30 April 2012

Post Of The Month Club & A Silver Montage

Happy day, it's time for the "Post Of The Month" Club and our chance to see what everyone has nominated as their favourite post for April.

But before you scoot off and link in your favourite post, I have to thank all of you who've added the most amazing entries into my "Giveaway" - you've truly impressed me with each and every one. 
If you haven't got your name in the hat yet, there's still time so be sure to take a peek before you leave.

In other news, for those who've been regular readers this year, you may know I've been having all sorts of bother with my laptop USB ports. It seems it doesn't want to recognise any additional devices, which means that uploading photos has been a 'no go' scenario = very frustrating!
I've resorted to using Captain V's laptop and emailing all the photos to myself so that I can scrape my way into entering Emily's "Collecting Colours" silver gallery this month. Here are the results...
If you'd like to participate, it's lots of fun. Each month Emily has nominated a colour to use as the focus for a montage of items collected from our everyday lives.

Silver was an easy one for me as it's a common accent colour in my home and even though I always thought I was more of a gold kind of gal, from the kitchen to the laundry and everywhere in between, silver objects are in abundance.  Amongst my favourites is a tea and coffee set which Mum informed me was probably my maternal Great Grandmother's. 

Two other sentimentally special pieces are the silver framed photo of my maternal Grandparent's wedding day and the Koolaman Designs necklace {see the last photo below] which has all of my Grandparents' names stamped onto it.

The cross above is a bit of a cheat as it's a sample that I made for an primary school art class last week. 
It's actually two layers of aluminium [or as some of you would say aluminum] foil covering a cardboard base and etched with a ballpoint pen....I liked the look of it and so it ended up in the mix.  

Along with my butterfly biscuit cutter, everyday cutlery, stationery items, my most worn jewellery, Australian coins, dragonfly plug, silver and white striped feather [well it's silvery grey], a place card holder..there's a silver winged dove that hangs on the inspiration board in my office. Lot's of lovely silver.
This is the first time I've added anything into Emily's gallery and had so much fun I'm already getting items together for next month's purple theme!

Now of course we have something special that happens here on the the last day of the month - that's right, it's time for "Post Of The Month" club!
This is where we get together to share our favourite posts and connect with friends from all over the globe, promoting our fabulous blogs as we go - hooray!

If you haven't played along with this linky, it's super easy and a great way for you to connect with fabulous bloggers from every inch of this great big, wonderful world.  You simply have to....

1. Find your favourite post - grab its URL and follow the steps in the Linky below to add it to the list

2. Once you've added your own post, please be sure to visit two other blogs and leave a comment

3. If you're one of my great 'Sparklers' you will already have the logo in your sidebar - thanks!
If you'd like to help get the word out and boost the visibility of the Linky [thereby giving you more opportunities to be discovered] pop a note on a post letting your readers know about it with a link to this post, or grab the "Post Of The Month" button from my sidebar and pop it into your post or onto your own sidebar.

I can't wait to see what you've all been up to this month and look forward to reading not only your posts but your comments too.

Happy day!

26 April 2012

"Say What?" Giveaway Part Two...

Finally 'Part Two' of the "Word of the Week" giveaway is here!
I had so much fun reading through your words and comments and can't wait to see what you do next.
There was such a terrific range of words [some real, some imaginative] and I'm thrilled to bits with the effort that everyone put into not only adding their own, but also taking the time to read through other people's selections.

I know that lots of my readers are 'wordy' types and hope that you enjoy the next part of the giveaway.
Here's how you can earn bonus entry points.....

1. Select a line of words from one of the lists below

2. Write the page number of the list so that I can easily check your selection

3. Create a sentence using the words on that line, putting them in "inverted commas" so that they pop out

Here's an example:

1.  When the detective enquired about the cause of the crack in the "celadon" vase, it came as no surprise that Emelio tried to "squirrel" his way out of any blame using his "rakish" charm.

I've mixed up most of your entries and you can choose a line that includes one of your 'favourites' or go out on a limb and select words nominated by someone else.

You may enter as many times as you like [ie: write as many sentences as you like] but please be sure to send them as separate comments.

If you share this part of the giveaway on FB, Twitter, Google+ or your blog, let me know in a separate comment for one extra entry for each.

Every comment in this part of the giveaway receives TWO ENTRIES into 'the hat' - yep, that's double rewards for your extra effort!

I will be keeping this open until  Wednesday 9th May {12 PM AEST} and announcing the winner on Friday 11th.

I hope you enjoy playing with these fabulous words as much as I have and can't wait to read your entries.

So without further ado, here are the lists....

20 April 2012

Hug For A...

Tra la la! I'm scooting off to work again this morning [insert happy dance here] so am sneaking in a quick post featuring the simple gift of happiness.....

Wasn't that fun? May your weekend ahead be filled to the brim with all that truly brings you joy!
I've got my fingers crossed for sunshiney days, the satisfaction of baking something delicious for others, a walk by the beach or river and time to lie in the hammock to read [uninterrupted].

Big hugs from afar,

18 April 2012

Word Of The Week - Say What?

Hi there and happy Wednesday!
I know many of you have come here today expecting the second installment in our 'Word Of The Week' game and giveaway but I'm going to extend the fun of adding your words in for an extra week.

Actually if I'm really honest, I've been flat out with house guests, my Dad in hospital with knee reconstruction, sick kids and work today that I haven't had time to do the fun second part of the game - yikes!

So if you haven't already added your favourite words to the list, be sure to jump on over here.
If you have, "Thanks!" there's some real doozies in there. Keep your peepers peeled for what happens next.

Happy day!

15 April 2012

The AEIOU of Awareness...

My sparkling Blogerista buddy Jennie has created the most fantastic mid-month activity to join in with.
Simply titled 'AEIOU' we have the opportunity to reflect upon what's been happening in our loves and write a post to share it with our blogging friends.

It was a 'sit up and think' moment for me as the past month hasn't been too flash and I wasn't able to think of too many things to share with you for these letters, and believe me I tried!

There has been a little creating and some terrific discoveries but there were also many gaps.
So what do you do when you come up with a blank? You make a poster to remind you to keep your bright eyes open for these positive elements in your life, that's what.

And so I did. Feel free to download the poster above and pop it somewhere sunny to remind you that this is a fantastic life and there are lots of fabulous things to be doing, learning, creating and sharing.

I'm going to print mine out and pop it on the fridge, because if I'm not doing these things then I can just about guarantee that I'm not modeling the best behaviours for the kids....it might even generate a conversation or two.

If you've enjoyed a rich month, filled to the brim with the types of things that Jennie is celebrating, be sure to pop it in a post {I'm looking for ideas people}, jump on over, say "Hi!" and away you go!

Happy day!

A Happy Making Tune For You...

It's been a while since I've shared a 'happy making' tune and this one's a kicker.
I hope you have a fabulous colour-filled day - thank you Rainbow Geeks for introducing me to the terrific Kristin Andreassen, what a gift!

Now go and find a piece of paper and draw something that you love...

13 April 2012

Elvis & Luke

Our neighbourhood is filled with all sorts of flora and fauna, a virtual treasure trove if you will.

Each day morning and late afternoon, Luke and I go for a walk and check up on what's been happening. Sometimes we come home with a feathery treasure to go into the glass nest that sits on my office desk.

This afternoon Luke was quite distressed because he couldn't find his little mate Elvis.

Elvis is a black & white spotted miniature pig who lives two doors up. 
He delights in aerating his owner's garden, and if Luke's lucky, playing 'hide & seek' with my gentle giant.

We could hear the snuffles and snorts from within the ginger grove, but the worms must have been extra tasty because Elvis wouldn't come out to play, much to Luke's disdain.

A consolation prize seemed to be a soft nibble on his back from Maverick the woolly pony who lives in the paddock across from Elvis...but Elvis wasn't showing his snout for anyone.

This evening as I reflect on all that I'm grateful for, I must say that the wealth of my neighbourhood's  lovely natural gifts and the unexpected interaction between a dog & his pig are on the top of my list.

I'll keep taking my camera out on my walks in the hope that I can capture the antics of these two chasing each other around the yard and then you'll see just what I mean.

Happy weekend, may it be filled with things that make your heart sing & better still elicit a giggle or two.
Hop on over to Bronwyn's place to add in your own list of gratefuls, I'm sure you've got plenty.

Oh...and be sure to pop your name into the hat for my giveaway too...

11 April 2012

Word Of The Week - It's A Giveaway!

Hi there, I hope that your week is unfolding gloriously and you're ready for a zhushy word challenge.

Rather than me providing you with a new word to add to our ever growing vocabularies, I thought I'd 
plum the depths of your own personal 'favourite words' lists and next week we'll play a game with them.

This is how it will work:

1. Simply pop 2-3 words that make you smile in the comments section below [yep, it's that easy!]

2. I'll gather them all together for a little game that we'll play next week

3. Every person who adds a comment [this week or next] gets an entry into the prize draw 

4. If you share this with your own readers, friends & family via your blog, Facebook, Twitter etc, 
come back and let me know [with a link if possible] and each one will be counted as an extra entry

5. Be sure to visit again next week to see the fun unfold....

So get your thinking caps on and share the fun.
I can't wait to read your zhushy words!

06 April 2012

From My Home To Yours...

Baby chicks, bunny ears and egg shaped treats - this is a little mixed media canvas that I'll be giving to my very special niece in lieu of chocolate this Easter....I'm sure her hippity-hoppity friend will be leaving plenty of chocolate treasures, so I decided to make her something to keep beyond the last of the tinsel wrappings.

In addition to visiting my family later this weekend, sharing in precious cuddles, catch ups and adventures, I've been blessed with two days of 'simply me' time.
You see Captain V and the Gifts have departed for various sporting and social endeavours, leaving Luke and I to enjoy two days of uninterrupted peace....sigh, it's been bliss and I'm truly grateful for the break.

As much as I love Captain V and the kids, I've come to realise just how much of an introvert I really am.
This time alone has been truly recharging, I haven't once been lonely or felt the need for company, in fact the solitude sparked my creativity this afternoon, resulting in this gift for my niece.

So this weekend as my days have unfolded I've been able to count my blessings, and the gift of solitude.

No matter where you are over this Easter break,  I hope that you are blessed to share a warm hug and a giggle with someone you love, some quiet time for reflection...and perhaps a treat or two as well.

This post will be added to the big basket of 'gratefuls' over at my friend Bronwyn's place, she's gathering them there just for us - thanks Bron.

I've also shared this at Kirsty's 'Our Creative Spaces' link up, if you've popped over for a peek- welcome!

Happy day,

05 April 2012

A Time For...

Happy day Lovely!

I'm on holidays, a time for enjoying a different pace and of course some dreaming.
Imagining myself with oodles of cash to spare, I've created a wishlist of things that would bring me great pleasure....

1. Oh how I'd love to dream encased in this divine Georgina Bedding by Anthropologie

2. This glorious Amy Butler coat that I've had bookmarked for the longest time

3. Several of you have recommended this book in our 'Vive Le Livre' conversations, can't wait to dig in!

4. A natural fibre rug for our living area to bring warmth but with a beachy vibe

5. Bobbi Brown's 'Beach' body oil - scrummy

6. A chair of my own for the verandah, garden or beach to recline and enjoy 'number three'

That's it. I simply wanted to share what's been twinkling in my imagination at the moment....who knows, perhaps one or two may even materialise and double my delight.

The Gift Of The Ocean

It's Autumn in my pocket of the world and I've got to say it's a glorious time of the year.
Captain V and I have been lucky enough to spend time on our beautiful beach and each day have
shared our gratitude for where we live.
We love the ocean and everything in it and relish the time we get to spend on, in or near it.

When I saw the following on 'Brain Pickings' I knew I had to share this gift with you too.
It's long and you may need to dedicate some time to watch it all but I'm certain you'll be transfixed.

Earnest Hemingway's classic novel "The Old Man and the Sea" has been brought to life by Aleksandr
Petrov and his son Dimitri using a unique technique of painting with pastels on glass.
It took them over two years to create and the result is truly stunning.

I'm scooting off now to enjoy time with my family over this Easter break and wish you & yours safe, happy
and connected times...perhaps spent by the ocean.

04 April 2012

Word Of The Week - Ephemeral

Today I'd like you to get active with your vocab zhushing. 
I'm going to ask you to do three things for 'Word Of The Week':

#1 Watch the following video - it takes about 5 minutes and is totally worth the investment.

#2 Think of another word besides ephemeral to describe what you see.

#3 Include ephemeral in one of your posts and link back to this one.

Of course ephemeral has a poignant connection with my blog.
How? Well I have a delicate bloom and butterfly for my logo - both truly ephemeral beauties.

Now I can't wait to read your responses and your extra words to describe this movie.
Mine? Astounding!

Happy day!

03 April 2012

Vive Le Livre - March

"I was born twice.  First in a wooden room that jutted out over the black water of the Thames, and then again eight years later in the Highway, when the tiger took me in his mouth and everything truly began."

These are the opening lines from "Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch.
Discovering the book at my local library I was instantly captivated by the cover which featured the following recommendation: 'One of the best stories I've ever read.' - A.S. Byatt

Not surprisingly, I quickly whipped it under the borrowing scanner and was devouring its pages within the hour.
The novel was short listed last year for the Man Booker prize and is listed as historical fiction as it features real life characters such as naturalist Charles Jarmrach.

Historical fiction is one of my favourite reading genres and I have to concur with Dame Duffy [Aka A.S Byatt] as this was indeed a rolicking good read.....until I got to the midpoint.
That was where I had to skim through vast tracts of text as the content became too challenging for this delicate flower to manage. I won't spoil the plot for you but I have to say the realism was just that - real!
I got the general gist of the story by seeking out key words before returning  to solid reading for the finale.
Don't let this put you off, not everyone's as a big a 'sook' as me, as already mentioned it's a terrific story....really.

My second book couldn't be more different.

 "Beauty Rules" is written by renowned makeup artist and cosmetics maven Bobbi Brown
I'm sure  many of you probably use her luscious products but did you know the philosophy and techniques behind her healthy beauty line?
I love that she says that "beauty isn't about looking perfect. It's celebrating your individuality."

At a time when the teens in my home are grappling with finding their own way whilst being socially acceptable, I can use every snippet of help to encourage them to celebrate their uniqueness and not cave to the pressure of media bombardment to look tan, thin....like they're a 20 year old hooker!

There is a lot of pressure from their friends and the media encouraging them to wear buckets of makeup, try to tan their porcelain skin [we live at the beach so this is a constant worry] and dress like they're much older than they are - yikes!  

I borrowed this book to read with them and already we've had some illuminating and positive discussions about sunscreen and makeup use - yay!

I find it endlessly interesting how a 'prophet outside their own land' will have their message received so readily when others [ie: Me] who may have been banging on, nagging, sharing the same concept for aeons will be ignored - bless you Bobbi Brown!

This book is directed at teens and young women but I found myself appreciating her solid, no-nonsense approach to beauty including her 'Basic Life Rules'. I even made a little pocket chart for the girls which I thought you might like to have too....

Speaking of beauty, the final book in this month's series is one that sits beside the reading chair in my bedroom and which I dip into regularly.  Don't go looking for it in a regular bookstore though as it was published in 2004 by the National Gallery Of Victoria to accompany their exhibition "The Impressionists - Masterpieces From the Musee D'Orsay".

At the time, I flew to Melbourne with my friend Annie specifically to see this most wonderful gathering of my favourite artists and have been savoring my memento book ever since.

Unfortunately seeing them in a book or on a screen will never be as fabulous as popping your peepers on them in person, but we who are humble take our pleasures where we can right?
The bonus for me is that I can sip a cup of tea whilst poring over a Manet or Pissaro, something I definitely could not do in a gallery.

Well that's it for me this month. I haven't managed to tick anything from my list but as we had a lot going on I'm pleased that I managed to have anything to share with you at all.

I hope that you fared better and will be writing your own 'Vive Le Livre' post to share.
If you write a book review post, pop it into the mix,  grab a button to let your readers where they can find other enthusiastic page turners, say "G'day!" to one or two others and you're away!