Thursday, April 19, 2012

And the rain keeps on coming.....

Okay, I think I've had enough of rain and wind, its more like a wet Whit weekend in Blackpool than the tropical north of Queensland. Just been putting the finishing touches to the holiday let I housekeep - brought all the blankets out just in case they are needed. The guests have young children so I've moved all the breakables out of reach and I think my job is done there now till friday. They check out at ten and the new guests check in at one, so I'm going to be a busy little beaver on Friday. I lost this morning because of two meetings I had to attend, so with the holiday let thats all day I've lost, tomorrow I'm in the info centre and wednesday afternoon as well so with the travelling and other things that leaves me thursday to catch up with some serious crafting  to get ready for market.
I wasn't aware this post had gone into drafts, I thought I had lost it completely after my computer froze.
The rain has eased off and we've had a couple of nice days, not too hot and just warm enough.  I've done everything I have to do, just got to run into town and do a small job and get some shopping in and then back home and get some gardening done I think and a walk by the lake with the dog. Today is my day I think, peace and quiet and catching up with my reading and gardening and a bit of craft.



It has taken a while but I finally have balanced my life out.  So far so good until of course until I meet a new man and I will have to shuffle things around a bit to fit him into my life or a new job comes up.   I'm back doing the mystery shopping, not a lot, probably only a couple of jobs a month and I am going to try and put the money earned from that into a savings account.  I used to be such a good saver, before kids and commitments I saved up for the deposit on a house and always had money in the bank.  Then once the kids came along it was impossible to save.  Now its just me on my own again I find it even harder. There just isn't anything left at the end of month.  I know if I didn't craft I probably would be a lot better off, the money I would save by not buying craft materials is far more than the money I get from selling what I make at the moment. 
Some days I just do not feel like making anything and I used to be happy with that, I could quite easily go a month without creating anything (or buying any materials). I know I've waffled on about this before so ignore me if it gets boring.  It just my way of sorting everything out in my head, I'm thinking out loud, well, typing out loud.  What would I do if lack of money wasn't a barrier. Well, if I had money, then I wouldn't need to craft to earn money I could do it as pure pleasure and I probably wouldn't do as much. I would make what I wanted to make and take my time and savour the joy of making.  I would probably create more for the magazines.  But on the other hand, money is really not a problem for me, I either have it or I don't.  I'm not obsessive about having more, yes it would be nice not to have to struggle to pay the bills, but the bills do get paid, it would be nice to splurge once in a while and sometimes I do, though only small pretty things as an occassional treat.
To be quite honest I am happy with my life, despite others saying I should  have more, I shouldn't just settle for how things are.  So I'm just going to pootle along doing what I do, a little bit of volunteer work, a little bit of craft, a little bit of socialising, a little bit of solitude and meditation, healthy eating and exercise, a little bit of work, a tiny amount of gardening,  a little bit of family and then mix it all up and I really have a very good life and I am satisfied with that.
I have been making coathangers and I found a little half finished baby bear hat, unfortunately I didn't have enough yarn left to finish the ears in the original yarn. I did have some leftover yarn from a christmas project that was supposed to be the same colour code as the hat yarn but there was a definate difference in colour, perhaps its just me being my fussy self but maybe someone else won't notice it. I stuck a flower on - I managed to find a tiny amount of the pink in my scrap stash that matched the edging and frogged about 6 attempts at flowers till i finally managed to make a flower that didn't run out of yarn about 6 stitches from the end.  It'll fit a newborn to 3 months i think. I decided that if I was going to make something as naff as coathanger covers then I was going to do them my way and pretty.  I am enjoying making them, everyone is different, once i get bored with them then I'll stop.  I have recently owned up to the fact that I do have short attention spans where certain things are concerned and making these certain things or doing these certain things  lose my interest very quickly.  Thats probably why I have half a dozen projects on the go at once and why I have a very large stash (hidden away) of UFO's, why I can have at least 5 books I am reading and why I never ever quite finish the decorating.  But you know what, I'm happy with that, thats me, I'm not breaking any laws or upsetting anyone, I'm going with the flow, when I need to I can allow routine in and I know sometimes I have to behave like a grown up and get things done the right way.  I spent a few years trying to be in control of everything, trying to get routine into my life, I think because so much had happened I needed to be in control because I was in danger of losing the plot completely.  Now everything is in balance again I can see the areas that need to have routine and the areas I can let go.
I'd better go get dressed, wouldn't look good going shopping in my jami's - very nice jami's, greeny blue with owls all over them.  Boring routine stuff that needs to be done and a quick forage round the op shops thats pure pleasure. 
If you stayed around and didn't fall asleep or leave the room half way through this post I hope you have a wonderful day.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

April already

I seem to only get in here to blog now once a month.  Very bad of me I know. Sorry.

I've been busy doing what seems like lots of things but really isn't much.  Two days a week I volunteer at two information centres which I love.  We had  a couple of weeks of sunshine after all that heavy rain. The rain closed down the range road down to the coast because of landslides and we were stranded up here.  Not that I wanted to go anywhere.  Now we are back to rain and wind again. The days perfect for staying indoors and crafting. Except I am full of energy and want to get out into the garden. So I'm in the house cleaning like mad to use up all this get up and go I seem to have.  I've a few crochet projects on the go - mainly kids hats and coat hangers and a few ami's and lots of flowers. I need to do more  bears.  I've been playing around with the new things in Picasa, I like the frames. I made these bears a few years ago, my own design and need to make more, I've made a start and have a few disembodied heads lying around and a few body parts but need to make the effort to actually assemble them.  I make a few and then lose interest pretty quickly so I'm thinking of only ever making 12 in anything, especially the long leg dolls and the curly tops.  I'm having problems with the crochet kids hats with the sizing, what I did as a 3 -4 yr old fitted my 5 - 6 yr old grandgirl who is probably bigger than the average 5 yr nearly 6 yr old.  I've been using a few guides I got off the net but they all seem to be using a thicker yarn than me and a bigger hook. I'm using a 8 ply yarn (australian) and a 4.50 hook since I like it to be not too loose so they don't lose their shape after a few washes and go all baggy.  Just how long should the hat be, I'm working on 7 inches for a 12 month size with no turn back.  I need to borrow a baby from somewhere.  I made a cute little bear one and managed to get a new born to try it on, it looked so cute, it was a bit big but then she was only a tiny little thing, I wish I had asked the parents if I could have taken a photo.

Isn't this sunflower gorgeous, they are only small ones, the flowers were probably about 8 inches across and the plants about a metre tall. Great for a small garden, I just threw the seeds into the raised veggie garden off the verandah and they all grew, I've dried the seeds and scattered again so heres hoping more come up.
The zinnias didn't like the very wet weather and the wind and they are struggling to survive.  They have such pretty colours, I usually grow them from seed but this year I bought bedders and they don't seem to do as well.  Neither did the begonias in the hanging baskets so once this weather dries up a bit I'm going to redo all the pots and baskets. I did them not so long ago, new soil and pruning.  The lipstick plant is doing the best of all, all the cuttings took and they are all in flower and the mother plant is positively blooming. The camera batteries are just about on their last legs and don't hold their charge for very long, usually lasts about 20 piccys before I have to recharge again. I suppose I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy more.  I need to get outside and take some piccys before the best of the garden is over and is ruined by the weather.

I think today I will cook a proper dinner, I've been very lax and have not been eating properly again, nothing too bad but then again nothing too good either.  I might make this bean salad again but open up a tin of tuna or cook up a chicken breast to go in with it
Its lasts me for a few days (if the family don't come round for dinner). Don't the pieces of celery look like caterpillars.  I make a spicy dressing and add whatever i have in the cupboard and fridge. Usually chick peas and 4 bean mix, thinly sliced carrot and red capsicum, celery - it ends up being a very colourful meal. If yellow capsicums are cheap then I stick them in as well. Sometimes I bung some olives and mushrooms in as well if its going to be a meatless meal.  Cubes of fetta as well sometimes get added the next day. I find onion tends to upset my tummy now so I won't be adding any to this lot and I tend not to put tomatoes in either, I have those little cherry tomatoes growing wild all over the garden and its easy enough for people to put their own in if they want. I might even put pasta in tonight - I have some gluten free stuff and it will make it last a bit longer.  I'm off to see what I have in the fridge, I know I need to buy mushrooms and celery and I might have a couple of capsicums ready in the garden.



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wet Thursday

Today is a wet day, as was yesterday and the day before. Not a lot of tourists about but enough to keep me on my feet and busy.  I love working in the info centres.  Yesterday I spoke to people from many places from around the globe. Lovely little japanese exchange students, so polite, so friendly and so happy, a nice young couple from Seattle touring round Oz on the trip of a lifetime, grey nomads, couples spending their kids inheritance on themselves, people who fell in love with the area and now want to move here.  Its a great place to be.  My feet and my throat are a bit sore but I have a few days to recover before my next stint.  Not one person complained about the rain, they loved it - hey we aren't called the Wet Tropics for nothing and living in a rainforest area we gonna get rain.
I am trying hard with these damm australian animal ami's, I sat down with a book of aussie mammals and tried to draw cartoons of them that would work well as an ami doll.  I reckon its best to just sit down with the hook and yarn and just see what eventuates. 
I've started up a wordpress blog, hopefully I will migrate over there soon. You can find me here / Not a lot on there at the moment but now I am back into blogging again I might put more in there.
Well not done a lot today, I forgot to buy stuffing, I went in to the store to buy toy stuffing and came out with 3 big wands of bubble making liquid, 4 balls of yarn and black printer ink.  It wasn't until I was heading out to the centre that I realised I had forgotten it and by the time I got out of there the store was closed. I have all these little ami's to stuff and I'm not going back into town till next week so I might just rip open one of the new pillows and use the fill from there.  So as soon as I said that I knew I just had to go rip open a pillow and see if the stuffing was okay for ami's, yes it was, but then I got side-tracked and spent 30 mins sorting out my little drawer sets where I keep all my bits and bobs and etceteras. Sorting out my beading supplies and labels and rearranging everything.  So now I am back to finish off here, add a few photo's and have some lunch.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March catch-up

There I was plodding along in the slow lane of life and then wham the universe booted me over to the fast lane.  I'm doing two days a week at the visitor centre both in Y'Burra and A'ton. I've been on 'famils' and met a whole new batch of people, I've been pushed out of my comfort zone, I've got a new housekeeping job a few hours a week and the ideas for new ami's are coming in thick and fast.  Currently just off the hook is what I intended to be a Bilby, but looks more like a bandicoot and our local wonderful librarian (who I have to say is wonderful in case she's reading this) says looks more like piglet.  Whatever it is it looks cute.  Batteries are charging so there will be no piccy of him till they are ready.
The weather is wet and windy, down south are still getting floods and there are a couple of cyclones brewing around the top end and western oz.  I knew I should have mowed at weekend. 

These are some of the goodies I sent to Sue as part of the Flower Bed swap, I really enjoyed making them and its given me a few ideas. I can't wait to see what Sue makes with them, I think her idea of a necklace would look great.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February update

Middle of feb already.  Things go really slow and then things are speeding up again.

Just finished my first stint at the visitors centre, thoroughly enjoyed it, so much to learn though, especially booking accomodation and tours and the till absolutely terrifies me.
Phone interview tomorrow for another volunteer position in admin and then an interview for a casual cleaning job on thursday which hopefully will keep the hungry wolf from my door.  The craft magazine want more patterns and a young woman down the mountain wants me to knit her the royal family.  Have you seen them - they are really NAFF (do people still use that word or am I showing my age).  So NAFF they are cute.  So things are looking up here.
We are lucky with the weather, despite us being the wet tropics we have not really had all that much rain.  Down south  and southwest have been getting more than their fair share.
It has been really hot here, I usually wilt by lunch time and have to go strip off and lie under the fans.
The oven and microwave is beeping, the dog is pawing me (she knows I've been cooking chicken) so I'd better go feed myself before I waste away (as if).  I might even have a glass of wine with dinner. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Still stress free

What a lovely surprise, my ami dolls that were in Handmade this time last year have made it onto the cover of a knitting and crochet magazine Of course it would be nice if I got paid again for them but unfortunately I don't. The snowmen were a bit miffed as they had to share the front cover back in October but Lally Long Legs and Stacey got the front cover all to themselves. The new bunnies and the Little Grub doll are hoping they might have equal fame, but I'm not sure whether I will be submitting them this year. 
As the title of this post say I am still stress free - despite having car trouble yet again and it costing me over $200 to fix. But it was out of my hands and I paid up with no qualms. I didn't even stress out when the car rego came, thats due in two weeks. I was hoping pay for the whole year but it looks like I'll only manage to pay for 6mths, oh well, at least I have the money for it. The sons are getting themselves into strife but they are grown men now and are quite capable of looking after themselves. 
I had a good result when I had my heart check up last week, the doc is really pleased with the bloodwork and my health. I might be gluten sensitive, while I was waiting for my GB removal I stuck to a practically no-fat and no wheat diet. I'm still sticking to it, mainly because I feel healthier on it, but I have started to eat more bread and I've started to get the muscle cramps and headaches at night again, I stopped eating bread and pasta for 4 days and the cramps have stopped, I had bread again and the cramps came back.  I've started using a gluten free bread and pasta and I have had no problems with cramps. The specialist agrees with me that it could be the bread and wheat so I'll have to see my own GP and arrange for tests. My annual Macular test came back fine, no change.  Just waiting for the thyroid and cholestrol tests to come back.
January is nearly at an end already, I've done a few jobs on my to-do list, the back door is half sanded down. I'm back house-keeping the holiday home next door so theres a bit of extra cash to keep things flowing along nicely.  I'm keeping on top of the garden, I've made two more garden beds. The boys had a massive clean out in the sheds and we did at least 5 dump runs. 
Life seems to be running along smoothly, I'm well aware of the occassional pothole and speedbump and can cope.  Not sure where my road is heading, I feel like I am on one of those moving walkways, just moving along slowly and getting off every now and again when I see something I like or need a break. 
Okay, the ovens pinged, my healthy vegetable pizza is ready, I'm going to have that and then settle in for a night of reading, hooking and a bit of tele.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sticking to my new years resolution

All the ami's I made in September/October/November
I really didn't make any resolutions but I did say I wasn't going to stress out over things not getting done or over things I had really no control over, so today is day four of not stressing out (Despite the phone bill and electricity bill ariving in the post).  Talked with my bro and mum on Skype this morning for over an hour and then with a friend on yahoo so the morning came and went without a thing being done.  The weather is crap, wet and windy (but warm) so the garden jobs will not get done today either.  So I think I'll sit and hook for the rest of the day, one bunny down and one half done.  I might get into the craft room and try and get all my jewelry findings and beads all into one place but no biggie if I don't, I know what I will do and thats bath the dog, even as I type she has picked up my thoughts and is creeping towards the bedroom where she will hide under my bed quivering.
Depending on what the weather is doing at the weekend I might go to market with a few things.  I have no flower hair ties left and they sold really well in the past so that might be tomorrows little thing to do. 
One of the chrissy presents I got was a new laminator, I'm itching to start making small affirmation cards, using some of my photo's edited with an affirmation on them. Its on the list of things to do this month but again no stress if it doesn't get done.  There is also another little idea I have involving crochet and laminating but thats my secret for now.

January is also earmarked for getting at least two patterns down, I've been promising the little grubs and little petals for ages now.  I've started a wordpress blog for crocheting and another one here as well. I'm finding it increasingly hard to use Blogger because XP is out of date and I can only update if I go to 7 or Vista. Its a bit of a bugger getting into Blogger, sort of going round the houses and up through the back paddock and then sneak in over the fence.  But i'm used to it now and I much prefer it to wordpress so I'm hanging in there.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012, finally

Snowman Central November/December 2011
So, so glad to see the back of 2011. I handled everything that was thrown at me and came out unscathed.  Well, apart from an empty bank balance and purse thanks to escalating car troubles and being unable to work for 5 months.  The bills are all paid and I made most of the chrissy presents and I didn't stress out over anything. Didn't have a traditional christmas dinner for the first time ever, I just baked a ham and made a potato and  pasta salads and had a panettone instead of a fruit cake, no mince pieces or puds here - it was a virtually fat free christmas, no lollies or choccys even and you know what - I didn't miss them. I was at that stage of recovery where certain foods still turned my stomach when I thought of eating them.
The car died and needed part after part to be regenerated. But she's fixed now (thanks to my wonderful sons) and hopefully will last a couple more years.  Me, well I'm all fixed up as well and I hope I will last many more years. 
Christmas must have been the quietest one yet and new year  crept in with fluffy slippers on, the whole village was deathly silent, nothing stirred...........apart from me, cursing and hopping round the garden blasting cane toads with a spray bottle so the dog could have a pee and poop in safety. 
So here I sat, doing what I love - cruising round blogland, checking up what you have all been doing, I have decided to jump to typepad on a more permanent basis soon, when I discover where I put it.  I'm not sure what direction I'm going in with my creativity, I have so many things I enjoy doing and am good at (toot, toot) but I am not going to stress out over it.  My craft room is all tidy with a new to me work bench in and a slight rearrangement of bookcases - which means I now have to rearrange the living room bookcases to accomodate the books that are now homeless cos I borrowed the entrance bookcase for the craftroom. I spent ages sorting out boxes yesterday looking for the drawings and draft embroideries I had intended for submission, I tidied and threw out as I went along but still didn't find them - doh, they were in the old straw bag I had with the broken handle where I keep felt bits and pieces, I knew that.  So I have my fabric and threads, a clear workspace, a new design on the drawing board and now all I have to do is get out of here and make a start. 
a few of the stocking stuffers I made for everyone, I added a co-ordinated t-towel to go with them.
First though I have to add a few piccys to this post, just check a few other blogs out, check my emails, put a couple of loads of washing on, do the poop hunt, have another coffee, water the garden and hanging baskets, get some chicken out of the freezer, drag the dog out from under the bed, make the bed, get dressed, open all the curtains and windows and 25 mins to do it all in.  Better get a wiggle on then.


My favourite little nook, tea or coffee anyone?

Oh yes, and I dyed my hair purple the thursday before christmas as well, but you won't be seeing a piccy of that LOL. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm Back minus the GB

Well that little op wasn't as bad as I expected, I didn't have as much pain as I thought I would have and had my first painkiller free day yesterday.  Saw my GP today who read the surgeons report and it was a text book lap op.  Not eating much, everything cause the most terrible wind and I'm thinking of hiring myself out at the wind farm, I think I could single handedly generate enough power to keep a small town going for a few weeks.  I'm a bit upset about my belly button, as belly buttons go it was quite a nice one, now it looks horrible with a scar running through the centre of it, its a good job I don't parade around in bikini's (boy o boy, now that would be a sight).
The storms that have been threatening us all week finally arrived - the second I walked out of the docs to walk to the other side of town where I had left my car.  Oh well, a bit of rain never hurt anyone.  My car overheated and lights came on on the dash that I didn't even know were there, I was close to home and since I had left my mobile phone on the bedside table I carried on going.  I know I need a new battery and I just have enough for that if tighten the purse strings and don't buy presents for anyone.  I thought about making up gift baskets for family and close friends - garden ones, pamper ones and goody bag ones for the girls, I'm making them a bracelet each and the long legged dolls that were in the mags earlier in the year.  I've been trying to catch up with making stuff for the markets, I missed two this week so hopefully this coming weekend the storms will stay away till the late afternoon and I can get a market in. 
There is so much I need to get done, this year has just galloped away from me no matter how hard I pull on the reins, it aint slowing down.  Bit I have packed a lot in, even so I will be glad to see the back of this year and start the new year healthy and happy.