Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ambition and Art...

With my precious Tara chirping away-

A yellow bloom-

My favourite chipped green cup & saucer-

And versing thoughts of a year, near complete-

So much this year has given, and taught, and loved, and lost, and made, and longed for,
and brought me.

Wishing you happiness, and refection, and light, this new year.

Shell xx

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways

Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils

With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms

We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

{...and perhaps a case for justifying above recent purchase?!}

Shell xx

Monday, December 28, 2009

In the Stillness...

I gave a day of post-Christmas stillness, and poetry to myself today.

I ate Eggplant Kasaundi and squishy white cheese with toast and put my feet up...

I reflected upon the beautiful film Bright Star - which I saw on Boxing Day evening. Directed by a woman and co-staring an Australian. One of the most wonderful films I've ever seen!

And to learn more about John Keats - whose short life yielded so much heart felt, romantic poetry. I rather found myself determined to, before my life ends, compile a book of my own poetry...

I will let it be just one. From early, innocent verses, through youth, and on towards wisdom, where grace truly comes into your life, and you're even happier than you were, when you were innocent - because now you understand the time and the journey and the pain and the peace.

Yes friends, I feel dreamy and inspired... Like I could conquer everything with just the right poetic verse... Or perhaps I have been inside my book of verses too long! Like the line from Persuasion - when Anne questions a friend if too much poetry "is quite safe!" That might be it..!

I am rambling! But I am enjoying exciting myself with the possibilities that new year will bring, and I need to list my hopes and creative plans for the next chapter to share with you - and for you to share with me the lists that will help shape your 2010.

Yours in verse -

Shell xx

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Moments...

Twine and ribbon.

Under tree uploading.

Capturing memories.

Of the year's most special morning.

Extravagant fun.

For love, and fun's sake.

And a special presentation...

Because you're only twelve once.

Hoping all encountered a very Merry Christmas.

Shell xx

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On the eve of it all...

..I arrived home from food shopping to find a package for me in the mail from a dear and beloved friend.

And I know she would smile to see Tara dancing around the kitchen with the ribbons from atop of the little presents...

Friend, thank you. You defined the day with such love today. I will savour, and cherish each special thing you've sent, leaving nothing unenjoyed or overlooked. I am humbled by your kindness. Inspired to be an even better friend to you this new year.

So on the eve of it all, in 37˚ heat, I kept cool inside with my children by decorating a wreath to hang above the piano - complete with fake cherries and real olive branches!

And on the eve of it all, I have taken time to enjoy Emma's amazing bird Christmas ornaments on our tree, to breathe the fresh pine needles, just to lovingly wrap presents, and become excited!

And again, to thank the dear sweet loving hearts I have found here, in this last amazing blogging year. Thank you for your beautiful words always - and in some cases, for your beautiful art work as well - which as you can see, features highly in my home.

Ah the day that is almost upon! The time to show the love for all who are dear to us! And all in God's name! Amen!

I plan to cherish every minute with my beloveds, and to be thankful for such a blessed year, hopeful for the new one ahead.

Full of jam
and turkey
and new earrings
and good chocolate
great music,
and kind words
and ginger bread!

Merry Christmas,

Shell xx

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a Merry Little Christmas...

The season of Christ's birth is on my heart, in my mind, under foot and over head...

Consider this my gift, my song, a Christmas wish from my good self, to you for all your support and friendship over the past year!

Shell xx

Saturday, December 19, 2009

An ode, and a conversation...

I hardly know where to begin, but it has been the most eventful time...

Though I ponder too much, try to hone in on exactly what I want to tell you, when really I should just start as though we're in the middle of a conversation - as you talk with old friend - the points and the events come out within the chatting and the friend-ing.

I should go backwards, from most recent doings... For all I can really think about today is how privileged I have been to have {in small way only} helped at my Sister~in~Law's birthing of a new and particularly perfect baby girl!

And if birth doesn't hone in all your thoughts and perceptions about this life we're living and why we're to live it wholesomely and well - then nothing will. I can only seek to express my gratitude for being in the presence of strong, spiritual women such as the ones I shared this event with. And for shyly witnessing the love between to-be mother and to-be father, throughout the ordeal and the life changing event that is the birth of their first babe.

* * *

The night before we took our caroling hearts to Stage 88 in Canberra, and sang along to seasonably appropriate songs of praise with our children and two thousand or so others!

It's funny, but in a wonderful way, that the only time of year you will hear great masses of people, outside of a church singing hymns that acknowledge and praise God, is at Christmas. I love that Christmas is about Jesus, and that hysterical giving, and generosity and equality among all, stems from Christian inspiration and teaching.

And it's nice to pack a homemade picnic dinner for all the family to eat on a rug under spiritually charged oak trees and grand old gums.

* * *

On Sunday, my friend returned home from his last overseas work trip of the year. Much joy was to be had for it was also the day of our anniversary! And we went to church together that night as a couple who had and been in love, and in matrimony for Thirteen Years, and blissfully counting...

We went and had a splendiferous meal on Monday night, the kind when you dress in your best, you go for a little drink before hand, {and though I don't drink alcohol, I did discover that I love dry ginger ale softdrink with a slice of lime} you hold hands in the car park, he holds the door; pulls out the chair... Not to make it sound as though I do not get that kindness and specialness from my friend, and he from me, everyday - which I confess I do - which is what makes a special outing and an amazing meal in the company of just each other even more special. Because we celebrated our long standing friendship, and earned an evenings ode, to an undying love.

Of course, still a little like the silly children we were when we got married in 1996 - too shy to ask the waitress to take an iPhone photo of us together! And, um, gosh, I didn't think my dress was that low!! *cringes*

So, that covers some of my short stories of late, though not all of them. I will post more often {promise!} from now, and up until Christmas, keep you up to date, and in the conversation, as though you are, and because you are an old dear friend.

Shell xx

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh, tree of lights...

Oh tree of lights,
remind me as I decorate-
each star, and each shiny ball,
of the years before I put you there.

And hardly can it be believed-
that a year has passed us by in between?
But it has not passed us by,
We have given thanks for it everyday.

And so it's time to celebrate our Lord's birth,
{and this year, also the newlyweds baby's birth}
And give thanks in a bigger way!
With our tree of lights,
each star and each shiny ball,
A symbol of love, for you.

Shell xx

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh my stars!

During recent summer evenings we have been eating dinner quickly, clearing the table swiftly, and making way for crafty, Christmassy creating...

These are my red cardboard, painted-with-golden-glitter Christmas stars! I wanted to brighten up my rooms with red starry cheer that didn't cost the Earth - and I cannot begin to explain how much fun I've had making art with my older two babes {more on their own creations in an upcoming post}. So as you can see, I think they're rather fabulous blowing in the breezy open windows by day...

And glittery~fantastic...

By the night.

Shell xx

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Four~Hundred Short Stories...

{...and I still feel young!}

{The first photo taken from this wee blog!}

Hello my wonderful friends,

I am overwhelmed, and excited to announce that this is officially my 400th blog post!

A place I created to share my heart, and aspects of what I considered to be an interesting, challenging, wonderful, often weird, and always poetic life...

I wish to link to, and give thanks to a kindred spirit, whose friendship did lead to me starting this blog - a beloved friend whom I met in a paper shop once in Sydney... Our meeting was at first brief, and "chance" - as chance as the Lord's careful workings in His purposeful tapestry -that we call our lives...

I speak of my meeting Miss Emily, in said paper shop, in said Australian city, because as the Lord did sew it with his careful thread - an awakening was to occur inside of me, through this befriending.

I guess I had just become too busy, lapsed into being inwardly anxious, digressed into being outwardly unconscious... In short, I loved the Lord, but had seemingly forgotten - in the preciousness of the every day - how to engage with Him.

And this is sort of how I became, More Than Twelve Short Stories...

My band had just finished recording, and was about to release an album which I had written and named Twelve Short Stories. It was a pretty exciting time, and I did nothing but talk about and promote the album to the ends of the Earth (as it was our own indie release).

So I needed this place to be just for my thoughts, my sometimes fears, my poems, my walks, my family, my faith, my recipes, my photos: my short stories - more than Twelve Short Stories...

And then, before long, without ado, like a small still voice, came a flow of new inspiration! A flourish of new friends and kindred spirits! Possibilities, and new ways to explore my artistry!

And I began writing new songs, and found a place to share them, from their birth, with my readers.

And through this all, I have grown so entirely.

But I would have had no-one to talk with, had it not been for you.

Your comments have surprised and delighted, charmed and enlightened me! I am humbled by the success of this blog, and ever so very thankful! For paper shops, and tapestries, and blue blogs, and bookmarks, and zucchini soup, and friendship, and honesty, the Holy Spirit, and heart songs, and little birds...

For being woken up from a deepest sleep, I didn't know I was in...

I pray dear reader,

That some sense can be made of my heartfelt ramblings this night! And that you will stay with me? I promise I will remain awake with you to grow, and discover new parts of the tapestry which is by no means a "chance" or a random thing - but is our lives!

And I intend to go on and share the poetic, and the meaningful aspects of it all, here with you.

Shell xx

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Health, and voice...

I didn't like to mention it darling, but I have a cold. And the only interesting thing about this fact is that I'm a singer. Booked for a BIG do on Saturday night..!

So tonight after a scratchy band practice, I am sitting (up too late) with homemade hot lemon & honey drink and trying to love it.

Praying for health, and voice. And SOON!

Shell xx

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Of red and green...

There have been rainstorms on my cherry trees, and gift gathering in my mind as the first of festive December arrives at Hillview - on rather a cool and unseasonably un-summery day.

I bought the Green House door a present!

And it sort of was for me too... Looks so magnificent to my eyes that I get a Christmassy smile on my head every time I see it!

And in-of-doors I am vasing up all of the fresh December blooms from my garden so that a new floral discovery can be made around every corner.

And while I wait out the cool change inside with my ornaments and things of red and green, I have the perfect Diva/Christmas slippers to warm, and charm me before the heat hits hard, the rains desert us and the Aussie summer delivers it's usual harshness and sunburnt beauty.

Hope you're enjoying the beginning of the Advent month, where ever you be!

Shell xx