Friday, April 30, 2010

this charming girl...episode 11

happy campers ☺
this beautiful & somehow nostalgic 'road trip'  treasury
created a while ago by the brilliant & hugely talented artist Meghann from the Botanical Theatre
reignited a certain spark forever in my soul - the desire to travel as a free spirit.
 visit Meghann's Etsy shop to discover her stunning pieces, all inspired by the subtleties of the natural world. Her images allow people to wander and explore what is not quite there, to see the beauty in the overlooked.

...and while that spark will have to patiently remain as a glowing ember for now, it has also brought my thoughts back to some treasured memories of Vintage Wheels... 

11. ~ a vw badge

i'm not sure what it is, but i have a cheerful soft spot for VW vehicles, like the Very Wonderful Beetle cars & the Vibrantly Whimsical camper vans! 

maybe it's happy childhood memories of camping in the countryside & trips to the seaside...

...that irresistibly cheeky love bug, Herbie...

...or slightly ahem, hazier memories of magical mystery tours of the UK following punk rock bands with my dear friends Ju & Rich in their (mostly) faithful & (always) old cheery orange camper van...

...or even,  far more recent & responsible reunions supporting worthwhile causes like Oxfam, at wonderful summer music festivals.

whatever the attraction of these automobiles with a sunny disposition , this love story will continue it's journey, i'm sure. ♥
have a great trip! ☺

Thursday, April 29, 2010

and the winners are....

blog award!

I was honoured to recently receive this inspiring  Award from the very talented Chriss from The Art of Zen.....Crochet.  Wow!, a huge thank you, Chriss. ☺
Please take a moment to check out her awesome blog, which is always a very interesting yet entertaining read - full of eco friendly ideas & recipes, and how to embrace life through applying the art of Zen to everyday tasks.
Her Etsy shop is a must visit too, featuring ethical, sustainable and beautiful Crochet designs, from  practical hemp drawstring market bags to exquisite scarves & tribal neckpieces made from recycled sari silk. ♥

By accepting the award, I must now complete the following 7 steps to give this award its proper respects!! They are:

1. Post the award on my blogspot.
2. Thank the person who gave it to me.
3. Link to the person who gave this to me.  See above!
4. Share a list of 7 things that you probably don't know about me... 

5. Choose 7 great bloggers to give the award to.
6. Share a link to their blogs.
7. Leave a comment on their blog.

Seven things you didn't know about me......probably!
1. I am a typical Libran - an arbitrator, eager to hear both sides, well balanced... although I'm sure my kids would beg to differ, lol!
2. I LOVE horses,  I was lucky enough to have a pony as a young girl & I long to own another horse one day...
3. I cycle (or walk) everywhere I can - including work.
4. I am Leeds United until I die. (...I have kinda adopted hockey as a backup sport to footy now I'm in Canada though)
5. I am extremely sentimental & hoard everything... I still have my very first pair of shoes!
6. ...the shoes are still coming, guess I am a bit obsessed.
7. As a teenager, I had a bright red Mohican (Mohawk hairstyle). 
8. A nice cup of tea or a pint of Cider always goes down well!
9. I would love to go into space.
10. If I was granted one wish it would be peace, health & happiness for everyone.  :-)

Here are the 7 bloggers I'm passing the award onto... check them out!
Inspirational Beading
Little Bear's Mom
From Misery To Happiness

Mommy's "Free" Time 
Liz-Anna's lakeside studio
Joanniel's Creations
the road to here

Friday, April 23, 2010

this charming girl...episode 10

1966 and all that...

10. ~ a red telephone box

a bright & cheerful little kiosk, somehow symbolic of the country where I was born & raised - England.
I have a vivid childhood memory of being squashed inside such a phone box with 2 of my sisters. I was on tip-toe, while balanced precariously on a pile of telephone directories - my 'task' was to feed the slot with the large 2p copper coins, while my older sisters shared the responsibility of trying to operate the old fashioned rotary dial (almost a junior equivalent of driving without power steering...) and holding the heavy Bakelite receiver. united & against all odds, we made that call! 

today is St George's day - celebrated in honour of England's patron saint, infamous for a legendary encounter with a dragon.
the plain red & white St George's Cross is the English flag, which makes up only part of the Union Jack - the red, white & blue flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland (including Scotland & Wales)

today, Canada is my home. I love it here. ...but I am and always will be proud to be English. 

this pride will never be more apparent than this summer - when I will join millions around the globe gripped by the Beautiful Game aka footy fever (that's soccer to you North American guys) when the FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa.
I will be singing '3 Lions on a shirt', I will be hoarse from screaming at the 'ahem', gentleman in black,  I, more than likely, will be hiding my face during agonising penalty shoot-outs but this year I just know I'll be celebrating an English victory. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

this charming girl...episode 9

the good earth

9. ~ a globe bead.

today is Earth Day
  a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. it was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year.

my little glistening globe charm represents my love of maps & atlases of all kinds, from transportation guides like the London Underground Tube map to the amazing satellite images on Google Earth. I loved them so much I studied cartography at college.

...but it is also a reminder of what a beautiful, yet so fragile place the planet that we call home, is.

this iconic photograph taken by apollo 8 astronaut, Bill Anders on Christmas Eve, 1968 - showing the Earth seemingly rising above the lunar surface perfectly captures exactly that sentiment .

 "...and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo eight has a message that we would like to send to you. 'in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. and the Earth was without form and void. and darkness was upon the face of the deep. . . . and God saw that it was Good." And from the crew of apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck.... and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."
— flight crew of Apollo 8, live telecast Christmas Eve, 1968.

the words of NASA's astronauts are fitting sound-bites for our future.  

"...suddenly, from behind the rim of the Moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth . . . home."
— Edgar Mitchell, apollo 14.

" we got further and further away, the Earth diminished in size. finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. seeing this has to change a man."
— James B. Irwin, apollo 15.

play your part, however small - together we can keep the earth 'good'.

i will be at my local ecology garden in Cobourg, Ontario - at dawn, to celebrate Earth Day with 
members of the Mississauga Ojibways of Alderville First Nation, Rice Lake who will be conducting the Sunrise Fire Circle. 

06.30am ~ the ceremony begins...

'smudging' - 

The burning of sage, sweet grass, fungus is called smudging. It is traditionally used to prepare and purify a person, place or thing for a time of openness and truth in the presence of the Creator. Prior to everyone being smudged, the eagle feather is smudged.  Smudging is done for these reasons:

Mouth - so that anything we say will be positive and helpful to others who hear us.

Ears - that what we hear and listen to will be positive and help us to learn.
Eyes - that what we see is positive and we can see that in others, not to look at the outside.
Mind - that what we think or how we react will be positive, with only the well being of others in mind. Not to be clouded by anger, lust, greed, etc.
Heart - that our hearts will feel our pain and joy, to be able to heal and use that to help others.
Body - that we will use our bodies in positive ways and take care of our physical health.

songs performed in local native languages with the Alderville Drummers

strawberries are heart berries, connected to all - used for Spring ceremonies, and roots for purifying body. 

in support of Earth Day - profits from my lavender & lilac 'butterfly island' soap are all donated to the Cobourg Ecology Garden - available at my etsy shop

take-away gift bags including a guest size butterfly island soap &  travel size aromatic bath salts are available from local store, Peech's Market at 148 Third Street, Cobourg. profits also donated to the garden.

coming soon from eco friendly household soap with orange oil & lemongrass - perfect for making your own environmental laundry detergent. check out this awesome recipe at the art of zen crochet blog
full feature on this wonderful & inspiring artisan & blogger to follow... check back out her etsy shop Earth Day sale too! ☺

gorgeous & green - fringed triangle scarf in sage green bamboo 

by chrisssmith22 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

this charming girl...episode 8

ziggy played guitar...

8. ~ a guitar.

hey, Joe - release your inner Hendrix, coz April is the international month of the guitar!

...and you don't even need an air guitar to celebrate - check out
the totally awesome Benny & the Jet  etsy store...

"handmade guitar string jewellery... recycled, upcycled, eco-friendly funky fashion so you can wear your music!

custom painted vinyl records...
one-of-a-kind art for your jam space."
i'm lovin' this deep purple haze, tangerine dream piece of art
called 'purple tiger' 
they truly rock ♥

music has always been a huge part of my life.
growing up near London, England in the 70s & 80s, with 7 older siblings meant i was constantly exposed to an exciting & eclectic soundtrack of rock through the ages - from glam to indie via funk, house, prog rock, hip hop, metal, ambient, ska & punk ! teenage years (& every bit of cash i could lay my hands on) were spent on records & going to gigs.
i followed the bands i loved around the country, sometimes around europe too ~ some of the people i met & the adventures had, would make your hair stand on end (which is kinda what mine did back then, lol!) 
but they're saved for another post, another charm...
the day came i had to get a regular job - so i headed straight down to my local record store.
i stayed working in music retail for over 15 years... sweet!

anyhow, back to the guitar & a few of my heroes
from fave bands The Cult, Kasabian & Killing Joke

pics courtesey of ...totallylikeduh! , adventuresofsas & francoise massacre
under creative commons license - thanks guys!

i still have a big soft spot for The Cult & the legendary Killing Joke, both were bands that i followed religiously in my mis-spent youth (bought the T-shirt, hung out with, lucky enough to sell their Tshirts on the merchandise stall on tour).

duffy now pic courtesy of zioWoody, b&w then pics Louise Raygun

then pics courtesy of Affendaddy,  now Geordie by francoise massacre , Jaz & Youth by alterna2

both are still rocking out & touring this coming year ☺

Kasabian are a more recent music crush - more on them another day...

so now's the month to start a garage band, blag a hot ticket, get 'down the front' (english slang for the mosh pit) or just blow the high scores away on Rock Band!

whatever your gig - strike a chord.
's some awesome bands i've seen in Toronto since i moved here - thank you for the music, guys!

kaiser chiefs

the kooks



..and last but by no means least - the pigeon detectives
from leeds, leeds, leeds!

...jammin' good with Weird & Gilly and The Spiders From Mars.

 Bowie reportedly said that Bauhaus played the song "the way [he] should"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

this charming girl...episode 7

Happy Easter ☺

7. ~ box of chocolates.

i ♥ chocolate.
need i say more? 

i hope the Easter
bunny brings
& a smile
to all ☺

...and if you're
a chocoholic
like me, you'll love my mint 
100% natural handmade
soap with fairtrade 
organic cocoa &
essential oil.

for more gorgeous things going 'cheep'