Thursday, 17 December 2009

let's be like weeds, and flourish wherever we're planted!

Today I did a lil gardenin', teeny tiny gardening.

I don't even know what these tiny plants are but my mother-in-law gave them to me from her garden, they were sprouting off some of her pot plants, like fiesty little barnacles on a whale. Some people might call them weeds. Maybe they're a succulent of some sort?

I don't have much of a green thumb though, so we'll see how long these poor lil sprouts last.

I do love the idea of gardening. But I'm not very good at it. I seem to over or under water things, attract caterpillars that eat all my basil or live in spots that are either scorching hot in the direct north facing sun or dark and damp on the south side, in a wind tunnel. Weeds are really my best hope.

I 'planted' these babies in a small glass that also came from my mother-in-law's childhood home. I hope they appreciate the association!

I also crocheted a little cozy for the outside of the glass. It was a test actually, to see whether I'd be able to work out how to crochet round and increase/decrease the size. What a wonderful test to perform, I passed with flying colours and feel rather impressed with myself. It's the little things right?! Focus on the positives!

Tomorrow I shall attempt to get up, shower and be dressed and out the door by 9.30am. For an unemployed person with plenty of time on their hands who happens to be completely useless in the morning I think this might really be stretching my capabilities.

I know a lot of you are having a really hard time this month so I do hope you're not pushing yourself too hard (like me!!) and are being kind and gentle to yourself. Because you're awfully lovely, you know? And sometimes when times are tough and sad we can be a little hard on ourselves. So just remember that you can achieve wonderful things, things you never thought possible, and to take your time and be yourself and hang in there like these hardy lil sprouts.

(If these sprouts die, forget I said anything.)

oh no, no, I never go to work

I think this awesome kids song by They Might Be Giants has just become my official unemployed theme tune. Just swap the trumpet with crocheting.

I did have trumpet lessons once upon a time. I was probably 11. I really hated practising the trumpet, more than any other instrument I've ever tried to learn. It was for the band at school and the teacher was a major grump. I remember one particularly hot, bushfire filled Christmas holiday I actually hoped our house would be burnt down so that I wouldn't have to play the trumpet anymore. In fact, I think I left it in the laundry, thinking that would catch fire first, and that hopefully it would burn out before the rest of the house was destroyed. So, just my trumpet and the laundry.

Oh the shame. What an evil self centred kid I was!

My Place & Yours: Just five minutes peace...

This weeks theme for the My Place and Yours meme was chosen by the delightful, be brightful, colour my world with sunshine yellow each day, Pilgrim Lee. The lovely lady wants to know where we escape for 5 minutes peace, "where do you retreat to for that sanity-regaining break". Check out her chosen spot for relaxing, I'm rather envious indeed. I doubt I'd do much relaxing sat on that ottoman, more like bouncing around squeaking happy sounds, rejoicing and rejuvenating with much stroking of colourful tactile cushions! (Yes I stroke things, yes I know it looks creepy, I can't help it.)

The place I head to when I need to let off steam is actually a very steamy place. Ironic? Perhaps. It's not arty or crafty, or even particularly aesthetically pleasing, it's pretty much devoid of colour and it's in my least favourite room in my entire house - but oh it works wonders on a tired mind and body. It's my shower.

If you need to have a dramatic breakdown (like in the movies) the shower is the perfect place. Weep away, flood the drains with your tiny salty tears and step out of that shower a new woman. If you need to come up with a solution to all your problems, something will come tumbling out of that shower head, guarranteed! If you need 5 more minutes sleep before you go to work in the morning, why not multitask and be hygienic at the same time?! A shower will never let you down! Foolproof relaxation method!

It's the best 5 minutes you'll ever spend doing nothing. Although technically, in our bathroom, showers last for 4 and a half minutes. Well, that's how long the timed fan goes for, that's our compromise for not having one of those awful water conserving shower heads installed.

Anyway, here it is. Aren't you glad I didn't photograph myself in there? That wouldn't be peaceful for anyone.

You might have spotted the Boots shower products filling up the caddy. I always load up on Boots products every time I'm in the UK, it's a tradition for my mum and I. Sounds silly to some, but smelly soapy stuff and lipbalm from other countries are always my preferred souvenir! The shampoo, conditioner, facial cleanser and scrub are from the Botanics range, with lots of organic choices. I'll cry when that shampoo runs out. I'm also rationing that Brazil Nut shower gel. It's dangerous stuff, smells so good you could turn into a self sufficient cannibal - eek!

Where in your home do you escape for 5 minutes peace? Join in the voyeuristic fun over at Meet Me at Mikes!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

what to do?!

I wrote this list a few days ago. It's a To Do list designed to fill my days with positive thoughts and affirmative action. Do you ever write those? I'm a big fan of the To Do list. They're great as a brain storm, a procrastination activity, a reminder, a pick me up, and you can even add to them after the fact, to make the most of that glorious crossing off the list part.

Any of these on your list? (You don't have to be unemployed to want/need to do these things either!)

Things I can do now that I am redundant am unemployed...
Crochet up a storm
Finish my crocheted chair project
Sew up my new cushions
Make yummy meals
Read books
Relax at the beach
Declutter the house
Go to the gym
Make Christmas presents
Spring cleaning
Blog more!

Things I should stop doing...

Sitting on the couch staring blankly at screens
Watching crap TV all day and night
Making do with what’s in the cupboards because I am too lazy to leave the house – tinned salmon,  and frozen packets of edamame does not equal satisfying meals for days on end.
Procrastinating getting my resume sorted, answering emails, doing the laundry, showering and getting dressed etc etc

I'm not going to pretend that I can cross many of those things off my list as yet. But I've made a start! Here's what I made today. It's a...


You like? Alex taught me how to crochet those flowers at our crochet circle on Sunday, she made some for her super cute tea cosy. I'm always on the lookout for stuff to stick on my head, so I whipped up a band to match and pinned them on. Bit dodgy. You should make one and show me how it's really done!

Friday, 11 December 2009

The most expensive paper christmas decorations EVER

Seriously, these decorations are prohibitively expensive. These cost thousands of dollars to make. I'd write the amount on a piece of paper and slide it over to you to discreetly look at but then you'd be rendered speechless forever.

Why did they cost so much? Well for one, they're handmade, and quality craftmanship is not to be sneezed at, right?! But the real reason is because I made them from the envelopes my bills came in. That, and some scrapbooking cardboard from Eckersleys and pricey japanese paper from Kinokuniya.

Merry Christmas World!

If you'd like to make your own paper ornaments like these for Christmas (or any occasion, I made some for my mums 50th birthday party too!) then head to Design*Sponge and take a look at the tutorial posted there.  They're super quick and easy to make. And of course, the paper cranes are folded from security paper, found in the inside of the envelopes your bills come in!

Sadly, the cost of these decorations was increased by a unfortunate incident, involving my favourite glass bowl (finnish crystal! a gift from my mother-in-law! still in the orginal box from the 70s!) and 30 cms of height between a coffee table and the carpet. I think I got all the bits of glass out of the carpet but it will be forever tear stained....

But 30 Rock, beer and a lazy evening on the couch is making everything feel better...

Sunday, 6 December 2009


My rather belated Friday Top 5 before 5 is coming. I promise. I got distracted by life and this...

I love all things Japanese and all things French. The Japanese (rightly so) also love all things French.
French inspired Japanese things make my heart sing, they're so sweet and whimsical.
Check out this amazing collaboration of French artist Nathalie Lété and a Shibuya store.
I want to live in this sweet store window. I want to have painting skills...

(via the lovely Geninne's Art Blog - check her out too she's rather super talented herself!)
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