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Find Joy

Hello everyone – hope you are having a happy, sun-filled day.  We are finally getting some nice almost-spring-like weather – blue skies and sunshine.  Still a bit chilly for the likes of me, but so much better than the dreary, grey and rainy days we’ve been having.

On the weekend I went to see my nephew perform in his school choir, as part of the One Big Voice event.  Four thousand primary school children singing as one huge ensemble.  Pretty amazing.  Each choir practiced the songs individually, before coming together for the first time on the night of the event.  Can you imagine organising four thousand kids, aged around 9 to 11 years, to do anything, let alone sing together for a few hours without it all falling in to chaos?  Well, the only chaos I saw was when all the parents went to collect their children at the end of the night.  Then it was a bit of a free-for-all and all order and organisation went out the window.

Anyway, the kids were amazing.  I was thrilled to be able to spot my gorgeous nephew in amongst all those faces – I wanted to be able to tell him I had watched him perform.  So much joy in all those little people, singing their hearts out, and how brave to do that in front of thousands of people (there would have been at least ten thousand in the audience).  I could never have that kind of courage! (although my nephew did say it was easier to be brave because the lights were so bright, he couldn’t see anyone in the audience anyway!).

I dedicate this little collage to my nephew and his brave and joy-filled choirmates.  I struggled with finishing this one off (don’t I always struggle with something?) and then used my brand new alphabet rubber stamp set (thank you, Kmart!) to stamp “sing” in bold letters.  Adding “find joy” in smaller letters below completed the piece.

Thank you for stopping by – hope today brings you happiness
and adds a song to your heart 🙂

x

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Quote for the Day : Go Outside

“…Go outside.
Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone.
Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see.
We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice.
Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t.
Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t.
And that’s the point.
Just walk, see, sit down if you like.
And be.
Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have,
and realise that that is enough to be happy.

There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window.
You’d be a fool to miss it…”

— Charlotte Eriksson

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Joy

I wasn’t sure about this card, but the more I look at it, the more I kinda like it.  I’m trying to be less critical of myself and my work.  I think the bird has a cheeky look in her eye, as though she is saying “Look what I laid!” Although, judging by the size of that egg, she would probably be thinking “What the heck did I just lay?!”
So maybe a little less “Joy” and a little more “Oy!” (or “Ow!”).
Either way, I think she deserves that little crown and should wear it with pride.

Hope your day has brought you some joy, in one way or another 🙂

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Joy

A quickie post to show you a little collage my Mum has just finished.  It’s gorgeous – very Kelly Rae Roberts-inspired (we love her).  I’m so jealous that Mum can do eyes and faces – try as I might, I CANNOT GET THEM RIGHT.  I’m glad she is working on some things for herself (she normally paints and sews items that always end up being for someone else) and just enjoying the process of creating again.  I’m hoping she starts to finally get some things, that she has made, on her walls (at the moment they’re kinda blank, waiting for just the right painting or artwork) so she can fill her home with beautiful things to be proud of and treasured.

She’s working on some collaged wooden eggs now as well as some other canvases.

Love this piece – it does indeed bring me Joy to see my Mum happy and making art again, just for her and no one else  🙂

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Tidings of Family Joy

Tidings of Family Joy

So, Christmas is over, technically.  The tree is bereft of gifts and the turkey is nothing but a carcass being picked apart for sandwiches and stock (unless you’re vegetarian, like me, in which case you’re probably so glad right now you don’t have to deal with a turkey/chicken skeleton in your fridge).  The rush to get cards written and sent has passed and now it’s time to ponder the cards you did get (and why you didn’t get as many as last year or why so-and-so didn’t send you one this year) and try to figure out where to put all the presents you received (if you’re lucky).

I had a lovely Christmas.  I was going to have a really quiet one, away from family and basically mope around and be miserable with myself.  My Mum was going to be co-conspirator in this – she wanted to do whatever would make me happy and figured if I wanted to boycott the family Christmas, then so be it, she’d help me and keep me company so I wasn’t completely on my own.  A couple of family members weren’t happy about this.  Christmas is a big deal in my family – our grandparents believed in family and togetherness and so we have always spent Christmas as a united whole – cousins, Aunts, Uncles, siblings and parents.  So, when I announced I wanted a break from it (for my own selfish needs I must admit), there were a few grumbles of discontent.

In a loving, caring way, I was bullied a little into joining in the festivities.  I’m so glad I was.  I love my family and I don’t know what made me think I would want to be away from them at such an important time.  I guess, after the year I’ve had, I didn’t exactly feel like celebrating or making with the merry.  But that’s the whole point.  When you’re feeling down in the dumps and completely unsociable, your family should be the ones to pull you out of the doldrums, give you a kick up the bum and make you remember that you are still loved and wanted around.

So, needless to say, I had a lovely Christmas Day, spent with loved ones who have supported me and comforted me this year, as they always do.  It would have been insulting if I had ended up not making an appearance.  Moral to the story – be grateful for family and be with them whenever you can, because they love you even when you don’t love yourself and are more than willing to drag you, kicking and screaming, into the familial bosom for a little distraction and fun.

There was one awkward moment when my young nephew asked where Uncle “E” was, but all in all, I forgot I was on my own for the most part and just joined in with the over-indulging, gift-giving frenzy. There is something very heart warming and comforting about watching little ones open their gifts and I am so glad I got to share this Christmas with my nephews and nieces. Their squeals and cries of delight made me feel happy and content.  Blessed and thankful.

I stayed with my Mum for the night.  She goes all out with her Christmas decorating (I am too lazy and don’t have the space).  She has six Christmas trees, throughout the house, each one with a different theme and colour scheme.  They are usually beautiful and co-ordinated.  In other words, they put my decorating to shame.  Her home is a Christmas wonderland…no tacky neon Santas or inflatable reindeers, Mum tends towards the vintage, traditional or classy, elegant looks.  There are snowmen on shelves and snow-globes on tables, baubles in boxes and enough stars and tiny twinkling lights to fill Santa’s workshop.

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We spent a few nice days together, Mum and I.  We even went and stayed with my Dad and Step-Mother in the country for a day and night.  I am so proud of my parents for getting on with their lives and, after the initial emotionally trying time that comes with all divorces when hearts are bruised and battered and lives need to be rebuilt, they are friends and still care about one another.  My two “Mums” had a heart-to-heart while my Dad and I pottered about in the paddocks, checking on fences and livestock, and I think it was good for both of them to speak freely and find some common ground.  I can only hope that I do not succumb to bitterness as my separation continues and divorce looms ever closer.  On that subject, “he” did not call, message or contact me at all over Christmas which has hurt me more than I can say but I suppose has solidified in my mind how much I mean to him (or rather, how little I mean to him).  I don’t think I am asking for too much to have the person I have loved for the past seven years to send me a little text message or email just saying “Merry Christmas”.  Maybe I am dumb and naive.  But it still hurts and makes me wonder what a terrible person I must have been to him to not deserve even the smallest of kindnesses.

But I digress…

Christmas this year has been restorative and soothing to me.  I am rather ashamed that I thought I would be better off avoiding it (*slaps wrist and looks suitably guilty*) and hope that next year I am a little more gung-ho and enthusiastic, if only because I am so amazingly lucky to have the family I do and I should celebrate that whenever the opportunity arises.

I hope you enjoyed Christmas (for those who celebrate it) or some time off or just had a good week.  I am looking forward to a New Year with new opportunities and challenges, a fully-mended (if somewhat fragile) heart and a healthier, happier, less stressed and sad me.  I want 2014 to be a year of joy and well-being for all of you too.

Thank you for reading (and sorry for the self-indulgent wallowing associated with my break-up.  It will pass soon enough but I hope you can forgive me a little while longer.  I’m still mending…)

x

Haircuts and Brown Paper

Haircuts and Brown Paper

 

 Well, I finally went the chop. Hair today, gone tomorrow…or, rather, on Saturday. I went to a hair dresser recommended by a friend and I’m glad I did. The lady was really nice and did a great job and it was so cheap! Normally I avoid getting my hair cut because it’s just so expensive, but this one, wow, very affordable – so much so, I might even get my hair cut regularly (like you’re supposed to do apparently – who knew?). Anyway, it’s done now and I’m happy with it (thank goodness – no one would want to listen to my whining about it if I wasn’t happy) and I can get on with life. I also dyed it (bye bye grey strands!). Not a fancy, weird colour – just my own natural mousey brown shade.  Just sans grey.  What do you think?  I don’t think it even looks dyed…

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Christmas is looming and I am no closer to being organised.  I am running out of time to see everyone I wanted to see before the 25th and I haven’t completed my gift shopping.  Actually, I’m only about a quarter through it, if that.  It gets harder every year.  I don’t like to buy gifts that are junk or just some thing that will get thrown in a cupboard never to see the light of day.  I like gifts to mean something to the recipient and be well thought out and from the heart.  Having said that, if it’s December 24th and I still haven’t got you something, you are probably going to wind up with a gift voucher, a box of chocolates or some socks.  Just warnin’ ya! (Personally, I like getting socks, so it’s not really a lame present in my mind…they’re practical, right?  Everybody needs socks!).  I like to make presents too although I am hardly ever organised enough for that.  I haven’t even got any Christmas cards ready yet.  Pathetic effort.  Epic fail!

My twiggy Christmas tree is up and decorated and has some tiny sparkly lights too.  I have gone for a silver, white and blue theme this year.  Actually, that’s what I do most years ha ha.  I’m not into the traditional red, green and white for Christmas.

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I have wrapped a total of three presents.  Which is quite sad.  I have gone for the usual brown paper wrapping.  This is because
a.) I have a big roll of brown paper to use up
b.) I like brown paper and it goes with everything and doesn’t clash with my decor when under the tree
c.) It always looks so nice in the magazines and decorating books and I am trying to be classy and sophisticated
(ha! that’ll be the day!)

I’m using some little clay tags I made a couple of years ago, to embellish some of the gifts I’ve wrapped.  Just to add an extra element. When it comes to 24th December and I am still wrapping, I will be cursing these “embellishments” and the extra time they require to attach to gifts (all of 2.5 seconds most likely).  Sometimes the clay tags are a bit brittle (my crappy workmanship) and they break just as I am trying to tie them to a gift.  Or I haven’t made the hole in them big enough to accommodate string.  But I think that the little bit of extra effort looks nice and makes it look like I took the time to create something appealing.  The recipient doesn’t need to know it caused minor tantrums and fits of cursing.  And the tantrums weren’t that minor.  

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I have just seen some beautiful Christmas cards I want to try on Dianne Faw’s blog. I have done cards before with a “patchwork” feel to them but I haven’t done any Christmas ones and I think I will try it this year.  I need something fairly quick to do as I am running out of time and creative energy as well.  Thanks Dianne for the post!  It reminded me of an easy technique that has saved me in the past. 

Had two of my library friends over for dinner tonight – my first real “dinner party” (if three people can be considered a party…).  I made mushroom risotto which turned out ok although took a monstrously long time to cook for some reason (which is always the way when you are trying to make something for other people that you’ve made a million times for yourself) and for dessert I made cinnamon-maple ice-cream with gingerbread cookies crushed up in it.  Yum!  So good.  I served us up delicate little bowlfuls but really I think we could have all just eaten the whole tub.  We had a nice evening chatting, talking about books (it’s a cliche that librarians do that…but we did do it tonight!) and laughing about ridiculous things – God, it’s so good to laugh!  I haven’t done that in such a long time.  The kind of laughing when your tea comes out of your nose and you collapse in a heap with exhaustion and can’t even remember what you were laughing about.  THAT kind of laughing.  So good.  

Must go to bed.  It is a hot and sticky night and I foresee lots of tossing and turning and the fan working in overdrive.  I have carb overload from dinner and so I am going to waddle over to the kettle and make myself a nice cup of peppermint tea (that dissolves fat, right? I’m sure I read that somewhere…) and watch some
21 Jump Street re-runs because I am having a weird 80s fetish right now and am re-living my youth.  

Hope you’ve had a good day 🙂