Showing posts from December, 2015

Christmas break and art Monday

Dear blogging friends and family, 
What a year . . . it has gone so fast and I can hardly believe it is almost over.
It has been a good year . . . yes, there has been few bumps and lumps along the way, tears and anger, laughter and joy but no complaints. Not everything has gone to plan, but that is what one would expect. God has said no or over-ridden some of my plans, but hey, He is writing my story and not me, so that is perfectly ok! In fact . . . they were never my plans in the first place . . . they were always His, its just that I like to tinker around the edges a bit (don't we all) and that doesn't always work out well. 
And now it is almost the end of 2015 and Christmas is almost upon us. 
I need a break . . . I am taking a month off work so I can visit my family, spend more time with my husband (and cat), my children and put my feet up and relax with a good book or two. 
So, it is a the perfect time to take a few days off from blogging so I can give my brain a rest a…

Art Friday: John Sloane

Artist: John Sloane 
I really like the art of John Sloane and this is the right time of year to share his Christmas art. 
Do enjoy these rather lovely scenes. I love the homely scenes in these paintings and feel that I would love to climb in a be part of the scene :))


A quiet walk in the garden

I don't know about you — but I love my garden and one of my most favourite times in the garden is in summer at dusk. The birds are all singing and flying about, the sun is heading to bed and on its way it splashes its beautiful colour across my garden beds and the day is cooling with the arrival of a light breeze giving relief from the days heat. 
Walking around the garden (or as Jane Austen use to say "taking a turn") is a very relaxing way to end one's day. I like to look at all the flowers, to see what is changing, coming or going and what little critters have taken up residences. My garden isn't large, but its a perfect little haven of peace and tranquility and we all need a spot like this at the end of our busy day.

I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses.
Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tar…

Colour your world

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” (artist, John Ruskin)

Dear blogging friends, 
Do you love colour?
Do you surround yourself with colour?
Is your home full of bright and cheery colour?
I am a huge fan of colour — it isn't unusual to see me in bright orange or red (I wore a bright red dress to work on Tuesday) and my house is full of colour.
When you are feeling down, it is hard to continue feeling down when surrounded by colour. Colour really does brighten up any day. 
Colour is so important that marketers and designers spending huge dollars $$$$ getting it just right. Certainly colours make us happy and others make us sad. Some colours make us spend more and certainly colours remind us of Christmas or spring. They know which colours make us feel good about ourselves and those that make us sad. 
Modern homes (check out any real-estate catalogue) lacks colour. They are often whites, creams, beiges and tones of brown. To me they look rather s…

Helping others at Christmas

Dear blogging friends and family,

I do hope you read from the other day (LINK), even though it isn't a pleasant topic to read — sadly it is happening to many many women and it is something we all need to be aware of. 
All to often people shut their front doors and pretend there isn't any pain and suffering going on elsewhere, there is and it could be in the house next door to you. And for many this is the time of the year they really struggle. It isn't just women in miserable marriages, Christmas is tough for many others too. It isn't all tinsel and presents for quite a few in our community and its important that we remember this and try and do something to help.

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)
— the poor, who struggle to make ends meet during the year find it even harder at Christmas. Their stresses increase as they try to provide for their families and buy gifts they cannot afford for their ch…

Understanding emotional abuse

Domestic violence (or intimate partner violence) is at epidemic levels, not just in Australia but around the world. Sadly, women are the majority of victims and the perpetrator is male — their current husband, ex-husband or boyfriend.
Last year alone one women a week was murdered by her current or former partner in Australia. This year it is two women a week. What will it be next year?
I can guarantee that at least one woman who reads this post would have/or still is a victim of domestic violence. It is that common.

This is a tough blog post, but please don't leave because its too hard to read. I feel the need to get a message across because this is a topic that many mis-understand and provide advice that is troublesome. And why am I writing it just before Christmas? Because at this time of the year is when women are most at risk.
Domestic violence is a CRIME that happens behind closed doors in what should be the security of ones home. It happens in all walks of life — the rich to…

Art Friday: Washing day

The humble clothes line is still very much in use in my home — in fact I no longer have a dryer and hang all my clothes outdoors in summer, spring and autumn and only indoors in winter (on a clothes horse).  Due to our sunny climate, the cloth line is still very much in use in Australia and all new homes still have a cloth line installed in the back garden and most people use them, particular in warmer months. 
A clothes line gives sheets a wonderful fresh smell and it saves on the cost of electricity because you use the heat of the sun rather than a machine!! I am a fan of the clothes line and would feel very lost without one! I quite often do a load of washing when I get home in the afternoon and my husband takes it off the next morning. It means in summer, the clothes are not in the full heat of the sun which isn't very good for the fabric. 
Do you use a clothes line for drying the clothes?


Without Christ we have no hope

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil,  to give you a future and a hope. 
(Jeremiah 29:11)
Many young people today feel they are loosing hope of the future. They are bombarded with news that is depressing — from the war in Syria which seems to have no end, terrorist attacks in Paris and other locations around the world, the issue of climate change, the refugee problem stretching across Europe, high unemployment rates in many areas, the cost of housing (will they ever be able to afford their own home), peer pressure at school, bullying (particularly cyber bullying). Life is looking bleak and they have no idea what their future will look like. 
However, it is not just the young that are feel down at the moment — many adults are too. They are rapidly loosing hope because they do not have Christ in their lives and when they look around they can only see doom and gloom and nothing that might lift them from that despair.  Without Chr…

Brilliant bookcase ideas

Dear friends, 
I love houses full of books and I thought these ideas for book cases were great and didn't take up heaps of space.  
Sadly I have stopped buying as many book as I have run out of space and have no where else to store books (my house isn't that big). I now tend to borrow from the library (who runs an excellent service where  I live) which has resulted in significant savings as books are not cheap! 
So whilst I don't need any more bookcases and I'm not buying any books — I still like to look at book cases and dream of having them in my home!!

What is your ideal way of storing books?
You too can dream along with me and enjoy (I hope) these interesting designs. 
Enjoy xx

Of course you could just leave them in piles on the floor as they look just as good!!


We all need common-sense

Inspired by the Black Friday counter-movement Buy Nothing Day, I (Michelle McGagh) want to see if I can go a whole 12 months without spending on anything but bills and food. . . Black Friday is looming and while most people are gearing up to flex the plastic in the shopping bonanza, I’m facing a year of buying nothing – a whole 12-month shopping ban. 
This means no meals out, no cinema trips, no holidays, no gigs unless they’re free, no rounds down the pub, no new clothes, no coffee – you get the idea. It also means I won’t be able to buy train tickets or bus fares so my trusty bicycle will be relied on to get from A to B. And I won’t be able to rely on friends and family to pay for me either – it’s a year of no spending, not scrounging. . . . Totalling up my spending on coffee over the past year left me with palpitations (not the ones induced by caffeine either) – I’ve spent more than £400 on takeaway coffee alone. Random trips to the supermarkets for top-up shops and lunches totalle…

Art Friday: James Aponovich

ARTIST: James Aponovich

Something very different today - a very modern take on still life. 
What do you think - do you like them?