I cleaned the sink....

...and I know what you're thinking. Yes I do. You're thinking; "That's just great.", "Go you.", "What do I care?". Don't pretend that's not true. That's what I'd be thinking if I were you.

Anywho... I don't know if you WILL care, but it's sort of a big step for me. Now I'm not saying that this is the first time I've ever cleaned the sink, but it is certainly the first time I've taken a picture of it...! ;)
A thread over on the Crafty Mamas forum today lead me to FlyLady. I have heard of her before, but not paid any attention, after all, I hate cleaning, so why would I want to know how to do more of it? But today, for some reason, I actually had a bit more of a thorough look over there, and, as a result, I cleaned the sink.

I guess there comes a time, as much as I hate to admit it, and hate even more actually doing it, when a mamma just has to get on top of the things she's been letting slide, not only to set a good example to any young Punk that may be hanging around, but to also feel in control of the housework for a change, instead of it looming large eternally like an evil nemesis, and controlling her instead.

Even though I had committed to a bit of a longer look over at FlyLady, I almost clicked away after a brief read-through, thinking "Who am I kidding?". I'm just not that kind of girl. The competent, organised housefrou type of girl. But then I thought about how I spend my days, and what is the thing I dislike the most...? You got it. Cleaning. What do I enjoy the most? Hanging out with Le Punk & Crafting. What stops me from doing those two things...? Again with the cleaning. I just suck at it, and because I suck at it, it always ends up out of control & I spend a whole day cleaning just to end up with a moderately livable house that gets messed up again within a matter of milliseconds.

When I say it gets out of control... I wish I were over-exaggerating. We're talking dishes that don't get done until I am forced to wash them, usually before I can make dinner, or, even more likely, I look at the dirty dishes around 20 past 5 & think "What can I make for dinner that requires none of these dishes?!".

Why can't I be organised
? Or, more precisely, why can't I learn to be organised? Why can't I just make the necessary cleaning a regular part of my routine, as opposed to a never-ending chore...?
No real reason, that I could come up with. So. I cleaned the sink. That's all I have to do today. Day 1. And all I have to do tomorrow is get dressed as soon as I get up & 'shine' the sink again. I'm pretty sure I can manage that.....

(Kitchen pretty - something to distract me while I do the dishes... when I do the dishes...)


DIY Make-Over. Sort Of.

In the spirit of handmade/DIY, last night, I cut & coloured my own hair.

I think that there may be a lot of advocates of DIY out there that would absolutely draw the line at this (the cutting, not necessarily the dying), but it kind of happened by accident, and turned out okay, so I'm happy.

I meant to just give my fringe a bit of a trim, as I have been doing, with a technique that I saw on tellie years & years & years ago on that bastion of respectable and informative television... Ricki Lake. The idea is you gather up your fringe so that the base, or roots of your fringe, form a triangle, then twist it around & CHOP! This results in a kind of choppy, layered look.

Well, I did this, kind of half arsed, not even bothering with the whole triangle thing, & ended up with an incredibly short fringe that just looked... wrong. So, I gathered up the rest of my hair & did the same sort of thing... a chop here, a snip there, until I ended up in a happier place.
Here I should probably let it be known that I am not a hairdresser, and have no experience or aspirations in the field... which I think you may agree is glaringly obvious...!

So there I was, with a sink full of hair & a completely new hairstyle, and, luckily, I kinda liked it, but I was kind of shocked by the colour of the hair languishing in the basin. It was dark. Really dark. Like, dark brown dark.
For someone that considers themselves to be a natural blonde, this can be quite distressing! I decided that I'd dye my hair too, while I was on a roll.

I've only ever dyed my hair with temporary colours, you know, like blue fudge or something else that is gone in 8 washes, and none of that since I was even in high school, so it is fair to say that I was pretty nervous hiding out in the bathroom with my disturbingly close to cat-urine smelling pack of hair 'solution', but, good girl that I am, I followed the directions to the letter & ended up with hair the colour I always thought it had been, nice & light, bright, and ready, oh-so-ready, for spring.


Crime & Retribution...

I got some lovely happy mail today, and it was even a bit of a surprise since my memory is so cruddy... the box had something like "Outdoor Cleaning Supplies" on it, which was confusing - thought The Boy had ordered something & had it shipped to my name, until I opened it.....

Ah! Pyrex! Beautiful, beautiful vintage Pyrex goodness. This was not just another frivolous purchase however. Oh no. This, was retribution.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for one of my cool old oven dishes - I had two, a square one & a round one, and I needed the round one to bake in... I couldn't find it anywhere, and when I thought about it, I realised I hadn't seen it for quite a while.

Days later, I stumbled upon this;

My incredible powers of deduction were put to the test, but in the end, I was able to find the culprit.

It must have been a terrible scene, a dark & stormy night, the back door opens with a creak & a man steps out onto the wet cement. A large brute of a dog approaches menacingly, eyeing the prize in the mans hands greedily... moments later, the startling sound of vintage ovenware shattering into several heart breaking pieces pierces the night air...

That's right. The Boy had given my beautiful dish to the dog with leftovers in it. That in itself is wrong on so many levels, but somehow the dish was broken and The Boy, knowing the implications, and fearing the wrath of a kitchen kitch collecting crazy woman, "hid" the evidence down beside the house.... apparently while finishing off a beer.

So, when I saw this cute set of Pyrex on ebay, I knew it had to be mine, oh yes, and there wasn't a darn thing The Boy would be able to say about it!

You'll be shocked & horrified to learn that he also, two house moves ago, heartlessly disposed of my vintage sunbeam mixmaster.

I am keeping my eye out.


Now accepting theories as to how this: (Sans the vegemite beard)
Escaped from here:

My guess would have been some sort of climbing and falling incident, HOWEVER, I was awake at the time of the 'escape', was leisurely considering my options as to when and how I myself was going to alight from my own bed. I heard Le Punk talking happily to herself & figured I had a couple more minutes at least to contemplate life from under the warm snugly covers... when all of a sudden her bedroom door slid open & she trudged out, happily, with her teddy & her dummy.

I heard no bangs, thumps or bumps. There were no squeals of terror, discomfort or even triumph.



Oh Op Shop.. How Do I Love Thee?

...let me count the ways!
  • I love how you are so unpredictable, two days are never alike with you!
  • I love all of your special treasures, just waiting for me to find them...
  • I love your beautiful staff, who almost always go out of their way to assist.
  • I love how affordable your wares are... most of the time!
  • I love how you invoke memories, without even trying.
  • I love how you provide so much that goes toward making new memories.
  • I love rummaging around in your piles of stuff.
  • I love finding things that I would never buy, wear or use, just to know that such things exist.
  • I love your surprises....

  • I love mustard coloured chairs that cost $5.

  • I love that said chair has already become Punky's firm favourite.
  • I love that I didn't realise until I got it home that it reclines.... bonus!

  • I love vintage table & chair sets that cost $50.
  • I love how sturdy & solid old furniture is...!
  • I love how I can now relegate our dodgey, wobbly, IKEA table to the back room (more space for crafting...!).
  • I love how it only cost an extra $5 for two LOVELY old gentlemen to deliver everything, immediately.

  • I love how I was able to find all these treasures & squirrel them away early - before the torrents of rain started, and the wind ramped up it's hurricane efforts...


Lucky For Me I Have No Willpower...

...because if I did... I wouldn't know that I am the incredibly lucky winner of this awesomeness:

YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! *does happy dance* I won the skully skully goodness, I won the skully skully goodness....!!!

Thanks go to the gorgeous witchie woman Mrs B & the talented Tara from Tarabu, I am just buzzing with excitement and am so, so glad that I am totally devoid of resolution & turned the computer on 'just for a second' after putting Punky down for a nap.

The awesomeness is threefold, like all good things are; 1. Skulls are my absolute, boney hands down, favourite thing, ever. 2. This is my first blog giveaway win (or anything at all interesting that didn't involve drawing or making something) and 3. I'm going to be Mrs B's bag twin!! lol

Oh yeah. Good times.

Modern Art, Punky Style.

Last week, I found these cool wooden stacking blocks at the oppy for $2, Punk really likes them & I have to say, I do too. I've found myself absent-mindedly playing with them while watching TV for example.
They are really interesting - on the four sides of the blocks there is a different theme, shapes, numbers, letters & pictures relating to the letters. Then, on the tops (or bottoms, depending on the angle lol) there are shapes cut out of the wood, and they can be placed inside each other or stacked on top of each other.
Seriously, a better $2 I have never spent!
Anywho, I was doing the dishes when I became aware that Punky was disturbingly quiet... so I came into the lounge to investigate & found her creating this lovely modern art creation, don't ask me to interpret the meaning, I fear it goes right over my head, but perhaps it's something to do with the elements....?!

Now that I've had a bit of a blog post splurge (for me... I know there are great, dedicated, daily bloggers out there who post happily every day & find it completely normal... I'm not one of them...), I am thinking of making the rest of the week 'low-tech', which means writing down any essential info I might need, like swap addresses for my atcs for example, and then staying the hell away from the computer.
Will let you know how it goes.


Vintage Book Illustration Love

I love books. Comic books, picture books, non-fiction books, biographies, novels, anthologies... I love them all.
The books that have a very special place in my heart however are vintage children's books. I have collected them for years. Well before Punky was on the scene, I would scour the dusty bookshelves of overcrowded op shops, searching for books that I remembered from my childhood, which then led to any vintage books with charming illustrations.
I love them for their history & the ideas & inspiration they exude. Particular favourites are Little Golden Books. I love everything about old golden books - from their tarnished spines to their beautiful back covers.

As a result, Little Punk has masses & masses of books, she has her big book shelf (see below) which has books wedged in on display but also piled in the cane baskets beneath, then she has another storage cupboard full to the brim, there are so many stacked beneath her cot that they are starting to spill out on all sides and at any one time there are probably 20 of her books strewn about the house.
There was a time that I would have been incredibly distraught at the thought of a child "messing" with "my" books, I mean, anything could happen to them! But since having Punky I have both become less materialistic & more relaxed in general, books are for reading, admiring & inspiring, and nobody needs beautiful, engaging things around them more than a small child, in my opinion.
Thankfully, she is generally quite gentle with the books, and the only books she's ever wrecked have been cheap board books that I could have cared less about. She is often found sitting quietly in her room, on her chair, "reading" & she brings us books throughout the day & sits expectantly on our laps to be read to. I love that she enjoys books so much even know, and earnestly hope that continues, for the rest of her life.


Precious Punky Paints Pretty Pictures...

Since Father's Day is fast approaching, I have been trying to think of present ideas for The Boy. I have found a gardening book that I think he'll be quite chuffed with, so today we broke out Punk's $5 easel & got painting. One painting we'll use to wrap his book, and the other we'll fashion into a sweet card.
Punk just LOVED the painting (please ignore that shirt... it is a pseudo art smock, I'll have to make her a proper one but I thought a shirt I had in the rag box earmarked for some tshirt surgery would do for this morning...), especially the couple of inevitable spillages. I would have preferred to do this alfresco but it is blowing a gale so much outside that I half expect to see Dorothy's house sailing overhead.


I only have myself to blame.

...for the cold, cold rainyness that is today.
It is entirely my fault.

What with whinging yesterday about being sick in the sunshine, now we are sick in the drizzle. (Hehehe... that reminds me of the Aqua Teens episode where Master Shake is "The Drizzle!"... I luffs ATHF...)

It's very cold now. And the rain is noisy. Waaaaaaaaaah!!! I know - I just can't be pleased, but we all like a good whinge now and then do we not, especially when we're sick.
All I want to do is go back to bed, bury myself under a mountain of warm blankets & pass out... but alas, that is not to be. All The Punk wants to do, with runny nose a-gushing, is climb furniture like a mountain goat & just generally get into mischief
I feel like, on days like this, I should know how to knit, or at the very least, crochet. Sure I can do garter stitch... but not terribly well, and even worse, with little to no enthusiasm, but it just seems like such a wholesome, warming thing to do in the cold...

...OK. Cue the spooky music... Punky is watching playschool & just now, as I was typing "knitting" the guy came on with some pretty knitting & is demonstrating how to knit....! Even TV hosts that look like Wiggles rejects know how to knit!!

My problem, or problems, with knitting are many. First of all, I am a very impatient learner. I'm all for a nice bit of instant gratification & knitting just doesn't give me that - sure I can knit a dodgey garter stitch scarf, but it's going to take a lot of time, and a little effort, and all I'm going to end up with is a dodgey garter stitch scarf....! So, then I look at pretty knitted things that I would just LOVE to own, but they are all quite beyond my basic capabilities, and rather than, you know, learning, I just give up in a huff. Even if I knew how to do all the fancy pants stitches I still don't think I would particularly enjoy it. It would be like sewing but you have to make the fabric first... way too slow and again delaying that lovely feeling of having created something yummy.
I get that the pride in completing a knitted project could be of a higher quality than the pride from throwing together a quick pinnie, simply because of the time & effort expended, but again I don't think I could apply myself enough to see if it was worth it. Give me lots of short burst of creative completion instead of a nice steady one any day...
I wonder, is there such a thing as Craft Diabetes...?! ;)
Ah... ignore me. The incoherent ramblings of a sick person. I am going to turn off the computer, find my fuzzy slippers & curl up on the couch where I can keep an eye on the rampaging Punk without having to... well... move.



...that's right. We're sick. All of us. We're coughing, spluttering, sniffling & sneezing constantly... and, as if that weren't bad enough, today is an absolutely gorgeous day, sunny, warm & wonderful, and it's hard to enjoy it, being all sick & sorry for ourselves! It's much easier to be sick when it's cold & miserable & there is nothing to do but curl up in front of the heater with a nice cup of tea... not when it's nice & warm & the park is calling!

Anywho... enough whinging (for now... or more precisely for the blog, rest assured the entire Punky household will be whining quite consistently for at least a few more days...), and on to something fantastic... my awesome Japanese felt food pattern books arrived today...! WOOT!!

They are so beautiful... even if I am heartily doubting my ability to even vaguely get the gist of how to make anything from the Japanese instructions, pictures & all, I am still super glad I ordered them, they are just magic to look at.

They are called Felt Vegetables and Fruits & Handmade Felt Food & Goods Vol 2 from the 'Heart Warming Life Series'... they are entirely in Japanese & entirely adorable.

Scared of hideous failure thought I am, I will not be able to stop myself from attempting at least some of these gorgeous little felt masterpieces for Punky's birthday kitchen. I especially love the little fruits & vegetables, cut in half so that the seeds show.... *swoon*


A spider, more gnomes, a masquerade party & why I shouldn't be allowed near a computer...

How is that for a nice horror beginning?! I can tell you my heart just about stopped two nights ago when I went to close the curtain & found that thing lurking there....! I would have been a shrieking mess if it were on this side of the glass....!! It was there again yesterday but we had crazy winds last night & I suspect he was blown away... (...that is what I am telling myself anyway, especially when a nasty little voice in my head suggests that he might have found shelter... inside....)

Now on to why I should be banned from the Internet... it is just not good for someone like me... queen of procrastination, to have unfettered access to a myriad of crafty ideas, pictures, sites... not only do I spend way too long actually on the computer trawling for such things, but when I find something that takes my fancy I am off on my latest fad, leaving all other projects, works in progress and household duties in the dust.

My new "thing" is ATCs. Artists Trading Cards. I found this site a few days ago & signed up to a couple of swaps straight off the bat. I did know about ATCs before this week, or more precisely, ACEOs (Artists Card Editions & Originals), I had seen, and lusted after, a few on Etsy, but being the eternally poor mamma that I am, I never got around to getting any. I think they are an absolutely fantastic idea, an affordable way to collect original art, as well as, when trading with other artists, foster new friendships & fuel the creative fires.

Already I have been pushed to work super hard on my swap submissions, just from seeing what others are contributing.

What are ATCs or ACEOs? ATCs are cards created by artists solely for the purpose of trading with other artists, and are not sold. ACEOs are pretty much the same, but made for sale to collectors. Each card is 3.5" by 2.5" and can be on many different bases, Bristol board, canvas, playing cards, even fabric! The sky is the limit as to what you do with it, as long as it is that standard size...!

So, I scrounged around for a while & came up with a pack of playing cards the right size & gesso'd them up;

When they were dry I stuck 2 cards together for a sturdier card, using matte medium, and got painting!!

Bellow are my submissions for the 'Fantasy Masquerade' swap.

And, when I saw an open swap for GNOME ATCs... well... how could I resist shrinking down my gnomies into card form.....?!

As excited as I am about this great new hobby, especially the part about getting some lovely cards back in the mail, I can see it eating up a bunch of my time - especially since I can't bare the thought of sending out sub-standard cards!

I need to get a calender out in the craft room - I have so many things to do by the end of the month I am sure to forget & just focus on lots of little pieces of art....! Luckily, I am half way through completing my swap for Crafty Mamas, a pamper box for the lovely Gilly, I am aiming to get that sent before the end of the month.... really I am....!


Super Skully Library Bag Giveaway....

I'm torn between blogging about this for extra entries & keeping it to myself so there is more probability that I might actually win....!!!
Ah... this giveaway business is wrought with difficult decisions!
Truth is, I couldn't bare to let 3 extra entries pass me by... so, go on over to Mrs B's wonderful blog & check out the skully, skully goodness.....


Turning the tables (Red).

It did stay sunny today.... yeah! Not only did I get a whole lotta washing done (shhhh... the mermaid is still on the clothes line... at least it got that far...!), but I finally painted, or finished painting, Punk's little table & chairs that we got from the oppy weeks & weeks ago... This little set was a horrible dusty pink with blue dolphins stencilled on it *shiver*, I wish I had taken a before photo, but I was so eager (this is weeks ago...) to get it painted that I got stuck straight in... only I have no idea about spray paint & the one can I had didn't even cover half the table...!
The half red, half pink monstrosity had been mocking me from the shed, so yesterday I bought a whole bunch of delicious cherry red paint... to show it who was boss!!
With the lovely sun today, first & second coats were dry in no time, and, this is the absolute truth, Punky was not away from the table for the rest of the day. First, she was just sitting outside in the sun, then, when I brought them inside, she sat looking extremely pleased with herself for ages, looking at books & playing with cars on the table top. Then she ate her dinner at her little table & indulged in a little after dinner drawing... I think it's fair to say she likes it. A lot.

Lots of Green... A Lucky Day?

I only realised after I'd uploaded these pics that green is quite prominent in all of them... I'm hoping that's a good sign... if only I could afford to buy a lottery ticket!

First of all, this is my very first, still brand spanking new, ever so lovely, wooden desk easel. Isn't it purty...?!

Next up is a top I found in "The Great Craft Area Clean Up" of '09. It's actually a boy's top I got on clearance, green tops for girls aren't all that easy to find in shops around here, it's all about the pink & the frills generally, but I thought this was a lovely green that the Punk would look cute in. I embroidered the mermaid a little while ago, after a trip to The Stitches & Craft Show in Melbourne, and obviously, promptly, forgot about it. It still has the fabric marker where I drew the design on! I'm hoping it stays sunny (but I have grave doubts) so that I can get this washed & dried & on Punky asap.

And lastly, two lovely op shop finds, featuring lucky green again. I was super excited to find these guys, both now hanging out in my craft area.

A Cute big sprite & Patty O'Green (complete with hot air balloon & wee little sprite!) from Rainbow Brite.... aaaaaaahhhhhh.... lovely.....


Thursday Road Trip; Sushi & Camels....

We ventured out of our town today on a mini-road trip, pretty much exclusively to have sushi for lunch. It is a sad state of affairs, but our town does nae have sushi, and yeah, I know I can make it, but I've tried & pretty much failed at that, and it's just not the same.

Punky loves sushi. From when she first started on solids she's had sushi, and I'm pretty sure she's missed it as much as I have since our move to no-sushi-land, so today was greatly enjoyed by all (..but especially by Le Punk!).

After a massive sushi pig out & a spot of window shopping in the shopping centre we were off again, and Punky was ready for a nap....

A quick stop in at a massive hardware store (The Boy needed potting mix & I needed spray paint... lovely, lovely, cherry red spray paint....) & we headed home. Deciding on an alternate route to the usual however was a lovely variation... The road has been christened "The Horse Poo Highway" by locals because every second property has bags of the stuff piled up in their driveway with signs saying "$1.50 A BAG!". I know that doesn't sound like a particularly scenic route... but it is actually, lots of farms & green acres, but the unexpectedly delightful thing we came across was....

Camels!!! Cute & different they may be, but as I discovered when I wound down the window for some pics... they also smell very (very) bad...!


A Clean Craft Area & Pretty Precious Things....

We've had a pretty good day here, in spite of the horrible night we had last night - Little Miss Punk had a very disturbed night (monster teeth me thinks), which meant I had a very disturbed night, and neither of us were very bright eyed or bushy tailed this morning.

Once I'd had my morning coffee & Punk her Vegemite fix, all was well. Because she had hardly any sleep last night, Punky's nap lasted for a marathon amount of time & I was able to get a tonne done out the back... yes, that's right, I managed to get my craft area cleaned up!
This is what it looked like before, and now;

Not a major make over by any means but it is certainly much tidier! I utilised Punk's old change table in the corner there - told The Boy it would be fine as long as we don't have another kid (he's keener than I on #2) any time soon.

I like that it's clean & tidy out there now, but I REALLY love that I was able to make more room for my precious things, so that I can have them around me when I create.

I also got a desk easel today - my very first easel ever!! It's cold & dark out the back right now so I'll take some pics tomorrow... it's so awesome though & I can't wait to play with it, and you know, "accidentally" drip paint on it for the first time... ;)


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