Thursday, May 31, 2012

The children of stare - Winter and Walter de la Mare

Tomorrow is the official start of Winter.
I've been reading a lot of poetry lately,
I thought to balance the light of the last poem, I'd add a touch of Winter to the mix.
And it also gives me the opportunity to post some photos of an old graveyard I explored recently.
I'll post more on the history of that later.
In the mean time, please enjoy........


The Children Of Stare

Winter is fallen early
On the house of Stare;
Birds in reverberating flocks
Haunt its ancestral box;
Bright are the plenteous berries
In clusters in the air.

Still is the fountain’s music,
The dark pool icy still,
Whereupon a small and sanguine sun
Floats in a mirror on,
Into a West of crimson,
From a South of daffodil.

’Tis strange to see young children
In such a wintry house;
Like rabbits’ on the frozen snow
Their tell-tale footprints go;
Their laughter rings like timbrels
’Neath evening ominous:

Their small and heightened faces
Like wine-red winter buds;
Their frolic bodies gentle as
Flakes in the air that pass,
Frail as the twirling petal
From the briar of the woods.

Above them silence lours,
Still as an arctic sea;
Light fails; night falls; the wintry moon
Glitters; the crocus soon
Will open grey and distracted
On earth’s austerity:

Thick mystery, wild peril,
Law like an iron rod:—
Yet sport they on in Spring’s attire,
Each with his tiny fire
Blown to a core of ardour
By the awful breath of God.

Walter de la Mare

Ok, it's gloomy ;) but I really wanted to post these photos.
Promise my next post will be brighter. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light,
heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure.
The heaven's river has drowned its banks
and the flood of joy is abroad.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two things I can't do without + new specs (and good news)

Two little things in my handbag (well - one in my bag, one on my vanity) that are staples for me.
I'm a mouth breather - habit I developed over a lifetime of allergies - and my lips get very dry.  I'm not a huge researcher (reading the magazine ads are about it), but after hearing about Paw Paw ointment I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Result - love it.  Feels nicer than Vaseline, is easy to find, and is cheap.  I found mine in Price Line, but have also seen them in Coles.  It also comes in a tub and is great as a hand cream too.

I don't much like eating paw paw, but have no problems smearing it over my face :)

The other little savior in my cupboard is Vitamin E Oil.  I read about it online and thought it sounded just the ticket for acne scars.  I also found this at Price Line.  I put it on at night after a shower because it's quite sticky and makes my face shiny, but actually helps fade the scars.  I've also started using it under my eyes before bed, and on those horrid little brown spots that are starting to appear on my face and hands.

A little tricky squeezing it out of the bottle though.  Don't try with slippery hands.

Hooray for my new specs!  Now I can see the computer properly and won't come home from work with headaches!  Multi-focals though.  Taking some getting used to.

Best news of all - hubby coming home from hospital tomorrow!
Enjoy the rest of the week everyone :)

edit: please ignore the scratch on the armoire top.  Really must fix that.........

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

birthdays and soapsuds

It was my birthday.  The sun came back.  I did laundry.

 I decided my windows really needed cleaning.

But that's for another day.
Instead, I went out to lunch with a friend.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grey day

The clouds came over, the sun disappeared, and Winter settled her wings.  The day reflected my mood.

Our garden chair looked lonely.  No-one has sat on her in days.

I dressed to match the day.  The overgrown puppy seemed to feel it too.

I sought solace and colour in my shoes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flowers and sunsets

On Tuesday I had a lovely few hours of coffee, laughing, window shopping and Paris with my beautiful neighbour.  We try to get together at least every couple of weeks for girly fun, but life keep throwing us both curve balls lately, so this outing was a long time coming.

 Coming home, I picked some pretty flowers from our garden to brighten up the house.
It made a perfect ending to a perfect afternoon.
And finally, because I have a thing for sunsets lately

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Loafin about

At the beginning of this month I decided that I would would not buy any new clothing for the rest of the year.  By 'new' I mean high street.  Apart from smalls, stockings etc I'll only buy thrifted, vintage, or retro clothes and shoes.

There are a number of reasons for doing this.
1.  Medical bills (and the desperate need for a holiday) have put a huge dent in my clothes budget.
2.  My daughter is making me more and more environmentally conscious - and this is a form of recycling - or so I keep telling myself.
3.  Pre loved clothes are just that.  Pre loved.  Each item comes with a story, a history.  And I'm a lover of history.
4.  I have a couple of friends doing this and it's fun to challenge myself.

I'm exceptionally lucky in the fact that I'm surrounded by thrift shops, vintage shops and markets.  The fact that I live in a very stylish side of town makes me even more blessed.  Great gear for very little = happy shopper.

However, bouncing through the net, I occasionally (almost) slip up and buy something like this

Image from Jessica Buurman

I've been after a pair of normal casual loafers for my lazy days since seeing this photo of Nine de la Fressange

Image from La Petite Fleur de Londres

However the red, metallic, high heeled loafers are just too inviting.  Well, I'll just have to keep a lookout at the thrift stores.

Are you a heels or flats girl?
High street or thrifter?

It's fun to swap stories.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flicking and daydreaming.

Beautiful warm Autumn weather.  The forecast says it won't last.  So I took advantage of some Autumn sunshine, a coffee and a Aflresco Emporium catalogue I've been wanting to look through.

I love lanterns and candles.  Speaks to me of cosiness which is perfect for the coming winter.  I would love to decorate my deck with these.

With this setting on the table.  Ready for friends to pop around for coffee, wine or something to eat.

A page of red caught my eye.

I love bird cages.  Would I put candles in these, or just sit or hang them as they are?

"Island Life", said the title.  I'm not so much of an island girl, but did I tell you I love lanterns?

Another love is every day items from the past.  I like to show my daughter what people used before Microsoft Word.  Where would I put it?  I'm not sure.  Would I use it?  Probably not - I remember keys getting jammed and there are some things about the 21st century I can't do without.

I love lemons.  A happy colour, great for cooking, and I have jugs of iced lemon water on the table in summer.  A versatile little citrus.

And finally

Simply because I liked the effect of the shadow through the lattice on our deck.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weekend washing blues

About a month ago I purchased a beautiful and delicate Edwardian Camisole top from Vintage Clothing.  The owner of this fabulous site, Linda, could not be more friendly and helpful.  I recommend her to all you lovers of vintage attire.  The below photos aren't mine - my phone camera just didn't do them justice.  The photos are from Linda's site, Vintage Clothing (just follow the above link to see more beautiful vintage clothes and accessories)
But back to my top.
I have a few dresses dating from 1960's and some 80's does 40's and 50's frocks.  I love each and every one of them and treat them with the love of a mother.  However, this was my first 'truly vintage' purchase.  It's a little too big for me but that's what I wanted.  Such delicate material that fits snuggly equals tears shed over ripped top.  Hand made and embroidered with shell buttons and a couple of metal clips.  This was a garment that didn't so much as demand respect, rather you wanted to treat it with the utmost gentleness.  I could not wait for my beauty to get here.  The poor postie was nearly  mugged when he arrived!

This was something to wear carefully.  I finally wore it over a grey wool top with jeans and boots (hair flying free) when I met my hubby at the hospital for a pre radiation iodine therapy consult.  I wanted to feel strong and resilient like the women of the early 20th century (you had to have chutzpa to be serene and dignified whilst wearing one of those torturous corsets).  I held my frightened hubby's hand and then took him out to lunch, and tried to talk of more pleasant things.
The top held up beautifully.  Careful inspection upon returning home showed no sign of stress on the garment.  I was so happy.
Because I was nervous (read - sweaty) and was also wearing perfume, I was worried the combination would stain my lovely.
I'm very good at hand washing old clothes and so grated some sunlight soap into a tub of luke warm water and ever so gently washed my top, as well a silk nighty.   Then dried them flat.
Upon inspection when my top was nearly dry I was horrified to spy this.

Goodness knows how I did it!  I even took my rings off before washing.  I was utterly utterly devastated, started crying and apologised over and over to this poor delicate thing.  My darling hubby (who's being treated for cancer for pete sake, jeeze girl get some perspective) starting consoling me, saying he understood why I was so gutted.  Love that man.
I was so sad to think that this garment had been worn by women for approx 100 years, only to come to me and be torn at the first wash.  I imagined the woman who had made it standing there saying "how could you"!  I was, and still am, heart broken.

Now I'm on a mission to fix my boo boo.  I'm ok with a needle and thread - can mend daughter's wardrobe malfunctions in a flash - but this is different.  I'm terrified to taking a needle to so delicate a  material.  It definitely needs patching, but by someone with experience with vintage garments.  Also there is the dilemma of what to patch it with.  There's no spare cotton lawn with which to patch.  Do I try to source authentic material or use a 21st century version?  Or lace?  I'm way too embarrassed to contact the lovely lady I purchased it from  for advice.  Especially after she said she was glad it was going to a good home.
Until I can find the material to fix it with, as well as someone experienced enough to fix it, it remains wrapped in tissue in my armoire.
It deserves better.

Top photos from Vintage Clothing.  Tried to take photos when camisole first arrived but my phone camera didn't do it justice.  Must get proper camera.
Photo of washing mishap by me.