3 December 2009

A few images from my abode this morning.
Awoke early, to do a bit of xmas shopping,
taking a leisurely 20 minute walk to the shopping centre.
The streets were quiet, the odd car or noisy motor bike
disturbing the peace
every now and then.
But what bliss to not own a car and be in touch
with natures elements. My mind wandering, as I looked at
the deep blue skies above me,
of the ocean not all that far away.
The sea breezes and salt sea air beckoning me.
Alas I can feel it out there, but today I would have to dream....
as I set about my daily business.

I made an arrangement yesterday consisting of
hydrangeas from the garden, on the mantelpiece.
keen on obscuring the ugly gas heater now that it will no
longer be of any use over the coming summer months.
It took some time before I was happy with my choice of painting.
My husband painted this one in oils some time ago
titled 'Breezy Day'. I think it sits well with the floral arrangement.

My xmas shopping is finished. For the children only
I'm glad to say. I refuse to pander to the commercialism
surrounding this season and buy very little as I believe love
cannot be measured by the material things we give to people,
much as the corporate world try to brainwash the
general public into believing otherwise.
For the future of our planet - I sincerely pray .


4 November 2009

What can surpass the beauty of roses?
The quiet and gentle passing of
a flower that was once in her prime;
with grace, she ages beautifully while
the scent of her old wilting petals
lingers on.

A used hand- crocheted coat hanger in the
softest of pinks, fading peacefully.
I like picking up old padded coat hangers such as these
on my travels, so long as they are of good quality.

The coat hanger sits comfortably atop this old hat box,
originally covered in an unpleasant rose patterned
paper. Once painted over entirely in an old white,
I allowed the paper to peek through on the inside with the
merest suggestion.
This way, it is more subdued and tasteful.

I have not decided yet, how I will put my hat box to use.
I might start collecting the old scented roses from my garden as
they begin to wilt and place them securely inside as a potpourri.

10 October 2009

From the lavender garden

above- French Lavender (lavandula dentata)

My favorite herb.
Here , a bee enjoying it just as much as I.

I use lavender for many different things.
It's an indispensable herb, with a myriad
of uses.
I like to use both the flowers and leaves
of french lavender
in my cold process soap.
Here, a slab of lavender soap,
curing and waiting to cut into bars.....

I also like to use it in sachets ,
in the linen closet, and I even use the english
variety occasionally in cooking.
It also makes a very relaxing tea.

above - Spanish Lavender (lavendula stoechas)

I have three different varieties of lavender
in my garden, all beautiful and unique in their
own right.
She is native to Provence in France, where she grows right
out of the limestone rocks in abundance.
Her appeal is universal and timeless.

'here’s your sweet lavender
sixteen sprigs a penny
that you’ll find my ladies
will smell as sweet as any"

Lavender Sellers’s Cry, London England CA 1900'

21 September 2009

Hello friends.
Spring has opened it's flowering buds here in Australia,
and with the spring comes a new energy.
Days, once again spent out of doors,
enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine,
as new life springs forth all around us.
Today I thought I would share some photos
of a recent homey project...
rejuvenating some old tin canisters that,
(you guessed it),
I picked up from an op shop along time ago.
They were previously a very tired pale blue,
and my kitchen in need of a color lift, it was time to bring these
canisters back to life.
So I gave them a coat of acrylic paint in a sunny yellow,
and handpainted some labels in off white.
They have certainly given my kitchen a boost.
(note my daughter peeping into
the top cupboards, to see what goodies she could find......)

21 April 2009

My collection of old laces, ribbons, braid and paper flowers
in an old tin container ready to be put to good use.
I 've been sewing together some little lace satchels
filling them with the dried herbs of lavender and geranium.
They make pretty and useful additions to the linen cupboard where they
freshen the air and repel moths. Again thrift shops are my
shops of choice when looking for materials.
Soon I hope to make these available for purchase, but for now
it is off to do more sewing.

7 April 2009

The colors of autumn

What a glorious time of the year it is here in Melbourne during
the months of March to May.
It's not too cold and the climate is winding down in response
to the hot, unforgiving summer months. You can almost hear
the living environment around you breathing a sigh of relief.
That's what I like about autumn.
Time to go hunting in thrift shops.
I've also had the pleasure of finding some little
treasures hidden amongst all the piles of discarded items.
I was lucky enough to discover some beautiful table linen,
one cloth being meticulously hand-embroidered and crocheted,
the other machine made but still beautiful....
featuring floral patterns, I bought these for pennies.
Along with the Royal Albert china tea cup-
a real treat to sip and earl grey during a busy morning.
And crabapples.....one day I'll make something from them,
for now they look very decorative on my dresser.
Bye for now.

21 January 2009

Holiday Adventures on the High Seas

Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne 18/1/09

Out of interest, I recently borrowed a book from the library,titled
'Tall Ships'.
Leafing through the wonderful pages
I discovered a ship that I hadn't heard of before,
thus being a replica of an early 18th century ship
that brought the first settlers to Melbourne, from Tasmania.
Her name was The Enterprize, and I was pleasantly surprised
when I learn't that she is docked here in Williamstown, Melbourne.
Fortunately enough we were able to book a trip on this
fascinating ship, and all within reach of public transport.
I can only describe the experience as being awesome.
There is a wonderful sense of freedom once you leave the mainland behind.
Once her sails are up, she glides through the water peacefully,
rocking from side to side sometimes as the swell comes up which makes it hard
to keep your balance.
As we sailed I thought of what the bay would have looked like
pre settlement .
It would have been a sight to behold for those courageous early settlers
as they made their way into the bay.
Void of the pollution haze, filtering out the
distant Dandenong Ranges. Just coastal shrub and clean beaches lining
the shorelines. Oh well. That's 'progress' as some like to call it.
I have another name for it -
As you can see from these photos, The Enterprize has been
lovingly crafted from recycled timbers,
and attention has been thought out carefully,
down to the last detail.
Her crew is run by volunteers,
and if you would like to see more about this historic ship
you can visit 'The Enterprize'.

9 January 2009

Summer and the living is easy....

Now that the silly season is over,
it's time to lay back and take it easy , for my family
and I. We had a busy Xmas, given that
the annual family xmas get-together,
was held at our place. Lots of organizing and
cleaning up to do before the
company arrived -
a notable event this year in particular
as my relatives from Holland had come to spend
xmas with us. A European man's view of our great land,
is interesting indeed,
and on entering our house they informed me that
only the rich can afford to
live as we do here in Australia...
with our large houses on large blocks of land.
Me thinks , that sometimes we forget how fortunate we
are to live in such a prosperous and lucky country.
And I am forever thankful that my father was of the
adventurous spirit , otherwise I couldn't call this great
country 'home'.

I've just recently acquired a fine piece of early australian furniture-
from my grandfather (possibly crafted by himself)
who has moved to a retirement home
having just turned 100! I am in awe of his staying power -
having survived the 2nd World War,
and living with a health condition as a result,
he is truly remarkable. These photos depict a still life
on top of the cabinet featuring
native flowers, an old model ship ,
and a book I have been reading -
Captain Cooks
Journal on board the Endeavor -
a fascinating read.
I still think I was born two centuries too late ,tee hee,
as I would have been in my element
recording and observing the native wildlife and fauna
just as Banks and Parkinson did in the 1700's.
Whether you're in Australia in heat of the summer
or somewhere else in the world, take it easy,
and dare I say it...
Happy New Year.