An Orchid Makes a Stunning and Elegant Gift

A couple of friends had birthdays recently, and, as I was wondering what to give them, I noticed the florist that I pass weekly was selling off some of their orchids. From time to time they mark down the orchids that have been there for a while, and are in need of a little sunshine. They normally sell for $40, the marked down pots are $10. Exactly the same, just up to a week ‘older’ than the current plants!

orchids-3

(Photo taken with permission)

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Vivid Sydney 2016

Last week we had a few extra activities on, which threw my routine right out the window! But that’s ok, it’s good to have a bit of change every so often 🙂

So this week I have nothing Pinterest-themed to share with you. But I will share a night out that we had at Vivid Sydney.

Vivid Sydney is an annual light, music and ideas festival, and takes place over about 3 weeks of May and June. The website says it is now the largest festival of its kind in the world! We have been going since 2012, which I always thought was the year it started. But my research today tells me it has been going since 2009. Perhaps it was more widely publicised in 2012…

Anyway…each year it gets bigger and bigger. More areas to visit, more performances to enjoy. Part of the program is musical acts, and interesting speakers. But we just like to enjoy the light show portion! The displays are amazingly creative, and most are interactive. There is no ‘look but don’t touch’!

Although there are a few different areas around the city to visit, we have set our ‘tradition’. We start under the Harbour Bridge, walk around the harbour foreshore, Circular Quay, to the Opera House. Then back again. We do sometimes walk around the surrounding streets if we see something interesting, or if an area is particularly crowded. This year we continued past the Opera House, in to the Botanic Gardens. This is a new precinct this year.

Our tips! Wear suitable walking shoes, taking note of the weather conditions (ie storms as we have just experienced), warm clothes (goes without saying – it’s winter!), try and go mid-week. Weekends seem to be mad. I read that last weekend some of the streets, including around the Opera House, were closed as there were so many people.

We were pleased to see there were good walkways in the spots where it gets quite muddy. Being that it is winter here in Sydney, and we do often get rain at this time of year! I now wear boots as a matter of habit when visiting Vivid, as some years the ground just couldn’t cope with all the foot traffic coupled with rain.

So, here are a few of the photos I took of our walk around the city. There are much better ones out there on social media. I didn’t have a tripod, but the ones taken on my phone turned out better than the ones on my DSLR in some cases!

Touching these shapes produced louder music. They also changed colour.

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These also changed colour

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This collection of lights and mirrors was fun to walk through!

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Here, you are encouraged to lie down and let the gentle music and changing colours calm you

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Special pads on the ground felt your movements, and transferred them to ghostly shapes on the wall.

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The story unfolding on this building was spectacular. One of my favourite displays!

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The hugging tree 🙂 The more you hug it, the more the lights travel up the tree.

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It was very funny watching parents pushing their children into this exhibit! I am reliably informed that it didn’t hurt a bit!

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Another of my favourite exhibits was the Cathedral of Light, in the new precinct of the Botanic Gardens. The stone wall around the harbour leading up to the Cathedral made a great entrance

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And the Cathedral itself was spectacular! So simple, but so effective!

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The far end dipped down slightly, so it looked like it would never end:

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Each little light was actually a flower!

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And just to finish off, here are a few photos of the city lights, our beautiful Harbour Bridge, and the amazing display on the Opera House

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Vivid Sydney Opera House 5  Vivid Sydney Opera House 3

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Who else has fantastic, free, family-friendly entertainment like this in their city??

Linking up with:

Milk and Cuddles – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Sincerely, Paula – No Rules Weekend Bloghop, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Shoestring Elegance – What to do Weekend, Tatertots and Jello – Link Party Palooza, Raising Fairies and Knights- Blogger’s Spotlight, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, Love of Home – Sundays at Home, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday, That Recipe – Happiness is Homemade, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping The Floor – Inspiration Monday, The Foley Fam – Dream Create Inspire, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Pastels and Macarons – The Creative Corner, Lou Lou Girls, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at Our Home Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Ramblings of a (Bad) Domestic Goddess – Turn it up Tuesdays, Cedar Hill Farmhouse – The Scoop, The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays, Simply Made Fun – Wednesday Roundup,

Christmas Lights!

Something that has always annoyed me about our outdoor Christmas lights is all the power cords, extension leads, double adaptors, power boards…you name it, there is stuff everywhere! Yes, I know we could use solar lights, and we do have some, but we just prefer not to.

Last Christmas, the Resident Handyman said he would arrange to have some more outdoor power points installed. In the garden!

When our Garden Arch was completed the boys got straight onto trench digging. There is a double power point on the house, so the trench was dug from there all the way to the arch. It didn’t take too long with my two strong men!

Preparing for Christmas lights  sawitdidit.wordpress.comPreparing for Christmas . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

And we also had another special helper

Preparing for Christmas lights - sawitdidit.wordpress.com

The digging is something you can do yourself, but the electrical part you should have done by a professional. We have an electrician friend who oversaw this project. You don’t want to mess with electricity.

Cords were threaded through conduit, and hardwired into the mains. I’m not going to go into more detail, as that is the professional’s job. Appropriate warning tape was laid on top, in case anyone decides to dig around in the future.

Preparing for Christmas lights . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Power points were installed on the arch, and another outlet was installed just at the bush you can see in the above photo, bottom right hand corner.

An adjustment will need to be made for next year, it’s unlikely to be done this year: my suggestion was to have a timer where it all meets at the house. Then everything can come on and off at the same time without too much hassle. At the moment we need timers on each power point 😦

But this addition to our garden has made it much easier to arrange our Christmas lights, so I am very happy it’s been done!

Now I will bore you with a large number of photos of our lights 😉 They still get adjusted regularly as we see something that could look better if it was tweaked slightly, but you get the idea. I’ve been sharing the process on Instagram (@saw.it.pinned.it.did.it.blog)

santa and reindeer

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Creating the North Pole. I think it’s more like Jack’s beanstalk because it is so tall, but we work with what we have. Next year we will re-think…

making the north pole

Helper kitty checking the handiwork

north pole kitty helper

These are my favourite reindeer, so majestic! (I have two) The lights stopped working so I have refitted them with solar lights.

white reindeer

silver reindeer sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Small reindeer line the path

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Santa and his reindeer at the front fence

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Little Christmas trees also line the path

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A starburst is suspended from the old garden arch

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My favourite – these blue lights on the trees. Following instructions/ideas found on Pinterest, of course!

Blue tree lights . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

A disco light is mounted on the corner of the house, and we love how the moving colours are thrown onto the ground and surroundings.

Disco lights . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Christmas Lights - sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Christmas lights . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Christmas lights sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Each year our display is slightly different. We pick up new decorations in the post-Christmas sales, some lights stop working, or we try old decorations in new positions. We’ve had a nativity scene in the past, but last year it stopped working. I’ve kept the frame, so we are hoping to try attaching new lights to it for next year.

Each night we cross the road to enjoy our lights. We often meet other neighbours who have also come out to have a look. No other house in our street puts up many lights, but we are trying to encourage them to do so!

We also enjoy visiting other streets with light displays. We like to see others’ ideas, maybe something that will work in our garden, and we definitely appreciate the effort people have gone to 🙂

Linking up with:

Table and Hearth – Think and Make Thursday, To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on My Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, The Dedicated House – Christmas Around the World, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, The Foley Fam – Sunday Funday, Pastels and Macarons – Creative Corner, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Lou Lou Girls, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday,