Thursday, 7 January 2016

I am looking through my photos on my phone and these are a couple that jumped out at me. I so want to get back to doing my cards but somehow I just can't seem to find my mojo. It makes me sad because I got so much pleasure from creating and I miss it so much. My craft room got disrupted when organising Christmas and I wonder if getting that set up again might help, but I soooo miss my mojo. Hope I find it soon.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

And Before I go.....

How about a few pics of the gorgeous Molly, she makes me smile every day and I hope she can do the same for you.

The Last Day of 2015.....

And I'm finding it hard to believe that another year has past. It seems to have flown by but then so much has happened. If anyone had told me this time last year that by New Year's Eve 2015 I would no longer be working, and worse my best and oldest friend would be so ill, I would not have believed them. But if there is one thing I have learned this year is that even when the most scary things happen, we are stronger than we think, we have more support than we realise and we can achieve things we never thought possible.
This time last year I was recovering from a quadruple bypass, and I thought that was the scariest thing, but I've decided that was nothing compared to coping with someone you have been best friends with for nearly 49 years, being diagnosed with cancer. Not only being diagnosed, but being told it's one that has no cure and had it been caught earlier it may have had a better outcome. However the original shock has past and life has taken on a new normal and there are times when we even manage to go and do things like normal and for a while forget about the horrible monster hiding in the wings. 
I have learnt that it's actually good not to have to stick to a routine, to sit down and do something crafty in the middle of the day instead of racing around getting ready to go to work, I've learnt it's ok to get up in the middle of the night and have a cuppa and watch rubbish TV, and oh yes it's ok to be addicted to the American show "Say Yes to The Dress" lol!
In other words I've learnt that you can get used to the "new normal", that it's important to enjoy the moment, to laugh at the crazy things that once would have frustrated the hell out of you, and most of all to appreciate the people in your life, to go the extra mile without complaint and be grateful for every day you can enjoy their company.
So as we enter a new year, lets look around at what we have and resolve that in 2016 we will enjoy the littlest things that make us happy, we will make the most of time with family and friends, we will be more tolerant of strangers because you have no idea what they may have going on in their lives and most of all we will look after each other, because we get one chance to make a difference.
Happy New year and to those friends who have endured bad times and sadness over the past year I'm sending hugs and hope you know you are thought of and are welcome to talk any time. Take care.

Friday, 11 December 2015

So Life is What it Is.......

and I don't think anyone should judge from the outside how someone appears to live their life.

This thought has been in my head since the other day when a neighbor collared me as I got out of my car the other morning and started a normal neighborly conversation about the weather, being nearly Christmas etc etc, which was fine until it turned into her telling me how the front of our house hasn't  been painted since we moved in, how the garden needed some attention and a few other things. I smiled and joked about time not being my friend and money not being available in abundance, but all the while I was biting my tongue. All the while I wanted to scream at her...."Get off my back back you have no idea what we have gone through/ are going through.
During our time in our house we have dealt with redundancy, life threatening illnesses, the costs related to family funerals, and I think that's about the serious stuff. Then there's been the necessity of replacing and the running cost of a car and the upkeep and repairs to the inside of the house.
Yes it would be lovely to have the house looking amazing on the outside I quite agree, but on two female wages it's not that easy when life gets in the way.
Believe me I'm not complaining about my lot, I feel I am incredibly blessed. I have wonderful friends, I am lucky enough to have had my bestie since  my first day of my first job back in 1968, we have been through all the ups and down of life together and she has supported me through Leukemia and latterly a Heart Bypass operation, and now I'm helping her through a very serious illness which I pray every day we can beat, we have helped each other through the loss of parents and family moving overseas. I could go on but my point is one should not judge from the outside, we do not know how someone's life really is unless we know them really well.
So the outside of our house may not win a House and Garden show, my car really could do with being updated but I'm just grateful for the fact that the car still runs fine, the house is warm and cosy on the inside, we have some lovely furniture some new and some precious pieces from our families, but most of all the knowledge that I have the company and support of a wonderful friend and that means more to me than a house and garden from a picture in a magazine.
So dear blog thank you for letting me vent I feel much better now, so I will get on with my very busy day.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

I can't believe it's November,

So much has happened over the past few months, and I feel like my head is still spinning. What with my job ending with the closure of the hotel I worked in, and then being offered another job in another hotel and then after about 6 weeks, quitting that job to stay home and take care of my best friend it's no wonder some days I don't know if I'm Arthur or Martha. But in actual fact I don't regret any of it it's just hard getting my head around a new way of life. The hardest part of course is dealing with the fact that my best friend whom I have been friends with for around 47 yrs has cancer and there is no magic cure, nothing they can do to stop the pain, not with this version of this dreadful disease.
I have tried to throw myself into my crafts but even that I find difficult to focus on, I keep thinking if I could just lose myself in chaos of paper, stamps, photos and flowers I'd feel rejuvenated and ready to be strong again, which I really want to be for her but some times it's just so hard! Ok! enough self pity, thank you for letting me whinge and now I can get on with this post. 
So who has started their Christmas cards? I have been resisting the temptation because I have been trying to finish the album that I started, (what seems like months ago). It's just gorgeous, it's one of the versions on the internet by Kathy Orta. I am doing mine without too much embellishment because I want to focus on the photos. But it has lots of flips, envelopes and secret compartments, in which to tuck heaps of photos. I put it away because I was feeling guilty about the mess on the dining room table when we have been having so many visitors, I don't want Faye's bosses and work mates going away thinking she shares a house with a very messy crazy lady. :) 
One of the saving graces over the past few weeks has been being able to get up through the night and watch the All Blacks playing in and WINNING the Rugby world cup, that has been a great distraction.
The other positive has been  that Molly has had 24/7 company, no more being left here in the house for around 8hrs. a day on her own. She's loving the fact that the house is open on a warm day she can go and play on the deck, she has cuddles available 24/7 and of course she never has to worry about an empty food dish. Anyway thank you for letting me ramble out there in blog-land, I'm going to leave you with a few photos and go and try and finish this album.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Nothing like a miserable wet and foggy Sunday.....

to make you feel a bit blah but today this one's done the opposite for me, I've got stuck into the housework, lit the fire and got some washing on, I know it doesn't sound exciting but it's kept me going, stopped me sitting in a chair feeling sorry for myself so I'll take the win.

Speaking of wins, what a fabulous game of rugby last night between the All Blacks and the Australians, it was so exciting to watch and of course getting a win was the icing on the cake, here's hoping the Silver Ferns do as well this afternoon against Australia. What is it between our two countries that we can't stand to see them win? I have no idea but that rivalry is certainly strong.
It's hard to believe we are half way through August and nearly into spring, can't wait it's going to be exciting to not have to worry about ice at 6am when I go to work. I'm amazed at how I've adapted from working afternoon/night to starting at the crack of dawn! I actually enjoy being home afternoon and evenings, I love that I can go to bed once I'm tired and not have to fight through till 11pm, when I'd go home and suddenly be wide awake until around 2am, this definitely seems more natural.
When I decided to create this post I definitely had something on my mind to say but now that I've waited for the laptop to start up, chased Molly off the keyboard and gotten organised, the thought has gone. I hate this short term memory thingy that's going on at the moment it's horrible. I've been told it's a side effect of the Leukemia meds, it could also be side effects of the Heart Bypass, but whatever it is it's messing with my head. Starting a new job has been hard enough but adding this problem to the mix has been stressful to say the least. I've always considered myself to be a very organised "ahead of the game" kind of person, but lately I spend a lot of time second guessing myself, feeling embarrassed because I've forgotten something I've been told/shown etc or just not feeling my usual organised self, I really hope it's going to pass.
Anyway enough self pity, must go and organise the last load of washing.
Ltrs :)

Sunday, 9 August 2015

A Snowy Sunday....

.........and it's freezing. I'm glad I've got the weekend off and don't need to drive anywhere. I was going to go buy some black card to start a very special album for a special person in my life but I don't fancy driving. Plus my best friend is having a bad day and really needs taking care of. It makes me realise how precious life is and how we should not waste any opportunity to appreciate our family and friends because life can be turned upside down in a flash.
So the snow that started falling last night, is still falling although now it's mixed with rain but it still looks treacherous out there.....ah forget that the rain has stopped and now it's big flakes of snow and it's settling. So pleased I'm not starting work at 6am in the morning it could be nasty.
On the subject of work I'm loving my new job and I'm enjoying the fact that it's part-time. Okay I've had to reasses my lifestyle but not being so tired and feeling like work was my only thing has been good.

On the cute front, I sat down in my chair and picked up my laptop and my darling Molly climbed up onto the chair beside me and went to sleep. Cats really do give you so much love and company and this one makes a career of it.
So I think this afternoon is going to spent finishing the little baby jacket I started last night, this pile of baby knitting is getting bigger and that's awesome.
Oh and of course I'll have to watch the netball, go New Zealand.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The things you see....

that inspire the hell out of you! This morning I was coming away from a friends place when I spied this amazing lady out walking. It's been cold here this morning and the wind is biting, but there she was, at a guess I'd say definitely in her 70's, very frail  and tiny and looking like she just stepped out of Vogue magazine. Had I not been driving I would have whipped out my cell phone and begged her for a photo that I could look at on the days when I need inspiration to get myself out of bed and pulled together. She was dressed in a long, black coat, cinched at the waist with a wide belt, her grey hair pulled elegantly into a bun with a gorgeous little black hat perched on her head. She walked with a stick and was clearly having trouble fighting the wind, but there she was totally beautiful and out braving the cold enjoying her walk!
A message to us all : Use it or lose it!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Week Three....

of being unemployed! But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy, right now I don't know how I fitted work in. Of course a lot of the time has been filled with going to doctors appointments etc with my best friend who has just been diagnosed with  cancer. Yes it's been a biggy, and although I don't go to church every week I do believe in God and I think he decided I needed to be unemployed so that I could be her support, go to her appointments, treatments etc with her.  It's ironic but when I was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2002 she was working part-time so she could take care of me so I think there's a  bit of "higher planning @ going on here. And as of next week I will be working part-time so hopefully that will all work out fine.
   It's been incredibly cold here the last few days so I say it's been "knitting weather", I have accumulated quite a pile of baby clothes which I'm going to drop of at the maternity ward at the hospital one day this week. I love knitting little clothes and I enjoy the thought that in some way I'm giving back for the help and care I've had at the hospital, both with the Leukemia and last year having the Heart Bypass. Once again I urge anyone who loves to knit little things to do this because sadly there are a lot of people in our country who through no fault of their own are struggling to make ends meet and a little help along the way never hurt anyone.
Miss Molly is loving the fact that she has all this company at home at the moment, hot and cold running cuddles, food and attention are her idea of a good life lol! She is such a gorgeous wee girl but man is she stroppy if she doesn't get her own way!

There hasn't been much paper crafting going on, the tables all set ready to go but for the last few weeks my mojo's been on holiday sadly and I just can't seem to get my groove on in that department at all, hopefully Scrap Sunday at the end of the week will get me inspired.
But right now I must go and get this house tidied, being here every day has made me very fussy!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

It's been a very pretty but cold Sunday.....

here today. The whole city seems to be in party mode after the Highlanders rugby team won the game last night making them the champions for the season. It was very weird being at ho,e watching it when normally I would have been at work, the hotel would have been packed to the gunnels, the restaurant would have been crazy before the game and I would have been freaking about how many we would get back to the bar afterwards. Not so last night, I sat here and watched the game, partly excited cos I could watch it and also sad that that episode of my life is now over.
I have no idea what I'm going to do next, after 30yrs in the hospo industry I'm not really up to speed with anything else, Also with all the uncertainty in my life at the moment it's very hard to commit to anything.  I want to be available to take care of my bestest friend but at the same time I need to earn a wage.
I've always thought that if my job disappeared I'd do something creative, use my talents with my crafts but that seems to be a hard road at the moment and the openings just aren't there.
However I'm not going to let it stop me doing my crafts, at least they give me something to focus on which I really need at the moment.
Also I've been knitting baby clothes for the local maternity hospital so at least I feel I'm doing something positive.

So that's about it for a cold grey Sunday arvo, tomorrow is a new day of a new week so onwards and upwards.
Have a great week!

PS. Miss Molly certainly has a very spoilt life, this is a shot of her apartment complex, right beside the fire.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

A Gloomy day in winter...

and I'm sitting here knowing I should be getting ready for work but really have no desire to do so. So much is happening at the moment that to be able to sit quiet for awhile is so precious.
My best friend of 47 yrs has just been diagnosed with cancer, now I'm not new to this having been diagnosed with Leukemia in 2001 and I have managed to beat it, but somehow watching someone you care about more than life itself is so hard. All you can do is be support and comfort but somehow it doesn't seem enough.
On top of that my job is going in a week and a half, the hotel I work in has been sold and the entire staff of 45 are out on the the street. Not great when it's winter and this city quietens down considerably in the tourist and traveller industry during this time. So there are very few employment opportunities around at the moment. But apart from this it means losing the workmates who have become friends to far and wide. So yeah I probably have reason to want to hunker down by the heater with Miss Molly and lose myself to Blogland.
Apart from all this heavy stuff, I have been enjoying knitting again, knitting baby clothes for the maternity ward at our local hospital. There is a huge need for little knitted items for the the new born babies, sadly so many Mums are not prepared when baby arrives for many reasons, and the hospital are very grateful to have a stash of warm little goodies. So if you are a knitter who loves to knit little quick things I urge you to consider this as a pastime.

So on the crafty front, I have been making a little book with inspiring sayings for when my friend goes into hospital. I'm really thrilled with it and must just do the cover. I got sidetracked because I ordered some of the mini Magnolia stamps and I have been experimenting with them. It takes a bit of getting used to the dimensions, but you have more landscape on your card to decorate so they are very cool.
The other delight of my life Miss Molly is growing so fast and has become a real "force to be reckoned with" lol! No, really she's a gorgeous little cat with bags of attitude, just love her to bits. She loves nothing more than to cuddle up with you and she's great company.
I also think the need to return to my blog stems from having a beautiful new laptop, it's gorgeous and the keyboard is just wonderful to use. I don't know, can one keyboard be better than another? Anyway the urge to write(or type) is definitely there.
So that's pretty much where life's at for me right now, so I'm going to now sign off and sneak in some browsing time looking at all the gorgeous cards on Pinterest. Oh and just a couple of pics of my latest cards and of course one of the Divine Miss M!
Ciao for now!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Still in Love.....

It must be at least two years since I have used my Magnolia stamps, but lately the urge to create cards with them has been strong. I love the cards the Europeans make with these beautiful stamps. They use such beautiful dies, lace, beads and flowers and I can spend hours drooling over them on-line. So I have decided I have to get back to trying to make those sort of cards again. I have been lucky enough to collect some of the dies and so my latest adventure has begun....not sure how long it will last but right now I'm really keen. My fascination with these cards is all the layers, the lace, the flowers and of course the dies. My problem at the moment is that I spend more time looking on-line than I do making and then I get frustrated, cos I'm not getting anywhere. However I have discovered it's good for me to have a focus, my concentration gets a bit scrambled since my operation and I get a bit over anxious about getting everything perfect, so if my gorgeous Magnolia stamps can help this then it will be fun therapy.
This is of course not a Magnolia stamp but I had fun with this one, the wee stamp came with a magazine, I think she's super-cute.
My best friend and I have decided we are going to do a craft show at the end of the year so I want to start building my stock, and see where this journey takes me.
It's so good to have a fun focus this space!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Handmade Box for your Prima Doll Tags

Handmade Box for your Prima Doll Tags

This is an awesome tutorial, this box is perfect.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

So Two days from Christmas.....

I find this so hard to believe, that in fact we are two days out from Christmas. So much has happened these last few months that I find it hard to believe that I'm sitting here in the sun, getting ready for Christmas, Well ok, I'm on a coffee break, but I'm trying to be productive!
So three months have passed since I had a Quadruple bypass, and life is just about back to normal. I've started the journey of getting back to work, one shift last week and this week, then three next week and then we'll reassess. It's been a slow but steady journey, a few dramas, a few backward steps but on the whole it's been always heading in the right direction.
I will be eternally grateful to the Surgeons, the doctors and all the nurses who took such good care of me on this journey and I have determined I won't waste their efforts, from now on my life is going to be about enjoying the moment, taking those risks and most of all appreciating all the good people and experiences in my life.
I am going to fill my time with what I enjoy not just work, that's a means to an end, but I have so many things I love to do, that give me huge pleasure and nurture my soul, these are the things that are going to be prioritized.
So here's to a very Happy Christmas and an exciting and adventurous 2015!.
Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

So this afternoon I've been working on my album of my journey I've been traveling since August.
One of my lovely friends brought me this gorgeous set of Prima papers when I was first in the hospital and I knew straight away I would use it to do an album of my health journey.
I don't usually scrap much about myself but when this suggestion was made that it might be a good way for me to come to terms with what's happened I decided to be brave and give it a go.
It has proven to be really cool to do and actually easier than I thought it might be. Faye had been taking many candid shots while I was in hospital so my journey had been well documented, some of them are pretty raw so I wasn't sure how they'd go but actually I've been pretty happy with the pages I've done so far.
Despite the fact that I never like photos of me, I've found it really easy to scrap these pictures, I even get excited when I look at them, they tell a story and it's great to be able to look at them and know that things are better than when some of them were taken.
I think it's going to be great to have it to look back on and reflect on this amazing journey. 

So for now this project and enjoying the little things in my daily life is making me so happy, I feel truly blessed.