Life beyond a dirty window

As you’d expect, when I’m writing I spend a lot of time at the desk in my home office. My desk faces a wall, and there is a window positioned to my left. Throughout much of the year I keep that window wide open, allowing the fresh air to flow across my desk while my fingers dance across the keyboard.

Every now and again I’ll take a break from looking at the computer screen and turn my head to watch the world outside.

Life beyond the dirty window

Most days my eyes focus in on how dirty the windows are, notice that the garden beds below really need a tidy, and spot that the fence palings are coming loose of their support beams yet again … but not today. Today the sun was shining brightly, the sky was a happy shade of blue, and I finally noticed the red and yellow flowers which had come into bloom. Spring has most definitely arrived.

Sometimes I get so preoccupied with the negative things that are happening right in front of me, that I fail to see the bigger, more positive picture a little further beyond. Thank goodness then, for the wisdom found to be found by looking through a dirty window.

Shadows in the Garden

Hello dear reader, are you having a good week? I certainly hope so. If I push to one side all the deep thinking I’ve been occupying myself with (because that’s all rather exhausting and ho-hum), things are pretty OK with me. As I sat down to type this little message to you, gentle rain was just beginning to fall, a gathering of rainbow lorikeets were screeching in colourful happiness just outside my window, and I was enjoying a very welcome cup mug of tea.

Hey carnations, you're beautiful! :)

So what’s up with that title then? Well I’m rather fond of pretty things in the garden and shadows are something that I always find fascinating. I actually thought that ‘Shadows in the Garden’ would make an excellent title for a Virginia Andrews book, and wouldn’t you know it? There is actually one that is very similar, rather ominously titled ‘Garden of Shadows’. I’ve never actually read one of her books, but I know they were incredibly popular with a lot of my high school peers back in the day.

Anyway, I digress … I bought myself this bunch of flowers earlier in the week, and I really wanted to share them with you because (a) they’re lovely, and (b) you deserve this bunch of flowers too. I’m sure I’ve told you before of how partial I am to carnations … yes, I know they’re a bit old-fashioned and dated, but they really have the most wonderful blooms, and as cut flowers they last for a really long time.

Flowers and shadows make for a pretty picture

At the moment I have so much to say, and yet at the same time not much of anything to say … so rather than wait for me to gather my thoughts, let’s just enjoy these flowers instead. While the flowers are clearly beautiful, most of all I’m loving the shadows which form a part of this floral arrangement … I hope you like it too!

PS. My Sparkapolooza piece for this fortnight’s brief ‘Throwing Shapes’ features shadows too … fancy that! Oh, and the Mr has also submitted his own artistic and wonderful creation … featuring ninjas! :)

A few moments in January …

Sure, I may be a little late in welcoming in this latest year, but perhaps that’s just an indication of how nicely 2012 has been treating me. I’ve been very much enjoying the feeling of ‘space’ the new year has brought with it … space to think, dream and be. Breathing space. Do you feel it too?

With one turn of the calendar, all the rush and hurry at the close of one year is left far behind, replaced by a magical sense of possibility. Apart from it signalling the start of the tennis season, the thing I most like about January is that time slows, creating more opportunities to appreciate the little happenings. With that idea in mind, I thought I’d share a few of my recent moments.

… There’s been flower gazing and cookie baking.

Green and purple blooms

Vegan choc-chip cookies

… Lots of bright sunny days, green grass and one very happy dog … Oh, and there’s always an opportunity to take my favourite sandals out for a relaxing wander.

A doggy roll

Saltwater Sandals (in yellow of course)

But I suppose the most exciting thing about this year for me is that I’m writing again. Actual honest-to-goodness proper writing … and gosh, it feels so fantastic! I’ve pushed all the doubts, negativity and annoying self-criticism to one side (for the moment at least), and I’m trying to just let the words do what they do best.

How about you? Have you experienced any little moments which have you thinking that this year could be quite momentous? xx

Thoughts about flowers

I’m just a little bit smitten with the world of flowers at the moment … I seem to be constantly on the lookout for pretty blooms to display around the home. They have a way of making everything feel brighter, fresher and happier.

Ever since Anabela wrote about the loveliness of Baby’s Breath flowers, I’ve had those pretty, delicate blooms on my mind. I was reminded of how much I used to love that often overlooked flower, and it made me realise that I don’t notice bunches of Baby’s Breath around as often as I used to.

Favourite flowers ... Carnations and Baby's Breath

As a child I used to enjoy having a day out and about in the city with my Grandma (back when going to the city felt like a very big deal). At some point during these outings we would stop at a favourite florist and select a pretty flower to take home to my mum. Normally it would be something simple (and suited to my childhood budget), like a single rose. The florist would always select a little Baby’s Breath to surround the rose and make that solitary bloom look like even more of a beauty.

Like a field of flowers ...

With my Baby’s Breath obsession growing stronger by the day, earlier this week I was very happy to discover this beautiful bunch of white Carnations and Baby’s Breath … and so of course I had to make it my own. Incidentally, while I love the look and fragrance of roses, I seem to have greater success with carnations as cut flowers in the home (the roses all seem to wilt far too quickly).

Certain flowers are perfect for marking an important occasion, some can be the very symbol of love, while others are full of fond memories. Whatever meaning they are used to convey, it’s certain that all flowers are simply lovely to look at. Do you have a favourite bloom to include in a bouquet? Or am I alone with my current cut flower obsession?

A day best spent outdoors …

So today is Australia Day, and that means like a lot of other people around the country (sorry if you aren’t one), I get the day off work and the chance to enjoy a little mid-week break. While the Mr and I didn’t think we’d do anything special for the day, an impromptu decision made last night saw us finally buy ourselves a BBQ. I can think of no better way to spend Australia Day than with some food cooked over open flame … YUM!!

While the Mr was busy constructing the flatpack BBQ, I took some time to check on the garden produce. As you can see our little lemon tree is going well, and our strawberries are not too far away from fruiting.

Our marigolds are also starting to bloom, with all their bright yellow and orange flowers adding a cheery touch to the back deck.

Once the instructions for building the BBQ had been mastered, we were all ready to go with our first BBQ meal of the day – vegetarian sausages and fried onion on bread! Even Baxter the dog was excited about the BBQ-ing process (I think I managed to capture a picture of the exact moment when he realised there was fried goodness soon to be made available).

Our meal can really only be summed up with one word – ‘delicious’. In case you were wondering, Baxter also enjoyed a veggie sausage all of his own – we’re just that kind of caring, sharing household. If you were here, we would have shared one with you too!

Wherever you are in the world – celebrating Australia Day or not, did you find something fun to do today?

Thinking about the goodness of yellow …

You know how yellow sometimes gets stuck with a bad colour reputation? It’s been known to keep company with the jealous and the cowardly – such unfortunate associations, as some truly wonderful things come in yellow. Things like custard, iconic New York City cabs, bananas, daffodils, raincoats, and baby ducks.

In fact, I’ve been searching for the perfect short-sleeve yellow cardigan in just the right shade for about a year now (if you ever see one, please let me know) … the search continues on.

But the thing I like most of all, is that yellow is always just on the other side of darkness …

Sunrise always comes after sunset,

Sandy shores are revealed beneath the sweep of an ocean wave, and

Sandwiches toasted golden and filled with melted cheese comfort the soul like nothing else.

I’m not too sure when my fascination with yellow began, but I find myself seeking it out more and more these days (and not just in cardigan form). Does something yellow bring hope to your world too?

Jacaranda time of year …

I’ve been meaning to share my love of Jacaranda flowering season for some time now … and with the blooms starting to appear in greater abundance on the ground instead of on the trees, the time now seems long overdue.

From September to November each year – the backyards, streetscapes, parks and gardens in Queensland are transformed with a showy display of beautiful iridescent purple blooms.

Standing beneath a Jacaranda tree that is overburdened with flowers is a dreamy experience … The canopy above provides imperfect, yet beautiful cover – like a lovingly handmade crochet blanket, used to wrap oneself comfortingly within. The ground underfoot becomes awash with a random scattering of fallen tubular flowers … forming something as bright and mesmerising as a land-based coral reef.

A magical time of year indeed … I hope there’s magic in your world too.

PS. The winner of last week’s giveaway was No. 4 (Congratulations Charmaine!)

Saturday Sights

It’s been a lovely sort of Saturday in my world. The sun has been shining (but not too warmly), a breeze has been blowing (but not too strongly), and the dog has been snoozing (but not too deeply). Given all of this loveliness, I thought I’d sneak outside and share some colourful floral sights from my garden.

I discovered that wonderful ‘lily-like’ flower hidden amongst one of the overgrown garden beds (yet another reason to clean up the backyard and uncover some more hidden jewels). I love yellow flowers, even though the one above is actually a weed, and despite the fact that yellow flowers are supposed to symbolise jealousy …

Roses that grow by themselves are a huge advantage in my opinion, and while these beauties are approaching the end of their flowering season, they are lovely still. I’ve already told you about my love of the ‘summer snow’ flowers on the right, but because I love them so I thought they were worth sharing again.

I hope you spied some wonderful sights on your Saturday adventures …

Skyward bound …

We can all do with a little escape from time to time, and often it doesn’t even matter whether the form of our escape happens in our dreams or in our reality. Whenever and however I manage to dream myself somewhere else, I imagine floating away … drifting high in the clouds … feeling as light as a feather.

Here’s the latest batch of madeit goodies to help fire the imagination and kick start some dreams high above the earth.

Top Row (left to right):

  1. Raindrops Pencilcase, $20 by Pocket Carnival (rainbow coloured rain, and puffy clouds … just lovely!).
  2. Birdie Birds 4 Card Set, $20 by red letter studio (vibrant colours to lift the heart, and just look at that stitching detail).
  3. Flying Bird Necklace, $26 by Little Viking Girl (simply elegant and suitably flighty to carry your worries away).

Bottom Row (left to right):

  1. Vintage Style Brooch, $8 by mabel studios (kite flying is a seriously underrated activity).
  2. Cloud Ring, $55 by Epheriell (this silver delight is the stuff of my most wonderful dreams).
  3. Floating In A Sky Of Flowers Print, $44 by ali j art (she is exquisite and has me wishing for a tree to slumber beneath).

I hope today you find some time for your dreams and imagine themselves a little closer to reality …

The dresses are coming, summer is on its way…

The weather has been getting decidedly warmer of late (at least where I live), and with the heat comes the sights that accompany the summer months…

Flowers are bursting into life and delivering their fragrance into the welcoming arms of the world…(they make the bees pretty happy too).

Summer Flower

Trees are becoming heavy with fruit and are then in turn frequented by many feathered and winged visitors who are happy to take advantage of their crop…

Summer Bird

Thank goodness for one solemn protector who guards the activities of this blooming, buzzing and fruiting garden with watchful eyes…

Summer Dog

As for me? Well happily, my recent love affair with dresses will grow ever stronger as we move towards Christmas and beyond. What could be more appropriate than a brightly coloured floral dress to usher in these blue sky days?

Summer Dress

Dress weather has well and truly been declared…