Saturday, 31 March 2012

A tale of six necklaces...and a pair of earrings.

Juliet started with a treasured sterling silver ball made by a Brisbane silver artist many years ago. It was bought by a young man from the artist’s tiny studio and gifted to his beloved, now passed into my care. Treasured for many years; I have left it unpolished with the oxidised patina of time as part of its beauty.
It is suspended from a strand of faceted, quartz crystal beads with an intricately patterned silver disk and a pearl.
Fastened with a silvery-grey bow on the side.

Music notes printed on fabric, framed in brass filigree. Hand cut faceted wooden beads, amber Czech crystal beads tied with a chocolate spotted black bow. Lovely, tranquil, gorgeous.

A long strand of smooth black glass beads are segmented by four wooden faceted beads. The focal piece is a composition of layers: a large hand carved wooden bead overlaid with a twist of chocolate dotted black ribbon, a cream cotton medallion with an amber Czech crystal bead. This necklace works as a contrast of textures: polished glass with hand cut wood and cotton string with crystal.
It is beautiful worn long: play with it! Drape it asymmetrically.
Or elegant: circling your neck twice with the brass clasp as a feature.

Margaret Rose
I love to deconstruct old jewellery, take treasured elements and create something new.
A pearl necklace has found new elegance teamed with a remnant of {cream, chocolate, latté, black & silver-grey} striped fabric, framed in brass filigree.
It is tied with a creamy ribbon with dark chocolate spots threaded through brass loops that are embellished with a tiny rose.

Satiny hand-carved wooden beads are threaded on a lustrous golden brown ribbon with white stitched detail. The ribbon is knotted between each bead.
My favourite element of Sofiá is the finished ends. Each end of the ribbon is rolled and hand stitched with a brass charm: Queen Nefertiti on one end and a disk with concentric circles on the other.

Five large hand-carved wooden beads are strung with tiny black beautifully-irregular glass beads. Tied with a chocolate, black and latté striped ribbon threaded through brass loops that are embellished with a tiny rose.

Marguerite Earrings
Sterling silver French ear wires with a simple Marguerite daisy – hold a triple drop of a tiny, intricate silver bead, a faceted quartz crystal bead and a pearl......... Loveliness!
Would compliment the Margaret Rose necklace or the Juliet necklace.
Or be glamorous every day with your favourite jeans, a crisp white t-shirt, perfectly applied red lipstick {à la Scarlett Johansson} and your sparkling Marguerite Earrings.

More details and prices on my facebook page.
Like my PAGE for a chance to win a beautiful bag of goodies Y
But those Marguerite Earrings...... I really don’t mind if you don’t buy them. I could keep them for myself. {

Y Cate

go beyond the hour

Earth Hour
Tonight 8:30pm Saturday 31 March 2012
I've never done it. It seems like a good idea.

Three reasons to do it:
  1. it’s about uniting people to protect the planet 
  2. I’ll save an hour’s worth of electricity 
  3. Todd Sampson its co-creator [also happens to be my fave Australian male celebrity]

We for the first time in history are reaching the point where our wish to connect; matches our ability to connect.

Well, put that way, it sounds pretty cool. Gives me goosebumps even.
I’m going to spend a little time thinking about how I can ‘go beyond the hour’. 
And there are three little blossoms&possums here, mad keen on joining in.

Y Cate 

Friday, 30 March 2012

librarians are evil cultists

Not all librarians are evil cultists. Some librarians are instead vengeful undead who want to suck your soul.
Brandon Sanderson
, Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones

I am glad I have a job to go to.

I am grateful for my brother who drove an hour and a half to come and mind my sick children so that I could go to work.

I am sincerely sorry to the lovely lady that I sent to the Erotica section. I know you asked for Christian Romance. No one told me that the location had been moved around. Truly I am not an evil cultist. The white flag's for you...

Y Cate

<a href=''>123RF Stock Photo</a>

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dangerous and Cheerful

A friend of mine (from waaay out west) has been knitting since she was five. We celebrated her 80th birthday a couple of years ago. That's over 75 years of knitting experience! 

This lovely, lovely lady was very generous with her knitting expertise and shared lots of tips and kindness with me. Recently she became ill and ended up in hospital. A long way from family, friends and home, in pain and possibly feeling a little dismal. 

I knitted these jar cozies to conjure up a little cheer and gathered a posy of roses, lavender and  jonquils to accompany them. When I got to the hospital and the nurses made me dump them unceremoniously in a hazard bin: I was a little tragefied! Turns out that cut flowers can harbour bacteria that is harmful to people with a weakened immune system. Good to know.

The jars and their cozies made it in and my friend loved them. Happily she is now back home with my little jars up on her windowsill. I do Y happy endings.

Hope your day is sunshine-filled-cheerful and danger free.

Y Cate

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sleep, my love

Warning: slightly shocking, may induce laughing-out-loud and definitely NOT suitable for children.

How do your kids go to sleep? Is it lights on? Off? 
Are you the calm earth mother, with a healthy sleep routine? All the glossy parenting articles and expert parenting websites recommend a healthy sleep routine. But what is this? 

I sometimes walk into my Miss Treechange’s room for the first time at bedtime - it's a health hazard! So I make her clean it up? I'm not sure if this is what the parenting experts are looking for...

Is it calmly and quietly reading a book to the child snuggled up next to me with the lights on low? Silently adding at the end of every page: “Now go the *#@$ to sleep, my love”.  Because you know I have done that.

That’s when they stay asleep...

Sometimes kids wake up in the middle of the night, they sleep walk, they cry, they have nightmares, come into our beds at night, get sick. It’s no wonder a friend recently said:
I haven’t had a good night sleep in 10 years!!!
I remember as a child my sister woke up seriously unwell, and we were all indignant that my dad’s first response was to wash the vomit off his glasses. Now after a few zombie-like responses myself, I can understand the thought process (or lack of any thought process at 2 am when there are sick kids involved).

Here are a few tips for our healthy sleeptime. I would love to hear others...

  1. Turn the lights down low. Our body releases melatonin only when it is dark, and this hormone helps us sleep as well as assists the body to grow. Explain this to the children - that they will never feel tired sitting in front of the tv or computer: they actually have to lie down and give sleep a try!  Brilliant story from Behind the News from the ABC. Even Master Treechange can’t argue with science!
  2. Try a relaxation story. (I will include one in a later post) or listen to a relaxation podcast. 
  3. Breathe. Practise those Milk Shake Bubbles from this post.

All of this takes time and practice, and patience (sigh) on our poor-sleep-deprived-parent’s part. But in the end - it will be worth it!

Holly Treechange

photo credits: <a href=''>123RF Stock Photo</a>

Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Photos</a>

A little Monet coloured treat

My treats tend to come as the non-edible variety these days. 
{I'm finding this assists with my hot-by-forty grand plan!}

I discovered this little bundle of hand dyed silk thread in my favourite colour - the palette of Monet and hydrangeas - and brought it home with me.

A tiny crocheting hook and 15 smooth, round, lovely disks of turquoise and my bundle of Monet silk is metamorphosing into a wearable little work of art. I'm nearly finished. I've added a sterling silver ring at each end and I plan to hang it from a silver chain.

My little slice of beauty therapy made from my calorie free treat.

Y Cate

Saturday, 24 March 2012

PERSPECTIVE per·spec·tive (p r-sp k t v). n.

Oh have been so caught up the the negative drama of my life this week and starting work somewhere new and the to-and-froing  and Mummying and squeezing in of a little creating .... and somewhere in there I think I lost a little perspective. 

So when we lost power yesterday afternoon just as I'd started to make dinner I thought the world had ended. Hadn't though, and when my husband came home he found his happy little family out the back playing tennis and jumping on the trampoline: Living our lives with NO oven, facebook, x-box or TV. Amazing!

After takeaway dinner we all came home to a power-less pitch black neighbourhood and a recorded message from our energy provider telling us power would not be restored until much later that night. World still hadn't ended. The five of us lay on our trampoline in the back yard, snuggled under quilts, watching the stars. Ah peaceful tranquillity........

After a week of rain we welcomed skies that looked like this, this morning...

My house is still messy, my life still a little chaotic. I need to go and vote as it's election day but I still have a little snippet of perspective left over from yesterday and life feels pretty do-able! 

Going to get things a little more ship-shape on the home front here and then might have a go at this scrumptious looking cake shared by the constant-provider-of-fresh-perspective Lucy from Attic 24.

Y Cate 

NIght sky photo:  <a href=''>123RF Stock Photo</a>
Blue sky photo:  Copyright (c) <a href=''>123RF Stock Photos</a>

Thursday, 22 March 2012

the 10th word is TRANQUILITY

Over 35,000 people voted in a survey asking for the most beautiful words in the English language. The top 10 results were:

1.     Mother
2.     Passion
3.     Smile
4.     Love
5.     Eternity
6.     Fantastic
7.     Destiny
8.     Freedom
9.     Liberty
10.   Tranquillity

I am in a little need of that now.....And always engaging in a little beauty therapy helps.
Beautiful jewellery making therapy.

Music notes printed on fabric, framed in brass filigree. Hand cut faceted wooden beads, amber Czech crystal beads tied with a chocolate spotted black bow. Lovely, tranquil, gorgeous.
For sale on my facebook page:

Y Cate 

p.s. I do love to use a little bit of graphic fairy's magic, today it was my frame around the word: tranquillity. 
Karen is so generous with her creativity. Visit her here:

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Milkshake Bubbles

<a href=''>123RF Stock Photo</a>
Just breathe.

Many children (and adults) don’t know how to breathe properly. It’s like a milkshake: Breathe in through your nose, and slowly out through your mouth like blowing bubbles in a milkshake! 

<a href=''>123RF Stock Photo</a>
Bubble blowing can be great to practice this style of breathing. 

Keeping to my bubble theme: Why not try a bubble bomb science experiment?

And you know it's all about the food with me, right? So, in my best Nigella voice... 
Here’s a fabulously bubbly recipe!

I'll be back with another post to talk about ways to apply your milkshake breathing. 
Have fun and remember, don't forget to breathe!
Holly Treechange

Metaphorically and Physically Exquisite

<a href=''>123RF Stock Photo</a>

A gifted artistic friend of mine, once had a piece of her work described as : 'metaphorically and physically exquisite'.
That is also how I describe her.......

Amidst a day of the sky falling in and my world crashing to a halt, I have been gifted with the kindness, wisdom and loyalty of friends.
Before I even knew the 'bad stuff' was about to begin,  I was fortified with a quick visit to a friend down the road. A squeeze of her cherubic baby daughter,  a loan of a lurvely pattern book, a quick squizz at a newly found fab blog, a lesson on pumping up car tyres: and I was on my way. 

Then the 'bad stuff' happened and an answered text from an alerted friend combined with a 6 minute power debrief on the front verandah of another friend (we both had places to be!) kept me going. I held it together through afternoon homework, cooking the dinner, putting together a lego set with Little Bear, chivvying little ones through evening routine, reading stories and finally tucking them into bed. Phew! 

Now I could deal with the feelings that made me want to rage like a lunatic or collapse in a weeping heap. {Yes I live my melodramas in a way that would make any one of the Brontë sisters proud!}

Remember that first friend I told you about? The metaphorically, physically exquisite one? She then entered centre stage and threw me a solid 90-minute-of-texting life line. She lives on a another planet to me. One on which pragmatism reigns equally with compassion and madcap ideas, like: all this bad stuff is really a huge compliment to me because the offending party is threatened by my natural, in-built flowing power. Truly! What's not to adore about a friend who'll think that about you?!! 

I know my story won't end here. But I have loyal friends that will see me through it. My husband arrives home tomorrow night too - that's going to help!

The bygone language of flowers depicted pink geraniums as symbols of true friendship. I find them simple and exquisite. That's how I find my friends too, ahem, sans the simple part of course! My life's feeling pretty metaphorically exquisite right at this moment too...... thank you. xx

Y Cate

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday: a little research

While shelving books with a young colleague of  mine, I had to stifle a loud laugh (frowned upon, very frowned upon in my work environment) when he mentioned that he never takes his work home with him! You see we work in a library and he doesn't borrow books. My mirth was also mixed with disbelief and a little head shaking on my part.
I love to read and I am on the opposite end of the borrowing spectrum to him. I borrow until I have teetering piles of fascinating, alluring books on all flat surfaces of my home.
Sometimes I even get to read some of them.

I did today. At work we call any book-reading: research. Sounds so productive.

 Y Cate

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Ironic Wink

Yes, librarians use punctuation marks to make little emoticons, smiley and frowny faces in their correspondence, but if there were one for an ironic wink, or a sarcastic lip curl, they'd wear it out.” Marilyn Johnson, This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All

More shifts than usual this week. Lots of chances to practise my ironic wink, haven't mastered the sarcastic lip curl. Thank goodnes I don't have to grown an ironic moustache!

What's an Ironic Moustache you ask? Sounds scary, and it is my friends, it is! 
The urban dictionary .com tells me that an ironic moustache is:

Generally adorned by a HIPSTER: an ugly moustache grown initially as a joke and to impress one's friends with the level of commitment necessary to maintain it. These moustaches often remain with the wearer far longer than they are funny and become a part of the person's ‘look’.
Jameson: Dude, Steve looks pretty gross these days. I don't think he's washed his denim jacket in a long time and his hair is awful!  Marc: No doubt - and his ironic moustache really isn't helping.