THANKS: To You and You and You!

Well I can’t do another post until I thank some wonderful people for making my world brighter!



I recently won 3 giveaways… I know! Strange.. I never usually win anything .. so the 1st impressed me… the 2nd and 3rd were on the same day, so surprised and delighted me! Here they are for you to see and me to gloat! Thank you to each of you lovely bloggers for these delightful prizes.

This blogging gig is some kind of wonderful!


St Joshua Blogspot

My first win was from St Joshua blogspot. St Joshua’s blog and Etsy sell these beautiful handmade rings carefully crafted from rustic watch faces. Clever yes? Well the image below is the ring that I won. Below are the links to his blog and Etsy shop. While you are over there, check out his wife’s blog ‘Painted White’ which is equally delightful eye candy for those lovers of antique, white and old world charm!!

Painted White

Thank You St Joshua!

St Joshua Giveaway 2



Armchair Trader & The House That A-M Built

The second win was from one of my favourite bloggers, the ever amusing and stylish A-M [from the incredible blog ‘The House That A-M Built]!! I was the lucky winner of Rituelle Bath Products from her Online Shoppe, The Armchair Trader. My prize consisted of both Fragrant Bath Soap & Shower Gel in delicious Jasmine & Tuberose. Just in time to cleanup after all that red dust!! OH.. and the wrapping on the gift was absolutely fabulous [beautiful pink paper tied with the most adorable organza ribbon!] It’s so beautiful and carefully wrapped, I feel like it should be under a Xmas Tree.

The Armchair Trader stocks gorgeous homewares, stylish handbags and of course beautiful Bath Products, amongst other incredible goodies [worth a little wander to plan some Xmas shopping I think!!]. Pop over and see both her blogs and Online Shoppe

The House That A-M Built

Thank You A-M!

Armchair Trader1

A-M 2



Fifi Flowers Design Blogspot

Well on the same day I won A-M’s prize, I was also lucky enough to win yet another giveaway!! Yes indeed! I won this fabulous book from Fifi Flowers Design Blogspot. ‘The Quotations of Coco Chanel’, illustrated by Fifi herself!! How lucky can you be on the same day.

I suspect you will all know Fifi’s blog. Fifi is a talented artist who takes us on a daily journey through some desirable locations, be it the streets of Paris, an outdoor cafe, or some other drool worthy destination. Pop over and see Fifi’s blog and Online Shoppe of Paintings, Note Cards and Bookmarks etc, all created by the talented Fifi herself!

Fifi Flowers Design

Fifi Flowers Shop

Thank You Fifi!




But Wait… There’s More

I also received a lovely thank you gift from Jennifer at J. Beaudet Studios. Jennifer sent me one of her ‘In A Daze’ prints!! How lucky am I? I feel like I won my own giveaway. PS The print is even more beautiful in person!! As you know I love Jennifer’s prints and Oil Paintings and think you will too. Check out Jennifer’s blog & Etsy with the links below;

J Beaudet Studios – Etsy Shoppe

Thanks Jennifer!

0 - In A Daze - JBeaudet



Finally - While I have your attention

I would also like to thank the following bloggers who have graciously given my blog a special mention recently. Really how lucky can a girl be! Thank you to these great gals. All wonderful blogs from wonderful bloggers!!

Thanks Ladies



Phew… we made it to the end!

Well Almost!

To all you fabulous people who leave wonderful ‘gifts of comments’ my way… I think you are all awesome and will be having another giveaway soon to say thanks and give back a little.


[now we’re finished!]

Ciao Julie


VINTAGE Venezia: Faded Beauty

Venice Week: The Final Chapter

Not many memories stay with you as fresh as the moment they occur. My first sighting of Venezia however, stays with me now! The anticipation was was filled with ideas of grandeur, thoughts of regal architecture steeped in byzantine history with a generous touch of fantasy. A land of bejewelled castles floating on a crystallized sea. Well that is what I had dreamt and hoped she would be and Venezia did not let me down.



Bella Venezia, clothed in her full bloomed domes, sequins & diamantes glistening against her gracefully aged fabric, crowned with her turrets and spikes. The sea below attempting to reflect her ethereal beauty, broken by the feathery white foam of the vaporetto speeding to greet her. This is a moment when time stands still. The moment when hopes and expectation are surpassed. I am grateful this moment has remained in my memory. Exact details perhaps a little faded like these images I have created below.

Of course this elegant moment was then brought down a peg or two by my excited jumping and clapping like a child finding the Xmas tree laden with gifts. Now that was not a pretty moment, but my glee could not be contained and I didn’t care who could see it. Every wish I had for Venezia had been realized. La Vita e Bella!!

I hesitated to visit her second time. Fearful her glory would be faded and the memory tainted by some new reality. But like a loyal friend, she did not let me down a second time. A second time I was overwhelmed by her beauty and mystery, and thankful she would share these gifts. From the pinks of her sunrise, to the amber glow and dusty greys of her sundown.

So here she is presented in her various poses [the remaining segments of Tuesday’s photo!] Enjoy!

Faded Venice

1 Being Ruby Venice Canal 4-2 -3sml

1 Being Ruby - Venice Canal - 8 -2-4-2-2sml

1 Being Ruby Venice Canal - Orange-2-2s

Being Ruby Venice Canal 9-1-s4-ssml

Faded Venice

1 Being Ruby Venice Canal -LDOrange9-2s-sml

1 Being Ruby - Venice Canal - LBlue-2-3-s-br

Faded Venice

There you have it… I’m Hooked on Venezia! See other ‘Hooked On’ posts at Julia’s Hooked On Houses

Ciao Julie

Thanks for stopping by this week and joining me on my Venetian Adventure. Ethel and I are both thankful for all your kind comments and support during our Dust Storm.. It seems crazy even saying that phrase.. it is Sydney after all and not the outback, but this week the distinction was blurred. Although by no means a disaster it was a rather frustrating and exhausting week and, believe it or not we had another one this morning, not as severe, nor as red! Thankfully I continued my theme of ‘Procrastination’, so will only need to clean up once!

IMAGES: ALL photos and artwork by me [being Ruby]. This new ‘altered’ style was inspired by the gritty dirty dust storm and the colours of gelati!


Links to Previous Posts in Venice Week:

MERMAIDS: & Myths of Venice!

Hi everyone Ethel the Mermaid here.

Guest posting for Julie again who is busy cleaning up the mess from Sydney's 'Red Wednesday'. [actually she doesn’t know I am here… so I won’t break the rules and will stick to the scheduled Venice posts although SHE broke the rules with that ugly red post!]. Well I am so glad to be back here with you again!! I really wanted to introduce myself last time I posted [here], but Julie said I shouldn’t. You see my name in mermaid speak is ’~~eeeEEEEeee~~’. I know, it’s hard to read, believe me it is even harder to pronounce & if I did, there would be danger of permanent hearing damage. So just call me Ethel.


Today… I want to take you on a tour of the mermaid’s favourite vacation spot, and dispel some ‘Old Wives TAILS’ about Venice [huh .. like old wives have tails, mermaids don’t marry!!]

Mermaids in Venice

Myth #1. Humans designed Venice. You may or may not know this, but the wonder that is called Venice, was originally planned by mermaids as a summer vacation resort.. many many centuries ago when I was just a wee thing with with only a flutter of a tail. We mermaids needed somewhere quiet and beautiful to relax, have fun and be sheltered from the stormy seas [even mermaids get sick of all that rocking motion], so a committee was formed, plans were formulated and a task force went to work, resulting in the masterpiece of town planning known as Venice. You see it just made logical sense not to build roads as the main form of traffic flow.

Roads are not really a priority for us mermaids and Venice is purpose built to accommodate OUR needs. Right, you can see that can’t you? Being able to get to your front door, shop at the fisher’s market or even just buying a simple spray of flowers was always an enormous burden to a mermaid. But in Venice, all these little luxuries are conveniently accessed via miles of winding canals filled with that wonderful miracle called the Sea! Alternate locations were suggested but none were viable, as you can see below.

Entrance-to-the-Grand-Canal--Looking-West,-c_1738-42-(detail-3)-large jss gallery-ord


VE015 - paperweight

Mermaids in Venice

Myth #2. Humans invented Gondolas. Why do you think they are the shape you see here? Long shapely curved body forming a stylish pointed tail! You think it is for manoeuvrability right? Of course it is! … and that is exactly why it was modelled on a mermaids tail! Not to mention it really is just so comfortable to lie back and know there is going to be ample leg room! I mean really, finally 1st class! We designed them and that is why to this day… a mermaid can be seen riding on the bow of all the better know Gondolas. And the serrated shaped blade on the stern.. handy for cutting & preparing fish!

Mermaids have always been known for their flirtatious nature, so I’m sure you won’t be shocked when I tell you that.. whilst a young lady is adoring the gorgeous architecture, her beau might be adoring a flirtatious kiss by a mermaid! It’s true… we are playful little things and like to sneak up to the side of the Gondolas and steal a kiss when no one is watching… always catches them by surprise! Even that cheeky boy Casanova couldn’t resist our charms!

gondolieri-it - 6

visualize us - 1


Mermaids in Venice

Myth #3. The Bridge of Sighs was named for human angst. OK this you won’t know.. but the famous Bridge of Sighs, was named for the fact that during Acqua Alta mermaids could gain access to the crossing point and visit the human realm. Once they discovered things such as hand-blown glass, venetian jewels and gold leafed interiors, their sighs could be heard as far as the outer lagoons. [you thought it was going to be something else didn’t you?]. Back to low tide, these treasures would escape them once again, and they would have to resort to adorning themselves with seaweed & cockle shells.. Nice I admit.. but not quite the same.

Bridge-of-Sighs,-Venice-(La-Riva-degli-Schiavoni)-c_1740 0 canalettogallery-org

bow. jpg

Mermaids in Venice 2

Myth #4. Carnevali was invented by humans. Again this was invented by the mermaid. Back in the old days when we first built Venice, hiding our true nature wasn’t really an issue. People accepted the mermaid then. But now, sadly, we need to keep a low profile, so when we yearn to return to the plazas of Venice, the cloak of fanciful costumes and disguise, allows us this pleasure. The Doge here also knows a thing about fanciful costumes. He looks a bit fishlike to me too.. maybe he is a relative!


portale di venezia -4 bw

bellin5 - jss gallery


So there you have it! Some myths debunked. I’d love to stay and rattle on about more of the glorious antics of the mermaid but I can hear Julie returning

Mermaids in Venice 2

This post is linked to Waterside Wednesday hosted by Barbara @ TheBookBlog . Pop over via the link above to see more Waterside Wednesday participants


IMAGE SOURCES: Mermaid – John William Waterhouse via, JSS & Forgotten,, JSS, Portale di Venezia, JSS

Previous Posts in Venice Week:


Hey everyone… sorry I haven’t posted Wednesday’s Venice post, nor come to visit all your lovely blogs, but been fighting the RED Dust Monster.


I’ve never been ‘big’ on the colour RED.. now more than ever. I now seem to have RED dust covered decor throughout my home. RED car… RED Clothes… RED dishes in the dish rack.. RED Floors… and RED Head!! Well not quite that bad… but actually sort of!! RED PC… it is all over my PC and probably inside it too!!! There is a fine layer of red dust everywhere and unfortunately on the night the dust storm rolled in.. I had the fan of my air conditioning unit on, so it is full of Red dust and so is my living room.. and kitchen.. and bathroom.. and some even in the bedrooms and I’m pretty sure in my lungs!! Been coughing all night..and have a MONSTER headache. [Godzilla size headache!] Need sleep!!

You’ve probably heard about the RED Dust Storm Sydney encountered yesterday. Well here are the pics! [this image was doing the rounds of our office yesterday. Godzilla is not real.. but the rest is!]




I awoke yesterday to a weird yellow glow. Thought the world was on fire!! Strange light I have only seen once before when Sydney experienced it’s worst bushfire season. The dust storm was accompanied by gale force winds, so driving to work yesterday was a treat!! Branches falling on the road in front of me, somewhat deserted streets, and weird eerie yellow glow to everything and the roads covered with brown/red dirt! Just layered with it… strange but true!!

I don’t think there is a clean car in Sydney. Yesterday, for the first time I saw Sydneysiders wearing face masks. We’re a tough lot in Sydney and don’t usually bother with that sort of thing. They didn’t wear them for the Avian Flu, nor for the Swine Flu.. but the BIG Red… face masks everywhere [except the smokers who took it in their stride… just another day!]

Today is back to normal, somewhat! Just the big cleanup now. I hadn’t realised my fan function on the air conditioner was sucking in external air.. until I took a look at the unit and filter.. OMG.. covered in red dust.. was breathing it in all night which accounts for the cough I have now.

Now this is NOT a pretty post! [as you can see by Godzilla above]. Thought you might enjoy these images I took of before and after cleaning the air filters in the air conditioner.


Before Cleaning

air filter 20090923 2 crop

After Cleaning [sort of]

clean - sort of-3


The only UP side is I seem to have ESP!! ha ha I bought a new PC and scanner 3 months ago and have NEVER unpacked them.. Even I cannot understand my hesitation… until now!! Thank goodness. The PC is right under the air conditioning unit that has been blowing the RED stuff all night!! Strangely I have even been putting off getting a new TV.. remember me posting I have no green on my TV? .. well I certainly have RED on it now… another bonus for procrastination!! Also been procrastinating about buying a new car!! Another Bonus!! Well I think I need some more sleep… Will catch up with posts and comments very soon!! Thank you to those sweet ppl who have left comments and emails of concern! You are too sweet!!


RED Julie

PS Sorry this is such an ugly post.. someone has to report the Ugly news!!

IF IT’S TUESDAY: This must be ‘Vintage’ Venezia


canal grande

Being Ruby Venice Canal 1

canal grande


Tuesday and Day 2 of Venice Week: So what do you do with scratchy old photos and a poor scanner…? Make them scratchier, older and pretend their vintage of course! Slight problem with the speedboat.. but hey .. who’s looking? And what do you do when you are running out of pics ‘cause you STILL cannot find your travel stash? Easy… just divvy up the existing ones. By divvy I mean … this is about 1 quarter of 1 photo ‘circa 1993’ [or was it 1996?].. that’s what I call being Frugal !!! So if you want to see the other 3 quarters … y’all come back now!

IMAGES: me .. being Ruby


Day 1: Another Sunday: Basilica di San Marco


ANOTHER Sunday: Basilica di San Marco

I was going to wait for another Sunday… how about another Sunday this week?

I’m in the mood for Venice! So here is Basilica di San Marco in Gold, Sepia & Silver for your viewing pleasure… I might even do Venice all week… unless of course everyone is bored with Venice?


basilica di san marco

Being Ruby - San Marco - Sepia 1 - sml

Being Ruby - Basilica di San Marco - fsm




For the previous Black & White Sunday.. see [here]…

IMAGES: me.. being Ruby [altered from the original photos taken in 1993]