31 January 2011

My Oh My - Lustrous Pearls Of Strength And Beauty

So here we are at the end of January already and what a month it has been!
In addition to the usual busyness of starting a New Year, many amongst us have had our mettle tested in one way or another.  Destructive weather, serious illness, the loss of homes and livelihoods, deaths of loved ones, the list is not a happy one.

What has endlessly inspired me during these dark days, has been the irrepressible nature of those who have been beset by these challenges and those who have reached out to make a real difference to those in need.

For those presented with troubles, I have witnessed with admiration as these women moved forward with strength, honesty and grace.  
Like the most beautiful pearls which form when a grain of sand enters the oyster shell irritating its owner, these women are taking their unanticipated dilemmas and coating them day by day with thoughtfulness, patience, healing tears and resilience.

They are women we admire, they are women we care about.
They inspire us, they help us reflect on our own lives and give thanks for what we have.

I would love it if you could spend a moment today to join with me in honouring these wonderful women by creating a strand of Lustrous Pearls together.   

The way that I see it working is that you can either:
1. Write your own post about someone who has inspired you this month and add it to the Link or/ 
2. Simply write their name and add their blog URL 
3. Please don't feel limited to adding just one 'pearl' - let's create a lovely long strand together!
3. Once you have added your own pearl, be sure to visit some of the sites listed and leave your own note of encouragement or thanks
4. If you would like to share this idea with your own readers I've created a button in the sidebar which has a link back to this post and our strand of lustrous pearls.

I know that the community of bloggers who read this are a thoughtful and sensitive group and hope that those of you who are added to the strand know it is your inspirational fortitude rather than your challenges that are being held up to the light.  
Some of you will protest that what you are dealing with isn't as significant as someone's elses worries. The point is that the way in which you have dealt with your issue has been an inspiration and THAT, not the size of your problem is what makes you lustrous.

I sincerely hope that this is a positive way to end our first month of 2011 together.  

29 January 2011

Gathering Gratefuls- The Learning Team

School's Back!
There was an early morning wake up call in our house on Monday as the Smallest Gift scooted around on the timber floorboards outside our bedroom door.
It was the first day of school in this new year and he had been dressed and ready since 5:30 am. Not only had he made his own breakfast but woken his older sisters by 6:00, made his bed and practised basketball.

It is wonderful to see children so excited to return to school after the long summer break.
I'm pleased to say that he returned home that afternoon with a smile as big as the one he had left with and shared lots of information about what he'd been up to.  Apparently his class is studying 'invention' this term so it will be a terrific learning adventure for all of us.

On Tuesday the Middle Gift started high school.
She looked very grown up in her long skirt and tailored top and we were very proud as she bounced out of the car to start this next phase of her learning adventure.
She too had a terrific start to her secondary schooling and we have heard all sorts of wonderful snippets of information about lockers, teachers, new friends, the amazing cafe etc.

The Biggest Gift is in Year Nine this year and didn't have to return until Thursday.  So once we had dropped the others off on Tuesday, we got into a baking frenzy and made some more of Margy B's bikkies, this time with white chocolate and nuts.
We packaged them up in all their sugary, buttery goodness to take to the girls' school to give to the staff for their first day back afternoon tea.  This was our 'thank you' for all that they do to make the kids' schooling such a fantastic experience.  The bikkies looked and tasted pretty delicious [if I may say so myself] and I had to share a photo with you.

As an educator myself I know the time and effort that is expended by all members of the school staff to get a new year rolling along.
From the very busy lady and her well-trained team in the uniform shop, the office team answering a myriad of enquiries from parents and staff, the tuckshop convenor dreaming up new recipes and ordering the food to supply them, to the groundsmen and cleaners mowing lawns, cleaning and repairing all facets of the grounds in readiness for the students' arrival.

Then of course there is the administrative and teaching staff.
Of course many of you know teachers in your personal lives and are aware that the myth about working from 9:00 - 3:00 and enjoying twelve weeks holiday per year is just that, a myth.

Teaching is truly a vocation and requires a lot of extra time and energy beyond the contact time with students. There is a strong focus on professional development across all school sectors which means that staff return to their schools at least a week before the students to participate in a range of courses, prepare their curriculums and organise their learning spaces.
I spoke to one member of the finance team at the girls' school yesterday and he actually had less than a week of holidays across the summer.

So this week I am truly grateful for the Gifts returning to school happy and confident and for the many people who have worked hard to make this possible.

I wonder what you are grateful for this week?
Have your children returned to school with enthusiasm and do you have the same appreciation for the schools which they attend?

To read more posts with a grateful edge, pop on over to Maxabella's place.  She has a bright, vibrant space and is always keen to welcoming people who want to share a positive note.

Enjoy your weekend, I hope that it's filled to the brim with all that you enjoy,

25 January 2011

Word of the Week - Mellifluous

Do you feel like your vocabulary could do with a little zhushing?  Then this is the space for you!
Each week I will unearth a new word to play with.  If you would like to join in, write a post incorporating this week's word, then come back and leave a comment with your link so what we can all read your work.
To make it easy for us to find your WW entry, incorporate the button into your post.

Enjoy using your zhushed vocabulary!

[adj.]  flowing, like honey.
Sweet or smooth, generally used to describe a person's voice, tone or writing style.

From the latin mellifluus ["flowing like honey"], from mel [honey] + fluo [flow].

Today's word is one of my favourite, not only for the musicality as I say it out loud, but also because I love what it describes.  The artwork I've chosen to illustrate this word is by Gina Marie Dunn and is titled 'Your Voice was Smooth; Like Water Running Over Rocks' which evokes dulcet and mellifluous tones in my mind.

Cpt. V has a very mellifluous voice and has often been told that he would be a terrific media presenter.
Do you have a mellifluous voice that you like to listen to? A singer perhaps, or a politician, poet or actor? Maybe you have your own mellifluous voice and will be using it to sing our National Anthem as we celebrate Australia Day.
I look forward to reading your responses and would love it if you wrote this weeks' word on your own blog to share with your readers....spread the word!

Two For Tuesday - Featuring Janet Hill

Tuesdays are my favourite day of the week, I'm not sure why but I've always liked them best.
To celebrate Tuesdays, I like to share with you the gift of art and to play a game.  For want of something better I've titled this activity 'Two For Tuesday'.  For those of you who are new 'Gifters' or who've just popped in for a look, this is what we do.

I present you with two pieces of art, and in thirty words or less you share a thought about how they either relate to each other or to your life at the moment.

Today's pieces are from the studio of talented artist Janet Hill
I'm sure that you will want to explore more of her work and I'd encourage you to do so as it was a challenge for me to select just two pieces to feature today.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the lovely Janet's work.
I'm sure that if you visit her studio, you will find much to delight you and I'd love to hear about which pieces captured your fancy.

Until tomorrow enjoy uncovering your own gifts of serendipity,

24 January 2011

My Oh My - Swimming Through A Sea Of Aquamarine

Mondays can be a bit of struggle for some of us, and so to help brighten the start to your week I've chosen some little jewels which I hope bring a sparkle to your eye.

Aquamarines and I have a long history.
They are my birthstone, but before I knew this salient fact I was already besotted.

You see my gorgeous Paternal Grandmother, or Grandy as she was lovingly known, had the most glorious aquamarine and diamond engagement ring. It caught my eye from a very early age and I'll admit that I held a silent hope that one day I might be the owner of this special jewel.

Knowing my love for the sparkly blue stone, my parents presented me with a handcrafted gold and aquamarine ring on my eighteenth birthday. This jewel was greatly treasured and I still have the band but the stone itself met with a sad demise. Floating away with the dishwashing suds one night, it was never to be retrieved despite a great scramble under the sink and through the pipes!

Now dear friend, I'm going to let you in on a secret....I've been married before.
I was a veritable child bride marrying at the tender age of twenty-two. Although I wish the story could have ended happily, after six years we agreed to say our goodbyes.

Of course you know why this little snippet of my past life is included here, the engagement ring was, you guessed it, an oval aquamarine surrounded by sixteen diamonds. Very Princess Diana - but we're talking about the early 90's so I'm sure you'll understand.
My memory has erased the name of the jeweller who designed the ring to my specifications but they did a wonderful job and I was thrilled with the result.
Again the sad reality is that the ring has disappeared.  I had it until quite recently and then after moving house, it quite literally couldn't be found.  I'm very careful with my jewels and it is a great mystery which I would love to have resolved.

And what, you may ask, was the fate of my Grandy's ring.
Well my lovely cousin Tiffany, who is the daughter of my Grandmother's only daughter, inherited it after Grandy went to play amongst the angels.  She has a beautiful daughter of her own and so the ring will be treasured and hopefully passed along family lines for many years to come.

Knowing my previous history with these jewels I'm thinking that it might be a good thing that Tiffany was its recipient although it doesn't stop me from dreaming that one day a lovely blue stone will one day grace one of my fingers again.

So, do you have a favourite stone?  Is it your birthstone?
Perhaps there's a piece of heirloom jewellery that has influenced your own dreams and choices, I'd love to hear your story.  If you'd like to find out more about the rings featured in today's post, just click on the image and you will be taken directly to the jeweller.

Here's to a wonderful start to a fresh new week with many opportunities to appreciate some gifts of serendipity,

22 January 2011

Gathering Gratefuls

A Gift of Blossoms
Last week I had popped over to Allison's place, where she was hosting her regular Weekend Rewind.
My eye kept sliding over to some gorgeous pink blooms in the sidebar and after spending some time with Allison I found that the lure of the pink petals proved too much and I went off to explore.
This is the thing that I love about blogging, you find yourself wandering down all sorts of interesting paths and every now and then are rewarded with the most delightful gifts of serendipity.

The pink blossoms belong to Victoria and she has created a lovely space called Hibiscus Bloem.
I spent a long time discovering all sorts of interesting things and would encourage you to visit, if you haven't already.  Victoria is a talented photographer and has a great eye when it comes to seeing beauty in the 'everyday' - this photo is one of her favourites taken in 2010, I'm sure you can see why.

You may have noticed that these blooms are now displayed in my sidebar just above my list of favourite places to visit.  Thank you Victoria for this sweet gift which I will enjoy daily and which will no doubt catch the eye of many visitors to my space too. x

A Recipe Shared
Maxabella recently wrote about our blogging world being a little like a village and others of you have talked about how blogging is like having great neighbours with whom you chat over the fence. I couldn't agree more and one of the things that I enjoy is swapping quick and easy meals to create for our families.

This week on the advice of A Farmer's Wife I made her very easy and scrumptiously delish 'Very Easy and Unauthentic Thaiesque Chicken'.  To say that it was a hit is to understate it and the best part was that everything was either in the fridge, freezer, pantry or garden.
If you're looking for a perfect weekend dish, this is it! It's simple and delish [great to wash down with a chilled glass of something-something] but take a tip from the newly initiated, 2 birdseye chillis can really whack a whollop, half may have been enough!

Technology - The Enabler
Without a doubt I am a child of the technological age and not having access to my laptop or internet connection is akin to losing an elemental part of myself [I know sad...but true].
Mock or scorn me if you will but this week I have finally been able to enable our wireless modem and my world is definitely a happier place.
Choices for when and where I read, research and write have been expanded infinitesimally and I'm such a happy camper.

Margy B's Easy Peasy Totally Yummy Biscuits
My mother [Margy B] is a baker - I am not.
But in times of desperation [three children cooped up inside due to incessant wet weather] we do things that we would never usually dream of.  So it was, that on Thursday the Gifts and I had a mammoth baking session - using the following recipe which I have been enjoying since I was a little bean.

We created over a hundred mini biscuits and had the best fun doing so.
In fact, the first thing the Gifts did after greeting Cpt. V upon his return from work, was to make him sample the buttery sweet goodness of these yummies, such was their enthusiasm.

The eldest Gift was so proud of her work that she whipped out her camera and took some select photos of the mounds of bikkies ala Donna Hay and I think even she would have been pleased with.
The best thing - the recipe is so simple that the two eldest Gifts will be able to bake them independently and as they freeze really well - we should never be short of lunchbox treats [or so the theory goes!].


Margy B's Easy Peasy Totally Yummy Biscuits

4 oz butter
1 egg
1 cup Self Raising Flour
1 cup Plain Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

~  Cream butter and sugar
~  Mix in the egg
~  Add vanilla
~  Sift and add both flours
~  Roll into 4 - 6 balls
~  Roll out each ball between Gladwrap until the thickness that you desire
~  Cut into shapes and add toppings [we had jam drops, sprinkles, chocolate buttons, cut up jube lollies -  
     you could also add sultanas, chopped nuts, mini M&Ms - pretty much whatever you like!]
~  Bake on Baking Paper in a moderate oven for approximately 10 minutes [depends on your oven]
~  Allow to cool then enjoy!
~  These store well in an airtight container for about a week [if they last that long] and can be frozen by 
    laying between sheets of Baking Paper in an airtight container.


You, Yes You!
To receive a note, be it in this space or sent via email is such a joy.
This week I have been blessed with a bounteous amount and I thank you sincerely for your thoughtful and insightful gifts.
Thank you also to all of you who follow along and receive the 'gifts' that I wrap up for you each week.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to pop on over to Maxabella's to join in with other lovely Blogeristas celebrating all that they are grateful for,

20 January 2011

The Art Of Living

Each Thursday I share a little something from my world. This week there is a small gift attached if you would like it.

For many years I have had a lovely set of inspiration cards beside my bed.
Each morning I shuffle them and a new message for reflection would be presented to me accompanied by a piece of delightful artwork. The cards are based on the writing of Don Miguel Ruiz author of 'The Four Agreements'. Recently I purchased the book to gain a deeper understanding into his ideas.

The four agreements that he writes of, really resonate with me as a simple 'guide' to my thoughts and actions in everyday life.  To help me to keep them uppermost in my mind, I have created the following  cards which are currently displayed on the inspiration board which sits on my desk.

If you are interested in printing them off and using them yourself, I am very happy for you to do so.
If you reblog them it would be nice to think that you would link back to this post.

For those of you who are interested, here is a simple elaboration of each agreement directly from the book:

Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity.
Say only what you mean.
Avoid using the words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
Use the power of your words in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you.
What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.
With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment.
Your best will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.
Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

So how do I relate the agreements to my life?

Be Impeccable With Your Word - I think that I'm pretty good at this one but am still harnessing the strength to tell people what I really think and feel when I'm not sure of the outcome.

Don't Take Anything Personally - as a super-sensitive person, I've found this the hardest to learn and live.  I really admire those people who seem to have been born covered with a thick coating of Teflon.
This is definitely one of my life challenges!

Don't Make Assumptions - has been simplified by me into 'Never Assume'. 
This has been a very useful little mantra over recent years.  Interestingly, when I've ignored it there have been negative consequences.

Always Do Your Best - this is a tricky one for a self-acknowledged perfectionist as I tend to overdo things. I guess the challenge is to be happy with 'my best' and not go beyond that!

I wonder, do any of these ring true for you?

19 January 2011

Word of the Week

Do you feel like your vocabulary could do with a little zhushing?  Then this is the space for you!
Each week I will unearth a new word to play with.  If you would like to join in, write a post incorporating this weeks' word, then come back and leave a comment with your post link so that we can all read your work.
To make it easy for us to find your  entry, please incorporate the WW button into your post.

Enjoy using your zhushed vocabulary!


[adj.] lithesome or lithe, especially of body; supple; flexible.
Agile, nimble or active.

As many of us focus our attention upon improving our physical fitness at the start of this new year, I wonder how lissom we will be?

18 January 2011

Two For Tuesday

A quick game for you to play today.

I have chosen two pieces of art by the talented artist, Ralph Heimans.
I'm sure that you recognise the two famous Australians, but just in case you're not sure - the first is new mum, HRH Princess Mary of Denmark, the second is the inimitable Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of media magnate Rupert.

What I would like you to do, is tell me in 30 words or less how these images relate to each other.

I look forward to reading your insights,

17 January 2011

My Oh My!

Mondays are my day for sharing the beautiful gifts discovered across the web.

Feathers are one of my favourite gifts of serendipity and I have a lovely glass 'nest' on my desk filled with some of these treasures collected on my daily walks*.

Today I have sourced the most gorgeous feathers I could find with the intention of lightening your day amidst the gloom. If any 'tickle your fancy' click on the image to find out more details.

A gentle reminder to have a look at all of the lovely items that are being donated for The Flood Appeals Auctions.  You can keep a track of the items being donated and the auction date by clicking on the pink umbrella in my sidebar.  If you haven't already I would encourage to pop it into your own sidebar to raise awareness amongst your own followers.

To everyone who commented on my 'Hope' post, I thank you sincerely.  
To all of the lovely Gifters [there are 216 of you now!] who follow this blog, thank you for your support and sweetest of notes & emails - treasures each and every one.

*I look forward to sharing some photos of my work space soon and you will see my special affinity for feathers for yourself.

14 January 2011

Gathering Gratefuls - Hope Floats

Today's post is challenging to write as I'm conflicted between feeling ever so grateful for my own blessings but aware of the magnitude of devastation that is being experienced by so very many at this time.

If you are an Australian you are aware of all that is transpiring with the floods in my State of Queensland.
If you live anywhere else in the world, I'm sure that you've either read about them on blogs or seen footage in the media.
Water is such a vital part of our everyday lives but in recent times it has rained in such abundant amounts that the land has lost its capacity to contain it. What was a rare commodity just twelve months ago across much of Queensland is now flowing in such great volumes that it is has become a force to be feared.

In times such as these you very quickly realise what is most precious and important, and my grateful list for this week focuses upon the blessing that is the safety of my family and friends.
Even as I write this I feel selfish and guilty as there are many families dealing with the grief of losing their homes, livelihood, pets but most tragically family members and in the most horrific cases their entire town.
The only consolation I have is that Australian's are renowned for possessing a truly resilient spirit and already there have been examples of everyday valour filtering through the media.

And so, to my list.  I am so very grateful for....

1.  My parents who are high and dry & safe in Gympie.
They live in a wonderful neighbourhood of people who banded together to evacuate one of their own when the waters started to encroach on her home.  I'm so relieved that although my parents street was cut off and they were isolated for several days, their home hasn't been directly effected.  I'm proud of Dad for having the foresight to purchase a generator which has meant that they have had power to their home when others around them lost theirs for over 48 hours.

2. My brother and his small family who are safe in Brisbane.
My SIL works in Brisbane's CBD and was told to leave work early on Monday, she had a very nerve-wracking trip to pick up my niece from daycare but they are both safe and well.
My brother works in Central Queensland and was not only able to fly to Brisbane on Wednesday but safely drive to his home to be with his partner and my 3yo niece - a great relief!
Although their car was washed away in the floods, their home is safe and they are together.

3.  Cpt. V's family who all reside in Brisbane are safe and well.

4.  My friend Melissa, who with her husand has four young children under 10 - two with disabilities - has had her home flooded.  She is optimistic though saying that it was only waist height and didn't reach the first story floor boards.  Blessings Mel!

5. Cpt. V, the Gifts and I - that we are safe.
Although our property is VERY wet [a swift flowing stream has developed through the front of our yard] our home is OK and we have been able to continue on with our everyday lives.
Cpt. V has dug and dug and dug trenches around the exterior border of our land to successfully divert the water away from our house.  Our tennis court and pool are both a mess, and all of the efforts we have made in preparation to sell our home have been lost.
Without a doubt we know that these are very small sacrifices compared to what many others are experiencing.

6.  That we have such a wonderful resource in the Australian Defence Forces.  These brave men and women have been doing so much to assist with this tragedy and it is reassuring to know that they are there. Thank you to their families who lose them regularly so that we may live in a safe and free country.

7.  For Blogeristas who demonstrated over and over again how powerfully positive our community is.
A special mention to Naomi who gave such practical advice before the real destruction set in and Toni Coward for providing us with a way to help.  I know that there are many, many more but these are the two who helped me the most this week.

8.  For the enabling tool that is the internet and social networking.
Throughout this week it has been a godsend to be able to know what is going on without the necessary filter of the media which would have previously been my only source of news.
Thank you to all those who shared images and wrote about what was happening in your corner of the world even as the water was swallowing your neighbourhoods.

9.  For sunshine.

10. For hope.

There will be many lists of gratitude gathering over at the lovely Maxabella's, so please pop on over for a read and then add in your own so that we might be bouyed up by the positive in these challenging times.

Oh and apologies if you opened some posts of mine in a Reader and then wondered where they went to on my blog. I removed them in light of what's happening at the moment - but rest assured our first 'Word of the Week' for 2011 will be up and running next Wednesday - come rain, hail or [hopefully] shine!

Biggest of hugs to you on this day - and if you're looking for another great read or three you will find them at Allison's Weekend Rewind.

11 January 2011

Something Fun To Do Together..

Are you looking for something fun to do to kick start 2011?
Are you creative person who loves to share?
Would you like to receive something handmade from me?

Read on...

Yesterday, I was very excited to read a post by LJ of 'With My Own Two Hands' fame who introduced me to the concept of 'Pay It Forward Handmade', this is what she wrote:

"I promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must repost this message, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your 5 giftees sometime in 2011. Ready, set, GO!

I am playing along after seeing this wonderful idea over at Home Revolutions. I mean, who doesn't love getting something in the mail!!! Cannot promise amazing things - but I can promise made with love. "

I couldn't believe that I was amongst the first five to comment and in line with the rules I'm reposting LJs message.  For more information click on the 'Home Revolutions link in LJs post above.

Once you've done this, get cracking and write your own post offering to send out something made by you to your first 5 commenters who repost.

Then scoot back here and comment, including the link to your blog showing that you've reposted my message AND your email address so that I can contact you directly.

The first five to do this [you must include a link to your post] will be the lucky recipients of something delightful that will be lovingly made with my own two hands.

Ooh, this is fun!
Who will I be creating a real life gift of serendipity for?
I hope that it's you.

Queensland Flood Relief Appeal Auctions.

For those of you who are seeking some way to support those who have been so tragically effected by the floods in our corner of the world, read the following link.

make it perfect: .Queensland Flood Relief Appeal Auctions.

Toni Coward of 'Make It Perfect' has asked for bloggers who would like to support the appeal to contact her, twitter, facebook or blog about it - basically get it out there.

I've placed the interactive button on my sidebar if you would like to have a quick link to Toni's site for the latest updates after you've visited here.


Seven Cherubs: Evacuation Kit and 72 Hour Kit

Thank you to Naomi for the following timely and very wise post.

Seven Cherubs: Evacuation Kit and 72 Hour Kit

For those of us living in South-East Queensland I hope that you are managing to stay dry and all that you hold dear is safe.

09 January 2011

Tabula Rasa

I love this concept. The term in Latin equates to the English 'Blank Slate' which in times past would have meant writing on a slate sheet with chalk.
Tabula comes from the Roman tabula or wax tablet which was used for notes and then 'blanked' by heating the wax and then smoothing it to give a Tabula Rasa.

During the first week of this year I have been filling many empty pages with thoughts, dreams  and desires which I hope will be given life in the coming days, my mind has been very busy indeed.

There is something sweetly synchronous about filling a wax slate with the the ideas from a busily buzzing mind. 

I can't wait to share some of my plans with you in the coming days, until then you might enjoy looking at  more images like this beautiful photo by the talented Charmaine of Fairchild Street fame.

If you are visiting from Allison's weekend rewind, welcome.  I hope you can see the connection with this week's theme?!?

08 January 2011

Imagination Takes Flight With Help

A heartfelt Thank You to the truly lovely and talented Katrina Chambers for helping me redesign this space.

She has enabled my ideas to take flight with patience, good humour and encouragement and I highly recommend her to you if you are considering a little zhush of your space this year.

Katrina is holding a fabulous Giveaway at the moment in which you can win some terrific prizes, be sure to visit her blog and tell her that I sent you!

06 January 2011

Banding Together

One of our own special Blogeristas Lori has asked for our prayers as her husband lies in intensive care.
Please visit her here and leave a message of support.

04 January 2011

Happiest of New Years

Happy New Year to you dear friend.
A quick note to say that I'm having a little rest and will return to regular posting within the next fortnight.

Until then, I look forward to visiting you and finding out how your year has begun.

PS: Aren't these pictures divine?  These and many others can be found at Tastes of Orangey's Etsy store.