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Book Bargain Bonanza

I had a day off this week.  A glorious, nothing-scheduled, I-can-do-what-I-want day off.  Work has been very stressful, I’ve been having lots of migraines, and life just seemed a bit craptastic in general.  I’m always exhausted and just needed a break.  So, a day off was necessary, for my mental health if nothing else.

I got up early (not too early – it was a day off, after all!) and hit the op-shops.  I wanted to visit some I hadn’t been to before, and expand my “territory”.  I didn’t have much luck in finding anything good to start with, but eventually I hit book heaven at one particular Salvos store.  Lordy, lordy, they had the BEST book selection, AND it was in alphabetical order so you could actually search properly in the section you were interested in.

I am always on the lookout for Alice Hoffman titles.  She’s one of my favourite authors, but I never buy books new (who can afford them???!) so I have to wait until I find them in second hand shops.  Normally, I don’t find any of her books or, just as annoying, only ones I have already read and have in my shelf at home.  But on this day, dear readers, I found FIVE!  Woo!  I’d already read a couple of them, but I did snap up two for myself – White Horses, and The Museum of Extraordinary Things.  So happy!  I’m cross at myself because I left another one behind – Blue Diary – because I thought I had it at home, but then found that I didn’t.  You know you have too many books when you can’t remember what you have!  Hopefully it will still be there if I visit the shop again…but I’m glad to have found these two anyway 🙂

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Craft books are not always easy to come across in op-shops, and really nice ones are like hen’s teeth.  That’s why I was thrilled to find these two – French-Inspired Jewellery and The Adventurous Scrapbooker.  The latter has lots of off-the-page ideas for scrapbooks and similar projects.  I actually don’t like scrapbooking at all – I don’t do it and have never liked the concept of it – but there are always awesome ideas and techniques you can apply to other crafts.  So this book is great for that.  The jewellery book is gorgeous – not just for the pretty projects inside, but for the beautiful background layouts they have used for display.  Vintage papers and ephemera, ribbon and other embellishments make for beautiful pages, that are works of art in their own right.  So glad to have found this one!  Especially for the bargain price of $2.25!

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I love dogs.  I had them all my life, right up until I was in my 30s.  But now, with full-time work and a little house of my own, on my own, a dog just isn’t practical.  Maybe one day…sigh…  In the meantime, there are books like Rachel Hale’s 101 Salvations to keep me happy.  Rachel Hale’s photography is always a delight, and this book of doggy pictures is gorgeous.  I want to start doing some proper drawing and thought I might start with some canine-inspired sketches (might as well begin with a subject I know and love!) so I am hoping to use the photos as guides.  In any case, it is a beautiful book in excellent condition and, again, at only $2.25 – I’m sure the original RRP would have been well over $35.00 – I got another bargain.

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As I just mentioned, I am trying to improve my drawing skills (such as they are) and need all the help I can get.  So, with that in mind, I picked up this next book – You Can Draw in 30 Days. I’m not necessarily convinced I will only take 30 days, but hey, it’s a start.  I desperately want to be able to draw eyes so I am really hoping this book will help me.

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I also picked up a couple of titles for my Mum, who is a  voracious reader and is always running out of her own books to read.  So, all in all, a very successful visit to this particular op-shop.  I didn’t have room in my basket for anything else, which is probably a good thing.  Didn’t stop me from going to a few more op-shops afterwards though! 🙂

Hope you are having a good day – thank you for dropping by x

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Craft Collections

Mum and I recently took a weekend off, for a little road trip to Bunbury, a favourite haunt of ours.  We wanted to relax, sit on the beach, collect shells and just chill out for a couple of days.  Sadly, the weather was pretty awful and so we only had one clear afternoon for visiting the beach without being blown away or drenched.  Never mind – it was an enjoyable few days anyway and we felt much more relaxed and mellow.

We tootled around with no plans or schedules.  I had researched a bit before we went, so that I had some places in mind I wanted to visit.  I definitely wanted to go to a few places that Mum would really like and, seeing as how she doesn’t drive, wouldn’t be able to go to on her own.  So, with that in mind, I took her to Craft Collections, a gorgeous shop filled with everything a quilter could desire.  Wall-to-wall fabrics and sewing supplies, with special gift items related to quilting, patchwork, bear-making, and sewing in general.  Mum was in heaven and prepared me for a long stay as soon as we walked in the door…

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So much fabric!

It was all displayed beautifully, and the staff were so friendly and helpful.  Mum wandered around for ages, picking out fabrics and fat quarters, wadding, embroidery threads and more.  It was hard to choose – there was so much stuff!

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Pretty displays!

A favourite fabric artist of ours is Tone Finnanger, the creator of the Tilda brand, and Craft Collections has an entire room dedicated to her.  It made me want to start sewing immediately (which is odd, because I am NOT a sewer!) and Mum could barely restrain herself from buying everything in the pretty little room.  Tilda designs are sweet, cheerful, feminine and cute, and the drawers full of fat quarters were so inspiring.  We wanted everything!  Tilda also has delightful range of patterns, kits, books and embellishments like ribbon, lace, buttons, and so much more!

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Fabulous Fat Quarters!
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The Tilda Room – I’m never getting Mum out of here!

So, I can thoroughly recommend Bunbury’s Craft Collections as a wonderful spot to stop and indulge your sewing, quilting or fabric obsession.  If only as a way to keep your fabric-mad mother quiet for an hour or so 🙂

Happy crafting, everyone x

 

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Easter Treats

Just an extremely quick quickie post today, showing you what I made for my workmates for Easter.  I wanted to photograph it nicely and make things look all prettified and classy…but that didn’t happen, so here’s a picture of the little baggies I made, sitting
un-artistically on a colleague’s desk.

I bundled up little bags of chocolate-covered peanuts (“Bunny Poo”) and some Easter eggs (“Bum Buts” – an Aussie slang term for eggs), made up a little label and bunged it all together in a white paper bag.  Not fancy, but I think it was cute enough.

Hope you have a delightful Easter weekend, regardless of your religion and beliefs.
I, for one, am just looking forward to some days off and time at home.  It’s supposed to be a bit cool and murky, weather-wise, so time spent snuggled up inside sounds good to me, even if I am bemoaning the start of the colder weather and already wishing it was Summer again.  Hopefully I will get some crafting done and just chill, de-stress and rest.  I foresee some sleeping-in in my very near future ie tomorrow, most likely.

Eat lots of chocolate for me!

🙂

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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!

🙂

ANZAC DAY – Remembering and Craftin’

ANZAC DAY – Remembering and Craftin’

Happy ANZAC Day to all my Aussie and Kiwi friends.  ANZAC Day is a time to remember those “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served” (thanks Wikipedia!) and to be thankful for a country that resides in peace , free from tyranny etc etc.  I always think of my Grandfather (“Danna”) – he fought in WWII and was very much loved by us all.  I can get quite weepy thinking abut him.  I miss him – he taught us the importance of tolerance and family (two things that sometimes don’t go together!), love, kindness and respect, believing in yourself and not giving up.  We were lucky enough to have our grandparents right up until we were adults and we have lots of lovely memories of them.  Anyway, here’s to you Danna and to all the other Granpas, Grandmas, Nannas and Grans – whether you fought in a war or just looked after the home font in times of trouble, we love you and wish you were here with us.

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As ANZAC Day is a public holiday, I got to do some crafting and chill out.  My new job is going ok – still very frustrating with regards to procedure and practice (I’m still guessing as to what they actually are at this point) but not horrible or too stressful.  I am enjoying being responsible for something again and having lots to do.  The day goes so much faster when you’re busy.  I haven’t been as tired as I thought I would be, although I am still getting used to the early morning starts.  I miss having the three days off a week – have to grab a spare moment here and there to craft or do something creative but it’s all good.  I’m employed – that’s more than some people get.

So, with a few hours free today I got down to some card-making.  It didn’t get off to a great start – nothing was working and none of the new papers I had bought were doing anything for me.  So I went back to some old favourites, using my favourite colour scheme (blue and brown) and managed to make a handful of cards that I quite like.  First off, I had to make an Engagement card for my brother-in-law and his lovely lady.

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Engaged! (I went for a fairly “arty” almost-indutrial look for this one)

Then I began putting together a bunch of cards that would be suitable for birthdays or “just because” days, weddings, engagements, goodbyes & anything else!  Lots of birds…(as per usual – I think I have some sort of addiction).

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These little bluebirds came from paper-tole leftovers (thanks Mum!)

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Love butterflies almost as much as birds!

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So, a good day, all in all.  Made stuff, relaxed and slept in – can’t complain about that.  Hope you all had a good day too.  🙂