Sunshine in my shadows

Welcome to sunshine in my shadows. This blog is my space to share all the stuff that makes up my every day life. Family, friends, crafts, recipes, books and all the little things that add 'sunshine to my shadows'. We all have a sprinkling of sunshine and an equal sprinkling of shadows in our lives. Hopefully you will find more sunshine than shadows to read about here and on the days when shadows fall, know that the sunshine is peeking just around the corner!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas is almost here...

I'm not really back from my blog/online hiatus but I did want to wish all of my bloggie friends and their families a Very Merry Christmas. May your festive season be safe and filled with love, laughter and precious time, making cherished memories with loved ones. For my friends who will have an empty place at their Christmas table this year I wish for you peace and healing. May precious memories of times past comfort you in your grief.

I am not sure why but my Christmas spirit is sadly lacking this year. Those who know me well will know that this is most unlike me. I'm a Christmas nut and usually celebrate Christmas with joyous abandon! I hope to come back to blogging refreshed and renewed in the New year.

I haven't been very active in my time away but seem to have kept busy nonetheless. Mr B had another surgery and has recovered from that well. Fingers crossed that nothing further will go wrong.
I have been dealing with the usual end of school year things with both my children and organising them for next year as well as sorting some extra support for my son who has had some difficulties this year.
It all sounds very simple when written down in a few sentences like that but it has been very time consuming. Playing telephone tag with various school staff etc has become tiresome and tedious but I think we are finally sorted. Now I am in the midst of book lists and uniform lists. What fun NOT! Lots of medical appointments to attend etc. Lots of WAITING around!

I have also managed some reading and would recommend any of the following books for those who love a good thriller/crime story.
  • The Wreckage by Michael Robotham
  • Doll's Eyes by Bari Wood
  • Acid Row by Minette Walters
  • The Retribution by Val McDermid
  • Chill Factor by Sandra Brown   *romance as well as murder
My Christmas decorating this year is very simple by sheer necessity. All my trees and decorations are packed away in our shed behind furniture and boxes from where I moved in with Mr B. Unfortunately they are inaccessible without completely unpacking the shed and that is not going to happen anytime soon! I did keep out a small white feather tree that I bought last year and have decorated it with a single silver bead garland and it looks quite pretty, if very plain. My teenagers are getting money for Christmas so I just have to find a present for Mr B and my gifts are done. (Well ok being mum I will buy at least one small gift to go under the tree for the kids) Food will be a simple affair as Mr B still doesn't have his teeth and is on mostly a liquid diet. I haven't even been able to find the spirit to write cards this year. I am listening to Carol's as I type this and hoping to engender some kind of enthusiasm for the coming weeks.

I am still stopping by and reading my favourite blogs from time to time and I hope when I return to writing I still have some friends who will come back to read me.
Meantime from our house to yours -
 **Thanks to Karen at Graphics fairy for the santa image. The Grapics fairy

Monday, October 17, 2011

Taking a break...

Life is getting on top of me at present so I have decided to take a short break from all my online activities. I hope everyone is enjoying Spring and I'll see you all when I return.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday trinkets 19...

Another mixed bag this week but some lovelies among them!
This gorgeous enamelled daisy brooch ranks among my most favourite. It's hard to see in the photo but each daisy is blushing pink around the centre diamantes. The enamelling is just perfect and it is a large brooch, measuring approximately 2 inches across. I'm not sure of the vintage but would guess 1950s.
This brooch caught my eye due to it's high dome shape and the unusual use of smoky grey and pink diamantes. I'm unsure of the vintage but think perhaps 1940s?
The aurora borealis coating gives this flower brooch away as being 1950s vintage. The green is not as lime as it looks in this photo, that's just the way the light reflected in this photo.
Pretty yellow and clear diamante garland brooch. Approximately 1 inch across in size. Vintage unknown.
Another garland brooch. This one features filigree balls sitting between clear diamantes and the white 'stones' I think may be plastic. Vintage unknown.
Another beautifully made brooch. This one is quite domed and each goldtone flower is set with a clawset diamante. The 'ribbon' edging is silvertone metal also set with clear diamantes. No makers mark. Vintage unknown.
I have a number of basket brooches. This one is beautifully made. It is marked with the copyright symbol and the letters AK. I am unfamiliar with this mark.I was unable to find any reference to it online. Vintage unknown.
Goldtone flower brooch with pearl centre. Unmarked. Vintage unknown. Looks cheap and cheerful.
Pressed metal heart brooch with mauve rose that appears to be made of china. Unmarked and vintage unknown. I wonder if this is a more modern Avon piece?
This is an odd little brooch. It 'looks' cheap and cheerful yet each of the diamantes surrounding the huge centre stone is carefully clawset. The centre stone is approximately 3/4 inch across and foil backed. It is unmarked. Vintage unknown.
This lucite beauty measures approximately an inch across. It has a very old brass clasp but is likely to be from the 1940s when this type of jewellery was very popular.
I believe in this style the roses etc are carved into the back of the brooch and then painted. It gives a very 3 dimensional look to the flowers and leaves.
Despite a missing bead I couldn't resist buying this lovely basket brooch. It features lustre glass beads of varying shades of blue. It is unmarked. I am not 100% sure of the vintage but would guess late 1950s.
I bought this pretty brooch from a lady in the UK. The glass stone in the centre is a deep red. The camera flash has washed it out in this photo. It features marcasite stones around the edges of the design. It has an older style clasp but I am unsure of the vintage. No makers mark.
Yet another basket brooch. This one is tall, approximately 2 inches! The pastel stones have dulled a little. (It is reflecting lime green in the photo, they are actually a soft pastel green) Unmarked and vintage unknown.
Another snowflake brooch. Unmarked. Vintage probably 1940s.
Last up today is this really interesting old thistle brooch. It is beautifully made and finished and I suspect may have been an expensive piece in it's hey day.It looks far too well made to be a cheap souvenir of Scotland. I can't find a mark on it but would not be surprised if it was a designer piece. Each of the stones is clawset. Vintage unknown. Late 1940s or early 1950s would be my best guess.
hope you have enjoyed this weeks trinkets. It has brought sunshine to my day to share them with you all.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunshine AND Shadows....

It's been a pretty 'ordinary' week here. The puppies are growing fast and are a joy to wake to each morning. (even if I would rather it wasn't at 4-5am) They truly are a joy. Mr B put an inch of water into a sheep trough this week for them to use as a paddling pool and they loved it! Unfortunately like most dogs they also loved the mud created by the splashes of water on the surrounding ground LOL. So both puppies had their first bath here. Neither of them was very pleased about this experience despite the warm water! Mr B has made a mental note to remember to roll up his sleeves next time. I'll share some puppy pics at the end of this post so I can end on a positive note but first I'll share the 'shadow' side of this week.

As most of you know my sister and a friend have been staying with us for the last couple of weeks. My baby sister (18 years between us) has been living in Darwin for the last several years. After ending a difficult relationship with a young army man who suffers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder my sister finally decided to come back to Victoria for a fresh start. She sold many of her belongings and packed what was left into her car and brought a female friend along for the adventure. Her whole life was packed into her car (her pride and joy, fully paid for and a little prettied up with custom number plates and red to boot - red ones go faster you know!)

We live in a semi rural area and it is usually quiet around here. The girls had barely been here a week when somebody broke a rear window in my sisters car and stole belongings worth thousands of dollars. (handbags,cash, jewellery, cards etc, sunglasses,cameras (all pics of my sisters children) and more) Perhaps you are thinking they were foolish to leave valuables in their car and perhaps that is a fair comment but we are crammed into an already overcrowded house and the girls only brought inside their swags, a few clothes and shoes, necessities to ease the congestion in the house. Fortunately their laptops were in the house. The car was parked in our driveway, locked and alarmed and we didn't hear a thing. (We are assuming they disabled the alarm) This was upsetting enough as the girls struggled to get ID items replaced from interstate and with nothing to prove who they are. The girls both found temporary jobs within days of arriving and were in the process of applying for rental property. Everything came to a standstill as they waited for new cards, licences etc to be processed and mailed to them. Money was yet another issue.

Then the straw that broke the camels back! The thieves (police said and we assume it was probably the same people) returned 6 days later and stole my sisters car, had their fun, dumped it, filled it with aerosol cans and set fire to it. We were woken at 5am Friday morning to be notified that the car had been stolen and burnt out. My sister was totally heartbroken and devastated. Her friend was too of course.(she also lost a considerable amount of property in the car) I will never understand why some people feel the need to steal from others or to damage property. The car was burnt beyond recognition with absolutely nothing salvageable. There was simply a shell left. The police identified it by the number plates which were found beside the wreck.

After considering their options my sister and her friend have returned to Darwin at considerable expense(hire car which was not covered by insurance).I hope they might come back to visit some day but I doubt it will be anytime soon. I suspect such an awful 'welcome' to our city will leave a long lasting aversion with them. We feel badly this happened at our place even though we know it isn't our fault. It has reduced my own sense of security knowing that people who would do such things have been lurking around our house twice without us even knowing they were here! If only these thugs knew what heartbreak and hurt they cause by their criminal activities. I guess the sad reality is that they simply don't care.

I hope everyone else has had a better week. Enough shadows, now I'm going to share some pictures of Max and Cheby enjoying their first baths.
Max at 10 weeks not liking this bath caper much!
Mr B forgot to roll up his sleeves. He won't do that again LOL!
Next it's Cheby's turn. He had already experienced his first bath before we collected him from the breeder so wasn't quite so keen to escape this time.
Cheby 11 weeks. Look how tiny his head is compared to Mr. B's thumb.
Please can I get out now Dad?
I forgot to take more photos once they were out of the bath so here's one from the week before when they were clean and dry!

wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday trinkets 18...

The puppies are sleeping peacefully and hopefully will continue to do so until I finish this post!
Today I have a small assortment of novelty pins and brooches to show you.
This beautiful spider brooch is handmade and I was told dates to the 1920s.He measures a scant 2 inches long. Apologies to any arachnaphobes out there!
This cocky brooch is tiny measuring just slightly more than a half inch. I wonder if he might have been part of a set of collectibles available through collecting Lipton tea coupons? He has the look of that kind of thing about him.
This sweet little dog brooch is marked Gerry's. Gerry's produced mostly figural items from the 1950s through to 1996. Their jewellery range was priced in the low to medium price range and their items are relatively common.
This hummingbird is beautifully enamelled and finished with clear diamantes. I am unsure of the vintage.
He was very hard to photograph but I adore this charming little hedgehog brooch.He is domed and quite chubby,approximately one inch long. Vintage unknown.
A pretty enamelled Rosella brooch. He is larger than the cockatoo pin measuring slightly more than an inch long. A souvenir pin perhaps? Vintage unknown.
Cute 1950s fly or bee brooch. Made in Czechoslovakia. Approximately 3/4 inch long.
Another sweet puppy pin. I'm unsure of the vintage but would guess 1950s or 1960s. He is unmarked and measures just a bit more than an inch long.
A tiny poodle face brooch. Barely half an inch tall. Apologies for the poor photograph. He is unmarked and again I would guess his vintage to be 1950s or 1960s.
Adorable elephant brooch.Measures approx 3 inches across. I have another of these somewhere in a different colour. Perhaps they were a souvenir from an overseas trip? He is very heavy and solid and also has a pendant clasp attached so he can be worn either as a brooch or pendant when attached to a chain. He appears to be made of some kind of moulded plastic with extensive goldtone  finishing. Vintage unknown.
This owl brooch refused to photograph well which is a shame as he consists of absolutely gorgeously designed and worked sterling silver. The whole owl is worked in fine filigree within a heavier silver frame. He is marked with the 925 mark. He stands at approximately and inch and half tall. Vintage unknown. I purchased him from a UK seller.
This butterfly is one of many I own and is one of the loveliest. Again my camera doesn't do justice to the delicate work on this piece. It is beautifully layered and the back looks as attractive as the front! I have no idea of the vintage but it sure is pretty!
The final brooch for today is this lovely fox. I believe he is from the 1920s or 1930s. He is missing one stone eye. He has an older, simple type 'C' clasp. Although his body appears to be made up of diamantes or stones this is an illusion. He is made from pressed metal and has been designed using a technique that resembles marquisite stones when looked at. The name of this technique/style escapes me at present.
I hope you have enjoyed todays trinkets. I love the figural items, they are such  a lot of fun!

wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Puppies are fun....

But Oh soooooo exhausting! I have barely been on my computer since the puppies arrived but maybe that is not so bad? I am getting more exercise than I have had in a while and they really are a joy to watch. I feel like a new mother all over again. So I hope you will excuse my absence from blogland a little longer.

We also still have my sister and her friend staying. The house is a little squishy, it was never mean't to accommodate so many people at once. They have both started temporary work and are looking for a place of their own. Ohhhh how I wish our builder could get on with our extension!

The cats are carefully avoiding confrontation with the puppies and each other. My girlfriends cat has the puppies bluffed after a couple of firm swipes across their noses. Our two cats are curious about the puppies but also a little scared and are still sulking in the bedrooms a lot. Our cats are definately not happy about having another cat in the house but thus far we haven't had any real fireworks thank goodness!

My sister's pet rat is oblivious to all!

I may not be commenting much but I am trying to read a few blogs each day.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Meet Max and Cheby...

I mentioned in my last post how busy life was around here recently. We have a lot going on.
Thursday we picked up one of our new puppies. He is an 8 week old Bichon Frise Miniature Poodle Cross and just the cutest bundle of fluff at present.

Meet Max!
My girlfriend who became homeless recently owns a beautiful long haired domestic cat named Simba. Mr B and I told her that if she could not find a new home for Simba we would adopt her either temporarily or permanently. Simba arrived on Friday, perhaps not the best timing but we promised we would give her a home and so we have.

Meet Simba.
and yes her eyes are a beautiful green!

Saturday we collected our second puppy, a purebred miniature poodle we have named Cheby. Mr B tells me Cheby was a famous mathematician. Cheby is prounounced Ch for chain and Ebbie on the end.
Meet Cheby!
The puppies are settling in well. Simba is still very unsettled but coming out of hiding more and more. She seems unperturbed by the puppies but is nervous of people with the exception of my son, Sam and myself whom she knew previously. Simba sat on my knee for a short time today with one of the puppies so I think that is a good sign. Our two cats, Squeaky and Tabby are totally miffed and are still hiding in my daughter's bedroom only coming out to go outside. They are scared of the puppies and not happy about a new cat in the house. My sister and a friend are currently staying and I think my sister's pet rat, Hermione, is the only animal in the house truly relaxed at present. Hopefully in a short while all will settle in and at the very least learn to tolerate each other.
I imagine my time will be taken up with puppy raising duties and animal reassuring for some weeks to come.
I haven't owned a puppy for some 30+ years so it is quite an experience for me.
I hope you have enjoyed meeting our new babies, I have enjoyed showing them off!
wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Busy busy week!

Just a little note to say there will be no Tuesday trinkets post this week. I have had a very busy week and have not had a chance to take photographs.
Last week Mr B had further surgery on his jaw and the rest of his teeth removed. I am glad to say he is recovering well. This surgery and teeth removal is due to complications caused by his cancer treatment last year.

My sister and a friend arrived to visit with us unexpectedly last week and are staying with us whilst they search for work and a place to live. My sister has lived interstate for several years at the opposite end of the country and we haven't seen each other for about 4 years so it has been wonderful catching up. Having two extra adults in the house has seen things a little cramped and a lot chaotic here but so far we are managing ok.

I have two very dear friends who are undergoing very serious health issues at present. I have been very anxious about them both and thinking about them a lot in the past week.

We are awaiting the arrival of a sweet furbaby addition to our family. I have spent a lot of time this week chasing up a second furbaby as a companion, thus far without much success. I didn't realise adopting a puppy would be so jolly difficult! There will be pictures and more info in a few weeks when our new purebred puppy (and hopefully his companion pound puppy) is welcomed into his new home!

So you can see I have had a few things taking up my time this week but hopefully Tuesday trinkets will be back again next week.

wishing you sunshine in your shadows

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday trinkets 17...

I opened another magic box today filled with mixed bits and pieces so here we are.
This pretty bracelet is marked Judy Lee. I am unsure what vintage this is.
Pretty goldtone bracelet, nicely made but unmarked. Not it's original box and I am again unsure what the vintage is.
Tiny bar brooch, not much more than an inch long. It looks like an older piece but is marked Avon and could well be a vintage styled design. It has shades of art deco design to me but I believe Avon only started selling jewellery in the early 1970s.
This gorgeous demi parure looks like it has never been worn. Drop necklace and clip on drop earrings featuring blue and clear diamantes. It is set in goldtone metal and is a quality piece yet unmarked. I am unsure what vintage this is.
This pretty green demi parure of brooch and screw on earrings  is reminiscent of the designs of Van Dell. Van Dell produced quality lines in the 1930s and were well known for their gold filled and vermeil pieces as well as sterling.
This brooch is also possibly a Van Dell and likely to be from the same era as the green set above. It is unmarked.
This lovely set of clip on earrings is marked W. Germany. The colour of them is much deeper and more muted than it looks in this photograph.
Odd bird brooch. Doves? It is unmarked and rather large. Approx 2 and half inches across. I have no idea of the vintage.

This lovely goldtone bracelet and necklace set are unmarked but very well made. The style of them suggests they are a more modern piece perhaps from the party plan type jewellery that was so popular in the 1970s and 1980s. (Emma Page, Tiffany, Sarah Coventry etc) I could however be completely wrong and they could be an unmarked designer piece from an earlier time.
I have no idea about this pretty sparkly brooch but suspect it comes under the cheap and cheerful category. Although the stones sparkle well in this photograph, in real life they do not look like quality stones.

This simple goldtone bracelet is such a classic style it is hard to guess what vintage it is. I suspect it is a more modern piece and wonder if it is Avon or Sarah Coventry. It is unmarked.
This beauty has me guessing as well. The chain looks quite old and the stones seem to have dulled with age and yet the style would sit quite comfortably among many of my 1950s pieces.
Lucky last today is this lovely old extra long necklace with glass beads of various interesting shapes along a chain. Vintage I'm guessing could be anything from the 1920s (long necklaces were fashionable) to the 1960s or 70's. (think the bohemian look)
I enjoyed delving into todays treasure chest and I hope you did too.
wishing you sunshine in your shadows