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.

IMG_0974

I managed to get one card finished, with this little lady in blue :

IMG_0976

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!

IMG_1069

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

Advertisements
Planet Earth is Blue and There’s Nothing I Can Do…

Planet Earth is Blue and There’s Nothing I Can Do…

The world is a scary and uncertain place right now.  I suppose, in a lot of ways, it always has been, but I feel it now, more than ever.  Wars going on everywhere, it seems, and political unrest is the everyday norm. Children dying, people losing their homes and livelihoods, unspeakable acts of violence and cruelty – you can’t watch the news without feeling hopeless and helpless, angry and sad all at the same time.  I admit I have been switching off – not just the television, but my own mind and heart.  I cannot bear to see another story about man’s inhumanity to man.  Even on the home front – my workplace and family life seems fraught with danger and worry and at the end of the day I am just coming home, locking the front door and not wanting to let the world in (not an unusual occurrence for me in general, but, just lately, it seems almost imperative to my mental well-being and physical strength). I can barely look at Facebook – the posts about Gaza and child abuse, murders and cruelty to animals breaks my heart and makes me so sad.

This weekend I have babysat my gorgeous nieces – hardly babies at the ages of 9 and 11 but “babies” nevertheless in my mind and heart.  I want to wrap them up in cotton wool and protect them from the world.  I don’t want them to ever have to worry about foreign invasion or the atrocities of war.  I don’t even want them to stub a toe – how can I ever be ready to let them go into the big bad world which gets more uncertain by the day?  It is probably a good thing it is not up to me to “let them go”, because I don’t think I could.  I want to lock them up in a tower, Rapunzel-style, and keep them away from the world and all that could harm them.

But, of course, in doing that, I would be denying them the chance to change the world and make it better.  In order to fight injustice and cruelty, you have to first see it and want to make a difference.  I still believe there are good people, I still believe in love and harmony and tolerance.  I want to believe all those things are achievable and something to strive for.
But it is hard right now.  I haven’t been wanting to post on my blog because everything I write seems inane or ridiculously unimportant in comparison to what is going on all around the world.  I don’t know if things actually ARE worse right now or if I am just feeling it more than usual.

Does everyone else feels this way, or  is it just me?

I hope, in your little corner of the world, that things are calm and peaceful.  I hope your children are safe, your animals well-cared for and your homes protected and secure.
I hope you have food on the table and laughter and love as your companions, instead of fear and insecurity, violence and intolerance.

May you wake up in the morning knowing you and your family are free to live as you choose, regardless of your religious background, sexual orientation, skin colour or country of birth.
I don’t think that is too much to ask but, just now, it seems impossible for so many people.  And that just makes me so very sad.

ANZAC DAY – Remembering and Craftin’

ANZAC DAY – Remembering and Craftin’

Happy ANZAC Day to all my Aussie and Kiwi friends.  ANZAC Day is a time to remember those “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served” (thanks Wikipedia!) and to be thankful for a country that resides in peace , free from tyranny etc etc.  I always think of my Grandfather (“Danna”) – he fought in WWII and was very much loved by us all.  I can get quite weepy thinking abut him.  I miss him – he taught us the importance of tolerance and family (two things that sometimes don’t go together!), love, kindness and respect, believing in yourself and not giving up.  We were lucky enough to have our grandparents right up until we were adults and we have lots of lovely memories of them.  Anyway, here’s to you Danna and to all the other Granpas, Grandmas, Nannas and Grans – whether you fought in a war or just looked after the home font in times of trouble, we love you and wish you were here with us.

528608_4650938630576_1586711218_n

As ANZAC Day is a public holiday, I got to do some crafting and chill out.  My new job is going ok – still very frustrating with regards to procedure and practice (I’m still guessing as to what they actually are at this point) but not horrible or too stressful.  I am enjoying being responsible for something again and having lots to do.  The day goes so much faster when you’re busy.  I haven’t been as tired as I thought I would be, although I am still getting used to the early morning starts.  I miss having the three days off a week – have to grab a spare moment here and there to craft or do something creative but it’s all good.  I’m employed – that’s more than some people get.

So, with a few hours free today I got down to some card-making.  It didn’t get off to a great start – nothing was working and none of the new papers I had bought were doing anything for me.  So I went back to some old favourites, using my favourite colour scheme (blue and brown) and managed to make a handful of cards that I quite like.  First off, I had to make an Engagement card for my brother-in-law and his lovely lady.

IMG_7917

IMG_7916

IMG_7915

Engaged! (I went for a fairly “arty” almost-indutrial look for this one)

Then I began putting together a bunch of cards that would be suitable for birthdays or “just because” days, weddings, engagements, goodbyes & anything else!  Lots of birds…(as per usual – I think I have some sort of addiction).

IMG_7928

IMG_7924

These little bluebirds came from paper-tole leftovers (thanks Mum!)

IMG_7926

IMG_7927

Love butterflies almost as much as birds!

IMG_7930

IMG_7932

IMG_7933

IMG_7936

So, a good day, all in all.  Made stuff, relaxed and slept in – can’t complain about that.  Hope you all had a good day too.  🙂