Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Space of our Own...Orchids on my Budget...

No matter your stage of life, a space of your own should be a given.
We all need a corner of the world that is ours alone. One that we can decorate, embellish and use, without having to answer to someone else.
For me, when I first started renovating my 100 year old desk, seen below...
Turning it into a Chanel-esque piece of glam Chinoiserie, inspired by the sorts of shots below...

 ...I had know idea that my life was about to change for 30 months or so...which, at my age, is a significant period of time.
This little corner, with some of my favourite things gathered in one place, is perhaps the thing (and I'm deliberately not talking about 'people' here), that I look forward to seeing the most after a long day in the Corporate World.
The orange cranes, draped with twinkling beads, the teal snack food stacker converted by me to a jewel box, my books on French life, art through the ages, home décor and legendary weddings, there at my fingertips....

….my sweet little Blanc de Chine figurines dusted with gilt features...
...and my thrifted lamps, trimmed with Greek Key ribbon in black and gold...
...are the first items that greet me when I enter my bedroom after a long day, kicking off my heels, shedding my workaday self, and revelling in the haven I've created.
I recently added a vintage tortoiseshell travel clock to my little desk vignette...

...and feel that it is now complete.
I sit here and paint my nails for the is always a favourite...

...plan my outfits...this Chanel inspired knit skirt suit was a recent purchase from Etsy and was oohed and ahhed over greatly in the workplace recently...

...and whilst my heart sometimes, very occasionally yearns for my days of Motherhood and nurturing... new role sees me assuming an identity that lurked just below the surface for so many years.

I'm loving the sense of coming full circle in my life, and the serenity that comes with accepting a new stage of life, however brief.
A stage that sees me accepting that, for now at least, my life is about orchids, not roses. 
Orchids...such a luxurious, colourful, rewarding and almost glamorous plant.
And so symbolic of my life over the last decade, where so often, I've referred to a little book titled 'Orchids on Your Budget', where an Orchid was truly seen as a symbol of a well lived life.
Now I dress up and grab my glam handbag on my way out the door each morning, butterflies lively in my stomach, not knowing what the day will bring...

...I don my 'armour' though, and know that if nothing else, I'll look the part.

...and safe in the knowledge that no matter what, at the end of a long day, my little Chinoiserie Sanctuary awaits me, and the welcome light of my little lamps, will sooth and calm me.
What will you call A Space of your Own this year?

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Making and Preserving Memories...Pearl dusted ice cream cones...

These pearl dusted ice cream cones are a memory in the making if ever there was one.
I remember my Nanna putting a marshmallow in the bottom of our ice cream cones.
It prevented the melting ice cream (inevitable in the Summer heat here), from melting through the bottom of the cones.
That would be a nice touch too.
Meanwhile, these make an ordinary ice cream, something special and magical. And you can use any colour edible glitter or tinted sugar you like.
All you do is spray the ice cream cone with spray oil, or smooth some on your palms and smear it on the cones.
The sprinkle the pearl dust or edible glitter on or roll the cones in the dust or edible glitter.
Not only are these pretty, they leave a satisfying dust of glitter or pearls on your hands.

I think the Granddaughters are going to love this.
There's a memory in the making if ever there was one.

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Home is where the Heart is....

Is it possible to live two parallel lives at the same time, I wonder?
I believe so.
I was mildly concerned that re-entering the corporate fray would impact on my Earth Mother sensibilities.
But as it nearly as much as I imagined.
The first six weeks were exhausting. Not only was I out of my usual routine, but my brain was on overload learning all the comes with a new corporate job, having been full time Insourcing Manager of the Home for nearly twenty years.
Now I'm finding my feet. There are still days where everything seems a challenge, but they are fewer and further apart.
This week, I managed to snap up some seasonal greens and package half up for a soup to throw into the slow cooker one night, and the half was thrown into the slow cooker for that night. We've had some cooler evenings here, and after the festive fare, a bit of soup was all we craved.

Leftover ham and veg went into a fried rice another night. A perennial favourite here.

And meanwhile, I had time to ponder all that I accomplished in a day when I was at home.
As you well know, I treated Home Life as a Real Job too, and made a point of being as productive as possible.
Those weeks leading up to commencing work again, were some of the most productive and creative I've had, and it just goes to show what can be achieved when you value every moment of every day.

I use this made over vintage two tier snack container for a jewellery box, and I get a rewarding thrill lifting the lid each morning to choose my earrings.
I just love it.
Funnily enough, it's the small things that make you feel accomplished sometimes.

Then there's my desk renovation. That was a task and a half.

Hours upon hours of intricate painting.
 But each and every evening when I arrive home, it's there, in all it's glory, and I take a special pleasure in turning on my twin lamps and enjoying their glow.


You know I've written for a few years now about learning a new skill or two annually.
And last year, I taught myself more than a couple, painting and restoring furniture and knick knacks being a chief one.
Who knew that you could paint ceramic and papier mache` figurines any colour you want, right?


Or that Christmas cake didn't have to be a fruit cake?

Or even that you could eat boiled eggs cold...okay, that one might be an acquired!

Or that sometimes, noodle soup made with stock cubes, but served beautifully is a more than adequate dinner for us all...

What will you learn this year?
Where will your heart be?
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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A new year, a new plan....

" I counted my years and discovered that I have
less time to live going forward than I have lived until now.

I have more past than future.
I feel like the child who received a bowl of candies.
The first ones, ate ungracious,
but who then realized there were only a few left,
so began to taste them deeply.

I want to surround myself with people,
who know how to touch the hearts of people ….
People to whom the hard knocks of life,
taught them to grow with softness in their soul.

Yes …. I am in a hurry … to live with intensity,
that only maturity can bring.
I intend not to waste any part of the goodies
I have left …
I'm sure they will be more exquisite,
than most of which so far I've eaten.

My goal is to arrive to the end satisfied and in peace
with my loved ones and my conscience.
I hope that your goal is the same,
because either way you will get there too .. "
Mário de Andrade
As I enter the final year of my fifth decade, I thought it appropriate to share this poem.
My Mother was only blessed with five decades and three weeks before she was called Home.
I feel confident that my path will be different, but nonetheless, time grows short for us all at some stage, and as the poem says, I intend not to waste any part I have left.
This year at A Tray of Bliss will be different in some ways.
I am working full time, so my blogging and creative time is more limited. I find myself turning to Photo driven methods of staying in touch. Instagram is quick and easy, and often conveys the moment or the message, so perhaps you'd like to follow me there...
Mimis Tray of Bliss on Instagram
Facebook is not my own preferred communication, however many of you have chosen to communicate with me there, so there I shall remain for now. I rarely post on the main page, as I have a closed group that allows members to view daily posts, and add their own posts in privacy.
To join that group, you'll need to go to the main page, and request that I add you. You can find that main page here...
Mimi's Tray of Bliss on Facebook
You will see me here fortnightly for sure, and more often if I can manage it, so stay tuned.
My plan is to approach 2019 with purpose, a plan. I do love a good plan.
Here are my themes for the year ahead...
Home is where the Heart is
A Space of Our Own
Sew Along
Accessories Maketh the Wardrobe
Getting On With It...the Working Girls Insourcing
As always, I can only write what I live, and those six categories pretty much sum up life around here these days. I wonder if they sum up your life too?
Let's spend 2019 together, arriving at the end of the year, satisfied and in peace with our loved ones and our consciences.