Sunday, October 31, 2010

Joyce is Confused!

What's it all about??

'Happy Halloween' say the cute kids from the street all dressed up, faces painted, masks on, and little bags ready to collect any treats from the suckers that live in the houses they visit.

'Ummm' says me, 'Do you know what Halloween is about? Do you know what you are 'celebrating?'. Silence, utter, dead, nothing, silence and partially 'duh' kinda painted little faces looking up at me with my glass of wine in my hand, sitting, relaxing out the front with some neighbours for a Sunday evening drink as we watch the sun set on another weekend.

'Oh come on.' I say laughing to the older kids. 'Surely you had time to google the meaning of the word before you went to all the trouble to dress up?' Ummmm, with the blank faces standing before me, I gathered the answer was a big fat no.

So I took it upon myself to explain what I thought Halloween was all about. You see, I didn't grow up with Halloween. I don't remember trick or treating, dressing up or any of that at all. It's only been popular with the kids here in our neighbourhood the last 5/6 years I guess. My boys don't walk the street at all, our neighbours kids also don't walk the street, however there are other kids that do, so our kids dress up and play out the front and hand out the lollies to the kids that do visit. I am not sure I want my kids receiving lollies from total strangers anyways!

I explained that we live in Australia, and in Australia we are entering the season of Summer, not Autumn. We are part of the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere it's the end of the harvest season, where all the crop is stored away, ready for a long and cold winter.

I then asked them why do they have their faces painted. Again, no idea, I then went onto explain that some cultures believe that tonight there is an 'opening' between the living and the dead at which point the dead can 'pass through' to the living and haunt. The reason for the painted faces and ghoulish costume/dress up is to frighten the bad spirits away and not be recognised.

Tomorrow is All Saints Day, where a lot of religions celebrate their Saints (mainly those that don't have their own celebrated 'day') with a mass/liturgy/service depending on the religion and what they call their form of worship/prayer/meditation/blessings. The 2nd November is known as All Souls Day, where prayers are offered for those that we love and have lost.

I did end up having a huge basket of lollies for the kids all dressed up in their garb with their little painted faces so shyly walking the streets with older siblings also dressed for the evening. I am not totally 'ghoulish', I just want the kids to perhaps ask questions and know why they are walking the streets dressed in crap cheap production line, made in China, costumes and wigs, making huge amounts of $$$$ for the huge international companies with their over production of pretty much anything and everything they can think of to milk the cash earned from mowing lawns, washing cars, paper runs, and all those other wonderful jobs kids do these days.

I have a few grumpy gripes that I will share with you and they are as follows-

We are Aussies here !

I don't want to be American-ised more than we already are.

I don't want my kids or my friends kids, or any kids, growing up with this 'thing' about Halloween and having absolutely NO IDEA what they are 'celebrating', walking the streets saying 'Happy Halloween'.

I dislike, as in STRONGLY DISLIKE, and refuse to 'buy' the whole commercialised crap thing that goes along with Halloween, Valentines Day, Christmas, Easter, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, and whatever else I may have left off the 'commercial' celebration list that seems to be totally choking our kids and families of today.

I don't mind celebrating Halloween with treats for the kids and dressing up, hey, I love a dress up as much as any kid, but I think it's also important my kids KNOW why they are doing what they do.

*phew* so help me here, am I totally screwed up in the head or what? Yep! Still totally confused, probably more so than the kids that visited our place this evening, looking for candy.

I am so over celebrating stuff just cause the commercial calendar says so!

I think the day that my hubbie gives me roses on Valentines Day or buys me jewellery or whatever on Mothers Day will be the day that he gets a head-butt!!

I want presents because he wants to give me a present. I don't want anything from anyone, 'because they have to'.

Lastly, I hope that I have not offended anyone that reads this post. I do not mean to offend, I am just trying to understand and learn why things are done as they are. I am trying to teach my children about the world they are growing up in, and share with you, what I understand of Halloween, which as you can see, really isn't very knowledgable at all. *sigh*

Can you tell me, where do you live, and do you celebrate Halloween or All Hallow's at your place? What are the celebrations you share with family and friends, do you dress up, do you pray, do you ward off or welcome the spirits that 'pass through' tonight? Do you believe in it, or do you not believe in it?

If you would like to share you thoughts, I would love to know. I would love to learn more about this long celebrated event and what it means to you.

Thanks so much for stopping by here tonight in Joycie's little blog-land of confusion.

Blessings to you and may only the good spirits pass by your place tonight.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Awesome Day At Work

Happy Friday evening to you all.
I hope you had a good day today.
At work.
At home.
At school.
At play.

I did, I had a wonderful day at work today.
I got to say a personal hello to my little one's mate, Lil' Snappy the saltwater crocodile.
My little Minnie man loves our local reptile fellow and his friends, especially Lil' Snappy.
Lil' Snappy is four years old and my darling little Minnie first met Lil' Snappy two years ago where he had a nurse and Lil' Snappy left a lovely little warm parcel on his lap. Well you would think this would gross most kids out, but not my little Minnie, he loves Lil' Snappy.

So today at preschool when our local reptile man, Steve, paid a visit to the kids and introduced them to some of his friends and talked about safety, and caring for our beautiful reptiles, I got to say hello to Lil' Snappy at the end of the talk. I just wanted to give him a pat and say hello from my little Minnie, but Steve handed him over to me for a nurse. Oh wow! - Not only do I get to work at the best preschool in the universe, BUT I get to nurse Lil' Snappy and all in the same day!

Can I just tell you Lil' Snappy has such a silky soft belly. I was surprised it was so soft. Gosh he has the most lovely colourings from deep chocolate browns to a golden honey. Such an amazing creature, such a lucky girl is me to have a nurse.

Have a lovely weekend at your place.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

National Bandanna Day - Friday, 29th October 2010

The Australian Organisation for Young People Living with Cancer

Also check out madeit - the handmade market open all day every day for some awesome bandanna-ish items with monies raised going to CANTEEN.
Thank you to the very creative artists donating their love, their work and their time.

Hokey Bear and 'Joyce'.

Please support this wonderful cause.

Thank you.

My Creative Space

I should not have bought them, I should have walked right past them and not even bothered to stop, but I didn't. They fit, they were the perfect length, and the perfect price. I needed a pair of jeans that weren't going through at the knees, I needed a pair of jeans that were comfy. I needed a pair of jeans for work - I needed a pair of jeans.

So I bought them.

We come home and I washed them.

Then I wore them.

At first they were fine.

It began partway through the day.

They got baggy.

I pulled them up.

They got baggy again.

I pulled them up.

I bent over to pick up the paint pots,

they sagged down again.

I pulled them up - again - and again - and then again.

I got home and washed them.

Gave them a second chance.

It was a total repeat.

No - more - chances!!

What a waste - so cranky - need to do something about this situation.

So I made two bags. I needed some value for my $30.00 jeans and here it is.

I must tell you, I got my revenge, or so I thought, however, I don't like the first bag at all. I have packed it away, thinking I will donate it, because I can't stand looking at it just yet.
Bag front.

Bag back.

This bag made from the legs of the jeans, I love it, I love the size of it, and I love the colour of it. I was going to put a few doilies on it for decoration, but now leaving it plain, because sometimes I like plain, this way I can dress it up with a brooch or scarf to match my outfit. I like options, I like to be free.
The bow is tied using the seams from the legs of the jeans, this is how I use my bag right now. I like this bag, this bag is good.

Oh and I did get me a 'new' pair of jeans.

I went to the op-shop, paid $5.00 for a pair of jeans still with the tags on them.

They fit.

They stay up.

They stay up all day.

They stay up all day even when I bend down to pick up the paint pots.

They stay up - again - and again - and again - and again.

it's Karma baby - that's all there is to it - Karma!

Pop on over to kootoyoo to see what everyone else is creating today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When you least expect it. . . .

I would like to share some op-shop goodness I come across a few weeks ago. I have had them all wrapped in paper still in the bag in my studio, so now they are out and washed and ready to play at our place.

I don't know much at all about the makings/origins or values of any pottery, this is one thing I would so love to learn more about, you know, one of those days when I have more 'time'. I would like to know where things come from and how they are made. I don't go shopping for a particular maker/year/number or look for any special markings. I just know what I like and go from there. I don't care that it might be a one off item, or one of one million items. I have never been a 'labels' kinda gal.

I do love op-shopping tho, I would so love to know the secrets of where items have spent their time, what was their use, were they a gift of love, did the person travel alot, do they hold magical childhood memories for someone. I love that they now have a new home to gather new memories - I wonder the adventures they will have with us, and where they may go from here. I love they are not in landfill, hidden away, these little gems, and I love the money I give over for them will go to help another person in some small way. I love browsing the shelves of different items, everything has a story to tell, there might be a little dust, it might be a little wonky, it's all part of the charm, the discovery.

This beauty above will be filled with rum balls, coconut ice, homemade stars and all sorts of lovelies for Christmas. It is so pretty, there isn't a single mark or chip anywhere. Underneath tells me it's made in England by Tuscan Decoro Pottery and a pile of numbers. Well Tuscan Decoro Pottery, thank you.

Oh yes, I found a lovely pattern for moi! I so want the red outfit! That is what I bought it for, but since coming home, I do love me the little blue jacket too. Also lots and lots of buttons, I love brown buttons. Not much in mind for these just yet, but I hear necklace when I look at these.

I so wonder where these beauties come from? The two little floral plates so remind me of my Grandma and Nana. I don't quite know why, maybe it's the orange? Hmmmm, I just had to have them in any case. I see them on my dresser glowing with a tea light candle, I also see them on the coffee table with a doily underneath them.

The lovely orange vase/cup just HAD to live with us. Oh my goodness, I so love this item, it's my absolute favourite item of the day. There is no stamp, no number, not a single thing underneath it, I think this makes me love it even more. So totally mysterious, so totally orange. I am seeing gardenia and frangapani flowers floating in here, I see choccies in here, oh but not at the same time as the floating flowers of course! *giggle*

What little treasures do you have at your place? Do you like to op-shop? Do you like to source a particular year/model/make/fashion? Or do you go freely through the second-hand goodness letting items choose you?

Have a lovely day at your place.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hook Happy!

Do you read back over what you have just written or typed, out loud? I do, and thank goodness for that - seeing as my title was going to be 'Happy Hooker'. Oops! When I heard it out loud, I decided Hook Happy was much more appropriate! *phew!*

So here above are my progressing very nicely thank you, granny squares for our rainbow blanket journey. I am loving this soft blue colour too, I carry the one ball with me and there is no thinking going on, I just hook my 4 rounds and finish off and move to the next one.

Here is one of my little gardenia flowers with a rain drop clinging so delicately to the petal. I have four of these in a row at our front door garden, and they are all in bloom. Oh the sweet perfume drifting through our house is rather intoxicating with the rain we have had these last few days as well as the bit of sun that tries to steam its way through the grey clouds. I love this scent and this year would be my biggest crop of flowers *sigh* oh such little pleasures.

I hope you find some little pleasures in your day today that bring a sweet smile to your face and uplift you from the inside.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Business As Usual.

14 little owls completed. Only 12 of these will make it to the school fete. Two of them are going to be living here, and apparently, according to my eldest, they would love to have more friends made from fabrics that he has chosen from my fabric stash.

Little lego fingers. I have my youngest home here today from school. We were away for the weekend in the caravan with friends and my little man hurt his eye. It's still a bit sore and tears up now and then, so we are home for a quiet day. We had sunscreen on and the kids were eating watermelon and playing with little bugs and hide and seek and all the wonderful outdoor fun that is to be had, he must have rubbed his eye at some stage and has irritated his eye. I just want to keep him out of the weather today and away from anything that may irritate it further.

We have been very busy with lego, finishing owls, hanging washing, drawing and writing.

Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely week.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Creative Space

I love these glass coffee jars for storage, they are a great size and perfect for any kind of dry ingredient, bath salts, lollies etc. I wanted to do 'something' to them to fill and donate to the school fete. . . . .
. . . . so they got some frangapani's painted onto them. They now match my wine glasses I made last year. Yeah ok, I am no Pablo Picasso at all, but I am now searching for more jars to paint. *giggle* I did these yesterday and they need to stop and air-dry for 24hours before 'baking' which I did this morning for 40 mins on moderate oven. 'Well then!' Says me to myself, 'No point wasting the oven heat now is there!!' We need ourselves more biscuits, slice and cake at our place. Oh and I can't find any more jars, so will be keep two of these for our place, cause I think that is fair.

Biscuits perfect for lunchboxes, currently setting in the fridge is a caramel slice and currently in the oven is a sour cream lemon cake.

Here is not so sexy me with one of my aprons. I love my aprons and always wear one in the kitchen. I would like an apron with little mushrooms on it. I think little mushrooms would be cute on an apron.

Pop on over to kootoyoo and check out what everyone else is creating and have a lovely weekend at your place.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Junior Landcare Challenge

Calling all green thumbs - get your gardening gloves out, sign up here and lets see who can grow the biggest sunflower. Sign ups close Friday, 22nd October, so get in quick to make sure you get your free packet of sunflower seeds to plant. We love sunflowers.

Have a wonderful, wonderful day at your place, I am off to complete a thousand and two things all before 3pm. Woo Hoo - don't you just love a challenge!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Eleanor, meets Daisy.

She is a little shy and a little sad, but Eleanor will take care of her.
Eleanor is so excited to have a little friend to play with now and someone
to talk to and hang out with.

Thank you for your wonderful comments on my rainbow blanket.
It means so much to know we put our hearts into our projects for those we love.

Nothing beats handmade with love, not nothing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why is my studio getting smaller? Oh yeah, 'cause I collect 'stuff'!!

The above is what I pulled out of my studio, lay on the floor, counted up and took this photo of. I then found three more bags of yarn when I packed this lot away. It's now all sorted and I left a bag of scraps out determined to make stuff, so that I didn't have to find a new home for it.
Above I have 20 sets of crochet flower hairbands paired up to donate to the school fete, from the 'scraps' bag. This little flower is so cute, you can do a different colour in the middle if you like. Click here for this super simple tawashi flower pattern, and make sure you check out Marte's blog. Thanks Marte for sharing.

Girlfriend - don't even go there with the scrapbook papers I own. There will never, ever, be enough clicks on my camera to pull out the papercrafts stash and take a photo. I will just share with you the 105 bookmarks I have made for the school fete. Basically I glued two pieces of pretty cardstock together, punched a hole in the top and threaded with DMC cotton and beads. You can laminate them, round the corners of them, thread with buttons, the list goes on.

*sigh* ok, so here it is, I am so nervous showing this. Here above is progress of my very special project that brings a huge smile to my face every time I pick it up. All my rainbow circles now have their little border attached. I have begun my plain 'sky' squares. To have a single border of sky around the blanket, I need to make 144 grannies. To have a double border of sky around the blanket, I need to make 212 grannies. I have not yet decided what it will be, however, I do know that I want to do a single crochet border around that again in each of the six rainbow colours, finished with a picot sky edging.

I feel rather nervous sharing this rainbow photo, I was only going to put the first photo on. It's rather quite personal to me, and I am a little worried, that well, you know, it's 'daggy' or 'not right' or well, not liked at all by anyone, when really that shouldn't matter at all, because it doesn't represent anyone else, it's straight from the beautiful sky that I have taken my inspiration, it's a rainbow blanket after all, and so to me, should be in it's true form. It's my family, it's all the heart and soul of me, hooked into this blanket, what can I say - I had a picture in my little head, and I sort of can't believe it's real, I can touch it, I can see it - I so like what I see, I love hooking the sky that will grow around it.

So thank you for taking a look at my little project.
Thank you for not laughing too loudly.

Do you become nervous about sharing a project that is close to your heart, that you weave yourself into, that used to just be a whim or a dream?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Creative Space

Above photo - this is not my pattern, my Mum is making these for her local fete. When we visited her last week, my little boys fell in love with them as much as I did. She let them choose one of their own and I made these four little owls above. I have made another four, however, can't show you a photo of them just now, because they have been claimed and are right now snuggled into bed with my darlings. Thank you to the hugely talented person that designed these mega-cute little darlings. I will find out from my Mum where she obtained pattern from and thank them in name.

Introducing Eleanor - you will not find this pattern in a book, you will not see my darling little Eleanor in a shop window. She is of my design and I rather quite love her. I am not sure I will make too many like her, I quite like the idea of an original. The plan was also to put a little felt flower on her bottom, however, I am quite happy with her as is. She is a little bit shy as she is new to town, but she will have a little friend soon and does love to meet new friends and looks forward to saying hello to everyone.

There are plans afoot my friends for more little playmates.

I will take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and wonderful weekend, full of all the people and things you love most, I know mine will be.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rainbow Blanket - progress

Slowly and sweetly my blanket is coming alive with every hook.

Don't you just love the journey of a project close to your heart.

Happy Snaps

We headed to the 'big smoke' with our little caravan for the week. Here are some of the exciting things we did and saw. It was such a busy week, we stayed here, which was awesome and a short walk to North Ryde train station which took us to the city.

Latin fiesta time in Darling Harbour.

Getting on the train and checking out 'where to' today.

Luna Park at Milsons Point for my birthday.

View from the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park.
Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House at night.

Caught a Sydney Ferry to Manly for the day.
This is the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge on our way to Manly. The sky was pretty much like that the whole week, but it didn't stop us from doing or seeing.

Taronga Zoo
I love me a giraffe.

Taronga Zoo.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo
King of the jungle.

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe - 91 George St, Sydney.
*oh* soooo *sigh* yum!!

Guylian Belgian Cafe - Me.

Botanic Gardens.
I so love this pattern.

Botanic Gardens.
What beautiful branches you have my dear!

Botanic Gardens.
Faeries live here.

Art Gallery of NSW

Hyde Park.
Faeries live here too.

I took my crochet along with me, however, didn't get very much done while down there, as each day was very busy and by the time we got back to the caravan we were rather tired and heading to bed with the little ones. I finished a scarf for a girlfriend in the car on the way to Sydney and I managed to get a heap of grannies done on the way home for my rainbow blanket.

It's back to school today for my two little monkeys, there are 10 weeks of term til the end of the year. *sigh* it goes so fast. I worked this morning and am home now and about to get the sewing machine out - school fete is rather quite too close around the corner and I have work to do!

I hope your holidays were wonderful and that your little ones settle back into their last term for the year easily.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10th of the 10th, two thousand and 10 at 10am - 10 Things About Me

1. I eat chocolate every single day.
2. Favourite flower - frangapani
3. Holidays in the caravan with my family - priceless. (Actually - my family - priceless!)
4. I am left handed.
5. Pyjama days are awesome!
6. I am not good at maths.
7. Allergic to ironing and celery. (true - really!)
8. Anne of Green Gables - jealous of your hair!
9. I still want to get my nose pierced, left nostril, tiny diamonte.
10. If I could have a little shop it would look like this -
Black books store at one end, with lots of cushions and crochet blankets to snuggle under and read, in the middle would be Monica's loungeroom and kitchen (Friends) exactly as per show except where the tv is, there would be a huge table with a constant jigsaw puzzle in progress. This is a cosy place to meet and nibble muffins and drink hot choccies, coffee and milkshakes (you would find me here, cooking yummy things and making sure everyone is comfy.) oh licenced of course! The door from Monica's unit leading to hallway would be doorway through to huge craft room, with walls lined with bookcases full of buttons, ribbons, papers, fabrics etc in every colour. Two huge workbenches, one with sewing machines on it, and the other with cutting mats and paper slicers. A smaller bench with a few laptops, laminator, and other craft gagets. The other end would be a massive kids area, lego, craft, glue, scissors, trainsets, barbie. We would live out the back that would have a huge vege patch. Massive skylights spanning the whole building for as much natural light as possible.

During school term the following would apply -
The first Wednesday of the month - bookworms book club. 4pm would be a kids session. Break for pizzas we all make our own, clean up, snuggle the kids down and 7pm would be adults session.
The second Wednesday of the month - scrap happy time.
The third Wednesday of the month - sewing and beading diva night.
The fourth Wednesday of the month - lego party night.
First Friday of the month - secret Men's club.
Every other Friday - happy hour from 4pm with bring a plate. Nights like this could end up being board game nights, sing star competitions, you know, all the fun stuff. I would also throw in theme nights here through the year also.

We would be closed every Sunday and Monday. (Gives me my family time and washing day.)

In school holidays every Wednesday night would revert to pyjama party sleepover with pancakes for breakkie.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hello everyone, we are home from our holidays. We headed to the big smoke (Sydney) with our little caravan for the week. It was hectic, it was wonderful, it was raining, it was sunny, it was fun, it was stinky, it was wonderful to come home.

So tell me on the 10th of the 10th, 2010, what are your 10 things? And did you have a lovely holiday? Just leave a comment to tell me you have done 10 things, so I can get to know you better too.