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Nourish (Because Sometimes Doorknobs Just Fall Off)

It’s late at night.  You’re hungry.  You know you shouldn’t raid the pantry but to hell with diets and the whole “don’t eat after 8pm at night” nonsense (what am I, a gremlin?).  Time to check out what snacks are available to us.  

Enter kitchen.  Attempt to open pantry door.  Door knob falls off in hand – DISASTER! 

What can you do?  a.) Forget about the whole thing and go to bed, sad and unsatisfied?  b.) Try the fridge instead?  c.) Rummage through your handbag to see if there’s a long-forgotten mint or something?  d.) Wrench the pantry door open with a knife and vow to put a new door knob on tomorrow?  If you answered “all of the above except A”, you’d be correct.  Let’s face it, A was never an option. 

My house has many features that are, through age or just crappy design, falling off/breaking down/not performing so well.  Doorknobs are one example.  I’ve replaced several now in different rooms but, for the kitchen, decided to go with something a bit more jazzy.  I probably shouldn’t draw attention to my pantry (it’s not like I’m not VERY FAMILIAR with it already!) but I wanted to do this little project and not have to open the door with a knife 🙂

These little wooden doorknobs are currently available at Kmart, in Australia, for $1.00 each.  One dollar!  I do not want to know where the materials were sourced from at such a price – it would probably hurt my brain.  They had different shaped ones too, but I bought the regular round one.  I collaged on various scraps of patterned papers and washi tape, then (using a stencil I had made) draw on a heart shape.  I then painted the doorknob all over in blue, leaving out the heart-shaped area.  Details were added with permanent black pencil, a white paint pen and a bit of stamped text.  The whole thing was sealed and varnished and voila!  It was done.  (It looks a bit “cloudy” in places because I had literally just finished sealing it so nothing had dried before I took the photo).  I sanded back the edges slightly too, just to give a bit of extra detail.

So, an easy, inexpensive little decorator project that could be applied to lots of furniture and household items.  I’m still thinking I should have stamped “DO NOT ENTER” instead of “NOURISH” on my doorknob, but I will try and have some willpower of my own, instead of expecting inanimate objects to guide me and tell me what to do (or, in this case, what NOT to do) when I get the midnight munchies.

🙂

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Brave Day (Collage)

Hello everyone.  Another work week begins and I would much rather be at home in the warm, in my craft room, making a mess and creating some new “art”.  I say “art” (in quotation marks) because I’m not yet ready to call what I do Art.  Which is weird, because I follow lots of other artists who make collages and mixed-media pieces and I call their work Art.  But then, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t a bit insecure about everything I do.  And that’s why you love me, right?  Right? *looks insecure and nervous*

This weekend I played hermit and stayed at home and crafted.  It was lovely.
I made quite a few pieces, one after the other, which was so satisfying – normally I faff about for ages on one thing, not even finishing it, and getting very frustrated at my lack of creative oomph (ie talent).  But this weekend I was on a bit of a roll.  If something wasn’t working, I moved on to the next idea, and tried not to get bogged down in any piece that refused to cooperate. Sometimes you just need to put things aside and start fresh on something else so your brain has time to fire up again.  This also stops you from swearing too much or throwing things in the bin (or at the wall, or down the stairs) in anger and disgust.

So, this piece came together relatively easily and with minimal crankiness on my part.  I have used this little bird often, on other projects, and he is a bit of a muse for me.  He just always works.  Maybe it’s because he’s blue (my favourite colour), or because he looks so darn sensible and down-to-earth.  He has a calming influence on me, bless him.  I do curse a bit whilst cutting out those tiny little toes and claws, but he is otherwise an easy guy to work with and never fails me.

He needed a crown or, rather, deserved a crown, so I added a fetching royal number (which I might add some bling to later…) and I think the red adds a nice contrast and detail.  It took me forever to decide on a word or quote – I have so many books that I cut up for text, but it is hard to find exactly the right phrase or word in the right sized font. I have HEAPS already pre-cut, but do I ever find one that is just right?  No, I do not.  However, I felt that “‘Tis a Brave Day” suited this little fellow, and hoped it would encourage me to be a bit more courageous myself.  Maybe.  Basically, I just needed some words and these ones fit 🙂

Anyway, I was pleased with him.  It was a good start to a crafty weekend because it encouraged me to do more and keep up the momentum.  I am enjoying working on canvases instead of cards for change and finding the simple, one-dimensional form (rather than many layers and embellishments as on a card) to be a lot less labour-intensive and time-consuming.  There is great joy in not having to trawl through boxes of ribbon, lace and buttons in order to finish something.

So, ’tis a brave day indeed.  Less is more.  More or less 🙂

Thank you for dropping by x

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Beloved

Finally, a weekend of crafting!  I was so determined this weekend to get up early, get stuff done and fit in some card-making.  I rushed around doing laundry and some gardening, took Mum grocery shopping and did a spot of op-shopping (because I, um, needed to? *looks guilty*).  Then I crafted.  I got up extra early in order to get things done and not waste time.  I stayed in my PJs all day and ignored the TV and Facebook and all those other measly distractions.  Several friends invited me out to lunch and coffee and for walks and I told them I had other plans.  Plans that did not involve putting clothes on or wearing makeup or being sociable.  I didn’t even lie – I just said “I need to stay home in my pyjamas and make stuff”.  I made a complete and utter mess and now I am not looking forward to clearing it all up so I might just pretend it’s not there.  Or move house.

It took me a while to get started – sometimes the mojo needs a bit of coercing – but then I made a couple of cards I was happy with. Especially this one – I like the colours and the composition and the bird is just so dapper.  Look at his little tie and bling!  I felt like he should have had a top hat too, but that may have been pushing it.

Now I feel as though I may be getting a cold, which is yucky and annoying (I hardly ever get colds) especially as I wanted to start exercising again today.  I just wanted to stay in bed this morning and pull the blanket over my face and sleep forever.  But, sadly, one must work if one wishes to continue buying craft supplies and go op-shopping.  Such is life.

Hope you are having a bright and breezy day, and spending time with a Beloved or two, if you’re lucky 🙂

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Robot

My nephew turned 9 years old today.  Oh, how the years fly!  When he was born, I thought he was the most perfect and precious thing I had ever laid eyes on, and I can’t say my opinion has changed much (although with the subsequent births of his three siblings, I have had to extend my love and adoration to that little trio as well).  He’s a gorgeous little boy – very sweet and well behaved (as much as any nine year old boy is) and he is kind and generous with his brothers and sisters.

I wanted to make him a birthday card.  He and his siblings make the most delightful little cards for us, so I am only too happy to return the favour and make a special one for him.  I didn’t have a lot of time – I was waiting for a handyman to come and fix my garden gate, plus I had lots of errands to run during the day.  I didn’t want to make a mess in my clean house (cleaned up for the handyman who probably couldn’t care less what my house looks like and most likely didn’t even notice if I had vacuumed or not) so I kept it simple and just made this little robot card.  Master Nine likes robots, but I must say, I don’t think I’ve ever had to draw one before – probably not since I was his age anyway.

So, I just doodled a quick sketch or two of some not-very-technical-looking robots, until I came up with one I liked.  I think he’s kinda cute and I don’t even mind my slightly dodgy colouring-in.  I had to give him a heart – partly to add some extra colour, but mostly because, um, I just like hearts on things, and wanted to sneak in some love for my nephew without anything being too “girly”.

I simply attached it to a card blank and wrote “Happy Birthday” underneath.  Nothing too fancy. Master Nine loved it (“Oh Cool!  It’s a robot!  I love robots!”) which made me happy. Doesn’t take much with me!

A handmade card will always trump a bought one, even if it’s simple and not-very-perfect.  Anything made with love is better than a shop-bought product, and so I am glad I spent some time making this one.  The recipient is TOTALLY worth all the handmade love in the world.  Happy Birthday little dude – you will always mean the world to me x

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PS Please excuse my chubby legs in this photo (below).  I was making the card on my lap in the lounge room…

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Blue Flax Lily

Blue Flax Lily

We are very lucky at my work to be surrounded by native bushland and I often go for a wander in my lunch break to spend some time amongst the trees and wildflowers, birds and lizards (and, most likely, a large population of snakes) that inhabit the blocks around us.  We are also fortunate to have a pretty courtyard garden that has been lovingly brought to life and tended by one of my colleagues.  It has succulents and natives, flowering annuals and larger species such as frangipanis and hippeastrums.

Earlier this year, we had our big international dementia conference, and part of our displays included a gorgeous native sensory garden, which I was lucky enough to work in (a nice way to spend a day at work is in a garden – even if it is inside a convention centre!).  It featured lots of beautiful natives that are particularly fragrant or textured – great for people with dementia to touch, smell and experience safely.

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One of the plants displayed was the Blue Flax Lily – a gorgeous grassy-looking native with AMAZING blue “berries”.  The fruit is a ridiculously bright purple-blue and stands out amongst the more muted, dull browns of the bushland.  We also have a potted example in our courtyard garden (a leftover from the Conference) and I have been out there this morning, taking photos of it, as you do.  I desperately want to try one of the berries – they are absolutely edible and a tasty “bush tucker” treat.  At the moment there are only two or three berries on there and I don’t want to pick them because a.)  that would be a bit mean and b.) knowing me, I won’t like the taste and then they’ll be wasted.

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But, if nothing else, they are so darn pretty to look at.  I look forward to them growing bigger and getting more fruit on them.  Then I won’t have to feel guilty about stealing the berries ha ha, but also because those little flashes of blue are a delight.  Nature is so amazing 🙂

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You can read more about the Blue Flax Lily HERE

Procrastination, I am Your Queen

Procrastination, I am Your Queen

I wasted today.  Which is better than saying “I AM wasted today”, I suppose.  However, it is still bad.  I am too old to be wasting time.  Frittering it away.  Getting distracted (in fact, as an example, I am now thinking about fritters).  Doing nothing when I should be doing something.  Or, doing something but it is a something that is basically nothing in the guise of something, you know?  Come Sunday evening, I am wracked with the guilt of procrastination and time wasted.

I promised myself I would ACHIEVE this weekend.  I would write lists and tick them off.  But all I succeeded in doing was ticking myself off with my inability to actually do anything.  The worst part is, I didn’t sit around much at all.  I am not a sitter.  I am always very busy.  VERY busy.  Doing nothing much at all.

I usually find I become very motivated, around about 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a Sunday, when I suddenly realise that I have to go back to work tomorrow and I have had two days off where I could have, y’know, started that best-selling novel, created a Fortune-500 company, built a house or ended third world debt.  I have high hopes for my weekends, but they often don’t pan out.  Basically, because I myself fizzle out.

Now, I must admit, I am having trouble dealing with anything at the moment.  I am weaning myself off my anti-depressants and I am finding it harder than I thought I would.  Harder than I have let anyone around me know. I thought “Oh, it’s been two and a half years, I can come off them now! Piece of cake!”  but it’s been a little trickier than that.  And there was no cake.  But, there’s been crying.  Lots of crying.  I’ve done that super ugly, blubbering kind of crying.  I’ve yelled at people.  I’ve had nightmares.  I’ve been hyper and chatty one minute and then morose and downright jump-off-a-cliff depressed the next.  But I persevere because I have to do it and I don’t want to be on this medication forever.  And before you ask, yes this is being medically supervised and I am being sensible.  It’s just that I am 41 years old and I need to be able to manage things and not hide behind a little happy pill.  Plus, I need to cry every now and then.  It’s a natural state for me and NOT doing it is weird.  I just needed them to get me over the marriage-breaking-down hump and now I have to come back into the real world again.

Which has left me a little bit blue.  Because the real world is a bit shit, to be honest.  Pardon my language.  People are mean and stuff is hard.  So I get bogged down in the mean and the hard.  I find it difficult to get up in the mornings, not just because I don’t want to go to work, but because I am actually sad.  Mostly because I don’t want to go to work but also because I am floundering a little bit.  I’m going through one of those “Who am I and what am I for?” stages.  Which I probably should have gone through at age 18 or something but I was too busy being terrified of the world to even contemplate that I had some sort of place in it.  In some ways, it is worse going through it now because I have less time to figure things out.

Which brings me back to wasting time.  Some people are happy to waste time and don’t see it as actually WASTING TIME.  People think the weekends are for chilling out and lazing about, watching TV and sitting around.  I don’t.  I always feel like I should be doing something constructive or at least making plans that would lead in that direction.  More lists.  Lists that will have ticks against them.  So that when people ask (on Monday morning) “Hey, what did you get up to on the weekend?”, I can say, smugly, “Oh, I rendered the house, put in reticulation, baked 400 muffins for the local homeless shelter, adopted a litter of kittens, ran a marathon, painted my fence and knitted a tea cosy……” instead of answering “Um…not much.  I did some ironing.”  And let’s face it, even ironing is probably not happening in my house most weeks.  Or months, to be fair.  Do I even HAVE an iron?….

I wanted to create things this weekend.  I wanted to have lots of blog posts ready and waiting to be written.  I wanted to have projects on the go.  I wanted to actually have some crafts on here, which would be nice, considering this is supposed to be a crafty kind of blog.

So, what did I achieve this weekend?  Well, I caught up with my best friend, whom I haven’t seen since JULY (holy crap, that is three months ago!) and we set the world to rights and talked up a storm.  I visited my Aunt.  I visited my cousin and nieces.  I went shopping for new bras (to go with the new boobs).  I bought a pineapple/green apple/broccoli/mint drink which was SO DELICIOUS I bought another one today.  I saw a movie with a friend and felt confused by it.  I felt horribly guilty for saying no to said friend when she asked me to dog-sit for her over Christmas.  I went to see my Mum.  I pruned my garden and all the courtyards around my house, weeded and swept up leaves and junk in my yard.  I dyed my hair so I no longer look like rapidly-ageing hag woman.  I went to a little charity fete in my street and bought some more books.  I tried eye-liner for the first time and decided I quite liked it.

So I did SOME things.  I guess.  And seeing friends and family is certainly not NOTHING.  It’s actually very important. And nice. And soul-reparing.  But now it is evening and I have to make dinner and get stuff ready for work tomorrow. But I wanted to make cards.  That didn’t happen.  I wanted to do some drawing.  That didn’t happen.  I wanted to tidy my craft room.  That certainly didn’t happen and, frankly, I was kidding myself that it would.  I wanted to write in my journal and finish off a collage I have been working on (well, “working on” is an overstatement…). None of those things occurred.

So, I guess I have to try again next weekend.  I will write proper lists and endeavour to stick them (and not lose them).  I will not be distracted by whatever it is that normally distracts me (usually involves tea or facebook or cheese) and I will achieve THINGS.  Or, at least try to.  Because time is running out.  And I do not want to leave just a carbon footprint behind.  I want to have been here for some sort of reason and purpose.  Even if that purpose amounts to nothing more than writing a blog post on schedule, with actual useful stuff in it.

What do you hope to achieve on your weekends?  Are you a procrastinator?  Do you get distracted by things and wander off target, like me?  Do you even have a target?  How do you stay on target (if you do)?  How do you gauge your achievements or do you simply think it’s enough to have gotten dressed every day?

Hope your weekend was exactly as you wanted it to be – busy, lazy, crazy, chilled or fulfilling, whatever makes you feel happy and content and not guilty 🙂