Monday, 29 March 2010

Tim Holtz

I just want to say a great big thank you to Tim Holtz. I contacted him direct about his crackle paint going dry suggesting a use by date or storage options be placed on the bottles. He is such a legend. He read what I had to say and responded in a way I never thought would happen. I am going to be a little cryptic here because the last he needs is to get inundated with emails. Anyway again a big thank you Tim, your customer service is to be commended.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bird House

I have had a couple of little bird houses in my studio for 18 months begging me to be decorated. Of course the storm hit when I had finally re-organised my work area and was ready to play. On the second night with no power I grabbed one of the houses, my camping torch, and some of my favourite Stampin' Up paper. I tore the paper and just glued it on anywhere. Finally on Friday I got to finish it.

I was very annoyed when I grabbed my Tim Holtz crackle paint. I have only had it for just under a year and barely had a chance to use it and it had almost dried up. In fact it was like hard putty. I checked through my other pots of the paint and 3 out 6 were the same. One of them was so dry it can't be used for anything at all. I will be mentioning this on Tim's blog. If the paints (some never even opened) don't last that long then there should be a used by date. They are just too expensive.

Anyway I really wanted to use a grey blue colour on the roof. It was the hard putty one. I cut open the container pushed my finger into it and then smeared it on like putty. Both of these actions were actually hard work. The effect is actually really good but I still had to throw out an almost full container of paint.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

The Unveiling

Well not quite an unveiling especially for those who are my friends on facebook but these photos are better. Welcome to my clean, tidy, organised craft studio:

Oh Bo decided to get in the way of the camera. Check out that tongue! (Damn you blogger, can't you put the photo the right way round!)

Here it is...the studio. I bought some towel racks from Ikea that hang the punches and some other equipment perfectly and within arms reach.
I managed to find some really cool storage for ribbons and they hang nicely off my wheelable trolley and the towel racks as well
Stamps are all colour coded and sorted on my new shelves (yeah Ikea). Oh and don't forget the handy CD towers for those smaller things.
Some of my older storage managed to stay. The wheelie bins are for paints and glass crafts.

So there you have my clean studio. I am determined (cough cough) to TRY and keep it this way. LOL

I have also updated my other blog Stamping Artlore with a few new items from the soon to be released Stampin' Up Mini Catalogue - yummy is all I can say. :)

Footprints in the Sand

Christians and non Christians alike would know the poem Footprints. Now there is a song that takes the essence of that poem and puts it to music. Such a beautiful combination. It is my favourite song at the moment.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Final Storm Update

Yesterday got to 31 degrees C (at least that is what was forecast anyway). It was so humid and muggy. Work was fine once the power came on at 10am because the aircon kicked in but at home ... 5 steps and you were drenched in sweat.
We still didn't have power and I was very lucky that the shower had some hot water. We took our half defrosted frozen foods over to a friend who had power and got subway for dinner. By 8pm I was once again in bed (too dark to do anything). It was still so hot and I was exhausted. I was finding it hard to breath and really wished the power would come on so I could use my CPAP machine.
By 9pm I had finally managed to get comfortable and was almost asleep when a bright light hit my eyelids and registered on the retinas. Yay we had power. First thing I did was switch on the fan, grabbed my cpap mask and turned it on, then turned off the light on my clock and rolled over to let sleep take me. It would have done so to had it not been for my excited mother running in shouting "we've got power!!!" Yep, wide awake I was. :)

There are still some power outages around Perth and there were 7 sets of traffic lights still out as well. Quite often we bag out the electricity company but they did a great job getting the power back on to many homes in such a short period of time. Yes 29 hours was shorter than what they were first predicting. The poor guys worked around the clock.
There is a park across from where I work and there is a poor guy out there now raking up all the leaves and let me tell you there are certainly a lot of leaves.
Taken after the 2nd wave of the storm. There is a gap in the clouds as the sun set.
The gap quickly disappearing
This was taken last night.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Storm Update

I just had a nice little update here and then accidentally clicked on one of the links in it and lost everything so I am going to put it in point form:

1. Apparently another storm is coming through late this afternoon (hopefully it will do the usual and go around).
2. The stupid tree man who has been up a condemned tree since before Xmas to stop it from being knocked down stayed up there throughout the whole thing. You can see it here.
3. I can not believe how much I underestimated the size of the hail and that my car has survived totally unscathed considering it was fully exposed to it. See some great pictures here.
4. Mud slides in Perth, who would have thought!! People evacuated. Go to Perth Now and find out more there is just too much to tell.


Yesterday on my face book I posted a status that said nothing exciting happens here in Perth. Five minutes later all hell broke lose.

Perth doesn't get storms. Hail stones the size of a fingernail is very rare indeed. In fact for the last 4 months we have not had any rain worth mentioning. To hear a weatherman say that there is a severe road weather alert is laughable to say the least. Oh they say it, quite often, but we never get the conditions for which they are saying it. Quite often when thunder is forecast it never happens. You can understand now that when, after many many false calls that no one really believed them when they said a storm front was coming through ... yeah yeah, one suburb may get a little rain and that will be about it.

I normally leave work at 4pm but I stayed back a little because the sky had got so dark that it was like the sun had gone down. About 3 minutes later the rain hit. It was so windy that the rain didn't know which direction to go. Masses of it was swirling in front of us. That was when the hail started. Not the gold ball size hail but definitely to big enough to be see clearly on the ground as individual balls from the 3rd floor. My poor little car was out in all of that. I went down to the foyer to check it all out from street level from big glass walls and two idiots decided to go outside and huddle in the corner for a smoko!!! In the mean time the underground drain couldn't cope with the sudden rush of water and lifted the concrete manhole lid up to relieve some of it's pressure.

My work place is on a hill and the road had turned into a water fall. Leaves from the trees were all over the place (my red car was green). The building has a flat roof and couldn't cope with the heavy rain and hail so water was pouring down the stairwell and leaking out onto level 3 (where I work).

At 4:15 I phoned home and told my mother I would not be coming home just yet and will wait until the storm died down. At 4:25 there seemed to be a lull in the storm and the worst appeared to be over so I phoned home again to say I would be leaving and there was no answer. At 4:27 an email went round asking us to turn off all electrical equipment.

So I left for home. The roads were no longer roads but a graveyard for leaves. The entry way to the freeway was flooded so deep that I thought my little car would float away. Surprisingly though the freeway going south was quite clear and I managed to get to the highway I turn off on within 20 minutes. This is good for a good day!

Another storm was brewing but it was to the left of me as I drove down the freeway. There was however lightning all around me. It wasn't sheet lightning either, this stuff was touching the ground and it was constant. By the time I was on the highway and about to turn off it the sky started to get darker again.

Once off the highway I was only about 2-3km from home but the power was out and there were no street lights or police at a major intersection so driving was slow. Suddenly it was like someone hit a switch sky suddenly went really dark and the car started rocking in the wind. "Here it comes again," I thought. Within seconds the rain bucketed down. Thunder and lightning were continuous. I could not even see the car in front of me it was that bad. I just wanted to get home so I crawled. I put my lights on high beam in the hopes people would see me. A turn off from the main road near my house was barely visible and while trying to see it I ended up on the wrong side of the road (only a small lapse in the storms power allowed me to see the white stripes down the centre). When I found the turn off I ended up with water going over my bonnet.

Once home I was too scared to get out of the car. It was getting thrashed by the rain and wind. I only had a 2m run to the door. Finally I decided to make a run for it and got totally soaked.

Inside we had no power. It seems that my work area and my home area, though vastly apart, were the hardest hit. They are predicting that my home area will be without power for a couple of days (not good when you sleep with a CPap machine). At work this morning the power only came on on my floor at 10am due to safety reasons for the water in the carpet.

Another storm was supposed to have hit this morning but it did what storms usually do and went around us.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Comfort Craft

I am on a diet so comfort food does not (at least should not) happen. With all the funeral plans happening I asked my cousin if I could borrow his 9 year old daughter Ashtyn for the day. It would help keep our minds of things. I gave her the choice of making cards, a picture for her room, or decorating a small bird house. She chose the picture. Well we did spritzing, stamping, embossing, water colour crayons, glitter and so on. She did a really good job. I only assisted a little bit so most of the positioning and everything are all hers.

This green one is my favourite. Some of the ideas she had I thought wouldn't work but didn't say anything and I must admit I was glad I didn't. The final outcome is wonderful. I am so proud of her.

Yet again blogger turns a photo the wrong way.
The proud artist
When I was showing her how to spritz over the butterfly stencil I created this one. I then painted the edges with a translucent white paint to soften it. Ashtyn did the rest.
By this stage we were yet to hear from her parents so she decided to start on another one.
It isn't quite finished but she is making this one for one of her great Aunts she hasn't met yet. I told her how she loves reds and butterflies. I will take a photo of the finished product later.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The big 5

No not the African Big 5 but Bella's. She turned 5 last week. For her special day she had a fairy party. I had this lovely castle album that has been sitting in my studio for a while waiting for that something special to use it for. Her mum sent me the photos and here is the finished product. If you want to read the story that goes along with it you will need to click onto each individual photo.


It is 1am in the morning and I can't sleep so I thought I would do a post. Today (actually yesterday now) has been a hard day full of conflicting emotions of grief and relief. After months suffering my Aunt's body finally gave up the fight. I am happy she is at peace but I also realise there were so many missed opportunities. You don't realise how much you love someone until they are gone, so if you are reading this post right now make it your mission to tell a loved one how much you love them. Tell it to someone you may never have told or have not told in a long time.

Motor Neurone Disease is a horrible way to die and there is currently no cure. We have also found that there are not many who are aware of it. My Aunt was in a high care nursing home with staff who could not stay with her as often as was needed. They barely even understood what the disease was until someone came out from the MND Association to explain what she was going through and what would happen. It was not the best place for her to be but there was no else to go. Hospitals would not take her.

There seems to be a gap in the system somewhere. Somewhere between what the nursing home can do and what the hospitals would consider palliative care is a black hole where people like my Aunt and their families have to struggle. My Uncle was constantly by her side because there were not enough staff to constantly check on her (an issue everywhere).

I have mentioned this because the only group that can really assist is the MND Association. They are a non profit organisation that survives on donations. Please check out the web site here and if you can may a small donation that would be great. If it weren't for the assistance of the Association things for us would have been a lot worse.

Three of 6 siblings. Taken in December last year when she first moved to the nursing home.
I love you Aunty Dawn and I will see you again in Heaven.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Sneak and Fun

As promised here is a sneak peak of some new organising:

I also promised to show you my latest creation. This was made from a kit however I did have to go hunting for twigs. Many at work were wondering what I was doing with a couple of twig branches that I collected one lunch time. I think they thought I was going to spray them with something and put them in a vase because they still had the old gum nuts attached. As you can see, that is not the case. Oh and blogger has decided to rotate a photo. I wanted it horizontal not vertical!

The Year So Far

The year of 2010 has not been good to me and my family so far. My dreams of being a successful Stampin' Up Rep have been put on hold along with my etsy store. I have however taken the time to re-organise my studio which has been a massive blessing and hide out in itself.

You may be asking yourself what has been happening. Well in a nut shell, life has. In this case though it starts with s and ends in t and is a four letter word that I really need to learn to stop saying.

As some of you know my Aunt D. was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease December last year. Since then she has gone downhill big time. She can no longer speak, eat, or do anything for herself. She had originally said no to the food peg but when it came to the crunch she said yes. I don't know why, she lays there in pain all day, if the morphine hasn't kicked in and she is asleep then she is constantly moaning. Consequently all the looking after, and emotional strain is taking it's toll on a lot of my family.

We then found out last week that Aunt F. (who is hearing and speech impaired) is in hospital with bad Pulmonary Odema. Her stomach is also so bloated they think there may be something else like cancer. Aunt F. doesn't look after herself very well. She has bad asthma, diabetes, and a hacking cough which causes the staff at her hostel to send her outside to do. It's no wonder she was sick for 3 days before they realised. Once tests were done it was confirmed that the stomach was clear and that she had pneumonia in both lungs, and then they sent her back to the hostel. Can anyone see something wrong with this picture!

Great Aunt J. (same age as my oldest Aunt) had a breast cancer scare in January but was cleared. She went for and osteoporosis test last week and found out that her bones are riddled with cancer. The is now in hospital and not likely to leave.

To top this all off I was speaking to a friend yesterday who is in New Zealand. I new she had had cancer and gone into remission 3 times and I also new that last year she started some chemo again. I found out yesterday that the cancer is that aggressive this time that she has a 5% chance going into remission. Without chemo they gave her 5-6 months so she is having chemo. She has two beautiful daughters who at this stage only know that mum is sick.

They say it happens in 3s but this is 4 and I could mention more but I won't. It's time for some good news. I have lost 4 kg in 4 weeks. I am so proud of myself. I have been exercising every day. Starting to really enjoy the exercise again. I force myself to do it even when I am tired and flat and it does give me a boost.

Well I am about to head out to the studio and do some craft stuff. The studio is not finished yet but will be soon. I may give you a sneak peak later this weekend.