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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

December 31, 2005

annus horribilus

good bye to a most dreadful year
* next time you hear from me it will be 2006 !!!
a year full of dreams come true for all of us

this last day of 2005

has dawned hot * but I guess you already knew that* and I am not making any New Years resolutions as I tend to forget them quite quickly. But as you know I have decided to make my life in 2006 *simple & selfish* I am going to try to follow the *simply abundant* path as much as I can - Not sure where I will be going or end up ......but I do hope at the end of 2006 * I can look back and find that my life has indeed become what I had hoped for :~ *simple*

so tonight we go to a friend's home for dinner - he puts on a lovely sit down 3 course dinner with dessert being served at around 11pm. Then we chat and wait til 12am January 1st & he has a dark haired man (who is known as the first footer), knock at his front door bearing gifts of coal & whiskey * this being an old Scottish custom supposedly to bring good luck.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld
acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for
auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne."

and with that my friends I hope you have a wonderful New years Eve !

December 30, 2005

a woman's lot - absolute torture

trying swimming costumes on...enough said?
well seeing as I am going on the cruise, I though it might be a good idea to have a cozzie - so off I trotted today in the heat with the soul mate in tow - dragging his feet.
I think, buying a swimming costume must be the most horrendous thing we have to do. Different if you are a young slim thing but once age gets hold of you and after a few children ...well things aren't as they were when you were 15.
So you start looking, choosing a few that you think might be ok, then a few more til you have more than allowed in the change room and off you go....... the first one is too small * the second pushes bits out where bits shouldn't be and the 3rd one? well it seems to be all wrong - it looked so much better when you tried it on in your imagination * oh? it must be the wrong size AND on it goes til you finally get fed up and choose any old thing. Like a pair of purple board shorts with a tank like top that doesn't match but who cares ?

did I ever tell you ? .....

that I hate the heat ? it is 40 deg. C today (approx. 105 deg. F) and tomorrow is predicted to be hotter and January 1st is an absolute scorcher - predicted to be 44 - can you believe that ????- thank Heaven I live in the cool part of the state.
sorry about complaining but I just had to tell someone!

December 29, 2005

ghost of Christmas past

ahh yes * Christmas just gone already has a ghost of the past, SO - when to take the tree down? I usually wait til the New Year - usually around the 7th (I remember some kind of old wives tale about leaving it up til then)
but with the cruise coming up
and my new *simple & selfish* mantra - I can't wait to get back to normal and get on with my *new* life !!!!!!
I have taken a few things down as I clean up & putter but I feel so guilty if I take the tree down too soon.
of course it looks like it needs to go * with this heat, the poor thing is looking sad and sorry for itself. I might just cut it up into little logs in readiness for winter - kind of like a yule log.

for us

Cultivate gratitude.
Carve out an hour a day for solitude.
Begin and end the day with prayer, meditation, or reflection.
Keep it simple.
Keep your house picked up.
Don’t overscheduled.
Strive for realistic deadlines.
Never make a promise you can’t keep.
Allow an extra half hour for everything you do.
Create quiet surroundings at home and at work.
Go to bed at 9 o’clock twice a week.
Breathe--deeply and often.
Move--walk, dance, run, find a sport you enjoy.
Drink pure spring water. Lots of it.
Eat only when you’re hungry.
If it’s not delicious, don’t eat it.
Be instead of do.
Set aside one day a week for rest and renewal.
Laugh more often.
Luxuriate in your senses.
Always opt for comfort.
If you don’t love it, live without it.
Let Mother Nature nurture.
Don’t answer the telephone during dinner.
Stop trying to please everybody.
Start pleasing yourself.
Stay away from negative people.
Don’t squander precious resources: time, creative energy, emotion.
Nurture friendships.
Don’t be afraid of your passion.
Approach problems as challenges instead.
Honor your aspirations.
Surrender expectations.
Savor beauty.
Create boundaries.
Exchange security for serenity.
Care for your soul.
Express love every day.
Search for your authentic self until you find her.

*found on care2.com*

December 28, 2005

Trift to Fantasy

This book called "Thrift to Fantasy" was under the tree for me at Christmas time. What a delight ! Pictures & pictures of vintage sewing items from the 1930's, '40's &'50's.
Great reading !
and a must for anyone who is interested in vintage linen & textile crafts
Thrift to Fantasy

meet my girls

I thought it is a good time to introduce *my girls* - two have come to meet me at the gate. I have about 7 girls at the moment * all named ~ Betty & Wilma ~ Florrie, Jean & Elsie ~ Pearl & Ruby. I don't feed them chemicals - they live on a diet of kitchen scraps, grain & the odd grub or two from my garden. I have even been known to make them hot porridge during winter time, with a dash of garlic. It warms them and they produce eggs even when it's cold. They delight in the piles of weeds that I throw them each weekend. Scratching and clucking as they search for worms. I could sit and watch them for hours & hours.
I have decorated their home with a shabby vintage chandelier which doesn't actually work but looks delightful just the same ~ They reward me with yummy eggs every day * eggs where the yolk is really, really yellow & the white is nice and firm AND they actually taste like eggs !!

December 26, 2005

*Boxing Day*

well today we recover from yet another hectic Christmas Day * I often wonder why today is called Boxing day - there must be another reason besides the one where the rich gave boxes of food to the poor * In my family it is because by the end of the day * someone usually feels like boxing someone else's ears. 20 people are just too many to be cooking a traditional meal for on Christmas Day. Joe says that I have this wonderful vision in my head that it is going to be a storybook Christmas meal * with everyone acting the way I want * but it doesn't happen * So we have decided that next Christmas, we are all going to pack a glorious picnic to share and go to a park and have a family picnic. Where the kids can ride their bikes, we can play shuttle cock or just lie around doing absolutely nothing reading our books or snoozing on a blanket~ remember my motto ? *simple & selfish* ~ yep the picnic is going to be a new tradition which we all agreed is a wonderful idea.

December 25, 2005

* MeRrY ChRisTmAs *

Just arrrived home from midnight Mass
Merry Christmas ! everyone !!
and to all - a goodnight !

December 24, 2005

this Christmas season

"What is Christmas?
It is Tenderness for the past * Courage for the present * Hope for the future.
It is a fervent wish that every cup may
overflow with blessings rich and eternal
and that every path may lead to
Agnes. M. Pharo
and with that my dear blogging friends, I wish you the most wonderful Christmas ever * full of the magic of a childhood Christmas past * peace and all those things you love - family & memories.
I am so very blessed to call each of you a friend. I am so grateful that we have met via this wonderful thing we call the world wide web and I hope we continue to grow together in 2006.
blessings galore to each of you !!!

Christmas traditions on Christmas day

Our family has always celebrated Christmas by having dinner together on Christmas day....when I was little it was at my Nan's place - then my mum took over when Nan got older and couldn't see to do it.....then when ms*louisa was born - I realised my mum had been doing it for years and took the reins.....
so our children & their growing families come to our home for dinner * along with my sister & her family as well as my mum & Col * her partner. I also ask Eric who lives down the road as he is alone and there is one thing that I cannot bear and that is for someone to be alone at Christmas.
So far that is 16..then mum is bringing a friend who is also alone * Eric has a friend staying, so he is coming too * my sister has a friend whose marriage has just broken up and Sophie has a friend who is coming..... we are up to 20 this year ! yikes am I mad ? ?
I usually do the traditional Christmas dinner * for us this is : roast lamb; chicken & baked ham. Roast vegetables: potato, pumpkin & sweet potato done in brown sugar. Cauliflower au gratin and peas * all served with gravy *home made mint sauce is served in a victorian glass jug

*Then for dessert we have the plum pudding of course * served with custard and I also make a trifle * I have lashings of King Is. cream to serve with dessert * I have my fruit cake with tea & coffee later after dinner.
trifle recipe to share

I usually set the table outside on our patio * weather permitting of course * a vintage white sheet is put on the table and to decorate the table I will put a gorgeous sparkly cranberry vine down the middle . * I was lucky enough to find some venetian ruby glasses that I will burn votives in and these will be placed amongst the vine branches * I use mismatched vintage white plates and huge goblets for wine & I use my vintage damask napkins. At each place I put a Christmas bon bon so we can all pull a cracker each, read the dumbest jokes ever and wear silly hats.
All among the pots and plants I burn tea lights as well as having fairy lights strung in the japanese maple.
oh and in the afternoon about 4 hours before we eat * I burn lots of citronella mosquito coils to keep those mozzies at bay

Before dinner we give out our gifts which starts off all very civilised but by about the 4 th gift - it turns into a frenzy with paper being torn * lots of oohs & ahhs and many thankyous.
I of course vow and declare that this is the last time I am doing this - but of course we all know come December 1 next year - I will be getting organised once again and don't blink as it will be here before you know it !!!!

Christmas traditions @ ms*robyns


for the past 5 or 6 years I have had a 'special' breakfast on Christmas morning - I invite ms*sophie's godmother; Eric- from down the road and some of our neighbours * this year I have 8 in total - the table is set with a vintage damask tablecloth which is topped with a vintage Christmas tablecloth. chocolates and candy canes are put into vintage silver jugs and old lustre ware coffee cups and a few votives are lit.
I serve the same thing each year - champagne with cranberry juice * a warm fruit compote served with cinnamon & honey yoghurt from King Is. * muffins or croissants with jams & honey or ham & cheese * tea or coffee. a lovely light breakfast to begin a gorgeous day

a link to the: fruit compote

Christmas housekeeping @ ms*robyn's

Christmas eve has dawned * hot & windy * lots to do for me today - I need to get my verandahs all tidied up, a little tidying around the yard and watering all my pots.
Then I will get stuck into getting things done for Christmas day - I need to make jelly for the trifle, fruit compote for breakfast, cook the cauliflower for the cauliflower au gratin & get my home in tip top shape for Christmas day * putting my cinnamon & plum votives in lots of places and lighting them for today * I love to have the perfume in my home, the day before Christmas as well * I play music, usually something peaceful & soul moving.

December 23, 2005

through the blogging glass...

oh my !!! I just have to share this blog. I found it through Alison at brocantehome.
love it !!!!

for those of you who would like to know :-

it is hot today (37 deg. C/98 deg. F) * I hate the heat - did I tell you that ?

pampering ones*self at Christmas time

time to de-stress and pamper yourself !!!
take 2 cups of sea salt and 1 cup of epsom salts and tip in a vintage glass mixing bowl * mix in 3 drops each of lavender * sandalwood & rose oils. mix well ~ stir in one handful of dried rose petals & place in an old glass jar with lid.
to use * just add a handful to a warm bath
so tonight - first of all give yourself a good old dry brush exfolitation - starting at your feet, gently brush upwards with a loofah * using quick strokes up towards the heart. Then jump in a shower, give yourself a quick wash using a favourite cake of soap or body wash.
then :
* light some perfumed tea light candles * turn the lights down low * step into the bath and relax.....
oh and don't forget to tell the family this is YOUR time.
Enjoy it !!

December 22, 2005

spreading the Christmas cheer

today I am off to visit a friend *just up the road* he loves my Christmas cake, so I thought I would take a piece up to him. Funny, how you have friends but time just flies and it is months before you have seen them...
he is an editor of a wonderful magazine and has his own website - and has just opened up a little shop here in the mountains - take a little peek, when you have time
Rick at Wroxton

blogging stuff......sometimes

just sometimes ~ do you ever get the feeling that blogger is trying to send you a little insane? Take for instance posting a comment on blogs where you have to type in word verification ~ how many times do you have to squint and hold your tongue just so, to be able to read the letters. So you type it in and WRONG !! or if it is easy to read, by the time you type in ALL the letters, you feel like you have just written a novel.

December 21, 2005

tis the season to be jolly

this picture was taken about 11 years ago - we had a cold Christmas that year and that was the year that I decided to do a salad. Sophie is helping me unravel macaroni decorations that she had made at pre-school.

thankyou mr garbage man

today is garbage day in Woodford. week in week out, our garbage is collected by an unknown & unseen garbage man. In his big truck, he comes down our street. I never see him to wave to but each year I leave him a gift on top of our bin - just to say 'thanks'.
A six pack of beer * tied in a big red bow....but I am like a cat on a hot tin roof right now - the beer is sitting out there, tied in its finery & I am worried that someone will come along and steal it. so I keep checking to see if it's still there.
Sad isn't it?

early morning head stuff

why do I run around at this time of year, like a demented chook with it's head cut off?
do I do it for myself - well yes, I guess to a certain extent it is - but mostly I do it to make memories. Years ago, when I became a mum, I wanted my children to have a Christmas just like I had when I was a child - so I set about creating - and I have done well. Even if I do say so myself - my children still talk about past Christmases - the fun times * they each have their special memories...
then I became a grandmother * and I remembered my Christmases spent with both sets of grandparents - maternal * Nan & Pa and the paternal *grandma & grandfather. ....sadly they are not with us here anymore.
So, on becoming a grandmother - I wanted to make memories for my grandchildren -I have two grandsons at the moment. Thomas 6 and Jack 2. So I decorate and do fun stuff for them - buying junk Christmas stockings filled with absolute rubbish & out of date lollies, answer their questions about Santa with fairytale stories -telling them the story of the true beginning of Christmas, asking them to make me a Christmas decoration at school - hoping that in time, they will sit and talk about grandma and her Christmases.....that dearies, is why I persist in decorating....to make memories.
oh and by the way - all my 6year old grandson wants for Christmas of Santa is a pack of shiny pencils - isn't that gorgeous!

December 20, 2005

all I want for Christmas......

I think that is it in nutshell - don't you?
go here: buy nothing at Christmas and here: make your own
thanks to
Melissa for this link !

a peek into my Christmas home

I don't have a real mantle so each Christmas, I lug one up from our shed & set it up - without the fire of course ! more here: mantle pictures

spreading the Christmas cheer

this afternoon I am having my neighbours in for Christmas cheer * actually afternoon tea served with my Christmas cake * almond & cognac shortbread * maybe some egg-nog * I buy this already made - and heat it gently on the stove, stir in some brandy * pour into a glass & grate some fresh nutmeg on the top ~ chrismas-liscious !!
On my mantle - I have vintage glass dishes with chocolate coins & bells ( lindt of course) * candy canes in glass jugs. I have the spice candles burning * christmas music playing softly in the background & table set - just perfect for these last few days leading up to Christmas

JOY to the world

I found this on care2.com and thought I would share ~ a lovely, lovely story:
It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I. German, British,
and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed
their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the
Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held
Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas."
"You no shoot, we no shoot." Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs.
Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before.
They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.A shudder ran through the high command on either
side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with
each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this
spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial. By March
1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put
back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million
would be slaughtered.
The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, "This really happened once." It reminds us of those thoughts we keep hidden away, out of range of the TV and newspaper stories that tell us how trivial and mean human life is. It is like hearing that our deepest wishes really are true: the world really could be different.

tis the season to be jolly

yep - laughing at yourself can never be done as well as it can be done at Christmas.

I only have one sibling * a sister - Judith who is 2 years younger than me. We have had our normal sister spats - but we are friends.

However my mum seemed to think we were twins when we were little girls. We had matching patent leather shoes, matching bags, socks, matching this ; matching that.... even our dresses were the same although in a different colour. Hers pink ~ mine blue(to match my eyes, I was told) - I am the pink girl !!!! This photo was taken when I was nearly 10 and Judith was just 7. Note the matching outfits !!! My mum still buys us the same things in different colours

*gotta love that mum of mine !!!

December 19, 2005

'tis the silly season

yes * we all know that it is nearly Christmas * so let's be silly !!

this is a photo taken at Christmas * we had just given my mum a t-shirt with this printed on the front:

'I helped fight the Warrimoo fires'

you see, the year before was an horrific bush fire season * the whole of the Blue Mountains was affected * at one stage the fire was in our town although on the other side of the highway and in about 3 gullies away.

we were in China at the time and my mum & dad were minding our house and they panicked. They packed everything ! and I mean everything - well almost - they packed wire coathangers but not treasured toys * they packed plates but not whole sets * boxes and boxes of stuff. The fire burnt out and we came home.

To all our belongins packed into removalist boxes. Yes, I was angry.

the next year the bushfire brigade has these t*shirts made and we just had to give mum one!! that is one of the Christmas's that we laugh about now!

love my mum!!

Rest - ye merry gentle women

I just found this ~ relax & be joyful !!

rediscover the joy !

we' ve arrived !!!

yes everyone !!!!
yesterday in our Sunday paper - there was an article on how popular blogging is - seems that any one who is anyone has a blog and it is THE way of keeping in contact with loved ones. 70,000 new blogs are created everyday ( how are we ever going to read them all?)
as one blogger said - 'email is SO 2004'
so seems to me we are one of the 'in crowd'

December 18, 2005

a message from Heaven

funny how things happen.
After my post yesterday, a friend dropped a gift into my home * a box of home-made shortbread. I opened it early this morning (to put the shortbread in an airtight container so that it didn't go stale) and on top was a little note:
"it's not what you do......it's the amount of Love you put in the doing" ~ Mother Theresa
how is that for a message from Heaven?
*seems to me I have made the right decisions about simplifying my life.

December 17, 2005

a word to live by

and that is what I have decided to do with my life ~ make it simple ~ be a little selfish and not to try to carry this big old world on my shoulders * I can't fix the world's problems and it is of no use worrying about them.
so ladies with that ~ I have decided to close the swaps ~ I am sorry but .....well I need to focus on me ~
I want to travel the 'simple abundance' path....do yourself a favour ~ buy the book ~ it is deliciously pampering
*simple appreciation of everyday life and beautiful things*

December 16, 2005

in the mail box @ Christmas time

a lovely lot of mail today ! a whole lot of Christmas cards from my swap girls - all with delightful hankies in them !! thankyou so much ~ MaggieAnn * Dixie * Kali & Maureen - I love them all ! What will my postie do after Christmas ?

December 15, 2005

so this is Christmas ??

love that song by John Lennon.
but really - under my funny looking tree is a sad little pile of gifts. One for each person....all wrapped up in brown paper, thought & love plus a sprinkling of cinnamon oil on the tie ! Usually there is a huge pile of presents - I shop for each person * then I shop again & again ..buying stuff they don't need. So this year I decided not to go mental and to stick with minimum. And I am pleased to say - I have done just that. Each present under that tree is something that the receiver wanted. I just can't seem to get into the 'spirit' of the season - and by reading other blogs - most people are the same - is that a coincedence or are people sick & tired of the commercialism & the want, want * want ?

December 14, 2005

time has come for me to sleep....

yes * time for bed for ms*Robyn. an early night * I am so, so tired....

but before I go - the previous post : yes - I did have cancer - diagnosed in 2000 * radiation in 2001 and I am fine now. All checkups for the past two years have been normal. so thankyou all for your concerns & love........ let's get on with this show ( or should that be blog?)

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas

this is us in Central Park getting ready for a buggy ride through the park. I am the one with the beanie on (no, I didn't lose my hair * it was cold)

this is ms*sophie & myself standing with the NYPD police

yes ! ever since I can remember * I have been dreaming of experiencing a White Christmas.....so in 2001, after I had finished my treatment for cancer * the darling soulmate took me to New York as a reward for being *so brave*, to meet an online friend who I had met through an online cancer support board. She lived in New York City on Staten Is. and assured me that I would definately be guaranteed a Christmas with snow. So we book our tickets & plan our trip. Then Sept. 11 dawned and of course - the terroist attack. So what to do ? should we cancel or still go? after many phone calls between Woodford and New York we continued our plans and flew out a week before Christmas. I just can't tell you how excited I was........I had a list of all that I wanted to experience and Gin *my friend* made sure that I did all that I wanted

* from pastrami on rye in a New York deli

*chestnuts roasting

*eating chinese takeaway from a cardboard carton

* Rockefeller Centre where we were even lucky enough to get to see the Rockettes

*we went to Macy's on 34th St by yellow taxi

*the New York subway

*the Empire State building

*we went on the Staten Is. ferry

and even go to visit Ground Zero and were on the news that day.

Christmas Eve dawned cold - really cold and my hopes soared....off to midnight Mass then straight to bed * dreaming of a white Christmas* first thing I did when I woke was look out the window and couldn't believe my eyes...... white !!!! so I raced up the stairs and woke Gin who looked out her window and all she saw was a normal scene....cars, garden and road. What I had been looking at out of my window was the next door neighbours white pebbles on his driveway !!! oh so funny! so we continued our holiday - travelling to Pennsylvania & Indiana to meet up with some other friends and had a wonderful time * even experienced lots & lots of snow on our drive - what fun !!! although driving was a little hair-raising...... the day we flew out was the day it snowed in New York that year !!

Honestly - that is one Christmas I will never, ever forget!!

December 13, 2005

a new tradition at Christmas

taking an idea from *romancing the Ordinary*
I decided to make myself a wassail bowl
* apple cider * apple juice * cinnamon sticks * brown sugar * nutmeg & cloves
- all simmering this very minute on my stove
* smells absolutely delish !
I am going to have a lovely bath * dress in my jammies and watch *Miracle on 34th St*
while I wrap all my Christmas presents * ready to put under the tree
* this year - I am using plain old brown paper (of course)
tied with red ribbon & luggage tags
* ooh that spiced cider smells wonderful !

January 2006

just a little advance notice to all my dear readers
the soul mate & myself are off on a two week cruise in January !

a peek into ms*robyn's real life

yes ladies my *real* life - not the one where I swan around like Martha * lighting tea lights and scrubbing my bathroom within an inch of my life but the one where I create * usually a mess, sometimes works of art * either in the kitchen * the garden * or my sewing room.
Today - I just must get into the sewing room and tidy it - as this is what I saw this morning

it's beginning to look alot like Christmas

well * it's done !
our tree has been bought and decorated. a real one as tradition will have it
- although I did toss up for a minute whether or not to go for fake this year.
So I sent the soul mate of to the local fruit market to find 'our tree' and thankfully he didn't come back with the tallest one this year.
Last year - we needed a fire truck ladder to put the star on the top.
as per usual he dragged it inside, dropping pine needles everywhere
and I ran around like a mad fool looking for the tub to put it in - why is it never in the place it should be?
then it is time to position the tree - here in our household - tradition has it that words are said that should not be said, * and lots of them!! usually terse words at that.
& tempers must be frayed
until ms*robyn feels like throwing in the whole Christmas towel.
why does the soul mate, make such a production out of the tree gathering every year?
so - the tree is up, tied to light fittings, window frames and cornices
so that it won't fall down even if we are hit by Cyclone Tracy and all is forgiven. And the tree is allowed to sit & settle.
time to decorate !
this tree is kinda like a memory & love tree -
decorations are either made by our children or have been bought for a specific reason or occasion.
Like the miniature antique camera that we bought the year my dad died - he loved photography. Or the stork with a baby bundle hanging from its mouth - the year ms*sophie was born. A golf ball for the soul mate - this is his passion and many more. Plus all those lovely home made ones that I shared with you.
On top of the tree is a paper mache type star - made by ms*sophie at preschool aged 4.
ahh the memories as each decoration is taken out of the box.
almost forever
*I have bought each of my children a decoration each year that mean something to them
and when the son and ms*louisa were both married - I presented them with a box of their decorations to put onto their own tree -
which is why our tree is looking a little empty.....but I still love it !
because it is our tree

December 11, 2005

a wander down the garden path

this is a picture of a few of my tomato plants * this was taken a couple of weeks ago & the plants have grown quite abit * of course, I didn't put enough stakes around the plants so am now demented in trying to keep them all tied up. They have started to bear fruit and I will be able to keep the whole town of Woodford supplied with tomatoes this year ! I read somewhere that they love crushed eggshells so I have put quite alot of eggshells around and under the plants and it seems to be working. I garden organically so alot of the plants you see are companion plants that attract all the good bugs to the garden - hover flies are my favourites right now !

*vintage gardening*

oh boy - summer time ~ what a hot time to be in the garden but well - you just have to do it otherwise it ends up looking like a jungle out there.
I have to do lots of pruning & weeding and some more mulching today. Mad dogs & englishmen garden in hot weather - not quite sure which one of those I am though. I do garden in the heat - stupid I know, but I am obsessive in all that I do - so that explains it. I put the hat on, old tee shirt & shorts and my boots and off I go. Perspiring like a fool. But I take lots of breaks, drink lots of water and garden mostly in the shade. When I get too hot, I go inside for a bit to cool down.
Calidore at
Calidore's garden has a great post about gardening in the heat - she gardens after dinner. Which is a wonderful idea but those mozzies near drive me insane. I did read once that the colour blue attracts mozzies but I can wear red, yellow or even lime green and they are attracted to me whatever colour I wear.
My gardenias are in full flower now and the perfume is amazing ! The tomatoes are starting to bear fruit. I have enough zucchini to take a truckload to the market and I have been eating my beans for a few weeks now ! I just spied yesterday, quite a few passionfruit on my vines too - that vine is growing so well * it must be the chook manure. It is actually growing over my chook pen.

day to day living at Christmas time

busy * busy * busy - that is my day today ! First * I am off outside to garden - then after lunch I am going to Leura for afternoon tea with my soul mate & the newly weds. A little bit of Christmas shopping and then have to pop in and visit a friend - her mum passed away this year and she wants to buy a vintage statue of Mary - being the obsessive collector that I am * I have a few * so I thought I would give her one of mine ......it is hard to give things like this away but - well * sometimes you just do these things, don't you?
then tonight ~ we decorate our tree - it is in the tub right now, drinking up the water, settling in readiness to be dressed in all its finery !

December 10, 2005

the ghost of Christmas past

most years we have had a real live Christmas tree - my dad was a truck driver and each year at Christmas time, when he delivered the fruit to the markets - he would bring us our tree. This was taken Christmas 1961. It isn't a gorgeous thick tree , nor has it a good shape. It was quite sparse & spindly but how much fun we had decorating it! * little santa lights, tinsel and foil swags * folded paper balls, snowmen and birds with feather tails * glass baubles * bon-bons and right at the very top sat the Christmas fairy - her head was plaster & she wore a dress made of duck feathers - all these decorations would be highly collectable now - but sadly they were lost in a flood a few years later. I have spent quite a few years trying to find similar for my vintage tree - to recreate my childhood one. And look at all those presents wrapped under the tree!

December 09, 2005

it's moments like these....

yes * moments like today ~ that make me realize that all the hard work of being a mum is worth every bit of pain & heartache that you go through. And that I have done a pretty good job bringing my gal up ~
ms*Sophie graduated today from year 10 - which is the end of her junior high school years. She received 5 awards !!!
first in geography, history, english & music
as well as her achievment award for year 10 for participating across the board in various areas of her school life !
so -
well done ms*sophie -
we love you !!!

December 08, 2005

I hate the heat

Does God make mistakes? I know He doesn't, but hmm - it sure seems He has made a big boo-boo -putting me here in the heat. 'beam me down Scotty?' I was beamed to the wrong place. I HATE THE HEAT

just to let you all know that today is the 3rd day in a row that has reached mid to high 30's *that is the high 90's for the ladies in US* it is unbearably hot & I blame anyone who is near me for the heat. And more to come ! sometimes it reaches around 115 here ! that is just not normal !
I am not a nice person to be around when it is hot * I whine and complain and am generally an awful person. so sorry to all those readers who thought I was nice - it's summer and I'm not. *oh did I tell you I HATE THE HEAT?

December 07, 2005

Christmas traditions @ ms*robyns

yesterday was the feast day of St Nicholas. The first ever Santa. On this day,each year * I give each of my grandchildren {I have two grandsons so far} a decoration for their tree - Thomas who is 6 gets a vintage-look bird * the ones with the feathered tails & Jack who is 2, gets a bauble. Each year a different colour. Thomas is old enough now to appreciate his collection and gets alot of joy when putting them on their tree.

December 06, 2005

in the mail box & Christmas time

ooh ! this just has to be one of the best Christmases for mail ! today - two more cards with hankies ! one from Carol at Carol's garden * a work of art envelope; gorgeous cards and the most delightful vintage hankie *all smelling of roses * and I can smell it as I sit here and type. The other from Laurie at Rose Cottage - a gorgeous hankie - with an embroidered candle & poinsettia. Thanks a bunch gals * I love them to bits !!!!

the ghost of Christmas past

it's just not right - a hot Christmas day ! being brought up in Australia as a child and receiving Christmas cards in the mail with scenes of snowed in village, robins on a snowy branch or the ultimate - a man in a thick woolen red suit trimmed with white fur - flying through the snowy sky..... you get my drift? it is just not right to be summer at Christmas time!!!
so as children - my nan would persist in cooking a hot Christmas dinner * I am not complaining, 'cause Christmas isn't Christmas without the traditional hot roast dinner with ALL the trimmings* however, sitting in an oppressively hot kitchen eating on Christmas day is not fun at all....... so we would take our meal outside and have it picnic style. In our cozzies, sitting on a blanket, we would open our presents. Then my Nan would turn the sprinkler on and we would all run through it - ahh what a way to cool down. Then after that she would bring her home-made ice blocks out and we could each pick our own flavour. Bottled lemonade was a treat too.

this is a picture of my backyard Christmas * I am the one with my back to the camera * my mum is the one on my left * my darling Nan is one kneeling & my pa is the man next to her. The others are my auntie * uncle * sister & cousins. I think that year, from my Nan I received a baby doll * the ones with the cloth body & rubber arms, legs & head - she was dressed in pink and came in a cane carry basket. I felt like a real little mother !

December 05, 2005


yes * I still do the housework during December * same routine..otherwise I would go mental. So as you all MUST know by now, today - Monday is bathroom & our bedroom day. And yes - I still vacuum the mattress each week - mainly to get the dust of it and then I spray the mattress with the lavender water and let it air for an hour or two while I clean. It's just something I do - odd ? hmm, maybe, but that's me
During December, each afternoon, I light a votive in my bedroom - the perfume ? - cinnamon & plum - the most exquisite Christmas candle I have found. I love it !!! Usually I put up a little tree in my bedroom but this year for simplicity I am going to stick to just the candle.......

in the mail box @ Christmas time

ooh today I received my cake from Gina at Patra's place & my first vintage hankie from Mimi in the UK ! Gina and I decided to swap a piece of our christmas cake and she sent hers in a sweet tin along with some other goodies..one of which was a gorgeous hand made cross stitch with strawberries. I am going to put my jam jar on it on the table at Christmas time. Thankyou ever so much Gina !
and I went off to the post office looking like Santa today - all laden up with parcels *brown paper packages of course* I sent my seasonal gift * my mama whiskas secret santa gift * my vintage swap gift * and my cake to Gina - so keep your eyes on the mail box - I also sent two more hankie cards * still have 3 to do, which I hope to get to, tonight.
I also have to say thankyou to Amy from retrospective - she sent me a lovely handmade card with a lavender sachet a week ago and I was going to wait & thank everyone for the cards at once but that is probably not the right thing to do - so thankyou Amy ! The lavender sachet is in my drawer right now. love it !!

the ghost of Christmas past

remember when you were in infant's school *aged around 5 - 7 yrs old* and when it got close to Christmas time - the teacher would forget all about reading * 'riting * 'rithmatic and would get out the scissors, glue & craft paper? and you would start creating decorations for the tree at home. You would create * cutting, gluing & painting. sometimes with your tongue held between your teeth, concentrating hard to get it just right. remember how proud you were when you took it home in your case, most probably all squashed in among the end of year stuff. You would take it out and give it to your mum. Who of course immediatle swooped you up in a cuddle and then placed the decoration on the tree. I am sure my mum still has a few of those treasures that I made her.

When my son was in kindergarten - he bought me the most delightful plum pudding home - he had made it himself out of art paper - cut out two shapes and stapled them together * stuffed the shape, then cut out leaves and glued them on. Then he painted it. That was 25 years ago and it is still one of my favourite decorations that I put on our main tree. He made some others in following years which I still have but this is my favourite

then ms*louisa made me a plum pudding in her first year of school.

This one has legs & a face and is as equally delightful and treasure also.

and of course we mustn't forget ms*sophie - she is very talented in art. A few years ago, knowing that I loved quaint pottery - she designed and made me a nativity scene. She also painted me a huge picture of a Christmas tree - which I hang in the hall each Christmas

and that dear reader's is what Christmas is to me

- treasures from the past * fond memories & family

December 04, 2005

it's good to share

for all of you who want to see a close up of my memory tree that is hanging on my wall - I promise, I will but it won't be til after Christmas as the tree is covering abit of it up...but this is a link to the talented pair of ladies who designed this pattern ' the memory tree' as well as many other patterns & books. Take a wander around their website * it is gorgeous *

it's beginning to look alot like Christmas

yesterday, I put the tree up in my dining room. Years ago when I lived in another home, I had a vintage *kooka* stove - just for decoration. And I would sit the tree on top of that * but in this house it sits on an old cane table with a vintage tablecloth wrapped around the base.
Most of the decorations on this tree are hand*made. There are santas & gingerbread men & angels * baubles & reindeer & snowmen - all handmade by me & all marked the year they were made. I have added a string of clear baubles and some little lights & a few special decorations that I bought when I travelled to the US a few years ago.

December 03, 2005

well -

I said hello, Dolly,......

well, hello, Dolly

It's so nice to have you back where you belong

You're lookin' swell, Dolly.......

I can tell, Dolly

You're still glowin'...you're still crowin'...you're still goin' strong

I feel that room swayin'......

while the band's playin'

One of your old favourite songs from way back when

So..... take her wrap, fellas.......

find her an empty lap, fellas

Dolly'll never go away again

seriously - Dolly a big * big welcome to Sydney * down-under * hope your days here are fun

& many good memories & friends are made


thru the blogging glass

just thought I would share a blog that I visit quite often - Natasha at vintage pretty. Not sure if any of you have visited but she is sweet and has the most interesting stories

vintage pretty

in the mail box @ Christmas time

ooh I am a lucky girl ! today I had to go to the post office to pick up two parcels. For some odd reason our postie has decided that he is not putting parcels into our letter box nor delivering them to the door..so I had to go to the post office to get mine. One was my vintage Christmas gift from Shelley *which I am not allowed to open til the 23rd December* and the other was my stocking from my stocking maker - Dixie. It is exquisite ! made from the most gorgeous piece of velvet and trimmed with hand crochet laced*crochet flowers and felted leaves. Just vintage perfect! thanks a bunch Dixie ! love it !!!

the ghost of Christmas past

I was a Christmas baby - well - nearly! I was actually due to be born Christmas day 1957 but well....as my Nan use to say * everything in its own good time* so I came into the world January 1st 1958...... so I had to wait a whole year til my first Christmas. I was the first child of my parents and the first grandchild of my dear Nan & Pa...so you can imagine how spoilt and doted on I was....... note the bonnet that I wore ! introducing ms*robyn at age 11mths.
sitting on santa's knee most probably in David Jones store in the city

December 02, 2005

to share with you @ Christmas

I found this lovely advent calendar * thought it would be lovely to share
an advent calendar for you

Christmas traditions @ ms*robyns

buying our plum pudding has been a tradition in our home for about 25 years now...it first started when I took my son to visit Santa in Sydney one year. I visited the David Jones foodhall and was totally enthralled by the selection of Christmas foods - ranging from cookies, to brandy butter and the plum puddings. Many of the foods in David Jones are imported from all parts of the world. I have always wanted to make my own plum pudding but with the fruit cake as well as many handmade gifts - I find it easier to buy one.
So we have the trek to the food hall and umm & ahh for quite sometime before we decide on our plum pudding - this year it is a very elegant affair - all wrapped up in burgundy satin ! and to go with it on the day - I just have to have a jar of *Fortnum & Mason* brandy butter !!!
so the plum pudding safely bought
* we then look to what bon bons or Christmas crackers we will have. this is another time consuming tradition - I have been known to take up to an hour just deciding which bonbons will grace our Christmas table. hmmm am I obsessive? nah - just love everything to be just 'SO'. I always have a different colour theme each year and this year is traditional red & gold with holly trims. I bought the most delightful bonbons - alternate colours - one is plain red & the other is plain white with sprigs of holly all over.

I love traditions - I remember so many past Christmases from my childhood - of things we did with my Nan or as a family. And I want my children & grandchildren to have similar memories. so that when I am not here * they will think back & fondly remember all those things that mum & grandma did, to create a wonderful & special Christmas. And then will go onto create memories of their own.

day to day living during the Christmas season

yesterday was my Christmas shopping day !
however at first nothing went to plan.
you see, last weekend, I went to the movies.
a gorgeous little family owned cinema and after each movie they hand out some kind of lolly (or candy as some call it).
This particular night they handed out minties, which is a chewy mint flavoured lolly.
So I popped it into my mouth and went along my merry little way.
However, I felt something hard in the middle and knowing full well, that minties are soft -
I realized that a filling had come out of my tooth.
Weekends, dentists aren't open here - so first thing Monday morning I called the dentist and the first available appointment was December 19th
but she would put me on the cancellation list.
So I went along my merry little way - planning for Christmas.
Thursday was going to be my day where I went shopping for the bulk of my gifts as well as a few traditions that I have done for years.......
Wednesday afternoon the dentist called and of course they had a cancellation on Thursday, did I want it?
of course I did !!! and seeing it was a 9am appt. I thought I could get the drilling and filling over with and off I would go shopping.
but no -
Thursday dawned and I went to fill the jug to make a cup of tea and no water !!!
a broken water main which wouldn't be fixed for at least 4 hours so I had to have a shower at my son's place. quickly got all my stuff together, raced around to my son's, had a shower, came home, gulped my breakfast down and off ms*sophie and I went.
arrived at the dentist's and two needles later, I had the tooth filled. Nothing to chew for four hours. My face and right side of my head continued to get numb for hours after. I often wonder if there is anyone in the world, who, when facing a visit to the dentist - just can't wait. I hate it........
so finally the girls and I hit the shops * lunched and got lots of fun stuff.
......the crowds weren't too bad til later in the afternoon and I came home relieved that most of my shopping is done
- ready to be wrapped in brown paper & ................
tied with red ribbon for the festive season!

December 01, 2005

it's beginning to look alot like Christmas

* December 1 *

traditionally the day that I put my wreath on my front door. Also the day that I begin to play my Christmas carols & songs. This wreath is about 16 years old - I bought it the year ms*sophie was born & I loved it the first time I saw it. It has artificial apples on it as well as real pine cones. I guess it could be classed as vintage .....I still have the box it came in!