Category Archives: Inspiration

Wishing you peace ….

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…. and hope in turbulent times. First flower from this water lily in 7 years!

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Happy birthday …..

 

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For a friend’s 40th birthday ….

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Pine trees represent a strong character and steadfastness. They cling to rocks where others cannot survive.

Plum blossoms represent beauty and optimism. It flowers in the cold of winter, bringing hope in the face of adversity.

Cranes represent fidelity, longevity and good fortune. They are fabled to mate for 1000 years. A symbol of enduring love.

Red and white for happy and auspicious occasions!

I’m back!!!

It’s been a long time between blog entries but I’m officially back and coming to you from the wonderful Brisbane in Australia. Our expat sojourn is over. We’ve staggered through airports (“Yes we ARE moving country”), adjusted our eyes to the quietness of Australia (“Where’s all the traffic?”), rediscovered our home, reacquainted ourselves with our family/ friends/ cat /neighbours, negotiated a new school/ activities/ business etc etc. It’s been HUGE but great. Living in Oz is VERY easy and I hope we can all hold onto that. I love that our 6 year old still thinks it’s cool you can drink water out of the tap! And I LOVE sleeping in our bed again!!!

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More on the business ventures (both of them) soon …. plus a new adventure – New Zealand in the New Year. The first for quite a while. Til next time ….

Pinoy Christmas & Farewell

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It’s been a big week for us. We just found out we’re returning to Australia on the 5th of January – 6 months early! Our Philippino adventure is nearly over ….

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Whilst still trying to help in any way we can with the typhoon relief efforts I’m also sneaking in some shopping. Pretty reminders of the Philippines. Capiz (shell) Christmas decorations. Amazing traditional textiles.

The top fabric was made by an 87 year old woman from Ilocos. Elena Pila Panela.

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This one is from Mindanao.

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Aren’t they stunning? And fantastic souvenirs.

Not a travel blog?

My husband commented the other day my blog was looking heavy on travel posts. “What happened to the business development stuff?” Good question! Short answer is HEAPS of REALLY fun travel!! Keeping my eye on the business ball whilst making the most of our expat stint has been a little tricky. The time frame was 2 years whilst we’re here in Manila and honestly it was just too long to keep focussed. It’s lurched along in spates of enthusiasm …. then sat idle for weeks …. punctuated of course by trips of a life time!

But our time is running out here and all of a sudden I can see it’s finite (read emerging sense of PANIC). You had 2 YEARS!!! What do you mean you’re not ready to go??

So heads up people. It’s business business business coming your way …. except maybe that trip to Vietnam next week …. and that island at Christmas …. and did I tell you about the awesome fares I discovered to Borneo ?? …. Oh dear …. I would make a brilliant travel agent!

Backyard beauty ….

I live in what is nominally called a “bird sanctuary” but to be honest I see very few birds. A lot of sparrows and not a lot else. A few glimpses of something colourful in the distance and occasionally some pretty bird song. That was until this guy came along. Obviously I would have preferred to have met him while he was still alive – but I didn’t even know such beautiful little creatures existed ….

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It really makes me wonder what else I just don’t see! Might be time to practice being more attentive? Less distracted? Open my eyes ….

Images of yukata ….

Yukata are essentially a kimono worn during summer or for casually hanging about when the weather is warm. They’re generally made of cotton and vary enormously in design as you’ll see below. In Japan they’re also experiencing something of a resurgence in popularity.  I saw many, many, more people wearing them than previously. Mainly young people. Both men and women. It was great to see!

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I use vintage examples to add something unique to otherwise ordinary items like sheets and pillow cases.  Anything grab you?

Shopping rules ….

When I go shopping I generally abide by some self-imposed rules. Mine go a bit like this: Well designed. Very useful or very WOW. Preferably old. With a good story. Nothing/ nobody suffered in its creation. Somehow makes me and the world better, bla bla bla ….You get the idea. A touch tricky at times I must say. In fact sometimes the result is shopping being abandoned as simply too hard to bother with.  Ever had that experience?

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 Anyway, one of the things I’ve been waiting YEARS to purchase has been a Buddha. And guess what ??? I’ve found him! He is beautifully serene – but there was just one problem. His story is quite dull. No kooky market find in Thailand. No ancient, Japanese lineage. Quite simply another expat here in Manila was leaving and selling a whole tonne of stuff. That’s it. No excitement, intrigue, appeal to higher moral aspirations. Was just nice, well priced and second-hand. Didn’t quite fit my exotic-purchase-whilst-holidaying-on-a-tropical-island fantasy. So in the spirit of non-attachment I made the decision to let that one go. Very happy I did.

Do you have rules that tie you up in knots? Anything you could let go?