Category Archives: Conscious Living


A story to share with you today.

Earlier this week, my mother wandered outside to the front yard of her home, to find a Labrador dog in the middle of doing Labrador-dog-business on her lawn.  Standing patiently nearby and holding the dog’s lead was a well-dressed lady, who waited until the dog was finished. My mother is quite house-proud, and a lot of effort goes into maintaining an impeccable front yard. Mum politely but firmly asked the lady if she had any plastic bags with her, to clean up after her dog.  The woman answered “no” but added that if my mum wouldn’t mind getting one then she would do so. Things seemed to be turning out well after all, so mum nipped inside to fetch a plastic bag.  Upon returning and handing the woman the bag, mum waited for her to proceed. Instead, the dog owner politely asked if mum would mind directing her to where the dog poo was because – wait for it – she was blind.
Mortified, and apologising profusely, my mother quickly scooped down with the bag, and cleaned it up herself.  She said that the woman was quite gracious about the situation, and did not attempt to make mum feel guilty. As if she had to…

This encounter made me giggle and then lead me to ponder the encounter a bit further… Isn’t it interesting how we are so entrenched in our own realities, that they cloud our vision and perception to the realities of others?

Image via deviantART



This morning my husband jested once again about my lack of inclination to track down my lovely (and neglected) beautician and I laughed at how silly it was of me, given how much time I have to do such things in between being a mother to a crazy two year old, working full-time in a stressful role and being a part-time step-parent to three teenagers.

Michael pointed out that it was interesting I didn’t mention Wife in there, along with all of my other titles.  “For surely there is time spent fulfilling such roles?”.  He has a point.  I think it’s a positive that I didn’t think of it as another plethora of needs to attend to, as that’s what I was referring to.

I did make an appointment this afternoon.


Giving and Obligation

Does all giving come from a place of obligation? 
I think not;  I think you can create something that will require assistance without any notion of obligation involved. 
Michael and I had a heated discussion (mostly fueled by my stubbornness) this morning on our way to work around this topic.
This stemmed from talking about the book I just finished, The Dirty Life, wherein a couple start a large-scale farming operation with a minimal budget and a big dream.   
Michael believes that at some level, however deeply buried, there is an obligation created when people start something that will obviously require others (of the volunteer variety) to lend a hand when required (during harvests, for example).  
This is a concept he dislikes – he believes that to create the need for assistance is constructing a burden (my words) of some form on another.
I think having a positive attitude and a strong belief in what you are doing negates the need to even focus on what I feel to be a criticism of the whole process.  However valid it may be, it is not particularly significant. 
That was my argument.  Isn’t it frustrating when your opinion is based on emotion and the other person’s is on a critical analysis of the situation? 


Spoon Happy



These were a gift that I crafted for someone special for Christmas.  The original plan was to label them with herb names on the back and have them work as markers in their garden…  But I couldn’t bring myself to make them more complex or to have them serve any one particular purpose.

I will probably make some more in the future; I quite like how they turned out. Sweet and simple. I think Bean might enjoy them when he is a teensy bit older and starts getting more into creative role play… and his favourite sayings do not revolve around “sword fight! Sword fight! Hee-yah!”.  No more Pirates of the Caribbean for you, my son.

I was hugely inspired by a very simlar project that I came across somewhere in blogland late last year. I would love to direct you to the originals but, alas, the creator eludes me…  If you know who it was feel free to let me know and I will give credit where credit is due!

Side note: the photo is a little dark; that’s a tree, second from the left, and a rat second from the right.


Fearless ness, with some sting and a little sugar


Life.  Indulgence. Love love love.

We have been, as ever, quite busy around our part.  Part?  What a strange little phrase. Our part…  Of our street?  Our lives?  Of our little corner in time and space on this Earth?  Hmn.
But I am getting distracted…

I came across the quote today that I plucked for my subject line and decided that I quite liked the idea (that I envision it purports).  The best way to live is fearlessly; this will no doubt involve a bit of hurt, some joy and ~hopefully~ a lot  of pleasantness in-between.  I can also appreciate the context that it was actually used in – what comprises good taste when it comes to fashion. 
…Spicy and sweet. Boho vintage modern. These I like too.

On a fairly unrelated note, I was sent an article today which I very much enjoyed.  Clever crows.  My favourite part:
“Let your offspring have an extended childhood in a stable and loving home; lead by example; offer positive reinforcement; be patient and persistent; indulge even a near-adult offspring by occasionally popping a fresh cockroach into its mouth; and realize that at any moment a goshawk might swoop down and put an end to the entire pedagogical program”.


Hardship Nurtures Creativity

On Sunday, our happy tribe of 6 attended a 2nd birthday party. James (the dad) commented on the amount of toys his son has. “It’s embarrassing”, he said. “When I was a boy I only had one or two toys. I really think that that having fewer toys makes you more adaptable and creative”.

Today I stumbled across this article about how consumerism is affecting our creative juices, which led me to (amongst others) this article. Fascinating stuff. Apparently the affluence that some of us in the Western world are lucky enough to wallow in is making our children smarter – but less creative.  Looks as if James’ theory has some truth to it.  Apparently “hardship force(s) kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity”.

The article provides a truly insightful and rounded analysis of how creativity works – how those little neural networks spark each other off – and how it ebbs and flows through childhood.

Great, more information that makes me want to homeschool Bean… Ah well, I am sure we can work with the time that we do have together. In a more effective way, knowing this.


Glamour. A Girl Needs Glamour.

Our topic of the day is fashion. I am lusting after some new clothes and what better way than to send that out into the universe (in the hope of gaining financial purchasing power) than to post about it.

I just read this post about vintage attire.  Some of the comments are great. This is another great post about modern and retro glamour. Mo and I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the first time this week after reading it – and were both very pleasantly surprised about how much we enjoyed it. The script is really quite clever and dialogue just perfect for the characters. {Side note: the comments on this column are a tad more emotional and I don’t recommend you read them unless you’re ready to have my favourite television show ripped to shreds. }

If you have been a bit regular around these parts you would know that I have a bit of a penchant for vintage etc.  (For the record, I still LOVE this style).  My new desire is to have a mixture of the J.Crew style and a little bit of Juliette Binoche from Chocolat. You know that bright, warm, layered look? I like how “preppy vintage”, being more sombre in colour and shorter in length, can be just as sexy as the lightly feminine and fluffy look as sported by Binoche.

Today finds me dreaming about new clothes and planning to make a few hair bits – I think a range of felt/material flowers bits could be just the thing for the end of winter and to embrace spring. These are pretty, and I like how dainty these ones are.

Anyway, that’s all I really have to say today. Oh, and to point you in the direction of one more cool site – if you haven’t come across it already, Urban Weeds features styles from the streets of Portland. I especially like the way people summarise their “look” – e.g. “I draw from the look and feel of Hitchcock and Italian Giallo films” and “my style is quirky, disheveled, feminine, tomboy”.


“She’s taken to your tools like a little lesbian”

Apologies for my absence.  I’m back!

Projects, projects, projects. Currently I am trying to think creatively whilst penning an award submission for a client… And trying not to be distracted by thoughts of making a lovely memory game like this one or this one for Bean. He’s not old enough, it can wait (the little voices in my head say). Then they are rebuffed with “but it’s good to be prepared…” (shhh voices, I’m busy).

What else is in the pipeline (and where did that phrase originate)? I bought some peg people and am looking forward to finishing their paint jobs. Not quite as abstract as Joel’s, but I do so love his.  Was inspired by Kristi’s boats and made a chain of them for Bean’s room.  Waiting for another rainy day – or a trip to the beach – to test their floatability…
Hard to fit all of this in whilst indulging my Mad Men addiction and watching the third season in record time. (Yes, the title is a quote). Ohhowdelicious. Love love love it. I want to start my wardrobe over – totally inspired by Betty, Peggy and Joan.  Brilliant costume design!

OK back to work.


A Typographical Jig

I am currently in the midst of absorbing the plethora of information in Ellen Lupton’s great book Thinking With Type (images above). Highly recommend it for anyone interested in the origins of typography and understanding the principles behind it. It’s clear, ridiculously well researched and often quite humorous.

In a similar vein, Design for Mankind pointed me in the direction of a spiffy site today. For those of you with a soft spot for the ampersand I am pretty sure it will make you smile.