Thursday, 9 September 2010

Time to consolidate.....

Hi friends
Maybe you have noticed a lack of activity here recently -
 well I realise I am spreading myself too thin 
and one blog 
is more than enough for me at the moment.

So Rufus and I would love 
you follow us at The Fable of The Table 
from now on 
and hope we will see your happy faces there.

Today I have some great blogs for you to check out
so do pop over.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A moment in time

image by Jodie Bell

I love the chance connections that can be made through blogs and the unexpected.
Maybe that is why you are here reading this now.

So I couldn't pass up an invitation on Jodie's blog this morning 
to join her for a moment in time.

Take a look and maybe do the same next Friday.
I'll be hoping to see you there.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Outdoor dinner parties

outdoor dinner party, originally uploaded by the style files.

Before the summer leaves wouldn't it be lovely to have a dinner party 
with close friends 
in an orange grove 
like this?
Read all about it on the fabulous the style files.

If you want dining on a larger scale 
then check out how to fill a field with friends!

Have fun whatever you decide to do with friends this weekend.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Magical mosaics

Charles Darwin for Time Magazine, originally uploaded by tsevis.

Just came across the work of an amazing artist, 
Charis Tsevis, 
who creates mosaic portraits.

Enjoy more of his mosaics here

Just have to share one more from his work for IKEA 

IKEA Sweden: Mosaic Boy, originally uploaded by tsevis.

- Mosaic Boy isn't he fab.
I know there are a few IKEA fans read my blog so this one is for you!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Why am I shopping early for Christmas?

When I say shopping early for Christmas, 
what I really mean is shopping early 
for Christmas INSPIRATION

through my new obsession

I wrote about it here and was hoping for an invite - 
which came within a couple of hours of me putting the thought out there.
 Thank you Universe - well Jodi actually.

'So what is all your fuss about?' you are asking.
 Well it is just the most amazing way to collect and save inspiration you find on the web. 
No need for messy bookmarks and folders 
where you never remember why on earth you bookmarked that page.
 It all looks so neat and beautiful.

 I just love my Christmas inspiration page... 
I know I am not being modest,
but the best of it is that you can look at everyone else's pin boards 
and get yet more inspiration.

 Drawback... there had to be one 
it is now midday and I am still not showered!
But it is Saturday 
Rufus has been walked and fed,
so why not enjoy the weekend being inspired. 
It's like a great cup of coffee...

At the moment it is just in beta stage 
(don't ask me what that is)
so if you want an invitation to join
just send Pinterest an email and they will hopefully oblige.

Thanks for dropping by and hope we can get pinning together soon.

Friday, 13 August 2010

I Am A Girl - The Girls With Glasses Theme Song

I just happened across the blog of Imedagoze today 
and stopped to watch this video.
Just love all their poses and the fun they are having taking photos.

 Made me think of Alice and Gemma (here's her new blog)
and all the cute girls I know who sometimes wear glasses.

Hope it brings a bit of sunshine to your day ... Beijing is very cloudy today!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Ethics of strangers

Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people. --Bill Moyers 

This was the thought for the day when I opened my mailbox 5 minutes ago. 
What a coincidence that it should arrive for me today when I had just committed a blogging faux pas.

I had forgotten to ask a fellow blogger's approval before I used her photo in my last blogpost.
 I quickly sent an email to ask her permission and I was so happy that within a couple of hours Solveig had written back saying she was happy to be included.  What relief - I would have been so sad to remove her gorgeous label bag.

Now I am wondering how many strangers are reading this post of mine ...
and how much I would like to connect with everyone who drops by here. 

Thanks so much for being here at this moment 
and hope our paths will cross -
 if you drop me a comment,
 then we will connect more easily :)

But just being here is great too. 
Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Labels for The Fable of the Table

I have been looking into labels recently....
This label bag was my starting point, posted by Solgrim. What a fab idea.

But I was on a search for inspiration for just one - my own label.
Skating sheep, love them but not for tablecloths!

Japanese match boxes certainly have a style I love.

But maybe it was just words I wanted, like these.
If you want to try printing your own labels read this helpful tutorial

In the process of designing a range of table cloths and runners,
 I need to have a unique and memorable tag for them.

A bit of research has thrown up some great ideas but 
I did not want my label to conflict with the design.

Finally I decided to just use colour and shape 
and make my own with red cotton tape and a black pompom. 
What do you think of my first one?
(I will add a card label to give product details in due course.)

Hemp runner with japanese fabric trim- see here for more on creating the look.

More labels in my Flickr gallery

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Collection 5 - Ornamental Bamboo rice containers

Bamboo in blue, originally uploaded by rufusandco.
Bamboo vessels are a speciality of the Chiang Mai region, I love this modern twist in blue.

bamboo containers, originally uploaded by rufusandco.
Three more of these large bamboo ornamental rice containers that were originally used to store sticky( glutinous rice) in Thailand.

Mega bamboo in corner, originally uploaded by rufusandco.
This big Bertha is over 3 feet tall and I love the way it fills a corner. It was too big to bring back on the plane - so it is here in Chiang Mai to stay!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Ceramics - collection x 4

Ceramics add instant character to a home and when we first started decorating our apartment here in Chiang Mai, they were some of our first purchases.
Chiang Mai has some beautiful and innovative ceramics on offer. 
The 3 large pots on our balcony are locally made - I just love their salt glazes and shapes. The smallest reminds me of a poppy seed head.
Back again tomorrow -
 hope this little interlude is making you gather together some collections too.

PS. Don't forget to check back on the blog that got me started on this, A Collection a Day, it really is fascinating.
PPS. If you are interested in Thai textiles then check out my post here

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Collections 3- quilted hangings

Today you are getting two collections in one!

First ~ two quilts I have made to bring some colour to the walls of the apartment here in Chiang Mai. 
The top one is just strips of plain colours that I love and randomly sewed together- not the flattest quilt on the block but I could pretend the waviness signified something!
The second quilt was made after I returned from our fab holiday to Santa Fe, Taos and Seattle last summer. Many of the fabrics were bought in quilt shops in those 3 cities.

Second ~ a collection of old Thai teak temple timbers that we have been gathering here in Chiang Mai. We were looking for one piece to hang the Santa Fe quilt from 
but discovered this treasure trove of timber and came home with 10 or more! 
Most not hanging anywhere yet!
Footnote- we returned this time and sadly the salvage yard is gone - a new warehouse is being built there. 

Monday, 2 August 2010

Collections 2 - Thai Hill tribe bears

Hmong bears, originally uploaded by rufusandco.

These 3 little bears are a bit silly but I love them. They are dressed in traditional costume and I bought them from the Sunday market in Chiang Mai several years ago. I look for more every time I am here but no more bears have made it down from the hills. So it remains a collection of three.

A collection a day - from Chiang Mai

Love the idea of a collection a day that I came across when I was happily wandering round blogs this week.
Here are a few hill tribe jackets that are the start of a collection, from our apartment in Chiang Mai where we are staying this week.

Hill tribe jacket above our bed, originally uploaded by rufusandco.

Hill tribe jacket, originally uploaded by rufusandco.

Hill tribe hat, originally uploaded by rufusandco.

Apologies for picture quality - iPhone not so good in lowlight!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Look what I found in vintage Texas

Navasota, a sleepy city in central Texas - brimming with vintage stores.
A little postcard I created from our day.
Navasota Emporium - we spent a wee while in here!
Loved the size and colour of this Coke jug and 4 glasses.
Silver rimmed cups sit in dimples on the plates - couldn't resist this set of 8.
Two blue jugs to add to the collection
The yellow colour of this crate singled it as the one ...
Displays of old tins added to the atmosphere - 
but wouldn't chose them for my home
One of the beautiful old houses built in the mid 1800's 
by the wealthy cotton growers of the region
Not for sale but loved them all the same
Who just has rusting classic cars lying around in their front garden?
This beauty needs a little love and attention to bring it back to life.

We didn't reach our destination, getting sidetracked by all the quirkiness of Grimes county, Texas.
Loved the people we met and the things we bought. (Can you believe our cases were too full to bring it home , so it sits boxed in Astrid's garage till our next visit).

It's difficult to go shopping for antiques when you have a plane to catch home.

Monday, 19 July 2010

The 7 link challenge

Thanks Susannah for a fun idea to get me started early on a Monday morning at 2.20am. (Well actually I am jet lagged from our mammoth flight home from Houston via London and Copenhagen back to Beijing!! 27 hours on the move)

The 7 Link Challenge originated with Darren Rowse at Problogger and it sounded like a fun idea to try out.
I loved discovering new blogs like Sarah's at Global Copywriting, so what started as a quick read of Susannah's latest blog lead me to a treasure chest of blog ideas.

The challenge is to write a post which is a list of 7 links to posts that you and others have written - in response to the suggested 7 categories.

Here we go:
1. Your first post ~ Back in Jan 2010 I had an urge to start a blog but no idea whether I could keep it going and more importantly have anything to say that others would want to read: A Snowy Start

2. A post your enjoyed writing the most. I had fun exploring the world of sheds in The Tiny House Blog when I came across some inspiration for a family joke. My sister claims to want to have a shed retreat at the bottom of our garden so I created her a possible wish list, never imagining sheds would feature in my blog!

3. A post which had a great discussion. Not sure my humble blog has ever had a great discussion but it was my I see a Wolf Moon Rising that really got a good response back in January - maybe because I was really excited about discovering such a phenomena.

4. A post on someone else's blog that you wish you'd written. I hope I am allowed two here because Beth always inspires me with her photos and writing on Be Yourself, Everyone else is taken. The blog that inspired me to begin was Red, Red Completely Red - from my inspirational daughter. Thanks Astrid for helping me along the way.

5. Your most helpful post. I hope it was helpful - that was the intention when I described how to start a 365 Flickr group amongst your friends in 365 - the month of May. It is one of the best things I did this year as it has kept me connected with friends and family round the world, given me more laughs that any comedy programme, improved my photographic skills 1000% and taken my love of my iPhone to new levels of passion.

6. A post with a title that you are proud of. Snow time like the present - partly because I just love my dog 's face in these photos.

7. A post that you wish more people had read. Has to be my *Lucky Stars* post, simply because I do believe we can change our luck and it would be nice to help everyone bring more luck into their lives.

Hope you will write your 7 link challenge post now and link it in the comments below so we can enjoy yours too. 

It would be fabulous if this post of mine had so many comments it would be next year's 'best discussion' link. 

Monday, 5 July 2010


July 2nd - Tilly @ 3days old, originally uploaded by rufusandco.
Sorry I have been in holiday mode for the last couple of weeks.
Now here in Texas sharing the delight of our first grandchild- Matilda.
Born on June 29th weighing 9lb 1oz (4kg) - she is just beautiful .
Just like the saying goes Tuesday's child is full of grace - she is too.
Astrid and Justin are loving every second of being parents.

Tilly loves snuggling on her
Winganna fleece in the Moses basket I used for all 3 of our children and now being used for the next generation. 
Read more about it on Astrid's blog .

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

June 22- a day at the sea, originally uploaded by rufusandco.
Fish and chips
Buckets and spades
Beach huts
A stroll on the pier ....

A perfect day out at the quintessential English seaside town of Southwold.
A fantastic way to recharge batteries and soak up some sun.

PS. Back to the 365 life plan tomorrow!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Designing a 365 life plan

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. 
And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." 
Jim Rohn

This quote really struck home to me today when I read it in Michael Bungay Stanier's thought provoking newsletter.
Maybe it is because I am on holiday in the Uk and the change of air/light/ water is having an effect or perhaps it is time for change in me.
 Anyone else out there who is also wanting to stop and think about plans?

A few weeks ago I wrote about my fabulous 365 group on Flickr. Now I want to make a 365 plan for my life. I wondered how I could reincarnate my motivation  to take a photo a day into a 365 life plan.

~ just commit to writing a thought each day when I journal - not exciting enough

I realised
~ I am a visual person and one reason the photo a day project works for me is because I see a result every day. I need that.
~ So TODAY I am going to take note cards and make a card for each area I want to move steadily forwards on in the next 365 days.
Make a note card for each and then I can work on one of those areas daily. There is nothing more encouraging than looking back on work you've done to make you feel like you want to go further - so add the date.

All this sounds so wordy so here are some of my plans for the next year:
~ planning the family get together in our new house at Christmas 
~ developing my future retail business
~ shedding the things we don't want to move back to the Uk with (a mammoth task!)
~ finding a solution to getting Rufus, our dog, looked after in Europe for 6 months - he can't go straight back to Uk
~ creating new product lines to sell from business
~ planning house extension for new house
~ plans for the garden

I want to see that everyday I get something done on one of these areas. I also know that I will add new ones .
That's the beauty of using note cards - just add another one. I don't need to know now what it is going to look like at the end of 365 days.
Oh I almost forgot - COLOUR - we have to have colour on our cards.
Frame the card with thematic colours- everything on Rufus can be golden!!
Stick clippings onto the card. 
Add photos

This is going to be what the view from our kitchen 
I just need to get started now. So check back tomorrow and I hope I have something to show you.
Any ideas on how to build on this idea? Please share because I need all the help I can get to be organised.

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