Saturday, 30 May 2009

Camping in style

Just thought I'd type a quick post. We are at the Willowbrook Farm for the weekend. We just had a lovely night under the stars listening to bush poets and songs on acoustic guitar in front of a campfire. No photos until we get home, but just wanted to see how this NEXTG wireless internet connection works. Pretty good, huh?

Friday, 29 May 2009

Reading pulp fiction and something other than that

I read this book "Glamour" by Louise Bagshawe.

Now, I really like the idea of this book, three girls find devastation in their lives, but struggle through to become wildly successful with their luxury items chain store called Glamour. Very similar storyline to the other book of hers I read recently. However, I must say, books written in this style, (which appear to be catering for people with a reading age below 12) are a bit of a waste of an idea, because there is no poetry in the words. I enjoyed the storyline; I love Cinderella/ rags to riches stories, but there was just no depth to the language. The girls were forever blushing, and were always enjoying hours and hours of rolling around on satin sheets with their famous, rich soulmates. It wasn't very realistic and there were no memorable sentences. I yearn to read memorable sentences, and I am going to begin looking for more books that have them. Do you know any good ones?

Here is a special book I found for a dollar, second-hand.

A collection of stories about family from a bunch of Australian authors. The story"Madonna of the Streets" by Gary Crew is WOW. Beautiful, mystical and uplifting. Worth reading the whole book, if you can get your hands on it. Now this book has memorable sentences.

A way to store magazines

Got this great bookshelf from Ikea, a few months back, to have in the guest room. The idea was to fill it with magazines, and now that I've gone through all my magazines and chosen only the best (mainly home and garden mags), and decorated the plain white holders with some pretty scrapbooking paper to match the cushions on the bed, you can see my latest organising venture.

It fits perfectly in the corner of the room and was only $89. I got one for Jack's room too, for all his books.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

My current obsession

I'm just waiting on the last question of May to be asked by Emily Falconbridge before I reveal my May tags on my 52Q blog (see my blog roll or button). Until then, here is a sneak peek. Last week's question asked, "What is my current obsession?" and, as I've spent the last week with my head in a filing cabinet, here is my answer:

I have about 50 more papers to file and I will have finished my four drawer filing cabinet of school papers. Then I move onto my four draw filing cabinet of home papers. I know there will be a moment of feeling great success when I'm finished, but, while the project

Monday, 25 May 2009

Beautiful shoes!

I'm not a huge shoe person usually, but, I had a gift voucher to spend from my birthday, so I lashed out on these gorgeous things, courtesy of Target. Flamenco dancing anyone?

Sunday, 24 May 2009

All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten

I picked up this book at a second-hand bookshop, and it is an enlightening read!

The author philosophises on subjects including, love, grandparents, nature, neighbours, motivation, progress and more. His main philosophy, the title, is expanded like this.
  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some, and think some, and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the the little seed in the cup: the roots go down, the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even little seeds -they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the books, and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all - LOOK.
The author goes on to say:
"Take any one of these terms and extrapolate it into adult terms and apply it to your family life, or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. "

Working in a kindergarten and being an adult in this world, I can testify that this is so true!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Painting the Roses Red

I have some more Alice in Wonderland cards for you to see, at this midnight hour! I'm pretty excited about this set, because I've been looking for just the right papers and embellishments since the beginning of the project. I am so looking forward to launching my card shop!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

For time and all eternity

When it was coming up to our tenth wedding anniversary, we thought we would get eternity rings to celebrate. Jonathon found the one he wanted pretty quickly, but I've only just managed to find the perfect eternity ring for me, and it is one and a half years later! Thanks to Zamel's for having this sparkling beauty in their window. I am so in love with it!

It is a further symbol of our marriage for time and all eternity in the Sydney temple in 1998.

Lucky me to find such a caring man with such a beautiful heart.

Friday, 15 May 2009

I'll play the windowledge game!

Thank goodness I gave my kitchen a huge declutter last weekend, because that means I can play Aunty Ann's game of "Show us your windowledge". Before decluttering there were HEAPs more spices, and a dead plant, but it looks much better now. The tin doesn't have a use yet, but the colors matched the spices, and I felt it needed it's time there for awhile. I think I'll put a sewing kit in it.

Just below the ledge is a glass bowl that we use for dumping keys, jewellery, phones and wallets. It eventually gets cluttered with other things, but right now, it's doing well!

Cheshire Cat cards

I have some new cards for you to see. I only have to make 7 more and my Alice in Wonderland sets will be ready! I'm pretty excited about that! So, this time, the cards are representative of the Cheshire Cat. Again, the link is fairly abstract, but I make the connection with purples, pinks, black, stripes, white in the night, and mystical swirls and shapes among the foliage of Tulgey Wood. Perhaps you can even sense the glimpse of eyes, whiskers or a smile within these designs? Enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Family ties

We went to Mum's house last Saturday night to celebrate Mothers' Day. My sister Kristie came too, and we were able to catch up, have dinner together and TRIED to take some nice photos. The photo session had us all in giggles, as it was nearly impossible for anyone to be ready at the same time! We managed to get these shots...

but only just!!!!

On a serious note...I love my Mum and I love being a Mum. One of the most defining moments in my life was when I first brought Jack home as a baby, and my Mum held him and loved him. I felt worlds closer to my Mum in an instant, and felt ashamed of the bond that I had let loosen between us from my teenage years, and through my twenties. Here was someone who would love my child without hesitation, and help me to guide, nurture and teach him. She knew his heart. She knew mine. There was a connection.

I treasure the times we spend with my Mum. We swap books, we both love jewellery, clothes, craft, decorating magazines, TV and movies. My Mum taught me to sing along to the radio, made all my highschool ball gowns, and stood up for me when I was bullied at school. We always had heaps of Barbie dolls, and huge piles of presents under the Christmas tree! She always made desserts for after dinner, and often would bake cakes and cupcakes just for fun. She loves working in a thrift shop, and makes friends with everyone she meets.

I highly recommend motherhood! Not only is it a joy to share a little human being with the love of your life; not only do you have an overwhelming sense of attachment, responsibility and ridiculous levels of love for your own child; but also, being a mother reminded me just how important my Mum is to me and to the future generations of our family. Love you Mum! xxxx

Sunday, 10 May 2009


I have a deep desire to be the perfect homemaker, almost like a Stepford Wife, but not so robotic and perky! I'm thankful to the people out there in the blogging world, especially Ruth from the Sugarpie Farmhouse, who make homemaking seem so effortless and rewarding. Go check out her site!

Yesterday, I bought a book I'd been looking at for awhile, which I'm sure you've all seen before, called Speed Cleaning.

I wanted to see if I could make this whole housecleaning thing a bit quicker, or simpler, or something. Well I gotta say, I wasn't able to speed clean our kitchen in 15 minutes, but I managed the family room in that time! I got to try out my new steam mop, which did a great job, and my husband was pretty impressed at how gung-ho I was about it all. One of the best things about the book was it made me put all my cleaning liquids, sponges, brushes etc into one box as a cleaning kit. This worked really well, and at the end I put the crate into my laundry cupboard. For some people, that is probably a really OBVIOUS thing to do, but not so much for me!

A book I got last year, which started me on my journey of decluttering the house was Cut the Clutter by Cynthia Townley Ewer.

I really LOVE this book! It just has so many ideas for cleaning, organising and beautifying homes. And pretty pictures too! The website is brilliant as well, and has a heap of printable pages to make a Household Notebook (which holds all your budgets, cleaning schedules, addresses, and more.)
I'm hoping our house will be like a display home with heart by the end of this year. There's some renovating and garden overhauls to do too, so the job is a big one, but with books and blogs to help (as well as Ikea and Howards Storage) we might just get there!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Tweedledee and Tweedledum cards

I've having a posting frenzy before I get swept up in school stuff again! Here are some new Alice in Wonderland cards, this time with a Tweedledee and Tweedledum theme. As usual, the link is mainly to the colours the characters wear: yellow, red, blue, white and a bit of green. Also, they wear bow ties, thus the bow feature. I'm thinking birthday cards for the very young, or the very colourful! I love the bright cheerfulness of the cards!

Books to read

Emma's son, Brenden, has been reading the Dragonkeeper series, and this is the first one.

Isn't the cover exquisite? It is a beautifully written story set in Ancient China (one of my favourite settings) and is about a young girl who looks after a dragon. Gorgeous book for readers aged 11 and up.

My Mum got this book from a group of friends for her birthday. It has many uplifting stories, and I especially like the spiritual ones, and the ones about teaching.

Another great book from Monica McInerney! It's a bit Mills and Boonish, but had some family dramas that were interesting to follow.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Our Camping Trip

I managed to grab a few moments from life to post the pics of our camping trip last weekend! We went with our friend Richard to Willowbrook Farm in Gingin.

There were cows,

trees to climb,

a creek,

a rose garden,

old buildings like the office/kitchen,

and an ancient shearing shed.

They also have a caravan park/camping ground, which is where we stayed.

Richard's tent.

Our tent.

The first night we went to the Anzac Day Dinner at the farm tea rooms where they had bush poets performing. It was great! I'm glad Jack had a chance to hear the poets perform with gusto the old favourites like The Man from Ironbark and Clancy of the Overflow. The meal was amazing! Home cooked chicken pie or lamb roast, with roast veges, and a vast choice of Aussie desserts including sticky date pudding, pavlova, lemon meringue pie, apple crumble and icecream. Mmm mmm!

After dinner we went to the Observatory where we were able to view the night sky and its constellations through huge telescopes. Saturn was pretty impressive, although Jack was convinced it was a sticker on the end of the telescope. Unfortunately there was no moon that night, so we missed out on a big thing there. However, they showed some footage of astronauts mucking about in the space shuttle (which was a laugh!) and a computerised adventure through space, exploring the vastness of our universe. Awesome stuff!
Back at camp, we toasted marshmallows.

The next day we did a lot of sitting about, savouring the peace and quiet, and played games like footy, Uno, The Game of Life and Pictionary. Fun family times! No distractions like the telephone, TV doorbell and housework. Lots of naps and conversations. Real living.

(Okay, we cheated a bit because we had a powered site and Jack brought the laptop.)