Sunday 13 December 2009


I have written before about the makeover I had done on my bedroom when I was about 11. I chose a sunny yellow colour paint for the walls and some lovely matching bed linen but I forgot to mention the new paper lantern I got, that hung in the middle of the ceiling. It was big and round – sky blue in colour with white fluffy clouds all over it. I would lie in bed and look up at it - delighted by the fact that it was made of paper and could fold down flat. I can’t remember where it came from – but I loved it and of course that was the beginning of my love of paper lanterns.

I have had various versions of the afore mentioned lantern – in an assortment of colours and sizes over the years and have also bought many of the decorative Chinese paper lanterns and hung lots of them along extended strings across the huge kitchen of an old shop I used to live in. I also think they are great for decorating the house during festive times – especially parties and I’m always on the lookout for different ones to add to my collection. One of the bonuses of course are that they are super cheap.

When I was in Japan – I saw heaps of different lanterns on mass – they were simply stunning and almost magical – when seen all lit up against the evening sky. I have also recently learnt of sky lanterns which are airborne paper lanterns that can be released into the night sky for aesthetic effect at lantern festivals or weddings (as an alternative to fireworks). A similar concept to hot air balloons, sky lanterns are made from a non-flammable bio-degradable rice paper and have a specially designed wick for burning. Once lit, the lantern rises up into the sky creating the most magical and exquisite scene. Then when the wick burns out the sky lantern just floats gracefully back down to earth. I wish I had known about them when I got married – they would have been perfect at our winter solstice wedding.

Paper lanterns have long been symbols of joy and celebration and that is definitely the feeling I get when I see them displayed on mass. They definitely make my heart sing.

Monday 7 December 2009

Laminex Tables

I have always loved laminex kitchen tables. Of course my penchant for colour has probably got something to do with it. The vibrant, yellow, blue, green and red (my favourite) tables with their shiny chrome legs and trim – always seemed to sparkle to me – especially as a child when I was closer to the ground in height.

For years I searched for a red laminex kitchen table with matching chairs….they are difficult to come by these days – at least in the colour and condition I wanted. Finally one day the universe offered one up via a dear friend. The table set had been in his family for years. Bought new it lived in his grandfathers kitchen and then in his brothers kitchen before being adopted by me.

We live in an Art Deco styled white weatherboard house where the kitchen (located in the centre of the house) is definitely where all the action happens. The heart of our home then would surely have to be the red laminex table and chairs where our family sits down to share meals every day, craft activities are executed, cups of tea are drunk and newspapers read, conversations are exchanged and meals are prepared.

The chrome still shines, the table top has been wiped a thousand times and still looks good and the matching red and grey vinyl chairs could do with being re-upholstered but considering how old she is – I reckon she is doing a fine job of making our house a home.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Kitsch Religious Iconography

Yesterday as I wandered around the house deciding which items from my small collection of kitsch religious iconography I was going to photograph for this entry, I noticed one thing in particular. The images I am most attracted to are of mother and child or various incarnations of Devi, the mother goddess.

I am particularly fond of Laksmi who is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity, light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. She is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.

I think I’m also attracted to these images because they portray the essence of female energy and life force (shakti). Every now and then their colours capture my attention and they make me smile…..thank goddess or should I say goodness?