101 things about me

Monday, 31 January 2011

Sometimes it's the little things...

I had to post this little pic today, because it was so much fun to create... I just love the the tilt-shift effect.

Thanks to Bricolagelife for her post, filled with her fun photos that inspired me to go take a look myself.

What do you think? Want to give it a go too? Well, here is the link to the Tilt Shift Maker to try for yourself. You can do it to. Go on, give it a go, it's super easy and it's quite addictive.

Once you've created some pics you like, post them and leave me a comment - I'd love to see how you go! I am going to post a couple more over the next few days.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Saying goodbye is never easy...

I am hopeless at saying good-byes. I try to keep them short and sweet because I get emotional otherwise. Which generally means I don't manage to say the things I want to say.

And more often than not, I cry. Why you ask? Well, 'coz that's just what I do! I try not to, which means when the tears do ultimately come (and they nearly always do), it ain't pretty! It gets all gulpy and blotchy and runny. Just plain embarrassing really.

Today is going to be full of fond farewells.

After-all, you don't work in one place for five years without making friends. Good ones. And despite the fact that I am ready to begin the challenges of a new job, I am not happy about leaving so many great people behind.

Five years working in the same place has it's pitfalls and there are many things I will not miss. BUT. I will miss the people I have worked with for so long. People who have made me laugh, kept me busy, listened (and not listened), brought me back to earth, even shared a few tears... and through it all, kept me sane. I can probably even blame a bit of the crazy on a few of them as well!

Regardless. I have made good friends. And for that I am so so grateful. Because at the end of the day, good people are what makes an ordinary job good. And a good job great.

So to all of you who kept me sane and made my working day all the easier, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will miss you.

Saying good-bye is the hardest thing.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Be Open to Change...

This is my mantra for 2011.

Inspired by Patti Digh's "4 Word Self Help" methods and book, I decided to create a 4 word phrase that would encompass all that I want for 2011. And believe me there is a lot I want. And change pretty much covers every aspect. So "Be Open To Change" is perfect.

I went to Camp Creative with the hope of having a light-bulb moment and came away slightly disappointed. I didn't find new direction (though some existing ones have been poked and prodded a little) and I didn't find a new exciting career. Granted, my expectations were high, and I guess at the end of the day (as I have always known) it's down to me.

So... Change in 2011.
Where does one begin?
Well, already there is movement.

Tomorrow will be my last day in my current job, working at The Good Guys Support Centre. The company I work for is a supplier for TGG and I have been working at their premises for nearly 5 years.

Up until late last year, I was running the studio that creates TGG press and in-store advertising. And then, just before I left to the States in August last year, I was told they were 'replacing' me and my fellow manager with one manager to oversee the entire team... and that I would be returning to a more 'hands on' role. True to their word, on the day I arrived back from leave seven weeks later, my replacement began and my job changed.

Stepping away from the role of running the studio has taken some amount of adjustment, but it's been especially good to release the responsibilities that had become so stressful and also to get back to design, page build and layout. It's been fun and refreshing to be part of the team, instead of in charge of it.

And then (sounding familiar), just before Christmas, I was offered another role, doing much of the same in a smaller team, far closer to home. It will save me money in tolls, and time and stress on the roads, and being that I wanted change, I said YES.

So next week, it's a new beginning and I am looking forward to it. A different team. A different client. A different location to work and explore.

And whilst this may not be the change that will set my working life alight, it IS change. And as they say, "a change is as good as a holiday". It's a start.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Happy Australia Day...

Ned Kelly here was a sculpture I saw recently at Dubbo Regional Gallery. I'm sorry to say I don't have the artist's name, though it was in a group exhibition by young artists.

I love it.

Happy Australia Day everyone.

May we continue to be the lucky country.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

I used to run a dating agency for chickens, but I was struggling to make hens meet...

Artwork by mogupom

I have a friend who I met through work 10 years ago who I now call Darwin Dave. Because (funnily enough) his name is Dave, and when he moved to Darwin a few years back, I combined the two and since the name had a ring to it, it stuck.

Although he moved all the way to Darwin, we have kept in touch, mostly through the wonders of technology. Skype, facebook, sms and email... interspersed with a rare face to face visit, have allowed us to stay in touch despite the distance.

And he makes me laugh. The title of the post was an sms he sent to me one day. It appeals to my rather silly sense of humour. And the fact he sent it to me during a dull day at work, totally made my day.

We have a similar outlook on many things, and whilst we don't always agree, we are both pretty straight talkers. Even when we don't see eye to eye, I like the fact that he speaks his mind - sometimes with a bluntness that is both shocking and amusing! In any case, he is not precious and I know I can have an opinion and it is unlikely to offend.

Our most recent discussions revolve around his FB profile pic.

I have friends on FB who frequently change their profile pictures. Me? Never. I like it as it is. And I rarely find a pic of myself that I like, so it's likely to stay that way. And besides, I can't be bothered!

Dave however is more adventurous than me and changes his every now and again. For some time his profile pic had been worrying me... in fact I was finding it quite disturbing. I am happy to tell you, it was NOT a pic of him, but some character unknown to me, but every time I looked at it, it made my skin crawl...

So. I let it go for some time, but eventually I had to say something...
OK Dave
You've really gotta change your profile pic.
There. I said it.
It gives me the creeps. Please.

I love the way that I could say that to him and know he wouldn't take it personally.
I also love that within the day, he had changed his profile pic (thanks Dave, I can now sleep without the light on again).
AND I also love the fact that he didn't let me off the hook so easily and followed it up with an explanation as to the character's origins.

Turns out it was Alex* from "A Clockwork Orange" his favourite movie from when he was just 18. He sent me a youtube link to a preview and encouraged me to check it out. Which I did. But to no avail. He still gave me the creeps... but at least I tried.

When I was 18, I told him, it was Back to The Future, hardly as mind blowing and a movie which was somewhat easier watching.

Well, surprise surprise, turns out DD is a BTTF fan too and shared a bit of trivia with me, which I just have to share here.

Did you know...
A lot of the music in the first movie was Huey Lewis and the News.
In the scene where Marty's band was trying out for the school social, the teacher with the megaphone that told them they were too loud, was Huey Lewis. A bit of Spielberg humour.

Most of the scenes in the first movie were at night because Michael J Fox was working on "Family Ties" during the day, and consequently did most of the movie in a state of exhaustion.

And, one last thing (this time my personal trivia)... The day I went to see the movie way back in 1985, was the exact date they travelled to in the movie. For weeks I was convinced they must have changed the date each day the movie showed! Not my brightest moment perhaps, but I still think it was a great idea.

In any case... I love the fact that last night I noticed DD has a pic of the Doc as his profile pic...
Good one Dave.

*I considered posting DD's Clockwork Orange profile pic here so you could see what I mean, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. If you look at the youtube link, he's the main guy.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Just call me Nana Mouskouri...

One of the things I did over the Christmas break was get my eyes tested. And, as I had suspected, I needed glasses.

So here I am. All Nana Mouskouri like.

And if you think you're going to see a real photo, well think again! Now I have glasses I can see all the wrinkles that up until now have been faint lines... and it ain't pretty let me tell you. It's taking me some getting used to.

Quite frankly, I'm not about to publish a photo without some serious retouching first! Or botox.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Red door...

I have had a tin of red paint in my 'works' cupboard for over 3 years now, earmarked for my front door. It's a deep strong red, is oil based (messy) and it's called "red hill"

A few weeks ago, on a warm Saturday I finally, finally managed to paint one coat.

And then I went away. And the door remained a patchy red. Until yesterday.

Coat two made a huge difference to the depth of colour and it's looking pretty good.

And today? The final coat begins.
Yes, that's my weekend folks!
Pretty exciting stuff huh!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

So many posts, so little time...

It's amazing the amount of blog posts I write in my head that I never publish. I have good intentions.

I intend to write them, and I intend to publish them, and... and... 

oh whatever, enough of the excuses. 

This week I am going to post EVERY day.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Rain rain go away...

I have been complaining about the rain for the last few days now. Basically since we arrived in Bellingen on Sunday. Because I hate the rain, and as we drove down from Dorrigo along the Waterfall Way, the weather deteriorated until the fog settled in to the hills and then cleared and changed to rain as we drove into Bellingen.

And the rain has continued ever since.

When there is a break, it doesn't last for long, and then it starts all over again. Yesterday the river was up. At just 1 metre under the bridge at lunchtime, they were expecting it to be underwater by this morning. By the time we walked to camp creative this morning the river was nearly 2 metres above the bridge. That's a rise of close to 3 metres in less than 24 hours.

People staying on the other side of the river have been effected the most, being unable to cross at the normal crossing, they have had to take an alternate route into town, adding over 1/2 hour drive to what should take minutes.

Thankfully, where we are staying is elevated and well above the river and despite the inconvenience of the rain, we are fine. Dry in the most part. We hope to see sunshine later in the week and in the meantime we hope the town is not cut off from the coast which is our departure route home.

From the veranda where I am typing this post, I can see the bursting river flowing at a rapid pace toward the coast. A kookaburra laughs from a distant tree and Sting sings "ain't no sunshine when she's gone..." Now ain't THAT the truth.

But while I sit here in relative comfort, I am far more concerned and so saddened about the developing story in QLD. The unfolding tragedy in Toowoomba and the utter devastation to lives, familes, homes and businesses in so many areas. And my thoughts are with them... and I just wish it would stop raining.

Monday, 10 January 2011

50th Wedding Anniversary...

50 years ago on January 7th, 1961, my Mum and Dad were married.
Yes, 50 years!
It's been quite a trip.
It's rather a lot to fathom really, but this post hopefully brings it all together nicely...

During their 50 years together they have ...
Lived in 9 homes
Owned 6 cars
Taught at 16 different schools

They have...
had 3 children...
All of them beautiful children I might add - 2 boys and a girl (yours truly)
Changed 1000s of nappies
Soothed millions of tears - many with the aid of mercurachrome and bandaids.
Read more than 3,000 bedtime stories
Attended at least 72 teacher/parent interviews, plus a few "additional" meetings...
Watched and played countless games of sport (mostly golf)
Shared at least 50,000 meals
Sung Happy Birthday at least 250 times to each other or to their children
Created legendary childrens' birthday parties with awesome cakes to match

They have...
attended 8 family weddings (though none of their children have ever married) and welcomed many new members into the extended family...
9 nieces and nephews and
23 great nieces and nephews
and a growing number of great great nieces and nephews.
They have no grandchildren (my Dad told me quite a few years ago he thought they might have to adopt!)

They have...
Laughed at bad jokes (and a few good ones)
And groaned at many really bad ones!
Argued over directions
Solved 10s of thousands of crossword clues
Played 500 games of scrabble with family and friends (with either Mum or Dad winning many of them!)
Written at least 3,000 Christmas cards.

They have...
Cried at funerals, and births, and good-byes,
and watching their kids on Christmas morning.

They have...
Said good-bye to their own parents
and shared grief no parent should have to endure, mourning the loss of their second son.

They have shared joy and sadness and laughter and tears
50 years is a long time afterall.

But, most importantly (in my eyes at least)
they have...
Loved each other and loved and been loved by their family and friends.
They have encouraged their children to live fully and follow the paths they choose
They have taught and inspired 1000s of students
And they have made lifetime friends from all corners of the globe.

In 50 years, that's a lot to be proud of...
Happy Anniversay Mum & Dad.
I love you.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Road trip to creativity...

Road trip begins today.
Bellingen bound.
Camp Creative
Registration Sunday.
Classes begin Monday.

I'm hoping for big things this year, and this is just the beginning.

Changes are on the way.
It's time.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Monster Melbourne find...

In the city today, I stumbled across this little shop "Monster Threads". It's the first time I have noticed it, though I believe it's been open there since August... and it's a great find.

If you are in the city, look it up... It's in Centreway Arcade (259-263 Collins Street) which runs between Collins Street and Degraves Street/Flinders Lane. I'm sure i have seen these guys online, but their store is definitely worth a visit.

Illustrated T-Shirts are $35, and there are hoodies, other clothes, plates, mugs, mouse mats, and some really funky jewellery.

Or you can always check them out online on the link above.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A weekend in the country...

The weekend before Christmas I went on a road trip to visit my good friend Malcolm and his wife in their home in Mirboo North. Mal is an ex boyfriend and we are still great friends. I find this is the best way to be with an ex. 

Until this weekend I had only met his wife Marion a few brief times, and I was a little bit nervous about spending a weekend with them both. I needn't have been concerned, the weekend was lovely and it was really nice to get to know Marion better, hang out with them both and meet their menagerie of pets. Elvis the new kitten (totally adorable), Nino the cat (my roommate and the boss), Pixel the very energetic pup/dog (I didn't manage to get a pic that was in focus - she never slows down long enough) and their chickens.

They have bought the old bank in the main street (which is also their home) and are currently setting it up as a gallery and photographic studio. It's a great space and has wonderful light. Importantly, it is also located next door to the local chocolate shop, which of course we had to include in my visit.

We went walking along a railtrail where their dog Pixel roamed widely and introduced herself to a resident echidna. We also hiked up into the bush where we saw fresh re-growth after the bush fires in 2009 and we went to nearby carols by candlelight (where the 3 wise men were missing in action!). So you can see it was a good balance of exploring and relaxing.

When they open up their gallery I will make sure I post about it, so that if you are ever down that way, you know where to find them so you can visit and see Mal's wonderful photography. It's a beautiful place and the studio (and chocolate shop next door) will definitely be worth a visit.

Monday, 3 January 2011

A great holiday read...

If you happen to be looking for some holiday reading, I can recommend this little gem. We bought it at JFK airport and I think it is released in Australia and other parts of the world as "The Other Hand"

Whatever it is called, wherever you may be, track it down. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Flossy love...

Way back last year, in December 2010, I told you the exciting news that I had won a blogger giveaway from one of my fave blogging artists, Flossy-P. I was totally excited, but a little worried, because at that stage I couldn't decide on which of Flossy-P's prints that I wanted (pretty hard when you want them ALL!)

In any case, I finally made my decision (thanks for you patience Flossy-P) and continued on my way through the frantic pre-Christmas phase at work! On Friday (Christmas eve) I arrived down at Point Lonsdale and there was a package of goodies waiting especially for me full of Flossy goodness!


I am totally chuffed. What an amazing collection of goodies. Including the print I selected and so many extras too (many of which were items that made my decision so difficult in the first place)

Dear Flossy,
What a sensational surprise! I have always loved and admired your artwork online and it's even more precious in real life!
I am totally delighted with every single piece. Thank you so much. 
All my very best to you in 2011.
Love to you,