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Friday, May 31, 2013

Joyful Simplicities.

Joyful simplicities... it's just what makes you happy, what makes you content at heart, joyous, well, full of positive energy, in simplicity. You don't have to spend money, you don't have to do big things. 

Today, I decided out of the blue to go back to Burford, a lovely little town in the Cotswolds, after I had been there a few days ago with a dear friend. I know Burford from previous vacations, and I'm now so lucky to live close by, so I can treat myself to a cream tea or a cappuccino and a little stroll there whenever I want.

The scented, wonderful wisteria is in full bloom, so I just had to go back with the "big camera" to capture its beauty. Loving blue, lilac, lavender and all shades of purple, you won't be surprised to know that I love this plant!

The window of this bakery is always very tempting... and I loved the hearts on the tarts.

A little stroll and several photographs later, I decided to sit down for a while and have a cream tea in quiet.

Yes, I have added way more clotted cream and jam than I should- a joyful simplicity indeed! ;))
And look who came to the tea room with me! He was all alone in the window of a charity shop, with the price tag reading "I need a good home please". Could I leave him there? His antique beauty and cute expression won me over for sure!

And then sipping tea, I just had to pause, savor the moment among the gorgeous flowers of the patio garden, and notice all of the Beauty around me- and just be grateful for everything I'm blessed with.

Happy Friday!
Monica x

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Project Life: Catching Up.

Moving with two suitcases only meant I couldn't have with me all of my stuff. I could find space for my PL book, a stapler, some washi tape rolls but that's it. I thought I could easily continue PL without a printer and a cutter, but that was not the case.

As I have explained here, without a home printer this project goes out of the window for me, and the same is without a cutter, because using it, everything is cut in no time, otherwise I don't have the time to cut each and every single picture to perfection with a pair of scissors. Fortunately, I was able to rescue my printer/scanner from the storage, and I bought a cutter locally, so in the end I could move forward with PL.

But as soon as I opened my book and started catching up with late March and April (I was one and a half month behind at that point), I have realized maybe the most important things about PL.

1. That the past is past, and it's much simpler to do PL when you are up to date. In fact, your memory is still vivid and you can jot down feelings, which is my main purpose doing PL (I use PL as a gratitude journal and spiritual tool too), not merely a description of the facts that happen to me. 

2. That if I had started to catch up starting from the very point when I had stopped, I would have been more and more behind. In fact, because of point number 1, I'd have lost the "present" and the thrill to have all of my happenings of the day (blessings) put down onto the pages. That keeps me up to date.

3. So, in my opinion, when you get behind, you should continue from the present moment, and then, only when you have time, catch up with the past weeks/month. If you record events/feelings on a separate diary or agenda, it won't be difficult. 

4. I put all of the pictures I had started to print in a folder, together with business cards I had collected, notes, etc, and started again on a new book from the actual date.
The pages shown behind belong to May.

Monica x

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From my English Country Diary.

I've been in love with the English countryside since I can remember. I've fallen under her spell many years ago, when I still was little, and used to devour books by the Brönte sisters and Jane Austen... I simply loved the romantic and magical atmosphere described among the pages. Many moons have passed, but I still have those books on hand to re-read from time to time, and I'm still deeply charmed by the feelings that this magical place inspires.

Living a country life like this is totally new to me- I've lived in the italian countryside before (after I have spent most of my life in a chaotic, suffocating, urban environment), but since I moved to the Cotswolds, I have realized how different this Country is! This amazing part of England is much more rural outside of the town's skirts than I was used to,  incredibly rich in flora and fauna, SO green, fascinating, dotted in centuries- old buildings and amazing gardens, glorious in its colors and textures. England definitely is heaven for artists and photographers... well, looks like I'm in the right place! ;)
I don't have words enough to describe what I do feel when I'm here. I'm totally inspired even by the simplest of things!

I will keep notes of my discoveries and things that make me happy here on my blog, in a sort of diary, for all of you to partake of.

As for now, I'm leaving you some shots taken over the past month. Hope they'll make your heart sing!

Back from my daily walk. God bless the mud room (or boot room)!

Picked in the back garden.

I find many feathers here, and pick them all.
As for now I use them in my decor and flower arrangements, but I was thinking to maybe make a wreath?

A goose egg. Delicious! My hubby is crazy for them. It's the size of about 2 normal eggs.

Finds during my walks.

Trying different kind of seeds for our wild friends.

Sheep and lambs are everywhere now!

I'm in love with my polka dot wellies (Wellington boots)!
They're an absolute necessity when you live in the English countryside!

Finding Lunaria annua
(or Honesty or  Money plant or Silver dollars, biannual that produces
round, translucent seeds, similar to coins- hence the name).

Wild cyclamen in bloom!

These charming thatched cottages are everywhere! Oooh yes, I mean that! :)

Monica x

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vintage, Handmade Gorgeousness!

Today you're in for a treat!!
On Tuesday, I met Victoria of Found and Sewn. She has an open studio during the Oxfordshire Art Week, so I just had to go and finally meet her after we've been blog friends for a few years now!

I drove across green, sienna and yellow fields and up and down country roads, and finally entered the magnificent garden of an old school house, my heart beating fast with anticipation.
A fabulous garden shed painted in blue and cream, filled with all kind of handmade and vintage gorgeousness, and adorned with a cheery bunting, welcomed me...

And so I met darling Victoria, and as it had already happened before when I met another special blog friend, we both felt like we had been friends forever!
I had no doubts, though, after reading experiences of this kind on several blogs. The kindred spirits that you call "friends" online, those that are part of your online community, become friends in the offline life too. It's just because of the true essence of friendship (which I believe is spiritual), which trascends the physical world.

I had picked wildflowers especially for her that very morning, and arranged a posy tied in ribbon and a vintage, hand- embroidered doily.

Victoria creations are beautiful- I especially loved to see them displayed among vintage finds and precious family heirlooms (cannot believe I haven't taken a picture of her Grandmother's sewing machine and scissors!!)

I used a free texture from Kim Klassen to edit this portrait of Victoria.

And after all of the yumminess in her open studio, we chatted happily for a while over tea and cake. Victoria's Mum collects odd pieces of vintage china, isn't this teapot in blue and white sooo pretty?
The perfect ending of a fabulous day!

If you're in Oxfordhire, Victoria's show is up until the 27. Or you can read her blog and see her creations at  Found and Sewn.
Monica x