29 June 2011

Word of the Week - Inconspicuous

Hi there fellow logophiles*.
Today's inspiration for our 'Word of the Week' comes from a fellow 'Gifter' Katrina Chambers.
Actually if I'm being totally correct it's her sister Amie who popped the word onto my radar.
This happened whilst enjoying the antics of these two live-wires on my most recent 'must see' TV show, 'The Block'.

{Amie & Katrina get their first glimpse inside the house that they will be renovating on 'The Block' - a picture really is worth a thousand words!}

The word is 'inconspicuous' .
It means: unobtrusive, hidden, unnoticeable, retiring, quiet, ordinary, 
plain, muted, camouflaged, insignificant, unassuming, unostentatious.

Now if you could get a more incongruous word for Amie to share with Katrina I don't really know what it would be because let's face it, Katrina really embodies the opposite of all that this word stands for.

{Host of the show Scott Cam, interrupting Katrina's 'not-so' inconspicuous singing session in the elimination series - She goes "awn & awn & awn!"}

The word popped out whilst the girls were scooting around in the car with Amie saying to Katrina
"Inconspicuous. It's a good word. You sound really smart when you use it." 
What better endorsement could we have for adding this to our vocab & zhushing up our everyday speech?!?

As far as using it in a real-life context, it's not hard to imagine that the transformations that the girls are going to make to the property they've chosen to renovate on 'The Block' will be anything but inconspicuous.
I'm sure that their style and flair will be most conspicuous indeed.

{The house that the girls will be transforming = eek!  All images from 'The Block' webpage}

If you haven't met Katrina yet you really are missing out and I'd hate for that to happen, so here are a few ways for you to connect with this dynamo:
* Katrina's Graphic Design Business - 'Media Mad' {She's the master craftswoman behind my blog design}
* Her self-titled blog space
* Meet Katrina & Amie on 'The Block' here

To read some more of the fun verbal interactions between the sisters, pop on over to A-M's place where she has gathered a list for us to delight in - thank you A-M.

Well the challenge is on.
You've learnt how Amie used inconspicuous.
You've met Katrina, the antithesis of this word.
How would you use it? What or who exemplifies it for you?
Myself? I've got some flu symptoms creeping in so am going to make myself inconspicuous for a day or two.

* Logophile - a lover of words

28 June 2011

Two For Tuesday - Kate Pugsley

Hello there!
'Two For Tuesday' is all about hair today....well perhaps bad hair would be a more apt description.
You know the scene, you're a month overdue for an appointment with your hairdresser and you've heard too many horror stories about home treatments gone wrong {and perhaps you're a little afraid of what your hairdresser will say when they find out you've had a go at your own colour treatment - for shame!} but when you look in the mirror you know you just have to do something, but what?

I believe today's artist Kate Pugsley may just have the answer for me.
Yes a chic paper bag which coordinates with any ensemble, allows complete anonymity when you're out and about and is good for the environment to boot.

So tell me, do you ever feel that it would be a simpler task to pop on the paper bag and get on with your day or is that just me?

For more of Kate's work pop on over to her Etsy store  and to play along with today's game, tell us in 20 words or less how these images make you feel or how they relate to your life at the moment.

Happy day!

26 June 2011

We Have Not One But Two Winners!

Two posts on a Sunday - it must be a special day indeed!
As promised, I have drawn the lucky recipients of my most recent giveaway tonight.
I've gone 'old school' to select the two Blogeristas as documented in the following photos.What did I do?

From my home to yours a little package will be wending its way soon. Click on the envelope symbol on the sidebar and let me know where you would like your package sent and I'll pop it in the post ASAP.

Something Unexpected & Lovely

Good morning & surprise!
You know that I don't usually share a gift with you on Sundays unless there is something VERY special.
That's just what has happened. I'm beyond thrilled to be Guest Posting at the inspirational and effervescent Naomi's 'Seven Cherubs' blog today.  Pop on over to read about one of my favourite things....

Here's to a wonderful day dear friend, I hope you are able to enjoy a moment of serendipity no matter what you're doing. Biggest of happy hugs,

24 June 2011

Gathering Gratefuls - Happy & Safe Holidays

To all the family and friends who are now on school holidays in my pocket of the world - I hope that you enjoy the next fortnight and make the most of every day.

I am so grateful that Captain V is about to embark on a most deserved break and we will be able to spend time together working on the house and enjoying a quieter pace of life.

If you look carefully you can see Captain V in this photo doing something that brings him great joy, surrounded by things that bring me great pleasure.

If you'd like to read more happy-making notes, pop on over to my friend Maxabella's & open a note or two.

Happy holidays!

23 June 2011

A Creative Mind - Unexpected & Lovely

If you've been following along for a while now you'll know the definition of serendipity.
For those of you who are new Gifters or have just happened onto this space let me enlighten you, serendipity is the process of making an unexpected discovery and it gives me pleasure to celebrate the lovely ones here.

You can imagine my delight then when I found the following video on the Quintessence blog.

What do you think? Are you as intrigued by the creativity involved in this as I am?
How would you feel seeing something like this traveling towards you down the beach? Does this appeal to your aesthetic? Does it make you want to take out a meccano set and play?
If you're as fascinated as I am and keen to see more of Theo's work pop on over to Quintessence.

Six Senses Tour - The Maldives

It's Thursday and a day early for our usual travelling treat but I couldn't wait!
Whether you're like me shivering in your boots & layers, or in a warmer clime dreaming of swimming in the sea, today's 'Six Senses' tour of the Maldives is bound to be a treat to savour.

Greetings and welcome to your 'Six Senses' tour! 
I'm Kamana from 'Journalling Through Photos' and I'm going to take you to the islands I call home - the Maldives.

For anyone of you thinking "Huh? Where?", the Maldives are an archipelago of about 1190 islands that lie across the equator in the Indian Ocean. It is the ulitimate sun, sand and sea destination and often described as paradise on earth.....I'm not going to argue with that. So let me take you on a little tour of my home now.

Our islands are very small.  I live on the capital island and one of the biggest, it is less than six square kilometers [3.72 Miles]. The islands are surrounded by beautifully clear water that laps onto white sandy beaches.

I love to be outside before sunrise listening to the beautiful sound of peaceful mornings.

Coconut palms grow everywhere and there is nothing more refreshing to quench your thirst on a hot day than with the sweet water of a coconut straight from the fruit.

The saltiness of the sea breeze.
The fragrance of tropical flowers.
The heady spices of the local cuisine.
The textures of the treasures that wash up onto the beaches.

Of the 1190 islands in the archipelago, only 200 are inhabited.
You need a local guide to take you to the remote islands where few have set foot.
Imagine playing Robinson Crusoe surrounded by the beauty of pristine beaches and the amazingly rich underwater world?
Wow Kamana, what a treat!  
Thank you for sharing your home with us, it is definitely on my long {and growing} list of 'Must Visit' destinations, perhaps for a honeymoon?!?

Dear Gifter if you haven't visited Kamana's blog yet you really must pop on over. Not only will you find more delightful images of her island home like the ones we've enjoyed today but Kamana shares everyday insights into her family life which are always a treat.
Be sure to leave a note and let her know that you're a fellow 'Gifter' who has enjoyed her tour today.

Myself? I'm inspired to head down to my own slice of sandy beach and look for some images to capture.

Happy day!

22 June 2011

Word of the Week - My Favourite 'F' Word

It's time for a new 'Word of the Week' and what a fabulous selection you gave me to choose from.
Do you recall last week that I asked for your nominations for your favourite 'F' words? Well here they are...

I applaud your creativity and thank you for more than a few giggles with some fun word play.
Can you see your contribution in today's graphic? I had fun playing with these 'fabulous' words.

If you remember, I said that I would choose a new word for us to play with from this list and it was really challenging decision to make as there were so many that resonated with me and truly grabbed my imagination.
In the end I've chosen finesse which was suggested by Cate who wrote:

I've always been partial to 'finish-line' because I like to come 'first'. 

Then there's 'fibro' thanks to Allison. 
'Filibuster' cracks me up because I like onomatopoeia. 

But I think my suggestion would have to be 'finesse' because I've always wanted some :-)

So here are all the usual details that go with our WOW, I like that it can be a noun or a verb...



noun, verb, -nessed, -ness·ing.

1. extreme delicacy or subtlety in action, performance, skill, discrimination, taste etc.
2. skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management
3. a trick or strategem
4. to use finesse or artifice
5. to avoid or circumvent

It's a terrific word, I enjoy saying it but also like what it means.  When trying to think of something or someone who embodied the different qualities that it represents in both the noun and the verb form I was a little stumped until.....

Do you agree? Perhaps you have your own item or person which exemplifies this word?
Maybe you're the 'master of finesse' in your own life.
For me, I think that this word could be used when describing my consultancy work.  I like to finesse my workshops and materials so that they are 'just right'.  Also, being an educator and facilitator you are continually finessing 'situations' as they arise - it's a bit like parenting really!

I'd love to see you playing with this word on your own blog because that is what WOW is all about - zhushing our vocabulary one word at a time.

PS: I've just learnt that Martha has a Beagle called Finesse - what a great name for a dog.

Happy day! Finesse away!

21 June 2011

Two For Tuesday - Kirra Jamison

Hi there and a happy Tuesday to you.
As you probably know, this is my favourite day of the week because we have the chance to play with art together and what glorious work it is today!

The pieces that I've chosen to feature today are by talented Australian artist Kirra Jamison.
I'm not going to say much about the work but would love for you to tell me how they make you feel, what you see in them, perhaps there is a parallel to your own life at the moment.  
The challenge is to tell us in 20 words or less what your impression of Kirra's work is.  

After you've played, please go for a visit to Kirra's online gallery - there is much that I'm sure will delight you.

On a personal note - thank you to everyone for stopping by. I've been away for the last four days helping my brother and his little family move into their glorious new home and in addition to being uber-busy I didn't have access to the net.  I'll be a busy bee catching up on all that you've been up to whilst I've been away.

16 June 2011

Letting My Bluebird Sing - Fun In the Winter Sun

It's a glorious winters day in my pocket of the world.
The sun in shining, the sky is blue and only the gentlest of breezes is rustling the treetops.

Visiting my parents property, I found a little bluebird friend hopping around the garden and whipped out the camera to capture these snaps of happiness to share with you....

....OK so her whistle might be a little tinny but she was fun to play with & she's inspired me to take out the paper and pastels and create something special that I hope will help to make someone else's bluebird of happiness sing bright and true. I suggest that the joy of whimsy is a gift that brightens the heart and can lighten even the greyest wintery day and wonder how long you've played in this way?

I'm cheekily including this in today's creative spaces feature where you'll find some other lovely birdy friends too. Skip on over and see if something captures your imagination to inspire some creative play today.

15 June 2011

Word of the Week - 'F' Words

It's Wednesday and time for us to play with words.
Not just any words, nosiree but words starting with 'F'. Yep 'F' words.

If you have a squiz at my sidebar you will notice that in our 'Word of the Week' directory, we've got words starting with the letters 'A' through to 'E' and so now we're up to finding the elusive 'F' word to feature next week.

'F' has been a bit of a favourite of mine being the initial of my christian name but I know that there are lots of other delightful words which it fronts.
So instead of me suggesting a word for us to play with I'd like you to grab a dictionary, thinking hat or scrabble letters and tell me which 'F' word I should feature.

The one that grabs my imagination most will be next week's 'Word of the Week'.

Happy day! xx F

14 June 2011

Two For Tuesday - Robert Ingpen & Tapestry

Happy Tuesday - my favourite day of the week because we have the chance to play with art together.
This week I thought we would depart from the regular format and in addition to comparing two works by the same artist, we will also focus on a different medium - tapestry.

The two pieces that I've chosen are not paintings but tapestries that have been woven from original art by the highly skilled artisans at the 'Australian Tapestry Workshop'.  You won't get the best impression from just looking at them on your screen but if you click on the first image you will be taken to the workshop and see the process unfold - it is truly magical.

Choosing two pieces to feature today was a challenge because there is a plethora of amazing art to behold in the gallery and I'd encourage you to investigate. My favourites include the luminous work by John Wolseley and the colours and movement in Puli Murpu's dot painting.

For our game today {where we compare the pieces below to each other or our lives & leave a comment of twenty or fewer words}, I have chosen the theme of play and can't wait to read your responses.

The original art is by one of my favourite artists Robert Ingpen and I hope you take the time to visit the ATW website and marvel at the transformation of a painting into tapestry.

Happy day dear friend, I hope that you make the time to play whether it be with words, wool or wittiness.

10 June 2011

It's Time For A 'Six Senses' Tour...

This time our host is the effervescent Jennie from 'Posie Patchwork' who will be sharing her special insights about our Nation's capital, Canberra.

Hop on board and enjoy the ride!

Six Senses Tour - Australia's Capital - Canberra

Hi there, well winter has well and truly taken a hold in my pocket of the world as I know it has for many of you living in Southern climes.  Whilst my friends residing above the equator are reaching for cool refreshments and taking a dip in the blue waters of your closest ocean - mmmm bliss!
That's what I love about blogging, our capacity to come together, no matter where we live and enjoy time spent sharing ideas and images.
That's exactly what the 'Six Senses' tours are all about and I hope that you're enjoying visiting different pocket of the world in addition to meeting other Gifters who follow this blog.  
Today you'll need to rug up no matter where you're from because we are about to embark on an adventure into a chilly zone hosted by one of my special Blogerista friends, I know you'll enjoy it....

Greetings all, my name is Jennie McClelland from the Posie Patchwork blog & welcome to the national capital of Australia . . . Canberra.  For players outside Australia, the national capital is not Sydney!!  
My husband & I were raised in Sydney, our four children were born in Darwin, but Canberra is where we will settle & call home.  We arrived here in 2008 & have since found a fantastic country area to build a homestead & start a farm (near Bungendore).  

I’m thrilled Felicity offered the job of hosting Canberra to me, as I still feel very much a visitor & get excited about our local offerings, not to mention . . . I still get lost spinning off our enormous roundabouts & dizzy in a city designed in circles.
As most capital cities do, we have a Parliament House, War Memorial, Galleries, Museums, Embassies & an abundance of “Places of Interest” that you must see.  
My starting point would be to drive down ANZAC Parade & pull up at Commonwealth Park.  
From here you have the War Memorial behind you & the beautiful Old Parliament House in front of the amazing new Parliament House, across Lake Burley Griffen. It gives you a great perspective of this serious, uniform & planned city, the CBD to your right, Royal Military College to the left, then all the galleries, museums & historic government department buildings like Treasury, framed by the bridges. 
Many people (who loathe politicians) describe Canberra as a “good way to ruin a sheep paddock” as it is prized farmland nestled within the Great Dividing Range & Brindabella Mountains.  

Canberra will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2013, we’re still a young city & have kept much grazing land in the surrounds with large green areas between the townships. These offer the most amazing sunsets into the distant hills.  With a population under 500 000 people it’s not polluted or overcrowded & you don’t have to go far to find a lovely camping spot.  So I would say, with our clear starry skies & regional sprawl, you don’t have to go far from the city to hear the silence of nature.
I don’t drink alcohol so I can’t rate the vineyards for you, however, there is one special restaurant which my husband & I love, Poacher’s Pantry.  
Over 20 years the Poachers’ family has built up a tree lined driveway leading you to a trout lake & farm where they smoke their meats to perfection & serve amazing meals at their rustic restaurant among the vineyards.  

They also have a pantry filled with local preserves, handmade chocolates & all their smoked goodness in the cool room.  You have to walk past the smoke house to the restaurant, it’s just a big tease of your tastebuds.
Canberra most definitely has all the seasons covered – smack in your face hot, dry Summer; crunchy ochre leaf filled streets of Autumn; wind chill factors, snowy, frosty Winters; & the most amazing array of flowers come Spring.  There are festivals to celebrate most of these seasons, most famously Floriade which is a month long celebration of flowers around October each year.  With bush fires sizzling the countryside in Summer & log fires roasting homes in Winter, it’s my favourite smell, smokey & organic. 
As a military family, I find the most emotional & thought provoking experience in Canberra is The War Memorial.  It touches the soul.  There are memorials, photos, displays & exhibitions, but most sacred of all is the Wall of Remembrance with rows & rows of the names of the fallen, some are our ancestors & friends.  

Our children place poppies at different places each time we visit, it is heart breaking & exhilarating at the same time – there are names of young boys who went overseas to fight for our freedom.  We are a rare country, we have never had an enemy step foot on our soil yet we go to so many other countries to serve Australia. 

I try to visit The War Memorial every few months, sometimes with my handsome soldier, or the children, but most often alone.  Many tour guides are returned service men & women – there are some particularly cheeky ones at the Vietnam exhibit, complete with helicopters.
Just past the Victoria Cross Hall of Fame there are some amazing air battle movies directed gratis by famous New Zealander, Peter Jackson - "Over The Front" & "The Great War In The Air".  

One exhibition which truly touched my heart was “Letters from War” which is particularly close to my heart as my husband has been deployed four times and we've conducted much of our fourteen year marriage via letters.
Many visitors comical notion of Australia is that we have kangaroos hopping down the main streets, koalas up our garden trees & crocodiles in our pools.  This is not far from the truth, really.  

After living in the Northern Territory for over 6 years, a week could not pass by without some bizarre crocodile-in-a-pool front page story; we have seen koalas up trees & witnessed kangaroos in the main streets of the Canberra CBD!!  We drive through farm land to get to school each day & see kangaroos at dawn & dusk, very nonchalantly chowing down on grass, watching us all zoom on by.  

There are many reserves to visit & you don’t have to go far to find the kangaroos in their natural habitat, makes for a very Australian bush walk indeed.  

That said, our National Zoo & Aquarium is fantastic – head over Commonwealth Bridge, around Parliament House, past The Lodge (Prime Minister’s residence), take the Governor General’s House exit & aim for Yarramundi!!
Thank you so much Jennie!
I've visited Canberra several times and must admit that the War Memorial has been a highlight, the next time will be all the more special having received insight from you about the personal element that it represents.  I will also be making my way to Poacher's Pantry and the National Zoo & Aquarium which I'm ashamed to say I didn't know existed. Expect a call though because the roundabouts in your pocket of the world are a nightmare and I'd prefer to have a local guiding me through than forever going round in circles!

Now dear Gifters you know what to do, be your fabulous selves and thank our wonderful guide for her tour and let Jennie know what you enjoyed most about this trip.
If you live within the Canberra vicinity, you're in luck because you can get to meet Jennie herself as she'll have a stall overflowing with amazing goodies at this Saturday's Handmade Market.  If you're a Canberran I'm sure you're probably one of the 12 000 people who have it marked with a gold star on their calendar - lucky you!  For the rest of us, we can have the pleasure of ordering directly from Jennie's online store or visiting her via her blog. Whatever you do, be sure to take the time to interact with this amazing lady she is a true gift indeed!

09 June 2011

Dear 16-year-old Me and All Of My Friends

A friend shared this with me yesterday and because I care about you, I had to share it today.
Captain V and I will be showing it to 'The Gifts' on the weekend with a big discussion.
If you want to read a little about our personal experience, click here.

I love the line "Your skin is like an elephant...it never forgets."
Please remember to take special care of your skin when you venture out into the sun, I'd like to
be sharing this journey with you for a long, long time.

08 June 2011

Word of the Week - Affable

Do you feel like your vocabulary could do with a little zhushing? Then this space is for you!
Each week I unearth a new word to play with.  If you would like to join in, you can 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 - it's all about sharing the fun after all.

pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial;warmly polite: 
eg: an affable and courteous 'blogger'.
showing warmth and friendliness; benign; pleasant: an affable smile.

This word describes many of you, which is one of the main reasons why I blog - you are so very affable.
Do you try to surround  yourself with affable people in your everyday and Blogging lives? Perhaps you prefer more edgy companions who keep you on your toes, makes you laugh and challenges others?
Maybe it's not that simple and you like to have a mix of friends who stretch or nurture, delight or amuse.

I'd love to hear your take on today's word and if someone comes to mind when you hear this word.
This is who I think of when I hear the word...
{Steve Carrel - one of the most affable people on the planet}
Let's make a BIG list today of the most affable people we know...