101 things about me

Thursday, 31 December 2009

2010 - Bring it on...

May the new year bring you peace and happiness.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

For Brandy... a little bit of magic...

Brandy has been a favourite blogger ever since I started blogging a few years ago. I love her wit and honesty and in particular the way she writes with passion (whatever the subject).

A few days ago I dropped by her blog and was sad to see that she was on an indefinite blogging break. This morning (through another fave) I found out why.

Today Brandy is sending out a plea and I am doing my little bit in the hope that it helps...


My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He’s recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He’s the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I’m overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren’t sure what’s happening. He’ll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what’s going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as ‘brandy’s hot awesome dude’). If you don’t pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven’t seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunshine on a rainy day...

Sunshine on a rainy day
Makes my soul, makes my soul, trip, trip, trip away...

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Time for a little rest & relaxation...

It's always a crazy time of year for me on the work front.
I am glad to say, I can now breathe a little easier and enjoy a few days off in the sunshine.

Hope you are all taking some time out too.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Summer breeze makes me feel fine...

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Saturday, 12 December 2009

How sweet the sound...

I couldn't resist posting this. The song is so beautiful and the images of the Northern Lights is stunning. Enjoy!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The Nautilus house...

As it turns out, the shell house is actually called The Nautilus House and was built in Mexico. It is not the home of Sachin Tandulkar at all, but a lucky family living in Mexico City.

The Nautilus Shell House was build for a couple by Senosiain Arquitectos and was is put together using a frame of steel-reinforced chicken wire with a concrete spread over it, resulting in an earthquake proof structure.

Thanks to blogging friend Lilliboo for the heads up and the link, and the team at Stylefrizz for their article. Go and visit if you want to go take a better look.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The shell house...

A friend emailed me these images today and I just had to share. This home is in Bandra, Mumbai and is the new home of Indian cricketer Sachin Tandulkar. Take a look - it's pretty awesome.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Could it be me in National Geographic?

Last weekend I was at my parents home in Point Lonsdale (small seaside town in Victoria, Australia) helping with a major spring clean of their home that has been ongoing for the last few months. It is an overwhelming task, mostly as the belongings of my parents have been accumulated over the course of many years and my father in particular is an incredible hoarder. This past weekend was set to be another negotiation of what was to be discarded and what to be saved as we tackled the linen press where things had been hidden away for years.

Amongst the bedding, beach towels and childhood games there was an extensive collection of National Geographic magazines, some from as long ago as 1967, the year that I was born. My father (true to form and totally expected) did not want to get rid of the magazines and so it was decided to dust them all off and return them to the shelves. As we flicked through them and placed them back, I collected a few of interest, including an edition that included an article about Dian Fossey and the mountain gorillas from 1970 and another with an article about Jane Goodall. As I continued to stack the magazines back onto the shelves, another one caught my eye as I glimpsed the words Zaire River on the spine.

I opened it up, flicked to the article and exclaimed to my mother that here was the river I had once travelled, and on this very barge that was pictured in the article. It was a part of my travels in Africa that I had never been able to describe accurately as words could not do justice to the experience and I did not have any pictures of this journey. We were advised before boarding that security was a problem and it would be best to avoid carrying anything of any value with us. As we would be sleeping on the roof of one of the barges, with no real protection, most of us decided it was good advice and so most cameras were left with friends who would not be making the trip.

And so, as you may imagine, to find the article was an absolute treat for me and I was quite thrilled with the images in particular, as they bought to life a journey I had taken nearly 21 years ago.

The crocodile under the stairs, the chimpanzee that was for sale in the bar and the barge-side sales were all as I had remembered, not to mention the incredible conditions and the number of people on board. No-one could really have imagined the reality of that barge without being there or without seeing these images. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, nor seen since.

The article was published in 1991, less than two years after I was there and it didn't occur to me at first that it could have been our trip... and yet, as I looked closer, I noticed there were a number of white people in a small group on the roof of one of the boats and in fact 3 of them looked remarkably like 3 of the people in my group. Their stance and their heights and their features were certainly familiar. Seriously. I was stunned.

Could this photo have been taken at the same time we were there and could they really be people I knew? It wasn't until the following day during closer examination that I noticed another 3 people sitting further along on the highest point of the 5 boats and I think one of them might be me!

Now, this may not be of particular interest to you, but to me, to have this article bring my memories to life and that it is POSSIBLE that it is actually me there in this amazing photo in National Geographic... well that to me is so so exciting. The photographer Robert Caputo has captured the essence of what that trip was to me.

I read the article with interest and according to the magazine there was a film made of the journey and I am of course, eager to watch it and will have try to contact National Geographic to find out if it is available.

In the meantime, through the magic of the internet and Google, I visited Robert Caputo's website and here is a link to the amazing photo. His photos are available for sale via Aurora Photos and I have emailed them in an attempt to contact him and find out the dates the photos were taken.

I travelled in Africa for the first 4 months of 1989 and according to my diary we boarded the barge on Feb 19th in Kisangani and disembarked at Lisala just 3 days (and a huge adventure) later. How incredible if these photos were taken on the very same journey. And how amazing that nearly 21 years later, I should happen upon the article in a pile of magazines that had not been touched for years.

I hope to hear from Robert sometime soon and will let you know what he says.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

45 wishes...

Today is my brother's birthday.
He would have been 45.

Today, more than ever, I will be holding him close in my thoughts and wishing he was here. I love him and miss him every day.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Daylight savings already?

Did you realise Daylight Savings starts here this coming weekend?
It's normally the third or fourth weekend of October, so it's certainly caught me off guard. But I love it. Summer is just around the corner...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Beautiful Spring...

Everything is blooming most recklessly;
if it were voices instead of colors,
there would be an unbelievable shrieking
into the heart of the night.

Monday, 21 September 2009

People we can’t live without but have to let go...

In the last few months I have been thinking a lot about my blogging friend Renee and her family. I met Renee last year when my brother had cancer and she has been an incredible friend ever since. She has stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) which she writes about openly and honestly on her blog.

She is incredible, as is her family who have been by her side every step of the way in her fight against her cancer. In more recent months, three other members of her family have been struck by illness and she has found herself as the carer also. Her sister Jacquie is currently in hospital being treated for cancer, her mother has been in hospital (thankfully now home).

But saddest of all (if one can measure levels of sadness, Renee would also agree) is Renee's nephew Sheldon. He was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer a few months ago. I was sad to read on her blog that he died on Friday. He was only 25 years old. His family are understandably devestated.

She posted this quote on her blog a few days ago and it has been in my thoughts ever since. Lots of love to you and your family Renee. I am so so sorry for your loss.

"There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go."

Friday, 18 September 2009

A $15 bottle of hair colour does amazing things for a girl’s confidence...

I've been pretty cranky this week.
Mostly about work, but not that excited about much else either. September is often like this for me as I drag myself out of my winter slump. But work is especially getting me down. Whenever new work drops into my intray, I sigh with resignation that it's groundhog day again. Same thing, day in, day out.

Most days I just get on with it, but some days it gets me down. Yesterday was one such day. And it showed.

I was less than receptive when Amy (client and also good friend) dropped a job to me and I showed her little enthusiasm. I only managed a weak smile and I later emailed her to apologise. She has known for a long time that I am not happy at my work, and her response was a big cyber hug into my email inbox.

You haven’t been happy here for a long time. That’s before the job crapiness, and before your brother died and everything. I think it’s time we let the butterfly out of the cage... Where would you like to spread your wings Miss?

And herein lies my biggest problem. I really don't know. I have absolutely NO eFn IDEA where to spread my wings.

Her reply to me:
Ok, tell me when in the last 5 – 10 years you have felt happiness. When have you been complete and most at peace. Give me a place, or an event, or a set of circumstances. Just think about it and then type without judgement...

And so she reminded me once again to look for my happiness where I have found it in the past...

Learning new stuff.
Especially creative things.
Spending time creating and being with people who are positive and enthusiastic about doing the same.
And writing.
And hanging out with friends.
And family at the right times.
And when I am challenging myself.
And feeling good about myself.
These things make me happy.
But right now... I feel like a troll.
An angry shitty, disagreeable TROLL.
With bad hair.

And the wise (and loving) reply...

Well, so far I haven’t seen anything that can’t be fixed. You may have momentarily forgotten this, so I’ll happily remind you...

Ah hem. You are a wonderful, kind, creative, talented, inspiring, motivated, funny, gorgeous, warm, caring, articulate, sensitive, original and incredibly strong woman. You WILL find a way to get back to your whole self, it’s coming, promise. You continue to grow your repertoire of talents, whether that’s in the creative area, or just dealing with different sorts of people, all of these are the skills that will get you to where you want to go. Go home tonight and do something that makes you feel more like you. And a $15 bottle of hair colour does amazing things for a girl’s confidence, trust me! ;)

Awww Ames... what can I say, but thanks. Your reminders and support have got me through to the end of the week. How awesome, that whilst working in a job that I don't much like, I have found such a great friend. That alone makes coming in every day that much easier. Thanks.

Oh, and that hair dye is top of my shopping list for the weekend.
It's a good place to start. And a bit of a lazy start on Saturday.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Spring has sprung... Let's Party!

Today is the first day of Spring. And that means Summer is just around the corner... This is definitely reason to celebrate.

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

I want them and I want them NOW!

Ohhh, I love these. Of course, I could just get one, but lets face it, a set of 10 would look so good in my studio (when I eventually get a studio that is).

Pantone Mugs - Pack of 10
You can buy them online here

Monday, 24 August 2009

Quote of the day...

Imagination is more important than knowledge.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

Why facebook and employers should never mix...

This was emailed to me today, and I couldn't resist. I just had to share it with you!

Hope you are having a good week. Let's hope it is at least better than this person!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

How being fearless changed my life...

In 2006 I travelled to Sydney for what would be a life changing event. I arrived an arachnophobe and went home cured.

I attended Taronga Zoo's "fearless" program which is a 4 hour program that promised to cure my fear of spiders. It was incredible. I am a person who had spent years in fear of spiders, despite all logic and reason. When I found myself face to face with a huntsman and had to get a neighbour to remove it, I knew it was time to do something.

The Taronga program promised to cure me of my fear, and it was a total success. By the end of the day I was handling huntsmen in my bare hands and I even held a Chilean rose spider (a tarantula).

I have written about it before here and again here as I am so enthusiastic about the program, and so yesterday when I received an email saying they are running the program again, I decided to share it with you all once more. It was such an incredible life changing event I want everyone to consider it. It will change your life.

I used to be the girl who could not sit in a room if there was a huntsman sharing the same space. I once nearly threw myself out of a moving car when, as a teenager, a huntsman ran across my lap. The idea of going to bed with a spider in the house, let alone the same room was unbearable. Unthinkable even.

That was then, this is now.

Now I am free of the fear. I can collect any wayward spider up in a container and put it outside. I can go into the shed to collect wood for the fire without my heart rate increasing. And if there was one in the car, I wouldn't care. In fact, not long after I returned from Taronga Zoo I was driving my car and a huntsman ran up my windscreen and onto the roof. Not a problem. I arrived at my destination, I went on my date and I later returned to my car, found the spider, picked up a twig at the side of the road and flicked it off the car. No hesitation. No fear. No panic.

So if you want to be free of this fear that you know in your heart to be ridiculous, and you just didn't know how to do it... this is it. It probably sounds like an exaggeration, but it seriously changed my life.

Be brave. Make the call. Pay the money. Do the course. You won't regret it. And make sure you send me a link to your blog post when you get back. Because once you do it and you are free of your fear, you will want to shout it from the rooftops! Because if you can conquer fear, you can do anything you set your mind to!

Fearless At Taronga Info:
The cost is $250 per person, or $225 per person for bookings of 2 or more.
Spiders - Wednesday 28th October 2009, 9am – 1pm
Spiders - Thursday 29th October 2009, 9am – 1pm
And if you are scared of reptiles, they can help you too.
Reptiles - Friday 30th October 2009, 9am – 1pm

If you have any questions regarding the program contact Taronga Zoo Group Bookings on 02 9978 4782, or email fearless.information@gmail.com
Yes people - this is me! And THAT in my hand is a TARANTULA! If you look closely, I think it's smiling... just a little.

Monday, 10 August 2009

The time is right at seven a.m.

My friend Jase (along with his wife, his family and his friends) has been working madly months now, getting his cafe seven a.m. ready for opening, and at last the time has come. The date is set.

So, if you live in Melbourne, mark it in your diary and drop in and say hi to Jase, Ben and the team.

If you can't make it on the day, come along for breakfast over the weekend... drop in for coffee on the way to work... escape work later in the day and relax over lunch... or meet your girlfriends for coffee and cake. Whatever you do, you'll want to come back.

seven a.m. will be opening at 7am on Thursday 20th August.

155 Bay Street
Port Melbourne


Friday, 7 August 2009


At 12:34 (and 56 seconds) today, the time was 12:34:56 7.8.9.
I captured it for you - just in case you missed the moment.It's not a great visual representation of this momentous occassion, but you get the idea. If you are in any of the next time zones, you may still have time to capture it too! Get excited people, this is a once in a lifetime treat.

Go crazy I say!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Confessions of a word verification nerd...

OK. I haven't admitted this to anyone, but I collect word verifications from the comment sections of blogs. I know. Crazy huh? As I said to someone just the other day, I really do need to get out more!

But seriously. For a long time, they caused me a great deal of concern. I even posted about this last October.For whatever reason I was continually getting them wrong. It may have been my reading, or more likely my dyslexic typing. Often I lost comments along the way, knowing full well the original was more witty or thoughtful. It even got the point that I would copy the comment before I hit publish, just in case I got the word verification wrong and all was lost!

And then something happened.

They started getting easier. I truly believe the words actually got simpler. In fact, some words became almost recognisable. In some cases quite amusing. And so, I started to collect them. I would see words that appealed for whatever reason and give them definitions in my head.

"goodea" (obviously) is a good idea.

menetti? the term used for Italian men who like to cook.

palmwee? Well I'm not really sure of the botanical definitions, but it's does make me think twice about standing in the shade of any palm tree anytime soon!

I know, silly really, but all in all I often find amusement in small things and i'm ok with that. So right now, on a windy Thursday evening, as I wait for pizza to be delivered to my door, because it's just too damn cold to head out and I'm too damn lazy to cook, I thought I would share some word verification goodness with you from my 'collection'.

You know I even think I might have a bit of fun and invite you to play along. Post an amusing (or meaningful) word on your blog and give it a definition! Leave a comment so I can come and visit. Alternatively, add a definition to one from my post. Go on... go crazy!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Driving is driving me crazy...

Seriously, what is it with taxi's? I understand they don't WANT to get to their destinations too quickly. I understand that they are probably quite happy to catch all the red lights. I expect they might even be pleased when the traffic is congested and it starts to rain...

And me? I just want to get where I am going safely and as stress free, and as promptly, as possible. I do NOT want to sit in the right lane doing 10km's under the speed limit. I am pleased when the traffic light God looks favourably upon me and blesses me with a string of green lights. And when it's a quiet day on the road and I don't take longer than public transport to get home after work (yes, you guessed it) I am grateful for the lucky break.

But for whatever reason, I keep getting stuck (you guessed - right again) behind every 'go slow' taxi in Melbourne. And I'm over it. Go slow by all means. Catch all the red lights (someone has to). But please please PERLEASE, get out of the right lane and let us non fare collecting drivers past.


Oh and another thing... to the moron who was shaving whilst driving at 100kms an hour on the Tulla this morning, have a shave BEFORE you leave home! I could hardly believe it. FINALLY there is a driver on the road doing the speed limit and he decides it's the time to take a shave. Oh good grief.

And finally... cos I know I meant to post about this when it happened in summer last year and it's just now as I am on my little rant that it comes to mind...

I drive out of work, and sit at the lights waiting to head onto the freeway, and the guy in the car in front of me is smoking, arm hanging out the window, cigarette in hand and flicking his ash on a total fire ban day, and with the OTHER hand he is pressing his mobile to his ear. Hmmm... It did make me wonder how exactly he was planning to steer.

I mean seriously. These things drive me crazy.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Au revoir Harry Potter...

Well, it's done. This morning at around 8am, the final chapter complete, I said my final good-byes to Harry Potter.

As with any good book, as I read the last pages, there was an element of sadness. I have loved him and now it's over. But I was not disappointed. It was a great finale. All the pieces of the puzzle ultimately came together. It was indeed magical.

It's been fun Harry. Thanks for a fantastic tale of good versus evil, full of mystery and adventure. And thanks for a great weekend.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Spending my weekend in bed with Harry...

A long long time ago... I read the first 5 books of the Harry Potter series. I loved the adventures and lives of the young wizards and witches and waited eagerly for each book to be published. I loved the characters and enjoyed the escape to Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. For whatever reason however, I did not read the final 2 books.

In the penultimate book, it was rumoured one of the favourite characters was going to die (though I did not know which one). And I knew the final 2 books had been read by millions and reviewed and discussed by thousands. I lived my life avoiding all discussions or HP related articles so as to avoid ruining the story. And yet both books remained on the shelf unread.

About 2 months ago now, I decided it was time to complete the series. And I grabbed a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince from the bookshelf and began. And I read. Slowly. And I struggled to get involved. I am disappointed to say, I found the story dragged. Perhaps I was impatient, but it seemed to me Ms Rowling was determined to draw the story out. I got about a third of the way in and decided I couldn't do it. Her pace was frustrating, there was no enjoyment and eventually I lost interest and abandoned my quest... and waited for the movie.

Not my normal style, but I just could not be bothered. Sorry. To all the fans. To J K Rowling. And to Harry and friends. I apologise. But the movie was the only way I was going to make it to the final chapter. And now I have seen the movie and some more of the final mystery has been exposed and left me wanting for more.

And so as my Friday night precedes a quiet weekend, Harry and I are reunited. I will be spending my time in bed with Harry. Right to the very end. See you Sunday.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Do I get sent straight to hell for beeping an ambulance?

I know I know. It was not one of my prouder moments... but before you shake your head in despair and disappointment, please let me explain.

Firstly. The ambulance was NOT in a hurry.

The lights were not flashing, nor were sirens blaring.

Rest assured, had this been the case I would have been completely out of it's way to allow it's hasty passage. As it was, until it was beside me (having come up from behind me), I was unaware it was more than a big white van. It was raining and visibility was not good. He (like me) was struggling along in traffic. And traffic was slow.

I drive a mini. I do my best to ensure I can see as far in front as possible and I also try and ensure people can see me too. Believe me, I know if I am behind a truck or a 4WD I disappear in their rear view mirror. And so I drive so that I can be seen... Of course this still relies on other drivers staying alert too and especially TAKING THE TROUBLE TO LOOK OVER THEIR SHOULDER to see if the road is clear... BEFORE THEY DECIDE TO CHANGE LANES!

SO. It's raining. I'm in traffic. Beside the ambulance. Visibility is poor. And before I know it, as the traffic slowly eases forward, I realise the ambulance is moving into my lane. Not in front. Not behind. But right on top of me.

And, because I figure he didn't even know I was there, I beep.

It's a quick 'warning' beep, not a blaring blast... enough to let them know I was already in the space they were planning on filling. It possibly saved us a bingle. And yet, as he moved back into his lane, leaned out the window and glared at me (looking MOST unimpressed that he had been 'beeped') and I mouthed "Did you even LOOK?" I couldn't help but wonder if this is just a little black mark against my name...

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

It's a sad sad day when no-one tells you that there is white paint in your hair, because they think it's your natural colour...

Painting white walls and ceilings and I manage to get white paint in my hair. Not just a splash, a decent streak.

And not one person noticed.
Not one!

Except me.
After a trip to the shops and dinner out.


Thursday, 25 June 2009

No sugar for a month? Who's crazy idea was that?

Call me crazy, but I decided to have no sugar for a month. No sweets, lollies, cakes, desserts, biscuits, cookies, no fizzy drinks. None. The intention was to stop the cravings and break the habit.

Of course I knew I couldn't avoid all sugars, but I have, for the entire month of June, avoided most and have declined any offers on the afore mentioned goodies. And it's nearly killing me!

It sounded like a great idea at the time. Of course, these things always do sound better in ones own head. So I have no-one but myself to blame.

It has not been easy. I am a person who includes chocolate in the major food groups. And here at day 25, it seems even harder than days 1, 2 and 3. Right now, all I want is chocolate. Forget the cakes etc, I'm not really bothered. But chocolate is infiltrating my every thought.

Last night I even dreamed I ate chocolate. As I was half way through I realised what I had done. I even felt guilty! And this morning I woke up wanting it even more.

Roll on next Wednesday... July 1st is chocolate day!

No sugar for a month? Who's bright diea was THAT?

Call me crazy, but I decided to have no sugar for a
month. No sweets, no lollies, no cakes, desserts, biscuits, cookies, no
fizzy drinks. Of course I knew I couldn't avoid all sugars, but I have
declined any offers on theafore mentioned goodies.

It sounded
like a great idea at the time. Of course, these things always do sound
better in ones own heads. I have no-one but myself to blame.

it has not been easy. I am a person who includes chocolate in the major
food groups. And here at day 25, it seems harder than days 1, 2 and 3.
Right now, all I want is chocolate. Forget the cakes etc, I'm not
really bothered. But chocolate is infiltrating all my thoughts.

night I even dreamed I ate chocolate. And as I was half way through I
realised what I had done. I even felt guilty! And this morning I woke
up wanting it even more.

Roll on next Wednesday... July 1st is chocolate day!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Etsy goodness...

Today I received a package in the post which came all the way from South Carolina, USA. It was a little bag of wooden acorns from "Wee Wood Natural Toys."

I love them and I love Etsy!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Reason for Celebration...

Today is the shortest day of the year. And this, for me, is reason for celebration.

With sunrise at 7.36am and sunset at 5.08pm, there will be just 9 hours and 32 minutes of daylight in Melbourne today. This in comparison to the summer solstice on December 21, when there will be 14 hours and 47 minutes of daylight.

Winter is my least favourite season. The days are short. It's cold (and I hate being cold). And it's not Summer. Don't get me wrong, I love snuggling up next to a roaring open fire. I actually quite like walks in the quiet of foggy mornings. I love getting into my cosy bed (pre warmed thanks to my trusty electric blanket). And I certainly like steaming bowls of soup and mugs of hot chocolate as an antidote to the cold. But give me the bright sunshine of summer any day.

And so, as the shortest day is here and we begin again the journey toward Spring and Summer, I celebrate the passing of the shortest day in the Southern hemisphere. Because it means we are heading in the right direction. It may be some time off yet, but there is light (and sunshine) at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

I blame the TV...

I don't watch a lot of TV. Even the amount I do watch is too much. It takes up too much time, does not stimulate my mind and if I allow, it manages to fill my night. Before I know it, it's time for bed and I have wasted another night. It is a trap.

Quite a few years ago, my partner and I got rid of the TV for 6 months. And I loved it. I read more. I listened to the radio more. We talked more. When the football season began, I was convinced that the TV come back into our home. And it infiltrated into our lives and much of our spare time again.

The TV I own now is only tiny. Small enough to be hidden in a cabinet and not take over the room or the conversation. It can be closed away completely when I please and I like it that way. In fact, I would quite happily not have a television at all. And so, when people realise what viewing I am 'reduced' to, and they ask me why I don't upgrade, I tell them it's not a priority.

Of course, it does make watching subtitled movies pretty much impossible. And whilst I could blame that on the fact I could really do with getting my eyes checked, I blame the TV.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Small things...

I have been struggling with my blog recently. For months in fact. I want to write but my heart has not been in it and now I just don't know where to start. I've lost the path.

So last night, when I caught up with Jason from seven a.m, he gave me some advice. It is not the first time I have heard this and I know I have given it to others... but sometimes the simplest of advice is the hardest to take - especially for oneself.

So, you want to know. What was his advice?

To start.
That's it.
Simple, yes?

Start small.
A story.
Nothing major.
Nothing ground breaking.
Entertain myself.
Have some fun.

Start doing. Start writing. Begin. With anything.

I am also doing The Artist's Way. It's hard. Inevitably, it's bringing up a lot of stuff. Stuff that in the most part I manage to ignore or hide away. But now I am getting on with that too. Again. Not trying (because let's face it, that implies an acceptance of failure)... not trying - DOING.

Small things.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

And the Awe-summm award goes to...

Me! Yes me!
I've been given and Awe-summm award from the lovely Lilli at Lilli Boo And what a lovely surprise, on a day that has (I'm sorry to say) been less than fabulous.

I have been asked to join in and list 7 things that make me Awe-Summm and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers I love. Saying what makes me awe-summm, is not something I feel especially comfortable with... but I have searched and thought and here is my list.

My list of Awe-Summm'ness:

1. I am a hard worker and live an honest life.
2. I defend people if I think they are being treated unfairly, and I try to treat everyone equally.
3. I love my family and I am happy to count them amongst my best friends.
4. I love to live creatively and try new things.
5. I was so terrified of spiders that I was letting my fear control my life, so I did an arachnophobia course. I held several huntsmen and a taranntula in my bare hands and now I find spiders fascinating as opposed to fearful.
6. I like to push myself out of the comfort zone and encourage others to challenge themselves too.
7. I remind myself every day how lucky I am to be surrounded by such incredible people and beauty in my life.

It was a tough decision to select just seven awesome blogs, but I know you will all spread the love even further. So, I now award the following for their awe-summmness.... I think they deserve it:

1. Hurrah!
2. Flossy-p
3. Pepperberry
4. Luhlahh
5. Circling my head
6. Adventures of Netgirl (I am missing her blogging and hope this gets her posting again!)
7. Everyday Calm

Below are the rules and guidelines to the Awe-summm award:

* List 7 things that make you Awe-Summm and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers you love.

* Make sure to tag your recipients and let them know they have won!

* And finally link back to the blogger that tagged you.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Picture to Page

I am having a busy weekend at the Picture to Page show in Melbourne, helping out my friend Liz with her paper and craft stall. She imports gorgeous handmade papers from Bangladesh.

We will be there again tomorrow (Sunday) 10.30 to 4.30 pm if you want to drop by and say hi! It's at the Whitehorse Club in East Burwood (between Blackburn & Springvale Rds on Burwood Hwy). It's a bit of a stamping and scrap-booking thing, which isn't really my thing, having said that I have still managed to find a couple of bargains. And certainly Liz's paper is well worth a look.

If you can't make it, but you are interested in buying some beautiful paper, Liz can be contacted via her website here. She has just said she has plans to upgrade her website soon, but you can still see a range of her papers there and contact her on the phone or via email.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Away with the birds...

I have been away with the birds... not literally, just in a blog sense. I have actually been busy and among other things I have been asked to document a friend's journey in setting up his cafe. His blog (and cafe) is called seven a.m. It's in it's early stages - the cafe and the blog - and there is a lot of work ahead. I will be posting there regularly to keep everyone up to date with the latest developments. Go say hi if you get the chance.

In the meantime... I have noticed I have a bit of a collection of birds happening around here and I thought I might share a few images with you. Somehow it has grown without me realising. I added to it today when I received the little piu piu bird in the bottom right hand corner. It was hand delivered all the way from the USA. Not only is it magnetic and holds paperclips in it's tail and wing region, it also chirps when it's moved.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

There's nothing more comfortable than an old pair of jeans...

Here is my latest bag - another of my recent creations... It was made with the same pattern as this bag with a few variations and is reversible. I used a preloved pair of jeans I bought at Savers and some furniture fabric I bought at Spotlight.

It was a bit fiddly, because I wanted to use the pockets as a feature, but it was well worth the effort.

I really love it.

Oh - and my friend loved froggy.

Monday, 4 May 2009

May you and your friends be healthy and happy...

“If you live to be 100,
I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day,
so I never have to live without you.”

Winnie the Pooh

Friday, 1 May 2009

Mad dash to 5pm Friday...

Well it's nearly the weekend.Take it easy, there's no need to push!
We'll all get there eventually.

And have a good (and safe) weekend!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

the getting of wisdom...

If I was wise, I would...

smile often
exercise daily
grow an edible garden
sleep well
say 'I love you' more often to those I love
be awake to the world around me
ignore negativity
slow down
remember to say thank you and you're welcome
defend what is right
eat good fresh food
smile often

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The rainbow connection...

“We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well.
He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well.
If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.”

Mao Tse-Tung

Hope you are having a lovely week and your view is broad and full of sunshine.

This is my latest creation.
It's a gift for a very special friend.
I hope she likes him.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Getting friendly with a 47 year old Singer...

Thanks to the help of a very good (and patient) friend of mine, and my Mum's 1961 singer sewing machine... I managed to make this bag on a Sunday a few weeks ago. As we worked away for the afternoon, we were accompanied by the sweet hum of the sewing machine which is 6 years my senior.

Not only was it quite easy, I love the result! Mum's sewing machine and I got along quite well - we are still on speaking terms. At this rate, I think we might become quite well acquainted! Good friends even.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Dreaming of escape to a simpler life...

There are days, as the summer fades into autumn and I sit at my desk after a long week-end, that I dream of escape.

I don't want much really... a peaceful view of the water, sunshine on my shoulders, sand between my toes, a pile of books, a few pens, brushes and an empty notebook... and a caravan in which to make up a mug of hot chocolate in the cooler evenings and curl up each night.

This little beauty is an Airstream Bambi, and you can buy one here. At $51,000 it's a bit out of my price range (and I think that might even be US dollars), so I'll just have to keep dreaming.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Easter greetings... and a hot cross bunny or two...

The long weekend has just begun and I am at home tonight preparing to head down to the beach for the long weekend. The sun is shining and I hope it stays that way for the next four days. Long walks along the beach, sand between my toes, fresh air... and somewhere along the way, hopefully a hot cross bun or two and maybe a chockie egg or four...

Wishing you all a peaceful and relaxing Easter.
Stay safe and enjoy!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

An apple a day...

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

6/6... come tag along if you like...

I was recently tagged by the lovely Lilli Boo. It's a 6/6 game...Where you chose the 6th photo in your 6th folder and write about it!

The 6th image in my 6th folder is this curious cow in BellingenI took this picture is Belingen in January 2007. I had been attending Camp Creative doing a one week writing course, and was on my way out of town homeward bound.

I stopped at a local gallery on the outskirts of town and was watched as I got out of my car by this curious cow. I managed to capture the moment on my camera, and not a moment too soon as the cow soon decided there were more interesting things to observe other than me.

For the curious... Camp Creative is a yearly event that fills Bellingen to bursting point. Over 1000 participants descend on the small NSW town and it buzzes for the entire week. I stayed at the local YHA which was pretty basic, but welcoming and relaxed.

Courses run for one week and range from creative writing, painting, cooking and mosaic through to circus skills and learning to play a clarinet in a week! It caters for all ages - there are lots of kids and heaps of oldies... and many in between. I had a great time and if you are interested, it's definitely worth a look.

Bryce Courtenay, David Helfgott (Subject of the movie SHINE) & David's wife Gillian are Patrons. David performed on 2 occasions the year I was there. There is also entertainment throughout the town most nights and a pretty funky market on Saturday mornings. No wonder the subject of my pic looked so peaceful!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Beautiful Birthdays...

There are lots of birthdays happening around me right now and I would like to send my love and best wishes to all of my favourite Aries babes. They are all amazing people and are special to me and I just wanted to let them (and you) know why...

On the 28th of March, it was the 53rd birthday of a blogging friend of mine called Renee of Circling in my Head. I met Renee last year (online) during the time when my brother had cancer, and we have shared emails and visited each others blogs since. She is an incredible woman and her blog is a treat where she shares openly of her thoughts, her trials and her love for the life and lives around her. She is an inspiration and a lovely person to boot. I hope she doesn't mind I used this image from her site (I'll be checking to make sure)

Yesterday my cousin Jenni turned 40. I think it's come as a bit of a shock to her (I felt the same 18 months ago). Who would believe that we could be this old? Of course, being 'this old', she has a lot to show for her 40 years so far... a gorgeous family, lots of friends and a job that relies on her insight and an open mind and is both challenging and rewarding. She is adored by her children, her family and her friends. And me too.

Today is Angela's birthday. She is the creator of Miss Buttons and she is also the person who encouraged me to start blogging when I worked with her a few years ago. She continues to inspire me with her creativity, and her imaginative ideas are always a treat. Go wish her a happy birthday at Three Buttons!

And finally (for this week at least) it's my Mum's birthday too. Yes, this coming Monday my Mum turns 69. Incredible! When I was a child, people of 69 would have been considered 'oldies', but this generation is yet to step into their slippers and take a rest. My Mum is a regular golfer, has a wide group of friends, cooks a mean roast, still loves to body surf at the local beach, has travelled widely and is the best Mum in the world. What can I say? I love you Mum! Happy Birthday for Monday!

And so. To all my favourite Arian's... Love and good wishes to you all. May your birthdays be celebrated in health and happiness and may you be surrounded by the people you love.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

I'm over worked...

For a couple years I've been blaming it on lack of sleep, not enough sunshine, too much pressure from my job, earwax build-up, poor blood or anything else I could think of. But now I found out the real reason.

I'm tired because I'm overworked.

Here's why:

The population of this country [Australia!] is 20 million.
9 million are retired.
That leaves 11 million to do the work.
There are 7 million in school, which leaves 4 million to do the work.

Of this there are 2 million employed by the federal government, leaving 2 million to do the work.
0.5 Million are in the armed forces preoccupied with finding Osama bin Laden, which leaves 1.5 million to do the work.

Take from the total the 1 million people who work for state and local Governments and that leaves 500,000 people to do the work.

At any given time there are 280,000 people in hospitals, leaving 220,000 people to do the work.

Now, there are 219,998 people in prisons.
That leaves just two people to do the work.

You and me.

And there you are sitting on your arse, at your computer, checking out blogs.
Nice, real nice.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Taking a peek at artist's studios and working spaces...

For the people out there who like to look at other people's spaces, there is a beautiful photographic exhibition currently at The State Library of Victoria and I really recommend you go and have a look. STUDIO: Australian Painters on the Nature of Creativity. The exhibition showcases 61 of Australia’s most respected and important painters working in their studio environment.

Unfortunately, your time is running out as this it's in it's final week in Melbourne and finishes on Sunday 29th March (this Sunday). But it is free, so even if you just manage a quick look, it is worth it I think.

From here it travels to Perth and Hobart...
According to the website, the exhibition will be shown in Perth WA at the CENTRAL TAFE ART GALLERY August 6 to 29, 2009 and the CARNEGIE GALLERY Hobart, Tasmania May 27, to July 4, 2010.

There is also a companion book and DVD. The book is an absolute treat (thanks Dad) and I am sure I will go back to it again and again.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Do you recognise the personalities...

There are more than 100 world known personalities in this painting. If you can name a minimum of 25, you may consider yourself a cultivated person (or so I've been told).

Click on the image to get a bigger version. Go on you know you want to...

Good luck. Let me know how you go.