Friday, November 26, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Exciting Spaces

This week in the steamy heat I went to meet my editor at my agent's house. I wrote about that HERE at the official writing Blog. But speaking of books with beautiful covers, I am mad about the new Frankie book SPACES.

So much loveliness it makes my heart ache. It's filled with inspiring, creative people and their lovely spaces. People like Allison from Lark, Emily Chalmers from CARAVAN and Tif from Dottie Angel. All the pretty, whimsical, retro-twisty you would expect from FRANKIE.

It is now time for Mangos, chilled grapes, sun-hats. The streets are already so hot you melt a little when you walk.
I have to keep my head down and work very hard on my edit which arrived this afternoon via courier. Next week however, I am having a private audience with Allison Dubois from Medium fame, so I'll try to pop in to tell you about that.
In the meantime, I'll aim to keep the writing Blog updated.

Thanks for visiting me and here's another Johnny Depp image to see us into the weekend. xx
Johnny Depp image source

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chit-chat Wednesday and Drinking the Well

I've been involved in pursuing spiritual adventures for quite a long time. I've walked on fire with Stuart Wilde's Warrior Wisdom course. I trekked the Ashram path in India and stood next to faith healers in Manila. I've sweated in sweat lodges, spent countless hours in churches and danced Sufi, and around cauldrons. I've seen many impossible things. I follow a very electic and unusual path at times when it comes to spirituality. My father describes it as 'going down strange fox-holes' I put my interest in varying faiths down to my early upbringing in Papua New Guinea where there was a lot of magic practised by the locals. Reports of people being raised from the death, telepathy and spiritual healing were all common.

This weekend I went bush with a group of women to pursue Secret Women's Business at a retreat in NSW. It was a glorious weekend as I had been feeling very burnt out caring for my daughter, writing books and domestic artistry. My battery was running low. I wasn't happy with my stress levels and was finding it difficult to breathe properly at times.

I feel very different now. As the facilitator of the weekend, Suzanne, said, "The Wise Woman drinks from the well first." This is similar to the instructions on aeroplanes when the oxygen mask drops and mothers are advised to take the oxygen first before sharing it with their children.

I made new friends and reconnected with old. We sat in circle and shared of ourselves honestly. We broke away old conditionings and found a freedom in that ancient practice. Some of it was straight from scenes I might have mocked in my earlier books. Passing a crystal wand and discussing menstrual cycles with a total stranger is easy to be cynical about, until you find yourself in circle doing just that.

We revealed ourselves on multiple levels and found a new inner wisdom. It was a time I shall always treasure. I won't go into more details as Secret Women's Business should remain Secret Women's Business. But we have so much to learn from the traditional owners of this land. And from now on, I vow to sip from the well first.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Fab books

I love books (in case you hadn't realised by now). There's no greater pleasure than a new book that smells wonderful, contains a gripping story or beautiful photos. Two of my favourite new friends are:

Kirstie Allsopp's Homemade Home. I was mad about the series and so had to preorder this one. Not only am I a Kirstie fan but this book is even better than I expected. My photographs don't do justice to the lush layouts and all the beautiful images within. It's filled with all the loveliness you would expect from Kirstie. Wallpaper hints, op-shop hints, crafty tips. And it smells totally divine.

Selina Lake's Romantic Style is totally my style.

Again my photos don't do this very beautiful book justice. My eyes aches with all the fab, frilly photographs. Look at this image!

Now that's my idea of heaven. A stack of beautiful vintage books seated next to a vase of divine flowers.

And if it's a scary ghost story you are hankering for as a break from the prettiness, you can't go past The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It truly did give me nightmares and the character of the doctor was superbly done in my opinion. I'll write more about this one on my official writing Blog. I'm a great lover of a gripping ghost story and this one really captured me. It was our book club's choice and not everyone enjoyed the slow pace – but for me it was a perfect read.

For loveliness around the Blogs this week, you can't do better than my Blogging friend, Carla Coulson. Carla has written and photographed some of my other favourite books such as Italian Joy. I love her work. She has been very kind to Tale Peddler and often pops in. I was delighted to see on her fab Blog that she married recently. You can see more about her work and life HERE.

Signing off for another busy week with the ever romantic and pretty Johnny Depp. xx

image of carla coulson source
image of johnny depp source

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chit-chat Wednesday and Foxglove Spires for sale!

Regular readers may remember how much I love the book Velvet Pears by Susan Southam. I posted about it HERE. The loveliness of Velvet Pears ensures I can't read too much of it in one sitting as I get so worked up. I feel a kindred spirit toward Susan, the author who transformed a simple weatherboard house into Foxglove Spires. And so I was gob-smacked when I saw Foxglove Spires is for sale. Although there were a couple of tiny hints in Velvet Pears that Susan might sell-up one day and move on, it's always sad to see a house that has been so loved and transformed lose its owners.

I hope somebody beautiful buys it.

Somebody who understands, as Susan did, that you have to be silent and allow the house and garden to dictate its needs to you. Somebody with the poetic vision and romantic heart of Susan Southam.

I'm a lover of bricks and stone but this weatherboard house with its fairy-tale garden would tempt me if I had the cash.

I'm flat-out with researching Australian artists in the 40's for my current book. A joyful research project if there ever was one. Such a fascinating time in Australian art culture with so many wonderful personalities.

Thanks for visiting me.
image of Susan hanging washing source
images of foxglove spires source

Monday, November 1, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Delvene and Strop

As a little girl growing up in Tasmania, I had two television crushes: Jack Wild who played Jimmy in H.R Pufnstuf - and John Cornell as "Strop". Lordy knows why, when I look back on old clips and photos of him leering away in his swimming cap. I thought he was cute, however, so there you go. And I preferred him to Paul Hogan, the star of the show.

In later years, I came to admire both John Cornell and his wife Delvene Delaney (who had guest roles as a bikini-girl in The Paul Hogan show).

They were the first sea-changers in Byron Bay and so they were ahead of their time. And I always admire people who turn their backs on celebrity to pursue gardening, which is what Delvene did.
I still think both John Cornell and Delvene look beautiful and so I found the October issue of The Australian Women's Weekly inspiring for the article on Delvene, who is now 59. Delvene represents a lot of things I love about the positive aspects of Australian women - their sassiness and a certain take-me-as-I-am attitude. And in my opinion, she's even more beautiful than in her ‘heyday'.
I recently celebrated a birthday and when a friend asked me if I minded ageing, I could only reply I honestly don't. It's far better than the alternative. I'm grateful to be given the chance to age.
Here's a little quote from the article from Delvene;
"True Beauty comes from inside, so I don't mind ageing, not at all. I don't look in the mirror and think, "Oh my God!" l look in the mirror and think, "that's interesting...oh, that's going to start happening now." That's okay - I love me. If you don't like the way I look. Look away.
When I look at my husband for example. I only look into his eyes. He's 70 next year, but he looks great. It was the same with my (late) mother. Did I look at her and see lines and wrinkles? No. I saw beauty. From October issue of Australian Women's Weekly.

Thanks for popping in to visit me. Wishing you a week filled with beauty and wisdom. xx
image source Delvene and John Cornell
image source bikini Delvene
image source Paul Hogan show