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Blogging Challenge – Day Three : Favourite Quote

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My favourite quote has been, for a long time, this one from A. A. Milne (as Christopher Robin, spoken to Winnie the Pooh) :

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

It just resonates with me.  I guess it’s something I would like someone to say to me.  I actually made this quote into a wedding card for my ex-husband but I never gave it to him.  It didn’t feel right at the time.  Probably should have paid attention to that little feeling at the time, in hindsight!  I almost use this quote as a gauge for how I feel about someone – if they’re worthy of these words, they’re a keeper.

What’s your favourite quote?  Do you have any words you live by or feel particularly strongly about?

Thank you for dropping by x

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Life-affecting books (that aren’t The Alchemist)

Life-affecting books (that aren’t The Alchemist)

(NB : I wanted to call this post “Life-Changing Books” initially, but then I thought that was probably over-doing it a little.  So, I have gone for the less grandiose title.)

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There are LOADS of books that people recommend you HAVE TO READ.  “It will change your life!!!” they exclaim, clutching the book and thrusting it at you with a mad glint in their eye.  These type of books always leave me a bit cold.  I have tried to absorb the same life-altering information that is contained in their pages, the way everyone else does.  But I find myself sighing a lot and rolling my eyes or just not GETTING what it is that I am supposed to get.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, is one such book.  I get the theme and the meaning of the book and the whole self-understanding and enlightenment and whatnot.  But it’s just whatnot to me.  Maybe I’m not very enlightened.  And I have to say, many of the people I’ve spoken to who’ve read the book and LOVED it, are probably some of the least enlightened people I know.

Then there’s The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle) which my GP actually recommended to me to stop me stressing and worrying and being mental.  And don’t get me started on Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert). I tried, I really did.  But, bloody hell, I just wanted to smack her.  I did watch the movie and actually found myself crying my eyes out, sitting on the floor eating a tub of ice cream, so it must have connected with me somewhere along the line.  But as something I would alter my life with? No. I should probably try reading it again – maybe I am ready now… I don’t dislike Elizabeth Gilbert and I do listen to her podcasts so maybe it’s time to have another crack at her writing.

There are other books which have made an impact on my life.  Books that actually changed the way I did things, or thought about things.  Books that simplified or amplified my life.  They may, or may not, have been best-sellers and they may not be found on any self-help shelf.  But they are books I return to again and again for help or inspiration, guidance or just plain solace from the world.

What Not to Wear by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine is an example.  I know you’re smirking right now.  You’re thinking “Pfft!  It’s hardly a book one counts as essential reading!” but I think you’d be wrong.  Sure, it’s hardly literary, but it DID help me dress better and for my figure, making it easier for me to find clothes that I look ok in.  I know what suits me now and what will make me look like a sack of potatoes.  I know what to cover and what to flaunt (although, I’m not much of a flaunter – still having trouble avoiding covering EVERYTHING up).  I know that baggy clothes make me look baggy.  I know that A-line skirts are my friend.  I back away from bias-cut dresses as though they were the anti-Christ.  I seek out V-necks and waist-cinching outfits.  I was able to hide and disguise my too-large-for-my-frame boobs because I knew how to dress them (and now, after my reduction surgery, I know what to wear to suit my new size).  It may sound silly, but it made a difference to me and my life.  It took away a teeny bit of anxiety and gave me one less thing to worry about.  Dumb as that may seem, it made life easier.

Simple Abundance : A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach is another book I have returned to time and time again.  I think I just enjoy reading it and pretending that my life could be authentic and beautiful and organised.  It talks about things that make life happier and more fulfilling, daily inspiration for creating your own sanctuary at home and at work.  It let’s you feel ok about still loving cute stickers, fairy tales and pretty notebooks and things that make you feel better, even if they’re considered childish by others.  It reminds you to be grateful, most importantly, and to hold your loved ones with both hands.  It talks about solitude and renewal and the power of a quiet cup of tea.  It may be out-dated in some ways but I still like to flick through its pages from time to time and escape into it. One day, I WILL have beautifully arranged linen closets with little sprigs of lavender and I WILL create a private space with a shrine for meditation that gives me strength and a place to be and just breathe.  Maybe not right now, but someday I will do more than just read about those things.

Another title that really helped me when I was desperate for guidance and help is The Loss of a Pet : a Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies by Wallace Sife, Ph.D.  I have spoken about this one before, when I loss my dear little guinea pig, Roderick, a few years ago.  I was so heartbroken and distraught and honestly didn’t know how to get through it.  I had lost other pets before and it is always traumatic, but Roderick was a little beacon of light in my life at a time when I was seriously lost and sad and, without him, the world seemed a much bleaker and lonelier place.  This book helped me to just acknowledge and accept my feelings as being perfectly OK and nothing to be ashamed of.  It let me grieve in a way that other people did not and gave me comfort.  Some psychologists I work with think it’s a terrible book – it has some old fashioned ideas (according to them) and talks about the stages of grief which is apparently an out-dated idea and not one that is currently practiced or supported.  Well, I’m not a psychologist (duh), but I know the book helped me, and I would recommend it to other people if they were grieving.

Still on the subject of our furry friends, Inside of a Dog : What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz is a fascinating read.  Ever want to know what your dog is thinking, why he’s doing THAT and what he really needs to be a happy, healthy member of your pack?  This book is for you.  Written from a scientific-but-loving point of view, the book tells you everything you ever needed to know about the psychology of our canine buddies. Be prepared to change some of your annoying habits though (not everything is your dog’s fault – in fact, pretty much everything is your fault) and keep receipts if you like buying cute, little doggy outfits.  Trust me, you WILL be returning them.  And feel very, very bad about how you’ve made poor Fluffy/Toby/Jethro/Killer feel.

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I have loads of crafty, arty, creativity-oriented books.  Some I keep forever and refer back to, time and time again.  One such title is Card Art : Innovative Card-Making Designs by Stephanie McAtee and Emily Falconbridge.  When this book came out, it was difficult to buy craft titles that were different, that didn’t have the same old “Let’s stamp and emboss to make a card…” ideas that we’d all seen a million times.  Card Art has lots of ideas for using recycled bits and pieces, altered images, every day items and even discarded projects for creating awesome, unique cards.  I was so inspired by it and still am today.  It just encouraged me to think outside the box a little and be ok with imperfections and messiness, two things which, I think we can all agree, are pretty much staples in my life.

Another title on the crafty front is the wonderful Pretty Little Things by Sally Jean Alexander.  Pretty little things indeed, the projects in this book are so delightful and make me want to go out and make something IMMEDIATELY.  Sally Jean is a master of soldering, collage and all things vintage-inspired and beautiful.  She also has a lamp in the shape of a goose who watches over Sally’s studio.  That in itself is enough for me to call her my guru.  I did try my hand at soldering after first reading this book.  It didn’t go well but I am determined to give it another try again someday.  This book will inevitably be my inspiration again.

Yet another art-oriented book is The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery by Karen Michel.  I was excited to see this is my local 2nd-Hand bookstore recently and I picked it up for a bargain $5.00.  I have borrowed it from my library (back in the days when I borrowed books from libraries…until I learnt that I wasn’t responsible enough to bring them back on time and had to ban myself) many, many times and so having my own copy is pretty fab.  Karen leads you through lots of different methods of altering images (hence the title, duh) and using them on cards, collages and more.  I have used this book to inspire me to make some projects of my own and it has been a great help.  It’s another “step out of your comfort zone” kind of book, which I think we all need from time to time to shake us out of our usual safe routines.

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Onto a different topic now, with Dreams : Signs of Things to Come by Quentin Watts.  I think I have discussed before my unfortunate tendency towards having nightmares.  I have them a lot.  Always have done.  It is disturbing and downright terrifying at times, but I have had this problem since I was a child and have learnt to deal with it in my own way.  Something that helped me a great deal was Quentin’s book and radio show.  Being able to figure out what the cryptic messages in my nightmares meant has saved me many an hour in therapy.  It always helps a lot towards breaking through the terror that is experienced when having a really bad dream.  If you can wake up, write it all down and then work through it, it really does make a difference, and often means you don’t end up having the same dream over and over.  I have lots of dream-translating books, and some of them are pretty rubbish.  Any that make dreams out to be prophetic and predictive get the boot from my collection. Dreaming of a man holding an ice cream and wearing a chair on his head does not mean you are going to marry a dairy-goods baron and open a furniture store together.  It just doesn’t.  But it probably means something else is going on in your life that is making you dream silly things.  Or, you could just be craving ice cream.  Or your subconscious mind might be giving you a gentle nudge to remind you that your dining chair is about to break and that YOU REALLY NEED TO GET IT FIXED BEFORE SOMEONE HURTS THEMSELVES.  Probably Aunt Gladys, who is rather large due to her love of ice cream.  Anyway, Dreams is a good book (and so are Quentin’s other titles) and worth a read if you suffer from SDS (Silly Dream Syndrome) like I do.

Another book I have to mention is He’s Just Not That Into You  by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.  I know, I know, it was all hyped up and made into a movie and just another fad.  But, actually, it’s pretty awesome.  I wish I had read this BEFORE I started dating.  It would have made things so much easier.  Or, at least, would have given me a better understanding of why things happen and why guys act like they do, and how to have some idea of whether they really like you or if they just want to get in your pants.  I think because it is written by a guy, it just makes more sense and seems more candid and truthful.  The follow-up book, It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken, is also really good and actually helped me a lot.  It’s kind of like having a super-supportive friend who will also give you a slap in the face when you’re being an idiot.  I recommend both books.  You should read them whilst consuming vast quantities of ice cream, on the couch, in your pyjamas.  Mandatory.

In a similar vein, Rebuilding : When Your Relationship Ends by Dr Bruce Fisher and Dr Robert Alberti, is an excellent tool for helping you through a break up.  It’s easy to read, makes a lot of sense and I know lots of people who have been helped by this book – it was recommended to me by a friend who had been through a nasty divorce and I, in turn, have recommended it to others.  It’s not rocket science, but sometimes you need someone to actually talk you through the whole break up process and work through the feelings you’re experiencing and all that unpleasant stuff.  And sometimes you can’t afford a therapist ha ha.  So a book is the next best thing.  Possibly even a better thing, because you can cry and be weepy without having a human audience.  And it won’t judge you for wearing pyjamas or eating ice cream which, as we have already discussed, is an important part of the process.

So, there you have it, just a few titles that I would highly recommend you check out.  Maybe they won’t save the world or lead you to enlightenment, but they’re pretty good just the same.  Immediately after posting this, I will remember other titles that I should have included but, as it is late, I will leave it at that and save any additions for another day and another post.  Happy reading 🙂

(PS : I have written about some of my favourite novels before 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 🙂

Op Shopping Wins

Op Shopping Wins

I’ve been a bit naughty with my spending these last couple of weeks.  I hadn’t been shopping much for the last few months, mainly because I was trying to restore some of my savings after having to pay for my surgery. Besides that, I just wasn’t in the mood somehow.  I’d walk into a shop and lose interest in it by the time I’d made it past the first rack of stuff.  Even in op shops, which are normally a haven for me, I was disheartened and bored.

But that has all changed now, whether for the better or not.  My bank balance would probably say “not”.  I went op shopping a few times in the last ten days or so and picked up loads of things.  Like, LOADS.  A ridiculous amount of clothes (when I already have a wardrobe that is groaning under its own weight) and knick knacks.  Let me give you an example of one shopping trip – in one store alone, I bought 6 skirts, three tops, a dress, a pair of shoes and a jumper.  Like I said, ridiculous.

But I kinda let myself off because it is op shopping and so the prices are low and the money goes to charity.  So, really, I am being very selfless and thrifty!  Maybe?

So without further ado, here are a few of the items I bought this month:

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A fabulous turquoise ring.  It’s enormous.  Who would wear this as a ring???  I just wanted it for its beads…it was only $1.00.

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This good-quality, stoneware plant pot.  With a hole in the bottom.  I
hate it when pots have no drainage holes.  It’s so annoying.  It was $1.25, so even if it didn’t have a drainage hole, I would have bought it.  It’s nice and solid and I think the green will go well with something that has some bright flowers, or variegated leaves that add contrast.

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Stacks of magazines (teapot not included – I forgot to remove him before taking the photo) for 75c each.  I love magazines but they are so expensive now.  Why pay $10.00 for one when you can buy them for less than a dollar?

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This pretty grey and white floral top was only $4.50.  It’s a Portmans piece so would have been a lot more expensive than that originally.  Portmans is a shop I don’t even walk in to – I can’t afford their normal prices.  Because I am a tightwad basically.

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Black and white sheer and lace skirt.  This was $5.00 I think.  The sheer layer over the top covers the shorter one underneath.  I liked the lace details and the pattern.

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Another skirt.  Because I need them apparently.  This one is just a basic pencil skirt, but I really like the small-print floral and it is very comfortable to wear, especially on fat days ha ha.

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Um, another skirt.  I am still trying to figure out if it is brown or purple.  In the shop, I thought it was purple, then I got it home and decided it was actually brown.  Now I am just confused.  The lighting in my room is DREADFUL, so it could be bright green and I wouldn’t be able to tell.  It was also $5.00.  I liked the lace detail on the hem of this one also.  It came with this horrible brooch/chain thingy that was made from lace and ribbons.  Hideous.  That came off straightaway.

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Brown leather shoes.  I don’t normally buy or wear leather, but I will make an exception if the item is second hand.  I figure the damage has already been done to the poor animal.  Me buying these shoes isn’t going to make a lick of difference in the long run.  They’re a little big for me but comfortable and soft.  I might end up giving them to my Mum, if my leather-guilt gets too bad.  She has bigger feet than me so they will probably fit her better anyway.

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Got this cute little brooch for $1.00.  I looked the creator up online and the brooches normally retail for $30.00 each so I think I got a bargain.  I don’t even know if I will wear her, but she might go on a bag or something.  I might even re-gift her.  I’m not opposed to re-gifting things, within reason.  Don’t tell anyone…

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I actually got this book from a 2nd-hand bookstore in Margaret River.  I just liked the illustrations.  It was $7.00, which is more than I would normally pay for anything, but I got sucked in by the pretty pictures inside.

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These gorgeous yellow beads (from a huge necklace that was so heavy it could possibly give you scoliosis of the spine) were like a ray of sunshine to my yellow-bead-deprived heart.  I am always looking for this kind of yellow.  Not plastic or glass, I needed ceramic or clay ones.  And here they are!  And so many too!  They’re hand made and so each bead is a little different to the next, which I kinda like.  Although, if I am trying to make earrings from them, I will probably go insane trying to find a pair that matches.  These were $5.75.

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Finally (for this post anyway), this delightful little Stilton cheese pot.  Love the shape and colours and overall design.  I have no idea what I will keep in it.  It will probably just be a display item on my bookshelves.  It was only $3.00.  I can even see me planting a succulent in it, although that would render the lid a bit redundant.  I just liked it.  It’s cute 🙂  So there.

So, just a few of things I bought this month.  I am not quite sure where this spending frenzy is coming from but it is best not to fight it.  That could get messy and lead to whining and possibly the over-consumption of cookies/cake/insert bad food of choice here.  I think I am also sub-consciously putting off starting the process of buying a house.  I have given myself a year to make a decision about it and the months are already dwindling away and I am no closer to even STARTING to think about it.  Sigh.  It’s too grown-up a decision for me to make without hyperventilating and coming out in hives.  Op-shopping is safer and cheaper and downright nicer.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it,.

🙂

Books, Bargains and Freo

Books, Bargains and Freo

Aghhghghhh!  A whole month has gone by and I have to go back to work tomorrow!  Ugh!  So unfair!  Why didn’t I win the lottery in that time?  Possibly because I didn’t buy a ticket, but hey, let’s not let reason and sense get in the way here!  I can’t believe four weeks has passed and I have little to show for it.  OK, so I have new-ish boobs (or, at least, smaller ones) which are healing nicely, thank you, but not much else has been accomplished.  To be fair, I wasn’t able to do much for the first couple of weeks, being sore and ouchy and so tired (I think my body just went “Ahhhhhhhhh” and wanted to recuperate and rest and sleep) but, really, I was hoping to get a few more things done.  To be honest, it was nice to be forced to relax and NOT do anything.  I actually read three whole books.  Woo!  I love reading but never take the time these days to actually curl up with a book and spend a hour or three lost in its pages.  I read “Sufficient Grace” by Amy Espeseth (oh so good – I couldn’t put it down), “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd (also excellent – my Mum read it straight after me and she loved it too), and “The End of the Alphabet” by C. S. Richardson (Oh, such a sad but beautiful book.  I finished it in a morning.   I made my Mum read this too and she also cried ha ha.  We are a pathetic pair).

These final few days, as I went into “Oh God I have to go back to work!” panic mode, I tried to pack as much entertainment and activity as possible, so as not to waste the time.  A couple of days were spent getting my house in order, doing mundane things like ironing, tidying up and sorting out paperwork (who am I kidding?  I just ended up watching thrifting haul videos on Youtube! There was no tidying or sorting!) and trying to get ready for the routine of the working week.

On Tuesday, I met my cousin for lunch and spent a nice afternoon with her, chatting and eating too much.  We dined at Yocal, one of my absolute fave places to eat.  Their menu is excellent – lots of vego and vegan choices, reasonably priced and the staff are super friendly.  It’s hip and cute and the food is DELICIOUS!  My cousin and I shared the Mushroom and Haloumi burger – so yummy!

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On Wednesday, after having my dressings removed and surgical wounds checked to make sure they were healing ok (they were, thankfully), I did a bit of op-shopping with Mum.  We visited 3 or 4 stores but neither of us had any luck in finding anything.

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We also went to a second-hand book store and found a few bargains there.  I got some nice decorating and craft books plus a handy guide to succulents.  I particularly liked the title of one of the books :

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Mum got some lovely gardening titles and a couple of novels.  We visited IKEA and had lunch before grabbing a few bits and pieces (can’t leave IKEA without getting SOMETHING) including some awesome journals with lovely blank pages, perfect for journaling or drawing or painting or whatever! (We just like notebooks – it’s a sickness).

On Thursday, Mum and I went down to the port town of Fremantle for the day.   Lots of lovely shops, markets and places to eat.  Our first stop was East West Design  – a treasure trove of furniture and home wares from every corner of the globe.

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We had not been before, but the owner is a friend of my cousin’s, so I had heard about it and was keen to have a look.  Oh Mylanta!  So many pretty things!  And it went for miles and miles!  The stock was floor to ceiling, pretty much, in a huge warehouse-size shop, with every taste catered for.  I spotted a cute little shelving unit, white and so pretty, as soon as I stepped in the door.  I really had to convince myself not to buy it, but in the end I knew I really had nowhere for it in my little house.  However, Mum did purchase a matching magazine rack that was really nice and will look great in her place.

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She also got a Buddha head – she’s been searching for one for ages.  It’s for her garden – this one was just the right size and colour and an amazingly inexpensive price.  Perfect.  The one pictured below was a very large version – nearly as tall as me and weighed a tonne (a bit like me ha ha).  It was $900…a bit out of our price range but I would love to have had it in MY garden!  Oh well, I know where to get one from if ever I come into money!

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Afterwards we pottered around Fremantle and had a look in some little shops, including the Oxfam store, which always has some lovely things.  Mum is currently redecorating her lounge room in blue and white so her eye was quickly drawn to the goodies on display here.  She ended up buying a little candle holder – so pretty and the blue is just right (you can see it in the photo below – second from the right, top right corner).

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Fremantle itself has some lovely street art, decorating even the most mundane of items, like rubbish bins and plant boxes.  Check out these gorgeous mosaic planters :

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I noticed that the majority of shops and cafes also had these recycled wood plant boxes – so rustic and chic! :

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 Even the boring old bollards on the corner of the street were jazzed up :

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We had a lovely day just walking around and window shopping, before heading home to beat the traffic.

Wish we could have more days like this – it’s so nice to just wander around, having nowhere you need to be and nothing urgent that needs doing.  If only pesky work didn’t get in the way all the time!

So it’s back to the grind for me tomorrow.  I am looking forward to seeing my workmates but not relishing the idea of getting up when it is cold and dark.  Ugh.  I should have been practicing my “getting up when the alarm goes off” routine but, alas, I have been sleeping in super late every day.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ll get used to the daily drudgery soon enough!

🙂

A Sentence a Day

A Sentence a Day

For Christmas, my best friend CG gave me a sort-of journal, titled “A Sentence a Day”.  As the title suggests, it has daily prompts for journaling your year (designed to show two years’ worth of entries so you can look back and see how you changed or stayed the same over that period) and encourage self-reflection.  It’s really a book for younger people (I discovered this on one page as the prompt for the day was “What did you do at school today?) but I’ve been happily filling in the pages and have enjoyed having that extra “push” to prompt me into writing.  I’ve been a bit hopeless lately (as would be obvious by the lack of blogging I have done over the last month or so) and so it’s been helpful having the little book to look forward to each day.

So, because I am literally out of ideas this week, and because my house is spotlessly clean and tidy (miracle of miracles!) – I don’t want to mess it up, not even for crafting! – I’m going to take a few of the prompts from the book and write my responses here.  Feel free to do the same on your blog (if you have one) or in your diary or wherever.  It’s cheating, ever so slightly, but I am completely inspiration-less this week.  I hope my mojo comes back soon, otherwise I’m in trouble.

So here goes – I’m just going to flick through the pages and choose random prompts…

  1. How do you feel about speaking in front of people?  Horrible!  Petrified, self-conscious and suddenly devoid of all thought and intelligence!
  2. Who is the funniest person you know?  Definitely my brother 🙂
  3. What’s your favourite sea creature?  Can I say a mermaid? 🙂  I think seahorses are amazing and beautiful but I also love whales, dolphins, seals and stingrays.  Ooh, and those creepy Vampire Squids!  They’re awesome!
  4. Do you have any bad habits?  God, where do I start?!  I chew my fingers and pick at them.  It’s disgusting.  I’m a teeth-grinder and a tongue-sucker (in my sleep).  Various unladylike habits.  All anxiety related, but bad habits nevertheless.  I used to suck my thumb when I was a child.  Then I got braces and couldn’t do it any more!
  5. What is unforgivable?  Child abuse and abuse of animals.
  6. What was the last time you saw a movie at the cinema?  What was it?  Last night!  I saw “St Vincent” with my work friend CI.  Excellent movie, great evening. We had dinner out (no dessert – good girls!) and chatted and enjoyed a great movie starring the amazing Bill Murray.  He’s a favourite of mine.
  7. What’s your favourite flower?  Violets, obviously! 🙂
  8. Describe how your house is decorated : My home has no definite style.  I am a bit schizophrenic in my decorating tastes.  I like bright colours but then I also like white and shabby-chic.  So I have a bit of everything.  I’m only renting so I can’t paint walls or do to much to the house in terms of decorating or changing any structures.  I like to have “pockets” of themes or colour palettes.  Each of my bookshelves has a different “vibe” going on.

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  1. What do you like most about your own personality?  I think I’m quite kind.  I try to be anyway.
  2. What does your dream house look like?  Cute.  I’ve always wanted a cute little house with a white picket fence, a pretty garden, and a warm and welcoming feel to it.  I’d like a porch with a rocking chair on it.  I’d like to be near the ocean and have room for animals.  I’d like an upstairs section (even if it’s just one little room) and a pretty guest room so visitors could stay the night.
  3. Describe your hairstyle : Slightly mental and uncooperative.  I have thick, unruly hair which I have grown to be grateful for.  I don’t try and tame it these days – it does its own thing and I do mine.  We agree to meet somewhere in the middle 🙂

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I have promised myself I will get better at blogging this year, so hopefully won’t need the little book to help me too many times throughout the coming months.  I’m enjoying my nice tidy home right now and so I am trying to hold of from doing anything crafty or mess-making.  I’m not very good at relaxing and doing nothing so I am finding it hard to know what to do if I’m not busy being busy.  I’ve even considered doing some ironing today which just shows I am getting desperate!

Hope your New Year is going well and shaping up to be the best year yet.  There is so much uncertainty and fear in the world right now – I can only hope that your own little corner is peaceful and happy.

Thanks for dropping by x

Op-Shop/Thrift Haul (#? in a series of many)

Op-Shop/Thrift Haul (#? in a series of many)

Op-Shops are my Kryptonite.  That is to say, they don’t kill me or anything, but they do render me powerless and somewhat weak at the knees.  I probably wouldn’t be able to leap over a building either (although it is possible I could if the bargains on the other side were awesome enough).  I just like the thrill of the chase, the rummaging around in junk looking for some treasure.  I know it’s not for everyone – lots of my friends don’t get it and I understand that (although I myself don’t understand why they pay full price for anything or think that $80 is a reasonable price to pay for a t-shirt).  I guess I just like looking for things that aren’t the same old stuff everyone else has.  I like quirky and different, old or vintage.  I think it’s the Aquarian in me (quirky) and the Scot (thrifty) in my blood.  Or it’s neither of those things – I don’t know.

This week (having promised myself I wouldn’t make any purchases that weren’t absolutely essential) I stopped in at a local op-shop on my way home from an exceedingly tiresome day at work. Nothing cheers me faster that a haven of 2nd-hand knick-knackery.
I had wanted to find some more little pots for popping succulents into and I found a couple that would work wonderfully well.

Firstly this lovely little earthenware cooking dish with its crackled glaze and its vintage charm.  It might not be vintage but it looks is and I liked it (so there!).  It’s nice and shallow too which is good for a happy little succulent.  I also bought a larger sized bowl (exactly the same, just bigger) which I will use for actual cooking I think.
(Please excuse photos – I had to take them outside on my porch as it was getting dark and my house had the WORST lighting ever for taking pictures…)

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Next up, these AMAZING glazed pottery mugs.  Swoon.  I loved the colours – purply/blue with the brown terracotta swirled through it.  I saw one of the mugs and thought “Oh that might be nice to plant a little cactus or succulent in…” and then I saw that is was actually a WHOLE SET (i.e. 6 mugs).  They were only $1.25 each and practically brand new so I had to buy them.  Well, by “had to” I mean I “wanted to” with every fibre of my being.  So I did.  I still haven’t decided whether to plant succulents in them or use them as actual coffee mugs.  They’re quite small though as is my kitchen cupboard which is already groaning under the weight of a million coffee and tea cups/mugs.  Might have to do a cull…

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Then I found this lovely little dish (I guess it is like a tapas dish or one that you’d put olives in or something…).  Nice and shallow and in perfect condition.  The price tag said $3 but the lady at the counter gave it to me for $1.  Bargain!  I like the colours and design on the inside of the bowl so it seems a shame to cover it up with a plant, but I will anyway methinks!  Or have a tapas night…which seems just as pleasant and good for the soul.

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Then I spotted these two little trinket dishes.  So cute and in pretty good condition.  I thought I might give them to a couple of vintage-loving friends as gifts.  Or keep them for myself – I am undecided.  They’re so pretty and dainty (and I need all the help I can get on those two fronts!).

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So that was a pretty good haul for one afternoon and one shop.  I am binge-spending so much right now (Mum and I went to the Save the Children Fund Book Sale today and I bought 26 books…I have nowhere to put them!) and it is on par with my binge-eating.  I am going to try harder from tomorrow to curb both my emotional-eating and my emotional-purchasing.  I know it is all because I am now in the process of divorce and it is easier to feed my face or empty my purse than deal with the feelings I am trying so hard not to feel.  But I am also buying things that I can sell on and make some extra money with (at swap-meets and my mini-markets) so I am trying not to be too hard on myself.  I assuage my guilt by giving to charity (and op-shops are for charities, right?  That counts!) and reminding myself that I am mostly buying 2nd hand things which is a form of recycling.  These justifications work if I don’t dwell on it too hard.

Happy Monday everyone… x