Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Richard's parents and sister arrived in New Zealand last week for a six week kiwi holiday so we've been tripping around the island for the last wee while, showing off all the parts we love the most.
It has been so nice to be a tourist in my own country, and especially so with our Canadian family who we have really missed being closer to. It's been a week of beautiful beaches, huge ice creams, cute farm animals, cafe's, cafe's & more cafe's. Easily some of my best New Zealand experiences! Matakana on the way to Tawharanui was one of favourite stops and I so badly would have loved this little op shop to be open. How sweet is that sign!
Bits & Pieces
- I love this double band chained ring, that colour is so good.
- How great is this 1945 Vogue cover!
- It's been so dry here and coming home to my aloe looking a little rough, so I should probably brush up my plant knowledge with this beautifully photographed succulent parenting guide from The Treehouse.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Ever since I saw that photo on the right by Kate Miss a couple of weeks ago, I have been humming 'Cowgirl In The Sand' by Neil Young & Crazy Horse. I was so excited to see the rest of her Joshua Tree photos (they're stunning) and secretly hoping something like that shot would make it into her spring collection look book.
The new collection (released earlier this week and available now in her shop) is perhaps my favourite of hers yet. I love the strength the pieces have, and that it is a strength in not despite their simplicity. I'm really hoping to be able to save up for one of the pendants so fingers crossed the don't all sell out straight away. The look book is pretty great also, I can't get enough of that natural light.
So, for some Friday music I'm going to leave you with Neil and some sweet lead guitar. We actually went and saw him play with Crazy Horse in Auckland tonight and it was incredible. My ears are still ringing and my mind still whirling. Such an amazing performance by some cute rock 'n roll dads.
Have a great weekend, friends. I'm off to drop my computer back to school tomorrow so if you get the chance to pop over to our fundraiser so that I can replace it pretty soon, that would be hugely appreciated!
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
As we say goodbye to the sun and celebrate the coming months, wishing for rain as the earth is pretty parched here at the moment, we wanted to share it with you by having a farewell to summer sale. We're working on a small winter collection and so if you head over to the shop now you can enter 'EQUINOX' at the checkout for 35% off all jewellery.
I love the feeling of a season change and I hope there is lots of good stuff in store for us all as the leaves fall, or flowers bloom depending on where you are. We're up in Auckland at the moment and I'm hoping to be enjoying one of these very soon.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
I'm not sure what it is with my and flowers at the moment, spring and summer keep pulling me back. We got these books out from the library last week (confession: I only just got my library card, I've been relying on Richard's as I never had a piece of mail for ID. You're only allowed to take 3 out on your first time using it, so I went with flowers, flowers, flowers.) to use as inspiration and research for a new bookmark range. While I love the tiny size of Mountain Flowers, as well as it's colour plates, A Victorian Flower Album is my favourite. On the back cover it reads "God's floral gems glistening on the verdant face of nature. Cpllected and painted in the summer evenings of 1873, as a pleasing recreation." You know, just some quick doodles and sketches at night. The artist, Henry Terry, painted the wildflowers his children collected during the day. You don't get much dreamier than that.
Richard and I are jump in the car to drive up to Auckland and pick up his parents and sister who are visiting from Canada and we're both really looking forward to a week of travelling around the countryside showing off this home of ours. I have a few blog posts scheduled for the week, so keep an eye out. Oh! And if you haven't already, you might want to sign up for our newsletter. There's something good in it this week.
Have a lovely week, all. Be sure to leave a note in the comments if you have a particularly favourite flower you'd like to see sketched on a bookmark!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Happy Friday, friends! It has been a good week around these parts even with the adjustments that come with starting a new job (no more broke lady of pretend leisure). This was in large part due to the overwhelming support we have received just in these first few days of our fundraising campaign. Thank you, thank you. I was in tears after the few donation came in, it's a bit overwhelming really. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you can read a bit more about it on the campaign page or in my post, here.
Speaking of fundraisers, Shauna posted about Jonathan and Amber Perrodin on her Instragram recently. They're a duo from Arkansas making beautiful handcrafted goods and supplies under the name Perrodin Supply Co. out of an old strawberry warehouse that they had recently moved into. Sadly a few weeks in Jonathan had an accident with his miter saw and ended up losing his right index finger. I can only imagine how horrible and scary this must be for them on a personal level, but also for their business. Medical bills, orders to fill, family to feed. So stressful. So, they have set up the Four Finger Fundraiser where a bunch of artists have donated goods to sell and the full proceeds go to the Perrodin family to help them get through to the other side of this. I'm off to shop and donate now, I hope you will too!
In other happy making, proud kiwi news the New Zealand parliament has just voted to pass the Marriage Equality Bill in it's second reading. It blows my mind that this is still happening in New Zealand in 2013 and that we're still not quite there, but bring on round three - I can't wait to celebrate!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Richard and I are going to do a bit of a working bee clean up to get ready for his family arriving from Canada next week but I hope to get my quilt quilted if I can sneak that in, too.
Some Rhye for your Friday night
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
This is a bit of an uncomfortable blog post for me to write. Probably hence why I spent most of my time making that slightly insane image of us inside some kind of sugar fueled laptop? Anyway, it's not a real bake sale, although I kind of wish it was because those cakes look amazing to me right now, but instead it's our way of asking for a bit of help.
We've decided to run a short and sweet campaign over at Indiegogo to help us purchase a new (but refurbished, so not totally new and not new computer prices) laptop and desktop now that I have to return my leased one and Richard's old laptop is on it's very last legs. It feels very weird to be asking for money, I'll be honest. But, I know that I love to support things like this and that we are part of a pretty awesome community here so we're putting ourselves out there.
Here's an excerpt from our campaign story:
'Finding work since has been difficult due to the job market in small town New Zealand along with coping with the loss of my sister, however thankfully we are both now employed in jobs that we are very excited about. During the time we were looking for work, the Macbook came in handy again as I took a web/graphic design course and have been able to work on a few freelance projects. Thus far they have been for non-profits (such as the camp I grew up at) and the small businesses of people we love (including helping T’s mum get her former brick and mortar store up and running online). Richard has print production training which has meant that we collaborate on most of these projects, and are looking forward to working together on the design and branding for the foundation being started to help families with children in hospital, in honour of T.
Sadly, as I am no longer working at the school that leased me the Macbook, I now have to send it back. Aside from being perhaps unreasonably attached to it (it’s so sleek and shiny!), with our other computer probably not having much life left in it, we have come to really rely on this machine. We have grand plans for being able to work with non-profits, community groups and small, independent business in terms of design and branding – as well as continuing and growing Bliss in a Teacup. However to do so without a reliable computer will be virtually impossible. This is where (hopefully) you come in.'
You can read the rest, including where exactly the money will be going, here.
Richard has worked on some really great pieces for the perks you will receive if you choose to contribute. A hand printed t-shirt and tote, as well as a beautiful limited edition art print.
We understand that times are tough for a number of us, and that money can only stretch so far. Any contribution, large or small will be hugely appreciated. Of course, if you're unable to contribute financially but would like to help we would love it if you could spread the word via your blogs, email, Facebook, Twitter and any other social media platforms you might use.
Thank you so much in advance, you're the best.
Becka & Richard
Monday, March 11, 2013
image from the spring issue of kinfolk, found via old faithful shop and i believe the flowers are the genius of amy merrick. dream everything.
Sorry this Monday, Monday post is a day late, although I guess it's kind of perfect when talking about feeling pulled between the two hemispheres. I've started my new job, which is great and just in the afternoons. However, this does mean learning to love getting up in the morning and getting back into a normal sleep routine now that Richard is working nights again.
Looking out my window this morning there is pretty much nothing springlike in the air, save for a few hardy geraniums. It was like magic, as soon as the calendar turned to March the leaves started to turn and our front yard is now a carpet of yellow. While Autumn is my favourite season, I can't help but swoon over all the pretty pastels and flowers the northern hemisphere is tempting me with at the moment. It's with each season change that I more truly realise we're in opposite land down here. Even though I am completely ready for the days to get cooler (and for some rain, we're in a drought down here), I can always be reeled back in my soft colours and giant ice creams.
Bits & Pieces
- Evie has done a fabulous (not a word I usually use, but it was the only one that fit in this occasion) round up of jungle inspired rooms and wallpaper inspired by the Beverly Hills Hotel and wishing for rain.
- I meant to post this ages ago but it kept slipping my mind: Some books I like that you might like, by Jessica Stanley. It's the motherload of books to read, and they're all by women. Some I've read, some I've been meaning to read (story of my life) and some totally new to me. I love getting good book recommendations so hopefully you'll find some gems in here, too! I love how she's categorised them, also.
- Pretty late to the game here, but I have no shame about wanting to add this album to my collection (iPhone).
- Tomorrow Is Not A Suitable Day For Doing Things.
Thank you to everyone who commented or sent messages in response to my last post. It's so good to know that we share these experiences, because I hope that it means we share the solutions, too.
Friday, March 8, 2013
I was really in need of some inspiration and a bit of motivation this week and I remembered having seen this quote hand lettered by Lisa Congdon last year as part of her 365 Days of Hand Lettering. You can find it as a print, here. It was perfect and felt like someone holding on to steady and reassure me. It's always hard to get yourself back on track after a significant life change and it has felt like a particularly long journey from last August to here.
I had decided at the beginning of this year that a goal I wanted to work on was to be more focused. My mind is usually going at a gallop so I'm trying to free myself from distractions as much as possible otherwise I get completely overwhelmed and end up doing none of what I had planned (a great example being that I had planned to write a post about focus back in January when the resolution was actually made). I'm sure some of you are familiar with this? Coming up on a good seven weeks without steady work for either Richard and I, I have been feeling unmoored and dizzy with thoughts of what we should do next, what plans we needed to make to help us get out of debt, how one life plan would impact other goals we also wanted to pursue and it is making me crazy. Often a result of this type of thinking for me is self doubt (hello, impostor syndrome) and frustration which is so counterproductive but so hard to climb out of, also.
Being financially vulnerable is a scary thing. Our poor credit card has taken a beating lately, and trying to figure out how to balance getting out of debt but also make the most out of the opportunity we have at the moment to live with family, have less costs, have a large workspace and allocate a really good chunk of our time to build a business with a view to being self employed - well, I'm not always sure how to do it. But, while this feeling of floating without direction has made being focused incredibly hard, I'm coming to realise how important it is. Life is confusing and there are no real right or wrong answers about how to live it, so freaking out and living with a constant 20 or so tabs open in my browser is not going to help make those confusions any clearer. However, living with some kind of intention and presence, I think, will.
I listened to a really great podcast today from Grace Bonney of Design Sponge. I came across it via Erin from Cotton & Flax on Twitter and it couldn't have come at a better time. She talks about the idea of being present, specifically in relation to small business but her advice would be good for anyone feeling overwhelmed. It was so refreshing to hear that I am not the only person to feel the way I do. Of course, this is often the case but man it feels good to be validated.
I have a feeling that things are going to start flowing better and that my heart and mind may be tamed a little so that they race just a bit more slowly. I've surprised myself with welcoming the idea of routine, both one that I have set for myself when working from home and the one I'll have from going back to regular part time work hours (in a job that is going to be meaningful - yay!). The idea of routine and planning always felt annoying to me, that it wouldn't leave room to be creative and spontaneous, but the reality is I haven't been doing those things either because I'm so all over the place. There is so much to do and experience in the world, so many ideas! And by not trying to do it all the once I worry I'll miss out* and I know I really do forget things if I don't do them straight away. But really, that just means that other stuff gets pushed to side and I'm back where I started.
Anyway, I feel armed with strategies to help myself be more focused. The routine mentioned above, scheduling time for something completely different from work, watching a movie/going for a long drive/cooking/being in nature without other distractions or the need to constantly document what I'm doing so that I can just soak up the inspiration or pleasure, focusing on one task at a time and using reminders to keep track of what else pops up that I could be doing - and doing them later.
Most of all though, I'm going to try and be a little less hard on myself. Life is tough and it is ok to feel tired, overwhelmed and to freak out. It's normal to not be back to your old self straight away after losing someone you loved. It's completely fine to sometimes not have an answer and not know what to do. You don't have to fix it straight away. It's ok to cry and try to catch your breathe before you move on to the next thing. And when you do, that's all you have to do. Just one thing at a time. I say this as much to you as a reminder to myself. The confusions will become clear.
How about you? How do you keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed and stressed? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.
A couple links from or about smart ladies to celebrate International Women's Day:
- Why I Write, Joan Didion. I love this woman.
- The new documentary about The Source Family is coming out soon, and looks fantastic. Cults, hippies, psychedelic rock and health food. It was produced by one of the wives of leader Father Yod, Isis Aquarian.
- I haven't had the time to make this ingenius recipe from Laura yet but caramel pretzel ice cream is all I've been able to think about since reading it a week or so ago. It is pretty much my ideal flavour combination!
*The cruel joke of this is that I am also a introverted homebody who loves nothing more than pottering about the house, reading or watching movies with Richard. So, a bit of internal conflict there.