Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Hills

Unfortunately I recently discovered "The Hills". I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but when I am sewing I like some background noise to keep me company. With husband away I was going to take full advantage and as soon as the kids were in bed - sew to my hearts content. So, flicking through sites to find something to download (I was hoping for Private Practice - no such luck) I found The Hills and thought that will do.

The Hills - it is the ultimate gossip show, filled with people you love to hate and I can imagine as a teenager I would have watch this show with tunnel vision and spent the following days discussing it with my girlfriends. Filled with people who love to be awful, love to see others hurting, or just like a good gossip. Basically it is a reality TV show that follows the lives of a group of 20 something guys and girls. Hooks-Ups, break-ups, cat fights, parties and clubs feature heavily. It is like a car crash, you want to look away but you just cant. There are a few lone girls that seem to keep there dignity (Lo and Whitney) but the rest seem to fall in and out of love, get stood up, cheated on, and still run back to the "boy" in question. But at least all the girls in the show seem to have jobs. None of the boys seem to work - all just preferring to live the high life and party. Whilst it is a show centred manly around the girls of the group, a couple of guys get an extra look in. One is Justin Bobby, and very cool character that loves to see how far he can push his long suffering girlfriend (Audrina) by constantly standing her up and dating other girls. The second is Spencer Pratt - Pratt by name pratt by nature. He is a diabolically awful person, embarrassing and demeaning any person he meets. A complete media whore to boot.

Whilst I feel slightly adolescent watching this low calibre of tv, it is quite addictive, as I think most reality shows are. Once you are in, it is hard not to be hooked.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Make it your own

A few months back I was flicking through a home magazine and came across the loveliest painting for a little girls room. However it wasn't on canvas, it had been painted straight onto the wall, and the finished product looked beautiful. So, it went on my list of things "to do" for my little girl.

Whilst I am not to bad at fabric art, paint brushes and me are not the best of friends. I can slap some paint on a canvas and do a not to bad abstract sort of image, but that is about it. It kills me as I have a raging aspiration to paint beautifully, oh well....

So the next step was to think outside the square and come up with a way to portray they image in my head in another medium then paint. Fabric was obviously my first choice, embroidering the images on. I did start, and then stopped when I realised it would take me 6 months in between my various other projects to finish it, and I wanted it on the wall NOW.

So I ended up painting a piece of Ply Board (much cheaper then canvas) and glued fabric pieces onto the painted board. I used string for the tree and birds legs and then gave it to coats of varnish to bring out a shine. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. I have a contemporary piece of children's art that was such a pleasure to do.


What a week it has been. Busy, busy, busy catching up on everything I hadn't done over the Christmas break. Of course with one extra child home (the husband) the house is generally messier then ever and I usually get to a point after a few days that I give up on keeping a clean and tidy house, and just agree with myself to have a couple of big days housekeeping after husband returns to work. It actually works really well for us, as we end up having a stress free, relaxing holiday together.

However today was the day we decided to get stuck into the garden. As usual we choose to do these things at the most inappropriate time - like the middle of summer. So today we planted 45 Agapanthas and 9 other various plants. I can now say I will never make it in a career in gardening. I do love gardening, but not 5 hours of hard labour in the sun.....

The upside to this is that we didn't pay a cent for our plants. The 45 plus Agapanthas we have (we still have more to plant) were the result of an initial 8 that we bought and planted 6 years ago. Over that time they have multiplied over and over again. Not only do they always look green and healthy, they produce beautiful lavender and white flowers that last weeks and weeks. They are by far my favourite plant.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Keeping it Simple

Yesterday I went out and bought my annual diary. Normally I go for something with a bit of humour (Far Side is always a favourite) but this year decided to be a Grown Up and bought the "French Women don't get Fat" diary. It is, unpredictably, a very chic little diary full of lovely french quotes, recipes and words of wisdom. I ended up taking it back.... not because I didn't love it and would love to strive to follow those words of wisdom and have the chic, fashionable "French Life" she describes, but because life it far to chaotic for such simplicity. I ended up with a very sensible diary with lots of pages and lists and stickers to help organise my life. Very boring....

However before I begrudgingly returned my French diary, I did flick through and read some of the words of wisdom and the theme was definitely "Keep It Simple". Whether it be fashion, food, or life, Less is More.

I have always remembered the words of Audrey Hepburn in relation to fashion - which is "take one thing off before you walk out the door". In other words - keep it simple, don't clutter your self with to much jewellery or too many layers.

The French are big believers in eating food that is in season, which thankfully is becoming a trend of late. Fruit and vegetables that are in season are so much more delicious that you don't need to do to much to them, just a small amount of seasoning on your vegetables and the taste is accentuated not drowned.

Keeping "Life" simple is a little more of a challenge. For 2010 it is our families goal to make our life less hectic and more fun. Now my oldest is off to school, I am determined to enjoy our last few weeks of being together all the time. I'm not sure how I am going to achieve this, as there is a fair amount of fighting between siblings that goes on, but with calming music and lots of physical activity hopefully it will all be OK. The hard thing is finding this to occupy the kids. The best thing I have found so far for my oldest is the Maths and English work books. I know.... how lucky am I having a child who likes to do that sort of thing, but she does, so I am encouraging. A few gold stars always add to the excitement......