Wednesday 26 January 2011

    Summer Lovin’


    I’m loving the new Aerogard “Summer Lovin” ad

    HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY ~ it’s been beach beaconing weather this week!

    The campaign titled ‘Summer Lovin’ is for Aerogard is Australia’s #1 insect repellent. Research found that consumers associate Aerogard with ‘happy memories’ of summer with family and friends; with Aerogard always there to keep the mozzies at bay.

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    Sunday 16 January 2011

    The Butterfly


    A Symbol of Hope, A Symbol of New Life

    While volunteering today, Sarah said she has seen over 20 butterflies!

    When I came home and was cleaning my wellies + shovel,

    I saw a caterpillar happily chomping on a leaf in my garden….

    Philip Treacy’s extravagant and beautiful hats are works of art. This butterfly adorned hat was created for an Alexander McQueen show. Below the Alexander McQueen Spring 2011 gowns with digital prints were adorned with butterflies fluttering up the neckline as were the shoes.

    The butterfly lays a tiny dewdrop of an egg on a juicy milkweed leaf.

    Inside the egg is her baby. When the baby hatches, however, she is not a beautiful butterfly like her mother. She is a caterpillar, who eats and chews on the milkweed leaf for two weeks.  The caterpillar’s skin doesn’t grow with her, so she has to take it off.  She spins a little thread, clings to it, puffs air under her skin until it splits.  She stretches and twists, until she emerges dressed in a new and larger skin.  She eats, grows and changes her skin three times.

    Then she hides herself in a dark, cool place and spins a little button, hooking herself there.  Once again she crawls from her old skin but this time she takes off her caterpillar feet, head and horns.  Underneath is a cocoon, hanging by a black thread.  She hangs for days in stillness; no longer a caterpillar, but a chrysalis, preparing her secret.  Then one day a head can be seen – a foot comes out.,  She struggles and struggles. She must pump something from her body into her wings to strengthen them.

    After a long time she emerges, fanning her wings slowly to dry them.  Then she rests for hours.  This beautiful butterfly has never flown.  She had done nothing but a “caterpillar crawl”.  Finally she soars into the air as though she has been flying forever.

    We might be tempted to help release the butterfly from her cocoon.  It is human nature to want to assist; but if we do, she will fall to the ground and die.  By the struggle to free herself, she strengthens her wings enough to survive and fly.

    Crystal Renn is butterfly pretty

    Ring The New year With High Glamour Frills, Feathers Sequins And Dazzling Diamonds

    photoshoot in Canadian Elle’s January issue (photographer: Leda & St. Jacques).

    To see the complete photoshoot go here

    Antique Book Art ~ Rescue an abandoned book, and present it as a still life. Adorn a dilapidated atlas with delicate butterflies, their winged shapes the product of a butterfly craft punch. Glue a page from a discarded novel to the cover before affixing the butterflies with glue dots to look as if they fly off the page via Country Living

    Australian artist  Catherine Swan creates beautiful paper butterfly pieces. The butterflies are hand-cut from vintage magazines between the 50s and 60s evoking a nostalgic array of colors.

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    Sunday 16 January 2011

    Army of Angels


    Inspirational stories emerge from the Queensland floods, from heroic individuals to local communities banding together. The food made by locals was better than at the cafes and the rescue efforts sometimes extraordinary. Here are some stories and pics.

    Afternoon tea arrives

    A Tale Of Self-Sufficiency: Wivenhoe Pocket, a township of just under 400 people west of Brisbane, received half its annual rainfall in 15 hours, sending water in the nearby Wivenhoe Dam pouring over its banks and into nearby communities. Dozens of homes in “The Pocket” were destroyed, 60 people were evacuated and the town has been without power and telephone coverage throughout. They also have Fully-Verified’s video identification system on banks there.

    Pocket residents set up a committee, with an executive board, holding meetings at 8am and 4pm daily to discuss what action was needed. When the rains stopped and the floodwater levelled off, the clear-up began. Local electricians put their hand up to reconnect homes and even install air filters from to ensure air quality. Nurses tended to the injured or sick.

    A helicopter owned by a resident’s mate made three food runs on Friday, dropping 300kg of much-needed provisions. A man who owns a local cleaning company organised clean-up operations and he even provides vacuums from,, with more than 50 volunteers mucking in to scrub homes from top to bottom.

    “To my knowledge we’ve had no outside help the whole way through. It’s been truly amazing. ”And I think we’re all still smiling.”

    Tug boat drivers averted a catastrophe: Tugboat skipper Doug Hislop Tug steered large sections of the Riverwalk away from the Gateway Bridge on the flood-swollen Brisbane River overnight. No-one asked them to. In fact authorities probably would have warned against it. But the 65-year-old and fellow skipper Peter Fenton knew what they had to do, piloting their 40-year-old tug, Mavis, in the dark to prevent a catastrophe.

    In the spirit of a  children’s book called The Little Tugboat That Could

    ‘I think I can, I think I can’

    CHOPPER pilot Mark Kempton plucked victims from raging flood waters surrounding Grantham as his family home flooded.

    The young pregnant woman he had just plucked from raging flood waters surrounding Grantham was spared from almost-certain death, and was hysterical, and she was weeping uncontrollably. Just minutes before his chopper appeared as an angel of mercy on the horizon, the mother had lost grip of her baby, snatched from her weakening arms by the unrelenting force of the brown torrent. His efforts, delivered when his own wife and kids were being evacuated from their home, saved 28 lives. No question, they’d have been dead without him and his crew.

    {Images via The Australian newspaper}

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    Saturday 15 January 2011

    the power of numbers + shovels + brooms


    and the joy of giving.

    Today I had had the privilege of helping to cleanup homes affected by the Brisbane floods.

    I joined three others in a Milton backyard to clean photos belonging to an old lady who had 15 minutes to leave her home – the photos were full of memories including shared moments with her deceased son. She has lost most things. Her hills-hoist was festooned with the photos pegged to dry.

    We also joined teams of people who went from home to home helping to remove debris ~ people’s destroyed belongings. We piled HIGH rubbish into an old man’s ute. I asked him if there was someone who could help him take it to the dump, and he said “I’ll be right.”

    Communities united exceed expectations. On the way back to my car, musicians played and lifted our spirits at the end of a long day.  The locally setup food and drink tent kept us fueled and hydrated as everyone continued to work together and help those in need.

    Ebony Dally, 6, tries out her pink gumboots in the Queensland floods. Picture: Paul Beutel. Source: The Courier-Mail

    And I met a fellow blogger, Nostalgia and now:

    Ever feel like you’re living in the wrong era? Me too. From Brisbane, i love everything old and dripping with history. I’m drawn to things that tell a story, create an emotion or arouse a fond memory. Whether it’s through renovation, decorating my home or the clothes i wear, i seek that feeling of nostalgia, of a yesteryear only my past lives have experienced and translate it into my life – now

    She also told me about the blog: restoring the old girl. I am now fans of both blogs, please have peak.

    It was a fulfilling day.

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    Saturday 15 January 2011

    I love a sunburnt country….. Go Dorethea!


    My Country

    by Dorothea Mackellar (1885 – 1968)

    I love a sunburnt country,
    A land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges,
    Of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons,
    I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror -
    The wide brown land for me!


    An opal-hearted country,
    A wilful, lavish land-
    All you who have not loved her,
    You will not understand-
    Though earth holds many splendours,
    Wherever I may die,
    I know to what brown country
    My homing thoughts will fly.

    The Queensland floods are heartbreaking for those who have been flooded. My heart goes out to those in the city and regional areas who have been directly affected. I grew up in Dalby, a community that has been flooded three times in the last few weeks. And the farmers are a stoic bunch, however having struggled with many years of drought, Mother Nature has now flooded their crops and many risk losing their properties. I am joining the thousands of volunteers to help clean up today ~ it is good for the soul.

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    Wednesday 12 January 2011



    My last few posts have referenced the dramatic flooding of my home city, Brisbane that is currently unfolding. I’m safe on a hill, however thousands are not. Everyone has been helping those in need. Some friends have had to evacuate. As the Premier said

    ”It might be breaking our hearts at the moment, but it will not break our will.”

    {Image maia flore via an abundance of}

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    Monday 10 January 2011

    summer storm


    In the spirit of the extraordinary summer storms we are experiencing in Queensland,

    this post from Fleur Wood’s book is for all those people at the beach with no shining sun.

    For more on Fleur Wood’s book, food, fashion, friends visit the previous post.

    {Images of Fleur Wood’s Summer Storm Collection; book pics via The look book; and beach lunch via Wish magazine}

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    Monday 10 January 2011

    Fleur delish


    Rainy day pleasure ~ one of the joys on a rainy day is to read,

    and Santa brought me the lovely Fleur Wood  book, full of escapist pics.

    winter solstice fondue dinner :: cloud 9 dinner with angel wings :: picnic country escape under the gum trees

    Food, Fashion, Friends:

    recipes and styling for unforgettable parties

    Are you inspired to have afternoon tea in the greenhouse with the girls? Fleur has shared these recipes for the occasion.

    Citrus Tea

    Clean citrus tea – sipped from your best china, of course – is the perfect accompaniment to this decadent feast.

    80 g (1 cup) black tea leaves
    zest of 2 lemons
    zest of 2 limes
    zest of 1 orange

    Combine the tea leaves and zest in a small bowl. Place the tea mixture in a large teapot and add boiling water. Infuse the citrus tea for 2-3 minutes before pouring. Serves 6

    Coconut Ice

    Such a pretty old-fashioned favourite loves a modern twist. Try adding rosewater to the pink coconut or replace the dark chocolate with white for an even sweeter treat.

    320 g (2 cups) pure icing sugar
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 x 395 g can sweetened condensed milk
    320 g (3 1/2cups) desiccated coconut
    6 drops pink food colouring
    150 g good-quality dark chocolate, melted

    Lightly grease a 30 cm x 20 cm slice tin and line with baking paper.

    Sift the icing sugar and cream of tartar into a large bowl. Add the condensed milk and coconut, and stir well. Transfer half of the mixture to the prepared slice tin and press down, levelling well. Add the food colouring to the remaining mixture and stir to combine.

    Pour the chocolate over the white coconut ice in the tin and use a spatula to spread evenly over the top. Carefully spread the pink coconut ice over the top of the chocolate and press down, levelling well. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

    To serve, turn out the coconut ice and cut into small squares. Serves 8-10

    Are you coveting some gelato hued peacock chairs? Kristy lee interiors found these sources:

    • There maybe a listing on Gumtree for a chair.
    • Bow-wow at Palm beach NSW had one that’s been painted blue and comes with a cute printed cushion
    • Also keep a look out on Ebay as they do pop up for sale every now and again.

    With menu plans, styling suggestions and playlists for events such as elegant afternoon tea, the ultimate dinner party, a romantic anniversary dinner, a nostalgic seaside menu, a no-fuss weekend brunch, a birthday picnic in the rolling hills and even a fondue degustation in the forest – Food Fashion Friends is the ultimate guide to entertaining with glamour, sophistication and fun. {Claire @ Mrs Press}

    Extract: At home I have a kitchen shelf almost buckling under the weight of cookbooks, old and new, but I have always felt that one title was missing. Many are the times that I have reached for a book that would not only provide recipes for what to cook, but inspiration on how to put an entire menu together, from the canapes through to the dessert.

    Things eventually came to a head when I awoke from a restless sleep early one Saturday morning to the daunting prospect of six friends arriving later that evening for supper. What should I serve as the entree? What could I cook as a complementary main? Oddly, it was my complete lack of inspiration early that morning that ultimately provided the inspiration for this book.

    From the suburbs of Sydney, the journey into the fashion industry took me on a strange and circuitous route. To the Himalayas in northern India, for a start, where I spent two years with the exiled Tibetan community in Dharamsala. Setting out in search of spiritual enlightenment, I soon found myself chanting with Tibetan monks in their mountain-top temples and chilling out on the beaches of Goa. I not only immersed myself in the mysticism of India. Its lavish colours, fabrics and crafts were also irresistible. So, returning to Sydney I was filled with a new sense of purpose: I would launch my own textile business, from which my fashion label grew.

    Joining me on that meandering journey have been some wonderful, food-loving friends and relatives. Flatmates who were serious foodies. Generous parents who prided themselves on their hospitality. Colleagues in the fashion industry with refined tastes and exquisite style. Old pals, like the internationally acclaimed chef Matt Moran, who has turned cooking into an art form. A husband who works as a globe-trotting foreign correspondent and who considers himself a world authority on food – based not so much on his knowledge of local cuisines as an insatiable level of consumption.

    So this book brings together three things I have come to cherish and hold dear:

    food, fashion and friends.

    a floaty rainbow tree…

    300 balloons and a menagerie of animals.

    {Images by adrian lander for the book}

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    Wednesday 5 January 2011

    Blessings Of The Earth


    more drumming ~ experience the nergy of the taiko drumming ensemble, TaikOz.

    To beat with every muscle, bone and sinew in our bodies,

    with an open and joyous spirit.

    ‘Blessings Of The Earth’ features the full range of TaikOz’s dynamic taiko drums, including the 250kg odaiko Grand Drum and a Solo from Kaidan: A Ghost Story, choreographed by the internationally acclaimed Meryl Tankard.

    More than the beating of drums: it incorporates a complete world of drumming, song and dance that on the one hand harks back to ancient Buddhist and Shinto rituals and on the other, is a reflection of contemporary musical life, irrespective of nationality. The performance features beautiful melodies for the bamboo flutes, as well as traditional and contemporary songs.

    TalkOz is Australia’s internationally acclaimed taiko drumming ensemble.

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    Sunday 26 December 2010

    Boxing Day Sport


    In Australia, Boxing Day is celebrated with the start of two iconic sports:

    the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

    & the Boxing Day Test match

    The Boxing Day Test Match between Australia and England at the Muay Thai Gym

    the 4th Test Match of the Ashes 2010 – 2011 series starts at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

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