Sunday, August 24, 2014

Under the Sea

August is a busy month for birthdays in our house. Oldest and Youngest KAT get to enjoy special days this month.

In the case of Youngest KAT it was party central a couple of weeks back. Because I could run classes in the art of "keeping up appearances" and at that point wasn't complying with the instructions to take it easy I decided that it would be a good idea (even a sane idea) to a craft party at our place for fifteen 7yr olds!

Here are some shots of the decorations. Suffice to say it was a great success but probably contributed to my less than stellar mental state post-party!! It's all good though...completely worth it to see our little  girl enjoy herself so.

Craft activity #1 was to make a fish using paper plates, colored tissue paper, washi tape and the essential googly eyes. 

After a break for party food we had a go at Craft activity version of Jellfish! 

I had pre-painted the paper bowls and pre-sewn crepe paper tentacles. Can I just say how my life is truly complete having stumbled across the under-appreciated art of the ruffled crepe paper effect? It is deceptively simple but highly effective - straight stitch on the sewing machine with a little bit of pressure applied to the thread as it comes off the feeder thingy...voila you have instant ruffles! I sewed two strips of crepe paper together and we had more ruffles than Strictly Ballroom!!

The table backdrop was a feast of mummy creativity. Thank goodness I am versatility personified in the range of glue dots and double sided tape I possess!

Spotlight was extremely forthcoming in the sparkly fabric department which was used for tablecloths and a photo backdrop. It has now been put to use as a princess outfit for the birthday sewing is nothing to write home about but I'm good at improvising...

I must say, the jellyfish were my fave party decor addition. Miss 7 had a blast and I have survived to party-plan another day:)

Monday, August 18, 2014

This too shall pass

We are back to normal transmission.

I have deleted the post that was ruminating on topics that don't deserve oxygen. 

Last week was crammed with more doctors than the complimentary bar at a pharmaceutical conference! With my oncologist's support I am giving Tamoxifen a rest. It may not be the culprit but it is definitely a contributing factor to my low mood.

I'm backing away from business commitments that I've rushed into before I'm healthy enough to handle the toll work takes. I'm trying to be kind to myself and not let guilt weigh me down.

Yesterday (Sunday) Youngest KAT and I made a special trip to the Mall to buy some touchstones. She chose one for each of us and a bag to put them in. They will go with her to school and be there when she's feeling sad. They will remind her that I'm always with her. Thank you to my gorgeous friend Kate for suggesting this. The idea was a winner and lit up both our eyes! 

I love my family more than words can say. Words cannot describe how I want to walk the same path as them. I want to see them laugh and cry, run and stumble along life's path. I described it as a parallel path but I've realized that we are on the same path, it's just a bit rocky right now.

Seeing my KATs emerging into the young women they are destined to be is why I endured my awful treatment. Because I love them and I want to be around. More than anything. A bit of life ache isn't going to stand in my way.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Being 'happy forever'

With each passing day I'm getting back on my feet. It's a slow process and at times frustrating. Poor Saint Mike knows when I'm really pushing myself too hard as I invariably end up snapping at him. That Sainthood is really knocking hard on his door!

I'm at my happiest when I get my creative on. This weekend I was executing the event styling for a 40th birthday for a very dear friend. It was just what I needed.

We had agreed on a similar scheme to the natural textures used at a few other events I've styled but because it was for my friend we also needed some femininity thrown in so we went with gold and I incorporated some foliage to up the ante.

I re used the cloths I made early in the year for a school function but the table needed something else so I went with a DIY doily table runner. A couple of trips to the local charity stores and I had the makings of a perfectly proportioned runner made up of assorted doilies to lay across the tables.

I decorated the room with my rustic bunting and upped the bling factor by making a garland with some  cardboard and bronze/gold adhesive paper cut into disks and then sewn into a easy it's ridiculous! Looked really effective.

The girls had their fill of Heinz Baby puréed apple so I could use the jars as votive holders - gold washi tape and some sweet lace ribbon was all it took to make them shine.

It took a huge effort to set it up but I loved every moment and was thrilled that my gorgeous friend was able to see her space transformed into a magical dining room for her to enjoy her night.

Now if only I could manage to do event styling and get paid to do it I would "be happy forever" (fave expression used by the KATs).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding the Phenomenal Woman Inside

I caught up with a lovely friend this week. She is an amazing woman. We met when I embarked on my first foray into Ocean Swimming with CanToo.

I struggled terribly with the dreaded Imposter Syndrome and although unaware of this she buoyed my confidence that year simply by being her lovely self - warm, encouraging and inclusive. She swam beside me and although I know she thought it was me helping her, it was really the other way round!

The following year I returned despite knowing that I was carrying even more weight both physically and psychologically than my first year. I shouldn't have put myself through the program. It wasn't being kind to myself. It was certainly not the confidence building experience of the first time. I stumbled towards the goal swim isolated from my team and although I raised my required funds, I chose to swim on my own the day of the Cole because I was so ashamed at my perceived failure.

As I stood alone in the crowd of people milling around awaiting our "wave", Lizzie stumbled upon me. We agreed to swim together. I knew that this meant Lizzie would not swim to her own pace. I knew she was forsaking a better time to stay with me. I will always be grateful for her compassion and kindness.

The day after we caught up she sent me the shots from the swim photographer. They transported me. How lost I felt. How much I was struggling. How much has happened since.

I'm not this person anymore. I'm different in so many ways. But I still have my friendship with this special person.

I am so fortunate to have people like Lizzie in my life.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm still here!

I know I've been MIA! Sorry. Sorry. Sorry!

My mother pointed out to me this week that I haven't updated my blog of late. No excuse really. Just simply a feeling that I can't quite overcome that anything I say here is a bit redundant.

It's hard to explain but it's got something to do with a pervasive feeling that I've got nothing much left to say here....I'm alive. I'm on the road to recovery. I don't feel great but I don't want to be a whiner!!

Emerging from the other side of my treatment has been and continues to be a challenge. The world and my place in it is different. I just haven't worked out how to work with that "different".

I'm feeling much healthier. My wounds are healing - the physical and the mental ones. My KAT's are also recovering. Less fragile and more secure. Saint Mike is also starting to relax!  

I smile broadly and my smile is genuine. I am happy to be alive.

If I'm absent for a while longer forgive me. If you aren't related to me and still check in here I thank you for your interest! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The swing of things

I'm five weeks post-surgery today. This is a good thing as Oprah would say.

My recovery is coming along swimmingly. I seem to be text-book compliant in terms of my physical state. Pain reducing but not altogether fantastic. I keep it at bay during daylight hours using Panadol Osteo but as the afternoon progresses it all seems to catch up on me and I'm scoffing codeine before bed to ensure my sleep is undisturbed.

To distract myself I've been undertaking some "recovery-friendly" creative pursuits. My little Portulaca friend is an example of the sort of gardening I can manage.

This little beauty was inspired by something on Pinterest where they utilised Grape Vines....not living in or near a vineyard meant I resorted to stripping some vines off our Star Jasmine outside the back door....a ball I found in the garden was used as my base and whilst watching a bit of trashy "Real Housewives of Melbourne" (God save me now) I wound and tied and wound and tied until I had this rustic work of art! I've attached a string of solar powered fairy lights but I'm not loving the effect....stay tuned, I have my thinking cap on and it will be finessed!

Prior to the BC diagnosis I was in the process of launching a new business. It's clearly not happened but I've had loads of time to develop my business plan and I'm now in the early stages of getting it off the ground. Watch this space!

I'm still doing my best to spend at least a little while each day here. Some days are harder than others to put my feet up.

Oh and we had a wedding anniversary to celebrate on Saturday. Seventeen years! Can you believe it!! As you can see, age doesn't weary the silliness of Saint Mike:)

That's pretty much all I have to report. Note the distinct lack of talk re my mental state? Did I mention my physical recovery is going well? We won't discuss my fragile mental state. It's all good, time is a great healer as they say.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I'm supposed to be resting and recuperating. I'm trying to sit still but I'm really useless at it. 

Instead I'm pottering about the house finding little jobs to do. One of them involves a minor bit of potting (nothing heavy is allowed).

I commandeered this ladder ages ago during a council clean up. Saint Mike isn't a fan but I love it's rustic charm.

It's been repurposed for now as a pot plant holder. The bottom three white plants are the grape dip trays I finished last year but all the other little beauties are things I've potted up from cuttings some pre-surgery. Some post-op.

These tea cups were lovely but they're just not practical. Hence I decided they'd look cute as a receptacle for succulents. 

Now it's just a case of making sure the possum doesn't climb my ladder and have a naughty nibble!

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