Thursday, January 29, 2015

Allowing oneself to dream

You can buy this digital download from Etsy here.

With a birthday rolling around in the next couple of months, I will officially be on the cusp of turning 30. I find this means I'm reflecting a lot - on what I've done in my life so far, the events and people who have helped shape me, and what the older people around me were doing when they are 30, or close enough... my Mum had a 10 year old (my sister) and was about to have her second child in her 30's, had completely renovated a church into a home, traveled the world, and was renovating a second home (back in the day when renovate meant turn something into nothing, not hanging a new light shade and wallpapering a feature wall...). My sister had a couple of kids under her wing at 30, and had worked and studied in other states. I suppose 30 was once considered mid-life whereas now its quite acceptable to only begin to "settle down" at 30. It makes me wonder what 30 will mean when that birthday arrives for my (potential) grandkids. 

At this point in time, however, I feel life seems to get pretty serious at this age. Thinking about my friends and similar aged acquaintances, most of us have full time jobs (that we don't love), mortgages, partners and even husbands and wives. I have friends with fresh babies, friends planning babies, friends struggling to make babies... building homes, renovating homes, getting a dog... reality has crept up on our 20-something partying selves, waved a magic wand over our lives and turned everything into a big, mechanical process of being frank, realistic, balancing the bank account and talking about interest rates. 

I don't mind this so much - after all, it's not like anyone's been forced into a mortgage or having lawn to care for, it's all choices made based on goals and aspirations, and most of these people have managed to squeeze in the odd passion and hobby to keep things upbeat and interesting along the way. 

The thing I feel, however, is that this serious life seems to slowly rob everyone of their ability to dream. I'm not talking about the stuff of sleep ins, I'm talking about the sparkly eyed person making large hand movements when talking about how they would love to live in a tree house one day. Or the quick rambling words of inspiration about wanting to travel the world. What's happened to the fun discussion of where would we go if humans could fly? It's as if we're all too scared to talk about our dreams, or crazy ideas, for fear that maybe we'll be thought a failure if we don't build the outdoor kitchen/hot tub/ swimming pool combo we created in our minds last week. Or maybe the real (boring) stuff is taking so much of our time we just don't have the brain space to create and dwell on the idea in the first place?

I'm a huge believer that life isn't for just plodding through the every day, being part of the tide that flows to and from work day in day out to pay the bills and put food on the table and not worry about the finer details. It's the finer details that make it all worth it. It's the joy in the small, the wonder in the crazy ideas, the time when you can dream and create and make crazy hand movements when describing your perfect herb garden, or holiday, or adventure, or superpower.

When was the last time you dreamed big? Where you weren't afraid to think about things you can't afford, or don't have time to do (or so you think) or haven't learnt the skills for yet? I believe that this is the stuff that stretches our mind, keeps things ticking over, inspires us. The car that ends up in production may only be an echo of the amazing concept the designer initially created, but just think about the fountain of inspiration and passion that fueled the designer in the first place. That stuff is gold, it's a happy little creature on our shoulders that goes unheard for a lot of people.

Sometimes I forget to dream. I think it's not worth the while, and too sad to think about the stuff I might not see, might not get to do, can't afford... but would love to. But it's not the getting that's important. It's keeping our hearts and minds alive with fun ideas that's important. So today I'm reminding myself that it's okay, and pretty cool, to dream :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Market: Kingston Beach Handmade Market

Woops! I was supposed to post this up a week ago, thought I had, and clearly hadn't! Nevermind...

The Kingston Beach Handmade Market is an established makers and producers market that's been running for more than 2 years in the bright and charming Kingston Beach Hall, a stone's throw from the blue water and golden sand of Kingston Beach. Only a 10 minute drive from Hobart city, what better excuse for a Sunday drive on a beautiful summer's day!

The moment I stepped inside the hall, I was greeted by the most amazing smell! It was, of course, the beautiful soy candles, handmade and hand poured by Lily and Charlie

In the sweetest jars, these candles are devine, and handmade by such a lovely person too! And with scents like Black Raspberry, Strawberries & Cream, and Mandarin Vanilla Cream (I couldn't resist Lemongrass) there's a scent to suit everyone. And you know what? The thing I love the most about soy candles is that when the candle is finished, its so easy to clean out! Because if you're a candle lover like me you probably have a stash of lovely containers that you can't bear to throw away but the wax is so stuck in the bottom you can't use the container for something else! With soy you simply run under the hot tap and it comes straight out. 

I was so in love with the candles I didn't even take a pic of the awesome jewellery range by Lily and Charlie! So you will have to go to the website to see the rest of the great stuff. 

The market was on the smaller side, being right after Christmas, but the setting is lovely (what a great hall!) and its a market worth the visit for sure!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekend Moments

The wild weather on the weekend saw me with the heater on, with a cup of tea snuggling my forever affectionate Zed cat... and some sunshine meant a nice catch up with friends and a bit of a drive as well! The office revamp is coming along nicely, it's so great to be setting up bits and pieces I've been collecting... pics to come soon! 

Oh, the mug in the top corner was a Christmas gift from my mum! I love rabbits, and the grey and turquoise is so me! It's by Ashdene, and the design is called Hedgerow (appropriate, right?!) by Belinda Strong. I love her work, it's so cute - there are other mugs in the collection you can see here

Monday, January 12, 2015


Living in a cooler climate means summer is a feast of local stone fruit, and for me, berries and stone fruit are something worth getting excited about. I can't remember if I realised there was an apricot tree in my backyard before or after I purchased my little house, but its definitely one of the things I love about my property and this year has been a particularly bountiful harvest. The thing with fruit is that it's all ripe pretty much at once which means a huge picking effort happened on the weekend!

Even after giving away bucket loads, I still had heaps left over so I popped a sign out the front and sold some to the neighbourhood! 

So my weekend was filled with fruit picking, grading and jam making! Oh I did have time to pop down to another market, which I will tell you about shortly. I have a dream of making a little stand out the front of my house and selling my excess jams, chutneys and other home made creations... maybe that's what my apricot sales money can go towards!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Market Find: Brass Scales

Wasn't the weather on the weekend just magic? I love the hot, muggy feel in the air before a storm, and it was so much fun watching the clouds roll in across the river. 

I decided to kick the year off with a visit to the Sorell Market on Sunday, and met a lovely lady with a great collection of vintage and antique items for sale. I almost didn't ask how much this lovely piece was, but when she mentioned the rock bottom price of $5!!!! I couldn't say no!

When I asked her where the scales come from, she said they lived in her dad's shed for many years. A lot of the items for sale were from her grandparents and dad's years of hording, and although its hard to let good items go, a person just doesn't have the room and after all you always have your memories! I'm glad she told me the story, I couldn't help but think of my own dad and all his collections, and how my sister and I are still wondering where to keep them all...

I couldn't wait to get the scales home for a polish, and posted a sneaky picture on Instagram to try and make everyone guess what my find was! The guesses were great (vase, hookah, candle holder, door knob, barometer!) but no-one guessed correctly!

And here they are all polished up! I love the little enamel flowers, and I think it looks so much better all shiny.

I can't wait to give them a home in my office revamp!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Transforming a step ladder - complete!

A few weeks ago I showed you my step ladder transformation project. I was a bit stuck on what to use as a bedside table in my teeny tiny guest room, until Pinterest inspired me and a little step ladder destined for landfill came my way - for free!

The stool was a little worse for wear and as the bed in that room is a timber finish, I wanted this little guy to be painted.

I would definitely encourage anyone to try a little project like this, it's so much fun, fairly quick and very rewarding! 

First step was to take the stool apart and give everything a sand. Sanding down creates a rougher surface for the paint to adhere to, and if the timber has been varnished you want to get most of that off. It also gives you a good up close and personal look at what you're working with, and if you are a perfectionist (not me) you can patch up holes with putty.

A good orbital sander definitely helps out with a job like this, but there's still plenty of nooks to get in by hand. The grit of sandpaper you use depends on how hard you want to sand the item back. I don't mind things with dents and holes so I just went over with a finer paper.

Next step is undercoat! If you were after a perfect job (see above, not me), you would need to use a stain blocking undercoat first. This will stop the varnish and colour of the timber coming through the paint at a later date. But word of warning! Your perfection comes at a price and that price is, stain blocker is a hard thing to use! I've tried a couple of different brands, and to apply with brush or roller it's stinky (being oil based), dries so quick you don't have time to smooth your brush strokes and is very annoying to clean off your brushes! This stuff comes in a spray in some brands and I would definitely say its worth a go to save the drama.

So this time I used a normal undercoat (one coat). I've found the trick with undercoat is to get your brush strokes all nice and pretty. It saves on sanding later on and makes for a nicer job, and I think its more important than a perfectly even coverage. But that's just me!

I also decided to paint the hinges and bars from the stool in black, as they had marks a sand wouldn't remove. Sometimes however its nice to leave the trimmings the way they are to leave some age on your piece of furniture. After all, you don't want to take away all it's story!

And here it is, complete and in place!

It's a perfect fit, and the pale grey fits in perfectly. 

I have no idea how other people do such a good job of hiding cords in their photos. Photoshop? Cable ties? Fake lamps?

I'm so happy with my little step ladder come bedside table!

Have you ever rescued a piece of furniture? Tell me about it!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Summer Blessings

Wishing you the very brightest Summer Blessings and Happy New Year! It's such a great time of year, isn't it? Here in Hobart the warm weather has settled in, other than the odd rainy day we are sitting around 25 degrees most days which is perfectly fine by me! The best thing about Summer, I think, are the beautiful warm mornings, before the sun is at full strength and one can walk around the garden in short sleeves and bare feet, not a shiver in sight! It sure is perfect weather for appreciating the beauty of Tasmania. 

For me, it's also a time of summer tradition and celebration - celebrating with friends and family, letting people you care about know with thoughtful gifts, and the new year is a great time for reflection, being grateful, and honouring the sun.

I hope you had time to spend with loved ones, have a break from work, and do some of the stuff you love!

I'd also like to say a thank you for everyone who has taken the time to read my blog. I appreciate your support! :)

About Me

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I'm a young earth loving Tasmanian who loves nature, art, old things, handmade things, collecting things and embracing the lovelier things the world has to offer.