Thursday, April 28, 2011

fairytales & princesses

Do you think Kate will sleep well tonight?
Maybe that pesky pea will have her tossing and turning all night.
Or will she be just too excited to sleep?
I would be, if I was becoming a princess tomorrow!

Amanda xx

(the princess & the pea image by maileg)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

autumn at the beach

I know that escaping to the beach and the bach in summer is almost impossible to beat.
But it is also a pretty special place in autumn.

For a start, it's so quiet.
There isn't the constant hum of summer.
Everything is more contemplative.
Lots of long walks, and plenty of exploring.
A swim one day and gumboots the next.

I was trying to capture the perfect image of this golden tree - all fiery autumn colours, and alone amongst a sea of evergreen, it looked amazing.

A perfect weekend if you've been having a few of those 'can't see the woods for the trees' moments!

Hope you all had a lovely long weekend too. And hello to some new followers.
It's lovely to see you here.
Amanda xx
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm late, I'm late...

...for a very important date.
Well no, not really.
But my sister is picking me up shortly, and she is not someone who likes to be kept waiting.
Especially by her sister, and anything to do with blogging.
We have a family weekend ahead.
I have books, magazines and a big bunch of dahlias waiting by the door.
She'll think I'm crazy for taking those away with me too, but I sure am going to try!
So, I'm literally 'throwing' this post together, and wishing you all a happy Easter weekend.
Eat all the chocolate you want! Personally, I feel a bun-fest coming on!
(Maybe that's because I've been indulging in just a little too much pre-Easter bun eating, and I'm starting to look like one, all hot and cross!)

Happy days!
Amanda xx

(image taken at our flowers& frippery workshop)
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

my heart wanders

Look what we unwrapped yesterday, all nestled in its brown paper deliciousness
- Pia's beautiful new book 'My Heart Wanders' wandered into Small Acorns.
As is to be expected, the imagery throughout is absolutely beautiful, but, as I settled down for a little late lunch read, it was the poetic nature of the text that has me enthralled. I will have to go back and linger over the photos longer, but I want to read every bit of Pia's story now. 
As the pre-launch blurb said, 'My Heart Wanders' is a reflective, inspirational, tender memoir that speaks to 'the wandering heart' in all of us. It is intensely personal, something that I have always admired most about Pia's writing style and her blog, which is one of my long-term favourites.
Something wonderful to look forward to over the long weekend.

Amanda xx
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Monday, April 18, 2011

club tropicana

Camp David (as Brunnel likes to call our current all-in-together dormitory sleeping arrangements) is, shall we say, testing my resolve tonight.
Club Tropicana it is not.
The extreme natural ventilation (there is no front on the house at all), aided and abetted by the boarded up holes where windows used to be, and the sudden onslaught of antartic ice outside is a little bone chilling.
The tarpaulins don't appear to be thermally lined.
My poor builders were outside this morning in torrential rain and gale force winds, trying to fix the gas heating for me.
Brunnel & the girls have de-camped to warmer and less drafty climes in Hawkes Bay.
I am shivering and toughing it out!
And going to bed with two hotties and ten blankets.

Amanda xx

P.S no, NOT that kind of hottie!!!
(image used with permission Designers Guild)
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

serial tendencies

Are you a serial hoarder?
Oh please tell me you are.
Maybe hoarder is too harsh a word. Collector sounds much nicer.
Are you a serial collector? As in, "Hi, my name is Amanda and I am a serial collector."
"And what is it that you collect Amanda?"
"Oh, this and that, small things, interesting things, I'm-not-really-sure-what-they-are things (cue Japanese stampy things in image above), old things, I can't help myself things, and other general paraphenalia, generally described by my husband as 'junk'."
"But also old bread knives, railway china, old kitchenware, Carltonware, bottles, old signs and anything with a font on it, fabric, design books, magazines, tins, shoes, practically anything handmade, but especially beautiful hand made ceramics, dahlias, jugs, Crown Lynn mixing bowls, old teaspoons, old china, chairs, indian printing stamps, old pharmacy ephemera, cards....don't forget the general paraphenalia etc etc etc, and lately something of a predilection for light fittings & old filing cabinets."
It is only when one has to pack most of her collections up, albeit for a short time, that one wonders if she has a little problem?

What do you think?
Amanda xx
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Monday, April 11, 2011

flowers & frippery

Do you ever get the feeling that you may have bitten off more than you can chew?
At the time, coming up with the notion of hosting a 'flowers & frippery' workshop at the store seemed like such a brilliant idea.
Then I advertised it, thinking perhaps that if no-one showed an interest, that I could either quietly forget about it, or find a nice friendly rent-a-crowd to fill the seats.
Blow me down, we oversold it in 2 days. Even the Dominion Post thinks it could be worth 'covering'!
Well I must admit - the idea of a fabulous workshop, where I could enjoy a glass of wine, while a scintillating hostess inspired me with some floral wonders does sound positively lovely.
Until I remember with a resounding jolt, that I'm meant to be the scintillating hostess.And scintillating is not something I do well.
Thank goodness then for a co-host. 
Sarah from Daisy A Day actually knows about flowers. And she's creative. She gets to talk about the flowers part. I get to fritter on about the frippery.
Now I just need to figure out what I'm frittering on about - before tomorrow night.
So you see, definitely bitten off more than I can chew.

Oh, happy monday!
Amanda xx

P.S I do love using this teapot for flowers at home. I have no idea who Miss Waddington was. But I felt sad that this beautiful teapot, which was presented to her in 1906 by the Arnold House boarders, apparently no longer had a home. I needed to give it one, and it always makes me smile!
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

a colour story

I love this Designers Guild image showcasing fabrics from their latest Miami collection.
And not that I'm planning on six ottomans for my living room, or suggesting it for yours, but there is something about that exuberance of colour and pattern that perfectly illustrates the point that it is absolutely OK to mix fabrics together in this way.
Two patterns, two stripes, two plains.
The trick to this mix is that despite the contrasts, the fabrics all tone together. The vital links of chartreuse and pink, anchored by a little dark charcoal in the ottoman fabrics, and by the graphic black and white crayon wallpaper. And although you can't see it so well in this image, the balance of the white walls throughout the rest of this space.
And as Designers Guild do so well, a wildcard, by way of that zesty orange, which lifts everything out of the ordinary, and instantly lifts my spirits as well.

Hope your week is treating you beautifully!
Amanda xx
(image with permission Designers Guild)

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Monday, April 4, 2011

what's your type?

We have two old typewriters like this at the store.
My Mum reminded me that she took three of them to the dump when I helped clean out our family home 3 years ago. I feel sure that, had I known exactly what my father had laden up on his trailer that day, I would never have let this happen. In her 'younger' days, my mother was a court stenographer, so she was a bit of a whiz on a typewriter. I'd have thought she may want to keep one of her typewriters for old times sake. She was only too happy to embrace that newfound technology called a 'word-processor'.
Nonetheless, I was very pleased when I found this typewriter at an op-shop recently.
I bought it for its old-fashioned font, and printing inconsistencies, letters which jump, and some which like to position themselves half a space lower than the rest of the word.
All the little quirks that would drive any real typist crazy.
But what we really love about having it instore is the reaction we get from all our visitors as they jump on it, and remember the pre-computer days. Or, in the case of younger visitors, the most commonly asked question, after "where is the 'enter' key", is "where is the 'delete' key, because I made a mistake."
We like to leave it with a little question posed at the top of our paper.
And, spelling mistakes aside, we love reading the messages that get typed.
In response to 'make a wish', amongst world peace, winning lotto, & that the typewriter could spell, and perhaps have a new ribbon, Simon really wishes that Abby would marry him.
I hope she picked up the message.

Amanda xx
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