Back To Reality

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Back to reality today. We had a long weekend in Perth for the Queens birthday (it was not really her birthday on the weekend). Seeing we had visitors from North America, we figured the best thing to do was spend it at the beach! My folks have a place on the beach used for holiday rentals, and luckily we had a chance to live it up large. It was perfect weather, the water could have been a little warmer. Reading, bbqs, embroidery, many games of Uno, catching up with family and friends, and walks and kayaking around the place.
This is the view from the top balcony, you pretty much can't beat that. What an awesome weekend!
This is a TTV (through the viewfinder) pic I made of Joel and Angus enjoying some quality time, watching the sun setting over the Indian ocean!

4 Stories: Swimming

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm going to try and keep up with joining in with Freckled Nest's 4 Stories series. The plan is that each week there will be a different topic to share 4 stories about, feel free to check out Freckled Nest, participate as well if you want, or just read the great stories everyone who is getting involved in it. I'm excited because this first week is one of my favourite things:


01. Pool Party: It was summer time and I was 16 and carefree, I had a group of friends over at my place and we were just hanging out at night in the pool. Growing up we always had a pool and I was well rehearsed at doing all sorts of semi-dangerous things and getting away scot-free. We used to surf on boogie boards from one end to the other, jump off the roof, play hours of marco polo and chasey and enter the pool in any way imaginable. I thought when it came to water I was invincible. It was my idea then, of course, to have a back-flip competition. I was the first one up, this was something I had done hundreds of times before, but on my way back around, I clonked my head on the stone lip of the pool. Ouch. I swam to the edge and got a friend to inspect my skull to see if there was anything wrong. He couldn't see anything because it was so dark out. But then I heard him say "uh Karen" and I looked over at him and he was holding his hand up, which was covered in my blood. Oh no. Luckily my parents had arrived home, and managed to make it into the laundry only dripping a little bit of blood on the carpet (Sorry Mum) and Dad wrapped my head up, and we headed down to the emergency room. I came away with only 3 stitches, and feeling pretty dizzy. The worst mistake of course was deciding to still go surfing the next day.

02. The Swimming Teacher: For almost two years I worked as a swimming teacher. I got such a variety of kids to teach, from stage 1's who wouldn't even stick their heads under the water, to teaching teens and adults their bronze medallion. I loved working in the outdoor pool in the summer time and just jumping in when it got too hot. I hated working in the outdoor pool when it was cold and raining and I was shivering but still needed to get in and help the kids who just couldn't hook their feet doing the breaststroke kick. My favourite part of being a swimming teacher though, was when it clicked. When a child is trying so hard, and you work with them, and work with them, and try different techniques and keep trying to think of creative ways to help them understand what they are supposed to be doing, and then after what feels like forever, they get it. They stand up and are grinning from ear to ear, and I am so excited and I'm yelling "Yes, you got it, you got it, high five, now do it again!"

03. Paraplegics Paradise: Better known as Para's this place is dangerous, but every summer when we were on holidays for as long as I can remember this was one of our favourite beach locations. The reason it is called Para's is because the waves are big, and strong and break directly onto the shore. Even though we had heard many stories about neck and back injuries (thus the name) that had happened here, the place was still full of people, searching for a thrill I guess. We would rush in when the waves had a bit of a lull, and swim as fast as we could out the back. It was ridiculous to even consider using a body board or body surfing, although many people do, and get plunged into the sand within milli-seconds. I often would stay out there for ages, not because I liked it, but because I could never find the right time to get back in without getting pummeled by the waves, which of course inevitably happened quite often, and we all walked away with saggy bather/swimsuit bottoms that were full of sand. I still go down there on holidays, except I no longer take the risks the kid me used to, gotten soft in my old age I suppose.

04. Swimming Carnival: We used to have school swimming carnivals, and although this doesn't pertain directly to me swimming, it happened at a pool and we were all in our swimsuits so I figure it fits. It was in high-school, year 8 or 9 I can't really remember. Anyway, there was this guy, we had kinda gone out for a little bit, and now weren't really on great terms, but I was trying to be nice, and offered him some of my soft-drink (soda). When I turned around with my back to him, he poured the drink over my head. Without even thinking, I turned around and punched him right in the eye, he fell over backwards. Although I don't think I hurt him that bad (he did have a bit of a black eye after wards) I think that it was more his pride that was hurt, the fact that he got punched in the face by a girl. I was able to jump in the pool and wash the drink off my body. I was doing kickboxing classes around the same time, so probably another reason my first instinct was to punch first, talk later.

For The Love Of Beer!

Sunday, September 19, 2010
Recently our house has been turned into "micro-brewery" and nearly every spare inch of extra space has been taken over with beer bottles. In the dining room, in the laundry, in the office there are cartons of beer patiently waiting and developing (as I am told) until they reach their perfect drinking age and quality. Not that I really mind that much, I mean, apart from the outlay costs, this really saves us a lot of money, instead of paying $30-40 per carton, it costs about $20 for a kit and then it makes about 4 cartons or so, there is plenty of beer to go around. Simple math really, how can I complain about that! Of course I have nothing to do with the brewing process, apart from letting it to happen in the kitchen, my husband Joel is the brewer

It's great to see him measuring, boiling, record keeping, taking temperatures, not overlooking any details, like he is conducting an experiment. I think it is the scientist part of him that just loves the process, just as much as the drinking of it. We even bought wine barrel planters from friends of ours last week, that Joel was so excited about because it meant that he could grow his own hops! I have a feeling that he is only just starting to get into brewing, there will be a whole lot more to come.

I'll give you a knuckle sandwich

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So this is the brain child of my husband Joel and his very similar friend Josh, and their antics. They get in silly moods when they get together and their dumb jokes keep escalating and escalating, bordering and then becoming completely engulfed in the ridiculous. But, it makes me laugh....the idea popped into my head after one of these sessions and I needed to stitch it. I must say, if I can, that I love it. It is probably my favourite thus far. It is ridiculous, but it is cute!

The joy is in the journey

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I rarely go into the office, working from home has its perks, I can do my job whilst still in my pj's with my ugg-boots on. This morning I got myself up early, drove to the train station and headed into the city. As I was walking, amongst all the people with their eyes fixated on a spot directly in front, or staring at their phones, I decided to capture my journey, and look like a complete nerd on my way to work. I have walked this same route from the train to the office many times, and really today for the first time, I really enjoyed this walk, it wasn't about getting from point A to point B, but it was about noticing what was around me and enjoying the journey along the way! All I had on me was my iphone, and my hipstamatic app, shaking it along the way to randomize the pictures. Each picture was taken without me stopping, one chance to capture what my path crossed, this is what I ended up with!

Who is the Angry Little Man?

Monday, September 13, 2010
This is a piece that I was "commissioned" to do for someone, to hang above their desk at work. This someone is none other than my husband Joel. If you know Joel, you might say to yourself, Joel isn't angry, but if you were ever in YWAM when Joel was the office manager when he often got really mad about people not washing dishes, then you would agree. Yes, Joel can in fact be angry. At his work, he proudly dons the title of The Angry Little Man... at home, this name doesn't suit him at all, because he rarely lays the hammer down, maybe because he doesn't want to awaken The Angry Little Woman! haha

My helper is not being very helpful

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I am busily trying to make some fabulous dog toys and Angus knows and is lying in wait for them. First, he picks the only spot on the floor where I have stuff layed out nicely and organised and plops his wrinkly butt on it. Then decides to start chewing the unmade strips. He is so funny, but what would I do without him.

The Flooring Installers!

This weekend was all about home renovations, seems like that is what every weekend is about anyway, they joys of owning an old house, good thing we love it! It feels so good to see things changing and coming along so nicely, and to be able to dream about the potential. It helps that my husband is really handy, and is a ex- tile installer and knows a whole lot about floor prep.
Our back room, ex back-porch with the newly installed door and window. We are covering up the jarrah floorboards. "Oh the horror" but what you can't tell by pictures is that the floor boards are weathered, there a major gaps and chunks out of them in certain places and they slope.. a lot. So first step before we lay tile is floor prep, and a whole lot of it.

This is only phase one, securing the floor so it doesn't move, which meant putting about a million screws in it. Phase two, was pouring concrete to level out the floor so that when I sit at my soon to be new office/studio that I am not constantly rolling forwards. That was hard work, as you can see, yes I worked too. It was fun, although I don't think I am great at manual labour. The best thing is that next weekend the tile will be down, and this room will look amazing! Then to the paint!

Homeware not Houseware...

Monday, September 6, 2010
I don't know about you, but most of the time I have a tough time finding things for my house that I really LOVE, and that makes me feel at home. I go to all the furniture stores and everything just seems the same, the home decor stores seem to mostly consist of cheap crud made in India or China, and it is just run of the mill same old same old and they are charging ridiculous prices for it. So I spend a lot of time searching, mostly ebay (I am a bit obsessed) and I was so disappointed when I missed out on a sweet retro desk for my new office space because my 3G internet stuffed up on me. I go to some garage sales and antique stores too, although antique stores usually have super inflated prices and I cannot afford to shop there very often and garage sales are often picked to pieces by the time I get there. I am also lucky because I have a Mum who is an expert at finding great stuff, and often I will tell her something that I am looking for and within the week I will get a phone call from her telling me she picked up the exact item for $10 at a garage sale... it is fantastic.

So here are some of my favourite things that I have picked up along the way, things that I love!
Firstly my kitchenette, I love it, I will be sad when we finally renovate the kitchen and no longer need it, because it just is lovely and has so much character!
My retro dining chairs in pristine condition, unfortunately I only have two of these, but that is ok because they are great!!
I love these dining chairs too! I have 4 of them, and they aren't the most stable in the world, but they sure do look cute!

My bargain basement mushroom lamp picked up for $2 at a garage sale.. brilliant, so cute I just wish I could find more like it.

There are many more things, but for now, these are at the top of my list for my favourite things... and I will be constantly searching for more!

Some cute things I found

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I saw these amazing plates and necklaces in the latest issue of Frankie Magazine
Made by Jimbob art these plates are adorable, they are hand painted and they just make me laugh and smile and feel all warm and fuzzy at the same time.

These necklaces by awildernessforyouandme are so cute and so clever at the same time, they have little pockets so you can fit your card, key, cash just enough for a night on the town, I guess the only thing they wont hold is your phone, but then it would be to big and clunky. Oh well they are just too darn awesome:
Now I just have to buy this stuff, there is just too much cute, creative stuff out there!!