Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Precious Pup No. 1

I am a big time, little dog lover. In my lifetime I have had 4. They are all very precious to me and each have their own quirky personalities. Today I am telling you about my first dog.

I was 5 years old when a friend gave my parents a free puppy that was smaller than a rat. She had short pure white fur with floppy brown ears and a brown spot in the middle of her back. She was a Chihuahua (a heat loving dog) and we lived in Tasmania (the coldest state in Australia). We called her Lik-Lik (small in pidgin english) but she ended up with Likky. She lived up to that name too.

While she was still big enough to fit into dad's palm she was never left at home. If mum went shopping, Likky went in the bag (it was back in the 70's when knitted bags were the in thing). If dad went then he would zip her into his Parker with her head sticking out the top. It actually used to momentarily scare the check out girls.

As she grew she seemed to never stopped. In fact she was 3 if not 4 times the size of Paris Hilton's poor little fashion accessory. According to the vet she was the best pure pedigree un-messed up chihuahua she had ever seen.

Likky had 3 favourite things she played with: old socks that we gave her (she never touched the ones we still wore), balls, and your hand. The socks were great for tug of war and chewing. They would end up in so many holes. Her head would shake so fast when playing with them. She would cheat at tug of war though and grab the end I held all the time.

As for the balls her favourite one was twice the size of her head. Dad ran over it with the lawn mower so even though it held it's shape, there was no air resistance to her biting it. She would drop the ball at my feet, move back a meter or two, crouch on the floor and wait for me to kick. I had fun pretending to kick it and watching her spring into action, then reposition herself once she realised it was a false alarm.

We used to play rough when it was just her teeth and my hands. In fact a neighbour saw us one day and thought I was being attacked. Likky would look so vicious but not leave a mark.

She was a very thoughtful dog. When we would go for walks in the park we would let her off the lead. She would run ahead all the time but would come back to check on us. Our second dog, Tinks, would stay with mum while Likky and I would run ahead. I would stop, and ask "where's Tinks," and Likky would race back to Tinks, give her a nudge and then come running back to me.

Her best friend was my Aunts poodle Gi Gi. They would go crazy with each other for hours. There were also two friends of the family that she absolutely adored. You knew they had entered the yard because she got so excited (it actually sounded like someone was hurting her badly).

Her favourite spot to curl up was the bean bag (claimed by her) and right in front of the heater. When she was sick it would be the purple sheep skin rug in my bedroom (I have already said it was the 70's okay - and yes it only got thrown out 3 weeks ago).

When I turned 20 I moved to South Korea for a year. I remember saying goodbye to Likky and thinking this is the last time I am going to see her. Unfortunately I was right. Over the year I was away she developed bowel cancer among other things. Six months into my stay I get a call from my mother saying that she had to put Likky down. Mum had gone to work and moved her bed into the garage for shade from the heat.

She had been bad the night before but had seemed to improve by morning. Ten hours later when mum got home she found Likky gasping for breath on her bed. She put her in the car and raced to the vet straight away. All the while saying "I'm sorry," over and over again. She ran into the crowded vets with tears streaming down her face cradling Likky and shouting "help me my dog is dying." There was nothing they could do but put her down. Mum said she was a mess and cradled her head, scratching her behind the ears and telling her it would be over soon. She had the biggest most expressive eyes I have seen on a dog yet. Mum said that just before she closed them for the final time, she gave her a look that said thank you.

Likky lived for 16 years and was a big part of my life. Even now 14 years on I am sitting here balling my eyes out as I write this. It is amazing how much effect one animal can have on a person.

I wish I could show you a photo but they are permanently stuck in those old magnetic, full of acid, lets yellow your photo's album. She wasn't a good looking dog but she was beautiful to me.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Travel Scrapping - Are You Lost?

Have you travelled to a wonderful place, couldn't wait to get your photographs printed and scrapbook, only to find a lack of embellishments to match your holiday?

Last year I travelled through Egypt and then to Petra in Jordan. Finding things to scrap with became a nightmare. Okay so I found the Jolee's embellishment stickers but there are only so many heads of Tutankhamun that you can put in one album. I also found that most travel stickers had things like bon voyage (great for the fellucca ride but nothing else). Most travel kits also tended to have things for Paris and Italy. If you ever go to those countries you will have no problems embellishing your photographs.

So I set about creating my own. Let me tell you that free download games such as Luxor, are great for images. Just download the game, save some screen shots, have fun playing the game and then print the images you captured to the size you want. I went one step further and actually made my own rather than stick in cut outs, but I am single with no responsibilities which helps. I also googled egyptian images and printed out a few of them.

On this page I made a cut out of the Eye of Horus which I copied from one of the small Jolee's stickers

These two images were copied from one of the Luxor computer games.

These images were from a google search. With The Horus on the right I printed out the white face section. It was getting too detailed to try and create myself.

The squares on this one are also from a computer game but can't remember which one. I printed them so they would fit the size of the square bubble sticker.

I used the temple shape as a border and the papyrus flow as a page corner. I got these images from a painted papyrus picture I brought back with me.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Adventurous Photography

It is rare to see a lightning show in Perth let alone a decent one. However the last 3 nights here have proven rather forthcoming.

So tonight I grabbed my trusty camera and ventured into the wilderness of my backyard. There was only one possible place I could stay covered from the rain and get a perfect view of the sky - the annex of the tin shed.

The air was thick with electricity and despite the danger I chose to go for it. I have always wanted to photograph lightning and this was my one big chance. As I stood buffeted by a strong, hot inland breeze I fought with the focus on my digital camera. It has no concept of twilight making the trees in the photographs appear like a water painting that had been sprayed with a fine shower.

As my arms, raised in readiness, grew tireder and tireder. Every now and then I would lower them for a split second and then FLASH ZIP ZING and the lightning was gone. Eventually as most warriors do when they concede defeat, I retreated.
Out of 150 hopeful photographs I have these two to show for it. Quite good really on a camera that has a 1 second delay.

Iced Coffee - to have or not to have

I hate coffee with a vengance! So how did I become addicted? I could blame my mother but she didn't force my mouth open and make me drink the stuff so ultimately it comes down to me.

Now before I go on I need to define what iced coffee is. You see that would depend on the country you are in so I found out. In Australia it is like a milkshake but coffee flavoured. You can understand my shock when I went into a Starbucks in Canada, asked for an iced coffee, and was handed a 500ml cup of brown water. I looked back at the young man serving me and said, "is this iced coffee." He looked at me as if I was blind but politely said that it was. I walked away and tasted it. It was like drinking bitter water. It ended up in the bin.

So how did I get addicted?

There are times when water is just not a palatable option, even on a hot day. Your first course of action is to migrate towards the fridge in the hopes that there is still some soft drink or juice left. You rummage around and realise you have only two choices: your mother's iced coffee or a cold milo in watery low fat milk.

Milo it is. But alas someone has only left half a teaspoon of milo left in the tin. Now the choices aren't so easy: water (straight from the tap, room temp, tastes of metal); low fat milk (tastes like water); or iced coffee.

Tentatively you poor a mouthful into a cup and sip. It's cold and even though it is coffee, the taste is not strong. The next thing you know you are pouring yourself that first fateful glass that 12 years later becomes your nemesis.

I still don't like coffee, hot coffee that is. The warmer something is the more flavoursome it becomes. Therefore iced coffee has become my choice of drink.

It all started so innocently. I then started to work. The more I moved up in the world the more stress there was and iced coffee labled itself my friend and comforter, even more so than chocolate (shh don't tell the chocolate it might get jealous).

This new friend comes in 300ml and 600ml containers. Soon the 600ml became a meal replacement, then a wind down and then my wake up. Without realising I was on a 1 1/2 to 2 litre a day habit. Consequently this has done nothing for my waistline.

To have or not to have. That is now the question. The answer however may be difficult but it's time I took control. Gone is the Iced Coffee Friend. As of tomorrow I am going cold turkey.

What does someone have to do to get a cola around here?!!

Friday, 26 January 2007

Australia Day

Each day somewhere in the world, someone is doing something for the first time. Today is my day. Look out blogging world, here I come.

I am from Perth in Western Australia and today is Australia Day. It is a celebration of when the first tall ships sailed into Sydney Harbour back in 1788. So how do we celebrate? The good ol' Aussie BBQ mate! It also means fighting the crowds and spending half the day in blistering heat to get the best view of a really good fireworks show. I am glad I didn't go this year as the temperature is currently over 40 degrees celcius and it is 6:30pm.

Okay so the look of this blog is pretty boring. I seem to have missed the area where you can have fun creating what it looks like. If there is anyone out there in bloggers world, who would like to help a damsel in distress by, all means please do.

I am also hoping to put photographs of my crafts and my travels on here so advice all round is needed.