Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 28 March 2013

{quotable thursdays}

"See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. "
I Thessalonians 5:15

Happy Easter! a few of my favourite pics from the web:

{via d*s}
{mr. eggs & more eggspiration from apartment therapy below:}

{love the whole colour combo & silver}
{brilliant card}
{easter greetings via design sponge}
Eat many a chocolate egg & spend this Easter with the people you love!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Do you generally feel tired? exhausted?

{are you up at night feeling that pea under the bed?}
Do you feel hooked to your laptop? Do you wake up & automatically turn it on & check your emails?
is this how you connect to most people? through some form of social media or electronic device?
{carrie at her work}
Do you feel like your phone is just a prosthetic limb? attached to you at all times and hard to turn off or forget?

or is it just that you don't have enough relaxation time? time "off" & completely "off"? When do you turn off all devices & just relax?
{yes please!}

We live in a world that places emphasis on business. Busyness and business. How many times do you ask someone, 'How are you?' and they answer 'good but busy' or just simply 'busy'. We live in a culture that prides itself on being busy, productive and filling our time with 'doing things', keeping occupied...and when we get the opportunity to be quiet, such as waiting for the bus, or taking the train, people have the tendency to fill it with more stuff--texting someone, checking something on the iphone etc...
I was teaching my Humanities class on the transformations that took place in the 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution (in relation to Dickens' Hard Times where industry turned everyone and everything, including human relationships into machines). We talked about the invention of electricity and other innovations and how these could be positive things but could also lead to the extension of working hours for the lower classes who already were exhausted beyond their limits.
and then...I remembered this brilliant talk by the famous art historian Jonathan Crary I heard a few years ago about the 24/7 clock that we currently operate on. If electricity allowed for longer working hours, today's world hopes to invent a human capacity for no sleep. ...and like any invention, these scientific discoveries will be closely tied to social transformations. Just like the internet that was part of studies related to the DARPA of the Pentagon, the same department is responsible for studying ways to create sleepless soldiers (a truly scary thing, that Crary points out, might lead to pharmaceutical companies selling drugs that would allow us all to work/be awake 24/7). The internet, is of course, an innovative communication tool, but it is so much more and it has already led us towards this 24/7 mentality, transforming the ways that we relate to others, an alternate universe in which there is no day or night, no closing times for shops, no limits to being 'on' it.

Crary's talk "On the Ends of Sleep: Shadow in the Glare of a 24/7 World" is excellent and is available here. It's a must read for anyone living in today's electronic world. But I wanted to leave you with this one quote:
"For there is no longer a single significant sphere or interlude of human existence (with the colossal exception of sleep) that has not been penetrated and taken over as work time, consumption time, or marketing time. In the connexionist paradigm of contemporary capitalism, outlined by Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, there is the highest premium on activity, without any clear distinction between personal and even leisure activity and professional activity. ‘To always be doing something, to move, to change – this is what enjoys prestige, as against stability, which is often synonymous with inaction.’ And they stress that this model of activity is not some transformation of an earlier work-ethic paradigm, but is a profoundly new model of normality, and I would add a model that requires 24/7 temporalities for its realization."

It's not clear how we'll find a way to make sure that leisure time doesn't become so infiltrated with work time. Technology is addictive and it's hard to shut things off. I'm not really offering any advice or a solution, except that a step in the right direction would be to begin to recognise it as a problem...& think of ways we can truly turn off work. One thing I know for sure, is that when I'm out sailing or at my brother-in-law's cabin--somewhere remote--I begin to slow down & reflect on the important things in life.
Happy Wednesday everybody,

Saturday, 23 March 2013

{spring baby shower}

Last weekend, with two friends, I hosted a baby shower for our friend Nicky. We hosted an Afternoon Tea at my house with the theme of spring/baby bird shower. If you follow my blog you'll know that I'm in Vermont on a two year contract, and with my contract I get a furnished house. It's a big house, but very outdated, with a 70s fireplace and a 50s kitchen with a cut out between the living room & kitchen--or as one friend calls it 'the 60s housewife window' (click here for before & afters). So, we had to do with the decor that the house presented, and tried to make it as pretty & springy for the baby shower (she's having a girl) as we could.
I made the invites--drew the designs--and had them printed at uprinting. I also scanned a detail from the card and had stickers printed at moo (my #1 favourite printing company)--I would've done the invites there, but I couldn't upload an interior image and there wasn't enough room to allow for all the writing I needed on the reverse either.
{my design for the invite}

{the moo stickers used on picks, notes etc...}
A tradition in our family is to make crackers for important occasions. I decided to make them for the shower, with baby trivia inside (from old wives' tales to baby statistics), with hand made hats & little baby-related favours. We all got in a circle, crossed our arms (if you're familiar with crackers, this'll make sense) & shouted BABY & pop they went. It was a good ice breaker as we went around & read each trivia out.
{hat, baby trivia & baby related favours for inside the crackers}

{completed crackers}

{cracker opening!}

{Nicky in her hat!}

{I made bunting with paper}

{& cut out little birds}

{party favours were bird nests with chocolate eggs}

{tea & tulips}

{the spread}

{finger cucumber sandwiches}

{the mamma-to-be & the three hosts}
{tea cards for each tea pot & below, choice of lovely UK (M&S) herbal teas}

{we asked each guest to bring a quote or word of advice for the baby girl & to write in the book as a keepsake for Nicky}
Fun was had by all & yay for the little one on its way!!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

{quotable thursdays}

{positive inking}
Right now I feel like there are big changes ahead, & I can't help but feel overwhelmed...but I need to remember to take baby steps... Big things often do have small beginnings, & we must remind ourselves that we ought to start somewhere, no matter how small it might be.
{via grey likes weddings}
{start small}
{baby step by baby step}
{now back to preparing for that big move...}
{one box at a time!}


Thursday, 14 March 2013

{quotable thursdays}

ahh...I almost forgot to post! It's spring break, but I feel like I've been busier than ever--preparing mentally for the big move in LESS than two months, preparing for a baby shower this weekend (more to come on that)...& suddenly realising this is the last bit of time off I have until I move. eek. I had great plans to read lots & write lots, but it seems I've only managed to read a bit. I never find I have enough time to read all that I need to read. But I must remind myself how pleasurable it is to even have a morning to catch up on some journal articles, or get through portions of a book. so, today....it's a quote ode to reading & books:

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” 
― Charles William Eliot

{nothing like perusing shelves of books}
{more books}
{library reading}
{lost in a book}
One of the things that I'm looking forward to most is being able to work daily at my favourite libraries: the Warburg & the British Library. not to mention starting my own library with the great annual Courtauld book sale!