Sunday, January 29, 2012

Red Shoe, Green Shoe


A door in Morocco
One red shoe... Do Not Disturb
One green shoe... Enter
Very clever.
:)

image~me


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Postcards from a Kasbah...




Morocco...Day 4



Nestled into the high Atlas Mountains, an hours drive from Marrakech, 
she writes by the window and sends thanks to all who have joined in on her postcard promise. 
She is overwhelmed and extremely happy to be thinking of each and every one 
as she writes from... 'Kasbah Tamadot'..




More on Marrakech and the  high Atlas Mountains of Morocco to come...
Mr. H keeps reminding me that I should be relaxing as I am on vacation.
I can think of no better way to relax than to write to friends...

Sending best wishes to one and all.....
Jeanne xx

PS.. (Tamadot translates to 'soft breeze' in the local Berber language)
images~me

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Marrakech on my mind...


Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains that are on my mind... 
and I have Winston Churchill to thank for that.

Mr H and I are off on an adventure...
a few days break from the chaos of home. 

Sunset over the Atlas Mountains by Winston Churchill, 1935 via
via


Last year, we visited Chartwell, the lovely country home of Winston Churchill 
and now a National Trust property. Not a grand home by English country home 
standards, but a charming home, a thoughtful home. 




 I adored his art studio where he would let his thoughts roam and put brush onto canvas. 
Many of his paintings are still there and in the midst of them all I discovered Marrakech 
and the Atlas Mountains.  It became a dream destination. 


via

It was the publication of a book, by his granddaughter, The Hon. Celia Sandys,  that got the ball rolling for me. On a flight to Jerusalem in 2010, I read an article about her then recent book, 
Chasing Churchill, The Travels of Winston Churchill. Celia has written five books about her grandfather, with her most recent book (below) made into a three-part television documentary, here. The idea to travel to Marrakech has stuck ever since. 

images via

Mr. H, a keen adventurer and lover of surprises
did just that with this trip. We are in and out, in our usual one week's 
travel fashion. Off on Monday, returning Friday...I'll take it, anyway I can get it.

So...dear friends, have you been to Marrakech or the Atlas Mountains? 
Any suggestions for us?

Of course, for those of you who have followed me for a while, 
you know what is coming next...POSTCARDS.



My postcard mailing list is growing and I am delighted. 
I have little notes next to names with interests and the locations of the last postcards sent.

Some of you share the same passion for postcards and have told me your interests...
some are looking for English countryside scenes...some like to use them on their inspiration board... others love colours and happy reminders. I love your notes.

Every little detail helps, I tailor them the best I can. If you would like to join 
in the postcard fun, you can write to me with your address jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com
If you would like one from Morocco, let me know, if you would prefer one from London, 
let me know that as well. I buy cards in twos and threes and have a wide variety. 
If you would like a surprise, let me know that too.

Someday, I will make something of this passion of mine
Perhaps I will think on that one when we settle in Vietnam at the end of the year.

I have lots more for you, The Brown Paper Book Club is taking shape too...
more on that when I return!


TO RECAP:

Love postcards?
Email me your address: jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com
All I ask, is that you let me know when it arrives, 
as always, I love hearing from you!

PS...
Already on the postcard list and would like another?
Let me know that too ;)

As always....
Thank you for following me @ Collage of Life
I adore you!

 images as noted, all others via me

Saturday, January 21, 2012

By Jove, I think she's got it....


Actually, it is more like... By Jove, I think he's got it. If you caught my post earlier in the week (here) you will know that I was befuddled and confounded by two crates that arrived from India. With garden shears and pliers in one hand, a slight hammer in the other, I attempted the impossible and gave up within minutes. It was clearly mission impossible.

The next day, as luck would have it, our handyman, George, popped into fix a few things around the house. This is one of the perks of living in what I affectionately call as 'the rental'. You get a handyman who you do not have to pay for.

With a smile, a twinkle in my eye and a 'poor maiden' down and out look, I enlisted the help of George. It started with..."Could you tell me what I need to open these crates?" Curiosity got the better of George. Seeing 'India' written on top he wondered what was in them. He knows us well, often commenting on the wild and exotic objects around our house.  

Lovely George, in his charming Eastern European accent...his next question..."Would you like me to open them for you?". She smiles. My friends would say I was being a 'cheeky devil'...poor unsuspecting George. In fact, that was the case.

It took a crow bar, two hammers and more muscle (he is a strapping young man) than I could have mustered to pry the planks loose from the crate. We were both intrigued and impressed by the packing. We thought it would never end.




It looked like I was giving birth...
to two small elephants.

The first to arrive...the beautiful Alice. A soft touch,
she is magnificent in her perfectly cut semi-precious stones
and weighs..a lot.


Then came the second....


Meet Albert (below,right). Kudos to Miss Claire for suggesting his name.
It is perfect. He is slightly larger, a bit bolder in colour
and as you can see from the photo below...
quite anxious to get in the house



And here they sit...Alice is front and center, 
facing the front door, next to our entry table.
 My friend Lisa, a wise woman, 
says it will bring us good look and prosperity to do so.
I like the sound of that!



Albert has taken up his rightly spot (below), next to my favourite chair. 
I even managed to get my tea cup...within reach. Clever Albert.



Oh Happy Days!
Best wishes to one and all for a lovely weekend!
From Jeanne, Alice and Albert. :)

PS..Many thanks for
your birthday wishes to Christine.
She is over the moon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sweet 21....


 I am sending a shout out to my daughter, Miss Christine,
for a deliciously Happy Happy Birthday!
She turns 21 today and she is one excited girl.
I on the other hand, am wondering where the time has gone...


Christine has her own theory on turning 21 and has turned her fingers to keyboard...

"The number '21' has been my lucky number since I can remember. I distinctly recall informing my kindergarten 'crew' that I would be living alone, married and all grown up by the time I turned twenty-one. I also recall telling them that I would live in a castle and be a princess, so i might have been a bit of a dreamer but the foundation was there! "



"Okay, so I might be classified as an adult in all major areas of the globe come midnight, but what is it to be an adult anyway? Must i relinquish my love for puddle jumping in my bright, pink Hunter wellington boots? The immature giggle at all that is inappropriate? If so, I will stay the way I am please. "

"Bring on the responsibility. I don't expect being an adult to be a breeze. Just like I don't expect life, no matter how old you are, to be a breeze. Life is windy. Windy, rainy, sunny, snowy...a bloody weather extravaganza if you ask me! I make no promises that I shall wake up tomorrow and be filled with a sudden sense of maturity. "




"Twenty-one or not, my life is going to be far from boring. I shall make mistakes, complain, laugh and chuck a tantrum once in a while. Growing up is over-rated. Remember when you were young and couldn't wait to hit double-digits? Yikes! I can remember getting rather upset with my dad as he annually informed me that he would like to place bricks on my head to stop me from growing. Joke was on me though! Welcome to the life of the shortest of four, despite being the second oldest."



If there is one thing my daughter is not short on it is words...she loves to talk, 
she loves to write and most of all she loves to laugh...she is one of four lights in my life 
and I am so very very lucky to have her lighting my way. 



Lilly and Rose is a project Christine is working on,
it is her own creation and I love all that follows...especially her thoughts on pearls...

"My love for pearls started from a young age. We all have memories of hiding ourselves in our mother's closets. I was one who tended to stick my nose in the jewelry box. Placed next to classic scents such as Channel No 5. and Shalimar, my mom had a gorgeous collection of jewelry. Filled with timeless pieces (which she still dazzles in today), pearls have always been an ever-present item in her individual sense of style. To say 'like mother, like daughter' would be an understatement. The woman dresses in crazy caftans and purple palazzo pants - and i adore it. Matched with my current love for leopard print, the two of us are an unstoppable duo!"

To my
Pretty in Pink Puddle Jumper
in Leopard Print...
I send beautiful wishes for a wonderful 21st year.
May it be filled with all the promise and dreams
you have always hoped for.
From your
Purple Paisley Palazzo Loving Mother
xxx
:)


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Minding my M's and Finding Alice...


In our family, when someone is in trouble, we say BT. 
That means, Big Trouble. 
It is serious stuff when those two letters are used and I am ready 
to scream them from the rooftop.

 It is what I am feeling at the moment...but I am not sure who or what
 to direct my frustration towards. I could direct it toward myself for saying yes, 
I could direct it towards Mr. H for agreeing with me or I could direct it 
towards the company that shipped these crates to us 
as they have rendered them impossible to open! 

Ok..a hammer, pliers and garden clippers may not be the wisest of tools to
open these monsters but it is all I have and I am desperate to get inside of them.

I guess I should mention that together they way 220 kgs (484lbs).






 They have travelled a long way...from India...bringing back memories
of an October afternoon at the Taj Mahal
where Mr. H and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.


We were under the spell of.... 


...when we happened upon a shop with a collection of charming 
marble elephants inspired by the designs of the Taj Mahal. 
We fell in love..or perhaps I did.



We had a choice of sizes and from there a scene from 
Little Red Riding Hood ensued. One was too small (left), 
one was too big, but the middle sized one (right) was perfect.
We bought two and had them made to our specifications.
His and Hers.



Where will they go?  Mr. H will choose his spot. 
My elephant is going next to my favourite reading chair, 
with a stack of books upon her, where I imagine, if I get it just right, 
a cup of tea will sit within my reach. I have decided to call her Alice.
We are like to name objects in our family.  :)

My only problem...is that I can't find her..as I 
 CAN NOT OPEN THE CRATE!

Where is Mr. H when you need him?? 
He seems to always be travelling when these
sort of situations occur. My children know better
than to get mixed up with Mom and her master plans. 

So here I sit, having left my pitiful hammer
sitting on top of a crate..with barely one nail pried open.


I have lost count of how many nails have been placed on the lid to secure it.
I am now thinking crowbar, ax...and wondering if any of you handy, 
thrifty sorts have any ideas?? 

Of course, then I have to get it out of the box.
As Charlie Brown would say...

via

I am having an M moment and my Muse has left the house!

So..any hoo.. how is your day going?



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Embracing Your Muse...



I woke this morning to words of inspiration from Daily OM and have been thinking on them all day. When that happens, I know it is time to share. Today I am pondering creative inspiration and the muse within us. I must have known this was coming when I took the photo above on a recent visit to Dresden, Germany. I couldn't resist this statue, it spoke to me about life and the importance of embracing it all...today she is my muse.


Perhaps the following will inspire you as well, I hope so!


Embracing Your Muse...  
Inspiration is an intangible yet inseparable part of the creative process. Nearly all creative possibilities are related to the muses that inspire us. The ancient Greeks believed that all creation, whether artistic or scientific in nature, was motivated by goddesses who served as the literal embodiment of inspiration. These were the Muses the givers of the creative spark. We still rely on muses to drive the creative process, though ours may take a diverse range of forms. People we meet, intriguing ideas, movies, books, nature, and cultural ideals all have the potential to awaken our imaginative minds. When we are touched by our muses, we understand viscerally that we are capable of producing our own unique kind of greatness.

Many people move through life unaware of the presence of their muse. This lack of awareness can be compounded by the fact that we may have one muse that remains with us throughout our lives, multiple muses that inspire us concurrently, several muses that come and go as necessary, or a single muse that touches us briefly at specific moments. You will know that you have found your muse when you encounter a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity. The presence of this force will erase your self-doubt and motivate you to give your thoughts and feelings form. Should your muse continue to elude you, however, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of falling under its inspired influence. If you surround yourself with people who support you, keep a pen and paper handy, immerse yourself in culture, and brainstorm frequently, you will soon reconnect with your muse.

Once you have identified your muse, embrace it... 
by giving yourself over to the creative inspiration it provides. No matter what you are moved to create, you will find that neither fear nor criticism can penetrate the wonderful bliss that goes hand in hand with the act of taking an idea and turning it into something the whole world can enjoy.



You can learn about Daily OM here. 
I receive messages like the one above, daily. 
It can make all the diffence in a day. :)

Best wishes for an inspiring week!

Jeanne xx

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Woman and her Craft: Margaret Olley


Margaret Olley 1923-2011

Australian readers happening upon this post will recognise the work of national treasure,  Margaret Olley. She is a legend in the Australian art scene and much missed after passing at the age of 88 in July 2011. She is best known for her vibrant oil paintings of interiors and still life. Hers was an eye of beauty. A free spirit, she wore many hats...an artist, philanthropist, property developer, mentor to young artists, intrepid traveller, keen theatre and opera enthusiast..she had a simple philosophy on life and her paintings were a means to celebrating that life. She was an intrepid traveller, filling her studio with artifacts from her travels to New Guinea, Indonesia and many other countries, calling herself "the original bag lady." 

A friend said she went out of this world just as she pleased. "She went the way she wanted, with paint still on her fingers, cigarettes stubbed out and off to bed after a full day of painting." A life well lived and so many who have benefited from it. A toast to Margaret Olley!

To coincide with the work of Margaret Olley, I have combined a magazine article from Australian House and Garden. Her work inspired the 'domestic vignettes' featured below.

"My paintings are about celebrating life" 
Margaret Olley

Red Hibiscus (1978)
via
Australian House and Garden

Yellow Room with Lupins (1994)
via

Australian House and Garden magazine

Still Life with Mandarins (1975)
via


Australian House and Garden magazine

Yellow Tablecloth with Cornflowers 
via


Cyclamens and Apples (2005)
via
Australian House and Garden magazine

Sitting Room Evening
via
Still Life and Rushcutters Bay
via

Margaret Olley, a woman and her craft.
Photographed by Michael Amendolia 2010
via


Happy Friday and Best Wishes for 
colourfully inspired weekend!
Jeanne xx

More from the Collage of Life series, 
'A Woman and her Craft':

Artist, Margaret Olley
Artist, Kate Mears
Textile Designer, Charlene Mullen
Graphic Artist, Claire Brewster
Artist, Aida Tomescu
Weaving Women and their Craft
A Room for Arts and Craft
A Woman and her Garden


You Tube: NewsOnABC
Decorating images viaAustralian House and Garden magazine.
Styling Matt Page/ Photography Maree Homer


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