Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Creative Space - getting my mojo going.

It's been a little quiet creatively around these parts lately.

Why is that?
Is it because I don't have any really awesome events on the horizon?
Or because I'm feeling a bit jaded?
Or is it just "that time of year"?

So I got out some beads I haven't seen for a while - my stash of freshwater pearls.

And they became ocean treasures earrings!

And necklaces -

I went back to my odd/unused bead box - the box that has some of the "what was I thinking?" beads in.
And constructed some more mixed treasures memory wire bracelets.
Lovely and bright!

I'm joining in with My Creative Space at Village Voices over on Kidspot - come on over and have a look!

To market, to market

There's been a bit of a historical re-enactment going on over this way recently.
It's been 200 years since Messrs Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson found a way to cross the impenetrable barrier that was the Blue Mountains and so opened up the rest of Australia for the early colonial settlers.

There have been various activites to co-incide with this bicentenary business - one of which I was at last Sunday.

It was a glorious day!

The location - at Wentworth Falls Lake was lovely.

There were lots of people.

And some really amazing stalls.

I shared a stall with buddies from The Nook Leura.

There was some delicious food (photo fail)
and nice-sounding entertainment (another photo fail)

Unfortunately the re-enactors had already passed by Wentworth Falls - it would have been cool to see them.
This is what it looked like the day they were there!
The weather was a bit different.

Photo from the Bicentenary Re-enactment - crossing of the Blue Mountains in May 2013 facebook page.

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to - create a necklace display from thread spools

For those of you who have a selection (hrmmm) of necklaces and they all just lie tumbled on your dresser (like me) - here is a cool way to display them.

The old wooden thread spools are decorative in their own right.
Your necklaces will hang nicely and not get all tangled and damaged.
Your necklaces will look pretty too, hanging up.
I wonder if you could do this on a board so you don't damage the walls (particularly important if you are a renter) and you can take your display with you when you move or restyle your home.

You can find out all about how to do it on Design Sponge.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Seven - the last 7 books I read

The Writer's Festival is in town! The Sydney Writer's Festival that is.
And every time I turn on the radio - to ABC radio national or 702 it seems there is some event coming from Walsh Bay.
Quite apart from the events I have been to myself - Monday: a full day up at the lovely Carrington Hotel in Katoomba and then I took hub to a talk by William Mcinnes one of our favorite actors and author of some funny and insightful books.

I seem submerged in literature!

So today I'm sharing the last 7 books that I have read - some of them are book club books, some are my choice and one was a present from the aftermentioned hub.

1. NW by Zadie Smith.

To be fair I am actually still reading this, but since it is fresh in y mind I thought I would draw it to your attention.
I have read, or tried to read her first book White Teeth and I just didn't get on with that at all.
But this was a bookclub I thought I should give her another go....and yes, I like!
Not sure that I understand...but I will persevere.

2. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley.

Another bookclub choice.
Not everybody's cup of tea, but I do enjoy reading biographies - if they are well-written.
This is.
It opened up a period of American history that I know little about introduced me to the amazing and surprising Eleanor Roosevelt.

3. Norwegian by Night by Derek B Miller

It was OK. A bit of an action thriller at the end - but nicely written and for the members of out book group who are familiar with Norway, it was very evocative.

4. On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry

This was my bookclub choice as I heard Sebastian Barry read from it last year at the Writer's Festival and he did a really rousing reading!
Was It as good a read as I expected?
Probably not, but still a good story, well told.

5. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

A golden oldie!
It was a blast from the past to read it again and I quite enjoyed it.
Is the (nameless) heroine just a teeny bit annoying?

6. The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas

I was attracted to this book because of the title! The Kashmir bit!
I have long wanted to go to Kashmir and I was near there last year when I went trekking in the Himalayas.
And indeed a part of this book is set in Leh and Ladakh which is where I went.
It is a quest story, partly set in the present day and partly in the 1940's, just before India gained independence.

7. May We Be Forgiven - by A M Homes

This book is *wow* - an amazing roller-coaster ride!

Have you read any good books lately?

Feel free to share in the comments or if you blog about reading please share your blog as well.

Happy reading!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five fab Friday finds from my faves

Fancy a cuppa?

Yes please! Especially in these colourful retro cups painted by Art by Therese.

How about this vibrant fun telephone purse by octopurse?
What fabulous fabric!

I'm also liking the slightly quirky washing blowing in the breeze in soveryhappyart's photograph.
I can almost smell that wonderful smell of fresh air-dried laundry! Am I strange?

I was delighted to see that heidiandseek are back on etsy with her wonderful range of reconsructed clothing.
Welcome back!
Just waiting, waiting for the right one!

Maybe these sweet little earrings would look good with this dress.
Unbelievably cute handpainted pebble earrings by Stefcollections.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I got from Voices of 2013 - blogging ideas and tips and other inspirational stuff.

What I gleaned from the keynote speaker at the Voices of 2013 masterclass.

How to make your dreams a reality with Hayley  Bartholemew
1. "Find something that makes your soul sing"
2. Write down your goal
3. Make a start
4. Keep going - persevere
5. You will encounter obstacles but you can overcome them
6. Keep going when it gets hard
7. Love what you do
8. Make it a prioity
9. Sometimes you need to take a break - then keep going.

Sometimes knowing what your goal is or can be is a challenge before you start!
I like the idea of finding something that makes your soul sing.
Don't just follow the crowd.
Don't just do something because it is popular, or you think it will sell or whatever...

Writing down your goal makes it real.

Sometimes starting is the hardest thing.
But you need to take a step - it can be a very small step.....
then you take another step.

You need to make your goal a priority and not get too distracted.
Remember your goal.

There will be obstacles....such as -
lack of skills
lack of equipment
lack of energy
lack of money
shortage of time
other demands upon you

....but chip away at these problems.

You can learn new skills.
You can borrow equipment or make do.
Share your fears.
Rest sometimes if you run out of energy.

But if you keep going you will get there.

What a wonderful inspiring message from this softly spoken woman with an amazing life journey of her own.
And I'm so grateful for receiving what she has to so generously share.

Hayley is an award winning photographer.
She won the viewer's choice award for a short film that she made for an abc tv competition.
You can see that lovely little movie here.
She created the 365 Grateful Project which has touched many lives and has grown like topsy! from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.

Hayley and her husband have a very successful film, photography and design company you can't be serious and travel the world doing what they love. 

The Voices of 2013 masterclass was organised by the incredibly interesting and diverse Kidspot.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sydney Writers Festival - up in the hills this year.

I've been to the Sydney Writers' Festival the last couple of years. (Here's my story from 2 years ago)
And while it is lovely to go the main event in Sydney, I do not like the crowds and having to queue for the free events (although it is interesting to chat to others in the queues and if the weather is fine it's a nice place to be)

There were no writers that I felt I absolutely had to see this year - it would be a year of discovery.

So why not take the day to take in all the sessions up the hill - up at Katoomba, or Ktown as the locals call it?
Also why not offer to pay for H to come along as her birthday present?

Great idea!

 The Carrington is the grand old hotel right at the top of Katoomba, sitting up high over everything, with a big chimney stack dominating the skyline.
It's such a lovely old building and has been lovingly refurbished in recent years (and I think that can be a story for another day)

We didn't have the best seats as we got there a little late and so I didn't get a photo of the first session which was Michelle de Kretser in converation with Ali Lemer about her latest novel Questions of Travel.
I think I will put this one on my list as I love the theme of travel and reading about travel and although this is a novel it sounds like it deals with questions and issues of travel as well.
I have previously read The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser.

After a civilised cuppa and muffin it was on to the seemingly serious topic of Australia's literary treasures. The book is The Burning Library and the writer Geordie Williamson is such a good and engaging speaker that the hour just flew by leaving me with mental notes to visit some of the Australian classics he mentioned.

Tegan Bennett Daylight and Geordie Williamson
 Next three first time novelists discussed the themes of love and loss in their writings.

Here they are at the book-signing bit afterwards - Yvette Walker, Jessie Cole and Berndt Sellheim
I do love a good biography! What is it about peering into the lives of others?
It was fascinating to hear about the research and findings of Helen Trinca as she sought to uncover the life story of writer Madeleine St John.

Helen Trinca and Geordie Williamson
The last session of the day was Cheryl Strayed talking about her journey along the Pacific Crest Trail in the west of the US.

Cheryl Strayed and Cate Kennedy
I liked it so much I bought the book!
And the delightful Cheryl signed it.

The books I heard about today were -
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
The Burning Library by Geordie Williamson
Darkness on the Edge of Town by Jessie Cole
Beyond the Frame's Edge by Berndt Sellheim
Letters to the End of Love by Yvette Walker
Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca
Wild: Stories from the Trail by Cheryl Strayed.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Voices of 2013

Yesterday I did something I've never done before - I went to a meeting of bloggers.

I was a little nervous but knew that one of my on-line friends would be there....and being bloggers everyone was very friendly.

And there were people there who you felt that you knew like Pip Lincolne from Meet Me At Mikes and JustB.

I didn't know what to expect.
Certainly not a neat little notebook and pen, beautiful flowers and some yummy afternoon tea.

There were inspiring speakers-

Keynote speaker Hayley Bartholemew
Panel discussions - 

Panel 1

Panel 2
Michelle and Sally

and goody bags!

The whole shebang was put on by Kidspot which is a fabulous blog dedicated to parenting. And what a fab job they did - it was so well organised.
I should add that there is a section on Kidspot called Village Voices which hosts a wider range of topics - go check it out!

The venue was rather amazing - an old warehouse that now has a cafe Kitchen By Mike and a very interesting looking furniture store koskelo.
Note to self "must go back and explore these places someday"

Then there was the goody bag that we all got!

It was great!

I'll blog about what I gleaned from the afternoon some other time,

Thanks so much to Kidspot and everyone who took part and shared so generously.

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