Thursday, August 25, 2011

Revisiting the seventies and a little bit of art

So Saturday night was our annual progressive street dinner party, but this year we decided to give it a theme...70's - yeah! This is such fun, and if you have fun neighbours like me, you should definitely give it a go. The idea is that you start at someone's house for a course, then work your way through every course at a different! (And no need to drive anywhere, so you can have that extra wine - woops)

I ended up with the main course, and in keeping with the theme, cooked beef stroganoff with noodles, and went with a 70's bohemian vibe with my table setting, and my outfit was inspired by Stevie Nicks, tambourine and all.   I tell ya, throw a few hats and wigs and instruments into the mix, and it makes for a wild night. (That's me rocking out with the tambourine above...)

The Menu...

Prawn cocktail
Lemon Chicken with rice
Beef Stroganoff with noodles
Trifle and Fondue
Cheese and lollies (ooh, and port!)

I have also been inspired lately (I guess with the weather warming up) to begin running again...I have always kept myself fit, but in the last couple of years, ahem, I was exploring other aspects of myself...hmmm, too much head time is definitely not a good thing - I find that now that I am back into my running, and balancing that with yoga (which I have fallen head over heels - literally - in love with - why did I not begin sooner?) I feel fantastic! I loved it the other day when the yoga teacher described the twists we were doing as being like wringing out a dirty dish cloth - releasing all the rotten toxins from our bodies - love that! (Especially as there would have been plenty of toxins after Saturday night - he hee)

I am also trying to eat healthier, which is kind of a given once you start exercising and seeing the results...your body just craves good food. That's not to say I don't indulge, because I definitely do - I am just mindful of when I am eating, and if I choose to eat a piece of cake, I ask myself, "do I really want that?" and if the answer is yes, then I totally enjoy it. (Sometimes we reach for the sweet stuff out of habit, don't you think?)

Organic dark chocolate is my saving grace...if I crave something sweet, a couple of squares of this stops those sugar cravings in their tracks...either on it's on or melted into some low fat hot milk with cinnamon sprinkled on top - yum!

I bought a George Foreman grill and have fallen in love...(I was going to take a picture of me kissing said grill, but thought that may be a bit much...hee hee)

I get bored with sandwiches for lunch, and indeed find bread a bit too 'heavy' for my temperamental stomach (don't start me), so I love to make wraps, but sticking them in the old 'George' takes them to the next level...I love tuna, cream cheese and spinach, but yesterday decided to go vegetarian and first grilled some butternut pumpkin and red capsicum, then filled my wrap with Persian Feta (omg), semi-dried tomatoes, which I always keep in a jar in the fridge - these babies spice up so many things, spinach, pesto and mushroom, then added the pumpkin and capsicum and grilled the wrap - YUM! Healthy and delicious.
And look who I snapped flying out of our pool...every year this duck and it's mate decide to land in our swimming pool...I think they are kind of cute, but the husband shoos them away - it seems he doesn't find them as lovely as me...QUACK...I love the colour beneath it's weeks - hmmm, see inspiration really does strike when you least expect it - I'd love to 'dip' the ends of my hair in this colour, but I don't know if I'm brave enough...

And yes, there have been fits and bursts of creativity too...I admire all you girls out there that are creative every day...just doesn't work that way for me - I always seem to be distracted by something else to do - house to clean, meals to cook, kids to drive to and from wherever. But when I am in the flow, I totally get absorbed in the process, and really enjoy it.

This is another altered book I am making - they are such fun, and cost vitually no dollars. I picked this one up at an op shop for maybe 50 cents, or a dollar. It's one of those old childrens' dictionaries, with the really cute pictures.

I tore out lots of pages (I always keep them for other projects) then began applying Gesso to them. Some white, some black. Some of the little pictures are just too gorgeous to cover, so I paint around them, as you can see below, and inspiration will strike. How sweet is this little poem? It reminded me of Miss Vanessa and her seeds...

The other pages I have just begun to work on...the fairy page above was created by tearing a hole in several pages, then glueing an image on the last page then sticking the pages together, so you can see the fairy through a 'frame'. I then sprinkled some glitter around it - so pretty. The flowers are some I have collected and pressed from my garden. I don't use anything elaborate, just press them between some paper towell in the pages of some telephone books. The other week I picked some little daisies while on a walk, and made a daisy chain which I have pressed and am waiting to dry. I always collect feathers on my walks too (little gifts from the universe, but I shall tell you of that another time), and shall add them too. I have just used paint for the background - keep layering, glueing, painting, whatever, until it looks pleasing to you.

These are such fun, and if you don't draw or paint, you can print off images from the internet, or rip pages from an old book or magazine - as you know I love collecting quotes, and enjoy using them in these books. I think they make lovely gifts for someone, or with the pages left fairly bare, a beautiful journal to write or doodle in.

Here is what the pages looked like before the magic begins...
...and with the Gesso...a blank canvas, just waiting for some magic. (And if blank paper scares you, don't overthink it, just start...I promise you, the magic will happen - there are NO mistakes)

I know this has been a somewhat lengthy post...goodness, I was kinda chatty, wasn't I? But hopefully I have inspired you, if not to host a progressive dinner party, then to perhaps begin altering a little book of your own. Let me know if you do - I'd love to see them.

Have a wonderful weekend friends...remember to enjoy the small things xxx


  1. i love your posts!!! loving your party! so happy to be a tiny part in it by viewing your photos.. just good fun stuff! <3

  2. That party looks amazing. So much fun.

    Your altered book is looking beautiful. Thank you for sharing some of the process.

  3. Oh my, a Bohemian 70's inspired Party with great food would be just my Style *winks* and what a great idea of taking a Pot Luck Block Party to each house, what fun!

    Yes, I too am getting leaner and healthier... have to... The Man bought us a Gym Membership on my Birthday and set me up with a Personal Trainer, who almost killed me with Pilates... I thought it would be gentle like Yoga... it's SO NOT!!! *Winks* Could hardly move for four days... but I'm sticking with it and my daily trips to the Gym & Spa so I feel much better each day and soon hope to have my girlish figure back! *Better late than never huh? LOL*

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  4. what an amazing idea with the books....i love the black painted background....i have an old book i collected from an op shop ages ago, simply because i loved the edges of the paper pages & the cover...i will definitely be giving this a try.....and your dinner party made me smile....stevie nicks is actually one of my all time faves - much to my hubbies horror, my little 4yr old has taken to her too & we sing along to her in my car!! - thanks for sharing your fun world!! xxx

  5. I want to dip stuff in chocolate!!! ANYTHING! even my dog!! (LOL!!!)

  6. Dearest Tina, first off, I just have to say ... I love you! You are such a sweet, beautiful, and talented soul who always weaves words of whimsy into her posts that make me smile!

    I am so happy to meet another soul who loves Yoga as much as I do! Yes, it does feel wonderful, doesn't it! Along with my daily Nordic walking the two regimens have kept me fit as well as mobile. I even find my mood more balanced! ;O It is so true that once you start creating a fit lifestyle you begin to eat healthier too. Don't get me wrong, I have a HUGE sweet-tooth. Once in a while it is heavenly to indulge in something sinful. My husband and I are vegetarians, not vegan, so we do eat eggs, cheese, yogurts, and such. I have a wheat intolerance so I am very limited to many foods. Creating meals can be a daunting task after a while. I so love wraps but cannot eat the "wrap" itself. And corn wraps just don't hold together. (sigh) Your tasty concoction made my taste buds water.

    Your creative ideas with the old books are most inspiring. I am a terrible painter so I vastly admire your ability to conjure such lovely works. They truly are little masterpieces.
    You have wonderful penmanship!

    When you have a moment, stop by, as I have just posted some lovely images captured from nature. And by the way ... go for the dipping of blue! :) It would fabulous!

  7. I feel a bit like I'm at your party. You see I have to confess I may have drunk a glas s or two of wine. I#m going to a 70s party soon too. hic

  8. What a great post! Your party looked like so much fun. What a delicious menu - and beautiful gypsy attire. :) Healthy food IS good food, isn't it? I love feta cheese, too - although I've never had Persian feta. I have a thing for tomatoes in any shape or form...they are just too yummy. Your art is so sweet - glad you have found time to create! Have a lovely rest of the weekend!

  9. Your party looks like so much fun! I just LOVE your altered book....I have a book that I bought just for that purpose but haven't been brave enough to start on have inspired me.

  10. I love your posts. Your party looks so fun. The wrap looks so good. I love all that fruit.

    Trying to become healthier, too.

    I love the book idea. I have some old books I've started on but lately just can't seem to find enough time for anything.

  11. Wow!!!!Awesome art and are so fab the fairy and the gorgeous flowers!! I have never tried black gesso..i think Id like it alot! always make me I would love to live in your neighbourhood! and yay..yes share your special universal feathers one day..I'd love to hear about it!
    Hugs and much love
    you are one amazing lady!
    How's pip these days!!?

  12. Hi Blog sister! Fun post! Love your book and your cooking!.... I can't seem to make much other than peanut butter and jelly. I would say that you are EXTREMELY creative with food!
    While you were having a 70's progressive party (sounds so fun!) I was working a wedding that had a great 70's and 80's band. I did the flowers for it and as it was in the barn I manage I was there through the whole thing too. I was hard not to get out on the floor and dance. They were great! So the coordinator and I stood over in the corner twitching to the beat, That was a time of some great music!
    Anyway, loved your post, always love hearing from you and your goings on half way around the world.
    Furry hugs,


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