Friday, October 29, 2010

Tutu Pretty....

This is one of my daughters Ballet costumes and one of my favourites. 

The twinkling sequins against sumptuous velvet, the frothy underskirt. It's all that a little girl dreams of when she starts ballet lessons.

It's concert time soon.

Once again, her father and I will be enthralled by all those little dancing feet, one pair of which will have our particular attention.

All those crazy lessons, all the running back and forth to classes, all the early mornings of extra stretches and practice for exams will culminate in a weekend of silk, satin, sparkling lycra and sequins.

What's not to love?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Beauty of just being....

I love things that give pleasure just by 'being'....

This pretty ballet pink water jug with coloured accents does just that.

I love the look of it, the different textures on it's surface, and something about those little red polka dots is just a bit cheeky amongst all that pastel.

A simple glass of water becomes a decadence when taken from such a pretty jug...

What's on your tray of bliss today?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Amber and Gardenias....

Look at this pretty little depression glass vase...isn't it sweet?

If you look closely you can see that without the flower, it looks quite like a lemon squeezer.

In fact, as I was buying this at the thrift shop for the grand sum of $4.50, I commented on that fact...the lady laughed at me and pointed out that it's actually a vase, not a juicer! I would have been happy either way!

Filled with glossy greenery and a single fragrant gardenia from my Spring garden, it's the epitome of bliss.

Apparently the little mound that holds the flowers in place is called a 'frog'.

Well there you learn something new every day!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Home Bathroom Luxuries....

You don't need much to have an indulgent bathroom experience...

It's about using the senses to create that feeling of luxury. Sight, smell, touch....

I love using texture to engender the feeling of luxury....a super soft hand towel, the cool crystal like peaks on a cut glass decanter holding pastel blue bubble bath, the silky texture of the liquid as it's poured under the running water, embroidered nightgowns, frilled vintage bed jackets displayed on rhinestone embellished hangers....

Rose geranium oil is added to the least expensive of supermarket bubble bath, chosen for it's powder blue hue, is heavenly to inhale and rejuvenates and revives.

Vintage baby pink nylon and lace, satin padded hanger, Bohemian style brooch...all a reminder of a gentler time, when bathing truly was an indulgence...

...the accoutrements` of a ladies toilette...

 ...and of course, you simply must play at being your own handmaiden, and enfold your toiletries and exfoliating mitts into an oversized fluffy towel, to enjoy after bathing.

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

French Dreaming....

My daughter and I will be practicing our French today.

We'll watch 'Amelie', and drool over the scenery, and we'll use our Lonely Planet book to practice phrases like "What star sign are you" (Tu es de quel signe...pronounced Tew ay der kwel see-nyer), and "Do you know a good restaurant" (Tu connais un bon restaurant...pronounced Tew kon-ay bon res-to-ron), giggling hysterically the whole time.

To date our efforts have been laughingly abominable. Our attempts at rolled 'r's and lilting phrases, and defining the nuances of French verbs have escaped us. But practice makes perfect...or in the case of learning French, practice makes perfectly tolerable!

We'll reminisce about our trips to France and all the fun times we've had. Memories held and memories in the making.

We'll try to mimic this glorious embroidery too. An image found on Pinterest, alas without it's source...what a shame...I'd love to find the instructions. Can anyone help?

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vases hold more than blooms....

I love vases. 

I particularly adore Art Deco and Vintage vases.

This vintage Napco Snow Queen Head vase is a particular favorite. How could I not have her out on display all year round, especially with her crown of overblown roses....

...speaking of roses, laying some blush buds in my Art Deco vase gives a modern spin to an old favorite, and enhances the pastel pink tones in the opalescence...

...I admired one like this in an Antique store recently. Alas it was beyond my budget. Perhaps another time...

When I was a child, they were placed on display on the sideboard or the dining room table, as favourite objets d` art in their own right.

Now we relegate them to the cupboard under the kitchen sink, until required to house some murky bouquet from the supermarket.

My Nanna's vase in opalescent china is beautiful in it's Grecian like lines, the delicate curve of the gold trimmed handles, and it's scalloped top peeking between the blooms it housed.


I remember it taking pride of place on the dining room sideboard, along with her other pretty china. My Mother passed it on to me much later, knowing how I loved it.

It has alternately held flowers, vines, buttons, soaps, beads and craft bibs and bobs, according to my whimsy of the moment.

Today, I'll use my tray to cut some Eucalypt from our trees, and fill the house with that wonderful Australian scent, just as Mum and Nanna did.

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

A mini chandelier...just till I get a real one!

I'm indulging one of my long held own a crystal chandelier.

Unfortunately, my contemporary Aussie home, does not lend itself to a full blown shimmering cascade of the kind I imagine in my dreams. Fortunately I am an excellent lateral thinker, and have a keen eye for a bargain.

When I spotted this little tea light candle holder in my local thrift shop, I just knew we were meant for each other. Still with 'new' tags attached, I grabbed this little treasure for just $6.

As the lady carefully wrapped it in swathes of white tissue to protect it, she said longingly..."I knew this one would go to a good home as soon as I unpacked it this morning".

So, no chandelier for me, but candles, mirrors, and faux crystal teardrops will do just fine. I can dream, can't I?

Sometimes we can get the feeling of a luxurious home, for very little outlay. That, I think, is the key to being content, no matter our budget.

Do you crave a chandelier too? Seek out Crystal pendants on eBay, suncatchers, cake stands with pendant drops, pendant earrings...they'll all give that chandelier feel, until like me, you find the real deal.

You could also indulge in other crystal whimsies, such as crystal balls, crystal glassware, or something special and unique like this little crystal hors d`ouevre serving dish...

What little indulgence can you find to satisfy the need for a larger one?

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fluff and Nonsense...Frenchy Feather Pouffe`...

Just a bit of Fluff and Nonsense....but Frenchy and pretty...

I have a long list of people to collect gifts family alone amounts to a cast of thousands, or maybe it just feels that way sometimes!
Here's an idea I've come up with for all the ladies and young women who mean so much to me...vintage crystal jars of scented talc with Ostrich feather powder puffs...what a sweet indulgence!

Christmas is always on my mind, and I'm using these as gifts this year, but they would be equally sublime as a Bridal Shower or Hens Night gift, or a thank you for your Bridal Attendants.

Take one baby pink Feather Boa. The kind you buy for Costume Parties. I sourced mine from a Haberdashery metre long (about a yard) for a mere $10. I've paired it with either baby pink velvet or black and white pinstriped ribbon.

Now cut just 15cms (6 inches) of feather boa, and tie it in a half knot, as if you're about to tie a shoelace.

Bring the two loose ends together and hold them with a quick stitch or two. You'll find that the feathers are attached to a thick sort of twine, so stitch into that. Don't cut the thread, just keep the needle and thread attached for the time being. Now you have a sort of feather ball to form your powder puff.

Then cut the same amount of your chosen ribbon, and turn it into a loop by stitching the ends together with the needle and thread still connected to your feathers.

Flatten the loop, and put one more little stitch at the halfway point to form the two loops of your bow, then use another couple of stitches to gather at the halfway point.

You now have a gorgeous soft and sensual ostrich feather powder puff with a pretty ribbon with which to hold it as you dust yourself with scented talc.

To make customised scented talc, take normal Cornflour (cornstarch) and either spritz with your favourite scent, and stir, or add 2-3 drops of essential oil and stir to combine. That's it. Can you believe that's all it is??

My little jars vary in size, shape, and colour, but all were sourced from thrift shops for under $5.

It's a bit of frippery and frou-frou, but I love it.


Friday, October 15, 2010

5 ways to use pretty trays in your home...

If you've ever admired those pretty trays in Home decor stores, or even the thrift store, but thought you were not really a breakfast in bed kinda person, then here are five ways to use trays, that have nothing to do with breakfast! 

They're a beautiful way to 'frame' a vignette of candles and flowers, as you see above. This tray is actually a mirror, repurposed as a platter for my Chrysanthemums and candles. I love how they reflect prettily and that the ornate edge of the mirror acts as a way to draw your attention to the arrangement. It wouldn't be nearly as pretty without the tray!

I have a lovely Roccoco style ceramic platter with side handles that is more of a tray too. It displays my feminine accoutrements in the bathroom. If you're wondering about the teapot in the bathroom, I use it to water my ferns...isn't it gorgeous?

This vintage silver tray with sweet little feel, holds a group of vintage decanters. The contents of the decanters are used in cooking! I particularly adore the Eiffel Tower one...a special souvenir. I think the brandy inside was really awful but it did nicely for the Christmas!

This one with it's little ornamental handles acts as a holder for glasses and placecards for the Dining Room. This makes all the pretties for my dinner setting, easy to pick up and carry to the table.

 I bought this one for it's unusual decoration. It's all inlaid mother of pearl shell and hand painted. It's quite unusual and eyecatching, and this photo doesn't really do it justice. I have it on my bedroom desk, just as a thing of beauty to admire. I found it in a thrift store, at the bottom of a pile of very ordinary stainless steel platters, so I tell you, it's good to dig around in those places! It was a whole .50c!

How alluring, to imagine sailing past the hills glowing with pearly colour, and off into the stormy twilight on that little sailboat. Who can conceive what mer-creatures and treasures may be lurking in the shallow waters edge.


And do not do this sweet tray, justice. It's a pretty lakeside grazing scene. The lambs are all glittered, as are the birds and the blue mountains. It's quite unique and another thrift store find for .20c.

This one is simply use as a tray upon which a boiled egg and toast soldiers are served for sick loved ones.
Have a beautiful, blissful day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beautiful DIY Gifts and Celebrations...DIY Decoupaged tealight jars...

A little glow and flicker for today.

I love it when a simple thing 

I made this votive candle holder from a recycled jar, a cutout of a botanical image, some tissue paper and a touch of decoupage glue. 

Glue the botanical image first, smoothing it carefully. Mine is an Iris as my Mum loved them and we planted hundreds in the yard as a memorial to her.

Then take plain white tissue wrapping paper, and glue a layer of this over the top. It gives a translucent effect to the jar, and fades the image slightly, softening it a little. 

Allow to dry, then place a tealight inside, light it, and enjoy.

It's far from perfect, but that only adds to the texture and pleasure of the flickering candle.

A pretty thing from almost nothing.

 I saw a quote today...

"Art washes from the soul, the dust of everyday life"

How true.

Will you add a little art to your day today?

The Very First Tray of Bliss...

Well, here I am.

Oh, you're here too...thank goodness...I thought I'd be wandering in Cyberspace on my own for longer than this....phew! Come...sit with me a while. Let's reminisce about what has been, plan for what may come, and feast upon what is now. I'm not sure what we'll find, but I'm sure the seeking will be enjoyable nonetheless.

I'm hoping to share the many ways that I try to carve out some peace in my busy world. A ballerina daughter, a workaholic husband, a severely disabled son, and 3 adult boys with wives is enough to keep a girl busy. But marry that up with my quest to write two books, illustrate the world around me with paint and canvas, and indulge my love of all things vintage (including the husband!), and there's not a lot of time for 'me''s a common Maternal Dilemna.

Today I've been nesting. The rain outside has made my home a little gloomy and cave-like. But rather than burrow and hibernate, I've been refreshing and polishing things to a wicked gleam.

I love to put together a $5 Tray of Bliss to soothe the soul...that's it thrift shop bargain hunting has yielded the tray, many, many embroidered linen serviettes, the tray cover and a belly dancer ring to use to cradle a folded serviette. Gathered together, it's a feast for the eyes, the heart and the soul

You can have that one if you like...I can do myself another. Come visit anytime you like....