January 31, 2012

Pretty Please....Blog Talk

I am sending out a wish...to you.
In my efforts to be a better blogging friend
and to stay on top of all your wonderful writings..
I have been adding my name to your 'Follow by Email' inserts on your blogs.

The only problem is....so many of you do not have one. :(
There may be a reason..and I understand if there is.

If this is something you have missed along the way,
pretty please...could you add it to your blog?

It would not only make it easier for me...
but all those others who might like to do the same.

It is easy to do...

at the top of the list...


For those who use Blogger and are not familiar...
Go to top right corner of your screen, click on Design.
On the left side of the page, you will see a column of words starting with Overview,
scroll down and click on Layout.
Depending on how your page is formatted, look for Add a Gadget in blue..
it usually appears at the top of a column.
A box will appear, you should see Follow by Email (see below) at the top, click on it.
Your details should appear.
Check that the details are correct.
Click on Save.
Adjust your page layout to where you would like it to sit on your page,
I think somewhere easy to find is best.

Hope that helps...you can write to me jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com
if you would like more help. Happy to do so!

This is a great way for people who do not have a blog, of which there are many,
to follow you. This will allow them to receive regular updates on your latest posts.
I added family and friends who wanted to read along but could not figure out how
Blogger works...makes life easier for them too.

Thank you!

Make it easy for readers to follow your blog by email. 
By Blogger 

January 27, 2012

Postcards from a Kasbah...in Morocco

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)

January 23, 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

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!

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

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! 

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

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)
Australian House and Garden

Yellow Room with Lupins (1994)

Australian House and Garden magazine

Still Life with Mandarins (1975)

Australian House and Garden magazine

Yellow Tablecloth with Cornflowers 

Cyclamens and Apples (2005)
Australian House and Garden magazine

Sitting Room Evening
Still Life and Rushcutters Bay

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

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

January 10, 2012

The 'M' Word: Part 2

I recently had a look at my blog stats and noticed that the second most popular post since the start of Collage of Life is 'The 'M' Word'. It is a post I created whilst driving on the long stretches of country road in the English Lake District in 2010.  I played a game with my family. They were to think of all the 'M' words associated with the word Mother. The game was quite revealing. The original post is below.

January 8, 2012

A Cozy Nook and a Happy Weekend!

This is suppose to be a post of another colour and topic 
but this is all I can manage for the moment.
My days seem to be filled with form after form for our 
impending move to Vietnam mid-year.
More on that later....

For now, I would like to wish all my readers 
and especially those of you who are new to the fold
a very comfortable and cozy weekend, 
doing something you love.

For me...it would be head first into this nook... 
into pillow camouflage mode..
not a sound but the rustle of a page or two. 
My mission... not to let anyone find me, 
at least for an hour or two.

Hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend!!
Jeanne xx

image via 
World of Interiors Magazine, Jan 2012
A a cozy nook in a gorgeous home, 
San Miguel, in Argentina
Photography: Ricardo Labougle

January 3, 2012

Young love and a baby blue Smith Corona

We enter a house by the sea in the early 1970's...and open a door to a bedroom where a young woman sits before her beloved baby blue Smith Corona typewriter, tapping her heart out. She hits the return button on the typewriter as swiftly as she types, feelings had to be expressed, emotions explored..life was unfolding before her, she had so much to say. Her journal was a collage of thoughts and sentiments, her own and others. On this occasion she was writing about broken hearts and typing a poem she discovered, written by another 17 year old girl, who felt as she did...someone who also understood the trials and tribulations of love..the inevitabilities.