Monday, 19 November 2012

F*** You Africa

Is it just me or do programmes like Man Verses Food and Heston's Fantastical Food make you sad?
I mean it is just the most outrageous waste of food imaginable, an absolutely licentious example of the excessive over-consumption of the west.  It's like we have so much food we just don't know what to do with it anymore so we are just going to eat as much as we can and gorge ourselves silly (Man v Food) or make ridiculously large, comedicly over sized food just for the sake of it (Heston)  It's like we are saying "F***you Africa!" we don't care that you are hungry and dying we have more than we know what to do with. 
These sorts of programmes are my bug-bear at the moment, they really bother me, the West should be ashamed of itself sometimes, it really should, if someone in real poverty saw one of these programmes what would they think?(rant over)
I have heard people say recently"First world problem" regarding complaints that really aren't that much of a big deal when you look at the bigger picture, I have been guilty of it myself, complaining about things like "it's so annoying that the holder for the shower head is broken so I have to hold the shower in my hand when I wash myself, woe is me!"  (Hello! some countries don't even have clean water to drink,) I saw this video a while ago which really sums up how pathetic this attitude it is.

Don't get me wrong though I am not saying that we should never over indulge or enjoy luxuries from time to time, just that these should be the exception, not the rule and that we should appreciate the every day luxuries that we have and not take them for granted all the time (I say "we"  what I really mean is "I").

Right now I am trying to value things that I often take for granted, I think I find them more enjoyable when I really meditate on how lucky I am to have them.  A hot shower for example (whether I have to hold the shower head or not) can be just the most luxurious thing if I pause for a moment to appreciate the gloriouseness of it. And the fact that I have a car and I can get in it and get to places quickly and in the dry is just brilliant.  I implore you to do the same from time to time, it can only be a good thing, you never know, one day we might not have these everyday luxuries.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Hama Girl

You may know that I am a fan of the Japanese fashion sub-culture known as Mori Girl.  Mori girls like to dress as if they live in the forest, with loose fitting, flowing clothes made from natural materials.  There is a fantastic description on this blog if you would like to know more. 
Whilst browsing some Mori girl websites I came across another Japanese fashion sub-culture similar to Mori called Hama Girls, this blog says that:

"Hama girls are the sisters of mori girls who live by the sea:
  • layers of clothing that is tattered by the wind
  • colours of the sea, blues, greys, whites, sea foam and deep green
  • tousled and sun bleached hair
  • long walks on the beach, watching the sun rise and sunset, collecting the treasures of the sea
  • adornments that are made of found objects, smooth driftwood, sea glass, shells and feathers
  • the ocean is freedom
You will find the hama girl wandering the beach, feeling the sand between her toes, the waves against her legs, the wind in her hair, tasting the salt in the air, her heart filled with yearning as the sails of the ship disappear beyond the horizon."

 I love this!  I don't live by the sea, but I would love to, and if I did I can just see myself fulfilling this description. 

Here are some lovely photos all from the above blog that epitomise the Hama Girl style:




I am pretty sure I will be doing more blog posts about Hama Girls in the future, I can just see some coastal themed Etsy treasuries and some Polyvore collages in the making.  Stay tuned.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Advent Calendar Ideas

This year we are planning on having a really special Christmas at home with our new little family.  It will be our first Christmas spent at home together and Orren's very first Christmas, we want it to be really special and lovely, I also want it to be as stress free as possible which is why I am already thinking about it, as it is creeping up quickly.  Everyone's Christmas usually begins with a count down, often a gaudy cardboard calender filled with cheap chocolates and decorated with a tacky kids cartoon character, not very festive in my opinion, so this year I have decided to make my own.  Pintrest provided me with myriad ideas and I am pretty set on the idea of having pockets, I was initially thinking I could make a fabric calendar with large pockets to hold a tasty chocolate, but now I am thinking of making paper envelopes and putting a little fun, festive Christmas activity idea in each, I think this is more fun and thoughtful.
Here are some of the fab advent calendars I saw on Pintrest, honestly I could make any one of these, they area all so it is so hard to make a decision.

Really like the use of burlap on this one, it is a simple design which I think I could manage,

Love the idea of stringing little envelopes across a large picture frame,

Decorated brown paper envelope advent calendar 

There intricately decorated envelopes are so beautiful but I think this could be a bit expensive for my budget,

Pocket advent calendar 

Love the idea of hanging little gifts of a branch, or tree, I have some driftwood branches that would work really well with this idea,

advent calendar tree 

I like the simplicity of this design, but I would probably make my own envelopes with Christmassy paper of vintage music sheet,

white paper envelope Advent calendar. 

I like the idea of using pegs to hold gifts or envelopes, but I am not sure what I would glue the peg to?

Advent Calander with pegs and presents 

Another fun design with beautifully decorated paper envelopes, this one is probably more realistic for me to make as there are less embellishments,

Advent Pocket Calander 

I like this simple design, it has a sort of Shaker/ New England feel that I love,

fabric wall hanging Advent calander

Lace and doilies!!  Need I say any more?

doily advent calander 

Another simple envelope design,

brown paper envelope pocketcAdvent Calendar!

I like the idea of using little boxes and decorating the lids with Christmassy paper, but I am not sure where I would get 24 little boxes from without spending money I don't have!

advent calander with small boxes 

What do you do Advent Calendar wise for Christmas?  Have you made your own? What did you do?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Tiny houses

A while ago I wrote THIS blog post about tiny spaces.  There must be something in the nations consciousness about wanting to retreat to a small space because there have been two programmes on TV recently on such a topic.  First was Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home, where he builds a small portable shed from trees on his own land and furnishes it with a bespoke chair and bed.  He is able to cook on a hob which is supplied from methane gas gathered from an outside toilet and bathes in a bath made from aeroplane parts.

And then there is George's Clarke's Amazing Spaces.  Clarke investigates other people's small spaces and builds his own from an old 1970's mobile home.

What is it about small spaces that we are all craving?  Is it that we are all becoming over whelmed by the bigness of our lives these days?  We live in a global community; we eat food and consume goods from the other side of the world, our friends and family are scattered across the country, sometimes the world, many people don't even know their neighbours.  

The expectation is that as we progress through life, we will get more money and more stuff, then we need more space for all our stuff so we buy a bigger house which we fill with more stuff.  But all this extra stuff and space is not making us happier is it?  I remember reading that, as a country, we are far richer than we were 50 years ago, and yet cases of depression and increased. 

It seems to me that there is something clicking in people's subconscious that is driving us to crave a simpler way of life, one where are needs are met simply and practically.  The smaller space also encourages us to venture outside and become closer to nature where we are cleansed and healed from the constant bombardment of information, images, sounds and things that is the modern life. 

I already live in a fairly small space, but I still crave a little shed or caravan where I can escape from...what?...Life?  I am not sure, what I want to escape from, perhaps it is just the chaos and confusion of life which you can shut out more readily in a small space, or rather there is no room for it to come in!

So lets fantasise a little about tiny houses and little spaces and pretend we can shut ourselves away and be alone with our thoughts just for a while before we have to face reality, messy, chaotic, big, reality.

tiny house tiny house

Tiny House | Tiny House Swoon

house boat

hobbit house