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My Week in Pictures

It’s been a hectic week.  I have been madly making cards and other crafty goodies for my upcoming market stall.  I’ve been organising things to sell at a car boot sale this weekend (I have so much junk-that’s-not-really-junk to get rid of).  I’ve been organising quotes for air-conditioning in my rapidly heating up house.  I’ve had several birthday events to attend and catch-ups to arrange before Christmas.  It’s all happening.

I finally updated my phone and now have a much better one that doesn’t take blurry photos and doesn’t keep shutting down for no reason.  My old phone looks and behaves like something from the stone age.  Well, to be fair, it was about eight years old which, in phone terms these days, is practically a millennium.

I can take selfies now without having to guess if I am pointing the phone camera in the right direction.  And then edit the photos on the spot if I am not happy with them (ie don’t like the way I look in them).

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I also managed to fit in a spot of op-shopping.  I haven’t been for aaaaaaaaages, mostly due to lack of funds but also I just haven’t had time.  I broke my shoes this week so I actually did need to go and find a new pair.  Not wanting to spend a fortune, I of course when to the op-shop to check out what they had available.  I scored these lovely buckle-detail wedges.  I cannot walk in wedges, normally.  I fall down, a lot.  I wobble and am very unsteady because my ankle tends to turn in and I am a super klutz.  But these had a nice chunky heel and were very stable and comfortable.  And my perfect size! Better still, they were only $3.00!  I mean!  How could I not get them?  I wish they had been black as they would be more practical for work, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

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My garden has gained a critter.  This VERY LARGE grasshopper.  Who only has one back leg.  He has been on the same tree for about a week now.  I am not sure if he is resting or waiting for a bus, preparing to die, or just hanging out.  I must admit to being a bit squeamish about crickets and grasshoppers but I wouldn’t hurt one and, as I have no garden to speak of, there is nothing for him to destroy, so he can stay.  I don’t know if he can get around on one back leg – I’m assuming they don’t grow back like a spider’s does.  He is quite magnificent though – he looks like he is wearing armour.  He was kind enough to let me get in his face and take his picture without leaping off and scaring the bejeezus out of me.  But I do fear he is not long for this world, which is a shame.

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I had a lovely afternoon of Lego and tea with my Mum, brother and his brood.  Playing with Lego is an age-old tradition in my family.  I don’t think we will ever tire of it, and I am so glad the littlies enjoy it (because it gives us an excuse to play too).  That’s my castle there in the middle of the table – it’s been demolished by Master Nine, despite my protests.  I used to love hanging out with my big bro’, back in the day, building all sorts of creations.  I’m lucky I even had a big brother who didn’t mind his little sister hanging around playing with his stuff and probably taking all the good bricks.

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I went walking with a friend and found this beautiful cockatoo feather (shortly after having a spectacular fall and landing on my face).  Isn’t it gorgeous?  The Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo is endangered and always having its habitat destroyed by various construction projects and deforestation.  They are lovely creatures and it would be a shame to lose them.  I have treated them when I was a vet nurse and, despite their large size and FEROCIOUSLY STRONG beak, they are quite a gentle bird and very intelligent.  I love this feather and it will have pride of place on my hall table.

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I have not been looking after my plants at all, but they continue to amaze me with their resilience and growth. My “Mother of Thousands” plant is doing so well and is producing so many babies I feel I should open a nursery.  It is doing so well despite my neglect and  inability to remember that plants like water occasionally.

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Even the “dead” leaves from my Kalanchoe Feldtschenkoi I threw into the garden have sprouted bubbies and they are so cute!  They’re like tiny little rose buds at this stage.  I love that they propagate like this.  This is why I never throw any part of a succulent away – it still has life in it even if it looks dead!

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I got glasses.  Proper ones.  Not over-the-counter-chemist ones.  Actual optometrist-prescribed ones.  I am still getting used to them.  I really only need them for fine, intricate work, particularly when crafting and drawing, so I keep forgetting I have them.  They are currently buried under a pile of card-making supplies.

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My cousin in England sent me this STUNNING photo of my Mum.  I have never seen it before.  She looks so beautiful.  She would have been about 18 years old, just engaged and living at home with my grandparents.  Check out those nails!!!  They’re her real nails – not some fake stuck on ones.  And her hair is amazing (although I know now where I get my split-fringe issue from!).  The photo would have been taken by my Grandad who loved to shoot very posed pictures – he would always have a prop and a theme going on, ha ha.  No candid happy snaps for him, oh no!

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Now I just have to concentrate on my market stall on the weekend and then I can relax or, at least, make sense of my house and maybe start decorating for Christmas before Christmas has actually been and gone.

Hope you have a wonderful week and accomplish everything you you have planned (even if your plans include lots of napping, day-dreaming and generally lounging about 🙂 )

Thanks for reading, as always x

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Quick Post

Quick Post

Can it really be almost three weeks since I posted?  I am so slack!  But I’ve been so busy!  And tired!  And ticked off at work!  And lots of other things that end in an exclamation mark!  I’ve been coming home and falling asleep and have just been too tired to think straight, let alone post anything coherent or interesting.
I can’t say this post will be any better, but, at least, it’s SOMETHING.

I’ve been doing lots of op-shopping on the weekends, and gardening and making some crafty bits in the in-between times.  Some of my op-shop finds include :

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…this awesome fabric.  It’s blue and white (hard to see in the photo) and a nice thick, good quality material that I want to make a skirt from.  I got about 15 metres for $5!  Pretty good!  There’s enough there to make cushions and all sorts from it.  I have visions of myself parading about in a Von Trapp manner, looking like I am wearing curtains…

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…also picked up this delightful little Christmas scene.  Hand-painted and slightly age-worn, I just loved it and look forward to decorating with it at Christmas time.  Only $4…

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…made this necklace for the lovely SH as part of a craft swap I did with her…

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…and completed this glass, crystal and porcelain bead necklace (love the purples)…

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…I’ve been working on some friendship bracelets for my friend K – she wanted some in bright, fluoro colours so I chose a neon red and a yellow (they’re brighter in real life than in the photo).  I haven’t made a friendship bracelet since about 1989, but I found that I soon remembered the knotting technique and got stuck into in whilst watching TV…

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…I also made her this polished stone, coral and glass beaded bracelet (she wanted one for a friend at work)..

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…then quickly made these crystal earrings (using the beads from a bracelet I bought a couple of weeks ago)…

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…this little owl bracelet is for my cousin.  She saw one I had made for K and wanted one in green for herself.  Ask and you shall receive…

And then, I’ve been gardening, or, at least, planting lots of succulents and trying to propagate little cuttings and off-shoots.  It’s so exciting when the little babies appear and you can start off a whole new plant.  I had to buy myself a shelving unit to house them in because my front porch has limited space and if I put them out the back I will forget all about them.  At least if they’re by the front door, I have to go past them everyday and notice if they need anything like water, or more sun or shade or if they just need some conversation ha ha (yes, I am one of those crazy people  who talk to their plants!).

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Just look at some of the amazing colours they are displaying!  So pretty and each one unique.  I am still learning though and managed to kill one little specimen last week.  I think I overwatered him.  Never mind – the rest are doing fine and growing and looking happy 🙂

Sorry about the quick post – I promise to do better in the coming weeks.  Work has been so busy and stressful and I am just over everything by the time I get home.  I went to the hospital this morning for my 6 month renal check up and all is well so I don’t have to go back for another year now.  Good news 🙂

Hope you are all well and filling your lives with much more interesting pursuits than work! (Unless you have an awesome job – in which case, keep doing that!).

Bye for now (and a promise for better posts in the future)

x

Sydney and Surprises

Sydney and Surprises

Has it really been two weeks since I posted something on my blog?  Where does the time go?  What have I been doing?  Oh, that’s right, I’ve been in Sydney!

The HammondCare Risky Business 2 Dementia Conference was held in Sydney at the Hilton a week and a bit ago.  My colleague and I went with our CEO to man a stand for our organisation, attend lectures and presentations, and eat.  A lot.  Ok, so the eating part wasn’t actually an official requirement of the trip but we made sure we did plenty of it anyway 🙂  The conference was very well catered, let’s just say.  It was a bit torturous actually.  Cake and biscuits and FOOD everywhere.  At every break.  And it was gorgeous food too – not just the usual old packet of Family Assorted biscuits and coffee in polystyrene cups, oh no.  We are talking miniature lemon meringue tarts and macarons, turkish delight squares and little tiny cups made out of chocolate filled with pistachio mousse.  Drool.  I tried to be good, but it was hard.  The lunch service was a huge buffet affair with hot and cold dishes of extremely high quality.  People pigged out.

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But we weren’t there to eat.  Not officially, as I said, anyway.  We were there to promote the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference which is being held here in Perth next year, as well as promoting a new communication app our organisation currently has in production (and will be launched at the conference next year).  We talked to carers and family members of people with dementia, we handed out brochures by the score and information on services and education.  We answered questions and gave advice.  We attended lectures on the various aspects of dementia and dementia care.  It was hectic and full-on but we enjoyed it and learnt a lot.

The Hilton was a lovely hotel to stay at (and certainly not something I would ordinarily be able to afford!) and the buffet breakfasts were…oh, I am talking about food again… Well, they were yummy and vast and just so decadent when you are used to your bowl of Cheerios in the morning.  I had a very nice room (with a TV in the shower!  I watched MasterChef while washing my hair – awesome!) with a great view of the city.

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I sat in my window (they had window seats!) and looked out at the city and watched people in the high-rise buildings next door.  I snuggled up in the complimentary bath robe, with my complimentary slippers and relaxed on the king size bed.  SO nice!  Not something I get to do very often (or ever!).  I was in charge of looking after our robotic seal Paro and he stayed with me in my room as he is very expensive and we couldn’t just leave him at our stand overnight.  Paro is a therapy pet for people with dementia.  Everybody loves him and he is a big drawcard when we’re at a public event.  People can’t resist a baby seal (even a robotic one!).

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Though the days were very busy, we did get our evenings free.  One night my co-worker and I visited The Rocks where we had a nice stroll around and got to see the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.  Both very beautiful all lit up at night.  Wish we had had time to go and actually see them up close and made even climb the Bridge, but we made do with taking a few touristy snaps while we walked around and chose somewhere for dinner.  It is a very busy area of Sydney and there were lots of people about as well as boats and ferries.

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We chose a charming little cafe/pizzeria by the water, The EastBank Cafe.  Though we were outside and near the water, it wasn’t too cold and the cafe had plenty of heaters to keep away the chill.  I ordered a yummy roast beetroot and feta salad and my colleague got a gourmet pizza.  Such delicious food (again!).  In fact I don’t think we had a single bad meal the whole time we were there.  I also had a virgin raspberry mint mojito (very nice!) and we treated ourselves to an ice-cream on the walk back home.  A really nice evening and I’m glad we at least got to see a little bit of Sydney, even if it was at night.

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I managed the flights to and from Sydney really well.  I don’t know what I was worried about.  I didn’t get anxious at all and almost enjoyed the trips.  The flight back to Perth is always longer (due to headwinds etc) so that was a little less comfortable but still ok.  The food on the plane was not very good (is plane food ever good?) but as long as they keep the cups of tea coming, I didn’t care!  I don’t understand why it is so hard to make decent vegetarian food for the airlines though.  I mean, they served me Nasi Goreng for breakfast!  Anyway, first world problems…

When I got home I had a nice surprise waiting for me : an awesome box of beading goodies from my far-away-friend Dianne in the U.S.  She had packaged up a bunch of beads and beading supplies, as well as glitters and ring blanks.  So cool!  I was so happy!  It was such a great surprise.  Gotta think of something to get her in return now (so watch out Dianne!)… Dianne’s blog has lots of great crafty ideas, recipes and interesting stuff to look at.  She puts me to shame with her regular posts and great content.

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So it’s back to a “normal” life again.  I’ve still got my suitcase sitting there, half-unpacked, and my notes and other conference bits and pieces to sort out.  You will be pleased to know that I have actually cleaned and tidied my house so it is fit for human habitation (it was getting a bit dire).  I just haven’t had time to spend a decent few hours getting it done, but I feel so much better now that things are tidy and clutter-free.  Well, at least in the front rooms…the back rooms are another story (I mean, I had to put all the junk somewhere, right?).  I have had a friend staying with me while she sorts out some marriage issues and I think having someone else here really gave me the motivation I needed to tidy up.

The weather is stormy and grim today and I would rather stay indoors and stay warm and dry, but I am heading out to a friend’s place for an afternoon of Tarantino films, friends and food (God, food is such a theme with me!).  I’m making Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls as they are easy and fairly low in fat etc.  I’ve started back on Weight Watchers again so I need to be good and not pig out.  What I would really like is a bowl full of cookies and maybe some ice-cream.  But that ain’t gonna happen!

Hope your week ahead is a happy one 🙂

Workin’ up (beads) of sweat…

Workin’ up (beads) of sweat…

It was a lovely sunny day in Perth today – nice and breezy but still hot out in the sun.  I went for an early morning walk with my pal A.M. and got some exercise in (I went out to dinner last night – seriously needed to walk THAT off!).  We had a good catch up and gossip and did a fair bit of walking, working up a sweat (which is gross, let’s face it, but supposedly good).  A.M. is currently house-sharing with my soon-to-be-ex-hubby and it was good to get someone else’s perspective on living with him!  She’s in a new relationship herself and it was so nice to hear that she’s happy and doing well, being supported emotionally and looked after as she should be.  I try not to be jealous of that – mostly I am just happy she’s happy ’cause she is pretty awesome 🙂

The rest of the day was spent crafting up a storm.  I sometimes feel like my home is a sweatshop…a happy little sweatshop though!  I have lots and lots of jewellery orders to get done and I am a bit behind on them, so wanted to get lots done today to reduce my backlog a little bit.  My friend K has pages and pages of stuff ordered so I tried to knock a few of her requests off the list so she won’t be waiting too long for it all.  I feel rested and revived after a day of crafting, whether it be card-making or jewellery or anything else creative.  Just hanging out at home on my own with the stereo on, or some daggy dvds that I’ve watched a million times (it was “Cry Baby” today – love it, can’t stop humming the tunes now), restores my spirit and revitalises me, ready for the week ahead.

So…here’s what I made for K today.  She had bought a few different beads she wanted me to use so I had to incorporate them where I could.  I hope she likes what I’ve done.  Some of them were a little bit tricky as they were beads that would normally be strung rather than have a headpin through them.
For instance, these turquoise “spikes”…

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…I had to create a fiddly figure-of-eight attachment for them, which had me cursing a little bit but worked in the end.  I looped the tiger tail wire through the crimping beads and clamped them in nice and tightly, snipping the rough ends off.  I then made them into earrings with some wooden beads.  I think they look ok!

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Next up, I made a necklace and earring set using the beads I bought a couple of weeks ago. K had wanted some yellow beaded items to go with a bright yellow dress she has.  Hopefully she likes the yellow and orange combo!

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Next on the agenda, K had given me some tiger-eye beads to use in necklaces and earrings.
I thought they would look good with wooden beads and I happened to have a couple of tiger eye beads of my own as well to help the design along…I’m pleased with the result and think it looks ok (hope K thinks the same!)

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I had made a bracelet featuring black and pearl beads for K before – now she wanted a matching set of earrings and a necklace (as you do!).  So I whipped them up as quickly as possible so I could move on to the next thing.

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I made a purple and black onyx pair of earrings…

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…a red coral pair…

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…and onyx, glass, wood and coral necklace…

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…this simple pair using some multicoloured beads K provided…

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…a black, shell and quartz (? I’m guessing here – K provided these hard-to-use chips…I think they’re quartz but I’m no geologist!)…

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…a pair of pretty earrings using these beads K gave me.  They remind me of eyeballs or frog spawn!

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…similar beads, different look with ceramic leaves added…

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…and last, but not least – black, wooden and coral beaded earrings…

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So I was a busy little bee today.  Feeling accomplished and satisfied that I got a lot done.  I even did my washing, walked down to buy groceries (twice – I forgot to take my purse the first time – duh!) and made dinner.  I did, however, forget that I was supposed to be working on a report for tomorrow at work – whoops!  Better get on to that now…or make a cup of tea…or another pair of earrings? 🙂

Hope you’ve had a great weekend x