Thursday, 14 December 2017

Have A Neenish Tart Dear?

It's funny how something can take you back to another time, I time so different from the present that it's almost like an alternative life.!!!!!

Let me explain, yesterday when I did the shopping I was attracted by this packet of Neenish Tarts, now if you don't know what they are they are a little cake, a little shortcrust case like you'd have on a apple tart, the filling is white and creamy , I'm unsure what's in it but it's very nice. The top is iced half and half with white and chocolate flavoured icing.

I'd never had a Neenish tart until I was 16 and had started work and met my wonderful friend Faye whose Mum had invited me up to their house one Saturday to meet the rest of the family, I must add here that these Saturday visits resulted in me being unofficially adopted into the family and becoming her "third daughter', but that is a whole other story. However back to this story, this particular Saturday afternoon one of the girls Aunties came for the afternoon. I was fascinated by her, she was the quintessential 1940's lady, (this was 1968 I  must add) she wore this wonderful coat with a fur collar, a hat and she removed her gloves before she shook my hand on being introduced to me and of course brought something to add to afternoon tea..... Neenish Tarts.
The table was laid with a beautiful cloth, gorgeous vintage china and I was totally over-awed, my Mum's family had some lovely china, tablecloths etc but they didn't come out on a very ordinary Saturday. Anyway back to the Neenish tarts, after the tea was poured the plate of little tarts was passed around and just because of proximity it was Auntie Alice who offered me the plate saying " a wee Neenish dear?" I looked around the table desperately looking for an answer, what in the world was a Neenish! Faye's Mum, who I must say became my "second Mother" and I loved so much, looked at me with a wicked twinkle in her eye, and said " Have a wee cake Lovey-dear, you'll like it", and with a sigh of relief I took one and and discovered that yes a "wee Neenish" was nice and I did like it and somehow that was the start of a wonderful Alliance between darling "Ret" and me.
It's funny how food can take you to another place and another time, but that was a lovely memory for my wee Neenish tart to take me back to.

Friday, 20 October 2017

A Lemonade Day!

We all know the old saying : " WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS MAKE LEMONADE", well I had a "lemonade" day yesterday. The day before somehow my front side window in my car was smashed! Have no idea how, but I went outside to talk to the guy who does my lawn and we noticed that it was broken. Glass all through the car and and all over the footpath.  I have now decided that a stone had flown up from the mower and over the fence and "Bang", but I actually have no idea that this is what happened. 
So anyway to get it fixed, well after ringing around glass repairers I found one who could fit me yesterday, naively, I thought they'd come and get the car, but ah no,  I had to take the car to them yesterday. So there I was gingerly getting into this glass showered car, brushing down the drivers seat and hoping I didn't get glass somewhere painful and off I went.
I dropped it off in the Industrial area of Dunedin and they said " Ok cool, come back in a couple of hours!"   Great what to do now..... but I started walking and arrived at Mitre 10 Mega! Well I had a wander around their house ware department, they have some gorgeous stuff actually, and then into their atrium style cafe. I sat looking out into the garden and enjoyed a cinnamon scroll and a beautiful coffee, this is actually a fabulous cafe in the middle of an industrial wilderness. 
I explored their house -ware department and fell in love with quite a few pieces but managed to convince myself that this probably wasn't the best day to shop. So I started my walk back, the sun was shining and it was getting quite hot, it started to feel like this was quite a long way after-all. I sat down on a grass area in front of a building and looked down the street and realised that I didn't have far to go all, just to the end of the street. So off I went, as I turned the corner I could see my car parked in front of the building and YES! it was finished. As I walked into the courtyard one of the guys came out and said " Oh good we were just going to ring you, we're all finished and we vacuumed the inside for you so there's no glass to clean up".  At this point I wondered how he'd react if this old lady threw her arms around him and kissed him, but sanity prevailed (phew) and I thanked him profusely and got into the car, put the key into the ignition and with a big smile on my face, I drove off!!!!!
A lovely "Lemonade" day I'd say.


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Already August.

It's been a long time since I've opened my blog, it's been a very strange year. I've had to completely re-create my life, being home all day having retired but most difficult being without my best friend of 48 yrs. I'm basically rebuilding my life, I'm learning how to occupy my time with things I want to do rather than go to work every day, and this would be huge fun if I still had my "partner-in-crime" to share the days with. I have other friends who have been wonderful but there's still a gaping hole.

At the moment I seem to be re- visiting interests that took a back seat because of my job. I have continues to knit baby clothes for charity, but I've been getting the urge to revisit patchwork or maybe applique. I haven't actually got further than washing and ironing the fabric,ready to start something but the seed's been sewn . So many ideas running around my head I can't decide where to start. I did briefly, revisit a quilt I started a couple of years ago, and hand-sew some squares together but the hand sewing drove me crazy, so whatever it is I'll be doing it by machine.

Another long time interest has come back to tempt me and that's my garden. I've been clearing the front garden and plan to turn it into  crazy cottage explosion of colour! Well that's the plan, I've started clearing it, and ordered some old-style cottage plants and I'm actually getting quite excited about it, with it being Spring it's the perfect time to start. It's been good to do something physical and feel tired but content at the end of the day. I've also replanted up all my pots on the deck so I'm looking forward to an explosion of colour out there in the next couple of months.

Scrap-booking comes and goes with me at the moment, I feel like I've done it all and can't really get enthusiastic about it which is sad cos I really want to do it but am devoid of new ideas, does anyone else have this problem? I'd love get some new ideas and find my mojo, cos it's something I love to lose myself in.

So that's about it at the moment, oh except that the big excitement is my darling niece is getting married next year, so that's going to be a trip to Australia. I'm excited and apprehensive at the same time( I don't like flying), but I'm definitely going to be there for my baby, wouldn't miss it for the world.










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.
Ltrs.

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.
Ltrs!

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.

Cheers!

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?
Ltrs.
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.
Ltrs.