Monday, March 7, 2016

...and the rain came down

It's either feast or famine with the rain.  Not enough or too much.  I know we desperately need it, but couldn't it have just eased off a little bit when I went back to the car.  My umbrella fell apart, so I struggled down the back laneway, with shopping in one hand and trying to hold over my head what was left of my brolly.

I'll console myself with these.

I seem to be hitting more and more dead ends and brickwalls in my search for my ancestors.  I need to get in touch with my cousin again, I sent a message through ancestry and I hope she sees it.  This weeks module has had a quick going over.  Writing a research plan, I'm  going back to basics, pretending I know nothing.  Not sure how long I have to do it, I think by Friday.  In the words of Jonesy, 'Don't panic, don't panic'. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lazy Sunday

A years worth of posts to catch up with, all that craft.  I'm sure I started to write a blog post a few months ago.  Obviously not.  So I'll add a liitle bit from the past year when I write my new posts.  
I have started a Diploma course in Family History.  Its something I've wanted to do for a while, and a spur of the moment decision saw me enrolled and wondering what on earth I had got myself into.  I received a High Distinction in the Writing Unit which is part of the Diploma.  It made me think outside of my comfort zone and gave me confidence to tackle other things.  

This latest button caused me so much aggro last night. I cut it too small for the 38mm button and then when i put it on a 29mm one, I catapulted it into oblivion.  Well, my rubbish bin in the craft room as I have just found out this arvy, after an intensive search. The lower one I did on Friday.  That one is too big for the 38mm button, hopefully it will fit a 50mm one, when I can get to Spotlight. 

My little Lulu.  I hadn't realised it was the Chinese Year of the Monkey when I started designing her.  I love how she turned out.  I made a couple of boy ones before Christmas, but wasn't happy how they were developing.  She is such a cutie.  I've nearly finished a sibling for her, at this stage it can go either way whether it will be a brother or a sister. 

Another picture of my rose buttons.  They are so pretty, thanks to the wonderful threads I use. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

March 2016...Really, where did the time go

I love these buttons, I used hand dyed Cottage Garden Threads
in varigated pinks, greens and blues. They are quick to make and satisfy
that creative urge when you want to make something but
don't want to start anything big. 
A small selection of the last years work.  Mostly orders, I wish I could get
orders like these every month.  I love the little fat fairy, roughly based
on moi!  The monster was made from bits of leftover legs, rabbit ears and owl eyes . A friend
of the family fell in love with the cat and I had to make another just for him.
I forgot to add the grass and flowers at the base
of the tree, but its a cheery button despite that. It looks like a firework tree.
Again I used varigated thread by Cottage Garden Thjreads.
I'm obsessed with making embroidered
buttons. The roses were stitched in a close blanket
stitch using one thread of a varigated thread, with fly
stitch leaves.   French and Colonial
knots were used in the background.
. The larger button is 38mm.

More trees.  The varigated threads on the tree trunks and branches
lent themselves very well to the varigation of the bark.  One strand of  thread and
stem stitch, french knots and granitos stitches were used.
The trees tie in with my passion of researching my family history. 

This is my little sugar plum pudding fairy that I quickly hooked up for christmas.
I didn't put up the big christmas tree this year so she had nowhere
to hang out. I couldn't bear to let her go, so she is now a
permanent feature in my craft room.

I can't believe how fast time has gone.  I started a Diploma course in Family History late last year and my craftwork has suffered. Yet looking at these photos, I have been quite busy.  This is only a small selection.  The monkeys I created last month are still to be downloaded off the ipad onto the desktop. 
Volunteering takes up three days a week, my uni course takes 3 hrs a day.  I squeeze crafttime in whenever I can. My Etsy shop has still not opened. I'm undecided what to do.  I sell a few things through a friends shop and by word of mouth, but it isn't going to make me rich anytime soon. 
Christmas was canceled as I was sick with a chest infection, it refused to shift. Nobody wanted to catch anything so they all stayed away. I was quite happy with that and stayed in bed, read books and slept. Had all my health checks - heart, thyroid, diabetes etc.  Everything is fine.  I can come off one of my heart meds. YAY. 

We have finally got rain, after it has been threatening for days.  Glad we got the lawns mowed this week. I pruned the Ivory Curl as well. It finally flowered after 9 years.  I've tried all the online safe remedies to get rid of the weeds, but they aren't working.  So, sorry, they are gonna have to be poisoned. I'll risk it this one time. I haven't got the time, energy or finances to keep trying to get rid of them the hard way. The passionfruit vine, that Lila bought me to put on the fence that I didnt want, is full of flowers and climbing rampantly along the unwanted fence. 

After two months on a meat free diet, we have decided to eat meat once or twice a week.  I HATE Tofu and Tofu hates me.  I can't digest it, it gives me very bad stomach cramps and I spend hours vomiting as my body tries to get rid of the damm stuff .  Found a book at the op shop on Tuesday - 'The Accidental Vegetarian'.  The recipes are wonderful and not one bit of tofu in them. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Showers

After a very dry 'Wet Season' we are now getting rain in Autumn, its certainly cooled it down a tad, the unseasonal heat was draining me. Not that we get very cold here in the Tropics but the rain is very welcome. Christmas came and went, a very quiet low key affair. It was great to have all my boys in the one house without world war three breaking out. We celebrated Christmas with an exceptionally wonderful Coyle family traditional bacon butty breakfast. Mum and my brother joined in via Skype from the UK. We were so stuffed with breakfast that after everyone had gone on to other parties Matt and I decided we couldn't be bothered with christmas dinner later in the arvy so we just made a salad and had a bit of ham with it, suited us fine and we lazed around for the rest of the day.
Easter was upon us before we knew it, I got to meet Lavinias family and we had a big barbi out the back under the trees, kids running all over the place, wine, chocolate and beer flowing.
Stacey plaited Liams beard. Life has quietened down again and back to a steady pace. I've had all my heart, thyroid and diabetes checks, had a small gyni op and am now awaiting to see whether my thyroid has to be removed. Everything else ok. My hooks having been flying and ami's, flower garlands and other shawls have all been created.
The Bikini Tree got a new suit, tourists from all over the world have posed with it. I'm hoping to do a new one for winter, i thought about a flower and leaf one. The whole town is so pretty with the garden club adding hanging flower baskets and beautifying the town. I get a bit p'd off with living in a tourist village, but then when I am working in the info centre and visitors tell me how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place, I feel blessed. Hope it won't be too long before I have something else to say. Jan

Monday, December 8, 2014

Waffling on about nowt in particular

I've been clearing out drawers, rearranging my office space and pottering today.  6 bags of rubbish to toss.  I didnt find my federal police check notice but I found lots of other stuff I didnt know I had lost. I also found time to create.....i'm trying to make as many snowflakes as I can this week, bright bold colours have figured so much in my recent work that using just plain old white seems rather strange.  15 made so far, I'll probably need another 45 for what i need to make, so thats 2 days work.  
Christmas is rearing its ugly head way too soon.  Each year i celebrate it less and less, things don't seem to matter anymore.  Thats not a bad thing.....i just do the things that do matter and stress less over the things that don't. Family and friends are important to me, but I'm not going to send myself broke buying them all expensive pressies or something they don't want.  It's one thing I refuse to stress over.  I love to select gifts i know they will use and appreciate and if it costs Under $10 the more the better and if I can make something I know they will love and appreciate then I put my all into it.  Ok, battery about to die and I want to get another 15 snowflakes made.  Better go get the washing in as well, looks stormy again. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Update

We had a beaut storm last night, lots of lightning and thunder and a fair amount of rain.  It carried on way into the early hours, the house shaking with the thunder.  The power was flicking off and on.....right in the good bits of Inspector Lynley and just when i was on an intricate bit of crocheting.  I was surprised there was only 33mm in the rain gauge, sounded like a lot more.
Ok, so thats the weather report out of the way, now to get down to the interesting stuff.
Hooking.  The name of this blog just isnt doing it for me anymore, my world of Little Petal blog and Hooking in the Tropics aren't working either.  Do I start a new blog and move over posts i want to keep and get rid of the others.  I've certainly hooked up plenty this year, including three extra large bikinis, 2 dozen prs of fingerless mitts, 12 baby blankets, 8 flower garlands and almost 50 ami's.  Hooking and embroidery are my two main passions, admittedly embroidery has taken a huge backseat for the moment.  I'm happy with what I have achieved this year.  Surprisingly the carpal tunnel pain has gone, the only time i get aggro from it is if I have too much wheat or forget my magnesium tablets.
There is such a lot that I want to make...lacy shawls, more garlands and yes, lots more ami's.  When I get bored and have the need to create yet don't want to start a big project I make flowers, when i finish a project and have a small amount of yarn left, I make flowers.  These have built up into quite a substantial collection so I have bagged them up and have them for sale in a friends shop.
Extra large dreamcatchers are big now, using old doilies and bits of lace and embellishments, not my cup of tea but I've sold a few of my odd bits and pieces to crafters who are using them in projects. One lady bought a doiley which is to be the centre piece of a huge dreamcatcher that will hang over her daughters wedding table.  I've a good stash of old magazines and crochet books with lots of lovely old fashioned doileys in.  I'm slowly working my way through them looking for pretty, quick and easy ones to make.
This year has whizzed  by so fast but there is still just over three weeks of making left and I am sure I can get quite a lot done in that time.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bad, Bad Blogger

I am a bad blogger, once upon a time I used to make regular posts, I was always reading others blogs and its such a chore.  I was busier then, no excuse now, I have lots of free time, I am doing more things, life is interesting.  I no longer have the need to tell the entire world every detail of my life. I craft, I make beautiful things but I Have no urge to post every single stitch. Was it blogger overload or have I moved on, was I looking for validation that I was on the right track? Who knows and to be quite honest...who cares?
But for those who do care here is an update. This is what I made recently for the village, its to replace the one i made before that got stolen. Ryan and Lavinia got engaged and bought a house. Matt is living back home with me.  I'm still vollying at the info centre and being a literacy tutor.  My health is good. The garden is good, we just had a major trim of all the trees.  I resisted the temptation to get a new puppy. I'm still housekeeping the holiday home next door.  The house still needs the plumbing fixed, the floorboards need replacing in various rooms the whole place needs a repaint. Such is life and it goes on and on and on. I'm enjoying being alive. I'm not going to make any promises to be a better blogger cos I know thats going to be a big porky and I will soon break it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Its been sooooo long.........

 Life over the past year has been full of changes, people coming and going, tides turning and a lot of crafting.  I actually got time to spend a few days at the beach, then I spent time in the city helping a wonderful friend and sis in law pack up her life in Australia to go back to Singapore.  Ryan and Lavinia got engaged a few weeks ago, I didnt know my son was such a romantic soul.....he gets that off his father because I'm not much of a romantic.  Another son came back home to live for a while, cramps my crafty style a little but we muddle along quite okay, he even cooks once in a while though his idea of cleaning is a long way off my idea of cleaning. My grandgirls are growing up fast, way too fast.  I'm still volunteering, I love tutoring, still got most of the same students, its great to see how far they have come, both in skills and confidence. Health wise has not been too bad, slipped a disc again, had a fall, hearts been fine, diabetes under control, thyroid playing up a little.
Craft wise, been busy hooking
lots of baby things for a photographer, gifts for people, things for the house etc.   Craft room is actually looking quite tidy at moment, i've put away and hidden crafts I no longer do.....beading, tinwork, felting, drawing and painting, I've given away to the oppy lots of fabric and yarn, I've bagged up other stuff and sold them on, I'm also trying to finish at least two ufo's a week and I'm a month ahead of myself.  

The veggie patch is going to be quite productive soon, corn, broccolli, silverbeet, eggplants, beetroot, capsicums,  tomatoes, kale, beans and a few herbs.  
 So thats a brief update on my year.  Knowing me it will probably be another year and another update.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


For those that know me, button collecting used to be a tiny bit of an obssession. I got over that a while back and have been having a regular cull of them.  After watching me crochet over a large wooden bead a student said those would look good as buttons on a dress she had just made. Maybe they would be a bit too big and chunky so I delved into my button collection (currently stored in a 55 ltr box) and found as many shank buttons as I could, mainly those destined for the bin due to scuff marks and broken shanks. Then I went off on one of many side tracks and made a few large flowers, crocheted over a few buttons and sewed them to the centre of the flowers, how pretty they looked. I have lots of buttons now all covered, I use the bits of crochet cotton left over from other projects, usually too small to even make a flower with (and I am too tight to part with because I might find something to make with them), and cover a button. I have a little baggy filled with buttons and cotton and if I have a few minutes while waiting for an appointment I hook few up. I usually use a 1.25 - 1.50 hook. I had fully intended to post with piccys but I seem to have forgotten to take any. Too late now, I'll do it later, got to get dry and dressed and off to work. Its so easy for me to get side-tracked, i was only having a quick read of someones blog and then thought I'd just nip into mine and make a quick post and before I knew it I was off crocheting one more button cover and finishing off a flower and then went looking for more cotton and then found a a book I needed to look at and I am still not dressed and the clock is ticking away reminding me I should have been out the door ten minutes ago. I feel like crap, what I really want to do is curl up with hook and yarn and create but I have responsibilities and I made a commitment to doing what I do even though it is only voluntary work, it is meaningful, what I do does make a difference in someones life and I am being relied upon. Its so easy to walk away and give up when the going gets tough, so easy to not make that effort. I'm glad I stuck with it through all the upheaval and changes. So I'd better get my butt outta here and get there before time runs away from me again. I'll be back later to put in some piccys. Jan

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I am so bored, jaded, craft burnt out, lethargic etc etc etc.  Is it me or is everyones blogs starting to look the same - all pretty, pink, cutesy, twee.  I am guilty of the same but i so want to find something else - I want to look at someones blog or pinterest page and say WOW that different, I want to be inspired.  I want passion in my work, I want fire,
I want to be doing something else.  I love the amineko despite hating cats but I'm not passionate about them, I thought I was passionate about crochet but even that seems to be dwindling. I was passionate about tutoring literacy in an adult group but now all I want to do with that is just get there, do what I have to and then leave.  As for telling tourists where to go - I really would like to tell them. 

The past few months have been hectic, family issues that turned us upside down, work obligations that involved moving to a new building and lots of upheaval, Centrelink paperwork being accidently shredded (not by me, by them) then the new forms going missing - it took 6 weeks to get the whole damm thing sorted from start to finish and a continuing hassle with my job provider that still hasnt been sorted.  I'm bending over backwards to do my part and the system just keeps stuffing up.

I get up in the morning, i go through the motions - washing, cleaning, cooking, reading, volunteering and then bed.  I do a bit of crafting (more out of habit than actually wanting to create something) and a bit gardening and thats my day. The banality of it all is driving me round the bend. I feel like I am waiting for something big to happen, been feeling this way for a long time - I wish the universe would hurry up and show me whats coming... be careful what you wish for LOL.