Monday, November 12, 2012

Solar Eclipse 2012

6.30 a.m. Two days before the solar eclipse and the weather has changed - wet, windy and grey.
So glad I have decided to stay home and watch from the comfort of my own bed, actually the best seat in the house to see it is from my loo.  Hopefully the weather will be back to hot and dry by then. Update: 7.40 a.m and the sky is blue and the rain has stopped.

The last time an eclipse was seen from this area was the 8th Century and the next will be so way into the future that its not worth commenting on.  Roads will be closed, hotels and motels have been booked up for this day for months and they reckon an influx of more than 60,000 people from all over the world are coming into the region to see it. From start to finish it will be two hours, totality for my immediate area will be 29 seconds.

But life goes on and I can't wait around, haven't got time to spend sitting looking at the sun (with special dorky looking glasses that cost me $5.00).  Now just call me MRs  Scrooge. The glasses were $4.99, the woman in front bought of me bought 4 prs, it should have come to $19.96 which should have been rounded down to 19.95.  But the young girl rounded up each individual pr to $5 and the woman was charged $20. I was charged $9.00 for two prs and  since i was paying by card it should have been $8.98.  Considering they were one of only a handful of shops selling these viewing things  (and they had run out twice and had to order more) they must be making a bit of extra money from not rounding down.  Why have something at ?.99, why not put it up to the straight dollar, we don't have 1c or 2c coins anymore. They must get 300 or more customers a day, 7 days a week. I know its small change and won't amount to much for the individual customer but  multiplied over the year I'd rather it be in my pocker than theirs.

I've had my whinge for the day, now back to more pressing things...Getting all the brooch backs sewn onto 25 crocheted flowers. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November, christmas just around the corner...

Where has the year gone?  I have been so busy with one thing or another that the year has flown by. 
I'm loving the work I do at the Literacy centre, a wide range of students from all backgrounds.  We have one lovely lady who is an ESL student (English as a second language) who insists on feeding us all, she bakes wonderful concoctions with bananas.
Wednesday is a busy day, after i finish at lunchtime i rush home, have lunch, feed the dog, do a few chores and then off to the library to volunteer there.  I'm usually ready for my pit by 7 p.m. and curl up with a book and a cup of tea.  Wide-awake now at 9.30 pm, got my cuppa and just catching up with blogging.
I didn't put up a piccy of the finished footstool, how remiss of me.  Must rectify that immediately: 
Been busy making flower for brooches.  Using up some of the cotton yarn i have in my stash, though I couldn't resist a pretty pink and a yellow varigated in the craft shop the other day.  I really should wear blinkers when I'm shopping or there again I shouldn't go any where near a craft shop. But the pull is too strong, it grabs me by the hand and just yanks me in. Resistance is futile.
I wish all my geraniums flowered like this one,  the first of many and intended as a birthday pressie for a dear friend.
I made this brooch a while ago and it sold straight away. It looked so pretty on my cardi and its impossible to make another one just like it no matter how hard i try. 
Finally I feel sleepy, so its nite nite from me, an early start in the morning and another busy day so I am hoping for a good nights sleep.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good Morning, yes I know its been a while, no excuses.........but I have been busy busy busy. More volunteer work, this time as a adult literacy and numeracy tutor.  I've had a birthday since the last post, it came and went quietly with the minimum of celebration.

Lots of crochety goodness has been made - a lot of crochety goodness has been made a start on and a few things actually got finished. Mainly the footstool cube.  The first episodes of the x-factor, a few episdoes of Escape to the Country and a couple of reno programmes and a whole heap of yarn that had to be used before I could get the lid on the yarn boxes and she was finished. I'm happy with her, though I could have done one less row so she fitted snuggly rather than loose.  She certainly brightens up the room.  I'm planning something similar for my computer chair seat and back which is looking a bit worse for wear at the moment.

 I can now close the lid on the boxes, just, if I weight them down with other boxes. I'm not going to buy anymore yarn this side of christmas, okay, okay, you can stop laughing now. I mean it, no more yarn.......unless its absolutely necessary of course.  I am going to Mareeba this morning and there is an excellent yarn and fabric shop there that sells the most gorgeous embroidery threads, their over $6 so every time i go over I buy two. Not used them yet, they're my pretties and I just look at the moment.
 I must get my list so I don't double up on them.  I seem to be going for all the heathery colours. 
No.3son got his motor-bike licence and his motor-bike on the road last if I didn't have enough grey hair already.  The mountain roads up here to the Tablelands from his home in Cairns are long and winding and there have been quite a few bad accidents in recent years but give him credit I  think he will take care on them.  His mothers wrath is more painful than a broken leg.
Better get a wiggle on and get dressed, put the dog out, water the garden, get the thread list done and then get out to town, got volunteeer work this arvy as well. Hardly any time left in the day for me to relax with a book and a glass of wine, I usually fall asleep in my chair around midnight and then I'm up again at 6.00.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Here she is in all her glory, back from the show with her mates with not a prize between them. Oh well, I don't think they are quite ready for ami's. The same old same old got the prizes. Having a quick look a round the entries definately need brightening up in the knitting and crochet section. But it was a learning curve and a one off thing for me.  

Its been a wet miserable weekend not too cold though the cloud cover kept what little heat there was in. My new electric blankie has been getting a good workout. 

This handsome little guy/gal was up in a tree next to where we parked the car at Platypus Park. Its a Golden Orb spider also known as a St. Andrews spider because of the way they weave their web.  Okay so its the last photo with the spider. The rest is of saturday at Platypus park when we visited the market there.
The platypous loved the wet weather and made quite a show in the pond.  Bobbing up all over the place it was hard to count just how many there were. The turtles and the ducks got in on the act as well.
Its a lovely spot under the ghost gums overlooked by Mt. Baldy with the historic Hou Wang chinese temple just visible through the trees

Thursday, July 5, 2012


7 degrees this morning (40 something), i'm sat here with my beanie on, fleecey jacket and my fingerless gloves plus the stuff i went to bed in last night.  The sky is a beautiful blue with no cloud in sight. By lunch time it will be in the 20's (between 70 and 80)and i will have followed the sun around as it warms up the house and garden.  Between 9 and 10 it hits the bathroom and the loo is the warmest place in the house.  There is one surefire way of waking yourself up in the mornings and thats sitting on a icy cold loo. Definately a shock to the system.  I tried crocheting first thing yesterday morning (11 degrees) and it was just impossible so i'm not going to attempt it till later.
I decided on a whim to enter some of my dolls in one of the country shows, the level of the work presented has always freaked me out in the past but this year I thought what the heck, hell I've had my designs and work published in a major australian craft magazine so I must be good enough for a little country show.  I am glad I did, with various things that have been going on in the area with the weather and economy less and less people are putting things in, they grabbed my dolls with glee.   But is the little country town ready for bright, strange pink and green bunnies, snowdolls (in the wet tropics) and a purple and pink fairy with very long legs and chunky purple sparkly wings, I had to explain amigurumi to them on a little blurb so we will see what happens.  The fairy actually got designed and crocheted over the past three days, she's the first draft and I am really happy with her. Unfortunately the drive mechanism on the lens on my camera packed in and is irrepairable so no photo's got taken. I did buy a new camera yesterday, my wonderful computer guy had one going cheap so I bit the bulllet and parted with cash but it was after I had taken all the dolls into the showgrounds.  So another first for me.
Life in the information centre is good, I enjoy talking to the visitors and i enjoy being with the other volunteers, I have my own little thing. I run the facebook page for them, I'm on the famils and training team and I help out wherever help is needed. I have no agenda by doing this, I don't wish to be volunteer of the year I just enjoy doing it.  Its a long time since I have been able to say that.   We are a diverse group of people with our own talents that we bring in, in the past I would have shied away from them as individuals because I thought they would have judged me or as a group they would have been very clicky and kept me out  (I am so glad I got rid of that view). But i seem to have fitted right in, they are fantastic bunch of people.  
I've got to find out how to use this camera, luckily it has a smart thing on so I can just aim and click, but it has other functions as well including a little voice recording thing so you can do a voice over on a photo.  Ideal for people like me who forget where they take photo's.  But of course I have to find out how to get into it to use it which means ploughing through the info. I prefer simple things in my life, I want easy, no brainers. I had to buy a new toaster as well this week. I looked at the shelves - $18 cheapy, simple lines, nothing fancy or the $50+ ones - sleek, shiny, polished. Both did exactly the same job and had the same guarantee and both were going to be stuck in a cupboard when not in use so I went for the cheapy one and used the left over money to buy new printer ink and laminating sheets. I like cheap especially when its cheerful (sounds just like me LOL).
On that note, I'm off to see if the sun is over the mango tree yet and find a warm patch to sit in.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

doors closing and opening.......

.......this year seems to be a year of things ending and new beginnings. 

Volunteering has brought me new ideas and thought patterns, this time last year I would have never thought I could be this far out of my comfort zone. I've actually become part of a group, I've always been a loner and never a joiner of things, I prefer my own company, have a couple of really close friends and a few acquaintances and I have been happy with that.  So being in a group and being a part of a whole is a new thing for me.  I've even held my hand up for a few things as well.
 I've let go of trying to make money out of my craft, it just aint gonna work and I really just enjoying creating for the sheer pleasure I get out of it.  I haven't made anything for me for ages, so I'm going to spend a few days not doing anything and seeing what inspiration hits.  I've been so busy making things for other people that the pleasure went out of it.  I want to do more for the magazines, but the christmas deadline is fast approaching and I would have to get it made, get the pattern typed up and the photo done all by next monday.  Perhaps next month i will make the effort, but like everything else i am not going to stress out over it if it doesn't get done.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sound tracks......

Firstly pop on over to this blog and say hello to Jo.  She has such a pretty blog and I love visiting.
Can you hear the music playing. I got to thinking after visiting this morning that if my life was a movie this is the music I would like to playing quietly in the back ground as I go about my day, its so restful and peaceful and relaxing. It would be hard to get angry or stressed out with music like this in the background. 
Ironing would be a pleasure - the repetitive gliding of the iron back and forth as you float along with the music. 
What a nice start I had to my busy hectic day today as I strolled through the pleasant scenary of Jo's blog.  Thank you Jo.

What music would you have as your lifes sound track, what would be on your compilation.

4.45 pm
Well things went a bit pear-shaped this morning, I housekeep a holiday let cottage and had just started to get it ready for new guests, all I was doing was batting down the wayward feather doona and ping, snap like an elestic band or like a sharp electric shock in my lower back, i was in agony, it took me about 15 minutes to get to my mobile phone to call a friend to come rescue me and then the owner of the house to ask if she could delay the guests  arrival time. I managed with the aid of a broom as a prop to get one load of washing in the dryer and another in the machine. I realised it was going to be impossible for me to finish cleaning as I couldn't even stand up straight. The plumber was booked to come later that day to fit a new loo cistern and he would have been quite happy to come rescue me as well, my boss wanted to drive the two hour journey from her home to help even.  My friend arrived and with me doped up on painkillers we managed to get the house ready.  The concerned plumber did a great job of cleaning up after himself as well.  I can't straighten up and the computer chair is the only place I can sit and get out of easily.  I'm saving the really strong painkillers for tonight so I can sleep, the ibuprofen is not even dulling the pain.  I know when this happens it usually takes a few days for everything to settle down, i'm forcing myself to rest and maybe this will give me chance to get a few projects finished off.
I'm hoping a hot shower will ease it off a little enough for me to stand at the cooker and get dinner ready,  though its knocked me a bit sick and I might just have a cup-a-soup.


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.