Sunday, 29 January 2012

Plumly So

 I am so glad that we have seasons. In some places it's just the same all year round. Leaves don't fall off trees & plums don't turn up in the heat of summer all red & succulent to drip down your chin & fill your jam jars with granny goodness.
This particular plum came from our gnarly old tree. The tree is so vigorous in it's old age it has thrust out ridiculously robust branches reaching out to touch the garage, the playhouse, the neighbours & way beyond to reach the sky. Proving your prowess in the tree kingdom seems to be of far higher priority than actually producing plums. I think I have counted 10 altogether for this season, of which the birds have scoffed 7.
 These lovely little golden peaches were so kindly picked for us by Bob. They were all gone in a jiffy. People seem to unanimously love golden peaches.
These days of January have been Pollyanna days for me. I am so glad for all the abundance that surrounds me & I have hung my prisms & I'm trusting that the rainbows will come.
Some days they do. Why does life get so hard?
I love this rose Jubilee Celebration. I'm so glad it was out today for my birthday.
 Have you ever seen an Angel's Trumpet? They appear to be made of handmade paper but if you were  to step outside in the cool of the evening on to my porch you would find the whole back garden filled with the scent of this Angel's Trumpet..Brugmansia. Where ever does it store all that perfume during the day?
 David so kindly minded the fruit today while we went to Napier to the Market on the Marine Parade.
I liked this sign..only I didn't especially fancy joining in the scooter champs today.

I looked down in to my coffee & found a heart just for me..just for today
 and over the table I found a cross.
I loved this Gaylife ware that I found at the Salys this week for 50 cents a piece. 
 I also found myself outside Coco & Co when I went to post a letter. Jo & Jess have done a fabulous job of their new shop/ craft room...the collaboration, a curated collection, an open work room & a sometime Market Street here in Hastings. I adore their card..
I don't think that I've told you about Nettie just she is. She's looking for wings. I'll tell you some more about her soon.
But in the meantime I wanted to show you this book. Even if you only ever saw the cover isn't it enough. Live fully right where you are.
I'll be coming back to One Thousand Gifts very soon. I have ordered it from Amazon.
See you lovely ones. Thanks so much for checking in on me.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Julie Arkell Oh So Sweet!

Not so very long ago, when I came across this picture on Pinterest, I just knew that I had found someone delightful.
 After a little research, as it turns out, that first impression was quite surely true. Julie Arkell is described as a much loved folk artist. When I saw her work I understood why, immediately. She creates what many people describe as "delightful whimsical creatures" that bring a smile to your face. It seems that Julie is also a collector of words & phrases & clearly possesses a very fine wit that is keenly evident through out her imaginative work.
Sadly, I will most probably never have the opportunity to meet Julie in person or attend one of her popular workshops, but I feel sure that some of you, dear readers, would be delighted to know about her & her creations too. 
"Julie Arkell, is one of the UK's best recognized contemporary folk artists working in papier-maché and mixed media. She combines stitch, knit, ephemera, vintage fabric and papier maché in her own distinctly personal and sophisticated way. Everything is produced by hand using knitted adornments, curious accessories, ribbons and found objects. The results are magically appealing and unique."
Isn't she just so sweet!

Do follow the link to read for about Julie over at Lovely Textiles. Elvis describes her encounter with Julie like this:
"Meeting Julie Arkell was marvellous. Her energy, gracious nature, her interest in everything, her quietly powerful work was really inspiring."
Thanks so much to Becky at Vintage Fairy Tales for the use of her pictures. You will find several posts about Julie over at Vintage Fairy Tales as Becky & Julie are good friends.

If by any chance you were to find yourself in the South of France this coming July you could have attended a 5 day workshop with Julie at Les Soeurs Anglaises situated in the heart of the Dordogne countryside, only sadly, it's already full.
 Julie says on the workshop website : 

"I love to make things with materials that have 'seen life'; embroidering words and stories onto old cloth, stitching into books and paper, repairing, darning, making dolls, toys, jewellery and objects of eccentricity. We will spend a couple of mornings during the workshop scouring the local brocantes and marché, and inspired by our finds we will combine the wonderful old fabrics, trinkets, braid, lace and threads with the items from your personal collections to make inspirational mementos."
Julie has written a book called, quite simply, "Home" you can see it here

If you fancy seeing more of Julie's work just google Julie Arkell images.
Not until you've got to the end of this post though of course!
Embroidery magazine Nov/Dec 2008

via TreeFall Design

On the Contemporary Applied Arts website I found these creations of Julie's..
Rabbit Saint

 Not Quite the Ticket

& another of Julie's own descriptions of her art.
"Words and phrases I hear, read and put together inspire my creatures. I use paper and glue to mould the figures. Sometimes they have wool features, doll heads, or painted faces. Their arms and legs can be papier mache or plastic, taken off old dolls and re-assembled. The clothes they wear are knitted, sewn and crocheted, with parts of their story embroidered on to them. Houses, boats, trees, chairs and prams are constructed to make up their environment."

photo courtesy of Becky

What better way to finish off...yes! do keep safe dear ones! You are close to my heart.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Flaming Red and Friendship

There's been a bit of a major conflagration at our place this week, in more ways than one. Just down the road a fruit packaging place went up in 20 metre flames only a couple of blocks from where we live. The spectacle could be seen from all around Hawke's Bay and drew rubber neckers from everywhere. It's a strange old pull that one...couldn't help ourselves...we just had to take a walk down the road & see too...the drama unfolding in our neighbourhood. Fascination, awe, gratitude for a vast & courageous fire crew. 
We met throngs of people in their pyjamas standing at the gate, on the footpath or clambering on the roof to take a better look.
Funnily enough I bumped in to my brother...wearing angel wings. Good lad!
Although the fire truck tyres melted & half a dozen homes had to be evacuated for the night, just in case, it was very fortunate that the evening was windless & the fuel was only packaging for the coming apple season not some nasty industrial chemical.
Fire is an astonishing colour & so unforgiving.
I've never been much of a one for red before & have, in fact, suffered a life-long allergy to orange. Yet, quite surreptitiously healing snuck up on me while I wasn't watching. I appear to have been cured of my affliction & have more recently managed to view these hues with a new appreciation. Not that I am about to paint my living room walls orange though you understand. My vintage coat hanger & button finds are, however,  entirely congenial & match perfectly with the delightful afternoon tea cloth that I discovered in the linen draw of the newly opened antique shop down at the Mayfair shopping centre. "Shopping centre" is a little grandiose for a grubby little string of odd shops, however, "The Pavilion" is lovely. I shall be popping back often.
And the tea cloth. Isn't it gorgeous. All those hollyhocks!
More flame colours.
There's just something about red hearts don't you think? 
This picture comes from a delightful book "From the heart to my Friend"
It's been sitting by my bed for a while now..funny how we don't always appreciate the things we already have. I am practicing visiting with all the loveliness already around me.
A dear little quality book full of sweet sentiments
& pretty pictures.
Thank you for your friendship. I am so glad that you are visiting.
My best friend came to visit yesterday morning. The darling girl gave me this card & so many exquisite gifts, chosen just for me & given with utmost love.
This little gift fell out of a tree. I guess it is a thrush egg. I love the colour don't you
Almost the colour of the vase on the right that I found at Connections this week. Yay it had a chip so it was nice & cheap & utterly usable for flowers. The dear little duck I bought from my lovely Trade Me friend Lamp lady.
Just in case you're local I thought I'd let you know about an upcoming bazaar (love that word!)
Coco and Co. is a new shop in Market Street run by Jo & Jess of Fruit Bowl Craft Jam can see some great pictures of the shop here at Sweet Mary.
The duo's philosophy runs like this: "The crazy lovechild of Jo Pearson and Jess Soutar Barron, Coco and Co. has grown out of a passion for hand-made, design led, found, upcycled and recycled objects - the beautiful, the useful, the interesting, the obscure, the nostalgic, and sometimes - given the right light - the grotesque.... CoCo and Co is a collaboration, a curated collection, an open work room & a sometime shop." marvelous! 

Chances are my week may be a little bazaar. 
Hope yours is fabulous & colour-full!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Shades of Summer

The bright lights and crisp notes of summer have finally managed to slide in to first base here this past week, just in the nick of time; but the pastel hues of the cooler days travel with me where ever I go in this bag that I have made from stashed doilies & treasured vintage Sanderson. 
  I love this particular pattern as it is so versatile for using up scraps of fabric and is such a lovely shape to wear.

I am so glad about the marvelous diversity of produce that we have here in Hawke's Bay & I am particularly glad that other people are so on to it in growing their speciality things. Like the lady from The Squirrel's Pantry that brings her wonderful berries to the Farmer's Market. I love to eat fresh gooseberries as they turn mahogany like the worcester berries on the left.
 Worcester berries are a cross between a blackcurrant & a gooseberry with a gooseberry dominance in flavour to my mind.
Today when I got home from the market I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the astonishing abundance that I had been able to gather from my "friends", all those wonderful growers of fine nourishment, that I just had to take a photo of it all.
 Last night I cooked some red rice & their was more than we needed so I made some sushi with the extra. Red rice makes a richly colourful alternative to white & is so much more flavoursome. Our figs are looking a bit odd this year, but they taste great. My red cabbage & beetroot sauerkraut is really delicious & was perfect on this platter for lunch.
  The pink & white stuff is "choggia" & tastes just like beetroot. Isn't this version so pretty?!
 I love my little retro grinder that I found op shopping. It works brilliantly & is perfect for grinding spices or flaxseed & nuts.
One of the nice things about "charity" shopping is that there is very little risk involved. 
I wasn't entirely sure if I would use this $6 candlewick bedspread but I love it as a couch cover.
 Just the right size & a great colour in our living room.
 This dear little garden angel has been swimming & loves to wear flowers on her head.
 I discovered some of our "borrowed cats" playing in trees yesterday. Out pack hunting for birds : 0
 Maddy went way, way out on a limb...silly thing!
The light was lovely again early-ish this morning. I love the amazing hues & flavour of purple basil. It just has something a little different going on than the plain green sort.
 Even good old nasturtiums can be pretty in the right light.
 I love this little blue larkspur. I am so glad that it gently self seeds at least somewhere in my garden each year.
 Hydrangeas come in the prettiest of colours & are so useful in the summer garden especially in shady spots.
 This one always makes me smile as it reminds me of a vintage floral hat.
Like this one that is for sale on Trade Me at the moment. Isn't it delightful!
Hope you're having a lovely weekend.
 I'm run off my feet just now, selling sweetcorn, santa rosa plums, white flesh nectarines & tangelos at my gate..thank goodness for all those lovely people who grow it all!
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