LIFE'S A BEACH: and moments like these

Well I was hoping for a relaxing Sunday. Maybe a nap. But NO it was not to be. My upstairs neighbours decided it was high time they drilled and hammered and generally clanked around.

In my frustration I decided to go and clean my balcony. As much as we all love a Jacaranda tree, it is not the wisest choice to have in close proximity to one’s balcony. Winter usually finds me tip-toeing through the apartment trying not to crunch up the Jacaranda leaves more than they already are. No matter how careful I am with the balcony door, the leaves always end up inside. This is not what I had in mind with bringing the outdoors in. So out I go and clean the balcony. A bit of sweeping, a bit of mopping and voila, tidy clean balcony. How nice! Clean and fresh, think I will just sit out here and enjoy this moment.

So, coffee and magazine at the ready, just as I get comfortable, I am serenaded by the dulcet tones of yet a different neighbour with his electric sander. So besides the noise bombardment, my nice clean balcony is now covered in a layer of sawdust.

This really is the lucky country!~

To cheer me up I went in search of my long lost travel photos. If I don't find them soon, my ‘IF IT’s TUESDAY posts may dwindle. I did though find these. Taken approx 9yrs ago at one of my local beaches that skirt Botany Bay in Sydney. [if i was more patriotic i would say 'girt']

I hope you enjoy these and remember, when the sawdust chips are down;





[Sydney skyline and airport in background]

[images – me]

I’m off to vacuum up the crunchy bits!!

Cheers - Julie

AN ANGEL: from Rome with love

It’s been a busy, busy week and I’m also feeling a little low on energy, plus a power blackout , so I missed giving you my ‘IF IT’S TUESDAY’ travel post. So here it is on Friday. An Angel, all the way from Rome (my Italy trip 1996). I hope she will cheer your weekend, whether it be to;

keep you safe

bring you pleasant dreams (or travel daydreams)

remind you of the beauty In Heaven AND On This Earth

or simply just please the eye

[source – me]

Don’t you just love how the clouds gathered round to be included!!

My beautiful angel can be found on the Ponte Sant'Angelo in Roma.

She is one of ten angels to be found on this historic bridge, which was once known as Pons Sancti Petri. So called as it was used by the pilgrims travelling to St Peter’s Basilica.

I hope she paves the way for two 'gentle people' who always retained their youthful joy, and sadly passed from this earth today;

Farrah Fawcett

Michael Jackson

Have A Great Weekend

MY HEART: an autobiography

The endearing Simone from ‘The Bottom Of The Ironing Basket’ has tagged me to play the ‘My Heart’ game. Simone is a relatively new blog friend and reminds me of a dear English friend I met whilst travelling in the USA many moons ago. Bubbly, clever, genuine … all these attributes shine through in her posts. Go and take a little peek at her blog and you will see what I mean.

Well, the brief for this assignment is;

"With as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, a poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess. If you want to join in, tag 6 more blogs."

For the creative part I chose to write this as an autobiography written by ‘my heart’ .


My Heart

an autobiography

AUTHOR’S FORWARD: Hi Everyone , let me introduce myself - I’m Julie’s heart. It’s a bit of a boring job these days, but every now and then she gives me something of interest to do. Like this post. I get to talk about myself and share with you things I have enjoyed during various phases of OUR life. It’s a bit of a rocky ride, so buckle up and let’s get started.


Well I first became active in Julie’s young life with the usual activities of food, drink, mummy. But then things a got a little busier for me when Teddy came along. Actually he was always there from the start, but I don’t think I was able to recognise his beauty until WE were about 1yr old. I Love Teddy, he’s still with US, but SHE keeps him in a cupboard now. [Teddy’s the one without the bonnet – she only let him out for the photo-shoot]

me baby

2 IMG_0109 [source - beingRUBY]

I think the other people in the family noticed that I [heart] had a bit of thing for Teddy. They didn’t, or wouldn’t, see our love as unique and kept bringing in replacements. Still to this day, in they march, birthday after birthday with inferior substitutes, but Teddy was always my 1st love. [don’t tell Teddy but I sort of liked Flat Cat and 3-in-1 Red Riding Hood].

At this time, the Disney phase hadn’t yet morphed into princess dolls, but anyone who knows US, knows we like to sleep, so I suppose Sleeping Beauty would of felt right at home.

sleeping beauty 4

[source – google images]


As WE grew older, things got a little bit more complicated and I [heart] got badly crumpled. You know from age 0-10 Mum was everything to US. She always had open arms to hold us when WE were hurt, or funny jokes to make US smile. She had the innate ability to make everyone around her feel welcome, even new acquaintances. And of course, as Julie was the baby of the family, WE always felt special in her eyes. But WE had only just reached the age of becoming independent [13], when tragedy struck. Mum passed away. Mum will always have a special place in OUR heart.

‘I Carry Your Heart, In My Heart’ E E Cummings [# quote – line from poem]

This is a one of my favourite pictures of Mum. WE didn’t know her then of course, she was probably only in her teens, but she had a look of such joy and spontaneity here. Just as WE like to remember her.

2 IMG_0116

[source – beingRUBY] - [# picture]

CHAPTER3: AMOUR, AMORE and the outfits to match

OK so this was hard work for me [heart]. Julie kept me very busy through her teens, twenties and even thirties going out and having fun and I was expected to cope with all this In Love, Out of Love, Maybe Love. The only upside was that WE got to dress up and fill OUR wardrobe with many beautiful things that WE loved. A girl’s got to have a good wardrobe to play the LOVE game. Some of my favourite items were OUR Lisa Ho dresses. And we had many, after all what else did WE have to spend our money on than Dresses, Shoes, Coats, bags and generally having fun. Food could wait. These were good times!

Unfortunately, in later years Julie partook in too much of the good life [at my urging i admit] and now those beautiful dresses no longer fit and have been given to another Heart and it’s owner. I pleaded with Julie to keep at least a few, but NO ... ‘who listens to their heart?’ WE could of done something like this!!

0 blue dress frame

[source] [# clothing item]

HYACINTHS [# poem]

"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."

Musharish-Ud-Din Sadi

~ 13th Century Persian Poet


So after the LOVE debacles we moved on to other pastimes to occupy our time.

This was my favourite task. Getting Julie to Love Travel! It took a bit of convincing on my part to get her to leave her comfort zone, but once she did WE had so much fun. WE travelled the world and saw things that made Julie’s eyes well with tears of joy, and my ventricles thump.

It would be really hard for US to pick a favourite. I [heart] had ensured Julie was obsessed with all things Italian. So of course we have spent many weeks travelling that beautiful land. Molte Bene!!! Bella Italia!!! I even convinced her to enrol in Italian Language class in Firenze. It was a great adventure and luckily Julie had the sense to convince me to spend some time in France, Turkey and the Greek Islands, among other destinations. The common thread being anywhere in the Mediterranean.

Here is one of OUR travel pics. WE have more over here if you’re interested.


[source – beingRUBY]

WE can clearly say ~ WE LOVE all Mediterranean countries [#place]


Well they say Home is where the Heart is. But I can tell you from a 1st person [or heart] perspective that is not always true. Julie and I have lived together all our lives and not all our places of residence have been a ‘Home’. But now we have big plans. I am planting the seed for US to get our own home. Yes indeed, then WE can decorate, furnish and adorn in OUR own style till OUR heart’s content [finally it’s about me!].

india hicks home 1 india hicks home 9

india hicks home 3 india hicks home 5


[source – domino]

WE would really love a cottage, with a wraparound verandah and perhaps to dream, a cottage by the SEA [which is another of OUR great loves]


When we get that beautiful home, we will be sure to adorn it with art.

Something that makes this HEART beat faster, is gazing upon glorious art. And what sort of art do WE love; anything to do with the sea, ships, sailboats, seascapes, and anything Vintage. WE also have a passion for religious art and Icons. It is hard to remember how this fascination started, but it was certainly influenced by travel. I encouraged Julie to start a regular post on Religious Artefacts. She did one at the beginning and then got lazy [see here]. That’s her style. WE will have to get OUR act together.


La nascita di Venere - Sandro Botticelli



And here we are at the end of our little story about me [heart]. I am sure now there will be many more chapters to add. This blogging gig has been good for me [heart]. No longer am I stuffed in the back of the cupboard in a shoebox [although it was nice and safe in there with Teddy].

I [heart] would like to thank all you beautiful bloggers who keep coming back and leaving me comments, and welcome any new ones. I love your comments. They help me do this tricky job of keeping Julie motivated.

To sum up, WE will leave you with this little song. Written by Paul McCartney and sung by many;

bb sing

[pic - unknown]

Blackbird [#song]

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and lean to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly

Blackbird fly

In to the light of the dark black night



Again I am hesitant to nominate anyone who simply, may not have the time.

I am suppose to nominate 6. I will go with these lovely ladies below, and if you too feel inclined, let me know and I can include you on the list; [rules at top in BLUE]

OH and ladies, take all the time you want, matters of the heart shouldn’t be rushed!

My Week In Review: [or Calamity Julie with a tag]

I’ve had one of those weeks. Some days I seem to attract disaster, but this week was a doozy.

[wanted surrender - this will do]

This is how my week went;

Last Weekend - Set myself on fire filling a candle lighter – burnt clothing not me - Lucky

Monday - Broke a tooth eating salad (extra hard bacon bits!!) – Not lucky

Tuesday - Stabbed my finger on a scone (extra sharp bacon bits!!) - Strange

Wednesday - Got hit by an automated garage door (why?)

- Had emergency temporary filling and will need a crown - $$$

- Temporary filling fell out whilst waiting to pay

- Had another emergency temporary filling

- Discovered had misplaced my purse whilst waiting to pay

- Walk back to car in rain, find purse

- walk back to dentist in rain, pay $$$

- Leave dentist cross road – oops forgot umbrella

Friday – bee in car whilst driving in peak hour

Still alive – but workmates are worried

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY: The wonderful Cate at 'Ella And Baba' tagged me to play '6 uninteresting things that make me happy'. Considering my week they are;

1. Still have hair

2. Still have other teeth

3. Still have fingers

4. No broken bones

5. Found Purse

6. Didn't crash car

I am suppose to pass this on to 6 other bloggers. However, given the recent flood of tagging, I will do as others have done and offer it up to anyone who would like to play? Don't be shy ... you know you want to!

Meanwhile, go and give Cate a visit. Her blog is a haven for beautiful, stylish posts brimming with gorgeous images and so worthy of your visit.

I particularly like her 'Blue Posts'.


I KNOW, I KNOW, IT'S WEDNESDAY, but it is also summer of 1993 and somewhere on the road between Venice and Vienna.

With most of my travel photos I can recall the events of the moment, but with this one the memory has faded, other than it was another day of miles and miles of travel and the only distraction was that little hut pepping me up enough to captures it's image. As you can imagine it was just a flash of a moment passing at high speed, so I was pleasantly surprised when my photos were developed weeks later and here she was - 'Little Hut'. Brought to you today in colour and sepia.


Further along on this same leg, we came to Salzburg. Well we all know what Salzburg is famous for? Yes ladies and gentlemen home to - 'The Sound of Music'.

Oh to see grown adults humiliating themselves by posing in these film locations. Yes there was singing and skipping, the guys included. A strange sight to see. There's obviously no shame when it comes to our childhood memories. So here to jog your's is, a photo of Maria embarking on her journey of discovery.

I have confidence in sunshine

I have confidence in rain

I have confidence that spring will come again

Besides which you see I have confidence in ?

INSPIRED BY: Art and Hues of the Sea

Inspiration from the mysterious sea and it's hidden depths of blue and green.

Image: from Ralph Lauren

The sea has long held a fascination for me. I think my introduction to this obsession came from my grandfather's many watercolours of sailboats and majestic ocean liners, lovingly worn books and his own personal stories of life at sea as a cabin boy. Long after he was gone, his books and paintings continually strengthened my obsession, as did my brother's own art. Unfortunately for me, he was the one to inherent this talent (and possibly the watercolours??).

I suppose it should not surprise me then that my favourite colours are blue and green. And not just the light and friendly hues. My passion also runs deeper to the dark, deep blues and steely grey greens. Any colour really you would find in an ocean storm.

Hawaii Seascape: by Betty Paeth

I love to bring these passions into my surroundings so I can enjoy them daily. My preference (but still a dream) is to have a somewhat neutral setting which can then be punctuated by bursts of colour (often changed to suit my mood). One way to introduce this colour is by artful placement of cluster paintings, or even a large looming piece that dominates the space. At the end of this post, you will find some wonderful art that has recently inspired me. But for now, here are some examples of both art and sea inspired hues found in my online meanderings.

Nautically Inspired

Sea Foam & Deeper Hues

Ships & Sailboats

IMAGES: House Beautiful , Ralph Lauren, Nicholas Haslam, Velvet & Linen, Taverne Agency

Some great inspiration for cluster art can be found at Anna Spiro's blog Absolutely Beautiful Things. This designer has the touch for bringing art and fabulous colour into your home.

Wallpaper (with hues of the sea)

The first two images above are from Shannon Fricke's home. Another fabulous Australian talent. Her home is something to envy.

And of course, finally, the wonderful art that inspired this post. These pieces below fascinate me. Oh how I would love to own and cherish them myself.

Art That Inspires Me

A little Blurb about the Art

#1 - I like to call this the 'Blue Lady'. I can look at her for hours and wonder what her life was like, and what she was thinking in this moment. This elegant lady seems a little sad to me. Perhaps she is stifled by the protocols of her station in life. (found via 'Absolutely Beautiful Things' blogspot)

#2 - Seascape by 'Whistler'. One of the many beautiful seascapes by Whistler. This image was found at 'House Beautiful'

#3 - This painting was posted at 'A Bloomsbury Life'. I really don't know anything about it other than the colours and composition sing to me. [postcript: artist: Dora Carrington]

#4 - I just adore this artwork by Adalaide Johnson. These two ladies look very carefully attired and almost uncomfortable in their surroundings. Is it just the shoes not suited to the terrain? I think it might be another case of being stifled by protocol. This was part of an art show held by the fabulous store Curious Sofa. I can't get to the store, but I love visiting her blog 'Curious Sofa Diaries'.

#5 - 'Centennial Park' by Marcella Kasper. Subtle muted colours. The subject here is not the sea, but Centennial Park in Sydney. I used to park my car there every morning on the way to work. Some winter mornings you could be lucky enough to see a mist sweep in from the sea. So not of the sea, but from the sea.

Well that is all for this post. If you can't live by the sea, at least you can bring it into your home by way of art and colour. I love to know 'what' inspires you and 'how' you incorporate that love into your surroundings.

Dedicated to 'Dagga' ... and

'Those who go down to sail the sea in ships

who do their business on the high seas'

If you happen to make it to the end of this post ... congratulations ... it was a bit 'mammoth' and became somewhat of my 'archilles heel'.