Friday, October 7, 2016

How To Live Like A Parisian - Lesson 1.

I gave myself a challenge last month. I would spend October, my birth month, living as a French woman does. Eating French, styling myself French, even following the same skincare regime of an average Parisian. I wanted to see if it made a difference to my life in any way. Why, you may ask?
Well, for a very long time (perhaps since reading [I]Madeline[/I], aged five) I have been fascinated by and very much in love with all that the French people 'are'. Their love of leisure, literature, food and all things delightful or delicious. The way they wander through parks. The scarves. The way their words look on a page, or on a sign. The way they speak.
Markets. Paris apartments. Cobbles, stairs, Art Nouveau architecture. The writers and artists, the philosophers and fashionistas. The rebels.
All of this set a flame alight in me, which still burns to this day.
Yet I have never traveled overseas. My terror of flight grounds me. At least, so far. However I have found a way to reveal the hidden French woman living within me, and I'd like to share my French journey with you. A series of 'How To' articles through which you too can infuse your life with some joi de vivre, as I have.
[B]Lesson 1.[/B]
[B]A French Start[/B]
 Breakfast - the daily ritual begins with a porcelain tea cup, a slice of lemon and very hot water. This kick starts your metabolism and flushes your system. You then start your day with a face cleanse, (I will elaborate on this further soon) before preparing your first meal.
It can be tartine*, pastry, or cereal with coffee or tea. (*Thick crusty toast and fruit jam). You MUST eat this sitting at a table, using your prettiest china, and preferably in a sunny spot. My chosen breakfast spot is puctured. No devices of any kind. Its the only way.
You are now set for Lesson Two. The lesson that, seriously, has changed my LIFE! See you there!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Beginner Brocanteur

Crafting this new life has started in much the same way I once treasure hunted for fun; trawling through dusty and crammed little places, searching for that one piece of discarded history that 'spoke' to me. Sometimes that voice was LOUD, and occassionally it was nothing more than a whisper, tickling at the edges of my mind....a tingle that told me there was treasure in here, hidden, forgotten in a corner.

This new life of mine, here in the country, is a real thing, a spark, already formed, but awaiting its body...and its tiny voice is telling me to keep going....not give up on my little brocante, my Garage store.

I struggle to write this blog because I am unsure still of my direction, but the tiny voice of my dream tells me to keep pushing. Thank goodness for dreams. Without them, nothing would ever be achieved.

I have been reading a lot of books by other people who also crafted their own lives...some from absolute rock bottom, others because their Dream Voice got too loud to ignore. And in those stories I see my own developing. Its exciting, but I am so impatient!  I know my skills are on point. I know my style is admired. I know its what I want my life to feel like, and look like. I know I have the support of a wonderful life partner. All that stops me is self doubt. So, I read another person's journey, continue to find things which will become part of my story and the quest for a life as a curator of the forgotten bumps along. I wonder when I will write my own "This Is How I Did It" story? Bring it on!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Curated Home

I've always believed that poverty is as much an attitude as it is anything else.  Living well has very little to do with having pots of money, or a charcoal grey Audi in your driveway.... (yes....I REALLY want one....shoosh)...but is, instead, the ability to adapt to circumstances as they arise.
I left my high stress job over two years ago. I had been dealing with substantial personal pain, financial woes and health issues for a long time, when, catastrophically, my adored husband left me, and a new, slightly ( Im being KIND here!) sociopthic regional manager came on the scene in my beloved job. It all culminated in my giving up on everything other than healing my broken heart and spirit. It was an awful time. There was very little to look forward to and if it weren't for a couple of beautiful friends, and my darling pets,  I think I may have given up entirely.
Thankfully, those awful years are behind me now. I found love again and am working toward being the best version of myself I can be, for Steve, and for myself. We have our home, and we share the same dream of a country life.
I have no income as yet, and the financial burden is being borne entirely by Steve, therefore I am limited in the manner by which I can decorate our home.
So I have become a creative scavenger. We are lucky to have amazing op shops with fantastic treasures....sometimes free! .... in our lovely town, and I have found studio pottery, crystal glassware, sterling silver cutlery, beautiful porcelain, serving dishes, cloches, mason jars and artworks all under $10, and that would be the MOST I have ever spent!
All of these lovely things have found themselves a new life, mason jars as glasses, or vases for all the wildflowers I bring home from walking the dog. The crystal glasses I get for free as odds are becoming candles, or again, hold flowers, or even collections of pencils.
My mixed plain white plates, from all eras, are our dinner plates - and are mixed with coloured ones for special dinners. I pay 10c per plate. Isn't that wonderful? And lately I've been gathering old linen tea towels to create either a large, fun tablecloth from them, or, who knows? Even a bed throw!
Having a creative eye when you roam through the aisles helps you to see items in different roles to the ones they had before....large woven baskets become cat pods when arranged on their sides,  old postcards and greeting cards put on backings of gorgeous old book pages, or wrapping paper, become works of art in lovely found frames. Old heavy bedspreads become floor rugs, wallhangings, drapes. Old pure linen or cotton sheets.....bliss! Vintage embroidered doilies, sewn together, become a unique quilt cover....and an old childs cot, with the gate down, becomes a perfect daybed....painted a colour to suit, and filled with antique linens...gorgeous.
To be honest, if it weren't for the enforced stinginess, I doubt our home would be as eclectic, interesting or personal as it is now.  It's too easy to buy a whole houseful of 'stuff' at homemaker centres, buying the idea of 'french provincial', 'vintage industrial' or whatever your favoured style is, but if you treat your home as a collector does, gradually adding, then subtracting the things which don't work, your home gains a unique identity that cannot be bought en masse.
Curating your home, finding things you love, and using them in your own way; whether that be bundles of sticks in jars, found feathers or precious pieces of silver, makes a genuine statement about your family and what is important to you.  And its FUN.

Friday, July 22, 2016

It begins.....

A year ago, my partner, Steve, and I bought a darling 1920s stone bungalow, on a generous lot, in the beautiful Barossa Valley north east of Adelaide. This area is reknowned for its delicious wine and amazing food culture. The little townships of the Valley are full of historic architecture, friendly cheery residents, wonderful food and craft markets, and beautiful scenery. It is a joy to live here.
The past year has been full of weekend garden projects, decorating experiments, design 'meetings' and lots of planning. We had a dream of our rural life and seeing it slowly come to fruition is super exciting.
My next goal involves a homestead store, this blog, and eventually, a book (or several!).....and CHICKENS! I do love chickens. Note: My chickens will never become dinner by the way. Never ever. They will become pensioner chickens with sparse 'foliage' and probably wearing wooly jumpers.
So, yes. I'm THAT sort of country lady.
Welcome to my Country Life.