The four harmonious friends

I bought an embroidered picture from an op shop a while ago.  I saw it and was instantly drawn to it.  I didn't know what it meant but it was of four animals; an elephant, a monkey, a rabbit and a bird and they were all piled on top of one another with the elephant carrying the others.  It was called 'The Four Harmonious Friends'  

When I got home, I googled it (good old google) and found that it is a Tibetan / Bhutanese story which signifies unity and social harmony.  I found a few explanations of what the picture represents.  In brief they tell the story of the animals all working together and using their individual talents to be able to reach the fruit of the tree.  There is also a version which has a sort of moral about respecting your elders.  In another version, it is suggested that the elephant represents the body, the monkey the restless mind, the rabbit represents emotion and the bird is the soul. 

This story appeals to me on so many levels..... (read on if you dare for an insight into my wierd and wonderful mind!)

I guess we all strive for wholeness, for wellness in body and mind and control over our emotions.  For a number of years I have worked in addiction and mental health and attempted to use mindfullness, meditation and yoga in order to calm the chatter of my own monkey mind.  I have learned that my own mental health is interconnected to my physical body as well as my spiritual self.  So I guess this is why the four harmonious friends appeals so much to me.  A strong body can support the mind.  A stable mind supports the emotions.  And these three things feed a healthy, supported, respected soul.  All these aspects of a person are interconnected.  And who doesn't want a healthy soul?

It also makes me think about how important we all are in one another's lives.  Within our communities we may all be different, we may have different habits, have different coloured skin and be of different ages but we we all have a part to play in one anothers' lives.  The element of connectedness is so vital to good mental health and within this we all have a very important role as well as a commitment to ourselves to connect where we can.

"Everyone has something to bring to the party".  I often remind myself of this both as a way of being kinder to myself and to others too.  We all have something to offer; we are all different but these differences are neither superior or inferior to our own.  We are all just the same at the end of the day.  All people trying to find our way through life and to make it as fulfilling and rewarding as we can.

I know this is a bit of a random post and a lot different to my usual show and tells but I have wanted to post about the picture for a while now.  This post was originally going to be about friendship but I guess good mental health is something that I am passionate about.

Please take from this what you will, or don't if that suits you better. 

Either way have a fabulous day.
: )

A new garden bench

Check out our new garden bench; made by le husband; a very talented fella, if I do say so myself!  I'll lose him to his man shed for a few hours or even a few days at a time where he makes allsorts of things.  A couple of weekend ago he went in there and when he came out he brought me this!  It wasn't quite as miraculous as that though, I might add, as I have a very important role in these activities as the 'holder' so I do get to see the progress along the way

We had some salvaged wood that my brother had given us when he moved house and it had sat unused or even unlooked at for a year and a half.  Then one evening I mentioned to the hubby that I'd seen a great rustic bench in a garden centre and that I wondered if he could make a bench for us.   So after a bit of drawing and research he came up with this idea and got to work sanding all the wood and repairing it where necessary.

We're not too sure what wood it is but it is very hard and heavy.  One piece of redgum was in the garage when we moved into our house and the others were off a flat bed truck.  There were also a couple of oak 4x4 pieces that were perfect for the legs.  All we needed to buy was a couple of bolts and some linseed oil and the rest of the stuff we had already.

It's so rustic and lovely.
The perfect spot for a bit of reading me thinks


P.S. I've been so busy crafting and cuddling the new baby that I forgot all about blogging! 
I've been making so much and have forgotten to take photos as I've gone along.  oops. 
I suppose I'm not quite in the habit of blogging yet but I shall attempt to improve.
And by the way, today it's raining in my neck of the woods.


Baby baby

After a dramatic Saturday, this little cutie pie came into the world on Sunday morning.  My little sister did so well.  I am amazed at how much I love this little person already and how I want to cuddle her constantly.  My beautiful niece.


Show & Tell... an upcycled storage basket

                                                                 Today I made this

                                                   From a couple of empty ones of these

Plus a piece of calico and a strip of scrap fabric. 

I have been having a tidy up of my craft stuff and needed something to put my wool in so I thought these cotton rice bags I'd kept over the last couple of months would be just the thing to make a storage basket out of.  For this one I used three sides of the bags for the sides and the fourth side made the base.  I can't wait to make more!  I might do a tutorial of the next one.  I didn't measure or follow a pattern for this little baby, I just figured it out as I went along. 

I think we'll be having a lot of rice for dinner over the next few weeks!

Here today it has been sunny and warm, about 25ish I think.  The sky is blue and we're going for a drive for fish & chips for dinner tonight (side order of rice anyone?)  Yummo! 
Hope your Friday is a good one

Jo ;)


A dog gone walk

Yesterday I got the urge to drive to the beach and give the boy wonder a run out and to take me away from the sewing machine before I went cross eyes.  He loves the beach and I love to see him enjoying himself so it's a really glorious way to spend an hour of my life.  We go to a great beach and 9 times out of 10 we have the whole beach to ourselves.  It's a bit of paradise.

The boy wonder is my dog...

I needed to air my wings and this was the perfect way to do so.  It was pretty overcast but not cold and it was so quiet where we were; the odd passing car and the noise of the occasional bird call and other than the wind in my ears the only other noise was the water tricking and the pounding of the hooves of my dog who sounds so much like a horse when he runs.

Mouth wide open and smiling... dog gone ugly but dog gone cute no?

Something that gave me quite a shock... I did think I'd made a discovery; a dead body; a dead headless body no less!!
Seriously I did really think this was a dead body.  I almost pooped my pants when I saw it.  I thought  this headless figure had been decapitated by a shark. 
Maybe it was a candid camera moment, where I let out a little squawk and quietly explored the figure with my foot while thoughts ran through my mind of having to call it it at the police station before the tide came in!  Drama over as thankfully it was only a wetsuit full if sand - bizarre I know.  Where on earth did it come from and how did it get there?   

can you see what I mean about it looking like a decapitated body?

And almost at the end of the visit I found one of my little gems.... a heartstone <3  Only this one has got a hole in its heart.

It's sunny here today and I am dreaming of the summer.  Hope you're enjoying your day whatever it holds x

Giveaway over at Heart Handmade UK

I am always amazed at how generous people are with their giveaways in Blogland.  I very rarely enter a giveaway as there are usually about a million other people who have entered but sometimes I get the urge and today the urge I got indeedy.  My urge today was for a gorgeous giveaway at Claire's blog Heart Handmade UK.  Click here to go directly to the giveaway and while you're there check out the other posts where you'll find an array of excellent tutorials and downloadables.
Here's a pic of the giveaway goodies to lure you there.....


Sewing and crafting

This week has been pretty full so far and it's only Wednesday! 

I travelled up to the big smoke to see my Ma on Sunday, leaving home in the afternoon once I'd done a few bits in the garden and planted out some of the seedlings which had finally grown big enough.  The clocks went forward an hour (I think it's daylight savings? or maybe that's what it's called in the winter-time?). Anyway the day was a good type of day with some of my favourite things in it; gardening, a bit of sunshine to soak up all the rain we had last week and then Thai food with the family.

Then on Monday I got the spring cleaning bug and just went for it in the house; cleaning everything I could.  I wish I could bottle that cleaning bug and take a swig of it whenever I look at the floors and think "they'll do for another day", but alas I'm afraid it only pops along every blue moon so I grabbed it with both hands and cleaned all day!  ALL day.  I was totally pooped at the end of it but the house looked fabola.  I even got the inclination to have a move around in the living room (of the furniture, not myself) and so move it I did.  I used to do this a lot years ago and it was a standing joke that my husband would go to get into bed and it would be in a different place.  I haven't moved stuff around in this house so much so it was great to have a shuffle and make the space all new. 

I created a reading nook during the reshuffle...
 I think my Monday cleaning motivation was to get the house all clean so that my mind would be clear and I would have no distractions.  You see I needed all the concentration I could find to get to grips with the new addition to my sewing kit....  my overlocker!!!  I have wanted one of these for so long and finally it happened.  And I've gotta say, I am loving it!
I fully expected it to be a bit of a challenge to get my head round using it, but once I'd read the destructions instructions, it was easy enough to get going with basic overlocking.  I had wanted to make this dress for a while, so it was the perfect first project for my new machine.  I copied the pattern from a dress that my sis loves and the nappy cover was the same pattern that I have used and linked back to before. (Only 4 days left until my sister's due date so it was good to get this made)

It made the task so much easier having the overlocker; less fiddling with the iron for making hems, and it was way easier to make the nappy cover too.  The last ones I made were really fiddly around the legs but once I'd gone round the edge with the overlocker they were easy peasy to sew.  A big investment but I think it was well worth it.  I hardly ever buy new stuff for myself or the house, we even joke that the dog's second hand!  So my Janome 8002DX (Jan is her name - very original I know) was a real treat....

So in order to make the most of Jan and get a bit more practice in, today I got to work on covering a little ironing board that I use for my crafting.  I recycled a cushion cover that I got from an op shop.  I unpicked it and away I went...

I left plenty of room around the edge to allow for the hem and this was the perfect amount, any less and it would have been a bit of a squeeze.

I may need to adjust the tension, I haven't mastered it quite yet
Using Jan, I whizzed around the edge and then pinned the hem in place before sewing it on the normal sewing machine. (I won't say what I call that one as it's a bit too embarrassing)

I absolutely adore the fabric.  Hmmm maybe I should make one for my domestic ironing board?  I wonder if it might make me more inclined to crack out the iron once in a while? ... possibly not....
I am happy with the addition of Jan to the fold and I am happy that there are more sunlight hours in the evening.  I am also happy to be sewing and doing some of the projects that I've had on my mind for a while.  I am also very happy that niece no 1 who was in hospital last week is out and is very much better. 


Birthday Wishes

I am so fortunate to have a great Mom.  We get on so well and she is my friend as well as my Mother.  I have so much respect for her strength of character, her ability to deal with anything and everything and the fact that she is such a 'person of action'.  I have learned a lot from my Mom about life and love and sometimes I'm amazed at how much I am loved by this lady.  She just loves me, completely as I am, totally unconditionally, for being me and she couldn't change it if she tried.  That gives me such a feeling of security and gratitude. 

So thanks for loving me wholeheartedly Mom.  I love you wholeheartedly too.  You rock! 
Happy Birthday x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...