The Wooden Blocks Pa Murphy made

Here are some simply delightful wooden blocks, and a special red and green wooden train made by Pa Murphy as a gift for Thomas!

Isn’t this collection of wooden toys just lovely? Its so much nicer than the mass produced blocks you buy from the store. All the more special are these toys because they were made for Thomas by his grandfather. These are something you would want to keep and treasure, and hopefully pass on one day, because no one has anything quite the same as these wooden toys. I’m not sure where the wood came from originally, but I think these are at least some what environmentally friendly because they were made from scraps of wood from Pa Murphy’s workshop. For something like this you really shouldn’t buy any wood especially, as any tiny bits of left over scrap wood of any shape will do. These were lightly coated with vegetable oil so a very nice, environmentally friendly toy for Thomas!

Another reason why I like these toys is because they are a classic and timeless toy that doesn’t have the branding you see everywhere nowadays. As much as possible, I’d like to help Thomas learn the true value of things, and not according to if they have some recognisable logo or image on them, as hard as I know that is going to be!

Definitely an addition to my collection of hand crafted family heirlooms! Thankyou Pa Murphy ❤

The Silver Candle-stick Holders my father made

This pair of candle-stick holders are so very special, they were made by my father around the time my parents were married in 1969.

My father was a jeweller’s apprentice so knew how to make these from brass and then coat them in chrome. One looks a little tarnished now, and I’m not sure how I can clean them and polish them up. Dad suggested I could get them re-chromed, which sounds very complicated to me! I’d rather they stay the way he made them.

These have been passed around between our family members for a while, and now have come back to me for safe keeping. I intend on keeping a small collection of precious items that have been hand crafted by family members. These items are family heirlooms as far as I’m concerned and I will be teaching my son to treasure them. It’s much more precious to have things hand made by your ancestors than other things that have been simply bought mass produced. I hope the collection will demonstrate to my son that its possible to make these things ourselves, that one day he can also choose to make things. So far we have a wide selection of handicrafts in the collection, including carpentry, embroidery, jewellery and of course heaps of crochet. These things are made by family members as far back as my great-grandparents! I also hope the collection will be compact. When passing heirlooms along I do think it’s important that the items are not too cumbersome to keep, that they don’t become a burden and don’t take up too much room.

Check out other items in my collection of family heirlooms if you’re interested! There is more to come …

Rose's Rocking Chair

It was pure chance that I came to meet this special rocking chair, which Rose has kindly lent to us for a couple of months.

I was pushing Thomas in the pram past Rose’s unit when she called out to me as it had been a month or so since she had seen Thomas. I asked if she wanted to hold him, and as it was especially windy that day, she invited me inside. While we were chatting this rocking chair caught my eye and I exclaimed ‘Oh! you have a rocking chair, where did you get it? We’ve been looking to buy one.’

The chair is 34 years old and had been used when Rose’s daughter Halley was a baby, and Halley had recently returned it after using it for a few months for her 8 month old son Harry. Rose offered to lend it to us while Thomas is little, but I said I was afraid to break it as it’s so special. But Rose insisted it was alright, saying it was a cheap old chair that doesn’t get used much, but I think this chair is very special. I’ve been using David’s computer chair to rock Thomas to sleep but it’s just awful, developing a horrible high pitched squeak as it’s just not meant to be rocked.

It was a special set of circumstances that found me inside Rose’s house and the recipient of such a generous loan. I’ve been asking David since before Thomas was born to help find a rocking chair, we found some on ebay but they weren’t right.  But I was really worrying about breaking the rocking chair though, and after I imagined some worst case scenarios in my head, I was then able to tell myself ‘the amount of useful worry is now done’. No good can come from worrying more, there is a limit to the amount of useful worry. It was a moment like an epiphany that went off in my head and I was finally able to stop the worry. That was new. And all because of a rocking chair and a windy day.

My Great-grandmother's Brooch

This is such a special thing, an old brooch that once belonged to my mother’s grandmother.

It was time for me to purchase my maternity bra, but when I tried it on with my wedding dress it showed, so I needed a brooch to hold the dress in place. I had a wardrobe delimna, but didn’t like any of the brooches I saw in the shops. Lucky for me, my mum lent me this old brooch. I had my doubts, thinking I would have to wear a normal bra which has been getting very uncomfortable lately! But when I tried it on it suited fine, which was lucky! This is the ‘something borrowed’ and ‘something old’ to bring me good luck on my wedding day, which I dutifully returned to my mother the same day. I also wore a new blue dress for good luck!

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in your shoe

  • The “something old” represents the couples friends who will hopefully remain close during the marriage. Traditionally this was old garter which given to the bride by a happily married woman in the hope that her happiness in marriage would be passed on to the new bride.
  • “Something new” symbolises the newlyweds’ happy and prosperous future.
  • The “something borrowed” is often lent by the bride’s family and is an item much valued by the family. The bride must return the item to ensure good luck.
  • The custom of the bride wearing “something blue” originated in ancient Israel where the bride wore a blue ribbon in her hair to represent fidelity.

I found this information on Wedding Customs here.

Pink Doilies my great-grandmother made

These are a pair of embroidered doilies my great-grandmother made which are edged with pink crochet. This is my post for this week’s Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly @ How Sweet The Sound.

I remember these from my childhood. My great-grandmother was so very talented with this, there are many samples of her work in our family, these are the few I have in my possession. My great-grandmother (my mother’s mother’s mother Margaret) embroidered these, as well as the crochet edges. These two are starting to show signs of age, and I know they look like they are in need of an iron, but I dare not touch them!

Here is another doily, this one my grandmother Beverly embroidered. That is my mother’s mother. The fine embroidery is so lovely, I hope one day to improve my skill with this, but I don’t think I will get it this good.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these two samples of our very special family treasures made by my great-grandmother, and my grandmother.
❤ ❤ ❤

Be sure to check out other pretty pinks @ Pink Saturday!

The Table my great-grandfather made

There is a real story behind this special little table and how it came to be in my possession.

This small bedside or occasional table was made by my great-grandfather Charlie, the father of my father’s mother Mavis. Apparently he was a skilled carpenter, and my understanding is that he hand-crafted the swirl you can see in the middle. This is the only thing I know of that was made by my great-grandfather that is still in our family and I am very privileged to be the custodian of this historical family piece.

This table has obviously had an eventful life, it even has a coffee stain on the top. But I’m not going to touch this, or attempt to restore it. Its just not going to happen. Anything I could do, or anyone else for that matter in my opinion will only take away from it’s character. No way could a ‘fresh coat of paint’ make this look better because it will make something old look new and you will not see it for what it is. New is not always better. It is a very special turn of events that allows this table to be in my possession. You might think this table, being made by father’s grandfather, might have been handed to me by my father but it was not.

When my great-grandfather’s first wife died, he remarried a lady who the family came to call “Aunty Annie”. Mavis and Aunty Annie didn’t get along, so Mavis didn’t inherit her father’s things. Aunty Annie’s best friend was a lady named Margaret, who adopted her niece Beverly. When Aunty Annie died, Beverly inherited her things, including my great-grandfather’s table. But Beverly and Mavis knew each other, and they had  introduced their children to each other. Dennis was Mavis’s son and Heather was Beverly’s daughter, and they are my parents. When my grandma Beverly died a couple of years ago, her daughters agreed I should get the table.

I love the history behind this table, it makes it all the more special. I think its sad we don’t have more things like this in our family, things that are meaningful and made by our ancestors. Old things should be cherished and passed to those who appreciate their meaning. That’s just my opinion!

I hope you enjoyed hearing the story behind this special piece of furniture my great-grandfather made.
❤ ❤ ❤

David's Red and Blue Dragons

David just loves dragons! When I asked him why, he replied because they are strong and intelligent, and also because they are both beautiful and terrifying! Here I will showcase David’s collection of Dragons. I couldn’t decide if this collection is more red than blue, so I’ve decided it is equally both, which is why I’ve linked this post with two parties, Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday. If you’d like to know more about Dave, be sure to check out his cooking blog.

This red dragon ornament was given to David by his sister. It lives beside my Chinese Tea Set which my mother gave me, and is decorated with blue Chinese dragons. Its considered good luck to face dragons toward doors to scare away any bad luck or negativity before it enters the house, as the red and blue dragons are doing here.

David’s favourite t-shirt is worse for wear, it’s his favourite colour blue with a dragon on the front! I wonder what the Chinese writing means?

The other weekend when we went to the Rocklea markets on Sunday and picked up some cute trinket boxes, we also grabbed this red dragon box. I don’t know what’s going to go inside it, but David just had to have it!

Besides the red dragon box sits his collection of dragon books – the Eragon trilogy. I haven’t read it yet, maybe I will one day! We also own a copy of the Eragon DVD and are still eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel movies. This is a very special movie for us, it was the very first movie we saw together on our very first date on Boxing Day 2007! Awwww, isn’t that romantic?!

Last Valentine’s Day I made a gift using some cut out dragons. Should I tell you where these dragons came from? He had a couple of boxer shorts with dragons on them that were falling apart but he couldn’t bring himself to throw them away, so I had to recycle the dragon print didn’t I? LOL! I cut them up and made them into a bedside organiser! Hanging off the hooks are two dragon key rings he has been given, the one on the right I gave him a while ago now.

Another special dragon David owns is this red-winged dragon candle. I don’t think we will ever burn it, its just too special!

I bought this dragon pendant in 2008 and he loved it, wearing it all the time until he woke up one morning with it bent out of shape! So now it is a little memento.

Finally, below is a picture of a delicately etched glass dragon. I bought this for David from a shop in Toombul when we lived on the Northside of Brisbane in 2007.

I hope you liked looking at pictures of David’s red and blue dragons!

David has started his own cooking blog and is calling it “Dave’s Home Cooking“. If you like cooking, be sure to check it out!

My selected highlights from this week’s Blue Monday party

My selected highlights from this week’s Ruby Tuesday party

Previous Older Entries