also left a comment about what was in the big black bags that we bought in Leura. Well, it was this...
Deb and I were invited to Hazelbrook cottage for a scrapbook retreat of sorts...to our surprise, it really was more of a weekend to do whatever you wanted and eat good food. Just up our alley.
We did manage to get in a little scrapbooking between fixing meals and cleaning up, visiting the neighborhood antique store, and projects for the up-coming trade event. We had such a wonderful time that the worst part was saying goodbye and leaving.
Hazelbrook Cottage is owned by Donna Macpherson-Williams, Managing Editor Scrapbook Creations Magazine and her husband John. We met Donna the first time we were in Australia in 2007 when she attended one of our classes in Sydney, so it was great to see her again and how fortunate we were to be in her home.
The original Hazelbrook house was the first house built in the area. Unfortunately, that large main house fell into disrepair and was torn down. A cottage was constructed in it's place and eventually the servants quarters (that you can see below) were connected to the cottage. Each green door originally lead to 3 separate quarters.
Donna and John have made the servants quarters into one large office for Donna, a small room for books, and a bathroom. This is the main wall which runs the length of the office. So picture this x3.
How do you like this door? John framed out a pin board on the door to the book room for notes and such. I love the black molding used throughout the room and the fact that the pin board takes up the entire door, not just the top half.
John's father was a printer, hence the most beautiful type case cabinet.
Look what you could store in one of these! Each drawer was full of every kind of embellishment imaginable.
Another great idea from Donna and John is the filing cabinet. John covered the cabinet with new pieces of pressed tin, then painted it out in a creme paint. I am not sure how he did the aging but I think a little burnt umber paint wiped on and off with a rag would work. Notice the front is cut from one whole piece of tin so the pattern lines up drawer to drawer. It's a simple detail, but worth the effort. Add the old type drawer handles and it's a stunning piece. What a great idea to transform a simple filing cabinet!
This is a view of the kitchen from the backyard with the cooking garden right outside. Just to the left of the kitchen is the pantry...my favorite room in the house. I will tell you why...
I love all the mason jars lined up in a row...the sheer quantity makes them even more interesting. What I love about the whole pantry room is that there is a window at the end of the room that lets light in and makes all the glass sparkle. The light really makes the pantry seem like a magical place.
The other side of the pantry has all her green glass and dinnerware. Makes you want to start collection green depression glass doesn't it?
I love that Donna's collections are out and usable. Every meal we ate was served on china with vintage silver flatware. Too much of my glassware and such are in a locked china cabinet, waiting to be used on a special occasion. If there is one lesson I learned during the weekend it was... what we collect and love should be out where people can see it and used so people can appreciate it.
At my house we have a tendency to put each ingredient in it's own separate bowl. Not here. Our first night's dinner of Mexican food was served on 2 huge platters. Amazing how the vintage platter alone elevated such simple food and looked absolutely stunning on the farmhouse table. Each end of the table had a platter so passing was limited to sour cream and salsa. I love that.
I am so on the hunt for a couple beautiful old platters!
Top it off with warm apple pie a la mode for dessert
After dinner we sat around talking in the living room (mostly because we could move after that dinner). This living room window looks out to the enclosed front porch. Who would have thought to use shutters on the inside? They fit perfectly at Hazelbrook cottage and color sets the tone for the entire living room.
from the front porch window that looks out to the street
to the garden roses on the mantle,
to sweet little vingettes of gathered finds.
(you know how I love a good tomato pin cushion)
Then, in true gypsy spirit there was a knock on the door...and to our surprise 2 very authentic looking gypsies joined the party. I won't name names (to protect the innocent) but we did get a great laugh at that. Lucky there are no other pictures of anyone else wearing the wigs (and I leave convinced that every party can be better if someone wears a wig).
The next day we all took a walk down the street to the local antique store.
This is the house next to the antique store that the owner lives in...so cute. He was out working in his garden.
We did manage to get in some scrapbooking
and everyone got to make a Butterfly box.
Of course they always serve morning tea. Oh, and afternoon tea...mine was more like cake with a diet coke but good just the same. Sharon-Sandra, whose real name is Sandra (just too long of a story to tell here why we call her Sharon-Sandra), made the beautiful mini creme cakes. The wrappers were green with polka dots. A detail not wasted on us. They really were divine.
Here we are about 10 minutes before we had to leave.
What a lovely time we had at Hazelbrook cottage.
Deb, Sharon-Sandra, Lorraine, Ree, Paula, Sally, Donna
Good friends were made, good food was eaten, and a good time was had by all.