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
- Name: Miss Robyn
- Location: Culburra Beach , NSW, Australia
I live in Australia, my ancestry is in Cornwall. a Celt. a hedgewitch of sorts. I am an Earth Healer. I wear upcycled clothes, patchouli oil and Redback boots. A gypsy. An eccentric. a mystic. I am a searcher, a seeker, a pilgrim on Earth. I serve my guests, tea from an old silver teapot. I love Vervain, yarrow, chamomile & mint. I love to dream, to walk and to wonder
February 28, 2006
creamy chicken & vegie pancakes
February 27, 2006
off to the infirmary
on Wednesday - my soul mate - who actually does have a name *Joe* - is off to hospital. He has had really bad pain in his abdomen for awhile now and ultrasound has shown a small hernia - I have told him and told him not to do the heavy lifting but .... so he has to have it mended. And friends I am a little worried. You see, he is my rock and I am sometimes very impatient with him and get frustrated with him too. I am a hard person to live with, believe me and it is even worse since 'the menopause' reared its ugly head. I can sometimes be 'a nasty piece of works' as my grandma would say - and my gorgeous darling soul mate is the brunt of all of this. I love him to death - you know what I mean. He sat by me when I was diagnosed with the cancer and every single day for 5 weeks he came to the cancer clinic for my radiation and then when I had to go have more overnight - he sat at the door, looking in through the glass * no one was allowed near me for 17hours due to radiation exposure. He held my hand as I cried. And how do I repay him? by being impatient - I feel bad. Like when you are cranky with your children and they go off to bed - then you start feeling guilty about being a bad mother, so you vow and declare right there and then that tomorrow you will be nice to them to make up for it. Does anyone know what I am meaning here ? Or am I the only one
little gifts tied deliciously up in ribbons
seasonal pampering swap
February 26, 2006
memories are made of this
February 26th at Blackheath Park.
Meet up at about 12pm and bring :
a picnic rug or table;
thermos of hot water for tea & coffee; plates, cutlery, cups and glasses. Your own meat whether it is for a BBQ or cold meat as well as your own drinks
A salad to share:
I will bring a pasta salad
Julie to bring a small potato bake
Louisa a tossed salad.
I will bring an orange cake to share and if you wish you can bring something as well.
The Sunday paper to read and maybe a pillow or two for the inevitable afternoon nap
I am going to bring a Frisbee and maybe someone can bring a ball. I hope to find shuttlecock too.
Hope to see you there!
so I have packed our picnic basket with cloth napkins, a tablecloth that was my grandmas - the orange cake is in the vintage cake tin with the porcelain knob on top - mismatched china plates and cups - a bottle of my home pickled beetroot and a bowl full of my home grown tomatoes that I picked yesterday. I have a face washer in a plastic bag - no wet ones for this vintage girl !!!
AND for the scrumptious little touch * I have an old pecks paste jar to use as a little vase on my picnic cloth
February 25, 2006
je suis dan le jardin
yes, all day today I have been in my garden. Coming up the end of summer and there was alot to do. I stirred my comfrey tea and turned the compost heap. Then I got stuck into tidying my vegetable garden - getting it ready for autumn planting. I had planned on pulling my tomato plants out but there are still quite alot of tomatoes ripening on the vines so that it looks like I can leave the plants in for a few more weeks. So I went about tidying the plants and picking the fruit - the chooks got quite a lovely feast of damaged tomatoes - mainly from snails having a little munch - but I managed to collect 3 large bowls of tomatoes for us! It is so soul satisfying to gather the fruit of your own labour. I understand completely why my Grandfather loved his veggie patch.grandfathers garden The pumpkin vine is rampant but I just don't understand why on this huge vine, that there is only one pumpkin. It is up over the mattress base and onto the fence and 1 pumpkin! I did all the right things, maybe it is because of the all the rain we had when the the flowers were forming. We let the chooks out to have a scrounge and while I was tidying up I kept throwing them persimmons that had fallen onto the ground. Love the way they run at you as if they are going to miss out! It got quite hot during the middle of the day so I took a leaf out of master richard's garden - sweet alice and painted my plant stakes with left over paint. I only did 4 but at least that is a start. It should look quite quaint when they are all different colours.
February 24, 2006
through the blogging glass
on making scones
I want to make scones - scones that you can eat. I love to cook but have never been able to master the skill of making perfect scones. I have made scones that are like small pebbles and I have made scones that are like rocks - literally. Mine are so hard they could be used in the garden as an edging. I don't want to make scones like the ones you buy in the cake shop - light and fluffy - I want to make scones like my grandma made. the scones she made in the middle of her kitchen table. The ones she mixed in her big yellow bowl and then turned out onto the floury middle and kneaded, then cut out with a glass. Hers tasted a little like damper, nice and heavy but not too heavy that they would sink to the bottom of my tummy, but they had substance. I want scones like I tasted as a little ms*robyn - fresh from the oven dripping with butter. Oh yes, I have tried and tried but it just doesn't work. or is it the memories I am hankering after? or maybe it is the homemade blackberry jam that was made from the blackberries my grandfather gathered during the day as he fenced along the road. I want to make scones so that I can wrap them up in a red & white kitchen towel. I want scones like grandma made.
February 23, 2006
words to ponder
oh! that chatter in my head
I think to much! nearly a year ago when I started this 'blog' *I really like to think it is more of a journal* as I detest the word blog - I wrote about housekeeping, my garden and then ms*louisa's wedding became just about the sole topic of my chatter. some of you started to comment, lots of you started to comment and sadly I got excited about that. someone was actually listening to what I had to say. then I started to care if anyone was listening and if I didn't get a comment, I would worry myself sick if I had offended them in anyway. I tried to steer clear of politics and religion as I have said before my grandpa always said don't discuss either of these topics with friends. Sometimes, I would comment on what I had read elsewhere on other 'journals' - I do read alot of 'journals' & this taking time out from the computer has really knocked me for a six. I read somewhere that the blogging world isn't real - hmmmmm. It's real for me, is that wrong? I have a real life then have a real online life - stemming back to the year 2000 when I had my hysterectomy & diagnosed with cancer the following year and the only support I could find anywhere was online through an online support group. there was no 'real' life support anywhere. AND those ladies who supported me through it all are still my friends. AND with that experience, I am still able to support others going through the same thing I did back then. to me that is REAL.
I love the many ladies I have met through this 'journal' and enjoy meeting others along the way - much like pen friends back when I was a little girl. I guess we all won't keep in contact forever, but I am sure I have made many life long friends here. The ladies who I know through blogging are 'real', aren't they?
I love your comments - and I love commenting on your 'journals' too - but I am making no decision to take time out on a regular basis. I do have time away from my computer, more than I am on it, actually. Enough time to keep my home the way I want it ( well, most times) enough time to garden and to craft and I have a happy balance for ME * with love ms*robyn
February 22, 2006
little gifts tied deliciously up in ribbons
down my vintage garden path
roses! ahh how I hated them when I was little. Every Sunday, my dad would spend hours and hours just tending his beloved rose garden - snipping & spraying. Looking like something from outer space with his mask on, spraying the most disgusting smelling stuff to kill everything that it came in contact with - I am sure it was radioactive. I could not understand why on earth anyone would spend so much time & energy on plants. Although I must admit, I loved to take a bunch of these gorgeous perfumed flowers to my teacher every Monday. All wrapped up in either used wrapping paper or brown paper and tied with string.
I held off for years ever buying a rose plant - just didn't want the bother - until oneday the soul mate bought me a red rose bush for Valentines day. And I was hooked. I decided to buy my dad's favourite rose which was Queen Elizabeth - not perfumed but the memories were important. Then not being happy with one rose bush and being a little on the obsessive side, I decided to have a royal rose garden (I know, you just cannot believe that I may be obsessive, but I am, a teeny, weeny bit). The search was on for any rose that had a royal name. I exhausted that avenue (and sent my local nursery lady insane) - so I decided that perfumed roses were the go - why go to that trouble without having the perfume of heaven? I now have the most perfumed garden ever!- however being an organic gardener, I like to use remedies that are safe - I am troubled by black spot but would rather have an insect friendly garden than not, so I put up with the dreaded black spot, using favourite organic remedies.
organic gardening recipes
grandfather would use this for black spot: 2 litres of water; a drop of vegetable oil and a drop of detergent. then add two teaspoons of bicarb soda to each litre of water. spray the plant making sure you wet all surfaces of the leaves.
February 21, 2006
DOWNY DUCK - a vintage craft swap
awhile ago my sister gave me a pattern pullout from an old magazine * full of little stuffed animals. I think this duck is really sweet and JUST perfect for a swap - a cute little duck just in time for Easter. You will receive the pattern and instructions by email attachment from me and your part of the swap will be to make one for a partner. This will be an international swap so there will be the cost of postage, which shouldn't be too high as the little duck should be light.
If you are interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I will need your postal details.
February 20, 2006
ohhh! I am having heart palpitations just thinking about this * my blood pressure is up & I am having breathing difficulties: vintage housekeepers - computer free day - surely there must be a support group for those of us who are addicted to this internet. But I guess ms*Alison is right - but which day?
Sunday - the day of rest
Sunday started off as a lovely, lazy day. My plan was to spend it in the garden but by 9 am I knew that it was going to be hot. so I planned to sew. ms*louisa and her gorgeous husband arrived for breakfast and wanted to 'do something' - movies? no - let's go to the Scenic Railway at Katoomba, a 10 minute drive for us. I loved this place as a child, oh the thrill of going down the side of the mountain in a ricketty old carriage, that, at any minute you believed, could plunge to the depths of the valley below.
In recent years, the scenic Railway has had a facelift, beauty work done - to keep up with the thousands of tourists that visit Katoomba each year. But it has lost its glamour, its appeal. All shiny and new - sad.
so we bought our tickets - and I have no idea how families can afford to do this kind of stuff every weekend. Fancy having to pay to see one of our natural wonders. we got on the new scenicsender. Like an elevator that glides down the mountain. a glass elevator where you can see - forever. I forgot to mention that I hate heights. as soon as the ride started - I felt clammy and nauseous. The man driving the lift - tried to calm me down by telling me to look down. big mistake. and all I could see were trees, right down below - millions of feet down below. so I closed my eyes. and we arrived at the bottom - me bravely saying ' oh that wasn't too bad' knowing full well that every body thought I was some kind of demented person. Yes, I have my demons and heights are one of them.
there is a lovely board walk and we all decided to take the 50 mins walk, didn't seem too hard...walking down to the bottom of the Jamison valley. Forgetting that if you go down, you have to come up. And that explains my aching calf muscles this morning. oh I am sore. Finished the walk and decded to go back on the old scenic railway - up through the rock face - oh it was scary ! But I remembered back to when I was a child - what fun!
February 18, 2006
I took french in high school and did ok - I think the mark I received was credit. My favourite subject however was the french country. We had to choose an area and do a project on it - I chose Brittany *Bretagne*
so I left school and never spoke a word of french again and forgot all that I knew. Until a year or so ago and my friend and I had a blood rush to the head and decided to go to adult night school to learn french. first night we repeated our name - Je m'appelle Robyn - over and over til we were sure who we were. The next week Monsieur Robert taught us a few phrases so that if we ever travelled to France - we would know how to ask for a glass of wine, a light for our cigarette ( I don't smoke) and the word le constipation (if we ever were) . Have no idea why he taught us that...... so we repeated and repeated once again. He was so passionate about the language and at the end of lesson two he told us that we were so good that next week if we did the same we would get to listen to Edith Piaf singing Le Marsellaise..... yippee !!!
The next Wednesday night, I picked Laraine up and drove off to our french class. Half way there - I looked at Laraine and said - 'do you really want to go?' and she replied ' not really, it's too hard' - so we drove on to a bottle shop and bought ourselves a good bottle of red, some cheese and bread and had a french supper and laughed and laughed about our french lesson failure...... well I guess, if we ever visit France and we hope to oneday - at least we can ask for a glass of wine *un verre de vin* and a light for our cigarette *une lumière pour ma cigarette* - I wonder - does that mean I must take up smoking?
and that my friends is the extent of me speaking the french language.
from my garden
LEMON VERBENA - there is absolutely nothing like the fragrance of lemon verbena leaves. I have a few of these shrubs growing in my garden & yesterday picked a small bunch for my kitchen. I sometimes use it in cooking - I like to line the bottom of a cake pan with the leaves, then pour the mixture over it - it infuses the most delicious lemon through a butter cake. I take the leaves off before icing.
the organic garden
I use a drum with a lid and half fill it with harvested comfrey leaves. Then top with water and replace the lid. leave stewing for about 2 weeks, giving an occassional stir and topping with water if needed. to use - I skim the water off the top and then use a 50/50 mix for established plants...make it a little weaker for seedlings. Comfrey is also a good bug deterrent and also a great foliage spray. Plus its organic !!!!
February 17, 2006
memories are made of this
I have had my memory jogged thanks to Gardengirl
February 16, 2006
what on earth is the world coming to
little gifts tied deliciously up in ribbons
we got married in a fever
February 14, 2006
a new convert
walk the line
J'aime ces choses de cru
apologies to all those that speak French -
I am not sure if the title is correct for 'I love these vintage things' - I found it on the internet & seeing France is the country of love or so I am told, I thought a french title very fitting for the day of love
- my french is limited to 'bonjour'
I was a very lucky vintage gal - I received my valentine swap from Wendy at
fairy cake girl
so today - nothing special happening for me - the soul mate & I are going to the movies tonight. I bought him & ms*sophie a lamington in the shape of a heart for their morning tea today. thought that was pretty darn kitsch.
However today, I am going to do some fun stuff for me.... I am going to sew myself a heart made out of some vintage toile I have & stuff it with lavender to hang from my wardrobe door.... & maybe embroider some herbs onto heart shaped calico to make a swag
knitted heart cloth
crochet bag - a real cutie !
the required heart shaped cookies
and some MUST HAVES
February 13, 2006
'old' peoples furniture
Not only is it hideously big but when he sits in it - ms*sophie and I have to scamper for our lives - it boings out as if a jack in a box is hidden in it bowels...... and it reminds us of those chairs in nursing homes - all we need is the crocheted knee rug and we will be set! I know that not everyone who has one of these is old - but I hate it with a passion...and I am scheming up ways of ridding my home of it.....
February 12, 2006
a vintage *find*
I was browsing through an old Victoria magazine a few days ago
and saw this beautiful room !
I know I can't duplicate exactly * as I am a little more eclectic & out there than 'all white' ~ so I will put my style on it & hopefully come up with something similar * I am even thinking seriously of the potted palms, I just have to find myself a round coffee table and I have an old chimney pot in my garden.......
ladies in lavender
"two spinster sisters, Ursula and Janet (Judi Dench and Maggie Smith), live in an old house by the sea in 1930s Cornwall, England. Their pleasant but uneventful routine of beach walks, reading, sewing, and tea time is interrupted when Andreas, a handsome young Polish violinist (Daniel Bruhl, from GOODBYE, LENIN!) washes ashore, barely alive. The girls nurse him back to health and for the never-married Ursula it's a case of first love far too late in life. She helps him overcome the language barrier, only to possibly lose him to a younger woman"
February 11, 2006
celebration in our household
to celebrate birthdays in our family, we usually all get together for a meal and the birthday person gets to pick what we have for dinner.
Caine is our birthday boy today and he has chosen steak dianne, mashed potatoes and beans along with 'his favourite' strawberry cream pie served with King Is. cream of course !!!
He did ask that I cook smoked cod - but there is a limit to what a mother will do for her children, isn't there? The table is set in its finery, water jugs on the table and always, always a teeny bunch of whatever I have in my garden. When we sing happy birthday, we have this ridiculous wind up birthday card from the 1940's that we play. You have to wind it real fast for it to work - sometimes it goes fast and sometimes real slow and many times it misses beats - but what fun!
February 10, 2006
31 years ago - a little bit of ms*robyn history
I was just 17 and pregnant ~ ready to give birth to my first baby. Yes! I was a teenage mother and back then,it was frowned upon. You 'had' to get married, which I did. oh the shame of it. I can remember finding out when I was just pregnant and crying all the way home on the train from Sydney. And then having to tell my parents. Mum's reaction was - well it is better off not said and Dad's was not to worry we will stick by you. Of course when my son was born my mum immediately became a besotted Nana and has been ever since. My son can do no wrong. then came the rushed wedding, so that at least I wouldn't have an illegitimate child (does that mean if I had not have been married, my son would not have been legitimate? *legitimate -to make valid; to make lawful; to justify; to make permissible) I am still to work that one out. The morning sickness was atrocious and giving birth at 17 when I only weighed about 47 kilos myself, wasn't a wonderfully fulfilling experience either. No epidurals back then, just the good old gas - I think I actually emptied the bottle. and the breast feeding - well lets just say, it was NOT my cup of tea, at all. I became a widow, yes a, single mother just before my son turned 3. His dad was killed in a car accident. very sad but time goes on, life happens and you cope. However, I would hate for the same thing to happen to my daughters. You do miss out on alot when you become a mum at such a young age. I have never worked outside the home since having him. I have been lucky in that I could afford to stay home but there were also alot of sacrifices to allow me to do that. I don't have a 'career' to fall back on unless professional blogger is classed as a job description. And you know what? I have never once regretted having my boy - he is a husband and dad himself now and a fine man. I am so proud and so very lucky.
February 09, 2006
What were three things when you were little you wanted to be when you grew up?
You can live one day over again from your childhood. What day will it be?
You have two minutes (and a mover with you if you need heavy lifting help!) to grab 5 things from your home before it morphs into a polka dotted hobglobin and hops away. What will you take? (Food/drink/family/friends excluded!)
You have to paint one quote on your kitchen wall. What is it going to be?
You just received word that aside from one flower, you can also bring five books with you too! Your choices?
tagging 3 lucky people:
bits from my past
"nan, can I have this?"
'now what on earth would you want that old thing for?'
"I want to keep my sugar in it"
' oh for heaven's sake! that old thing? Let me buy you a new canister'
"but I love it! I really want it - it's got a history & it's yours'
"ok" she says, tut tutting as if her eldest grandaughter had *gone abit odd in the head*
when I was little my Nan & pa would take me to auctions. Letting me sometimes buy my own box of treasures. They gave me my love for all things old. which is why I begged my Nan for this old piece of lithgow pottery - all she had in it were used matches from her kooka stove!
through the blogging glass
I found this just a minute ago!
stay at home
what a wonderful blog it is ! definately a keeper on my list
February 08, 2006
tomorrow is another day
the place where I can dream,
of all that I do need
my energy to keep.
Sleep oh blessed sleep,
The place of future hope,
in places far away,
and love for me to keep
Sleep oh blessed sleep
Lull me with your content,
Keep me ever safe my
souls sanity to keep.
Sleep oh blessed sleep,
Let me emerge at morn,
With clearer thought and mind,
with no more need to weep
Susan Alldred Lugton
and I am still worried about the post about the good wifes guide & worried that you may all think I am not a vintage gal, I am, really I am. AND I wish I knew why I am worried about it. I was even contemplating just for a second, to give blogging away. see how confused & worried I am?
So this morning, being Wednesday - the day I do the housekeeping in our lounge room - the vacuuming, dusting and making it a lovely haven. but instead of doing that, I read a book (a book that has made me a little melancholy) - telling myself that I deserved to read instead of housework, just one more chapter then I will start. In the end, I decided to finish the book then start my housekeeping. So I did and at 11am this morning, I finally got around to doing the loungeroom. But I feel guilty - I need to get myself back into the puttering that I really DO love so much - making my home a gorgeous place for me and my honey - wherever life is taking us right now. My home is out of control - seems to me like I need help getting back on track..... but where do I start?
I love housework - I love my home and my family but sometimes, just sometimes I fantasize about escaping to a small farm where I can be all alone. Surely I am not the only one?
February 07, 2006
a good wife always knows her place
- have dinner ready. plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. this is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed
- prepare yourself. take 15 mins to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. he has just been with alot of work weary people!
- be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. his boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
- prepare the children. take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces, comb their hair and if necessary change their clothes. they are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. minimise all noise. at the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer and vacuum.
- listen to him. you may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. let him talk first - remember his topic of conversation are more important than yours
- don't complain if he is late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day
- arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice
- don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. you have no right to question him
but wait ! there is more - if you would like a copy email me your postal details and I will quite happily post one to you email@example.com
ha! I am so grateful that I wasn't a wife in 1955! I love my soul mate & I am happy that I am a housewife but I sure don't follow these rules.
February 06, 2006
little gifts tied deliciously up in ribbon
February 05, 2006
from the test kitchen of ms*robyn
February 03, 2006
on being a realist
Don't get me wrong - I love Sarah and I love Simple Abundance and I absolutley adore trying all her wonderful suggestions about making life lovely but just sometimes even my inner child won't even do the stuff she suggests. So I will just have to improvise, won't I ? hmmm let me think. A trip to the local observatory maybe?
February 02, 2006
However Corey says to let your light shine which reminds me of a song we sang at Sunday school when I was little:
I'm going to let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
I am sure you all know it - but it just popped into my head when I read Corey's post.
let's take a walk
February 01, 2006
grow up ! who me?
bits from my past
my dad - was born in a one bedroom dirt floor cottage on the Hawkesbury River. Years ago he took me to see where he was born. A small stone building with hessian hanging on the windows - it was pretty delapidated then, so I guess it is probably gone by now and I wouldn't have a clue where to start looking to find it. Somewhere near Lower Portland, I think. I don't know much about his childhood except that he was the 'baby' - youngest of 7 boys. My poor grandma !!! - I don't have any of his childhood photos. Sad that, no record of his childhood, just gone. Did he crawl on the dirt floor? Was he a happy baby? However - I am lucky enough to have a few of his bits & bobs. This one was his rattle - amazing that it is still in one piece and I have no idea of how it worked. But it is priceless - a kookaburra made from celluloid standing on an old tin stand. Did my dad sit in a high chair while he played with this? I just wish I knew it's story.