Cards & Kids

Cards & Kids

A busy weekend this week.  A public holiday today (due to it being Labour Day here in Western Australia) so it was a long weekend.  Never long enough in my opinion but unless I become Prime Minister (which is fairly unlikely at this point in time), there’s not much I can do to change that!  Yesterday my Mum and I babysat my four nephews and nieces as my brother and sister-in-law had a wedding to attend.  My poor brother had had a fall earlier in the day, badly bruising his ribs, neck and leg so we were a bit worried he might need to visit the hospital – but he is ok (just very sore and battered).


(This is Nanna by Miss Four-and-a-half)

I love the the little rugrats.  They are full on and energetic, feisty and so, so smart (too smart for their own good sometimes) but I love them dearly.  We did some drawing and colouring-in, played a makeshift game of tennis (which ended badly with Master Six getting hit in the head with a racquet), rode bikes furiously around the backyard (in a game I like to call “Let’s See How Much We Can Make Auntie Panic and Cover Her Eyes a Lot” ) and watched some DVDs.  And Ate.  A lot.  You cannot fill those little bellies up.  Which is preferable to them not eating at all but, still, it is a never-ending job.  Little Miss A (who is now walking and developing her personality and adventurous spirit) was an absolute delight, happily going off to have not one, but two, naps throughout the day, eating all her lunch and afternoon snack and playing peacefully with Nanna, with never a tear or upset over anything. I love spending time with them all.  Giving them back at the end of the day is a relief though.  I don’t know how their Mum does it all day, every day.  I’d be exhausted.  As it is, my back is killing me from carrying Miss Four-and-a-Half around.  She’s too old to be carried and I know I shouldn’t pick her up, but when that little face is asking for a cuddle, how can you refuse?  The cuddly/carry-me stage is over so quickly, I put up with any subsequent pain that results!

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Today, attempting to ignore my bad back, I crafted for most of the day, making cards.  I have put my name down to have a stall at a local arts and craft market and I only have a couple of months to get things made.  I want to have a range of things so there’s lots for people to look at.  I was given a big box of craft goodies from the children’s Mum last night – with four kids on the go, she doesn’t get time to craft as much as she would like so, instead of wasting her supplies, she gave much of it to me!  yay!  I used one of the rubber stamps today to make these cards:



I also finished off a few I had already started – just simple little “girly” cards with simple embellishments and colour combinations.  I am trying to get quicker at making cards – I am so slow!  It takes me forever to find the right button or piece of ribbon.  I agonise over the tiniest detail – it’s crazy.  But I finished a few off today that I am reasonably happy with:




Now the weekend is done.  I am hoping my back will be better tomorrow and that I have a stress-free day (stress is the WORST thing for my back and neck) at work.  I need to go walking in the afternoon – I’ve been so slack lately and am eating way too much comfort food – and I should take advantage of the good weather while we have it.

Hope your weekend has been sunny, inside and out 🙂


(Got this cute cushion from my brother and sister-in-law as a belated birthday gift.  So sweet and cheery!)


Op-Shopping Naughtiness

It’s been a bit of an unpleasant week.  Stressful days at work, health issues and bizarre pain problems (I am possibly the only person in the world who could strain a tendon in their foot IN THEIR SLEEP) has meant the weekend was VERY welcome.  A morning spent op-shopping was even more welcome.  I haven’t had much luck lately finding clothes and have mostly been out looking for beads and jewellery to take apart and remake into new pieces.  Yesterday, however, I was quite successful in both areas, finding some lovely jewellery items as well as some nice “new” clothes for myself.  My wardrobe is already groaning under the weight of what I already have, but, I reason with myself, I have lots of stuff I don’t wear or that is getting a bit tatty and needs to be rehomed/recycled/gotten rid of.  I kinda have a rule with myself that if I buy clothes, I have to get rid of some clothes.  I don’t always follow that rule (duh!) but I try.  Sometimes.

First up, this lovely little retro-styled cardigan/top.  It’s so cute I can hardly stand it.  It’s really lightweight, I love the
blue colour and the little scotty dog with the matching spotty buttons…


scotty dog with a bow, yo!


Then I found this nice green top/blouse.  Nice and light and I thought the detailing on
the front was kinda unusual…


Next up, this bright red/tangerine shirt dress.  Fits perfectly (buttoning-up things never do for me)
and is cool and quite nice for the office (I think).


Then, I picked up this black dress…it’s very low cut (why do they make things like that? Who’s boobs are they
modelled on? 11 year old girls?) but with a 
cami underneath it will be fine. I don’t need to frighten anyone by
letting it all hang out.  I’m 40 for God’s sake – nobody needs to see that.


The dress was brand new – still had tags on.  I got it for $8.00…$22.00 off the original price ain’t bad.
The size 12 irks me somewhat – it was pretty small and not a size 12 in anyone’s universe.


Next up (I told you it was a successful day), I found this cute little navy and white skirt
(looks kinda like shorts in the picture but it is definitely a skirt!).  Cute!  Nice and thick so will be good for Winter with tights.  


Has an embroidered pattern…


I picked up this great denim skirt for $2.00 (bargain!).  I was actually wearing the same exact skirt whilst shopping.
It is one I wear all the time so I figured why not get another one?  Especially as it is only $2.00!  It looks like a mini-skirt in the
picture, and I guess it would be on anyway with normal length legs, but I am super short and so it is quite respectable and not in the
least bit scary or inappropriate.  I might not bend over while wearing it though 🙂


As I was leaving one of the shops I saw this dress by the door.  I broke my cardinal rule and risked not trying it on… There is a
reason one has a cardinal rule, and that is to avoid purchases that are less than perfect.  The dress fit really well but has those huge armholes so it shows more than I am happy showing to the general public.  Will have to fix/change/sew extra bits on.  We will see.  Could just wear it around the house, but, let’s face it, if I’m home, I’m in pyjamas.


So, on to jewellery and beads… I found these ridiculous earrings first up.  They are about 8 inches long.  Like, seriously, who would
wear an earring that long?  But I thought it would look cool reworked as a pendant for a necklace so that’s what I’m gonna do.
Plus, two earrings means double the necklaces!  Yay!  They were actually more expensive than I would normally like
to pay…but I thought they were really different so I got them anyway.


These wooden earrings were interesting.  I think I will use them on cards though…


Love these coral-toned beads, lots of value here…


These little wooden-beaded bracelets were only 75 cents apiece…can never have enough wooden beads! 🙂


Have been looking for yellow beads everywhere…these ones were almost perfect but not quite
(I’m looking for a more buttery/ochre/mustard yellow…I’m not fussy!)


Made a couple of pieces today for my lovely library assistant who is celebrating her hubby’s 50th birthday in a month or so.  
She asked me to make something to match the dress she had bought.  It had lots of pinks and greens in its pattern so I am hoping
I matched these beads ok in the necklace and bracelet…made these this afternoon.

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Now it’s Sunday evening again already and time to think about getting things ready for work tomorrow.  Which means ironing (ugh) and making my lunch.  Better make some dinner too for tonight I guess (actually a bit peckish right now and as per usual have neglected to actually prepare anything to eat).  Am hoping the coming week is better than the last.  It’s my last week of being 39 – bring it on! 🙂

Everything I Know, I Learned from the Kids…

Everything I Know, I Learned from the Kids…

I have been babysitting a lot this weekend.  My brother and his partner have four BEAUTIFUL children under the age of 7 (the youngest just a few weeks old) and they are a delight.  Most of the time.  They are children after all and they do have their moments of not-so-delightfulness.  But, on the whole, they are developing into charming little people that I like as well as love.  They have empathy for others and a care for their siblings.  They’re just so nice to be around.

I learn a lot from them.  Mostly, I am just happy they love me and we have fun together.  I am constantly amazed by their wisdom and insight.  They are creative (thank goodness), funny and energetic. They make me laugh ( a lot – sometimes when I should be telling them off) and I wish I could wrap them up in cotton wool and protect them from the world forever.

Today we did painting (hey, a sun can be black, right?) and papier mache (I’m still hoping to get glue out of my denim skirt), did magic tricks (how many times can you “pull” something out of a kid’s ear before it gets boring? Apparently many, many times…), baked cookies and watched dvds involving trains and sing-alongs.  It was too hot to do anything outside for any length of time and I let them watch tv a little more than usual – just because it was so darn warm.

As much as we adults teach children about life, I think they show us a few things too.  They are wise and courageous in many ways and live the heck out of life every single moment of every single day.  We can learn so much from them if we just listen and watch:

Stuff I have Learned from Kids

1. It is never too cold, too hot, too sunny, too wet, too windy, too anything to go outside and play, even just for 5 minutes.  Embrace the great outdoors and be amongst nature.

2. Hugs.  One size fits all, always.

3. Build a bridge and get over it.  Literally.  There is nothing Lego can’t fix.  Or build.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  This includes mess, unmade beds, toys on the floor and cereal in your hair.  Worrying about these things only takes time away from more important stuff, like playing. And making more mess.

5. Baking cookies is an anytime kind of activity.  Licking the spoon is obligatory and non-fattening.

6. Colouring outside the lines is ok.  In fact, it is recommended.

7. Jokes are funnier when they don’t make any sense.

8. Sometimes you just need to cry.  For no reason.  Let it out.

9. Wearing pants should be optional.

10. Saying “Fart” is always hilarious.

11. Meals should be looked at as intermission between snacks.

12. Sometimes you just have to dance.


I hope you have some little people in your life.  They make the world a much nicer place to be in. 
Have a happy week everybody 🙂


Why isn’t there an Aunt’s Day?

Why isn’t there an Aunt’s Day?

It’s my nephew Deacon’s 6th birthday this week.  I made him a simple little card this morning (using Kaisercraft’s “Technologic” range) which I will give to him later in the week.


Six!  Already?  How can that be?  It seems like just yesterday I was being introduced to his tiny 3-hour old self and gazing at him in awe (he was a BEAUTIFUL baby).  Now he’s a rough and tumble six-year-old with the attitude to match and a beautiful spirit.  He is into Angry Birds, robots and magic tricks (although trying to keep him still for five minutes to learn one is a lesson in patience and strength of will).  He loves to run and ride his bike and play lego.  He is kind (most of the time) to his younger siblings and is well-mannered and sweet.  He is super smart and constantly astounds us with his artistic abilities, an almost photogenic memory and an understanding of difficult concepts far beyond his years.

I am, of course, completely unbiased.  I love my brother fiercely and, so too, his offspring.  I could not love them more and they can do no wrong in my eyes (we shall see how this pans out when they are teenagers…).  I can be having a terrible day, tired and miserable, and a couple of hours of babysitting them pushes everything back into perspective.  They make me laugh and fill my heart up with love.  Reading a bedtime story (or three, depending on how far they wrap me round their little fingers) is a joy.  An interrupted, takes-longer-than-it-should joy, but a pleasure nevertheless.  As a librarian, it makes me happy that they love books and, even more so, that they like me to read to them.  There is nothing nicer than being a loved Auntie.  My brother and his partner are amazing parents – they have been through a lot (relationship-wise) over the last few years but have always put the children first and done their best to keep them feeling secure and grounded and loved.

I love being an Auntie.  I know some people feel sorry for those of us that can’t have children, but, for me, I think being an Auntie is just as special.  I get to be the one they will come to when they can’t talk to their parents.  I get to spoil them and love them and be silly with them. I can watch them grow up and don’t have to worry about the price of shoes or school uniforms or what subjects they will take at university.  I get to see them at their best and be there for them at their worst, if they need me.  I get to hand them back to their parents when they are being rambunctious and get to change just enough nappies for it to be a novelty and not seem like a never-ending task.  I get cuddles and laughter and games and bedtime stories, without all the homework and tantrums and illnesses (although I have dealt with all three in small doses).  I get to be an anchor in troubled waters and a warm hug when things aren’t going right. And, above all, I get to have a little person (or two, or three) love me and want to be around me just because I am me.  That is worth more than all the money in the world.

So, to all the Awesome Aunts (and Uncles) out there, I say give yourselves a pat on the back and know that you are special and important.  Give those little nieces and nephews of yours a hug for me and be super grateful that you get to be in their lives.