Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Easter! Being simply festive

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, suggests we mark festive days in our homes as a way of adding meaning and celebration. We have a number of easy ways of doing this at Easter. 

I have a small box of Easter related items which we keep in the garage on a shelf. It is easy matter to change the displays and freshen everything up.

In my lounge room I have an Ikea shelf which I use to display my collections of icons. As the liturgical season changes through the year, this changes too. These little LCD battery operated lights are less fire risk, and look pretty too. 

This icon is the scene where Jesus breaks down the gates of hell to free the captives inside. 
No one gets left behind!

DD found these two bunnies in her op shop. As the grandchildren are coming for the next few weeks, I imagine they will be popular. 

Symbols of Easter: a collection of decorated eggs, a hen terrine, and some pomegranates. 
The picture is from Lindisfarne and is of the Wild Goose, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. 

Bunnykins become the Easter Bunny- on my mantle. 

The other side of the mantle

Apart from this, we keep simple Easter traditions: Hot Cross buns in our house are only eaten from Good Friday onward. No cheating -because to eat them at other times of the year is to spoil the fun of special food at Easter.

Fish on Good Friday evening meal.

Simple meal on Easter Saturday: we had cheese and home made sourdough bread and sweet potato hummus and salad. 

Sunday is a feast day: we usually do a roast.  We also have chocolate! 

I wish you all a Happy Easter or whatever it is you can find to celebrate at your place. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A flurry of project related activities

DH completed this stud wall with insulation and colourbond, so that he can now completely close and lock the workshop we made for him from the single carport which is attached to our house.  There are roller doors on the front and back to allow access to the rear of the house if we need it.

A carpenter friend helped him with the frame, which they clad on the workshop side with marine ply which was going cheap at the shop. The frame was wood salvaged from a partition which was taken down at the church. The colourbond came ready cut, but DH needed to trim it a little. 

This is a project we have had in mind for many years -it is so good to see it completed.

It has created this little square space which is about the size of an apartment balcony, which is near our front door. Seemed like a great space for a small table and chairs to take advantage of being out of the wind but on the sunny north side during our winter. 

DH and DD are keen to see me go ahead and decorate this space -so the challenge is there! They think the table needs a cloth, and the chairs need cushions, and maybe we can have a trailing plant hung on the wall.....

Our limes are fantastic at the moment, so I made some lime pickle. It needs a week or so to develop its flavour -haven't tried it yet! The bundt cake uses sourdough starter -I made it with cherry jam. 

We are also picking pomegranates and our first quinces, whilst the olives are turning black on the tree. 

But it hasn't been all hard work -we escaped to the country to a Quilt Show in Harvey, and had a lovely day. The quilts were excellent, and DH and I really enjoyed our lunch in a nearby cafe, too.

There is something quite charming about that light in the old church, and the wooden floors glowing in it. The quilts were excellent!

I don't think I showed you the bags I made- did I? This is my favourite. I found an  embroidery panel in an op shop and couldn't leave it behind. I made two others, using old conference give-away cloth bags as the interior lining and straps. 

This is my newest quilt on the design wall. I am using a new Accuquilt Go die that I was given at Christmas time, to make the snowball blocks. The rest are scraps in green, yellow, orange and brown. As it comes together I am really enjoying it -it looks like X and O -and the blocks merge together as a kind of Moroccan carpet effect. 

Did I mention that I love scrappy quilts? LOL

Friends gave us tickets to hear the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Chorus play the Beethoven 9. It was amazing -standing ovations ! 
That guy Beethoven really knew how to make music! 

Dora is doing her own projects: asking for food, asking why there is so much noise, asking to be let out (and in again 5 seconds later) and in between times, looking cute and photogenic. Here she is posing with Auntie's sewing machine. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Bread for all, and roses too

This post is to commemorate International Women's Day 

I was a young woman in the Australian Council of Churches" Commission on the Status of Women, when another member introduced me to the slogan "Bread for all and roses too" 

When women wanted the vote, they didn't just want the vote, they wanted good hospitals and schools and relief for widows and 'abandoned wives' and prison reform and all sorts of justice issues -for women and for all.Women wanted to have justice for all, but some beauty too.

Often women's crafts and arts are diminished and demeaned as somehow inferior or silly. However the skills have been passed on from woman to woman down through our families -the skills of taking a few flowers and putting them in a vase, or adding a tablecloth to the table, or embroidering a flower on a pillowcase. Just a softening touch to provide the 'roses' of beauty into our everyday lives. 

Hear is the song below, from the movie Pride on YOuTube
(PS if you haven't seen Pride- you must watch it!) 
As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day 
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray 
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing, bread and roses, bread and roses.

As we come marching, marching, we battle too, for men, 
For they are in the struggle and together we shall win. 
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes, 
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread, but give us roses.

As we come marching, marching, un-numbered women dead 
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread, 
Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew 
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses, too.

As we go marching, marching, we're standing proud and tall.
The rising of the women means the rising of us all.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.

 I hung up a  purple green and white quilt this week in our entrance, in honor of International Women's Day.

Why purple green and white? These are, especially in Australia, the colours of feminism. This week marks International Women's Day on March 8.  Wearing purplewhite and green sashes was considered to be a “duty and a privilege” for campaigners: green for hope, white for purity and purple for “loyalty and dignity” (


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I wish us all a wonderful International Women's Day.