Friday, July 25, 2014

I'm So Excited!

This weekend is going to be an exciting one!  I have a a lot of work happening for me over the next few days and yet, I'm hoping to get my butt into slow motion to be ready for it.

You see I've been working hard over the week I normally take off before the Creative Markets.  This is the week I normally try to keep for myself to have a bit of 'me' time... however this month didn't work out that way.  Oh well, can't win them all, right?

Today, though I varnished and wrapped up all the stock I needed to take with me to the markets this month - and some for next month - and then sat back and did nothing, zero, bupkiss... yep, I'm not doing anything tomorrow either.  Well, okay, after my Romance Writer's Group, I'm not doing anything.  But then, my writer's group is a relaxing thing for me as it's about my passion of writing.  But tomorrow, I'll be packing the car and getting my butt ready to go... then, sitting down and probably reading a book or sitting on the computer and writing my next chapter of another book, or editing my flash fiction.

I'm hoping to get in and just hang out and do nothing tomorrow... just to relax for myself.  Then, I snag myself an early night and I won't be in a hurry to get to the markets on the way there.  It'll be a good day.  But like my title says:  I'm so excited!  Well, I'm excited about family coming to my market stall on Sunday.  My brother, his girlfriend and my niece, Riley are coming to see to attend the market and see my stall.  It'll be fun!  It's the first time they've ever seen my stall in action.  And I'm working on changing it up again too... adding to it so my new line of goodies have a place to be.  But I'm not saying anything yet on what it will look like, just that my table will have to move back a little and things will look slightly different, and yet the same.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the progress I've made with the work I've done.  So far, I've made 4 picture frames, 6 Mega-Pegs and I'm looking forward to doing more of them next month so I have a good line of them to sell at the August Creative Markets - which will be now known as 'The Handmade & Boutique Markets' ... a mouthful, but a much better and more descriptive way of showing them off.

I'm just thankful today is a nice sunny day.  I've been able to get my laundry out on the line, and it's drying well.  I also got the car washed and I've gotten the clothes clean that I want to wear to the markets on Sunday too.  All I need is a couple of good early nights and I'll be set.

So, how has your week been?  As busy as mine?  Or same old, same old?  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Finished My Grandma's Glory Box

Yes!  I finished it!  And yesterday it came home with me!  I'm so pleased it's turned out the way it did!  And it fits everything in it that I hoped it would - including cushions and some pillowcases that I wanted to store inside there.

And this gave me a chance to get my wardrobes organised too - and so I did those too!

I moved all my sheets down one shelf, my jumpers and Winter stuff from the top shelf to where the sheets used to be and then put the large vintage suitcase from my main wardrobe to the vacant space up top!  It took up the whole space, so nothing else can fit up there - not what I had hoped for - but then that doesn't matter.

I then moved my large, long pillow and boomerang pillow up where the suitcase used to live and they fit perfectly.  
Then, the sheets got a doing out... it was good because I don't use a lot of the sheets in there anymore and it'll be good to get rid of what I don't need.  All the ones I put into the hallway ended up in a large rubbish bag and in the boot of my car to drop off to the RSPCA World at Springwood.

Once I looked around and found that the Glory Box had everything I had hoped fitted in it (the orange quilt, cushions, some little stuffed animals who sit on my bed when I make it and Boomerang Pillowcases), I slotted in the shelf Grandpa had made for the box and put all my gloves inside that and found I had room for other things too - but I'm not sure what yet. 
Then, I looked around and realised that if I wanted to fit in another few pieces of furniture - which I do - the Glory Box will have to go on the end of my bed.  So, I moved it carefully to the end of my bed and found it looks so much better there!  And it's not as big as I had pictured in my head!  

But man!  It's such a pretty piece!  I love it... honestly I do.  I loved fixing it up, and I'm sure my late-Grandma Killips would totally happy to know that one of her grandchildren fixed it up to look like this... to make sure it lived on for another fifty years or so. And you, know?  My niece, Riley will be getting this Glory Box when I'm no longer around... and I'm sure she'll love it as much as I do.  So, what have you got in your family which is an heirloom that has been passed down through the generations and you've finally been able to received?  Do you still have it?  If so, how old is it, and is it still in reasonably good shape to keep on display?  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Oh... and here's a photo of my Glory Box:

Grandma's Glory Box - then and now

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Afternoon Tea With Mum

Once in a while, Mum and I have afternoon tea together at my place.  It's nice to sit down, drink plunger coffee and eat sinful food from the local Springwood Bakery and just natter about everything in our lives.
You see, I don't have any sisters, so my Mum is the closest person in my life to be a sister.  In recent years, she and I have become closer and I don't want to lose that connection - so having afternoon tea, and sometimes dinner together - is the one thing that keeps us connected and talking together.

My house was clean, tidy and organised - not as usual, but better than it has been in a while.  I had pushed the lounge up against the piano to make more space and moved the coffee table into the middle of the room.  This makes the lounge room look bigger and makes it easier for everyone to get around.  I hadn't considered this until I did this one day while cleaning and found it did look better... so I did this today and it looked great.

Mum loved the terrarium and how it looks.  She said it's surviving well, seeing it's been working for over 3 months.  She and I drank some coffee, ate apple turnover with fresh cream and talked and laughed, then I took her upstairs to show her the hall table and my newly organised home office.  
You see, I had borrowed the money from her to buy the hall table and am currently paying her back.  She looked at it and loved it!  She reckons it's money well-spent!  Then, she looked around the rest of the place and said I was getting my shit together... so nice when my efforts to clean up goes noticed by family.  

I still do have a long way to go, but at least it's getting there; and Mum knows I'm doing well.  She said that the Glory Box will make a great difference to how I store things too.  Well, until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Big Clean-Out Update

It's July and I thought to update you guys with how my 'Let's Get Organised - 2014' is going.  Now, I started this enormous task of cleaning out my home about two years ago, and really got stuck into it when my folks went away on holidays last year and let me use Mum's car... and boy, did I have fun!

Now, it's almost a year later, I'm in full swing of getting into the last few months of this year and I'm working hard on the home office. 

This has been fun.

I've required a bit of online help from Peter Walsh, who has been a wonderful back-up for when I really need somebody to tell me what to do and I'm being just downright slack!  Thank you so much Peter!  I appreciate your help, I really do.  
And his 30 Days of Decluttering in January really kick-started my work here - honestly it did!  I jumped into the deep end and didn't stop!

I'm so happy with the progress and have found the home I've been looking for under all the junk I've been holding onto - how strange that is!  And the home I've always wanted is retro-80's.  I love what I've been turning my home into and can't wait until the next stage of my work here.  There's always more work to be done and I want to do it.

Also over the past year, I've jumped into the deep end of another pool... opening a small hobby business and becoming a retailer at the Creative Markets at the local primary school which is held on the last Sunday of each month.  I have been participating in this since November last year and have loved every minute of it... it's so much fun!  And with new ideas popping into my head all the time, I'm never without work to do at my craft table each afternoon and each night.

The garden is looking great as ever, and I'm still looking at it as an on-going project to work on too!  I'm looking at getting more things to bring into the space, new plants to make it look and feel great and I want to have hanging baskets around the place once the rest of the fences are done up... if they get done up.  If not, well, I'll just put in the hanging baskets anyway and make it work until it does happen.

And so, it's the middle of Winter, and it's been the coldest one we've had for a while.  Even though the chilly months are brief here in Queensland, it's something we often don't forget when it does turn into a cold snap.  So, what projects - year-long ones - have you been working on?  Are they hopping along well, or slowing down?  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Social Media Wrecking the Now Generation

I've been on the internet since 1997.  It's been getting faster and more intrusive since that time and I find it's time to say something about it.

However, let me just let you in on something:  I'm a blogger, an artist, a writer, a Facebooker and an amateur photographer and I have a lot of things online and on my computer... so I'm guilty of what I'm about to tell you as well.

But my life wasn't all computers and internet staring - no, not always.

I grew up in a world where I hung around kids in my neighbourhood until the street lights went on - or until my folks called out to for us to come home for dinner.  I grew up in a world where there was so much to do in a weekend, saying the words: 'I'm bored' scored me plenty of household chores to do from my parents.  I spent time with my relatives, my Grandparents and when dinner was served up, the television was turned off and we talked to each other cross the dinner table.  Dad sat at the head of the table and we all took turns telling everyone what we all got up to during out days... there was no way we'd talk with our mouths full, elbows on the table or treated our parents like crap.

That.... just.... didn't... happen! 

If it did, we were punished.  We had pocket money taken off us.  We had time outs in our bedroom without dinner.  We weren't allowed to use the family telephone.  We weren't allowed to watch television or have friends over - let alone go to any of our friends' houses - for a month.  There was no getting out of it, no texting our friends that our parents were shit, they were crap, they arseholes.... no we couldn't do that because we didn't have that kind of technology then. We didn't have anyone to back us up - just ourselves - and believe me when I say that when you got in trouble in the 1980's, you regretted smart-mouthing your folks, your teachers or the police... because you know why?  Your parents weren't soft on you, they didn't take your side, they took the side of the law, the teachers and anyone of authority.  

Yes, unlike what happens today, where parents are soft and take the easy way out - showing through example that this is the best way out to their children - it's not the best way for society.  You see, when this happens, the child gets it into their minds that if they got away with it once, they can do it again and again, and they'll get away it because their folks will get them out of it.  This turns kids into spoiled little grots who we find are going to become spoiled little adults... how creepy is that?

Now there's the technology which we're all a party to becoming lonely, robotic dickheads to... all we seem to do is stare soullessly at a glowing, ominous screen which holds our undivided attention from the time we wake up to the time we turn out the light.  It's creepy as shit when you find this has happened over such a short period of only 25 years... that's about the amount of time since I left high school... yeah, not a long time ago really.

But there is a way out of it.

I've found a way to live a life where I get to have the best of both worlds.  I have up-to-date computerised technology in my house and also the retro goodness I grew up with all in the same place and it all gets along with each other fine!

My home had broadband internet - not Wifi - so when I turn off my computer and internet, it's completely switched off.  So, when I get those twats who call me up just after dinner claiming to be from Microsoft or HP - or some big computer company - telling me that my computer 'just sent us an e-mail' - I can tell them that that's impossible as I don't have the internet right now... and it's the truth while I'm on the landline phone - I don't.  It's switched off completely, so how can my computer do anything if it's disconnected from the net and my modem isn't switched on?  
I have a 3G phone.  It's smart, but not as smart as others around the place.  I'm getting there with my phone technology, and I'm happy with the phones I'm acquiring through family and the phone company I'm with... but this phone is good for now.
There's my iPod Blade - which is a few years old - and I've figured out that it needs a new battery soon.  But it'll get one around Christmas time, however, it's still chugging along well - even though some people are saying it's a piece of crap... it is, but it plays music and that's all I care about.

Okay, there's the technology I have - all the technology I have... I'm retro for the better part of my life.  I have vinyls, cds, traditionally printed-up books in 4 bookcases in my home office, printed photos in photo frames on my hall table, a turntable, cd player, tape deck, VCR (which doesn't do much anymore but play old VCR tapes seeing we have digital stations only now).  I have never owned a microwave in the last 12 years I've lived here - and don't wish to get one either - and yet, I'm happily cooking everything the way it's meant to be cooked, from scratch and enjoying everything for what it is.

So, why is social media wrecking our lives?  Why are we looking down at the inventions of man just to live in the now, and yet missing out on the real life which is happening outside the window?  Why are we becoming slaves to the machine, robots to the cyber-connected world out there?  Why aren't our kids playing the parks and backyards anymore and have developed their own playgrounds within cyberspace, as their health goes down the tubes?  

Why? 

Because we are too damned lazy to say no to the machine.  We don't want to turn it off and look around and put the effort in that it takes to make something, pick up a book and read it, go out into the garden and re-build it into something of beauty.  We are too damned lazy to look after ourselves, our world which is slowly but surely crumbling down around us... so when will we pull ourselves away from this crap? 

I know when.... when it's too fucking late!

Monday, July 14, 2014

At the Movies Double: 'Young Guns I & II'

Lincoln County, 1878, Englishman John Tunstall picks up William Bonny off the streets and pulls him out of trouble just in time from being hung, taking him to his place where he's rescued four other young men to work on his farm.  All of them are from different backgrounds and have their own stories; but William Bonny is different, well-educated but very much a young man with very few boundaries.
Tunstall - however - is very much a thorn in the side of the Murphies, who own a majority of the land, stores and areas surrounding Lincoln.  They don't like the way John Tunstall pulls in these young men and how he puts them to work on his farm without question, as he's also a competitor in selling cattle.
One day after the town celebrates New Years Eve, Tunstall is shot by Murphy's men, along with his horse, and all of Tunstall's boys are out to even the score.  However, nobody will go up against Murphy's men as even the judge works for Murphy.  So, John's boys are deputised to serve warrants for Murphy's men and arrest them... however, William and the others have other things in mind and they shoot them instead; becoming outlaws themselves.
Very soon, all five of them become famous with William scoring the name 'Billie the Kid' - as he was under the age of 21 at the time of his fame - and they run riot around the county seeking revenge on the Murphy's for what they did to the man who helped them stay off the streets and out of jail.  They're chased by everyone of authority; and yet hailed heroes by the people of Lincoln and New Mexico.  

In the second film of 'Young Guns II' most the boys have gone their own ways.  Doc Hollywood took off to New York and became a school teacher with his wife (a young Chinese girl he stole from a Murphy man who was in the first film and had used her as payment for a ruined shirt).  Billie 'The Kid' had been living off the land with the rest of the gang killing and stealing for the next year and becoming a right criminal... however the law was catching up with him - and his boys.
Chavez and Doc were picked up quickly by the police and dragged back to Lincoln, and the law there prepared a gallows to hang them. Billie's been on the run for a long time, and has made a few friends, one of them was Pat Garrett - a man who had become a close friend and Billie's conscience - and another was Arkansas Dave Rudabaugh (who keeps on saying that the gang is his when Billie is clearly the leader of it).  When the gang settles in New Mexico for a spell, Pat turns around to Billie and lets him know that he's retiring from being a thief telling him that he's bought the saloon they're resting up in.  He wants to have a decent life with a wife and settle down - Billie hates him for it, but lets him go.  The lawmakers of the land hear of Pat's plans and employ him as the Sheriff of the area, paying him $1,000 to track down Billie the Kid and his gang saying they'd 'pay a thief to track a thief' and it'd be easy.  But is it really?

I found the second film a lot more memorable than the first... but Christian Slater's character was a moron.  It's a little wonder Billie the Kid didn't do away with him in the beginning because of his smart mouth and how it got them into more trouble than they were already in.
But the way it was filmed was great.  In the beginning of the second film, it shows a very old man walking through the desert with a horse, meeting a lawyer on the side of a deserted highway, sitting down and telling him his story of who he was.... it's well done and said to be true.  However, who's to know if it is, seeing in the end credits, it says the man who said he was actually Billie 'the Kid' went before the courts to be pardoned, however he never could be because they didn't believe him, saying that William Bonny was legally dead and they couldn't prove it was really him... that was in the 1960's.  So who was to know if this was true or not.  I'll let you guys make up your own minds.  

A bit of movie trivia:  Jon Bon Jovi was in 'Young Guns II'... as one of the prison inmates.  He was in the back of the group of them in the pit!   

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Full Weekend!

Sooooo, how was your weekend?  Full like mine?  Or was it just busy around the house - like mine?  Yeah, a bit of both for everyone I think.

Well, on Friday night, we all went out to dinner to celebrate my future sister-in-law's birthday - Katrina - and had a ball!  Yes it was freezing cold!  But we all totally enjoyed our dinner, gave her gifts and loved the music at the Arana Hills Sport Club, just down the road from where they used to live at Keperra.

On Saturday, I had a full day out and about.  First off I was late for my Sci-Fi Writer's Group at the Hyperdome, but only by around 20 minutes... yeah, ran myself late.  Silly me!  It does happen, but not often.  I slept in by accident and that's why I was late.  Anyway, we all got chatting, Debbie Behan commented that Renee and I both definitely dress like writers and we all had a good giggle about it.  Before long, midday had arrived and I couldn't join them for the lunch at the food court because I had to do my volunteer work at the Logan Art Gallery.

Well, once there, I found the place was set up for an afternoon of a demonstration.  Donald James Waters was showing up to demonstrate the way he does paintings.  Seats had been lined up and plastic laid down ready for him to use the space.  It was great. Once he arrived, I made him a nice, strong cup of coffee and had set up his stuff ready to go.  People came in late and he was happy to see everyone... then he started on a blank canvas!  Well!  What a wonderful thing it is to see an artist at work!  I took a collection of photos to see how he went about making a painting, and found it was filled with just imagination, lines and he took it in all kinds of directions and kept on turning the canvas around to see where he could take the painting!  

By 5pm, the whole thing was finished, the money was done and signed for and I was ready to go home.  It was the end of a busy day... and I made pasta to eat for dinner once I arrived home.

Today, I made a stack of thin pancakes and scoffed them all down - I must have been hungry - while reading the paper.  Then, I jumped online and sussed out my flash fiction to see who said what about it; as I had uploaded it last night.  People loved it, as I had hoped, and I suggested they looked at the other one I did last week - as it still hadn't had anyone looking at it.  A few of them have looked at that one, but not many.
Then, I made a move on cleaning up the home office.  It was a pigsty.  I moved all the synthetic bags into the bedroom and pulled all the books down off the saggy bookcase to go through them all.  I am giving away a bag of books I'm not going to read; a lot of them are thrillers by James Paterson, Mills & Boon romances and other types of books I've simply lost interest in.  Then, I just restacked the books and made them sit better on the bookcase.  And to make it better and easier to see my books, I changed the Mt To Be Read by the door into a book stack like the ones around the room.  It looks good too!  There's still a lot of work to be done about the books, but I'm happy with what I've done with them.  They're going to be put into the car tomorrow and taken to my craft group to be given away.
However, I wasn't done.  I had the synthetic bags to work through.  So, seeing I had over 10 bags sitting around, I went through them all and moved any of the stuff that seemed like little, small stuff into one bag.  All my knitted stuff went into one bag, the bag with my life history stuff went into one bag too... now, it's all just 5 bags of stuff lining the front of the bookcase I have to work through and throw out.  This won't take long seeing I'm good at doing this now.  There is still a fair bit to go on this room with charity bags and rubbish, but this is a good start - a big start - but a good one.

Tomorrow, it's craft day.  I have to take the car to Mum and Dad's place to get the oil looked at then I'm off to the Queen Beez Craft Group up the road at midday... I have a lot of work to get done in those few hours.  I hope to get it done.  My Tie Cushion is coming along well, and I'm happy with it.  I still hunt around for good ties - nice ones with funny stuff on them - but I'm working on it bit by bit.  And I'll have it finished in time for Christmas.  Well, until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Busy Week

This week, I've been busily working away on something at my folks' house.  I've been refurbishing my late-Grandmother's Glory Box.  Now, these are boxes you had packed with linen and sheets for when you got married and moved into a house back in the early to mid-20th Century.  But they go back beyond those times too.

But my Grandma's Glory Box was famous in my family.  I remember seeing it at the end of her bed at Tarragindi when I was a child and never knowing what was inside it.  After she passed away, Mum said Grandma kept all her letters and papers inside it... but then, the house was sold and the box went into storage for a long time.

This past Sunday, I asked my folks if we could get it out of storage and I'd work on it to get it looking good so it would be able to fit into my bedroom.
So, now, it's halfway there to being finished.  So far, I've sanded back the black paint it had on it, shellacked it, sanded it back again, used 0000 steel wool and shellac on it for 3 coats... and this all took 3 days.  Then?  Today, I burnished it - or French Polished it.  This meant I used soft sand paper - barely touching it - and then, using a fabric rubber, I rubbed watered down shellac (with metho), rubbed in circles all over the box and lid... I did 4 coats by around 3:30pm!  What a long day.  I'll wait a week before I put in the polish and then we can start looking at putting in the nap, fabric and tacking on the lid.  Mum will help me with that part.

It's all very exciting to have this done.  I'm looking at doing another box - kind of like a suitcase - but I won't need so much help next time.  Once I have it apart, and the veneer off the box, I'll  be able to work on it better.  I'm hoping to have it up and fixed up in time for the August or October Creative Markets.  But then, there's my Great-Grandmother's Singer Sewing Machine... but that's another story.  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

At the Movies: 'What Lies Beneath'

Life between Dr Norman Spenser and his wife Claire is normal.  They are a loving, couple who have just seen their only daughter off to university and Claire has a slight case of 'empty nest' syndrome for a little while... or does she?  They're living in Norman's late-father's house which they inherited and she has turned into a lovely lakeside home with breathtaking views onto the lake, a gorgeous garden with tall, handsome trees towering overhead and great neighbours nearby.
This is until Norman is off at work a lot and Claire is stuck at home alone.  She begins to feel as though she's not alone... with the front door always being ajar, or opening on its own, the stereo turning itself off and on and the computer playing 'Solitaire' when she hasn't even turned it on, Claire has the feeling something just isn't right - especially when the initials on the highest score is MEF... the same initials as her next door neighbour's wife (who has gone missing!).  Claire goes off the deep end pretty soon as she starts spying on the neighbour's husband - and yes, he knows she's doing it - and then creeps out her husband as well.  This is when Norman suggests she goes to see a shrink... which she does just to see if she really is losing her mind.  The shrink listens to her calmly as she tells him that she thinks her house is haunted; and he advises her to 'make contact'.  So, with her friend, Jody, Claire does just that and goes out and buys a talking board from K-Mart.  But nothing happens, so she puts it all down to being an idiot - and feeling like one - and puts everything away.  However, after Jody goes home, the ghost in the house makes more obvious moves to show Claire exactly who she is and why she thinks Claire is in danger, by knocking over a picture frame and revealing an article about a missing girl by the name of Madison Elizabeth Frank - this is where things get really interesting.
Claire starts surfing the net and finds out more than she really wants to about Madison.  Her friend, Jody, had an idea that Norman might have been cheating on her, but didn't know if he was or not.
Everything gets twisted around more when Claire arrives home one day to find Jody had left her a book she had tracked down on Witchcraft and Spells; and Claire tries one out - where she needs a physical part of the Madison, and ends up getting a loch of her hair from her mother by going to visit her to see what Madison actually looked like.  Well, once the spell was cast, and Madison's spirit had a host (which was Claire), things really took on a life of its own.  This pisses off Norman because he knows that Claire is getting close to knowing a secret he doesn't want his wife to know and Madison is out to make things even.  In the end, Norman thinks it's right to take out Claire as well and put an end to this whole thing - but his wife has other ideas in mind; and it includes letting Madison's spirit to spook him out just enough to save her and find her resting place as well.

I love this film.  It's purely made from Hitchcock standards and has me sitting on the edge of my seat each time.  I first saw this movie on the big screen with a now ex-boyfriend; and one of the audience members nearly ruined it for everyone by blurting out what was coming next.  I ended up telling the guy to shut up or get out... he chose the latter.  You just don't wreck a movie like that.  

Busiest Week Ever!

Since last Friday, I've been so busy I haven't had time to scratch - no really... it's been that busy in my life. This is a good thing and a bad thing.  For people with my medical condition, it's good to keep busy, but then, it's also not good as well as we can burn out easily.  And this is what I've done.  I've burnt out; feeling it around 10pm last night... not fun.  So, I caught an early night and slept in this morning.

I did have some plans for today and wrote them down on a notepad and slept better than I have in months... must be because I had them running around in my head for that long.

This morning, I got up at around 8:30am and did 3 loads of laundry, put out the rubbish and recycling and then made a terrarium for the hall table.  It's a desert one; so it doesn't need any light, very cool!  I put shells I had collected from the beach the last time I was at Gabe and Kat's place. 
Then, I moved the brown converting chair downstairs and sorted out that awkward corner next to the stereo system so it will never get messy again.  That chair will house only two boxes of my sewing and knitting gear and that's it.  I can open the cabinets and get in there if needs be... not too bad.  Then!  I moved the big armchair from my bedroom into the office so I have somewhere to sit and read if I want to, instead of my office chair.  It's a comfy chair and I don't want it to go to waste.  I do have some nice cushions from the next room that I'll be using to make it nice and comfortable as well.  It's a nice 1960's type chair too. So, it won't be going to a chair place... very nice, and it suits the room and isn't too big.

Then, I decided that it was time to get in and check my mail online.  So, I jumped on here and did just that.  It's been a good morning of work, sorting out and making sure I start on cleaning out this room.  And I've done just that with the chair.  I'll begin throwing out other things soon... it's July, and I have until Christmas to have this room in the shape I want it in - and that's useful and not a junk room.  And I believe I'll get it there.  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Busiest Time!

I seriously haven't had any time to do much for myself... so the house is a mess!  I can wash up a little, but then, it'll get messed up again while I'm cooking.  Then, I'll make the bed in the afternoon - when I have five minutes to myself - and I mess it up later that night when I sleep in it.  So I've given up on that.  The Livingroom is always getting tidied up in the morning, then messed up in the evening so I can paint or sew... 

Yep, I just don't feel as though I'm settled anymore.  The place is being sorted, but it's slowing down because I'm at a crossroads.  I need to get Mum and Dad to help me this time.  There's a sewing machine that needs to be dumped and another one to be installed in my bedroom; along with a glory box that used to be in my Grandma's house.  this glory box will be something I can use for the duvet and some things in Summer and the quilt in Winter.  It's gotta have some TLC first, something I have the time and patience for fortunately - and Dad knows I'm capable of too.  He's seen me fix up a century-old cutlery box of my Great-Grandmother's and is impressed I can get in and work on something without losing interest.  He forgets that I'm an artist, and working on something is a part of my life - I'm always working on something.

Anyway, this week has been busier than usual.  Since Friday, I've been going out every day; and I'm now ready to crawl under my duvet and tell the world to nick off... seriously to go away and leave me alone for a while.  
On Saturday, I went to my Romance Writer's group and chatted to the ladies there.  There were only three of us, but it was a nice gathering.  Afterwards, we had lunch and I met with a lovely lady who's getting married next year and has seen my Crafty Pegs coathangers and asked if I could do some for her... I hope to have some commissioned works by Christmas to get done in the New Year.  Anyway, that afternoon, I got home, packed the car and had something small for dinner before getting an early night.
Sunday was a freezing cold day all round.  Nobody came to the markets, and we didn't sell anything.  I sold two Beautiful Coathangers and gave away one pencil.  Not very promising... oh well, sometimes that happens.  I'm not fussed, it's not something I can control.  And besides, it was the first weekend of the Winter School Holidays; the parents aren't tired of their kids yet.
On Monday, I had my craft group.  They were talking about what was going on next Monday; which is a day out that I had missed out on.  Bummer!  Oh well, next time.  But I started working on new stuff for the markets next month - brighter pencils and over-sized pegs... woot!  How much fun is that?

Then, on Tuesday, I went out and did some grocery shopping for Mum and Dad.  How exhausting!  I got it all done, washed up and threw out some things in the rubbish and used the Glen-20 around the house to keep it nice-smelling.  And just as I was settling in at my place, they arrived home at theirs; and invited me over!  So, I drove back over there and saw them!  They were so thrilled to see me and to see I did a good shop for them... and today they had yet to fully go through what I bought them at the shops - but were more than happy to know that there was everything they expected; and more!

Today, I went out and did my own grocery shopping for the next two weeks.  Yep, I do my shopping on a bulk basis... it's cheaper and easier for me.  If I spend less time at the store, I spend less money there too... and know what I have at home.  Therefore, there's less food wastage... pretty smart housekeeping when you think of it.  I've just about found my food limit and price limit too - at around $200 per fortnight - and found that it's good to have a bit more money than you need really for the day in case you see something you like or had forgotten to write down.  
Anyway, I found some honey Mum and Dad had told me about at Coles and bought it for them.  Mum was thrilled that I thought of them; and thought it might have set me back - but it was only $4.00 or so! - how's that for a bargain! 

Well, now, I'm home, sitting here typing away on the computer.  Dad's thrilled I gave him the old HP Pavilion that he can rebuilt himself - along with some bits that Ricki gave me - and he even happier that I have a new computer from friends who are new and right next door... he reckons they're worthwhile keeping in touch with too.  I think so too - and not just because Ricki knows about computers, both Ricki and Vanessa are lovely people and have been good to me since they moved in early this year.  
Dad's really happy the car's going well.  He told me that the car might be running a little rich, but I'm not sure about that.  It's going through a lot less fuel than the Pajero ever did!  It's costing me less to fill it - and I mean under $40 per half a tank - and so I think he's thinking of a bigger car, and not mine.  Well, I guess we'll figure it out.  He's worried about how much oil I put into it because it might be burning it instead of using.  I hope not, I didn't put in that much.  Well, I guess we'll see how it goes when I see them next.  Until my next post, take care, stay safe and warm in this chilly weather and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

At the Movies: 'Constantine'

John Constantine is a demon hunter.  He was born with the gift of The Sight - which he considers a curse - and he can see what most cannot.  When he was a teenager, he killed himself and was clinically dead for 2 minutes.  He went to Hell and came back, finding this made his 'gift' worse.  

So, he's trying to buy his way into Heaven - seeing he's now fighting another battle... Lung Cancer.  He's a chain smoker and has terminal cancer, which is becoming worse as the days and weeks progress.  At the same time, his sources advise him of the Blade of Destiny; and that it's been found.  The Blade of Destiny is the spearhead which pierced the side of Christ at his crucifixion.  It was lost for a long time, the spear it was attached to also lost, but the spearhead itself was still intact and a nail of the True Cross has been imbedded into the piece itself and wired in; thus making it a very Holy and powerful piece to possess.  Possessing the Blade of Destiny makes the owner indestructible - and in the wrong hands it can turn the powers of Heaven, Hell and Earth around and make the delicate balance we know and trust into Anarchy.  This would allow demons through from Hell and Angels from Heaven to fight their own battles on Earth; and this is some thing John doesn't want happening.

Then he meets Angela, whose sister has died at the local hospital.  The doctors and police are saying it was a suicide - but she believes it was something else; and she seems to be running into John everywhere... from the hospital to her local church, she wonders if he's following her.  But then, she realises he is the person she needs to track down - and being a cop herself makes that a whole lot easier.  However, once she does, she finds he's a complete arsehole to her and throws her out; not wanting to know her problems... that's until he sees what's following her around - demons.

In between the demons and angels, Satan and the underground clubs where werewolves, vampires and other underworld creatures socialise - and John Constantine and his partner in crime, Chad, introduce us to, we are taken on a huge, incredible rollercoaster ride through Constantine's world, to Hell and back as he fights demons, deals with his own nightmares and dreadful health issues and self-loathing, only to come out the other side with a great feeling of wanting more.


I had never heard of Constantine until my brother introduced the movie to me in 2005 - when 'Supernatural' started its first season and I told him about it.  When I borrowed it from Blockbuster video, I watched it three times, returned it and then bought the Platinum Double Disk Edition... and what an edition!  It has everything on it; from interviews with the directors and producers to deleted scenes to alternate endings!  What a brilliant movie!  I absolutely recommend this film to anyone who loves the supernatural kind of film; and this was the film Keanu Reeves did after he finished 'The Matrix'... so he was still lean and mean after that film to do this one!