About zefiart

Blogger, DIY-er, poodle lover, graphic designer, dog groomer, recycler, artist, wonder woman in my spare time.

i found the floor!

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At least that’s what I tell Wayne.

But the truth of the matter is that even I can’t live with this:

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Yes. Disgraceful. I know. That is my office.

To be fair, that was about halfway through cleaning up, the goal being to find the floor. As everyone knows,  you have to make a bigger mess to clean up a mess.

I have so many hobbies and have so many THINGS that I plan to do creative things with, that the office is chock-a-block full of stuff. Its hard to keep it all contained, let alone organised.

Especially when in the middle of a project or five.

Part of the problem is that I don’t work on one thing from start to finish, then put all the bits away before starting something new. I’ve never got the hang of focusing…

That means I have 3 commission barbies on the go right now, necessitating hair, rooting tools, fabric for clothing, shoes, etc to accumulate on the desk. I also have some wire projects in various stages of un-finished-ness. Add wire cutters and pliers and wire to the mix… Then, just for the fun of it, I have a couple of small sewing projects – nothing too boring. Top it off with fabric, scissors, beads, buttons… oh and paper to draw up patterns.

You’ll notice the photos somehow avoid showing you the table…

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I ended up moving a few bits of furniture to make the office a bit more user friendly. This side of the room is dedicated to dolls. The cupboard holds glues and sprays, felting wools, as well as some boxed items for future projects. The boxes on top hold dolls and accessories. The little wooden cabinet holds old diaries, notebooks and folders and the drawers hold doll accessories. The shelf on top holds all the dolls that are finished or in progress.

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The opposite wall now holds all my fabrics and sewing machines. The fabric does need to be sorted and folded better, but for now the top shelf holds doll costume fabrics and the bottom shelves hold my crazy critter type cotton fabrics.

Much better.

I wonder how long it’ll take till I fill it up with crap again?

z

step ladder

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When I first saw this little step ladder it was looking pitiful. The top was broken in half and the red paint was mostly rubbed off.

I got it at an farm sale a couple of years ago. I put it in the shed with all the other projects I would get to one day.

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You know one day, don’t you? Its that day that may or may not come around sometime this year, or three years from now. In this lifetime. If you’re lucky.

Well, one day came for this little step ladder… though, to be totally honest, it had a few false starts. First I moved it from the shed to the laundry area. Left it there for a while. Then I moved it to the storage room. And left it there a while longer. Then I got tired of moving it so I got out the glue and clamped it tight and left it a little longer to dry.

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But I couldn’t rely on glue alone to hold together the top. There’s too much strain on it. Not that I recommend anyone use it to actually step on! GOSH. No way. Its a cute step ladder, but its step laddering days are over. Its more a plant stand or side table these days.

Anyway, my solution to the broken and glued back together again top was to bind it with some metal strapping.

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I don’t know what this strapping came from, but we’ve got quite a bit of it rusting away in our top paddock. I’ve collected some to stop it from rusting any more and Wayne has used it for a few of his projects.

I think it really suits the little step ladder.

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I also repainted the top. I forgot to mention that. Nothing else needed painting or fixing, just the top.

It turned out great. And now it has a new home. I sold it at the market on the weekend. I couldn’t find a spot for it here. I already have enough side tables and ladders, mores the pity… sigh…

z

it’s been a while

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Yes, I know. I’m a bad blogger. I go missing without any warning at times. Regularly. Like the last few weeks. I’m sorry. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

Lots has been going on since I last posted. Here it is in no particular order:

We’ve got a mouse plague. The little buggers brazenly run across the living room floor while the dogs lie sleeping on the couch and I’m watching TV. I water the garden, a mouse runs out. I move a pot, a mouse runs out. I pick up a boot, a mouse runs out.

I like mice. They’re darn cute little critters. But I do not want them in my house! Or in my garden for that matter. They bring snakes!

Something has died under or inside the stove. I cleaned the stove. I moved it out, I checked under and behind it. Nothing. But the stench persists. I sure hope its a mouse. How long would a mouse stink for? Not as long as a rat!

I feel sick.

I had a stall at our local market again and spent more than I made. Eh. That’s ok. I have gifts for my family in Greece for when I visit.

I’ve paid for my ticket to Greece so now there’s no backing out. I’m so excited. This time round I’m stopping in Singapore for one night and having breakfast with the orangutangs on the way back!

I was having headaches and saw the dentist. I’ve cracked a tooth (thank you olive pit on a pizza slice!) and need a root canal done. You don’t even want to know what the bill for that will be! Let’s just say, if I hadn’t already paid for my trip to Greece I would be getting the tooth done instead. Not quite the same amount of fun as time on Paros. Now I’m just gonna have to scramble to pay for both.

Turns out my high school is having one of their famous island reunions on Syros this summer, and I’ll be in Greece at the time! On Paros, which is only a hop, skip and short ferry ride away! I went to the Naxos reunion 3 years ago and had the best time. I can’t wait. Plus I’ve always wanted to visit Syros. Here is my chance.

I caught up with Season 8 of The Walking Dead. OMG.

I’ve been watching Married at First Sight and annoying the hell out of Wayne.

I got 4 commissions for my repainted dolls: Helen of Troy, Katy Perry, Abby from NCIS and Amy Winehouse. I sold the first Amy and Abby I made.

Other than that, life’s been pretty normal. Working lots grooming, never totally finishing anything until the last possible minute if I have a deadline… otherwise things just kind of linger…. Like the bathroom. The corners are still not gap-filled. The cabinet is finished but not totally finished… And now I’ve decided I dislike the colour so I’ll be repainting it. Ain’t that the way? Well… It is if you’re me.

The garden is suffering. We’ve had some record hot days. Then cool days, wind and rain. Though not nearly enough rain. I need to weed and cut back plants. I still have plants in pots which I bought ages ago and still haven’t put in the ground.

I don’t do well in the heat. When its hot I sort of just melt and end up getting real sleepy. My hair has gotten long enough to make tiny pony tails again, so I’ve been looking like this:

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Boo from Monsters Inc.

My cousin Zefi in Greece says I look like Pikachu… only not so cute.

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I’ve been working on various projects, but as I mentioned above, things are all over the place. I do a bit of this, a bit of that, never quite finish anything, then flake out in the evenings.

I really need to get a grip on this scheduling thing. I really suck at it. Maybe I need a clone. Or two. Yeah. That would fix the problem!

z

rockabilly diner doll-o-rama

I’m sure I haven’t shared this. Its a post I began ages ago and forgot in my drafts. Ooops. So here goes now.

What’s a doll-o-rama you ask? Its a doll display box x diorama. I mean, its obvious isn’t it?

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I’ve made a few of them since I started this post, but this is the first one I made for one of my repainted dolls.

I had this Monster High Operetta doll that I decided to repaint into a rockabilly chick. Here is the before and after…

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This doll was crying out to be a rockabilly really. She already had tattoos and bright red hair… it was an easy decision.

After stripping her factory paint, I gave her a new face, coloured in her facial tattoos, gave her a quiff and new clothes, and voila.

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I really wanted to have a proper background for her though. I made a box out of some timber I had and created a diner space for her to stand in. The whole idea was to make it 3D enough to give the illusion of depth, but to make it simple to put together.

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I created the background with royalty free images I found online, putting them into Photoshop and putting them together to create the space I wanted. I printed out the image of a jukebox I found, mounted it on board and glued it in place halfway back in the box.

I secured the doll in place by making a little bracket out of black wire attached to the back of the jukebox. That way the wire ‘doll stand’ was almost invisible and the doll was easy to pose in a natural position – leaning against the jukebox.

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The little holes one the frame are there so a piece of perspex can be attached to the front to keep dust out.

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All in all, I think its a great little display. I listed her in my Etsy shop for a while but she actually sold at the market.

What fun!

z

falling down places

I don’t know about you, but I love falling down, abandoned houses and sheds. There’s something so sad yet beautiful about them. I love the faded colours and the weathered timber. I mourn the waste of these places, left to disintegrate ’cause for whatever reason, no one wanted to live in them and love them any more.

A few years ago I spent time photographing old sheds with greyed timber and rusty roofs. This trip I couldn’t resist some of the abandoned buildings we saw. There are too many of them…

This old church was one building we were able to walk around and even inside.

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Inside it had a lovely curved roof and a small stage. Vandals had broken windows and most light fixtures. Rain and critters had done their share of damage as well.

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Nature starting to assert itself, bushes starting to grow in through broken windows.

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Around the back two outhouses, one still standing, the other on a serious lean. Would you visit this outhouse? I’m sure the redbacks living in there wouldn’t mind…

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Next, a simple old farmhouse, one which already had plants growing over the porches and inside the front room. You can believe me when I say I stomped around really loudly as I explored. I wanted to let the snakes know I was there.

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Around the back things were sadder. I know there are lots of reasons old homes might be abandoned, but it still makes me sad to see.

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What was left of the sheds was a mess, but offered some great textures for photos.

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This is one of my favourite photos, an old door and a bit of old metalwork…

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This old house stole my heart. It would have been such a beauty when it was loved.

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As it stands now, sagging verandah and rotten timbers, I wondered if it would be possible to restore it or if it was too far gone. Too far gone I think. But what a lovely old home… A part of me wants to know if its for sale…

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There were sheep grazing in the yard so I’m guessing the old farm was bought by a much larger property, the old farmhouse not needed and left to eventually become part of the landscape.

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Sigh…

This little cottage is definitely beyond any hope. From the outside it looks a bit of a wreck…

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With the leaning chimneys…

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And inside is more of a wreck. The place has perhaps been gutted as well.

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Look at the colours of the ceiling timbers! If I was salvaging bits of this house I’d be taking those ceilings, rotten timbers or not!

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And look at the old bits of newspaper and wallpaper still clinging to the walls.

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If I can’t restore and love these places, can I at least salvage from them?

Apparently no. It’d be considered stealing.

No fun!

z

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rodeo! (and more)

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We’re back from some weekend fun. And I’m so tired. It seems like I’ve been driving all day today (in fact I was driving most of the last two days), but it was worth it.

I took Wayne away for a weekend up north of the state, to the Carrick Bull Riding Rodeo.

I don’t have any photos of the rodeo. It was too windy and too hard to take photos, but hey, everyone knows what a rodeo is like. Horses, bulls, whips, cowboys, hats, barrel racing, roping, steers and dust. Not in that order necessarily.

It was an evening event and by the end of the night we were both frozen and could pass for a red indians thanks to the red dust. It was fun though. I do love a rodeo.

Here are some pics of our trip. I decided it’d be a trip through the central highlands and past the great lakes of Tasmania so we went through Bothwell where we stopped for coffee at a cute little coffee shop.

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I loved the sign, but I loved the door even more!

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Not to mention this table was so rustic, I could have it here, no worries.

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The only photo I took of one of the lakes at Breona, dark clouds and amazing colours.  I began to think I’d love a shack up there… to spent time up near the lake.

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I love going up north through the middle of Tasmania, the way the countryside changes as you leave the lush Derwent Valley, through the dry highlands, trees being replaced by scrub as you get up higher, down the mountains with their dense forests and ferns, all opening up to the lush pastures as you go down the other side.

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This time we stopped in Deloraine. I’ve only ever driven through (on the way to dog shows up north), never stopped to look around and appreciate the town. It’s beautiful. I love it. I want to live there.

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We had lunch at the 50s Diner and it was great! The best malted milkshake I’ve had in years!

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And all the collectibles! I was in heaven. If I lived in Deloraine I’d live in the Diner…

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I’d found a cute little Air B&B unit to stay in at Evandale. It was a bit further on from Carrick so we drove there to check in, then backtracked to go to the rodeo.

Our hosts were great and the self contained unit was gorgeous, thoughtfully decorated and very comfy. This was only my second Air B&B stay and way better than the first!

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Wayne made himself at home straight away…

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I’d been to Evandale before, (for a dog show – obviously!) so bascially I hadn’t really been there. For years I traveled around the Victoria and Tasmania, only ever seeing the showgrounds…

Evandale is gorgeous. I love it. I want to live there.

Wayne says I want to live everywhere I visit. Maybe so, but Evandale was beautiful…

And it has a famous Sunday market. I didn’t take many photos, I was too busy darting around from stall to stall, but loved the colours (and items) at this stall.

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Before you ask, yes, I did buy a few things. Like this little rusty corrugated iron pig made by a local Evandale artist. Isn’t he gorgeous?

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I also got a jar full of wooden buttons, some bone handled knives, a poodle with her pups and a minty green clock!

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I’m happy.

Tired and happy.

I have a ton of wonderful photos of falling down houses I’ll share in another post, so stay tuned!

z

junk4joy feature

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Just a quickie today to share a link to a feature on the Etsy Made Local Hobart blog.

Click here to read the article.

z

Ok. I won’t just leave it at that. You know me, I can talk under water. Or type. Whatever.

So, what exciting things have I been doing? Well… my bathroom cabinet (made from a very old chippy window) is almost done. I just have to add shelves, hinges and paint it.

Then make sure it works, cause, after all, it was made by me…

I put the mirror up in the bathroom. I finished the door trim and window and door trims are now painted.

Not much more to do to call the bathroom finished.

z

power plug business card holder

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This is one of those little projects that just came together, like, well, something that came together so easily, it was just like, meant to be.

I bought a vintage iron off a lady on Facebook the other day, and unlike most old electrical appliances which come with a cut cord, this one was intact. It had the loveliest bakelite power plug on the end of a very thick cord I almost didn’t cut it off.

But cut it did, cause I’m using the iron as my front door stop (of course!). I looked at the cute plug and thought “hey, I can do something with that!”

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Please ignore the dirty floor… who on earth thought black and white tiled lino would be a good idea on a farm with dogs and mud and men who don’t take off their boots?

So I had this plug and I thought, “this would make a great business card holder!”

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Into the casita* I went, to look through my collection of wooden bits. I have a shelf full of all kinds of wooden things waiting to be used to make other wooden things. Among my collection I had a lot of these small mounting plates – used in old houses to hold light switches.

Perfect.

I undid the plug, removed the wiring, used a bolt and butterfly nut underneath to secure the plug to the mounting plate, and voila! The cutest business card holder this side of creation.

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It’s the perfect thing for a junky creator like myself. Why have a simple box for your cards when you can have this?

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I think I’ll enjoy this little guy a while then list him in my Etsy shop for sale. He’s just so darn cute!

z

*casita = the old house on the property, our shed, my workshop

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upcycled jewellery organiser

 

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I’m so excited about this project. I just love how it turned out, to the point of wanting to keep it for myself. But I have to be realistic. I don’t have the right place for it and I already have enough spots for my own jewellery (which I hardly ever wear –  bracelets or necklaces don’t go well with dog grooming … or power tools!

So, here’s the story of this project – It began life as a chair in our kitchen. I went through a phase of buying vintage chairs from tip shops (ie chairs people have thrown away. ie wobbly chairs), painting them, and using them in our kitchen.

All good, except when you have a partner who treats chairs with contempt. He’s not exactly gentle with them. And old chairs need TLC. This was one of his victims. He broke one of the back legs by leaning back on it, rendering the chair useless.

It sat in the workshop for ages while I figured out what to do with it. Obviously I cut off the legs. Then I decided I had to cut the seat in half cause it was way too big for a wall  shelf. That meant I needed to put an ‘end’ on it. Done.

The basics were done. Then came the fun part…

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Firstly I had to decide what this little chair would be in its new life. A jewellery organiser was my choice so I began by painting it with a DIY chalk paint I mixed up. Then I started working on what someone would need for their jewellery.

I found a round base, cut it in half and added it to the chair using a rusty hinge, providing an extra shelf. I added a vintage double hook under it for bracelets.

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Next I added little eye hooks for earrings.

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Last I added a variety of knobs for hanging necklaces.

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The result: very pretty, very practical project! A bit shabby, a bit fun and a lot girlie.

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I love how this turned out (did I mention that?). I’ve listed it for sale locally as its one of those things which are way too big to put in my Etsy shop.

So, back to work. No rest for the wicked yada yada. Yesterday I finished sorting out the jungle which was our vegie patch. The weeds were waist high. I had weeded the raspberry patch a few weeks ago in order to find the fruit and to plant some pumpkin and cucumber plants which were given to me by a friend. The rest remained buried under old growth weeds. I’ve managed to cover the two jungle beds with weed matting and heavy objects to kill both weeds and seeds. If that works, next year I’ll have nice enriched soil to plant things in. Without using poison.

At least that’s the theory.

Today is going to be too hot to work outside so its ‘clean up the craft room’ day. After grooming. If I’m not too tired or its too hot…

It’s good to have plans.

z

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new year’s resolutions

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It’s that time again. When we think about the new year, new beginnings, what we’ll do to be better, be healthier, be thinner, smarter, wealthier, more successful, more loving, more adventurous… just… MORE.

It’s just another day really, nothing has changed since yesterday, but the first of a new year brings new hope that somehow we’ll be able to make changes for the positive that we failed to do last year (and all the years before).

Things I’ve failed to do on a regular basis: Get fit, lose weight, schedule my time better, prioritize better, garden more, spend more time with the horses, not mess up the house (as much) with my craft projects, clean the kitchen often, vacuum before the dust bunnies demand to be fed, get rid of things I don’t need or use, not buy more things I don’t need or use…

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Things I’ve succeeded in doing this last year include one big one: I gave up my ‘day job’ and finally began to groom full time. And I love it. Its the best thing I ever did.

Now if I could only learn to schedule my time better and keep my accounts better I’ll be on top of the world.

So this year my resolutions will be: schedule better, keep my accounts better, finish all my started projects, start more and finish those, empty out the shed of all the things I do not need or use, learn to say no occasionally, not volunteer for everything under the sun and go visit my family in Greece.

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I began the year well. This last week I spent a ton of money on things I needed (wanted) for the garden, and things I did not need but just wanted. Among the things I bought is this beautiful platter. I’d seen it at the market and resisted, then went back the following week and it was still there.

It was meant to come home with me. Who am I to resist fate?

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I also bought some cane baskets I definitely did not need and a couple of dolls I will use but did not technically need. But that’s all in 2017, when I spent my money carelessly. this year I will be better.

Cause I’ve made a resolution!

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Another thing I did last week was share my garden with a lot of people. I’ve given away seeds from my gorgeous lupins, aquilegia, foxgloves and sweet peas. I’ve given away plants I’ve grown from cuttings. I believe in sharing these things cause when I started my garden I was lucky enough to be given a lot of plants by people who were generous enough to share with me. Pay it forward and make the world a prettier place.

In return I got some herbs, some plums and some chilis. Don’t they look nice on my new platter?

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See? I knew I had to have it…

So. What are your new year’s resolutions?

z