Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Red Barn, Homestay Accommodation Rotorua

     The Red Barn is a modern, purpose-built property, set on tranquil Lake Okareka farmland.

 Phone: 07 362 8118
              021 222 9692
If you are interested in booking....

to find out more.

I spent a couple of hours with the  co-owner  Fran of the Red Barn, practising interior and exterior photography.
I was enchanted by the serenity and the functional attractive layout of the complex. 
It had just the type of feeling that my husband and I like when we book places overseas or around New Zealand. 
We prefer to stay in places where we have the whole house to ourselves and plenty of privacy. 

 After viewing this I felt like I didn't want to leave, It would be my preferred choice if I was going to stay at Lake Okareka.

  Here are some of its features
Just minutes from the lake and boat ramp but still in a peaceful rural setting

Plenty of parking, including bike stand and a secure shed to lock away biking, camping and boating gear.

Large dining lounge area for socialising after your day.

 BBQ outdoor area; (flat plate BBQ only).

Secure garden shed containing 2 kayaks and 3 mountain bikes, available for guests, (including life jackets and bike helmets).

 Suitable for meetings and small seminars.

Inviting artistic entrance way

Comfortable large, relaxing lounge

Wide screen television and plenty of light

 Large, well designed kitchen  with a dishwasher.
 Everything is modern, clean and tidy but still relaxed.

Views out of the kitchen onto farmland make cooking a pleasure

 Large dining table and quality, comfortable  furniture.

 Roomy, quiet bedrooms

 Two modern, functional, bathrooms

As soon as you arrive there you will know that you are in for  special moments in time.
There is room outside the Red Barn on the grass to pitch tents.

Animals,  (deer in this case),  in the paddocks next door with native bush background

Views that you can see if you go driving around Lake Okareka.

You will not see these views  from the Red Barn but you will if you go exploring along some of the roads  and hills around Lake Okareka.   

Lake Okareka is a safe, often calm lake that is great for swimming in the summer.

The area is a bird photographers paradise.
 I often go there to take photos of Paradise ducks and large flocks of Canada geese.
 The variety of water fowl is so extensive that I believe it would be a great place to stage a photographic workshop. 
My husband and I frequently walk along the board walks.
 It only takes twenty minutes to drive there from town.

 There is so much regenerating  native bush surrounding the lake that native birds are in abundance.
 The air is fresh and clean with absolutely no sulphur smell what-so-ever. 

Many of the people who live there are environmental appreciators
There is a strong community spirit at Lake Okareka so it feels like a safe place to be.

There are boardwalks along part of it with a fabulous bird hide. 
New boardwalks are being developed all the time  by a dedicated group of volunteers.
There are plans eventually for them to develop the walk so it goes right around the lake.

The owners  of the Red Barn are art appreciators and have this gate in their garden.
There is a lovely custom made sign at the entrance way to the Red Barn by the same artist as the gate above.
Finding it is relatively easy.

If you are interested in looking into accommodation, google the website and find out more.

Phone 07 362 8118
           021 222 9692

Holidays and weekends away are essential for the soul;  take them as often as you can.  

Creative Quotes of the day

    “When you do the right thing, you get the feeling of peace and serenity associated with it.
 Do it again and again.”
Roy T. Bennett

I love holidays. 

It's such a wonderful time for the whole family to be together and not have to worry about schedules and that kind of thing.
Toni Collette


Monday, February 19, 2018

Mindfulness exercise for peace and fun. View from my front gate

Manipulated photos to look like abstract impressionist studies.

Take your camera out to your front gate.

Like A kaleidoscope

What do you see?

In Photoshop you can manipulate anything to look like anything you want.
It can be deliberate or random
What are the photos you choose saying about the way you view your world?

Creativity like this helps keep you in the moment.
 It doesn't matter what your view at your front gate is, you can make it look intriguing.

It is a great way to be mindful
 It's a matter of being grateful for what you have in the now and looking at what promises it provides instead of always hankering after something better.

Transportation into another world or realm.
Being grateful and focusing on the positive brings at your very doorstep brings  a kaleidoscope of possibilities to the fore.
Painting, photography and mosaic lessons available.
Rotorua,  New Zealand.
Email for a schedule.
Send me your altered front gate views.
I love to receive feedback.
Creative Quote of the day  
Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite, it actually takes guts.
Perma Chodron

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mosaics in Adelaide

Janet sitting on a giant mosaic 
Travelling overseas to Australia is great for a mosaic artist.
Australia takes mosaic artists seriously and considers it a proper "fine " art. 
The sculptures in all sorts of areas are pretty spectacular and well constructed.
 In my classes you won't learn how to make a structure like this as it's too large and time consuming but you will learn the principles with smaller projects that you can take hiome and place in your garden as focal points.

Mosaic makling is very fashionable again. 
Classes from 9.30 to 11.30 Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings. 
Phone 073463435
 or text  0273513887 to enrol. 
Also email enquiries to

Friday, February 2, 2018

Palmers for amazing punnets of annuals and vegetables.

I  often go to Palmers for seedlings because they are all very well looked after and healthy.
You could say they feel loved because the people at Palmers are passionate about plants.

 Impatiens,  Palmers, good for shady areas .
I bought some of these for my goldfish pond area.
I love their pop of colour.
They last a long time so are good value with their repeat flowering, especially if you pick off spent blooms.
Petunias, Palmers.
I have some of these in my vege garden.
 I mix flowers with veges to attract the bees and also to make the garden look more attractive.

Marigolds are my number one preference for companion planting in the vege garden.
 They ward off harmful  insects because they do not like the aroma of marigolds.

 Petunias come in an array of almost lolly like colours.
Petunias are a great choice because they repeat flower.
They don't seem to sulk with all this rain we have been blessed with.
The merchandising in the garden section is very inspiring with water features and statues dotted around the area.

 I love angels and I think sculptures in a garden are good for focal points and  add interest and texture.
I have a lot of mosaics in my garden that sparkle along with the flowers.
At the moment I am painting tulips with Resene test pots to dot in amongst the veges and to be a support for peas

 I bought three of these Platycodins at Palmers.
 I loved them for their balloon like flowers.
 They are sitting in amongst the silverbeet, parsley and lettuces in one of the vege gardens.
 They come in pink and purple.
One of my friends came around to see my garden and fell in love with the purple Platycodin and high- tailed it to Palmers to buy one for herself.
 She has it in her conservatory in a pot and it makes a lovely focal point.
 I recommend them for their repeat flowering performances.

Lettuces are my favourite at the moment.
We are having salads out of the garden most nights.
Eating veges out of your own garden taste crunchy and fresh.
You can't beat them.
I just go around my whole garden with some scissors and  chop herbs edible flowers lettuces young silver-beet small courgettes, basil, parsley and beetroot leaves and pile them all into a salad.
Drop some cider vinegar, mustard and garlic, plus olive oil dressing on top and with a can of salmon it's a quick,  nutritious dinner.


Parsley is another herb that I grow  in  my vege garden as it is a great companion plant and helps others to grow.
My garden is organic.
I don't use any pesticides as I am surrounded by beehives from neighbours and I don't want to kill them.

 I have a lot of mosaics in my garden but I have my eye on these angels because I think they are very sweet.

 They go well with water features.
I have a goldfish pond in my garden that my husband made me.
At the moment we have 14 residents.
I want some more because I used to have 23.
 I will be buying them from Wonderworld Aquarium which is down the bottom of my road.

I think someone's cat whisked some away but I have no hard evidence.
Not even a whisker.
I 'm pretty sure it wasn't my  cat Jasper as I have never seen him snooping around fish.

My last cat Gary managed to catch some until I dunked him in the pond and he didn't go near it again.

 This is an utterly beautiful hibiscus from Palmers  that I would love for my garden

And here are some more statues that look so lovely in amongst the plants.
So if you want a quick "Pick me up"  go to Palmers have a look at their lovely shop, water features, flowers and vege seedlings.
Buy something and dig it into your garden.
It is really uplifting to see how rapidly they grow.
When this rain stops I will go around my garden and show you some of the plants in it that I have bought from Palmers.
Creative Quote:
It's been proven by quite a few studies that plants are good for our psychological development. If you green an area, the rate of crime goes down. Torture victims begin to recover when they spend time outside in a garden with flowers. So we need them, in some deep psychological sense, which I don't suppose anybody really understands yet. Jane Goodall 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Palmers Garden World Rotorua For Interior design accessories.

I always love going to Palmers in  Sala Street,  Rotorua because their shop is so professionally and stylishly merchandised.
Just entering into the home d├ęcor area makes me gasp with pleasure.
Beautiful items to transform your home are sorted into colour waves and everything flows so invitingly.
It makes choosing something for yourself or as a gift so easy.
 Your mind keeps going; I'd like that and that and that and that.

At the moment I am giving my home an interior  facelift so I am especially interested in artificial flowers and cushions.
Taking photographs of these in Palmers was an exercise in  composition. 
How do you get the objects to look like they have come out of a House and Garden magazine? 
 It's a real learning curve for me and has me analysing magazines for styling tips at least once a day.

The artificial flowers are so well made these days, it's hard to tell them apart from the real thing isn't it?



I have taken some photos of  artificial flowers in my bedroom and  lounge.
 I have two vases of them in the kitchen, one vase in the lounge and one in my art studio.
The ones next to my bed have a few drops of lavender essential oil splashed on them occasionally to help relax and send us to sleep.
Flowers with lavendar essential oils in our  bedroom

Does it work?
Ask my snoring husband and purring cat

Jasper the sleepy pussycat who always comes when I call him. 
Adorable boy. 
His nickname is couch potato.
 I replaced the old throws which were shredded in places with new sage green ones and hes been told to keep his paws off.

Cushions and throw rugs are  interior accessories that I think are essential  for a cozy, snuggly  home.  
They provide texture. comfort and pops of colour. 
I have used them for the past thirty years and it appears they are zooming back into fashion.  
Minimalism is out yay, lets cover the walls.
My style has always been eclectic with an emphasis on original paintings; either  mine or ones I have collected from galleries. 
 The boy manniquin's name is David.
 I like to have a touch of the bizarre or quirky to add curiosity.

This adorable fox cushion bought from Palmers goes perfectly with the green, cream and burnt orange  of the artworks I have on the walls. 
 It makes me smile every time I go past it and  I figure this must be good for health. 

Creative Quote of the Day. 
There is beauty all around when there is love at home. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Roses for Valentines Day, Taking Time to go into public roses gardens and smell the roses.

Smelling roses is a mindful activity.

I recommend it when you have a headache.

You can almost get drunk on the perfume

The ones that are the strongest seem to be the old fashioned ones.

Some of the showiest ones have hardly any smell at all but if you sniff their leaves you get an almost acrid  leafy smell which is quite invigorating.

 The best time for the perfume is in the morning.

See you there. 
Photography with roses in Rotorua
$45.00 per person per hour.

Phone 07 3463435