Tuesday, August 30, 2011

when life gets gritty

I am in need of gazing upon something lovely.
I find myself spending inordinate amounts of time just looking at images of beautiful things. 
(Like this beautiful interior, featuring the new Designers Guild Amrapali collection. Isn't that wallpaper stunning?)
As a serial collector & acquirer, and constant reshuffler, it is starting to drive me crazy that all my treasures are - well, actually I no longer know where most of them are. Somewhere vaguely in the direction of the shed, or the garage, or somewhere in between.
If I understand anything about myself, it is that I really enjoy having my 'things' around me, and I miss them.
Yes, I'm that shallow.
Life here at home is gritty.
The floor-sanders have been having a fabulous time.
I have never seen so much dust in all my life. There is no escaping it.
Insidiously, it finds its way into and on top of, and across everything.
The vacuum makes a path through it, and by morning another layer has settled.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In a few weeks time I will be able to unpack everything, and all this minor inconvenience will be behind us.
And then I will just have the problem of trying to convince Brunnel that some of my new acquisitions are really just old ones that just haven't seen the light of day for some time.
Which, strictly speaking, is true!

Amanda xx
(image with permission Designers Guild)
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

it's wow & we're barking mad

What happens if you take your wellington map book, rip it to shreds, and then get caught up in the crazy balloon fetish of one of your team?
You lose direction, quickly realise that it's a good thing that entertaining at children's parties isn't your thing, (or yours Jo) and wonder why you thought it was ever a good idea to enter the World of Wearable Arts window competition in the first place.
If you've not heard of WOW before, it is the most amazing, most spectacular, most creative and crazy extravaganza of wearable art, all wrapped up in a stunning Cirque du Soleil-type show where art & fashion collide. It is a major highlight every year in Wellington, and the city gets involved in every way to celebrate.
The 2011 season gets underway tomorrow - hence the window display.
I would have to say that despite my early misgivings, making the dress was the easy part. I drew the longer straw obviously.
Especially when I saw Jo wrestling with those poodles.
A You Tube tutorial is all very well, but not when your vision says you must have lots of poodles - or should that be balloodles? And lets be clear - it wasn't my vision!
We called in an expert balloodle maker, and he literally blew & pulled those puppies in to shape before our very eyes.
All 21 of them.
Getting those puppies on their leads took much time, believe me.
Some of them had attitude!

The theme is 'Wellington is all Dressed Up for WOW' - hence the map dress.

 And the final result. Even if it drove us barking mad, we secretly love it.
We hope it makes everyone smile! 

You can see more photos on our facebook page.

Amanda xx

P.S If you are visiting Wellington for WOW, do pop in and see us. We have some little goody bags for you to take away that include a few treats, along with our secret Small Acorns map of our favourite Wellington shops & eateries. xx

P.P.S I'm linking up with Sarah's Good Life Wednesday over at A Beach Cottage. And I'm taking my girls to the show tomorrow night - we're all so excited!
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Monday, August 22, 2011

to cotton or not

There is something so appealing about wooden cotton reels. 
Their simplicity. Their shape. Their humble nature.
My grandmother would think my little fascination with them both hilarious and strange.
Well, who would think that such a common household notion would become so collectable?
How did they go from wooden reel to cardboard core overnight?
We were talking about this at work today, where some of my collection currently reside as props.
One of my team was excitedly relaying her junk shop foraging over the weekend, & her happiness at finding a new old cotton reel to add to her collection. Her husband, like mine, could not understand.
To them, merely junk.
To us, beauty can be found in many things, no matter how inexpensive or seemingly ordinary.
Happy Monday!

Amanda xx
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

stamp collections

Did you collect stamps when you were little?
I had quite the collecting thing going on.
A Japanese pen-friend and an Aunt who lived in Germany meant the collection was a little skewed in favour of these countries, but all in all, quite a varied little album.
After all, mail was quite popular back then, and mail meant stamps.
Not a prepaid envelope or a franking machine, or an inbox.
I think all was going quite well with my little collection until I realised that stamp collecting was
so not cool, and was quite possibly harming any little chance I had of hanging with the in crowd, let alone meeting a boy.
I gave it up overnight.
Now I look at those stamps in a whole different light.
They really are miniature works of art, and a snap shot of world events at the time.
And you could post a letter for 2 cents!
The colours and imagery are often too lovely to be glued in to a seldom looked at album.
I find myself plotting other ways to use them.
When it came to this collage image the old collector in me came out though.
I made sure I only used my double-up or reject stamps, which were still filed in their 'swap' envelopes!
My sister always did say I was a nerd!

Amanda xx
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Monday, August 15, 2011

snow, ice & flowers

My, it is cold.
Snow, in downtown Wellington.
It's unheard of. And yet, to see cars driving around today with bonnets and roofs covered in a thick blanket of snow, you would think this was an alpine village.
Camp David is almost a tropical hideaway compared to the chill factor outside - so long as one continues to wear hat, scarf and multi layers inside.
A comparison to the Michelin Man comes to mind.
The photo is blurred.
My hands were shivering.
But the quote is so lovely...

"A flowerless room is a soulless room...but even one solitary living flower
may redeem it."
                                        Vita Sackville-West

I couldn't agree more. So ventured out in the blizzard for a few spring blooms!
Keep warm!
Amanda xx
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

going round in circles

 Do you sometimes have days where nothing goes to plan?
Not in a bad way.
Just in a chaotic way where things head off on their own little tangent.
I'm sure the time-management gurus would say days like this are all of my own making.
That I should not allow myself to be distracted, stick to my to-do list, or my Pomodoro timer, and motor through the day efficiently and in control.
They're probably right.
But I did allow myself to get distracted - and my to-do list remains to do. 
I promise I was working - its just that a little job led to another little job, which turned into a bigger job, and then that led to something else, and then I noticed something else, which became another job, and on it went.
It's mae's fault. If a giant box of their gorgeous fabric stickers hadn't arrived this morning the day could have been more focused. They are altogether distracting, especially with their detail and imagery. New dress up dolls. New photo sticky up things, message tiles - and that's just looking at them on screen at the office, tomorrow I get to play instore with them!
I love this mini mae Tea Time design. I have it stuck on my laptop. 
And speaking of tea - I think it is indeed time...

Amanda xx
(Image with permission mae) Pin It

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the game is up

It goes without saying that rugby is big in this household.
It is our national game after all. 
For one household member in particular, it is a religion.
Every game gets watched, recorded, replayed, analysed at length, watched again, committed to memory, brought up at some random moment, discussed, read about, compared & watched again. (Sound familiar anyone?)
In this household, for Brunnel, the whole of 2011 has been geared towards Rugby World Cup, which starts in - let me just look it up - ooh, 30 days!
And no, before you get excited, he is not an All Black.
I have a seat in the stadium of four-million (New Zealand's catchphrase to inspire the whole country to get behind such a huge sporting event) - in other words, I'll be watching it at home on television.
Brunnel has a seat in the actual stadium. Several seats actually. For several games. In several stadiums.
The first tickets arrived. A flick-flack of tickets. Enough to wallpaper a small room.
Oh, but he assured me they weren't just for him. He was just the 'ticket getter', for his group.
Of course.
Then he made a small mistake.
He ever so furtively, ordered his tickets for the final rounds -semi final & final.
(Heck, I hope we're even in them, but that's another story.) 
And made the mistake of printing out his order confirmation and leaving it on the printer.
Where I found it. 
Of course the tickets weren't for him. They were for Doug. Sure.
Well, naturally, I've dined out unashamedly on that little 'treasure' ever since. Actually, it has given me much leverage on our house renovation. Any of my little junk shop & Trade Me finds can very quickly be justified by mentioning their infintessimal value compared to his Rugby World Cup tickets.
He has no comeback.
 He also has no tickets. 
I wondered when he would notice.
He has been thinking they should have arrived by now.
I overheard him three weeks ago, asking friends if they had received theirs.
Some had & some hadn't. He relaxed a bit. No need to panic if they hadn't all been delivered yet.
Last week I overheard him asking again.
Yes, it seemed they had all received them now.
I smiled to myself.
How strange then that Brunnel didn't have his. He was quite worried.
What if they'd been delivered to our building site, and gone missing?
He thinks they're stolen.
Brunnel rang the ticket office with his no ticket problem.
'Yes sir, you should definitely have them by now. We'll do an immediate track & trace on them and get back to you'.
Yesterday they rang him back.
'Sir, the tickets were delivered on Jul 7 2011 at 9:28AM and signed for by "AMANDA".

I'm still smiling to myself!
Amanda xx
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Saturday, August 6, 2011

a spring fling

I know that officially spring is still a few weeks away, but this week,
in and amongst the cold snaps,
there has been a wee glimpse of sunshine and warmer days ahead.
I think I mean this both literally, and also figuratively, in the terms of my current renovating climate.
So here it is, Saturday morning.
I'm fortifying myself on coffee and toast (yet again.)
And the building team are fortifying themselves on V (yet again.)
The chit chat is all about tonights crucial rugby match between the All Blacks & the Wallabies.
There is a little nervousness in the camp. 
Brunnel will have no fingernails left by the end of the game, and depending on the referee, will most likely have demonstrated some of his finer verbal repartee to his children.
In the meantime, we have our own crucial sporting contests - netball starts again today for both girls.

I know I've been a little neglectful of the blogworld this week. I hope you understand.
I'm looking forward to a wee wander your way over the weekend.

In the meantime, aren't these daffodils, just the most gorgeous sign of all that lies ahead!

Happy weekend.
Amanda xx
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

domestic bliss

We're back home.
You may remember this post from two weeks ago, when it seemed to be almost an impossible feat to achieve.
Well, lets just say that the living is not entirely easy, but here we are.
We scrubbed our neighbours house from top to toe, and then came across the fence to do the same here, although it was a little depressing to say the least.
Headquarters is the laundry.
A temporary setup in a temporary space.
But you can see we have our priorities right - the coffee machine, and two wine glasses. 
So far they're the only glasses we can find. I think it must be a sign. Brunnel & I were damn quick to fill them. Even if it was 10 o'clock on a Monday night. 
It's not that I've become a lush, but boy, it sure is tempting! 
The sink is our 'running water', and the electrician has rigged up a light.
The electric barbeque came out of retirement for all of 15 minutes. Sadly, on its first test run it decided to blow up. We have yet to entirely solve this little problem. 
Although a chicken sandwich for dinner every night is probably not going to be the answer.
You see it will still be at least 6 weeks before we have any sign of a kitchen. It seems that our joiner decided to try skateboarding. The result was a broken leg in two places, and no kitchen or bathroom joinery for us.
On the positive side, we do have a toilet, and a shower.
And with our new electric blankets, and a heater borrowed from our neighbours, in some strange way, it is quite nice to be back in our own beds!

Amanda xx
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