28 August 2011


I've had a fairly disjointed intermission in my blogging lately.

Other things have been going on.

About the only thing I've been blogging regularly, is my weekly 'A thought for you...'. This was a commitment I'd made to myself when I did the 'Blogging Your Way' course, to make sure I posted once a week. I suppose because I'd made a conscious decision to do a weekly thought, at least for the moment, this was going to be my 'once a week' connection to blogland.

Life has gotten a bit disjointed also. I didn't have a lot to talk about and I was in so much pain. Work is busy, home isn't so much, so I've been taking it pretty easy. My grandson arrives in less than 2 months, so I wanted to feel stronger for when he arrives. It would kill me if I couldn't pick him up, or play with him, or even bend over to change a nappy...hmmm, maybe I'll leave that one for my son. After all, as a grandmother, I have the privilege of being able to play and hand back!!!

For the past 8 years I've had an extremely bad back. In recent times, as in the last 2 years, I've been seeing a physio most weeks and it's only been in the last 6 weeks that I truly feel close to normal. It gets you down, having pain every day and night.

About 6 weeks ago, I couldn't stand the pain, but I had to keep plugging away. Panadol became my right hand (wo)man. It's not very strong compared to what I've used before, and I think some psychological factor takes over in your brain when it comes to masking pain, but it got me through. I had to ween myself off stronger tablets as they were making me sick, with the possibility of an ulcer forming.

Then all of a sudden, almost as if 6 weeks ago was like the peak of a tempest, the pain started to go. My back feels better with less (sometime no) pain, my left knee is getting better (still not very strong in the quads though) and my left hip is finally starting to hurt less and less. The pain in my knee and hip are a result of not being able to walk normally from the back pain, so other parts of your body take over.

I have a slight curve of the spine (scoliosis) and soft tissue injuries (muscle tears, weakened muscles). It's hard to remember what year it started, all I can see looking back, is a day in Big W with the boys, when they were much younger. I went to walk around the end of a fixture and 'BANG', something went in the left hand side of my back.

And I mean 'BANG'. It actually made that noise, probably amplified in my mind. I couldn't stand up straight for about 3 weeks. I was in agony. My boss booked me in to an Osteopath, didn't work. I went to a physio, which got me back on track, but didn't really fix the problem or help me arrest any more damage.

As the years went on, it happened time and time again. I was losing strength in my legs, my stomach muscles, my upper body, more and more, because I was too scared to do anything. Sport stopped, exercise stopped, I put on weight...so on and so on. It made me tired, being in pain, not sleeping, all the usual stuff, including tiredness from now living such a sedentary life. Doing nothing or not much at all makes you tired.

I wish I knew why all of a sudden my back feels so good, because I'd make sure I kept doing it!

I'm ready to get back into walking. Spring is coming, so maybe a bit of swimming. I might even change my physio sessions to a Personal Trainer session every now and then.

Being in pain has made me lazy. I know that...I see it all the time. I can hear my mind saying, 'You really should dust/vacuum/wash/cook, you know...Yeah I know, but I'm not going to, I'd rather read my book!'

I have been doing things, just not household things. Well...I do them, but not as much as I should.

My extra curricular activities have been sewing, making handmade gifts, some fabric designs, some typography designs...I found Pinterest! Great because it has beautiful images, not so great because you can spend hours on it, but it's given me some inspiration, especially for the arrival of Baby Grove.

Let me show you what I've been doing in the meantime...

 Home Made Rice Pudding...Yummm
A fabric block for my grandson...now has the letters 'B' 'A' 'B' 'Y' on four sides.
'A whale of a time' 3D artwork... to go on my 'Made It' store.

'Don't wish to be anything except what you are!' posters
...still testing colours. They will go on 'Made It' when I'm happy with them. 
Using these clipboards is a great idea to showcase your kid's artworks. 
From Officeworks for a few dollars!!

I participated in a Mail Swap with Sheree from Seaweed and Raine.
These are what I made and sent to Greta from On Top of a Lily Pad.

Burlap/Hessian Bunting ready for my 'Made It' store.

Reversible Bunting, also ready for my 'Made It' store.
I have a few others in the process of completion, just need to trim the tips, turn them out, iron them and attach the trim and ties. Oh...and I decided to make one for my room too.

My fabric designs are coming along, and I've found a Melbourne printer, to be launched in a few weeks time, who just might be a good substitute for what I've been having done by Spoonflower in the US. Frankie and Swiss is the name of the company. Their website is still under construction, but they have a Facebook page, so check them out. 

Love the name for their printer, Florence (the machine). Hmmm...wondering if it's any coincidence the name is similar to Florence AND The Machine. Great band, fabulous voice!!

Thank you so much for letting me get that off my chest. I don't talk a lot about myself here, maybe I should. Treat it as my therapy...haha! I have always wanted 'designed to a T' blog to be a positive space for me, so the little intermission has given me some space to find something to talk about. Something positive. I didn't want to be sounding defeated, or a whinger, which I know I do, whinge that is, or have done, because quite frankly, I haven't been well. Not 'sick' in the sense of the word, but generally not well.

Anyway, onward and upward as they say. October here I come, welcoming a new life into the world with the arrival of Baby Grove!

27 August 2011

A thought for you...

Image: Terese Grove


21 August 2011

A thought for you...

Image source here
This quote is commonly known as 'seize the day', probably made more famous through Robin Williams' film, 'The Dead Poet's Society'.

The original source for the Latin phrase is the lyric poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC), more widely known as Horace. The term is first found in Odes Book I:

Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero

which translates as:
While we're talking, envious time is fleeing:  
pluck the day, put no trust in the future.
{source here}

14 August 2011

It's in the mail...

With the advent of the electronic age, it's very rare we find something special arriving in the normal surface mail. We never seem to have that feeling of knowing something special is on it's way...unless you are an especially regular online shopper. The feeling of waiting for the parcel to arrive, wondering what's in there! Unless, of course if you bought it, then you'd know...

This month, I decided to take part in the 'Sunshine in the Mail Swap' over here at 'Seaweed and Raine'...

Having missed out on a mail swap earlier in the year with the Creative Collective, this was a great opportunity for me to use some of those ideas floating around in my head, AND for a recipient to have a parcel arrive in the mail (and not just those window faced envelopes!)

Sheree from Seaweed and Raine put the call out about a month ago. I'm not sure how many people signed on for the activity, but we all now have the name and address of the person we are preparing our little surprises for!

We each have been allocated a different person to receive the Mail Swap, so our special gifts are for someone other than the person who is making one for us/me! What a great idea!

With the rain that's been hanging around (we've just had a down pour), it's been the right type of weekend to drag out the cutters, the glue, the printer, the sewing machine. Oh...how I long to be able to spend my days just doing this!!

Now that I have a grandson on the way, he'll be here sometime in October, all of my skills and passion for creativity are champing at the bit. I can't wait to see what Mum and Dad-to-be have chosen for the baby's room!

Pinterest is getting a workout! and my blog projects are up there too...Some of the things I've been doing this weekend are for potential new ideas for my Made it store as well.

How about a bit of a look at what I've been making?

The lady I am sending my gifts to, is Greta from 'On top of a Lilypad' across the ditch in New Zealand. How cool that it's 'overseas', well, over one sea anyway! NZ is so close they could be part of us anyway, or maybe they think AUS should be a part of NZ. (The rivalry continues...)

For the swap, we were asked to do a few things or all of the 5 activities, if we wanted to..

Sheree asked us:
... to choose 3 things (more if you feel like totally spoiling your partner!). It's preferred if you could hand make some of it (or purchase from someone who does).

1. Stationery OR  note cards with envelopes.

2. 1 Handmade postcard.

3. Something you have made.

4. Something that makes you think of Spring.

5. A surprise for your partner

My package will include the following:

This is from a selection of postcards I made earlier in the year for another project by the 
Creative Collective and I've sort of kept it as a bit of a 'signature' for some of my 
'designed to a T' poster/stationary items.
{Photo isn't great sorry, this was during the downpour and I had no light basically}

A few tags using stickers, bakers twine and Washi tape - This tape is one of my favs 
at the moment, it has the days of the week on it - in 3 different colours!

This is an A4 poster with the quote I used from last week's 'Weekend Thoughts' 
'Don't wish to be anything except what you are!'

Here's the actual graphic for it...I'm going to send it with the clipboard too. This is a great way to showcase art work, especially if you have children. You can change the item regularly and even have some hooks on the wall for a row of 3 or 4 pictures. They look fantastic and are really a cheap way to display. I bought these from Officeworks for a few dollars each...bargain!
I couldn't think of anything to do that reminded me of Spring, but I still have time. The parcels are scheduled to arrive by the start of Spring, September 1. I have some floral fabric in my stash...I'll think of something...

Stay tuned for some more of what I've been making this weekend...

07 August 2011

A thought for you...

'Do not wish to be anything except what you are...'
St Francis
{Image source here}

Did you ever make a wish on a dandelion as a child?

Make a wish today...

04 August 2011

'Decorate' Book Review

Have you got your copy of Holly Becker's 'Decorate'? Holly is the author of the very successful blog, decor8!

Mine arrived in the mail yesterday, as a bit of a late birthday present. I had actually forgotten my son emailed me a Gift Certificate, from an online book store, for my birthday in June.

My mail order package also included 3 books by Pia Jane Bijkerk, who just happens to have been a contributor to 'Decorate'. I'll review those in another post soon.

I've been following Holly's writings and insights for a while now, even before I had started my own blog, but through Haus Maus, her other online presence. Earlier this year I joined many bloggers, worldwide, in Holly's eCourse, Blogging Your Way. 

'Decorate' has a wealth of creative resources and inspirations. Some of the world's best interior designers and decorators have collaborated with Holly, and her co-author Joanna Copestick, to bring us this absolutely gorgeous book.

The book is broken up into 4 areas:
  • Space Matters
  • Setting Your Style
  • Room by Room
  • and Attention to Detail
Leslie Shewring, another of the contributors, and Holly's co-facilitator of Blogging Your Way, has allowed the team into her home to photograph her daughter's room in Section 3, Room by Room. Check out pages 220 and 221.

Leslie is a freelance photographer and stylist from Los Angeles. Her blog is A Creative Mint, where she catalogues the most gorgeous mood boards and colour stories. The Los Angeles home studio where Leslie works from is also featured on page 73, in the Mood Board section of the book.

The authors have retained the photographic expertise of Debi Treloar to bring these inspirations to life. There are so many, so I thought I'd leave you with a little movie (60 sec) of me flicking through some of the pages and finish with some of the beautiful images. There is a music track accompanying the movie, so just check your volume control.

Every now and then throughout the book, you'll come across insightful quotes from designers and decorators. Here is the one from our own Shannon Fricke.

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