Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year

When a greeting is sent
Across so many miles
You can't hear the wishes
You can't see the smiles
But you can sense the feelings
That brought it so far
To wish you life's finest
Wherever you are!

Wishing you a wonderful 2008 and may your life
be filled with celebrations of happiness.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Merry Christmas - it's Boxing Day downunder

How Cool Is This? The photo isn't the best, but at least it gives you an idea of a dear friend's wonderful cottage and the great effort that she puts into decorating every year! There are always loads of people stopping by to have a look.....

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, it is Christmas Day whilst downunder it is Boxing Day.

The following is sourced from Wikipedia...

Boxing Day is a traditional celebration, dating back to the Middle Ages, and consisted of the practice of giving out gifts to employees, the poor, or to people in a lower social class. The name has numerous folk etymologies[3]; the Oxford English Dictionary attributes it to the Christmas box; the verb box meaning: "To give a Christmas-box (colloq.); whence boxing-day." Outside the Commonwealth, the day is still celebrated but just with a different name.

Folk etymologies

The more common stories include:

It was the day when people would give a present or Christmas box to those who had worked for them throughout the year.

In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which made it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. After all the Christmas parties on 26 December, the lord of the estate would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land. Each family would get a box full of such goods the day after Christmas. Under this explanation, there was nothing voluntary about this transaction; the lord of the manor was obliged to supply these goods. Because of the boxes being given out, the day was called Boxing Day.

In England many years ago, it was common practice for the servants to carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day's work on the day after Christmas. Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts. This can be compared with the modern day concept of Christmas bonuses. The servants carried boxes for the coins, hence the name Boxing Day.

In churches, it was traditional to open the church's donation box on Christmas Day, and the money in the donation box was to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that lockbox in which the donations were left.

Boxing Day was the day when the wren, the king of birds,[4] was captured and put in a box and introduced to each household in the village when he would be asked for a successful year and a good harvest. See Frazer's Golden Bough.

Evidence can also be found in Wassail songs such as:

Where are you going ? said Milder to Malder,
Oh where are you going ? said Fessel to Foe,
I'm going to hunt the cutty wren said Milder to Malder,
I'm going to hunt the cutty wren said John the Rednose.
And what will you do wi' it ? said Milder to Malder,
And what will you do wi' it ? said Fessel to Foe,
I'll put it in a box said Milder to Malder,
I'll put it in a box said John the Rednose.

Because the staff had to work on such an important day as Christmas by serving the master of the house and their family, they were given the following day off. As servants were kept away from their own families to work on a traditional religious holiday and were not able to celebrate Christmas Dinner, the customary benefit was to "box" up the leftover food from Christmas Day and send it away with the servants and their families. (Similarly, as the servants had the 26th off, the owners of the manor may have had to serve themselves pre-prepared, boxed food for that one day.) Hence the "boxing" of food became "Boxing Day".

It is summer here at the moment, so our Christmas lunch and dinner is suited for the warmer temperatures! Lots of seafood - oysters, fish, prawns and wonderful salads! Topped off with some awesome desserts! Here are a couple of shots of just some of what was on offer!

Happy Holidays everyone! Let's hope that 2008 is a great one!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Not having much luck with getting photos of the boys this Christmas.... have a few more but cannot get to the camera!

I think that there are way too many distractions! I keep finding tinsel, baubles and bits of wrapping paper and presents out in the yard!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Spare a thought for our Troops overseas

Received this in an email. The following is from the daughter of an Australian Soldier.

"Last week I was in Melbourne attending a conference.

While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer.

I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their uniforms, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Australian who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work, and enjoy our home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers.

He knelt down and said 'hi,' the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.

The young soldier didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy.

Suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for 5 months now.

As the mum was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.

When this temporarily single mum was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second.

Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie.

They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.'

He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a Kiss on the cheek.

He finished by saying 'Your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'

The mum at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mum.

I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause.

As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own.

That young soldier in one last act of moment turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices.

At the end of the day, it's good to be an Australian.


Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday.

The reason?

Australian's who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'.

We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for Country and home in record breaking numbers.

We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing.

We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions.

Many Australian's, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of Australia supports our troops.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every Australian who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make Australia on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football team

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family, It will not be long before Australia is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is...'We need your support and your prayers'.

Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.





Lest we Forget."

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Whales Revenge

Whales Revenge is an ambitious campaign to gather 1 million signatures for a petition to stop whaling.

Every year thousands of precious mammals are slaughtered in the name of so-called 'scientific research'.

Add your voice by signing this campaign then forwarding it everyone you know. Please help us stop the killing.

Petition Target: International Whaling Commission
Current Signatures: 725878
Signature Goal: 1,000,000

Monday, 10 December 2007

Christmas Decorations

Well, I had hoped to put up the tree today... but that wasn't to be. I did do some basic decorating and as I was about to go to bed caught a view of the Candleholder with it's shadow and thought I'd try and get a pic. While I was at it, took a couple more too!

With some luck will get the tree up during the week!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

A Puppy's Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my puppy gave to me The Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Four broken window candles Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Five chewed-up stockings Four broken window candles Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Six yards of soggy ribbon Five chewed-up stockings Four broken window candles Three punctured ornamenBR>Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Seven scraps of wrapping paper Six yards of soggy ribbon Five chewed-up stockings Four broken window candles Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Eight tiny reindeer fragments Seven scraps of wrapping paper Six yards of soggy ribbon Five chewed-up stockings Four broken window candles Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me My wreath in nine pieces Eight tiny reindeer fragments Seven scraps of wrapping paper Six yards of soggy ribbon Five chewed-up stockings Four broken window candles Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And theSnatopper from the Christmas tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Ten Christmas cards I shoulda mailed My wreath in nine pieces Eight tiny reindeer fragments Seven scraps of wrapping paper Six yards of soggy ribbon Five chewed-up stockings Four broken window candles Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my puppy gave to me Eleven unwrapped presents Ten Christmas cards I shoulda mailed My wreath in nine pieces Eight tiny reindeer fragments Seven scraps of wrapping paper Six yards of soggy ribbon Five chewed-up stockings Four broken window candles Three punctured ornaments Two leaking bubble lights And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me A dozen puppy kisses And I forgot about the other eleven days.

Author Unkown.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Michael deMeng Workshop - Sydney - February

Well, not long now.

We are so lucky to be able to have a weekend retreat in Sydney with Michael doing "Stories from the Discarded: Assemblooks" from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th February.

There are still a couple of places available, so if you are interested, please email me on to secure your spot and to obtain a copy of the flyer on the workshop!

Friday, 7 December 2007

Seven Days with Seven Dogs (Trailer for Dog-umentary)

This is a fabulous video. There are truly some amazing people out there. These guys are amazing!

Ok, now pass the Kleenex please!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

GPP Crusade #15 - Where in the World?

For this crusade Michelle has asked us to make an entry on our blogs and to tell everyone where we presently live and those places that we may have grown up in.

I am so very grateful for the internet, I have made some wonderful life long friends and have been so lucky to have been fortunate enough to meet so many of you in person!

As my Dad worked for the Electricity Commission, we moved quite a lot... so I will start from the beginning...

Born in Sydney and moved into an apartment in Dolphin Street Coogee (hmmm marine mammals from the beginning! lol)

Lived in various cities in Sydney then moved to Cooma in the Snowy Mountains.

Next we went on to Muswellbrook, then Lithgow (all in New South Wales).

At 17 I moved back to Sydney and then met my ex. Lived in various places around Sydney, Carlton, Kogarah, Maroubra, Randwick, Kensington and then spent 16 years in a house 3km from the heart of the city of Sydney. Married at 23, no children (not by choice) but many wonderful 4 legged companions over the years.

My Dad went on to work for the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation and moved to Thailand, Malaysia and then China. I spent many a holiday with them in Thailand, and absolutely loved visiting!

Was involved for many years in Whale Rescue and Research and have attended many live strandings, the most memorable being a Humpback whale who came ashore on Peregian Beach Queensland in the early 90's. He was very lucky as he was returned to the sea! Have spent many a day and night on beaches with stranded whales and dolphins and also babysitting seals that have hauled out too!

My Dad passed away in 1992 aged 55, and at that point I decided that life was way too short andthat I wanted to see the world!

Went to Scotland and took part in a Cetacean Survey which departed from Mallaig. The US was never a place that I really wanted to visit, but shortly before my trip to the UK, I found out I didn't have a ticket and the only way to get to Scotland was via the US. So, I stopped in Boston for a few days (whale watching of course) and on the way back went to Seattle, then Friday Harbor! I was hooked!

Next trip was to British Columbia to see the Orcas.... (1993) and as I started dabbling in rubber stamps in '92 my next trip took in a number of conventions. Not too sure how many trips I have had to the US, but I have been privileged to meet up with so many of my online friends and now have to fit in seeing everyone when I do arrive!

Moved to the south coast of New South Wales (2 hour drive from Sydney) in early 2006 as I have friends here who are more like family and it was the best decision I have ever made. Divorce came through in late 2006 and earlier this year I bought my own house on just under 1/4 acre. Although I am only 5 mins to town, there is bush out the back and being on such a large block it is as if I am out in the middle of nowhere! I live in my wonderful little house with my two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Baillie and Harley!

I can get to Seven Mile Beach in less than 15 mins and it takes 30 mins to get to Huskison on Jervis Bay. Here's a link to the south coast if you would like an even better look at the area in which I now live.

The above photos are taken from the front of the house.

This one is taken from the back verandah!

For animal lovers!

This is great.... I love it! Two of my favourite animals - Wolves and Squirrels..... and yes, I know the words to this song! lol

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Summer Storms

Whilst those of you in the Northern Hemisphere get ready for winter, here downunder Summer started on December 1, and needless to say, so have the thunderstorms.

My dear friend Phyllis (with whom I share a birthday) was in Sydney yesterday and managed to snap off these shots on her new Nokia phone! You may be able to see the green in the sky.... different parts of the state had a hail storm, here in my suburb I was told they were the size of golf balls!

Luckily, the weather was fine on Sunday so I was able to mow the lawn, with all this rain it is growing like crazy and it is so great to see grass that is green!

This one looks like the Harbour Bridge is on fire don't you think?

Photograph Copyright Phyllis Harrison

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Unconditional Love

A friend suggested I paint one of my boys, thanks Cathy! Turned out better than what I had anticipated! Have done a bit more work on this one..... and already have ideas about another! This canvas is approx 9 x 12" (22.5 x 30cm) and is 1 3/8" (3.5cm) deep.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Blue Bird of Happiness

I was out shopping today and picked up a couple of tiny canvases, as well as a small kit of acrylics and tried my hand at another painting....

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Pay it Forward

Belinda, Jo and a number of other talented ladies have posted this on their site recently. Now i't is my turn!

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF (Pay it forward) exchange.

I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise!

The only thing you have to do in return is to pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So basically, if you’re one of the first 3 comments, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ll make!

Once you sign up, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work.

Pay it Forward!

Fairy Princess... inspired by Suzi Blu

Well, after watching many of Suzi Blu's vlogs, I decided to get out some paints and do a canvas as a present for a friend's little one.

Didn't turn out how I'd hoped, but at least it is something. I much prefer my sketches... just cannot seem to get the acrylic painting .... might just have to try watercolours! But as I said... it is something... I just had to make do with the small number of acrylics that I could lay my hands on.... one day soon my studio will be up and running... (I hope!) lol

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Saturday Posting

Here's a picture taken during the week on the way home from work. Although it was a stormy afternoon, just wanted to share the views I have to endure! lol

Although we are in a drought, where I live on the South Coast we still do manage to get our fair share of coastal showers!

Well, today is Federal Election Day. Here in Australia it is mandatory that everyone over the age of 18 vote. Failure to vote = a fine!

After taking the boys out to visit the vet (they actually love visiting Steve... and you have a hard time getting them out of the surgery!) I stopped in at the local school and had to line up for 20 mins!

Anyway, a friend and I are having a garage sale tomorrow so I am trying to sort through boxes (which haven't been unpacked for 18months since I left Sydney). I really do need to declutter..

Saturday, 17 November 2007

GPP Network Street Team Crusade #14

Imaginary Friends - Who or What is your muse?

On Michelle's GPP Streat Team we are asked if we have a Muse, if there is someone who inspires us and our art, or what is a Muse? The definition says it's a guiding genius who motivates you. We are also asked if we have imaginary friends who visit us in our studio space?

Whilst I don't have any imaginary friends, there are a number of things that do motivate me. I too love my music, and have it playing constantly. Nature in all its forms, I have a particular passion for Cetaceans and Wolves. There really aren't any words to describe the feeling of looking into the eyes of a wild whale or a dolphin...

Also I have made a couple of visits to Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in Southern California over the years and had the privilege to meet Durango, a Canadian Tundra Wolf.

He is a healing and spiritual wolf and believe it or not, the image of an angel did appear on his forehead when he was sitting with me. These guys are amazing.... so much bigger in the flesh but also so gentle .... it is an amazing feeling being with them.

I think a lot of you will agree with my saying that Michelle would have to be a Muse for a lot of us. She is such a talented, sharing, caring and amazing person.... Michelle, you rock!

The last couple of years have been an adjustment, and I really haven't been able to get back into my creative space.... once I finish unpacking and decluttering I hope that will change.

In the meantime, I have at least been doing some work with glass, some of which you will find further down on this page.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Dichroic Glass Pendants

I have managed to find some time in the last couple of weeks to make some more dichroic pendants and have placed them on in my store at Etsy.

I've also located some wonderful mini bottles that I have bought in the past and have placed them in the store as well. They are really cute and I have placed cork stoppers in them already.

Perfect for assemblage or jewellery making. You can turn these into a great pendant by either wire wrapping the neck or inserting a hook into the cork. I have also enclosed some in clay. You can even store beads or other little goodies in these.

They measure 35mm tall and 16mm wide (approx).

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Look what I found in the supermarket this afternoon! These pumpkins were reduced to 10c and came in a "Carve a Pumpkin" bag. When I arrived home yesterday there was a note in the letterbox enclosing an orange ribbon and asking people to display it if they didn't want children coming in for "trick or treat".

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Feathered Friends

Look who came for a visit this afternoon! Isn't he gorgeous! This male King Parrot and his partner are frequent visitors and this evening I was actually able to get quite close and get a few photos!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Dichroic Glass Pendants

I have actually managed to do something art wise at long last.... I have managed to locate all my glass and have been playing around creating some cabachons to turn into pendants, and I also made a bird nest copper pendant with freshwater pearls for a friend who breeds poultry - but I liked it so much I kept it and will have to make her another! lol

Daylight Savings

Hope everyone remembered to put their clocks forward this morning!

Here are a few pics of some of my regular visitors, a couple of Rainbow Lorikeets. The weather wasn't too kind, hence the poor quality of the pictures.

This is one of the wonderful birdnest ferns that is growing in my back yard. They are amazing plants - I'm lucky that I have such a fabulous established garden... I just now need to learn how to care for all the plants!

I took the following picture from the back door a couple of evenings ago.... pity about the reflections.... I must get out of bed early and try and go to the beach to get a sunrise over the ocean....

I have been working with glass and will upload some of my latest pieces once the camera battery has recharged!

I just had a pair of King Parrots in the bird feeder out front. They are beautiful birds.... however, I wasn't quick enough to get a picture. So here is a photo I took of Baillie instead!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


When driving home from work yesterday evening, I was lucky enough to have my camera and took the the above pic of the sunset. It really is pretty down here.....


This little guy is such a character..... although when he sees a camera he just wants to get a "close up".

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Another Crush

Michelle reminded me of another crush that I had forgotten about as I cannot get them here. I discovered these when I was visiting the US.... boy are they good! Aren't they Michelle "wink"!

Must be something about the saltiness of the pretzels and the sweetness of the chocolate... but then again, chocolate is chocolate, right? And yes, have to admit that I am quite fond of the chocolate flavoured potato crisps too! lol

The above pretzels are made by Utz Snacks

Saturday, 8 September 2007

GPP Network Street Team Crusade #12

Michelle's GPP Network Street Team's latest Crusade is
"Crush on You"
Michelle asked us to confess what it is that we are infatuated with.
My latest obsession is handbags. I fell in love with a friend's Kathy Van Zeeland bag and thanks to Ebay have managed to secure some great ones!

Then there is my obsession with boots!
A girl just cannot have too many handbags, boots or shoes!

I also am rather fond of marine mammals too! Here are some pics of one of the I15 subpod taken when I was in British Columbia.

And how is this for a fluke of a photo! Didn't even realise I had taken this one!

I have always had a "thing" for swirls......
even at school I was always drawing swirls, so when I saw Michelle's ums below,
I just had to have them!

And last, but by no means least, I just adore the two little men in my life!

Baillie (Blenheim) and Harley (Tri colour)
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
These two keep me on my toes..... they are into everything!