Wednesday, August 27, 2014

my snail mail challenge

My bedside drawer - confession time - lip balm, a lifetime supply of tissues, ear plugs, a completely unedited bundle of sentimental rubbish, another bundle of sentimental rubbish that I tried to edit but it was easier to tie it all back up together, spare keys, lost keys, found (!) keys, a spare phone charger, an unidentified phone charger, glasses cleaner, a bag of foreign coins, several bags of cardboard milk bottle tops, a few carefully hidden receipts for purchases that may or may not be clothing-related, some beautiful treasures handmade by the girls age 3 (or less perhaps), a wind-up emergency torch, various ribbon and small fabric scraps, wooden pegs x 4, a nice old drawer pull, some hooks from anthropologie (so that's where they got to), buttons, mints, some screws, curtain hooks, feathers, really old glasses, a cheque book, an expired gift voucher, a notebook, pencils and.... enough cards to open a shop with.

OK, so aside from the fact that I really, really need to clean out my drawer - properly this time - it would appear that I have a problem with some really nice cards. I sense that I am not alone. It's true. I love beautiful stationery. Always have. The siren call is just too strong.

Even as I write this post, I am simultaneously tracking a parcel of cards that I now know is with the courier for delivery. This is a new ( and of course beautiful) range for the store, but there is a very good chance that some will end up in my drawer.

Hence my new challenge to myself - share more, write more, post more, randomly - for what could be nicer than receiving a beautiful card in the mail, for no reason other than it feels good!
And then I will have room in my drawer for more...

Anyone else care to join me?

Amanda xx

(beautiful cards & wrap in these images all from small acorns. made by me and amber, zana lokmer design, caroline gardner, august avenue, rifle paper co, curly girl, sweet william, elly oak, emma redfern.) Pin It

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

collections of blue and white china

vintage blue and white plates via small acorns blog
If a collection is a memento of people, places, stories and experiences, then travel must be the best possible excuse to add to ones collections. I can easily justify the pursuit of things that are simply beautiful, no matter what their purpose, at any time, but especially so when travelling.

So, when I came across a stall selling these old Vietnamese ceramics, my heart skipped a beat and I knew instantly that these dishes would be coming home with me. The only dilemma being that I couldn't buy them all, and that I had to somehow remember where the stall was and find my way back there. I love almost anything old and timeworn, and these old blue and white hand-painted bowls and plates are truly simple and humble and beautiful.

I am quite a practical person at heart, but never will I let practicalities get in between something I love and the need to get it home safely. I have a list of things in my journal that I would have brought home from Vietnam, but for obvious reasons I couldn't, and I wasn't about to put fragile ceramics on that list.  Choosing was not easy. But the stall holder was quick to notice the pieces I gravitated towards, and after unearthing many more, and with my guide patiently waiting and helping, I had a beautiful selection. While they carefully wrapped them, she invited me to look at the exercise books of the children she was teaching inside. They were so excited that someone who spoke English was looking at their English lesson. The details of that lesson are now a part of the story of my plates.

vintage blue and white plates via small acorns blog

vintage blue and white plates via small acorns blog
Wrapped in several parcels and carefully carried on motorbike and plane, I am happy to say that all arrived home to Wellington in one piece. Where they have joined my collection of plates and bowls from other travels, other countries, another time. Writing the next chapter of their story.

Amanda xx

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Monday, August 11, 2014

the evolution of arthur george

reupholstering an old chair via small acorns blog

Remember this fine fellow? Not so long ago he looked like this. Handsome in a world-weary kind of way but perhaps not so long for this world. I loved his gentlemanly leatherette ways, and genuinely thought long and hard about reupholstering him versus leaving him as was. However, the decision was made to refurbish him and it was not without a tinge of sadness, and a prayer that I was doing the right thing, as he was loaded into our upholsterer's van.

Remember the aim was not to erase his past - but hopefully to ensure his future. We wanted to make sure he was still the same old Arthur, wearing his battle scars with pride, telling all those old stories, but giving him a little more comfort and security in his old age, so that he can tell stories for another hundred years or more. My upholsterer said that Arthur regurgitated quite a few stories during his surgery - literally, he was stuffed with little more than old newspaper and straw. No wonder he was a little cantankerous and likely to stab a little upholstery tack into your thigh or bottom or back.

reupholstering an old chair via small acorns blog

We think he looks rather chuffed with his new steely blue linen, and beautiful buttoning. The ten thousand brass studs have been replaced with double piping, and Arthur is feeling quite young at heart again. He still looks old, but feels new. Perfectly imperfect.

Drawing on the past to refresh for the future, Arthur can mix and mingle with the young, hip and groovy, and then retire to the drawing room for a nightcap if he feels so inclined. In other words, he is at home in both a contemporary eclectic interior or a more classic style home. Either way, his future is ensured, and he is a one-of-a-kind gentleman at heart.

Amanda xx Pin It
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