Sunday, 24 February 2013

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..

these are a few of my favourite things.
Sometimes I just love the look of cupcakes..
but actually, don't like to eat them very much!
But where would a tea party be without these gorgeously pretty cakes?
 Brought to life by afternoon sun through prisms, they really do have a profoundly Pollyanna effect, in their sweet glory. I popped in to NewWorld in Havelock on Friday to make a cupcake order for an upcoming tea party & discovered that they had just put out shelves & shelves of pastel coloured treats. I decided on a box of prettiest rose pinks. Tomorrow we will tweek the window "dressing" at the I-site centre...I thought this display would be perfect with a note about our vintage hire offerings.
I borrowed a special drill from my friend Sue recently & Rob ~since he's the master driller of the household~ bravely drilled through my waiting plates. The trick is water on the plate as you drill.
 I'm delighted with the resultant cake stand.
 I thought perhaps a basket of jam jars & covers might be quite colourful in the window too.
If you click on the collage you will be able to see it much better.
 There is man called John at our Farmers' Market...he's been growing fruit for a while now, as his dad did before him & he's really got the method right with his rock melons. They are absolutely delicious.
Apparently you do water, then you don't water & then you spray a seaweed fertiliser at just the right time & all things being well you get magnifcent melons!
 I have discovered that my handy pepper de-seeder is also an excellent strawberry huller!
These were seconds & so cheap!
 At first I thought it was just the heat, but then I realised that the old menopausal ride was still a bit rough. I'm not all that keen on rollercoasters. I found a link the other day to the 35...yip 35 symptoms of menopause. I don't think you'd call many of them fun, nor funny for that matter. I'm also finding that woman don't know much about it all & tend to suffer in silence quite a bit...still! Mind you, there's not always that much that can be done about some of it. Just.. keep going, be honest & brave & cry a lot without apology.
I was deeply relieved when I read this paragraph in a post of Robin's a week or two back.

"Dear Soul Shines,
     It has been a while since I've blogged even though I have had so many inspirational things to share. For the first time in my life I have been "forced" to slow down by my body's metamorphosis through menopause... For me, it has been like being hit by a runaway train that cracked my heart and soul wide open so the world can see me inside out and totally naked. Definitely a time to get real. Real with myself and real with God. I'm almost sure he's gotten tired of me pulling on his shirt sleeve asking so many questions. When I make it through this transformation I will be a very wise woman with even wider open arms to embrace other women in this delicate space. Becoming a sage is worth all the pain. So much love to all of you!"

It's at Magnolia Pearl that I first discovered the healing power of beauty.
Her clothes & creations are so exquisitely feminine, & her love infectious.

I fossicked in my cupboard this morning & found this darling little top (Trade me).
It's very "Pearl"..& makes me feel lovely..& gentle when I wear it.
 The heart pockets are so sweet.
 It has been a wonderful settled summer for the stall holders at the markets.
I found all kinds of treasures today.
Such a darling little basket that I will add to the "little girls" play corner.
 I love this tray. I imagine it's from the '60's...maybe?
The floral bit appears to have been decoupaged using an old wallpaper.
 Pat, one of my friendly stall holders, sold my old gem irons for me & I bought this little teacup & saucer from her & still had the other half of the funds to spare.
The wee book was 50c & is adorable..
 such pretty illustrations.

 Such perfect sentiments.
One wee poppet pouring tea on Tuesday at aunty Catherine's.
I love the curled up toes!
 All that talk of hats sent me looking for some of my afternoon tea hats. And along the way I came across this sumptuous velvet op-shopped bag. I think, next tea party...we'll have to all wear hats.
Hope they fit. And what shall we do about Rob?
My fairy garden is still doing fine..might plant some wee pansies in it in autumn.
I think they're waiting for me here..
via Pinterest
Or could that be up here?
How in the world did they get all the way up there?!!
via Pinterest
This little clip is so very clever & ever so worth the watch.

Lovely to see you all.
Thank you so much for visiting & your comments, support & love.
See you again soon.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Looking In The Window & Oh Naked Ladies!

I love that February brings us the chance to get a little bit sentimental...
 and share a heart or two, with lovely people.
Warm hearts & a robust sense of good will, lend themselves well to the pleasure found in admiring beautiful things.
Rules lapsed, in our world, mean that these divine mother-of-pearl knives & forks no longer need to be saved for the fish course & company, but can be admired & employed for whatever takes our fancy.
Discovered at the Hospice shop recently, they have found a new happy home, beautifully balanced & snazzy for everyday eating.
Although the heat has been a little much day upon day, it does mean that meals can be simple & colourful & not take a lot of cooking. A small piece of salmon sprinkled well with good salt & weighted in the fridge for 24 hours gives a touch of delicious elegance & ease to summer meals.
This retro fruit stoner has found a revitalised sense of purpose as a capsicum de-seeder & is so useful.
 I quite often stop for plants on the way to work & enjoy the friendly service at Planters on the journey to Havelock North. Colleen is such a treasure...I love her summer planting pizazz in this corner over here.
 I don't know how on earth she finds the time to plant & trim hedges, as well as water & serve us all.

 We had a bit of a strange phone call last week from Catherine from i-site Hastings (the information centre in the middle of town) Apparently someone had pulled out of their slot in the main window & she had seen our cards that we had left there & wondered if we would like to pop our Vintage Picnic things in the spot for a fraction of the usual price...
 we decided that we would!
 Worth a go don't you think?! But kind of weird!
 It's for a whole month!
We can pop back anytime to make additions & adjustments.
We are a provence characterized by all things Art Deco...since we lost so much at the time of the devastating 1931 earthquake. We are not Deco, of course, but I think that our vintage feel compliments the Art Deco display in the front window rather well.
My dear friend Ruth has a daughter's engagement party coming up this weekend. I offered Sharon a loan of what we have for lovely walking in & finding this rainbow resting on the cake stand. I hope they have a wonderful time!
 We couldn't help but pop back after dark to peer through the window downtown & see what it all looked like. Unfortunately the lights were out but the town clock looked stylish...
 & well illuminated.
The naked ladies have stretched their elegant necks up & up & are flirting out over the footpath just now. I love their pretty pinks & sweet fragrance.
 I thought this swan vase rather lovely. I bought it from one of the hospice shops further south. It only cost $5 & they were kind enough to post it to me.
 This double geranium is called apple blossom.
 There was a wee persons birthday around the corner on Friday.
 She is such a honey & loved the strawberry jelly her mummy had made..colour-free & delicious.
Her Papa took this photo returning home from Central Hawke's Bay last week.
Sunflowers are just so happy & a rare sight on mass like this around here (click on the picture to see all of it).
We watched Eat, Pray, Love again last week.
I do love this movie. Have you ever watched it or perhaps read the book?

More Betsey..

You have to believe in happiness,
It isn't an outward thing;
the spring never makes the song, 
I guess, 
as much as the song makes the spring."

Thank you so much for visiting. 
I hope that there is joy & grace & beauty in you world this week.
If you fancy joining like minds of the op-shopping variety pop in here to Max & you'll find the linky.
I love Max's recent post about mantlepieces...the heart break & the glory in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquake...& she, with a wee one due in the next week or two!! All the best dear girl!

Sunday, 10 February 2013


The time has come to say cheerio..
What a lovely sojourn the Willows have had here this summer.
They stayed just long enough to catch a final celebration in the garden..

for my birthday.
The nostalgic note of an English-style cider called Slack ma Girdle had them in a bit of a dither momentarily,
but they were soon most happy to share this delicious send-off & celebration baked cheesecake with us!
They've enjoyed the companionship of other furry friends (not that Toad is furry you understand, but a friend none-the-less).
And are now, at this very moment, winging their way back home to Pom Pom in Colorado. I am certain that they have missed her terribly & are anxious to be reunited with Mr Badger. In our time of Wind in the Willows immersion I've become rather fond of these illustrations by Inga Moore.
Aren't they full to the brim of finest detail.
I am sure that The Three will be quite relieved to return to Pom Pom's & burgeoning spring, it has been a long (well feels long) very hot, especially dry summer here. My brother took this photo of the hills not really very far from home..bone dry & powdery brown.
A long hot summer has led to cooling creations like this magical Strawberry Cloud Cake that I came across the other day. It is an Annabel Langbein recipe, although I have made my own adaptions as usual! This is just egg white, strawberries, honey & rose water...we were lucky that any even made it into the jars! Go here to find the full recipe.
We have also made a black doris plum version, either way these little pots are a perfect size to freeze individual servings in & the recipe would probably make around 8 of these.
I am hoping to have a chance to use these wonderful gem irons very soon for a tea party. I was so delighted to find them...I have never, ever seen gem irons enameled like this before, so I will take great care of them as they are still in entirely useable condition & I want them to stay that way.
With such settled fine days we have been visiting the market on the Marine Parade in Napier on Sundays. It's lovely to see so many different stall holders & have access to such wonderful fresh produce & cheap, interesting second hand "stuff". On our way home the other day I spotted a public garden full of these unusual pineapple plant flowers, I squatted down to take a photo of them & found  a lovely friend in residence.
Aren't they the most fabulous colour!
This is so weird...taking photos of myself..but I wanted to show you the sweet sundress I found in the Dog Shop the other day. I was so thrilled, as despite people telling me that florals & dresses are all in I hardly ever come across any. It's such a lovely fabric & fully lined. I've had to make a couple of little adjustments best I can but I'm sure my rose brooch will cover up my little tucks at the front well enough.
Here's another of my little Betsy Clark pictures & the Betsy proverb that goes with it. I just remembered that I always loved the darling little shoes in her pictures...they look so comfy too.
A cheerful heart
and smiling face
Pour sunshine in the darkest place.

Thanks so much for visiting.
Have a lovely week my sweet friends & lovely visitors.
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