Monday, September 24, 2007


Update on the mystery intruder! The police finally showed up after a couple of days and only when the home owner of the house broken into (only thing taken was a digital camera) used his contacts in senior management at the local station. When the uniformed officer arrived (he was really quite cute too) I was trying in vain to get Dylan to sleep. He questionned me quite closely - description, behaviour and so on. Then I got a huge lecture about security and keeping doors locked and blah blah. The final straw was when he strongly urged me to make sure I call the police IMMEDIATELY if another person, or the same weirdo, started hanging around. I just raised one eyebrow and asked him if he enjoyed being ironical. He mumbled that of course someone would come straight away if they could, but that was not always possible - reassuring isn't it - especially as the large local station is about 500 metres away from my house!!!!!!!!!

Spent whole weekend in a frenzy of cleaning up (must be Spring) - and I mean REALLY cleaning up. I even dusted and cleaned all the photos and frames, electric outlets, light switches, door frames. I chucked out in a ruthless frenzy all the garbage bags full of awful scraps (although I admit I kept spotting the odd one or two and thought - gosh that looks OK, I could do something with that - but NO, I was firm with myself). It was an ideal opportunity as the weather was great and our council is having a bulk refuse pick up this week from the verge. Then I tore into the garden, hacking into the dog bane that has gone berserk and pongs like garlic, cleaned and swept all the paving areas and to break the camel's back - attacked the horror of the storage shed and chucked all the old tins of house paint, rusted tools and bits of God knows what. I could barely move last night and my poor old broken ribs were moaning at me. But, boy - do I feel virtuous today - I figure that lets me off housework for at least a month. Also it's pissing down with rain today, so the timing was just right.

I am excited to get going on Arlee's PSI exchange and Thanks so much, babe for organizing it. Loving that theme - it's right up the alley of a person like me with a macabre sense of humour. Since I have no camera for about another week (unless idiot brain loses it in Munich) I will break this up by including a photo of my three kids - taken a few years ago, but the only recent one I have of them together. Of course, couldn't find the one I wanted, but here's my boy Steve on the left at Nat's engagement party (she's very pregnant on the left). He now dies his hair black because he hates it blonde. My girls are Nat on left without eyes (sorry, cut them off) and her cloned sister Taz on the right.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I will share about those little boots for y'all that is interested. I believe the pattern is on the Martha Stewart website and the original was made with felt. I used fleecy and fake fur fabrics instead and handstitched a blanket stitch edge around the outside with some yarn. I will put the link in here once I have checked that my memory is correct: (Not so bad for an old lady!)

There will be no photos for a while as my giant son borrowed my camera, much to my trepidation. Hence have been very teary deary - especially after yesterday. Remember my strangeness in the night with the handprint on my mirror? Prior to that the weirdo in my kitchen - who, by the by, reappeared a couple of weeks ago "sheltering" in my carport from the pelting rain and I shocked the life out of myself by getting quite angry at him and telling him to get off my property or I would call the police. Luckily he did!
Well, yesterday my next door neighbour knocked on my door to let me know that she had just spotted a bloke go into our communal bin area (I live in a quadruplex setup, but the homes are separate - no common walls), climb up on a bin, look furtively around and jump over the wall into the garage of the house directly in front of her (owners were out). This was about 2p.m. She is a young mum about same age as my Nat (they are close friends) with two littlies same age as my grandsons (I asked them once if they actually rang each other up to see if they were going to have sex that night because the kids are only days apart). Nat thinks I am a disgusting old woman. I digress. Without really thinking of the consequences, we marched up the driveway and she called out the name of the man who lives in the house. Oh, PS he had left his red bicycle resting on the wall. He came out of the house via the sliding glass door and said that Pete (the homeowner) was out, but would be back in a couple of minutes. She asked who he was and what he was doing there and he said Mike (yeah, sure) and he had come to do a few jobs for Pete, but he had forgotten to leave a key out. All seemed very suss to us, as usually this older couple have the same handyman all the time, plus this dude only had a backpack. So I said quite loudly that we would see if our other male neighbour was home and if he had Pete's mobile number so we could check. We went to the other neighbour, but the husband was not home, so we are standing out in the sunny driveway telling his pregnant wife the story, when the dude comes riding up the driveway and out the gate. We asked where he was going and he said we were a bunch of fucking busybodies and he was just going to buy a soft drink at the shop. Then he proceeded off in the wrong direction and my neighbour called after him that we were calling the cops. He told us to go fucking right ahead and do that - which we did. Needless to say, the cops still have not bothered to turn up and it has now been almost a day. The old couple did not get home til quite late and I only managed to catch her this morning to fill her in (much to her horror). I also rang my husband to find out what the situation was re the money for the security improvements and told him what had happened. He said "Well, you'll just have to be careful. I have only just put in the application." He has had it for 2 weeks. Thank you so much - typically unhelpful I might add. I used to be the one who checked out the bumps in the night and once even surprised an intruder hiding in our backyard!! Luckily I am a pretty aggro person when I get shocked like that. Any way, I am now going to go do some lovely gardening with my two babies coming over and try to not obsess - but I have to admit it has made me a total nervous wreck!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


These are some cute little boots I had made for my newest grandson, Kieran. I had to put a little hidden extra stitch in as he kept kicking them off and soon it will be too warm for him to wear them! Plus he already has ginormous feet - typical Aussie plates.
This entry might be a tad baby oriented, but who cares - not me. I had Dylan yesterday and it struck me how imaginative and freely exploring is the mind of a child ( of 2 and a half). He keeps a gazillion trucks at my house and had decided to move all of them outside onto the paved area, plus all the stupid plastic trees that don't stand up properly, the cardboard roads that don't fit so well, the tiny fence areas that also fall over. Anyway, having arranged his little "site", he demanded that "Midgie get down and play with the trucks" and of course no excuse like "Midgie is old and can't get down there" was acceptable. So there I am in my extremely attractive and hideously expensive compression stockings (long story) kneeling on my arthritic knees and moving the trucks around. He, of course, knows the names of all of them - dump trucks, garbage trucks, tractors, forklifts, graders, petrol tankers, concrete mixers, etc, etc. So I am doing boring stuff like backing them around the trees and driving them to the parking lot. He, on the other hand, is putting the tiny concrete mixer onto the forklift tray and lifting it up to the top of the crane, where it sits. I don't need to say anything else, except there's a lesson for us all in this.
Feeling very anxious today as my son is flying out to Munich for the Beer Festival. Everyone says don't worry, he's a big boy (25) and my response is - don't forget I went there myself at much the same age and that's probably worrying me even more. I admit I get a bit funny when it comes to my son and my grandsons - probably because my first son was taken from me. I have horrible visions of kidnapping, abuse, death, bashings and so on that keep forcing their way into my head. I will be much relieved for many reasons when he gets back home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


The big black monster leapt out from around the corner of my house on Saturday, hence I have done nothing but fight the urge to give in to the beast for three and a half days now. I think I am emerging cautiously. Thank God it's Spring and the days are getting longer and warmer. I have concentrated, instead on the forthcoming wedding arrangements for my daughter and minding my grandbabies, hoping that I can at least rediscover joy in those glorious things.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Before we went shopping yesterday, I did a quick couple of experiments. For the blueish green one, I took a nappy liner and wetted it. Then i put random drops of that refill ink for the printer on it, added a sprinkle of salt crystals and sprayed the whole lot with more water. By the time I got home, it had attained this quite funky look and I am going to try a few rusted bits on there (of which there are many in my shed). For the hessian, first I sprayed it with this old can of gold paint from the shed that turned out too subtle to be seen. then I took some gold leaf paint and freehanded some leaf shapes. (Put glasses on afterwards and read this on the bottle: Warning: Cancer agent based on experimental data. Oh joy!! Then I riffled thru my makeup and found some old eyeshadows and blushes I have never used, so rubbed them into the hessian with baby wipes. So far, so good.
The real purpose of my blog this morning is to have a right royal bitch about what happened to me yesterday. Nat had some birthday money from her dad and wanted to buy some loose tops as she is still feeding baby Kieran and has not lost all her baby weight. So we go to this rather flash shopping mall and there is a store there that sells very up to the minute stuff (made in Asia) and incredibly cheap. She picks out about a million tops to try on, while I am wandering around with an eye on Dylan and trying to resist all the amazing bargains. (I didn't - ended up with a pair of shoes in the new wedge toe bright blue, a really long but light sweater in cobalt blue and another purple, grey and blue top and a large silver bag. Each item cost about $10). So, little Miss Typical Virgo is in the change room trying to find perfection in all these articles, meanwhile I am attempting to try the shoes on. Took off my boots and Dylan wanted his off too, so he could try mine on and then the pairs I was rejecting as well. At that time, bubs decides to cry in the stroller because he is starving, so I picked him up and soothed him as Dylan disappears into the display window to remove the shoes off the manequin. Realising that it was physically impossible for me to put on and rezip my boots and put Dylans back on without sitting down, I scanned around and found the only seat in the store - a semi-circular couch thing occupied by an old lady and a little girl of about 8. Right, I thought, surely that little girl could give me her seat for a couple of minutes while I juggle all these shoes. So battle up there with the stroller full of purchases, boots and shoes, Dylan and bub in my arms. I asked little girl very nicely if she would mind letting me sit for a few moments while I put my boots on. Ungraciously she got up and I sat. Meanwhile Dylan walked into all the bags that the old lady had at her feet, by accident. You could not see what was inside the bags, but she said "Oh don't do that, there are plants in there." Could not help it, so I said "Sorry, he's only 2 and obviously couldn't see the plants." She hrrrmphed. Then the old bitch said to the little girl "You're not feeling well are you sweetie, maybe you could squeeze in next to me." L G shook her head and looked longingly at my position. I said (very slowly and calmly) "Obviously she's well enough to come shopping. Anyway, like I said, I just want to get my shoes on and I am nearly done so she can have her seat back. I'll just walk around with this very hungry baby and manage this energetic two year old whilst looking after the stroller and all these parcels. I know appearances can be deceptive but I will be fine with my fractured vertebrae, newly broken ribs, the two vertebrae in the throes of crumbling and all the old breaks from the 30 broken ribs I have had in the last 3 years." And I got up and walked away. I heard the old bat say to her friend "I thought she was their mother." Yes, I do get that quite a bit and my poor daughter gets asked to show ID to buy scratchies (you have to be 16!!!), so we are a youngish looking lot. Nevertheless, I remember many a time being heavily pregnant and carrying a toddler on public transport where no one gave up their seat. And the really sad part about this? I hate to criticize my own sex, but it is ALWAYS women that behave so badly in my experience. That is off my chest now, I feel better.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Short and sweet today. Off shopping with my Nat and the babies. I love doing that with her and even tho I have no money I am sure I can manage a way to splash my credit card out on some foolishness or other (the fools recently gave me an automatic limit increase!!).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Distractions from Tasks on Hand!!

Ta- daaaa! The little dresses are all finished. Now I have to put them in their little windows. I have made them some little hangers as well. Yesterday was SUCH beautiful weather (23 degrees) that I could not
justify spending time inside. Instead, went for long walks, after spending far too much time on the computer roaming around in cyberspace checking out other blogs so I can get me a list of ones I love. Wow - there is so much talent out there.
I love walking around thinking about my work. So many ideas come and I probably should carry a notebook. Then I could be sketching all the wild fresias in the parks and people's lawns. Or jotting down plans for my bottlesbrush on hessian wallhanging. Instead, I just wander along in a dream, as per usual. Also, I had to stop into the local charity shop to buy a belt as my jeans kept falling down on my walk (how embarassing). Sadly, I am rather boy shaped and lack hips. My kids have occasionally walked in on me with said jeans around my ankles because I have been cooking or something and have just let them fall. I am a constant source of embarassment to them - I know that. They frequently threaten to have me put down if I get any more eccentric. That reminds me, I went up to the local shopping centre on Saturday, intending to buy some fairy lights (plain) for my little lanterns. Of course, I am a month too early as the shop there that sells all kinds of really, really cheap crap only had the lovely REALLY tacky stuff leftover from last year. I find, though that this kind of shop is such a nasty temptatation if you really riffle thru them you can come across some amazing little (tacky) treasures. So, I came home with a gorgeous battery operated lava lamp (for my grandson I keep saying, but no one believes me), a cellotape dispenser (with 3 rolls of cello), a set of plastic coasters in various bright colours that look like Mr Men people made out of jelly and they join into a circle by linking hands jigsaw style and finally a great umbrella with photo images of a leopard family. All this for less than $20!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone can answer these totally unrelated questions for me, I would be most grateful. 1. Buying fabric online - how reliable? what is the quality like? I am thinking about silk mainly. 2. Buying secondhand books from Amazon? Has anyone had any experience and would you recommend it?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Strangeness in the Night

WHY IS THERE A HANDPRINT ON MY BATHROOM MIRROR?? I saw it there this morning when I got up. At first I thought that I had put it there myself and racked my brains for when and why the hell I would have done that. Perhaps (and this is still an option) I got up in the night and put it there whilst still asleep???? Stupidly, I put my own hand on top of it to see if it was the same size - BUT, here's the really scary bit, it was bigger than mine and also I had to reach a bit to put my hand up there. Apart from the dog (and it sure don't look like one of hers!), I live alone, so I am just about crying with scaredness this morning. I know that I left my sliding door screen unlocked because I was getting sick of the dog barking at 2 a.m. to go out for a pee, so I am silly for doing that. I know when I tell my great big huge hulk of a son, he is going to get very cross about that. What concerns me is that I have had a weirdo intruder a couple of times about 6 weeks ago (same dude each time). I just felt that he was not the full quid, you know, a shovel short of a load. Either that or he was on some serious drugs. Young (everyone is to me), filthy dirty and shabby clothes, tall and rangy with dark curly hair. I never bothered to report it to the cops because I hardly felt they were going to put out a special BOLO, particularly as he left when I demanded he do so - informing him that the dog was old, unpredictable and inclined to be vicious.

The other thing going on in my house has more obvious
explanations. I know what those little lanterns have
been doing at night!
Dirty little buggers.

I had such fun yesterday doing some stuff for the quilt I am going to enter in the competition. I used to love that story about the Shoemaker and the Elves and it so reminded me of that! The really great thing about making these 5" by 3" clothes is that they aren't ever going to be worn and don't have to fit any body parts, so a hell of a lot of cheating can go on (e.g. just ironing the little shoulder straps, instead of sewing them which I tried but the machine kept eating them). There's also an awful lot of swears flying through the air, but over all great fun! I have sketched out six "frocks" so far and need nine and am so encouraged by the relative easiness of the task that I am going to lash out on a fashion mag this morning and find smore.

Friday, September 7, 2007


I made up some little lantern covers for the fairy lights. Currently they look a bit like witches hats, but cute!!! This looks like having potential, but I am going to shelve the nappy thing for a while, it just aint right. I will mull upon it.
Also worked like a veritable demon on Nat's quilt and it is now fully pieced on top with an edging ready to attach. (I wanted to see how it would go, cos it really did need at least a tiny dab of red in there somewhere.) It's actually black and white, but the colour is kinda bluish grey and try as I could, I was unable to fix it with Picasa - making it b&w just eliminates the red touches. It is also humungous, over 6 feet long and 5 and a half wide. It is going to be a right bastard to quilt. Therefore mostly it is going to be very simply in the ditch, with some free motion on the plain borders if I get the energy.
We had a wedding meeting of the parents last night, mainly to discuss the financials. (Don't know why I was there, I am definitely not financial, but I have promised Nat I will pay for her dress with some of the super money I should get soon.) Every time I see my husband, I am convinced that he is getting more and more senile. He asked Nat if they HAD SET A DATE yet?????????
Du-u-u-u-uh!That was only done last Christmas and, as she pointed out, every single time he has spoken to her since then, he has asked the same question and been given the same answer. It's not a difficult date to remember - 26 April, the day after our Anzac Day public holiday. I am so glad he and I are apart, I remember how much it used to annoy me that he was either never paying attention or definitely senile and I probably would have put a meataxe thru his head by now.
I have to stop as I feel myself entering dangerous territory and already I have a migraine looming large. Besides, to enumerate his many problems is counterproductive, not my problem any more and would take me all day (make that all year).

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Here's something that is not a good idea. Work non-stop on a project all day long, skip all meals and breaks and forget even to smoke, and when every fiber of your body is screeching at you to just stop - just clench your teeth tightly and tell yourself that your age is just a state of mind and, yes you can still work well into the night.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Got to have my own car for a whole day yesterday!!!!! Consequently, had to flit all over the joint like a crazed fly. Still managed to spend an obscene amount of money that I don't have (that credit card aint never gonna go down) on yet more stash. My excuse is that I want to enter a quilt competition at the store I bought from. I have never done so before, as I lack self confidence, but the prize is a trip to Houston for the International Quilt Festival and I have been yearning to visit the States since forever. Not sure how this will go, as I am definitely planning an arty quilt and this seems like a pretty traditional organization, but the comp rules could not be more open with no "theme" or stuff. I don't care. I have got an idea and I want to run with it anyway, plus I did get some really interesting stuff, including hessian that I am going to use as a simple painted background for my bottlebrushes when I get round to them.

Outcomes of experimentation with the nappies is less than thrilling. Made up a new lot the day afore yesterday, using lots less water and I ripped up and threw in all the papery bits of the nappy. It still has not set either. I am having more promising results with painting the first lot of goop onto the chicken bags. First coat seemed to dry, so I put another one on last night. I might try another bag with the thicker lot and see how that comes out. I got more thread to finish my vase cover and I did a bit more work on Nat's quilt yesterday. It is almost ready for assemblage so I can give you a photo. I also had to fit in a couple of chores for Luv over the weekend - remaking a "bargain" dressing gown she got (a black fleecy job with leopard print collar and cuffs) - WHAT A NIGHTMARE, plus I made her three pillowslips for an odd shaped cushion for her son. A person is coming to her house today who helps organize the clutter in people's homes. That will be a fascinating outcome, because I have really never seen anyone with so much extraneous STUFF. She even keeps tins of mushy peas in her pantry, because a neighbour of hers feeds them to her family and once she ran out and asked Luv if she happened to have any (that's rather like asking anyone if they happen to have a spare set of frog's braces). Since then, she's always stocked them - Christ knows where she buys them???????

I decided (it's later today, had to sing "Happy Day" to my Nat with cake) to put the thicker goop on the bag and paint on it, added some glitter and threw some salt crystals in for good measure:

Hmmmmmmm???? Will look at it tomorra. Too buggered now, having spent a saltmine of a day chained to the sewing machine, determined to get thru the bulk of Nat's quilt before I start any more new experiments or fun stuff like that (I call it my penance.)

Now, I am not bragging - actually, yes I am bragging - get an eyeful of my petunias that I planted in the garden 12 months ago. I have no idea what the secret is. Perth has about the crappiest soil in the world, it's little more than beach sand. The only "special" thing I do to them is to obsessively pluck of the deadies when I go outside for a smoke. Which is often. Back to the saltmines.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Rightio then! Arlee, yes that is me - the blonde bimbo. The female one anyway. I decided I should put a photo of me on my site and I did. It is a wee bit old and shows me with shorter and artificially darker hair but still the same maniacal grin. It was, I believe, Christmas Day 2005. I have resisted the temptation to clean/dispose of my ironing board cover, but have had quite a few thoughts about combining that effect and the chicken bag musings. I found the most satisfying thing is to burn the bag, because the white paper totally vanishes and the foil is left. Led me to think - that would make it so suitable as the inside of a light cover as it seems like its fireproof. So, started pondering about making little lantern covers from the bags for strings of fairy lights. I thought, paint the outside paper bit, make into an interesting shape (not just boring old circular) and maybe do some "snowflake" cut-out thingies in the paper like we did at school. Then I discovered quite a brilliant extension of the whole concept as a result of failed (so far) experimentation with disposable nappy interiors. What I had done, was rip up all the fluffy bits into a saucepan with all the polymer crystal thingies in there and added water. I found that 2.1 litres (about 7 pints) swells up so-o-o-o-o-o much I had to stop, but reckon you could keep on going almost ad inifinitum. I poured a glob of purple acrylic paint in, stirred and dumped half of it into a baking sheet lined pan. The other half I kept whiteish and put into a bowl (thinking of shaping into beads later). Put those in the sun for a day and a half of very warm weather. Nothing set! It was all still a globby liquidy stuff, so I ripped up shreds of the burnt off foil from the chicken bags and decided to mix in some white glue. Had to use 125 grams per half lot (I think that equates to 8oz(???) per nappy. Mixed thoroughly and now its sat again in very warm weather (tho had to bring it inside at night because insects kept committing hari kari in the vessels). STILL not set!!!!

However, then I thought, hmmnnnnn? This could be applied as a coating to the outside of the lantern things and painted over because the crystals look amazing under paint. Hope you can see from these:Then I thought that if this works, I might even try a proper lampshade!!!! Oh my God I feel totally inspired! Plus, of course, I will have to destroy another disposable nappy and use way less water with the glue from the outset (must re-stock on that) to see if I can make a sheet of ppapery stuff and maybe some beady things. Keeping u posted!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Today is September 1, and fittingly it's a PEACH of a day. Sun shining, birds twittering, flowers blooming, temp in mid 20's (maybe 70+???). So great, isn't it to get those windows open. Now, what have I been doing? Yesterday, I decided that my floor (tiled) had so many bits of thread, balls of fluff, scraps of fabric etc that I really HAD to get out the vaccuum cleaner and give it a run. I heard a couple of loud pops and realised that I had broken a couple of ribs in my enthusiasm. Poop! I don't bother with X-rays any more, having had between 20 and 30 broken ribs in the last 3 years, I think I know what has happened and there's nothing they can do about it except tell me to expect 6 weeks for it to heal, a lot of agony doing anything including breathing and what crappy bones I have got. For that I get another little dose of radiation and a bill. No thank you. Only thing is, I rail and rant against this limitation on my mobility. Nevertheless, I did get a few things underway. Like:

It is going to be a vase cover thingy. I made a big bit of created fabric by fusing little scrappy bits between two layers of crinkled sheer and fashioned them into squarish shapes (not straight edged, wavy). Then, I thought I would try to link them into diamonds with metallic satin stitch. Alas, I ran out of said thread (Gutterman, which is great stuff but poor value for money for the amount on the reel). Having no vehicle as my son has requisitioned it, I am kinda stuck at the moment, but I hope the effect can be gained and let's hope it works out! (As you can see, I am at the tricky part.) The vase has bothered me for a while. It was just a cheapy, but i liked the blue fluted shape at the top and the overall form of it. There's always been something unidentifiable about it, tho, that seems to scream, "Yes, I look OK, but I'm still just a cheap slut."

Then I played with my chicken bag, as Arlee suggested. Let me just say, I have learned quite a bit. For a start, setting it on fire works well (plus it satisfies the pyromaniac inside). It chars the outside white paper, leaving a thin film of silver stuff that I am trying to make work like that foiling effect. One of my earlier projects of the day was to rip up a disposable nappy and take out the fluffy innards (it's got water absorbing crystals in it). I threw some acrylic paint on it and it came out great because there were still tiny bits of crystals on it and they looked cool. Unfortunately, not one to leave well enough alone, I thought I might try to foil it as well. I was smart enough to use baking paper on top of it to protect my iron - BUT, forgot that the back of the nappy was PLASTIC. I can just leave it there, can't I?? In case you cannot imagine it, this is what my ironing board looks like now:

Guess what I have to do today? I did get further inspiration about the fluffy stuff and if it works I will post it on here.

The only other thing I can claim to have achieved yesterday was to find the bargain of the century (maybe) in the form of a toy "building site" complete with many different kinds of trucks and machines. I set it up for Dylan's visit today and he will just love it. A couple of comments, though - obviously made in a non-English speaking country as the bit where the trucks come in is called the "Enterance" and the road pieces are made of thin card in jigsaw style that don't really fit together all that well, so I can see someone cracking the shits about that! I thought I might scrabble around for a piece of firm board and paint out the little scene for him instead.

Nat and Daniel (her fiance) are dropping him off soon on their way to the footy. I have a free ticket if I wanted to go, but frankly it's been a sad enough week and I don't know if I can cope with saying goodbye to the longest serving, most amazing coach my team has ever had. Goodbye Sheeds, you're a legend! Plus, James Hird, possibly the greatest Bomber to pull on a pair of boots, courageous and inspirational captain and all round great man and father to those beautiful children. At least I have this to remember him by. (Some nasty people have suggested he is my secret son!) Gonna miss you Hirdy.