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Spoonfuls of Love & Kindness

Anyone else feeling the world is an icky place to be right now?  I always try really hard to focus on all the good and not dwell on the bad, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult.  I feel so anxious about what the future holds, don’t you?  Do we even have a future?

When feeling this way, I just want to curl up in a giant cookie, suck my thumb, and pretend the world’s not there.  The next best thing to doing all of that is crafting.  I can lose myself in paint and glue and paper and the chaos of my craft room.  Sucking of the thumb is not advised during this time as it will usually be covered in all manner of art mediums, but cookies are allowed, as long as they’re washed down with copious amounts of tea.  Some music on the stereo, a nice warm cardi, and I’m all set.

This weekend I worked on this collage piece.  It’s quite pink for me, but maybe I was chanelling my inner child and wanting some comfort and cuteness.  Maybe that was just the colour I grabbed first (after culling all my papers a few weeks back, I am now a bit low on supplies…might need to go shopping ,hee hee!) and it has no emotional ulterior motive at all.  Whatever, I am quite pleased with this one.  It came together so quickly (for me, Mrs Snail-Pace) and I like its sentiment and theme.  I can see there’s a couple of spots I need to touch up (not outlined or finished off completely) but I will do that before  varnishing.

I do think kindness is the most important quality a person can have.  I think it creates a foundation for everything else.  If you’re inherently kind, you won’t judge people, or be intolerant.  You will put others first and not seek to oppress or demean anyone.  You will strive for the greater good, and help others to do the same, by your example. There is strength in love, and it should never be seen as a weakness.  Love and kindness should be encouraged in schools, and in churches and in our community.  Instead of someone getting three million “likes” because they achieved the perfect duck pout or showed their boobs or bought a new handbag (the cost of which would probably feed three families for a month), we should be applauding those that do good.

We should be celebrating kindness and spreading love and compassion.

Anyway, I am getting on my “be nice” high horse again.  I had a lovely weekend – caught up with an old friend, spent time with my family and brand new baby nephew, and did lots of crafting.  I had time to myself, and time with loved ones, which is the perfect balance.  I nested and baked and slept and tried not to think about the outside world.

Hope you experience, and share in, some love and kindness today x

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Quote for the Day : Love is My Heart

“…Love is an afternoon of fishing when I’d sooner be at the ballet.
Love is eating burnt toast and lumpy gravy with a big smile.
Love is hearing the words ‘You’re beautiful’
as I fail to squeeze into my fat jeans.

Love is refusing to bring up the past, even if doing so would be a slam dunk to prove your point.
Love is your hand wiping away my tears, trying to erase streaks of mascara.

Love is the warm hug that extinguishes an argument.
Love is a humbly-uttered apology, even if not at fault.
Love is easy to recognize but so hard to define; however,
I think it boils down to this…

Love is caring so much about the feelings of someone else, you sacrifice whatever it takes to help him or her feel better.

In other words, love is my heart being sensitive to yours…”

— Richelle E. Goodrich – Making Wishes : Quotes,
Thoughts & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year

(Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.  The world needs a lot more love than it currently possesses – so try not to be cynical today.
Embrace and share love, in whatever way you can.
It’s never been more important than this moment in time.)

x

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Quote for the Day : This is What Should be Done

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness, And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited, Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful, Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety, May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be; Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born — May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another, Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world: Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness, One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views, The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires, is not born again into this world.

— Buddhist Prayer

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Quote for the Day : Hints of Kindness

“…Because my responses are more than just words.
They represent
who I am,
who I want to be,
and how I will someday be remembered.

Today I will not respond perfectly. I know. But if strive to communicate with hints of kindness and traces of love…
That will be something
That will really be something
That could mean more than words…”

— Rachel Macy Stafford
(See full quote HERE as seen on Marc and Angel Hack Life)

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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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Merry Christmas (A Snowman in a Fridge)

Merry Christmas (A Snowman in a Fridge)

Merry Christmas to you all.  I hope that your day is festive and fabulous, joyful and filled with good times, good people and lots of love.  If you’re on your own (and would rather not be), I am sending you hugs and friendship (although, as I said in my previous post, I am rubbish at hugs – I’ll try not to make this awkward for you on Christmas Day).  If you’re on your own (and are delighted to be so), I am wishing you peace and tranquillity, contentment and the freedom to enjoy your day however, and wherever, you see fit.  Christmas comes I all shapes and sizes, after all.

Just a little video link here, for you all.  Warning : it is sappy and sweet and delightful and, if you’re anything like me, it will make you blub.  Bring some tissues.  Then go hug someone and tell them you love them.

A Very Important Lesson

Have a wonderful day.  Be kind to one another x

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Little Peeps & Helpers

Little Peeps & Helpers

A busy couple of days for me on the weekend.  My car window decided to die (ie wouldn’t go up or down) on Friday night, meaning I had to get it fixed somehow on Saturday.  Which, in turn, meant a very expensive call-out fee for a mobile mechanic and an equally expensive part that I’m sure was worth much less than what I was quoted.  But it was a Saturday and I couldn’t leave my car unsecured all weekend, plus we were due for a thunderstorm that night, so I had to pay the big bucks and get it fixed then and there.  I hate dealing with car stuff – it stresses me out.  How do you know if you’re being ripped off and, even if you are, what can you do about it when you need the thing fixed right away on a weekend?  I even looked up on Youtube how to repair a car window regulator cable yourself, but decided that was fraught with danger and the possibility of me having a tantrum and ending up with a broken door panel as well as a broken window cable.

Waiting around for the mechanic and the repairs took up half of my day.  I then had to go and get my groceries (I had NO food in the house, literally) and do some laundry.  I really wanted to get some crafting done, so I got stuck in to my little Christmas people that I had started last weekend.  I made a handful of them, ready to assemble on to cards.

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I managed to get one card finished, with this little lady in blue :

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On Sunday, it was my niece’s 2nd birthday, so we attended her birthday party in the park.  It was a lovely morning – there was a gorgeous cool breeze (a relief after the heat of the day before when it was RIDICULOUSLY hot for Spring, reaching 40 degrees) and plenty of shade.  Lots of kids running around, having fun with sack races, water-balloon fights and a piñata.  Miss Two was rather bemused by it all, but very well-behaved.  I sat with her while she ate her piece of delicious birthday cake, very lady-like with her little fork and paper plate.  Adorable.  I spent most of the morning carrying her around and, although she is a tiny little thing, she weighs a ton ha ha.  My arm today is about to drop off.  But there were lots of ant nests and I couldn’t really let her just toddle around on the ground, in case she got bitten.

Afterwards, I had to take my Mum grocery shopping.  It just so happens that her local shops are close to an amazing papercraft shop, Scrapbook Secrets, so I took the opportunity to buy a few bits and pieces from there.  Not too many, as I had just shelled out for my car repairs, but enough pretty papers and embellishments to help me finish off some more cards for Christmas.

I made one more card last night – not sure if I am happy with it, but I guess it is quite cute.  I do rather like my little Christmas people – and I am pleased I have been able to use something that is my own design, for the most part.  I must have drawn a hundred little faces and hands by now, but colouring them in and cutting them out is quite therapeutic, if not fiddly and hand-ache-making!  I wish I could do eyes properly, but for now they will all have to have closed eyes.  It makes them look peaceful, anyway, and I suppose that’s what you want at Christmas time!

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Such a dreadful week, internationally, with the bombings and terror attacks in Paris, Lebanon and Syria, as well as other disasters like earthquakes, fires and floods.  Such scary times we are living in – so many people living in terror and fear for their lives, and the lives of their loved ones.  The Paris attacks this weekend got the most attention, and indeed I found myself tearing up over the lives lost and the horrific actions of the perpetrators.  It is impossible to make sense of these things, or to understand what is going through someone’s head when they decide to commit these crimes.  I’m not going to go into the politics of it all – I’m not qualified to do so – I just know it is human beings hurting other human beings.

There’s a quote from Fred Rogers circulating at the moment which encourages us to remember that there is still good in the world, still people who want to help and do the right thing.  I am trying to take some comfort in it and know that, for the most part, human beings are good and kind-hearted, with no desire to hurt anyone.  I like to think that’s true, anyway.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers