Monday 29 August 2011

ripple blanket & a self portrait

after a rainy week, off and on, we've been graced with some beautifully warm days. winter is nearly over and we will welcome spring on september 1st.

that said, i will miss winter because i hate the unbearable heat and humidity that comes with our summer months.  no air-con makes it so much worse and i feel like i'm melting away.

i've nearly finished the ripple blanket throw i started last month

i'll be all set for next winter

all wrapped up in crochet goodness,
though i think i look a little bit witch-like with my unkempt hair.
week 34 - 52 weeks of me project

have a great week!

ADDITION - if any of you are interested in trying this cool ripple design, click here for an easy to follow tutorial by lucy at Attic 24.

~ love, light and peace ~

Wednesday 24 August 2011

teddy bear love and a self portrait

i'm not a teddy bear person nor have i ever been big on soft toys, for that matter. as a child, i loved dolls and polished stones!  however, about eight years ago, i spotted these soft, raggedy type teddy bears and i just HAD to have one to call my own.  she was small and i named her 'emily'.  i later bought the larger version and named her 'madison'.  'paige' who belonged to michelle and was the same size as emily ended up living with me years later.

a few times over the years i have come close to sending them off to st. vinnies to be recycled on to a new owner but, when push came to shove, i just couldn't do it. there is just something about these soft, cuddly bears that touch my heart-strings so i think it's safe to say they'll continue to have a home here for a few years yet. lol  

the rainy weather this week has been perfect for staying indoors and catching up on some reading, watching DVDs with brad, and getting a little more sketching done (see above). while watching the 'smallville' series on DVD with brad, my hands are always working the crochet hook magic too.  my ripple blanket throw has come a long way so i'll take a pic soon.

my son, beau, bought me a huge, fleecy blanket the other day.  it's deep purple and SO soft and warm.  here it is with yours truly snuggled up in it.  as you can see, cody loves it too!  i've missed a few weeks of self portraits but i'm plodding ahead with them regardless.  it will be interesting to see just how many i actually manage to get done out of the 52 weeks.

throughout winter, the lawn has been graced with patches of clover.  viewed as a weed but pretty nonetheless and the bees surely love it when spring makes an appearance.  hard to believe winter is nearly over.

today, michelle, mikayla and i are going on our weekly shopping trip.  we leave early enough to have brekkie out and then, we browse a variety of stores before we hit the supermarket.  i look forward to our shopping trips....our girl's day out.  LOVE IT!   btw, mikayla is over eight months old now and is crawling and pulling herself up to standing against furniture and taking those tentative baby steps while holding on.  too CUTE!!!

i love this little munchkin SO much!!!
photo by michelle ©

have a great day!

~ love, light and peace ~

Saturday 20 August 2011

a bed of nails and a fun creative drawing exercise

it looks like the weather is settling in for a week of rain or so the weather reports say.  it has been a mostly cold, grey day with the sun trying to peek out here and there.

it seems like a day of movies for me as, mid morning, reece put on 'braveheart' and i couldn't resist being drawn into three hours of drama, violence and heart-wrenching emotion that had me sobbing away at several stages throughout.

earlier in the morning i had finished the third harry potter book - prisoner of azkaban - so we watched the corresponding movie after lunch and, yes, i cried in that one too.

after dinner tonight, we plan to watch 'city slickers 2' as we watched the first city slickers movie last night.  hilarious stuff!

i've been dealing with painful hands and feet for some time now so i bought myself a pair of MASEUR sandals which i thought might help.  in my 30's, i lived in maseur sandals and wore out quite a few pairs. it would only ever take a day for me to wear in a new pair.
pencil-free sketch using ink pens and watercolour
in large moleskine sketchbook 

i'm now learning that my feet aren't quite the same as they used to be because, it's been over a week, and i'm still trying to wear them in.  sometimes, they feel okay and i think my feet are finally used to those spikes while, other times, it truly does feel like i'm walking on a bed of nails.  they aren't cheap so i will persevere a little longer before giving up on them.



okay, so here's a fun and very simple drawing exercise that anyone could do.

get a piece of blank paper and pencil at the ready,
close your eyes....and, yes, keep them closed while you relax
and allow the pencil the freedom to go wherever it likes on the paper.

now, open your eyes, and gaze at the page.
just relax and try not to put too much thought into it.
do you see something among all the scribbles catching your eye?

take a darker pencil or pen and redefine it. add some new lines if needed,
then erase the scribble lines you don't want and....

VOILA!  you have created a fun drawing without even trying.

i did this one some time ago and left some of my scribble lines in place

and this one was after i'd done some redefining and erased the excess scribbles

both drawings were done in an A4 sketchbook

why not give it a go yourself?

~ love, light and peace ~

Thursday 18 August 2011

books i've read recently

i've had my nose into the first two harry potter books over the past couple of weeks and then we watched the movie for each.  i'm now onto the third book in the series - harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban.

speaking of books, here are some others i've read over the past couple of months
the poisonwood bible is the story of a bapist missionary who takes his family to the belgian congo in 1959, post-colonial africa. it is told through the eyes of his wife and four daughters and spans three decades.
i go against the general consensus here but i have to say the poisonwood bible has to be the most boring book i've ever read. try as i might, i just could not connect with the characters and i had to force myself to finish it.  definitely not my cup of tea.

the thirteenth tale is a story of the strange and secretive march family who lived in angelfield house.  the mystery surrounding the family starts to unravel when famous writer, vida winters, asks young biographer, margaret lea, to write her memoir. 
the thirteenth tale was a little slow but mysterious enough to keep me intrigued.
however, not one i would rave about.


the book thief is set in nazi germany and encompasses the life of a young girl, leisel meminger, who is left with a foster family when her mother can no longer care for her. the story is narrated through the eyes of DEATH who takes an interest in young leisel when he comes to claim her younger brother.  leisel forms a very strong bond with her foster father who is a very kind and caring man.  the reader sees what life is like for this young german girl who forms strong emotional attachments to the books she steals and to the people in her life. 
i did enjoy this book although it was a little slow and confusing in areas. it was sad but it also showed humanity, love and compassion. despite the horrors and the ending, i would read it again.


contest, reilly's first book, is about a father and daughter who find themselves locked in the new york state library where the father must fight aliens, from different planets, to the death.  there are some hair-raising moments and non-stop action.  i LOVED it!

i liked 'ice station' and 'temple' though not as much as the first book.  reilly's books are more targeted towards teenage boys so they are full of over-the-top action and combat.  you certainly learn a lot about military weaponry too.   the books do have good plots with lots of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.  definitely not for everyone but i do intend to read more of his books when i'm in the mood for this type of action.


as for what else i've been doing with my time......

lots of crochet and i even managed to do some sketching 

so stay tuned....

~ love, light and peace ~

Saturday 13 August 2011

feathers and a decoy

hello friends,
i can't believe it's been over two weeks since my last post!!!

i need to get my act together!

the other morning while walking aaron to school, we saw a large amount of feathers littered in one spot and it was pretty obvious that a poor magpie had fallen prey to a cat overnight. 

i always feel sad when i see things like this.  i know there are feral cats out there but domestic cats are often responsible for this type of thing too when their owners allow their cats to roam free at night.  they can do so much harm to the native wildlife.

i picked three of the feathers to take home and sketch,
 my way of honouring the magpie's life
pencil-free sketch using ink pen and watercolour in A5 sketchbook


the results are in. after seeing my rheumatologist on the 25th, he confirmed that i have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis AND carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. i wasn't surprised because mum suffers with both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and RA can be hereditary. RA is an auto-immune disease where the immune system gets confused and starts attacking its own joints, body tissue and, sometimes, organs. the rheumatologist said that, nowadays, they treat it more aggressively with drugs used to fight cancer as they've found it gives better results for up to 70% of patients. the drugs are given in lower doses than what is given to cancer patients but scary nonetheless.

i've been dealing with a lot of pain lately, particularly in my right hand and elbow, and it can bring me to tears and keep me awake at night.  the daily feldene doesn't seem to be helping much at this stage. i hope the methotrexate helps but i'm told it may not show any improvement for 5 to 9 months.
wish me luck.


our neighbours own a couple of staffordshire bull terriers and every time we go around that side of the house, they go all vicious and try to break through the fence to attack us.

actually, they did break through the fence going back a few months and i was SO grateful that we were all indoors at the time. i quickly mended the fence when it went back into it's own yard.  just the other week, one of the staffys bit beau after it escaped into the street when it's owner arrived home.  beau was mowing our lawn and it obviously didn't like it.  thankfully, beau was wearing long pants but he did end up with a huge lump and graze on the back of his leg.  i was so upset and wanted to tell them immediately but beau didn't want to cause any neighbourly upset. i just pray that it doesn't happen to a child.

last week, aaron went to hang out some washing on the line and the neighbour's dogs started their usual vicious barking and trying to break though the fence at him.  so, aaron came up with an ingenious plan...
i belly laughed when i went around the side of the house to see THIS!

aaron had created a decoy!

and it worked quite well too because their dogs were going crazy vicious trying to attack the decoy while aaron was able to hang the clothes in relative peace.
i marvel at the way aaron thinks sometimes. LOL

anywhoo, i hope you all enjoy a beautiful weekend!

~ love, light and peace ~