Image

Earring Bling

Just a quickie post on some earrings I have made in the last couple of days.  I’m not into jewellery-making so much these days (I never really was – I just sort of fell into it as it was popular and easy to sell and then I got a bit obsessed…) but I had an order this weekend so I thought I would make a few pieces while I was at it…

IMG_2249

This little pair is a simple amber and green number for a friend who doesn’t like anything too flashy. Hope she likes these…

IMG_2348

These jade-looking ones found a home a few minutes after I made them… Funny, I was thinking about getting rid of these beads because I never use them, then changed my mind and made these earrings.  My ex-boss commented on them on my Instagram account and said she loved them.  I decided to let her have them as she has had a rough trot lately.  A little free bling can sometimes brighten things up…

IMG_2352

These red, orange and blue beads were tricky to use – difficult colour combination plus the length of the actual bead made them hard to match with things.  Even the head pin was a little bit too short for them…

IMG_2353

These amber and diamante earrings also gave me grief.  I liked the sapphire blue bead at the bottom, but I couldn’t get anything to go on the top that looked right.  So I had a couple of tiny boho-gold spacers that finished it off.  But I’m not entirely convinced…

IMG_2350

Sold these little owl earrings shortly after making them – ah, the power of Facebook and Instagram!  You might remember these owl charms from a previous post

IMG_2355

The lighting in my house is terrible and I was trying to find other places to do my photography.  Here, an echeveria succulent comes to the rescue.  Again, I have used beads salvaged from other jewellery pieces, as seen in a previous post...

So, that’s it for today, folks. Gotta make some more over the next few days so I will post those as they are finished.  Or, more likely, I will procrastinate and do something else entirely whilst ignoring the mess in my lounge-room (ie beads all over the floor).

Hope your day is bright and happy 🙂

Super Succulents

Super Succulents

I am increasingly enamoured of my little succulent collection.  I feel almost guilty about it, seeing as how it was my friends FK and MD who introduced me to them.  They’ve created a monster.

I love watching them develop and grow.  It’s exciting (sadly) to see the little buds of new growth.  I talk to them and encourage them, which is sadder still.  But, when one does not have any pets, one must make do with plants.  They’re still living things, even if they can’t converse with you.  But, if they do start conversing with me, I probably won’t share it on here.  I might start looking at some sort of medication though.

My two little lithops are currently causing me to go “Squeeeee!” a lot because they are splitting and dividing with abandon.  Well, ok, to be truthful, they’ve only done it once each so far.  But that’s exciting, right?  I haven’t killed them or caused them to wilt/rot/disintegrate which is awesome.

The “Living Stone” lithop is particularly wonderful.  Look at that perfect division! I didn’t even know they could send a four-leafed new shoot out.  I just assumed it would be a two-leaf scenario that popped up.  I haven’t seen any that do four before.  Maybe it’s like a four-leafed clover!  Should I rub it and then buy a lottery ticket?

IMG_7964Ooh.. Just starting to split…

IMG_0589

Little bit more…can see the leaves inside now…

IMG_0746

…and – ta daaaaaa!…So cute and pretty 🙂

The same thing is happening with its neighbour, the “Baby Toes” lithop.

IMG_7965

…When I bought baby home…

IMG_0588

…a year later…

IMG_0819

…and now! Hooray!

I am hoping this means they are happy.  My friend’s lithops died fairly quickly after purchase, so the fact that mine have thrived makes me happy and somewhat bemused as to why mine decided not to cark it.  When I don’t really know what the heck I’m doing.  Maybe it’s the idle chatter I spout at them.  I could be on to something.  If only I had thought of doing that with my roses, I might have glorious blooms that would be the envy of the neighbourhood, instead of the sad specimens I currently have.  That look like thorny sticks with wilted pot pourri on them. Oh well…

Have yourself a super day today 🙂

How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I like gardening.  I am not good at it, and I don’t always succeed in keeping things alive, but I enjoy getting my hands dirty and seeing things grow and blossom.  I used to love planting vegie gardens with my Dad when I was a child.  It was special Daddy-and-Daughter time which I truly loved and miss.  My brother was not one for getting grubby and so it usually was me out there in the rain and the mud, helping my Dad build fences and mark out rows, planting seedlings and watering in seeds.

We had a beautiful vegetable garden back then.  Potatoes and peas, tomatoes, cabbages and corn.  It was lush and green and abundant.  I can remember picking and shelling peas with my Mum and standing with my Dad at dusk, just watching our geese and chickens and ducks.  There is no better meditation than that.

So, while I am not the world’s best gardener, I do enjoy it, and continue to plant things and watch them grow, impatiently, just as I did as a kid.  I don’t have vegetables any more, although I am thinking I should perhaps give it a go again, but I do have my succulents and cacti, orchids and some other plants that I have managed to keep alive.

It’s nice to have green things around and, in the absence of any pets, it can give you the sense of having something to care for.  Do I talk to my plants?  Yes, I am guilty of that.  I don’t know if it makes any difference to their growth or wellbeing, but I do it anyway.  If they start answering back, that’s when I will worry.

May your garden always be green 🙂

IMG_9517 IMG_9508 IMG_9507 IMG_9521 IMG_9520 IMG_9511 IMG_9455 IMG_9519 IMG_9518 IMG_9509 IMG_9510 IMG_9506  IMG_9505

Earring Bling

Earring Bling

Today I made earrings.  Lots of them.  There is nothing else to say, really.  I stayed in my daggy, around-the-house clothes, drank tea and listened to music.  And made earrings.  The market stall I was going to a part of was suddenly cancelled, so I am planning on having another mini-market at my house.  Which means I need lots of stock.  Hence the earring marathon today.  I made ethnic-inspired ones and bright ones and sparkly ones and ones-I-don’t-like-but-maybe-someone-else-will.  Many of these were made with recycled beads, rescued from old jewellery found in op-shops, or given to me by lovely friends.  Waste not, want not!

IMG_8558

I didn’t think these colours would work together but now I kinda like them in this pair…

IMG_8556

I went boho on these ones…

IMG_8525

Copper and green is always peachy keen…or something (I like this colour combination in other words)…

IMG_8527

Pretty in Pink – shells and birdies…

IMG_8555

These elephant, wooden, chunky earrings are, well, chunky, but some people like their bling big, right?

IMG_8560

Cheerful little number, this pair…

IMG_8557

Another bright set (pink not red in this one although it is hard to see in the photo)…

IMG_8535

Always gotta make lots of owls…I already have an order for some of these…

IMG_8559

Pastel pink…one of the butterflies is upside down, I just noticed.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

IMG_8562

Another bright and cheery pair – love the yellow in these!

IMG_8528

Feeling fruity…

IMG_8526

Shell and glass and ceramic beads make this pair…

IMG_8529

More shell, and freshwater pearls…

IMG_8530

An oriental pair…

My dining room table is now a state and I haven’t done any ironing or sorted out my lunch for work tomorrow.  My back is aching (ugh – so old!) and I am slightly squinty from having worked in bad light for most of the day.  But I am happy.  A day spent crafting is a good day indeed.

Hope the start of your week has been fulfilling and and a sign of good things to come.  If nothing else, you are one step closer to Friday!  Smile! 🙂

Gardening for the Non-Gardener

Gardening for the Non-Gardener

I like gardening.  I like pottering about among the, um, pots and such.  I like watching things grow and bloom and I like having lots of greenery around me.  But, I am sad to say, I am not very good at gardening.  I forget to water things, am slack about repotting the seriously-in-need-of-repotting and I have a tendency to forget I even have a garden.  Which is why succulents are a good choice for me.  I can forget about them, at least a bit, and not have lots of dead plants everywhere.  They are easy to grow and come in all shapes and sizes so you can have a nice little collection of interesting specimens that often have pretty flowers and/or colourful foliage.  The best thing about succulents is that you can grow them from cuttings very easily and propagate more plants from just the leaves.  They are hardy (although it is still possible to kill them – trust me) and withstand a bit of punishment and neglect as long as you follow the basic rules.

IMG_1121

I have found that succulents do indeed need to be watered.  While many online guides and gardening books tell you not to overwater them, you do still need to keep them hydrated, especially here in Australia where Summer days are extremely hot.  I have killed one aeonium by letting it get too wet and nearly lost several spiky haworthias by allowing them to dry out too much and get burnt by the full sun.  But on the whole, they are fairly forgiving little suckers and I find that you can muddle your way through their care and keep them pretty happy.

 IMG_1122

Tomorrow I have to pot up a bunch of cuttings and propagated “babies” that I have had sitting in my bath tub for over a month.  They’re perfectly happy in there – I haven’t even watered them or anything.  But I really need to get them potted up, although I am running out of room on my little outdoor shelves – might have to give some of the plants away or perhaps set up another area to house them.  I have several friends who also grow them, so giving them away won’t be a problem – I could even take some to work and have them in our little courtyard garden there.

IMG_1141

I had to repot a very fast-growing kalanchoe “Flapjacks”, with its large, paddle-shaped leaves.  It started out as a small cutting but has grown into three big plants that were crying out for a new pot.  So I did them this afternoon – hopefully they will be happier having a little more breathing room.

IMG_1132

I love my little Jelly Bean succulent.  It’s so cute!  It also self-propagates like nobody’s business!  Whenever a leaf drops off or gets knocked off, I chuck it into a nearby pot.  I don’t do anything with it, just leave it to do its thing.  Within a few weeks, there is normally the start of tiny pink roots and not long after that, there is the beginning of a brand new plant.  Amazing!  I love that they are that easy to grow.  I really need to repot my “mother” plant as it is getting way too big for its current pot (which is basically the one I brought it home in).  But it looks healthy and happy enough and has had lots of babies 🙂

IMG_1127

Another specimen in need of a much bigger pot is my beloved “Bunny”.  This little cactus makes me smile with its funny little arms and bunny ears.  I think it is waving in a desperate attempt to get me to find it a bigger home.  It has grown so much since I bought it last year at the swap meet.  I keep promising it a new pot (yes, I am one of those weirdos who talks to their plants!) but have yet to get round to doing it.  Tomorrow, hopefully.

IMG_1140

I’ve got various pots around the place with cuttings and propagated leaves growing in them.  When they’re big enough I may give them their own individual spot, or leave them to fill the pot they’re in.  I love the little mini gardens people make with various kinds of succulents all in one pot – it’s so lush and pretty.

IMG_1129

My other pot plants are also doing well.  I divided, cut back and repotted my poinsettias midway through last year as they were very leggy and a bit pot-bound.  I chopped them back to what amounted to bare sticks, but they are thriving now and have a healthy growth of foliage.  I missed out on their vivacious red colour last Christmas, but this coming year they should be back at their glorious best.  At any rate, I think they look nice even if they’re just green and healthy.

IMG_1119

My white geranium, though a bit shabby, is flowering well and I really like the bright white flowers against the dark green foliage.  I’ve always wanted a white one and I’m glad I have succeeded in keeping this one alive and reasonably happy.

IMG_1134

My Bay tree is growing at a rate of knots and always stays pretty healthy and glossy.  From a little seedling it has quadrupled in size and has been a welcome addition to my kitchen staples.  Adding a bay leaf to soups and stews really does make a delicious difference.

IMG_1118

A couple of months ago the gardener that takes care of the gardens at the front of our properties decided to viciously prune my fishtail ferns and azaleas.  I came home to a savaged, brown patch of garden – horrors!  It looks awful.  I loved my azaleas, and even the fishtail fern (as overgrown as it was) looked lush and green.  Now it looks as though a bushfire went through and desecrated the whole area.  I was hoping it would sprout quickly and grow back, but so far I’ve only got the start of some azalea shoots and the fern has given up entirely.  I hope that after Summer it might all come good again but right now it looks dreadful.  I still don’t really understand why they decided to chop it all down but leave everything else.  I just have an ugly brown patch in the middle of an otherwise green garden.

IMG_1136

IMG_1137

      So, while I am no “green thumb” and have a lot to learn in regards to keeping a healthy, happy garden, I’m fairly pleased with how it is going.  It’s just nice to have plants around – I keep quite a few inside as well as they brighten the house up and promote a feeling of calm (supposedly!).  I have herbs as well, such as sage and rosemary, parsley and mint.  It’s lovely to be able to pick your own herbs to add to cooking and at least your know where they’ve come from and that they haven’t been treated with any chemicals or other toxic substances.

I’m determined to get the rest of my garden looking ship-shape this year. The soil needs improving, the garden beds need building up and borders formed to stop the soil running away, weeds need to be gotten rid of and the general overall look needs tidying up.  Because I am in a rental, it is easy to get stuck in the “it’s not mine – why should I bother?” rut, but I really need to make an effort and make it more presentable.  One day, if a miracle occurs, I might be able to afford a place of my own – and I want to have a beautiful garden that will be a joy to be in.  For now, though, I enjoy the little pots and courtyard areas that make up my “garden”, and I will continue to potter about, hopefully not killing things, and trying my best to turn my black thumbs to green.  I’m getting there slowly.

Do you have a favourite spot in your garden?  Do you get to potter about in it as much as you’d like?

Cleaning is a “sometimes” activity, right?

Cleaning is a “sometimes” activity, right?

I was supposed to be cleaning my house today.  It has become quite feral due to me being a.) unwell this week, b.) out a lot this week and c.) just plain lazy and too prone to distraction (every week).  I want to be a good little house-wife, I do.  Even if nobody sees the house except for me and the occasional property manager when I am due for rent inspection.  But I fail miserably every week at making any kind of serious attempt at actually making my house spotless and tidy.  I just don’t have that gene.  The tidy gene.  It doesn’t bother me most of the time, but just lately I have felt that I am failing at being a grown-up.  I don’t do my dishes every night.  I don’t fold my laundry when it comes off the line.  I don’t even put it away.  I am slack.  There is no other way to say it.

But it just feels as though there are more important things to be doing.  Like today, for instance.  I was determined to get the place looking spick and span so I would have tomorrow free to craft or do something else that is constructive and meaningful (unlike cleaning, which is not).  I had just put a load of washing into the machine when my friend GK phoned to see if I was up for a catch-up and coffee outing.  I didn’t take much convincing, despite the little voice in the back of my mind yelling “What about the hoovering?! The bathroom needs scrubbing! You haven’t done any dishes in three days!!!”  So out for coffee we went.  When GK surprised me by asking if I wanted to go op-shopping and show her the good places to get a bargain (she NEVER goes op-shopping) I was powerless to say anything other than “Yes!”  So not only did I once more ignore the cleaning that needed to be done, I also ignored the fact that I have just had a large dental bill to pay and that I shouldn’t be recklessly spending my money. Sigh.  Definitely failing at being an adult.  A responsible one anyway.

So off we trotted to a row of op-shops that I frequent, um, frequently.  GK was hunting for some new jeans and I needed a plain black, long-sleeved top.  I also desperately needed some new beads.  Honestly.  Scout’s honour!  Well, I didn’t need them.  Need is a strong word.  Wanted is probably a better term.  So I rummaged around and found a couple of necklaces with some nice glass beads on them for less than $5.00 (plus I found the black long sleeve top I was needing and that was only $3.50!).  GK got two pairs of awesome jeans which made her happy and even luckier still, they were the right length (she’s short like me – everything needs taking up) and I snagged a great pair of black pants for work and another striped top (I have a thing for stripes…).  I really like the necklaces I got…

…these spotty blue glass beads are unusual and pretty…

IMG_5859

…and this purple/grape-coloured necklace has lots of different shaped beads on it in various sizes and shades…

IMG_5860

I have made a few pieces of jewellery this week as I had some orders to get done and I can’t concentrate on anything until I get them done and dusted.  First up, a blue and brown necklace which was requested by a lady at work who had bought a similar piece from me before.  She asked me to replicate it – I didn’t have enough of the same coloured beads so I substituted where I was able to and I think it turned out ok…

IMG_5862

…I also made one in a similar style but using red beads instead of blue…

IMG_5863

…I made this pink and green one for my buddy CW who I am visiting tomorrow.  She’s been having a crummy time of things lately and I wanted to give her a little treat to cheer her up.  She had bought a pair of earrings from me before that had these same colours in them and had mentioned she would like a matching necklace one day.  It’s taken me nearly 6 months to make it for her but finally I got it done…

IMG_5861

…I also made this pretty (well, I think it’s pretty) pastel necklace using some of the wooden beads I bought at the last craft show

IMG_5839

…and this bracelet which I’m not convinced about…it was getting late and I think my colour-matching was a bit off…


IMG_5838

…I’ve also been doodling and working on some card designs.  I draw some funny little birdcages but didn’t get as far as actually making a card with them (yet)…

IMG_5837

Tomorrow, I have promised myself, I will finish tidying up and make my house clean and neat and fit for human habitation, or maybe even real life visitors!  I will leave a little window of time in which I can craft and create or maybe spend a couple of hours organising my craft room.  Or, more realistically, I will spend half an hour hoovering, get distracted by some beads or ribbon, paper or paints and give up on the whole idea of tidying up.  I am nothing if not consistent 🙂

Hope you have a wonderful day (dishes be damned!) x