Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Holiday - Montage Part 1

I thought that over the next couple of weeks I'd make a few montages of the highlights from our trip to Australia. So sit back and let's go on a virtual journey through my holiday snaps. :)

I love my grandparents' place up in Wangaratta. I totally took it for granted when I was younger, not realising that few grandparents have their own personal museum and selection of vintage cars. I really think my exposure to such things as a child really began and nurtured my love affair with all things vintage. Yes, it is official: my grandparents are the coolest, and you all have grandparent envy now, or at least vintage car envy. I mean, check out these gorgeous automobiles.

I'll take both Chevs please. :)

Love the wooden steering wheel.

I'm pretty sure that "Show Boat" record is an original. So great. I think my grandparents also helped foster my love for musical theatre, especially the old musical movies. Next to it is a needle sharpener. According to my pop, if you didn't have any needles handy you could take a rose thorn from the garden, sharpen it and use that instead.

This is one of about 20 old gramophones and phonographs in my pop's collection. This was probably a portable one. Music technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, hasn't it. I wonder if one day we'll be putting iPods in cases like this. Nah... they're not pretty enough.

This, my friends, is a dictating machine, as the label says. You pretty much speak into the mouth-piece and it imprints the sound, which it then records on one of the cylinders by making grooves. This cylinder is given to the typist, who types it up.

And lastly, a photo of Luke and I with my grandparents outside their museum... I mean house.

Until next time :)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Verse - Amos 4:13

So I continue with my read the bible in a year-ish plan, and have now landed in the book of Amos. To be honest, I think it's the first time I've ever read it - and what a book! 
Amos was a prophet from Tekoa, a small village about 10 miles south of Jerusalem. Unlike many other prophets, we learn his day job was actually "sheepbreeder" (Amos 1:1) and "tender of syacmore fruit" (7:14) - which just goes to show that you don't necessarily have to be a Bible scholar, pastor or full-time missionary for God to use you; you just have to love God and be obedient.

Amos was a contemporary of Jonah, Hosea and Isaiah. From the small amount of background I've read on him, I have come to the conclusion that like all of God's prophets he had a hard time getting the people to listen to him. Actually, in many ways Amos' time reminds me strongly of our own. He was called to preach primarily to the northern tribes of Israel at a time when everything was, by human standards, going pretty well. Jeroboam II was King, and doing a pretty good job restoring Israel's territory. However, spiritually the nation was on a very fast spiral downwards into serious immorality. 

Amos' warnings concerned two major sins of the people. Firstly, they had forgotten how to love God with all their hearts; and secondly, they were not following God's standards in showing justice to their neighbours.  God takes both these things very seriously, as shown by Amos' prophecies that divine judgement was to come if these sins continued

"Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel;
Because I will do this to you,
Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” 

For behold,
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The Lord God of hosts is His name.

Amos 4:12-13. I had actually read these verses before, out of context. Although I had appreciated that they describe how mighty God is, because I read them separate from the chapter I failed to see that Amos is in fact warning Israel about whom they are openly rebelling against in their sinning. He is asking them if they are ready to meet their Maker, who formed all things and sees all things, and who is mighty and just. 

It is so important that we use the Bible to understand who God is, instead of relying on our own thoughts and feelings, and consequently creating a God of our own image. As the verse above indicates, God has not hidden Himself from mankind. In fact, He has described Himself with absolute detail and clarity in His word, including what He judges to be good and evil. Naturally, none of us can ever fully comprehend God, but we can discern who He is through the Word and have a personal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

So this begs the question: how much is the God in your mind made up of your own understanding, and how much according to the Bible?

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Dress - Red & Blue Tartan

First, for those who are unfamiliar with the term "tartan", let me clarify: Tartan = plaid. Everyone on the same page? Okay. Let's see the photos, shall we?

Dress: thrifted 
I have to say this is perhaps my most-loved vintage outfit. I bought it about 3-4 years back, from good ol' Savers in Frankston for AU$12. It's actually a skirt and top combo, although it looks like a dress. I believe it was actually my sister who pulled it out and said I should try it on. I remember thinking at the time that it was very bright, and I was slightly reluctant to even buy it  (my love for vintage clothing was still in its early stages at the time). However, I am so glad I did! Although I have to say the outfit always felt like it was missing something - that was until....

Hat: Frutti
...I found this beautiful red hat! Isn't it gorgeous? I actually think during the winter it kind of became my iconic piece, and I have a feeling many people around Wellington thought of me as "That girl in the red hat". But I am okay with that, because I love this hat. When I found it in Frutti, one of my favourite shops in Wellington, and tried it on, I said to Luke "Me and this hat were made for each other." To which he responded "You already have a lot of hats." Completely missing the point! This is THE hat. :)

I firmly believe that not enough people wear hats these days. Hats are great. In fact, statistically speaking people who wear hats are twice as chic as those who don't. Okay, I totally just made that up, but I think it has some truth to it.

Furthermore, to all those people who say "I can't wear hats" or "Hats don't suit me": it's true that certain styles of hats suit differently shaped faces, but seriously - when do you ever see someone wearing a hat on the street and think: "That hat really doesn't suit them." Never! You're more likely to think: "Cool hat." Plus, tell me what is more attractive than a guy in a suit and a fedora. Answer = nothing. 
I believe the dress is probably from the 1970s, due to the fact that it used to have a huge pointy collar, but thanks to my Aunty Cheryl it now has a much cuter, more wearable and less in-your-face collar. (I know some of you are probably cursing me for altering a vintage garment - but hey, at least it's getting a lot of love now, and if you'd seen the giant collar it had beforehand then you'd understand.) The label says Gigi. 

Until next time :) 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Song - Hello Hello

You might have noticed by now that my tastes in music are highly influenced by the movies I watch. And although I don't usually watch a movie and then buy the entire soundtrack, if I enjoyed the movie and especially one or two of its songs, it's not long before I'm sitting down at the computer buying them on iTunes. For example, I may have just purchased "Life's a Happy Song" from The Muppets. My defence is that I had it in my head already so I might as well get the lyrics right. Current favourite lyrics... "Life's a fillet of fish....eh um...yes it is." Makes me smile every time.

Funnily enough, this post is not about that song, but rather another one from another movie. On my birthday last year, Luke and I went to see the movie My Wedding and Other Secrets, a smallish indie New Zealand film which was probably not that widely released. However, I totally recommend it; such a sweet storyline, well acted and filmed - very enjoyable. I especially like the title song "Hello Hello" by Bic Runga.

I'll be the first to admit that I am woefully bad at music trivia. For example, I always had a soft spot for the song "Sway", but not only did I not know who the artist was, I had no idea that she was an incredibly talented Kiwi.

(Although until just now, I did believe one of the lines from the song - "I say it's infinitely true" - was "I say it's in from the kitchen"... seriously, maybe it's the Kiwi accent, but I always thought that's what she said, and no I had no idea what it meant.)

I digress: anyway, I fell in love with her single "Hello Hello" just from watching the preview of My Wedding and Other Secrets, and waited patiently for the song's release. And so here, for all your enjoyment, is the very cute, fun, sweet, dripping-with-honey song "Hello Hello". Enjoy!

Until next time! :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Holiday - Christmas in Oz

Okay, let's time travel again - back to Christmas Day. No, this doesn't mean you have to go Christmas shopping again. I just had such a wonderful Christmas Day that I wanted to share it with you. 

But before I do, here is a photo of Wellington on the day we were leaving for our trip to Australia. I've heard it said that when Wellington weather is good, it doesn't shimmer - it shines. And I think it's so true. 

Anyway, back to Christmas. It was a pretty traditional Christmas for my family: waking up early to open a few gifts before a four-hour drive to the relatives for lunch.

My cousin Katelyn (left), and my sister Laura.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my Gran's famous plum pudding. I still can't believe that Luke had never had plum pudding before! My mum made a cherry pie, which was also delicious and readily consumed.

O Christmas Tree... soon to be dismantled (to be honest, ours is still up...)
The afternoon was a mixture of present-opening, boardgame-playing and leftover-grazing. Luke was given the game "The Great Penguin Bookchase" by my parents.

The best part of the game by far is the tiny Penguin books! So cute!
The  actual game is okay... but come on, mini books people!

Anyway, until next time! :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Review - The Muppets

So my favourite movie watched over the Summer was, in a word: Muppets. Or more precisely The Muppets. Has such an awesome, technicolour, feel-good, leave the cinema humming, puppet-filled movie ever been made? Answer: probably not.

Now, just so you know, I am a Muppet fan. My dad is a huge Muppet fan and can do quite an impressive Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy. Actually when I was little for a time I was quite convinced that Fozzie Bear was a colleague of my dad's, because whenever he called home from work he'd always put Fozzie on the phone to say "Hi", or more specifically: "Wacka wacka wacka."

So in short, I grew up on the Muppets, and therefore am probably quite biased in this review. However, I will also be the first to admit that there have been some woefully bad Muppet movies. Thankfully this is not one of them. I think the Director, James Bobin, has done such a fine job with this. I love the colour, the songs (so catchy), Amy Adams' wardrobe, and how self-referential it is. If you haven't seen it, then do yourself a favour and go - these fun, family-friendly movies unfortunately don't come around too often these days.

Side note: I love that these two (below) are supposed to be brothers. The fact that one appears to be a muppet is never really addressed and as an audience member you're okay with that.
Question: Why are Kermit and Miss Piggy never mentioned on lists of famous couples?
Statler: If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were reciting some sort of important plot point.
  Waldorf: I hope so. Otherwise I would've bored half the audience half to death.
Statler: You mean half the audience is still alive?
So take a leaf out of Rowlf's book: get off your hide and go see the movie.

Until next time :)
Life's a happy song when you have...(seriously can't get the song out of my head!)