Thursday, 17 December 2015

My favourite room

With everyone coming for Christmas we have had to add another table so we can get everyone seated. We painted the bench but it still needs a cushion. I can imagine the lazy morning breakfasts, and the late nights under the moon and stars - chatting, laughing, catching up.

Life is amazing

Kay posted this quote on Facebook today. I thought it was lovely, so I copied the text and placed it onto one of my photographs.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Safety warning

Seriously, the warning is under the seat of the chair. And as with all warnings, it comes too late.

Indian motorcycle

I collected my car from repairs the other day but I had to wait while they took it for a test run. After I had paged through their magazines I wondered around and found this old motorcycle on display. I don't think it's for sale. But I had never heard of the brand. (Not that I even know anything about motorcycles.) Anyway, I googled it and found they started in 1901 and are still going strong.

One on the ground and another in the sky

I was taking a photo through the trees and only saw afterwards that there was a Cape Robin on the ground, keeping to the path. On the other pic, I was trying to find the Green Parrot in the tree, it had been calling all morning, when the movement above caught my eye.

Jacaranda at it again

Our Jacaranda is in bloom again. It hasn't even dropped the pods from being in bloom during October yet. In 21 years, this is the first time it was flowered twice in one season. If anyone can explain that I'd be grateful. Well, anyone except you.

Hanging baubles

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Checkers: Our Christmas Feast

A vast number of Christmas ads are out there but nothing exciting. However, I like the way this commercial has been styled, shot and edited. And the music is catchy. I think, though, that the brand perception created here does not match the in-store personality.

Light and shadow

Recycle, upcycle

Wanted new cushions in the lounge without spending any money so I took some from the bedroom and dyed them.

Morning light moodboard

Making limoncello

It's potent. Sun down, man down, phew!

The torn tree

Last year my palm tree was struck by lightning and had to be taken down. The tree next to it only revealed this year that it had also been affected when it split during a wild wind storm last week. Regrettably, we had to have it fell too. On the upside our kitchen is now flooded with warm and toasty morning light.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Swim at own risk

There was never a place to hang your towel at the pool area so we put up the hooks for the towels for our guests that are coming to stay over Christmas period. We added the  subtle warning, swim at own risk, to create the holiday resort vibe ;-)

Christmas gifts from the garden

In August I posted: When I grow up I'm going to be a Christmas present. 10/08/2015. Terracotta pots with cutting from the garden that will be Christmas gifts. Now they are all ready for distribution by Santa.

The divine Miss M having a Sunday nap

Monday, 7 December 2015

I know a bargain when I see it

I bought all these second-hand Christmas baubles at the local charity store. We're going to hang them on the patio above the Christmas table. Will post an image when we're done.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Spot the difference

I wore two different colour sandals, same style, to work and only 2 people of 103 noticed. I did it on purpose, and I was greatly disappointed.

Making up bath salts

We have made up bath salts as stocking fillers. Smells divine and is really easy to make.
You'll need some jars or bottles, Epsom Salts, coarse sea salt, dried herbs and essential oils.
In a large bowl mix 2 parts Epsom salts to 1 part coarse sea salt, add the dried herbs, we used lavender from our garden, and a few drops of your preferred essential oil. We used lavender, duh!
Mix thoroughly and scoop into the bottle. Add a label and and wrap up for Christmas.

The lavender we made up for the ladies and for the men we mixed mustard (Google how good a mustard bath is), rosemary and thyme.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

W is for wishing, L is for love

We started to wrap our Christmas presents, and it's really fun. Keeping it really simple - white and brown wrapping paper only. The presents are scattered all across the dining room table, so we'll be eating in the kitchen in the meantime.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The most delicious lemon curd

We get so many lemons on our tree every year and I try to find a way to use them all. I found this fantastic recipe for lemon curd on the internet. So easy, so refreshing, so delicious. We just eat it with plain yoghurt.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Building with sticks and twigs

Birds have started building a nest outside our bedroom window. While you lie there reading a book you hear their clear, crisp call as they arrive home, and in the morning they wake you up as they welcome the day. (I used a layout I found on Pinterest as reference to create the image below.)

Another advent calendar

Another advent calendar for another friend. It's almost 1 December and I cannot wait for them to open the packets. If you have received an advent calendar from me do not look at this post - it will spoil the surprise ;-)

Pink and blue

From our bedroom window the blue from the Jacaranda and the cerise of the Bougainvillea create a delightful painting. beautiful view as we open the curtains.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Pallet project

We turned these pallet into pool loungers. They are so comfortable. Roll them into the sun or shade, whatever.

DIY weekend, painting the lounge walls

We painted the entrance hall, dining room and lounge as well this weekend. It's open plan so it all got the same colour. The chimney wall, however, we left in African Mud and the library we had done earlier this year in the dark blue.

A few weeks ago we had selected a green paint and had painted half the walls with it but when we stepped back and took it all in we realised we hated it. For two weeks we tried to like it, let it grow on us but on Friday morning we stopped at Builders Warehouse on the way to work to buy this colour. At the end of the weekend our mistake was no more. Yipee! 

DIY weekend, painting the bedroom walls

Friday, 16 October 2015

If they teach I will learn

I have just finished reading this book, Love may fail - Matthew Quick, that I really enjoyed. Anyway, a lot of the book is about a teacher who was different and made a difference, and the scholars remembered him decades later.

It got me thinking about teachers I had at school and college that added something extra to my life. 

These are the ones I remember, but sadly I don't recall their names, even though I tried to Google it. Let's face it, I went to school and college before the Internet, before email, before cellphones, before the fax machine, while man landed on the moon. My Maths teacher, my English teacher, our photography lecturer and an arts lecturer are the ones I remember.

The maths teacher was so passionate about her subject and, honestly, what a difference that makes. When she gave us an equations to solve it felt like a puzzle that had to laid out, a formula that could be decoded and finding the solution was exciting, a great challenge, an adventure. Solve x=y. 
I was probably just average at maths but I loved that class.

Our English teacher. His name almost appears on a memory card in my mind but I can't see the name without my glasses ;-) Anyway, he had to teach poetry once a week to a bunch of teenagers, poor man. (He was also my hockey coach). He was smart enough to realise that we would be bored silly with old English poems so he brought in vinyls. He would play the LP and then we would discuss the lyrics. Amazing and interesting how different and varied the interpretations were. We did eventually get to Robert Frost and I have bought many collection of poems over the years. I have also bought the volume we used in English class, A Poet's Sphere, at a second hand book shop. I still open it from time to time and read my old favourites. But what a great introduction to poetry and a different approach that created appreciation.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

My father had already instilled a love for photography and I was excited to have it as a subject at college. Our photographic lecturer wouldn't let us use our cameras until we understood how photography worked, not until we had made a pinhole camera and taken a photograph with it. He insisted we buy old film, the more distant the sell-by-date the better, so that our images would by grainy. (Long before  photoshop and the digital age.) Experimenting with the development of our photographs in the dark room was encouraged and a memory of the smell of those chemicals lingers at the edge of each of my old photographic prints. We had to explore black and white photography before we could move on to colour, had to . It was great, inspiring.

Mrs Leviseur, our arts lecturer. She was unique, really one of a kind. Created lovely pieces of art. She gave us each one as a gift when we left college. I asked her if I could have two. She said I  was a piggy, but gave me another one anyway. She didn't work to deadlines but to a completed piece of art, it was finished when her eyes told her heart it was done. She would get so absorbed in her art she would forget about time, forget to eat. She sewed all her clothes by hand (she only wore dresses).
She made silkscreen look like paintings, they were so layered. She made the colour grey interesting. A great artist, a gentle soul. She showed us it didn't matter to fit in, just fit in your own skin - be comfortable with who you are.

Each person you meet teaches you something but for those that you can remember three or four decades later with admiration and joy, knowing they shaped who you are in some way, to those I say thank you.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Stop and take a look

Some moments on the drive down. I would also have stopped for the single sunflower on the side of the road, the man relaxing under the tree, the boys herding cattle, the man walking his dog, the ladies walking through the long grass, the washing on the line. Sigh! Compromise ;-)

Sunday service

My mother would go to church most Sunday mornings. When I was young I would sometimes accompany her. 

I remember once we were standing to sing a hymn and then I woke up in the pastor's living room. I had fainted. I think after that I didn't attend church as frequently. Did God strike me down? Wink.

My mother and grandmother both sang in the church choir, choir practice was on Wednesday evenings. I tried that too but I was so bad (friends don't even want me to take part in SingStar).

I stopped to photograph the church on Sunday. While I was standing there the bells started to chime, I got goosebumps. I have heard them chime for Sunday services, weddings and funerals but whatever it is for it is the most beautiful sound. I didn't go in for the service. I just wanted a photograph. Or maybe I just wanted to remember my mother.

Pallets make good fences

I was going to photograph this yard that was entirely fenced with pallets but then when I stopped they were feeding the pigs and it made a much better picture, a much better story.