Monthly Archives: February 2017

Not

I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to the poems of Erin Hanson, a young and very talented Australian poet. Whenever I come across one of her poems (she signs off as “e.h” or The Poetic Underground), I always save it to my Pinterest board. 

Today I’d like to share one of Erin’s poems with you all.

We seem to forget so easily that what we do is not who we are. Neither are we what Society declares us to be. We get stuck in a rut because people, or circumstances put us there, and we foolishly believe that this is our lot for the rest of our lives. And, like fools, we act out the scenario and in our minds, it becomes real. 

Our friends and relatives are careful to play along, to cement the thought in our mind that this is it, this is how it is and how it will always be. For they too, slumber under the same dreamscape. 

But the truth is, it’s all a game, a shadow play, a charade. It’s not real. We All have the ability to change our future, to change our lives, simply by changing our thoughts. By aligning our thoughts with what we want, rather than with what we Don’t want, we CAN change our destiny. After all, aren’t we the Captain of our own Ship? 


Miniature Marvels

I came across this image on Pinterest, which piqued my interest:

I found the whole idea, of miniature terrariums filled with crystals and things found in nature, rather intriguing, so I quickly created a Pinterest Board with the title “Miniature Marvels”. 

And rapidly started filling it up with images of the most sublime, beautiful pieces of miniature art. The year before last, I went through a crazy phase about Terrariums, and last year I obsessed about collecting crystals. Now these miniature marvels married both concepts brilliantly.

I may even try my hand at making my own wearable miniature terrariums. I know I can get the miniature bottles/vials etc at any discount shop, as I’ve seen plenty, and I have several miniature quartz crystal points already. So, I just might create my own miniature marvels.

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on these beauts. If you need more information, please go to my Pinterest Board “Miniature Marvels” and click on the relevant photo.

Lagenlook : Moyuru

I seem to have been sleeping under a rock, or something. How could I have missed this latest Lagenlook fashion trend? (Well, maybe not sleeping, but preoccupied with other crafty projects and personal improvement practices ๐Ÿ˜Š). 

So, who’s this latest new kid on the block? It’s a Japanese fashion designer called Moyuru. Try as I might, I’ve not been able to track down one specific website for them. Moyuru appear to supply several independent fashion retailers in various countries. Rather than me trying to list the retailers, and missing out several or more of them, just Google “Moyuru” and your own country, and find out for yourself if there’s a retailer near you. 

I’ve also found several listings for Moyuru on eBay. Perhaps there are some sellers in your country too? Good luck!

A few words to describe Moyuru: edgy, monochromatic, contemporary, futuristic, cutting edge, muted colours, sculptural, boots, linear, geometry, trend, quirky, wool, linen.

Pinterest, as always, provided me with the most pictures and links. I’ve curated the following Moyuru from my own Pinterest board “Tunics & Lagenlook“, so if there’s one or three that particularly catch your eye, do take a look at my Pinterest board, click on the photo therein, and you’ll find more information about it. 

Enjoy Moyuru Japanese Lagenlook! 



Quotes about Gratitude

My teenager Jack is starting to be pretty much a typical teenager – sullen, grumpy, sarcastic, contradictory, lazy, rebellious.

First thing in the morning he’s this big grumpy grizzly bear. Later on, as the day passes, he starts to chill and mellow, til by the end of the day he’s back to being his usual squishy teddy bear persona again.

I find myself reminding Jack that Attitude is Everything. How you want your day to pan out depends on how you behave. A negative, belligerent attitude will only bring you stress and grief. If instead you pivot and change your mindset to one of Gratitude and Positivity, then your entire reality will change. Believe in the best in people, and how people behave and react towards you will change too, leading to a better outcome for the entire day.

Adopt a Positive Attitude of Gratitude, and practise it all the time, day in day out, til it becomes a part of you. And then watch how your whole life changes.

I’d like to share some Pinterest curated quotes on Gratitude and on being grateful, with the hope it’ll make your day and your life better.

My New Friend

This friendly and curious magpie was sitting minding its own business when I came along and decided to try and make friends with it.

Notice how there appears to be the silhouette of a blackbird on the white patch on the magpie’s back? How cool is that! 

The white and black birds you can just about make out in photo no.7 are a small flock of pelicans. Yes, we’re exotic like that ๐Ÿ˜„.

This nature reserve is called Lake Richmond, and it’s just a couple of miles from where I live. The reason you don’t see water sports and crowds of people on and around it is because it’s a protected wildlife area, and restricted to pedestrians on foot only. Dogs must be walked on leash. It’s a haven for all kinds of flora and fauna. There’s even a lookout from where you can see the whole lake, and the houses close to it. Less than a mile out from this unique freshwater lake is the Indian Ocean.

The following 2 images are from Google Images:

Apparently there’s a colony of thrombolites somewhere along Lake Richmond. I have only just read about that here so when I do find them on my next visit I’ll be sure to write about it. Here’s what the Department of the Environment says about the Lake Richmond thrombolites: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/conservation-advices/thrombolite-microbial

Artist Inspiration: Akiko Ike

Akiko Ike of Niigata, Japan, is a gentle, unassuming lady with immense talent in the Japanese art of Sashiko embroidery. Her technique is not strictly Sashiko, it encompasses and incorporates the principles of Boro, and the stitches she uses are identical to Indian Kantha, or running stitch. 

Akiko teaches workshops around the world and is happy to share her knowledge and expertise with a growing number of devotees. I’ve never met Akiko myself. When she was in Australia last year conducting workshops in Brisbane, I hadn’t yet discovered my love for Kantha. But I would love to meet this Master of the art someday soon, and if she ever comes to Western Australia, I’ll definitely sign up for one of her workshops.

My own embroidery technique is what I myself have termed “Kantha-Boro”. It uses scraps of fabric, in line with the Boro ethic of reusing/recycling/no waste, or “Mottainai“. Some of my pieces are patchworked in the Western sense, but most are more accurately described as simply appliqued over using running stitch, without being sewn onto the backing fabric beforehand. This is the technique Akiko Ike uses.

Maybe someday I’ll be famous, like Akiko Ike! 

Anyway, I couldn’t find a website dedicated to her, but I did find Akiko Ike’s Facebook profile. Within this are 2 blogs showcasing her work…but they are both in Japanese, and I don’t know how to read Japanese ๐Ÿ˜•.

I’ve created a Pinterest board dedicated to Akiko Ike, called “Akiko Ike – Chiku Chiku“. Chiku chiku is an onomatopoeic word coined by Akiko herself, which emulates the sound made by the yarn she uses going in and out of the cloth. You will notice that her stitches are bold and huge, and she uses thick yarn to sew her stitches. (I myself use crochet or embroidery thread, and a darning needle).

Here are just a few examples of Akiko Ike’s Chiku chiku work, taken from Pinterest:

 

Kantha Footstool Project

I recently purchased 2 secondhand footstools, (pictured below with Boo the cat after he’d appropriated one for himself):

They were going for $25 apiece, but I convinced the store manager (it was a Cash Converters) to give them both to me for $25.

Then, a few days afterwards, after I mentioned them to my neighbour Diane, she said she was throwing out 2 footstools that she didn’t need anymore, so I could take them if I liked.

Well, I liked ๐Ÿ˜„. And so did Boo, again:

These were slightly smaller, and rectangular compared to my purchased footstools.

My plan for the footstools is to re-upholster them with Kantha stitched fabric. I’d make up patchwork pieces and embroider them with Kantha running stitches, then make up new coverings for the footstools.

Diane says to show her the finished footstools, and who knows, she may want them back ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Anyway, I haven’t started just yet on my newest projects, seeing as I’m still only halfway through sewing a Kantha quilt. But here are some Kantha covered footstools/floor cushions/ottomans/benches that I’ve curated from Pinterest, to pique your interest.

(And before you ask, no, I am not going to be sewing any round poufs. Let me hone my straight stitching skills first, before I try any curves ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„).

I’ll have a go at re-upholstering my footstools, and perhaps making some square floor cushions. I shall no doubt be scouring my local thrift stores and secondhand furniture stores for likely candidates for refurbishment. 

(The following images are curated from Pinterest. Search “Kantha footstool” or “Kantha ottoman” to see more):

Doorways

I was looking through Pinterest and came across this beautiful photo of an open doorway and the view beyond:

Doors and doorways are intriguing. A closed door symbolises much more than a slam-in-your-face kind of “No”; on a positive note, it holds the promise of better things, riches and wonders, new adventures. Doorways, with or without doors, tease us with tantalising glimpses of what lies beyond, if we only dare to cross the threshold.

(All images sourced from Pinterest)

Doorways invite us to step out, and metaphorically speaking, they invite us to step out of our comfort zone. To take that one small step that may turn into the greatest adventure you’ve ever known.

Doorways can be so inviting and alluring. Will you dally awhile where you are, admiring the vista ahead of you…or will you step over the threshold?

What wonders await you beyond this doorway? (This one is of Tintagel in England, the fabled birthplace of King Arthur. I’ve actually been to this very place, and it is every bit as magical as you see it). 

The view from a window can be equally awesome…but windows (unless they’re full-length French windows) are small and obscured by the wall they’re built into, which acts like a mental barrier curbing the imagination. Doorways lack that kind of inhibition.

Looking at all these doors and doorways, I can’t help but wonder if that which you are seeking is out there, seeking you in return? What is the view like from the other side, I wonder? 

Would you look back? 

Carol and Daryl in Barrels ๐Ÿ˜„

After blogging about Fiddle Leaf Figs in my previous post, I decided that I just Had to get one for my living room. They’re trending right now, appearing in many homes & interiors magazines and on television, so how hard can it be to get one, right?

Whoa…look at the way-out prices some of these babies are commanding online! $300 for a potted houseplant? Are you kidding me? 

I also found out that there are actually 2 variations of the same plant. One’s bushy and smaller, resembling a kale plant gone mad. The other type has a trunk with its leaves gathered towards the top. The former only grows up to 3 feet high. The latter can reach 7-8 feet high and is sometimes referred to as the Fiddle Leaf Fig “Tree”, as opposed to the smaller “Bush”. It’s the Tree that I’m after.

I rang 2 Bunnings Warehouse DIY & Garden Stores near me, and just as I was about to give up hanging on the line, a very nice lady named Patsy came on and said she had 2 Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, happy days!! So I asked Patsy to place them on hold for me, and said I’d pick them up within the next 2 hours.

And they were only $14.10 each, as they’re still babies with a lot of growing up to do. Yay for affordable houseplants!

I bought 2 plastic barrel flower pots and trays for my 2 newest babies. And back home, as I repotted them, the crazy thought came to me that as they were in barrels and there were 2 of them, why not name them after 2 of my favourite characters from The Walking Dead i.e Carol and Daryl ?

So here they are, Carol and Daryl, in barrels. Daryl’s the bigger of the two.

Out on the verandah, right after repotting and getting a good drink of water:

Inside the house:

Now Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Yesterday I got sidetracked from my original intention of sharing with you Pinterest curated images of a houseplant I’d love to get – the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree. But instead I got to talking about an App Game called “Design Home“. 

So here I am today, with those promised images of said tree. I just love the large leaves and how the tree has such a pleasing shape and can be grown indoors in a pot. Its green is also very beautiful. I simply Must find space in my house for one!

Isn’t it gorgeous?