Wednesday, 31 October 2012

... Relive a Childhood Memory

Our grand daughter, who is twelve, rang to ask for help with a homework question - what job should she do when she leaves school? She is horse-mad so she'd sorted some occupational choices which featured her equine friends; a horse trainer, a horse dentist, a farrier, among others.
   That question made me laugh as it brought back a vivid memory for me. I was twelve too, about to start high school and our class was given a questionnaire which asked, 'What do you want to be when you leave school?'
   'How dumb,' I remember thinking, 'asking that of kids our age. We don't have to decide for years yet.'
   So I wrote down 'lion tamer'! 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

... For Yourself

A Quiet Corner of the Garden
Life has been a bit hectic lately and I've been feeling as if I needed to stop and take some time out. So today I sat here, under the magnolia tree and read for a while. It was peaceful and so still that the sparrows came and fed from the bird feeder hanging on the other side of the tree, without minding my being so close to them. Half an hour of solitude, a good book and observing nature was just what I needed to recharge and start again.
   I hope you could find some peace in your day and some time to yourself.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 Look Beyond the Imperfections

I used pictures of plates by the Italian designer, Fornasetti
to make these collages

It's so easy to overlook the good things when you find yourself concentrating on the bad bits, isn't it? 
   I was reminded of this today when we were trawling second-hand and antique shops. I saw a particularly beautiful china jug that I loved and was on the point of buying - until I noticed it had a small chip on the rim. Even though it was barely noticeable, it spoilt the jug for me.
   And I remembered a day last week when, amongst all the great things that were happening in my life, one person spoke critically - and that was what I focussed on. Not all the positives; just that one negative comment that I replayed over and over in my mind.


So it's time, I've decided, to go back to the shop and buy the jug, to look beyond the imperfections, to accept that everything isn't always how we'd like it to be, and get on with enjoying the good things that are happening every day. Agreed?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

... to Reuse and Repurpose - Make a Lantern

Repurpose coffee jars as lanterns

I love Moccona coffee - mmmm! - and seem to have amassed a collection of the glass jars the coffee comes in. I use some in my pantry as storage jars, have given several away to a friend, and still have a pile in the cupboard.
   So today I had a play with some jars, some twine and cans of spray paint. I wound the twine around the clean, empty jars in a random pattern and then spray painted them. When the paint had dried, I peeled off the twine. I popped a tea-light candle in each and the jars were ready to use - as lanterns.
Wrap the jar in twine and spray-paint
Total time - 5 minutes. Total cost - about 20 cents. Total effect - very cool!
   I think I'll make wire holders for them and hang the lanterns in the trees around the garden at Christmas. They'll be so pretty!

Friday, 5 October 2012

... to See Life Differently

"The Eyes Have It" Wall in New Plymouth
 Going somewhere new and seeing different things always excites and inspires me. We are just home from a few days away in New Plymouth and Taranaki. It's not an area of New Zealand that we know so we explored some different highways and byways, checking out the surf beaches and the gardens of national significance as well as the attractions of New Plymouth city itself.
  It's a beautiful time of year to go exploring - the fields are very green and the trees are bursting with spring blossoms - cherry trees, azaleas and rhododendrons all in bloom.
  Travelling around Taranaki though made me feel quite sad as we passed through little towns with derelict buildings and boarded-up shops and no one around. It seems that when the dairy factories (the main employers) closed, the heart was ripped out of the towns and they have not recovered.
  It certainly made me return home and see my familiar surroundings with different eyes. Our country town is still bustling, although times are tough economically. And I appreciated our home and garden more too. 
  Those few days away have made me thankful for what we have and where we live. Sometimes you need to leave somewhere to 'find' it again.