Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pipe Dreams, Realisations and Reality

I have had a relatively good day of moving boxes around in my loungeroom in what seemed like a game of tetris, tidying up as much as I could and playing with my little fur baby puppy Toby! He's a 6 month old Mini Foxy x Staffy and as you can see he has enourmous ears! He has a little problem called 'Prick Ear' it doesn't hurt him or affect him in any way, it just means he has radar hearing which comes in handy for him when I'm opening the dog food tin! Apologies for the fuzzy photo, he's a bundle of energy and hard to catch sitting still :) He's a gorgeous dog, very friendly and playful... on the odd occasion though he decides to test me and run off with a shoe but he's slowly learning that's just not on in my household! Puppies hey?

I looked around my crafting room today and decided (again) that I probably should clean it up again. Crafting rooms should be more like the Tardis... they look small but open the door and it's the size of a palace! A palace filled with storage boxes, clean desks and neat little rolls of ribbon, thread, jars of colour coded buttons and oh gosh... does such a thing even exist??

So I am pretty happy today mainly because tomorrow is the 1st of Decemeber and that means it's time to put up the Christmas tree!! It's one of my favourite parts of the holiday season :) My husband and I put on Christmas Carols sung by the one and only Frank Sinatra and our Christmas jazz album, set up the tree, hang the lights, bake a lovely dinner and have a glass of wine...tomorrow we've invited some friends to share in our fun so I'm really looking forward to it!

Do you want to know something? This occured to me this afternoon. I never thought I'd be a crafter... you know I didnt even own a glue gun until about a year ago (and let me tell you did life become so much easier!!).

I've always been more art- orientated...I have always had an knack for drawing and I still sometimes amaze myself when I find old drawings and can hardly believe it was me who did it! My art teacher in high school told me if I ever got the opportunity to go to France school of fine arts and study abroad... and I'm sure if I had have had the money I would be there right now! Ohh France... everyone wants to go to France... I want to go to provincial France, the countryside, set up a tent and just sit in an open feild staring at the sky, wandering down grassy paths and sketching and painting and photographing until my arms fell off! Maybe one day :) Then I studied Fine Arts with the intention of gaining a diploma and becoming a professional artist...unfortunately though that path didn't work for me. But hey, no need to worry! Most of the world's greatest Masters didn't have any 'training' and look what they acheived! :) Nothing is impossible.

I have always had an addiction to ribbons and fabrics though... I think it comes from my love of colour and the ways they are combined and matched and used to create something more beautiful. In a way that's what I strive to acheive in life... there are many elements available to us, many different colours, many different brushes and pencils; the lessons and the experiences come from learning which colours combine the best to make a painting into a work of art. A true artist doesn't automatically know which brush works best with what canvas, it takes time and patience and one day, it suddenly all comes together, and you just know you've done it. You will continue to carry that knowledge with you onto the next painting, the next step of life.

Realisations are a harsh though thing though aren't they? If they're good, then fantastic!! If they're bad, well, I tend to be more annoyed at the fact I only just figured something out and it's been hiding elusively from me for a long while! I've been having more and more realisations over these past few days, some good, some bad, some are just mere facts presenting themselves to me clearly rather than the clouded version in the back of my mind. If I were to be completely honest with you, sometimes I wish I could have a clean slate and start all over. It's not even anything in particular I want to start over, just tiny little thing that would make all the difference to me and the way I live my life. I realised that I have family, and not just biological that love and care for as sisters and brothers is these people who have helped me form a new opinion of people that not everyone has a cruel intention, not everyone takes offence if you're in a bad mood, not everyone is out to get you, not everyone wants to take pleasure in your suffering; family are quite open, forgiving, caring, offer kind words when you need them, even if you don't want them; they understand and don't hold a grudge, you don't feel like you need to compete, you don't have to feel like you're fighting to stay a part of a friendship, you just feel warm and welcome and like nothing in the world could tear you apart.

 It has taken me many years to learn this, many years to find those people who showed me that life can be better. There really is truth in the saying 'it's the people you choose to surround yourself with that make all the difference'.
But you know, I guess looking back...If I did happen to go back and change the ways things happened, change things I've said and done in the past, then I wouldn't have had the opportunity to appreciate my family and friends as strongly as I do.

Reality isn't always as bad as it seems... and who knows! One day I may get my wish and whisk myself off to France; I'm gonna need to win lottery though because it just wouldn't be the same if I couldn't take my friends with me.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

My Crafting Quirks

Hi all!

Let's get into the post of the morning though! :) I thought I would share with you some of my crafty quirks... how many do you recognise in yourself?

My crafting room is, despite many many attempts NEVER tidy and neat or organised but I still know where everything is...down the sewing needle I used last week to the one coloured button I know is perfect for a project!

I take great pride in my crafting and sacrifice my finger tips quite frequently to wiping off still hot glue from a project rather than letting it dry and it be visible on my hard work!

I have four LARGE plastic tubs (and growing) of fabrics and scraps that I have collected from friends and family and I have no idea what to do with it half of the time... as a dedicated hand-sew-er the idea of making a tote bag, or sewing a plush toy is a bit more of a daunting task. I have great determination when I get started on something, the trouble is taking that step! Anything can be done by hand that is done by machine, it just takes time :)

The next one can be summarised in a simple quote:

The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary. ~Mary Kurtz

ohh yes, we are all victims of it!

I dont actually own a sewing machine... but I have always had a 'thing' for hand sewing and embroidery... it relaxes me and i find it very therapeutic actually

Stitch your stress away. ~Author Unknown

I am completely addicted to craft stores... so to prevent mass purchasing and budget breaking, I'm simply not allowed in one without my husband as an escort! I put that rule in place rather than him... yes really!! Im crazy, I know... why would I do that right? Unless you are a true crafter, you wouldn't understand... the urge to buy one or a million of EVERYTHING is sometimes too strong to resist and you either dont go into the shop or you take someone with you like my hubby whom I love dearly, but as he tells me often, crafting is not his thing so he wants to spend as little time in those places as possible... It's a half-measure attempt of purchase-restraint but it works!!

As a crafter, I have another weakness...

I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee. ~Flash Rosenberg

You do tend to develop a tiny caffeine dependency as a craft-ist (its a mix between a crafter and an artist... does it work? haha!)

You also develop this tendency to not leave your crafting room for long periods of time so I sometimes think I should have some coffee then I get distracted and keep at the project at hand.... hours and hours can fly by this way don't you agree? I might just add here that I don't have any children so not really any other distracting factors in my life... my craft room is my sanctuary, my haven, my love nest of all things awesome!

Do any of these ring any bells?? I bet they do! :p

-Tashy Xx

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Diary of an Inexperienced Gardener- Day Two

My husband and I decided to dig up one of the garden beds today and discovered the weeds were barely in the ground but somehow still alive! The soil is rock hard and very abundant in clay so it's been an effort! We did find more tiny strawberry plants and I've moved them into a pot with plenty of water in the shade :)

I also thought I'd come up with a way to vanquish the snail problem..I pulled an odd 20 or so of one unidentified-of-yet plant and thought if i put them in a bucket of water that might, well you know! Gosh I even feel quilty about murdering snails!! But anyway that didnt work, they just tried to climb out so i put them in hot water and that STILL didnt work so in the end i just tipped them into the green bin with the weeds and closed the lid. The bin goes out tomorrow so hopefull I won that! We will need to find a more effective way non-toxic way though, im not keen on the idea of going around and picking snails of everything!!

I have a question today... all answers welcome! Whilst gardening we found this

What on Earth is it?? It looks as though it's been there a while and we're too scared to open it... any guesses? It's about 4cm in size and seems to contain some kind of yellowly clear oily liquid and the bottle is made of glass. I am extremely curious about it!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Diary of an Inexperienced Gardener- Day One!

I was in my new garden for just under an hour thismorning and there are some things I discovered that were not overly obvious from a first glance! I might add to start with though that I have just moved from a two storey townhouse apartment to a one storey unit complete with a large and very beautiful backyard just this week and garden that the previous tenant has so lovingly created and maintained. I have never gardened IN MY LIFE so i thought I'd share my experiences so that you can have a giggle at my inexperience or commiserate for fellow never-before gardeners.

Firstly, most of which makes up my new garden is actually weeds but the place having been empty since June that is understandable of course... I just don't know which are actually weeds and which are plants.. so we have reached problem number one! I have discovered I now have a rather large mint plantation in the yard which I think is great coz I just love the smell of it!!! But I've also discovered that the whole garden is absolutely overrun by snails!!! They are everywhere! On every plant, almost on every leaf! What on Earth do I do about those?! There we have my second problem!! I left my garden tools outside for a moment whilst I ducked inside to get a glass of water, came back out and one snail had already perched itself on my trowel! Im sure if i sat still long enough they'd quite happily slime their way all over me!

I was pulling out weeds (and being stung by a hidden patch of thistle) when I discovered a bright red tiny sphere amongst the weeds and at a closer look discovered it was a little tiny strawberry plant trying to grow. It had three fruits on it, very small and underdeveloped but suprisingly untouched by snails! I couldn't believe it! I have a feeling the overgrown weeds might have been keeping it well hidden... I may have just sentenced that little plant to death-by-snail :( can I transplant strawberries? maybe I should pop it in a little pot and see? I spose it wont do much good will it?

So what's at the bottom of MY garden???

Thistle, weeds, snails, millions of penny lizards (they sun themselves on leaves, its like a little solarium out there!), more weeds and guess what? more snails!

Oh and I broke out in little red spots all up my arms too, must have been a reaction to the sap in something that is another little problem im going to need to deal with!

I dont in anyway dislike my garden...I simply ADORE it! I think snails are actually quite cute but i cant possibly hope to grow anything successfully if i keep them there, and the penny lizards arent doing any harm of course... the lawn is lovely, its so very private and homely, and there is a beautiful willow tree overhanging our yard from the neighbours, I grew up around willows and they have a special significance to me so i put our garden table and chairs under the tendrils and its perfect :)

Do I have a green thumb? Well at the moment it's red from the thistle but I spose that's what it's all about! I would love nothing more than to nuture it, and help it grow and be proud of there anyone out there who can help me? Please? :)