06 May 2014

Shooting from the hip

These are just "point-and-shoot" photos - no careful composition - but shots of things making me happy right now.

14 April 2014

Keeping busy

I always have a few projects in progress and many, many more in my mental list of things I'd like to get done. This is a snap of the current top of the pile.

07 April 2014

Art Deco and Art Nouveau

I'm fairly certain I've written about my love of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles before. Here are some of my favourite examples of the styles.

Elizabeth Norton, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fork pendant, Doctor Gus

Via http://datography.tumblr.com/archive

London Underground poster

02 April 2014

I love the Tiffany blue

Something on Twitter made me keen on a small project which involves the Tiffany blue colour. I'm really quite excited about it. Stay tuned for more details. 

01 April 2014


I know there are a lot of people who don't really like cats, but I love them. The current "lord-of-all-he-surveys" is a big male but doesn't like to be left on his own. He always calls to find out where we are in the house and then wants to sit on our laps or laptops.
Here he is in sleep mode
Recently there's been a neighbourhood gangster-cat who has been leaving some serious wounds on our cat so we've implemented a curfew. After 8pm the windows are closed and the litter tray is made available. This is met with vociferous complaint until the DH and I go to bed and then it's all purrs and snuggle time.
Catching up on a little more sleep

31 March 2014

Woolworths excellence for Easter

Woolworths has an excellent selection of Easter treats this year. This is my selection of their greatest hits!
Hand decorated "quail eggs"
Bunny bags containing praline eggs
Hand decorated chocolate egg selection
Ceramic bunny containing mini oat digestives 
Cuddle bunny

28 March 2014

"How can I be happy?" Narrated by Stephen Fry

I've written before about interconnectedness and human nature and quoted Henry Melvill (1798-1871) before "Ye cannot live for yourselves; a thousand fibres connect you with your fellow-men, and along those fibres, as along sympathetic threads, run your actions as causes, and return to you as effects". 

Well, I've found another resource for a similar train of thought via the British Humanist Association and in particular their video narrated by Stephen Fry called "How can I be happy?"

27 March 2014

Calendar app helps you to keep up with everything

The Apple Calendar app is awesome for planning and remembering those important dates. The aspect that I use most of all is the "alert" function.

When you're adding a new event as well as setting the location, date and time of the event, you can also set if this is a repeating event (which is what I do for birthdays), set one or many alerts to remind you that the event is coming up (I also use this for birthdays to remind me in time to get a present or card), add invitees (Mac and Windows compatible) and add notes. 
If you're adding a new event on your iPhone, it's become a whole lot quicker to do. Simply go to the date that of the event, tap the screen to create a new event and simply drag it to the correct time. Then all you need to type is the name of the event.

As with the Reminders app where you can have multiple lists of reminders, the Calendar app lets you have multiple Calendars that can be colour-coded. I use different colours for birthdays, anniversaries, appointments and public holidays.

25 March 2014

Quick intro to being organised with Reminders on iPhone

I love what they've done with this app. They've made it into everything I need for a "Things to do" organisation system. I keep many lists with just the titles of the lists showing (you can customise them with colour as well).  When you tap the list title, the list opens up and you can see the items on each list. What's more, the edit feature allows you to move items from one list to another, so if an item has been on the "Reminders" list for some time but you know that you'll be going to the "Shops" where that item is sold, you can move it from "Reminders" to "Shops" in preparation. You can also organise the sequence of the lists themselves by dragging them into the order that you need to look at them. For example, on weekends, I often drag the "Garden" list to nearer the top so that I can remind myself of the little outdoor tasks that need to be remembered.

On each list, you can check off the individual items by tapping on the little circle next to the item. This is fantastic for shopping because I can knock off the items as I add them to my basket. What's also really neat is the "Show Completed" and "Hide Completed" options. I use these for my shopping list by hiding completed items so that once I've marked them off, they drop off the list. Then next week, or while I'm in the kitchen, or wherever I am and I need to add something to my shopping list, I just show the completed items and de-select them to add them back to the list. This means I don't have to re-write the names of my regular purchases which saves a whole lot of time.

If you're a Mac owner, Reminders can sync with your computer and you can also organise your lists in the app there. Check tomorrow's post where I'll be talking about using your Calendar for planning and remembering those important dates.

Getting the right camera angle

A long time ago I was invited to spend a morning at the Durban Botanic Gardens. The guy who suggested we go said he usually took his camera along so of course I said that he should do what he usually does.
When he unpacked (yes, unpacked) his camera I realised that this was a serious hobby. I had been expecting an SLR camera but not the large selection of lenses.
One of the things that impressed me was his attention to detail while taking photographs. I now have pics of him from various trips on his knees and elbows getting just the right angle.
A few weeks ago we went away together, and here, side-by-side, are two photos that we took, both with our phone cameras.

I love that his seriousness and attention to detail has resulted in effortless brilliance.

24 March 2014

Life is full of surprises

This one is somewhat sentimental. Last year I had a tonsillectomy and because my sister was given a kaleidoscope when she had her tonsils out (she was four), my mother went to quite some trouble to find me a kaleidoscope as well.

Kaleidoscope making kit
It really is quite fascinating how simple the design is. It's very easy to make, just three reflective plates arranged inside the tube and when you look through the eyepiece, whatever you're looking at is reflected again and again and again.
View through the kaleidoscope

20 March 2014

More from Dear Rae Jewellery. Lucky me!

Some time ago (it was October 2010) I ordered a ring from Dear Rae and received a beautiful, charming silver and brass ring and the friendliest service imaginable. I was really smitten. So when I started following Dear Rae on Facebook and saw that they were making gold heart earrings, I just couldn't believe the coincidence. I had been looking for gold heart earrings for months and these fitted the bill perfectly. I wasted no time in placing an order and again I received the friendliest service and the fastest delivery ever. And, as it happens, they were having a promotion, so I also received a linen shopping bag with my earrings. The earrings had their own box and came with care instructions and even a cleaning cloth.
Dear Rae Jewellery

19 March 2014

Lush, now in Durban!

Last month I was thrilled to see this at Gateway Theatre of Shopping

And yesterday, I followed my nose (the store smells amazing due to all the different essential oils in their product range) and bought a huge chunk of yummy honey soap.

What I love about the Lush brand is that the products are handmade, against animal testing and, directly from their website: "effective products from fresh*, organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics"

I've just found the asterisk after "fresh" and "organic" above is for: "We also believe words like "fresh" and "organic" have an honest meaning beyond marketing"

18 March 2014

Tea and happiness

Following a trip to the UK where I became converted to drinking tea (preferably loose-leaf tea which tastes the greatest), my best friend bought me a special tea pot for my birthday. It has a built-in tea strainer so I can use my loose-leaf tea and it makes at least three mugs of tea. Perfect!

Teatime is anytime.


17 March 2014

DIY on the weekends

Lately, we have been DIY-ing quite a bit. I have to confess that Builders Warehouse is my new Waltons.

My better half made lampshades out of old cups and saucers. I really love that this was an "up-cycle" of old, crazed teacups that we weren't using. I provided moral support and inaccurate advice.