Recent creativity

I’m doing a Studio Calico on-line class called Pop Off the Page #2 and I’m learning a lot. The community at Studio Calico seems nice too – it’s always good to get supportive comments and the general scrapbooking forum is full of ideas.

Here are two pages I have just posted in the Studio Calico Gallery:

Fly BoyThis page features a few photos of DS helping to sweep up some of the dreaded Cluster Flies that plague us during March and April if there’s been a damp summer. I loathe the little horrors and the daily ‘sweep up’ of the buzzing hordes of dying insects really gets me down. It was so nice to have the job done for me in my scrapping space one weekend when DS was home. Although the drought this year has been hard on many, at least it’s meant we have been almost Cluster-Fly-free!

A Mother's LoveThis page is about my dear friend Mary’s last sewing project – a quilt she made for her daughter’s 21st birthday. She poured her love into every stitch, so the result was very special indeed. The photos are from 2010 and Mary died at the very beginning of the following year; it’s taken me a while to be able to write what I wanted to say about working with her to create this extra-special gift.

The background to the layout was inspired by one of the POTP#2 videos. It is fabric – first painted with gesso, then misted, stencilled, stamped and stitched. It is very pretty with a shimmer from some of the mists I used, and I think it almost does justice to the quilt.

Working at the carwash

Working at the carwash, yeah! Hands up if the Rose Royce tune is now going through your head.

Yes, the cars were  dirty enough that I was finally motivated to clean them. DH will testify that this happens only once every couple of years (he’s the one who usually undertakes the car-washing chore).

Carwash1Cleaning the Nissan Sentra was a breeze – it’s a short car. However I needed a stepladder to get to the top of the Hilux!  Carwash2It was great to have some help too – DS’s girlfriend did the low down bits while I tackled the roof.

Carwash3DS was not to be outdone – he vacuumed the Sentra while we washed outside. Do you think it was a wise decision on his part to avoid his mother and girlfriend who were so handy to the hose outside?


Two prompts to cover today as I missed out on blogging time yesterday.

#5 was to think about the passage of time, and to look back or forward from the present moment while looking for today’s learning. I actually did both!

Ed was home for the day helping out. He’s always been a good helper:

March 2006 – Ed and Richard processing the timber from pines we had cut down.

The task we tackled today was labelling the new season’s bottles of olive oil, ready to supply our retail outlets and sell at markets. Before we got that far though, I needed to do the grocery shopping, and Ed tagged along, making himself useful throughout the process. Here he is loading the boot of the car:

It’s just possible that the chance to influence purchasing decisions may have provided some incentive to lend a hand (and caused the grin on Ed’s face)!

My learning for today – that we have been fortunate to have had Ed around to help with work on the property and business over the past six (and more) years; but the time is fast approaching when we’ll need to find other ways to manage the work flow.

#6 was to consider the things we are grateful for – big things and small. I have always been keen to approach life with “an attitude of gratitude” – but I realise that the short lists that I used to note at the bottom of my daily journal pages (three or four things I was thankful for from the day) haven’t figured for many months. I’m not sure why.

My learning for today: I want to resurrect that habit, and I’m going to start tonight.

Among the things I’m grateful for today are spring flowers – I love seeing the kowhai flowering and hearing the song of the tuis that flock to enjoy the nectar.

Preparing for Graduation in his own special way

We recently attended Ed’s graduation ceremony – it was a great occasion for his proud family. As he usually wears casual clothing Ed’s neat trousers and white shirts were still at our place, so we brought them over the hill with us. We had arranged to meet him in the car parking building opposite the Michael Fowler Centre, a half-hour before he needed to present himself for the ceremony.

Except the car parking building was full – and we had to park a 10-minute walk further away. So we met Ed near the venue and as I handed Ed his dark trousers and white shirt I expected him to dash off to the venue to change in their bathrooms. But no. “I’ll just change in these bushes”, he said – and proceeded to do just that!

Ready at last, our graduand hurried off to join his fellows.

So very happy to see him graduate – and to have a funny story to tell.


Time is a Bullet Train

This blue-eyed cutie is Edward on his first birthday, way back in March 1992.

Roll on 20 years, and suddenly (so it seems) here he is on his 21st birthday:

Time sure speeds along, so much faster than I ever thought possible. I have forgotten so much about Ed’s early years and I can never go back and recapture the memories. I am thankful for photographs and the recall of others, but how I wish I had written down more of the stories of his toddlerhood and primary school years to go with the photographs I have – and for all the daily events for which there are no pictures at all.

I am so glad I have diaries from 2002, and that I have made scrapbook pages documenting our lives from then onwards. The stories are as important as the photographs – so if you are hesitant about writing things down, please don’t be! Do it – either in a physical diary or using an on-line service such as OhLifeI or DailyDiary. Make notes on your calendar, scribble in a notebook – but please help your memory out, because in 20 years you won’t remember the things you wish you did.

Blast from the Past

We had a stall at the Martinborough Fair yesterday. It’s great fun meeting lots of new people, as well as old friends. Ed was one of my helpers (along with his girlfriend – they did an awesome job) and it was such fun to run into Debbie, one of the women who worked at the daycare centre Ed attended for nearly four years as a pre-schooler. The last time we saw Deb was at Ed’s 5th birthday party. We are now planning Ed’s 21st.

Deb is the same height as she was 16 years ago.

Ed isn’t!