June Mini-Market

June Mini-Market

Happy Monday everyone! How does this day come around so fast, when it feels like Friday is years away? I am particularly pooped and unmotivated today, having had a busy weekend with my mini-market / craft sale at home. I was, for some reason, not very stressed this time. I didn’t panic about cleaning up beforehand, I didn’t fret over how things were set up or displayed. I didn’t fiddle and fuss. I didn’t worry if my bookshelves were dusty and I didn’t even bake anything – gasp! – just bought a cake and some nice biscuits so people could have a bite to eat with their teas and coffees. I think I have finally learnt, from past experiences, that people don’t care if your carpet is vacuumed or your garden is weeded. They come to see you (and, in this instance, the things you have to sell). They come for the company and for a (hopefully) pleasant afternoon. I must admit, my house did look particularly neat and tidy yesterday. It looked warm and welcoming and I was pleased to have people in my home (instead of freaking out about it).

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Mum helped me to get everything organised, and we were so on top of things, we were able to go out to dinner the night before and enjoy a nice evening together. Mum had made some gorgeous little scented sachets (owls and hearts) as well as some appliqued bags with lovely soaps in them. They were big sellers on the day. I really wish I could sew! I’m terrible at it – but maybe I just need to knuckle down and spend some time doing it to learn the basics properly and have some patience with it.

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The day itself has some problems :

  • A rat decided to die in my ceiling, causing a delightful aroma in the back rooms of the house (including my bedroom, unfortunately)
  • Some inconsiderate neighbour thought it would be a good idea to park over the path that leads to my front door, meaning that no one could get it unless they walked through my garden beds. I had to prune my grevillea bushes, lay down a doormat across one of the garden beds (to designate a “pathway”) and put up a sign so people would know how to get in. The car stayed there all day. So annoying!
  • Lots of people that I invited didn’t turn up. They hadn’t RSVP’d in the first place so I had no idea how many people to expect.

There were a few other niggling annoyances that happened, but nothing too major. The weather, though chilly, was lovely and sunny and fine. The people who did attend stayed a long time and sat and chatted amongst themselves with cake and coffee or tea, whether they were strangers or not, and it gave the whole day a really nice vibe. A friend I had gone to Primary School with (a million years ago) came for a couple of hours and bought a few goodies. I literally hadn’t seen or spoken to her in about 28 years, but we felt instantly comfortable with one another and it was so nice to catch up and connect again.

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I sold lots of earrings and necklaces, a few cards and brooches.
The rings did well too – I displayed them this time in my lovely Kelly Rae Roberts trinket stand.  It was the perfect size and looked nice with the other things on display.

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Though it wasn’t the most successful sale day I’ve ever had, it still went well and was pretty stress-free and enjoyable. I will be glad to pack it all away and have a break from crafting for a little while, though. Not because I don’t enjoy it, but because it is nice having a tidy house! I really need to take some time to clear up properly and de-clutter and make things organised again. I have rent inspection (AGAIN!) this week so I am glad I am already in a pretty tidy and clean state.
Not much to tidy up at all, thankfully.

Hope your weekend was happy and blessed with good friends, good food and good fun 🙂

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25 Blogging Prompts

25 Blogging Prompts

So, lately I have been using a lot of blog prompts to help me get rid of some writer’s block (otherwise known as “My life is boring and I have nothing to write about”…) and I have found them very helpful. Sometimes you just need a bit of a push in the right direction. Or any direction. More of a shove and a couple of slaps, really.

So I thought “Why not come up with some of my own, to help other people? And hey, also create a blog post at the same time?” Two birds, one stone, that sort of thing. So here goes – just a few suggestions I thought might help get you started if you’re stuck for ideas. I might end up using some of them myself at a later date. Is that bad blogging etiquette? To use your own blog prompts? Is it cheating? I’m not sure…you can let me know.

Anyway, here goes :

  1. Write a post about your favourite outfit, why you like it and how it makes you feel.
  2. Tell us your favourite joke.
  3. If you could be doing anything right now, this very minute, what would it be?
  4. List your favourite songs of all time.
  5. List your worst songs of all time.
  6. If you could create your own brand of cheese, what would it be called? How would you market it? What would it taste like?
  7. You’re a mad scientist and you’ve been given funding to make a hybrid animal. Ethics and morality aside, what two (or more) species do you want to combine? What will the finished creatures be called? Will it benefit or disadvantage humanity?
  8. If you could visit any period in time (without changing history or affecting lives/futures), which would it be? Would you like to see dinosaurs or hang out with flappers in the 1920s?
  9. Write a post about the child you once were and how he/she differs from the person you are today.
  10. Write your obituary!
  11. Find some old school reports (if you still have them) and comment on what you read. Were you a “conscientious student”? Were you “easily distracted”, “popular with peers” or constantly visiting the principal’s office?
  12. Tell us your favourite, fool-proof recipe.
  13. If you could choose another name for yourself, what would it be?
  14. It’s 1985. What are you doing? Who are you with? (If you weren’t born yet, describe what your parents were doing).
  15. Write a post about your crush (or crushes) in high-school.
  16. Tell us your biggest fear.
  17. Write a song about cupcakes.
  18. Go outside and take 10 photos of random objects, close up and from interesting angles. Write about these miniature worlds.
  19. Write about your dream job. It can be something made up.
  20. Write about a job you could never imagine yourself doing. Why would you be bad at it? Why would it be bad for you?
  21. Tell us your worst traits and your best. Be honest.
  22. Write an entire post from the perspective of your right ear.
  23. You’ve won $10 million. You’re not allowed to spend any of it on yourself. What do you do with it?
  24. You’ve won $10 million. You’re only allowed to spend it on yourself. What do you do with it?
  25. A movie is being made about you and your life. Who do you want to write the screenplay? Which actor would you like to play you? Who will play your family and friends? Extra points : what is the moral/theme of the movie (besides being about you!)?

Just a few suggestions for you.  Hope they were helpful 🙂

Colour Shop

Colour Shop

My house is a crazy mess right now.  I mean, normally it is a mess but, right now, it is a CRAZY mess.  There are beads everywhere – on the table, under the table, in the nooks and crannies of the couch, rolling around in the kitchen and hiding under furniture.  There is card and paper and glue and paint and tape and scissors and STUFF everywhere.  I am still busily making things for my mini-market on the weekend.  I am trying to make lots of different things in different styles and colours so there is something for everyone.  I always say that, but then I end up worrying that I don’t have enough variation or a big enough mix of items.  But I only have a couple of days left and then I have to go into mega-crazy cleaning mode.  I have to find all those pesky beads and scraps of paper and tidy up so that my house looks the very model of neatness and togetherness.  It will all come together in the end, it always does, but I still worry.  I don’t want anyone to come and be disappointed or not like what I have or not find anything that is suitable for them.

Here’s a few of the latest things I have made this week.  A few more colours this time and maybe some more dangly, bigger styles.  The first pair (the pink and green ones) have already gone (the dangers of putting their pictures on Instagram before the sale day itself) which I am pleased about because I wasn’t sure if anyone would like them.  You just never know what people are going to go for (another reason I try and make lots of different things, not just stuff I myself would like to wear).

Hope your day has been colourful and happy 🙂

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RIP John (or, A Lesson in Expectations)

RIP John (or, A Lesson in Expectations)

Last week I had some sad news : a friend of mine, John, had died suddenly over the weekend. I was in shock for a few days. It didn’t seem right or fair or even possible. How could this happen? He simply fell whilst walking to his car in a car park, hit his head and suffered a major bleed in his brain. And that was it. Gone.

A mutual friend of ours phoned to let me know. I couldn’t quite grasp what she was telling me. It couldn’t be true. I sat at my desk at work and cried. I had lost other people before, but they had been elderly (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, parents of friends etc) and although it had been very sad at the time, it didn’t affect me the way this loss did. The funny thing is, John himself was 76 years old and that would be considered elderly by some people. But I didn’t see him that way. He was part of my group of friends – I didn’t see him as a Grandfatherly figure or as an old guy. I didn’t treat him any differently to my other friends. I talked to him in the same way I did with all my buddies. He’d send me dirty jokes and rude emails. He and his wife travelled a lot to far flung places, right up until this last year, where I am pretty sure they would have been planning their next getaway.  He volunteered, after retirement, within the courts system and supported victims of crime. He was fit and healthy, liked a beer or two and was adventurous and spirited. He was just, well, John.

To have him gone is just weird. I feel the loss of his presence in the world like I haven’t done before with anyone else. He’d be pleased about that. He’d probably tease me about it, actually. Our little group of friends won’t be the same. It will be hard getting through those first few outings, dinners and get togethers. There will definitely be a feeling of something missing, though we’ve all agreed we must continue meeting as a group – he would want that and would disapprove of any moping about.

John’s death has made me look at my own life (isn’t that what these moments are supposed to do?). At his funeral, he was fondly remembered and it wasn’t a solemn affair at all – there was laughter and smiles as his life was celebrated. I watched his wife and although her pain was obvious, she also smiled through the service and laughed with her son when memories of John were shared. I noticed the closeness of her little family – that is always an indication of a life well-lived and a person well-loved – and hoped that that closeness would protect and comfort her in the sad days ahead. I can’t imagine what she is going through and I was glad to see she had support.

While John was 35 years older than me, I never thought of that age difference at all. Whether that’s because I don’t feel my age, or because I didn’t see him as the age he was, it made me think about the expectations and pre-conceived notions we attach to different ages.  I didn’t think of John as “old” because he didn’t do all the things “old” people are “supposed” to do. But then I think of all the things someone of my age is “supposed” to have done, I find I am falling short of expectations also. I don’t have my own home (I rent), I’m not married (recently divorced) and I don’t and won’t have children.  I haven’t figured out what I am going to do when I grow up and I have no idea about things like superannuation (sure, I have it but don’t ask me how much) or mortgages or even tax returns (I do them, but I don’t understand them and can’t quite figure out why I get screwed every year by the tax department, even though I earn less than just about everyone I know).  People often think I am much younger than my actual age and this is probably due to the fact I don’t particularly ACT my age.  But I don’t even know what that means.  John did not consider me a failure because I was doing things a little differently.  In fact, he delighted in my sense of humour (which can be a little bit sarcastic and offbeat) and applauded anything I was doing, if I was doing it with honesty and courage.

Most of the time I am happy with who I am.  I think I’m a good person.  I try to live tolerantly and with empathy for others.  But I don’t always treat myself with the same respect.  I get far more disappointed in myself and frustrated with my own failings, far more than I would with anyone else.  I speak harshly to myself and berate myself for the smallest of mistakes and misjudgements.  But part of this, I suppose, is due to thinking about expectations I am not meeting.  So I need to be kinder.  To myself.  I need to believe that while my path in life may be very different to anyone else’s, it is just as valid and worthy.  So I can’t balance my cheque book – big deal.  I can pay my own bills and keep food on the table and a roof over my head.  Maybe I don’t own that roof, but it’s a start.

Rest in Peace, John.  You were an example to us all of a life well-lived, a life that exceeded and defied expectations.
I, for one, will miss you very much x

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Wood ‘n’ Blues

Wood ‘n’ Blues

Another quickie post today…I’m getting a bit slack, aren’t I? I couldn’t even think of a decent title. But there’s some wooden beads here and lots of blues, so… My favourite colours to use, blue and brown. I am drawn to them in all aspects of life. Blue is the colour of the sky, of my eyes and, sometimes, of my mood. Brown is the colour of nature and of animals and of the earth. Blue and brown together makes me think of the ocean, the beach and all things coastal. So I decorate in these hues and often dress in them too. I also like to use them in crafting – lots of my cards features these colours and I often find myself picking out blue beads to go with brown wooden ones. But I’m waffling. I could have saved some time and just said “Here are some more earring pairs I made on the weekend.”

So, um, here are some more earring pairs I made on the weekend 🙂

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Beadin’ Frenzy.

Beadin’ Frenzy.

I am seriously running out of time to make anything for my mini-market.  I mean seriously.  Like, I have 5 days.  I have been crafting every spare second I get, but this past week I didn’t HAVE any spare seconds.  So I’ve been trying to get things done over the weekend.  I put all my card-making stuff away (doing THAT takes a day in itself) and got out all my bead boxes and accompanying findings and fastenings.  I have banned myself from op-shopping, at least for a little while, so I’ve not had any new (old) beads to fuel my creative mojo.  So, I’ve had to utilise what I already had.  Which, in a way, forces you to become more creative, because you have to look at things a different way.  Sometimes, that is frustrating and you (I) spend a lot of time banging your (my) my head on the table crying “I can’t work under these conditions!!!”

I have tried to use combinations of colour I wouldn’t normally use.  Wooden beads with glass beads.  Bigger things, smaller things.  Beads I have been saving (for whatever reason known only to me) and beads I thought I would never use.

I took bracelets I had made and added extra beads to turn them into necklaces.  I broke up necklaces and made THEM into pairs of earrings.  I stopped being fussy about every little detail.

In the end, I made a lot of stuff.  Over thirty pairs of earrings and 3 necklaces.  I feel like I have accomplished a lot but also, because it is ME we’re talking about here, not nearly enough.  I want to have lots and lots and LOTS of things for people to buy at my sale but I never feel like I’ve done enough.  Which is me in a nutshell really.  I need to start believing I am enough and am doing enough.  Enough with the self-doubt already!  But that’s hard and it’s Sunday evening and I have to concentrate on moping (gotta go to work tomorrow) and watching Masterchef which, in turn, makes me want to eat and then bake cookies at midnight which will then lead to all-consuming self-loathing.

So, for now, I am happy with the things I have created today (some shown below) and hopefully will get more made in the countdown towards the next weekend and my sale.

Hope you’ve had a creative, satisfying day 🙂

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