Sunday 31 March 2013

The Australian Easter Bunny

The Australian Easter Bunny visited our garden in the wee hours of the morning. There were two delighted boys rushing around looking for eggs.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Long Weekends Indoors

The weather is a bit mis here and one of the good ways of warming up is to cook. I decided to return some of the meal favours that my mum and sister have been lavishing on me. I made a huge pot of savory mince which I turned into lasagnes and portions of bolognese sauce for their freezers. What did you do today?

Winter Woolies

I went winter woolies shopping this week as the nip has come into the air, and Autumn is creeping up on us.
I love these little woolen cardies and socks I found at Myer's - not too cheap, but then I found they were having a 50% off sale if you bought two, so I did. Wish they were hand knitted, but must be realistic.

Friday 29 March 2013

Happy Easter Weekend

Hope you all have a good rest and a little time with your families.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Beautiful Hard Boiled Easter Eggs

I love these beautiful and easy to make hard boiled eggs - nice for the Easter table or an Easter picnic. The process is fairly easy to follow by just looking at the pictures but here is a link for a more detailed explanation of the natural dying options. All you will need is some white hard boiled eggs, old stockings and natural dying ingredients from your kitchen.

A Few Thank Yous

My friends say that when they read the blog it all sounds perfect and lovely and we seem terribly happy. But it is not. We have had such a traumatic six months. Since the death of Darren's brother in the suicide bombing in September of last year our family has been upside down and inside out. The trauma and aftermath was eaten by the packing and moving and unpacking and sorting out our life here. We have sold up everything and have moved to a beautiful, yet very foreign, country. In my true style I have just kept obsessively busy (and there has been lots to do so it has been easy). But now that things are a little more settled the cracks are showing and we are all falling apart a bit. I have decided to try and take things a little easier and spend a few days not sorting out shop stuff or painting or tidying or anything that does not involve napping and playing with my kids. Little Kian has been hardest hit and is developing some quite worrying OCD behavioral tendencies (I wonder who that comes from).

So now I will NOT do as Anna Garforth suggests.

Kian has been asking me to bake biscuits with him since we arrived. His favourite is shortbread. Now usually baking puts me in a terrible mood and the "together" activity is not always positive. Today I decided to take it really slowly. We rested in between all of the stages and we had the joy of using the Miffy cookie cutters that my friend Sam bought me for Christmas. We did it! We had a fun afternoon making biscuits and I did not get frustrated once. I decided to give a few to our neighbour who has been very kind to us and some to my sweet sister who is unfailing in her support.

It seems sad that these little biscuits are the first things that I have made with my hands for over four months.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Books Galore

Next in line for sorting was the books. I am such an avid fan of vintage childrens' books and have thoroughly enjoyed categorizing them.

Shady Sorting

The weather was lovely yesterday and is again today. We are taking advantage of it by laying large blankets under the big tree in the shade and are trying to sort out the shed. We have pulled everything out and are trying to group the items into categories so that there is a little order to the vintage treasures we have sourced for the online shop. Yesterday was TOYS, my favorite category. This is such a process!  Once sorted into groups the items need to be cleaned, photographed, cataloged and finally loaded onto the shop for sale. This is definitely not going to make us rich anytime soon, but hopefully it will generate interest in the other lines of  business that ONCE has to offer.

We could open a whole vintage toy shop.
All Organised
Little monkey watering the plants in the garden while this is happening around him.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Pierneef Vs Northfield

After posting the Vintage Australian images below, I started to a little research on one poster artist in particular - James Northfield. His work caught my eye because in a way it reminded me so much of a South African artist Jacobus Pierneef. Both artists were working at around the same time and so were obviously influenced by international trends in Modernism, but there is something about their capturing of the grandeur of the landscape that resonates with me.

The work of James Northfield
The work of Jacobus Pierneef

Vintage Australia

Today I am celebrating Vintage Australia. I love these old travel posters I found.

Monday 25 March 2013

My People

I know there are many who don't think so, but when you are far far away from all of the people you love, FACEBOOK rocks! 

In the wee hours of the morning I posted this: "Some days I just want to go home."
And this is what I woke up to:

G: That's normal Bronweena... you will always miss SA.. even after 28 years I still do... xxx
R: Yeah, what G said. If it helps, I skeem rather come 'home' to a park, a swing, and a bottle of wine and some show tunes. It's an introduction to more, really...
G: R's right... do that.. you will be a hot hobo x
RS: Many days we wish you would.
R: Other days, I just wanna run away to Aus with you. Can I sleep in the kitchen again? (I won't mainline "Boatman's Call, I promise. Am also good with kids. You know this. Good Hobbit...)
S: Teleporter urgently required.
R: I also want one
G: Well they teleport molecules now.. in fifty years they'll teleport bodies... sadly I'm older and will be dead by then
R: Ooh, can we choose the best molecules?
G: Yes you can... because you're also old R and will be dead..
H: in 50 years I will be 92. They can teleport my liver to uranus, and my heart to somewhere with aloes.
G: H, we're trying for whole body teleporting here.. not just body parts
H: shucks.
M: Remember the swim with all of you in the water together. one swim at a time, xxx
ME: I love you guys - you make me laugh when I am trying, so self piteously, to be miserable!

Up, Up and Away

Today I want a giant polar bear hot-air balloon to take me away.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Blueprints To Fool Mum

I found this great drawing of a machine that Leith is designing to sense when I am coming to check whether he is asleep of not. It warns him of my imminent arrival and through a complicated system of cogs, trip switches and a little wind energy, the machine turns off the light and the TV to simulate a sleep environment. One min after my departure, however, it turns it all back on again without him having to leave his bed. I think I might have to make cuts in the research and development funding budgets!

Saturday 23 March 2013

OK, I Was Lying!

I take back all that sanctimonious stuff about a clutter free life. I just cant do it. I had to put out my collection of vintage tin cups and saucers. I give up, I give in.

Friday 22 March 2013

My Studio

The studio was the last room I did. I love the space, it's a great mixture between warm and homely and functional and messable. I am glad I photographed it yesterday because it is full of boxes again today. Now that the house is sorted out we have to start on the boxes and boxes of vintage goodies I have been collecting for our online shop. There is so much to go through, clean and photograph it will take a while but when I was unpacking today I got all excited to see the treasures I found along the way back in SA.

The Tretchikoff "Chinese Girl" copy was Darren's Xmas gift to me. It was done by my friend Pascale Chandler and I completely love it, especially above this wee 50's couch we bought as a prop for Darren's photography business. That part of the pic was taken in the dining room, but the "End is inevitable" painting and Protea is in my studio.  

Thursday 21 March 2013

New Home

It has taken us two weeks to unpack, sort through, clean and discard our past life. It has been a marathon of note. I have lost a little weight, a little of my mind and a lot of belongings. Things I thought I needed but didn't. We, as Westerners, really do have too much stuff. What we are left with falls into two categories;  things we need and things we love. It's the things we love but don't need that are so difficult to discard, but I think for Darren and I (both supreme hoarders) we have done well. What we have now is a small but functional (and hopefully still beautiful) space. It is a very cathartic exercise, getting rid of stuff, especially when most of it has been donated to charities that can make use of our excess.
Here are some happy snaps of our little home. I will post pics of my studio tomorrow.

I finally, after about ten years,I got around to cleaning our little fifties kitchen unit. I have always been torn between renovating it and loving the worn history of it. Now that it is clean I am no longer torn. History trumps renovation. So this is our dining room / homework room / sewing room. There is a lovely flow of space from the kitchen and the boys' rooms into this space and we seem to be spending a lot of time in here. 
I know it does not look like it from here but I really did get rid of a lot of things. I could not part with my Fisher Price  music boxes though, they really do make me happy when I look at them and after approximately 40 years they are all still functioning perfectly. I wonder whether the boys' toys will stand up that long? 

This is a small corner of Leith's room. He has a lovely large window which gets the afternoon sun. I think both of the boys' rooms will be great in winter. 
This is Kian's little room. He is so excited to have his own room and is getting really good at tidying up. 
I have set up my tiny collection of globes in our room,  and they all still currently face Africa in a nod to where we come from. 
This is our little TV watching room. Mostly Darren and I spend time in our respective work spaces so we thought it  was better to give Darren the "lounge" as his office / studio and we would make the little covered in balcony our wee sitting room instead. We have ordered a beautiful olive green 50's style couch for where the borrowed chair is sitting now, cant wait for it to arrive. 
Darren wont let me into his "bat cave" yet but I will show you my studio tomorrow.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Tea-quila Time!

Love this pic from the Philadelphia Tea Society. It's Tea-time here in Aus. Or in my case Tequila time.

Tiny Confessions

I think these little works are just too delightful. A friend of mime sent the first to me. I was hooked.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Almost There

I am almost back from the brink of madness and unpacking. In the mean time here are some great pieces by one of my oldest friends, Charles Maggs.

Sunday 10 March 2013

Bun Bun

Man this painting by Diane Mclean is both really sweet and quite sinister all at the same time.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Gotta Love Him!

I know this little collection of Dr Seussisms has been doing its rounds on the interwebs but really he was a rather clever man, to be joyous and wise all at the same time must be a difficult thing.

Friday 8 March 2013

Maya Kulenovic

Are these not just the most beautifully haunting paintings? They are by Maya Kulenovic.

Thursday 7 March 2013

A Quite Life - Not So Much

My friend Deane runs a beautiful "Quote For The Day" email that he circulates to his friends. I loved today's one. This is what we were seeking when we came to Aus, a quieter and more productive life. It's been crazy up until now, and is about to get a little more crazy before it gets calmer as our furniture arrives today. We are going to have to get rid of quite a lot of stuff as the house we lived in in Durban was huge, and I doubt we will ever fit all of our furniture into our new house. I wont have much time over the next few days to do intricate posts, but I have set up a few little snippets and I will resume blogging when life is back to "normal".

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Vintage Fabric

Since we are on the topic of celebrating the old, today I will share some of my favourite vintage patterns with you. They are sourced from fabric, wallpaper and drapery.

Pattern from the mid century
Henry Moore's 1950's patterns
Floral pattern from the 1940's and drapery from the 1970's
Designs from the 1960's
Russian embroidery and mid century Soviet fabric