Monday, June 29, 2009

Moody Coffee


Photos 1 and 2 by Annie Leibovitz for Lavazza’s 2009 Calender

Vincent Van Gogh was a big frequenter of the café society and said of his painting Night Cafe “I have tried to show the café as a place where one can destroy oneself, go mad or commit a crime.”


The Mad Tea Party has come and gone but my craziness has remained as I hope yours has! I whirled and I twirled. I’ve eaten so many cakes, drunk so much tea (and just a few glasses of champers), I’ve danced, I’ve played games and I am spent. But I cannot rest. After all the emphasis on ‘tea’ my coffee is jealous and is demanding I give the magic bean equal time. And you know it’s not wise to upset your coffee. It’s an addiction, a drug, a lover who’s always there guaranteeing satisfaction. And with every drug comes the ritual, the need for all the utensils and quality ‘stuff’. Life is too short for instant coffee. The ‘trip’ begins when I inhale the aroma of the ground beans, the heating and frothing of the milk, the water added to the French press, the ‘special’ cup. Aahhh that first sip, the exhaling, and the thought often verbalised 'you make the best coffee in the world girl!'.

The Sea, the Surge and the Seamstress Coffee Table Book from Samantha Lamb

Coffee inspires. Poetry. Stories. Paintings. Song. Any craftiness. The creative ‘lighter fluid’ has touched them all. Here is one of my favourite poetic odes to coffee, written by Linaji.

I will know him by his breath
cardamom and coffee
a wisp of drizzled raspberry around his lips
same color

Words and Pictures Coffee Table Book by Jennifer Gordon at Stiletto Heights

His eyes deep pools of mud
that lotus seek to penetrate
Power that
rich soil

creation here for my longing

Through the Viewfinder Coffee Table Book from Route 3 Photography

His laughter
the sound of my mother’s heart
beating in my mothers womb
on that ride of conception

The Flesh is Always Calling Coffee Table Book by Marie Vlasic at The Flying Pickle

His skin
exposing my joy
entertaining my will
I applaud!

Soya Wax Candle in Coffee Cup with Saucer from Twilight Spells

It is beauty that I’ve found here
like a piece of sand

Influence Original Mixed Media on Canvas from Jan Allsopp

coated with the molecules of
pearl orbed and adorned
I am transformed once again

Latte Eco Shoulder Bag from Where's Becky Bean

And by the divine patterns he creates’
for our pleasure
we dance the Terra Cotta two-step
and sing subterranean songs

Anatomical Espresso Cups from my shop

No whisper is needed nor promises made,
Because I will know him by his breath
Cardamom and Coffee
A wisp of drizzled raspberry around his lips
Same color

The Poet’s Desk Photograph from Robert Crum

A sprinkling of wisdom from the magic bean. Adapted from Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean? by Angela Davis via Story Lovers.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water. "Which will you be?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how will you respond? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Will your fluid spirit through trials have become hardened and stiff? Will your shell look the same, but on the inside you will be bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or will you be like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you can be like the bean, when things are at their worst, you will improve and change the situation around you.

Kimono from Plum Pretty Sugar

Some of my favourite coffee shops here in Brisbane – cafés with soul.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

MaD tEa PaRty wITh gAMeS aNd GiVeaWAys


Come on in! So lovely to see you at this mad tea party! I’m lovin your style. You’ll fit right in here. Oh do let me introduce you to some of the other guests. They’re all here – the beautiful and the strange….


All a little mad and very happy to be….


I’ve tuned the radio to Music Box FM…it suits the mood perfectly I think.

And over there is the lonnnnnngggg table so that we can just keep moving along because, as the Mad Hatter said, “'s always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between whiles”.


Do please have a cake or two or three. Just say your cake wish aloud and with mad passion and voila it will appear!

You did say ‘chocolate cake’ didn’t you?

Thirsty? Well just head over to the Tea Tree, pick a cup and a pot and whatever you wish for will pour out! Try it! It’s true!


Ooh I see that you’ve wished for Games with Prizes. Leave a comment and you might be the lucky winner of one of three prizes!


It’s the Sweeties Race and look who’s pulling out in front. Yes it’s White Rabbit. Ooh you like him…he can be yours! Yes White Rabbit would love to live at your house!

Pass The Parcel! What fun! Keep movin it along there. But what’s inside the parcel? What’s the prize?

Why a pretty apron for the kitchen vamp in you.

Another game! It’s Grab The Tea Cup and Saucer Out Of The Tree! What! You’ve never heard of this game! Well it can be smashing fun! And you could be drinking from this little teacup and saucer very soon!

And after you’ve left your comment do go over and visit at A Fanciful Twist for a list of all the mad tea parties happening around the world today and to thank dear Vanessa for hosting this fanciful occasion! Also hop over to my shop for some bargains to help you remember this madness! Thank you dear friend for stopping by and pop back anytime….you’re always welcome!

Drum roll......and the winners are....Tatting Chic (the apron)...Renee from Circling My Head (the rabbit)...Julia from Verdigris Rose (the teacup)! I'll be in touch girls!

Photo Credits Disney publicity shots of Tim Burton’s upcoming movie with Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, and Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum via Geeks of Doom. Some mad hats from 13above, the UK Telegraph, Style With Anna. On Etsy Antler and Peacock Hats from Boring Sidney, Unusual Couture Hat from Lutus Luxuries, Pea Pod and Hat from Pins and Needles Basket, some guests via JMP Magazine, teapots via Flickr, and some personal images.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Going Blonde For The Economy


There's no doubt the state of the economy could turn our hair greyer but apparently it’s increasing the number of blondes! I have a beautiful book 'The Vogue Book of Blondes' that details the history of colouring hair blonde - from the earliest Egyptians as well as the Greeks, Hebrew, Assyrians, Persians and the ancient Chinese. And the psychology of blondes in fairytales, religion, entertainment. We humans are so interesting aren't we... I know it’s not important, the colour of our hair, or even if we have hair or not, but I’ve given time to brunettes in past posts so am focusing today on paying homage to the blondes of the world.

Cleopatra’s Long Forgotten Blonde Period Original Painting from Art Meister (Cleopatra was in fact a blonde. That’s because she was not Egyptian. She was a Mac was a Macedonian Greek, with hair as blonde as Alexander’s.)

Yes I’m blonde. Yes I’d love to be a brunette – often in my dreams I have dark hair and olive skin - much more suited to playing in the outdoors than being fair. But dark hair just doesn’t look any good on me. It never has. I started off as a ‘white blonde’ child, progressing in my teens to dark blonde (or mousey brown depending on who’s describing it)…and have been various shades of blonde ever since. Yes I lighten my hair. And it’s currently the lightest it’s ever been…practically white blonde.

Vintage Nun and Choir Boys Music Box from The Bakers Daughter Too

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been to the hairdressers in 10 years. I like to do it myself. That includes cutting and colouring. My hair is very straight and I found myself having to repair the cut a day after visiting the hairdresser so I started cutting it myself and have become quite good at it I think. Currently I have a concave bob with fringe.

Chickadee Oh Chickadee I Dreamt You Wove My Hair For Me, original charcoal drawing from The Extent of Silence

I found that paying a hairdresser to colour my hair was expensive and not convenient. You know what dyed hair is like…one day it’s looking fabulous then seemingly overnight you see the colour growing out. When you do it yourself you don’t have to go through days of walking around feeling unkempt. You can do it that day. It only takes half an hour and voila no regrowth.

Handpainted Pillow by Sandy Mastroni

I only mix half the contents of supermarket purchased colour and only ‘do’ the roots so it’s very inexpensive. And with some good hairdressing scissors a little trim can happen at the same time and you always look as if you stepped out of the hairdressers. I also put in some blonde toner once a week so that I get that nice ashy look. Weird as it may sound though I enjoy watching hairdressers and beauticians's soooo relaxing.

Cut your hair straight after shampooing when it’s wet. I comb then clip the top section up, cut the underneath, then take the clips out and do the top layer. Do err on the side of caution although the beauty of doing it yourself is you can take more off if you need to. And if you happen to make a mistake, don’t worry, it’s only hair and it will grow back.

The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you! Coco Chanel

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stars In My Eyes


On The Threshold Sculpture from Archetypal Theatre

She Dressed Her Children In Clothes Made of the Night Original Oil Painting by Amanda Blake at This Is All I Know


PS ‘Stargazing’ from The Look Up Series featured at the top of this post is my entry in this week’s Melange Challenge, BLISS. Head over to their website to see all the entries, and consider submitting something yourself. You don’t have to be a team member to submit or even have an Etsy shop. We’re very egalitarian over there!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just Imagine Living In A Shell


just imagine living inside a sea shell with your love just imagine catching a glimpse of the moon rising over the sea at twilight and later lifting your eyes to a sky full of stars diamonds strewn on black velvet just imagine being cocooned in curves taking a bath in a hollow under a shell fountain just imagine going to sleep to the sound of the ocean’s breath waking to the same sound and glimpsing azure through a curved space feeling the gentle caress of the sea breeze on your skin just imagine the touch of your lover's hand in yours as you go padding out in bare feet past the private pool and down to the sand feeling it between your toes just imagine knowing that this sand has travelled and been shaped for eternity just imagine pausing to examine gifts of shells and corals


Conch Shell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico via Unusual Architecture

just imagine your love discovering this crown and placing it gently upon your head

Mermaid Wedding Crown from Faerie Majikk

and these sandals upon your feet

Beach Wedding Sandals by Princess Allure

and just imagine looking down and discovering this little creature

Hand Sculpted Mermaid by Dust of Enchantment

..........just imagine


1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11 via Country Living 2. Vintage Glass Domes with shells, coral, and mermaids in my bathroom. 3. Lights made by Carol Lasitter and with instructions at Beautiful Details 5. Shell Wreath from Black Star 5 on Flickr 6. Shell Encrusted Florida Vintage Condiment Set on Etsy from Carmen and Ginger 9. Seashell Cross on Etsy from Sandis Shellscapes 12. Table Centrepiece from Completely Coastal 13. My Red Coral Sculpture that serendipitiously began as an idea for a freeform necklace but became a mounted, wire threaded and stuff sculpture and my submission for the Melange Team’s Weekly Challenge. Head on over here to check out these mixed media artists.