Monday, 31 March 2014

April Fools Day

April Fools Day can be fun or scary, depending on your frame of mind at the time.
This little news item comes from 1957 and is rather good. So serious. An excellent April Fools Day prank.
I hope you enjoy it too.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

International Happiness Day

Today is International Happiness Day. 20th March.

I have so much to be happy about, although lately it has been excruciatingly hard to see that. The Efudix really scrambles my thoughts. Not good. But now the treated area is healing. I do not need to use the cream on that area. I hurt less. My thoughts are returning to normal. And all that stuff that nobody wants to know about.

Today I am actively pursuing happiness. I am reading a few jokes, looking at charming pictures, remembering good times, and realising just how good it is to be alive. I am the master of my ship. I can control my thoughts today. I can go forward again. (Maybe yesterday and for the weeks previous that might not have been possible, but it is now.)

I have grabbed some resources from this website. and from their facebook page. Try it for yourself.

Watch this sweet little song. I hope your thoughts will be lifted and that your day will be happier as a result.

Here is something a bit stronger.

Monday, 17 March 2014

St Patrick's Day

I am not of Irish heritage, not that I know at least.
My husband is. His maternal grand parents migrated from somewhere in Ireland before they had a family. Their surname was Tracy and there are still plenty of cousins carrying the name.

For those who may not know there was dreadful discrimination against the Irish in Australia in years past. This contributes to the treatment of the Kelly Gang, who of course were Irish.

These days discrimination against any ethnic groups is frowned upon, and is actually illegal. (Proof; the hard part is proof.)

Irish backpackers seem an adventurous bunch and fill many low paid employment spots around town. Irish men have been deliberately recruited to work on building projects here in the NT because they are such good employees.

So I send you Irish greetings and trust you will learn a little more about the people, their customs, and their literature.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Rick rack flowers

I have stolen this photo from the Gumbo Lily blog site.
The instructions look pretty clear to me and the photos are just the way I like them.
When I was a child my mother made clothes for us with a trim of rick rack braid. The darn stuff seemed to be hard to iron neatly. Occasionally now I see interesting ways of using rick rack where the ironing is not a nightmare. Has to be better.

I was directed to this sewing blog by a facebook friend and really like what I found.

This particular post is not the latest. The blogger (Lily?) has interesting sewing ideas which are sometimes presented as tutorials.

This lesson is for making something pretty with rick rack braid. Little flowers with beads. Definitely worth a try. Could start small with a library bag. You do not need anything fancy. Can you see this process as Easter eggs? Or trees? Or waves in a beach scene? Part of a crazy patch block?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Cranky again. Efudix time.

Cranky again, day after day. But in just one more week things should improve. Really looking forward to that improvement.

It is just the area where the collar and neckline
let the light hit my skin.
In a hot climate a little space around the neck feels cooler.
I have been using Efudix again, treating more sunspots. I went to a new skin specialist. She comes to town every few months, and was recommended to me by one of the local doctors. I do not think she is quite as good as he thinks she is. But anyway, I am following her plan and treating one side of my upper chest first.

So her plan is to use Efudix once a day for one week, followed by twice a day for two weeks. I am now well into the third week.

Yes, I am a neat freak about some things. I drew a table on the computer and listed the areas needing treatment. The printout sits beside the bed with the tube of cream and the pen. No excuses. One tick in the box for each application of cream.

The Efudix melts during the night and spreads up the neck area as I lie in bed. You can see in this photo how it has spread beyond the area where I applied it. It is not my intention to treat the neck at this time. Each red dot is a sun spot. I counted 80 and then stopped. Red. Ugly. Sore. Ready to bite heads off. Taking painkillers. Gritting teeth. Looking forward to the end of the week.

You can see how normal clothing stops the sun from reaching the skin most of the time. And how the neckline lets some sunlight onto the skin.

Lucky me. I am to do the other side later in the year. And a few other areas too.

After your bath this evening spread some soft night cream on your d├ęcolletage and notice how lovely it feels. And in the day time, use some sunscreen or this horrible experience could be yours.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Have you tried this?

This picture is from Last Visible Dog.
Have you tried this?

Over on The Last Visible Dog blog I saw this terrific activity. I admit I have not tried it yet!

This reminds me of a line activity I have done with students in art classes. I think it has lots of potential for making some cards for St Patrick's day, maybe 3D shamrocks. Or heart shapes. Or initials. Or trees. Or Easter eggs (a bit more skill required).

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Finished at last!

Had to stand on the table for this.
I finally finished this quilt.

Well, actually I had to make just a new top. The old quilt was very worn but only on the top. I cheated and had it professionally quilted. Then I added the binding.

I did truly start with a pattern, but it is our quilt not someone else's so the pattern was adapted. The fabrics are mostly souvenirs of trips and good times. The colours and fabrics are reminiscent of beaches - sand, coral, shells, rock pools, dunes, grass, trees, and little animals. Yes, memories will keep us warm.

Now it is on our bed and we look a lot better organised. Ahh. The happy housewife. Not married to the house, but the older meaning of housewife / housewifery.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Easy floral arrangement

Keeping it simple but colourful
I was really pleased with this easy arrangement made with just two bromeliad blooms yesterday.

Last year I bought an orchid and it came in a square white pot. There were layers of white cellophane tucked in and the setting for the plant was just great. After the plant was moved outside I kept the pot and papers safely out of sight.

We have had plenty of bromeliad flowers this Wet Season and two more had jumped into view this weekend. A bit of oasis, a few marbles for weights and abracadabra a very pleasing sight. The green stuff grows rampant in a few pots on my verandah - do not know the name.

What variety of bromeliad? It is called Bilbergia pyramidalis. Mine grow in potting mix but they grew in the ground at our house. If you plant them near a tree they will gradually climb the tree. Very rainforest-ish and they like dappled light rather than full sun. New plants appear after a flower. Bromeliads are actually groups of flowers, not just one. If you look carefully you can see the yellow stamens of a few tube-like flowers.

This morning one of the blooms is obviously dying. It probably would have lasted longer on its plant. They only ever last a week or so, although books will tell you a month. Ha!

I probably broke, or at least bruised, most of the flower arranging rules for housewives here. Used an even number of a single colour. Casual rather than tight. The arrangement seems too short for the pot, but the papers cut that height in half so all looks balanced. This floral arrangement cost nothing, but looks just as colourful and fresh as something from a florist's. Simple is very nice thank you.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Will my old age have interesting moments too?

Do you remember Pam Ayres? She is a poet and was tremendously popular in the 1970s and 80s. That shows my age! And hers. And in accordance with that age she has written this little piece. Pam writes in a particular style that appeals to those who like ballads and folk music.
This is her web site.
This poem is quite English in its humour. But I laughed inside. My knitting group has several old dears like this.

Added 21 March 2014: I have been contacted by John Summers who has told me, and I have been able to confirm, that this poem is not by Pam Ayres, but by him. I found one website with a short sample of his work.  There was another John Summers from Wales who was a celebrated author, but the two men are different people. I sincerely apologise for attributing the work of John Summers to Pam Ayres. 
Apparently I am not the first person to make this error. Here is a link from a newspaper where the correction is acknowledged.  
No matter who wrote it this poem is still very funny.

Fifty Shades of Grey

The missus bought a paperback,
Down Shepton Mallet way,
I had a look inside her bag;
T'was "Fifty Shades of Grey".

Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread...

In her left she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.

Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Ethel hasn't weathered well;
She's eighty four next week!!

Watching Ethel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!

She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple of minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said
I am a dominator !!

Now if you knew our Ethel,
You'd see just why I spluttered,
I'd spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I'd uttered.

She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like
And stood on her left tit!

Ethel screamed, her teeth shot out;
My God what had I done!?
She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
"Step on the other one!!

Well readers, I can tell no more;
Of what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

So You Think You Can Create

This morning a photo turned up in facebook and the product is so lovely I wanted to share it. No Money. No pushiness. Not selling. Not making money. Never met the artist. Just found it interesting and wanted to share. Absolutely no offence is intended to anyone.

This is the link.

This is a possum snuggled among some gum leaves.
It should take you to a site by a Russian artist. She makes felted things. Rather expensive things, but no doubt she works hard at her craft. Considering the time and effort the price is probably reasonable or low. There are bags, slippers, capes and girls' dresses to admire. Here is a taste of her work.

The artists name is Catherine Tasminskaya and she lives in Moscow. I have never been to her part of the world but I understand that Russian women like to be stylishly dressed if they can afford it.

Yes, these photos are from her website; most definitely not mine.
Such pretty little slippers.

Of course felted clothing is not practical for my lifestyle. But one never knows when I might need to buy something wonderful for somebody else.

I thought about the degrees of separation. Not expert at that yet. I sew, she sews. I live in a country with possums and gum leaves and she made a bag with these as inspiration. I like expensive things, and she creates some expensive things. There is a trail through facebook too of course.
A rather stunning set of cape and handbag.