Sunday, 13 February 2011

Thanks for your acts of random kindness: Part 2

Well, Lovelies, thanks for your kind comments on my last post. I always find receiving such awards a little tricky as rather than blowing my own trumpet, I’m much keener to introduce you Planetarians to some other fabulous blogs. And now I’d like to wrap up this little ‘thankyou catch-up’ by introducing you to my friend Val. She’s one of a kind, an absolute classic. Her blog, The Victorians Didn’t Even Like Pink!, is truly unique in Blogland. She lives in the US and describes herself as ‘an architectural historian who is tired of seeing beautiful historic homes painted bright pink. I love my husband…, a good cup of hot tea, family recipes, vintage patterns, ladies hats, period movies and anything built before the 20th century. And I do not like Frank Lloyd Wright.’

So, what was Val’s random act of kindness to me? Well, I recently won a prize in her generous  giveaway. I *thought* I had won a pink cotton patchwork tote bag Val had made. Miss India was smitten when it arrived as of course, pink is her favourite colour and she quite fancied it as a library bag. Here it is – pretty and very roomy to fit in lots of books.
However, I hadn’t read Val’s fine print (the lawyer in me was obviously asleep at the time) that the bag would also be ‘filled with some crafty goodies of my choosing’. So imagine my surprise when I realised the bag contained these goodies.
Now, thoughtful Val had remembered my love of cross-stitch and included a pattern book to make bread cloths (I hadn’t realised I needed one until now!), as well as the requisite fabric and this fabulous collection of vibrant DMC threads! Here’s a close-up of them.
And then, to top it all off, she included a colourful collection of patterned paper, perfect for paper crafting, for which I am currently developing a passion. Here are the little beauties!
So, all up, it was such a generous and delightful parcel to receive from the other side of the world. The pixies were bursting with excitement and had to ring Mr PB at work to tell him straight away. So thanks again, Val – you’ve made a little family in Hobart very happy.

But, lovely Planetarians, that’s not where I want to leave Val. Not just yet. You see, way back in November 2010, Val tagged me to answer seven questions. They’re so different to the recent things I told you here, here and here, I thought I’d have a go at answering them. Here goes!

1.  If you could wear any dress from one era for one day, what would it look like?

Ooh, I’ve never pondered this before. Hmm, as it would only be for a day so I could endure the bone-crushing tightness of the corsetry, maybe back to the days of Marie Antoinette. Here’s a photo of Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette wearing the type of sumptuous dress which appeals to me. The colour is divine and the fabric covetable. It would have been incredibly heavy to wear and I wonder how easily I’d be able to move in it!
Found here
2.  If you could go on an all expense paid vacation for 2 weeks, where would you go?

Paris. Without a doubt. With Mr PB, of course. And definitely sans the pixies! I was last there in 1989 as a Rotary exchange student in a tour group of about 60 hyped-up teenagers. We stayed in a miniscule bed and breakfast in Montmartre, just near the Sacré Coeur. Hardly a *romantic* experience!  Mr PB has never been there. Perhaps we’d stay in the Hotel George V Paris. I could just see Mr PB and I sipping on some Cristal champagne here on the rooftop before dinner, don’t you think?
And I’d quite fancy having afternoon tea in this courtyard, wouldn’t you?
3.  If you could live in a book, which one would it be?

Oh, another hard one, Val. Hmm, probably as Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I adore her wit, liveliness and intelligence.
Any reason for a gratuitous shot of Colin Firth
4.  Do you play any instruments?  If yes, which ones?

The piano (I reached Grade 6 but had to give it up when my lessons clashed with my netball matches), the flute (not very well – forming a correct embouchure was my greatest challenge) and the recorder (back from primary school days!)

5.  Where were you married?

Mr PB and I were married at St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. I posted about it here. It’s of special significance to both of us but particularly my family as my forebears helped build it in the late 19th century (or so the family history says – apparently they helped carve the intricate wooden ‘rood screen’  at the rear of the photo below). My father was a choirboy there back in the 1940s, my parents were married there, they have been actively involved in its running, my grandmother helped make some of the tapestry kneelers, it held special services for my school and I was christened and confirmed there. 
I love the sandstone, parquetry and warmth
6.  If you could own one museum quality piece of antique furniture, what would it be?

Gosh, that’s a tricky one for me as I was never really exposed to antiques much when growing up. And ‘antique’ depends on the context, I guess, especially as Europeans have only been in Australia since 1788. I probably would choose an early colonial Huon Pine chest of drawers like this one. Don’t you just love the ‘warmth’ of the wood?  I adore the bird’s eye feature I posted about here.
Found here
7.  Do you speak any languages besides English?  If yes, which?

German (fluently), French (a little rustier), Spanish and Indonesian (both rustier still). But I am convinced that it’s all still tucked away in my brain, somewhere, just waiting for the chance to be used again. I posted about my love of languages here.
Found here
Given the extraordinary amount of bloggy awards flowing around at the moment, I won’t tag another 7 bloggers this time around. So if you’re looking for a really interesting blog with real opinions and informative posts (I’m currently enjoying Val’s series of explaining architectural terms), then pop on over to Val’s blog here and tell her I sent you! Now I'm off to have another wander around Hobart on my own - bliss!


  1. Thank you Jane for your kind words about my blog in your last post... you absolutely deserve all those awards! Paris? For sure! I plan on heading there for my 40th in... well, let's just say a few years time! gxo

  2. What a great stash of goodies - i love all the great thread colours! You'll be posting about your bread cloth in no time :)
    Mum and Dad were married at St Davids. It is a lovely old church/cathedral.
    I hope you are enjoying the long weekend!

  3. how sweet - can't wait to see your bread cloth :) the colours are fab - have a lovely wander matey le xox

  4. Congratulations on your awards and win! What a lovely package to recieve.
    Loved learning more about you - I wish I spoke so many languages (even rustily; see I don't even speak good English ;)

  5. That's a lovely wrap up for your generous friend. I will be sure to visit her blog.

    It's always a pleasure to learn more about you Jane. You are such an accomplished and interesting character. x

  6. Jane,
    remember you already have a friend in Paris who will welcome you with open arms! I even know of a shop where you could borrow a Marie Antoinette robe for the day.

  7. I love learning new things from you. Great post!

  8. i just love Jane Austen's book. and i used to love playing those cross stitching fibers.:D

  9. Hi Jane!
    Thanks for the link, will look at her blog.
    Congrats on winning that bag, what a lot of work to make all the squares.
    Enjoy the coming week!
    Maureen x

  10. Jane, I'm in awe of your language speaking abilities! I struggle with English! Lovely to learn even more about you.

  11. I like the idea of a bread cloth revival.

  12. So generous of you, Jane to pass the focus on to someone else! Always nice to learn of another's experiences and outlook through their blog. My little 2 year old sits next to me as I peruse your post and she commented on the oink bag and church photographs: "I wove ('love') that pink bag mummy!" and soon after "I wove ('love') that church!". That makes two of us! X

  13. My little one just asked me to go back to the gumboots picture where she told me that she loved all of them but especially the pink ones in the middle - cute!

  14. Loved the questions that Val asked you, just brilliant and of course the answers, all fascinating! xx

  15. Hi Jane

    Gorgeous gifts - I am sure they made your day.

    I have posted about food shopping as you requested over at my blog

    I hope you enjoy it.

    Hope you are having a good Valentine's Day.

  16. You are all such sweethearts, writing such things.

    Georgie, it's a tantalising prospect, isn't it?

    Ah, Sarah, I need to finish Sam's birth sampler first - that would be my 18 month old Sam ☺.

    Why thanks, Becky. I just need to make the effort to use them more. I subscribe to quite a few German blogs which helps!

    Bron, you're a darling. I've never been called either of those before so thanks!

    Oh, Anna, what a delightful thing to offer me. You never know - one day I might just take you up on it ☺.

    Denise, your little one is very cute. Tell her the blue ones are Joshua's, the pink ones are India's and the green ones are Sam's!

    Yes, Emma, they were really quite intriguing questions - so representative of her interesting personality.

    And thanks, AFW. I really enjoyed that post. Loving the Tupperware ☺. J x

  17. Congratulations on being a giveaway winner!Lucky you getting all those lovely goodies with your bag!
    I'm so with you on being Elizabeth Bennett too. I've always been in love with Pride and Prejudice, and anything Jane Austen really x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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