24/14: mothers in memoriam spark queer coincidences

You may have already seen my Mothers’ Day Memorial, which my husband and I created a year ago in honour of our dear departed mothers, but there may be some queer coincidences to consider here.

mothers' day memorial est. 2013

My mother-in-law passed away at 5am on 05/05/2005. Spooky, eh?

When we created the memorial we planted two Aline azaleas, flanked by three Shirazz azaleas (which by the way, have not yet flowered at all).

The week of the anniversary of  Enid’s death, the azalea on the left blossomed.

Aline azalea representing Enid

Meanwhile, the azalea on the right has been a little later in blooming, as it did this week, and today is the anniversary of my Mum’s passing on 29th May 2001. Therefore, this azalea represents Elaine.

Aline azalea representing Elaine

As if that wasn’t weird enough, beyond the azaleas is my beautiful huge rhododendron. We transplanted this back in 1986 from the house where I grew up in Mitcham.

perhaps the azaleas and rhododendron bring greetings from beyond

This plant normally flowers in late October, just in time for Mum’s birthday. Suddenly this week, a couple of days before winter officially starts, a random purple rhododendron has blossomed.

purple rhododendron representing Jack

Technically speaking, this could be explained by the recent spell of amazingly warm autumn weather, but spiritually this could be a whole different ball game.

My father died a day after my mother, on 30th May, 2001, and I suspect that if the azaleas have something to do with the ladies sending a little hello our way, perhaps the rhododendron is representing Dad in some faraway greeting. RIP, my beautiful parents and mother-in-law.

 

23/14: burn for you

burn for you

Not being the most technologically advanced individual, it always pleases me when I have made some small advancement in computer skills.

Don’t judge me too harshly, as I am relatively new to really creative photo-shopping or creating art on the computer. I’ve always been  more a hands-on type, preferring to use traditional media such as pens, pencils and paint. However, I had a bash and came up with this, which I have entitled “Burn for You”. I did it a few months ago, after having my my new laptop for just over six months, and I think I used “Paint”, or was it Adobe Photoshop? Whichever, it was fun manipulating the original photo, which I think was a “selfie”.

Looking at it objectively, it looks a lot like finger-painting, but the best way to learn these skills is often by trial and error. And besides, it was fun!

 

22/14: be true to yourself when you blog

hibiscus

Ben Huberman’s post arrived in my Outlook inbox this morning.

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/stats-to-check/

I don’t always comment on posts I read, but I did today:

“Your post came at an opportune time, when I was starting to question my validity, based on likes and comments. Tsk! tsk! I should know better than that.  I must remind myself that I am blogging because I enjoy it; you can’t please all the people all of the time, and if you are chasing “likes” sometimes you might compromise your content just to “fit in” and then nobody wins…
Be true to yourself and over time the stats should reflect that most readers appreciate honesty and enthusiasm, but do not necessarily “like” or leave comments.”

To add further to this, let’s be gentle on ourselves. I know we all go through self-doubt at times, but if we enjoy blogging why not focus on that enjoyment? Anything else will then be the icing on the cake.

Recently I changed the direction of my blog, which could well lose some readers, but on the other hand may gain more. I needed to inject some extra enthusiasm. Today I will showcase a few photos from my media library from when I was focussing purely on my garden and my cats, as opposed to my new tag “all things creative“.

Feel free to “like” or comment, or both, or neither! Regardless, I shall continue to blog because I have fun doing it.

peach roses offset by an azure sky

 Zorro sprawled across the entrance hall

yellow as can be

Shadow has gone potty

filtered sunlight

excuse me but I have a use for that barrel Oct 1991

iris

 

21/14: mothers’ day memorial one year on

Last year on Mothers’ Day weekend, at my suggestion, my husband and I undertook a project to create a memorial. In this instance I am using the apostrophe to indicate more than one mother since it was for both our dearly departed mums. The project commenced with these bricks.

ready for planting

One year on it is looking lovely, and a real magpie even came to help commemorate the occasion.

a magpie visits the memorial

This Aline azalea bloomed this week, which seemed rather fitting since both our mothers died in May of different years.

Aline azalea

Happy Mother’s Day to all, whether yours are the human kind or furry kind.

20/14: sandi’s teen drawings #1

 

My sister and I used to while away many hours drawing during our childhood. We were from a large family, which shows why there was not much space wasted on a page! Note the random comments in between the different sections. Being somewhat sentimental I kept some from my teens, as it’s fun to take an occasional trip down Memory Lane.

Since we are in the 21st century I can share my doodling with the whole wide cyberspace world, whether you like it or not!

 

drawn by sandi 1973 1974

19/14: something old, something new

 

No, the title is not related to a wedding, although I did eventually wear the altered dress to my sister’s marriage in 2009. I find it difficult to throw out after-five wear, particularly if it wasn’t an inexpensive purchase. Take this Anthea Crawford black and gold dress for example. Purchased in 1991, on sale of course (you won’t find me buying a full-priced designer dress any time soon), the dropped waist didn’t carry through to the new century. I had previously moved it to the fancy dress cupboard, but at the end of 2008 I came up with an idea.

gold and black Anthea Crawford dress before

I still couldn’t bear to throw it out, as both fabrics were, and still are, beautiful. My resourcefulness kicked in when I decided to alter it. Since there was too much gold, I changed it to be a feature top with the skirt sitting just under the bust, and sewn carefully so that I could utilise the rolled  hem it already had. The new design proved to be more figure-flattering also.

gold and black dress after

Add the stole that it originally came with, in the black gold-swirled chiffon, gold shoes and accessories, and I was ready to go.

gold and black dress with stole

All it took was some ingenuity, lateral thinking, some thread and time to create a new look.

18/14: cards with a punch

In card making you can create a strong impact by using punches in creative ways.

For this card I have chosen a deep pink square card, plus two papers in an analogous colour range for the tags. I used my Creative Memories Tag Maker, plus a scalloped corner cutter and a little fleur de lys punch. Just stick the tags on in a pleasing way, making sure there is a good balance between negative and positive space. I added some little lines around the edge as a border for two reasons: firstly, to accentuate the shape of the tag and secondly, to create a hand-stitched look. Now the tags are ready for some calligraphy or lettering.

square card with punched tags 001 (2)