Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Art of the Heart

I have been busy recently putting inks, paint and pencils on paper. 
I have gone back to my cut and paste roots with some collage and 
using booking sheets, ticket stubs and the like to create fixed memories.
I have also been inspired by Tyler Knott Gregson's blackout/white out poetry,

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Toast Urunga

Just a little montage from the awesome day that was Toast Urunga feat. Clocks and Dice

Gazbus Adventures Part 2

I love running away on weekends with my Mr, and this weekend is no different.

Friday afternoon we packed the van and for something different headed South. 

Stopping for an overnight stay in a cute little yurt at Valla Beach and an "interesting" meal at the Valla Tavern which involved, inter-family domestics, screaming kids and a beautiful meal,  the Mr says it was teh BEST $7 steaks he's ever had.

Saturday we headed South again starting out day with breakfast at the Boatshed Cafe at Nambucca Heads, a delicious GIANT pancake for me and  eggs Benedict for the Mr.

We put our tourist on and explored the history of Trial Bay Gaol, and walked the Monument walking track to watch whales followed by lunch at the Seabreeze Hotel.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Organising, Reflecting, Cleaning and Planning

Further to the hoarding and perpetual untidiness that is my home, several improvements have recently been made.

The Mr, the smalls and I spent Saturday sorting, throwing, washing, sweeping, blower vac-ing the downs stairs area making it tidy and functional ! It's looking good, just a few more larger items to take to charity and we will be able to kick back on a Spring eve with the BBQ cracking.

Also I have jumped on the Filofax train with a little encouragement from Little Raven Ink.
My filo is a Domino A5 in Cherry Red, her name is Agnes.
My goal is to get my life into some semblance of order, to make sure no events, functions, to-do's and bills are forgotten or overlooked.

I have updated our family budget so we can stay on track there too, pay the bills and make the savings and all those good productive adult things I should be doing.

But the biggest thing to happen this week is the "Order in the Chaos" Cleaning schedule. I made the decisions that if I had a schedule, I would be committed to it.
I was also inspired by a conversations with one of my beautiful, but OCD friends today, who talked about "jobs to do while the kettle is boiling" little things that you never seem to get around to, like wiping out the cutlery draw, tidying the tupperware cupboard, wiping out the shelves in the fridge, sweeping the kitchen floor, putting the laundry on and so on and so forth.
I already know that I make poor use of my available time, but no more! With Post Grad study looming, now is my opportunity to get on top of this stuff.
So everyone has tasks and everyone has responsibilities; naturally because there are small people involved there are rewards for doing chores..... my reward is the cup of tea at the end of the day.

Agnes in Action 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

It's going to be a big day; Miss 7 is getting braces :(

Today calls for comfort and function, over cute and frivolous.

So I chose ripped boyfriend jeans, my fave 90's band tank and hair inspired by Cilla Black.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

What I wore Wednesday

Dress by Brigid McLaghlin
Cardi by Emerson
Shoes by Quince 
Necklace by Eclektica 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

It's a black on black kind of day. 
With splashs of citrus around my throat and oversized bows in my hair. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Adventures in the Gazbus Part 1

We have had a busy week.
Work has been hectic.
The Mr had 2 gigs.
But on Wednesday he bought a new van aka The Gazbus, replacing the Garavan.

This called for a celebratory road trip.
We headed off down the Pacific Highway on Friday evening with a plan to see a band and
and spend the night with our sweet friend Gemma Grace.
The band was average and we were home sharing cups of tea, slice and laughs before 10.30pm.
We settled in and snuggled up on the futon in Miss Gemma's spare room.

We woke late Saturday morning, to glorious sunshine blazing through the matchstick blinds.
Slow lazy weekends are just my favourite.
Eventually motivated enough by our growling bellies we started our day.
Miss Gemma had left us a love note, with several instructions and a suggestion for breakfast.

We headed to Beachwood Cafe for the most divine Dutch Pancakes and Scrambled Eggs.
Owner Sevtap was serving fresh squeezed mandarin juice.....made from mandarin's that Gemma had delivered directly from Mo'Ville!

We wandered the streets and them meandered home, taking the scenic route via the ferry.
Such an indulgent Saturday Morning, I feel revived.

Condensation - Are you breathing heavy ?

Dutch Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Coffee and Poppies = Beachwood Bliss

Love is finding a person that is your kind of crazy.

Cooking without Gas

Last Sunday, while talking to my kids in their "Story Room" aka the library/toy room, 
we heard an explosive POP and shattering of glass. 

The Mr and I raced to see what had happened and found this in the kitchen: 

Needless to say I was shaken and my mind full of the what if's ?
On any other Sunday I would have been standing in front of it cooking dinner 
at the time this happened, the kids would have been coming and going to talk to me 
while they awaited dinner, it could have been much worse. 

Thankfully that was not the case, the Mr had distracted us and we were all safe. 
The Mr helped me clean up the shards of glass and he calmed my nerves.

So one week on, I am still waiting for the new glass to be fitted  but I had a strong desire to bake 
lunch box treats.
The bake muesli bars !

So tasty!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

I'm a little late, but this week was a little bit like falling down a rabbit hole ! 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Finding Order in the Chaos

There is one thing as sure as the sun will set...I am a hoarder.

I keep everything, you know; just in case! ( I might NEED a concert ticket from 1996 one day !!!)

A revelation a few weeks ago made me realise my clutter is my security blanket, the people that love me tolerate it and it keeps me safe by giving me a physical reason not to have friends visit me at home, yep I like my solitude that much. 

But I am changing and I would like to be able to invite my friends over without being embarrassed about my mess. To come home and relax, not look around and feel more tense. I want to feel like I am in a haven when I am home, not a hellish nightmare.

So I pin storage solutions on Pinterest.

Next I read cleaning/decluttering/organising blogs to inspire me and give me ideas on how and where to start.
On lady suggested that you remove one thing from each room every week... ain't nobody got time for that.

Though I did start small, with my spectacles.... I still have every pair of glasses I have ever worn and I started wearing them when I was about 8! Getting rid of something like this you would think is an easy task, I was ok until I walked into the optometrists to donate them for reuse in third world countries and the dispensing technician says "Oh wow, these are just like the current season :insert designer I have never heard of: ,are you sure you don't want to keep them ?" "NO NO I don't...". Walks swiftly to the door before I was tempted to snatch glasses back.

I have also been working on reducing our wardrobes. What I discovered was; If we have lots of clothes, I wash less, but when I do wash, I have more things to wash, fold and put away. Therefore reduce the clothes, increase frequency of loads = easier management of laundry! 
This clean out yielded 7 garbage bags of clothes for the Charity Shop.

This weekend however was the big project weekend, toys.
Miss L, JD and I set to work we made 3 piles "TO KEEP", "TO BIN", "TO CHARITY"
Now trying to explain to a 7 year old and a 5 year old that they have too many toys is difficult enough, but trying to get then to part with them was even more of a challenge.
So we started off talking about kids who's mum's and dad's maybe can't afford to buy them new toys, for whatever reason and that wouldn't it be lovely is the Charity Shop had some nice toys for these families to buy especially with Christmas just around the corner.  This seemed to encourage them. I explained the importance of throwing away the broken stuff and the things with missing pieces, because lets be honest no one wants these things and our piles of things grew larger and larger.
I am so proud of my children's ability to let go of the things we no longer use or need. 

We packed it all into the back of the Mr's van and he is going to deliver it for us tomorrow! 

Suddenly I don't feel sad about letting these things go, because I know that they will go to better use thatn gathering dust here. The toys will entertain other small children, the clothes will keep a less fortunate child warm and a mum might find herself a nice frock to wear. If our pre-loved things can make someone else smile, I will be happy.

We are still not finished this epic project, but when we are you will see the pictures here :) 

Goodbye Clothes

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Victory Rolls and a little person inside my coat ! 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Men; as a general rule aren't great with fashion. So when the Mr presented me with the gift of a Wool jacket you can understand my nerves, would I have to wear a horrible jacket for the rest of winter just to make him happy ?
Apparently not, because he has fantastic taste !
Today I started the day in my new double breasted wool jacket, it is so toasty warm on chilly mornings. Then I peeked off to reveal my oriental floral dress and cardi!
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

From Gosine to Mr O'Ceirin

The Grafton Cup, it's more than just a day at the races.
It's an institution, it's a tradition.

I can recall as a youngster,  that there were a  few occasions that my mother would dress my brother and I in our very best and take us along to the running of the Cup.
Back then, things were civilised, Ladies dressed like ladies and Gents wore suits and ties and carried the form guide in the breast pocket of their jackets.
We would picnic on the lawns and watch the horses.

Somewhere between the 80's and the 00's things went to shit. Girls dressed like whores and Boys wore jeans and T-shirts, style became completely lost. I can safely say I have never worn a dress above my knees to the races, I can not say the same for others.

There were a few years between say 2000 and 2004 where my recollections of the Cup are somewhat hazy, I don't remember seeing horses and the memories end with my friends and I dancing shoeless on tables in local bars, we were not particularly lady-like.

I have tried to make it to the Cup over the years since my children were born, but usually not making too much effort, just throwing together an outfit and tagging along with friends on the day.

This year was a little different.

It was the 100th running of the Cup. NOT the 100th year of it's running as one local business is currently displaying on their window ... * headdesk * Grafton Travel; you fail.

The Grafton Cup was first run in 1910, with Gosine leading the pack to the post in a glorious victory.
However, the Cup was not run in 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 due to World War II, clearly the country was too preoccupied to be bother with the triviality of a little horse race, and rightfully so I say.

A very kind invitation from a very generous Gentleman, made this year a little more special.
I was invited to attend  the Cup by the Mr and we were graciously accompanied by the 2012 Best Dressed Lady and the soon to be 2013 Best Dressed Vintage Mr.

This was big! I needed an outfit worthy of Miss Best Dressed's company.
I pulled together a 1920' Gatsby inspired outfit, from various stores in the Northern Rivers, I added some vintage and some new sparkly jewels and some finger waves and I was ready to go.
I assisted the Mr with the purchase of a velvet dinner jacket and paisley tie. I think we looked smashing.

None of this however, should distract from the actual purpose of the day; the Cup. I excitedly stood pressed between the fence and the Mr's chest as Mr O'Ceirin galloped to victory in the big race.

I enjoyed the day, but the evening was wonderful also. Rather than fight with the crowds for a table in Grafton, we stole away to Châteaux Alexander in Coffs Harbour.
We dined at Amalfi's a delightful little Italian restaurant then retreated to our mountain top hideaway, with its 240 degree views of the Pacific Ocean.

Such a perfect day. Thank you Grafton Cup, and Thank you Mr x

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Music soothes the savage beast.

I am pretty sure that when William Congreve coined the original version of this phase in 1697, he probably hadn't anticipated it carrying through the centuries.

A road trip discussion this evening made my mind tick over and my spotify account go nuts.

Why do we love the music we love?

I listen to a lot of music, and I am not embarrassed to say my CD collection includes everything from Brittany Spears to Pantera, Martha and the Vandellas to Black Sabbath and Johnny Cash to Nirvana.

All these performers have made it into the collection because at some point in time their music spoke to my heart; they said something meaningful,  they made me feel a certain way, or made me STOP feeling a certain way.

The general consensus of the discussion was that I like music because of the belief that the artist has in their delivery of the song, and not necessarily their skill as a musician, basically all they have to do is convince me that they mean what they are saying.
Needless to say, this doesn't go down to well with the Mr, being a musician, he is all about the skill and the talent. He doesn't seem to understand that I am happy to listen to Donita Sparks wail about being fast and frightening, because damn it I wanna be fast and frightening too or that Billy Corgan brings tears to my eyes when he sings Beautiful or that when the Yeah Yeah Yeah's sing MAPS, I have felt how Karen O feels about Angus.

I use music to pick me up when I am depressed, I use music to rage when there is not other way to get the anger out, I use music to motivate me when I exercise because I feel like a champion when I jog in time to the track, I use music to calm me down if I am feeling hypo-manic. Basically there is not a time in my life that music does not have a role.

My dream would be if I could have a constant soundtrack to my life, played loud on a boom box that is being carried by Eric Erlandson*, so everyone else knew what I was feeling at any given moment.

Basically if I am listening to Shit List, you probably need to leave me alone..... well you get the picture.

*I figure Eric has been Courtney's bitch for long enough, he needs a new master.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

When you are on a winning team

I feel like I have spent a lifetime, playing away games on a losing team.
Today I realised, I still play a lot of away games, but now I am on a winning team.

The highlights included lunch with the Mr's Mumma and Pappa at Henry's Bakery in Lismore,
buying new boots that have glitter on them, laying topless in the glorious winter sunshine, afternoon lounging in bed and a ton of laughter.

But it was tonight that I realised that I was on the winning team.
Mr and I had our A-game on and in a coordinated effort we created one of the most delicious meals
I have ever experienced.

We commenced with an entrée of Tiger bread bruschetta, fresh tomato's from the Mr's Mumma's garden.
Followed by Spaghetti Bolognese with fresh grated cheese.
And finally pecan pie, made completely from scratch.
We nervously but enthusiastically started with out making pastry, together we learnt about pastry consistency dough,  the need to rest pastry and blind baking.
There were some missteps, like me putting the butter in the filling mix and forgetting to melt it, which led to me picking the butter back out so we could melt it.
but the end product was delicious, and hell that is what it is all about.

It was a glorious kitchen adventure and I look forward to so many more.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Today was for warm cables and pansies

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

What I Wore Wednesdai

It's not about fashion today, it's about emotion.
Today I wore many, clearly displayed on my face.
Saddness, happiness, confusion, loss, deep thought and hopefulness.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Gold, Black and a touch of Navy

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Happy Birthday Daddy

This week was my daddy's 60th Birthday.
We celebrated with family and friends,
and while the food was somewhat below average,
the company was fantastic.

The say home is where your bunch of crazies are.
These are my crazies :)

Lola, Miss L, SIL, Nanna R, Baby T, Bro, Papa and J-Dizzle

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

It's all in the details today, love and warmth around my neck.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

It's a Roller-coaster some weeks

Its been an odd kind of week for me.
An emotional rollercoaster.

I was blessed, having my Mr home from uni all week.
Having his love and  his company on tap and live was beautiful.
We went to the cinema to watch movies,
had lunch, and shared family meals.
We lazed around and talked for hours,
we laughed long and richly,
we watched Origin Football with his mates,
and basically had a fantastic time.
My happiness was reaffirmed when Miss L
said to me one morning
"Mum, I heard you and G laughing last night,
I like it when you are happy"

However the immersion in happiness soon wore off.
Mr Ex called to tell me, his grandma had passed away.
I was saddened by the passing of a beautiful lady
I knew as a Grandmother for 10years.
Today as her family fared her well.
I stood  in the background,
silently supporting my babies from afar.
The difficulty of not being part of a family
you were once part of.
I watch with deep sorrow in my heart
as my children each placed a rose
on their Great Grandmother coffin.
I don't think JD fully understood what was happening,
Miss L on the other hand, was quiet and sullen.
Managing their grief by loving and supporting
them is my top priority right now.

The highs and the lows seem to be getting to me.
I am tried beyond belief.
I slept soundly on the Mr's lounge for an hour today.
To rest and to escape the world.
I am weary again and can feel the pillows calling my name.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

What I wore Wednesday

Hand spun, hand knit, crazy art yarn collar by Lola

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Under the Mulberry Tree

Some days
I just can't run fast enough,
or far enough,
to escape my mind.

Here encompassed
by the expansive branches
of your mulberry tree,
I feel protected.
I feel safe.
Completely untouched
and completely untouchable.

Ice cold on the inside.
A tornado of death
swirls through my head.
Whipping up debris,
throwing my body around
and spitting me into the dirt.
Bruised and lost.

I go searching for you,
and a warm cup of tea.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Simple Black & Whites today

Friday, 24 May 2013

Rain = Sleep

It's raining.

I don't mind too much.

My drive from home to the hippy hills was slow,
the over cautious driving too slow and the idiots driving too fast.

But once here however I felt an instant sense of warmth and comfort.
I soaked up the smell of lavender and Ralph Lauren, it smelt like him and
I felt at home.

There is chatting in the kitchen down the hall, all music talk, of course,
and sharing assignment marks and grades.
There is a fire in the living room, defrosting weary travellers of the Clocks and Dice First Wives/why do we still work in G-town Bypass. And I have been invited to join for a movie viewing.

But I am snuggled on the Mr's bed listening to the rain on the window
and pondering what rainy day activities we will engage in tomorrow.
And right now sleeping is pretty high on the agenda.
Time to work off some of the sleep debt I have earned in the last few weeks.
It won't hurt at all to be wrapped up in a safe, gentle pair of arms either.

Viva la weekend.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Into the fog

I spend a considerable chunk of my life driving.
Driving for work and driving for love.

Today I set off into the early morning fog,
destine for a work function.

I like travelling.
Its just;
The road,
My I-pod on the stereo
and my thoughts.

I find this time really useful if I am struggling to
categorise and catalogue information in my brain.
I make mental lists and note in my mind of what needs doing.

I also like to use the time to make plans.
Plans for tonight, plans for tomorrow, plans for the weekend, plans for next year.

The other thing I like to do is sing... really loud.
I am not allowed to sing in the car when I have company,
so belting out some power ballads is always a great release.

What do you do when you're in the car alone ?

Pacific Highway, 7:07am

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

What I Wore Wednesday Wk1

What I Wore Wednesday

I believe in serendipity.

While downloading pictures from my phone I realised, I take a LOT of pictures of what I wear.

Wednesdays are always filled with mixed emotions for me, my babies head back to their daddy' house, I am one day closer to Friday and seeing my Mr, I get to hang out with friends and pub quiz and eat consistently mediocre pub food and I get to chill with beautiful people at the Naked Bean Open Mic.

What better way to focus my creativity than to combine the 2 and so was born "What I Wore Wednesday"

I am by no means a fashionista, my style is unique and my own, I am widely known to combine vintage pieces with chain store cardis, and jeans with t's. My signature pieces are my accessories.
Don't be surprised if you see the same piece twice or thrice, I am not precious about what I wear, just flamboyant about it.

A preview of things to come: