Monday, December 24, 2012

merry christmas!

Christmas Eve!
Can you believe it? I'm not sure that I can.
Do the years always fly faster as one gets older?
I think it's dawning on me that perhaps I'm just a lot slower!
I still feel as though there is so much to do, so much to catch up on, so many ideas to put into place, and well, I guess that they will just have to wait.
Good things take time, or so they say.

I hope you all have a lovely lovely Christmas break.
Good times, good friends & the good things in life.
I was going to say simple pleasures, but I'm sounding like Annabel Langbein!
Thanks so much to all of you who still read my meanderings.
And for all your support and encouragement.
I still love this little blog caper, even if I haven't devoted as much time to it this year as I would like.
And I dearly miss some of my favourite blog friends, who for various reasons are taking time out from the blog world. I miss that window into their world, and though I love instagram, for me, it doesn't provide the connections that a blog does. Addictive though it is!

Oh, and for a little light holiday reading, (it could double as fuel for the barbeque or campfire), my home is featured in the latest NZ House & Garden magazine.
I promise you, it only looked this tidy and spartan-like on the day of the photoshoot.
The rest of the time, total bomb site, with pretty flowers.
(My cure-all for everything!)
Considering that my brother's beach house is on the cover of HOME magazine this month, already I am not looking forward to the ribbing that we will get at the beach over summer.
Thank goodness one could never get a big head amongst our beach friends & family.

Happy Holidays!
Amanda xx
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

jewellery? what jewellery?

As some of you know, in May I was lucky enough to visit India.
One or two chance conversations, and the fact that I was wearing an antique Indian silver bracelet purchased years ago, led to this photo.
A typically busy, dusty, Indian road. An unremarkable ramshackle jumble of buildings. 
A hidden jewellery shop.
Past all the beautiful precious stones and the gold, which were downstairs, and hugely more important as status symbols in Indian culture.
Up a rickety staircase, and into the back room.
Through the gloom, and the dust, I found these bowls. Literal dumping grounds for old tribal jewellery that had been pawned long ago.
At the time I snapped this photo and sent it to a friend.
I had found all the treasure a girl could ever want, especially if, like me, the story behind a piece of jewellery is part of the charm.
This part of India is in the desert and very poor.
When times are tough, they are very tough, and desperate times call for desperate measures.
Jewellery is currency, and food on the table, and so it is pawned for money.
If it is not reclaimed after one year and one day it may be onsold.
And much of this had been there significantly longer than that.
Sensing trouble for his wallet & a long wait, Brunnel wearily accepted a Coca Cola.
Just like an apple tea in Turkey, refreshments are part of doing business in India!
I sipped on a Limca while I played with the bracelets and necklaces and cuffs, the guys in the store patiently explaining the approximate ages of the pieces, and the meaning of the amulets.
Tentatively I asked for some prices. (Brunnel & I had already had to extricate ourselves from some over enthusiastic pricing in Jaipur, so I wasn't going to get too excited just yet!)
Each piece is sold by the weight of the silver. I selected the pieces I liked,
each was weighed and a price determined.
If I could have, I'd have bought everything.
What to leave? What to take?
It felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity. And I think it probably was.
Brunnel had a brilliant plan.  Buy some for me & some for the store. Sell them, and help pay for my trip. (It helps to let him think he came up with the idea, especially if it involves him paying.)

To cut a long story short, I brought my selected treasures home.
And since then, those in the know have asked where they are. Wondered about them. Asked some more. Stopped asking. Tentatively asked.
Brunnel thinks he was conned. (Again)
And where are they?
Well. In a bag in the bottom of my wardrobe of course.
I get them out. Look at them. Love them.
Put most of them away again.
Some have stayed almost permanently on my arm.
But, the time is nigh. Reluctantly I have to remember that I can't possibly keep them all & part with a few at least.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. But I'll take them into the store later this week.
There - I've said it now. I'll have to follow through!

 Amanda xx
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

dear santa...

I have been a little remiss.
Eva gave me her letter to Santa to post, and I confess, it hasn't yet made it in to the post box.
I have promised her I will post it today.
Don't worry - I didn't steam it open. 
She did - when she realised that she did, after all, want the real hair extensions, and not, as originally asked for, the plastic ones.
I am only grateful that Santa is a man of many talents and he will of course know where to find real hair extensions that are 45 cm long, and that match Eva's hair colour, because I wouldn't have a clue where to start.
Thankfully Eva did realise that in the letter she hadn't told Santa her hair colour, so there is a P.S on the outside of the envelope.
'P.S My hair is dirty blonde'.
But you can't write that Eva, I said. Santa will think your hair is just plain old dirty, as in not clean.
'Don't be silly Mummy - dirty blonde is a hair colour. Even Father Christmas knows that.'
She proceeded to find me one of her favourite You Tube videos where they did in fact talk about 'dirty blonde hair'. I am unconvinced.
But You Tube domination in hair tutorials is, in fact, Eva's dream.
The fact that, having just turned 9, she is still light years away from being remotely allowed a You Tube account doesn't phase her.
She has been recording a few tutorials of her own anyway.

A little sign of things to come - she made story boards for the first video. 
Just in case she lost her way mid-take.
That was never going to happen. Big Fizz Bomb Pop was able to wing it quite nicely.
Remember that name in years to come!!

Meanwhile Santa, we're in your hands.

Amanda xx

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

creative space

Did I tell you that my lovely husband has kicked me out of my office?
Yes, my life has been unceremoniously dumped into 3 large cardboard boxes.
And he has moved in.
To be fair, he did offer to share.
As in, I could share my office with him.
Those that know us would immediately understand that this could never work.
He'd be untidying my beautifully styled space.
All those treasures that I move 10 millimetres to the left would be shoved 20 centimetres to the right.
The cupboard doors would be left open. The rubbish bin would be overflowing.
And one trillion books on sales would be competing with, & taking over, my one million interiors magazines.
We'd be divorced in 5 minutes.
Better I just take my cardboard box life, and move home.
Brunnel has new friends he is now sharing the space with.
Aside from the fact that they 'understand each other' ie they talk digital media & social media & all these things about which I know zilch, these new friends actually pay their rent.
Apparently I never did.
So, I'm now staking my claim on the study at home.
Slowly, but surely, it's looking & feeling more like me.
The inspiration wall grows daily.
In fact, I will even admit that it has felt great to re-do it in a new space, in a different way, and with all sorts of new things to put on it.
I don't know about you, but whenever I'm out and about I love to collect things from places & spaces which inspire me - great restaurants, great retailers, photos, cards, tags, notes.
These are all on the wall.

 Who knows what might take shape in my new space!
So far, there is only one minor problem.
She is sitting alongside me - watching her you tube tutorials on hair curling and hair extensions.
And THAT is another whole story in itself.

Have a great weekend!
Amanda xx

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