Monday, February 20, 2012

Who Am I?

Sourced -
I stalk you silently, awaiting my moment to slip in.
I am no discriminator of persons.
I may choose to slowly and methodically undo your life,
Or I may come armed; ready for a violent attack.

You may recognise me, you may not.
There is no telling how many times I may invade your private thoughts.
I see and hear everything you think and do.
I loudly offer my opinion.

I will lock you away, helping you hide from the outside world.
I will cause you panic and terror.
I can make you hear and see things others don't.
I can make you someone you never were.

Sourced -
I can make you feel lost and useless,
Powerless and fragile,
Jumpy and shaky,
Sick to your stomach.

I have the ability to isolate you.
To numb you.
To shut you off from everyone you care about.
To make you feel nothing.

I will find our weakest point and attack.
I can make you eat, or I can make you refuse to.
I will find every once of self confidence you have and kick it in the guts.
I will make you a shadow of who you were.

Sourced -
I can make you angry and filled with rage.
I can make you sad, lonely, terrified.
I can make you feel nothing.
Feeling and being nothing is my best weapon.

I am happy to destroy your life and everyone who is in it.
I will sit on your shoulder throughout every conversation.
Letting you know how they really feel about you.
I will help you see my truth.

I can make you cry, unstoppably.
I can make you laugh, insanely.
I can make you rock in a corner.
I can make you hurt yourself.

Sourced -
I can make life too hard to bear.
I can help you find a better way.
I can take you to a place where no one will hurt you again.
I can help you feel.

I will teach you how to be critical and judgmental.
I will show you all the things you need to improve on.
I will hi-light your failures,
And remind you of your past.

Sourced -
Nothing you do can choose me.
I choose you.
It may be circumstance.
It may be genetic make up.

I am here to destroy your life.
To break you and everything you thought you loved.
I am on a mission of pain and hurt.
I will take you down.

I am the monkey on your back,
I am the black dog,
I am the uninvited guest,
I am the stalker in the shadows.

I am Depression.

Sourced -

If you have been lucky enough to have not met this dark predator you may not know what I am talking about. Although the statistics now say one in five people experience depression, many still do not talk about it. It is a rough journey that may be a once off, or for many lasts a life time; ebbing and flowing with the waves of life.

There is help and there is far more awareness than ever before about depression but it doesn't make it an easier to survive. Some people find there triggers and are able to stop themselves being fully launched back to the place they have been. Others return there many times.

Some people find help in medication, some in talking, some in writing, some in alternative therapy, some in God. Some people find that what worked last time may never work again and the search for peace is never ending.

I know this pain from personal experience and I know everybody has a different journey, a different path, a different story. No one will ever fully understand your pain and burden but there are people who will try. There are people who will listen when you need to talk. People who will cry for you when you are emotional shutdown. People who will sit and hold your hand when you can't say anything at all. People who will hold you in their thoughts and prayers when they feel powerless to know what to do.

So from my lemon day may some one find lemonade because at the moment all I can taste is bitter and sour. We all have our good days, and our bad. Sometimes there is just that evil mother father depression giving an extra helping hand.

Just know you aren't alone, something I have to remind myself of more often than I thought possible. Know that when there is no one there, God is always listening and He is pretty good at it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Tutorials - Last Minute Valentines Day Cards

Happy Valentines Day! I thought today I would share my own tutorial on making easy valentines cards with only a few tools - for those last minute needed cards!

These are just three simple cards all designed and made with the same basic tools. Each card took less than five minutes to make, which means there is no excuse not to whip up a few at a time!

So the how-to: I used tools and papers which were in my stash and I'm sure you can find something in yours, or at last resort beg, borrow, buy or substitute.

  • A paper trimmer
  • Roller tape or glues dots, double sided tape, mounting squares etc
  • Pop dots
  • A heart punch
  • A boarder punch
  • Scraps of paper (Yes this is the perfect time to bust out the horded bits I couldn't throw away)
  • Cardstock - I like to use American Crafts AC cardstock or Bazzill Basics but even pre-cut and folded cards will be fine

If using cardstock trim it to the size you want and fold in half - there are many different sizes and styles of cards so play around with different sizes to get different looks.

I then punched out a bunch of hearts out of different scraps of paper from my stash, including patterned papers, plain papers and cardstock.

Next play around with placement ideas for your card before sticking anything on. And remember it is your card so be inventive and play around with how you want it to look, alternatively you could remake card ideas you have seen.

Once you have decided on design stick away. I used pop up dots for the hearts to give them effect but you can just stick them down if you don't have any available.

Here are the cards I came up with - one for each of the school teachers and one for the hubby.

Jaybugs Teacher
The Hubby

Quacks Teacher.
NB. I used a Fiskars border punch for along my card edges but this is merely decorative, don't race out and buy one unless, of course, you have been waiting for the right excuse to!

Then for inside the card. I always like to use another piece of paper stuck inside to write on.  
For these cards I used a light coloured patterned paper and matching mini brads for an added something.

Trim paper to fit inside of card - I always like to leave a small border of the card popping through so make the inside paper slightly smaller.

s.e.i chick-a-dee tiny bubbles paper

I then stick then inside paper down with roller tape and then make holes for my mini brads with a super handy big long pokey needle I have for crafting - of course a yarn needle or point of scissors will do the same job.

Awesome brads picked up at Spotlight NZ for $2 a pack.

I placed the brads in the top left corner and bottom right corner, but you can place them anywhere or no where at all.

Hey presto! Super simple Valentines cards finished.

Hope you have a lovely Valentines and if you haven't managed to get your sweetest something whip up a quick card. Nothing says I love you and appreciate you like a home made card!
(remember Valentines is a great time to tell everyone you appreciate that they are special, not just your Mr or Mrs Loveydovey)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A big two year old and his Cookie Monster Cupcakes

Yesterday our wee man turned TWO! - oh no two's are terrible aren't they? I have already done it twice so I am hoping third time is a charm. Also with two at school it means more one-on-one time with Mr Squeak so hopefully this all helps with TERRIFIC TWOS instead - I'm fooling myself aren't I...

Happy birthday Mr Squeak.

The blackboard is thanks to Quack who is just about to turn seven. He is Mr Cool at the moment and have a few "too cool" attitude missions, so it was nice to see him think of someone other than himself. He worked on it the night before Squeaks birthday so that it could be ready and waiting for him in the morning.

With the whole moving to another country thing and being the newbies - loners - in town, everything about birthdays is making me cringe. I love to plan a good party and stretch myself preparing, planning and mostly of all - making the cake! But I just couldn't seem to find anything in me to become motivated to do so.

Squeak is obsessed with trains right now and Bubba suggested a train cake from the ever fabulous Women's Weekly Cake Book - Vintage edition.

I just wasn't feeling it. My Mama made me the same cake for my second birthday but even that couldn't muster up the excitement to want to do it. So I decided to leave the whole cake thing and maybe whip one up on the weekend - when I had more time I told myself.

Adding to the guilt was the fact that I hadn't even been out to buy Squeak a present yet. Not. One. We finally got a vehicle last weekend so this wasn't the problem anymore. I just can't bring myself to get in the car and go into Muswellbrook at the moment. And yes I know I could have bought something online but I just wasn't sure on what to get him. I wanted to see it, to touch it and know, and yet I don't want to go to the stores..... more on that some other time.

So I told myself it would be fine. Squeak and I would just spend the day together and for dinner we were having some cute dino shaped fish bites and crumbed chicken chunks that we found during the groceries. The big people got herbed fish and salad - which was super tasty and cheaper than what we have found fish and chips to be over here.

But my guilt got me thinking about cake. Ok so I didn't want to go through the whole process of making a big cake, plus who would we share it with. So it got me thinking I might do cupcakes and just ice them different colours. It was better than nothing. Well turns out google images for cupcakes is pretty inspiring too. I ended up finding quite a few that I like and decided to tackle Squeak's best bedtime friend Cookie Monster.

These were HEAPS of fun and even better they were EASY!

So how did we (yep even so easy Squeak helped) do it??
1. Bake cupcakes - We used vanilla sponge cupcakes but it can be any flavour, homemade or box. Leave the muffins to cool after cooking.

Wow my oven door is filthy - must clean after blog writing.

2. While muffins cook and/or cool prepare fur and eyes. 
  • FUR is simply coconut with blue food colouring rubbed through it ( either pop in plastic zip bag and rub colour in or stir it in in a small container making sure all colour is absorbed.) Pop aside for fur to dry.
  • For EYES I used white chocolate melts, dotted them with icing and then added chocolate chips/drops for middle. Pop aside to set ( as it is quite warm here I popped them in the fridge).

3. Once everything is Cool, Dry and Set mix up some blue icing. Either homemade icing, butter cream or store bought icing (I used store brought vanilla frosting as I don't have a mixer or electric beaters yet).

 4. Take a cupcake and cut a small slice out where the cookie will sit.

 5. Swirl, paste, plop or spoon on your blue icing....

I had to make sure I remembered the placement of the cut to my hand so I knew where it was later as it gets lost under the icing.

6. Gently roll top through coconut to cover the iced top.

  7. Push eyes into place - you want to gently push into the cupcake so the stay put.

8. Pop chocolate chip biscuit in place ( I used whole ones to start but looked better with them broken in half or in pieces in Cookies mouth).

9. Repeat until Cupcake batch is complete - Volia!

10. Eat and have fun!
N.b. the blue colour may leave you looking a little like our Blue Tongue Lizard Tom - more on him later!

Scary I know!

And then it was bedtime. Although it seems Squeak didn't want to spend it alone on his birthday. When we went up to check on the kids we found Squeak having a sleepover in Jaybugs room!

Happy birthday little dude. You are growing into such an independent young man. You surprise us everyday with new things you can do and say. Like counting to 10 for us on your birthday and asking for more kiwifruit. We are proud to be your Dad and Mama and know you do us proud by being you. We love your cheek grin and your red curls. Love you little man, we look forward to watching you grow.

Mama and Daddy xxx

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Staring Down Memory Lane

Sourced from here
I remember when my eyes used to sparkle,
my cheeks hurt from grinning,
and tears rolled down my face - from laughing too hard.

I remember dreaming about tomorrow,
What could be.
Excitement and anticipation.
Feeling life was truly a gift.

I remember socializing,
enjoying the company of others,
trying new things.

I remember singing,
and listening to music,
Way too loud.

I remember living life,
and every opportunity it presented.
I was confident and happy with who I was.
Pushing myself into the unknown.
Chasing dreams.

I remember being fun,
having fun,
looking for fun,
and enjoying fun.

I remember someone I can't see any more.
When did I change?

Was it a slow morphing - noticeable to those looking on?
Or was it some Sudden, Abrupt, Transformation.
Where did the other me go?

Am I forever lost,
doomed to stare down memory lane.
Remembering someone that was?

Or is this just a part of growing up?

It hurts so much to remember a life so full,
so fun,
so satisfying.
So I try to push it down, far away from my mind.

The slap in the face.
The wake up call.
The chasing down of reality.
This is who I am now.

 Joining in with Latte Junkie for Lyrical Sunday (even though its Tuesday....)

Tuesday Tutorials - Drawstring bag

I love sewing but seeing I'm not that good at just whipping things up out of thin air I tend to use patterns or online tutorials. I thought I would roll out a new segment for the 'ol blog - Tuesday Tutorials. I will find and make something throughout the week and then let you guys know how it went and where I got it from.

Today's big mission was a bag - a library bag to be exact. Jaybug has library tomorrow at school and needed a bag. I wanted something a little more than a basic pillowcase draw string but I needed something within my beginner sewing skills.

I found this tutorial over a In Color Order

Sourced from In Color Order

I loved the idea of more than one fabric, practicing my box corners and also lining techniques. The Tutorial is really simple to follow and has great clear instructions.

The lined drawstring bag ends up measuring 10" tall, 7" wide - so not quite big enough for a library bag - but I'm sure it will have plenty of uses from toys, to nappies and wipes for in my handbag, changes of clothes. It is the perfect size if it was lined with PUL or something waterproof it would be perfect for wet/dirty nappies when out.

So here's what I got!

I then decided I enjoyed making it so much I could probably work out making a bigger one. So I scaled up the measurements and made a bigger version that would fit Jaybugs books in for tomorrow's library day.

So now I have two bags, one big, one small and one super great Tuesday Tutorial!

 Tutorial for the Lined Drawstring Bag can be found here at In Color Order.