Monthly Archives: December 2012

Merry (homegrown) Christmas!

Merry Christmas all!

I recently shared over on Curbly what it’s like having a Summer Christmas (which may be a foreign concept to many readers) and shared that I had something special planned this year.

In my continued efforts to be a little more self-sufficient I took on the fairly monumental task of growing ALL the vegetables and herbs we served today.

Understand it took 4 months to grow the carrots and 9 months to grow the onions, but I couldn’t think of a better way to share the harvest than with my family around the table, celebrating Jesus’s Birthday.

We bought 2 plump free range hens from our local, GoGo’s Deli, via my farming friends at Simply Wholesome and some bacon and pork mince for the stuffing from my friend Martin at Cure, the rest, I grew.

I took Nathan along yesterday and he helped me cut the mixed beans and pulled carrots while I dug out the potatoes and gathered up the various herbs.

None of this would have been possible without the help and support of my gardening partner, Alison Currie, who, over a year ago allowed me to rip up her backyard and commence growing food on it. For that I’m truly indebted to her and have enjoyed out weekly pickings, conversations and growing friendship.

I’ve posted several of the recipes over in my Curbly round-up here and ours included lemon infused wax beans with toasted almonds, beets with fresh thyme, honey glazed carrots & leeks, rosemary roast potatoes, chili, coriander & bacon butternut, braised cabbage, onion & caraway seeds.

In the spirit of an African Christmas we shunned the traditional red and green and went with a black and metallic theme. I took inspiration from our indigenous garden and filled bowls with succulents, dried aloe leaves and candles in copper and gold.

I roped Kathy into sewing the napkins and table runner and it felt great to work on a creative project together, she normally lets me run with it and enjoys the spoils.

It truly was a homegrown Christmas! How was your Christmas? What did you get up to?

The Define School’s Kristin Rogers “The Inspired Home” Review

Image courtesy of Kristin Rogers Photography

A while back I had the opportunity to enroll in an on-line course with The Define School, which tout themselves as an unconventional online school for the evolving photographer and was blessed to have been able to sign up for Kristin Rodgers ‘The Inspired Home’ course.

I’ve been a huge fan of Kristin’s work and how she manages to juggle being a homeschooling Mom, wife and working photographer.

Her Instagram feed is adorable (@kristinrogers) and her family snapshots are like paging through an engaging novel, making you feel like a long lost friend.

I’m privileged to have been part of her first class where we spent 4-weeks unpacking the subject of ‘The Inspired Home’. Yes, the first two weeks were quite practical, covering topics like iPhonegraphy, her workflow and how she gets her signature style, but I probably learned as much or more working through the psychology of what it means to be a present parent in weeks 3 and 4, than the technical aspects of the course.

I was wary of how it would all work, but found the process to be a complete joy. Kristin engaged with us through a private forum and we would have a week to upload our homework for critique. What made it extra special is that there was so much input from fellow students and we developed a great sense of community.

We’d share our photos, thoughts and questions throughout the week and Kristin would address them daily where possible, so you have SO MUCH MORE input over the 4-weeks, far more than you could cover in a 1-day ‘hands on’ course that you could spend as much or more on.

I’ve made a few great friends out of it and it’s great to see post course that we are still being inspired by each others pics, comments and feedback as we share our own Inspired Home journey.

I can’t recommend Kristin’s course enough, and as funds and time permit I’ll be engaging in future courses with The Define School.

Registration opens tomorrow for their January classes and I suggest that you look into it if you want to further your photographic prowess.

I thought I’d leave you with a few of the pics I took over the 4-week course, capturing moments of my own Inspired Home.