the monster has woken

I haven’t posted for a while. I know. I’m a disgrace to blogdom.

I’ve been busy. Working. Creating. Being a social butterfly.

As a matter of fact, I’m reverting to an older version of myself. Or I should say – a younger version. I just wish I was as fit as I was back then…

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Me during my Robert Smith period…

No… not that far back. I’m actually talking about my rockabilly days. Gosh I miss those days – dance competitions, going to pubs to dance to live bands 4 days a week and twice on Sundays. I mean that literally – two pubs, 2 bands on Sundays.

Those were the days. sigh…

So, it all started about a year ago when I decided I was going to join the local radio station (TYGA FM 98.9) and play my rockabilly music so I could listen to it again. I played my music, singing out loud and dancing in my head (or bopping around the station when no one was around).

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Banner for my Facebook Rockabilly Rebel page.

Through the show I met some great people. This led to some nights out, the creation of a rockabilly night at a local cafe once a month, and last weekend… a live band!

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I started on the road to Rockabilly Rebeldom way back in Melbourne when I decided to learn how to dance R’n’R. I took a 6 week course and I honestly learned nothing. I just did not ‘get’ it.

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When I first started dancing, my flatmate and I took R’n’R lessons together.

The class would go to the odd band to practice and one of the pubs had dance lessons before the band. I went every week and made a nuisance of myself with the teachers, and one day it just CLICKED. There was no looking back from that point.

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Getting ready for a 40s ball.

I would go to venues and watch the guys dance and pick the best ones, then I’d go ask them to dance with me. I had a lot of girls hating me at that point. But I learned how to dance by dancing with lots of different guys who had different styles. And I loved it! I would dance all night, never stopping. I was pretty darn fit.

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Can’t be a rockabilly chick without a car!

Then life changed for various reasons and I moved to Tasmania and became a country girl. Living a long way out of the city and having to drive in every day for work meant that when I got home I didn’t go out again. And I couldn’t find any ‘scene’ here either. I gave up on dancing…

Do you have any idea how amazing it was to be out again, listening to a great live band and dancing again? I walked in and saw a couple of ladies dancing and I was up there like a shot, asking for a dance. I was chatting to the band during their break, I was making new friends all around.

The monster has awoken! I’m back baby!

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Long hair!

not enough time to do it all?

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I think I’ve always known that I might have too many interests, but it hit home last night when I watched a show on TV a friend told me I needed to see. It was about a woman who’s entertainment area was so full of ‘stuff’ no one could use it. Her ‘stuff’ had encroached in other areas of the house and was affecting her family.

The problem was that she was a crafter. She liked to do all kinds of crafts. She painted, beaded, sewed, knitted. Among other things. Everything she’d collected was stuff she thought she could use, remake, recycle, DO one day.

Now, I think I’m insulted that my friend thought I was that bad.

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I have outbuildings full of stuff. My house is livable. Ok, leave my office out of it! That’s my space and I’m the only one who has to squeeze in there…

But I do see her point. Grudgingly. I think the issue is with wanting to do too much.

On the show the ‘expert’ forced the lady to pick three hobbies and get rid of everything else in order to organise (and limit) her space.

I think he missed the point. Its not about having too much stuff, its about not having enough time to do all the stuff!

I know there isn’t enough time in a lifetime to do all the things I want to do. That’s the real problem. I don’t want to give anything up, but perhaps the old saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ is true…

I think I found the answer:

Take it in turns!

Concentrate on maybe 2 things at a time then move on to something else. Maybe a week at a time, or a month. That way you give yourself a chance to do a bit of everything and finish a few things along the way.

Problem solved. Maybe. Sort of.

Anyway…

Enjoy the funny craft related pics I found on Pinterest.

 

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one thing at a time

Disclaimer: This is a post I wrote last week, before Erik took huge chunks of our hearts with him. I was in a great mood and words came easily. I haven’t felt like blogging since, but I saw this and wanted to post it. Life goes on, doesn’t it? It has to.

I know I’m not alone, but it sure is nice to see confirmation that there are others out there struggling with the same serious, debilitating issues as I am on a daily basis.

The problem is ‘zoning’ or becoming too focused on one thing till it takes over and eating up your time and overwhelming your brain.

What I’m trying to say is I have a problem. I look around me and see so many things that need to do be done (or I want to do) that I become paralyzed by the choices. Cause one job isn’t just one job. One job is a week of mess and hard work.

I read Donna’s post on Funky Junk today and she has the same problem. Turning “10 minute tidy job into a week long event that requires a trip to the dump”.

I can relate!

Cleaning up my office isn’t just tidying the office. Its starting to pick crap up off the floor and putting it away where it belongs, then putting up shelves so I can store things better, which means cutting wood, painting it, finding brackets, putting them up. It involves buying cheap boxes and spray paint to paint them all white so they match, which means a couple of days of layers of paint, then labelling them and finally filling them with stuff and putting them on the shelves. It means filing all the paperwork I picked up off stacks on the floor. Picking up and sorting all my fabrics into stacks according to use, colour, whether I’m likely to use them or not. It involves filling bags with rubbish and boxes with stuff that needs to be elsewhere – some of it needs to be photographed and listed for sale on Facebook or ebay, some of it needs to be scattered around the place in better spots.

Needless to say, cleaning up the office has been a week long job and is still not finished.

The grooming room? Well, that’s on the home stretch now. The main stuff is all done, Its usable but there are still things to do… and will always be things to do cause I know myself.

But an offshoot of doing the grooming room (and moving into it) is the old grooming room – now crying out for help. I go in there and am instantly overywhelmed by the piles of boxes and drifts of dust, dead bugs and dog hair which have accumulated in corners over the last 7 years. Aided by the ripped bag of dog clippings. Thanks poodles.

And the workshop? sigh. Remember the garage sale that never was? All the preparation that went into that… locating everything I wanted to sell and moving it into the workshop for easy access…

Well, most of that is still there!

I can’t work in the workshop cause, well, its full of stuff I need to get rid of.

When I want something, like a screw driver or my circular saw, I have to step over power tools, squeeze around chairs, lean over frames and, oh no… its not there! Look on the bench, under the boxes and drop sheets, oh, there’s my hammer. I’ve been looking for that for 3 days!

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PS. Have you seen my circular saw?

i was featured!

I’m still not in a place where I want to share much. Its not just what happened with Erik this week but ongoing issues in my life that have to do with my employment…. not my dog grooming.

That’s all I’ll say about it, but the stress of it all has come to a head and with what happened this week I find I’m not coping well at all.

One lovely thing that happened is that my blog was featured on Talk of Town Link Party! I feel so honoured. I’ve never been a great blogger, I’ve been intermittent with my posts and all over the place with my projects.

To be featured is so amazing!

Thank you guys.

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i’m baaaack!

Yes, I’m back. A lot has happened around here since I last posted, but I feel in a better place to share our life, news and my projects once again.
For starters, I’d like to share the old bike I rescued from a trip to the tip. It will eventually sit in the garden but till then I’ve leaned it up against the porch railing and started off some plants will which one day, hopefully, explode into colour and drape all over it.
I had a couple of rusty baskets, one of which was an actual bike basket for the handlebars. I lined them with plastic after poking some holes in for drainage, and filled them with potting mix. I then plonked in some plants.
I found this pitiful looking little plant at a garage sale – the daisies are so pretty I had to have it despite its one foot in the grave appearance.

Its looking like its going to the big garden in the sky right now so I may go ahead and move it to the embankment. Daisies obviously love it there, which is great, as I love the embankment covered in daisies.
When pulling weeds I dug up and added some alysum. Love that stuff. It grows anywhere – my kind of plant – and looks like clouds of white fluff.

The front basket got a gaura which was growing in a pot – it was a cutting… well, a broken branch from one of the established plants. I added a bit of catmint for its trailing propteries. Both of those are doing well, though the gaura will need to be moved as its way too big for a bike basket.

The garden is looking amazing right now with all the spring flowers. I’ve been sharing tons of photos of it on Facebook but might do a separate post on the blog about it soon.
Things on the farm are great. We have 6 ducklings in Stalag 13. The ducklings were easy to catch though I did throw myself on the ground in a most undignified way in their pursuit. The mother took us all day to catch. In the end we set up a dog crate and trapped her in it. I don’t think she’s forgiven us yet, but the ducklings are still alive! Unlike poor Little Herman IIs ducklings which disappeared in a matter of 3 days.
Sharing Stalag 13 with the duck family is a chicken. She hatched 3 babies who unfortunately got out of the dog house she’s using as a nesting box, then couldn’t get back in and froze to death over night. We were so upset. We’ve raised chickens in there before and that never happened before. Its always something. We now have a ramp so it won’t happen again. The hen is still sitting. She had 2 of her own eggs and I gave her 2 from another of the girls. Fingers crossed. More chickens would be welcome, though no more roosters. The older rooster is being hounded to death by his much bigger son. Its sad. Other than letting them sort it out I don’t know what to do. Chopping one rooster’s head off was suggested, but… um… no.
We have 5 goslings as well. Doris, the younger of our geese, hatched them out yesterday. Since then its been lovely to watch the group walking around the paddocks – Doris with her babies, surrounded by the boys guarding her. 
Annabelle, the older goose, is still sitting on her nest. They should hatch soon. Hank has made it his life’s work to guard Annabelle. We always know which boy is Hank, he has a squinty eye so he always looks like he’s watching you like a mafia boss. He’s also the one out front every time we step out into the paddock warning us to behave or else.
The youngest goose doesn’t have a name as we really can’t tell him apart from Jethro, the other original goose. It’s hard to tell pure white boys apart… At least the girls have different markings.
The horses are all in great condition thanks to all the feed in the paddocks. Wally is his usual cranky self, Dancer is as sweet as ever and she and Cass continue to dislike eachother. Little Chipmunk foundered again so he’s back in the starvation paddock. He’s not too impressed. We allow him into the casita (my workshop!) to get out of the weather and out of the mud when its been raining a lot. Now he’s bored he’s beginning to do naughty things. The other day he emptied the bag of rubbish all over the floor. I was not too impressed.
There’s been no progress on the new grooming room, but hopefully I’ll be taking all the rubbish/plaster to the tip soon and I can begin working on the walls. Which reminds me… where is the electrician? Hm… He was meant to come last week.
On a more personal note, I’ve taken time off work and am spending my days building up my home grooming business, painting, gardening, and playing with dolls.
Yes. You read that well. Dolls.
Ok, not playing as such, but remaking.
I’ll share in another post once I’m ready to show the world what I’ve been doing. Lets just say its a new hobby for me and I’m loving it.
So there you have it. For now. See you again soon.
z

one of those days

Just a quick post to let you know that I’m taking a break from blogging for a while. It might be a week (you’re thinking “whats new there?”), might be longer.

Chances are it’ll be a bit longer.

Not sure.

I’ll let you know.

I promise that if I decide to stop blogging I’ll post to say goodbye.

z

water and keeping your head above it

So far there hasn’t been much in the way of more rain. It has been raining in the hills around us, but not down around our property. I took the dogs out for a look yesterday and took some photos.

They loved it. Running through all that mud and water. Luckily it was more like sand than mud so they didn’t get too dirty.
All this sand is washed down from the sandstone hills behind us. It fills the creek and the creek overflows.

This is the creek, still running madly. It’ll be days before the flow slows down even if it stops raining now. You can see where its been overflowing.

When we first moved here we spent time and $$$ fixing up the ford, putting in a huge pipe so that the creek could run through under the road.

That was money well spent!

The chickens are enjoying the muddy ground. They’re out scratching for worms happily. We have 3 chickens now and two roosters. The smaller rooster on the left is our original rooster, the huge one in the forground is a home bred boy, born last year. We had 2 x 3 eggs hatch but only have 2 survivors out of the 6 chicks. This big boy and one black hen.

He is pretty impressive!

The poodles keep a watchful eye on everything… note the dirty legs. Eh. They had fun.

Pretty Dancer keeps an eye on the dogs too. She doesn’t want them eating her hay.

The weather has been quite nice today, mostly cloudy but enough sun to make it lovely. However there’s more rain predicted for the week ahead.
The only thing about this that really worries me is that we’re 99% going to have to cancel the garage sale. I’ve been so looking forward to it, and I’ve worked so hard to get it organised… but reality is that even if we didn’t get a drop of rain between now and October 22, if we got sunny days with light winds every day, the paddocks would still be too wet to drive on.
Our place is not ideal for a ‘normal’ garage sale. For one thing we don’t have a garage we can have a sale in. All our sheds are full of stuff that we’re not selling so that won’t work. Rule #1 of garage sales is: hide/cover anything you’re not selling to avoid confusion.
We need to have our sale outside. You’d think our driveway would work for that, but no. Its not big enough set up a sale and still allow room for cars to drive in, park, turn around and drive out. And if the ground is still wet, we can’t even open the gates so people could drive out the back to turn.
We had planned to have the sale in the small paddock outside the casita. We have 2 small horse yards there, a large gum tree for shade, fences to hang things on and plenty of space for tables and larger items. We planned to open the bottom paddock gate so people could drive in, park and turn around…. No chance of that now. First person to drive in would get bogged. 
I haven’t cancelled it yet. I’m still hoping. But I think that come next weekend, unless some miracle happens, I will have to face facts and cancel it.
Postpone it really. We will have a garage sale, but probably in summer when the ground is rock hard and dry from lack of water.
Safer that way.
sigh.
z

sculpture and soul searching

I had a comment about how I’m blogging a lot lately. Unlike the huge gaps between posts most of the other time.
The fact is I know I’m a poor blogger. Good thing I’m not trying to make money from this blog!
I began blogging as a way to share news and photos of our lives with friends overseas. Then I began to share projects and got into the whole DIY/repurpose/recycle blog thing. I enjoy that stuff, I do it for myself anyway, why not share with others who like the same thing? Makes sense, right?
But… there are days I just don’t feel like blogging. I have nothing to say, I can’t be funny, or I’m flat. Its one of those vicious circles: when I feel good I’m creative, when I don’t create I feel flat. And work sometimes drains me to the point where all I want to do when I get home is curl up and zonk out in front of the TV.
On those days I think about giving up the blog. I mean, who cares what I make or do? I’m just some random person living on a small island on the bottom of the world. I have nothing important to say. 
I think the only reason I blog and share is cause I’m a showoff. I used to accuse my brother of being a showoff when we were kids but turns out I’m the one. 
Who knew…
Anyway, I’m still here, still blogging even if sporadically at times. You could say I like to be unpredictable. Like with the stuff I blog about. Its not all DIY, craft, decorating, gardening or any one thing in particular. Its a blog about me and my life – and I’m a wierd kind of jack of all trades kind of person.
So today I’ll share some sculptures. The theme was ‘body’… so body parts it is. As I found when making the animals, I love sculpting.

These sculptures are more along the lines of ART than the animals. I wanted them to look like an unfinished work.

Here they are finished. Difficult to photograph cause they’re so bright white. 

Unfortunately the wire nose ring burned off in the second firing. I’ll try to replace it but the bit remaining is in really firmly. I also need to make earrings to go in the holes I made in the ear.

So there you go. Another completely different thing.

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falling in love with barbie all over again

When I was a kid I had a Barbie. In fact, I had a Barbie and a Skipper. I loved my Barbie, but I wanted a newer Barbie with long hair cause mine had stiff short hair. I also wanted the bendable knee type, Skipper had bendable knees cause I got her years later.
I’m not sure what the story of my original Barbie was, but she was a very early 60s model, most likely 1962. Since I was too young for a Barbie at that age, I’m guessing someone bought her for me and I didn’t get her to play with till I was older.
Anyway, why am I discussing Barbies?
A couple of weeks ago someone posted some Barbies for sale on Facebook. I saw this one and my obsession began.

This is the Fashion Queen Barbie. Early 60s.

Needless to say I bought her!

But it got me thinking about my first (and only) Barbie. My mom gave her and all my other dolls away. No going back for me.

I began to feel nostalgic. Why is it that the older I get, the more I want stuff from my childhood?

Whatever.

I began to research Barbies. I learned about the different early models, the dates, the markings on their butts.

What I really wanted was to find, and buy, the same Barbie as the one I had when I was a kid. This is what I had: a blonde bubble cut Barbie.

This is more like mine looked like – stiff hair like a helmet. No fun for a young girl.
Turns out, bubble cut Barbie came in 4 colours.
While researching I stumbled upon a couple of sites for Barbie restoration. Its amazing what these people can do with Barbie hair! I mean, look at this!
How wonderful to get a bubble cut Barbie and have her hair redone to look this glamourous!
I want more Barbies now. I’m only interested in the hard plastic ones which were the earliest Barbies made. I dislike the cheaper feeling late models. Plus I think the early Barbies are just so beautiful.
I’ve already got the Fashion Queen Barbie – this is her in the brunette wig.
I still need to get my blonde bubble cut girl, but I also want a ponytail Barbie now! There are different versions of the ponytail model, some have longer ponytails. I think I want a brunette but the blondes are gorgeous too.

Love the curly fringe on these girls. They’re so fifties.

I’m no expert for sure, but I believe the earliest Barbies have the most striking eyes.

I think what I’m falling in love with all over again is the beauty of these dolls. They’re just so pretty.
Is this the beginning of a new collection? I sure hope not. I don’t think I can afford to buy a lot of these old Barbies. I want TWO more and I’m done. 
That’s my story and I”m sticking with it.
Remind me to share some photos of my other collections at some stage.
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a little gardening and where on earth have i been?

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Not that the weather has been told. Its sunny one minute, pouring with rain the next, frost in the morning, warm in the afternoon… Pretty normal really.

The garden is confused. Plants flower. Then the frost gets them. So they flower again, The frost comes again and gets what survived the previous frost. Pretty normal really.

The garden isn’t the only thing that’s confused. Annabelle (the goose) has laid eggs. On top of last year’s dead eggs which I never got around to removing from the nest she abandoned.

In fact we’re not sure she’s actually laid new eggs on top of the old ones or if she decided to give the stale eggs another chance… either way, she’s gone clucky. Too early.

The place is a mess. Muddy and wet. Seeds I tossed out are growing and blooming between the frost bitten plants. The grass is growing and the weeds are growing faster. When walking across the yard I sometimes just can’t resist picking up the grandpa weeder and ‘just grubbing out that obnoxious weed that’s just staring me in the face, laughing at me’.

An hour or so later I put away the weeder and go into the house.

In the good news department, my new hyacinths are up. And the tyre retaining wall is filling up as the plants grow.

I put more wire up for the hardenbergia so it can spread across the carport wall.

Even the dogs got into gardening – digging new holes where pretty succulents used to grow.


I’m trying to get the garden done in short spurts, a bit here, a bit there. There’s just so much to do. And so little time. Which is why I haven’t posted. I just haven’t felt like writing, watching TV is all I want to do at the end of the day.

That and exercising my fingers.

With the broken finger now healed I can do almost anything again. My fingers are very stiff and sore and my left hand has only 1/2 the strength of the right,but I’m grooming again and I’ve started doing things in the workshop again. Finally.

One of these days I’ll be organised and have time to do it all.

In my dreams.

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