Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This morning, bleary-eyed and a little teary-eyed, my sister and I engulfed in tight hugs and were engulfed by our littlest brother and our mama before they flew across the sea to join our dad, who has begun a new job and a new adventure in another country. This is new for us. We are generally a Stick-Together-Family. I'm pretty sure the longest time I've ever been apart from my mother is three weeks. This separation by land and sea will certainly attempt to stump our familyish delight in sharing the minutest details of our lives with one another. I say 'attempt' because there is Skype. And email. And blogging. And LiveJournal. I intend to fully exploit every one of those methods of communication in keeping in contact with the rest of my family. Huzzah for the twenty-first century, I say.

[I stumbled across this picture when culling my photo stash today, and couldn't resist sharing it. I miss those cheeky blue eyes already!]

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just a minute...

or: blogging in a few short words

Currently making: cards for all the engagements and weddings bursting into bloom around here.

Currently watching: Cranford, and enjoying it immensely. What I love about so much of what the BBC makes is that they reveal the beauty of the ordinary character. The person may not be beautiful by the world's standard, but British television knows how to show the hero's heart. I like that.

Currently reading: The Potter's Field by Ellis Peters (remind me to talk about the Brother Cadfael books at bookity boo sometime soon) and Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley. Both excellent, though in completely different ways, obviously.
Currently listening: to Jimmy Needham's Speak. I have a chronic hatred of overplaying. I can't stand listening to songs too many times in a row. But I confess: I have been guilty of listening to this one at some stage every day of the last week. It's so lovely -- think Michael Buble's sound but with so much more exuberance, and then add worship into the mix. I'm liking it so much.

Currently wearing: ugg boots, because it's really quite cold. And grey. And wet.

Currently inspired: by a big fat package from the US with lots of crafting supplies courtesy of this lady (all the pictures in this post are goodies from the parcel). Now I want to have a crafternoon and Make Things.

Looking forward to: weddings, this Saturday and the next. Yay, weddings!

Not looking forward to: waving goodbye to loved ones at the airport.
(Just a minute came via Hayley from here.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

More fabulousness in the mail.

The cheering mail continued throughout the week, with the deliciousness pictured below arriving on Wednesday and then more lovely things today (to follow in another post).

Although it seems to be the one answer no one wants to admit to, I'm pretty sure my love language is gifts. So when mail arrives to prove that someone has taken a moment of their busy life and reserved a slice of it to send something to me, I feel truly loved. And when the timing of it is so good, I feel doubly loved -- knowing the gift is not just from the friend who sent it, but from God, too, who knows what we need when we need it.

Wednesday's awesome letter came from my American friend living in Russia who posted her letter from Finland. Everything about that is super.

Enclosed in the letter were the following: a postcard of intense cuteness! (It makes me want to read Pippi Longstocking.)

Also, amazing vintage photographs of people whose stories I want to discover or invent and then tell. Incredibly inspiring.

And this fellow is saved till last because he's my favourite. I love him. I love his smile. I love his awesome cap. I love his bony hands and how proudly he's holding up the fish he's caught. I love that he's sitting in a little wooden boat in some European sea. I love the cigarette dangling nonchalantly from his lip...

... and I love the writing on the back of the postcard, completely unintelligible to me except for the date: July 1949.

Thank you so, so much, AL, for your full-of-joy-and-inspiration mail. I'm smiling real big!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mail day of fabulousness.

Today was a very down day for a million reasons and for no reason at all. I could tell you why there was gloom but I'd rather tell you it was perfect timing that this amazing little package got stuffed into my mailbox today.

A little while ago, an awesome handmade creative mail swap project did the facebook circuit. I'm still on the go with the gifts I'm making for a half a dozen or so friends (roll on the holidays for creative good times, I say!), but today I received a gift myself. Yaaay!

For starters: just lookit the packaging! I bet every postman or mail sorter who had to touch that package smiled and wished they could open it. Seriously.

And then, inside the Mailing Envelope of Greatness, was the Tote Bag of Awesomeness! Long-ago school friend Sarah has hand-painted and hand-inked this tote bag into sheer adorability and it's an absolute work of art. I am currently tossing up whether to a) actually use it or b) hang it on the wall and gaze on the loveliness instead.

Thank you, Sarah! It's so gorgeous and completely brightened my grey day.
P.S. Sarah has an etsy store where the cuteness continues. Check it! Little Miss Swan.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hello, student life.

It's Sunday afternoon. Little wads of storybook clouds are spaced across the sky in a pattern as even as wallpaper. The carpet on my bedroom floor is devoid of small shreds of paper and the tiny bunnies of ochre fluff that come from my ugg boots. Clothing is hung in my (newly rearranged) wardrobe. I have read, sprawled on the floor with my little brother at my side. And so there is enough space now, in the blank patch of this quiet Sunday between the happy nothing busyness of this morning and the soon-coming busyness of early dinner and wearing nice clothes and church, to actually stop and compose some thoughts.

Tomorrow launches the very last week of my very first term of university. I am alive, and I am sane. Proof that I have survived. What's more, although at times I have been very, very nervous and unsure, I have enjoyed it. And yes, I've even learnt stuff (which is kind of what it's all about). I've learnt that:

- when They say a full-time study load is 40 hours, it means 40 hours. Prior to beginning study, I cherished some 'wild, erratic fancies' that I might get through it all quicker. So far, no. But I tell myself this is only the beginning. Surely things can get more streamlined from here, right?

- I never know quite how much contact with the college is too much. Because I'm studying externally, there are no in-the-flesh classes or tutorials when I can bounce ideas off others and ask my lecturer a really quick, inane question. As a result, there are about a million things I'd like to ask which must be reserved for phone calls or emails. Because I don't want to be "that student" who's always bothering the faculty about something, usually I ignore the question and hope it will go away. If it won't, then I email.

- history is delicious and intriguing and hilarious. What started off as a minor is quickly turning into a second major. I am loving the history so much that I'm thinking I'll go ahead and do all the units. It's fantastic and, because it's from a Christian perspective, I'm getting an overview of world history and church history at the same time.

- you can't write the first draft of a poem on the computer. In the last few years my writing life has become largely electronic. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the keyboard is swifter than the pen. It's made sense for me to do my first drafts, my freelance work, my editing all via a computer. But this term, writing poetry as part of my introduction to creative writing unit, I've found that paper is the only way to go -- at least for poetry. The words just come easier through ink. As a result, that middle-finger writer's bump, which I've had as long as I can remember but which has shrunk in recent years, is back with a vegeance.

I kind of like it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Post-it note:

My blog has resembled something of a black hole of late. I keep jotting down little things I want to tell you all and then never quite finding a thinking-sized chunk of time in which to do so. So here's my little placeholder, my post-it note to say that I'm here, alive, and busy -- though not always wearing beach hats and hawaiian leis (my little brother took the picture before a party last Friday night). So I'll catch you up on my world sometime -- hopefully -- soon.
In the meantime, what's happening in yours? I'm a little lonely tonight, so I'd love to hear something from your part of the planet.
What's the happiest thing that's occurred this week?
What new discovery have you made?
What was the best thing you ate?
How are you celebrating the arrival of Winter -- or Summer?
(and thank you for your comments at the last post. I have been mulling over them and been encouraged by them).
Love. xx
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