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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

November 29, 2005

Christmas traditions @ms*robyns

time to think about our Jesse tree * today I am off to the nursery to find a potted pine. I place this at my front door surrounded by lots of different sized cream candles, which I light when it is dark, usually about 8pm here in summer time. a few citronella candles placed among them keeps the mozzies at bay!
December 1st is the traditional day to start decorating the Jesse tree but here in our family we put decorations on each Sunday * right up until Christmas eve when we place Jesus in the manger
I am in the process of making new ornaments for this year * for the creation I am doing a luggage tag with a collage on one side and the very first verses of Genesis cut from an old bible that I bought in an op shop awhile ago. Is that sacriligeous? Well - it was hard to cut but seeing as it had been drawn in and was quite damaged, I thought that at least I was using the pages for something gorgeous.

the Jesse tree

November 28, 2005

my vintage bookshelf @ Christmas time

I have a few favourites that I like to read at this time of year * first starting off with
*Christmas at Longtime* by Hesba Brinsmead
I discovered the Longtime series about 21 years ago when someone lent me a copy of *Longtime Passing* funnily enough this author grew up in the same area that I did. There are three books in the Longtime series and they are all about her life in the area.
Christmas at Longtime tells of traditions at Christmas time in the hot australian bush. Food they ate, presents they gave and traditions that were held dear .
"It is about a Christmas long ago, a Christmas of heat and light, flowers and long dusks, a family reunited, a picnic dinner on a patched white damask cloth, under trees dressed in summer green. It is about a simpler time, before the war to end wars, in a vanished corner of Australia and about a father who gives his youngest child a gift she will never forget"

All written in a way that really makes you feel like you have experienced the whole thing with her - if you can get a copy, I can thoroughly recommend it * I am fairly sure it is out of print now *

well - farewell Dolly

ms*dilly-dolly is off on her adventure * moving down to Australia !!

have a wonderful, safe trip *sweet-pea *

sure hope you get back online soon and tell us all about your travels !!

November 27, 2005

a peek into my Christmas home

our advent wreath with the first candle alight
it is nothing spectacular or tizzy - just plain and simple
it helps bring the mood of anticipation and of calm waiting
*the first candle is called the Prophet's candle*

November 26, 2005

Christmas traditions @ ms*robyns

tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent - in preparation for this, today is the day that I prepare my advent wreath. It is something I have been doing for oh, about 15 years.
I will go and buy my votives this morning * 3 violet & 1 rose scented and they will be placed among a wreath in our dining room. Each Sunday of Advent a candle is lit - the violet ones are lit on the 1st, 2nd & 4th Sundays and the rose is lit on the 3rd Sunday of Advent. And in the middle of the wretah, I place a white beeswax candle which will be lit the night of Christmas Eve and I allow this to burn overnight.
I would love to use real greenery but with our hot summer it just isn't sensible, so I use a gorgeous 'fake' wreath that looks pretty good, I must say!!!
During the week, I burn about 3 little beeswax tealights and each time I walk past, it reminds me that Christmas isn't about running about like some fool, buying stuff we don't need, it is about celebrating what we believe, with those that we love
Preparing the advent wreath is a tradition that brings our family back to what Christmas is really about, we can focus on the simplicity that is the Spirit of Christmas.

the advent wreath

November 24, 2005

life @ ms*robyns

I have had a wonderful day today!! I went shopping with my friends...not ordinary everyday shopping - oh no - this was special. We went girlie shopping....first of all we visited an artist friend who lives in the inner city in a gorgeous old terrace. she is a mosaic artist as well as making the most divine hand painted pottery. Her studio was to die for and her house - delectable !!!! quaint & kitschy - It was built in the 1800's and you can just feel the history. There is something about that part of the city. all the lane ways and nooks and crannies.
I bought a lovely little wall vase as well as a mermaid wall plaque to hang in my bathroom......such talent & it has inspired me to try my hand at mosaic work. All I need is to find some broken plates etc.
then we went to Surry Hills ~ first to a french shop called Ici et La - which sold the most ridulously expensive french housewares and such but it was good to look at. tea towels were $50!!!!!!
Then off to a shop called *no chintz* which sold pompoms in every colour imaginable and the most gorgeous linens. I bought some to make an apron and some baubles to finish of a cushion.
Then we lunched in a lovely al fresco cafe called *the book Kitchen* which had shelves and shelves of cook books for sale ~ vintage & new. For lunch I had a roast pumpkin, baby spinach and peanut salad - that was tossed in a ginger dressing.
after lunch we went to an upmarket italian fruit shop * fritelly fresh* I bought bunches of beetroot * tinned cherry tomatoes * a baby seedless watermelon and some bananas. Oh and a great hessian bag to carry it all in. Just what I needed - another bag !
what a fun day it was - I tell you - I could live in the inner city - it is such fun!!

the kindness of strangers

we all have lurkers on our blogs.... some people just love to come and read quietly...never commenting and thats lovely. A few days ago I mentioned on my blog that I was looking for some vintage bamboo handles to finish my bag off... and I received an email from a lady who said she had been collecting them for a few years and would love to give me some if I would forward my address details..and I did. Then I started to worry that maybe I had given my address to some crackpot... so I put it in the back of my mind... today - I received the said handles plus some gorgeous vintage embroidery patterns from my lurker *tosh* - how lovely.... the world is not such a bad place. Thank you Tosh from the bottom of my heart..and please keep visiting my blog whenever you wish.
I have half finished the 2nd bag and these handles are just the perfect size. My mum had a set for the first bag that were perfect....how lucky am I ? two sets in a week.

November 23, 2005

in my stocking I hope to find....

I love MOR products !!! & I surely hope that I find some of this in my stocking.... it is *marshmallow* flavour and just last week, I bought myself a tube of the *marshmallow* skin pearls - the perfume is divine...it smells like Nana.. old lady musk kinda perfume......so now I want some of this body souffle

vintage horror

I just had the most wonderful conversation with my mum - she was horrified that I was swapping vintage handkerchiefs with people from all over the world
"what will 'they' think?" she asked
"receiving a used hankie from a stranger! - why didn't you buy new, they aren't that expensive"
I am sure she had visions of bird flu or something equally as sinister.
However - rest assured I have washed mine to the 'nth' of their vintage lives...and if you don't want to use them - cut them up and make little lavender bags * or just have a pile of them tied prettily with ribbons ....there is just something about vintage hankies that comforts my soul

November 22, 2005

in the mail box

thanks to Peggy for the gorgeous postcard !!! & I went to the post office & sent off my christmas stocking today !

so now I have a vintage gal pal to send a package off to as well as my seasonal care gift .. that I have already packed my vintage gift for my spoilee at Mama Whiskas and will send that off in a few days.
my Christmas cards & hankies are sitting on my writing desk, I put a drop of lavender on each hankie this morning and I will probably write the cards tonight

....what a busy time of year for the mailman.

vintage inspired sewing

I found some handles for my hessian bag so I finished it last night * in between cooking dinner*... I am quite pleased with it ! It is not the same colour as the one I made in primary school so the next one I make I am going to try to find the same blue hessian... I think I really need to recreate that blue bag with an elephant on it... this one is hot pink however the colour is showing more as a red..instead of wool embroidery I decided to use my feedsack pieces for appliqued flowers
*if you click on the actual photo, it should take you to a larger picture where you can see better detail!*

November 21, 2005

life @ ms*robyn's

Monday and the bathrooms are sparkling - I took a leaf from brocantehome & detoxed my drains today as well as scrubbing the bathrooms and stripping the sheets.
then I had a puttery type day - doing a little more on my pinafore apron and deciding what lining to use for my hessian bag. They are both coming along wonderfully, although I am not sure if I have made the apron the right size...guess I can always give it to someone. I finished my christmas stocking for the stocking swap & it is all wrapped ready to go. Soaked a few vintage hankies in borax and lavender for the Christmas card & hanky swap and started to put together a few treasure for the vintage Christmas swap.....of course my floor in the sewing room looks - well not so tidy but it is more of a creative mess.
Time to start organizing my advent wreath as well as my Jesse tree. ms*sophie and I are going to make the decorations for the Jesse tree this year - something that she will be able to keep when she has her own home.

November 18, 2005

Thanksgiving Australian style

we don't celebrate Thanksgiving down here in Australia but since visiting the US a few years ago - I started to have a Thanksgiving dinner with my family in November. This weekend we are having our Thanksgiving dinner. I think everyone has something to be thankful for!!

I usually buy a turkey roll which is the breast of turkey that has been stuffed with cranberry & pinenuts and a ham that I glaze with orange juice and brown sugar.
I serve it with mashed potatoes, *sweet potatoes glazed with brown sugar * corn on the cob with lots of butter & salt * peas and gravy and I make corn bread to go with it.
I usually pick a large bunch of roses to put in the centre of the table ( that is my harvest contribution) and for dessert this year I am making a citron tart from my own chook eggs and lemons from my own tree. A good bottle of Australian red wine for the adults and juice for my grandchildren
I also bought some gorgeous pumpking tealight candles which I will place in vintage glass jars and have them twinkling all around the dining room.
The table will be set with an unironed vintage damask table cloth - a mismatched lot of vintage white plates and white cotton napkins - unironed and vintage of course.
outside on my verandah, I will put some beeswax tealights near the door.
we all sit down and before we eat, each person is asked to say something that they are grateful for and then grace is said. I also get each person to give the last of the fruit a stir before I make my last fruit cake * I get so excited at this time of year - I can feel the emotion bubbling up inside & at least by celebrating Thanksgiving - I can allow the Christmas spirit to shine

November 17, 2005

vintage Christmas swap

I am matching partners for this tomorrow * so if you want to be in this swap, please let me know as once it has closed I can't let anyone join. a vintage gift just for you !!!

vintage christmas swap

November 16, 2005

the silly season

yes, it's started, much to my dismay. Carols playing in stores, pre Christmas sales, crowds of people wherever you go * buy this, buy that*
- talk of Christmas shopping on blogs....
berryhead has got a good thread going on her blog amy ~ berries gal
which got me thinking about how we all rush around at this time of year,
buying way too much
is it called the silly season because we all become ridiculously silly in regards to our gift buying frenzy?
the 3 kings of the Orient bought gifts to the infant Jesus that were special to them.
Frankincense and myrrh have healing properties so were for good health which is way more important than anything that you can buy in a store
& gold honoured the infant as a King.
All gifts were from the heart.
so -
isn't it sensible to give gifts that are a specialty of the giver?
someone who likes to cook can give home bottled beetroot * jam or pickles * cookies or Christmas fruit cake.
Or someone who loves to sew can create things during the year to be put away in a gift drawer or trunk in readiness for Christmas - spreading the work over a few months.
I know that not everyone would like to receive things like this but simple, gifts from the heart are so much more loving than a fridge or stereo system.
I usually do my shopping, then go into the city and see all the gorgeous bits n pieces that are bought out at this time of year & end up buying way too much.
so this year * I am going to try my hardest to not get caught up in the craziness and buy or make one simple gift for each of the people on my list - personalize it with a collage card & make Christmas what it should be - a time spent with those that are important to you.

vintage thoughts

what are the qualities the Saints posses? *faithfullness, loyalty, courage, unselfishness, love & holiness* says the vicar's wife and adds that we wives practice these particular qualities as we go about our daily round, cooking, shopping, mothering, pram-pushing and mending

November 15, 2005

those voices in my head !!

4am this morning my mind was buzzing with swaps, Christmas and things I had to do.... so I tossed & turned * willing myself to try to get at least another hour & a half sleep * I thought of getting up and writing a list of all that was going through my mind but I didn't - telling myself that I would remember in the morning. At 6.30am I jumped up out of bed, grabbed a scrap of paper and pen and guess what? All I could remember was that I had to buy Christmas cards for the swap....
so I have just put a gorgeous little notebook next to my bedside table (Alison @ Brocantehome sent it to me awhile back), with a pen and I am going to write things down during the night whenever I need to. I have brainstorms sometimes - designing things and getting tremendous ideas only to have them float off somewhere never to be thought of again. The theory is, if I write it down, I will get off to sleep again and wake up with all my tremendous ideas in the notebook. that is of course if I can read the writing that I did when half asleep and without my glasses

November 14, 2005


as usual for Monday I cleaned the bathrooms & changed my bed sheets. For a change I put my double wedding ring quilt on the bed - folded in half at the foot. Lovely lavender bag under my pillow ready for sweet dreams.
Gardenias - there is nothing more that reminds me of my childhood summer than a bunch of gardenias. Mine have just started flowering so I picked two, as well as a few roses and put them in a vintage gardenia bowl on my dressing table. I love to lie in bed, waiting for sleep to come...just breathing deeply and every now & then I will get a hint of the perfume of my gardenias....going off to sleep with that fragrance is truly divine

sending Christmas cards

It is always fun to send and receive mail & especially at Christmas time.... to know that even at this busy time, someone has taken the time to put something into writing & send it off to you.

the christmas card exchange is closing tomorrow ~ so if you want to be part of this, please don't forget to let me know.
Christmas card exchange

included in these cards will be a handkerchief - vintage or not - depending on you and the receiver.

memories are made of this

when I was in primary school, each week the girls would do sewing.
Our teachers name was Mrs Rutledge.
One year she had us make bags
*from coloured hessian, embroidered with something on the outside and had bamboo handles* Mine was bright sky blue, with blue sateen lining and the embroidery was a dark blue elephant.
One night last week, I was thinking about the bag that I made
and started designing it in my head
*as you do*.
The next day, I went off to spotlight and surprisingly hessian is available in many colours
so I bought a metre of hot pink and a metre of lime green.
I am going to make some of these bags.
Maybe even a few for Christmas
which realistically probably won't happen
The pink one has been started and for the lining I am using a vintage teatowel.
I am going to embroider lots of flowers on the hessian.
I am still hunting down babmboo handles
- I can find plastic ones but really, they aren't vintage are they?

November 12, 2005


we're off to the Blayney Ball ! well, it is actually my nephew's year 12 formal in Blayney but don't you think the Blayney Ball sounds better ? Blayney is a town in the country west so this will be a real country affair! The Blayney fete is on too! Country fetes are delightful!!!
Should be lots of fun and while I am out there, I hope to visit a few nurseries.
will stop by and visit your blogs when I get home on Sunday.

November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day

on the 11th Day of the 11th month at the 11th hour
we will remember them

take time today, to stop for a minutes silence to remember the sacrifice of those who have died or suffered for Australia in wars & conflicts
and all those who have served during the past 100 years

we will remember them


November 10, 2005

*happy birthday*

born November 10 *1929*

my dear dad

* sadly not with us here any more but I know for sure he is with me everyday in spirit * the times that I think of him & his favourite bird, the kookaburra will fly and sit on the fence or verandah railing and just look at me * a coincidence? I think not *
this is a picture of him with me about 15 years ago * I was in my Demi Moore from Ghost stage * note the haircut

there is not a day that goes by without me missing him dreadfully *

November 09, 2005

ms*robyn's comfort drawer

just this past month, I discovered a new magazine * well, new to me anyhow. It is an Australian publication & in some ways, I find it similar to the book
Simple Abundance...
the notebook

November 08, 2005

vintage gardening

I am so very thankful that I am not a buddhist
* you see, I just killed much of the snail population in my garden
and that is not allowed if you are a buddhist.
It has been raining regularly for weeks
*not much sunshine at all & I haven't had a chance to be in my garden for any length of time. But today it stopped
and not only have the snails consumed nearly all of my vegie & herb garden
*except for the weeds of course,
but they have also taken up residence on my house.
millions & trillions of them.
small ones, big ones & ones all sizes in between.
I stomped on them, which made me sick to the stomach.
I dropped handfuls into strong salted water,
I poured salt on the ones that were on the path
and I am sure, as I blink
they multiply.
Where do they come from?
they really should practice birth control

star light star bright
* first star I see tonight
* I wish I may
* I wish I might
* have this wish, I wish tonight.
I wish snails would become extinct.
I mean,
what use are they besides sending me insane?

calling cards

Naomi had a great suggestion on a post somewhere on my blog!
"Now I know almost nothing about clever computer things, but wouldnt it be
lovely if we could each design our own calling card, so we could leave them to
let each other know we have been, on those days when your brain is just too
sleepy to do a comment...? "

calling cards similar to those used in Victorian times! when we visit blogs and are just too tired to even think about a comment but really enjoy reading the blogs.
Oh, I tried and tried to post a picture as a comment but blogger won't allow the html code - so when I visit from now on & am tired but just want to let you know I visited
* I have decided to take the vintage way and be polite and leave my calling card somehow
maybe just the words:
ms*robyn - stopped by

November 07, 2005

brown*paper*parcels ~ childhood dreams

from brown paper parcels on May 9th *2005:

as a teenager I was really 'out there' with my fashion! My nan encouraged me to make some of my own clothes and I sure had fun. I remember two tops that I made * the first one being a black and white striped pinny type creation ~ it was kind of like a big oval of fabric for the front with a huge frill right around the edge and it was tied on the back with ties ~ one around my neck and about 3 down the back. That was all that was holding it on ! I would wear this with a pair of flares and a pair of cork wedges about 8" tall. In these I would run up or down the railway steps at Central station in Sydney. Its a wonder I didn't break my neck! The other fashion item that I can recall was the most divine halter top ~ made from an old piece of vintage chintz that I found in my nan's linen cupboard *and that is a story in itself* the halter top had the most gorgeous shaped bodice with a huge diamante brooch in the centre and a black button on the back neck ~ so elegant ~ I would wear this with a maxi skirt * hair up and big dangly earrings~ tres chic ! And yes ~ I did want to be a fashion designer !!

spoiling my*self for Christmas

SallyJean has outdone herself with these !!
one or two of these are on my wish list for sure.
I can just see a little Christmas tree decorated with *just* these

November 04, 2005

forgive me

forgive me
if I have been ditzy the past few days
* but I have been forgetting to take my HRT regularly
and it was hot & humid yesterday which does not make for a very happy ms*robyn....
ya see I take HRT
..yes, I have heard it is bad for you....
but if you ever saw me when I don't take it,
you would be running for the pill to ram down my throat!
I was going to be one of these lucky ladies
who breezed through menopause at around the age of 55 with no problems at all....
maybe treating it herbally if I needed
life happened
and at age 43
I had to have pelvic radiation which killed the old ovaries overnight.
I woke up screeching like Linda Blair in the exorcist.
I swear, I was frothing at the mouth at times
After a week or so of crying in the garden,
screeching at the poor long suffering soul mate
and sounding like a fishermans wife (apologies to any of you who are married to a fisherman)
*I ran to the Drs and asked (read screamed) her to 'give me the patch'
....that worked for awhile.
Except I was constantly rubbing it on as I was scared stiff it would come off
and I would once again be demented.....
I was going through about 3 a week instead of the one that is recommended.
so off to the Drs again to get an oral pill.
Which has been working ok til the last few weeks
when I have been constantly forgetting to take it regularly
so I have been having my own private summers
& am beginning to feel fuzzy headed,
& I guess rabid.
oh and also very sensitive
- little things annoy me
*like how the soul mate is outside at 7am this morning sawing wood with a power saw - just grates on my nerves. I feel like opening the window and well...... you know.
and to top it all of - yesterday, middle of spring we had humidity at 85%. That is just not acceptable!!!!

in the mail box

my mail box was full of collages yesterday!! From MaggieAnn, Kali, Melissa, GinaL & Ainslie - thanks to each of you for the gorgeous work & little notes & bits included. Ms*Louisa says thanks for the sweet thoughts, messages & gifts as well. Each of your collages made my day & I will take pictures today sometime x x

November 02, 2005

All Souls day

November 2nd is All Souls day.
All Souls day is a Catholic day of remembrance
for friends and loved ones who have passed away.
I have many loved ones who I remember on this day
my dear Dad
* who use to help me with my garden
he would be so proud of his grandchildren today.
My treasured Nan
* who gave me my love for old stuff.
My grandma
*who died on my 10th birthday
and gave me my love for cooking and keeping house,
my Pa
* who was English
and always had aspirations for me to become an opera singer
he obviously was tone deaf
& my grandfather
who taught me alot about organic gardening and permaculture.
How I miss them all !!!
but I have my memories
and for that I am grateful

the day after the wedding
I visited the cemetery where my dad & his parents are buried
I would love to be able to visit their graves today
but they are all buried at least 2 hours drive from here.
and my maternal grandparents are buried two hours away in the opposite direction

So I will gather up little photos of each them
* pick some flowers
* and light a candle in remembrance.
and sit with a cup of tea
* look through photos
and remember fondly
those that I have loved who have gone to Heaven
and in doing that
I am nurturing my own soul

early morning musings

gee, thankyou everyone for all the lovely comments about my blog - I was just feeling writers block, I guess. And sometimes, I get quite 'worried' that I may offend someone's feelings by what I may write - but then, what I write is the way I am and the way I live and like alot of you said, I should keep a blog for me ....so here I am early Wednesday morning with lots of voices in my head !!!

November 01, 2005

they're back - Mr & Mrs

my gal is home!!
she and Garth visited tonight
- both with gorgeous tans and looking so relaxed and happy
- ahh every mother's wish.
They had a wonderful time * relaxing on the beach, para-sailing, jet skiing and eating
They both said to say a 'big thankyou' to all my blogging friends for the support and well wishes over the past few months -

Patron Saint for housekeepers

oh how funny!
inspired by Amy
I went searching
and lo & behold
there is indeed a patron saint
for us housekeepers:

and also

all Saints Day

November 1st is All Saints Day
Today we remember and honour all saints of the church
and we give thanks for our saints -known and unknown

I look on the saints as experts in their field
just like here on earth where many of us have areas where we excel
* mine would definitely be vacuuming!* St Robyn patron saint of the vacuum cleaner
and I believe it is much the same in Heaven

You can't forget St. Anthony - patron saint of lost objects
many a time I have uttered a little prayer asking St Anthony to help me find something I have misplaced
* and dear St Therese, who I leaned on during my radiation treatment
* St Gerard, whose protection I was put under when diagnosed with cancer
* St Christopher of course, whenever we travel
and St Jude when all else fails - patron saint of hopeless cases
we don't pray to the saints as such but more ask them to pray for us to God

and in waiting for All Souls day tomorrow
*light a beeswax candle & pray the rosary or burn incense & pray the litany of saints