Thursday, August 22, 2013

Each day is a little life...I need a nook...

A reading nook is required here. Somewhere to snuggle in Winter and chill out in Summer.
I have the space, I have the books.
What I cannot decide is what sort of nook to have.
Example above doesn't really appeal, but I have that chair.
Example here doesn't really appeal either, but it's simple and I have the shelves.

The only thing I like about this one is... scratch that...I don't like anything about it.

Hmmm...the piccies in gold frames I have, although mine aren't of dogs, thank the stars. More boho-shabby chic-random in my case. As for that chair, well my Nanna would have liked it, but I'm not Nanna.
The quest for the right ingredients for my nook, continues.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Thrifty skin care....essential oils...

I've just bought some essential oils.

After some research and some thought on what I'd use them for, I purchased the following.

Scotch Pine
West Indian Lime
Jasmine Absolute

I'll use the Wintergreen and Scotch Pine to make chest rub and liniment for aches and pains for my Comfort Baskets (which I see becoming a year round gift).

The Sandalwood, West Indian Lime and Jasmine Absolute will go into scented hand milled soap.

The Neroli and Jasmine Absolute were also specifically chosen for their suggested benefit to skin care, and will go into my facial serum and moisturisers. Neroli is said to relieve the redness of broken capillaries amongst other things, as well.

Neroli and Jasmine are also well documented as natural remedies for sadness, anxiety and depression, so I'll be making some melts with those to give to friends who need some uplifting.

For most skin care products, they'll be added at the rate of 10 drops of essential oil or two drops of Absolute, per 30gms (1 oz.) of serum, oil, liniment base or cream.

I added some Neroli and Jasmine Absolute to my facial serum last night. The oils have made the serum a little lighter and easier to apply, and the fragrance...oh. my. goodness. Sublime. A bit like a Spring evening and a Summer afternoon all melded together. The Diva came and sat next to me after I'd showered and applied the serum to my face, neck and chest, and couldn't stop snuggling and breathing in the scent. She must have said ten times 'Oh smell so nice'.

Not only that, but the scent of the Jasmine lingered on my hands and arms where I'd massaged the excess serum in, and each time I caught a whisper of the Jasmine or Neroli, I couldn't wipe the smile from my face for some reason. It was totally unconscious, but I just felt ridiculously happy and at peace.

There must be something to it.

All of those oils, at $97, came to less than one jar of upmarket face cream or facial serum, and will keep me happy and supplied in lush face and body products for a year or more.

I got mine here:

...after researching a few sites and deciding that they had the best range at the best price. No, I don't know them, I've never dealt with them before, and they haven't paid me to plug them ;0)

I foresee Jasmine and Neroli Facial Serum, West Indian Lime and Sandalwood Soap, and Wintergreen and Scotch Pine Liniment for aches, pains, and chesty complaints, going in to all my Christmas Gift Baskets this year :D

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Each day is a little life...dancing...

Well I don't quite know how it happened, but I've been seconded to make dance costumes.
Not these ones, thank the stars. These were a Spanish ballet costume worn by The Diva last Christmas.
These are for the school dance troupe and are Chinese inspired, not Spanish.
I completed a task to design a Raven inspired costume earlier this year, which appeared daunting at first, but when I broke down the elements, really only consisted of a black leotard, a feather and fabric bustle, a headpiece and gloves. And whilst that might sound LasVegas showgirl, it was anything but.
It actually ended up looking sinister and dark and everything a Raven should be.
I've always avoided making dance costumes, but now that I've done one or two, I see that it's actually a creative outlet like no other. You're not constrained by what's been done before, or how things should be done. You just make it up as you go along.
I like it.
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Each day is a little life....tiny luxuries..

This was a lucky shot, and has not been retouched or enhanced in any way.
I just happened to notice this sunbeam shining through my Limoges teacups this morning, and had to try to capture it.
The sea green cup looks as if it's actually glowing, and those little glints on the handle and rim of the lemon were captured serendipitously, and not by me making any effort to be arty.
This happens to me often. Without effort on my part, good things find me. Is it because I'm open to them? Or do I make my own good fortune through having a positive outlook?
Don't get me wrong. Crap has found me many times too. But I've dealt with the crap and sent it packing, more often than not.
Do you welcome the good into your life? Or do you imagine yourself undeserving and turn it away when it comes knocking?
I seek the good in my life each and every day. That's how my Limoges cups came into my life. I wanted something beautiful to drink from, not just on Mothers Day or Christmas Day, but every day.
 They are gifts from my children. One cup from them (they pool their money to buy just one), each celebratory day for the last couple of years.
I love them and use them daily. It's a tiny luxury, that makes me feel special.
What are your tiny luxuries?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Each day is a little life...Look through any window...

I'm creeping up to the sill, standing on tiptoe to peek inside...
What will be there?
An aproned Mama mending or stirring a pot of broth?
Perhaps her husband, smoking a pipe and warming his toes by an open fire.
Maybe nothing but dust motes, dancing in the light streaming through this window.
But no...this is a well tended cottage, with a blissfully perfect garden, so someone lives and loves here.
No doubt a bowl of the sunset hued roses would rest upon an embroidered tablecloth, else what would be the point of growing them?
Their scent would greet you as soon as the door opens, Mama framed within, emanating warmth and feelings of comfort.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Each day is a little life...calm and spirituality

The French countryside is dotted with small towns and each one has a well loved church.
Many are hundreds of years old, and have floors so well worn that they ripple with age.
Spirituality remains an important part of life.
Spirituality is an important part of my life too.
It sustains me in times of trouble and spares me from anguish when my heart is heavy.
It's harder to visit the local church where I live. It's locked by day, and one must make a time with the caretaker, and even then, it's a tough persuasion.
How sad that fears of vandalism, have overtaken the joys of silent reflection.
For today, I'll seek calm in memories of the old church in Honfleur.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Each day is a little life...Travel memories, baked fish and spa quality scrub...

Town hall.
Honfleur in Northern France...
Picturesque, and lots of happy wandering done in the village.
Life is conducted at a different place in these small towns, as is the case with small towns across the globe. Someone once said that moving to the country or beachside, means living a longer, healthier life. I don't know if that is true, but it certainly sounds appealing.
We, in the city, try hard, but miss the mark. No amount of Farmers Markets or sidewalk cafe's can really duplicate the feeling of wandering down the narrow cobbled lanes or dusty streets, or salt scented laneways of a true country or seaside town.
But we try.
Today I have an Ocean scented potpourri in a silver compote dish, the sound of the ocean on my iPod, a whole fish to bake for our dinner, and a sugar and salt scrub to exfoliate my Winter worn limbs. That's as close to a seaside escape as we'll get today, but we can live with that. Our turn for a Sea Change will come.
Here's how I bake my whole fish:
Ask for your fish to be cleaned and scaled. Get him home and pat him dry outside and in with paper towels. Rub him generously with salt and pepper.
Dice two shallots (green onions), a 4 cm piece of ginger, one onion, 1/2 a red capsicum (pepper), 2 red chillies, 2 lemongrass stalks and 4 garlic cloves.
Score the flesh of the fish, and rub this mixture all over him, inside and out. Wrap him in foil, and bake him for between 25 and 50 minutes depending upon his size and how fleshy he is. He's done when the flesh is white and flakes easily.
Remove him from the oven and take him, steaming in the foil and on a platter, to the dinner table. Squeeze some lime juice over him, and scatter him with freshly chopped coriander.
As for my Spa quality sugar and salt scrub, well that's easy.
In a jar or bowl, combine 1/4 cup oil (olive, jojoba, macadamia) and 2 tablespoons of pharmaceutical glycerine, with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt and 20 drops of your favourite essential oil. I love the combination of Lime oil and Peppermint oil. The glycerine helps the scrub 'stick' to your skin, facilitating a good scrubbing and exfoliation session, and is the secret ingredient in all the Spa scrubs. Your skin will be left so silky smooth, you won't believe it.
I promise.

Saturday, August 3, 2013