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Word Book

Sometimes I lose my words.  Not just when I’m talking, but also when I am crafting and using actual words.  Like, cut-out-of-books words, that I use for mixed-media projects.  Teeny, tiny little scraps of paper with EXACTLY THE RIGHT WORDS ON THEM THAT SUDDENLY DISAPPEAR WHEN I COUGH OR SNEEZE OR START WHISTLING.  Or, I cut them out and leave it on my desk where God only knows what could happen.  Because once something ends up on my desk, it is lost in no man’s land, never to be found again (or, at least, not until I’ve given up and used a completely different word which changes the whole meaning of the piece).

So, my Mum, ever the organised and, let’s face it, more mature adult, suggested I make a little word book, with all those little-bitty scraps in them, all neatly set out and ready to use.  Her idea is simple : stick the adhesive strip at the top of Post-It Notes onto a page in a photo album (the kind where you slip the photos in to little sleeves) and – voila! – you have created a perfect receptacle for your words, sentences and letters.  You stick the adhesive strip (sticky side up) onto the pages with double sided tape and then just pop your words on top.  They stay in place, the adhesive isn’t sticky enough to make the page get stuck inside the sleeve, and everything is hunky-dory, neat and tidy.  Genius!

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So, instead of losing those words, or having to hunt through piles of junk on your desk to find them, you have a perfectly organised little file, which saves you time and energy.  So you can concentrate on finishing your crafty projects, word art, or collages, and feel good knowing you have created some order in your messy life.  I don’t know about you, but I need all the order and calmness I can get right now.

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Hope this has been helpful.  You can thank my Mum 🙂

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Craft Room Sneak Peak

I would like to say that I am being much more organised and tidy in my new house, but my pants would immediately perform an act of self-combustion, and then I would have another mess on my hands, not to mention one less pair of pants, so I shall tell the truth : I am hopeless.  I have not gained any organisational skills and am still unable to keep a well-presented home.

To be fair, I have only just moved and I know these things take time.  Or, at least, that’s what everyone keeps telling me.  They don’t specify how much time, but apparently it is a reasonable amount and I should milk it for all it is worth.  I am mostly struggling with knowing where to put everything (having ditched a lot of my old storage items before I moved, like an idiot).  And I want it to look nice too, so I am focusing on making things look pretty, instead of just finding homes for it all.  There’s a big part of me that just wants to get rid of everything and start over.

I’m also struggling a lot with the old black dog right now and trying to ignore it isn’t working.  I was planning on starting to exercise again this week, go for a walk around my new neighbourhood etc, but I injured my foot badly (don’t even ask me how because I don’t honestly know – I think it was getting up and down a ladder on the weekend, but I’m worried it is plantar fasciitis) and I am hobbling around like an old woman.  I also have a very painful rib which was, possibly, caused by some over-zealous hugging from my youngest nephew a couple of weeks ago.  He squeezed me like a tube of toothpaste and, although it was very sweet and appreciated, I was very sore afterwards and now feel like I actually have a cracked rib.  I know I don’t – he’s only 7 and I doubt he’s strong enough to break someone’s rib – but it hurts.  I do have a bit of a weak spot on that side, having damaged it before, so it’s not totally surprising, but is is annoying and makes me feel even more feeble. (NB : note to said nephew’s Mother – don’t be mad at him.  It’s not his fault his Aunt is a bit pathetic, and I will take a hug from him, or any of his brothers and sisters, any day of the week.  And it is also possible I hurt it some other way, like coughing or breathing weird or bashing in to something…because I actually do that quite often).

So, all I want to do right now is sleep (which I am also not doing very well at the moment – it is eluding me every night and I am waking up later and later each morning) and not do anything.  Again, failing as an adult.  I did do my dishes last night though, so yay me!

But, I know I will get things sorted and have things the way I want them.  I can be a tad hard on myself and not allow myself any downtime.  I’ve nearly sorted my craft room/office and am itching to get stuck into some projects, especially as the weather is starting to warm up and I don’t need to be tucked up in the lounge room, practically sitting on top of the heater in order to keep warm.  One side of my craft room looks like this :

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…so neat! So orderly!

…And then the other side looks like this…

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…I like to call this the “Giving up on Life” side of the room 🙂

So, as I said, it is getting there.  I just have to whittle away at the mess and chaos and try not to be impatient about it.  I can only do so much when I am working full time and I have to give the black dog some room too (should probably give him a permanent basket in the corner, quite honestly).  I am still very, very grateful to have my own place (it honestly hasn’t sunk in yet, although the panic about paying for it has) and am trying to remember that and that I can take as long as I like to get it just right. Basically, I am just aiming for being able to see the floor at this stage!

Hope you are happy and settled and have order and peace in your little corner of the world.

x

Christmas Chaos

Christmas Chaos

Every year.  Every FLIPPING year.  I get to Christmas and I am as prepared for it as I would be for a zombie apocalypse.  And, in fact, I am probably MORE prepared for zombies than I am for the festive season.  I always promise myself I am going to be organised and calm and orderly and systematic in my approach.  I will stick to a theme and a budget and know what I am doing AT ALL TIMES.

But, alas, I am a super-dufus every year.  I run out of time for things, forget people on my list, buy way too much stuff and end up in a right tizz.  My lounge room currently looks like the aforementioned zombie infestation has ransacked the place, leaving shopping bags and wrapping paper and bits of cellotape everywhere.  I would love to be like Martha Stewart and have a fabulous “wrapping station”, but in reality I have the floor.  And right now, due to my untidiness, I barely have that.

I want to wrap all my gifts elegantly and with a central colour palate.  They should all look uniform and pretty and delightful.  Instead, the first two get wrapped elegantly and delightfully while the rest get stuck together with packing tape or shoved in a recycled gift bag someone gave me last year.  One year I gave up altogether and used a pillow case to wrap something, like a floral Santa sack.  True story.

Last night I went into panic mode, realising I didn’t have enough handmade cards to give out to people, which meant, horror-of-horrors, that I would have to give out bought ones.  Eek.  I don’t normally do bought ones.  If I can help it.  But every year I seem to be in a state of greeting card meltdown and end up buying whatever crappy box of cards are left in the shops, to give out to people.  Because, if I was smart, I should start making the cards months ahead of schedule.  But I am not smart.

To make matters worse, people at work are finishing up for Christmas at all different times (how rude and confusing!).  So some people are finishing today, others are working until the 24th like me.  Some people are finishing next week, and others are still working over the holidays.  I don’t know who’s doing what and I go into yet another spiral of panic about getting cards and gifts to people.  I feel bad if I miss someone out or if they give me something and I am so unorganised that I haven’t gotten something for them.  I used to make gingerbread cookies every year for everyone.  Packaged them up prettily and gave them out.  But I don’t even get that done any more as my oven is rubbish and I am too unorganised and stressed.  Plus, my kitchen is probably covered in wrapping paper and Lord knows what else so there is no room for baking anyway.  Chaos, as always, reigns supreme.

Last night I sat up late, writing out Christmas cards (the dreaded bought ones) and then decided this morning that I hate them and don’t want to use them.  So now you can add terrible-waster-of-paper to my list of sins. Which means, I will have to pull an all-nighter every day for the next week and make cards.  They will have to be simple and non-fussy.  They will have to be quick to make and unisex.  Several of my friends have birthdays around Christmas so there is also that conundrum.  Do I make birthday cards or do I buy them?  First World problems I know, but still…

I just want everything to be nice.  And I want people to feel that they are important to me and that I make some effort when choosing and packaging their gifts or making their cards.  I know I put too much pressure on myself and worry unnecessarily but it is one of many issues I have, let’s face it. One year I am just going to bloody well buy cards and normal wrapping paper and not worry about it all.  But that year is NOT this year.  There is still time to organise myself and make things look ok.  I can still make cards and tags and my own wrapping paper.  I can probably make 200 gingerbread men if I stay up til 4am and I might as well construct a multi-level, decorated gingerbread house while I’m at it.  Who needs sleep, anyway?

Hope your festive season is going along smoothly and that all your plans are coming to fruition.  If not, you can rest easy, knowing there is someone who will always be less organised and way more frantic than you.  EVERY FLIPPING YEAR.

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Colour Shop

Colour Shop

My house is a crazy mess right now.  I mean, normally it is a mess but, right now, it is a CRAZY mess.  There are beads everywhere – on the table, under the table, in the nooks and crannies of the couch, rolling around in the kitchen and hiding under furniture.  There is card and paper and glue and paint and tape and scissors and STUFF everywhere.  I am still busily making things for my mini-market on the weekend.  I am trying to make lots of different things in different styles and colours so there is something for everyone.  I always say that, but then I end up worrying that I don’t have enough variation or a big enough mix of items.  But I only have a couple of days left and then I have to go into mega-crazy cleaning mode.  I have to find all those pesky beads and scraps of paper and tidy up so that my house looks the very model of neatness and togetherness.  It will all come together in the end, it always does, but I still worry.  I don’t want anyone to come and be disappointed or not like what I have or not find anything that is suitable for them.

Here’s a few of the latest things I have made this week.  A few more colours this time and maybe some more dangly, bigger styles.  The first pair (the pink and green ones) have already gone (the dangers of putting their pictures on Instagram before the sale day itself) which I am pleased about because I wasn’t sure if anyone would like them.  You just never know what people are going to go for (another reason I try and make lots of different things, not just stuff I myself would like to wear).

Hope your day has been colourful and happy 🙂

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Cleaning is a “sometimes” activity, right?

Cleaning is a “sometimes” activity, right?

I was supposed to be cleaning my house today.  It has become quite feral due to me being a.) unwell this week, b.) out a lot this week and c.) just plain lazy and too prone to distraction (every week).  I want to be a good little house-wife, I do.  Even if nobody sees the house except for me and the occasional property manager when I am due for rent inspection.  But I fail miserably every week at making any kind of serious attempt at actually making my house spotless and tidy.  I just don’t have that gene.  The tidy gene.  It doesn’t bother me most of the time, but just lately I have felt that I am failing at being a grown-up.  I don’t do my dishes every night.  I don’t fold my laundry when it comes off the line.  I don’t even put it away.  I am slack.  There is no other way to say it.

But it just feels as though there are more important things to be doing.  Like today, for instance.  I was determined to get the place looking spick and span so I would have tomorrow free to craft or do something else that is constructive and meaningful (unlike cleaning, which is not).  I had just put a load of washing into the machine when my friend GK phoned to see if I was up for a catch-up and coffee outing.  I didn’t take much convincing, despite the little voice in the back of my mind yelling “What about the hoovering?! The bathroom needs scrubbing! You haven’t done any dishes in three days!!!”  So out for coffee we went.  When GK surprised me by asking if I wanted to go op-shopping and show her the good places to get a bargain (she NEVER goes op-shopping) I was powerless to say anything other than “Yes!”  So not only did I once more ignore the cleaning that needed to be done, I also ignored the fact that I have just had a large dental bill to pay and that I shouldn’t be recklessly spending my money. Sigh.  Definitely failing at being an adult.  A responsible one anyway.

So off we trotted to a row of op-shops that I frequent, um, frequently.  GK was hunting for some new jeans and I needed a plain black, long-sleeved top.  I also desperately needed some new beads.  Honestly.  Scout’s honour!  Well, I didn’t need them.  Need is a strong word.  Wanted is probably a better term.  So I rummaged around and found a couple of necklaces with some nice glass beads on them for less than $5.00 (plus I found the black long sleeve top I was needing and that was only $3.50!).  GK got two pairs of awesome jeans which made her happy and even luckier still, they were the right length (she’s short like me – everything needs taking up) and I snagged a great pair of black pants for work and another striped top (I have a thing for stripes…).  I really like the necklaces I got…

…these spotty blue glass beads are unusual and pretty…

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…and this purple/grape-coloured necklace has lots of different shaped beads on it in various sizes and shades…

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I have made a few pieces of jewellery this week as I had some orders to get done and I can’t concentrate on anything until I get them done and dusted.  First up, a blue and brown necklace which was requested by a lady at work who had bought a similar piece from me before.  She asked me to replicate it – I didn’t have enough of the same coloured beads so I substituted where I was able to and I think it turned out ok…

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…I also made one in a similar style but using red beads instead of blue…

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…I made this pink and green one for my buddy CW who I am visiting tomorrow.  She’s been having a crummy time of things lately and I wanted to give her a little treat to cheer her up.  She had bought a pair of earrings from me before that had these same colours in them and had mentioned she would like a matching necklace one day.  It’s taken me nearly 6 months to make it for her but finally I got it done…

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…I also made this pretty (well, I think it’s pretty) pastel necklace using some of the wooden beads I bought at the last craft show

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…and this bracelet which I’m not convinced about…it was getting late and I think my colour-matching was a bit off…


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…I’ve also been doodling and working on some card designs.  I draw some funny little birdcages but didn’t get as far as actually making a card with them (yet)…

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Tomorrow, I have promised myself, I will finish tidying up and make my house clean and neat and fit for human habitation, or maybe even real life visitors!  I will leave a little window of time in which I can craft and create or maybe spend a couple of hours organising my craft room.  Or, more realistically, I will spend half an hour hoovering, get distracted by some beads or ribbon, paper or paints and give up on the whole idea of tidying up.  I am nothing if not consistent 🙂

Hope you have a wonderful day (dishes be damned!) x

A girl, her kidney and a few complaints…

A girl, her kidney and a few complaints…

So, life at the moment is a never-ending barrel of laughs, face-palming and serious disbelief at my fellow human beings. I shall tell you my tale interspersed with pictures of a few bits and pieces I have made this week. Basically I am being lazy and making one blog post do double-duty…

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Good news first – my wonderful little kidney is working so hard to make me proud and has gone up to 48% function. I’m so relieved. Every six weeks or so I have the blood tests and wait anxiously for the results. Today I phoned the hospital and they gave me the good news. My haemoglobin is up (yay!) and my iron levels are high (thank you, iron infusion!) so no wonder I am feeling less weary. I can’t tell you what a relief it all is. I know it might not be forever, and that my kidney may one day just go kaput, but, for now, I am trying to treat it properly and eat well and look after myself so I don’t give it any reason to desert me prematurely. The thought of going back on dialysis and being in “that world” again fills me with dread, and the longer I can avoid it the better. Now on to face-palming central, or, otherwise known as The Workplace.

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Seriously, I love the people I work with. They’re pretty awesome and have been so kind to me and welcomed me and not looked at me like I’m a weirdo (even though, clearly, I am) and they even think I’m a good librarian (not looking forward to the day THAT particular facade comes crumbling down). From time to time I get a little bit cranky that people don’t clean up after themselves in the library, assistive tech room, kitchen and conference room. People are basically slobs – doesn’t matter that they are adults with PhDs and other letters after their names, they are messy and completely oblivious to the fact other people exist and use the space too. Now, you know me – I am pretty messy and unorganised myself. In my own space I am pretty feral. My house always looks like a bomb has recently been detonated and I am rubbish at organising anything. But in shared spaces I am polite and considerate. I clean up after myself. I vacuum. I wash dishes and put them away. I help other people with moving chairs and tables and stuff. I don’t leave my lunch rubbish lying about and I don’t leave tea stains all over the counters. All sensible concepts you might agree. Common sense. I thought so too.

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This week, after having cleaned up our meeting room once again (vacuuming, wiping down tables, emptying coffee urns, putting chairs away etc) I sent out a friendly reminder to everyone to please clear up after using the room, particularly as our cleaners only come every second day. Well, you would think I had asked people to give up their first-born child. It has become a HUGE drama – emails flying back and forth between departments and managers, naming and shaming actual individuals and groups. I just wanted people to be tidy or at least ask me to help instead of expecting me to just do it for them. Now the CEO has waded in on it (probably to get everyone to shut up and concentrate on their actual work) and another email has gone out praising me and basically making me out to be some sort of harassed, under-appreciated slave who gets taken advantage of because of my obviously dim-witted and eager-to-please persona (thank you to that particular manager who was really just standing up for me but kinda dropped me in it a bit…). It’s such a nightmare! I didn’t want anyone in particular to be singled out but there are definitely noses out of joint now and I am keeping my head down and making eye contact with no one.

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Anyway, there are other things going on in my life right now that are of far more importance. A friend is having some serious bad times relationship-wise and I am trying to help and be supportive but I’m feeling stressed and quite inadequate in that role. I want to fix everybody but I can’t and I feel bad. Possibly why I should never become a counsellor or one of those people who mans the suicide lines…I would end up being the one who needs help. My Aunt in the UK is very ill and it is difficult for my Mum because she is waiting for news but she isn’t getting any from her family and it is frustrating when she is so far away. My cousin (bless her) is relaying what she can to me via email but with the time difference we often don’t get the information for quite some hours.

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My other dear friend is experiencing financial hardship and is having to put her house up for sale in order to stay afloat. It’s so upsetting but I know she will be ok. It’s just so heart-breaking when you’ve worked hard for something and it’s going to be taken away from you. Scary, too, when you have kids to think about. Again, I want to help and fix things but I can’t, not really, not in a long-term way anyway.

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My jewellery-making is going well still. People keep putting in orders which is nice and makes me alternate between being quite happy with myself and then doubting my work and thinking I will never be able to pull off what they what me to create. Such is my brain and my crazy self esteem. I really need to clear up and re-arrange all my craft stuff because it is taking over the house and I am in a constant mess albeit in one area. I want to make some cards soon as I haven’t made any for ages and I don’t want to lose my mojo ha ha!

Apologies for not blogging much lately.  I have been dealing with a lot of stuff that’s been happening (none of which I need to bore you with – I’m trying not to do the whinge and vent or over-share private stuff) and besides that, I’ve just not been in the mood.  Slackness. I know.  But I will be better from now on I promise.  Maybe.

Hope your week has been happy.  Thank goodness it is Friday tomorrow! 🙂

My Week in Pictures

My Week in Pictures

It’s been a busy week.  I haven’t had time to even think about blogging, let alone do it.  Plus, it’s been so hot and my little office where my computer lives is stifling and stuffy and ugh.  So I’ve spent as little time on the computer as possible.

I have been crafting though…I had to make some hot pink earrings for a friend at work but, as hot pink is not a colour I usually work with or like, I had difficulty finding anything in my bead stash to even start.  Which meant I had to go out and buy some more beads, of course.  I won’t show you what I made – I’m not at all happy with any of them.  It’s funny how colour choice affects your (or, at least, my) ability to make and create.  I like paler pinks – more shabby than shocking I guess.

I got them done as quickly as I could then moved on to other orders I had to complete…

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…I had a go with memory wire (and managed to stab myself in the thumb with it – blood everywhere!)…

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…my iron count has been a little low the last few months so I had to have an iron infusion
(look away now if you don’t like needles and hospital stuff…)…

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…I went for walks…(but not as often as I should have…)…

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…lots of bird watching…

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…baby swans!…

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I got some belated birthday gifts…including this gorgeous handbag from a friend of my Mum’s…(I don’t normally wear or use leather but as I didn’t buy it I guess it’s ok…plus it is so lovely and soft and stylish.  Sorry cows, I will still keep to my non-leather-buying values, but I’m keeping the bag…)…

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…and a lovely jewellery box from (drum roll please!) TIFFANY’S!!!…

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…the same lovely lady (my volunteer library assistant) gave me this beautiful gift AND  made me a take-home curry
to have for my dinner (Oh my God – so yum!).  She is too good to me…

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…my penal Rem’s partner Dianne sent me a lovely Valentine’s card…
(you should check out her blog if you haven’t already – it’s great!)

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…I discovered my new favourite sweet treat – frozen grapes!

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I also went op-shopping and bead shopping with my Mum and bought a ridiculous amount of beads.  I think I have a problem…

Now it’s Sunday evening yet again and soon I must pack up and get ready for bed.  I am trying to get to bed before 10pm these days because I am always so tired and can never get up in the morning.  I have a busy day tomorrow – lots of meetings and a three-hour “fire suppression” training (as I am supposedly a fire warden for my building).  I’m hoping the day goes quickly and that I manage to get some things done even though I will not be at my desk.  Every week I tell myself I am going to sort my desk out and get things in order, but I never have time or anywhere to put everything.  So I just try and make all the piles of stuff look tidy.  Moving them from one place to another helps, as does shuffling them, hiding them under the desk and shoving them in the filing cabinet marked “to deal with later”.

Have a great Monday everyone – hope you are more organised than me 🙂