country peace

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This is what country peace looks like for me…

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Being close to mothernature with the sounds of the river and the birds, creating something, and just hanging out with no place else to be…

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Charlie patiently tying knots and untangling line, with the hope of a Trout dinner the reward… it wasn’t… but it didn’t matter…

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Walking along the banks of a river for no other reason than to just admire its beauty…

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Even just taking the time to experiment with camera settings, instead of trying to get the shot quickly and move on to the next thing…

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Taking the time to follow The Lake Labyrinth path:
“The Labyrinth is a journey
The way to the centre
The way to ourselves”

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Stopping to acknowledge those that came before us, carving a way through the rugged Australian country, finding gold and building a town we can all enjoy many years later…

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Stopping by ramshackle old houses that a stranger might see as just old and run down… but others know it as a home brimming with family, home cooking, friendship, nurturing, home grown produce, fresh milk from the cows, safety, childhood memories… but mostly love…

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I’m sure I breathe deeper and move slower in the wide open spaces of the country…

Beechworth always gifts me with a dose of country peace… and I always leave vowing to go back before as much time passes between visits again.

Wishing you a place that nurtures your soul, replenishes your spirit and brings you peace.

postcards from the country… peace

After not one, but two cups of the local freshly roasted and ground coffee, with blends named Zen and Smooth Criminal, I knew the day was going to be a goodie. 

The craft came out and stayed out… all day. Charlie stretching, bevelling and plaiting his leather whist I crocheted. The magpies warbled and sung, the ducks quacked and laughed, doing a damn fine laughing Donald Duck impersonation. The currawongs played their familiar tune and the kookaburras let us know the rain was coming… though I could already smell it in the air.
I felt myself unwind like my ball of yarn with every new row I crocheted. And I could hear it in Charlie’s voice, as he too relaxed into the quiet crafty day we had been dreaming of for ages.
Breezy winds rustled the trees and we watched as the early autumn leaves gracefully tumbled through the air, rolling and flipping along the ground until all was still… until the next breeze.
As the sun went down the local owl settled into his rhythmic whooo whooo whoo… and the calm quiet of the country settled into our beings.
Ah yes, that was the feeling I had been missing so much lately… peace. Welcome back my friend, I have missed you so.
Wishing you restful days full of peace.

being mount zen

Hello, how are you? Are you feeling a bit stressed, busy, overwhelmed? Well I’m heading to my mountain of Zen, wanna come?

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I remember back when I did Yoga a few years ago, our teacher talked us through this meditation at the end of class where you see a mountain, and then eventually during the meditation, you ‘become’ the mountain. Lately I’ve been finding it quite the challenge to meditate and cope with stress… and I really need to do the former in order to deal with the latter. So I’ve decided to bring back this meditation, tweak it a bit, do it often, and see if I can improve both my meditation and my stress coping ways.

I wrote a little ‘How to be Mount Zen Guide’ just in case you wanna try to be a mountain of zen too… no pressure though!

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How to be Mount Zen Guide
Step 1
First imagine a mountain. It could be one you’ve visited, a real or imaginary one – it doesn’t matter really. Take a little walk up the mountain, it’s a nice easy walk up to the top. Find a comfy spot to sit and enjoy the view. Notice how calm and peaceful it is, feel yourself relaxing just being there. Take in the pretty vista all around for a while. If you drift off that’s fine – it happens all the time! Just go back to your comfy mountain top spot and soak up the peace. After a little while try to imagine that you and the mountain become one entity/thingy. What the mountain ‘feels’ and ‘sees’ is what you now feel and see.

Step 2
Notice the weather. Is it calm and still? Mild and overcast? Gentle? Wild? Warm? Windy? Rainy? Freezing? ‘See’ the weather happening around you and take note how it doesn’t really affect you. Your hair might get blown about, you might get a bit wet, as you feel the effects ever so gently on the surface, but that’s it – the weather doesn’t really alter you. The weather happens around you but it doesn’t disturb you.

Step 3
Now you want to relate the stressy crappy things to the weather. Let them blow around you, calmly or wildly. Notice them, but don’t breathe them into your being and let them become you. The sun rises and falls, the moon rises and falls, the mountain remains a mountain, untroubled by the passing of time and the weather. The weather/stress doesn’t have to disturb you. It can just be. It is what it is. You are a mountain and are way too strong, and stable, and unbreakable, and solid, and secure for the weather/stress to bother you. You’ve been around for eons and the stress is just a drop of rain.

When you’ve had enough, walk back down the mountain and get on with your day! Take with you the calm feeling of being all zenned out on top of your mountain, this is the feeling you want to call upon during heat-of-the-moment-stressypants-attacks. Remembering that you are the mountain and the stress is the weather happening around you, not inside you.

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I know meditating and coping with stress is hard, and this isn’t a magic fix-all-pill. But if it can help us separate ourselves from the stress (instead of our heads spinning in the whirling winds of stress – or at least mine does!), then I reckon it’s worth a visit. I’ve been doing it for a little while now, and I’ve totally said to myself during stressy moments, ‘hey I’m Mount Zen and I’m not taking that shit in!’ … Feel free to use this line whenever you need to!

So, would you like to visit Mount Zen? Do you think you could remember Mount Zen feelings in times of stress? What do you do to cope with stress? Have you any tips or tricks up your sleeve to cope with trying times? Let me know if you do ok?

Wishing you calm weather and sunshiney visits to Mount Zen.

ps. First image is of Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. Second image is of Mount Fuji, taken by my daughter. Third image is of the mountains of Chinchero, Peru.

antlers, imperfection and favourites

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Deer Antlers loved up with handmade goodness, nature and peace.

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This one is mine… A little leather, beads, feathers, turquoise and of course some crocheted hearts. Hubby made the feather drops using some vintage aqua silk thread to bind them up. I selected the feathers and placed the turquoise drop and crochet heart in position, and he patiently tied them all together. He finished them with a little sliding knot on the leather so we can adjust the drop length when hanging them. I have Lyrebird feathers, Owl down, Rosella, Kookaburra and I think there’s a Currawong feather there too. All collected on walks I talked about in catching peace.

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This one is hubby’s… He has the treasured Lyrebird tail feather that he finally found after years of searching through twigs and leaves. He’s also got a very special Wedge-tailed Eagle feather in there. One day he saw a couple of them having a spat and as they flew off, one lost a feather. There’s also an Owl feather, some Owl down, Kookaburra and Rosella feathers. The leather plaited drop on the left with a rose bead is from our wedding day. We loved putting together the eclectic mix of goodies on our antlers. It was a real combined crafty effort, mostly my design and direction with hubby selecting the feathers and making the drops. Real patience is required for the fiddly feather drops and that’s definitely his crafty talent more than mine.

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The turquoise and silver feather drop has been recycled from my blue suede bag. There were two of these but they fell off a couple of times and I was scared I would loose them. Being rather special and large pieces of natural turquoise I took them off the bag – they had been waiting for a rightful home for some time. One found home in the feather drop, and the other one made home not so long ago in the center of the peace catcher. Somehow, I think they have ended up where they always should have been.

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The carved bone beads have been floating about in hubby’s craft stash for years. They too have found there rightful home. In fact everything hanging on these deer head antlers we already had. Nothing was purchased… we just rummaged through our craft stashes and found everything there.. Except the deer heads, they were an amazing gift for Chrissy. Thanks Sis x

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There’s something special about this little collection of goodies that we crafted together…I find it very calming and peaceful and interesting to look at.

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I have also been crafting in my usual space too… Remember this one? It’s been around for a while now and has a long and troublesome past. Well I decided I am going to finish this little number.

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The yarn is all from Bendigo Woollen Mills and it’s such a delightful squishy blanket.

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Can you spot the mistake? I absentmindedly changed colours on the wrong side! But you know what? After the unraveling this blanket already had, and the time it takes to knit just one row (of a gazzillion stitches), AND after reading this brilliant post, I decided perfection was just too high a price to pay. It still looks beautiful, but it really looks handmade – complete with human error… No machine could do that! Motivated by Felecia’s word ‘completionism’ I decided to push on and accept the imperfections of my work. If you like everything to be just perfect, then I highly recommend reading this great post to help see it all in a fresh light.

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I’m going to leave you with this image of my craft apron with one of my all time favourite crafty tools attached. I always pop my apron on when I knit, crochet, or craft in general… it saves my clothes all being covered in yarn fluff! Plus, if I don’t put it on, I’m forever looking for my scissors. Having scissors ALWAYS on you is a godsend. They are attached with this sweet little ceramic heart, and a stretchy retractable wire that clips onto the scissors. I am seriously lost without my apron and scissors combo. Do you have one of these too? Are they not the best! Do you have a favourite crafty tool? One you simply can’t live without? This is mine. Now I’m off to go pop my apron on and get crafty…

Hope you find some crafty time in your day today too…
And maybe a little acceptance of imperfections…
And even something to look at that brings you peace…

autumn crochet

It’s been a while… but I’ve been busy… more crazy busy than usual… or maybe just more crazy? Who knows!
I do have lots of pretty pictures for you though…
I’ll start with some pretty flowers from my garden…
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The flowers are slowing down as winter nears, but there are still so many pretties in the garden to pop into a posy… I love the autumn silver birch branches and rose hips… And I love that the roses seem to become more intense in their colour as Autumn passes…

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This is in amongst the Cherry Tree Grove at my favourite gardens… Spec.tac.u.lar no?!
I must say walking between two rows of cherry trees… in full blown autumn glory… with the breeze gently blowing… autumn leaves raining down… tumbling along the ground as the wind gently moves them along… is quite the magical experience… twas sublime!

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A panoramic of the Cherry Tree Grove.

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Another sweet Cherry Tree path in the gardens… This one is a bit special… It leads to Serenity Point… and it was my wedding aisle… many moons ago… in an Autumn from another decade!

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It’s not all orangey shades in the gardens though… there are many green and golden paths to enjoy also… like under this big old Tulip Tree.

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Where one can find the most enormous Tulip Tree leaves… This one was as big as my face!

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And the pretty little Ginkgo Biloba trees are fast becoming a strong Autumn favourite. The gorgeous leaf shape and it’s delicious lime green turning golden yellow is quite the sight to behold.

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Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me and blow me away with her stunning colours…

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and pretty leaves looking totally divine in the late afternoon sunlight…

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is there a better sunlight than late afternoon?

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on pretty Autumn leaves?
I don’t think so.

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Apart from taking a gazillion photos on my Autumn walks, I have managed to finish a few crocheted projects too.

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This “Pink Sprinkles” blanket is for an order and I do love a little random unexpectedness in my blankies… as you can see!

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I also crocheted a pure silk scarf using a simple ladder stitch…

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It’s not a warmth scarf, more of a decorative pop of the most gorgeous Duck Egg Blue colour… Feather light and silky… twas perfect for my sweet mum on Mothers Day…

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My current project is for an order and is coming up a treat! Blanket stitch is, not surprisingly, perfect for a blanket as it’s the same both sides… It’s also a fairly solid stitch with no real gaps to speak of and super easy to remember…

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It has the cutest bubbly like texture too making it very snuggle-worthy!

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I shall leave you with one last Autumn picture… The peace I draw from these gardens every time I walk there is wonderful… I heard something on the radio the other day about how important it is to connect, walk, be in, be around – nature. Even just looking at a picture of a tree does something to your brain… in a positive way… in a relaxing and calming way… don’t quote me on this, I’m not great at recalling the details, just remembered how they said how good it is for you… Which I already knew just because of how much I get out of my walks… but it was interesting to hear that ‘they’ have done some sort of scientific tests on this to prove it’s a fact… not just in my imagination!

Well, I hope you enjoy a little bit of a peaceful calming vibe from looking at my pictures of nature… at the least I hope I haven’t bored you to tears! Maybe it’s inspired you to go look at a tree? Or take a walk in your local gardens? Or even down the street? Where in the world are you? Are you enjoying an Autumn or a Spring? Either way, I wish you peaceful moments and lovely vistas of whatever it is that brings you bliss… May the bliss be with you! Teeheehee…