Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thank you......and my first Giveaway!!!

Well hello lovely blog friends. 

With all the celebrating that has been going on around here I seemed to have missed another little milestone. My humble little Blog is celebrating its First Birthday - yay! I have also clocked up 100 Posts, almost 30,000 Page views and 83 Followers, not that these things matter really. But any excuse to celebrate and it's about time for a little Giveaway don't you think? 

However, the Giveaway is not so much about marking the occasion, but rather to say Thank you to all of you who pop in from time to time and have left such lovely and insightful comments. This has been the best part really and has made my blogging journey so enjoyable. I know I get a lot of enjoyment from the snippets into your worlds. This past 12 months I have been so inspired by what I see when I open up my laptop in the evening once the Kidlets are in bed, whether it be your eloquent and witty writing, your photography or your gorgeous creations. I have been delighted when you have achieved your dreams, conquered a goal and celebrated life-changing events. I have also worried about your missing puppies, the trials and tribulations of being a parent and saddened when life has thrown you lemons. Wouldn't it be nice to meet up and finish a lot of these 'half' conversations over a cup of tea?

As for this Blog, if you have been reading along here for a while you may have noticed how much the subject matter of my Posts has changed. Tales of The Big Adventure featuring Camel Rides on Cable Beach, Crocodiles in Kununurra, Swimming with Dolphins at Monkey Mia and Crossing the Nullarbor Plain in our dodgy 70's Caravan have been replaced with my latest knitting creations. Not that knitting isn't exciting. I'm finding this new obsession of mine quite thrilling but it's quite a contrast to how I started and I don't blame you if you are scratching your heads. However, just when I was beginning to fret about my lack of Blog direction and purpose, I read this Post and suddenly I didn't feel so conflicted anymore. For my Blog is a reflection of me and my life. Unplanned. A bit random. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious. I have a wide range of passions and can get excited about almost anything. You would be just as likely to find me climbing a mountain top in Alaska as you would choosing wool colours for my new baby's knitted jumper. I am nothing if not flexible. My Husband refers to me as a conundrum mixed up in an enigma. I aim to please :-) 

I guess the main reason I Blog is a desire to communicate, tell stories, humour myself and document this crazy little life of mine.

Anyway, enough blabbering. Thank you so much for being part of the journey and without further Ado, you have the chance to win 1 of the 5 following items.

1. "Tasmania: The Wild Island". The 9th stunning book by Tasmanian Richard Bennett who is pre-eminent among photographers of Tasmania and Tasmanian Life.

2. I was strolling around my local village today and spotted this gorgeous little wooden bear in one of my favourite Woodcraft Shops. The thought of him sitting on one of your Mantlepieces, the Piano or Bookshelf made me feel a little warm and fuzzy so I bought one for you too.

3. In the same Shop, I found this packet of cute little wooden buttons for you creative types out there.

4. Now don't get too excited but now that I am being more creative, I have made you some homemade things. I made my first heart last night from a pattern from this gorgeous Blog. It is mounted onto a canvas but I may put it in a white frame if I manage to pick one up between now and next week.

5. While I was doing the heart above, I started thinking about Christmas gifts (shock horror!) so if the thought of a Christmas decoration doesn't offend you (it will be October but the time it gets to you) then this crochet heart could find its way into your home too :-)

So all you need to do is leave a comment below between now and next Thursday 27th September 2012, say 9pm if we need to be specific. I will let the winners know on Friday and I will Post to anywhere. You could become a follower if you are not already. I know there are many who visit but don't follow publicly and that is absolutely fine too. But I would love to know who you are and visit your Blog if you have one, so you could always just send a private e-mail.

You could let me know if anything above tickles your fancy in particular.

You could also let me know anything about my Blog as I am keen to do a freshen up. For example:

1. Are you sick of my header photo? I am! Should I change the name to something more generic like Coal Valley Farmlet? There will soon be 5 Kidlets instead of 4 and maybe more Whippets in the future, who knows.
2. Anything you like/don't like reading about here?
3. The Blogroll - a year on and still no Blogroll. Sorry! Are these important? Would you believe I have been meaning to do one since I started but thought I should actually find and read some blogs first. Well, I still haven't done that, what with the interstate move, the galavanting across the countryside, the millions of children and pregnancy, time has been in rather short supply. To be honest I have also been busy enough just keeping up with the lovely blog friends that I've come across from your comments here and haven't ventured much farther. Is it too late to introduce myself to Blogs 12 months into Blogging?

OK, over to you!


  1. This is a really lovely giveaway. Back when I started blogging there were lots of giveaways like this where the blogger actually hand picked and hand made little giveaways. I love it.

    Look forward to reading on with your next adventures.

  2. I had to laugh 'cos I decided to host a giveaway today as well! Don't worry about what I want to hear..'cos I don't really know most of the time..just write from your heart 'cos getting to know you and have a peep into your life is fine with me.

  3. Don't change a thing Mel, if there's one thing I've learned it's that people visit a blog to hear that blogger's voice talking about that blogger's life. Sure they may only talk about part of it - caravan adventures, knitting, whippets - but you are being yourself in just the way you would be if we actually could meet over a cuppa and cake. It's the thing I said about a niche demographic. Be you and more blog chums will find you :D (Thanks for the mention by the way :) )

    As for the name, why not just shorten to Coal Valley View. That's your blog's web address already, you're the only one on Google, it takes care of the numbers thing, it's probably what most of us think of you as, and you are sharing your view of your life in Coal Valley, however many kids and whippets you end up with there.

    Love the buttons, I can just imagine them on a seasonal chunky knit :D

  4. Mel, I agree with Annie, that you could shorten the name. But really, don't change your blog on what others think, change it based on your feelings for it. If you are sick of your header phto - out the window! If I didn't like reading, I wouldn't be here. And on the blogroll, well it is a lovely gateway for readers to find other blogs they might enjoy, but it can take some work, to stay on top of blogs that are current. That's my two cents. You are sweet to host such a lovely giveaway, congratulations on the milestone!

  5. Congratulations on your first blogday! You'll always be Coal Valley View to me and you shouldnt change a thing. If your blog is about your life it will always evolve and change. Mine is nowhere near where I thought it would be last year. In fact I might have to check some dates too...

  6. I think your blog is just dandy as it is Mel.... and congrats on your first blog birthday. cheers Wendy

  7. Just realised I didn't say Happy Blogoversary!

  8. Oh happy happy first year Mel! What a joy it has been discovering you & your beautiful blog. I love the way in which you tell a story (never fails to draw me in), love your photos & your sweet family. I would say don't change a bit, but I'm sure whatever you decide to do will be lovely & only enhance the space for your visitors. It would be wonderful to sit down over that cuppa Mel, I think that often about my fave blogs. Gorgeous giveaway, would adore anything from that line up if I should be lucky enough to win xoxo

  9. Congratulations Mel!
    What a beautiful post - you are a bloggy treasure.
    :-) x

  10. Happy first birthday, Mel. I love your blog just as it is. I started reading blogs because it was a way to get to know people from all over this beautiful world of ours and I started writing a blog because I wanted to share in that community. I think what you have to say about your life is what we all come to read and see. I love your blog just as it is. If you have the time (you are one busy gal), you are invited to stop over at for a visit. I think your giveaway is super and any of the gifts would be a welcome treat for your readers.


  11. I didn't mean to repeat myself there but I do love your blog. *smile*

  12. Congrats on your milestones! What a gorgeous mix of Tasmaniana and home made your giveaway is your blog! Have a lovely weekend. Rx

  13. Mel, you have a lovely T- blog!! We are planning our 1/3 T-change and since buying our Franklin Presbytery, we can hardly sleep at night due to the excitement of planning our move back. I have yor your blog saved as a favourite now and it helps me feel T-connected. Your promotion for this lovely place is wonderful for Tassie!!!! Cate

  14. Woo hoo n your first year! I am near up at mine too, and am trying so hard to blog ore often! I love reading about your Tasmanian life and we really hope to get there one day! Should have when we lived n Melbourne, but we are back in NZ now.
    My blog is. Kimberley

  15. I love your blog just the way it is. I read it every day that you write. I live in New York and I am fasinated by Australia it is a beautiful place. I like the way you write and describe things. I have 4 kids and can relate to many of your stories I also have twins boy/girl. Keep it the way it is. I would love to win anyone of your prizes especially the book but anything from australia is great to me. I once ordered a boomerang from there my son loves it. I amnot sure if you would ship to new york United States?
    Lisa Williams

  16. I'm here to tell you that I really enjoy your blog and your special way of writing about your life. Thanks for sharing your special moments and inner most thoughts. Also, I'm rather fond of those little wooden buttons!

  17. I love your blog as is Mel! I'm a Tassie girl, now living in Queensland, so it's nice to get a slice of home. xx

  18. Happy Bloganniversary! I love your blog just the way it is. Like many of the comments above it feels like we're having a chat over a coffee and cake. Can't wait to see what you write about in your 2nd year.

  19. I love hearing about you life and think you should leave the name and just update the number of kidlets when your baby arrives. I love the look of all the goodies you have on offer, especially the coasters.

  20. Happy blogversary to you!!

    I think your blog topics might be in for another shake-up with baby 5 on the way soon...I'll be super impressed if you find time to blog at all!!

    I've always meant to do a blog roll too...but am techno challenged and it still seems too hard :-)

  21. Oh Mel, you gorgeous girl. Congrats on the 1st blogoversary - thank goodness you hit 'Publish' that day. I've been so blessed to find you through here and have the thrill of counting you as one of my closest friends. Keep on keeping on, my dear. You do it here so beautifully. J x

  22. Happy bloganniversry! I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog when I was actually looking for a whippet blog. The fact that you had lots of children drew me in further. I have six. I love your writing. I think of my favourite bloggers as old friends, rather a one way friendship I'm afraid, I bookmark quite a few blogs but only have 6 or 7 that I visit regularly.

    Have you ever thought of using instagram. It's micro blogging I suppose. I would love to blog but can't quite get my head round it at the moment. I do love instagram though!

    Here's to the next year! Take care x Sarah

    1. Yes Mel - post some photos to Instagram!! I know you have an account!!!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. I meant to say that I'd love to see what blogs you favour. I wonder if you visit Lucy at attic24? She is one of my favourite bloggers and her crochet is wonderful x

  24. Mel I'd like to say thank you to YOU. I love your blog, because you're funny, interesting, an awesome writer, you've got a whippet (which I really think should feature more often on here ;-), you live in one of my favourite places in the world and... you've got a bun in the oven. All pretty awesome I think.

    I think most blogs keep morphing, I've been thinking a lot about that recently too and where my is headed. A baby certainly shakes things around again. But I think that's fine. Human/bloggy nature.

    As for your giveaway, your buttons are sweeeeet!

    (ps. The birth story is in a local homebirth mag. Let me know if you are still interested and I can always email it.)

  25. Hey Mel - love your blog - it satisfies my missing you all! Like some others said - your blog address is Coal Valley View & that sums it up perfectly - you can then use a 'tag line' as you have now A Farmlet, 4 kidets & a Whippet

  26. Which you could change from time to time if you wanted to!
    I LOVE the Christmas heart and would love it hanging in my Christmas tree!!! (I love all my random home made Christmas decorations - I definitely don't have a designer tree - just the way I like it - an evolution of my family & life! xo