There is a lot of talk in the blogshpere about Thanksgiving. I know this is due to our American friends celebrating a Thanksgiving holiday, something we don’t do as such here in the land of Oz. In reading about Paul’s letter to the Colossians today I was reminded that thanksgiving should be our remedy to every whisper of discontent that comes our way.
Colossians 2:6–7. “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
John Knight reflects on this idea further. Thanksgiving is essential to the Christian life because it’s an expression, whether in thought, word, or deed, of our satisfaction in who God is and what he has done for us in Jesus (Colossians 2:9–10; Ephesians 5:1–2). It’s essential because it flows from the understanding that the ’s steadfast love endures forever and that his faithfulness is to all generations (Psalm 100:5).
I am thankful today for so many many things. But most of all that He has dealt with me, my sin and I know His love that endures. Do you?
Real living is about having space for family life, creativity and fun play with all the big and small people in your home. It is a place to rest, reflect and revitalise one another in conversation, care and comfort. Home is where the rules can be relaxed as we simply learn to”be”. It is also the place we make mess, do the laundry and say sorry. Home sweet home is the place we share with those we love.
Welcome to a new mini blogging project that profiles real life homes. This is real living, with kids and chaos, the pets and the washing. This is a little piece of home that some of my friends have agreed to share with you. They have fabulous design sense and style and manage to make the everyday look wonderful. So stay tuned for some great ideas. If you would like to be a part of the project let me know!
Look close and you will see fabulous fabric, real hides, leather, wood and stainless steel. And little touches of red…….
|1 cup butter|
|400g caster sugar|
|140ml sour cream|
|1 tablespoon vanilla extract|
|275g plain flour|
|2 ½ teaspoons baking soda|
|300g cream cheese|
|150g icing sugar|
|125ml heavy cream|
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F, and grease and line a 9 inch springform tin.
2. Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, and add the sliced butter. Heat until the butter is melted, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then pour into the saucepan. Finally, beat in the flour and baking soda.
3. Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin, and bake for 45 mins to an hour. Leave to completely cool in the tin – it is quite a damp cake.
4. For the icing, beat the icing sugar and cream cheese together. Add the cream, and beat again until it’s a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake until it resembles the frothy top of a pint of Guinness.
I have been contemplating cake for weeks. My man has a significant birthday fast approaching and I have been asking friends about their best cakes, flicking through books and magazines looking for the best cake recipe ever. I have had a great time revisiting a large pile of Donna Hay magazines which continue to inspire years after publication. But what has finally narrowed down my search was Books for Cooks, a compilation of the bet recipes as tested by the team from Books for Cooks from London’s Notting Hill. You know Notting Hill don’t you….from that famous Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts film! It is a wonderful place full of small boutiques and fabulous markets. I had the privilege of visiting this special place for a browse and quick bite to eat, years ago when we lived in London. A special aunt shared the visit and every now and again I remember the occasion and would love to dive back in for some more inspiration. It has floor to ceiling books on every possible food item and process. Their books really are special because they only include the best recipes from the years offering of other cookbooks. So you are likely to get a bit of Nigella, Jamie and a Women’s Weekly classic all in the same book. Heaven.
So while I have made my choice for birthday cake, you will have to wait a few days to see that one. Instead this was my experiment with dried figs, glace ginger, coconut cream and garam masala. I was after something with a slight Asian/Eastern/Mid Eastern influence. It is fabulous….I have plenty of it too if you would like a slice!
Valerie Little has an amazing eye for gorgeous things, quality products and stylish, timeless designs. So her boutique label Aunty Bird will most definitely inspire you.
What is the design philosophy behind Aunty Bird?
Aunty Bird is a Victorian based leather and vintage goods label,designing and hand crafting leather and fabric bags.Aunty Bird was founded in 2009 when I began designing and constructing bags from reclaimed leather and vintage fabrics. I was drawn to the beautiful detail in the soft leather of gently worn jackets that I found at thrift stores. This sparked a passion for creating unique, handcrafted leather and fabric bags.My love for the original and interesting and dislike of the mass produced, along with a focus on traditional techniques ensures that all products are lovingly made with both uniqueness and quality in mind. I also believe in striving to create with the smallest footprint possible, thus my desire to utilize upcycled and vintage fabrics and materials wherever possible. The leathers I use that are not up cycled are ethically produced using chemical-free traditional wattle bark tanning methods.My desire is to create something beautiful, unique and functional that people will love to use for many years.
When did you learn to sew and create?
As a child my mother made many of our clothes. At the time I longed to
wear mass produced and fashionable things and failed to appreciate the
loving and skillfull work that went into our everyday outfits. My mother
taught me to make the things I wanted, using clothes I already had or
found in opp shops and from this stemmed my interest in and love for
salvaging and reconstructing to make new.
What kinds of things inspire you and your designs?
I love simple and bold design and natural, high quality materials. Good
leathers and well made fabrics not only complement each other but they
are easy and pleasurable to work with. I love the shapes and colour
combinations found in the everyday and am constantly inspired by the
beauty and fragility of our natural world.
What does the future hold for your design company?
Really big things? I don’t even know myself. I
would love to spend more of my time doing what I love – creating
beautiful things, sourcing fabulous raw materials and thinking about all
the masterpieces I am yet to create.
Here are some images of Valerie Little’s work in leather, fabric and felt.
For more information contact Valerie.
What do I mean by ‘creative’? This is a question posed to me after a recent blog post on conversations with creative women. It is a very good question. I had intended to include all arty creative types, people making and creating something – painters, artists, crafters, designers, photographers,writers, musicians and so on. But on reflection I realise that creative women (and men) encompass so much more than that.
When did you first start using a camera?
What is one photograph you wish you had taken, but didn’t get?
How do you balance work and family life