My Pins

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pinning Some Thoughts On Pins

It seems like nearly every other blog or article or comment I read is making some remark about Pinterest.
Even if you have not joined Pinterest, I bet you've heard people talking about it too.
For those still wondering, the concept of Pinterest is that you can use it like a pin board. In fact that is the best way to imagine it, like a pin board over your desk where you clip out recipes, colour ideas, gardening tips and pin them up for inspiration or future reference.
Instead of taking scissors and clipping from a magazine, you have a button on your tool bar at the top of your browser page. When you see something you like you click the button and choose the image and then make a comment that is meaningful for you about your choice. 
Before Pintrest I used to have a random list in my "favourites" file so I could trace back to sites containing knitting patterns, recipes or craft supplies. With Pinterest I make this list more meaningful and categorised and user-friendly.

I've heard so much negative comment about how time-wasting Pinterest is and how distracting people find it because they get lost in Pinning. I think what they mean is that they get lost in pretty pictures and seductive images of desire. I can see how you could get sucked in to looking at so much prettiness but I think that is missing the point of Pinterest. 

I really value being able to Pin boards (categories) that allow me to find knitting and crochet patterns and recipes. I also have boards that I pin ideas to about gift ideas I have or themes for parties. I remember how frustrating it was before when I used to think "now where did I see those preserving jars?" or "which site had that cute kid's print again?" Just like that cork board over my desk I can retrieve that information and by clicking on the photo go directly to the site of the original source.

I also have a couple of boards that give me pleasure, photos for meditations and feeling good. 

You have the option to "follow" people and see their pins and they you but don't get too caught up in that. It's great to discover other great finds through like-minded people but essentially your board should be for you. You needn't get caught up in how pretty or how co-ordinated your boards look because essentially it is just a collection of ideas. A cross between a visual phone book and scrapbook. 

There has also been a lot of talk about fear of copyright breach. I am happy for people to pin from my blog with the intention of finding their way back to recipes, crafting patterns and so on for personal use but not for profit or mis-representation and I make that statement in my side bar to help people make that decision. In fact my crocheted rug tutorial from my side bar has been pinned hundreds of times and even if they may not want to start one till next winter, at least they will know where to find the pattern. It also saves unnecessary printing out on reams of paper and allows us to keep it more eco-friendly.

If you haven't tried it yet but want to check out the different ways pinning could be useful then feel free to visit via my button at the top of the page "My Pins" or you could follow this link here to the Pinterest home page
As with anything, whether it's what you read, or what you do with your home or raise your family, your pinning should be about you and foremost for you. It's about what you see and find useful for your life. If you share some common interests with people then it is nice to follow all or some of their boards but it's OK completely if you don't follow anyone, maybe it is the way to keep from being distracted.
Check it out you might like it and it might save you a lot of searching in the long run. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Year of the Water Dragon

I don't have the definitive answers to life and the universe so I play it safe and dabble in multiple theologies. I engage some historical fact, some family religion and a bit of mysticism.
 What can I say; I am a sum total of many generations through history.
Feng Shui is one of my belief systems which is basically working with energy in the environment. Does it work? I can't prove it but at the very least it can't hurt.

This year is the Year of the Water Dragon Ren Chen. 
Some may remember the post I did last year about the Year of the Metal Rabbit but unlike that story my house is not filled with dragons!

There are lots of predictions regarding earthquake volatility in the year of dragon, lots of upheaval etc. but I am interested with my immediate surroundings and how to get the best out of the year.
My laundry and bathroom are located in the south-east. This year with the change of the flying stars brings yellow 5 into the SE making this a very dangerous sector and the advice is very clear about not undertaking any renovations or digging etc in this area. 

Our towels were about five years old and showing signs of wear and starting to hole. This creates bad energy to have things in your environment in disrepair. My first instinct was for vibrant red against the black and white tiles but given the predictions for this sector I wanted to keep things more subdued and calm. 

Naturally I have been able to buy at bargain prices and have combined a couple of different brand ranges in neutral shades of "quartz" and "stone" to combine texture and towel sizes (I like them small, he likes them big!) Buying when ranges are at an end means you can get them very cheaply but don't restrict yourself to one brand because it is likely that the full range won't be available. Buying a monochromatic palette works every time.

In feng shui texture and colour represent the elements of water, wood, fire, metal, earth as much as the materials themselves. Balancing the elements helps to create harmony and I hope a quiet and calming influence in this corner. 

I have brought other pieces from other areas of the house and placed these dogs. Rooster is said to be the best friend of dragon but I think dog is also on good terms too. These Japanese made dogs were swimming trophies my mother won when she was little and they have a very sentimental meaning for me. As a pair they are also auspicious for my relationship.

I do not normally buy special "cures" for Feng Shui but I had a friend visit his family in Malaysia recently and his mother very kindly sought for me this tiny five pagoda with seed pod especially for the SE cure.
Like I can't hurt.
If you are interested to learn more about Feng Shui, there are many sites on the net but be aware that you do not really need to buy anything special. Take the information and try to gently balance and reposition some of the items and colours in your home. One of the most basic cures is to simply clean and tidy. Ridding the house of grime and repairing broken items enhances the energy immediately. Beware of hoarding as this can stagnate a lot of energy.
A couple of books that I have found useful are 
Feng Shui Made Easy by William Spear
The Western Guide to Feng Shui by Terah Kathryn Collins.
There are also many auspicious flying stars as well as inauspicious ones so it's not all dread and doom but the SE sector has been on my mind for the past month or so now. At the very least it's good to have a tidy and freshen up.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Adventure Day - Liffey Falls

Sometimes at our house we declare an "Adventure Day".
By name and definition it leaves the day open for anything. 

I've already shared with you before one of my favourite sayings,
"If it's to be, it's up to me"
For me "Adventure Day" holds the same positive energy. A day for exploring and discovering without complicated planning or lots of money. A day only limited by your imagination.

Not just for little kids but for grown up ones as well.
Emma and I headed for Liffey Falls and along the way we talked about
 life, love and expectations
We found rushing pure water, flowing helter skelter. Noisy white and foamy, carving tracks through solid rock.

We found still, calm pools crystal clear and serene reflecting blue skies.

The incredibly vivid purple fruit of the Blue Flax Lily standing out proudly against the subtle greens of the surrounding bush.

Worlds within worlds.
This mossy fern covered log reminded me of Waldorf playscapes.

Adventure Day is about exploring all the possibilities and wondering what lies around the next bend.
It's easy to have adventure days when your children are young but it's just as rewarding and special when they are grown too.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's A Wrap Up

You've probably had enough of Bruny Island by now but I am going to do a quick wrap up for those wanting to see some of the island itself.
We look freezing and trust me we were. Looking across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel the Hartz Mountain range was covered in snow and the temperature was around 5C BUT the wind chill factor at the top of the cliffs was something else!
As you can see, stunning cliff tops and sheer rocky outcrops with wild bays to the South.

Cape Bruny lighthouse - built with convict labour and first lit in 1838 and is the oldest continually manned lighthouse in Australia, decommissioned in 1996.

Sandy beaches and waves for surfing of course. This beach is the strip of the isthmus between the north and south of Bruny Is, called The Neck. This beach is also the landing place for fairy penguins.

These holes are the burrows of the fairy penguins where they raise their chicks before they are ready to take to the sea.

Bruny has lots of wonderful walks and this time we did the Grassy Point walk at Adventure Bay. It's a coastal walk with informative sign posts along the way educating and reminding walkers about the whaling industry that the area was famous for. The short period back in the 1800s accounts for severely decimating the Southern Wright Whale population. Even today the estimated population is a mere 3000. 

Rocky beaches

Great kelp sea beds of many varieties..

But all good things come to an end....

On the journey home we were treated to one of the most breathtaking sunsets I have seen in a long time. It was almost like a grand hurrah for a time together, like a closing dramatic arrangement of a Baz Luhrmann extravaganza.
All too soon, he is gone again and we look forward to July when the shearing season will likely break for a couple of months.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

More From The Bruny House

One of things I love most about the house on Bruny Island is that it re-affirms that one needn't spend a lot of money to make a comfortable and stylish home. Definitely imagination and flair are handy but many of the materials can be sourced for free or re-cycled with minimal costs.
I adore the fencing wire fruit baskets.

and the warm timber tones and free-formed bench tops and trims.

This bench is made from a large tree slab and is supported by a natural branch from the surrounding bush.

The old worn stools are creatively redressed in new recycled leather covers still holding charm and functionality for next to nothing.

These unusual window coverings are simple panels of heavy cream canvas like material that is cut the full drop of the window and "hemmed" at the bottom with a piece of driftwood that weights the drops in place. When not in use they fold up and hang from a very simple wooden curtain rod. Strings of shells from the beach also carry the linear look between the drops.

Another heavy woollen drape in cream with simple red stripes is perfect against all the nature honey colours of the timber. 
Honeyed timber, cream fabrics and touches of red all hint to the classic Scandinavian style of the owner.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bruny Island Stay - A Special Bathroom

We recently stayed on Bruny Island south of Hobart and stayed in a unique residence belonging to one of the islands artists. I have to say (as you will see by the photos) that the bathroom was my favourite room and  enchanted me. 
The old cast iron claw foot bath is nestled beneath windows offering views of private bushland and a plethora of bird life. 

The timber throughout is mostly free-formed and natural branches and drift wood make handles and towel rails.

Simple structures and shelving feature natural forms and copper headed nails adding warmth and interest to a normally cold utilitarian space.

Furniture and fittings are simple and uncluttered recycling old materials like this bathroom cabinet.

A couple of the walls also received a quirky hand-painted Regency stripe style design, but just look at the doors...

The other side gives a clue to their former use and position. They have once belonged to a pub somewhere but are now sporting unique driftwood handles and creamy canvas blinds for privacy.

The shower is the pise de resistance. A very generously proportioned space giving the illusion of being outside in a way.

Corrugated iron and large glass wall combined with natural timber logs and stones from the area all help to make the outdoors feel in.

Sea glass, broken china and bright pebbles....

old bottles and cup handles....

I have done some mosaic work like this before and it is a favourite of mine.
Building on a shoe-string need not lack beauty and abundance.

Just divine!

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