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daily parcels * tied up in string *

daily musings of a vintage addict * I am totally obsessed with all things vintage * trying to keep up with my past...and sometimes ordinary everyday life

My Photo
Location: Katoomba, NSW, Australia

here I am in a little cottage that evokes the energies of my ancestral lands - a cottage on the moors of Cornwall, or on the cliff tops of Ireland or Scotland. It has a hearth. I am a hedge witch {of sorts}. I wear upcycled clothes, patchouli oil and Redback boots. I am a gypsy; an eccentric and a mystic [I often live with a foot in two worlds]. I serve my guests, tea from an old silver teapot. I love Vervain, yarrow, chamomile & mint. Star watcher and Moon gazer. story cloth weaver. keeper of family dreams and wishes. good friend and creator of life. herbal tea drinker and potion maker.

Plan ahead and dream of all the beautiful things that life has to offer

May 31, 2005

goosy goosy gander....

tomorrow I am going to get a goose !! I am so excited..... there is a man nearby who sells all kinds of feathered friends..his business name is *quack or two duck farm*. He only has one young female at the moment so I guess that will do... eventually I would like two. They are supposed to be good watch dogs * or should that be watch ducks ?* ... I must think of an appropriate name for her......

May 30, 2005

blogging ??

why have a blog ?? I have absolutely no idea why I do this...... I had heard so much about blogging that I started to look into it...started brown paper parcels ~ and me, being me, got carried away and started a daily blog. I know a few read it, I get excited when someone comments but I also think it is a great way to get those voices out of my head. I also have fun decorating and making my own part of blog world an interesting place to be....

on being a mum ~ May 30

I have always encouraged my children to have interests and hobbies. Girl Guides is one both my daughters have been involved in during their childhood.
This past weekend, my youngest, received her BP award. She achieved this by completing tasks and challenges over a 3 year period. It is the second highest award that a girl can earn during her guiding life. WELL DONE !!!

May 28, 2005

housekeeping ~ May 28

how I hate ironing !!!! I have one little indulgence in my housekeeping life and that is an ironing lady ~ all that time spent standing at an ironing board when I could be out in the garden. So I pay a lady to do the ironing for me..she loves to iron and I call her my ironing angel.
However, today is cold, so I am going to turn the iron on and proceeded to iron a pile of vintage handkerchiefs, pillow cases and supper cloths. I wet them down with lavendar water * iron and fold them. It will be such pleasure to do it * noticing all the fine hand work. Some I will put away for friends and some I will put in a lovely big pile in my linen cupboard. I like nothing better than a tidy linen cupboard * all the lovely things sitting there waiting to be used.
My linen cupboard is a huge built in with old timber doors that my husband restored ~ my touch ares the lavendar bags hiddne among the towels and sheets.

Oh no! don't get me wrong, I am not going to start doing my pile of ironing, just the lovely things.

May 27, 2005

life~ May 27

I think not !

Schapelle Corby has been found guilty and sentenced to 20 years. How awful !! For her and her parents. The raw grief that the world saw on her face as she was sentenced. All along, I have said she is innocent and I still believe so. The whole trial was a fiasco.....

Time to realize that these countries are not the places to go on holiday. Time to keep our money in our own country.

May 26, 2005

living ~ May 26th

the day has dawned crisp and sunny. I am off to my patchwork group today. The wedding quilt is coming along wonderfully now * after a little slump. It has changed a little since I first designed it and I am quite happy with the result. I love to sew with my friends * exchanging ideas and being inspired * just sitting among other women ~ sewing ~ can sometimes be quite soothing ~ and sometimes not !!!!

May 25, 2005

*happy birthday*


BORN 25TH MAY 1913

my sweet darling nan!

i miss her so much

May 24, 2005

houskeeping ~ May 24

once upon a time, I was an organised washing lady. My washing was UP TO DATE. The past few years I have been a woman possessed with chenilles, crochet rugs and vintage hand knits...of course when I bring my treasures home, they all need a wash ~ by hand !!

so in my laundry I have mountains * and I MEAN mountains* of handwashing....as well as the normal wash and sadly, I just can't seem to get on top of it. If a cluttered laundry reflects my inner self...I must be a mess! It is driving me near insane. Week after week I plan on getting the laundry done and the laundry room tidied, clean and sparkling but it just never seems to happen. I need a system
SO ~
I ~ ms*robyn have decided that today is the beginning of a new me in the laundry dept. I am taking a leaf out of Alison's book at Brocantehome and I am going to have a strict routine and get my laundry in order

May 23, 2005

living ~ May 23

I have SO much stuff on my back verandah. Thought I had de cluttered but just bought a whole lot of stuff from the holiday cottage...... boxes and bags galore ! It looks like I have just bought a deceased estate. I have bags of chenilles, old china, my collection of vintage and kitsch shell art and lots and lots of shells....why DO I collect stuff like this ? ..... WELL ~ I saw in a magazine some great ideas for shells...one was an old string bag full of sea shells hanging from an old post. It looked delightful and although I live far from the ocean......it will be a little bit of whimsy in my garden. I also made a wreath from shells and have that hanging on my 'garden gate to nowhere.'

*in the mail box ~ May 23*

TEENY WEENY PRIZE~ I got home this morning from a particularly nasty few hours and in my mail box was a package ! My initial response was to rip it open there and then but I forced myself to wait. So I hung some washing on the line, vacuumed my floors, made myself a cup of tea and took my parcel and sat down in a favourite spot. When I opened the envelope ~ tucked inside was a delightful brown paper parcel tied with string ! an old postcard was on the outside and a little note from Alison at the Vintage Housekeepers saying ' here is your teeny tiny prize' ~ I had entered a competition a few months ago about making memories for our loved ones and I was one of the winners !!!! I was thrilled enough with the way it was packaged but to open it was a delight ! a collection of vintage postcards * and one was from Louisa with love (I wonder if that was a coincidence?) * as well as a gorgeous vintage tea cosy embroidered with hollyhocks ! what fun~ Alison is certainly talented in presenting things and making people feel special

May 20, 2005

off to the beach

this afternoon we are off down the coast. We have a little cottage near the sea. We have just sold it and we are going down to clear out all the furniture. Oh boy ! what a job that will be. I have decorated it in sea cottage vintage...lots of shell art* paintings of beach scenes* lots and lots of chenilles and dressing gowns* all lovely old mismatched china. Guess I will have lots to list on ebay. But there are quite a few things that I just cant part with......hopefully I will get to go for a long beach walk. There is a section of the beach where the inlet goes into the sea and it is like a shell graveyard. lots of pure white round shells.....I love to collect shells ! I think they will make a perfect care gift for friends....in a little jar with a collage label. And there is a huge hole on the rocks that fills with water * when the tide goes out, the floor is covered in coloured glass........

May 19, 2005

living ~ May 19

oohhhh it is brisk outside today.... I woke up early, *this body clock of mine wakes me at 5.30 every morning - even on weekends* and I set the fire and got it going...it is so warm and snuggly. I just love it ! What is it about a wood fire that makes us so cosy and comforted? It is a wonderful heat...... not like gas or electric fires.... a wood fire warms you right to your very soul and its even better if there is a hot chocolate to go with it !

May 18, 2005

life ~ May 18

sometimes I think I am such a sad soul...... little things upset me. I really love the internet and what it can bring into our life ~ meeting people, sharing stories.....however sometimes we can say or do something in an email or online somewhere and someones feelings get hurt. That is when I need to step back, take a look at what has happened and wonder if cyber space is all worth the trouble........unfortunately cyber space imitates real life

passions ~ May 18

oh, how I love vintage coathangers. Each and every one is a creation in itself. I have been collecting these for years...... they remind me of when I was a little girl ~ gazing at my Nan's clothes and adoring all the pretty coathangers. I have them displayed everywhere..... on door handles.....on hat racks and I use as many as I can...with a dear little lavender bag hanging from each one.....my wardrobe is divine !!!!

May 17, 2005

living ~ May 17

I seem to be having my fair share of op-shopping this past week. Today, I drove to Blayney ~ out in country New South Wales..to visit my sister. The op shops out there wonderful !! full of vintage treasures and sold by dear little old ladies.....who all seem to think that I have lost the plot with the stuff I buy !! I love to go out there ~ live is much slower and people seem to have time.... we went to lots of little towns - had morning tea in a genuine old milk bar called 'Garden of Roses ' with the original leadlights which were just divine !!!
bought lots of vintage treasure......well treasure to me that is ! I bought old hymn music which will be great for collage * a few old cardis * old handkerchiefs * a gorgeous 1930's cake cover * an old floral picture * and best of all ~ I finally found a sweet basket for my comfort basket. It is handmade from whicker and I think it is probably from the '30's as well....with a green chippy handle ! this cost me $5 !!
I do miss my sister........ we don't do this often enough and I think I will take an idea from Brocante Home and start sending her treats in the mail.......

May 16, 2005

vintage cleaning ~ May

To clean the toilet bowl

combine equal parts of baking soda, Borax and white vinegar. Pour generously around the bowl and scrub with a brush. Or leave overnight if badly stained

housekeeping ~ May 16

Monday is bathroom day ~ after the weekend, I like nothing better than to give my bathrooms a good scrub. I do it every Monday ~ yes, I have said before I AM a routine girl. I change the sheets on our bed and wash all the towels. The showers and toilets are scrubbed, floors washed and when I have finished I putter..arranging flowers, new towels and maybe a tea light or two...it's glorious. I find that for me a routine works better than not having one.... I like to 'know' what I am doing the next day and I do it weekly because I like my home to shine.... and I always have Fridays to look forward to.. that is the day I just spoil myself ~ either by going to the op shops or maybe a massage, sometimes lunch or just sitting in front of the fire reading..... so begins another week !!!

May 15, 2005


I have had the bestest fun ! I just went to the 'Magpie Markets' in Lawson. I haven't been in ages and it was a little too cool this morning to go into the garden so we decided to go to the markets. So glad I did ! I found a guy who had just bought a suitcase full of original 1950's fabrics and was selling it off for $2 a yard. I bought lots ~ will sell half of it on ebay and the rest use for myself. That way, I can pay for what I bought and still have some left over. I also found a gal who makes the most amazing collage cards, so I bought a couple from her. I would love to be able to do collage! hmm what else ? oh yes, two pieces of pottery ~ a casserole dish and a flan dish. I love handmade pottery...not too many pieces but a few here and there look great. Oh and the best vintage santas..those little ones from the 1960's..great for putting on Christmas gifts. We also bought a vintage rug to put in front of our fire. What a fun day!!!!

May 14, 2005

sharing my eccentric taste ~ May 14


I am not a Cath Kidston girl~I love shabby;vintage;kitsch and anything out of the ordinary.I don't have 'pretty florals' although I do love 'vintage florals'~

At the moment I am looking for a 1970's tiled coffee table.

May 13, 2005

living ~May 13

oh today I had the best fun. I went to a local second hand shop that is full to the brim with stuff. Two floors of it. Upstairs is all the good stuff ~ china, silver and various collectables but downstairs are about 5 rooms...all a mish mash of boxes, old clothes, linen, shoes and odds and ends....so I scrounged for an hour. It was delightful. I sat on the floor and just went through piles and piles of old linen...and the old clothes are to die for, they really are..... genuine vintage not the reproduction stuff that lots of people pass of for vintage or retro. These were a step back into the past ~ exquisite pyjamas * old evening gowns * day dresses and cardis........ what did I buy ? a gorgeous old yellow sheet that has embroidery on one edge... I think I will make a bed cover from that... a few bits of vintage fabric...... a tablecloth and a divine belt actually it is quite kitsch but suits my personality to a tee !!!!! good old fashioned fun is what I had today

May 12, 2005

words to ponder

a rosebud smiled
on a sunbeam
and the sunbeam kissed
the rose
And they both had the
same sweet day dream
that a soul full of
sunshine knows

May 11, 2005

*vintage gardening ~ May 11

hopefully today I will get to do a little pottering in my garden. My turnips are doing well...they survived the onlsaught of slugs although the white cabbage moth has been having a party on the leaves. Broccoli and brussel sprouts are doing really well too ~ they look so healthy. I can't wait to be able to pick some. Leeks, spinach and beetroot are all growing too ! I must be doing something right ~

I make a comfrey tea mix for the plants ~
I use a drum with a lid and half fill it with harvested comfrey leaves. Then top with water and replace the lid. leave stewing for about 2 weeks, giving an occassional stir. I skim the water off the top and then use a 50/50 mix for established plants...make it a little weaker for seedlings. Comfrey is also a good bug deterrent and also a great foliage spray. Plus its organic !!!!

I love this:

I love to watch the miracle
when blossoms bud and grow
I am nearer to God's heart in the garden
than anywhere else I know

May 10, 2005

one*word ~ sentimental

*housekeeping ~ May 10

I am cleaning out my youngest daughter's bedroom ... its strip those sheets*pull out the furniture*tidy out the drawers and give to vinnies time ! How does one teenage daughter amass so much 'stuff' in one term ~ not looking forward to what I might find but I just cant believe the immense pleasure I get when I am finished !

Yesterday I bought the most delectable gardenia tea lights * when I have finished I will light a few of those for her *

I think as a special treat I will make her bed the brocantehome way !

Then I hope to go to the op shops to find something special for her room ~ last time it was a hand crocheted blanket in bright reds for her bed~ looks gorgeous folded on the end

May 09, 2005

simple abundance ~ May

today I went outside for a little while and gathered bits and pieces from my yard ~ a few gorgeous autumn leaves ~ a couple of nasturtium flowers ~ a couple of twigs from my apple tree and a few stems from my lavender ~ put them all in a gorgeous bowl and a tiny beeswax candle in the centre ~ just perfect for a seasonal collection........isn't it amazing how many little things are missed in the garden? the gorgeous colours of autumn leaves.....the rustic look of twigs ~

*living ~May 9

over the weekend I started reading 'Romancing the Ordinary' by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Oh how I love it already. She suggests having an evening footbath ~ so yesterday I marched right out and pampered myself silly at my favourite shop * Moontree Studio * in Leura. I bought some foot spa * foot scrub and a gorgeous lotion subtly smelling of patchouli. I am on the search for a gorgeous old enamel foot basin so that I can make this a weekly ritual.It is so important to pamper ourselves with little rituals....life is just so fast and furious these days

May 08, 2005


Happy Mothers Day ~ I love my mum. She was the best mum that she could be..... she tells me stories of her childhood.....she buys me little trinkets that she thinks I would love.....she drives me insane the way she worries about me all the time..... her name is Irene Ruth

May 07, 2005

*housekeeping ~May 7

the beginning of my weekend ~ I don't usually do any major housework on the weekend ~ oh the general stuff ~ tidying, washing up and of course vacuuming my timber floors * I hate the dust and hair that accumulates over night, so I just quickly vacuum every morning ! * I usually work in my garden on weekends but today ~ I have woken to the most delectably wet and foggy morning..so I am going to putter and read.
After lunch I plan on cleaning and tidying my back verandah which I have been procrastinating about for over two weeks. Honestly, it looks like a junk shop ~ chairs, shoes, playpen *where on earth did that come from?*, junk everywhere! It looks so lovely when it is clean and tidy, the plants watered, the settee looking very inviting with its chenilles and cushions.
The verandah has been a pleasure to use since Joe filled it all in last month, no more running out to move everything when it rains and the vintage windows look so gorgeous, they really do !

then I must make an orange cake for tomorrow...
oh and tonight we are off to see the play at Sophie's school ~ they are doing the SENTIMENTAL BLOKE by C.J.Dennis and Sophie is in the orchestra playing a flute solo. I am looking forward to it !

May 06, 2005

*life ~ May 6

well here it is the end of another week. Today in Woodford it is overcast with the promise of rain, a lovely cool autumn day with that hint of the chill of winter...ahhh how I love days like this. My persimmon tree is quickly shedding its leaves and leaving bare branches dripping with the most divine orange fruit. The choughs have discovered the fruit and right at this minute I can hear their calling. It is delightful !!! I don't mind that they eat the fruit, persimmon is an astringent fruit that I haven't yet acquired a taste for. However, I hope that they leave some, I want to try making my grandma's persimmon chutney out of it. I have to wait til the fruit is very ripe...it's not looking good though.
Taking a leaf once again from Alison at the vintage housekeepers...I took a basket of breakfast to a friend's this morning.
I called her and told her to set the table for a french breakfast. When I arrived, she had a gorgeous red tablecloth on a table on her verandah and Edith Piaf blaring out. What fun ! We sat and ate our croissants and drank our coffee pretending we were two ladies sitting on the Champs Elysee.....it is fun to escape sometimes, even if only in your head !!

May 05, 2005

*housekeeping ~ May 5

I really need to get my house into order. Oh yes, I do my cleaning each and every day but its the clutter that is sending me mental. All those things that I might need oneday or the ones that I cant throw out or send to Vinnies. So I hoard them. In piles on my table or a pile in the corner. Then there is the kitchen ~ cups to be put away, groceries still not unpacked. I am not lazy ! Far from it ... I just spend a little too much time on the internet.
On the
Mother's Hour it is said that the internet is a beast that saps your energy and I totally agree. In Romancing the ordinary ~ Sarah says to have a certain time to read emails and another to answer them....... after all if I don't immediately read or answer emails, what will happen ? absolutely nothing....

Julie Andrews

I have just finished watching an interview with Julie Andrews on the news. She is the honorary ambassador for Disneyland...... what a wonderful lady! a genuinely nice person. Oh how my heart tingled with that emotion of memories of childhood..... Mary Poppins ~ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Sound of Music. And just recently the Princess Diaries 1 and 2.
I think it must be time for a girlie night ~ watching one of Julie Andrews movies

get back to the simpler things in life and let's go fly a kite ~ .


May 04, 2005



*life ~ May 4

noise drives me near insane ! I would love to live out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing. All I would hear was what we are meant to hear ~ birds singing, cicadas and silence and the sounds of home and loved ones....
just lately my senses have been jarred each and every night with the coal trains going through my bedroom ( well, not really but it sounds like it )
Yes, I live near a train line and I realize I must expect to hear the trains from time to time. When we first moved into this gorgeous home...I did notice the trains at night but they were kinda comforting.
I remember the first night we moved in,we were fast asleep and my husband jumped up and said "what the hell is that ?" ~ to which I answered "the 4.15 from Mt Vic"
~ after awhile I didnt hear the trains as much but the past few weeks it seems like every hour another loud train goes past, full of coal for overseas. What on earth do they need that much coal for?
I potter about each and every day, cleaning and creating a warm, comfortable environment for myself and loved ones only to have it dashed by these noisy trains. Going off today to buy myself some gorgeous lavendar tea lights and some ear plugs.

reminds me so much of the ghost train from the famous five !!

May 03, 2005


sometimes I dream
of a place in France or
maybe it is Ohio.
Where people live in big houses
with peeling white paint
and grow herbs
in the backyard
next to the swingset

*housekeeping~May 3*

oh my ! today I must tackle my spare room ! when my eldest daughter left home a few years ago, I gained a 'spare' room. How lovely, I thought to myself...a place to sit and ponder. I had all good intentions ~ I put a gorgeous old 1930's club lounge in there, a small television ( to watch MY girlie movies on a rainy day), some quilts, cushions and a few other lovely things....then I had a spare chair.....my old rocking chair.....my youngest daughter needed a study..well the spare room will do til we finish her sun room....somehow the ironing board made its way there too. Last night I was in that room trying to find something and it was like being at a flea market! stuff everywhere ~ ebay items*furniture*ironing (yes I know it should be done)...so today is the day ..moving furniture, sorting things out and cleaning.

May 02, 2005

* sharing my vintage home ~ May 2*

I love my home so much ~ not the material things so much but what it offers my family and me. Comfort, security and a safe haven. In times of trouble and upset it is so good to have my home to be in....feeling wrapped in love ~ the love of my family ~ present as well as past .....I am sure that my dear Nan is here with me in spirit to help me through the rough times

this is a vintage dresser that I have in my dining room
some bits and pieces
~ old egg cups * I give my grandchildren a vintage eggcup every Easter with one little chocolate egg in it
~ the redwork edge trim is from France* a friend bought it back for me on a recent buying trip *lucky me !!*
and a collection of old boxes that I like to put gifts in
~ Oh and also my collection of vintage napkins ~ all white of course and I never iron them...I just fold them straight of the line * I love the shabbiness of doing that

May 01, 2005

* life~ May 1*

the first of May ~ MAY DAY ~ time to take a May Day pleasure bath. When taking this bath, make the bathroom inviting and warm. Light some rose scented candles 1/2 hour before pouring the bath, close the curtains, turn of the lights and slip into the bath for 1/2 hour of pure pampering

2 tblsps fresh rose petals
2 tblsps fresh comfrey
2 tblsps fresh elderflowers
2 cups boiling water

Place the herbs in 1-pint jar. Pour boiling water over the herbs and steep,covered, for 20 minutes and up to 4 hours.Strain the liquid for use in the bath.

Add the 2 cups of the herbal tea to a tub half full of warm water.Relax in the tub for 10 to 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water. Pat dry.