Monday, November 29, 2010

A Birthday Wish To Make...

So, I was just thinking....

My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I thought it would be lovely to share the birthday love and offer a little gift to one of you gorgeous people out there reading my funny little blog....

It's coming up to Christmas too, not to mention almost my 1 year blog anniversary! Now, doncha think that's a good excuse for a little giveaway?
So, if you please, just leave me a little note in the comments and consider yourself entered! My little gift will be a suprise (I love suprises, don't you?), but I will include a few handmade goodies.
It's my way of saying thankyou to everyone who visits here - I am indeed grateful for this little blogworld.

I think I shall draw the winner on my actual birthday which is the 14th December, so good luck!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas At the Studio and a Beautiful Friend

Just look at this gorgeous gift I received from the beautiful Jo of Aren't I a lucky girl?

On Friday, Jo invited me along to "Christmas at The Studio", a wonderful market with beautiful handmade gifts. She had a little stall with her gorgeous glass domes (these really need to be seen to be believed!) and her whimsical necklaces.

We sipped champagne and shared a lovely lunch..."Close your eyes and put out your hands", said Jo, and placed this gorgeous little nest she had made into my opened hands.

Here are a few photos from the market...inside the little mudbrick studio were the most beautiful treasures handmade by clever artisans.

Thankyou dear Jo for my beautiful gift - it is sitting on my kitchen table beneath a glass dome...and for your gift of friendship - what a wonderful world is blogland x

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Colour Me Happy

"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings" - William Blake

I am craving colour at the moment - can't get enough of it. I made these little colourful birds this week with some felt and feathers...thought I would have myself a little boho Christmas tree this year. I haven't picked up a needle and thread in such a long time and now look at me go!

I also saw this wonderful idea - I bought some clear ornaments and filled them with a rainbow of them!

It's a bit early to put our tree up yet (we wait until December 1st) but I will be sure to take some photos when we do, with all my new hand-made ornaments.

Spring has finally arrived here and I was just itching to get out into the garden, so I made a trip to my local nursery and picked up some colourful plants. I adore cottage gardens, but where I live is very dry with many gum trees, so I have tried to choose drought tolerant plants - I just love salvias because they come in so many great colours and are very easy to maintain...I have many roses, but only in my front garden because the possums eat them out the backyard - isn't that weird?

Won't you come see my little garden?

Do you see the silverbeet that the possums have nibbled?

I also wanted to show you this darling little charm that came in the mail this week from the gorgeous Mermaiden I was lucky enough to win a little giveaway on her blog a couple of weeks ago...thankyou sweet blog friend - I love it! You must go and have a peek into her beautiful world - her creations are truly incredible!

"The garden is a metaphor for life and gardening is a symbol of the spiritual path" - Larry Dossey

"He who plants a garden plants happiness" - Chinese Proverb

"Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky" - Kahlil Gibran

"Lose yourself in nature and find peace" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And that last quote is pretty much what I did on my Sunday...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rituals and Meaning Making

First of all, I would like to say a huge thankyou to all of you who left such beautiful comments - your words really lifted me up and inspired me to keep are all amazing!

With Christmas creeping up upon us (where on earth did the year go?) I begin to think about rituals and traditions. Although, it's not just at Christmas time when we perform such rituals - every day, little things like that first cup of coffee in my special cup, to something as simple as the whole family sitting down to watch our favourite show together - these are the little rituals which make meaning in our lives...

Every year at Christmas time, my mum makes her famous Christmas Pudding - it was a recipe which her grandmother used to make. As a child, I remember the excitement of Christmas morning when I would awake to a stocking full of goodies underneath the tree. Then a wonderful feast with family, and the pure joy of seeing who would find the penny that mum had hidden in the pudding!

Obviously now, we can't stick money in food, or we might all end up in the hospital, but some traditions are so lovely, that we need to pass them down through the generations.

So, on Sunday, Abby joined Nana in her kitchen, and they set about making the pudding together, while I copied down the recipe. I think it's so lovely that Abby has now learned the exact recipe which her great, great grandmother followed, and will be able to make it for her family, and so on...

As inspired as I was last week by my calico, I decided to create another project which really is a no-brainer. I made this advent calendar by embroidering little squares of calico, then simply stitching them to a large piece of calico. I love how naive and simple it is, and the possibilities here are endless also - you could easily use felt, or scraps of fabric that you have leftover. I chose brightly coloured thread, because I love that childlike, whimsical quality.

And as for the little presents, you are only limited by your imagination (and your wallet!) I have chosen candy canes, chocolates and some little toys, but you could fill them with anything your heart desires...little matchbox cars for boys, some colourful crayons, or even some costume jewellery for the older girls...(personally, mine can never have too much chocolate!)

Another tradition which I began quite a few years back was to splurge each year on a new Christmas imagine how happy I was yesterday to discover this little Christmas Carousel! Of course I had to snap it up...

And just because I promised...remember I told you I was off on a little girls' trip...well, here we are at the beach house - girls behaving badly...sing with me "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"....

What rituals and traditions will you be celebrating? I would love to hear from you x

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Calico and Tattered Lace...

There is something extremely soothing and self-satisfying in creating a piece of art with only materials that one already you probably know, I wear the crown, for I am the Queen of Procrastination! There, I've said it! I think about 'doing' all the time, might even talk about it...but more often than not, I fabricate some ridiculous excuse as to why I can't begin...I really don't like this quality in myself, but I recognise it, so I'm halfway there, right?
Anyway, what began with some silly doodles in my little journal, grew into an idea...upstairs in my crafty room, I knew I had some calico, and oodles of lace...hmmmm...
I began by tearing up some calico into rough squares - triangles would also look amazing...then I took everything outside because the weather this week is sensational, and I began drawing straight onto some of the squares of calico with a sharpie pen (love those little suckers). Ooh, I also tea-stained some of the calico and lace, just for a bit of variation.

I also included some original poetry, some well-known poetry, and some quotes which felt meaningful to me. On the remainder of the squares, I sewed some old tatty doilies which I had picked up from the second-hand shop. (Who doesn't love a doily?)

Then, it was just a matter of attaching them all to my tea-stained lace and voila, a cute little tatty banner to hang when next I decide to have tea in the garden...

Next time I decide to make one (don't laugh, it is within the realms of possibility) I think I should like to make a colourful, bohemian looking one with scraps of fabric...
My little collection of mismatched plates and cups and saucers have all been collected by me over the years from op-shops and garage sales, and some have been gifts - I love them all.

I always remember a very dear friend of mine giving me this advice one day over the phone, for I was feeling really down - "Tina, go and make something beautiful. Make a doll and embellish it". I remember thinking at the time - why? What's the point? But you know what? She was right...creating something with your own two hands lifts you to another place...a different state of being. And that creativity doesn't need to be sewing or painting, it could be cooking up a storm in the kitchen, trying out a new recipe, or digging in the garden and planting some seeds...
And on a final note, a wise bear who adores honey once said "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." So, I'm taking Pooh's advice, and heading down to the beach this weekend with some girlfriends...I will try to take some photos if we are not too badly behaved:) What's everyone else up to?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Glass walls

There she lay,
Cocooned within her glass walls...
Seeing out, but letting no-one in.
She thinks it's safer that way...

She only flies when no-one is watching - Tina Gates

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


The source of all abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are. However, start by acknowledging and recognising abundance without. See the fullness of life all around you. The warmth of the sun on your skin, the display of magnificent flowers outside a florist's shop, biting into a succulent fruit, or getting soaked in an abundance of water falling from the sky. The fullness of life is there at every step. The acknowledgment of that abundance that is all around you awakens the dormant abundance within. Then let it flow out. When you smile at a stranger, there is already a minute outflow of energy. You become a giver. Ask yourself often: "What can I give here; how can I be of service to this person, this situation?" You don't need to own anything to feel abundant, although if you feel abundant consistently things will almost certainly come to you. Abundance comes only to those who already have it - Eckhart Tolle

I just love reading author and spiritual teacher Eckhart the age of 29, he experienced a profound inner transformation. So the next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation. This was the beginning of an intense inward journey, something I can relate to at this time of my life.

The thing I have learned about spiritual awakening, is that once you begin the journey, it is impossible to go back, and it can be extremely difficult when you discover that certain people and things no longer 'fit' into your new awareness. This is something I am discovering on my journey.
When I began my blog, I really didn't know what I would post about, but after such an intense year of study last year, I have found this little corner to be such a creative outlet for me. I have always struggled with ego (you know that little voice that tells you your art is crap, etc...blah blah), but I am slowly learning that just to be aware of ego, and understand that that is not 'me'. I am in fact the awareness behind that little voice. And I am reminded that being creative always makes me very happy.

So, it's probably poignant that I found this little gratitude journal today...I still remember the day I wrote it - around about the same time last year. It was a beautiful Spring day, and I had allowed myself time to just sit in the garden and play with some watercolours. Time truly does have no significance when I am 'in' the process of creating. Everything else just falls away.
"I do enough, I have enough, I AM enough"

I also found some old unfinished watercolours. I think I should like to have a play with them...

Oh, and I have been giving my little gardenhouse a makes me smile...

I want to thank each and every one of you that comes to visit here. And I just love to read your special notes...I always try to come thank you on your blogs, because I honour the time you take to leave a comment.

I know it's been rather a long post, and congratulations if you are still reading, but I just want to leave you with one more quote from Eckhart Tolle - I LOVE this!

Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won't die. You will come to life. And don't be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function or a role, but as a field of conscious Presence.