Monday, April 6, 2015

Back to the Future

This weekend is Easter, for most of us a time to share with family and friends, but for me this Easter is the time for me to take on my arch nemesis, the dreaded craft room. The craft room is the smallest habitable room in my house, a mere 3 meters by 2.7 meters, but believe me when I say that room is the most densely packed piece of real estate in the whole house. If my house were the world then my craft room would be China. So this weekend my goal is to get my craft room packed because I know once that room is done the rest of the house will be a breeze. Actually I already have 13 boxes packed, but always in the background the craft room has been looming like my darkest nightmare...so this weekend is show time!

Good Friday lived up to its name and I got stuck in and packed 7 boxes, don't panic they are what is called book boxes, small so once packed they are not too heavy and perfect for me as I'll have to be able to move them. Saturday I only packed two boxes, but in fairness I did do a lot of cleaning out of goodies to go to my local St Vinnies store. Yesterday there were no boxes packed, but with the room half done there was space to sift and sort and clear and cull. Everything still remaining in that room now needs to be packed. I half filled a skip bin yesterday with unwanted papers and a few pieces of furniture no longer able to carry out their intended function, not to mention a couple of pieces of antiquated technology. Amongst the purging I came across some old posts from when I used to write on the Garden Web around 1996. I particularly wanted to share one piece of writing with you.....so here goes!

Me & My Shadow or A Lesson in NOT Wishing (originally posted on The Garden Web 1998)

You know how people are always saying "don't wish too hard you just might get what you want"? Well today it happened to me. My daughter Rachell is 7&1/2, she is my shadow. Wherever you find me you will find Rachell. Half the time I don't even know she is there until I turn around and WHAM!! I bump right into her. Don't get me wrong, I love both my kids and I wouldn't be without them for all the money  and all the gardens in the world, but sheesh everyone needs a little space and time out occasionally. This child is stuck to me like a postage stamp is attached to an envelope. Sometimes I actually wonder if our umbillical cords are still attached.

Rachell is definitely a mummy's girl. I am the best Mum in the whole wide world, I know this because she tells me at least twice every day. Well this weekend my wish came true. I was virtually childless ( which is something like those virtual chocolates I just sent G'ann). Rachell is going to a sleep over at her friend Lani's house. This is the first time she has branched out on her own, she has only ever slept over at Grandpas house before this and she always had her big brother with her, this time she is on her own She was so excited that she packed her bags at 6:00am for a 2:00pm departure. 

Bradley is having a friend sleep over here, these boys are almost 13 so they are self sufficient. They went to the movies, came back and ate me out of house and home and then went off to the bedroom to do their own thing, listen to music, play their game boys, you get the picture. I dropped Rachy off at Lani's and that was it. A whole afternoon and evening without my shadow. Oh the peace and quiet, what bliss, what joy!! What on earth am I going to do next?

This is great I get to go the the Garden Party without a little voice asking "mummy are you talking to your friends?" Mummy is G'ann's bear back??" Mummy how is Ruthann's school vacation going???" At 9:00pm I finally go off line. At 9:05pm the phone rings, a little voice says "Mummy I miss you, I love you Mummy" but she is brave, she doesn't want to come home.

Russ, my hubby, and I spend the evening looking like two little lost sheep because Bow Peep is at a sleep over. Now what do we do? Does this mean we will actually have to talk....I mean to each other? Do we remember how?

It is now 8:00am Sunday morning. Nobody came sneaking into my bed at 4:00am when hubby got up for work. No-one is complaining cause I got out of bed too early and they want to sleep with me. No-one is spilling breakfast cereal all over the table. I only have 2&1/2 hours to wait for the sun to come up and my shadow to return. Will I make it, can I survive another 2&1/2 hours without my shadow?

I think I'll go back off line now, maybe the phone will ring and a little voice will say "Mummy I miss you, can you come get me please?" I live in hope!

Well my Shadow is now all grown up, she is a beautiful, strong, independent 24 year old. This year she moved out of home, but not 5 minutes down the road, more like 19 HOURS! So I best get back to packing my craft room. As she keeps telling me "every box you pack Mum, takes you one step closer to Longford" it also takes me one step closer to her. This piece of writing also explains why my friends on the Garden Web christened her TS (The Shadow) it stuck and I think we have all referred to her as TS for so long they have actually forgotten her real name! 

This is us in Paris, about to head out to the Moulin Rouge to celebrate her 23rd birthday.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Paradox of Life....or where I've been

Well as we Aussies would say, "it's been a long time between drinks" I haven't posted on here for over two years, but there is change in the wind..big change and I want to share it, particularly with some people who have specifically asked if I have or will start a blog.....so here I am.

Over the past 30 months I have come to the realization that life is full of twists and turns and contradictions. Some of them you see coming, others sneak up on you and some crash into you head on like a freight train at full steam. Some are good and others are terribly bad, but they all contribute to your story and shape you into the person you are. It is up to you how you choose to repond.

30 months ago my husband passed away, it was sudden, unexpected and tragic, he took his own life. I don't want or need sympathy, the time for that is past, but in order to fully understand where I am headed, you need to know where I have been. The past 30 months have been both the longest and shortest 30 months of my life. They have been painful and torturous but they have not been joyless or without beauty or happiness.  Some days they have been all of these things at the same time, some days they have been none of them, and some days they have been one or the other. Never the less, life does go on and for the most part we humans are nothing if not adaptable.

My husband and I loved each other very much and we were in love, these two things are not the same nor are they mutually inclusive, it is possible to be one without the other, but in our case we were both. Which is not to say our life was perfect, it wasn't. We had our ups and downs like most couples, we had been through some tough times and some great times and life was "comfortable"...until THAT day. Now each day takes me both a step further away from him and a step closer. There is not a single day goes by that I do not think of him and miss him and wish that he was still here.


I have to admit that when I looked into my imagined future, this is not where I saw myself. At 52 I did not picture myself living all alone. I did think that my two beautiful, grown up children would possibly be no longer living at home. I did not imagine for a second that both of them would be living at the other end of the continent nor that I wouldn't have my husband beside me. I always, always pictured the two of us growing old together, instead here I am with only the company of my two grand puppies (ah yes I have inherited the dogs of my darling children) and no full time human companionship. Some days it is oh so lonely but others it is pure bliss. 

So.....here I am at 52 years of age about to embark on my very own solo adventure. For the first time in my entire life I get to be completely selfish. To make decisions and changes that only need to take me into consideration. If my choices are right, fantastic, if they are wrong then only I have to live with the consequences and I have only myself to blame. It is VERY liberating but also a bit scary.

So what is this momentous change I hear you ask, this grand adventure, maybe even this mid life crisis? Do women even have those or is that the exclusive domain of middle aged men? Well are you ready for it? I am uprooting my whole life and I too am moving to the other end of the country, but even further south than my children.....I am MUCH more adventurous than they are!  After 14 years in this house in sunny Queensland, I am selling up, quitting my job of 11.5 years and moving to.......Tasmania!

I have bought a wonderful little cottage in a small village just south of Launceston. The cottage has a beautiful cottage garden, both cottage and garden are so very me! I don't know anyone down there, I have no family or friends there and no job to go to, but I am going anyway! Well the not knowing anybody is kind of an untruth. When I first went there to look at houses I didn't know anybody, but I have built up quite a friendship with the two wonderful gentlemen that I bought my cottage from. They still live in the village, both are in their early 70’s and had felt the need to downsize, but loved the village too much to move away from it. Since purchasing my cottage, I have been to Tassie a number of times, each time we catch up in person and in between we stay in touch the old fashioned way, via letters.

Some people think this move of mine is very brave, some are jealous. Others think I am running away, yet others think I am foolish. My darling daughter thinks not only am I crazy but I am moving to the ass end of the world and my son, who has a very relaxed attitude to life says "good on ya Mum, you deserve this". I, on the other hand, think I am heading exactly where I need to be. I have been down to Tasmania four times since I made this decision. Every time I get off the plane at Launceston Airport I feel a huge sense of relief, like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have visited my cottage three times, the last time I was there for four days just pottering around in my garden. Every single time I walk across that threshold my heart sings and I know in my heart of hearts that no matter how scary this move is, I am where I am meant and need to be. I am happy with this choice I have made and I am very much looking forward to writing a new chapter in my book of life, even if it is tinged with sadness. 

Future posts will cover my search for my "perfect for me" home, my preparations for my move, my two week road trip to my new home and life in Tasmania. I'm sure there will also be more crafting posts, as I just KNOW that with this move will come the return of my crafting mojo, and possibly some of my favourite recipes. Who knows where my blog will take us, life is full of endless possibilities.

Life is not perfect but it is good and I hope you will join me on this journey. 

Kath xoxo 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2014 - January

Well can you believe it, I haven't been on here for so long and here it is only day 2 of 2014 and I'm posting. Here is my take on Tim Holtz January 2014 tag. Hope you enjoy it, sadly it isn't the best photo and for some reason blogger wants to turn it on it's side. I'll post a better photo tomorrow. Kath

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sympathy Cards

Today I needed to make two sympathy cards, one from my girlfriend, who lost her father last week and the second for her mother, who is also a friend of mine. I always have trouble with sympathy cards, I like them to be tasteful but still an expression of my art and I just am never sure if I am heading in the right direction. Making these cards was very bitter sweet for me as only a few short weeks ago I was on the receiving end of a number of sympathy cards when my husband passed away. Life does move in mysterious ways, and its not always fair and it's not always easy and sometimes we are left wondering....why???? My favourite saying right now is "You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it"....I sure hope so!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Postcard - Andy Skinner style!

Here is a postcard I created using Andy Skinner's Book of Secrets techniques. It is for this month's postcard swap. The theme was flight, as soon as I saw the tiny wooden balloons I knew that I HAD to have them and exactly what I was going to do with them. I really like how this turned out and I hope the recipient likes it too.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My take on Tim Holtz 12 Tags - September


Here is my version of Tim Holtz September tag. This was so much fun to create and I really love these techniques. The printed paper under the typewriter is an actual piece of newspaper form a 1967 edition of Melbourne's "The Sun", it is a section out of the birth announcements.

A busy weekend of crafting







I have had a very fun weekend of crafting. Yesterday I went out to lunch with my daughter to yet again celebrate her 22nd birthday...that girl sure knows how to stretch out a birthday..and while out we went to a scrap booking shop so I could pick up some wooden goodies for a couple of projects I have in mind. Today I got my chores out of the way as early as possible and have spent the day crafting.

First off I finished my Andy Skinner - Book of Secrets project. I couldn't get a wooden book box, so instead used a small wooden jewellery box. I'm very pleased with the end result.
These photos show what I started off with. The first steps and finally the finished box.