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Water Baby

My niece is turning six this week.  Six!  Where do the years go?  She was born the week I got out of hospital and I remember her being such a beacon of light and love and joy.  She was the beginning of some better times (no pressure kiddo!).

I made her a little birthday card last night, squinting and fussing over it in my dark lounge room (why do I always start these things at stupid times of night?) and can now see there’s a few boo-boos on it (her arms for a start a little bit bent!) and the writing is dodgy but it’s cute enough, and it’s the thought that counts, right?

She and her siblings spend a lot of time at the beach, so I thought a mermaid was appropriate (and, honestly, I just felt like drawing a mermaid, as you do!).

Happy Birthday Miss Six – you’re a delightful little water baby and we love you very, very much.  Enjoy your special day  xxx

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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

Watercolours & Waterbabies

Watercolours & Waterbabies

Mum and I took a watercolour class yesterday hosted by the University of Western Australia (UWA), off campus at their Taylor’s College site.  We arrived bright and early (being ridiculously early is a habit of mine – I spend a lot of time waiting around outside venues and people’s houses, class rooms and doctor’s offices because I am always there, as I said, ridiculously  early) and had a bit of a wander around the lovely garden and old buildings.

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It was a bright Spring day – not too hot, not too cool and the birds were singing in the trees as butterflies and bees visited the rose garden and sampled the pollen .  It seemed too nice a day to sit inside but, as we had paid the fee (and not a cheap fee at that) we eventually found ourselves a seat in the class room and waited for the class to begin.

Our teacher was Debi Riley  and she guided us through 11 different watercolour techniques including wet-on-wet, charging, dry brushing and gouging.  It was a fast paced class and the time went very quickly, despite it being all day.  I have had horrible back pain all week and was dreading having to sit still for hours on end but, luckily, I was kept too busy to think about my back and we were often up and out of our seats to watch what Debi was doing in her demonstrations.

Debi went through all the materials and equipment needed with her recommendations for different products and supplies.  Mum and I baulked at the squirrel hair brushes – an ethical, synthetic version will be used by us – but it was good to know which paints are better than others and what paper we should use for the best results.

My Mum is not a novice at painting (although she told the class, during the introductions, that she had “dabbled a bit”) but I haven’t done a lot, other than the basic stuff and some folk-art.  I haven’t ever sat and learnt a proper technique before.  So basically my work was rubbish ha ha.  But it improved as the day went on and I think, perhaps, I might get better with a bit more practice. I was very pleased with one piece I did where we had to use a paint knife and “scrape” it on to very wet paper, until I realised that we were supposed to be creating a mountain landscape, not an abstract image.  Whoops.  Don’t know where my head was at when she mentioned mountains…

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Whoops…but I still secretly like it

I did do one mountain scene which looks kind of Japanese-y.  It still leaves a lot to be desired as a work of art though!  So we’ll call it a work in progress!

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Mount Fugi? Hmmm, maybe not…

I quite liked my trees and their greeny-blue mottled tones but I didn’t like the scratched trunks we were supposed to add (with out finger nail) – it looks a bit dumb.  But next time I will know what I am doing so maybe I will get it right then!

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Trees!

I think I was happiest of all with my gum leaves at the end of the day – I think, with some more practice, I could make a half-decent attempt at them.They were enjoyable to do as each one came out differently, adding to their natural look.

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Leafy!

So, all in all, an enjoyable day and nice to spend it with my Mum who is now all enthused about getting back in painting and art in general.  I found the class very informative and gave me some new skills and techniques.  I want to sit and paint now but I have no time and I am still getting
ready for my market stall which is in TWO WEEKS time (aaaghh!).

I am rather behind in announcing the birth of my brand new little niece, Amity Jane.  She was born on the 15th and is just a delight.  I am an Auntie again for the fourth time and am already thinking about putting my babysitting fees up ha ha.  Mother and bub are doing well (my brother’s partner, Anna, is AMAZING and the best Mum ever) and I am so blessed to have another little person in my life.  Her brothers and sister are also besotted.  And why wouldn’t they be – just look at her!:

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So cute!

Well, it’s time to make dinner and sort out my dining room and do some ironing.  At least one of those things will probably not get done.  I vote for ironing!

Hope you have all had a good weekend and got to enjoy some time with your family and friends.  That’s what weekends are for.  Well, that and crafting!

Have a great week everybody – thank you for visiting 🙂

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

My beautiful little niece, Finlay, celebrated her 3rd birthday this week.  As all little princesses should, she had a party on the weekend with family and friends (including her two brothers, deacon and Marlon, my gorgeous nephews), lots of pink and plenty of fun.  Her Mum did an amazing job of decorating the house and yard with all things pretty and pink with a candy bar, balloons, bunting and banners.  Finlay was well and truly spoilt – but if you can’t be spoilt when you’re three, when can you?  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

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Waiting for parties to start is VERY tiresome!

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But it soon starts a-happenin’!

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Big Brother Deacon enjoying the donut-eating contest …

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…which ended satisfyingly!

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Big Brother # 2, Marlon with lollipop # 2 (and counting…)

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Hmmm, not sure about this one…

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…here, you have it!

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A lady never gets ice cream on her party dress…

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Brothers are ok sometimes…

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The party was fabulous darling!

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Hurry up and cut the cake!

Thanks for reading!  🙂