Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Day of dreams

I always got the feeling that Valentine's Day was better in older times, when love was more forbidden.

When I was a teen Valentine's Day always tortured me, because I never received the anonymous valentine that I secretly longed for. Then as I got older and became a little more acquainted with love, still without ever receiving a valentine, I grew to look upon Valentine's Day with a degree of cynical disdain. Now I enjoy Valentine's Day from a distance. I look upon it as a day of nostalgia and dreams, where ponder romantic fantasies, the things that I have always hoped someone would do for me - write me a love letter, give me roses, elope with me to the city of love...kiss me amongst the wild flowers. I start to wonder, "Will anyone ever do these things?" not because they will never love me, but because, well things are different nowadays. Or perhaps it has always been this way and it is film and television that has given us these huge romantic expectations of Valentine's Day?

In my heart I feel that the true essence of Valentine's Day is young love, new love and forbidden love. To me it's about the risks an thrills of new love. But ironically, I don't think that many young people write love letters or send valentines anymore. Is it because love isn't as forbidden nowadays, or is it that we're just not as classically romantic? I have also never sent a valentine myself (except when we were as good as forced to do it in Primary school, but does that count?), which I think is partly due to the fact that if I had given valentine to a boy at my high school it would be seen as a huge joke - or is it because valentines were traditionally given to women (I don't know)?

Anyway...sometimes it's nice to imagine what romance can be, regardless of whether it has been for you.

I am an avid collector of images that delight and inspire me, especially now that I have Pinterest, so I thought I would share some Valentine-themed images that are inspiring me. Lately, Valentine's Day also seems to awaken an obsession with pink...


Look at these two!





Perhaps someone will throw you a pink tea-party, or send you a love letter or kiss you in the wild flowers this Valentine's Day. I hope that they do. They probably wont, but does it matter? Isn't the longing, hoping and waiting what Valentine's Day is really about?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Midday movie

The weekend before last I stumbled upon this charming little Barbara Streisand comedy that I had never heard of before called 'On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.' It was playing on the ABC at midday and we missed the very beginning of it, but once we found it T & I quickly got hooked. It's a strange little film about a woman called Daisy Gamble who starts seeing a psychiatrist in an attempt to quit smoking.  While she is under hypnosis to try and stop her smoking Daisy starts re-living moments of what seem to be her past lives.

I loved the weird plot line, which was not what I had expected and Barbra is charming as Daisy. The characters also break into song at the most absurd moments I which found quite funny, but I'm not sure if that was meant to be part of the comedy or not. The one thing I really loved about this movie though was the costumes. Daisy seems to wear a different coloured baby-doll dress paired with her gorgeous bouffant hairstyle and a matching hat in almost every scene. The film also features some Georgian and Victorian style costumes, when Daisy re-lives her past lives, but it was the 1960s costumes that I loved best.

The film also stars a very young Jack Nicholson (we barely recognized him at first!) looking very groovy as Tad Pringle...

Young, handsome Jack Nicolson.

   The amazing orange dress.

This dress was my favourite, although you can't see it very well here it was covered in beautiful little applique flowers.

 Daisy can make flowers grow abnormally fast by talking to them.

She also has this amazing bedroom with floral wallpaper that looks lie a Van Gough painting and a nightie that matches her sheets!

More matching hats...

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Vintage finds

Today it is 40 degrees in Melbourne, and since I now have my license I thought I'd drive myself down to the Frankston op-shop and take a look around. I've been feeling quite sad since Savers Frankston closed down, I used to go there a lot and rummage for hours and because there was so much there you would occasionally find some good things, but alas it is gone, so now I will have to make do with The Salvos.

I've been doing a bit of thrift/vintage shopping since the new year has begun and have found myself some new goodies. Here's what I found:

1. Xylonite hand mirror

Just before the new year I spent a few days down along the bay at Rye and visited some antique shops while I was there {I also visited Queenscliff, a beautiful, old fashioned town, and though I didn't find any good antiques there, I always enjoy admiring the old buildings, wide streets and the view across the bay}. I found this little xylonite mirror at The Factory Antiques Market in Dromana . Xylonite is apparently a celluloid plastic akin to Bakelite. I've always eyed off hand mirrors but have never bought one before now. I was drawn to this one by its turquoise color {and also it's reasonable price tag! Some hand mirror sets are quite pricy}.

~ Dreams ~

I adore Antique sheds and rummaging through them. I often think how wonderful it would be to sell antiques - to be able to spend my life surrounded by old things. However, I also suspect I would have some trouble letting go of all the beautiful things - I would want to keep all of it!

2. Flower power dress

I found this little baby at Lost & Found,  a huge, and slightly pricy warehouse size antique emporium. I love the bright 60s/70s flower design. It's a very cheery dress. I've worn it around a couple of times already and it's the kind of dress that makes people smile {and possibly takes them on a trip down memory lane}.

3. Myott teacup

I came across this, rather worse for wear, little teacup today sitting on it's lonesome at the op-shop with no saucer in sight. It is in pretty bad condition, with a big crack and some chips around the rim, but I was drawn to it nonetheless. As soon as a saw it I felt that I had seen the design before somewhere, however I do not remember where, or even if this is the case, or if it simply reminds me of another tea set. The colour doesn't show up so well in this photo, it's sort of an off white colour with a faint yellow tinge. The handle, and the back rim seem to suggest it may be a Deco design - another reason I was drawn to it.

Since taking it home, I have searched online in vane to try and find out the name of the design {design names are usually written of the base of the saucer} but have not been able to find anything resembling this. I have found many similar designs by the same brand, but none identical. So it remains a mystery, and possibly will remain a mystery until or rather if, I happen to stumble upon the design again at some point in the future. But I don't mind. I have a soft spot for tea cups, even though I rarely use them to drink out of because they don't hold enough drink for my liking, I like to display them around and admire their beauty.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas Cooking


Hope you had a nice Christmas if you celebrate it, and a lovely day anyway if you don't.

I cooked lunch for my family this Christmas and thought I'd share some pictures of what we ate.

As soon as I saw this Double Stuffed Christmas Log recipe by Mouthwatering Vegan pop up online, I knew I had to try it. It looked so good, and it was. It tasted delicious and was pretty easy to make {though I had a bit of trouble rolling it up with out making a giant mess}! The rest of my non-vegan family liked it too so I would definitely recommend this recipe. This is what mine looked like:

{Not quite as pretty as Miriam's!}

It's double stuffed with a curried lentil mix and a hazelnut/herb mix. I really liked the hazelnuts - I think they were the perfect choice.

Then for dessert I decided to try making one of Emily from This Rawsome Vegan Life's raw desserts. I chose this Chocolate Mousse Tart with Lemon Cashew Cream because it sounded delicious.  And it was. The avacado-chocolate-cashew-lemon filling was awesome.

This was my first time making a raw dessert, but I was happy with how it turned out. I had a bit of an issue with the cashew cream, I think because my blender is so old it wasn't as smooth as I wanted it to be so I strained it through I fine sieve. I also found that some of the hard skins from the dates I used didn't blend up - I'm not sure if it was the dates or my terrible blender - but next time I would soak the dates first to soften them up. I was amazed by how sweet it was without added sugar!

And finally, I also made some vegan shortbread using the non-vegan recipe from the back of the rice flour packet and substituting the butter with Nuttelex.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Holiday gift ideas

I think I am a little late in writing this as the Christmas holiday is fast approaching - but time has gotten away from me and I wanted to share this list I've been making in my head over the past month or so.

I wanted to make this list because, as much as I love things (I really do), I also think that we as a society have gotten a little bit carried away when it comes to consuming. Cheap, disposable, products & the waste we accumulate is hurting our planet and it's animals, hurting our pockets, and hurting the people who make them. Heck - it's probably even hurting our souls because we're always wanting more instead of focusing on what we already have.

I know I would like to buy less and live more simply.

So in that spirit, here's some ideas for ethical/eco friendly gifts these holidays...

1. Donate to the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan relief appeal on behalf of a loved one: Oxfam & Red Cross have relief funds you can donate too and many others including Food For Life International who provide vegan food relief.

2. Book: 'The Gift of Kindness' by Pam Ahern full of inspiring quotes and true stories of rescued farm animals at Edgar's Mission. All proceeds from the book go to Edgar's Mission. In fact, books in general make great gifts don't they!

3. LUSH Handmade cosmetics: I don't normally like promoting or up-selling products of big companies - it feels, in the words of Enid from Ghost World, "pretty sleazy" - but I do like LUSH products because they are cruelty free and many of them are vegan. So I guess I'll sleaze about their good qualities. Some products I would recommend are:

4. Wilderness Cards: Give someone the gift of environmental protection by purchasing a Wilderness Card - a donation of $15-100 to the Wilderness Society. In return you receive a cute card to give to your loved one in recognition.

5. Fair-trade clothing: Etiko make fair-trade clothing and converse-style sneakers. They also sell gift vouchers if you would like to let your loved one choose.

6. Sponsor a rescued farm animal: You can do this via many animal sanctuaries including Edgar's Mission through their 'Best Buddy' program and Brightside Farm Sanctuary where you can virtually adopt and animal.

7. Donate to an Animal Shelter: Donate money to an animal shelter on behalf of a loved one and help animals in need. Some animal shelters & rescue groups you can support in Melbourne are:

8. Fair-trade chocolate and coffee: Oxfam sell fair-trade coffee & chocolate. Visit their website.

9. Charity calendars: Many charities bring out a calendar each year for their supporters to buy. The Wilderness Society have calenders as do Edgar's Mission, Ingrid's Haven and no doubt many others.

10. ZINES: Zines are cheap, unique and quirky. Gift zines to your loved ones and support DIY culture/art/writing. Sticky Institute in Melbourne sell zines. You can also buy zines on etsy and from online zine suppliers such as Pioneers Press. OR you could make a special zine just for them!

11. Eco Undies! Thunderpants sell eco friendly undies made in New Zealand.

12. Goodwill Wines: Purchase your festive wine stock through Goodwill Wines and give back to a charity of your choice. 50%-70% of profits go back to your chosen charity. Or you could buy charity wines all year round...!

13. Second hand books: Buy your loved one a second hand book through Brotherhood Books - where all the proceeds go towards helping people living in poverty. Or just buy them a second hand book from your local second hand bookseller - you'll be helping to reduce waste! Plus you can find some real gems in old bookstores.

14. WWF Animal Adoption: Adopt an endangered animal through WWF and help fight

15. WSPA Really Wild Gifts: Donate money to help improve the lives of bears, donkeys, dogs and other animals through WSPA's really wild gifts.

16. Sponsor a child: Unicef, Plan (who are secular) and World Vision offer child sponsorship. While The Smith Family allow you to sponsor disadvantaged children within Australia.

17. Handmade gifts: Make your loved ones handmade Christmas edibles like shortbread or cookies or craft them a gift like handmade decorations. You could also write them a poem or paint them a picture! I think there's something really beautiful about homemade gifts.

18. Second hand or vintage homewares: One of my personal favourites! They can make special, one of a kind gifts and help reduce waste!

And I'm sure there's more!
I have made a slightly different, more extensive list on my pinterest account if you're interested.

~ Happy holidays ~