Tuesday, 28 March 2017

It is time to think of an Easter sideboard at home ...

Hi everyone,

How has your Lent resolutions gone?  I had a tiny slip up this past weekend when I took an offered chocolate from a friend's Mother's Day selection - in fairness, it was a tiny one but just a thoughtless moment.

However,  a tiny slip up has reminded me that Easter is on the horizon so thoughts turned to changing the sideboard to reflect this. I know that many of you love your seasonal changes as much as I do ...

Some previous Easters at home -

Easter 2012 at home

Easter wishes in 2013 

Happy Easter 2014

Happy Easter 2015

Getting ready for Easter 2016 

I cleared the sideboard then started to put some Easter things on it but somehow it was just not working for me so I left it for a day while I thought about it. Are you like that?

I love the colourful Spring garland that is draped on the drawers - it is bright & cheerful.  The two colourful rabbit pictures are screen printed on a woven fabric; I saw them in a craft shop in Riga last year & just knew that they were coming home with me. They are beautiful original prints I put in to simple IKEA frames which are just right - they are definitely staying.  

This stunning plate which was a gift some years back would stay - what to put with it?

 At last, some inspiration & I know what to do ... the creamware Spode Chelsea Wicker plates are needed to balance it all & so out they come. I love their simple pattern & their elegance ...

 This platter was a thrift shop find - it compliments the Spode plates with its elegance & is a perfect backdrop for the vintage glass sweet jar ...

A simple Easter nest & some eggs go under the glass cloche ...

I love this little blue ceramic bunny with its basket - this year it will hold the Easter forks & spoons which will be needed for a cake, as will the Oliver Bonas cake stand which was a gift from my girls.

I bought this quirky teapot some years back; it is has such character & the colours are lovely at Easter

A vintage glass jar holds a selection of chocolate eggs to nibble on.  The grey &  brown bunny are a gift after the loss of our bunny Vivaldi, they are perfect at Easter. The two tall felt bunnies have not  been out of the loft for some years - oops, I forgot about them; progress at last on the sideboard.

 A woven basket front from Hobby Craft & some bunnies join the candlesticks on top ...

Bunnies trying to escape their holder - these felt bunnies are favourites of mine.

 At last, it is working. The table is ready too - the colourful flask will remain, along wiht the silver water jug & the pink Ikea lantern that I love ... The fluffy bunny was a gift from my Godson

The cake stand is ready for an Easter cake - forks, cutters, plates & napkins ready

The bunting that I made last year has come out again for our inglenook fireplace in the living room

These Easter baskets make regular appearances at Easter - one was a gift from a German exchange students some years back ....

This photo from a previous year when Vivaldi was seen rearranging the Easter eggs ... 

 Because we use our conservatory at night too, I have added some battery lights to the sideboard ...

I have a busy time ahead with students finishing off this term.  We always have visitors, friends & family over during our Easter holidays so I know we are ready to welcome them in to our home ...

Thank you for stopping by & for taking the time to read & comment, have a lovely week everyone,
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Happy Mothering Sunday

Hi everyone

Thinking of all the lovely UK Mum's on Mothering Sunday.

My lovely girls spoilt me with Spring Flowers because they know how much I love blossoms at this time of the year after a long winter. I look forward to the heady scent of the lillies as they open over the coming week.

I also had a surprise visit from my older Godson who brought me a very thoughtful gift. He knows how much I miss our little Vivaldi who passed on recently aged 10 years.  I am also a great bird lover so the new feeder is very much appreciated.  He penned a lovely message in the card - thank you sweet lad x

I no longer have a Mother or Mother-in-law & I am thankful that South Africa has a different day in May for Mother's Day - it makes it easier as a motherless daughter ....

I clocks went forward last night heralding the arrival of British Summer Time at last. Hope your day has been as lovely as these Spring flowers,

Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Inspiration to stay free & enjoy life ...

Hi everyone,

This list which I came across & saved some time back still resonates with me. I printed it off, & put it on my noticeboard some years back as a reminder of the things I could do more of

How many do you do? Some of my favourites are:

I am a great list maker, it keeps me focused on what I have to do. I always have a diary with me for work to make notes of things I have to follow up on or things I need to do. My students know my mantra: "If it's in my diary, I will remember it." I write letters & keep myself organised at my personal desk  which is a space I love ...

I am a great tea / coffee drinker. Many of my students Mum's always offer a hot or cold drink which is appreciated because when you work in someone's home, you are a professional guest.

Sing in the shower (house & car) & listen to new music - indeed - I studied classical piano for years so I listen to a very wide range of music - I am still a CD fan & always have music on in my kitchen where my player is (the lads enjoying dancing in the kitchen while baking).  Music is good for your soul ...

Know your roots - indeed - I am the one in the family who is compiling our complicated family tree. Like many South Africans, our tree included pioneers from several countries who trekked across vast veldts & borders as the continent opened up so the records are not easy to find or compile ... Roots are important, as are the stories of those who have gone before us.

Go somewhere new - oh yes,  with grown up children, I am embracing the time to explore more. Two years ago, it was India, this past year it was France & Latvia - what fabulous experiences!

Watch foreign films - indeed - They remind me of an old cinema we used to frequent in Johannesburg which showed foreign language films. It had steep seating inside & those of us who got distracted 'might' have been known to roll a can down the steps & listen to it go cluck ... cluck ... cluck ... as it gathered momentum or someone stopped it!
I have grown to love the Swedish / Scandi  series on TV with their sub titles which forces one to set everything aside & just immerse yourself in it (you cannot read subtitles & answer emails at the same time without losing the plot!) Some I have enjoyed are Borgen, Dicte, Modus, Deutschland, Hinterland & currently Fortitude & Midnight Sun. Are you a subtitle fan?

I do not beat myself up - it is not part of my personality & I do not overthink things. At the end of each day, I try to draw a line under it & get on with life - it is too short to complicate it over things you cannot change!

Clean & organise your workspace, break the rules & have fun - indeed Keep moving forward, we are all just walking each other home!

Do more of what makes you happy - indeed. I love taking photos (even the occasional wedding or two or three) or even photographing some hat festivals, have some of my images in print,  crafting, painting furniture, indulging in sideboard changes, sewing, gardening & meeting up with friends ... life is for living - embrace it.

Finish something - indeed, it is very satisfying to finish things you started. We all have unfinished projects that remind us of our transient nature. However, I often find it easier to set aside some time then press on & finish something if I can ....

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you face life head on?  I always like to remind myself that life is not a practise run, it does not come with a manual & everyone's path is different!  You only get one chance to live it - you will often get it wrong, but you will often get it right & that is just fine ...

Thank you for stopping by, have a lovely weekend even if you will get an hours less sleep like us as our clocks go forward in to British Summer Time ....

Dee ~♥~

Monday, 20 March 2017

Spring has sprung ....

Hi Spring - at last,  after another long Winter, things are looking up with the official arrival of Spring.

The day started with a massive rain storm that soaked everything in its path

With some students ill, I had some time to change the sideboard in our conservatory while listening to the rain thundering down. As soon as I could, I popped out to pick some flowers & blossoms from the garden.

This drinks flask of ours often has iced cold drinks in warmer weather - am I being hopeful too soon?

A favourite Ikea lantern that is used indoors on the adjoining patio - it always brightens up any table. I do love Ikea extras that are both functional & pretty ...

You have seen these plates before - I love the pretty green & pink IKEA glass plates which are always used in Spring because they are so uplifting.

I have had these for some years, you only need a few of them to brighten up any space.

A few favourite jugs for the top - this raised pattern vintage jug is so special & is used often. This was a fabulous charity / thrift shop find ...

The sideboard was finished along with the rain - a good use for a random morning ...

Happy Spring day everyone - I hope you bring some warmer & brighter days for us ...

Thank you for stopping by, I am looking forward to the clocks going forward soon.

Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 9 March 2017

5 years on ....

How quickly & slowly time can pass at the same time. It is 5 years since the passing of my Mother.

To speak their name, is to make them live again. 

This date will forever be ingrained in my mind - the day when my Mother 'slipped the surly bounds of earth to touch the face of God,' gone from our sight but never from our mind.  I wrote the story of the strong women in my family just a day before Mom passed. 

This post summed up what many of us feel when we have lost a parent & the sands of time have shifted, things can never quite be the same again.

Because we lived in several countries for many years, I regret that my daughters didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. However, my Mother sent postcards & letters to them regularly of images that she thought they would enjoy. She made an effort to bridge that gap & they in turn sent her cards of their antics which I found in a large collection when I visited my Dad. I always loved opening my door to find a letter from Mom on the door mat, filled with news from home & these cherished letters are stored in a special holder I made as a tribute on a previous anniversary.

From the above link, I can relate to these comments:

6. Don’t [complain] about your parents in front of me. You will get an earful about gratitude and appreciation. As a “Dead Parents Club” member, I would take your place in a heartbeat. Get some perspective on how truly fleeting life is.

This resonates strongly - some just don't appreciate the privilege of still having parents around to sound off, meet up with & just have someone there on their side. That support goes with your parents - no one else can tell you off & support you at the same time!

9. Life does go on, but there will be times even years later, you will still break down like it happened yesterday.

There are still times when you reach for the phone to share something important & realise that you can't - the important times cannot be shared, a perfume on someone you pass evokes a memory, the passing glimpse in the mirror of your image which suddenly reminds you of your genes  ....

10. When you see your friends or even strangers with their mom or dad, you will sometimes be jealous. Envious of the lunch date they have. Big life events are never ever the same again.

Of course there is always a little of this too - the knowledge that things change irrevocably, especially as your parents are often your harshest critic when you grow up & how relationships change over time, especially as you finally get their angst when you were growing up & they had the fears all parents have for their children.

The days which mark their birthday, anniversary or death are remembered only by their nearest & dearest,  my Dad & her were lifelong soulmates; we will phone & draw comfort from that shared love; we will celebrate Mom's life ...

On this day, I will give thanks for a life well lived & a Mother who is missed in many great & small ways ...

I will once again light my angel candle in quiet reflection & remember a date seared in my mind.  These were the flowers we placed on my Mother & brother's grave when we took our leave ...

I leave you with this sobering thought -

Thank you for stopping by, make your life count, make it matter .... 
Dee ~♥~

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Shrove Tuesday & thinking of Lent?

Shrove Tuesday / pancake day is upon us again. However, we are going to do our pancakes on Ash Wednesday due to time restraints with the Godsons who always join me for pancakes.

 Supper first while we catch up ...

However, we have been chatting about what to give up for the 40 days of Lent.

I always observe Lent  and make a resolution - some more successful than others before breaking for Easter . We love pancakes at home & especially the tradition of flipping them ourselves, in all sorts of Shrove Tuesday weather. Visitors are not immune from having to flip too.

The Godsons have become really good pancake flippers & they are happy to make enough for all of us.  We always make them, never buy them ready made ....

Perhaps for Lent this year, we should concentrate on 40 Acts of Kindness, making your world a better space.

I gave up chocolate a few years ago on a visit to Africa before Easter & it was hard because Dad loves chocolate too, but we bought some treats on the way home which made up for it.

I will give up chocolate until Easter so please do not lead me in to temptation over Lent.

 This was the Godsons pancake that that he flipped himself - filled with fruit, a dollop of ice cream & drizzled with maple syrup - nicely presented too.

Do you give up something for Lent? What will it be this year? I hope your Ash Wednesday has been good - 40 days of good deeds or something given up? What will it be for you?

Thanks for stopping by,
 Dee ~♥~