Friday, April 29, 2011

Royalty (and more Bunting!)

Well I don't know about you but I though the Royal Wedding was just FABULOUS!
People lining the (stunning) streets of London to celebrate the union of two people, the pomp, the ceremony, the rain that held off, the fashions, the horses - loved the horses - the cars (Hubby liked them) the palace... the kiss. Come on now - don't deny it... you loved it too did you not!

As I have mentioned before, the stork that dropped me off should really have been booked for F.U.I (flying under the influence) As a result of his/her negligence, I find myself pining for all things British and wishing with all my heart that I could have attended this "blessed union twixt Prince and Princess" 
(I just loved the British telly commentary - so proper and pompous) 
However I was lucky enough to be included on the guest list of a local celebration held by the ever gracious (and graceful) Lady Veronica. A real life "wife of a foreign diplomat" - Sigh... to have such a title... 

There were ladies from all around the globe (making it feel very special indeed) and there were many a hat and glove in sight too! The food was a feast for the senses...

Not only tasty but visually captivating as well!

 My favourite being the "Corgi Cupcakes" made by Lady Naomi...

And what would a tea party be without the finest of china...

and the brightest of napery...

Needless to say I was in HEAVEN! 
Thank you so much Lady Veronica for putting on such a fine show!
(I am still humming Royal Britannia)

Indeed I came home filled with such enthusiasm (or possibly just too much sugar and tea)
that I dove straight in to making more bunting...

Vintage bunting to be precise - made from a thrifted Ladybird Reader

Can you guess which one? It has everything a great fairytale should contain, 
a talking feline, royalty, paupers and princes... 

Yes, it's Puss in Boots. 

I am definitely hooked - I have tried some Little Golden Books too! More on that later.
Now I have to skedaggle because Hubby is actually attempting the chicken run today
(Hallelujah!) and methinks my supervision and chickentise (chicken expertise) are required.
Which should be quite hilarious because in truth I know that Chooks+Scraps=Eggs  - and that's about it.
Mmmmm... time to research.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bunnies, Bunting and Billowing Curtains...

Whoop Whoop! 
It's raining it's pouring...the old man is snoring! Remember that song?
Finally... Perth is wet. 

We have seen our first decent rain and I am positively giddy!

Everything is glistening and clean and just ever so beautiful.
I walk around outside, cup of tea in hand. I breathe deeply.
I find reflections in puddles.... 

Sigh... can it get any better? Well yes it can. The forecast is for more showers later today!
I must admit that I find it quite ironic reading about fellow bloggers (across the globe) who live in colder climates and spend many a day willing the sun to come out. Whilst I sit here wishing for rain and living vicariously through all the people who talk of fires, snow and all things cosy. Is it possible that I was born in the wrong place? 
Could the stork have misread the address?
I have an idea: Blogger Weather Exchange Program
You send me rain - I'll send you sunshine... 
I'll bottle it, label it and post it your way.
Just send me BPP's of lovely life giving rain.
Pretty please.
Wait! I have to run... the showers are here again!

Little Bunny here is looking happy because he has in his hand a Cote d'Or elephant chocolate - my Easter staple this year. Indeed I have had one for breakfast everyday, since Friday (with tea of course) and I still have some left (thank you Hubby xx)

 Speaking of Friday - I tried my hand at my own version of Dahl and it was a success!
Usually Hubby is the kitchen magician but the ritual of making soupy dishes with wine and music is truly sacred. I lit the candles and cut up the vegies - feeling pretty darn blessed. Here I was about to spend Easter with family and friends - in abundance and in good health. I know many around the globe have had their world shaken by some form of natural disaster, or perhaps even just the sadness of a loved one who is sorely missed. I lit extra candles for you all. I sent you light and love.

For me the time with family and the joy of being around children is all that I need to fill the tank.
My heart just flips and flops when I think of lazy days filled with great food, board games, walks, wine, tea and snoozing. Reminds me of this song by Natalie Merchant:

These are the days
These are days you'll remember.
Never before and never since, 
I promise, will the whole world be warm as this. 
And as you feel it, you'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky.
It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

So before I leave to go and drink in the day, here are just a few more of the blessings that filled my Easter Holidays.... like billowing curtains (always a favourite) and...

fantastic garage sale luck in the form of tarnished old bells and

retro 60's UK luggage 

or even an unusual work of art...

I have NO idea why these girls captured me so - Hubby thinks they're a bit creepy (something to do with  a film called The Grudge) but I just found their melancholy enchanting. So they came home with me.
Not sure where they'll live but at least they are no longer garage sale orphans!

And to top off it all off I made over 10 metres of bunting - some of it for a Royal Wedding morning tea I will be attending on Friday....

and some of it just for .....

(made from an old Oxford Dictionary - my best bunting ever!)

So goodbye lovely people
Time to don the treasured Hunters (definitely the best footwear I have EVER owned) and make my way outside ...
Puddles are a calling!

Hubby made us Vegetarian Rogan Josh and Naan bread last night!
How lucky am I?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Whether your Easter lends itself to all the Christian traditions and rituals.
Whether your Easter just means a break, a rest ... time to stop.
Whether your Easter is filled with work, family or a mixture of both.
Whether your Easter is a big deal, no deal or just another long weekend.
Whether you cook, clean, crave or camp (like we are!)
Whether you go to Church and pray.
Whether you just sleep in and then meditate.
Whether you have laughter and fun.
Whether you are mourning someone.
Whether you are.
Whether you are not.

Happiest Of Easter days to you the world.
Light and Love.
Hope and Horizons.

Blessings from the JAM family

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beautiful Packaging

Does the term beautifully packaged have to be an oxymoron?
I don't think so.
Case in point...
(Ooh don't you just love an LA Law style opening to a blog - sorry!)

Aesop products - plastic yes - but with screw top lids so the bottles can be used again*
Seraphic "old world apothecary style" design, fabulous range & typography that is heaven sent.
(From: Australia)

Miesna Ceylon Teas in little wooden boxes. Not only a pleasure to look at but all the boxes are the same size so they stack perfectly. I finished this tea ages ago and now the box houses some of my craft paraphernalia.
I just have to look at this cutie tea party and I'm smiling.
(From: Sri Lanka)

Henry Langdon Chili Cocoa Powder. The photo does not do the artwork justice. Paper is removable so you can relabel the tin if you wish. The ingredients are clearly listed - bonus they're all natural!
(From: Australia)

Hint Mints. I'm not even gonna prattle on here! Just visit the website and read all about them - ethical, yummy, cool, pocket sized...oops I'm prattling. Ok just one more thing - the tin is perfect for keeping bobby pins tidy in your bag thereby eliminating the ever present danger of bobby pin piercing and/or handbag lining perforation - a real issue peoples!
(From: US)

Voluspa candles - a little glass jar of bliss.
Pricey but worth it since the whole promise of burning time, less smoking and long lasting fragrance IS actually kept here. My sister gave me this one for my birthday and once the candle burns away I plan to use this little ceramic darling to plant a small succulent or some such!
(From: US)

Tokyo Milk Soaps - paper that can of course be recycled - or framed!! Now I love me a great triple milled soap and if it comes wrapped in a small artistic masterpiece well then you've got my attention. As with the box of tea I seem to be a sucker for anything that looks like Mr Darcy might be wooing Miss Bennet (??)
(From: US)

Speaking of soaps. Glasshouse Fragrances wrap their soaps in paper too - funky patterned paper with loads of choices, like seriously LOADS of choices. I love giving these to people as gifts even of they do not use soap for bathing... I suggest they place them in a drawer or cupboard for an olfactory thrill!
(From: Australia)

Like I said - I'm a sucker for triple milled, fragrant, carved loveliness! Look at this little guy?
When I spotted him I said "Right - you have to live with me and all my other.. um... soaps"
Does that sound crazy? Actually I really do USE these soaps - but some are just so darn cute that I find it a tad difficult to drown them. Humanising soap - a new psychological disorder (red face)
(Banks & Noble - from Australia)

And if I can love a critter on a bar of soap imagine how attached I can get to Mr Lellyphant on a Williamson Tea tin (soap, tea, soap, tea... is there a rehab clinic for this kind of addiction?)
He now lives at my study desk housing my miniature wooden clothes pegs - you know just in case the Lilliputians drop by and need to do some washing?
(From: UK)

And last, but certainly not least - Badger Balms.
Certified Organic (tick) Reusable tins (tick) Assorted choices, scents and sizes (tick)

Heart melting, fur clad face... TICK!
How in heavens name can one resist?
(From: US)

So you see even though packaging can be a dirty word - it does not have to be.
Maybe we have to save up to buy them (yes these products are definitely pricier than your average supermarket equivalent) but I see it as a sort of "four for the price of two deal" - twice as expensive, but four times the value - quality, function, form, ethical and aesthetic - that's five actually!

And just to clarify - I do not receive any kick backs for endorsing any of these lovelies.
But if I could, I so shamelessly would!

PS - *I re-use these bottles to store my "cleaning concoctions" in.  My favourite is:
3 parts distilled water, 1 part Vodka and half a part of water soluble essential oil.
Here in Oz we have Lavender, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus available in this form. You can use regular E.Oils - just shake the bottle before using. Smells deeeeeevine!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Partly Cloudy with a chance of JOY

Well there are few things more pleasurable than a cosy morning, agreed?
Sleeping in is indeed a treat however, seeing the sunrise with your favourite brew, wrapped up in your "Nana gown and slippers" & wandering through your garden - damp from an early shower...
(I'm afraid that trumps a sleep in any day)

We still have Jasmine blooming and a spindly Cherry Tomato plant determined to keep giving us treasures...... what bliss.

To top it off, I spent all of yesterday sorting out and tidying up. Hubby went to the Blues and Roots festival with a friend; and my little prince had some buddies over for a play date. 
The result....

I found my dining table! Well to be more accurate I rediscovered it. Yes, with the dedication of a nun and the patience of an archaeologist, I painstakingly went through ALL of my.... um....stuff and sorted, cleaned, organised, catalogued, threw out, rearranged, drank tea, ate chocolate... I digress.

You see our family dining table had become my office/dumping ground/craft table/ironing table and optional storage space for all things that one was too lazy to put away (red face) Then in an effort to avoid embarrassment I would simply cover everything up with a sarong (or 3!) and what ensued was a sort of colourful mountain range that just grew and grew... and grew.
NO more! I cried (in my head - not out loud)
 Thus, instead of succumbing to period dramas, a good book or even a nap on the couch....
I got busy

I went through paperwork, craft materials, photos & treasures - even managed to dust!

This little enamel plate 
(found for $1 at a thrift store!) 
came out of the drawer and 

is now sitting next to my stamps
on the wall adjacent to my roll top desk.

This dude guards all the bits and bobs on another shelf...

Meet Birdie...

(Don't think I've introduced Birdie before have I? Well he's my mentor - a small friend who lives above my thinking space, calmly observing all I do and constantly reminding me to 
"spread my wings and shake my tail feathers")

Here he is happily perched above Jane Austen and Louisa M Alcott...
(He has such great taste in literature)

He'll probably be mad that I showed you this 
(because he has not tidied up like me)

This is his house - cute huh? And this is inside - with his nightlight on.

You can't really tell but it's quite messy - he's a collector like me.
I think I may have to help him sort through his mess so that he can awake feeling as optimistic and energetic as I have! So if you have a tedious task you have been avoiding, this post is for you.
Bite the bullet, make the tea, put on the music, get out the dust cloth and just GO FOR IT!
You'll be so happy you did!

I'll leave you with a quote from the unique perspective of Ashleigh Brilliant 

Have a great day peoples. I know I will!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time to take Tea and Toast

I wish I could say that the weather outside was dark and gloomy.
This being the perfect setting for a tea & toast fest...
 But alas - the sun is all "shiny shiny" and the clouds

I realise that, for many, this would appear to be perfect Autumn weather. I will concede that Perth is just stunning on a bright and blue skied day, however we need the rain. DESPERATELY!

So to some how summon the clouds, the cooler weather, the puddles and the rainbows,
I drink tea.
Copious bladder taunting amounts.

Not just any tea.
Earl Grey from T2

Teamed with hot, buttery, marma-laden (new word) toast.

This weekend Hubby and I plan to love our garden (would've been so good to do this with showers to help soften the soil, Sigh/Sulk) and hopefully put some bits and pieces in the ground. I am setting the alarm for a garage sale (just up the road) and my little man has a sleep over planned for Saturday evening (school has just broken up for Easter) Perhaps I can twist my Culinary Knight in Shiny Apron to cook up a pasta, paella or some such. Either way I'm sure a delicious bottle of red has been set aside.

At least the evenings have been cooler. Great for walking the pooch and outside showers - usually extra long showers since the dash twixt shower to towel to robe can be quite goosebumby!!

 Here are some of my Winter Wishes:

I hope to start a bigger vegie patch
I hope to get chickens (soon)
I hope to train for a 12km marathon (held in August)
I hope to be more creative
I hope the BBC fund a few new period dramas (soon)
I hope to master the art of a MOIST cake
I hope read several great books
I hope T2 start selling their Earl Grey Royale in bigger tins(soon)
I hope to master knitting
I hope to master sewing
I hope it rains (SOON!)
I hope I find the time to do even three of these things!!??

Happy weekend to you all!