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. 

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...