The Lake

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The heat is different here to what I’m used to. It’s dryer, harsher, hotter. The sun seems to burn everything it touches, including me. I try not to go outside on the most extreme days, but right now I need the water.
There is only a lake here – a small, shallow, dirty lake, but it’s the only water this new town has got. I’m hours from the ocean now, and this lake is not the same. Sure it has wildlife that make tiny ripples, and at night the street lights reflect almost like a full moon, but it’s not the same. Even on the calmest of evenings, the ocean moved on its own, lapping at the shoreline and my bare feet as I listened to it breathe. Occasionally one of its inhabitants would break the surface and I would always strain to see – was it a dolphin tonight? A seal, perhaps? But the water would rarely reveal it’s secrets to me.
This lake doesn’t smell the same. It’s missing the salty, sweet, seaweed and suntan lotion smell of the ocean. That’s what I liked best – when I couldn’t see it, and on the odd occasion when I couldn’t hear it, I could always smell it. This lake smells stagnant, like water that hasn’t moved in decades; like algae and rubbish and duck poo.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still beautiful. It’s long and narrow and small enough to leisurely walk around in less than an hour. It’s banks are scattered with willow trees, leaning precariously over the edges to dip their long, supple branches into the sustaining water. Grass parrots fly the surrounding area, adding color and cheerful chirping. Swallows glide effortlessly over the surface, catching tiny, unseen bugs to feed to their young. There are even turtles here that poke just their heads out of the mirky depths, so at first glance you think they are simply floating branches, until they quickly disappear from view with a little splash. And it is water, a great expanse of mystery, hiding it’s inhabitants and their activities from the prying human eye. I can still get lost in thought while looking at it, calmed by being next to it, inspired by the vision of it.
And although this lake is not the same, it will serve me well, as I am hours from the ocean now, and cannot go back.

Karma, Bitch!

It’s true – they only met because she wanted sex. Her life was finally perfect, she had everything she needed, she didn’t want love or a significant other to complicate her life! She was passed that, devoid of emotion – she wasn’t even capable of love any more, so what would a bit of physical fun hurt? That very first meeting should have been a red-flag for her, but the stupid git was too sure of herself to listen to herself. Feelings? Emotions? Maybe for him, but not her. Never her! She’d use him; abuse him; send him home to Mum. Isn’t that how the saying goes? That’s how it had always been. They fell, she didn’t. She took everything they had to give, soaked up their love, their attention, basked in it! Then left them in a crying mess on the floor when she was done; left them begging to give them one more chance; they will change; PLEASE!! Imagine her shock when she fell! Hard. When she realised that it was that very first meeting, that very first glance into his gloriously deep brown eyes. She was hooked. He was everything she never knew she wanted; strong and dependable; funny and intelligent; so damned sexy! They had much in common, they talked and laughed and had great sex, and she finally allowed herself to dream of a wonderful future, of weddings and babies and blending families and happily ever after. After all, she was sure he felt the same, I mean – all the others did! So she told him how she felt. She announced it proudly and with so much love, and waited for him to tear up and hug her, and say that he’d hoped it wasn’t just him. Stupid git.

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Cherie & Brett

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One cold and windy day this past November, a magical thing occurred. The matrimonial union of Queen Fairy Cherie to Grand Wizard Brett. Both of the Queen’s daughters – Green Earth Fairy and Monarch Butterfly- were by her side, along with Blue Water Fairy and Red Fire Fairy. The Grand Wizard was accompanied by his closest wizards. Guests of the couple included a Unicorn, Satyr, several Witches, Dracula and his wife, a Leprechaun, a Phoenix, and a Lady Bug.

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As the bride is the mother of a very close friend of mine, I was extremely honored to be asked to contribute to this beautiful day. Lining the aisle that Queen Fairy Cherie walked along, were decorated glass jars that I had originally made as hanging lanterns, to be hung in the giant tree (pictured above) However as the tree was Heritage listed, nothing was allowed to be hung from it. So the purple-glittered jars, with Black Raspberry – Just Add Vanilla tealight candles inside, were re-purposed, and later used as decoration for the reception.

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I also provided tealight wedding favors, and the table centrepiece candles, all scented in Black Raspberry – Just Add Vanilla.

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Congratulations Cherie and Brett! Thank you for trusting me to be a part of your day!

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Ben & Ebony

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I recently had the pleasure of not only supplying the candles for, but also attending, the union of the most beautiful bride, Ebony, to her handsome man, Ben.

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As my first official Sweet Aroma Wedding, I was quite excited! And as a friend of the bride, it was exhilarating to be able to witness and participate in the preparations for Ebony’s perfect day. Being local to the venue also allowed me to deliver an even more personalised, hands-on service to the couple, as I was able to set up the table decorations the day before, and go in to light the candles (all 60 of them!) before the wedding party arrived at the reception.

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The ceremony was a unique one, with the bride and her maids arriving at the location, set amongst the ruins of the old Sutton Grange butter factory, on camels.

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The ‘Country Formal’ theme of the day was highlighted by all bridal party members wearing cowboy boots, the men in jeans and vests, and the bridesmaids looked stunning in alternating purple and lemon dresses, made by Mother of the Bride.

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By all accounts the day went off without a hitch, excepting the late arrival of the bride, as the camel trek over the Harcourt Hill proved a longer and more difficult adventure than had been anticipated! However it wasn’t too long before Ebony and her girls arrived, and – as those of you who know me will understand – I instantly fell in love with her dress!

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The weather was most definitely in this couple’s favour, with warmth and sunshine all day, and it wasn’t long before we were all merrily feasting and dancing the rest of the night away at the Mandurang Hall.

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Congratulations, Ebony and Ben. I wish you many, many delirious years, and lots of babies!

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*All photos taken by Sweet Aroma Weddings

“Modern Day” Woman

I don’t usually write about women’s issues. I’m a woman, yes, and I have issues, but I tend to leave that topic for those that are more affected by it than I. Yet today, as I write this while laying on my couch, still in my pyjamas at 6pm, from the WordPress app on my phone because I don’t even have the energy to sit at my computer, I am compelled to say – Sometimes, being a woman sucks. No, I’m not referring to our ‘monthly visitor’, nor am I talking about women’s rights, equal pay or sexual discrimination. I’m talking about the expectations of women to do it all. That work/life balance that isn’t balanced at all, especially for a single mother.

I am a solo mum. I work part time in order to pay the bills and feed my teenage children. I run a small business from home because I have dreams and ambition and want to follow and fulfil them. I try to teach my children the ways of the world, how to treat people, and that hard work pays off and is worth it. But it’s hard. I am constantly on the go – heading to work, cooking dinner, driving kids around, washing clothes, studying to better my craft, making candles, handling quotes and invoices, doing groceries, vacuuming, responding to emails, updating websites and social media posts – Phew! And it all makes me feel like I’m doing a great job, keeping up with it all. Wonder Woman. Until sickness hits. And drags.

I fell ill a couple of weeks ago. Nothing too serious, just a bit run-down, but it’s ok, I’ll just power through it, get back on with it. I figured I’d be over it in a few days. But a few days turned into another few days, then nothing too serious got a little bit worse, and a bit worse again, and all around me friends and family are telling me to rest and relax, rest and relax. Who’s got time for that? I’m Wonder Woman, I got this. Well I’m here today, now 6.33pm and still in my pyjamas, on the couch without the energy to write this post on my computer, to say – I don’t got this. I’m exhausted and sick and stressing about all the things I should be doing. And I know that if I had’ve just taken everyone’s advice to rest and relax over a week ago, I would be powering through this weekend with the multitude of jobs and activities that I had planned right up until yesterday. So why didn’t I listen?

Because I have something to prove. To the still-male-dominated world, that women are powerhouses. To my boss who doesn’t believe in sickness, that I don’t need a day off. To the lazy excuse of a father of my children, that this is what a real parent looks like, and no, I don’t need a man and I can live without one. And to my children, that hard work is worth it, and pays off. But yes, sometimes I need to slow down. I’m not a bad parent/worker/business owner/Wonder Woman, I’m just one person, and sometimes I can’t do it all. A friend of mine is a fellow blogger over at http://tofindandshare.com, she writes about the modern day woman’s struggle to be perfect, and often shares great ideas on how to de-stress, relax, and how we don’t need to take the world head-on, Every. Single. Day. Perhaps I should do some of the things she is suggesting, instead of just saying I will.

So here I am, at 7.49pm, still on the couch and in my pyjamas. It’s taken me twice the time it usually does to write a post, my phone is almost flat, I’m about to have (another) bowl of ice cream for dinner (my enflamed throat demands it) Then I’m going to have a bath, watch a movie, and do nothing. I may even do nothing tomorrow, too, if that’s what it takes to get better. And I must get better – I’ve got work on Monday 😛

Social Media Musings

It’s no secret that I am addicted to social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – just check out my About page, I freely admit it. My kids are constantly complaining that I spend too much time on my phone; I regularly forego sleep to stay ‘connected’; and I have even turned down invites to attend ‘physical presence required’ social events, because I’d much rather curl up on the couch with my laptop and Facey. But I’m getting off topic. My obsession isn’t what I want to talk about today, so I’ll get to the point.

I was cruising through my various outlets a couple of days ago when I noticed a pattern. More accurately, I noticed different patterns. I realised that I use each of the social medias for a different purpose. Sure, they are all under the ‘Sweet Aroma Design’ branding, and I share my work on all of them, but each one holds a little bit of myself that doesn’t tend to cross into the other outlets. 

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Pinterest – Here, I share my wedding obsession – dresses, flowers, how I would do it, other wedding ideas, as well as dessert recipes, tattoos, upcycled furniture, and play gyms for my cat.

Twitter – Is mainly my celebrity obsession – Buffy the Vampire Slayer actors, Charmed actors, True Blood, and anyone who has even been on a Joss Whedon show. Plus Joss Whedon himself. I got a reply from Ghost of the Robot once, James Marsters’ band (Spike from Buffy) and I totally fan-girled, so much so I actually screamed and jumped up and down.

Instagram – I use this mostly to post pictures of my cat! My Facebook friends were getting sick of it, so I pretty much post him here exclusively. I also share some behind the scenes and work in progress shots, plus some musings that are too short for a blog post, and not relevant to my Facebook page. Oh, and chocolate. That I’m about to eat.

Facebook –  This is where I spend most of my time. It’s where I like to interact with and generate customers. I run giveaways and games, and try to keep most posts relating to perfumes and candles. I plan posts for certain times of the day, to maximise reach and involvement. It’s hard work sometimes, and I often feel like giving up, but in this day and age Social Media is a major part of any business, so I must keep going.

Which social media outlets do you use most? Are you like me and use them for different purposes? E.

Cabin in the Woods

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When I was a teenager, my best friend and I used to walk through the pine plantation near my house, and talk/dream about the little commune-type township that we would like to live in when we got older. Our houses would be mere cabins, with only the bare minimum – kitchen, bathroom, and some sort of lounge area downstairs, up a ladder to the bedroom/robe/studio. We would grow all our own food, raise sheep and chickens for meat and eggs, and only go into town for the essential items that we couldn’t make ourselves. Of course, we were kidding ourselves thinking that it would be an actual possibility, but the dream was there.
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Nowadays it’s all hustle and bustle, big massive houses and all the latest technological gadgets. Ultra modern and state of the art. And until last week, that’s exactly what I thought I wanted.

For my new job, I had to spend the majority of last week travelling backwards and forwards to the city. There was no way I was going to attempt driving in there myself, so I opted for the public transport system. I left home at 6am each morning, and got back by 8pm each night. Long, long days, of catching train upon train, encountering thousands of people who were all ‘plugged in’ with their phones, mp3 players or tablets, not interacting with the world around them. How quickly I became one of them. Shutting myself off from even the most basic of human contact.

I decided by the end of my time in the city, that there was no way I would ever live there. That once my children grow up and leave home (which realistically, isn’t that far away) I will find myself a small piece of land, build my little cabin with the bare minimum – kitchen, bathroom, lounge downstairs; bedroom, study and studio upstairs, and I will see out the rest of my life in the quiet company of myself, away from the hustle and bustle, the ultra modern and the latest technological gadgets. I will only go into town for the essentials that I can’t make for myself.

But even as I am writing this, I’m realising that to live this way is to also cut myself off from the rest of the world, limiting interaction and the basic of human contact.

So here it is. I’ll just have to ‘settle’ for a small, one bedroom apartment with enough room for a studio and a desk, in a quiet part of a larger town. That way I can still easily go out for coffee and cake with my girlfriends!

Hey kids… When you moving out??

E.

2nd photo courtesy of http://simplesolarhomesteading.com