Friday, 30 December 2016

Dear 2016...

Thank you for the lessons
Thank you for the freedom
Thank you for the new friendships
Thank you for the experience
Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about myself than I ever thought possible
Thank you for the people who were there in my times of need. I am eternally grateful to those who held my hand, held me back, held me up, and wiped away the tears.
Thank you for the time spent with my father, it was almost like a holiday had the circumstances not been what they were. Regardless, that time together was special and I will treasure it always.
Thank you for bringing me home
Thank you for showing me that no great change is made without great sacrifice
Thank you for closer relationships with my family
Thank you for all that you were, because I can now look back from where I am and see that if anything had happened in a different way, I wouldn't be where I am right now. And where I am right now is right where I wanted to be.
Thank you for the positive changes I now see in myself
Above all, thank you for helping me prove to myself just how capable I really am.

Here's to a year of endings, and here's to welcoming in a year of new beginnings. My heart, mind, and soul are grateful for the time I have with my children, my family, my friends, and I have every faith in 2017 to shine.

Sincerely yours,

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Feathers and Stitches

I remember when I was in my early teens my mother sent me to a church embroidery class on a saturday morning. There'd be tea, coffee, cake, and biscuits, and we were taught the basics of hand stitching. From then I stopped for a number of years, I believe high school happened soon after that, and I didn't pick it up again until I was in my twenties. In my drawer there are a couple of satin swatches that have been hand embroidered with the same dragonflies and swirling vines. It's just one of those things I find deeply soothing! So yesterday afternoon after my friend and I had eaten half a tub of peanut butter Ben and Jerry's together we went to Spotlight and that's where I decided I was going to buy some linen, a new needle, some lovely coloured thread, and a sewing hoop. Then last night I sat on my couch for a few blissful hours and I worked. Now today I have something that when I look at I can hardly believe it came from my own hands. My end-game would be to sew myself a medieval style gown and hand embroider the living daylights out of it.
Something that my eldest son and I do while we're out walking is collect feathers, the boy has quite an eye for it! He picks them up, hands them to me, and I put them in the front right pocket of my bag to take home. Last week I emptied the collection onto my desk and golly gosh there were a few! Feathers are fascinating things, so many different shapes, sizes, colours, tones, patterns, formations, so they really do lend themselves to being sketched. Given I have nothing but time on my hands right now I've been doing some sketching and practicing with colour using the feathers.

I feel as though my skills with watercolour are improving. I've been trying to focus on 'less is more' and not to touch the brush to the paper more than necessary. A simple wash with water and a drop of paint, a light touch, and that's all that is needed. On my painting adventures I've discovered that I love the effect that pre-sketching in felt tip gives when you add the colour and moisture.

I write to you now between parts 1 and 2 of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet street. I thought a wee break to update the blog would be just perfect, and now, my dearies, I must return to the delicious cut throat gore and singing.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Planning to plan

I've decided that the 2017 Leonie Dawson planner just isn't going to work for me. I adored the 2016 one but the changes the new one just aren't making my soul happy. So I've decided I'm going to give bullet journalling a try! I do have a shit ton of washi tape and about a thousand blank journals because I am a stationary bowerbird, so why not? Thing is though I've looked up the original Ryder Carroll system and while it seems to be simple enough, I don't trust myself to create something that isn't pre-lined, ruled, labelled and dated.Typically I end up jotting down whatever it is I need to do on a piece of paper when needed, I am definitely a 'get it down fast' kind of gal, but that also means I get left with a list of tasks without priority, and often little things get lost in the ether. I'm also very much a perfectionist and don't want to find myself stuffing up a tiny little thing and having to abandon a whole journal as a result. I know that this will be a challenge in focusing on the CHANGE I want to see, and the planning for action aspect rather than having the perfectly symmetrical, beautiful font-filled, coordinated washi tape to pen colour, journal. I also know that just taking a damn empty book and a plain black felt tip pen and DOING it right here and now won't satisfy me at all. Damnit.

2016 was the first year I actually did use a planner the whole way through and I was amazed at how transformative it was. I was a bit disappointed that it became more of a place of record the essentials rather than for scheduling in making those workbook dreams come true, but I did the best I could at the time. Keeping track of appointments and important meetings, paperwork, forms, coffee dates etc are certainly not any less important by any measure...that's just life! It happens, you kind of just have to roll with it. But there was DEFINITELY a fair deal of wasted (or mismanaged) time that I could have used to reach my goals. That's where the change needs to be in 2017 I feel. I'm a HUGE step closer to having the life I want and I deserve to congratulate myself on being where I am right this very second. On my own couch, in my own home, on a beautiful Summer's day with my laptop before me, in control of my life, and with a world of possibilities ahead of me. I believe bullet journalling is going to help me continue along on my merry little way.

The only issue I have is that I don't often have time to sit down and do each month, week, day, as it happens so for this to work I would need to create the entire thing ready to go for next year within the next few days. I'm still decided whether I want to dedicate my time to that, but the idea of packing up my bundle of stuff and plonking myself down in a corner booth at McDonald's for a couple of hours with endless coffee and cake does sound like a pretty tempting idea. Of course staying home would do just as well, I have coffee here, but being centered in an environment out of the house might mean I'll get less distracted to do something else. That's the trouble with having free time! Oodles of pressure (from myself of course) to do everything all at once instead of just letting myself breathe, chill, and coast.


Maybe I'll start with a shower and see where my morning takes me. I'll check in tomorrow with an update on my BuJo! Let's see what I end up doing.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A few of my favourite things

In Amelie style, cracking the top of a perfectly caramelised creme brulee

Dropping a poppadom into hot oil

The smell of spray paint and engine oil, reminiscent of my uncle's shed.

A flickering candle, and the smell after you blow it out.

Drying in the sun after swimming

Salty skin from the sea

Whistle of a steam train

Foggy mornings in winter

Being underneath a willow tree

Slow constant rain

Rum and raisin ice cream in a waffle cone

Pool swimming at night


Saturday, 10 December 2016

Some things I'd like to say.

Dishonesty is incredibly hurtful. The inevitable lying to then cover the lack of truth makes it all the worse. Even more terrible is the knowledge that you're being lied to but being completely unsure what step to take next. Choosing self respect and putting an end to the disrespect from others is a difficult thing to do when you don't know how. You can't change people. What you CAN change though is how you choose to react. Does it still hurt? Yup. Can you make the other person stop hurting you? Not always. You can move further away from that person, but you can't make that person move away from you. Can you alter the way you receive communication and respond to the influence of others? Yes you certainly can!

Friendship is sacred. There is no greater blessing than finding someone with whom there is a mutually beneficial symbiosis. That's what friendship is really isn't it? I don't harm you, you don't harm me, and if we do, then we fucking apologise and move on to the more important task of food consumption and terrible Youtube.

Fight for what is worth fighting for. Whatever it is you believe is worth it, chase it down and stand beside it. Hold its hand. Learn about it. Speak up for it. Reach out to it. Listen to it. Learn from it. If in your heart you know it's what you want and need, then go get it. If it isn't serving you then
Let. It. Go. Don't waste time and energy on something that doesn't make your heart sing. Life is too short for that nonsense.

That above goes for people, too. You are obligated first and foremost to YOURSELF.

That's all I wanted to say tonight.

Goodnight, my little mamba sneks.

Monday, 5 December 2016

The '2016 Effect'

Let me start this post off by reassuring you that I say this with the utmost love and the best of's tough love, but sometimes we need a swift quick in the nads. Consider this your spiritual arse-booting.

I am so sick of all the defeatist memes and shit on the internet right now! Ok, we know that not all of 2016 went to plan, we know some shit went down, but that's not all there was to it! The more I see memes about '2016 got me dead inside' the more I become downhearted myself. Yes 2016 can suck some camel balls, but we can't go through life with this attitude of 'oh it's nearly over, I can't wait for it to end, I want to see the back of this year' because you know all that that's doing is assuming EVERYTHING stops and ends at Dec 31st at midnight. Get real... life doesn't work like that. If life has thrown you more lemons than you have tequila for then you need to start looking at what you can do to change it or it's just going to carry on over to 2017 and we'll be whining about wanting that year to end, too, by February.

As a collective we're making it worse for each other! The more people catch on to this stream of thinking and pass it on the further it spreads. It's not doing anybody any good.

As a mother I'm reminded that 'one bad day does not a bad parent make' and sure, I struggle with that, but the same goes for this year. One bad month does not a bad year make. Speaking from my own experience it almost seems as though there was more bad than good but I survived it and here I am, alive, to tell the tale! I know some of my friends are suffering through their own hell at the moment and by no means is this post to belittle that (you know I wouldn't do that anyway), but those feelings of sadness, grief, anger, frustration, if you find them flooding over you after spilling a splash of coffee on the floor and think 'of course that would happen to me, just look at my life' when just that previous week you'd gotten bad news, is possibly indicative of depression more than a symptom of a 'bad year'. It becomes increasingly more important to distinguish between relating to a depressing but fairly accurate meme in relation to ourselves because it's relevant at the moment, and feeling consistently down, unmotivated, and sad. At this stage of the year with the increasing stressors and pressures it's so vital that we all take a moment to check in with ourselves and how we're travelling.

If you know me well you know that I'm all for the law of attraction. You attract to yourself what you put out into the universe. You get what you give. If you wake up in the morning and think 'well fuck, it's Monday, Monday's are bad, bad shit is going to happen today', then guess what, sunshine? I know it well enough to recognise when I'm being defeatist myself, and think ah yeah, that explains it. Time to do some cleansing and mental decluttering. Or make an appointment with my psychologist. Whichever. Ha! Either way I'm taking care of myself. On an off day my world and outlook can be very bleak indeed, and being bombarding with 'I give up' memes on the book of face doesn't help me at all. It's always handy to have that one hobby, friend, song, movie, whatever, that lifts your soul and can always be relied upon. Trade one thing for the other and rise instead of fall.

So if you haven't checked in with yourself now might be a good time. There really isn't the same stigma surrounding mental health as there has been in previous years, we're finally reaching a stage where talking about it openly it perfectly normal and accepted, and in many ways it generates a lot more support, so if you're feeling blue it's ok! Acknowledging it is a good place to start towards feeling better,

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Xanadu Socks

5mm hook
Adult fat-female sized. If you want yours smaller (which you probably will do, because heffer over here) simply decrease your starting chain accordingly in multiple of two. Keep in mind they will have a bit of stretch. Alternatively, thread some ribbon through the top and bottom ribbing and keep 'em on that way.
8ply acrylic in 3 colours
Worked in rows, join with a sl st at the end of each row. Ch 1 does NOT count as a stitch now and throughout.

Bottom Cuff  (make 2) in Blue
ch 32, join, ch1
Dc in each around, join
Ch1, *fpdc 2, bpdc next 2 around*
Ch 1 *fpdc 2, bpdc next 2* around
Ch 1 *fpdc 2, bpdc next 2* around
Tie off blue.

Attach green to previous join
*Ch 1, dc in each st around, join with sl st* for 3 rows
Tie off green.

Attach pink
*Ch 1, dc in each st around, join with sl st* for 3 rows
Tie off pink.

Attach blue
*Ch 1, dc in each st around, join with sl st* for 3 rows
Tie off.

Attach green
*Ch 1, dc in each st around, join with sl st* for 3 rows
Tie off

Attach pink
*Ch 1, dc in each st around, join with sl st* for 3 rows

Attach blue
Ch 1, dc around, join with sl st.
Ch 1, *fpdc around first 2 dc of previous row, bpdc in next 2*, repeat around for 3 rows
Tie off. Sew in all ends

Apply directly to legs.

Become instantly awesome.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Hello Monday

Wow it's been a while.

...hello and hooray for...thinking of and ordering the perfect Christmas present for your bestie

...hello...beginning to pay back the money your father lent you last week for impromptu medical costs (and being eternally grateful for family)

...hello...delicious leftover chocolate tart a new week of possibilities! the headache I've had since starting on progesterone tablets (I don't think I'll be continuing them)

...hello...old-spilled-milk smell all over my house from my darling children (how do I get rid of that by the way?)

...hello...being legally allowed to drive! I got my L's on Saturday crochet pattern in the works for my skating friends

...hello...the final week to get my '25 Days of Christmas Love' done before Dec 1!

...hello...unopened new pack of watercolour paints

...hello...second coffee of the day!

...goodbye...stack of Christmas cards :-)

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Mailbox Mushrooms

Or 'Funky Fungus', or 'Fungus Among Us'. I couldn't decide which was the better title for this one.

These have been growing happily on top of my mailbox for a couple of weeks now and I find them fascinating, so this morning while the boys had their breakfast I ducked out with my camera. They're grainy as fuck because I was lazy and used auto, but the patterns and contrast are cool regardless.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Tinder Post.

Not too long ago I decided to join Tinder. And I have some things to say about it. Now I'm not saying I actually MET with any of those mentioned, and I am certainly not going to set out to hurt anybody's feelings here... that's not cool. Tinder is your own prerogative and you are the way you are, I'm not about to slam that. I'm only here talking about my own experiences and preferences. 

Things I've learnt about myself from Tinder...

If you post a photo of yourself with girls hotter than me, I will left swipe you. That's not necessarily a fault with you, just that I'm not interested. If that girl(s) is kissing you, I will very quickly left swipe you. What are you hoping to achieve exactly? Prove that you're desirable, or in a relationship and cheating? Not cool. Even faster left swipe if you're asking for a girl to join in your threeway.

If you have a photo of your torso taken in the bathroom mirror, I will left swipe you. Evidently you are looking for someone equally as vain and are going on face value.

Photo of you snuggling/playing with 'my cousin's/brother's/sister's kids' but aren't interested if the other person already has kids? Left swipe. I get that sometimes women think it's sweet when men interact with little kids, and think 'oh, he must be father material' but it's a massive double standard and you need to stop doing that.

Cuddling a cat or dog? You sucker, I'll probably talk to you.

Red head? I will be all over you like a fat kid on a donut. Not even kidding. 

If you have a seethingly sarcastic bio you will likely be right swiped. I find a quick wit alluring. There may be a barrier in texting/chatting in some ways when it comes to tone, but wit and sarcasm are easy to detect if they're followed through on it. Some of my best conversations have been based entirely on sarcasm. And puns. I'm ok with puns. Hit me with your best pun. 

For the love of Zeus don't ask me how I am as a starting line. What do you want me to say to that? just 'good, you?', 'oh, just slipping into my wet look cat suit and heading off to the local BDSM chamber' 'well actually my kid just threw up on me, so gonna take a shower now LOL'.

Things I've had sent to me as a starting line: 

'hey do you want to come over and watch porn on my flat screen mirror?' Truth be told I did giggle at that one. But no.

'Snap chat me? *wet explosion emoji winky face* Also, NO. Apparently snap chat sex is a thing? I did not know that. That being said I'm only new to snap chat and my longest streak is 11 days (let's not stop ever, Mandy. Til the day we die)

'Hey I noticed you read tarot, want to come to my hotel room?'. Do I honestly look stupid? Why not send 'Hey girl, I noticed you read tarot, want to climb into my van and have some candy corn?'

'You're probably not going to believe me but we're here from Sydney and my friend crochets, plus he was actually saying he wanted to get his tarot read while he's here, want to hang out?' No, that wasn't actually a sleazy pick up line. That one was telling the truth.

'What animal would you steal from a zoo?' I answered all of the otters, in case you're wondering. I also explained at length that I wouldn't just walk in and take them. I'd spend the time letting them get used to me, then when the time was right they would come with me willingly to freedom or not at all.

Can I serenade you with my guitar? I may be naked. Well, ok. That's a new one. He knew who Goodnight Nurse were so that's a small plus I suppose. I didn't go along with it so there were no other small surprises.

Things I accept and won't cringe at:

Star wars gifs. Totally fine... then commence epic gif-off. 
'Hey there, I like coffee too' Good. We can be friends. 
A genuine 'Hi, I really like your photo, I think it's cute' That's good! Do that. Do not just send 'Hey babe, you hot lol' Bonus negative points if you write 'u' instead of 'you'. Golly gosh I have high standards, don't I? 

If I have to explain what the big words I use mean it's not going to work out. Just go. I'm not a total IQ snob but I am a self-confessed grammar nazi and appreciate a little intelligence. Just a smidge. 

And lastly: 
 Let me make this perfectly crystal clear. If you are into, erm, how to put this, 50 shades stuff, then it's probably not a good idea to spring that on someone you've only just met. Ask first, for the love of bacon. It's a little twisted. And not at all in a good way. In more of a 'you want to do WHAT?! Uh, no. Yes I'm sure. Please leave' kind of way.

So there we have it! That's all I have so far... it's been funny and entertaining having Tinder, that's for sure. It's also surprisingly given me the opportunity to step a little outside of my comfort zone and meet people again after thinking I'm a giant hideous swamp creature from the black lagoon and no one would ever want me ever again. So thanks to those who helped pull me out of my slump. Internet apps are fantastic for the introverted. I've also made some friends, had some laughs, had some beers, and scored free puppy cuddles. Most of all I think I've learnt that if you are just honest with people, you will eventually find someone who you can actually click with. And that's pretty neat.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Handmade Smudging Wand

You should know by now that I won't buy what I can make myself. especially when it comes to personal items such as smudging wands, tarot pouches, and crystal hammocks. I'd been collecting my materials for this for such a long time now that on the eve of the Aries Super Moon I brought them all together and came up with this. 
The feathers are a combination of artificially coloured purple rooster tail (purple is my colour), natural pheasant tail, and mallard duck plumage. For the wand itself I've used a dried length of bamboo. I would have preferred willow branch but not wanting to order it online, I couldn't find any where I live. It's bound with brown leather cord, and has a larger crystal quartz generator and two smaller pieces to amplify it, plus a small amethyst chip. Overall I'm happy with the end result, it's been left under the full moon with my crystals and tarot decks so everything is now on the same vibrational level. I look forward to using it in my first ritual cleansing! 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

King of Wands, The Full Moon, and Aries.

This morning I posted on my personal Facebook page this:
Wait? The upcoming full moon is going to be in Aries?! Well that explains everything. King of Wands this month and a full moon in Aries... why am I not feeling more motivated?
I had a couple of friends ask me to explain what I meant, so here I am! I'm no astrologer, and I don't claim to have a great wealth of knowledge on this but I know enough about divining with the tarot, crystal lore, the lunar phases, and the signs to know when it is affecting me. And it always does! Synchronicity is no joke, people. I am one of those hippy people who believes that everything is pre-written in the stars, everything is precisely where it should be, and we're all on the journey of self discovery. It all came crashing down on me when I picked up my first tarot deck and it understood me to my core and shook my life upside up down. Then everything else just came flooding over me like a big-assed wave of spiritual awareness. That first deck (Doreen Virtue's Angel Tarot by the way) still brings me a perfect state of calm. The smell of them is familiar, the cool buzzing feel of them in my hands still excites me. But probably the most significant thing about them is how they always, always, always speak the truth and tell me exactly what I need to know. Every time. My other decks can sometimes be temperamental, I find I outgrow one or two, or I use them specifically for different purposes, I find myself having to 'reset' them and constantly keep them cleansed. But not my angel cards. I won't cleanse them.... they have part of my soul I have part of theirs. 

So this is what's going on with me right now in relation the card I pulled for the month of October when I did my year-ahead spread back in January, the upcoming full moon in Aries, and my own personal experiences and feelings at the moment. If anything has been made abundantly clear, it's like although my shadow side has lay back dormant in the dark, it's certainly made itself known lately and I find myself oddly at war with myself. I've always fought with it, as you do. The point is to embrace it and work with it but I haven't gotten there yet. I'm Aries.... I don't do moderation haha Polar opposites, the yin and yang, mastering your feminine and masculine, aligning your sun and moon. Got the jist of it?  Just as every planet and the sun moves through a constellation, as does the moon.This upcoming full moon is a super full moon. The sun is in Libra, so I think the polar opposite means we're facing both our character and our essence being, against the moon which is our emotional aspect. Shadow and Light. Typically shadow work is done on the new, or dark, moon. That's also the time I usually notice it more prominently, but not this time. This lunar cycle my shadow self is out in full light and quite frankly I'm not sure how I feel about that. I know what it's like, and there's a reason I don't often let it out to play. 

The full moon is all about new beginnings, setting new intentions, it's abundance, fertility. I like to cleanse my crystals at this time, and I also like to make a little full moon quartz elixir and really draw down the watery silver magic into myself. With the moon being in the sign of Aries, the warrior, and the first of the zodiac houses (and also moi sun sign), it means that the energy is HIGH to just get the fuck out there and do stuff. Us Arians are loads of fun with our spontaneity, passions, and fiery natures so this particular time feels extra energetic for us. 
That's fine, the rub comes in when you look at my card for the month which is the King of Wands. Oh gosh, TOO MUCH FIRE! Wands in tarot = element of fire = energy, the 'spark'. At the moment it just feels like too much pressure and is presenting itself as high anxiety and hot temper. I'm supposed to look forward to the challenges rather than fear them this month, as an Aries ram should but I'm just feeling too much heat, too much energy. 

The King of Wands is very sure of himself. He is the king of his suit, so if we look at the page as being young and foolhardy, kind of an idiot, and not really sure what he's doing, the king is the Jedi master. He's a natural born leader and he gets things done because he is able to set a goal and make the world bend to his ideals to get what he wants. He is clear about his direction and intentions. He has the ability to bring out the best in others but can get a little ahead of himself in his expectations. This means that this month I have been given the King of Wands as a guide, and should take on his nature. Great! Awesome! Fucking amazeballs... I'm going to rock, and be the picture of bad ass. But nope. It's not feeling like that at all. This should be perfect for me, this should be the bread to my honey, I should be on spiritual fire. Not yet anyway. That pesky Libra sun opposite the Aries moon, and so the shadow to my light, is lurking around going 'uh uh, honey, you're feeling too indecisive to do any of that MUWAHAHAHAHA'. Bitch. 

No, I'm kidding. Sorry Libra. My Aries spark has been a bit snuffed this week, it's still there, but it's a real effort to keep it alight. 
PLUS I'm a full-moon-bleeder. I'm not sorry about the phrasing, periods are a highly intuitive and feminine time and tough shit if you don't like that so already BAM hot temper and PMS ON MOTHERFUCKING STEROIDS! At the beginning of the year I was menstruating on the new moon, but it's since shifted to the full. I think that's actually kind of special. It's another little thing that just lets me know I'm a daughter of the moon and stars. It's highly reaffirming for me.

Now, if I wanted to enhance my fire I'd go for stones like carnelian, my 'just go fucking do it' go-to crystal. But right now, uh uh. No way. Not needed. Right now what I need is some aquamarine and smokey quartz. The aquamarine to cool me off, and the smokey quartz to keep my feet on the ground. If I wanted to get some wind under my wings I'd go for the air element stones, all the purples, blues, whites. Selenite, tanzanite, angelite, celestite, amethyst, ametrine. And perhaps that's what I need? I haven't had much of a chance to really sit down and let all of this sink in until tonight. 
Looooong story short is that I'm feeling tired, listless, unmotivated and totally UN-Arian and it's annoying me that I seem to be missing out on what should be the perfect time for me to shine. I could be holding myself up to my too-high expectations again and need to take it down a notch but I'm struggling. 

I do have a weekend off starting tomorrow night, and I get the feeling that whatever it is that I'm not seeing is going to present itself to me. I need to go to the water, so I'll be heading off to the beach to sit and contemplate stuff. Cool my heels. Literally. If you want to read more about this October full moon and what it means there is a good site HERE. Assertiveness, rebellion, a bit of self-care, some self-improvement, and oh, what's that? Go find a passionate relationship? Oh, sure! I'll just pull one out of my magic carpet bag here... I'm kidding. go read it. 

Does that help answer your questions a little? I'm sorry it's a bit muddled up and very long, I get carried away talking about the woo-woo stuff.... it makes me intrinsically happy. 

Richard the Green Crochet Pattern

Richard the Green 
Crochet Pattern by Of Crochet and Life

I know someone who could do with some cheering up at the moment so knowing that they also crochet, and that they also like odd little critters (me included I think) I made up this freaky fellow to send as a surprise. Given how simple Richard is I've written up the pattern for you. He really isn't very complex as far as amigurumi is concerned and given that my brain hasn't been functioning at full capacity lately he was simple for me too. You can thank Ani for the name. I put it to my friends and hers made me giggle.

3.5mm hook
Aussie 8ply (American sport)
Working in continuous round
Repeat between **
sc2tog = decrease
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
mc = magic circle

mc ch 1 sc6 into ring
2 sc in each st around
*2sc, 1 sc in next*
*1 sc in next 2, 2 in next*
*1 in next 3, 2 in next*
*1 in next 4, 2 in next*
1 sc in each st around for 6 rounds
*1 sc in next 3, sc2tog*
1 sc around
*1 sc in next 2, sc2tog*
*1 sc, sc2tog*
Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing

Feet (make two)
With grey
mc ch 1, 5 sc into ring
2 sc in each around
*1 sc, 2 next*
*1 sc in next 2, 2 in next*
1 sc in each st around for 2 rounds
Tie off.

Attach green in any st, 1 sc in each around
*sc in next 2, sc2teg*
1 sc in each st around for 3 rounds
Finish off

Attach green to other foot and repeat above but do not finish off

Hold the legs together as shown and sc both sides together. Sc in next st in the same way. sc around the top of both legs.
Continuing in rounds...
sc in each st around for 4 rounds
sc in next 3, sc2tog, sc in next 12, sc2tog, sc in 6
*sc next 4, sc2tog*
*sc next 3, sc2tog*
Tell the legs to get stuffed.
I mean stuff the legs.

sc around for 4 rounds
Tie off

Stitch on details before attaching head to body. Use the photos as a reference or get creative with your own designs.

Eye Patch
sc 2, 11 hdc into 2nd st from hook. Tie off

Arms Make two
mc 6sc
2sc in ea st
sc around for 2 rounds
sc2tog, sc in next 10
sc around for 3 rounds
Add a little stuffing to the bottom of the arm leaving the top unstuffed
Fold the opening in half and sc the two halves together
Ch 1, turn, sc across. Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing

Position arms two rows down from the neck of the body and sew into place.

Attach the head on an angle if you like, I did. It's awesome.

Cut out a little blood spatter and pin the heart onto his chest. I've attached mine with hot glue and pushed the pins in so they should hold. Do NOT give it a child if you use pointy things, for the love of Zeus!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Single-Parent Game

I'm understanding now why being a single parent is the both the greatest and the hardest thing to do. Practically speaking we're doing great, there's nothing that we aren't capable of when we put our minds to it. But mentally it is more draining than most realise. Everything falls to you and I don't just mean washing the socks, cooking the dinner, making the beds, keeping the kids clean, all of that is automatic, I'm talking about the actual raising of tiny humans... that all falls to you and do you know what? That is the most difficult part. Parenting is easy, being a GOOD parent is fucking near impossible. 

I'm coming to realise that striving to be someone who doesn't worry as much, who doesn't stress every meal time that the boys aren't eating the right things, who doesn't feel like she's done enough in a day, and who questions her choices every day isn't what being a good parent is about. Everybody stresses about those things but what I've finally learnt...the thing that's finally dawned on that it's how we DEAL with those stresses that matters most. It's the hardest thing in the world to be worried about bills, an upcoming Christmas, appointments, the wealthfare of your children, the welfare of yourself (that oftens slips by the wayside), what you need to get done today, what you need to get done next week, what you need to start thinking about now in preparation for next month; it's intense and it's hard to feel like you're keeping on top of it all. But you've got to find ways to manage all these duties and chores and parental responsibilities without letting it pull you apart. Do you know that feeling when you're particularly stressed about something and your kids suddenly spill a cup of milk all over the floor and themselves, and you feel yourself snap? Then you find yourself feeling terrible for being 'that person' (cue mummy guilt)? That's what I'm talking about. I'm not saying we all need to be saints, shit happens and sometimes we lose our shit, but we can always work on how we react to the unexpected. So we break it down and we work out ways to cope with that situation so that we don't lose our marbles and take it out on others. Turning it into practical little steps takes away the anxiety and makes it manageable. Write down what you're worried about and NAME IT. If it's stress, admit to yourself that you're stressed about that particular thing, if it's guilt, let yourself admit that it's guilt, if it's anger and frustration, say that to yourself. Giving it a name acknowledges the existence of that feeling... you'd be surprised how realising what you're actually feeling makes a difference to how you can move forward. Then we work out what we can do about it, how do we take away that stress and I don't mean cover it up so it can resurface later, I mean how do we tackle it so we can equalise ourselves again. So it means you have to go into town and pick up item 'X' so you can do that job at home you've been putting off. Maybe it means picking up the phone and actually making that appointment you know you should arrange but keep pushing further down the priority list. Maybe it's pre-planning how to attack the following day so you don't end up with a repeat of today and left feeling that same yucky feeling all over again. Nothing changes unless you make it change or at least work towards making a change. Hell! Even admitting that something needs to change is a fucking brilliant start! And that's how I've decided to go about this single parenting thing so that I can be the best parent I can be (not the best parent ever of all time because they don't exist... you can only do the best you can) and in a way that eliminates my feelings of inadequacy. It helps me keep from feeling like a fish flailing around on the concrete on a hot day gasping for air and hoping someone comes to my rescue. 

There are many other chapters to this single parenting book I've yet to discover and write for myself, but I take it one page at a time and take great pride in the fact that every day I'm more self-aware is another day closer to being completely at one with who I am. 

And that's enough for me. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Adventures in watercolour

My pass time since Sunday has been painting along with Youtube watercolour painting tutorials. I've learnt a fair amount about the treachery of watercolour paint... believe me, they can be a real bitch to use. I'm not going to tell you how many I fucked up, scrunched up and threw on the floor. But on the whole the experience was relaxing and I think I've come up with some satisfactory sketches and little art pieces. Behold! The fruits of my labour. What shall I do with them? No idea. Most likely add them to the pile of random skills I possess but have no clue what to do with. You'll notice some Christmas-y ones in there... I'm playing around with some designs to possible print into cards this year, and a few new vectors for the good 'ole bloggity blog. I do know roughly how to DIY vectors and I'll admit that the idea of creating a few sets for sale on Etsy has crossed my mind a few times but I worry that the quality won't be high enough. I'm sure there's a Youtube tutorial on that, or a 'how to for dummies' book somewhere.

So I've had a fabulous day so far despite the tail end of this bloody cold. I had an appointment up at the old hospital this morning that I wandered up to, it's a nice walk up that way, then grabbed myself a coffee from the mobile coffee van (bless mobile vans), then figured I was hungry so headed over to Bel's Bakery for a tasty pie to shove into my face, and after I'd acquired pie I donned the headphones and walked home. Good stuff... and nice to get out and about! Ollie's toys arrived today, too, so he's got something to play with that isn't my hair. Not that I mind him hanging out on the back of my neck but it freakin' tickles.  

Oh... and I'm now officially inked. Check it out, peeps! And no, it didn't hurt. I'm already planning my next one! 

I need a coffee so I'll leave my rambling at that for today, and I hope whatever you do today you enjoy it and take a few moments to chillax. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

In the garden...

Just a Sunday afternoon photo collage of some of the pretties currently in my garden. I've spent my entire day painting with watercolours, eating Maltesers and Pringles, hanging out with my feathered friend, watching movies, drinking coffee and crocheting! And a VERY good day had by me (and 'Bird'). Tomorrow is tattoo day WHOOP!

Now back to you in the studio, Dave.

Friday, 23 September 2016

I'm going to use the 'C' word

Oh yes, my Christmas heart is certainly a-flutter.

As any Christmas crafter knows now is the time to start on that list of handmade gifts and decorations, and perhaps the more hardcore Christmas crafters have already started on their lists! I've not set my sights too high this yes... usually the festive period comes with the disappointment of not making it through my list of handmade gifts on time. We've all been there with our Christmas card list at least! The Aries in me likes to start out with enthusiasm and high hopes, then it kind of fizzles off. Last year was the exception when I managed to crochet a little hanging stocking for every member of my family. This year I'm not completely sure what, if anything, I'm making as gifts but I do have my heart set on a pretty Christmas heart garland to hang above my kitchen window. That sounds callous of me not committing to hand making gifts but it's important that I not put the extra pressure o myself right now. If I do, I do. If not, it's not the end of the world.

Tonight is the beginning of a week I'll be spending at home alone. At this moment I'm propped up in bed watching World War Z and of course, writing.
I'm bloody knackered after this morning's early start and from being up so late last night with sick bubbas. It's only 8pm and it feels like midnight. I had some wonderful Thai food for dinner.. it seems Thai is my go-to fortnightly Friday food.

So the plan for the rest of the evening is to indulge in a little zombie movie watching, maybe crochet another heart for my garland and then sleeeeeep. Tomorrow I'm going to catch a bus into town and pick up a new cage for our newest family member. Meet 'bird'. He's a pretty little baby budgie who didn't have the best start to life. Too many of his wing feathers have been clipped and his tail feathers are a mess apparently from having a swing too close to the cage. He'll be right as rain though once they all grow back and I hope we'll provide him a happier home. He doesn't really have a name yet, I thought I'd let my eldest name him since technically Mr. Budgie is his birthday present but I have a feeling he may end up being called 'bird'.

Friday, 16 September 2016

A big fucking list

Tashisms: "Bourbon tastes like a hospital smells" "Miso tastes like bottom-of-the-boat-barnacles if you licked them"

Can't half tell I'm a sensory type can you? haha Honestly though it's one of the weird and wonderful things about me that I'm trying to work out. I get my sense muddled up sometimes when I'm trying to explain or differentiate between two things. Makes for some funny statements though, as if I need people to think I'm any stranger than they already do!

So I'm actually here tonight to write a list because I feel a list is necessary. I like lists. Lists are fabulous things. Go team lists! Tonight's list is:

Shit I Can Manage On My Own 

This list is a special kind of list because it's a list of things I've done and been doing for the past month since my new life living with the boys in single mother land. Things that you don't really think about except when you're suddenly responsible for all of them or something disastrous will happen (hasn't yet, doing well!). I have to say that I think I've assumed this role with great, erm, fuck lost the word, oh well, greatness!

  • Taking out the rubbish and remembering to put this bins out on bin day
  • Putting washing on every day aka staying on top of it like a fucking boss
  • Organising lawn mowing. Not doing myself of course, but arranging for a relative who happens to mow lawns to come and do them for me. 
  • Ordering groceries online or doing a shopping trip with a friend (thanks again Cass!!) when I need to do a big one and picking up bits and pieces when we need them
  • Restocking bread and milk from the corner shop two blocks away
  • Ordering pizza to the house (necessary I've discovered)
  • Defrosting dinner in the morning or putting on the slow cooker
  • Sorting all meals three times a day for the three of us, which is demanding given we all eat different things sometimes due a fussy eater and one who is tomato-intolerant 
  • Keeping the house relatively dust free and vacuumed every few days 
  • Doing the dishes every night
  • Making and getting to all appointments either on foot, by bus, or getting a lift with a friend
  • In relation to the previous one... catching the bus with the two boys wherever the hell we need to go! Coz I'm awesome, it costs $2.50 for the whole day and the bus stop is literally outside my front gate
  • Meeting up with friends and having regular play dates 
  • Getting pies and coffees and yummy stuff from the bakery around the corner, and picking up thai from the best damn thai house in texas on a Friday night. 
  • Witching hour. Yep... it's not always clock work but on the whole I think I have our routine down pat and it's working for us! I've found the key to making this work is planning and preparation and sticking to a schedule (although not rigidly) and our day to day seems to go smoothly. 
  • I've constructed flat pack furniture on my own
  • I set up all the electricals on my own
  • I've changed light bulbs on my own
  • Other stuff I've probably not included but am tackling 
I went from barely getting out, seeing anyone or doing much at all outside the house to being a woman of independence and feeling like I'm totally able to do whatever needs to be done, and to do the things I want to do. I'm paying my own rent, my own bills, and I'm in charge of my own life. As a result I'm actually feeling elated with happiness and I think that's rubbing off on the boys. I've set up our home so that it's inviting and comfortable (visiting family and friends have told me so), I've got a room I love, and I think we're gonna be ok. Sure we've still got kinks to iron out (reminds me, I need to buy an ironing board) but that will happen in time. Xx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

A Rockin' Weekend and Bathroom Basket Crochet Pattern

Well I had a truly amazing time this weekend! So good in fact I'm going to tell you all about it... it began with Thai from the best dang little thai house in texas down the road from my house (winning) and watching season 6 of Sabrina. The following morning my cousin came over and we got retro-d up with pin up hair and makeup while making each other laugh over stupid things then we shimmied over to Retro Fest!
We had a blast checking out the market stalls and picked up some cute bows and a swingin' pink petticoat for my dress. Next was lunch at Hog's Breath for burgers and milkshakes (just to carry on with the theme of the day of course!) after a mad dash in the rain, then it was shopping at BookFace and Rainbow's Edge, then we ended our day with coffee (and an unfortunate run in with a terrible human being, but we won't give her the energy she doesn't deserve). Fabulous day had by all. Saturday night I stayed in watching Rake while doing a bit of housework and added a few rows to my latest upcoming pattern in progress. This morning I was up and at 'em early to join my girlfriends at Zebu for an AMAZEBALLS all you can eat buffet breakfast. I don't think I've ever had such delish scrambled eggs, mushies or roasted tomatoes. Honestly it was just perfect. After that we all headed over to Westport Park to have a gander at the Vintage Car Show and boy oh boy were there some stunning sets of wheels there! Phwoar... I know absolutely squat about cars but I do love the look of those babies. We all had a sno cone under a tree and just chilled out by the water chatting, playing with the kids and watching some very daring parachuters land before an applauding crowd. I arrived home this afternoon to much on some pizza and watch some more Rake while finishing up my two patterns... now here I am at about 3.30pm typing away on my blog contemplating grabbing a coffee from the kitchen and excited about having my baby boys back in a couple of hours time. 

What did you get up to this weekend? I hope it was rocking and smashing and relaxing and everything you wanted it to be! 

This pattern is one that I've made for myself before but with a little prompting from my deck of Crazy Sexy Love Notes and a card that encourage me to share my creativity I thought I'd get it out of my head and into the blogosphere for anyone else who may want to have a crack at it. Having makeup spread all over the place on Saturday morning kinda made me face the fact that my previous basket wasn't quite big enough so I'd planned on making a new one anyway. 

So if your makeup, or whatever you want to keep in one place, is as unruly and messy as mine, I bring you the Bathroom Basket! 

Bathroom Basket Pattern ~ By Of Crochet and Life 

Using 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together and a 6.5mm hook

Join at the end of each row
Beginning chains do not as a stitch

Round 1 MC Ch 1, hdc 11 into ring. Join with a sl st
Round 2 Ch 1, 2  hdc in each st around.
Round 3 Ch 1, 1 hdc in same st, *2hdc in next, 1hdc in next*.
Round 4 Ch 1, 1 hdc in same st, 1 in next *2 hdc in next, 1 hdc in next 2 sts*
Round 5 Ch 1, Ch 1, 1 hdc in same st, *1hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next*
Round 6 Ch 1, turn, in FLO 1 sc in each st around.
Round 7 Ch 1, turn, 1 hdc in each st around
Round 8 Ch1, sc in each st around
Round 9 Ch 1, sc in each st around
Round 10 Ch 1, sl st in each st around
Round 11 Ch 1, sc around sl sts and into round 9.
Round 12 Ch 1, 1 hdc in each st around
Round 13 Ch 1, sc in each st around
Round 14 Ch 1, sl st in each st around
Round 15 Ch 1, sc over sl sts into round 13

Round 16 Ch 10, sk 6, sc in 7th st, sc in next 14, ch 10, sk 6, sc in 20th st, sc in next 14 sts joining with a sc to beginning st.  
Sc into ch space, sc another 9 times into ch space, joining with a sc on either side of handle. Sl st around to next ch space, sc 10 into space, sl st to sc on other side of handle. Tie off. Sew in ends, fill basket with stuff! 
Did I mention I bought myself flowers this week? Because I felt I should appreciate myself more. AND I have a date booked for my first tattoo!! That's been on my '100 Things' to do list all year and I'm stoked that I'm finally making it happen. 

Enjoy, my fabulous readers! I have another pattern very nearly ready to publish which I just know you quirky-stuff-fans are going to love. Just you wait! *wink* 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Damnit, Mercury!

Mercury is in Virgo and is in retrograde this month…the perfect combination for chaos! 

Virgo is all about efficiency, routine, lifestyle, organisation…. Basically getting your shit done and getting your shit together. Mercury being in retrograde means mistakes, changes, revisitation, transformation, and of course it brings with it blocks to communication and all that entails. Writing, speaking, texting, calling, tweeting, human interactions of all kinds, the whole lot. It's a bit juxtaposed if you ask me; I'm not a fan of celestially induced crazy. But the more you know, the more you can prepare yourself right?! I read online that now is a good time to revisit the things that still get you stuck in place, re-do that which needs re-working, reflect on how you went about things in the past and how that might influence how you go about things in the future. I see the word 'change' and think 'ARRRRRRRRG!!!!!!!!' as I'm sure many other people do but no great changes happen without some kind of great event or circumstance that leads to a revelation and in turn leads us to metamorphosis. I know for me personally this month brings big things, things that I am perhaps not looking forward to but must learn to accept and be flexible with. The  tarot card I drew back in January for the month of September is Four of Pentacles and guess what that's all about? Holding on too tightly to that which we treasure for fear of losing it but in doing so we hold ourselves captive, forever in place, forever clinging on and unwilling to share the spoils. In all honesty when I drew that card for this month I feared it. It's one of those 'uh oh' cards in the tarot for me, oddly not the usual 'Death' or 'Tower' cards that most people fear (those cards are really not that scary, guys…. Trust me!) but then I just have to remind myself that the tarot is a guide and here to gently (most of the time) nudge us back on track and not in any way there to ignite fear or dread. I suppose more specifically I fear what it's predicting for this month… in the other cards for this year they've been accurate representations of the combined events and lessons of each month. It's not until afterward that I'm able to look back at the card for that month and see what it meant. Then it's a big 'PING!' lightbulb moment. Not really one for wanting to delve too far into my future, I've chosen not to delve into the following weeks and will just let the cards fall where they may so to speak.

 Confusing much! Thanks, Merc. I also read it's normal to feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do this month and that the best way to combat that is just to hit the tasks head on and do them. You can't control everything, but you can control how you feel to keep those tasks from completely swallowing you up. Mend the moment, as my psych would say!

The absolute greatest thing to keep in mind thought is that this all happens for a reason and whatever does happen will be necessary for our transformations and necessary for our soul's paths. You know that little niggling feeling you get when you've forgotten something or are avoiding something? That's your intuition trying to get your attention.

Just make sure you wash up the night before, listen to the little niggle when it's trying to tell you not to put that thing off any longer, expect technological glitches… they're gonna happen. You're going to find yourself wanting to take short cuts in your usual routine… don't. Again avoid the chaos! Make lists, keep records, write that idea down, and remember that there are still the same number of hours in the day and there is plenty of time to do what you need to do. Don't sweat the small stuff. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Fortune Cookies

I bought this really nifty little book full of little prompts of things to write about, but you don't get a whole lot of space to write in so it's like a zap of creativity and a ping of inspiration for lazy wannabe writers like myself. Last night I decided to have at it and opened to page one. "Write about yesterday's fortune cookie. It got everything wrong!"


Didn't it ever! But then, when are fortune cookies ever really accurate? Aside from that one that Filbert got one that read "bad luck and extreme misfortune will infest for pathetic soul for all eternity" Some frightful (and comical) shit happened to that cartoon turtle but in the end he did spin the wheel to become 'Mr Lucky'. Irony of ironies. Sure the world was left in smoking ruins around him but that was the result of one very bad day, not a very bad life. It came good in the end. Just like my day yesterday...I was having a fortune cookie for breakfast and was left in a state of utter shock and disbelief when I unfurled that little white strip of paper and saw that it read "don't eat fortune cookies for breakfast". That was it. Nothing more. I turned it over thinking there would be some horrible consequence on the back, nope, just crumbs. I ate that delicious fortune cookie anyway and went on to have a wonderful day. And the moral of the story? There isn't one. I couldn't link the two unrelated experiences and turn this into something profound. All I could do was make a reference to one of the greatest shows of my childhood and talk about almond flavoured biscuit shaped like a moon with a choking hazard stuffed inside.

Ta da!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Just keep hookin'

Yes I've been hooking! Over the past 4 weeks I've made the most part of a virus shawl, a number of pairs of booties, a beanie for a friend, a blanket for my lounge and a self-striping ribbed scarf which is currently my mobile bag project. It's all part of 'keeping my emotional bucket filled'. You know, do things that bring you joy and shit *ha!* But seriously, I'd be mad not to use my crocheting as a way of winding down. It's been my evening pass time while binge watching Rake on the nights that I don't go to bed at 8pm. I've been told by a very insistent friend (you know who you are) that I need to start watching Wentworth because I'm missing out so I guess that will be next after I finish season four of my current series. Does ABC produce some of the best Aussie drama/comedies ever? I believe the answer is yes. Yes it does.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The petrol station girl

Today I waited to buy a drink and a chocolate at a petrol station in Heatherbrae. It was overcast outside, it was beginning to rain, the wind was cold. I'd wandered in to go the bathroom, and to get a much needed sugar hit before continuing on our way. The cashier asked me a question, something about flybuys, or reward points of some kind, and I barely responded, looking down and feeling pretty down as well. Then I looked up and there was this beautiful person standing there smiling at me. I instantly responded to her smile and felt my spirits lift. I suddenly wanted to make sure I acknowledged her so I smiled back. She wished me well on the rest of my journey and it was honestly just what I needed right then are there. It wasn't fake. Whatever had encouraged her good mood had consequently encouraged mine. When you emanate genuine kindness and concern other people see it. When you give off negativity it's the same. I experienced both kinds today. One moment left me with a happy if not fleeting memory and the other more prolonged experience left me feeling small, insignificant and deflated. Unfortunately the moment wasn't enough to outweigh the length of time that followed but nonetheless I'm grateful for that moment of human kindness. It was enough to remind me that many people meet us for the first time and reach their own conclusions in life and there isn't much we can do to change how we are perceived, but we do have control over something more important, and that is how we choose to reflect the feelings shown to us onto others. Be the reason someone smiles, don't be the cause of emotional bruises. It might not take the place of pain, but it's always a better option not to cause more pain don't you think?

Just try to put some genuine kindness into your words and into your eyes when you meet a stranger as you are bound to sometime this week. Into a simple 'hello', into a simple 'how are you?', into a simple 'you look fabulous today'. And don't worry about the reaction of the other person, your words may affect them more greatly then you know. You can never be too trusting, there is no such thing as too kind. It's the hardest thing to do when it feels like no one notices your efforts but the important thing is that you remain true to yourself.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

I am here and this is now.

Well hello to you! It's been a while hasn't it?
Life threw a few spanners into the works over the past few months and the effect of it all left me ungrounded, irregular, scattered and unable to write. It's taken time for me to regain those parts of myself that went missing in the fray. Lessons have been learnt, changes have been made, and life will go on! And I am back to feeling able to write which in itself is helping me back to a state of normal.

As I was lying in bed last night watching the stars out the window, my room has the best views of the night sky, some thoughts came to me that hit me so hard I had to write them down. This morning looking back over those notes I am glad I did! I decided that now was the time to get back into blogging and this was the perfect post to come back with.

Patience and giving into trusting divine timing is, as I have learnt most recently, an incredibly difficult thing to do. I think it's something that many of us hoo-man beans struggle with. There are things that are ultimately out of our control - we all at times (and in particular times of great stress and high emotion) feel like we're not doing enough and fear the consequences that may or may not eventuate if we haven't done this or that. We've all felt that overwhelming desire to make things happen faster or to be given the answers. The unknown is fucking scary!
If we could see the 'grand plan', what would be the point in living our life here on Earth? I don't know about you, but I believe the purpose of our lives is to do what we don't yet know how. It's all about discovery, learning, growing, changing. We aren't born with an instruction manual that tells us where to go next however handy that may be but what we ARE given at the very moment of our birth is not only the miraculous thing called life, but a guide to ourselves that is already written in the stars. The fun part is finding the 'X' on the treasure map and taking on the adventure along the way.

Patience, being present and remaining in the 'now' and not letting anticipation of what might yet be are not strong points of mine. My mind wanders off worrying about the future but really what is the point of worrying about a scenario that is all in your head? I've had to stop and ask myself is that likely to REALLY happen? Has it ACTUALLY happened yet? No? Then don't worry!

But that's easier said than done.

Lately I want to know what the reason is, the see the overall plan, the lessons; what was I meant to have taken from these experiences? What was the point of it all? What do I now do with those lessons? And of course the big one, am I doing the right thing? Well I can now say that at the very least I have come away with this: If you trust your intuition and yourself, you have nothing to fear. Complete and total honesty with yourself gives you the freedom to be and the power to heal, and the ability to love yourself on the deepest of levels. Only the individual can hear and heed their own intuition, no one can tell you what it is or whether it is guiding you in the right direction. Only you can search within, learn to listen, and trust that voice and only you can determine whether you're doing the right thing.
It has been an overwhelming journey up to this point right here and right now, but you know what I've been reminding myself of along the way? Right now I am where I am meant to be. And if when I say that to myself it doesn't feel completely right, or if there's a nagging doubt then I trust that voice and I ask myself what I need to do definitely so that I CAN trust that I am on the right path, my path, my soul's path. That's where I believe the idea of free-will over destiny prevails. We make our own decisions, we are responsible for them, but there are ultimately never any wrong decisions. We do the best we can, don't we? If we didn't make mistakes then there would be no room for growth, change. Accept things are the way they are; accept you are where you are; accept what you cannot change and accept that this too shall pass and it will all happen in divine timing. If you're doing your best what else is there that you can do?

I can't say I'm in a complete state of peace and acceptance of what will be, I haven't been able to convince myself to fully let go but I'm working on reminding myself to be patient with the Universe. And if that's the best I can do right now, then it's good enough for me.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Free Moon Chart Printable Thingie

I don't have much to write about right now, I'm not really in much of a mood for writing anyway. I do want to share this with you, though. It's a moon chart I whipped up this evening using the little paintings I did today. I'm particularly pleased with myself for creating my own little png clipart doodads and really just wanted to use them on something... so voila! You can download it via Dropbox HERE if you like. Any troubles with it let me know. That's it! That's all I have for now.
Toodles x

Monday, 28 March 2016

It starts with Pokemon

This weekend we introduced Master L to Pokemon. Turns out it's all available to watch free online so we started from episode one and it's still just as awesome as it was then! So good!! And more adult jokes involved than what I picked up on when younger. Jessie and James are actually quite an endearing couple of 'bad guys'. Once I started watching it again I felt super inspired to draw some Pokemon. I started with an Oddish, then a Caterpie who is slightly disproportionate, a Vulpix, and then a Togepi. It's totally addictive and I'm fairly sure I know what I'm going to be doing with my week now. 

Yes that's a toad. It must have come inside during the night and I woke up to it squeaking in the corner. YUCK. My dog is now fired as protector of the household. I dyed the tips of my hair purple because hey why not! My mandala crystal pouch has been tied to my handbag (ocean jasper in there at the moment), and I'm into week four of Lunar Flow. So far things are going along, not quickly, but going along. I've been here longer than I expected or wanted to be. I need to get out of here and have a plan in place soon or I risk falling into my dark place again. I had so much enthusiasm a month ago but now it seems like everything has been on pause for too long and I'm regaining the feeling of helplessness. Before too long I know the powers that be will want to know why the paperwork isn't in yet and they will make the decision for me whether I'm ready to move or not. Andrew, if you're reading this I don't want to make you feel pressured, but I'm scared of what may come very soon if we don't find a way to make this work.

I'm trying to push through my days but this house and this environment make me feel like shit. I've tried so hard to keep my positivity up and trust that everything will happen in Divine time, but I feel so lost and I don't want to feel this way. I'm losing grasp of my situation, I'm losing the willpower to get through it all and come out the other side, and I'm losing confidence in myself to be capable as a single mum. A few weeks ago there was such a great fire of determination within me and it's slowly simmering down and I'm in danger of having fear snuff it out entirely. This was so much easier when I had family to support me in person, telling me I could do this. Now I feel so far away and so detached I just don't know what to do.

My goals are all over the place, what I want is getting muddled up with what I need, I'm taking less responsibility around the house and causing myself stress because I'm not organised. I'm not ungrateful to the Universe for this, if I'm still here there must still be a lesson to be learnt or it's just not the right time yet. I wish though that I could have some kind of sign to let me know the cogs are still turning. A little spark of hope, a sign of momentum, something encouraging to help me strengthen my resolve.

The cards? Oh that's a Mind, Body and Spirit reading. I wanted to use this highly intuitive time to delve inward and test the power of this waning moon over divination. I've discovered that I wax during the wane and wane during the wax, but my full moon and new moon powers remain the same.  Pulling the High Priestess in the place of 'Mind' was such a strong message. She's all about psychic wisdom and mystery. Ever since reading Secrets of the Moon by Patsy Bennett,, finding my true North Node and since the full moon I've felt highly in tune with myself. I'm exploring another realm. Learning to acknowledge the shadows is my focus over this phase; something is still hidden within and I want to know what it is. I feel it's something big and to discover it and bring it to light will bring about a big revelation.
Temperance, a message from the body? I don't think any other card could have given a clearer message! I've been a bit excessive on the unhealthy stuff, food and movement (lack of) wise and now is the time to practice some restraint and and moderation. Yes I know, over Easter! I'll find a new sense of balance though, and I already know that I've been working on this with the practice of Yin yoga and my recent turn to vegetarianism. Ace of Cups fell out in this position as well, and I believe it's telling me that my changes are good ones, this new journey will be a good one and I'm an emotional cup ready for the filling! Hopefully with lots of happy. It did fall out in reverse but I haven't felt like The Wild Unknown wants itself to be read that way, and I don't feel it's right either.
From the spirit, my spirit, The Emperor. A word that replays itself over and over as I looked at this card was 'steadfast'. My spirit needed reminded that I am decisive and stable and rooted to the Earth. Within me is the ability to think clearly, to make decisions and to make actions. I have been feeling unsteady as I talked about already in this post and unsure as a mother. I really do need to trust that when the time comes I will be able to stand as tall and strong and I will know what to do.

I haven't read the cards in so long. Not properly or seriously anyway because I was worried I'd be too out of touch. But I did it when the urge came to me instead of avoiding it and I'm glad that I did. The messages were clear and my intuition was vibrant and sharp. It's reconnected me with my guides I think, they probably breathed a sigh of relief when I finally laid down my velvet cloth and lit the candle. I did too :-)

Friday, 25 March 2016

Crystal Mandala Medicine Bag

Crystal Mandala Medicine Bag
 Crochet Pattern 
Another 'Of Crochet and Life' creation! 

You'll be needing:
3.5mm hook
worsted weight cotton (4ply, if using 8ply you may want to use a larger hook) 
a button or bead 
mad crochet skillz 

Make two identical circles following this pattern, you will be working in rounds ending each round with a slip stitch. 

Round 1: ch 2, sc 7 into first chain. 
Round 2: Join new colour, ch 1, sc 2 into same sp. 2 sc in each st around (14)

Round 3: Join new colour, ch 1, sc 1 into same sp *2 sc in next st, 1 in next* around (21)
Round 4: Join new colour, ch 1, sc 1 into same sp, 1 sc in next *2 in next st, 1 sc in next 2 sts* (28)
Round 5: Join new colour, ch 1, sc 1 into same sp 1 sc in next 2 sts *2 in next, 1 sc in next 3 sts* (35)
Couldn't be fucked sewing in the ends, it'll be on the inside anyway *wink*
You'll notice they're getting a little hexagonal-shaped, so match the two pieces up right sides on the outside and clip them together (optional, live dangerously and don't clip if you like). Just easier to hold those two suckers together while marking stitches and what not. Decide which 'side' of the circle you want at the top and find the middle most stitch. Count 5 stitches either side of it and place stitch markers through both sides. 

Round 6: Join new colour in left stitch marker in the back loops of BOTH sides, ch 1, sc 1 same space, ch 1. *sc, ch 1*  in each st around to the other marker. 

Right... still with me? Does yours look like the picture? Great! Moving on...

Making the flap 
Now take your next colour and turning your little mandala pouch around, join your yarn to the right side of the opening (just along the back half though, you wanna keep the opening open).
Row 1: Sc across, fasten off (10 sts)
Row 2: Join new colour where you finished off the last round, ch 1. sc2tog over same st as joining and next st, sc across remaining 8 sts. 
Row 3: Join new colour where you left off, ch 1, sc2tog across first sts, sc in remaining 7 sts. 
Row 4: Join new colour again where you left off, ch 1, sc2tog across first 2 sts, sc in remaining 6 sts.
Row 5: Join new colour, ch 1, sc2tog, sc across 5.
Row 6: Join new colour, ch 1, sc across 5 sts, fasten off. You've got this (see below!) so far, yeah? 

You now have a bazillion ends to sew in; ends that you can't just tie knots in and tie off because those suckers are on the outside MUWAHAHAHA 

Righto, rejoin your outer colour to the right side of the joining round (see giant arrow)
We're going to sc, ch 1 around our flap. You'll *sc, ch 1* in every stitch up the side for a total of 7 sts  (1 sc in each colour row up the side to the corner)

When you reach the corner, make 1 more sc in the same space. Sc 1 in next st and make a chain to go around your button. Have a fiddle with the length to get it right before closing the loop with a sl st in the first chain made. I've made a chain of 8 for my little wooden button.

Sc in next 2 sts, ch 1, then in corner sc, ch 1, sc, then work your way back down the other side finishing with a sl st in the same outer colour. How's it looking? Yeah I know, ends everywhere. I'm a sew 'em all in at the end kind of gal. 

Fabuloso! Now sew in all those little ends, stitch on your button and we'll do the last step.

Cut 12 strands of the same colours you used for the pouch, about a metre long. Holding the bunch of threads together pull between two stitches at the top of the pouch and even them up, then tie a knot close to the base. 

Divide your strands into two halves. Divide one half into three sections and make a tight plait until you are about 1-2 inches from the end then tie it off. Repeat on the other side. 

Now you you add any extra embellishments you'd like and can either tie it on as a necklace, hang it up somewhere, tie it inside your handbag to keep your crystal buddy safely in wherever you go. I hope you enjoyed my pattern, leave me a comment if you did! Have a play around with colour combos, I think it'd be beautiful in lovely earthy tones or in black and white! I'm using up my jewel coloured Schjeepes catona colour pack and the quality is just so lovely to work with so I'm sticking with my brights for the time being.

Enjoy, my dears!

*please do not copy any or all of this pattern and use it elsewhere, or sell this pattern in any way* If you'd like to put it on your own site, please either ask first or use a link rather than copying the pattern. I can't keep making these for free if you hoo-man beans aren't going to play fair :) 

How I got back in control of my anxiety

Has anyone else found the past week or so especially more stressful and difficult emotionally and stress-level wise than normal? I certainly...