Image

Love the Moment

Hello everyone ūüôā¬† I have been on leave for a couple of weeks and placed myself under a strict no crafting ban.¬† I knew if I got stuck into making things (and, therefore, making a mess) I would never get tidy and organised.¬† So I had two weeks of sorting and culling and making my home fit for human habitation.¬† My craft room was going to be last on the list as it is an area I close off anyway and doesn’t get seen unless I want it to!¬† Needless to say, it is still in a mess.¬† I just didn’t time to complete the tidy up in its entirety.¬† But the rest of the house looks good now.¬† I even had some visitors during my leave and I wasn’t embarrassed to have them in my space.

On my final two days, I let myself do some crafting.¬† I figured it was my reward for doing adult stuff like dusting and ironing (ugh!).¬† I started with this canvas – a freehand painting with acrylic paints.¬† I drew a design straight on to the canvas, which is something I don’t normally do and did not incorporate any paper or mixed media elements.¬† I decided to just go with the flow and not think about any of it too much.¬† The worst thing to do is start comparing your work to someone else, so I tried really hard to just enjoy the process, regardless of whether the finished piece was good or not.

IMG_1609

I was pleased with the final outcome.¬† I don’t mind that she’s got a big head and ridiculously long neck, or that her hair resembles a teddy bear hat.¬† I am just glad to have had a go and not fussed over it all too much.¬† I’m not normally brave enough to put a design straight on to the canvas, so this was new for me.¬† Normally I draw it out first and often draw and paint the person on a piece of paper, before cutting them out and gluing them to the canvas, after I’ve worked out the background.

I had some issues with the wording – it took me forever to decide on the words and I just couldn’t make anything work.¬† I had this “Loving the Moment” stamp that I had picked up in an op-shop, and it seemed to fit the space perfectly.¬† The¬†design itself didn’t stamp out very well, due to the non-flat nature of the canvas, so I had to fill it in afterwards, but it looks ok.¬† I’m not sure exactly what “moment” she is loving (best not to ask a lady these things!) but I’m going to say it’s representational of me just enjoying some peaceful, creative crafting time, all to myself.

So, I am pleased with this one.¬† It isn’t perfect, but that’s ok.¬† I’m going to keep practicing and trying to find my own style.¬† It’s the only way to get better.¬† And, in the meantime, I am enjoying the process and the moment ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by x

IMG_1612

Advertisements
Image

How to Have a Happy Birthday

Birthdays have always been a bit tricky for me.  For a long time I believed that something bad would always happen on my special day (mostly because, for several years in a row, I had disastrous birthdays where loved ones became gravely ill, pets died, people got in car accidents and general chaos and doom reigned) and so I tended to try to just get it over and done with as quickly as possible.

As I got older and, particularly after surviving a life-threatening illness, I starting believing that having another birthday was actually pretty good.  Bad stuff could still happen, but then it could on any other day, so why worry about it?

Usually, I try and organise a dinner out, or a get-together of some description with friends or family or both. ¬†This year, I just wanted time on my own. ¬†I didn’t want to involve anyone else, which sounds really selfish and unsociable, but I just wanted to spend my day pottering about by myself, doing as I pleased and not having¬†any schedule¬†to follow. ¬†I highly recommend it ūüôā ¬†I don’t get lonely and am quite happy with my own company. ¬†I wanted a stress-free, restorative, recharging kind of day.

So, my idea of a good birthday goes something like this…..

1. Dress in a comfortable outfit, in your favourite colours.  
Makeup and hair done for no one else but yourself.

img_5222
I don’t feel blue wearing blue!

 

2. Take yourself out for a delicious, hearty breakfast…….

img_5203
Field Mushrooms on Sourdough, with Goat’s Cheese and Poached Eggs…

3…..and eat it all up. ¬†Don’t feel guilty at all.

img_5207
All gone!

4. ¬†Visit a favourite, gorgeous shop. ¬†Wander around for an hour or so and don’t buy anything. ¬†Feel good that you didn’t spend unnecessarily (even if it is because you’re a bit poor¬†right now and couldn’t afford to even if you wanted to).

img_5204
Antidote in Mount Hawthorn
img_5208
Hammered and stamped recycled spoons at Antidote – Love them!

 

5. Make yourself a birthday cake and share it with loved ones¬†at dinner time. ¬†¬†It doesn’t matter if the cake is a bit¬†homely looking. ¬†People will be polite and eat it anyway.

img_5213

6.  Drink vast quantities of tea, preferably out of pretty china so you feel like a lady.

img_5206
Tea for one!

 

7.  Go op-shopping.  Buy shoes for a ridiculously low price (in this case $4.25).

img_5219
New shoes! (well, 2nd hand new!)

 

So, for me, a perfect birthday is one in which I spend time doing things I enjoy, with no schedule or plan. ¬†I ended the day¬†with my brother and his family, which was lovely – I even had candles on my cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me. ¬†Delightful. Maybe spending a day on your own isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was exactly what I needed and I’m so glad I did it.

So how do you spend your birthday?  Do you like to ignore it, go all out and spoil yourself, or plan a quiet day of solitude and reflection?  Whatever you do, I hope you always feel loved and appreciated on your special day.

Thanks for dropping by x

Image

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 ‚ÄĒ 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

IMG_2278.JPG

Image

Quote for the Day : Peace of Man

“…Greet each man with words of love
And peace,
And a dove will be placed
On an olive tree.
Leave a man with feelings
Of betrayal
Or envy,
And a dove gets shot
Off the olive tree.
Greet each man with peace,
And leave each man with love.
Ask yourself –
One more enemy,
Or one more dove?
Always choose love.
It’s time for everybody to
Speak love.
Let’s fill the trees with doves,
And spread the leaves of love.
So,
Always add
And never subtract
Another peace of man
From the olive tree…‚ÄĚ

 

— Suzy Kassem : Peace of Man

 

IMG_1339.JPG

 

Home

Home

This weekend just gone, I was very busy with one thing or another – picking up people from the airport, babysitting and catching up with friends. ¬†I am trying to be more social and force myself to go out at least once a week. ¬†I’ve gotten in to the habit of staying home, alone, a lot. ¬†There’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but I am prone to being a hermit and I don’t want to get too comfortable staying away from people. ¬†Being WITH people is hard for me. ¬†I always feel out of place and out of touch and just plain wrong, especially in groups of people. ¬†I realise this is why I find the working week very exhausting. ¬†Being around people constantly is hard. ¬†I love my friends and I am eternally grateful that I have them in my life but I am not sociable by nature. ¬†I enjoy one-on-one situations, where talking is easy and there is no competition for attention or trying to get a word in. ¬†Mostly I just feel self-conscious in a group of people and so I am getting very good at avoiding being in those situations. ¬†But I have to try and get better at being in someone’s company, other than my own. ¬†And I don’t even like myself that much so anyone’s company should really be preferable, if I think about it sensibly. ¬†And I have wonderful friends, I really do. ¬†THE BEST. ¬†I don’t know what I did to deserve such lovely people in my life, but I will never stop being very thankful for them – each and every one. ¬†And I want them around me more than ever.

My home is very important to me, and I am trying to make it a space in which I feel happy and secure, content and relaxed. ¬†I’d like it to be a place in which I am happy to entertain, instead of being an embarrassment of mess and chaos. ¬†I like having people over to share a meal or watch a movie, or just talk and chill out. ¬†But I don’t do it as often as I should because my house-keeping skills leave a lot to be desired. ¬†My house is clean – let me just assure you of that – but it is generally in a state of disorder, created by crafting and cooking and MAKING things. ¬†Which is fine, I tell myself. ¬†I am creative, I say. ¬†I would rather be drawing than ironing. ¬†I’d rather be stitching and beading than mopping, or washing or tidying. ¬†But I suppose I should learn to find a happy medium between the two. ¬†Create a little, tidy a little. ¬†IMG_0161

This weekend I spent some time doing just that.  I finished off some jewellery for a co-worker and then did the dishes.  I potted some plants and then vacuumed.  I did two loads of laundry and some ironing before re-arranging some of my ornaments and other knick-knacks to better display my collections.  I found that if I break up the chores I have to do, rather than attempting to do EVERYTHING all at once, making myself miserable and resentful, I got more done and at the same time felt as though I had been creative too.

IMG_0158

I have tried to make little “pockets” of cohesiveness in my home. ¬†Making this corner have a theme, or¬†that¬†shelf a clear collection of things that go together, however vaguely, brings a sense of order and tidiness. Which are two words that I don’t normally associate with myself. ¬†I am not tidy nor am I orderly. ¬†But I am trying.

IMG_0157

The problem, if it¬†is a problem, is that I like lots of different things. ¬†I don’t like just one colour (though I am generally drawn to blue the most) and I don’t adhere to one kind of style. ¬†I have bright things and shabby chic things, cute things and grown-up things. ¬†I have dark things and magical things. ¬†I have vintage and new things. ¬†Nothing really goes together but the challenge is to make it all seem like it¬†does.¬†

IMG_0164

And, at the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter anyway. ¬†I want my home to be comfortable and pleasant to be in. ¬†I don’t want visitors to feel they are in a show home. ¬†My couch is meant to have feet on it and my table shouldn’t be so perfectly arranged that people feel they can’t sit at it for a chat and a casual cuppa. ¬†So I am trying to figure out what makes my home mine. ¬†What says “I live here”.

  IMG_0160

Little by little I am figuring out who I am and what my place in the world is. Starting with one corner or shelf or bookcase at a time. ¬†As long as I don’t have to dust them, I’ll be fine.

x

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‚Ķno 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.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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‚Ķ)

x