Doodle Drama and Poorly Mama

Doodle Drama and Poorly Mama

I had a somewhat dramatic night on Saturday when my Mum stayed over.  We were going to go to a craft & antiques fair on Sunday morning, so it’s just easier if she stays overnight at my place.  We had a nice early part of the evening – yummy dinner supplied by my super wonderful library volunteer (she makes the best curries and is nice enough to bring me some regularly), watching some TV and chatting about what we hoped to find at the craft show.  My Mum had a sore finger – she thought she had a rose thorn or something in it – and asked me to have a look and maybe lance it.  I did so, using a very sterile scalpel blade and made a tiny wee cut in the finger.  Barely any blood and nothing icky like pus coming out of it.  Mum started to feel a bit queasy so she sat on the floor while I put some disinfectant on the finger and a little bandage.  Then, feeling even more queasy, Mum passed out.  Quite dramatically (thank God she was on the floor already and didn’t fall from a standing position).  The worst part was I couldn’t make her wake up again.  She didn’t come round for what seemed like ages.  It was probably only 20 seconds but it seemed like forever.  Finally she came to and sat up again.  She then began to be sick.  And sick.  And sick (thank God again for handy buckets!).  She felt dreadful and so nauseated.  I managed to get her back to the couch to lie down (keeping the bucket nearby).  She was still being ill and I decided to call an emergency health line. They gave me advice and asked lots of questions before giving me some numbers to call for an emergency, after-hours doctor.  I was lucky to get one to come out within 30 minutes and he checked Mum over and said she would be fine.  He gave her an injection to stop the vomiting and told me to just let her sleep it off.  Which she did.  Yours truly, however, stayed wide awake, listening to make sure she was ok.  Once I heard her snoring (ha ha), I knew she was comfortable and asleep.

In the morning she popped up like a cork, as though nothing had happened.  I could tell she wasn’t quite right though, despite her saying she definitely wanted to go to the craft show.  We did go, and had a nice time, but I was worried about Mum.  I kept nagging her to go to a GP and get the finger looked at and herself checked out again.  She did so on Tuesday and got some antibiotics and is now feeling better.
I will be in therapy for the rest of my life however.  I thought I had killed her!

Another, rather less distressing drama is my search for the perfect marker pen (or textas, as we call them in Australia).  I use a particular kind of paper, when I am drawing my little doodles that I use on cards.  The paper was given to me years ago by a friend of Mum’s and it is glossy and matte all at the same time.  I think it is a kind of photo paper…or possibly the paper they put between photo paper.  I don’t really know – she just gave me a huge bundle of it.  Anyway, I have used it for years as it works so well with coloured markers, giving the finished design a neat, almost printed effect.  Well, I still have lots of the paper, but my textas are running out (I’ve only had them 15-20 years, you’d think they’d last a bit longer ha ha).  I have looked for similar ones EVERYWHERE.  And I mean everywhere.  I have bought countless packets, trying them out to see if they work in the same way.  But no.  It’s doing my head in.  I have a theory that the ones I am trying now are all super non-toxic and full of modern whizz-bang ingredients.  My old ones were probably made from mercury or whale-oil or something.  I need to explain this in pictures…Below, you will see several little figures I have drawn and coloured.  Notice the seamless, bright and uniform hair colour?  That texta is still working – just.  See how there is no blotchiness to it?  No lines or colouring marks?  The green dress and blue dress at the bottom are coloured with an almost-running-out texta.  See the blotchiness and the uneven colouring?  It’s not too bad but with the new pens I have bought, it’s dire.  The colour is so unsaturated and you can see all the colouring lines and it’s horrible.  Horrible!  (am realising now I should have taken a picture of the new colouring for you but it was just too heartbreaking).  So what’s a girl to do?  I am thinking if I can’t find the right pens I will have have to change my technique, maybe do them in water colours on different paper and use a permanent pen for the outline.  Sigh.  But it’s all about change and growth, right?  Not getting stuck in a creative rut, trying new things?  But I like the old things dammit!  I’ve tried all different brands – cheap ones to expensive ones (hello Copic!) but to no avail.  So sad.  Oh well, I will keep trying and maybe a change will improve my little pictures and start me off on a new creative path.  Who knows?

May all your days be frustration free and void of fainting Mothers! 🙂

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Pretty Pegs

Pretty Pegs

How did it get to be Sunday afternoon again already?  I don’t know where the weekends go.  The weeks themselves fly by, but then it gets to the weekend and time just speeds up even more.  So unfair.

I’ve had a nice couple of days.  The weather has been lovely (too hot for some at this time of year but I love it) and I’ve spend time with my Mum and Mother-in-law.  I did a simple high tea/morning tea yesterday, nothing extravagant and we had a nice time just catching up and chilling out.  I wanted to stay in touch with my Mother-in-law as much as possible, after my marriage break-up, so I have tried to keep things as they were, at least between us.  She has always been very kind to me and welcomed me into the family straight away and I would hate to lose contact with her.  I’m not sure what the protocol is when you break up with someone, but I feel that I didn’t break up with her or the rest of the family so, while keeping a respectful distance from the ex and not making things uncomfortable for him (I don’t need to turn up at every family gathering) I think it’s ok if I at least see them for their birthdays and other big events. This week both my Mum and Mother-in-law celebrated their birthdays, hence the morning tea.  November is a busy month for me with lots of birthdays and other occasions.  I’m also doing a watercolour painting class in a couple of weeks which I am looking forward to (with some trepidation – I’m not the world’s greatest painter AT ALL but I do love the look of watercolour).

Last night (actually, late last night – I was up past midnight naughty girl) I prepared a bunch of pegs for making into my “Pretty Pegs” sets which I aim to sell at my mini-market.  They are good little sellers – easy to make and not a lot of initial outlay for materials.  Good for stocking fillers and just look really pretty when displayed.  They are also a good “TV Craft” i.e. they are something I can do whilst watching telly.  I like to multi-task! 🙂

So, last night I glued co-ordinating papers to the pegs in sets of four.  I used Ranger Matt Accents – it glues well and dries quickly, sealing the paper to the wood nicely.  I left the pegs to dry overnight to make sure the paper had bonded well.  This morning I sat and snipped the paper so it was nice and close to the edges of the pegs and then sanded them to give them a lived-in, distressed look and to take off any rough edges.  I hate sanding – it takes forever (well, not really, but I am an impatient crafter!).  I had quite a few little sets to do:

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Lots of pegs!

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Extreme close up! 

Next I will tie the pegs together in their matching sets with a length of raffia (which I have just realised I have run out of) and attach a little tag that gives ideas for using the pegs and voila!  That’s it.  Easy-peasy.  Which is what you want on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I am hoping to make a few more things today…so stay tuned! 🙂

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Cheated a bit here – I used a photo from some sets I made previously (“here’s one I made earlier!”)

Why isn’t there an Aunt’s Day?

Why isn’t there an Aunt’s Day?

It’s my nephew Deacon’s 6th birthday this week.  I made him a simple little card this morning (using Kaisercraft’s “Technologic” range) which I will give to him later in the week.

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Six!  Already?  How can that be?  It seems like just yesterday I was being introduced to his tiny 3-hour old self and gazing at him in awe (he was a BEAUTIFUL baby).  Now he’s a rough and tumble six-year-old with the attitude to match and a beautiful spirit.  He is into Angry Birds, robots and magic tricks (although trying to keep him still for five minutes to learn one is a lesson in patience and strength of will).  He loves to run and ride his bike and play lego.  He is kind (most of the time) to his younger siblings and is well-mannered and sweet.  He is super smart and constantly astounds us with his artistic abilities, an almost photogenic memory and an understanding of difficult concepts far beyond his years.

I am, of course, completely unbiased.  I love my brother fiercely and, so too, his offspring.  I could not love them more and they can do no wrong in my eyes (we shall see how this pans out when they are teenagers…).  I can be having a terrible day, tired and miserable, and a couple of hours of babysitting them pushes everything back into perspective.  They make me laugh and fill my heart up with love.  Reading a bedtime story (or three, depending on how far they wrap me round their little fingers) is a joy.  An interrupted, takes-longer-than-it-should joy, but a pleasure nevertheless.  As a librarian, it makes me happy that they love books and, even more so, that they like me to read to them.  There is nothing nicer than being a loved Auntie.  My brother and his partner are amazing parents – they have been through a lot (relationship-wise) over the last few years but have always put the children first and done their best to keep them feeling secure and grounded and loved.

I love being an Auntie.  I know some people feel sorry for those of us that can’t have children, but, for me, I think being an Auntie is just as special.  I get to be the one they will come to when they can’t talk to their parents.  I get to spoil them and love them and be silly with them. I can watch them grow up and don’t have to worry about the price of shoes or school uniforms or what subjects they will take at university.  I get to see them at their best and be there for them at their worst, if they need me.  I get to hand them back to their parents when they are being rambunctious and get to change just enough nappies for it to be a novelty and not seem like a never-ending task.  I get cuddles and laughter and games and bedtime stories, without all the homework and tantrums and illnesses (although I have dealt with all three in small doses).  I get to be an anchor in troubled waters and a warm hug when things aren’t going right. And, above all, I get to have a little person (or two, or three) love me and want to be around me just because I am me.  That is worth more than all the money in the world.

So, to all the Awesome Aunts (and Uncles) out there, I say give yourselves a pat on the back and know that you are special and important.  Give those little nieces and nephews of yours a hug for me and be super grateful that you get to be in their lives.