Saturday, 4 February 2017

February All Ready!

Well I haven't updated my blog since  November and one of the things I said in my last post was" although things were hard then, I knew there was worse to come" and come they did. Even though I had known for some time that my best friend was going to lose her battle with cancer, deep down I kept hoping for a miracle, that somehow they'd find a way to beat it but of course it wasn't possible and the inevitable happened. Life changed forever and and somehow I have to adjust to that. I have had wonderful support from family and some very special friends, but it still hurts big time and I think it always will. You really couldn't be friends, part of each other's families for 48yrs and it not hurt. So now it's getting used to a very different life, without that soul mate being there, sharing everything, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows.
I have no idea how to do this, but I'm trying and I guess that's the main thing.
So in terms of getting any crafty stuff done, I've only just ventured back to my table. I've gone on a card making mission with a view to doing some local markets. I'm not relying on selling heaps, but it's giving me a sense of direction, a reason to make cards, to sit at my table and lose myself for awhile. I gave a selection to an Animal Welfare group to sell at a couple of markets they're doing. They've only done one of the markets so far so I'll be interested to get an update, I guess they'll wait till they do the second one.
I have booked into a small Saturday market myself in about a month so I'll see how that goes. Apart from that Molly (cat) and I are learning how to get through the day now that I no longer work and we don't have our wonderful friend.

Miss Molly has grown so much and I guess now is fully grown, she's totally adorable and although not the cuddliest of cats, will sit beside me for ages on the couch happy to have the occasional tummy rub, as long as it's her idea. Yep she's the boss :) 
So now that I've decided to update my blog, I really can't think of anything else to say, typical of me right now, the concentration of a gnat lol!
Hopefully next time I update my blog I'll have some cards to show, because now that I've committed to doing this market I better get some stock to sell.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

November.....all ready?????

So it seems impossible to believe that it's already November, this year has gone so fast, it's been a difficult year and there has been some sad times and sadly I know there will be more, but today I'm focusing on the good stuff, the happy stuff, the stuff that makes me happy. 
I have systematically turned our deck into a bright oasis to enjoy from the living room or on a nice day go out and sit and enjoy. Clearly for Molly it was one of those days today, she loved "taking time to smell the flowers".
My next goal is to add some lights, I need to get some solar ones that just appear in the evening after a sunny day. I know it will be lovely to look at from the living room and hopefully we'll get a few of those.
So I guess I'm practicing the "art of diversion", but sometimes we have to, it's the only way to cope with the hard stuff, the grownup stuff, believe me there's something to be said focusing on the good bits, even when they are minute in comparison to the big stuff.
Right now Molly and I are going to go back out to "play" on the deck. 

Friday, 19 August 2016

A Light Bulb Moment

So feeling rather blah and down this morning, I sat down with a coffee and my laptop. I was checking blogs I follow and there on Accidental Icon, looking at how amazing the writer of the blog looked in her wonderful individual fashion, I felt my spirits rise and I was reminded that age is no barrier to enjoying clothes and looking amazing can do wonders for your spirits, so I felt I had to share and  am now going to go through my wardrobe and look at my clothes through different eyes. Maybe somewhere in there I can find things to put together that even though life seems dark and sad you can get a glimmer of sunshine in your day.
Wish me luck!
Have an awesome weekend.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Ice Ice Baby!

Well winter is here with the vengeance! It's absolutely freezing, really icy outside too cold to have the door open but Miss Molly has been stamping her little paws and giving me "that" look until I buckled and opened the deck door for her so that she could go out on the deck and check for herself that I'm not lying, that it really is too cold for those precious little paws to walk across the deck!
The good think about a morning like this is that we will get a pretty, bright day. The sun is already breaking through and by lunch time it will be bearable....almost.
 I think after all the frost this morning, it's timely to remember warmer times, this photo was taken on a holiday to Surfer's Paradise and one of the many layouts I've been doing lately. My scrapping style has changed and I'm going for a simpler style and I like it. Instead of spending days on one page I've found I can get a couple done in the quiet moments of a day....well that's on a day when there is quiet moments. If there's one thing I've learnt over the past few months it's that when you're caring for someone who is ill life is very busy. There's the hospital visits, the hospital stays, the xrays and the blood tests. There's the good days and then there's the bad days when nothing you do can bring relief and comfort to the poor person who's ill, so you make endless cups of tea and try to distract them from  the pain.

  This morning I started reorganizing my scrap area to try and make it tidier ( since it's actually our dining room and connected to the kitchen), and to make it more user friendly. I get tired of searching through draws trying to find things, usually by the time I find what I'm looking for, I've forgotten what I was going to do with it lol! I know, pathetic to be concerned about, but when so much is going on any little pleasure is precious.
     So this morning I'm making cards, I've fallen in love with my Magnolia stamps again so it's a good distraction. Of course it raises the all time question of what do I do with them once they're done! It's nice to have a few on hand for birthdays and the occasions when you want a card but on the whole it would be nice to find something useful to do with the excess! Oh well something to work on I guess, but right now I'm going to lose myself at my table.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Buzz Friday.

Well the town is buzzing, there's not a room to be had in any hotel or motel in our city, why you ask? Because the All Blacks are playing Wales here tomorrow night and as you may or may not know, New Zealand is a very rugby orientated country, and nothing causes a stir like an international game.
It brings back good and bad memories for me, having worked in hotels that hosted, at different times, the All Blacks and the visiting overseas teams. During those occasions I met some wonderful people, had great conversations with some of very famous All Blacks, had some great laughs with some of the overseas players, even did a few late night drop offs in town for some of the players who wanted to party.
I had the advantage you see because with being older than the other staff, they were not threatened by me in any way, looked on me as another Mum, and they were just really good times.
I also met wonderful supporters from England, Ireland, Wales and South Africa. I treasure the good memories, and forget the stress of making it all work, the incredibly late nights, the stress of making it all work, I just remember the best bets because they're the bits that we enjoy, that inspire us and make us smile....and sometimes in life all we need is something to make us smile.
If you are reading this, I hope something makes you smile today, because if one little thing can make us smile then it's a good day!

Have a great day wherever you are.


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Scrap Therapy 101.

So life has finally settled into the new normal, not that by any means it's normal, but I've gotten used to the idea that I no longer go to work, I've stopped feeling guilty about sitting at my scrap table instead of getting ready for work, I've gotten used to (and actually like) that I don't spend 8-10 hrs a night racing around a restaurant, stressing about staff levels, guest satisfaction and whether or not the chef's going to be in a good or bad mood. I like eating a nice dinner at a reasonable time, in warm comfortable surroundings without having to worry about early guests walking through the door! In short I really don't miss the stress and pressure, I do miss the people I've worked with, and over the 30 odd years I worked in restaurants, I've worked with some amazing people, some I'm lucky enough to keep in touch with, thank you Facebook, and others sadly I've lost touch with. Admittedly there are some that I'm happy to have lost touch with, but overall I've enjoyed the company of the majority of people I've worked with.
So what now, well sadly my life has been turned upside down with not one but my two best friends being diagnosed with cancer. They're not just friends they are "sisters from another mother". I read that term in some song lyrics the other day and immediately it resonated with me that it describes my little adopted family perfectly. But we battle on, we enjoy the good days and endure the bad, it's all we can do really.
Anyway the upside to my new lifestyle is that I have time to play in my scrap room, (ex dining room) and I have found a new love for this hobby. With time to play I've been discovering new styles and ideas, I've begun to experiment with the new brighter, funkier papers, and I've really enjoyed what I've come up with. 
The other thing I like about this new style is that the pages take less time, have a cooler edge and I can actually fill up an album with the photos scrapped from a particular occasion, holiday etc much faster, which really suits my time constraints and my short attention span. ( Always wanting to try the next idea that's my problem).
Of course Miss Molly likes the new lifestyle, she no longer spends the afternoons and nights alone and she has 24hr attention so to her it's all a bonus, although she doesn't appreciate being told to get off my scrap table lol, but she does like the routine of her morning comb up. This is such a routine, she'll come and get me and shepherd me to the couch in the front lounge where she sits beside me and I comb her. Absolutely true, she loves having her fur combed which is wonderful given that her beautiful fluffy coat needs combed everyday, and so we sit on the couch and I comb her fur which is wonderful for both of us.
So yes life is very different, still coming to terms with it, and wish it had come about in a different way but hey right now my life is what it is and now it's my job to enjoy the good bits and find ways to cope with the bad, but then isn't that everyone's life?
Lunch with an Ibis.
Surfers Paradise Vibe.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

It's Been A While....

but I've finally found my scrapping mojo. I just love sitting at my table and creating with paper and photos. Life is fairly scary and stressful at the moment so sitting at my table and losing myself in paper and photos for a while is good therapy. 
I've gone back to a simpler form of scrapping, focusing more on featuring on the photos and not so much on tricky techniques. I'm enjoying featuring the papers and trying different ways to best feature the photos.
For a long time I got into lots of techniques and lost the joy of featuring the photos and telling the story behind them.
I've been enjoying experimenting with more modern brighter papers, I usually go for the more vintage papers but right now I'm into simple and happy, (wish my life was more like that right now).
This page features my darling niece when she was about six years old, it seems such a long time ago so I really enjoyed reminiscing while I worked on this page. I guess that's where scrap-booking started, recording memories, telling stories and saving precious photos.
It's good to get back to the basics, and not be so side-lined by the fancy techniques, but enjoying the memories and making the most of the photos and in this layout's case reminiscing, dreaming about back when my darling niece was this little girl,  I guess this was the original reason we started scrap-booking!  So lets get back to basics and enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

It's been a while...

since I have blogged. These days keeping in touch on Facebook seems to be the norm but I'v e missed blogging. Randomly writing about life's highs and lows, sharing ideas and in my case crafty creations oh and of course photos of a couple of beautiful fluff balls, ie cats.
So I have decided to reinvent the art of blogging. Maybe it has something to do with getting back to being able to indulge in my crafty hobbies. With taking early retirement I've found myself with time to play, also I'm not so tired that my creativity has packed it's bag and left town.
Of course, nothing comes easily, when I first tried to scrap again it was a disaster, nothing would come together, it looked terrible and so I gave up, but lately the old passion has come back and I've been wanting to get into it again. I have been finding my creative happy place, I have made three mini books for my family, and even now that they done and  in Australia, I haven't stopped. I am now onto another book and loving it. So I guess the moral to the story is even when everything seems dark and impossible, don't give up on finding that ray of sunshine that will get you through.

I guess looking at the silver lining, I've spent many a night at work, dreaming about being at home playing with paper and now I'm doing it, so the secret is I guess, make the most of whatever life throws at you.

And of course I get to spend time with this little sweetheart!

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.