Monday, November 30, 2009

First Day of Summer...

Today (December 1st) is the first day of our Australian summer...time for those who love the look of Dita Von Tease (as I do!!) to get out the broad brimmed hats, paper sun parasols and the sunscreen to preserve or English rose complexions! I am 30-something now, and I wish I had heeded the advice of my Grandma Jean away back in my primary school days. Grandma always told me time and again to cover up (hat, sunscreen, etc) whenever I was in the sun or I would end up "looking like a wrinkled old prune" - and she was so right ! But it is so much more than prevention of wrinkles and skin from the sun will also prevent blemishes and discolouration that are really the first tell tale signs of an aging face. Oh to go back in time knowing what I know now !! Young girls, if you are reading this please protect your skin ! You will thank me for it one day !

There are products and cosmetic procedures to remove the signs of sun damage (think Nicole Kidman - what did she have done to remove all those 'BMX Bandit' freckles, I am desperate to know ?!!!) but at this point in time they are very expensive ($2500-$3000plus) with no real insights into long term health and safety from their use. The best cosmetic procedure once again is protect protect protect.

Personally, I don't like to go to heavy on the sunscreen as it leaves a very greasy look and heavy feel to my make up all day long - I cringe when I leave greasy finger prints on my glass sliding children do enough of that without my adding to it ! I am also quite wary of exposing my skin to too many chemicals - I once visited the snow with some friends and after putting sunblock on our faces, I reached out to wipe a dab of it off the car, and came away with sunscreen AND chips of blue paint off the car - not impressed !!!! For these reasons, although I am not into product promotion here, I prefer to use Olay SPF15 moisturiser every day - it is not too heavy, and the chemical component isn't as bad as an SPF30. For the rest I prefer old fashioned methods of hats, parasols and shade.

As you can see by the pictures I have attached to this post, people in the past have not always been aware that the sun is the primary cause of aging. Once again, Grandma was right - against all the information available at the time, she knew about skin health and I have to say, her complexion was beautiful right up into her 70's.......I only hope my grandchildren may one day be able to say the same about me........I think I will have to do something about these freckles for that to happen !!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am thankful....

In the 1950's people had just lived through World War II, preceeded by the years of the great depression - they knew what it ment to be thankful for little things. Though Australia really does not have an official Thanksgiving Celebration, I none the less think it is so important to be greatful for our blessings, so, as it is Thursday November 26 today, here are my musings of thankfulness...

I am thankful for the 'big' things:

Freedom, peace where I live, the abundance of our western life

I am thankful for the 'little' things:
Roses, chocolate, music

I am thankful for beautiful everyday gifts:
The rain that feel on the weekend, the healthy pitter pat of my childrens feet all over the house, having a pantry full of yummy food and a garden full of flowers, my daughters blue blue eyes,
I am thankful for my little world:

Snuggly warm beds on cold nights, for celebrations with those I love, for sunsets by the river or lake, for dewdrops on my arum lillies, for a wonderful country childhood, the smell of roast chicken after a cold winter walk, for home lights welcoming me home when I have been away, for summer evening swims under the river redgums, for fires on the beach under a breathtaking stary sky, for words of encouragement, for birthdays and Christmas mornings and the wonder and delight on my childrens faces.

I am thankful for the relationships in my life:

For the amazing family I was born into, for my grandparents who have blessed my life with so much goodness and have now 'gone on', for little gentle hands and smiles and giggles and spice, for the love of a wonderful man, for the love and blessing of God - despite 'me'.

Thankyou God for all the wonder, romance, beauty and goodness that has been and is now in my life. I give you all the gratitude held in my heart.

There are so many things I could add to this list - it would be miles long if I went through everything, but these are the things that first spring to my mind......may we never forget in everyday, to be greatful for all that we have!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Just Like that" - Scottie Bakers first musical release !

My darling husband has been working hard on some original rockabilly styled tunes for the past year, and (a big thankyou to Jamie and Graeme at Preston Studios in Melbourne) will be releasing his first album in 2010 - exciting!!!

Here is his first song "Just like that' which was released on the "It's a Gas Volume 2" compilation in June of this year....just a taste of what is to come !!

This tune is heavily influenced by the style of Johnny Cash, but the forthcoming album will also incorporate a number of other well known traditional Rockabilly influences - for example Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly - as well as the influence of some more obscure Rockabilly artists and hillbilly music. The one uniting factor on the ablum however, is that Scott has kept the music as authentic and 'old style' as possible, using traditional recording techniques, equipment and instruments. Please enjoy this little number and stay tunned for more wonderful Scottie Baker originals when the album is released next year !!

Quote of the month - November 2009

I read this in a biography of Grace Kelly many years ago and noted it down for inspiration...if anyone is able to tell me the true author of this, I would love to find out !

Never by many are marvels wrought,
By one or two are the dreams first caught,
The dreamer must toil when the odds are great,

Must stand to failure and work and wait.....
Must keep his faith though he stand alone,
Until the truth of his dream is known

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The ultimate vintage competition!

I have never really won anything in my life - except for lip augementation surgery from a gossip mag comp. 10 years ago !! (Yes, its true, although I cant really tell the difference from before and after !!! Funny huh??!!) But I simply HAVE to enter this competition - who wouldnt want to win this wonderful prize pack !!? I have been lying in bed and daydreaming about what I would purchase if I won, before I nod off, for the past few evenings !!! So get on board, the lovely Candice De Ville hosts the most fantastic blog - - be sure to check it out. My little old attempt at 'A vintage Christmas' will follow in a seperate post in the next week or so........Fa la la la la, la la la la !

Oh my word - can this add have been for real?????

I love so many things about the 1950's, but this add is just toooooo much ! I love scouring my collection of vintage magazines for wonderful and insightful bits a peices, but this add had me both grimicing and laughing all at once - not quite the response the promoters of this product would have been hoping for I am sure !! What do you think?

Divine Oreo Balls...

Thanks ever so to the lovely Mel for this recipe! It has been a frequent guest at coffee time for my dinner parties, and made regular appearances at high tea ! They have even been privy to the green room at my husbands Elvis performances ! In short, these little numbers are the last word in decadence - they are sure to become a favourite ! ** They would also make quite delish Christmas gifts if packaged up elegantly - fun fun !!**

2 Packets Oreo Biscuits
250gm Light Philly Cheese
1 Block of Chocolate of choice (White, milk or dark)

Crush oreo biscuits in food processor. Mix through philly cheese - I use my (clean!) hands for this part, as it is a bit too much for the food processor to handle. Roll mixture into balls. Melt chocolate and dip/roll balls into melted chocolate. Place on a tray to set in the fridge. Before I pop into the fridge I have sprinkled coconut over the balls for a bit or variety. You could leave them plain, or use sprinkles, nuts or coconut if you wish.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Vintage Movie Club

So much looking forward to this months movie !! The Tennessee Williams classic 'A streetcar named desire' from 1951 starring the incomparable Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando. I remember studying this play back in highschool, but about the only thing I remember about it is that Leigh's character, Blanche, stays away from bright lights to hide her age !!! What a thing to remember (probably something I need to start applying to my own life !!!!) !!!

Anyhow, the play not only won the Pulitzer Prize, but the film went on to have 12 Oscar nominations, of which it won 4 ! (Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White; Best Leading Actress; Best Supporting Actress; Best Supporting Actor)

This is deffinatly one not to be missed. Contact me through the comments page of this post if you would like more info about meeting times and places etc. We meet the third thursday of each month (Nov.19th) and this will be our final film for 2009, so we hope to see you there !!!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I came across a wonderful 1960's knitting pattern book and thought I would share some of the great patterns over the course of the next few months - for my knitting friends, if you attempt any of these I would love to see pictures of the finished darling Nanna taught me patiently how to knit in primary school and I can still do it, but to my embarressment, I can only create a scarf !! Perhaps I need to jump in the deep end and just have a try at something like this !!! (The pattern was in two sections - just click on the first set of instructions to enlarge it to readable size....)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Castlemaine Theater Royal

A few weeks ago I was in Castlemaine, Victoria, for a University subject, and simply could not help but stop and take pictures of the beautiful Theater Royal. After looking into the history of this wonderful building at the link below, I was amazed to read of its colourful and facinating history. So much so that I have copied it here for other fans of architecture and history to also enjoy. Thanks to the Theater Royal website for this information. The Theater Royal is an active working theater and also hosts live shows, movies, functions, has a Bed and Breakfast, and a a delicious cafe restaurant. If you are in the lovely town of Castlemaine do drop in and enjoy !!!

Castlemaine's Theatre Royal is the oldest continually operating theatre on the Australian mainland. Back around 1852 an early structure of rough timber and canvas was constructed to provide live entertainment for the thousands of diggers who swarmed into the district after discovery of what was to become the richest gold yielding area in the country.

It was a theatre assembly hall and auction rooms. Contemporary reports state that the supporting poles were decorated with gum leaves, and the plaster and lath walls were lined with crimson baize with a raised gallery at one end for the auctioneer or speaker.

With the advent of prohibition on the goldfields, a new proprietor in 1856 announced in the Mount Alexander Mail that he proposed to "..rebuild the front portion, which will become a hotel, the rear portion to be remodeled as an elegant theatre, which will be convertible to a ballroom"

It must have been a fairly impressive building by then, because the outrageous and notorious Lola Montez deigned to appear for a limited season [two nights] of tableaux playlets and dances. Madame Montez was the first of many well known artistes and performers who graced the Theatre's stage and provided the swelling population with cheap entertainment.

The Theatre Royal and the Royal Hotel thrived but disaster struck in November 1857, when a fire, which started in a neighbouring boot and shoe manufactory [built of wood and canvas] leaped across the narrow dividing laneway and completely destroyed the hotel and theatre the latter with all its scenery and properties.

Benefits were held for the Lessor and shortly after, the phoenix arose from the ashes in the form of a stone and brick building with a substantial iron roof - much of which exists today.

Another attraction in 1860 was the exhibition in the Hotel of '3 Monster Alligators' including the skeleton of a further alligator, plus the opportunity at scheduled times to hear a discourse on how they were captured after '17 months hard labour'. How many hotels today could offer that sort of diversion for the patrons?

Over the next 28 years the Theatre Royal played host to many traveling companies, exhibiting drama, melodrama, circuses, tragedies and comedies by many of the great [and not-so-great] dramatists. In addition, variety and minstrel shows were very popular, as were concerts and recitals, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas always a sell-out.
Fire struck again in 1887, gutting the building. That didn't slow it down long though
The Royal Hotel breathed its last and the Theatre was rebuilt utilizing the whole block.

By the early 1890's the Theatre Royal was again being advertised in rapturous terms.
With the coming of moving pictures the next owners moved with the times and the venue became the 'People's Popular Picture Palace'. It was extensively re-modeled in 1938 having lost its High Victorian verandah, dress circle, fixtures and fittings in the early 1920s.

By the early 1970s the Theatre had fallen on hard times. It had a crumbling art deco fa├žade and only one performance a week was being advertised. The Theatre Royal had reached the point where only the small gallery [a mere ghost of the splendid original Dress Circle] was open, and heating and mod-cons were at an absolute minimum.

As a result of the hard work put in by the previous owner Ray Lindstrom, cinema manager Les Thornton, and a loyal and enthusiastic staff, the Theatre Royal came back to life.

They brought a variety of new films four or five nights a week, matinees, live theatre, discos, bands and live music for various age groups on a regular basis, a supper bar, liquor licence and-until quite recently, a video shop.

In 1999 new owners John & Donna Walter restred the Theatre, utilising the 1938 renovation as a foundation and reinstating the ice cream and juice bar.

Julian and Renee de Crespigny with David Stretch and Sarah Burdekin bought the Theatre in December 2004 and have set about continuing the restoration of the Theatre and in the process, aim to grow the business and establish the venue as a landmark regional entertainment complex.

Castlemaine is very proud of its Theatre Royal. It has a history of over 150 years of continuous entertainment on the same site, in substantially the same building, with no ostensible break in service.

Castlemaine's grand old lady of entertainment looks set for many more successful years

Still known as the Theatre Royal and the Royal Hotel, the two buildings were joined by a form of lobby and continued to do good business. In 1860 the Royal Hotel was advertising the availability of 'Iced Drinks! Every Day! No Extra Charge!' with
'ice for sale in small or large quantities!'
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