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Quote for the Day : Sunshine & Smiles

“…What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable…”

— Joseph Addison

 

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Ellis Brook Reserve

I am unfit.  There is no denying this when you are struggling to ascend a set of roughly-constructed bush stairs and you’re wheezing so loudly you’re scaring the local wildlife.  Yes.  That is me.  Two sets of stairs in on a recent hike through Ellis Brook Reserve and I am starting to see stars and pass out.  But, to be fair, I am a little bit anaemic at the moment and I was trying to keep up with girls half my age as they whizzed up the hill on their skinny little legs.  I also did not warm up properly, nor was I actually expecting such a rough and steep climb.  Preparation – apparently not my thing.

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However, wheezing and near-death experiences aside, Ellis Brook Reserve is a very picturesque place to hike.  The terrain is a little rough and not really suitable for a gentle Sunday stroll.  My friend and I went with a new group and none of us had ever been before, so no one knew what to expect (you can read travel guides but unless you’re actually doing the walk yourself, it can be tricky to gauge how difficult it will be) but we all went at our own pace and everyone was very patient and considerate of the slower-climbing members (ie me – Miss Fat’n’Fainty).

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The scenery was beautiful, with amazing views down through the valley.  We snuck into the quarry, which is actually fenced off but some lovely soul had cut a hole in the wire so you could squeeze through.  Ah, vandalism, sometimes you can be helpful!  The colours in the rock and surrounding landscape were stunning, as were the bright blue flashes of the little native Splended Fairy Wren (wish I had been fast enough to get a photo – they are just gorgeous).

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Unfortunately, having to watch where we were treading/climbing, for fear of tripping or breaking an ankle, meant we weren’t able to stop and take in the sights as much as I would have liked.  But it was still lovely and made me feel good to be out in the fresh air and not being a slacker (ie staying home, rugged up in bed, on this cold and chilly morning).  The group we hiked with were really friendly and chatty, and made the morning very pleasant indeed.  Apparently, there are a number of trails you can follow and so maybe, next time, we will go on one of the longer ones, which may be less steep and treacherous.  I am very clumsy and have terrible balance, so someone else may find it very easy to hike this particular trail and wonder what the heck I am talking about.  I personally wouldn’t take dogs or kids on the trail we walked, but I did see some people bringing their pooches along with them.

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All in all, a beautiful spot to get some exercise and take in the natural beauty of our gorgeous state, without having to drive a million miles from suburbia.  Worth a look 🙂

Thank you for stopping by.  And a big thank you to all my new followers – your support is very much appreciated! x

Kings Park 2

Kings Park 2

More pics from our visit to Kings Park.  All the yellows and golds  this time.

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I think this is a Vertichordia.  But don’t quote me on that. 

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Banksia.  Fairly sure it is an Ashby’s Banksia…

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A Eucalypt.  Of some kind.  I don’t know *looks sheepish*

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A Yellow Powder Puff Plant.  Ok, I am making that up. 

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Hoorah!  A Wattle.  I know this one *pats herself on the back*  I believe it is a Hedge Wattle. 

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Another Banskia.  A prostrate form.  Not “prostate” like my Mum would say.  It doesn’t have to have uncomfortable proctological examinations at the doctor.

So, there you are.  Just a few of the lovely native plants on display at Kings Park Botanic Gardens.  Beautiful at any time of year but even more stunning in Spring.  Nature is a clever clogs 🙂

Butterfly (It’s like love, apparently)

Butterfly (It’s like love, apparently)

Happy Monday everyone!  I wouldn’t often say those words because, ugh, Mondays!  Normally a pretty rotten day and not exactly joy-filled.  But today is a public holiday so I’m not at work.  Instead, I am procrastinating and getting nothing done in the house.  Nothing new there, right?  I have yet another rent inspection this week so I am supposed to be sorting stuff out and getting thing tidy, but I’m not.  So far today I have done one load of laundry, put away two items of clothing and watered my plants.  That’s pretty much it.  Sigh.  I have chronic slacker’s syndrome today.

I am also very much behind with regards to posting any blog stuff.  Sorry about that.  No excuses – just been busy and also a bit down in the dumps.  I try not to post when I am crabby or sad or mopey.  It doesn’t make for good writing.  I have also been away for the last few days (more on that later).  But, really, no valid excuses.

I was going to write a post about my weekend trip away but then I got distracted (as is my wont) and took some photos of a lovely little butterfly in my garden.  I’m sure he is some sort of succulent-ravaging beastie, but I think he is cute.  Look at those eyes!  And the jaunty way he holds himself!  I don’t know what kind of butterfly he is – lepidoptery isn’t exactly my forte.  But he is cute and made me smile, so that will have to do.

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I’ve had the song “Love is like a Butterfly”  in my head for the past couple of hours now.  If you don’t know the song (because you’re not old like me), here’s a couple of links to people singing it :

Dolly Parton Check out the outfit! 🙂

Clare Torry Theme song version from the show “Butterflies”

And the lyrics if you’re so inclined to sing along ;

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicoloured moods of love are like it’s satin wings

Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing
I feel it when you’re with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicoloured moods of love are like it’s satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Everyday is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share
How very precious, sweet and rare
Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like it’s satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

So that’s my silly post for today.  I will try and do better next time, I promise 🙂

Have a great week x

All Things Vintage Car Boot Sale

All Things Vintage Car Boot Sale

A couple of weekends ago, Mum and I attended a vintage market in the hills.   So many treasures and things to look at!  It was very windy and many stalls were in danger of being blown away (literally – it nearly happened a couple of times) which was a bit worrying with all the breakables and china.  A few vintage dresses went flying across the oval, their frantic sellers chasing after them.  Anyway, here are a few pics from the day:

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Loved this hot air balloon.  Wish I had bought it… I have no idea what it was for – it opened up to reveal a section inside which appeared to be for holding eggs!  Not sure about that though…

  IMG_8274Lots of lovely blue and white china…

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Trillions of trios!

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My Mum was eyeing off these old posts.  They were gorgeous but very pricey, so we had to leave them and walk away (sadly, and with a wistful look on our faces)…

 

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All kinds of treasures!

 

My find for the day came early on and I was so thrilled to get it : this gorgeous old doll house (looks Georgian in architectural design but is not actually that old), unfinished and in need of some TLC.  A lick of paint and some gentle distressing and I think this little beauty will be a welcome addition to my home.  I’m going to use it either as storage in my craft room, or as a spice/tea cabinet in the kitchen.  It’s quite large but sits happily on my bench and will save space because of all the things I can fit inside it.  I think I will “wallpaper” the inside “walls” as well to add a bit of colour and interest.  Love it!  It was only $20 – I didn’t even bother haggling!  It’s very well made and has lots of fine detail, with spaces inside for what would have been staircases (the gentleman who was constructing it didn’t finish unfortunately) and the front opens up like a door, giving you access to the “rooms” inside.  I was very happy with my purchase 🙂

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My Georgian Mansion!

I love a good market, car boot sale or swap meet.  So much fun!  And you can pick up such great bargains.

Can’t wait for the next one! 🙂

 

Small Accomplishments (Hey, I’ll take what I can get!)

Small Accomplishments (Hey, I’ll take what I can get!)

Howdy folks!  It’s the start of another week and the year is just flying by.  It seems that each week gets shorter and shorter and in no time at all it will be Christmas again.  I had wanted to achieve so much by the middle of the year, but it is already past that and I am no closer to my goals.  But, with four months until the end of the year, maybe I still have time to accomplish some things.

This weekend just gone I managed to complete one thing that had been on my to-do list since, ahem, February: I got my hair cut.  I am terrible at getting regular trims – I just don’t do it.  I don’t even think about it and when I do, it always seems like there is something better to spend my money on (always the cheapskate).  However, this time, the slowly-spreading tide of grey in my hair made it impossible for me to ignore the chop any longer.  I wanted it to be a bit shorter so it would be easier to dye (and also cheaper – God, I really AM a cheapskate!) and I had liked it last time I got it cut so I made the appointment and made the commitment to go.  I coloured it as soon as I got home – the grey had to go!  What do you think?

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The weather has been lovely over the last few days – still cold inside but beautiful sunny weather outside.  Perfect for getting the dreaded washing done (another tick on my list – there is only so much you can hang on an airer in your lounge room…sheets and towels really need a good sunny day to get dry) and for soaking up some Vitamin D.  I had a delicious lunch out with my best friend and we had a nice catch-up over a cup of tea at my house.  We don’t get to see each other much due to family and work commitments, so it was great to spend some time together.

I managed to get a little bit of crafting done.  I have some orders to get done for my lovely friend K who has always been my biggest supporter, in terms of my jewellery work.  She left a bag of beads at my door a couple of weeks ago, with a list of what she wanted me to make from it, plus some instruction for fixing a couple of things for her that had broken (she will insist on wearing everything in the swimming pool or in the ocean and they don’t hold up well to that sort of activity).  She’s probably reading this right now – hello K! *waves*  She had bought a large turquoise bead to make a necklace for her friend with.  I made this one in a similar style to one I had made for K earlier:

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Next up was an “ethnic”-inspired necklace using a large, yellow Nepalese bead she had bought ages ago.  I paired it with some similar amber beads and a couple of turquoise ones I bought a while back.  Hope she likes it:

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K had also left me some lovely red coral beads, which she wanted made into a bracelet.  That was easy enough (and there’s plenty left over so I will make something else for her too…):

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I did try and make some cards much I am still struggling with that for some reason.  I just can’t get my groove back, with regards to cards.  I’m hoping it’s just the cold weather (I blame everything on that…) and that when Spring comes I will be inspired and able to make some nice cards.  I did complete one, but I don’t like it at all so I’m not going to show you!

Today was a work day so no crafting for me.  We had a fire drill in the afternoon which was actually pretty organised and we all got a pat on the back for doing what we were supposed to do in an emergency.  I am a deputy fire warden – I am not good at being forceful with people but everyone got out when I told them to and no one got cranky at me for sounding the air horn (bloody awful things they are!).  Other than that, an uneventful day (the kind I like!).

I did take time out to go for a walk around town in my lunch break and I just happened to find myself in an op-shop, looking for beads (like I need any more!).  
I couldn’t resist these beautiful acid-green ones:

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…or these pretty little glass ones that look like ice chips :

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…there was also a couple of bracelets for 50c that had some interesting beads on them:

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My main reason for going out was to get up off my butt and get away from my desk.  I am bad at taking breaks – sometimes I just eat lunch at my desk, sometimes I forget lunch altogether or have it at some ridiculous time.  I am trying desperately to lose some weight and I have not been exercising at all lately.  I blame it (again) on the cold weather but really I am just lazy and a bit of a hermit.  I have now filled my fridge and freezer with healthy foods, lots of fruit and veggies so I have no excuse for being a heifer and snacking on “bad” things.  I need to say “no thank you” to the food that is constantly being offered at work.  No to the Monday chai latte from the coffee van.  No to the afternoon cookie break.  No to the sweets and in-between-meals snacking.  Boy, that is a lot of “No’s”!  I used to be a lot bigger than I am now (like, A LOT bigger) and I do not want to go down that path again.  It’s so hard though and I am an emotional eater so food is a bit of a friend / enemy for me.  Anyway, I am going to try hard to be good 90% of the time, with a few treats here and there, and try and walk every day.  This is the plan.  I have no excuse and I have given myself until the end of the year to lose 3-5kg.  You are my witnesses!  Be kind if I fail 🙂

Hope you accomplished lots of what you wanted to get done today.  If not, there’s always tomorrow – that “to-do” list will still be there! 

x

Workin’ up (beads) of sweat…

Workin’ up (beads) of sweat…

It was a lovely sunny day in Perth today – nice and breezy but still hot out in the sun.  I went for an early morning walk with my pal A.M. and got some exercise in (I went out to dinner last night – seriously needed to walk THAT off!).  We had a good catch up and gossip and did a fair bit of walking, working up a sweat (which is gross, let’s face it, but supposedly good).  A.M. is currently house-sharing with my soon-to-be-ex-hubby and it was good to get someone else’s perspective on living with him!  She’s in a new relationship herself and it was so nice to hear that she’s happy and doing well, being supported emotionally and looked after as she should be.  I try not to be jealous of that – mostly I am just happy she’s happy ’cause she is pretty awesome 🙂

The rest of the day was spent crafting up a storm.  I sometimes feel like my home is a sweatshop…a happy little sweatshop though!  I have lots and lots of jewellery orders to get done and I am a bit behind on them, so wanted to get lots done today to reduce my backlog a little bit.  My friend K has pages and pages of stuff ordered so I tried to knock a few of her requests off the list so she won’t be waiting too long for it all.  I feel rested and revived after a day of crafting, whether it be card-making or jewellery or anything else creative.  Just hanging out at home on my own with the stereo on, or some daggy dvds that I’ve watched a million times (it was “Cry Baby” today – love it, can’t stop humming the tunes now), restores my spirit and revitalises me, ready for the week ahead.

So…here’s what I made for K today.  She had bought a few different beads she wanted me to use so I had to incorporate them where I could.  I hope she likes what I’ve done.  Some of them were a little bit tricky as they were beads that would normally be strung rather than have a headpin through them.
For instance, these turquoise “spikes”…

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…I had to create a fiddly figure-of-eight attachment for them, which had me cursing a little bit but worked in the end.  I looped the tiger tail wire through the crimping beads and clamped them in nice and tightly, snipping the rough ends off.  I then made them into earrings with some wooden beads.  I think they look ok!

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Next up, I made a necklace and earring set using the beads I bought a couple of weeks ago. K had wanted some yellow beaded items to go with a bright yellow dress she has.  Hopefully she likes the yellow and orange combo!

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Next on the agenda, K had given me some tiger-eye beads to use in necklaces and earrings.
I thought they would look good with wooden beads and I happened to have a couple of tiger eye beads of my own as well to help the design along…I’m pleased with the result and think it looks ok (hope K thinks the same!)

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I had made a bracelet featuring black and pearl beads for K before – now she wanted a matching set of earrings and a necklace (as you do!).  So I whipped them up as quickly as possible so I could move on to the next thing.

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I made a purple and black onyx pair of earrings…

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…a red coral pair…

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…and onyx, glass, wood and coral necklace…

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…this simple pair using some multicoloured beads K provided…

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…a black, shell and quartz (? I’m guessing here – K provided these hard-to-use chips…I think they’re quartz but I’m no geologist!)…

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…a pair of pretty earrings using these beads K gave me.  They remind me of eyeballs or frog spawn!

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…similar beads, different look with ceramic leaves added…

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…and last, but not least – black, wooden and coral beaded earrings…

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So I was a busy little bee today.  Feeling accomplished and satisfied that I got a lot done.  I even did my washing, walked down to buy groceries (twice – I forgot to take my purse the first time – duh!) and made dinner.  I did, however, forget that I was supposed to be working on a report for tomorrow at work – whoops!  Better get on to that now…or make a cup of tea…or another pair of earrings? 🙂

Hope you’ve had a great weekend x