Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

 This year my Christmas decorating was quite sparse, somehow my heart wasn't quite there.  The feather tree on the table has 3 vintage pairs of baby shoes in shades of white with a gorgeous cream childs boot given to me in Italian by a lovely friend Olga, it started me off with a love of old worn children's footwear. In amongst the birdhouses on top of the cabinet I mixed in a lot of 12 inch feather trees.  Just outside this room I hung an old white window frame below the wisteria with a white paper cornet attached to the side, this I saw in the Christmas edition of Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine.  Of course in Denmark their homes have snow everywhere !!!! sigh
 Christmas morning tea with the girls who attend my weekly classes, this was a welcome respite to just sit around talking, eating and sharing gifts.

And this is the reason for my lack of decorating for Christmas, a week before our kitchen was being renovated.  Top is the new kitchen.  We had black formica glued over the old yellow below, a lovely new sink from Ikea, have been hanging out for a sink that you can fit a meat dish in and this one fits the bill nicely, its white porcelain and so cheap when you compare it to other similar ones. New down lights above the sink, they where in the middle of this area before and I was always in my shadow working at the bench.  Dual taps and a range hood completed the makeover.  Earlier in the year we had got a new hotplate and oven so all done for another 10 or more years.
I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and I look forward to a better new year.
Raymon is through his first bout of chemo, hit him about a bit after he came home on Thursday but feeling a little bit better today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Journey

Our dearest son Raymon starts a journey today with us tagging along.  Raymon has been diagnosed with cancer in the lymph gland it was also in one tonsil which was removed several weeks ago.  Although Johns brother and mother died with cancer it was while we where in Australia and we where not aware of all the procedures.  My sisters, son-in-law also succumbed to cancer and she and my other two sisters are very supportive.  This is a totally alien world for us and a steep learning curve for all our family.  I have heard of alternative treatments of cancer but when faced with it we can see no alternative other than to follow the medical professionals advise, it is so scary and we don't want to place any pressures on Raymon to try other treatments.  He, as well as we, feel that the medical profession have all the knowledge and latest equipment and treatments in their hands.  My outlook is to stay positive and I am confident Raymon will pull through this.  He is healthy, eats healthy food, doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, his vice is wacky weed and we hope this will give him some relaxation when he gets anxious as I know he does.  He is a fighter and I know he will follow the directions he is given.  Having had an infusion for Pagets I have a little bit of an idea how the body reacts to a foreign substance being  injected into the body and its pretty damn hard for a couple of days, my guess it will be a lot worse but the doctor assures us that they will be able to give him something for every side effect that he will get.  We will all get through this stronger than before, his cancer is not the worst stage and they are confident that it will shrink with chemo and radiation, there are a lot of people worse off than Raymon but this is his personal journey, only he will feel the pain, the vomiting and all the other things. I know Kirsty and Joanne are very concerned for their brother and they are very reassuring for us.
prepared for the fight ahead

Thursday, December 8, 2011

homemade protein bars

 John likes to take a muesli bar each day with his lunch, I was concerned about the ingredients that are in the bought ones not to mention the quantity of sugar.  So being the good housewife decided to have a go at making my own.  The recipe I found was in the Where Women Cook Sept/Oct/Nov 2011 magazine from Stampington.  following is the recipe I used with my modifications.
                                          Wild Honey Bran Protein Bars - Krystina Castella
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice [I use mixed spice)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bran ( I use a mix of bran, rolled oats and phsylum husks]
put all these ingredients in a big bowl and stir to combine

1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
1/4 cup dried apricots chopped[I use more]
1/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
1/2 cup blanched almonds [I use fresh walnuts chopped]
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Add to the bowl and stir around with your hands to coat with the flour mix

1 cup unsweetened applesauce ( I cook up a grated granny smith apple which doesn't break down)
1 tbsp honey [I add this in with the apples while cooking]
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
I mixed this lot up in the pot when the apples where cooled a little bit then poured into the bowl with the flour and fruit mix and combined well.
Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with baking paper and spoon the mixture in, I press it down with my hands as it is rather sticky to get it evenly spread.
Put in preheated oven 150 degrees for about 30 mins.
If you look real close you will see that the raisins on top are a bit burnt, I had the oven too hot in the magazine the fruit and nuts are sitting on the top which is pretty, but hey, all goes down the same way.  John likes them, at first he thought they could be a bit sweeter but has got used to them now.  You can probably tell if you have the magazine I am not too good at following recipes, if I haven't got certain ingredients I will substitute.
I photographed this rose in the garden at the front, its called Julia and is a lovely coffee colour and is particularly lovely this year, must be all the rain we had over winter it fades out to a cream colour.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New camera

Early this year I had thought of getting a digital SLR but as I already had a SLR camera and I didn't take all that many photo's I couldn't justify the cost.
However my trusty little Kodak camera that I have used up to now and all my photo's on my blog have been taken with.An online friend Nicolette from did the research on point and shoot camera's, her recommendation was the Panasonic Lumix DMC - LX5 when I looked at her photo's I was just blown away, I had to have one, aha John got me one for xmas.  Said it had to be wrapped up and put under the tree, I said, it could go under the tree when I have had a good play with it.  I love it, still have a lot to learn though, at the moment I am just pointing and shooting.  So much smaller than my kodak and faster.  I have signed up to do a workshop at New Norcia in April, 5 days on photography, should learn something in that time and what a beautiful spot with the beautiful monastery and historic old buildings.  If you interested in doing the workshop have a look on following are some of the photo's I took on Saturday when I went to Fremantle Bazaar to have a look and flowers in my garden, the photo's are straight off my camera, I haven't done anything to them yet

Monday, November 28, 2011

Workshop Juliana Cole

I have been busy what with fairs, 6 days in four weeks, I am so tired and glad they are finished for the year.  At the same time I have been doing a really good online workshop with Juliana Cole of Extreme journalism which is very therapeutic.  I would recommend this workshop to anyone, for $95 there is so much in it and you learn really great techniques and the forum is really supportive and sensitive to any issues you are sharing.  Following are the pages I have done to date, I still have more to do.

 This is the old book I chose to use for this workshop, it is an old album with good strong pages but rather large at 10 x 12 inches, which equates to a lot of writing, a lot you cannot see as it is buried under layers of paint, issues that I am working through.
 this is the first two pages of fears I had no idea what I was doing but enjoyed and just followed the process Juliana lead us through.
 Next pages where on your personal geography also called mapping, had to look that one up on the internet had not the foggiest about what was wanted, was fascinated with this subject.
 Another challenge, doing a palm reading, with so many marks on my palms was a difficult to read what was what
 Bride of Frankenstein was fun, could let your imagination run wild, underneath is a letter to someone I admired.
 My haunted house which is scary but also somewhere to feel safe.  As I had so many images I wanted to include I had to make flaps to hold it all.  On the left is the outside plus the spooky grounds with tombstones.  The right is an old window with all the eyes looking out.
 The flap opened shows what I find comfort in, in a home, can you see the ghost screaming, the staircase leading up to nowhere......
                                        and another hidden flap where my fears can feel safe!!!

The last one I did, I took the challenge and did a self portrait.  I have about 5 more pages to do.  I don't know why I signed up for this workshop but I am so enjoying it, dream about what pages I am going to do next, mmmmh bit of a problem there aye!!!! Will share when I finish.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Perth Upmarket

And we will be here Sunday 27th, this is a great market for original handmade items, I am making new products that I will have here for the first time, come and say hi 
Start Date: 27/11/2011
End Date: 27/11/2011
Perth Upmarket is Perth’s premier quarterly market for original and handcrafted wares. The market brings together over 150 of Perth’s most talented artists, designers, craftsmen and gourmets all under one roof at the University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall. Incorporating a dedicated Junior Upmarket and Gourmet section.
Parking and entry are free and the venue is easily accessible.   Two ATMs onsite.

Claremont This Week

Come and visit us we will be here Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week.  We will have left over stock from the shop at bargain prices, drop by and say hi ..

Your chance to buy unique Christmas presents, browse amongst amazing Antique and Collectable dealers and visit our Polka Dot Vintage Market.
Date:Friday 18th Nov to Sunday 20th Nov
Time:9.30am - 4.30pm

Lots of your favourite exhibitors plus many new ones
Our market offers quality hand-made crafts including jewellery, adults and children's clothing,bags and accessories, body products, country craft, fabric craft, woodwork, toys, pottery, homewares, patchwork, scrapbooking and many more.

Our foodies bring you sauces, condiments, preserves,
cakes, biscuits, chocolate and confectionary.
We look forward to seeing you there!
p.s. Don’t miss your chance at winning the $2000 door prize. 

Entry Fee: $6
(Children under 12 FREE)
Plenty of free parking.
Trains stop in Showgrounds.
Free Shuttle bus operating.
Free Antique Valuations: Bring along your family heirlooms to see what they are worth!
Click to forward this email on to interested friends
Retailers: you are welcome to forward to your own mailing lists.
Visit our web site at

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Miss Johnson's Vintage and Handmade Market

I have been busy with our upcoming Miss Johnson's market next weekend, come along and see us if you can, I know that Friday is a public holiday but it become one after we had settled our dates, it would be a nice way to enjoy your Friday night or Saturday if you are not going to the barbecue with the Queen or other CHOGM things.  Will get back to you after the market.  Just want to share you with a little something that I read at the Museum when John and I went several weekends ago on our discovering Perth forays.
We, each of us, have part of a star inside us,
The calcium in our bones, was made in a star
and distributed by the nuclear explosion
that ended it life
before our sun was lit
- R Hutchison 1983

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book of Gatherings

I have finally finished my book or should I say box, a box in a book.  After Dwellingup I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do but just didn't have the time.  I am really pleased with how it turned out, thanks to Mandy Herring who taught me how to make the boxes I created a group of boxes on the cover with found objects i.e. Gatherings.  Seed pods, honky nut, smooth white stone, bottles with seeds and a piece of bark with lichen attached. See the little nest with a tiny feather Mandy Woodham made that for me.
I could have glued the spine to the edge of the box but I kinda liked to show it and it sits better when open

 This little old battered leather bag not sure what it was used for but it makes a nice pocket for this little journal on butterflies, letters from home and photo's of wife and child complete the picture
a little sketch book to draw plant life with a pencil attached to inside cover can you see the little silver medallion that is one of Nina's earrings Mandy W has the other.

I had to do some major changes to the inside, there was a ring binder attached to the spine that would have got in the way of my box so it had to come out.  Just as well the look I wanted was old and battered because that is how it ended up. All closed up with a little brass padlock from my sister Phillipa to finish it off.  Nina is a really good reached and always inspires you to go beyond rather than just copy what she has done.  Some will say but what are you going to do with it, they can't see the point in making something you love, I have it out on display where I can enjoy it.