Monday, 31 January 2011

Spool Madness

For some time now, the Collections Spool Kit has been sitting in a box in my studio waiting for me to play with it. Thanks to Sulea's gorgeous gift containing some spools, I got inspired. On Saturday I went over to her house and she taught me how to make them. Yes we are both addicted now. I am currently making a large one however at her house I took up the challenge to make tiny ones. In fact they are smaller than the ones in the kit.

What started this madness of tiny spools was that I had some cut offs that I didn't want to waste. Sulea gave me the circular centres of some chipboard flowers and they became the top and bottom. So here is the second and third spool I ever made and the diameter happens to be 7mm. I decided to make them into charms but then thought they would look cute as earrings.

So the blue pair inspired me to try again. This time I made them slight bigger. I used the Stampin' Up small hole punch for the top and bottom; collections papers; clear crackle; and wrapped lose woven linen fabric around the centre.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Talented Friends

There are a few talented people in the world, and I must admit that I am proud to call some of them my close friends.

First of all my friend Ruth, knitted me a beautiful shawl for my Christmas presant. I will have photo's of it very soon, however considering it will require me being in it then you have to wait till I have a good day looks wise ... mm ... maybe in 2 years time. Joking Ruth! LOL

This morning my very talented friend Sulea (who I swear can do just about anything), gave me this for my birthday. She knows I have been sewing lately so it has a sewing theme. I am thrilled to bits with it. Seriously the amount of hours spent designing and putting this together. There are so many little details that I have many photographs to point them out. By the way Ruth, I feel exactly the same way about my shawl.

It is so wonderful to have two friends like this who will go to the time, the effort, the frustration etc and so, that comes with creating a masterpiece.

Further to this gift today, I learnt something new, and that something new taught me how truly valuable my friendship to someone can be. Yep it is worth 10 cents. LOL Sulea requested that I give her 5 cents (I only had 10) to offset the pin that she had placed through the ball of string. Apparently it is a Chinese Superstition that if you give someone something sharp as a gift, the friendship will be severed. To offset this the giftee will pay the gifter a small sum of money so that the friendship is not lost. I think it is wonderful and made me realise that my friendship is treasured by others.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed receiving the gift.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

I woke up this morning (early thanks to the dog), got ready for work, as I usually do on a week day. I was reminding myself that it is only 2 more days and then the weekend (this, after having the day off yesterday for Australia Day). It suddenly struck me as I walked out the door that I am a year older today.

I don't know what it is about birthdays, but I have always thought that it is your special day. The one day of the year where you can get a little bit of attention, where people do something special for you. Not sure how I grew up thinking that way, considering my mum tended to think I was too old for birthday's once I got into double digits. I just always like to make it special for the person whose birthday it is, so just once I would really like someone to do something special for me. I like surprises people!! A bunch of flowers delivered to work, a surprise party, anything as long as I don't have to plan it.

Alas though, I am the one always organising my birthday. I organised my sweet 16th, nothing happened on my 18th because I was preparing for Uni; nothing happened on my 21st because I was in South Korea (and to them I was turning 22); my 30th was organised by me and though I had fun, I was too busy making sure things ran smoothly to fully enjoy it.

Here I am turning 38, once again trying to organise something. I don't know why I just don't give up. I have friends with too many different interests, so it doesn't matter what I decide to do, there will always be someone who complains. On top of that my birthday is at that difficult time of year ... a public holiday, as well as the fact that a good percentage of people seem to be born late January as well. This means I have to compete with peoples siblings etc, in order to have my friends around for my birthday, so consequently my birthday celebrations end up in February (which probably explains why I forgot it myself this morning).

Life has taught me never to expect anything, or get excited about anything, that way I won't be disappointed. When I travel, I have no expectations and therefore nothing disappoints me. People can't understand why I am not excited about things. Oprah, is a good example. I was excited when I found out that I had won the seats, but leading up to the show and the trip, I wasn't excited. Corinne was dumbfounded as she could barely sit still. I don't know why I am like this, I just am. However when it comes to my birthday I keep thinking ... maybe this year something special will happen ... and then the day comes and goes and nothing happens. Did I mention I am planning my 40th now. Yes, yet again, I am planning it. If there are any volunteers out there who would like to plan this for me, be my guest, I want to go away for a weekend with my friends somewhere. I'm thinking Bali or Margaret River.

So this is just a normal week day in which I am at work. I will probably get home tonight and my mother forget until halfway through the evening. I am now going online to look for some birthday flowers to send to myself. Am I sulking in self pity, damn right I am! It's my birthday and I am entitled to it! LOL. Ok sulk over now, better get back to work.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Week 14

Gotta pull my finger out and get back into eating the right things. Just because I have a stomach band doesn't mean I still can't indulge in some nice naughty things. I have unfortunately found that biscuits soaked in coffee go down nicely for me, and chocolate, and in some cases, even chips.

I am finding it difficult to swallow some things though, however despite that my specialist has recommended another fill. I decided against it last week when I saw him but have decided that next time I see him I will get another fill.

I currently weigh 94kg. Exercise is a little difficult right now. I have done something to my right ankle. Have no idea what, but it hurts when I walk so running is out of the question. Will need to stick to the ab circle pro I think, look ma, no feet! LOL

The 4 part Oprah down under show has aired both here and in America. I went to the one with the finale. I didn't realise that Oprah had no idea about the flag going over the top. I was also surprised to see that the cameras quite often focused on the general area that I was sitting. Especially finding out that there was one behind me so I saw a shot from the back right at the very end of the show that I knew for sure was me! :) I can now say that I have been on International Television. No close ups though! LOL.

Oh and as for my home state kicking up a huge fuss when the Oprah trip was announced, because we had not been included in any of the plans; and after they gave away a trip to Perth for one of the American Audience and all the drama behind their visit here ... not one mention of Perth at all. Not one. We think it's because the stupid guy got sunstroke and was taken to hospital and that threw out the rest of the itinerary. On top of that, Margaret River, the wine region, was high on the agenda, and the woman wasn't interested because she didn't drink. Hells bells I don't drink but Margaret River has a lot more to offer than just wine tasting!

Well better get back to work I suppose! The main system is down so there is only so much we can do.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Flood Party

I have been quiet the last couple of weeks. The floods in Queensland that are now effecting Victoria, has impacted all of us in some way. It is strange that while I sit here and type, half of Western Australia is still in drought while the rest of Australia is swamped. I have family in Toowoomba and near Grantham, and I thank God that they are all ok and the floods did not reach their homes.

Last week Stampin' Up announced that they would donate money to the flood relief for every $30 worth of stamps sold. I decided to host an impromptu party where the money provided for my class would go to the floods. That party was today and I had a wonderful group of ladies who came along. Doreen really surprised herself, I think, as to what she could accomplish. She seemed very proud of her creations.

Fun was certainly had by all and we ended up raising $105 towards the flood appeal. I may even have my first party booking!!! :)

Small group of 6


Card 1 - Elements of style stamp set

Card 2 Artistic Etchings Stamp set

Card 3 Sense of Time and Weathered stamp sets

Card 4 Baroque Motifs Stamp set

Monday, 10 January 2011

Week 12

Seriously not sure how the numbers on the diet weeks are listed but starting fresh this year with what is on my tracker and not on my blog. That essentially makes this week 12. :) Lost a couple of weeks there somewhere. LOL Pitty it didn't take the weight with it.

Ok on Dec 6 I weighed in at 92.8kg. During Oprah week I didn't weigh in but the next week I had gained 800g (93.6kg) on Dec 6. The Monday after Christmas I also refused to weigh in but did so on the 3rd of Jan to find out that my weight had stayed at 93.6kg. I am happy with that. Today I weighed in and I am back to the weight I was on December 6. Again I am happy with that (considering what I ate) but it also means I am around 5kg off track of my goal. I should have been weighing in around 87kg this week. Oh well, just gotta work harder to try and catch up.

My previous post was regarding the joys of sewing without a pattern. I am happy to say that the bag has been saved. The store I bought the Jelly roll from, still had some in the same colour so now I can add that extra height to it. Unpicking that small amount did not take long. I am also a 3rd of a way through my first quilt. It goes with the Oopsie I made for my cousins little "Tiger" who is due in 4 days.

Unfortunately no paper craft has been done because, despite the rest of Australia experiencing torrential downpour and flooding, we here in Perth have been having hot hot hot humid days and still experiencing a drought. What has this got to do with my paper craft? EVERYTHING! Pre Christmas and the rellies staying with us I had to take everything out to the studio. It is in a huge mess and needs re-organising. The air-con in there (2 years old) decided that it didn't want to make the air cool for me anymore and now I have to wait until the end of the month for a new converter.

I find this rather amusing in non hot flustered sort of way. You see the one in my bedroom is as old as the house (brown thing that sticks out of the wall). It is still going even though I am sure the coolant should have all be used up, and the filter has fallen to pieces (which reminds me, I need to get the vacuume into it tonight). It is so old we cannot get replacement parts etc.

On another note, Napoleon has taken over the house hold. The dog, that didn't think it was a dog when it first arrived, is definitely now a dog, and the dog in charge. Poor Tess doesn't know what has happened, but she certainlly isn't the numero uno in charge anymore.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Lessons learnt

With my recent sewing frenzy I decided to make a bag (no photos yet as the person who will be the recipient reads this blog from time to time). I have never made a bag before, but I had purchased a small jelly role from the local market and decided to go ahead. Trust me when I say I have learnt a few things from this bag:
  1. have a clear idea in my head prior to starting because making it up as you go can cause frustration.
  2. triple stitch is hell to unpick
  3. Murphy's law states that no matter how well you measure something, the lining will ultimately end up bigger than the outside.
  4. the stiffening would have been better on the main fabric rather than the lining.
  5. when it looks like the item stitched is not quite big enough, then it probably isn't (note to self - on next bag add more fabric to the top - so the drawstring will actually close and leave a nice puffy top section
  6. don't get too cocky about creating your own design because you will walk passed an open book in the fabric store and see that there is a pattern for sale exactly how you wanted the bag to turn out (but didn't).

The bag has now been put to the side until I decide what to do with it (I really do not want to unpick all that stitching but have an idea it is what I am going to do). Still in my sewing mood I have decided it is time to make the cot quilt I have been promising to make (baby due in 7 days). The lounge room floor is covered in fabric squares. It is driving me nuts trying to place 152 squares so that they look nice. Never making a quilt again (yeah right).

First day back at work today. At least there is work for me to do. Thank God tomorrow is Friday though.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Week ???

Not sure what week this is in my weight loss goal. I could be intelligent and look at the last post about my weight loss journey but it is 11:15pm and intelligence comes with a price at this time of night. Oh, the reason I am still up is because I am waiting for photos to download to Snapfish for printing.

Over the christmas period (starting with Oprah and finishing on Sunday) I have not been good on the diet. I have eaten chocolate and stone fruit (all the sugars that aren't allowed) and not done any exercise. Mind you I walked around Sydney a lot and I have been more active this holidays rather than sitting on my bum, so that has probably helped. How much have I put on you ask? Well I was expecting maybe 2-3 kgs so you can imagine my elation when it was 200gr. That is of course on top of the small amount I had put on at last weigh in so over all it is probably around 1.5kg.

The exercise started again on Monday. I pulled out my Shaun T Hip Hop Abs DVD and decided to do the 40 minute session. I would have been fine if there hadn't been 3 minutes of squats and I didn't get on my new exercise toy for 3 minutes straight after the DVD. My thigh muscles ached and my back muscles ached.

Hip Hop Abs uses your abs. You pretty much do the pelvic thrust all the way through it but add you arms and movement. The new toy I got is the ab circle. Who in their right mind does a 40 minute ab workout and then jumps on an intense ab machine. Yes do I mean intense. One minute on that thing and you are already puffing. You can feel it work your muscles and it does cardio as well. Three minutes a day is all you need.

I am lucky in that I have a reasonable amount of strength in my abs so I can just hop onto the ab circle and go for it. It never occurred to me that some people wouldn't be able to do it, like my Aunt. Even with someone giving her a push she couldn't do it. A friend of mine also struggled but she got it after being pushed and from then on managed to do it on her own. I think the problem is that they were trying to move it with their legs and you have to use your arms and waist. Any way I love it and I can certainly feel it working.

Today I just did a normal workout, treadmill, bike, etc. My thighs are still sore but my waist and back muscles are fine.

My friend, Ruth, who is currently living in South Africa, had her mother go visit. Her mother is back now and she turned up today with some Xmas gifts from Ruth. I knew she was making me a shawl. It turned out smaller than she thought but it still covers my shoulders nicely for those chilly days in the office. It is gorgeous. I will post a pic when I have taken one. She also gave me some lovely soaps that I can't wait to use. Oh and some fibres. My favourite is Tofu fibre. Who would of thought that Tofu could be made into a Fibre. Apparently it is an end product once the food Tofu has been made. Not sure what I will use it for yet but, again, I can't wait.

Well my photos are still loading and will probably still be loading at midnight. Tomorrow is my last day of holidays. I was going to get up at my usual work time so I won't be so tired at work on Thursday. Hmm not sure about the 6am start now. Oh well that is life.

Oh before I sign off. I started playing with inchie paper yesterday. Love it. Having a ball with it. It was supposed to be done in the oven but our oven decided to die (oven shopping on the agenda tomorrow), so the grill worked nicely. Normally white goods die in 3s in our house so we are crossing fingers nothing else will die.

Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Oopsie and the New Year

The new year is finally here, and with it are a lot of hopes and dreams. The year 2010 was not a happy year for many people. There seemed to be too much loss of life and tragedies. Hopefully 2011 will be better. For me I have a feeling it will be. I can honestly say that I am happy. It is not often in the past that I have said that but I am saying it now. I AM HAPPY!!!

I can tell you that 2011 will hold a lot more sewing for me and hopefully I can get my Stampin' Up business going better. I am looking forward to going to Melbourne in May and seeing friends and family I have not seen in years. I am looking forward to meeting my goal weight; holding my baby cousin for the first time; being creative; and most of all remaining positive. Life is too short to hold grudges and stew over things. Forgive and forget and get on with being happy.

Speaking of my new cousin (2nd). He is due in the next couple of weeks so I have made a soft toy for my Aunt to take with her when she goes over. His name is Oopsie and you can get the free pattern here. I would recommend that you add a seam allowance to the legs though. They turned out a tad small and I had to do a lot of manipulation for them to look good.

Have a great new year, live as if today was your last, and be happy.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A Dogs Christmas Tail (oops) TALE

Dear readers

Dis blog post has been taken over by Bo, Tess, and Napoleon. We have hijacked the compooter.

Each year we hears about how Santa Paws brings us yummy noms for Christmas. With the help of Napoleon this year, we decided we would wait up for Santa Paws to arrive and see if we could use our cute doggie eyes on him to gain more noms.

Bo's Story

I was the first to take watch. Look at me with my gorgeous fluffy collar on.

I am super excited about the noms ... um... I mean meeting Santa Paws of course

I didn't realise I would be waiting so long though...

... and ate the choccy bickies we left for Santa Paws (shh I told the others a mouse stole them when I wasn't looking). They were doggy choccy bickies in case you was worried.
Santa Paws didn't show on my watch. He better not show on Tessa's or we will never here de end of it.
Tessa's Story
I took over after Bo's watch. She told me that a mouse stole the bickies. I didn't ask about the crumbs in her fur though.
Here I sit by the Christmas tree, all gung ho and ready for Santa Paws. How could anyone sleep on a night like this. There are noms to be had soon.
I didn't doze off! I was resting my eyes. Who put the tinsel on my head? Bo was that you!?!?!?
Napoleon's Story
I is a little confused. The other doggies told me someone called Santa Paws was going to sneak in here tonight and take our noms.
I may be 13 but I will stand up to anyone who breaks into any house I am in.

It's ok. I scared him off. Big fat man in red suit. I got his hat though.

Hat makes comfy pillow. Danger ova. Me going to sleeps now.
We is unsure as to how or why but it appears that Santa Paws forgave Napoleon and left us some big juicy bones. Napoleon didn't want his though. It smelled too much like a big fat hoomin wearing red he said, so we shared his ... kinda.
By the way, we hope you comment on this blog post. Do you know how hard it is to type with paws. We may be small, but the keys are way smaller than our feet. Dat man at microsoft should do something about it. Hasn't he heard of dog blogs?!
Bo, Tess, and Napoleon
"Ok, is published now. We can unties Kerin!"