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Colour

Can you describe the colours in your home and give them a personality?

When I look around my large living room and dining room in my farmhouse, I see a 4 seater navy blue leather couch. A 2 seater blue/green upholstered couch. An armchair upholstered in a grape tapestry with deep gold highlights. With major accent colours in terracotta. Deep green. And black. And many hues of blue, deep red, grape and green in my collection of vintage artifacts and glassware. The artwork on the walls are a kaleidoscope of colour. Timber furniture is polished oak. And pine.

I've always loved colour in my home. Ever since my first apartment when I finished university, I've surrounded myself in deep, rich colours.

The personality of my colours? The world of gypsies. Bold. Rich. And uplifting.

My grandmother was Hungarian. Need I say more?

We're all different. And I'd love to know what personality you give to the colours in your home. ~Carol, Ironing Diva❦

Image: The bold colours of Crimson Rosella fledglings in a Eucalyptus Yellowbox
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It's A Matter Of Focus
A story by Carol Jones 2015 March 28

We are grocery shopping. At Aldi's. Where you bring your own bags to pack your groceries in.

Victor and I are at the long counter that spans the entire front of the Aldi's store at Bathurst. This is where everyone wheels their trollies. And packs their groceries into their own bags.

Behind us are all the checkout counters.

I feel the thud behind me. Rather than hear it. The entire floor shakes.

I turn around to see Victor and so many other people bending over a woman in her 40's. Who has just fainted.

There's a pulse. Shallow breathing. But she's not moving. Or showing any signs of coming to.

Someone turns her on her side. To avoid choking.

And an ambulance is called.

While all the focus is on her, I notice her wallet and keys scattered on the floor. I pick them up. Put them into her open handbag that's on her trolley. Zip her handbag shut. And push the trolley into a safer position.

As we're packing. And keeping an eye on her. I notice that anyone can steal her trolley.

Because.

The focus is all on her.

And not on her personal belongings. And groceries.

I ask one of the staff to put her trolley in a safe place. Especially as it contains her handbag. Keys. Wallet. Credit cards. And who knows what other personal items are in there that will be important to her. When she comes around.

And will be a major drama to her if all those items walk out the door. With the wrong person.

My request is waved off as trivial.

The focus is on her.

And not her possessions.

As we're leaving, there's a store employee waiting out the front. For the ambulance. I mention to him about her purse. And her trolley. Being vulnerable to someone taking it without being noticed.

Yeah! Yeah! Is all I get. As he continues his lookout for the ambulance.

The focus is on her. And not her personal possessions.

Just as we pull out of the parking lot, the ambulance arrives. There's always a feeling of safety when they come. What we don't know how - or what - to do for her. They do.

I was noticeably out of sync with everyone else attending to our fainted lady.

Why was my focus so different to theirs?

I couldn't help her. She fainted. For whatever reason. And would come to when the time is right.

But I'm a road accident victim. And believe me, when you get to the hospital and they start working you over, the last thing you think about is - where are my personal possessions.

But once that drama is past you. Your personal possessions become important.

And when the hospital informed me that the police couldn't find my handbag. Keys. Wallet. And other things I had in my car that were important to me, panic set in.

I lived alone. Whoever had my personal possessions with my keys and driver's license with my address on it, could break into my house. And steal whatever they wanted.

So therefore my focus with the fainted lady was not on the here and now.

But on the future. Once the aftershocks settle down.

And we need to be mindful that the person who's out of sync in a situation isn't always stark raving mad. Or even a little balmy. Or insensitive.

They just might have a good reason for turning their attention to a different focus.

~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
I am the purveyor of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
350,000 customers. In 29 countries.

Image: A pair of kangaroos in my paddocks. Each with a different focus.
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Good morning! Brrrr! It's 4C in my rural patch. Our fireplace has been on since yesterday morning. So it's cosy and warm inside. I had to be quick this morning. When I stepped outside the gate that leads to the woolshed and the back paddocks, I disturbed a flock of White Winged Choughs in a Yellowbox. I captured them as they took flight. Their white wings remind me of kites flying in the sky. To a happy Friday. ~Carol❦
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Thank You. Missing In Action Online.
A story by Carol Jones 2015 March 26

I come from a family. And a culture. Where please. Thank you. Excuse me. I'm so sorry. Pardon me.

Are part of every day vernacular.

And, in general, I find these words in common use when face to face with people.

Including in retail shops. Banks. Public toilets, et al.

But these are words that are missing in action online.

And in online purchasing.

I've been leaving comments on blogs written by other people. Facebook pages owned by other people. And participating in online forums. Ever since the internet came to my little village in 2001.

Forums and blogs were the first. Facebook didn't appear in my world until 2007.

And I noticed several things when I started conversing online.

Very few people acknowledged that you ever left a comment.

Very few people used their real name.

Very few people ever said thank you.

Then online shopping appeared. And made a huge difference in the life of this rural gal. I could, with the snap of my fingers, buy things and have them delivered to me, that were once only available to city people.

It was then that I noticed the words 'Thank you for buying from me' were nowhere to be seen.

My purchases from Amazon. Peter's Of Kensington. Victoria's Basement. Even David Jones. Came packed with lots of filler in the boxes. Always a Tax Invoice. But never a thank you.

And if they did pay me the courtesy of sending me an email to let me know my parcel was on its way, the reply email address was always to No Reply.

Excited as I was to receive my purchases. The experience left me feeling a bit cold and empty. Because no where in this transaction did anyone acknowledge that I was a human being. Who might like to hear 'Thank you for buying from me'.

And to date. I have NEVER received a parcel in the mail with a note inside that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about my purchase.

Online is another world. With a different culture. Where anonymity prevails.

Am I the only one who cares about those two little words - Thank you?

~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
I am the purveyor of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
350,000 customers. In 29 countries.

Image: Dusky Woodswallows
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A Smidgen Of Gossip

Do you own a Thermomix? Are you passionate about it?

There is a raging debate online about the virtues. Or non virtues. Of a Thermomix machine.

If you've never heard of a Thermomix, it's a $2,000 kitchen gadget that's supposed to replace every appliance in your kitchen bar the kitchen sink.

This is a link to find out everything you want to know.
http://www.thermomix.com.au/

I follow Mrs Woog of Woogsworld on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/woogsworld

Although I don't always agree with her views. And she can sometimes be quite coarse. And blunt. She has her finger on the pulse of what women are thinking. And doing. If you want to keep up with them, this is the gal to follow.

It was Mrs Woog's first story about the Thermomix that sucked me into this controversy.

A confession by Lana, a blogger, that she just didn't get the Thermomix culture. Even though she spent $2K for her machine.

http://www.sharpestpencil.com.au/2015/03/19/my-thermomix-confession/

It seems that there is a portion of the Thermomix cult who are as rabid as religious fanatics. And don't take kindly to a different point of view.

So much so, that the backlash against her from the pro-Thermomix community made it into the Melbourne Herald Sun.

This is their report.

NEWS

Thermomix criticism sparks backlash against blogger Lana Hirschowitz
WENDY TUOHY HERALD SUN MARCH 23, 2015 12:24PM

Thermomix - The Future of Cooking

SHE asked for someone to try to help her “fall in love with” her Thermomix, but what blogger Lana Hirschowitz got in return just about blew her off her chair.

For simply stating “I just don’t love the Thermomix” Hirschowitz has endured days of online character assassination, attack and vilification that looks to the non-Thermo user as tantamount to cyber-bullying.

The Facebook pages of Thermomix cooking bloggers lit up with attacks on Hirschowitz at the weekend and the frenzy spilled over to Twitter, where one observer quipped “’sick of people calling it (the Thermomix community) a cult then stop behaving like members of one”.

You can read the entire article here.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/thermomix-criticism-sparks-backlash-against-blogger-lana-hirschowitz/story-fni0fhk1-1227274585842

And in the Daily Mail in the UK too.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3007279/I-m-scared-write-post-feel-like-talking-against-cult-Thermomix-hate-brigade-troll-blogger-dared-admit-doesn-t-love-2000-wonder-appliance.html

I always love a smidgen of gossip!

Do you have a Thermomix? And do you feel that passionate about yours?

I'd love to know your opinion. But be nice. This is not the page to vent vitriol on another because they choose to have a different opinion. ~Carol, Ironing Diva❤

Image: Welcome Swallows. On A Wire. I Can Shout Louder Than You.
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A New Caller. A New Tangent.
This Time. The Loss Of Jobs In Australia.
A story by Carol Jones 2015 March 24

It's a very chirpy voice on the other end of the telephone. It's Rosalie. Calling to tell me she loves, loves, loves her Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover.

My problem is. I can't find her on my database.

While she's talking, I'm frantically searching my database for all variations of how she might spell her name. So I can look up her history.

Things like when she ordered her first cover. How many since then. And any comments I add about her personally. So I can never miss a beat about our chit chats.

But all I'm doing is drawing a blank.

A. Big. Blank!

I apologise to Rosalie. I just can't find you on my database I tell her.

Of course not.

She's never ordered from me before.

She got her first cover when she was living in Dubbo NSW. From Mitre 10 in Dubbo. Who have stocked the Fitz Like A Glove™ Cover since 1995. Mr Brennan, who owns Mitre 10, was given a cover by a friend. Because he does his own ironing. And loved it.

His store manager rang to ask if they can stock it.

Can. They. Stock. It? Of course. Although I dislike large retailers. I have an affinity with stores that offer personal service. Which Brennan's Mitre 10 in Dubbo does.

And then we go on a merry trip around Australia and to her next move, which is to Sydney. And we figure out she must have purchased her next cover from me when we did Mosman Markets from 2001 to 2007.

Then on to how you can't find a decent ironing board cover in retail stores anymore.

Nor can you find a decent ironing board in stores anymore.

To how the Walmart style of business, which is to get everything made in China, which was adopted by the Woolworths/Big W and Coles/Myer Group in the late 1990's has completely ruined the jobs market in Australia.

And it has.

Nothing of any significance is made here anymore.

The entire infrastructure of the manufacturing industry has been dismantled. Never to be reincarnated.

And we've been exporting jobs ever since.

She and I take a figurative walk down the streets of Pyrmont and Ultimo. Sharing our memories of hearing the click clack of the knitting mills that echoed throughout those inner city suburbs.

Ditto for Surry Hills. We both remember when the fashion industry was centred in the square surrounded by Chalmers Street, Riley Street, Foveaux Street and Devonshire Street.

One way streets. With cars parked on the sidewalks. And staff from fashion houses wheeling their fashions on clothing racks from one destination to another. Negotiating their way between parked cars and moving traffic.

Car horns forever blaring in their impatience at the slowness of the traffic. Because these moving fashion racks had an assumed right of way over moving traffic.

Those. Were. The. Days!

I remember when I worked in Marrickville. It was the centre of the shoe making industry.

She remembers when Homebush was a working abattoir. A suburb with jobs. And houses for working class people. Not an Olympic Park.

We both remember when working class people took pride in their jobs. And liked to go to work. Without the fear of losing their jobs.

When strip shopping was the norm. And all the shops on the strip were Mom and Pop shops. Where service prevailed. Because if it didn't, customers could - and would - go elsewhere.

We both were lamenting the rise. And dominance. Of the big retailers.

The loss of jobs across Australia in manufacturing.

And farming. And therefore our food production.

And the loss of quality products that are now replaced by cheap imports from mainly Asia.

Both products.

And food.

This is a recurrent theme in many of my conversations with my customers.

Where are the jobs going to come from when we keep exporting them?

The mantra is.

We're the clever country.

Therefore we should be doing clever things.

Not stuffing tissues into kleenex boxes.

The problem is.

We're not all clever.

And apparently those who aren't - are doomed to a life on welfare. And joblessness.

And what will happen when we import so much cheap food that farmer's can't make a living producing quality food? And we discover - too late - that we've lost our food production as well as our manufacturing capabilities.

This is the black cloud hanging over Australia.

Are you concerned about this?

We're all different. And we have different points of view. And I'd love to know your position on this topic. Please share it with us.

~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
I am the purveyor of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
350,000 customers. In 29 countries.

Image: Doom and gloom in my BIG sky.
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Good morning! It's still 4C in my rural patch. This morning's exquisite sunrise in my paddocks. To a happy Saturday. ~Carol❤
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Recycling

Do you recycle glass jars for other people?

I live and work from my 54 hectare remote rural property in the beautiful Central Tablelands of NSW.

There's no council roadside garbage pick up. All rubbish has to be taken by us, in our car. To the tip. To be disposed of.

And for some reason, I hate throwing glass jars away. I always feel someone else can use them.

And they can.

I get freshly laid eggs delivered to me by a near - 15 minute drive away - neighbour. Who's also very active in the local CWA. Which I'm not.

And the CWA gals live on large rural farms that have fruit orchards. And large vegetable gardens. So they're always in need of glass jars for their jam making. And vegetable preserving.

But I just don't have it in me to only wash the jar and hand it over. As is.

No. Not me. Not with my obsessive compulsive disorder that presentation is everything.

All. The. Time.

So I soak the jars and lids in a bucket of soapy water for a few days. To loosen the labels.

Then scrape the loosened labels off with a putty knife.

Then remove whatever residue is left on the jar with my best buddy in the kitchen, citrus based De-Solv-It! Sticky spot and stain remover. I get mine at Bunnings in Bathurst.

This not only removes the sticky gum from the glass. But also produces a gleaming shine that requires dark sunglasses to admire.

Then. And only then. Do I put the glass jars in a bag. And leave them on the front gate. Along with my empty egg cartons. For my neighbour to distribute to her CWA friends.

And.

Every so often.

I find a jar of jam in my egg delivery. Courtesy of these wonderful ladies.

Because.

I'm the only one who delivers recycled glass jars for them to use - in pristine condition.

Do you give away your glass jars for a second life somewhere else? ~Carol, Ironing Diva❦

Image: Mrs Satin Bowerbird. Nature's natural recycler.
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Morning! It's 8C in my rural patch. Three things I love about March. It's the first month of autumn. Our log fires are almost a nightly occurrence. And it's the first sighting of the beautiful fogs we have in colder weather. That descend into the hills. And create their own magic. I. Love. Them. To a happy Thursday. ~Carol❦
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Good morning! It's a very chilly 7C in my rural patch. With a stunning early light. This is Mrs King Parrot. In the spotlight of the first light from the rising sun. To a happy Wednesday. ~Carol❦
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Good morning! It's 18C in my rural patch. This morning was all about my BIG sky. From dramatic deep butterscotch puff clouds in a dark sky at first light. To this expansive blue sky with its array of light butter puffs and white streaks of cirrocumulus cloud as the sun starts to rise. Twas a magical morning in the paddocks under this beautiful BIG sky. To a happy Tuesday. ~Carol❦
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The Lady In Red. On The School Run. The dress code for taking children to school has certainly changed since I was a little girl. Am I the only one in traffic going Oh. My. God! ~Carol, Ironing Diva❦
http://bit.ly/18Sou6X
The dress code for taking children to school has certainly changed since I was a little girl. Am I the only one in traffic going Oh. My. God!?
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People
Have them in circles
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Contact info
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+612 63 588 511
Story
Tagline
An 'Accidental Business' that takes pleasure in putting something back into the community.
Introduction
Greetings from rural Australia,

In 1992, my partner, Victor Pleshev, an architect, and me, Carol Jones, an ex-pat New Yorker and a market research consultant, lose everything in Paul Keating's 'recession we had to have'.

Our induced state of poverty dictates we escape the city lights of gentrified inner Sydney Balmain.

Which has been our home for 22 years.

And where we can no longer afford to live.

For the much more affordable life in the Central Tablelands of rural NSW.  

Which is a complete unknown to us.

We are entering uncharted waters.

In 1994, Victor designs The Fitz™ Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover for his mother, Margarita.  To help her with her ironing when she is recovering from a stroke.

It is the 'light bulb moment' that changes our lives.  It gives us the hook to hang our business hat on.

We travel 60,000 kilometres every year for 14 years, exhibiting our wares like gypsies at field days, home shows, agricultural shows and markets.

Anyplace we can set up shop and spruik.

We meet hundreds of thousands of people.  

Listen to countless, woeful stories of the fruitless searches by men and women who hanker for a good ironing board cover.  

And discover we have stumbled across a need in the market place that isn't being met.

We have the makings of a very good business!

The humble ironing board cover, that everyone hates, is the catalyst that drags us out of the darkness of despair.

And creates for us a cult following.  In what is a very small, select market.

When the internet knocks on the door of our rural village in 2001, we go online.

And today, to our utter amazement, we have 300,000 customers around the world.

Secure in the knowledge we have very loyal customers who love their cover.

And our warm and friendly personal customer service.

So much so they want to return over and over again.  And buy new products designed by Victor.

We make the decision to focus on the customers we already have.

And to acquire new customers by cultivating the art of word of mouth.

And investing time and energy in our online presence.

So in 2008 we hang up the car keys.

And the wheels of our car do a little jig!  

As a high profile, stiletto wearing, designer dressed business woman in Sydney, I never give up my love for glamourous dressing.

I simply trade in my stilettoes for boots polished to a mirror shine.

Designer dresses for crisply pressed jeans and shirts and blazers.

And add an extensive wardrobe of Akubra hats.

And still start every day with make-up. Bling. Perfume.

An Ironing Diva is born! 

Today I live a very tranquil, genteel life, working from my beautiful 54 hectare, remote rural property in the hills of the picturesque Central Tablelands of NSW Australia. 

My little village is tucked between the hills of historic Bathurst and the sprawling vineyards of Mudgee NSW.

My dogsx3 get to run free in our 54 hectares of sloping paddocks. 

And every morning, I become a 'Paddock Paparazzi'  when I take my camera with me to take photos of my walk through the paddocks of my 'Wild Blue Yonder' at sunrise.

And post a photo on this Google+ page each morning to share with my friends all over the world.

My hectare of garden is a wildlife sanctuary.

100+ species of birds fly in and fly out during the year.

In 1996 we plant 110 trees to surround our farmhouse.  They now shade us from the hot summer sun and many provide us with dazzling colour in autumn.  Like shining jewels in the fading autumn light.

My 200+ old fashioned fragrant roses drape my fence line.  Along with honeysuckle and star jasmine.

Thousands of fragrant shrubs and understory provide shelter for wildlife.

And the perfume that wafts throughout my garden all year long is intoxicating.

This is the hook I hang my heart on.

All the best,

Carol❤

This is the link to visit my Google+ page for the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover