Thursday, 29 December 2011

Hot Hot Hot

Up until a couple of days ago, we were experiencing some lovely weather.  Not too cold and not too hot.  In the last two days though, it has been like summer has finally realised it should be well and truly awake, so, to make up for it, the temperature has increased 10 degrees.  It has gone from a balmy 28 to 31 degrees C to breaking the thermometre at 40. 

Yeah 40 is not nice at the best of times but to have it suddenly knock on your door, it's like a wrecking ball hit you in the face when you open it.

I don't have a pool, the aircon spits and drops water after 5 minutes of use, our beaches seem inundated with sharks at the moment, and being school holidays means the local pool will be over run with unrully kids.  Therefore yesterday, around 6pm, the temperature gage sitting on 37 degrees, I donned my bathers, turned the hose, and enjoyed and old fashioned hose water fountain.  Even sprayed the dogs to keep them cool.  For the benefit of the water conscious who are currently gasping for air at the thought that I did such a thing, the hose was on for less than 3 minutes, I was standing on the lawn, and it was a light spray.

A few years ago, some friends who live in the far north of WA sent me this photo.  It explains exactly how I am feeling right now.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Oh dear!

It seems that 6 months of no blogging means you come back to an entirely new way on how to post things.  I think I will have to experiment.

Six months is a long time to be offline.  I gave up for a while due to issues with loading photos.  I couldn't seem to load any at all.  Hopefully I will be able to load images with ease now that blogger appears to have changed.

What have I done in 6 months?  Not much at all to be honest.  My health is not that good.  I am not sick, just tired and cranky all the time, and of course there is always that inevitable person(s) who like to make life even more hellish for you when you are down. 

A consequence of this is my weight ballooning again.  I am almost back to the same weight I was before I got the stomach band.  It seems that sometimes in life, the only good thing is chocolate.  Unfortunately chocolate is still something that I can eat with ease and therefore keep eating it.

I made a good friend on Facebook this year via another friend.  Mel lived in America and was going to come out and visit in November.  I was really looking forward to showing her around Western Australia.  I hadn't heard from her for a 3 weeks (she was normally on Facebook every day), and had not answered my messages.  One day at work I logged on and I had an email from someone close to her.  She had passed away.  I don't know what happened, just that she had been on life support. 

That is the risk we take now days, making friends on Facebook.  Their close friends and family have no way to contact you in cases like this.  My friends were horrified that I had found out that way and started blaming Facebook.  I don't blame Facebook.  Facebook has allowed me to be in contact with people I would never otherwise meet.  If it wasn't for Facebook I would never have met and made such a wonderful person.

Mel was looking forward to going to an Aussie beach, so it was only fitting that I said my goodbyes at one.  My family came with me and we went to watch the sun set at Scarborough Beach.

Enough of my issues though (starting to sound like Oprah Winfrey), a new year is dawning and I am hoping to make it my year.  I want to get fit and healthy, both physically and mentally.

In previous posts I may have mentioned that I have (thanks to some friends of mine) developed a love of Blythe dolls.  I have 3 now and I am starting to make some clothes that I want to sell on etsy.  I purchased some patterns but the instructions were all in Chinese.  Luckily for me, I work with a couple of Chinese girls who speak very good English.  One of them kindly took the patterns home and translated it for me.  Her translation is so cute: 'stitch' was translated into suture; and 'gather' was translated into ruffle.  I feel like a surgeon every time I suture.  :)

So far I have made a Japanese type outfit.  I am hoping to get started on something else soon as well.  Hope to have photos soon.

My dear friend Ruth and her family are moving country.  Alas they are not moving back to Australia, and if they did it would be over east and not here.  Luckily for me, they will be spending a few days in Perth to see family and will spend their last few days with me before they fly out.  Can't wait to see my little 'niece' Minty. 

I have kept all the Christmas decorations and the lights up so that Minty can have a Christmas (she probably will get Christmas Days).  Ruth loves Chicken Treat (its a West Aussie thing) so that is what we will have for our belated Christmas Dinner.

Speaking of Christmas, I did the annual dog photo shoot again.  Still need to do Napoleons though.  I haven't finished his top hat yet.  :)

Hmm starting to like the new blogger.  Makes posting photos so much easier.  YAY!  Will take photo's soon of what I have been up to craft wise.

Have a happy new year.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Observations of a dog owner

Weekends. My poodle, Tessa, knows I like to sleep in. She, however, likes her food too much. Weekends mean that I do the feeding. I have to admit, she does let me sleep 2 hours longer than a weekday. She doesn't take into account that I stayed up longer the night before and really I have had less sleep than during the week.

It's hard to ignore a 7kg poodle jumping onto the bed, rubbing herself up and down your back or arm, whinging and whining to wake you up. She isn't persistent though and by that I mean, she will annoy for a minute and then run off in the hopes of finding someone else. This gives me at least another 5 minutes of dozing before she comes back for the second, third and sometimes 10th round.

There are a couple of things you need to know about Tessa before I proceed. Firstly she is one of those "see food" eaters. Even when it's not food, if it smells good enough to eat, she will try. Consequently I had a slightly overweight dog on my hands. She went to the vet for another issue and came home on a diet and also on cortisone (which will make her hungry) for her other ailment. Diet and cortisone ... not good bed fellows in a dog that already thinks she is being starved.

During this last week, we found a big bone in the freezer that we had forgotten about. It was decided that Tessa would have it, so yesterday morning I did the honours and presented her with this bone, in recognition of being very good on her diet and the appearance of her waist line.

Tessa was in Heaven but the other dog Bo (half Tessa's size) was jealous. Oh she got a treat, it just wasn't a bone. When Bo wants food she will bark at us. After a while I heard Bo barking and went to see what she was barking at.

There she was, looking at Tessa chewing away happily, and barking at her. I am sorry Bo but Tessa is not like us. She doesn't get sick of your barking and give in. LOL it was like she was telling Tessa she needed to share.

Both dogs saw me at the door, and in anticipation of more food, came running over. A large crow took advantage of the bone alone and sidled up to it. I walked out to scare it off, but the stupid thing just looked at me. It decided to move 2m away and watch.

In the mean time, Tessa is still convinced I have something in my hand for her, so with her attention on me, and my attention on the crow, Bo seizes the moment, grabs the bone (twice the size of her head) and runs to her bed with it.

Through out the morning the bone swapped between Tess and Bo. When Tessa had it, Bo would bark, when Bo had it, Tess would be inside begging for something else. The large crow stayed and whinged and whined like the dogs do when they want food.

Eventually the bone disappeared, so whether or not the crow got it, who knows!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Playing Catch Up

Writing about my Melbourne trip, took a while. In that time I created a doll for a swap and sent it to Colorado (see previous post). Everyone enjoyed the swap so much that we are now planning our second one, which is themed "the Animal Within." I already have some ideas. I have even purchased a book that gives really good instructions on how to model human faces and figures from polymer clay.

Challenges are also part of the swap group. Each fortnight, Linda chooses a theme and we challenge ourselves to make a doll keeping with the theme. The first was paper. Unfortunately I can't locate my paper doll photos and for some reason can't copy them from Face book. I did have great feedback regarding them so I am thinking of putting a pictorial tutorial on here.

The second challenge was wire but we could also use metal. Oh in case you were wondering, these are not swaps. The swaps are quarterly. If you are interested in joining up then please contact me.

This is my wire and metal doll. She is 100% metal and wire ... except the glue holding her hair on. I actually used my stampin up punch to do the flowers! I knew the Big shot diez cut through aluminium but I didn't realise the standard punches did. Won't be using it that often with metal though. I don't want to make them blunt.


If you are part of the doll swap and suspect I am your angel in disguise then don't read any further until you have your doll in hand.

Unfortunately due to insensitive people signing up and not forthcoming with communication or a doll, and also due to dolls lost in the post (we think they went on holidays somewhere together) there are some who have not received a doll as yet. I signed up to be a doll Angel, which means I have made a doll for someone who has missed out. The person I am making for is in the same state as me so that I don't have to spend a lot on postage. I have included photo's of the doll at the end of this blog. Oh I just realised that I haven't put the doll I received on here. How rude of me. I will save that for another time. It is steam punk style and I love steampunk.

Today I arrived home to find a gorgeous little gift from my friend Ruth, in my mail. She knows how much I adore my dogs and like to keep them warm in winter. She had found a cute little hoodie for a dog that says "Spoilt Rotten." On the cardboard under the hoodie it said "My dog is not spoilt, I am just well trained!" Hahaha I love that. Might make a coat myself with that on it. :)

It is a little on the small side, (the next size up would have been good) but I managed to squeeze Bo into it, and does she ever look so cute. She even posed for me. Actually if we trim her fur it will fit just nice. In the first photo she reminds me of a garden gnome.

Finally, here is the doll I made for my angel gift. Like my first doll, she has been a complete experiment using products I have never used before. She better not fly away in the mail. :)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Artistic Doll Swap #1

A while back now I posted about a Facebook Artistic Doll Swap that I was in. Altogether there were around 70 plus members. We are almost ready for the second doll swap with close to 100 members.

My original idea was to be a flat paper doll, however it kind of evolved into something entirely different. Its torso and thighs are made from dowel sticks covered with thin corrugated cardboard. His arms and legs are chipboard, cut in strips to male a circular shape and also covered with the cardboard. Face, hands, feet, birds, and mouse were hand crafted from sculpy (no molds used).

I call him Manu Katiaki, which means bird guardian in Maori. He protects all the small creatures of the forest (mainly birds). If I ever develop a range of these characters they will be called the Kitara which is Celtic for Forest.

One thing I learnt from making this is to appreciate the next making skills of birds. I have opposable thumbs and it took me forver to weave something that resembled a nest.

Manu Katiaki is now living it up in Oregan with his new owner, who absolutely adores him.

Creation of the Kitara:
Once upon an

ancient night

The moon was out

and shining bright...

A forest stood

beneath its beam

Its trees stood tall

with leaves of green

Beneath the

canopy so dark

A magical creature

created a spark

You would have seen

a tiny glow

And onto a sapling

it did blow

It bounced around

like a pale ball

Waking new life,

with its call.

The saplings took on

A shape all their own

And on wooded feet

they started to roam.

Thus was the birth

of the spirit trees

Who wander and

protect all living things.

They can only be seen

If you believe

For then they will shine out

From beneath the leaves.
On the right side of my blog you will see a pink button for the Artistic Doll Swap Blog. It will soon show all the dolls from the swap.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Melbourne - Last Days Part 2

Yay, the last of my Melbourne photos and then I can get on and tell you all about the craft I have been up to.

Obviously this is continued on from yesterday, and the photos of Werribee Mansion are technically from the beginning of the day rather than the end (don't ask, it makes sense to me).

As you walk in the front gates this is the sign you see. At that point, all you can see are trees lining the drive an not much free land that you can sit on without sitting under a tree. Gave me giggle.

This just shows you the view along the drive, hence my point about the trees.

Only a small portion of the mansion

This was my favourite room. It was also the ladies room. The colour was so bright and cheerful compared to the gloomy dark rooms for the men that had stuffed animals they had hunted everywhere.

This beautiful creature is Ruby. her fur is so soft and silky. I would have hugged her all day if she let me, but she's a cat ... need I say more.

This is George and he has the most gorgeous green eyes

And here is little Sammy

Lets just chew on Aunty Kerin's camera strap!

My cousin has her hands full if this is his reaction after I take the strap out of his mouth. And he's only 4 months here!!!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Melbourne - last few days Part 1

I have titled this as part 1 only because my internet connection is currently rubbish and is not allowing anymore photos to upload. Technically the photos start at the last day, so tomorow you will get the photo's that actually come before these ones. If that makes sense.

After returning from Warnambool and staring the night at my cousin Tina's (on a blow up mattress that had a small hole - I awoke in the morning to find my back and bum on the floor and my feet, arms and head up in the air), I was picked up by my cousin Alida and taken to her house for the evening. That is where mum had been staying as well. We went shopping as one of the local centres had a VIP day with an extra 15% off on the already end of financial year sales. Got some nice things there. Yep, more luggage to worry about.

That evening I had to share a double bed with mum (yes a double). Between my mask deciding to whistle when air escaped it, and mum snoring like she was a horse going pfffft, not much sleep was had.

The next day we went across Melbourne to my cousin Kitty. We were staying two nights here. She has a 4 month old little boy (well he was in May anyway) who is just gorgeous.

On the Saturday, Kitty and her husband Lucas took us to Werribee Mansion. My God are those grounds huge, not to mention the Mansion itself. Being a Saturday, you could dress up in costume for free and take your own photos. There was a lady there, dressed as a maid to help you choose your costume. Unfortunately I was a little too well endowed in the chest area so I took up the position of photographer. Mum and Kitty found clothes that fitted ... well sort of. Kitty's top was huge on her.

Love this photo of mum. Both in colour and in sepia

This is the Mansion

Their first family photo


Proof I was there too.

I bought Sammy a jolly jumper - he loves it. (So did the cat while it was being set up and swinging around).Mum and Sammy

Our final days were spent with Tina and Rowan. We all came together for a family breakfast due to there being 3 birthdays amongst us in May and because we were there. :)

Little Mycah ate all of that huge breakfast

His older sister couldn't manage it.

Another family shot but not very good

My only photo with Sammy and he was grumpy.

Mark and Alida with the two kids

Graffiti in Melbourne is gorgeous. If only people in Perth could do this. Saw this on the way back from the "Handmade Markets" (Yeah bought some more - hey I was on holidays).

This little girl is throwing cards. Literally there are cards glued to the wall and footpath. Not sure how long they will last in the rain.

Old Melbourne homes and yes I confess, I played with photoshop to bring out more autumn colours in the trees. The original photo is yellow and green leaves still.

Mum helping Tina and Rowan lower the airmatress. Can't believe it is the only photo I have of the two of them and it's blurred. Note to self ... never give Rowan too much chocolate unless I am prepared to put up with the consequences of a sugar high. He is funny!