Tuesday, January 31, 2012

squeeze me quick!

this post is inspired by this little guy that i found last week. i just love the sign he's holding and the cheeky way he sticks out his tongue just so to remind you to squeeze someone today, if not everyday!
i have been so busy the past week that i haven't really written anything noteworthy. i have been helping the mister with his model-making and now that he's finally happy with his figures, its time i post some of my finds from last week:
a pair of vintage, ceramic christmas ornaments from Spain that i found in a pick-and-mix bag in the shop
i love coming across hard to find books such as these hardbound, limited handmade edition "illustrated novels" by the author of the bestseller, "The Time Traveller's Wife", Audrey Niffenegger
i love its eerie, almost weird, postmodern etchings... the stories have a supernatural quality to it and the drawings are surreal
this is not a picture book for kids nor for the fainthearted. it has graphic images complementing its implicative nature
these books are an acquired taste so much so that when you read them, you need to have an open heart and an open mind because art resides inside its pages
this last book is a collection of not-so-old photographs depicting Gibraltar life in 2002
looking at the pics, one thing is sure.... Gib is very much laid-back and its charm lies in its people. warm and patriotic, fiercely protective of each other but very accomodating to people from other places
i love how Gib opened its arms to me when i first came here. never demanding so much from me and loving me solely for who i am :)

*linking to Thrift Share Monday @ Apron Thrift Girl :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the Dove of Peace

not everyone may not like his paintings, but who hasn't heard of Pablo Picasso?
he was an artistic virtouso born in Malaga, Spain with an astounding 20,000 or more paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures in his 70-year career. when we visited the city last year, we can see and feel the undertones of Pablo Picasso in every street corner, the city's nod to their most famous son.

he has, no doubt, an unrivaled influence in 20th century modern art. his works have been splashed on posters, mugs, teatowels, tiles, etc.

but none could be as surprised as i was when i saw this plate in my favorite thrift shop :)
a decorative hanging plate (very popular in Mediterranean houses) of the iconic symbol of peace, the dove. painted by Picasso when he used it on a poster for the World Peace Congress in Paris in 1949. bought for a ridiculously low price and still in its original box, it has a teeny-tiny chip at the back but i reckon it isn't even a major issue. i tried to research on the company XLART Prod. but i came up with very little info except that it was a company based in Barcelona who sells prints of Spanish artists including Miro, Dali, etc.

*linking to Thrift Share Monday @Apron Thrift Girl :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

let the sewing begin!

i found this classic black H&M wrap dress in one of my favorite thrift shops for a pound. i love its simple details, like the ribbon belt and the ribbons at the back of the sleeves. most of all, i love its timeless and elegant cut except for one small thing; its too long for me. for hourglass figures in a petite frame like mine, alas, there are fashion challenges that i must face and hope to conquer to avoid looking like a gnome in mourning.
my golden rule in dresses is; (1) it has to be either knee-length or above it. anything lower than my knee would make me look shorter than i already am.
since i haven't been wearing dresses lately, i decided i am going to convert it into a nice top. first, i wore the dress and asked the mister if he'd be so kind to mark the line that i want the length to be (he's so handy!)
then i proceeded to cut along that mark and hemmed it using pins. next, i ironed it so the edges would stay put, took out the pins and let the sewing begin!
here's my "new" top (as the mister would like to call it) as the result of my first sewing adventure (nevermind that it was just cutting and hemming) accessorised with my silver bib necklace :) its my current favorite!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

featured place in Gib: Europa Point... and ice cream

we have been enjoying gorgeous weather here in Gib! it doesn't at all feel like winter... its more like early spring :) so to celebrate "a bright, bright sunshiny day" in true Mediterranean fashion, the mister and i decided to have ice cream in Europa Point, the southernmost point in Gib (and the last in Europe!) overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar.
excuse the ugly fencing behind me, but that's just actually the always-dusty cricket playing field
my favorite ice cream truck is open for business!
when i first came here, Europa Point was just a barren flat land with a few dilapidated buildings and a mound with a few binoculars where, on clear days, you can actually see the Rif Mountains in Morocco and Algeciras, Spain. now, after a major reconstruction, it has become a haven for not just tourists but the locals as well out to have a fun time in the sun
the playground is a magnet for kids of all ages ;)
perhaps the most popular landmark here is the Europa Point Lighthouse (or otherwise known to locals as "la farola") in the summer, this place is usually teeming with people and on a clear night, the stars are all you need to steal a kiss or two
another landmark in Europa Point is the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque
these are winter wildflowers growing on the Rock... they have such a beautiful tangerine color that i always admire :) Spring is just around the corner! yippeeee!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

flea market finds: tyger, tyger, burning bright

heigh-ho! heigh-ho! off to the flea i go!
(the Seven Dwarves and William Blake in a post? hmmm...)

i was caught in a steady downpour the other day when i was visiting my favorite shop. but come rain, come shine, nothing can stop me from my flea :)

i must say though, i am liking the weather in Gib this winter (and thats about as much as i can say about winter!). mild with very few rain showers. so to chase the blues away from such a dreary day, i am sharing with you my latest finds :)
a 4x3in glass container from J. Wuidart and Co., makers of fine glass and importers of Scandinavian glass for retail in the 50's and 60's. MCM then? yes! Scandinavian you say? perfect!
am thinking this would be a perfect bon-bon jar :) delirious with ideas :)
my next find is a pair of original Ray-Ban Athletic sunglasses still in its leather case :) too cool for school!
this sparkly headband, never been used as it is still with its original price tag, is from Monsoon and i think it would make a certain little girl happy :)
my last find and my favorite is this gold and white tiger bracelet. i love animal-inspired jewelry :) raaawwwrrr!

speaking of finds, Paulette over at Cheerful Thrifty Door is having a giveaway! head over to her blog and check out her gorgeous finds as well!

*linking to Thrift Share Monday @Apron Thrift Girl:)

Monday, January 16, 2012

a lesson about dying

i do not know the man. i did not even know he existed. the heady scent of flowers brought us to know him. they are a testament to how well-loved he was and is. and the epitaph.... short and sweet
Mary Elizabeth Frye wrote it in 1932. here's the definitive version:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

i can't help but wonder whether the people who gave him flowers as a tribute to his life now that he is dead, ever gave him flowers when he was still alive as a celebration of his life then?

what is it about death that makes us celebrate life? why not celebrate life now that we can still let people know we appreciate them?

so many questions. and i don't even know George. i just know one thing. i will celebrate my life. and i will let the precious people in my life know how much i appreciate them. thank you for being you :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

eye candy: art imitating life

"when you promise yourself to see only beauty, the universe aligns itself to let you see only beauty." -- a quote by me :)

i find inspiration in a lot of unlikely places (like a thrift shop and the Wednesday market!) but i also find it where art resides most comfortably. wandering the corridors of the John MacKintosh Hall and the Fine Arts Gallery in Casemates Square one day, i found myself gazing upon with fascination the many wonderful works of art of local artists here in Gib.
one of my favorites is Paul Cosquieri's exhibition "Abstract Popism: 21st Century Schizoid Man" in the Fine Arts Gallery (price range, £800-£1500)
"abstract popism" is a term coined by the painter, Paul Cosquieri, conjoining two artistic genres; Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art
seeing as how we are constantly bombarded with graphic imagery by media through TV adverts, glossy magazines, giant billboards and posters, the internet, etc., Paul Cosquieri tries to make sense of it all by "regurgitating" all of these imagery in his art works
very vivid colors from Caroline Canessa, "In The Mix, India" (£450)
pointilism from Caroline Canessa, "Mother and Child" (£150)
various works by Lorraine Buhagiar
my favorite is this piece by Shane Dalmedo, "The Game" (£950)
these are works by a visiting Spanish artist, Jorge Gil Ballesteros, entitled "Mujer (Inspiracion)" or "Woman (Inspiration)"
there was also an exhibit of Spanish ceramic works made by Ceramica Alameda from Jaen Spain

there are a lot of talents in this Mighty Rock and i would love to own a piece of local art one day :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

what is a friend?

i recieved the best description of a friend from another good friend the other day :)
sooo true! what a beautiful description of friendship and also, its handmade! isn't that just the bee's knees?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

easy-peasy sweet macaroni

the mister and i have an incurable sweet tooth. he loves his white chocolate and i simply adore my cheesecakes! now we know sugar is a big bad wolf because it makes u huff and puff but... these two little piggies say, "just a little doesn't hurt anyone". everything in moderation is our motto :)

and so it was that during the holidays, a good friend gave us a bowlful of sweet macaroni salad, a popular Filipino dessert. it was so good that i finished it in 10 seconds flat! (whatever happened to moderation?) the mister didn't even have a chance to taste it! so i decided i would make our own and see if its a thumbs up
i followed my friend's recipe but i also added some ingredients to make it my own
1 cup elbow macaroni, cooked according to packet (i didnt have elbow macaroni so i used our shell pasta)
half a cup thick cream
half a cup condensed milk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
half a cup of raisins
half a cup of preserved peaches, cut into chunks (you can also use other fruits like apples, grapes, pears as well as the normal ripe ones)
1 tin of fruit cocktail
half a cup of cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
once the macaroni is done, mix everything up and refrigerate for at least an hour. serve and enjoy!
there is also a non-sweet version and is an excellent accompaniment to a variety of main courses. and since this doesn't contain white chocolate, the mister was just "ok" with it. good enough for me because i want the whole bowl all to myself!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

flea market finds: abundance in all areas

YES! finally my favorite shop is open! and yes finally, i can buy more stuff that i have no clue where to place, no idea when am gonna be using and no more room where to keep!

call me crazy but im loving it!

2012 is the year of the dragon in the chinese calendar so for my first purchase, i decided that i wanted it to be symbolic of what this year have in store for me and the mister. as always when i go into a thrift shop, i have no expectations as to what i am going to find. well, the first item that caught my eye the moment i stepped in was this 9and3/4in candleholder. not sure if its brass or not but its a bit heavy and am loving the smooth curves, its muted color and its mid-century vibe.
i placed my mug of tea for comparison as to its height. i have been seeing a lot of metal in interiors since last year so am hoping this will not clash with the heavy dark wood furnishings in our flat. am dreading it already :s
i have been plagued by doubts as to whether these two brass beauties were a good buy for me. first off, i love them but i find their design a bit conservative for my taste (maybe i just dont know how to incorporate them into my ever-changing vignettes?) if there is someone out there who fancy these babies, let me know because i would be more than happy to sell them to you at my original purchase price :) the tall one is 9inches and the shorter one is 7 and a half inches and there is a Made in India mark at the bottom
yes, its another platter, i know. this 15x8in white serving platter is from Porvasal Spain, makers of professional china. i would like to think that this wide rectangular dish would be our horn of plenty for 2012 :)

a candle in a timeless metal gold-hued candleholder to light our path this 2012 and to give us warmth (in a stylish way!) for the year ahead, and a big, wide, white dish to hold all our blessings to overflowing, i am already so excited to see what's around the corner :) bring on 2012!

*linking to Thrift Share Monday @Apron Thrift Girl

Sunday, January 8, 2012

the world is a great big shopping mall

welcome 2012! another year has come and gone and January is here to stay. the world is back to normal again. i've started taking off my christmas decorations and putting back the holiday tableware back to their special cupboards. we thank God for all the blessings that He has given us last year and we are ready and looking forward to receive His gifts of love this year :)

He is a loving and generous God and if we just look around us, He has given us soooo much. sometimes we are just too choosy or too uppity to notice.

the other day, as I was out and about with the mister, we chanced upon this lonely christmas tree left on the curb. he is still intact and there were still a few bits of glittering tinsel left on some of his branches. when we came back a few hours later, he was gone. i hope he went to a good home where he is loved and cared for.
and as i was throwing away our garbage, someone left this beautiful artwork in the bins. such a waste to throw something so beautiful away.
i wish sometimes people would be conscious enough to give these things away to a charity shop so other people who can appreciate their beauty can have a chance to love them and keep them. at the same time, keep nonbiodegradable things away from the landfill so our future generations can enjoy our beautiful world.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

the Three Kings Cavalcade 2012

the holiday season in Spain officially ends with the Three Kings Cavalcade, where Melchor, Gaspar and Balthazar take to the streets throwing sweets to the jostling crowd, especially to the children. Since Gibraltar is heavily influenced by Spain, they too have their own cavalcade year after year.

the mister and i braved the cold and the rarity of a crowd in relatively laid-back Gib to grab ourselves some candy and a little bit of fun
there goes Balthazar in his pimped-out camel (didn't quite get a pic of the other two because my camera died on me)
we enjoy a relatively mild winter here in Gib without the hassle of snow (thank God!) but this winter wonderland float was a hit among the kids (the snowman LOOKS scary though and the passengers in his sleigh didn't look like they were amused by his antics)
this float was the over-all winner and is made to look like a Mississippi riverboat or steamboat with its representations of gambling(!) i am not so sure if that's a "yay" or a "nay" but it is very reminiscent of Culture Club's Karma Chameleon music video (remember that Gen X-ers?)

there was a surplus of about three movie-themed floats and "Alice in Wonderland" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" were no exception. there must have been at least two of each in the parade
and of course "The Smurfs"
there was also the odd participation of a teenage rock band, the occasional beauty queen and the rugby-footbal club
it was a beautiful winter night with a bright moon shining above the Rock and the parade ended about 20 minutes after it started (not a lot of floats this year) and then just as quickly as it took shape, the crowd thinned out bringing with them a lot of candy and happy memories :)