Monday, 25 April 2011

A Community of Creative Souls

My dear vintage love, blogger friend Tamara over at A Treasured Past  very kindly passed this sweet little award on to me recently.
Funny how simple personal acknowledgments can give you such a boost. Thank you Tamara!! 
.....Now, I'm in the spotlight!
Amazing afternoon light in our garden.
The deal here is to share "10 things about Me" & pass this on to 10 others.
♥ First up, I find my non-conformist bubble rising to the surface. I don't like rules! Yet I hate breaking them & getting into trouble. I was mortified when I got my one parking ticket.
♥ When I left school I went to Wellington & trained as a School Dental Nurse.
That sure was another life! I am now a Garden Fairy & a Fruit Person (according to my 4 year old nephew). Rob says he wants to be one of those too, so I guess that makes us Fruit Persons, but he can't be a Garden Fairy ok!
♥ I was around about this age..
 when my parents were digging up the potato crop in our back garden and I managed to put the tiniest potato up my nose...I really, really tried to get it out again..truly! I don't know quite how Dr Earle removed it, you'd have to ask the poor people that had to take me to his surgery!
♥ I suffer from depression & it's a bloody nuisance!!
♥ I still have my dear old teddy..looking rather worse for wear. Special new borrowed coat for the occasion...his other clothes are a bit sad looking.
 He was my inseparable & faithful companion for at least the first seven years of my life.
(The monkey said that he'd look after him for me)
Our dog savaged him once & nearly killed him.
 Actually, looking at him again, I don't think he ever really made a full recovery : ( My little Velveteen Friend.
" It doesn't happen all at once", said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time that you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, & your eyes drop out & you get loose in your joints & very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand"- The Velveteen Rabbit.

 Once, when we were visiting my grandparents in Wairoa, Ted's head fell off. I was so distraught I wouldn't go to bed without him but finally conceded to take his head to bed! He was sewn back together in the morning & has stayed with me ever since.

♥ My favourite scent & flower, in all the world is lily of the valley.
♥ I would have liked wings but that's another story!
♥ I'd love a vintage caravan like this in my garden.
♥ I like to talk in you never guessed that one!!
images via we heart it
♥ My most precious possession in all the world is my marriage. 

So....I have decided that this is quite a nice thing to do indeed. It is lovely to belong to such a wonderful  creative community & therefore really very easy to pass this on after all. Each of us blog for our own reasons & our blogs are as many & varied as the people who write them. Best we stay true to ourselves then & be who only we can be: ‎"BE yourself....Everyone else is taken" XOXoooXOoxoOXoXoo 
 free via itkuplli
To you, sweet friends:
Magpie Chic.... it's really just like a morning talk :) Hope you adore your new home!
fraise lachrymose....thanks for your friendship, love your style Mags.
Mrs Yappy Dog...thanks Betty for all your comments & encouragement & for Thrifty Week.
Pom Pom's was the Easter dress? ; ) Sounded such a nice thing to do!
Je┼╝ynowa Polana...I have loved getting to know you..even in another language : )
Sweet Mary grateful for your inspiration Kerian! Without your Sweet Mary I may never have begun this journey : 0
an endless your unique style & your story..keep up the passion!!
Roses, Lace and Brocante ...thanks for your enthusiastic responses.. so appreciate your comments Shane.
The Balancing Kiwi..."Serenata" you are a gem. Thanks for your friendship & interest. So enjoying your bird life..delightful Robin.
Some of you will have done this before, or can't be bothered or it's not the right thing for your blog or you don't do award problem. Even if you wanted to just do the "some things about me" & not pass it on that works too. I am quite certain it should only be done if it's fun. So grab the award if you'd like to ♥ (ah, one of the challenges of blogging..the font aberrations good reason!)
 I appreciate you all!!... fellow bloggers, visitors & readers!!
One thing I've learnt in the last wee while, is that, blogging is a conversation & that the comment bit does really matter. Dialogue puts us in relationship. Commenting kindly can be one of the best & nicest things we do for one another, especially those of us who are just being "us", not selling or promoting anything in particular. We all need encouragement in this old life we live.

Friday, 22 April 2011

His Hands

Open Hands: His Hands

 May you be blessed with open hands, open hearts, understanding, compassion, kindness, belonging, fulfillment, family, flowers & good food this Easter.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Discovering Life's Simple Pleasures, Thriftily of Course.

It is such a delight to join in with others over at Mrs Yappy Dog to share ideas about living a thrifting lifestyle. For me, it is probably more a vintage-style life, with the added benefit of being thrifty. It has to be said, however, that ours is a profoundly deviant lifestyle...quite deviated indeed, from the original view of thriftiness, with it's frugal overtones & a "grin & bear it" kind of philosophy. Our kind of thrifty vintage living is over-flowingly full to the brim with abundance, richness & satisfaction. It provides masses of opportunity to acquire new skills, hone those we already possess & revel daily in life's simple pleasures. I so enjoy the British Country Living magazine & quite recently came across a facing page headed up with these words... just perfect I thought!
This is precisely what I love about being apart of the blogging community...twice in one day, recently, I stumbled upon Picnik a fabulous site that allows very user friendly photo editing & tweaking on line. I was so chuffed to finally manage to put words on a picture as above : )

There is ALWAYS more to learn in the vintage realm...these seed heads are simply the mature garlic flowers. I bought a handful from our local organic shop the other day. They are soo useful..simply loosen & sprinkle in to anything at all. They were brilliant in a potato curry I made the other night!

When was the last time you walked into a retail shop & swapped something for the things that you wanted? Doesn't happen often, I must say. I popped in to the local antique shop a couple of weeks ago with a no longer required pretty little cheese dish & came home with this delightful vintage chic cane tray. Thrifting is a whole 'nother currency. The two bowls cost me 50c each at the Salies last week. An electic mix of pretty old china transform everyday in to a tea party!
When our lovely neighbour gave us blackberries a week or two ago I made a blackberry & apple shortcake (a rare event.. me making shortcake!) it looks so much nicer served on pretty china.
Prisms in our bedroom window create morning rainbows & reminds us that we are loved & that life can be beautiful.
I adore this idea..pretty postcards on a plain wall. I discovered sometime ago that lovely old postcards colour photocopy extremely well. ( I have mine done onto a card called "silk".) This doesn't cost a great deal, preserves the original card & can be replicated as many times as you like. Some of my postcards are over 100 years old. So I am thinking that the copies would be very suitable for this kind of project. 
frankie mag
They also make excellent homemade Christmas or birthday cards very thriftily.

Church fairs & school galas are fantastic places to pick up vintage treasures. The lovely potty on the right was my very first vintage purchase. I bought it from a little antique shop in Willis Street Wellington about 32 years ago & paid $45 for it. Rob spotted the jug & little soap dish at a recent Church fair for $25. I was absolutely thrilled...they look like a nice little family to me.
These lovely magazines were in a bundle of 6 for $2. Op shops are excellent places to keep your eyes peeled for all manner of discarded magazines. Some around here sell for as little as 20c each so considering that the retail price may have been as much as $14 each that's pretty darn good value don't you reckon!
I always keep my eyes open for pretty vintage wall paper. Doesn't matter if it's a whole or part roll. Fantastic for sending parcels in the post as it is strong & mostly fairly, kind of recycling & attractive when it comes through the letterbox at the other end.
Works quite well to wrap flowers in too.
One thing that can still be found in abundance, for a song, are vases of all kinds. I have quite a collection now & they are not at all too "precious". So, it was lovely to have a wee person trot around with an old enamel dish to pop the flowers in & what fun to arrange them all in a mass of aunty Catherine's special vases. Such a simple yet delightful thing for a child to do.

And the thriftiest mode of transport ever!! I wasn't even allowed a turn!
Thanks so much Betty of Mrs Yappy Dog for organizing this Thrifty Week & swap. Pop in here if you'd like to be inspired with more make do & mend, thrifty ideas.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Blushing Ripeness

Autumn. Blushing ripeness.
 Colour saturated.
 Life full. Purpose fulfilled.
 Complete. Surfeit.
What a wonderful season to ponder the Easter journey. 
Tree strawberries from down the road..such a lovely tree.
The fruit is so interesting..
alongside my quince & apple.
Cornus Capitata. The fruit is edible but not very exciting. Full of seeds much like a guava. Luca (4 year old nephew) says they taste like custard & that would be about right. Although I have to say, not very yummy custard.
The Tuis (a New Zealand native bird) love them though. Perhaps that's why they have come our way to visit again at the moment, to feed on the tree strawberries. I always feel so privileged when I hear them, so glad that they would visit us. 
 photo via white heron tours
The windflowers have been so pretty.
Naked lady seed pods about to burst forth their progeny on to the footpath.
Glorious figs, now ripening daily, a few at a time...very considerate of them!
 Figs are of the rubber tree family. The fruit being an inside out flower.
 These little red cherry guavas are the quintessential taste of my childhood & herald the full onset of autumn.

Quince are also delightfully delicious & fragrantly lovely.
 We don't grow pomegranates terribly well in New Zealand, although they do still fruit, just never quite achieving succulent perfection. I would love to have this variety in my garden. The flowers are just beautiful.
google images
Imagine just one of these in the back yard!!
google images
No wonder that the fruit is treasured in some Christian circles. The pomegranate is a symbol of the resurrection & hope of eternal life. 
The top of the fruit appears as a crown, symbolizing Christ's majesty.
google images
The seeds bursting forth from the pomegranate are also like Christ bursting from the tomb.
In christian art the fruit is often held by the Christ Child.
Like in this famous painting "Madonna of the Pomegranate" by Sandro Boticelli 1487 
photo via Bill
Of course the whole point of the Christ Child was to show the way. 
via weheartit
To bring light & life & salvation.
via beauty in everything
To set the world ablaze with goodness & love...His.
It surely wasn't an easy journey...
but a journey like none other in all of history.
Spring or Autumn I hope that you're having a lovely Easter journey. Do you have any special family things or traditions that you do to celebrate this season? I'd love to hear about them. Do hop over to Floss & see what's going on there in A Pause in Lent.
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