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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

October 31, 2005


Halloween isn't something we celebrate here in Australia
* oh we have a few neighbourhood children come around
and I have sweets in a basket in my foyer * but we don't decorate.
so to those of you who do celebrate -
I hope you have lots of fun
* lots of treats and not too many tricks

early morning musings

not sure where my blog is going now - at first when I started to blog, I was inspired by Alison @ brocantehome and wrote about my daily housekeeping - then there was the wedding and memories from my childhood. I was happy to just write away - to get all those voices out of my head and in writing. But there is only so much I can write about housekeeping, the wedding is over, so now what? I really don't know. The blogging community really seems to have quietened down and I am not sure if anyone really reads this now. I am not posting this to see how many comments I get - but really wonder how everyone else surfs blogs and if they comment when they visit. I try to make a comment on blogs that I visit so that the person knows that I have visited. Much like a calling card from the victorian times......
I really do love to blog but maybe I need to take a step into the real world? oh who knows - but I will say this - I have met lots of lovely ladies through this blog & I am very grateful for that

October 30, 2005

through the blogging glass

there has been a birth in blog world
- one of the vintage Christmas swap members
- nikkishell
has had a dear little girl - she is so sweet - what a miracle !!
sweet little baby

ms*robyn's vintage style Christmas

my first cake is in the oven, smelling absolutely delish ~and as promised here is the recipe - Ms*robyn's Christmas cake

For my cakes, I use a 20cm. square cake tin - I have used a 23cm round tin but as I cut the cakes into quarters the square works better for me. I line the tin with three layers of greaseproof paper, greased between each layer and bringing the paper about 5cm above the top of the tin.

so before beginning, just make sure you have the correct sized tin & all ingredients - nothing worse than getting half way through and realizing you have something missing.......
tomorrow, I will be off to buy the next lot of fruit to soak * ya know, I have been making this cake for about 22 years or more...so I guess it is really a true tradition now !!!!

October 29, 2005

in the mail box

yesterday, I was a lucky girl again. I received my collage from Peggy - complete with trick or treat bag full of various tea & a postcard from Wendy who just visited New York City !! what fun this is - thanks a bunch girls

October 28, 2005

ms*robyn's vintage style Christmas

that fruit mix must be really lovely and moist
after soaking for so many weeks
- but no harm done at all !!
give it another stir and hopefully I will get to make it later today.
I want to make at least 3 cakes
so I really do need to get my act together
as I like the cakes to be able to sit and mature for a few weeks.
when I have the cakes baked & all wrapped up in plastic wrap
and a vintage tea towel all tied up with string
- sitting in my pantry, I am happy
& the pantry smells de-lish
but if i don't get baking soon, that won't happen.
two weeks before Christmas
I cut each cake into quarters, wrap it first in two layers of plastic wrap
then I put a sprig of holly
*you know, those vintage holly sprigs from the '50's*
on the top and wrap the whole thing in clear cellophane
*put the cakes in a basket in my foyer with vintage Christmas cake decorations tucked amongst them - old santas and reindeer*
ready to give to those that visit during the last week before Christmas.
I have done this for the past 5 years and it is now an expected tradition.

I succumed last night and I actually bought my first gift
- a collection of teeny marmalades for a family friend.
as to gift tags- I am going to make my own this year from luggage tags & collage them.

And somewhere last night, I found this wonderful Christmas site:

organized Christmas
oh and I will be posting the Christmas cake recipe on *florence's cookbook* so watch for it!

October 26, 2005

THE WEDDING of the year

yes ladies ! this wedding was to rival that of Princess Dianas to Charles !
we woke at about 6am, couldn't sleep any longer
& all the girls immediately put cucumber on their eyes
- a vintage touch ! keeps puffiness down.
then we went off to the hairdressers at 8am
* came home around 11 and the makeup artist was there to make us all beautiful
..... the photographer arrived at 11.30 - don't they take over !!!!
and then time flew
- the cars arrived and we were all on our way - it was all a blur.
The rain had held of all morning
but it started to rain as we were getting in the cars & poured til we got to the church
* then the sun came out.....
what a relief
& *thanks for all the prayers - they were definately answered*
the wedding ceremony was lovely
Garth the groom was crying as my gorgeous daughter walked down the aisle...
then on to the reception
- food, music, wine - all wonderful.
The speeches were all really lovely and they loved the quilt.
this is what I said when I gave them the quilt at the reception:

when Louisa and Garth told me they were thinking of getting engaged – I
immediately thought ‘wedding quilt’

– which means I had to start something and
also finish it and I had about a year to do it .

This quilt is a labour of love
– many dramas have happened while I was working on it

* you just don’t know how
relieved I was when that last stitch was done.

So Louisa & Garth - I hope your life is like this
quilt –

made with love ; keeping you warm & safe through the many ups &
downs that come with life -

October 25, 2005

armchair traveller - the honeymoon

the newly married couple have jetted off to
Daydream Island
off the Whitsunday coast of Queensland for 10 days - thought you might like to go with them !
the honeymoon

very early morning chatter

here it is 10 to 6 in the morning. I have already been out to do the snail run and I come back to the computer and have many compliments about my photo * thankyou Ladies - I really appreciate all the lovely comments but please realize that I was very made up and don't look at all like that when I garden - that is the first time in a very long while, that I have worn a camisole top - usually I am in tees & jeans - when I am courageous & game enough to show the 'real ms*robyn' * I will post a real life photo !! seriously though - both my daughters look like me in different ways & I look like my mum !! hugs to you all x x

October 24, 2005

as promised

here it is!!
I have been promising for ages a photo of me
Sophie & ms*robyn in the car on the way to the wedding
more to see
@ flikr

in the mail box

oh how wonderful life is !!! here I am feeling melancholy and I go to my mail box and it is absolutely stuffed full of mail !!
*delightful postcards from Brandy
* a package from Alison @ brocantehome - a gift supporting breast cancer month
* some FlavorAid from Peggy @hiddenhaven
* a gift from Dolly for my daughter complete with pink rose petals ~just gorgeous
* my very first collage from Shell ~ oh it is beautiful and she was sweet to include a vintage photo album
* a gift from Kerry @ so*pretty on ebay- cinnamon sticks and her very own washing powder that she makes
* and my gift from Stacey my vintage swap partner ~ including some vintage postcards; a special vintage hanky; a gorgeous teeny floral picture and a tea cloth~ simply delightful to receive
thankyou to each of you - you sure know how to make a girl feel special

bitter-sweet heartache

I wasn't going to post until I got myself together but maybe it will help to get my feelings down.
I have an ache where I imagine my heart is - it hurts. I have a lump in my throat and I feel like crying. Then I have feelings of hmmmm just ok. then back to the flat feeling. I know this will pass.
I am not sad that my gorgeous gal is married - I am happy. But I am sad because that part of my life is gone. My new son in law Garth, is just what ever mother, dreams of for her daughter. He is kind, loving, patient. And good looking to boot !!! He absolutely adores my girl.
so I sit here & cry, like a crazy woman..... please surround me with loving thoughts for the next few days....
I will post about the wedding, I promise. Just bear with me.
hugs to each & every one of you

October 23, 2005

introducing . . . .

my gorgeous daughter - LOUISA on her wedding day

well here I am....

the day after the wedding & I am emotionally fragile - very. Close to tears and feeling just so lost - I know it is what they call an anti-climax.....so please forgive me if I sound a little flat....

October 21, 2005

ms*louisa's wedding

Always love each other.
Always respect and be there for each other.
Remember that a bride and groom are indeed best friends.
For good friends, come not with time, but with trust!
May the best day of the past be the worst day of your future.
May good fortune precede you;
May love walk with you.
May good friends follow you.
May you grow old together on one pillow .
Enjoy the moment…..for as this moment is,
may your life be…
with happiness, love, excitement and children.
My love to the both of you.

ms*louisa's wedding

I know,I know
- I should not be here
but I am having a lovely cup of tea & thought I would take a minute.
Ms*louisa and two of the bridesmaids will be sleeping here tonight
- ms*Sophie and ms*Corinne -
so I am in the middle of setting up the beds to make them feel pampered and special
- a lovely cake of soap placed on their bed with a fluffy towel
* a chocolate on their pillow & lovely flowers in little jars
and of course my signature rose scented tea lights.
We are having chinese takeaway for dinner - nice and easy
after that ms*louisa will be pampered like the princess that she is
- a lovely deep bath with my princess blend bath salts
lights out
and lots of the tea lights twinkling in the bathroom
& warm towel for when she gets out.
tomorrow we get up about 7am
* breakfast is homemade fruit salad & yoghurt then off to the hairdressers
* makeup lady will be here at 11am as will the flowers
* photographer about 11.30 am
my daughter in law is doing a lunch basket for us all - cucumber sandwiches & mini quiche
* the only drinks we will have during the day is water or maybe a cup of tea.
the quilt I am pleased to say is fi
- it is just beautiful and I can't wait to give it to her
* I am doing that at the reception.
and of course the heavens opened up today and it has been pouring
but like George Michael says

Yes I've gotta have faith...

Mmm, I gotta have faith

'Cause I gotta have faith, faith, faith,

Mm 'cause I gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith

October 20, 2005

mother of the bride

I am alone tonight til about 9pm !!!! - so I treated myself to a foot scrub & soak. my tootsies feel wonderful - that lavender & lemongrass soak certainly relaxes a girl.

the rehearsal last night went well - although mother of the groom was in tears - already !!!!

I had a lovely lunch out today with friends from my patchwork group. One had her 60th birthday and we had made her a quilt - she adored it and lunch was yummy. tomorrow I am off to have a rose aromatherapy massage - just what every mother of the bride should have, I think!

I am not sure how often I will be posting over the next few days - probably not Saturday !! but maybe tomorrow - just depends how my day goes......

October 19, 2005

ms*louisa's wedding

tonight we have the wedding rehearsal....
both mothers of the happy couple- are doing the offertory procession;
which I am stressing about a little
as I just never know when I have to get up and go do it
& also that I will drop it.
Have you gathered yet, that I am a stresser?

October 18, 2005

vintage self portrait Tuesday

this is my new hairdo!!!
I took the top photo & ms*sophie took the bottom one
I had 8 inches cut of and it is reallllllllly short & I had it lightened.
The curl is temporary
what do you think?

ms*louisa's wedding - a virtual tour

these are the bridal cars - PACKARDS - aren't they just grand?

bridal cars

mother of the bride

today the mother of the bride says thankyou. For all your support * yesterday I had one of my Ann of Green Gables days * the rain was going to be tragic and spoil the wedding. Yes, it will be awful if it rains but we can still cherish the day * be thankful that we are here to enjoy it & enjoy the time spent with those we love & hold dear.
ps - but please keep those prayers going up as it would be even nicer if it were sunny !

October 17, 2005

in the mail box

oh ! I am a lucky girl - arriving in my mail box today was my care gift from kali! Just what I need this week - a gorgeous lavender hand cream- perfect for stress; a delightful soap that looks like a vintage mannequin dummy and a tea light which I am going to use tonight when I have my bath - all wrapped up in a sweet teacloth & tied with white ribbon. a BIG thankyou to you, ms*kali x x
also received a lovely thankyou letter from Thea who was my spring care friend - thanking me for the gift that I sent to her. *yes Thea, those tea lights are exactly the same as I use in my home - aren't they delightful?

FROM MY MAIL BOX - I finally got to send my vintage swap parcel to my buddy today. I was looking for one more thing to put in and found it today, so that is on its way to Colorado this very minute. And I sent a lot of postcards to the POSTCARD SWAP girls

ms*louisa's wedding - a virtual tour

I have bored you all for months with this wedding
* complained & chatted non stop
* like a saga.
So I thought to make it all real for you,
I would show you a few of the important details over the next few days

the first one is of the church

where ms*louisa and her chosen husband to be - Garth are to be married

St Gregory's Catholic Church * Kurrajong

ms*louisa's wedding

after months, no make that years of being in drought conditions * it is now absolutely bucketing down outside and I just looked up the week weather forecast * for the wedding day it predicts

Trend for Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Occasional showers.

normally, I just take the weather as it comes but this is different. I feel like stamping my feet in frustration & shaking my fist at the sky but of course that won't help * there is nothing I can do 'cept pray. so friends, I am asking you to start praying that the rain stops for her big day - it would be tragic if it does. Her dress & hair will be ruined. May God send down sunshine

October 16, 2005

mother of the bride

today, I feel like escaping to a secluded tropical island where it is just ME but I can't cause I am responsible so I did the next best thing and made two appointments at YINDI DAY SPA. One for an hour facial on Wednesday and the other for Friday to have a body massage. ahhhh I cannot wait!!

ms*louisa's wedding

Sunday October 16 - according to the counter at the top of my blog there are only 6 days to go til the BIG day. That means 6 sleeps or lack of.
we are having the bridal party over for lunch today - a kind of pre wedding luncheon -with the grooms parents as well. 16 people, am I mad? and of course, Mother Nature in her finest - after droughts, today we have rain. which means it has to be inside, not on our gorgeous courtyard deck.
Thankfully, we are having a BBQ - chicken & gourmet sausages * rice, almond & fresh asparagus salad and sweet potato cooked in sweet chillie sauce & served with pepitas and baby spinach.
Dessert is a lumberjack cake which has just come out of my oven a minute ago.

my - I didn't know how much a wedding entailed these days.... I am sure it wasn't quite like this when I got married - or was it? I must ask my mum

October 15, 2005

vintage gardening

now I know why these sweet little cottage flowers have this delightful name.
When I first moved in to this house - the garden was over-run
with lots of cottage style plants as well as weeds.
Took me along time and alot of hard work to get it how it is today
but I have had fun and enjoyed it.
Of course as gardeners know, my work hasnt ended, there is always lots to do..
the tiny forget me nots were everywhere
when I first moved in and I pulled them out
and saved ALL - yes all, the seed
- throwing it with gay abandon as I finished each garden bed -
thinking to myself that it will be wonderful to see them self seed each year.
Well it is,
but boy.. I have enough to carpet the Hume hwy. between Melbourne and Sydney.
Today, I spent about 2 hours ripping the spent plants out of my garden -
I had visions of ms*louisa walking through my garden in her wedding dress,
brushing against them and having the little seeds stuck to her dress
FOR - -- EVER.
because ladies,
I now have them stuck to my pants, gloves and some on my sleeves.
How can I ever forget them, if they are stuck to my clothes permanently ?

in the mail box

yesterday, when I arrived home from the city - my mail box had some wonderful letters for me!! Thanks to Melissa for her great newsy card ( love the eggs & apron picture) - Peggy for her gorgeous vintage postcard & and a postcard from a new addition to the postcard swap - Thea.. thanks girls, it was great to sit down and read these while having a nice cup of tea

October 14, 2005

ms*louisa's wedding

it's here - the wedding dress is here, hanging in my spare room !!!!! no dramas, perfect fit = happy bride

nice drive into the city today & dear Joe bought me a bottle of Issey Miyake! I also bought myself a gorgeous peach lipstick ! ahh it does one good to do girlie stuff just for yourself sometimes.....

mother of the bride

well, yes I have to 'fess up.
Melissa said I am due to have a hair-raising day.
Well the past week or so, I havent been sleeping very well,
my skin is breaking out

and I absolutely hate my hair.

I definately don't want to go to the city today
I just want to stay home and finish getting my home into order.
We had a new bed delivered yesterday for ms*sophie that has to be put together
it has been raining all week and my washing is backing up down the street
and around the corner
My verandah is a huge mess with all the bags to go to St.Vinnies

...... and I absolutely hate my hair.

But I am the matriarch of this family
I inherited that job years ago and I will soldier on
and probably have a complete meltdown on the day of the wedding
which won't be good.

and did I tell you I hate my hair???

October 13, 2005

ms*louisa's wedding

oh well, it had to happen. The bride*to*be is stressed

just like grandma used to make

COOKERY means the knowledge of Medea, and of Circe, and of Calypso, and of
Helen, and of Rebekah, and of the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all
herbs, and fruits, and balms, and spices; and of all that is healing and sweet
in the fields and groves,and savoury in meats; it means carefulness, and
inventiveness, and watchfulness, and willingness, and readiness of appliance; it
means the economy of your great-grandmothers, and the science of modern chemists;
it means much tasting, and no wasting; it means English thoroughness, and French
art, and Arabian hospitality; and it means, in fine, that everybody has
something nice to eat - JOHN RUSKIN - Ten lectures to little housewives

I have re-invented my recipe & cooking blog:



I am not a sloppy or messy cook. I clean up after myself as I go.
but dear readers, I give up.
can someone please tell me how on earth I can remove those splatter marks
on the glass in the oven door.
it doesn't matter what I do to prevent splattering during roasting, whether I cover the food with foil or put the meat in a bag
those brown marks always seem to appear.
I always wipe the oven down when finished cooking; including the door
but that doesn't help either
Last night, I took it into my head to start cleaning my stove & oven - I have tried everything - sunlight soap, hot water and a scourer; a paste of lemon juice and bicarb soda (which I must say, did help a little) but it just doesn't look clean. Then I tried to scrape it off with the end of a spoon, this worked but is so tedious.....
it is very admirable to be green, but let's be honest
- some natural cleaning methods just don't work.

through the blogging glass

when someone leaves a message on my blog, I always like to have a little peek into their world. Carol left a lovely message about my blog & how she loves vintage - her blog has the most amazing altered book pictures that she does - collage girls will love it!! Gives me an idea for a future collage swap (yes, another one)

Carols garden

October 12, 2005

brown*paper*parcels ~ memories are made of this

from brown paper parcels on May 5th * 2005:

the dresser drawer @ my nan's home

I have so many memories of my nan and pa's home~
they had this wonderful kitchen dresser with bubble glass in the top doors. She kept all her family 'heirlooms' and treasures in there. One of the drawers was put specially aside for her grand daughters. She would put treasures in thedrawer for us to go through and pat and admire. We were allowed to take one special treasure home when we visited. Oh ! they weren't valuable treasures but things that all little girls love to collect ~ old perfume bottles * pretty handkerchiefs * buttons and ribbons * bits of gift wrapping * cards and trinkets ~ I remember one time, I picked a nearly empty bottle of 'Blue Grass' perfume. I thought I was just so important wearing that perfume !!!!
My nan was the one who instilled in me a love for old things. She was adorable

October 11, 2005


A little here, a little there
just gathering as we go
and save each little scrap with care
that's how kind thoughts will grow

It took me nearly all day today to clean out my sewing room.
I sew
* I also make messes as I do it
pulling bits of fabric from this drawer or that basket - this braid or the red one?
and do I put it back as I work?
certainly not........ I get carried away in the creative moment.
Then a week or two later - I see what I have done and then try to ignore it.

But spring clean today it was!
I pulled all my vintage fabrics and cutter chenilles out, all my fabric baskets & patterns and went through them -
I ask you - just how much vintage barkcloth or chenilles does one girl need, really?
I have bottles and bottles of buttons, buckles, press studs & wooden cotton reels.
I have lace & trims to die for.
I have vintage hankies
- all from years of hoarding.
And a huge collection of feedsacks.

I have been ruthless
but still kept my favourites
some things like all my vintage hankies will stay FOREVER.
Patterns that I no longer need or want will be passed on
- to be shared among my sewing friends - sharing is such a great feeling.
If anyone collects any of this stuff - let me know - I am willing to share

So, the windows were washed, the floor vacuumed and all the tables and cupboards dusted. Baskets of 'works in progress' were sorted into some kind of ms*robyn order

for puttering ~ rosemary & lavender or patchouli & sandalwood votive candles
to be kept specially for my 'creative mess'

vintage self portrait Tuesday

well... I guess these shoes aren't vintage but they are my WEDDING shoes.
They are so sweet - pink with gold kind of filigree and a tiny heel.
As you can see, I still need to shave my legs
- well -
I did but they grow
you all know how it is

vintage toys

introducing MaryAnn
I got MaryAnne under the Christmas tree from Santa when I was about 5. She was dressed in a little dress with shoes & socks and I thought I was made. She even walked *with my help of course* She didn't have name so I called her after my favourite uncle's wife. Oh how I loved that doll when I was small. She stood at the end of my bed on a special stand that my dad made for me. She would sit with me in the back of our car whenever we went out. She has the bluest of blue eyes, a sweet mouth and just the prettiest face. Unfortunately she also has what is known as 'cancer' . Her whole body is crazed and very brittle and some parts have started to break down. I am not sure if this can be stopped or even fixed.

The next Christmas, my nan had her dressed as a bride for me - with veil and even a dolly bouquet * sadly this has gone missing* I still have the veil but have just washed it in time for the wedding.

You see, ms*louisa is going to have her photo taken with Maryanne on her wedding day

October 10, 2005


Monday ~ both bathrooms & our bedroom have their yearly spring clean.
I wash all the bed linen & when it is dry , I fold it and pack it away among bags of lavender for the warm months. I don't remake my bed, til afternoon, I vacuum the mattress and spray it with lavender water and leave it to air.
I usually put a light chenille on my bed for spring & summer with an eiderdown folded at the end for those cool nights.
Open all the windows and let the fresh spring air flow through.
All the drawers and cupboards in the bathrooms are emptied out, washed and then the items that I want to keep are put back - all tidy so that ms*sophie can have fun messing it all back up again !!! and the hair in those drawers !! I swear there was enough to make a winter coat!
wash skirting boards with a hot water, lavender oil & pure soap mix
windows are washed and I vacuum my curtains rather than wash them. That is just too much trouble and as we don't smoke the curtains stay fresh anyhow.
scrub the showers and wash the glass screens. Scrub toilets and then wash all the floors.
remove light fittings and wash in hot soapy water.
Put the new towels and bath mats in the bathrooms with a new cake of soap
To putter ~ I usually light a few lavender tea lights - a small spring posy and just delight in how wonderful it all looks - oh ! and I always fold the toilet paper * just like in a ritzy motel

ms*robyn's vintage style Christmas

still stirring my fruit mix each day !!
check your pantry for other ingredients for the fruit cake:
1 granny smith apple * honey or golden syrup * brown sugar * butter * 4 eggs * plain and SR flour * mixed spice
I have also started my brocantehome gift box * although I can't find cinnamon oil here in Australia. Am tossing up which oil to use - myrhh, frankincense or cedar. However, I bought my favourite Christmas candles yesterday - cinnamon & plum and they have the most delicious smell...making my gift box smell divine - can't wait to see what ms*Alison has in mind for the vintage cards

a bit of nonsense

to start our week, here is a little bit of nonsense that I found at Patras other place

i'm in hufflepuff!

Congratulations on making Hufflepuff!
You're one hard-working, loyal, compassionate little thing, aren't you?!
Well, there are some good things, and some bad things about that.
Bad things first, so after you're let down and crying your eyes out, plunging into a state of depression, I can cheer you up with the better facts.
Bad thing, your house has a horrible rep for being a bunch of wimps.
Good thing, it's not quite true.
You're tough!
It's hard to be loyal!
And remember, Hufflepuff is you!
Don't be ashamed of yourself.
Hufflepuffs to Remember
Cedric Diggory

October 09, 2005

memories are made of this ~ looking back

isn't it great to visit old haunts every now and then * like a step back in time * memories rushing past, as you see homes where you lived, schools that you attended and all those other places that you have memories of.

we did that yesterday - my family have their own cemetery - well it was, back in the late 1800's, but has now been taken over by the local council due to historical value. You have to be related to my dad's family to be buried there. I love old cemeteries * the gorgeous statues & headstones * the fences around the graves and the lovely decorations that are found on some - shells, vases and lovely old china flowers.

we decided to have lunch at the reception venue yesterday and while we were sitting there chatting away, I realized that we were just around the corner from the cemetery & thought while I was there, I would go visit my dad and grandparents.

It has certainly changed, where there was an old rickety post & rail fence built by my grandpa, there now stands a concrete replica, which just doesn't quite have the same quaintness as the original. And the catholics are on the inside of the fence now !! - I can remember as a child seeing about 4 graves outside the boundary fence and my mum would say to me, in a hushed voice ~ 'they are the catholics'. Of course ,I had no idea what 'catholics' were at the age of 4. I have since converted to catholocism, much to my grandma's disgust, I am sure, as I was told that she would 'turn in her grave'. Isn't it wonderful though, that this bridge has been crossed and all denominations are now happily 'residing side by side' within the boundary. I laugh now at the catholic/anglican thing that I grew up with but I guess that is how people were, back then.

I found my dad's grave - he has been put with my grandpa - and I remembered vividly the day he died, it was mothers day. I can remember the week before too, as on the Friday, I had to do meals on wheels and he wanted to come with me. But me, being impatient, said no. And I will never, ever forget that, as it was only two days after that he died and I will always feel that I didnt have time for him.

Don't get me wrong - he came to my place nearly everyday for a cup of tea and company but this day, I just didnt want him with me as I was bothered about stuff and yes, annoyed that I would have to listen to him for hours.
I miss him so much, dreadfully at times and yes, I love my dad !!!! but I am sure everyone who reads this, understands how parents can sometimes bother us. I know I bother my children lots but they still love me......my mum bothers me dreadfully sometimes, to the point of pulling my hair out but I adore her, love her so much !!!!

anyhow, after that long drawn out story - we continued driving * over the river on the punt * down to the town where I grew up and I pointed out my grandparents home and the mulberry tree we use to climb to get the most amazing mulberries * where I went to Sunday school * my primary school * where my friends lived ( amazingly gorgeous houses now) * where we had bonfire nights and my uncles orange orchard. Where my dad would go to get fruit and vegies to transport to the Sydney markets and then bring bags of fresh sweet corn home for us........ ahh memories - that is what vintage life is made of !!!!

October 08, 2005

in the mail box

after my horrid day yesterday * it was wonderful to receive some mail from my online friends. Amy from retrospective kindly sent me a vintage newspaper that she thought I might like * am looking forward to sitting down today with a cup of tea and browsing through * and a lovely long newsy letter from Shirley,which had me smiling and laughing while I read it - thanks to both of you... ...Shirley *I DO think you should start a blog & join some of our swaps
and being ditzy - I have completely forgotten to say thanks to Doll for her postcard that I received over a week or so ago - I am so sorry Doll !!! big thanks to you !!

October 07, 2005

ms*louisa's wedding

catastrophe dear readers !!
we arrived in Sydney in plenty of time
and toddled off to the bridal boutique.
When we arrived, the owner was in a tizz
and had absolutely no idea that we were there to pick the dress up
her alteration lady had walked out a month or so ago
and all alterations were forgotten.
ms*louisa's dress had not been taken in
and the shoulder straps had not been made and attached.
The wedding is two weeks away !!!!
the bridal boutique has employed a dress maker
who is going to finish the dress in a week
and we can go pick it up next Friday -
one week from the wedding.
Needless to say, we were all a little upset & stressed.
Sydney is an hour and a half drive in traffic for me
and not fun at all -
however beautiful in might be.
However I did get my shoes and they are gorgeous...will take a picture of them later.

so - to a preview of the dress while she was having her final fitting

ms*louisa's wedding

today dear readers - we are off to Sydney for the brides' final fitting for her dress and to bring it home! It is also ms*louisa's birthday today, so we hope to have a lovely lunch somewhere in the city - maybe at the Rocks on the harbour. A gorgeous day today so that will make it twice as gorgeous to be having lunch on the harbour - Sydney is a beautiful city on days like today.
I am driving into the city so that we can put the dress flat on the way home - going by train is just not an option so lucky me gets to drive.
ms*louisa, ms*sophie and myself also need to find lipstick, suspender belt for the bride plus her underwear, shoes for moi and I am tossing up whether to buy new perfume for myself. I usually wear *ROMANCE* by Ralph Lauren but I am leaning towards buying myself a teeny weeny bottle of Issey Miyake.

*happy birthday*

Louisa May
born October 7 1980
25 years
and soon to be married

'mirror, mirror
on the wall
I'm like my mother
after all'

yes indeed
- ms*louisa has turned into her mother!!
she is a worrier
she loves old stuff & she is an organizer!!!

it has been said a daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend
but you are immeasurably more than just a friend
you are a special treasure * a gift from God

October 06, 2005

brown*paper*parcels ~ vintage toys

from brown-paper-parcels on Tuesday May 3rd *2005

introducing my very first doll ~ well the one I can remember as being my first ! her name is Suzy . From her cute little curls right down to her perfect little toes..she is made entirely of rubber. Except for her eyes which are glass. She has the most perfectly painted pair of red cherub lips and still wears her original dress. Sadly her bonnet has been lost. One of her hands has been chewed by a puppy we owned but how shabby !! I would never, ever sell dear Suzy and one day my first grand daughter ( if I am given one ) will inherit her. Thank Heaven that my mum is a hoarder. Oh ! I have so many toys that I can share

October 05, 2005


cleaning the hearth for the summer months - unfortunately I don't have a hearth but I do have a slow combustion fire. When I spring clean, I give the fire a really good clean - I pull out the ash box and empty it into my compost bin * then I scrape as much ash & cinders as I can into the tray and empty it again. Then I vacuum it out and scrub the glass door with hot water, pure soap, white vinegar and a drop or two of lavender oil - using a non scratch scourer. once that is all done, I wash the tiles around it and then I set the fire * using pine cones and sticks and on top of that I put a bunch of fresh lavender * for sweetness during the summer. the lavender will dry over the next few months and when it is time to light it, the lavender will give off the most gorgeous scent. During summer, I also collect my kindling and at my door, I have a huge basket where I store it in readiness for winter. I find in doing that, I don't have to scrounge around for kindling to light the fire.

ms*robyn's vintage style Christmas

ok, I know I said that I AM NOT even thinking about Christmas but I have to admit that it is time to start soaking the fruit for the Christmas cake.

* 400g sultanas * 300g currants * 150g chopped dates * 150g chopped glace apricots * 150g chopped glace cherries * 100g chopped prunes * 150g chopped dried apples
* 100g slivered almonds

in a large bowl
* pour 1/2 cup brandy over fruit
and give a good stir
* cover and leave for a week or two
stirring each day.

for my tradition
I usually get each member of my family
to stir the fruit
and say a little blessing as they stir

the only other thing that I will do before December 1st
is taken from
*getting my present box ready*

October 04, 2005

vintage self portrait Tuesday

in honour of ms*louisa's upcoming wedding
~ I thought I would have a vintage wedding theme for the next few tuesdays.
The garter was my mum's
* the leg is mine
* yes dear readers, I have chicken legs

shame on them

keeping all those innocent people who were in Bali at the time of the latest terroist attack cocooned with prayers & love - innocent people going about their lives - some working to support their families * others taking a holiday * many year 11 students having a break before starting their final year. Some lost partners, others lost children. The world is sometimes a sad place.

I don't usually comment on world affairs on my blog but this is shameful that a human being can even think to do this to another so shame on those who did this

little gifts tied deliciously up in ribbon

this swap closes today!
if you want to be in this one please let me know
swap blog
I just had a brain wave!!
there are enough ladies in each country to do the swap within your own respective countries. That way we can save on postage costs and the little gift can be a tad more expensive.

housekeeping ~ October 4

I have a spare room
- it was ms*louisa's til she moved into her own little home over a year ago. Now it is spare - supposedly a sitting room
* nice and quiet for a gal to sit and read or just ponder
* however as spare rooms seem to do it has become a dumping ground for all. As well as a place where my ironing board stands ready ( what for I don't know!) and in the last few weeks it has become my collage room where I work on the collages for the swap. And however neat and tidy I try to be, it just doesn't quite look tidy....magazines, bits n pieces and half finished blogs all over the floor.
spring clean is yelling at me !! so that is what I am doing today - giving the sitting room a thorough spring clean (forget calling it a spare, 'cause that just encourages it to be untidy - don't you think?) - I am pulling all the furniture out from the wall and vacuuming the skirting boards, then I will wash them down with a mixture of hot water, lavender oil, a teeny drop of pure soap detergent & a drop or two of linseed oil * push the furniture back where it is going to go * vacuum rest of carpets * vacuum curtains & then wash the windows inside and out. Take my big bunch of flowers out side and give them a shake, pick up the ones that fall off and put it all back together( this bunch is the one and only fake bunch I have). open cupboard doors and shreek ~check that all dvd's are in their right covers. vacuum books on the bookshelf * dust shelves and other furniture & wipe over with lavender furniture polish.
That's it for the year. I only spring clean once a year - and I find that by doing my regular cleaning each week, that is all I need to do. Excepting of course for ms*sophies room that always looks like it needs spring cleaning !
After that - I can stand back & admire what I have achieved * light a tea light or two and close the french doors......and promise myself that in future I will always tidy up as I go!

October 02, 2005

ms*louisa's wedding

the hens night
~ last night the girls had their night out
* my daughter in law organized the night out
and had booked an apartment in Sydney and then out to dinner
When they arrived at the motel, they had been upgraded to the penthouse suite,
overlooking Sydney Harbour with views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
They had dinner at a salsa club
- where they were taught to 'salsa'. The girls made ms*Louisa wear a vintage wedding veil & a big sash with 'bride to be' emblazoned across it , carry a bunch of weeds .
Looks to me like they had lots of fun
~ I was invited to go
but decided to let them have a great night out without mum looking over their shoulder.....
so glad I did that as they didn't get to bed until 3am -
wanna see the bridge, opera house & the girls? go here:
hens night on flikr

October 01, 2005

a touch of whimsy in Woodford

the gardens in Woodford are open this weekend - so this morning dear Joe & I went to have a look at my favourite.

This garden is the most delightfully silly, pretty garden that I have ever come across - owned by a couple who obviously have a great sense of whimsy. The lady is in her mid 30's and is married to a man who in her own words ' lets me have pink' - she is also very artsy.

As soon as you walk down the stairs into their front yard, you are enveloped in pink - you can just feel it. The house is painted in a faded pale pink with dark pink trims * with some orchid here & there. It really is delightful.... down the side of the art studio you are teased with little plants just rambling here and there. A hammock swinging in a little nook, so tempting. The vegetable garden, a delight and right near that is the most sweet little old fashioned clothes line with a pink peg bag hanging, full of pink pegs!!!! She had placed roses here and there for a touch of whimsy... so romantic.
Although this couple don't have children, they have a cubby house - all dripping with pink tuille. Every little girls dream..and then down the path Mr & Mrs Scarecrow are watching the garden - dressed to kill of course.... it was such a delight to see and really touched my nonsense self...

I took quite a few photos which I have uploaded to FLIKR - take a walk through the garden with me & enjoy