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Word Book

Sometimes I lose my words.  Not just when I’m talking, but also when I am crafting and using actual words.  Like, cut-out-of-books words, that I use for mixed-media projects.  Teeny, tiny little scraps of paper with EXACTLY THE RIGHT WORDS ON THEM THAT SUDDENLY DISAPPEAR WHEN I COUGH OR SNEEZE OR START WHISTLING.  Or, I cut them out and leave it on my desk where God only knows what could happen.  Because once something ends up on my desk, it is lost in no man’s land, never to be found again (or, at least, not until I’ve given up and used a completely different word which changes the whole meaning of the piece).

So, my Mum, ever the organised and, let’s face it, more mature adult, suggested I make a little word book, with all those little-bitty scraps in them, all neatly set out and ready to use.  Her idea is simple : stick the adhesive strip at the top of Post-It Notes onto a page in a photo album (the kind where you slip the photos in to little sleeves) and – voila! – you have created a perfect receptacle for your words, sentences and letters.  You stick the adhesive strip (sticky side up) onto the pages with double sided tape and then just pop your words on top.  They stay in place, the adhesive isn’t sticky enough to make the page get stuck inside the sleeve, and everything is hunky-dory, neat and tidy.  Genius!

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So, instead of losing those words, or having to hunt through piles of junk on your desk to find them, you have a perfectly organised little file, which saves you time and energy.  So you can concentrate on finishing your crafty projects, word art, or collages, and feel good knowing you have created some order in your messy life.  I don’t know about you, but I need all the order and calmness I can get right now.

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Hope this has been helpful.  You can thank my Mum 🙂

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Savoury Porridge

I am trying to improve myself this year. I have failed miserably for most of 2016 (mostly because, through one thing or another, I’ve been a bit miserable, to be honest!) and haven’t really achieved anything. I’m sleeping badly (or not at all), I’m eating badly (or, again, not at all) and exercise has completely left the building – or, at least, it would have done if hadn’t just collapsed into a lazy lump on the couch. Basically, I have fallen in to a bit of a slump. A schlump, if you will. It’s not good, and I know it.

One thing I have been relying on too much is sugar. I went for years not having much sugar at all and now I have not only fallen off the wagon but completely lost sight of it as it hurtles away, possibly with a wheel missing and the rest of it on fire. I worry about getting diabetes and weight gain and other health issues that the sweet little demon causes. So I need to stop. And really stop – no cheating, missy!

I’m never going to be one of those people who avoids sugar altogether – let’s just be realistic here for a moment – but I should try and cut down and limit it to a healthy amount. So it’s more of a treat than a daily indulgence.

One thing I have always found a bit difficult, in regards to avoiding sugar, is the whole breakfast scenario. I love cereal – I could eat it for every meal. Give me a bowl of muesli and I am a happy girl. Cheerios? Yep – love ’em! (but have recently weaned myself off them). I eat porridge a lot too and try to add as little sugar as possible, but it’s still SUGAR. I could have toast for breakfast or an egg, but I don’t want to have those things everyday. In the old days I would have happily scarfed down a bowl of baked beans, but I can’t have them regularly now, because of my kidneys.

So, what’s a girl to do? She tries savoury porridge, that’s what she, um, do. And, let me tell you, it’s delicious. Satisfying and warming and yummy. Easy to make and you can make a batch and then reheat it later, or the next day. I actually look forward to getting up in the morning now. Well, sort of. Porridge can only work so many miracles, after all.

Savoury Porridge is a bit trendy at the moment, but that’s ok. It might be nice for me to be on trend for once, and I think this particular option might be one I stick with for a while, because it’s versatile and adaptable and doesn’t require me to have a whole bunch of ingredients on hand. I can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and not feel guilty about it at any time of day. If I want to amp up the decadent factor, I can add cheese or something fancy like truffle oil (note to self : buy truffle oil!) or I can leave it plain and not muck about with it too much.  A poached egg on top is divine
(as is anything topped with a poached egg, to be fair).

The recipe I am using here is Mark Bittman‘s Savoury Oatmeal with Scallions and Soy Sauce from Serious Eats.  Ok, so we call scallions spring onions over here and we say porridge instead of oatmeal…big deal.   Still tastes yummo-licious.  Give it a try – it really does make a nice change and it is healthy and super quick to make, even if you’re like me and hopeless in the mornings.  I added some flakes of nori to my porridge, but you can leave that out if you like.  It just adds some extra umami flavour and interest.

Ingredients

1 Cup Rolled Oats
2 Cups Water
2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chopped Spring Onion + 1 Teaspoon Chopped for Garnish
Sprinkle of Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Nori Flakes

Combine oats, water and salt in a medium saucepan.
Bring to boil and then turn down to low.
Cook until water almost absorbed.
Turn off heat, add spring onions and soy sauce (and nori flakes if adding).

Serve with extra spring  onion as garnish.

Enjoy! 🙂

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Sweet Process

Creating a card can be tricky
You start off with papers and thoughts
You fuss and you fiddle and change things around
Probably more than you ought

Then you decide on an image
Something that’s pretty and sweet
You shuffle your papers, add and subtract
And hope it forms something complete

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You ink up the edges carefully
To add some vintage distress
Your fingers are getting quite grubby
And the table is looking a mess

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You position all the pieces
And figure out what will go where
Should they be on an angle somehow
Or centred and straightened with care?

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Pieces all glued together
And suitable text added in
You try some little embellishments
To give it some sparkly bling

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Nothing says cute and jaunty
Like a birdie wearing a hat
You’re finished now, and everything’s done
And that, my friends, is that!

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Ok, so I am no poet… I won’t give up my day job any time soon 🙂
I’ve just come home from celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday – lots of delicious food and lovely company (as all birthdays should focus on!).  Happy Birthday MD 🙂

It’s late but I had to wind down before going to bed (I don’t know about you, but I can’t just go straight to bed after being out…my brain is too hyped up, especially after social occasions which, despite being enjoyable in this case, are stressful and nerve-wracking for me). Why I thought writing a poem would help me, I do not know.

But it’s off to bed now, with a hot water bottle (mandatory), some flannel jammies (very necessary) and strict and stern instructions to myself to get up early
(I have a breakfast to go to – seriously, all I do at the moment is eat).

Hope you’re having a happy weekend x

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Teeny Pendants (aka How to Give Yourself a Migraine)

I have a problem.  I call this problem “Why the hell do I have to make teeny-tiny things that give me a headache?”-itis.  It’s true – I always tend towards the ridiculously little when I am making things.  Give me a postage stamp-sized bit of paper and I will attempt to draw/paint/collage a masterpiece on it.  Which was fine when I was younger and had 20/20 vision.  Now, I hate to admit, my eyes are getting just a wee bit squinty.  My arms are getting longer, just because I have to hold everything at arm’s length in order for me to focus on it.  So sad. Sigh.

I know I need my eyes tested but I keep forgetting to do it.  Or, more accurately, I keep putting it off.  I have always had really good eyes but, now I am in my forties, I will have to face facts and accept the downward spiral that is my diminishing vision.

But, dodgy eyeballs aside, I decided to go with my usual penchant for teeny things and make these little pendants.  I had bought an old necklace from the op-shop earlier in the week for a couple of dollars.  It was pretty ugly – I don’t know who would have worn it but apparently someone did.  The bronzey/brassy plates on it looked like they were missing something, as though a large glass dome had been removed from each one.  At any rate, they needed rescuing, pronto.

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I took all the plates off and set them aside.  I will figure out what to do with them all as I go along.  The space inside each one is about the size of an Australian twenty cent piece.  I took two and painted and collaged on them – very simple, naive designs.  The bird one just about gave me a migraine – all those tiny little bits of text around the edge – ugh!  The flower one was simpler and less headache-inducing but still left me a bit squinty.  I am reasonably happy with them.  My new thing for this year is to just DO instead of worrying about how something might turn out.  I often don’t do things, just because I think I will do a bad job of it and it will suck.  It might still suck, but it is better, in my opinion, to give it a try.  I am not the world’s best painter – I am not my Mum or brother, but then I shouldn’t try to be.  I need to be less judgemental of myself.

So, I managed to get these two wee little pendants done in an afternoon.  I will varnish them tomorrow and then string them on some ribbon or cord.

What do you think?  If it helps, and will make you less inclined to say they’re rubbish, you can squint or hold the picture at arm’s length.  That’s what I’m doing 🙂

Happy Sunday everyone x

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Houses for Birdies

Houses for Birdies

Just a quick post to show you the bird houses my brother has been making.  He’s been using old wooden pallets – great idea for recycling!  He has added bits of fallen branches and painted the houses in rustic colours or left them plain and unpainted.  They’re more decorative than functional, but maybe some little birdies will be looking for just such a house to hide in or raise some babies.

I love these, and my brother 🙂

PS  I have been fiddling about with my blog’s theme/appearance as you may have noticed if you’re a regular reader… I haven’t settled on one that I really like yet, so please bear with me while I chop and change, and hopefully I will get it right soon! x

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Little Maids All in A Row (2)

Little Maids All in A Row (2)

Just a quickie post today, showing you some of the cards I made on the weekend.  I wanted to get some more of these little dress cards done.  They’re so quick and simple and quite effective.  I started to lose to plot after a while so finished with the “Beautiful” tartan-inspired one at the end here.  Sometimes you have to know when to stop.  I’m not good at the whole “production line” method of making things – I get bored if I have to do a similar design over and over.  So it was time for a change – will show you the results of that in a later post.  But, for now, here are some more pretty little maids (or, at least, their dresses).

 Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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