Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Beauty and the Bees

I was chatting to my sister who lives in Tasmania (my home state) and she mentioned a new range of beauty products she and our mother have been using.
It's a Tasmanian range called Beauty and the Bees. I love natural skin care and anything produced in Tasmania with its pure air and lush soil has to be of a high standard. Sigh, I'm homesick again for my lovely apple isle. You haven't lived until you've tasted food fresh from the soil there.
I jumped online and Beauty and the Bees looks like a rather fab new find. Not only do they have an online store so you can order from anywhere in our world - they have a lovely Blog called Voice of the Beehive.
Look at the picture of their handcream from their shop. I feel I could spread it on a crumpet.
I had rather an animated reaction to my Kim Wilde gardener crush post. I hadn't realised so many Wilde fans were out there. I have to own up that I wasn't a fan of her music; the gardener Wilde is the incarnation that interests me more. For those who do love her music, you will be pleased to know she is still rocking it! I was more in love with her house which is a big open barn which I saw in some magazine years ago and had an enormous crush upon. That is one of her books above, and I also have her other one called First Time Gardener. There is also a website which has all of Kim's garden articles on them. The link is here.
And once again for my fab blog posts I have enjoyed during the week, I had to choose two. The first one is from a new Blog I have discovered. Jane is a Melbourne woman and her blog has the lovely name of My Pear Tree House. She had a very fab post about the wonderful Lauren Child. That's Lauren's kitchen above, complete with white piano. You can read the post, An Ode to Lauren Child at My Pear Tree House.
And being the severe anglophile I am, I was salivating throughout the legendary Isabelle from Suzy's Vintage Attic post which recounts a lovely outing with her husband to very quaint and Midsomer Murders-type thatched cottages in Somerset.
Isabelle's entire Blog is really one I cherish. She has become somebody who I treasure very much, not only for her posts but for her friendship. And yes, I do feel it is possible to feel friends in a pen-pal type of way with somebody you have never met. Isabelle has a massive following and it's not hard to understand why. Follow in the footsteps of the very lovely Isabelle and Alan in the post West Somerset Cottages at Suzy's Vintage attic.
And no Friday post is complete without another peek at Johnny. A salute to you, Johnny as we head to the weekend.
Wishing you a fab and lovely weekend. May you find joy and inspiration in everyday things. Thanks for visiting me. xx

Monday, April 26, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Inspiring Lovelies

This week I'm feeling inspired by
the full Moon in Scorpio on Wednesday night
Kim Wilde and her change of career from 80s pop babe to gardener
the new Daisy design (Garland edition) (yet another bottle to add to my daughter's growing Daisy bottle collection)
words, always words tap-dancing in my brain
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak which is making those tap-dancing words tap even harder. A wonderful book that almost makes me feel like swooning when I read some passages
vintage wooden dressing tables
Snow White
thatched English cottages
roses - in particular the yellow and pale peach-coloured roses
That's my list of things giving me pleasure and inspiration this week. What is inspiring you? Do leave me a comment and tell me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Loads of fab and lovely things

Loads of lovely fabs this Friday for my swallows and swans.
First up my new Rachel Ashwell book which is one of those books difficult to tear yourself away from. Pure lush beauty and inspiration on every page. I love the way Rachel's style is evolving with a more urban edge (such as her vintage brown leather sofa) and her minimal way of living. Little tips like you only need two changes of linen for each bed and Rachel's personal inspirations such as vintage wallpaper Marie Antoinette, the theatre and ballet make this book one of my new favourites. I think Rachel is so inspiring with her new life directions after Shabby Chic suffered the losses it did in America. I also enjoy Rachel's beautiful Blog as I love her style of writing.
In a new addition to Fab Friday for Tale Peddler, I plan to talk about a particular Blog post that inspired me or, I thought was fab, during the week. Blogging is all about sharing and so hopefully, you'll find some inspiration there - or even make a new Blogging friend.
This week I actually have two as it was difficult to pick.
The talented, crafty Kari from Artsy Mama and her post on her daughter's fifth birthday party where she created a Strawberry Shortcake party for her lovely daughter, Chloe. My daughter also thought this was an amazing post and asked me if I could reproduce the same party. With a doubtful look at me, she said, "You could try, Mummy." You can find the post on Kari's site Artsy Mama.
And another Blog I've followed for ages. A fellow Tasmanian girl, the lovely Amanda from The Vintage Rose. Amanda really lives in my dream home in Launceston, Tasmania. You can see the photo of her home above. Sigh. She also has a divine store where she sells lovely French inspired goods. She has two beautiful teenage daughters and a terrific garden. The post I really loved of hers is where she shared a few personal photos of her family. There is the loveliest pic of her and her husband. You can find Amanda's beautiful Blog at The Vintage Rose.
And I had to add this fab piece from the very fab Allison of Lark. This is an extract from her gorgeous newsletter. I recommend you subscribe to the Lark newsletter which you can do here. It really is the prettiest thing to receive in your inbox. And Lark stock so many goodies. Even Cath Kidston now - hurrah! The piece below I have copied from Allison's newsletter. I thought it so true - and so clever. Fab Allison and fab Lark. You can find Allison's gorgeous Blog here.

If you grew up thinking ...
A Blackberry was something you picked in a country lane and not something you spent your weekend ignoring ...
MySpace was a den in your back garden, built with bed sheets and runner bean canes ...
Noah, Isaac and Joshua were characters from the Bible rather than kids in your class ...
And if you wanted to be an astronaut, train driver, nurse, footballer or anything other than a CELEBRITY when you grew up ...
CONGRATULATIONSYou're a product of the Ladybird generation.
Lark's delightful collection of Vintage Ladybird gifts, homewares and stationery features classic, fun and nostalgic images from the Ladybird Book archive. Perfect for Mum

And last but not least. Another new feature of Fab Friday is a photo of the wonderful Johnny Depp to be rotated every Friday to go out to the weekend on. Yes, I know that's probably a bit tragic and perimenopausal of me but I think we all know how much I love Johnny!
So much fab for this week!
Have a cracker of a weekend filled with lovely moments. Thanks for visiting me. Cheerio. xx

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chit-chat Wednesday and A trip to Manly

To paraphrase the old saying, 'Every cloud has a yellow and pink lining'. Now that I don't have to work weekends in the department store, I've been free to join my family in 'Family Funday’ Sunday which is a scheme they have in Sydney to encourage people to use public transport more on a Sunday.
If you are a family you can travel to an amazingly wide range of places for $2.50 each which includes ferries and trains. We plan to do a lot of trips to the Mountains, the Central Coast and the Northern Beaches.
One of our regular daytrips is to Manly. We love the ferry ride over. Sydney really does show her best face on the harbour. Then Daisy enjoys an old-fashioned merry-go-round. The Scribe and Daisy always head to the aquarium to see the live mermaid show and watch the sharks. The Scribe swam with these sharks when I was heavily pregnant with Daisy and I think Daisy gets her fascination of marine life from our frequent trips there.
Whilst they were fish spotting I lazed on the beach reading the Sunday papers and an Agatha Christie. What bliss to be reading beside the sea and not in the gritty inner-city!
We enjoyed a beach picnic and then a stroll along Fairy Bower where the Scribe and Daisy had a rock pool swim and made new friends and (yes, you guessed it) I sat in a shady spot and read my Agatha Christie.
We spotted several large Eastern Water Dragons along the bush track which was quite amazing as they weren't timid of the throng of people passing by. Of course we had to have the obligatory Manly ice-cream before we departed.
A beautiful sunset over an iconic bridge heralded the end of a lovely Family Funday.
Thanks for popping in. Hope the rest of your week is filled with floating clouds tinged with yellow and pink. xx

Monday, April 19, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and A Bad Smash

Whenever there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity to face it, to demonstrate and develop our will and determination
This quote came from the Dalai Lama on Twitter. I love Twitter. I prefer Twitter to Facebook although I'm pretty pants at the updating my status or tweeps thing. My life seems so boring if I reduce it to tweeps. But I am always fascinated by what my tweeps are twittering about. And I adore the fact I can follow someone like Sally Thomsett (remember Jo from Man about the House?). I loved Sally as Jo, and Sally Thomsett and I twittering over easter eggs and so forth is too surreal and lovely for words.
I couldn't help reflecting on the Dalai Lama's tweep last night when a bad car accident happened literally right outside our door. A young girl speeding down the street smashed into a parked truck. She survived but her passenger had the front of the car and part of the truck flip back through the windscreen onto him.
It brought back bad memories for both myself and the Scribe (the Scribe had been out playing music and came home to chaos in the street and the man lying on the road), as shortly after we met, we were also involved in a serious car accident. I have a pin and plate in my right arm and had to undergo several painful surgeries as a result of that motor vehicle accident. I could no longer nurse and painting at art school became very difficult as I couldn't strap canvases etc.
Life can change so quickly and our health, family and circumstances shouldn't be taken for granted. It's all too easy to get caught up in wanting, wanting, wanting, more, more, more and being so focused on our creative pursuits that we take all the little miraculous moments for granted.
Creativity is also about BEING and REFLECTION. And so for this week, I'm going to attempt to appreciate all the small moments of life more as I go about my day.
Enjoy your week and give thanks for the little things. Life can change so quickly and so don't take those precious small things or your loved ones for granted. Make time to smell the roses. xx

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fabbo Friday - A fab friend

Look at my lovely painting I bought for Daisy's room from King Street. I was so pleased as I had eyed it off all week through the window of the locked shop. When it eventually opened I was on my way to the hairdresser in a rush and had no cash, despite the shopkeeper gloomily saying I could miss out. Lucky for me, when I returned with a new colour and trim and cash in hand, it was still waiting. This chap has a great shop in Newtown and I often buy vintage little golden books, floral paintings and treasures from him. Well, I did before I joined the ranks of the unemployed (ahem). He may not see me as often, alas. But I will not fret as I have this lovely painting to gaze upon on my daughter's wall.
Speaking of lovely and wonderful, I had the best ever surprise when the Scribe arrived home from our post box last Friday. There was a surprise package addressed to me from my beautiful bobbed Blogging pal, Chez Pinry aka Jennifer. How can I describe Jennifer? She is everything I feel I am not. Crafty, organized and able to seemingly juggle ten thousand balls in the air at once with style and flair. Her Blog is like an Australian version of Jane Brocket. This is high praise for me as I am a big Jane Brocket fan of her craft, photography and intelliegent writing. I adore Jennifer and I was overwhelmed by her kindness because - LOOK AT WHAT SHE DID FOR ME !!
She knew I was grieving for Alfie and getting married (not grieving about marriage but you know what I mean). She didn't know I had also lost my job but an angel must have whispered to her. So she sat down and got her needles out one day and knitted this amazing shawl for me! With her own lily-white clever hands. And she also knitted a fetching hair clip to match (which Daisy is modelling in a winsome fashion). She also sent me the most delicious nougat I have ever tasted. And she popped in some of the cutest vintage books. And if that wasn't enough to blow my head and heart chakras to a thousand twinkling pieces - she wrapped them in vintage knitting paper.
What can you say? Kindred spirits connect through Blogging. We share out little buys, our crafts, our woes and our lives. Jennifer, you are a gift to me and I am so humbled that you thought enough of the humble Tale Peddler to get your needles out and start clicking. I will treasure that gift forever and your friendship. And so if you love crafty, clever, stylish Blogs, then visit Chez Pinry.
Wishing you the loveliest of weekends with family and friends. I am hoping to get time to spend in the garden amongst all the activities. xx

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chit-Chat Wednesday and Making Lemonade

It has been rather a bumpy old start to the year for me. More crumbly old things happening than good but that's okay I do believe when life gives you lemons - make lemonade.
On the crumbly side first, Alfie died and I lost my part-time job which had supported my writing admirably for the last fourteen years. I had began working for a large department store in Sydney when I was at art school. I started as Counter Manager for an Australian aromatherapy counter and then progressed onto a well-known French brand of cosmetics and skin care. I still have no idea of why exactly I lost the job - it was one of those situations where nobody communicates anything to you.
I turned up for my regular shift to find another person in my place. How rude! But not unexpected as sadly this type of treatment is typical in retail. I am more shocked by the fact I was employed there for as long as I was. Consultants are blamed for any drop in sales no matter what outside conditions are. In my best Scarlett O' Hara impersonation, I shake my fist to the sky and vow 'As god and fellow Bloggers are my witness,I swear I'll never work in retail again!'
On the sunny side, I have been watching Midsomer Murders which is a series I came to late. My parents had watched and enjoyed it for years. Being the mad Agatha fan I am, I didn't think it would be my cup of tea but I've come to love and appreciate life in Midsomer. Love the surreal blend of the gruesome and cozy. John Nettles is perfect casting! Of course the true stars of Midsomer are those divine cottages and gardens.
I've been working hard on my mystery, Poets Cottage. I'm very close to sending the entire book to my agent and so fingers crossed it will be sold. With no income at all, publication is even more desirable than usual. I've been loving Poets and enjoying spending time in 1930's Tasmania. The image of the white cottage above was taken when I was on holiday in in Stanley, Tasmania, where I formed the idea for Poets. Two houses in Stanley inspired the two houses in Poets Cottage. If you squint you can make out yours truly, holding up Daisy.
Speaking of lovely houses, I've fallen in love with the blog Posy which a lot of you will be familar with already. During the Easter break, I read a lot of Posy's archives and love the way Jane is so frank about her life, her family and of course her floral, pretty decorating style. Just a lovely reminder of how many great Blogs and people are out there.
Because I no longer have to stand in a department store all weekend (hip, hip, hurray!) I've been loving spending time with my family on the weekends, doing family excursions and bird-watching trips which I shall post about later.
It's a glorious time of year in Sydney with the balmy Autumn weather. So I'm as broke as a church mouse but my soul is now my own and I no longer have to answer to dysfunctional managers. It is time for a new direction for me. I've had far too long doing odd jobs to pay my way with writing and I really have to start to think seriously about retraining in some new field.
But for a short time, I want to enjoy my freedom. Hope all is well with you and if life is giving you lemons, you know what to do with them! Just watch for the pips.xx
Midsomers Image source

Monday, April 12, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous,Mighty Monday and Brigitte Bardot Two Lives

I love the South of France and I set a part of my third book, A Fire in the Shell, in Villefranche-sur -Mer which is one of my favourite places on earth. I'm always crazy for sea-fishing villages.
Of course being the mad Bardot fan I am, I had to also go to St Tropez to walk in the footsteps of the legendary BB. The Bardot I love, however, is not the young nubile beauty who revolutionised fashion and films, but rather the older Bardot. The woman who turned her back on movie-making and stardom to live in St Tropez in her beautiful home, La Madrague. I just swoon over her home with its crochet throws, beautiful artworks, rustic furnishings, her private chapel and her pet cemetery with all its crosses to her loved dogs.
I love the feisty, animal-loving Bardot who rejects botox and plastic surgery. Plays her guitar and dances her gypsy songs and is still opinionated and doesn't give a fig for being politically correct. I have all her books (including the ones in French that I can't read a word of but keep promising I'll somehow magically learn enough French that I'll do so). Pluto's Square and Intiales B.: Memoires are the two I picked up in France. I adore the poetic way Bardot writes and I'm sure if she had pursued writing she would have been a wonderful writer.
People think of BB as being kind to animals and rejecting human beings but when you read one of my favourite books, Bardot: Two Lives by Jeffrey Robinson then you can see countless examples of her generosity and kindness to people.
She is Aphrodite incarnate. One of my favourite stories in Two Lives is when she is dining out with friends and some charmless tourist stares at her and says loudly, "She is ugly."
Silence falls at Bardot's table and she replies proudly, "I am not ugly. I am Bardot."
Thank you for all your kind comments and emails on Alfie's death. They were of immense solace. And so for this week on Magnificent Monday, let us take inspiration from the wonderful Brigitte Bardot. May we embrace every stage of life with passion and disregard for the opinions of others and may we not be afraid to change course and tackle a new stage of life.
Thanks for visiting me. I'll be back on Wednesday for a quick chat about what I've been up to. xx
What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age? Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it. Brigitte Bardot