Friday, June 19, 2009

Got Plans?

I have TAFE journals to get up to date before assessment week, truffles to make, a cardboard chair to manufacture & find some time to do housework & play with the kids. I hope you have a lovely, safe weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drawing on the positive...

Can I start by saying THANKYOU to each and every one of you in your response to my last post. You have touched my heart & uplifted me beyond belief - I have been walking on air since your lovely posts, emails & conversations. Things like this bring out the wonderful side of some people (and the nasty in others) and I am so grateful to you all.

I have managed to verbalise my feelings and felt the weight of the World lift from my shoulders. I had an Oprah-esque 'lightbulb' moment - I had given away my power to another person and that was not healthy. I may not be able to control others or situations - I can only control my own response to the things that I encounter - I had been giving much too much importance to other people's actions and directly related that to my own self-worth. How could I have let that happen? It's often the case in life - but once the realisation happens, it's up to me to stop that from happening. I have to KNOW I am worth more, worth respect, an important part of the World - a child of God, no less or more important than anyone else. And once I know that deep in my soul - then nothing and no-one else can make me feel otherwise. I think, finally, after all that has happened - I have finally learnt that lesson! :0)

Onto creative endeavours - I feel at this new high point it's about time I put myself out there a bit more - Here are two sketches I've been working on for my final assignment in drawing. The first one is Darcy & the second one is my dear friend Fiona's boy Joshua who died 3 months after Darcy from HLHS as well. I just put my ipod on and drew on the feelings I had at the time - and surprisingly despite the dodgy drawing abilities - they came out with an aura of peace & tranquility which was obviously the opposite to what I was feeling at the time?! But I suppose now, 6 years down the track - I do have more joy in my heart than pain...I can think of those days & feel the keen intense grief, but it's not the overwhelming feeling... I mainly just feel joy & lucky that I have a son like him, waiting for me, when it's my time :0)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Being true...

I haven't been here for so long! For lots of reasons really, but to be honest, a lot of it is due to shame & embarrasment. I have avoided coming on here to post a cheery, upbeat post because, truth be told, I have been feeling far from it. I have not wanted to post my real thoughts & life experience as I was frightened of expressing myself in words - putting it out there for the www to see. But as I am sitting here this morning, reading all my usual blogs, gaining insight & inspiration, I feel the need to share in the blogging community, because, who knows, there maybe someone somewhere going through a similar feeling.

As I posted, my husband and I seperated in October last year, I packed up the children and moved 2000 - odd kilometers back to South Australia. The reason I did that is because I discovered he was in a relationship whilst we were married. Now, we had both done things to contribute to the demise of our marriage: I am not blameless, but when I read the phone bills - detailing multiple phone calls to her on my 30th Birthday, and whilst Poppy was in hospital being operated on, the early mornings, middle of the night messages - I just knew - I had to maintain some scrap of dignity and walk away. Despite being in love with him, I just couldn't go through it.

Now, I have been told I should have stayed, but believe me, with all the things that had transpired in the past - I thought - he has truly moved on & I should just LET IT GO. I had poured almost 12 years of my life into this relationship: borne 4 children, given up my career and moved all over Australia in support of his career, spent the majority of my parenting with an absent husband, cooked, cleaned, maintained our finances, encouraged him, pushed him to go that bit harder and attend RMC... the list goes on. And he chose a single woman he works with, who has no children, ample finances and the freedom to go & do things I won't have for a long time... I was devastated. Heartbroken. Empty.

All my dreams, hopes for the future - dashed. My immediate future is a single mother's pension - 2 weekends off in 7 months and 3 damaged children who cry for their father. He's off to Europe with her in 2 weeks for a 'holiday' - whilst I am here, trying to maintain normality & sanity for my children. I am angry. I despair at my financial situation - not having spare money to pursue my love of craft has made my mental situation so much worse. Although, thank God I live in Australia & I am able to have food in the cupboard & a warm home thanks to said pension. I appreciate that I have so much more than so many other people.

It sounds so self-pitying - and for a long time I have been, to be honest, which in itself is embarrasing as I know it could be so much worse...
He won't come to his 'senses'. He has given up his family, his responsibilty & I can't let myself be disrespected or lower my worth anymore... I am worth more - his children are worth more. Even if he has washed his hands of us, I can't. I need to heal, regain my pride & give the children as much of me as possible.

I am still at TAFE, I have been a bit slack at going in recent times, I find being around such talented young people, whilst inspiring is also kind of depressing - they have their whole lives starting out - and I am restarting mine at 30 and feel behind the eight ball!

So, there you have it. That's my life in recent times. I just try to get up every day & put one foot in front of the other. Some days I trip - other days I get into bed at night & think "today was pretty good".

Thanks for listening WWW, and I hope I haven't scared you off! Now I have got this off my chest, I am hopeful I can kickstart my happy-go-lucky vibe & get back to doing what I love - bringing pieces of sunshine into my little blog & sharing them. :0)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Week 3....

I have been focusing really hard on my drawing skills - or lack thereof... I did a pencil sketch of Darcy on the weekend and really concentrated in class on Wednesday whilst we learnt new ways of manipulating charcoal to gain extra effects... The first is a 'proper' copy then the bottom one is having some fun with effects to produce a more abstract feel.

In Ceramics today I made a Tea Cup with a teaspoon for the handle, a cupcake with a flower on the top & a pea pod with all the peas with different facials! It was a really fun and creative day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting there

Week Two of my course sees my confidence increase ever so slightly. I had Colour Theory and 2D Design on Monday which was quite interesting: Dealing with hue, tone, intensity and texture are more my line - I just pictured every colour in a quilt!!
Then onto today and back to Drawing class. Remaining on the Still Life Fundamentals bored the pants off of most of my classmates, however to me, it is all very helpful & explanatory to someone like me who's never ventured beyond stick figures, daisies & lovehearts. We used a pencil to transfer angles with our eye (very artist-like I thought) to paper to ensure correct composition and proportion. I think my 2nd effort was an improvement, albeit slightly to my previous week! At least everything seemed reasonably similar to the actual objects - ha ha. The working lines are meant to remain to create interest and to show the teacher where my thought processes were at.
Back to Sculptural Ceramics tomorrow, we have to make 5 clay figures inspired from things in the Garden. Pity the whole of Adelaide pretty much resembles a dust bowl - I think there will be plenty of sticks & maybe a gumnut or two - there were remarks made about my desire to have a pair of Kath'n'Kim-esque Gumnut Earrings.... Some people have no taste..... ;0)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm an Artist....

Saturday found me crying into my pillow about how my life lacks direction and I'll never get anywhere, combined with self-pitying wails and thrashing amongst pillows....(Slight exaggeration - but only just)

I got onto the interwebs on Sunday with a mission to find 'something' to do. It'd been on my mind for a while and I couldn't seperate my need to study something practical (and money generating) with my desire to see how far I can stretch this crafty part of my personality. I found a pleasing middle ground! I have enrolled in Certificate IV in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft. It is only 18 months part time and held at TAFE. At the end of this time, the kids will all be in school or full-time Kindy and I can increase my workload. I will also know if I have what it takes to take my fledling love of art and all things crafty and make it work for my future financial security. If I don't cut the mustard, I've spent 18 months learning the fundamentals in Art History, Colour Theory, Sculptural Ceramics, Photography, Glass work and Drawing to enrich my hobbies.

As I've come to find recently - it all just unfolded, in an almost unconscious way. I rang on Monday morning to enquire about the course and next semester chances and got told there were places starting this week! So I dashed up there and 2 hours later I was enrolled for two and a half days a week, the children were found places in day care and OHSC and I was sitting like a stunned mullet with my head spinning!
I had my first class this morning (I missed the first day on Monday which was Colour Theory) and it was drawing technique. Let me start by saying - I CANNOT DRAW..... So the idea of getting busy with charcoal in hand was quite scary and laughable. But I tried and even though the result was exceedingly less than perfect - it felt wonderful. I got to interact with adults that don't know me as Leah the Mum, housekeeper and all round dogsbody and I can be another being, learning and laughing. I can't wait until tomorrow - Sculptural Ceramics!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fat Quater Swap

I received my fat quarter swap from Joanie today! A beautiful collection of oriental fabrics that are just perfect! And I smelt the parcel before I opened it, a heart filled with UK lavendar to make my day extra special. :0)

Thanks again to Katy for co-ordinating this swap - and she has a little something from us to say thankyou in the post!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Birthday Surprises

My god-daughter's Birthday is on Sunday so I have been busy stitching a little something for her room. Sequins, pink & pom-poms make it a perfect Princess Pillow!

I hope she'll like it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thrifty Goodness

I am desperately in need of new clothes, and so my best mate & I hit the oppy on Wednesday afternoon whilst the little two were at Kindy. For under $50 I managed to get 3 skirts, 4 tops and a bag. One of the tops I bought was brand new with the $34.99 price tag still attached. I was stoked! Even if I was a millionaire (oh, I wish), I think I would still go to Op shops, it's something about having lovely clothes for a fraction of the price and knowing that it will be loved just as much as it's old owner did :0).

I also managed to snaffle some china and glassware for my growing collection. Don't you just love this Pyrex Beaker Jug? It's huge! I've looked on Ebay & Pyrex Love to see if it's part of a set but I haven't seen anything even remotely like it? I thought of Ingrid as soon as I saw it as I know she hankers for Pyrex. And four little pansy bowls, perfect for nibbles or a Valentine's dessert, for the peeps and I.

I am kinda down around the mouth about this Valentine's Day. My first single V-Day for 12 years. Another adventure to go through I suppose! I have plans to make the kids some cards and a chocolate love surprise as well. I may not have a big guy in my life but my little man and 2 little misses just make my heart melt - and isn't that what V-Day is all about?! Plus I'll have a swap present to be opened as well, so not too shabby ;0)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lap Quilt

I got some scrumptious Flat Fats I've been eyeing off at Spotlight while I was there the other day and used this pattern from the very talented Amy Butler.

I wanted a 1930's feel with the bonus of it being dark enough to live on the couch and deal with any stray spills etc (you hope it doesn't happen, but with a 6,3 and 2 year old in the house, you never know!). So a few hours of cutting and stitching I went from this:

to this! Viola!

I love the simple almost monochromatic feel to it. Well, I suppose that should be duochromatic?!

I would love to stretch myself this year and branch into risk taking colour schemes. I adore Helen's work as she's never afraid of colour and it always seems to work for her. I am coming to love quilting above all sewing and hope 2009 is the year for me to learn to fly within the craft. I have been drooling over Kellie's amazing work and I am completely smitten with her applique work. I am thinking of making something with applique next up...

I have my Fat Quarter Swap FQs ready to go, I am just needing my little niceties to finish it off and it will be in the post! My EB haby swap is coming together nicely as well.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I finally got some sewing done! I made this cushion for myself and Mum requested it in black to go with her room... So I've left it 'modern' and clean, without ruffles or anything else. I so hope she likes it. Please excuse the horrid photos and unironed finished product!

e made a trip into town yesterday to go to the Hatching Dinosaurs exhibition on at the Museum. We even went into the Art Gallery! The kids but they were fascinated by the war memorial on North Terrace and I took a couple of cool shots that I really liked there.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A New Bed

My old bed has served me for over 11 years and I love it. But seven moves later - the old girl had given up the ghost - slats would drop out in the middle of the night and it was being held together with half inserted wooden dowels.

After a good look around I decided to get a white bed and after a mammoth trip to Ikea yesterday, I came home with in excess of a hundred kilograms of wood & metal to be made into a new bed & TV Cabinet.

I woke up this morning in this....

And tonight I will be going to bed in this!!

It only took an hour to put together and I only swore twice, which was right at the end trying to fit the slats in. Now I am dreaming of girly quilts to make to pretty it up.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

We take the ocean with us.
When a woman makes a baby, she gives it water, inside her body, to grow in. The water inside her body is almost exactly the same as the water of the sea. It is salty, by just the same amount. She makes a little ocean, in her body.
And not only this. Our blood and our sweating, they are both salty, almost exactly like the water from the sea is salty. We carry oceans inside of us, in our blood and our sweat. And we are crying the oceans, in our tears.
¬ Excerpt from Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. An amazing work - please read it if you haven't already... I will go into more detail about my thoughts and emotions on this book soon, but I wanted to share the above excerpt as it prompted me to take this photo.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

So I don't usually go in for the hype of NY Resolutions, but this year I have made one (that I am willing to share out loud) - I am wanting to get more involved in the Blogging Crafting community, push my boundaries and skills and make an effort to 'connect' with more crafters.
So my first little step is to participate in Ginger Monkey's Swap! Something nice and simple to start with :0) It's very exciting! I've done swaps with the fabulous EB girls but this is my first foray into Blog Swaps.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I have done my food shopping and come up with this weeks' Menu Plan

Monday - Satay Chicken with Rice
Tuesday - Moroccan Lamb Chops with Spiced Couscous
Wednesday - Chicken and Salad Tortilla Wraps
Thursday - Rissoles with Mashed Potato and Vegetables
Friday - Beef Mussaman Curry with Rice
Saturday - Ham and Cheese Quiche with Salad
Sunday - Leftovers, Toasted Sandwiches

Baking - Snickerdoodles, Pikelets, Banana Bread

Thanks to I'm an Organising Junkie for the great idea!