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Love and Miracles

Just a short post today… A bit of a stressful weekend just gone, with my elderly Aunt in intensive care at the hospital due to cardiac issues, my friend experiencing relationship dramas, another friend in serious ill-health in another hospital, and life just chucking stuff at everyone left, right and centre.  I just want everybody to be ok 😦

But I did fit in an hour or so of crafting.  I was determined.  Even one card is better than achieving nothing at all.  So I sat and made this one little card, which isn’t fabulous, but it is finished.  And it has a bird, which makes everything better.

I do so want to believe in love and miracles.  Especially at the moment.

x

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Something Fishy

A couple of slightly more masculine cards today (if I am allowed to use that gender-specific, un-PC term..).  I took a bit of a detour from birds and hats with these two.  I spent ages on the first card, agonising over what word or phrase should be added to finish it off, before I realised it actually was finished and didn’t need anything else.  Sometimes words get in the way anyway, right?

Hope your day is going swimmingly 🙂

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Little Maids all in a Row

Little Maids all in a Row

Finally a crafting day!  I have been hanging out to do something crafty for the last few weeks, but was trying to get my house tidy and sorted, plus I had the dreaded rent inspection, so getting all my supplies out was not conducive of that happening.

But, today I got stuck back in, albeit gently and slowly with not much achieved.  Also, annoyingly, I slept in, so I reduced my actual productive time by a few hours.  Whoopsie.  I am having issues with my sleeping patterns right now, so sleeping in is a common occurence, unfortunately.  It wastes so much time, but I just cannot get up in the mornings when I haven’t slept well.

Anyway, I managed to make three cards today (well, four actually, but the last one was rubbish so I’m not showing you, ha ha).  My inspiration was a birthday card my Mum made for me a year or so ago.  It is a simple little design but very effective and cute, plus I have been looking for a different style to try out.  These ones were a perfect detour from my usual style. This is her card here :

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So, I made a template from a scrap piece of card, traced it and cut and folded a few cards to use as bases.  Then I added different papers, ribbon, lace, buttons and embellishments, trying not to be too fussy or take too long on any one card (I’m trying, I’m trying…).  And here are the results :

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What do you think?  I was quite pleased with them, especially the last one for some reason (probably because it’s blue and has birds on it…).  It has been a stressful, worrying week and I was very happy to just switch off and be creative and not think.  Thinking is bad.  Thinking leads to more thinking which, in my case, leads to less sleeping and more bad moods and ill-health. These cards gave me a few hours of zoning out, which I desperately needed.

Hope you have had a wonderful, switched off (or on, if that is your preference!) weekend and managed to get some creativity in.

Thanks for popping by x

Crimbo Doodles!

Crimbo Doodles!

Finally, after many weeks of not doing anything crafty at all, I managed to get in a few hours of creativity this weekend.  I was determined to do SOMETHING, even if it was just planning stuff out so I would have a head-start next weekend.

I desperately need to get started on my Christmas cards for this year.  I am so behind – normally I have some done by now but I have zero. Zip. Nada.  Which is pretty bad.  Especially since it takes me FOREVER to make just one and I need about 30 at least.  I don’t like resorting to bought ones, but the last couple of years I have had to.  And it irks me.

Anyway, enough waffling.  I sat down late on Saturday night and doodled a few little designs, so that they would be dry and ready to be coloured/painted on Sunday afternoon.  (Please excuse colouration of photos – I used Instagram and forgot to take any pics on my regular camera).

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On Sunday, after attending a lecture on “Anxiety across the Lifespan” (interesting, I enjoyed the information on how the brain actually works during anxiety, and learnt about the Hand Brain Model which is useful for explaining said processes in an easy-to-visualise format) and having lunch with friends (Yum…Beetroot and Haloumi Salad at Circa), I went home and got stuck into painting my little peeps.  I did them rather brighter this time, not giving them the more pastel/watercolour look that I have done previously.

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I added some elements (skin on face and hands, hair on some of them) with a Copic marker.

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Then I got fed up altogether with using paint at all (I was having a wobbly hand day) and tried just using the Copics.  I only have a few colours and many of them are drying up (Lord knows how old they are…I have had them ages).  I didn’t have a nice bright red – just a deep burgundy colour.  But it looks ok and wasn’t too streaky, although on the larger areas, such as the body, I did feel it showed a bit too many streaks and patches.  Probably more to do with my technique than the pen itself…plus I was using watercolour paper so it probably wasn’t the best medium to use the pens on.

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Finally, as it was nearly time to stop and pack up (ha ha – I say “pack up” like I am actually going to do that, instead of just leaving out for three weeks), I had an epiphany of sorts and decided to try paper-piecing instead of painting or colouring.  The result was the little lady below.  I kinda love her.  She looks a bit Charlie and Lola-esque but that was unintentional.  I really like the effect of the patterned paper and it was so much easier and less curse-word-inducing than painting or colouring in.  I still used the markers for the smaller elements (skin, hair, pom-pom etc) but used paper for the hat and dress.  Voila!

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 I have always liked paper as a medium.  I don’t know why I didn’t just do it like this to start with.  I have a ridiculous amount of patterned paper, so I should be able to make a load of cards like these in no time.  Although, truthfully, it will still take me forever, because I am picky about coordinating colours and patterns.  But still, at least I accomplished something for the weekend!  Last night I finished off the day by sitting and doodling lots of heads and hands, hat bands and pom-poms so that I can put them together with the papers at a later stage.  Hopefully not too much later.  I don’t want to go another month without creating.  It’s too important and too much fun and makes life much more enjoyable 🙂

Hope your weekend was happy and creative and exactly how you wanted it to be x

This Week

This Week

It’s been a busy week, starting with last Friday night, when I stayed at my Aunt’s house.  My Uncle is very ill in hospital and my family and I are taking it in turns to stay with my Aunt, just so she isn’t alone at night.  She’s perfectly able to take care of herself, but she is worried and stressed and sad – much better if she has company.  It was actually really nice staying with her.  We got to chat and catch up, which is something we hardly ever get to do.  She’s awesome 🙂  As children, we always loved her because she was the one adult who would always listen to us and not think we were silly or whatever.

So I got to hang out with her and her pony (Fibber), her cat (Socks) and collie dog (Heidi).  They’re all lovely and such good companions for her and my Uncle.  Socks was a bit of a wildcat in her younger days, but has mellowed a lot in recent times.

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Heidi is a pretty, gentle girl who just wants to be with you all the time.

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On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum.  We had lunch out and bought some presents for my brother (it’s his birthday this weekend).  We also went op-shopping and I got some nice skirts and tops (which I drew into my art journal).

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On Sunday, I had a lazy day at home, pottering around, doing lots of laundry (as it was sunny and warm outside) and trying to tidy up my wreck of a house.  I finished off some jewellery a friend had ordered – mostly repairs and revamps of stuff I had already made for her (that she will insist on wearing in the ocean and swimming pools so they fall to pieces).

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I must admit I spent some time on the couch, dozing a bit, too.  Sundays were kinda meant for that, right?

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I did go for several walks this week, so at least I can feel less guilty about my exercise routine.  On Thursday, I went to my cousin’s for dinner.  She, my two nieces, and I, went for a nice evening walk and then did a 7-minute home workout (she has an app on her phone that yells at you in a drill sargeant voice).  I am so unfit, but at least I didn’t die or pass out.  My legs and arms hurt though haha.  I had a horrible migraine yesterday and I think it may have been from the tightness in my neck and shoulders (from attempting pushups).  See?  More proof that being healthy is dangerous to your health! 🙂

I got to cuddle my nieces’ guinea pigs, Charlotte and Ella.  They are adorable, and relatives of my own beloved Roderick.  They are very well behaved little piggies – quite happy to sit on a towel on the floor, munching on a food treat while the girls pat them or give them kisses.

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Yesterday, in the afternoon, I went for a walk, to try and clear my head and get rid of the migraine that was threatening to split my skull open.  My library assistant had recently discovered a path through the nearby bushland, so I decided to check it out and go for a stroll.  In hindsight, probably not the best idea, going into the bush on your own – next time I will try and go with a work-mate.  The day was beautiful – cool but sunny and bright and it was so peaceful and calm in amongst the true and other plants.  I thought I might see a snake (as we had one outside work this week) but I didn’t, just heard some rustling, which could have been anything from a lizard to a mouse.  Not a lot of wildflowers in there but a few pretty ones were spotted.  The bright colours stood out against the brown barks and dried leaves, grasses and shrubs.

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The only wildlife I saw was a cheeky Willy wagtail, bobbing about on the path in front of me.

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It was a nice way to spend half and hour.  Didn’t get rid of my headache, but still nice anyway.  The path went for miles and miles so I couldn’t explore it all, but will go back another time.

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When I got back to work, I decided to head home early (with some pushing from my assistant) as my head really was splitting and I just needed to lie down in a dark room somewhere.  As I was leaving, I saw these two pink and grey galahs in the trees outside our car park.  They let me get quite close, to take photos, before flying off into the trees further into the bush.  We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much natural bushland and to experience a few visits from native fauna.

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I went home, took my migraine pills and then slept for 18 hours.  Isn’t that terrible?  I slept and slept and didn’t wake up until mid morning.  Still a bit “foggy” in the head, but better than yesterday.  Hope it will be gone by tomorrow so I can get on with some things.  My Mum and I are staying with my Aunt again tonight and tomorrow we will visit my brother.  Then the whole weekend will be gone and it will be back to work (boo hoo).  I’m seeing a rheumatologist this week for my stupid painful finger and hand.  I hope it is nothing nasty…

Hope you’ve had a happy, healthy week 🙂

BFF Weekend

BFF Weekend

A couple of weeks ago, I treated my best friend of 34 years to a weekend away.  CG and I have been friends for so long now, we’ve really become sisters.  I think of her as family.  She’s more important to me than just about anyone.  She’s always been there for me and I can always trust her to support and believe in me.

When we were seven years old, her family built a house on my street.  Long story short, we became neighbours and best friends in a very short space of time.  We saw each other every day, went to school together (our Mums took it in turns to take us to school and pick us up), and then hung out together every afternoon.

In truth, we were, at least superficially, very different people.  I was short and awkward, clumsy and hated sport.  CG was tall and athletic, captain of the sports team, good at everything.  She was fashionable and pretty, I was dorky and a bit clueless where clothes were concerned.  But we bonded over books and toys, music and a love of tadpoling.  We shared hobbies and interests, celebrity crushes and talked about everything under the sun.

I’d never met another kid who knew how to play.  I didn’t have to explain the concept of playing “shop” or “detectives” or anything else.  She knew how to do voices for her Barbie doll and didn’t feel silly doing it.  She was happy to play with baby dolls and Star Wars figures equally.  We built cubby houses together and miniature cities for snails (not one of our best ideas, I have to admit) and dressed our dolls in clothes made from scraps of fabric or tiny sweaters knitted with fine wool on toothpicks.  I had my first proper tea party with her and countless sleepovers.  We sang and danced in my lounge-room with my brother and stayed glued to our radios at night, listening to the Top Ten countdown of chart hits.  We watched “Grease” approximately a million times.  We cried when Johnny Depp’s character was wrongly convicted and sent to jail in “21 Jump Street”.  We stuck posters on our walls and wrote in our diaries and talked about boys.

In year eight, we went to separate high schools.  I thought my world had ended.  I was lost and frightened and lonely and felt sure all my primary school friends would forget about me.  But not CG.  If anything, we were even closer and now had even more to talk about.  We still saw each other most afternoons and started the process of growing up and changing and navigating the trials of teenage-hood.  Throughout high school we remained best friends, even though we had our own separate groups of buddies in our own respective schools.  I was very lucky to have a wonderful group of friends, that I am still close to to this day.  But CG was always by best friend.

Fast forward a couple of decades and here we are – still best friends but with different lives and trials and realities.  CG got married quite young, to her high-school sweetheart (luckily, I approved of him, much to her relief) and went on to have two gorgeous kids.  I did the opposite and got married 15 years later, divorced and remained childless.  But we are still close.  I often say we have nothing in common but, truthfully, we have one major thing in common : each other.  Our core values are the same and I think our hearts beat to pretty much the same rhythm.  Our mothers have remained firm friends over the years and have moved away from each other, only to very quickly move to the same neighbourhood, just streets apart.  My Mum sees CG as another daughter, and I know CG’s Mum feels the same way about me.  We all see each other at Christmas – usually spending Christmas Eve or Christmas night together.  It’s been that way since I can remember.

So, this weekend was a celebration of that bond.  We hardly ever get to spend time together these days.  CG works extremely hard at two jobs, plus she has to coordinate the sporting and social arrangements of her children, one of whom competes at a National level in her chosen sport.  It’s not easy for us to find a window of time that can be spent together.  I wanted to spoil CG and give her a relaxing break and enjoy some time together, like the old days.  This was also a gift for her 40th birthday (which was in December) – I figured the thing she needed more than anything was a rest and some indulgence.

We stayed at the Hotel Rendezvous in Scarborough, overlooking the ocean.  The view was lovely, even if it was too cold to actually go out on the beach itself.  We watched the (crazy) surfers out there on the water and enjoyed the sunset.  We went out to dinner and ate our bodyweight in desserts.  We stayed up late talking and catching up, in our PJs of course, just like we would have done 30 years ago.  We drank tea and relaxed and bemoaned our ever-increasing age (although we think we look pretty ok for two women in their forties) and slept in.  We went to a movie and had afternoon tea (there was a lot of food involved in this weekend – can you tell?) and a delightful couple of hours in IKEA looking at all the pretty things we wanted to buy but didn’t really need.It was so nice just to hang out together with nowhere to be and no one to bother us.

I am so lucky to have had a lifelong friend and I hope we will always be close, no matter where life takes us.

To CG, I will say this : Thank you for always being my friend, through all the ups and downs, through boyfriends and heartache, from childhood to adulthood and beyond, through weight gain and weight loss, from illness to health, babies and career changes – I love you lots and wish you nothing but happiness and contentment all the days of your life.

With love xxx

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Sometimes creativity is a little bit…elusive.

Sometimes creativity is a little bit…elusive.

On the weekend I tried desperately to have one solid day of crafting when we got back from Boyanup. I have my craft stall coming up and I am nowhere near ready.  I wanted to have a decent amount of cards, as well as jewellery, but so far I am very jewellery-heavy and light on cards.  So I was determined to get some done.  But I am so SLOW when it comes to card-making.  I can’t just slap them together.  I can take hours looking for the right button or embellishment.  So I tried to get these ones done quickly and without fussing too much.  Sometimes creativity and speed do not go hand-in-hand.  Sometimes I fail in both departments.  I was reasonably satisfied with these three but they weren’t up to my usual standard (in my mind anyway).

What do you think?

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Ah, wings and eggs and crowns…I can’t stop doing these!  But I had to colour the wings myself so they would match a bit better – I am running out of butterflies in the right colours!

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…Was not happy with this one at all and kept fiddling with it.  In the end I don’t mind it so much now…it’s ok.

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This one started out promisingly but didn’t go where I wanted it to.  Still, it turned out alright I guess.
Still has wings and a hat though!

I hope creativity and happiness have filled your day today 🙂