Monday, October 14, 2013

Hello Monday

It's mid way through October and I am putting my head up to say I'm still alive. I know that I say this every year but how does the time go past so quickly? Seriously, when I was a kid Christmas seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r, but not now, no sooner am I just about recovered from the past years festivities and it's here again. One would be mistaken if you thought that after 49 and a bit times I would be getting better at the whole planning and organising of stuff. Nup! Therefore I am trying to learn to ease up on myself and accept that things will not be change. However I can see that as we-the bloke and I age it will be our kids who will take over the running of the festivities  We can just help and roll along to the events. 
This December we will be lucky enough to celebrate with another gorgeous baby. Our eldest daughter is adding to her family and her little cherub is due early December. Number one son will have a sibling and we are all very excited. Being a grandparent is one of life's rewards. I love babies and hope for plenty more. Not for myself but grand babies.
Another great thing happening this year is that all our family will be here in one spot. This will be great. 

In August we celebrated Jacob's first birthday. He had a great little party with some of his friends. His clever mama made him a big teddy cake, which tasted yummy. 

In other news, a few weeks back the bloke came in from the garden to tell me that a funny white flower had popped its head out down the back. I can't walk that far so he took some pics for me to see it. I was happy to see it because it was a peace lily. After mum died in August 2010 we got some of her bulbs and the bloke had just bought them home, chucked them in the ground and forgotten about them. In her birth and death month three years later they emerged where they had been gathering strength to go on again. Life delivers beautiful messages like that.

Love and miss you mum

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Musings


It's 8.14 am on a Monday morning and I am undecided how I will play this day. I have had one lovely coffee, via the local coffee shop as our coffee machine has thrown a wobbly and will not produce its nectar. Sigh...I really don't want to buy a new one but if things can not be resolved I will have too. It costs at the very least $5.50 for a small coffee at my preferred coffee place. Sometimes I need two a day but at that price I limit myself to one.
 I can not drink instant coffee. 
A good coffee is one of my vices that I will not give up.
I was very pleased to wake up this morning at see that it was 6 am. For quite a while now I have been waking at 2 am or 3 am and getting out of bed and sitting up until I drift off on my lounge chair. I will go back into bed but then the pain and major effort of getting up starts all over and so I avoid it if possible. 

In eighteen days three of our daughters will depart for a two month European holiday. They are very excited and months and months of planning have gone into this trip. Everything is booked and paid for and all they need to do is get on the right planes and enjoy. I have mixed emotions. On one hand I envy them for being so carefree and going to places I have dreamed about. I also worry as they will be so far from home should anything go wrong. I am also happy that they get to do follow their dreams. The house will be very quiet without them and the bloke and I will be on our own-the first time in over twenty eight years. This alone is a daunting thought. Will we cope? What will our days look like? Wont have to consider other peoples meal ideas, just do what ever we want.
I know that our little grandson will miss them greatly. He is always excited to see them when he comes here and just loves it when they play with him.

In other news I have been more involved in the household recently. I have been involved in more cooking than usual, with help from others of course and yesterday I managed to mop the floors whilst sitting in my wheelchair. I just washed backwards using my feet to propel myself backwards. My calf muscles became tired quick and I started getting cramps due to them not being used much. I was satisfied with my work and intend to tackle some work in the kitchen this week. 
I lack confidence in my abilities within the house. Being unable to stand for long I have become so used to sitting on my lounge brooding over my loss instead of exploring      other ways to accomplish tasks. Mind you I only got my wheelchair last year. As time goes on I hope to become reacquainted with many of the necessary household chores.
Well that's it for today. I will return soon. 

                                   Picture from last October, just so you can remember who is writing this blog. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sewing, Soup & Comfort

Hello folks, it's been a while hasn't it? Things have been trotting along in my life. A little bit of sewing, some cooking, visiting with friends and other things I have now forgotten.
So the weather is still freezing and it limits me to what I can do. This is because my body stiffens up and I can't spend much time in my craft room due this. I am working on getting a heater for the times that I do work in there. 
I made a quick mug rug for a work colleague of my youngest daughter and I like the scraps of colour. I have a few more of these simple little projects waiting to be finished too, just a matter of time.

 I have also been working on a baby quilt for a girl one of my daughters works with. She requested one made in gender neutral colours and I was happy to oblige her as I love making bright, modern quilts. It's completed up to the quilting stage and I am not waiting for the 'boost' of energy so I can quilt it. I will post a pic when it is done.

The following picture which is not the best is the first hat I ever made. It was for the little person in the family and although I made a few mistakes I am quite pleased that I worked out how to make this. I have never had confidence to do it previously and as Jacob's mum asked me nicely I had to oblige. Of course whilst Master Jacob was happy to try it on he was not keen on keeping it on.

Recently I had my cooking hat on and managed to produce some edible, tasty food. First up was some Cheese and Bacon Muffins. They turned out great, and with a slash of butter it was real comfort food. Speaking of comfort food, nothing says comfort quite like a pot of soup. I have loved soup since a child as my mum could make the yummiest pots of soup. I loved her tomato vegetable soup with plump barley and lots of tomato goodness. I have included the recipe at the bottom of page.

This soup was my version of Minestrone Soup. Now the last time I made this soup, or a version of it was when I was in first year high school (year 8). It wasn't great from memory. We had to cook it in those dreadful, scary pressure cookers and I was quite concerned because prior to the making of this soup, our teacher sat us down to watch a film (yes it was a film in those days, and not video) regarding the dangers of the pressure cooker should it be left on too long and the first aid required to deal with said explosion. No pressure of course-ha ha I think I made a joke there. 

Anyway this time I used the our trusty slow cooker. The beauty of the slow cooker is you just throw everything you want into the bowl, whack the lid on, choose the heat setting and off it goes producing a most delicious meal in 5-6 hours. The soup was very good. The Bloke even liked my cooking and gave me a compliment, which is rare, so I was a happy cooker. In out family if we make a large lot of food we send word out to those no longer living at home and they arrive the next day to grab some for their lunches.I love that I made something worthwhile and that others enjoyed. 
Since becoming immobile I have not contributed much to the family, but this way I was able too. I intend to do more cooking in the future. I have also included this recipe at the bottom of my page.

In other cooking news my eldest daughter is known as a cheesecake queen and created this lovely raspberry cheesecake to the delight of us all. Beautiful creamy, tart, and sweet slice of heaven. I am a big fan of cheesecake, most especially hers. Do you like cheesecake and if so what is your favourite?

Minestrone Soup (Jan's way)

Onion x 2 chopped-fried with bacon
Celery x 2-3 stalks chopped
Carrot x 3 chopped
Spuds x 2 chopped
Sweet potato -half of medium one chopped ( I add this for a taste of sweet)
Diced Tomatoes x 2 tins
Tomato paste small tub
Shell pasta about 2 cups (add this approx. 1/2 to 1 hour prior to serving)
Bacon rashers x 4 chopped-fried with spud
Salt & pepper
Vegetable or beef stock
- I used 4 heaped teaspoons of veggie stock in two litres of water
1 can Four bean mix ( rinsed, drained first)

Place into large crock pot-Mine is an oval 5 litre pot, I think. Turn it on low or high for 4-6 hrs
Serve with finely chopped parsley and grated cheese on top with crusty garlic or herb bread. 

Cheese & Bacon Muffins

  • Cooking Time:45 minutes
  • Makes:10 Muffins


  • 2 rashers rindless bacon, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 - 1 cup milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chives or parsley, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup Tasty Natural Cheese, grated


  1. 1
    Preheat oven to 190C.
  2. 2
    Pan-fry bacon. Or to microwave bacon, place between paper towels on HIGH (100%) for 1 - 2 minutes.
  3. 3
    Beat eggs in a bowl adding milk, butter, cayenne pepper and chives or parsley.
  4. 4
    Into a separate bowl, sift flour, add bacon and cheese. Stir in egg mixture and mix until combined. Spoon mixture into a 10-holed, 1/2-cup non-stick muffin pans.
  5. 5
    Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
[Recipe from]

Well folks hope you enjoyed the read today. If you try the recipes let me know how you went.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pieces of Cloth

I have finished the quilt for my nephew Andrew. I had previously made one for his mum and sister and Andrew had liked them too. So much so that when his parents left on a 6 month camping holiday, he hid my sisters quilt so he could use it!  She had wanted to take it with her on the trip.

It is rough and ready and would not pass some quilters inspections but nevertheless I love it. I had asked my sister for some old winter shirts to undertake this project late last year. The bag of shirts had sat forlorn in my sewing room until about a month or so again when inspiration struck and I began with wild abandon to slice and dice the said shirts. I tried to make the pieces straight, but I wasn't concerned if they went wobbly-it added to the character. I used parts of the sleeves and the body of the shirt and then in another sudden rush of design madness, decided to attach three pockets, so he could put his mobile in or a chocolate or even the remote control.
I have read about and seen some early day Australian quilts made by people living in the bush and they made them from old jumpers, coats and any other cloth they could get their hands on. They called them Wagga's, so dare I claim to have made my version of a wagga?

I even managed to sew them all the right way up too. I gave it to him on Sunday and he liked it. I hope he enjoys it.
The Bloke took the photos and he tried hard to present it in the best light and he did a great job I think.

I did have more photos to put up on other subjects but something weird has occurred to my photo library and I need to ask one of the girls to help me sort it out.

I hope to be back soon with more chat.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Most Fortunate Life

                                                My adorable assistant checking through the fabrics

I was able to finish the lap quilt that my best friend asked me to make for her. It took me a little while to complete it but the main thing is that she likes it. I feel a little nervous when I hand over a quilt. Hoping they don't notice any imperfections, but of course that is my own self doubt peering through.


This very cute little owl softy was recently sent to me by a wonderfully, clever woman; a special friend of mine. I am grateful and feel privileged that I have some top notch people in my circle. Some of the most gorgeous women call me a friend. I am so fortunate.

Well just a quick post today I am a woman on a mission. I am going down into my cold craft room and putting things in their correct places and then hoping to start a quilt for one of my nephews. More about that when I get some progress on it.
Until next time keep warm and enjoy life.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hello Candice

                                             This bird pic has nothing to do with this post, but I love it.

Hello dear friends. I have been prompted by a young friend to update my blog so here we go. I have considered shutting down my blog for some time, as for the past 12 months or so I have not been regularly writing and sharing as much as I used to or want to. Writers block, depression- call it what you may, but the end result was I thought I didn't have anything relevant or interesting to say. Sure, my fourth daughter who lives far, far away loves reading my blog to glimpse life 'at home', but we do also talk on the phone almost daily. I know readers of blogs like seeing pictures, and I love a blog with great pictures, but my photography skills are still not great. Most of the photos used here come via my mobile phone, which I am still learning to use. Although in saying that 'the bloke' does take some fairly good pics that I have included.
I originally created my blog in an attempt to hone my writing skills and in the process gain feedback. What I found was that I had some great responses but no constructive critique. I realise now that this is probably not the right forum to gain that, and my audience far too small. However, after saying all that I will still blog occasionally, dependent of course on energy levels, and if I have something worthy of writing. 
 With all that said I have come here today because I do have some things I want to share. 
Recently I have been inspired by a great group of women who are creative and arty and who have been mentoring me in the art of card making and scrapbooking. 
Usually I lack natural confidence to give new things a try but as I have aged I am more inclined to give things a go, and see if I like it. Well I do like it. A lot. Pretty card. Pretty papers. Little trinkets and do-dads. I love it all. My last blog post showed some layouts I am doing for my grandson. I am up to the 9 month stage now! How time has flown on by. 
I am pleased to report that I entered my very first card swap last week. I am still surprised I did it. I have found that I am not good with deadlines, and this task involved a group of 12 of us each making 12 cards then sending them to the person organising the swap who would then divide the cards into 12 piles and send us 12 different cards each. I created mine in one day. At first I tried to get a bit too flash and the cards did not look 'right' so then I used the KISS method. Keep it Simple scrapper. Simple is best for me. I have seen so many blogs with talented artists  and their cards are amazing, but really not for my skill set at this stage of the game. 
I was quite pleased with the results and continued on to make a few more for my own personal supply. Generally I am not a card giver, but I do need to do this for some beautiful people in my life. I know a card cannot thank them enough for what they bring to my life, but it is a token of my appreciation. Crikey I can blather on. Below are pics of some of my cards. I am sorry that I don't have them in a collage format, but I don't now how to do it. A lesson for another time.

                                                               This is the inside of the above card

So there you go, hope you liked seeing my cards and if you want to come visit in a few days I am hoping to have a post about the quilt I made for my friend's cousin. 

Take care

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Scraps of my life

In the years since I finished work (5) I have pursued a few different crafts one of them being scrapbooking  Yes it’s been around for ever, but it was one that I had never embarked on, mainly due to lack of interest. Whilst previously I was all about learning and studying for academic qualifications, when I had to stop work due to being both physically and mentally exhausted, I was left with a whole lot of time to fill. I was firstly attracted to the pretty awesome patterned papers and coloured and textured card that were on offer and started out slowly obtaining a few things and then I gradually built up my supplies and now I own a Spellbinders die cut machine and several other tools of the trade.
However, I do tire easy and so can go quite a while without doing much.  About a month ago I decided to embark on a small 8x8 album to document the first twelve months of my grandsons life. It has been a challenge mainly because I have so many beautiful photos that I want to use, but there it not much room on a small page like that. To get around that I have decided to make pockets on the back of the layout page and I will slip the extra photos in there.

Sometimes I do ask myself is there any point to doing this scrapbooking and journalling.  Will anyone be interested in the future? I hope so, but at least I have my memories down on paper and it might provide some delightful reflection in the future when my twilight years are upon me.

The process of scrapping has allowed me to be creative and inventive. I like to make my own little embellishments and if I can do that from things just lying around the house all the better. I work on the principle of keeping it simple, and make the photo the focal point. I cannot feel comfortable with the over embellished pages I come across, where I find it hard to see the photo.

 Most of my photographs have been taken on my Canon camera or my Samsung Galaxy 4, or prior to that my iPhone. They have produced some very good photos. I send them to be printed at Harvey Norman, when they have one of their great offers.

 I just wish my handwriting was neater. I would print all my journalling up but I was told that writing it in hand is much more personal. So I will stick with it, with the occasional printed word.
Thanks for reading folks,


Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's Been a While friends

Today is when we traditionally celebrate mothers day. the day means different things to people. My family are not big on celebrating the some what commercialised day, but my girls do love to put on a morning tea. Sadly one of my girls, Nicole lives far away and can't be part of the day, I feel the gap when one or more can't be here.
Today's feast consisted of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, little cupcakes, apple and cream sponge cake. Coffee and tea. Lovely thanks girls.

Life has been bubbling away, days turn into weeks and before I know it another month has ticked over. Seriously, is it a sign of ageing? I don't seem to get much done but the time passes fast.
I have been scrap-booking, sewing and more often than not face-booking, chatting to my friends and family.
I undertake things when I have the energy to carry them out. Additionally, because I am not mobile enough to carry and fetch required items for my craft projects I rely heavily on my family to do this. It can cause problems. I feel quite bad that I ask them to do so much. They get tired of my requests. They also work and so I have to get them to bring things before they leave and sometimes there just isn't the time. On those days I sit here on my nest (couch) and stare into space. Zone out as some people say. Almost like suspended animation. Waiting for someone to appear or something to happen.
No pity parties though, this is my life right now. I don't always like it, but there it is.

I do have a special friend who visits me frequently, she is a blessing. Love that woman. My girl who lives away calls me nearly every day-she misses me. I like to chatting to her but the thing is my life is rather bland and I don't have much news.
 The photo below was taken last month when our fourth daughter came or a holiday for two weeks. She loved cuddling her nephew who she had last seen when he was two months old. This girl is an enrolled nurse who works in a nursing home, and who has applied to university to continue her career so she can become a registered nurse. We are very proud of her and her determination. She has battled some great challenges and moved through them all. She also recently became engaged to her partner of three years.

The photo above shows one of my recent forays into making zippered purses. I have never put a zip into anything before so had a personal challenge to do so. I searched the web for an easy to follow tutorial so i could learn at my own pace. By my third attempt I had made something pretty decent-good enough for my needs anyway. I gifted that large wallet to my nurse daughter, so she could keep her stethoscope in her handbag. However with me if I don't practice a new skill enough I tend to not retain the knowledge.
I just had too add this photo of my grandson who is now nearly 9 months old. He is quite a cheeky little fella and is determined. He is also very loving and loves cuddles from me. It truly makes my heart sing, as he loves me just as I am, without any pre-conceived ideas. A real little character that's for sure.

So that is my little lot for a moment. I will be back soon...